Gaylord Palms Resort Dreamworks Experience

A few weeks ago, my family and I got the chance to drive to Orlando and meet Shrek and his pals.  It isn’t often that you can see snow and ice in Orlando, Florida but you can if you visit the Dreamworks Experience at the Gaylord Palms.  I was honored to represent Travel Mamas, a site that I love and read often.  Hop on over to Travel Mamas and read about our visit to the Gaylord Palms Resort Dreamworks Experience!



Spotted in LEGOLAND Florida

When you walk around LEGOLAND Florida, you will spot lots of figures made from LEGO bricks.  The kids love spotting them everywhere they turned.

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Miniland USA at LEGOLAND Florida

Over 50 million bricks were used in the building of LEGOLAND Florida.  You can find those bricks all over the park but many of them are in Miniland USA.  Miniland USA is exactly that…a mini-land made out of LEGO bricks.  Though you would think my kids wanted to hop on as many rides as they could, they chose to spend time in Miniland USA every time we walked past it.  There were buttons to push, things to watch and buildings to recognize.  We loved spying landmarks that we have seen in person and I was so excited when Big S spotted the Washington Monument, something he remembered seeing on a previous trip.

My LEGO-loving son couldn’t get enough of Miniland and I could see the wheels turning in his head about the different structures he was going to try to build with his own LEGO bricks when we got home!

See my other posts about our visit to LEGOLAND Florida:

One Adult and Two Kids at LEGOLAND Florida

LEGOLAND Florida in Winter Haven – A Weekend Getaway from Pensacola

Life’s Little Disappointments Redeemed

Although their Jedi Training at Disney World’s Hollywood Studios got rained out before they could even yield a light saber, the disappointment was quickly wiped off of their faces when they found out they were going to meet Darth Vader and his Storm Trooper anyway!

Stop by Delicious Baby to travel the world all while sitting in your computer chair!

Hogwarts Castle

It almost feels like you are really standing at the foot of Hogwarts when you look at this picture, doesn’t it?


(Taken in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios)

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Should You Buy an Express Plus Pass at Universal Studios Orlando?


Should you spend the extra money and purchase an Express Plus Pass when you go to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure?  This week, over at Traveling Mom, I weigh the pros and cons to purchasing the Express Plus Pass.  I hope that you will stop by!

Butter Beer at the Three Broomsticks

For over ten years, I have read each Harry Potter book.  Very few books get the honor of a permanent home on my bookshelf: Gone with the Wind, The Pillars of the Earth, Fahrenheit 451, Six Wives (about Henry the VIII), and Cry the Beloved Country just to name a few.  I normally pass books on, sell them in a garage sale or donate them when I am finished with them, usually before the ink is dry because I go through them so quickly!  But the Harry Potter series is one that I have read several times, seen the movies, and discussed them with a good friend.  Blame it on my high school teaching background, blame it on the fact that I can pick up just about any book and enjoy some part of it…but I embrace my love for all things Harry Potter! 

One of the things we were most looking forward to during our visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was trying Universal Studios interpretation of what butter beer tasted like.  We had heard over and over from other people who have been that the butter beer is fabulous and not to be missed.  And they were right!  If you can only have one drink, we recommend the frozen butter beer over the soda version.  It is just the perfect thing to cool you down on a hot day at the theme parks. 

When you are looking around for a place to buy your butter beer, you will find several kiosk setups outside and the restaurant, Three Broomsticks.  Don’t be daunted by the lines and instead walk around the Three Broomsticks to the bar section, Hog’s Head Pub.  You will find a much smaller line there because at first glance it looks like only draft beer is sold.  You will get your butter beer much more quickly here.

Stay tuned for a more in depth review of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Be sure to visit Wanderfood Wednesday over at Wanderlust and Lipstick.

Disclosure: Thank you to Universal Studios for complimentary admission. While at Universal, we paid for everything else (including the exorbitant parking rates!).

Fireworks at Disney World

In the middle of dinner at the California Grill at the Contemporary Resort Disney, we heard an announcement (I believe it was Jiminy Cricket but don’t quote me on that!) that the fireworks were about to begin.  There were two walkway areas outside of the 15th floor restaurant where we had a lovely view of the Magic Kingdom and the fireworks.  Unfortunately, I made a rookie blogger mistake and my camera battery died during the first snap of a picture!  The following is a video that was caught by Desiree, FamilyFun Traveling Mom, with a Kodak Playtouch.  What a view!  You will probably recognize Space Mountain and the famous castle all lit up!

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A Few Stops on US 27 Heading North from Orlando

As I mentioned on Monday, I stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge this past weekend.  On my way home, back to Pensacola, I usually take I-4 to the Florida Turnpike until I hit I-75 to head north from Orlando.  We stayed the last night at the Lighthouse Key Resort and Spa and I guess it was just close enough to US 27 for the GPS to want to route me there instead of I-4.  Once I was driving down US27 though, I realized that it was not so bad of a detour and there were lots of things to see and do.  Unfortunately, I was traveling early in the morning so I didn’t get to visit anything.  I do have a list started and I wrote about it on Traveling Mom today.  I would love to visit Florida’s largest winery, the orange groves and so much more

Have you traveled down US 27 north of Orlando?  Do you have any pit stops I should add to the list?

The Disney Dreams of a Little Girl


“Pleeeeeeeeeeeease Mommy….can I have this dress, pleeeeeeeeeeeease?”

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