Fun Travel Prep for Kids - Paris & London

It's not everyday you travel over the pond to such amazing places like Paris and London. I decided to start the journey for me and Mia long before we packed our bags for the airport. Here are a few fun things we did to get ready and excited! My brother sent Read more

Hidden Gem: Sand Key Florida

My other half planned a short getaway for our nine year anniversary. I wasn't exactly sure where we were headed, but knew it was somewhere around Clearwater Beach. As we drove over the bridge to Clearwater, I kept expecting a turn off at one of the many beach hotels. To my surprise Read more

Westin Cape Coral Weekend Getaway

Most of you who follow my Instagram or Twitter know that we had a fabulously fun weekend at the Westin in Cape Coral, FL a few weeks ago. The property became a Westin in December of 2013 and underwent a plethora of renovations, which I believe puts it in the best Read more

Disney's Art of Animation Resort

We finally had the chance to visit Disney's Art of Animation Resort this week for a little staycation. It is located where construction on the unfinished half of Disney's Pop Century Resort was started, but later abandoned after 9/11. The resort is the first to be built in the complex Read more

Healthy Lunchbox Ideas

Mia has a book called Samantha's Silly-icious Sandwiches. Samantha gets sick of having the same boring sandwich in her lunch everyday and decides to create her own unique sandwiches. Her "Silly-icious Sandwiches" turn into a hit at school and a booming business, which she soon hands over for her Read more

Meeting Winter - Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Most of the world has seen (or at least heard of) the movie Dolphin Tale. The story highlights the rescue of a wounded dolphin who ends up losing one very important important thing... a tale! The Clearwater Marine Aquarium works hard in the movie to create a prosthetic tail just Read more

Orlando Travel

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

We finally had the chance to visit Disney’s Art of Animation Resort this week for a little staycation. It is located where Lobby Art of Animationconstruction on the unfinished half of Disney’s Pop Century Resort was started, but later abandoned after 9/11.

The resort is the first to be built in the complex in over seven years and the fifth to be placed in the value-priced category, along with Disney’s All-Star resort family. Family suites opened in May 2012, and standard rooms opened in September 2012. It took us some time, but we finally made a visit last week with my mom in town.

I wasn’t keen on visiting any of the parks in mid-July at the height of tourist season and heat in Florida so I felt a stay at Art of Animation might just do the trick. Upon arrival, there was a sketch artist sketching away and the lobby was decorated with sketches from popular Disney films. I knew right then as my daughters sat mesmerized watching the artist, that we had made a great decision.

We stayed at The Little Mermaid building, which was perfect for the girls and our short staycation. The entire room was themed after the popular Disney movie. Even the bathtub was painted to represent Ariel’s treasure trove. The Little Mermaid pool area is surrounded by large characters from the movie.

Nemo's Splash PadThe other resort themed buildings include Lion King, Finding Nemo and Cars. My girls had a blast walking through the center area between the resorts and bonding with the extremely well-done characters from the movies and replicated atmospheres.

At Nemo’s Big Blue Pool, my mom and I indulged in a signature cocktail, which was a reasonable $7.50 and the girls swam around in the beach entry pool under the large water spraying jellyfish. There’s a splashpad where my two-year-old spent a huge amount of time splashing around and poolside activities kept the kids entertained all day. Did I mention this is the largest Disney resort pool? There was even a showing of Cinderella under the stars poolside.

The Landscape of Flavors eatery had a wide variety of food to select from and healthy side selections like grapes, apples and yogurt for the girls. I had a Screen shot 2013-07-19 at 1.05.47 PMdelicious veggie burger. For four of us (two adults and two children) our dinner came to about $35. That’s a great price for a meal on Disney property.

In total, there are 1,984 rooms, of which 1,120 are family suites capable of housing up to six people, featuring living rooms and bedrooms. Our room for one night was $148 (prices vary) plus tax. Check on prices here.  As a mom on a budget, this price is super attractive for family fun.

Art of Animation

This was definitely a memory with Nana that will last a lifetime. We had a blast. I can say for sure, we will be going back sometime in the fall for Charli’s birthday!

 

Check out more photos from our most recent Art of Animation visit and other family adventures on Instagram. Be sure to follow me!
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Christmas At Sea World Orlando & Ticket Giveaway

We never miss Christmas at Sea World and neither should you! My absolute favorite thing to see is the Sea of Trees, where over 100 massive trees, each sparkling, lighted and choreographed to classic holiday tunes, making a dramatic display around SeaWorld’s center lake. Mia counts the days until she can take a ride on the Polar Express to see Santa Claus at the Wild Arctic exhibit.

Sea of Trees

The daily shows, like Clyde and Seamore and Shamu show, are transformed with a holiday twist. A Sesame Street Christmas is a great show for the little ones and all ages will enjoy watching the world-class figure skaters amaze the crowd.

If you get to Sea World during the Christmas season you can get your Fun Card to come back throughout 2013. It’s the best deal for sure – $89 and $81 for kids 3-9. A whole year of family activities are lined up for you and already paid for ahead of time. Just Kids is coming up in January and there’s always Summer Nights and Halloween Spooktacular.

And now for good news… I am giving away four entrance tickets to a lucky winner to enjoy Christmas at Sea World! (The tickets need to be used prior to December 31, 2012)

To Enter: All you need to do is comment on this post telling me a sea creature who you think might be on the naughty list. There are no right or wrong answer here! Just a little holiday fun.

For Extra Entries: Follow @mammamiafl on Twitter and tweet the contest daily for extra entries. You need to leave a comment letting me know you did so for the entry to count.

Winner: The winner will be randomly selected from the entries on Wednesday, December 5 at 3 pm.

I just uploaded photos from our most recent Sea World Christmas visit to Instagram! Be sure to follow me!
Instagram

*Sea World provided four tickets to be given away on The Mamma Mia Blog. All thoughts and opinions about Sea World are my own.

 

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Posted on by Amanda in Giveaways, Orlando 57 Comments

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