If you know me or follow me on social media, you know about my most recent obsession…room escapes!!! For those of you who don’t know, room escapes are entertainment venues that offer to lock you in a room (not literally, fire code is pretty important to follow) and you have a certain amount of time to escape the room by solving a series of connected puzzles and mysteries. It is fantastic amounts of fun. In this post, I will take you through a bunch of room escapes I have tried in Southern California (spoiler free, of course!) in hopes that you will jump on the bandwagon and try some of these out. Here is my current So Cal directory of room escapes the I have tried. As I try more, I will add to the list. Continue reading
It’s no mystery that I like to find a good travel deal. It was all fine and dandy when it was just me and my husband traveling, but now we have two kiddos and we are still living on one income, so how does one travel for cheap even though they have enlarged their family? Read on to find out how.
|From a recent road trip around the Sabine Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana – 2016|
In honor of my little sister moving to Louisiana, I am writing this post about taking an amazing Louisiana road trip for, as always, DIRT CHEAP. We found some unbelievably reasonable airfare from California on Google Flights, and just had to plan a little road trip loop around mostly Louisiana and Mississippi. We went in March, but we came back in August and checked out Northern Louisiana as well. Get ready for some amazing Louisiana (with some Mississippi on the side) style adventures. Here we go.
Well, it’s been a whole year since I started the ole travel blog and I decided to reflect on the last year of travel. I am going to talk about the best place(s) we ate (sometimes it is too hard to choose one), the best place(s) we visited, the best place(s) we hoteled, and the best thing(s) we did. Of course, I will give you an overall snapshot of our travels at the end of the post, so you can get some travel inspiration. Sit back, relax, and make 2017 the year you get out there and travel in those vacation pants!!! Hope you start planning that next vacay, stat! Continue reading
|Airplane Life. Taking Jet Blue to somewhere fabulous. -2014|
I know it can be scary to go for that cheap deal and take a discount airline instead of a name you know and love. The price often seems to good to be true. Many times, if you don’t know what to pay for, and what not to pay for, the prices are too good to be true. As someone who has taken my fair share of discount airlines over the years, I will share with you my tips and tricks if you decide to go on one of these airlines. I also rank them in order of preference, so you know if it is worth the discount.
|At the official Hot Springs National Park entrance in Hot Springs, Arkansas. August -2016|
In August we flew to Northern Texas because my baby brother got married. My husband reminded me that I had never been to Arkansas, so we had to plan a little road trip out of Texas while we were out there. We wound up in Hot Springs, Arkansas for a four night trip, and let’s just say, this place was made to be blogged about. Hot Springs, Arkansas is the home of Hot Springs National Park and it is exactly what it sounds like. People at the turn of the century flocked to Hot Springs to take advantage of all the bath houses that sprouted up in the town due to the natural hot springs in the area. Well, eight of the original buildings remain standing today, and two of them are still working bath houses. Read on to find out how you can plan an amazing adventure to this fantastic place.
I remember when I discovered tripadvisor.com. It was early 2011 and I was planning a trip down route 66. I was visiting family in Colorado and after that we decided to drive out to Chicago, Illinois, the place where the famous route 66 begins. I was so excited to plan our hotel stays along the way and I came across this fantastic travel website. I looked up all the cities we were planning on staying in along the route. The site gave me the top hotels, restaurants, and things to do in every place. I was so excited that most of the # 1 rated hotels were dirt cheap compared to California hotels, and we got to stay in highly rated hotels along our entire trip. Tripadvisor did not disappoint. This post will give you some tips on using this amazing website and app. You won’t want to plan another trip without consulting Tripadvisor first. Then, after your trip, you’ll want to come back and do some reviews of your own, so you can advise future travelers.
Off Season at Typhoon Lagoon means NO LINES!
Part 6 is here!!! I will discuss one of the water parks at Disney World called Typhoon Lagoon and I will also talk about Disney Springs. Both places add a little extra pizzazz to an already amazing trip. Read on to find out how you can have an amazing trip to these places as well.
Walt Disney World, Family Edition, Part 1
Walt Disney World, Family Edition, Part 2
Walt Disney World, Family Edition, Part 3
Walt Disney World, Family Edition, Part 4
Walt Disney World, Family Edition, Part 5
This particular trip to Disney World we did some things differently. First of all, this is by the far the longest trip we have ever taken to the park, and we loved it. We stayed for 8 nights, and played for 9 days, so we really got to experience many things we have never experienced before. One of which was a water park at the resort called Typhoon Lagoon. We also went to a restaurant at Disney Springs called T-Rex. Although we had been to Disney Springs before, this was a new restaurant, and it was not something we usually have time to do, but with such an extended trip, we really got to see and do everything. Read on to find out how you can make the most of your trips to both these areas. Again, I would only do these things if you have a truly extended trip. These places will really add to the experience.
As I mentioned in a previous post, we bought our tickets through a university to attend a graduation at the resort. We were given a special link to order the tickets. One of the perks was a pretty nice discount on park tickets AND it included an extra ticket to one of the Disney water parks. We were spending 9 days at the resort, so we took a day off from the big parks and spent an awesome day at Typhoon Lagoon. They do have a waterpark option when you buy the tickets. If you do plan on doing the water park, make sure you add it in when you purchase the tickets to the park, because you get a discount as opposed to paying full price at the gate.
Tips and Tricks
MVP (My Vacation Pants) Tip: The water parks are open year round and it is always pretty warmish in Florida. Escape the crowds by going to the water parks in the winter months. They tend to be very busy in the Spring and Summer, so even if it seems weird to visit a water park in January you may want to hit it up anyway.
Disney Springs is basically an outdoor marketplace with restaurants and shops. They have everything you ever wanted to buy Disney. You can’t help but get caught up in the cuteness. On this trip, we got done with Typhoon Lagoon at 5:00 and had definitely worked up an appetite playing in the sun and water all day. We took the shuttle from the hotel to Disney Springs for dinner. I believe they have put in a parking structure since we have been. Parking is complimentary.
Tips and Tricks
I know you’ll have enough to do on this fantastic trip, but if you have time, these two stops will pizazz up your visit even more during your stay. I have truly enjoyed taking you on this wild Walt Disney World journey. Hope you found these posts helpful in planning your future trips. Please use the links below to let me know how your trip was. Would love to hear from some vacation pantsers!!! Have a great trip and Walt Disney World on.
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|It all started with this guy! Checking out the One Man’s Dream Exhibit at Disney Studios – 2015|
Part 4 of 6 will discuss a visit to Disney Studios. This park is undergoing many renovations and additions right now, but it is still worth stopping at for a day. Read on to find out what you need to do to get the most out of your visit to Disney Studios. Click other posts in this series about Walt Disney World below.
Walt Disney World, Family Edition, Part 2
Walt Disney World, Family Edition, Part 3
Disney Studios was put in to Walt Disney World in 1989, a year before Universal Studios-Orlando. It was originally called DIsney’s MGM Studios and it was very much like a working studio. They shot the rebooted Mickey Mouse Club there, had a studio tour, and studio shows. Since then, the park has dropped the studio tour and the MGM name and added some of the best thrill rides you will ever experience. It will also be home to the new Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land, which is quite exciting. While these major renovations are taking place, there will still be plenty to see and do, so make sure you make a stop to play and eat at this park while you are visiting.
- Fast Pass + – Make sure you have reserved your fastpasses for the day on your Walt Disney World account. See my tips on Fast Pass + in part 1 of this series. Attractions worth getting fast passes for, if possible:
- Twilight Zone’s Tower of Terror
- Aerosmith’s Rockin’ Roller Coaster
- Toy Story
- Star Tours
- Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular
Used our first fastpass on Toy Story on night 1 My little Star Wars fans out in front of Star Tours The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, pretty much the greatest thrill ever. Don’t let the cheese factor full you, this is a thrilling roller coaster with multiple loops.
- Remember: If you get three attractions reserved early in the day, you can go back and order more fastpasses on the My Disney Experience App once you have used them all. That is the only way to get more than three fastpasses in a day. Also, don’t forget to take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours at this park.
- Educational Guide – This park gives you a backstage pass to old Hollywood and although it may seem hard to find things that our educational at a park dedicated to Hollywood, there is still plenty to learn about. Make sure you check out the One Man’s Dream film and exhibit. There is so much history about Walt Disney and the making of his empire. My young children loved learning the history of Disneyland and they made us sit in the front row for the movie. They have cool pieces displayed in the exhibit hall as well. You can talk about how things were different in the 1930s, and how animation was drawn by hand. The Great Movie Ride is a tribute to many great movie classics your children may have never heard of. One small note, there is one super scary scene from the movie Alien, keep your kids close and cover their eyes for that part if they get scared about things like that. A lot of children have never seen an old black and white movie and they have a great montage at the end. Talk about the history of movie making with them. Lastly, the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular is a really fun way to show your kids how movies are made. Plus, adults get a chance to be a part of the show. I was picked to be in half the show, so my kids paid attention.
Me as an extra in the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular.
- Vintage Cool Attractions – The whole park is themed like vintage Hollywood. All the glamour and sophistication of the 1930s. It is a great piece of cinematic history, and is fun to see in a Disney way. Make sure you take in the architecture and the music that this park has to offer. We enjoyed checking out the front of the Great Movie Ride which has celebrity hand prints and autographs just like is does in the real Hollywood. Inside the queue for the Great Movie Ride, there are some Hollywood collectibles from favorite movies. Always fun to see. Do not miss the Muppet 3D Show. It is an original that was in the park when it opened, and it is the last thing that Jim Henson worked on before he passed away. It is hilarious and cute. This attraction is extinct at other Disney parks, so this may be your last chance to see this beloved show. Plus, see below for some places you have to eat at to fully experience the vintageness of this park.
Classic Hollywood in Florida Like I said…vintage cool.
- Pacing – This park is small right now. It will grow much bigger with the editions, but you can probably spend part of the day here and hit another park if you want. My family can never manage to do that, but we are the type of family that has to try every little thing. If you just want to try the highlights and move on, you can spend more time in the larger parks.
|Had to get the vintage black and white shot at the 50s Prime Time Cafe.|
|This is the waiting area. So cute.|
|When you see the sign, enter.|
Sci Fi Dine In Theater – Okay, this has to be our favorite experience place to eat because it is so unique. You walk in to a building that looks normal on the outside. The host whisks you around the corner and you enter an old fashioned drive in theater. The cars have tables facing a huge drive in movie screen. You get to watch kitchy cool old sci fi movies and old 1950s commercials. It is pretty much a dream come true. The food is pretty much your typical diner fare, but it is worth the experience to see it. Again, don’t miss it while you are there.
|Our amazing car tables at the Sci Fi Dine In Theater|
|The Sci Fi Dine In Theater. Yeah!|
The Hollywood Brown Derby – The Original Brown Derby in California is famous for inventing the Cobb Salad and well, you can’t really find someone who loves Cobb Salad like this lady right here. I am a blue cheese fanatic. So I guess I was the one who was most excited to come here because even though I live near Hollywood I have never been to the original Brown Derby. Everyone else in my party enjoyed the experience, but weren’t huge fans of the intense flavors in the Cobb, so this is definitely something you have to crave. If your mouth watered when I talked about Cobb Salad, you have to go. The ambiance is fun too and I imagine it is similar to how the original Brown Derby looks and feels. It is very art deco and visually stunning.
|Feeling smirky to be at the Hollywood Brown Derby.|
|Cobb Salad. Yum.|
|Grandma sneaking my daughter soda. 🙂|
|My husband got this egg burger thing. Yum again.|
Walt Disney World Webpage – https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/
Theme Park Tourist – http://www.themeparktourist.com/
Part 1 of this Post – http://myvacationpants.blogspot.com/2016/04/put-on-your-disney-world-vacation-pants.html
Part 2 of this Post: http://myvacationpants.blogspot.com/2016/04/put-on-your-walt-disney-world-vacation.html
Part 3 of this Post: http://myvacationpants.blogspot.com/2016/04/put-on-you-walt-disney-world-vacation.html
Also click on headings in the post above. I linked the important information you need.