10 Reasons Everything Is Awesome at the LEGOLAND Hotel

Our five-year-old's birthday wish was to spend the night at the new Florida LEGOLAND® Hotel. And quite honestly, I was pretty pumped to check it out myself. We took advantage of the Florida resident rate (35% off) and were set. There are always extra deals and promos here. I Read more

Park City, Utah Skiing With The Family

It's been awhile since the entire family went west, but it was time! I had a few snickers when I announced our plans to embark on a ski adventure with the entire family to Park City, Utah during the Sundance Film Festival. But, then again places that people don't Read more

The Newest Vacation Rental in Orlando

I'm so excited to share my most recent article in PLAYGROUND magazine. Friends from my hometown in Pennsylvania have created the most amazing vacation rental space here in Orlando. Click through to read about the inspiration behind this awesome home and how you can book your stay.   Follow our family Read more

Family Getaway Postcard Inn St. Pete Beach

A few weeks ago, our family, along with two other Orlando families,ventured to St. Pete beach on the Gulf Coast to celebrate a little friend's 8th birthday at the Postcard Inn. I was attracted to the aesthetics of this trendy spot since it was transformed from a Travelodge in Read more

Best Play Spots in Paris

It's almost three weeks since we returned from Europe, and I've finally sifted through my photos. I felt like my first post should talk about the fun playgrounds/parks in Paris. What an awesome experience to see the girls jumping right into the mix at playgrounds many miles from their Read more

Travel

Dream A Little Disney Dream

Our Disney Dream Savings

After one year, two family yard sales, two lemonade stands, daily change contributions by daddy and the sacrifice of forking over birthday and holiday monetary gifts, we will set sail on our Disney Cruise this Thursday!

About a year and a half ago Mia expressed her desire to embark on Disney’s newest ship, The Dream.

This cruise meant pirate parties, princesses, a plexiglass waterslide and an adventure on Disney’s private island. This also meant a chunk of change for our family. We created a “cruise fund” complete with an image of the ship and began our saving mission.

One year of nickels, dimes and the occasional one dollar bills brought us to a grand total of about $250. This in no way shape or form is going to cover our  cruise. However, it will cover most of our on board tips, activities etc. (I hope).

Mia’s All Packed & Ready To Go!

Mia has been observing this jar and working towards a goal for one year. Part of my joy in taking this cruise is the fact that she truly understands what it means to save and watch the savings accumulate over a year.

Stay tuned for posts on our Disney Cruise experience!

 

 

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Posted on by Amanda in Travel 1 Comment

Top 10 Reasons To Love LEGOLAND Florida

LEGOLAND Florida

After months of living just an hour from the new LEGOLAND Florida, we finally had a free day to venture over to the new park. Apparently, I’ve been depriving my children of some serious fun! LEGOLAND was built on the former site of Cypress Gardens  (Florida’s first “theme park”). The park does a great job of combining old and new preserving some of the old Florida style of Cypress Gardens.

And now, the top 10 reasons to love this place!

1)  Tons of shady spaces to relax and let toddlers run around.

2)  Fun rides (I mean really fun) and attractions perfect for kids 2-12.

DUPLO play area

3)  Big, clean bathrooms with lots of changing stations.

4)  You won’t break the bank feeding the family at LEGOLAND.

5)  While considered a Florida theme park, it still feels small – in a good way.

6)  We were there on a holiday (President’s Day) with a lot of other people off of school and work. It never felt crowded.

7)  Not once did I look at my watch and wonder… How can I bribe them to leave. No lie. I had a ton of fun.

8)  Lots of toddler/preschooler play areas near “big kid” rides for parents waiting with little ones.

9)  There aren’t souvenir stands around every corner, but cools shops if you want to pick up a LEGO memory.

New York City recreated out of Legos in Miniland USA

10)  You don’t have to be a LEGO lover to love LEGOLAND. I can vouch for that!

Attention to detail is the theme at LEGOLAND. It shines through in all attractions, rides, exhibits and even the staff . This is definitely a great day trip from Orlando and a must visit attraction for visitors to the Sunshine State.

For ticket prices and park hours visit the LEGOLAND Florida website. Kids under three are free!

I received complimentary tickets from LEGOLAND for our visit. However, as you all know, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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Posted on by Amanda in Featured, Orlando, Travel 7 Comments

TurtleTrek Is Coming to Sea World

The news of Sea World’s TurtleTrek, opening this spring, excites our family more than you could ever know! Turtles have always been a beloved creature in our home. Not that we don’t love all creatures, but the turtles hold a special place in our heart.

TurtleTrek will walk Sea World guests through the life of a Sea Turtle. From hatching on a sandy beach to their extremely long life journey. The cool part is that you’ll be viewing the journey in a giant 360 degree dome and in 3D! (The first ever of its kind in the world!!) The film goes way beyond the concept of high definition – think 26 million individual pixels at 60 frames per second. Yeah… That’s some serious reality there. Want to be a hero for the turtles? This new attraction will tell you just how you can do that.

I’ll pipe down now and let you enjoy a sneak peek in the webisode below.

Sea World's TurtleTrek

P.S. ~ Sea World is offering a Pre-School Pass this year for children under five! Yes, that means a free annual pass for your kiddos to enjoy TurtleTrek any time they want.

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Posted on by Amanda in Featured, Orlando, Travel 1 Comment

Top 10 Holiday Activities in Orlando

There’s still time left to enjoy one or even two of these events around town! Check out my Top 10 List of Orlando Holiday Activities at SheKnows.com City Guide.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LIST!

Holidays in Orlando!

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Posted on by Amanda in Holiday Travel Series, Orlando, Travel Leave a comment

Holiday Travel Must Haves

Harajuku Mini

Everyone knows I love great products (travel specifically.) Making travel easy, stylish and fun is oh so important. Here are a few travel must haves for your holiday journeys!

The Text Hook

Cutest kids suitcase ever! Being comfortable while traveling is important, but never sacrifice style. Words to live by for sure. My daughter Mia is swooning over this travel accessory. We’ll see if Santa delivers! It’s Harajaku Mini, Gwen Stefani’s line, which is now carried by Target.

I have to talk about one of my favorite products again. The Text Hook is amazing for travel. It secures your smart phone to your stroller (or other travel item with a bar) for easy hands free use. Kids will stay occupied at your departure gate watching their fav movie while your smart phone is perfectly positioned. No holding necessary.

Kiddie Headphones

Super cute DJ style headphones for kids! Mia has the panda bear headphones and loves them. Several websites carry these headphones so shop around for the best prices.

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Posted on by Amanda in Holiday Travel Series, Travel Leave a comment

50% Off ICE! Admission at Gaylord Palms

The Holiday Travel Series continues… This deal is more of a staycation for us, but perhaps a few Mamma Mia readers will be traveling to Orlando this holiday season.

I’ve never been to ICE! at the Gaylord Palms here in Orlando, but I’ve heard it is absolutely amazing. The great deal taking place this weekend might just persuade me to go! Guests who purchase advance tickets for Saturday, Nov. 19 will receive 50% off the ticket price and also support Give Kids The World. Half of the cost of each ticket will go to the charity!

ICE! At Gaylord Palms

ICE! features over 20,000 square-feet of ice sculptures in a room that is kept at a frigid nine degrees fahrenheit. This year’s ICE! features friends from “Shrek the Halls.” The crew from Shrek comes to life through huge ice sculptures. There are also five ice slides that are 30-feet tall.

Tickets during the Give Kids The World special are $12 for adults and $8.99 for kids. The discounted tickets must be purchased in advance using the promo code SEGKW online.

If you can’t make the special discount day, ICE! will run through January 2. Regular price tickets are $22.99 for adults and $13.99 for kids.

Even though we are in the sunshine state, long pants and closed toe shoes are required at ICE! Hats and gloves are recommended. A winter coat will be provided to each ticket holder for use while at the event.

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Posted on by Amanda in Holiday Travel Series, Travel Leave a comment

Holiday Travel – CLEAR Me!

Starting this week through Christmas, I’ll be writing a holiday travel series to help everyone get prepared for the upcoming holiday travel season. Expect tips and news that will make your holiday travel  a little easier.

CLEAR at your local airport

Many of us, myself included, are begining to look at booking holiday air travel and figuring out how to get our family from point A to point B. The question I ask myself when traveling with the family is, “How can I get there in the least amount of time, keep everyone moderately happy and not break the bank?”

I have seen the CLEAR lines at the airports and thought these were for “on the go” business travelers only. Think again weary parents in long security line… if a parent has a CLEAR membership, kids under 18 can also utilize the service free of charge. CLEAR members skip through long security lines… saving a ton of time. A one-year membership is $179 and the second family member (over 18) is only $50 per year.

Just in time for the holidays, CLEAR is offering Mamma Mia readers a special 3-month FREE trial! No need to deal with unpredictable security lines, the stress of rushing to your gate, or the time you waste getting to the airport early. Click here to get your pass and try CLEAR’s enhanced travel experience. Just enter The Mamma Mia code (CMNDST11) in the promo code filed on the payment page.

Happy (and quick) travels!

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Posted on by Amanda in Holiday Travel Series, Travel Leave a comment

Halloween Fun in Orlando

Still looking for something to do this Halloween weekend? Fear not, Orlando has tons of fun activities going on for you and your family!

 

Sea World Spooktacular

Sea World Spooktacular  This Friday, you’ll find us at Sea World to trick-or-treat with the creatures of the sea. We go every year with our annual passes, but for those of you without an annual pass, kids are half price! For more information visit the Spooktacular website.

 

 

 

Flick or Treat With Orlando Magic

Flick or Treat Orlando Magic   The Orlando Magic are holding a free Flick or Treat event at the Amway Arena on Sunday, October 30 from 2-5 pm. Guests can enjoy a fanfest on Church Street, trick-or-treating inside the arena, mingling with Magic coaches, playing at Stuff’s Magic Castle and more.

 

 

 

History Center Trick or Treat Safe Zone

Orange County History Center A historically spooky event is taking place Saturday, October 29 from 11 am to 4 pm. This is a free event filled with trick-or-treating fun through three floors of the downtown History Center, pumpkin decorating and scavenger hunt.

 

 

Happy Haunting!

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Posted on by Amanda in Orlando, Travel Leave a comment

Hey Kids! Please Touch! – guest post by Abbey

There’s someone in this world who ranks pretty high on my special list… And, she just happens to be my sister. While most days you’ll find my sister Abbey writing scientific documents with facts and figures, she took a step away to write this post on her recent trip to the Philadelphia Please Touch Museum with my fabulous nephew. Enjoy!

While looking for things to do on a recent weekend trip to Philly with my almost two year old son, I came across info on the Please Touch Museum. From the website, it seemed appropriate for a wide range of ages so I figured it would be something my son, the friend I was visiting, and I could all do together.

Once inside, Keefer started out cruising in the stroller but that was soon a lost cause. It is the “please touch” museum afterall! Keefer loved the grocery store. (Go figure) He grabbed a shopping cart and headed straight for the produce section where he stocked up on cauliflower, multiple heads of lettuce, and a few tomatoes (all plastic of course). During the shopping excursion, he also grabbed a few boxes of cake mix and a giant plastic turkey.  He knew exactly what to do when he went to the register and another young museum-goer scanned his items.

There was a “garage” where kids could play on cars, fill up tanks, drive a bus, or play on a model monorail.  Some other cool things were the Wonderland area, where we ran through a maze and were able to sit down for tea with some lifesize replicas of the Alice in Wonderland characters, River Adventures, and Rainforest Rhythm.

My friend and I had as much fun playing as Keefer did! The only dissapointing thing about our visit was the museum closed at 5 and we didn’t get there until 3 due to our lengthy drive from the Pittsburgh area. It would be nice if they had at least one day where evening hours are offered to accomodate those parents who work during the day (like myself.) The Museum is open 9 am – 5 pm Monday through Saturday and 11 am – 5 pm Sunday. The price tag seemed a bit steep for our short visit but would be worth it for a whole day of fun. Admission is $15 per person – one flat rate and kids under one are free.

Check out  Please Touch online for more details!

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Posted on by Amanda in Guest bloggers, Travel Leave a comment

Family Fun in Orlando

Whether you live in Orlando or you are visiting and looking for something to do outside of  “The Mouse,” my top ten family activities are sure to please. Check out who made the cut on my most recent City Guide at SheKnows.com.

 

Orlando Family Activities City Guide

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Posted on by Amanda in Orlando, Travel Leave a comment
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