This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
Have you visited The Aquarium of the Pacific recently? This year, they’re celebrating their 20th Anniversary and are inviting the public to meet new animals and explore new exhibits and programs with discounted admission during their Discounted Summer Late Nights. Visitors can enter for just $14.95 after 5:00 p.m. (Admission is free for Aquarium members and children under age three.) The entire Aquarium, except Lorikeet Forest, will remain open until 8:00 p.m.on Sunday nights from June 17 to September 2.Guests can explore the new Tentacles and Ink exhibit featuring a day octopus, see the new baby seal, and dive into the Aquarium’s 20th anniversary celebration with new films, selfie stations, contests, and more.Guests can also delve into the Aquarium’s three main galleries highlighting the waters of Southern California and Baja, the Northern Pacific, and the Tropical Pacific and outdoor exhibits, including the interactive Shark Lagoon, and Ray Touchpool. The Aquarium features more than 11,000 animals to discover with family and friends.
The Coffee Cart will be open for guests to purchase snacks, light dinners, and drinks; Pacific Collections will also be open for the late night shoppers.
The Aquarium of the Pacific
is located at
100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802
I was invited to a media event in order to share this exciting news about this year’s CHOC Walk in the Park. All opinions are my own.
This year’s CHOC Walk in the Park is, once again, presented by Disneyland® Resort and will take place on Sunday, August 26, 2018. I really hope you’re going to be able to join in! If you’ve never participated in this annual event, I highly recommend you sign up to join the fun and experience Disneyland® Park, Disney California Adventure® Park, and Downtown Disney® District as never before. This is the one and only walk to take place at the Disneyland® Resort with all proceeds benefiting the health and well-being of Southern California’s kids.We’ve had the pleasure of participating in this beautiful event for a few years now and to see something that is such a huge production being put together, all in the name of the kids, is an incredible thing.I recently attended a special CHOC Walk media event held at Disneyland Hotel, to learn about this year’s special programming and some of the FUNdraising events that’ll lead up to the big August event. I think you’re going to want to participate in all of these fun offerings so keep reading for more information.
For me, the most special part about attending the CHOC Walk media event was getting to know this year’s CHOC Walk Ambassador, Justin Helpers”. I got to chat with his entire family including his parents, Colby and Tricia, and his big sister and little brother.
Justin is an 11 year old boy with a very rare neurological condition called lissencephaly, which causes his brain’s surface to be smooth and leads to significant developmental delays. Justin is severely neurologically impaired and has several seizures a day and is fed through a feeding tube. From early on in his life, Justin has spent extensive amounts of time being treated at CHOC Children’s and he’s really defied the odds of his condition. They have a giant CHOC Walk team named Justin’s Helpers that they’ve walked with over the past few years. They are an amazing family and I’m so excited that he was selected to be this year’s CHOC Walk Ambassador.
Some of the highlights of the CHOC Walk in the Park media event included getting a peek at the new artwork for this year’s medal and pin, which was recreated by Disney’s culinary team in the form of cupcakes, as well as getting a very special visit from our favorite gal pal, Minnie!New for this year is the CHOC Walk FUNdraiser Mobile App which will make it easy and FUN to exceed your CHOC Walk fundraising goals. This app is power-packed with extra tools for team captains! To read more about the CHOC Walk FUNdraiser Mobile App, please go here. You can download it from the App Store and on Google Play.If you haven’t registered as an individual or as part of a team for this year’s CHOC Walk in the Park, what are you waiting for? For more information about CHOC Walk in the Park or to register or donate, please go here.
Some images and logo are property of CHOC Walk and used with permission.
This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
Did you know that May is National Water Safety Month? Are your kids “water safe”? It’s such an important topic and something we, as parents, need to be proactive about, early on!Great Wolf Lodge, the resort that has welcomed millions of families since its first resort opened in 1997, shared some of its best water safety tips to help splash into this month and I want to share them with you.With 16 resorts that stretch from coast-to-coast, Great Wolf Lodge is the largest family of indoor water park resorts in North America and a nationally recognized leader in water safety. Ellis & Associates, a renowned international organization focused on aquatic safety has recognized Great Wolf Lodge several years running with its top award for water safety. accumulated a wealth of tips to help keep families safe around water.Whether planning a family vacation this summer to the beach, lake or one of Great Wolf Lodge’s incredible resorts, here are some great water safety tips to keep in mind.
Never swim alone. Always use the buddy system and be sure the area is well supervised by lifeguards before you or other family members enter the water.
Encourage your child to wear a life jacket. Many public pools and water parks provide life jackets for your use free of charge and it’s better to be on the safe side if your child is not a confident swimmer.
Never assume someone else is watching your child. Even with lifeguards nearby, you have the responsibility for your child. The best way to keep your child safe is to play right alongside them.
Stay hydrated. Swimming and playing takes a lot of energy, especially during the hot summer months. Drink plenty of water or sports drinks and rest in a cool location.
Forget the Bling. Before heading to the beach, pool or water park, avoid swimsuits that have ties, grommets or decorations that could get caught on something during water activities.
Skip the flip-flops. Look for sandals with a heel strap or a full-coverage slip-on water shoe that will stay in place both in and out of the water.
Too much sun is no fun. Be sure to limit your exposure during peak hours of 12pm-3pm and reapply waterproof/sweat proof sunscreen every 80 minutes.
Take a CPR course. Knowing these skills can be important in any environment. This is a skill we all can benefit from – on land and around water.
Read all of the signs before going on a waterslide, pool or attraction. Make sure your child meets the posted requirements. If you have questions about an attraction, ask an employee at the facility.
Plan ahead. As a family, decide on a meeting place to go to if anyone gets separated. Kids can take off in instant and crowded parks and beaches can make it difficult for little ones to find you. Choose an easy-to-spot location that can be easily found by all family members.
If you see someone struggling in the water, call for help. Remember “Reach or Throw, Don’t Go!” Even professionally trained lifeguards don’t enter the water without having the proper flotation devices to keep themselves safe.
Great Wolf Lodge is a world-class family resort with spacious, family-friendly suites and a wealth of both wet and dry attractions for every age. The centerpiece of any Great Wolf Lodge is the indoor water park, featuring water-filled fun for every member of the family, from thrilling water slides and rollicking family raft rides to relaxing lazy rivers and bouncing wave pools. The water parks also feature zero depth toddler pools with age appropriate slides and water features for younger guests. With each overnight stay at Great Wolf Lodge guests receive two days of play in the water park, having access to the water park until the park closes on the day they check-out.In addition to the water park, Great Wolf Lodge offers a variety of family-friendly attractions and activities including MagiQuest, an exclusive interactive game where guests use a magic wand to collect relics and runes needed to defeat goblins and dragons.For more information about Great Wolf Lodge, please visit greatwolf.com.
This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort will return for more spook-tacular days than ever this year beginning September 7 and extending through October 31, 2018. Guests of all ages visiting the parks will encounter frightfully fun experiences themed especially for the season!. Eerie encounters and fiendish fun will await visitors to both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park as favorite experiences are transformed into dreadful delights, with seasonal attraction overlays. You’ll find Halloween-themed décor and food and beverage offerings, plus encounter with Disney villains and happy haunts that’ll materialize around every corner.Mickey’s Halloween Party 2018
Additionally, the guest-favorite Mickey’s Halloween Party will return with 15 nights of after-hours fun on the following dates:
Wednesday, Sept. 19
Friday, Sept. 21
Monday, Sept. 24
Wednesday, Sept. 26
Friday, Sept. 28
Tuesday, Oct. 2
Friday, Oct. 5
Tuesday, Oct. 9
Friday, Oct. 12
Tuesday, Oct. 16
Friday, Oct. 19
Tuesday, Oct. 23
Friday, Oct. 26
Monday, Oct. 29;
Wednesday, Oct. 31
This separate-ticket event features some exclusive entertainment, Disney characters in their Halloween attire, trick or treating at locations throughout Disneyland Park and a chance for the entire family to visit both parks in costumes.(See below for more info about Mickey’s Halloween Party.) Halloween Time at Disney California Adventure Park
Guests entering Disney California Adventure. will have a spell cast over them as Oogie Boogie will take over with his twisted tale of a forever Halloween. Inspired by “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Oogie Boogie’s oversized silhouette will beckon guests through the main entrance of the park, and hover over a swarm of bats that circle around Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge. Halloween décor extends along Buena Vista Street to Carthay Circle, where guests will encounter a 10-foot-tall statue of the Headless Horseman holding his jack-o-lantern head to the sky.The citizens of Cars Land will celebrate Halloween by turning Radiator Springs into Radiator Screams. The entire land will be transformed with a special Haul-O-Ween makeover as the townsfolk of Radiator Springs don Halloween costumes and decorate their respective homes for the season. Guests will encounter Lightning McQueen, Mater, Cruz, Red and DJ in “car-stume” as they get ready to go “trunk-or-treating.” Popular Cars Land attractions will transform as well: Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree takes on a spooky tone as Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree, and Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters gets a seasonal twist to become Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween. Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! will transform nightly into Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark, bringing Halloween adventure to this popular attraction. As the sun sets, the attraction’s exterior goes dark and then suddenly powers back up with lighting effects, a signal that something has gone awry. The Guardians have successfully escaped The Collector’s Fortress, but have accidentally left Groot behind. Guests will help Rocket distract the creatures that have been released so he can find and rescue Groot in this exciting seasonal overlay.Halloween Time at Disneyland Park
The Halloween magic continues at Disneyland, where guests will enjoy beautiful décor on Main Street, U.S.A., including a giant Mickey Mouse jack-o’-lantern and a Pumpkin Festival. In Frontierland, guests will encounter the colorful Día de los Muertos tribute, an exhibit that commemorates the Mexican holiday of Day of the Dead with a musical trio of iconic skeleton figurines, brightly colored flowers and other decorative items.Two of the most popular attractions will transform into their annual Halloween themes, delivering Halloween thrlls for guests who dare to take a ride. Haunted Mansion will become Haunted Mansion Holiday, inspired by the Walt Disney Pictures classic “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.” The seasonal attraction celebrates the collision between Halloween and Christmas as Jack Skellington offers his unique take on the holidays. Space Mountain in Tomorrowland will become Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, a reimagining of the popular attraction. Guests on board the speeding Space Mountain vehicles are thrust into a ghostly galaxy where they are surrounded by eerie screams, sound effects and music. Spine-chilling spirits pop out of the darkness, appearing to reach out and menace the space travelers.More about Mickey’s Halloween Party 2018
As I mentioned before, this year there are more nights available for guests to enjoy Mickey’s Halloween Party. This separate-ticket, after hours event permits guests to dress in costume and have the opportunity to trick-or-treat throughout Disneyland Park for candy and healthy goodies. Mickey’s Halloween Party also includes special entertainment, classic attractions and the added bonus of unlimited Disney PhotoPass downloads of the night**, making it easier than ever to capture memories during the party.
An exclusive treat for guests attending Mickey’s Halloween Party is “Halloween Screams,” a supernatural firework show. The nighttime spectacular is hosted by “Master of Scare-omonies,” Jack Skellington. Also exclusive to Mickey’s Halloween Party is the “Frightfully Fun Parade” led by The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow (from the Disney animated classic, “The Adventures of 3 Ichabod and Mr. Toad”). The Horseman rides down Main Street, U.S.A., on his ghostly black steed with a flickering jack-o’-lantern to usher in the parade, which features Jack Skellington and a procession of grim, grinning (and hitchhiking) ghosts from the iconic Haunted Mansion attraction. Guests attending Mickey’s Halloween Party may also visit Villains Square for a chance to encounter and take photos with Disney villains. Additional Disney characters donned in Halloween attire can also be found throughout the park. As an added value, guests with a Mickey’s Halloween Party ticket will have the opportunity to “mix in” with regular park guests for three hours prior to the party’s start time. These guests also will be able to visit both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks with their tickets.Tickets for Mickey’s Halloween Party
Beginning Tuesday, June 5, 2018, tickets for Mickey’s Halloween Party go on sale for Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club members and Disney Visa Card holders. The general public will be able to purchase tickets beginning Tuesday, June 12, 2018. They may be purchased online at Disneyland.com/party as well as at the Disneyland Resort main gate and by phone at 714-781-4400. Be sure to grab your tickets sooner rather than later as this special event sells out quickly every year!Please note: Online and mobile purchases are not available the day of the event. Parking is not included in the ticket price, and parking fees will apply. Mickey’s Halloween Party is a nonsmoking event.
For more information about Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort, please visit http://www.Disneyland.com/Halloween. Entertainment and attractions are subject to change without notice.
Some images are property of Disneyland Resort and used with permission.
This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
There’s a new ride coming soon to LEGOLAND® California Resort: The LEGO® City: Deep Sea Adventure submarine ride! As construction continues on the interactive ride, the attraction is expected to open July 2018 and we couldn’t be more excited for it! As it prepares to take its maiden voyage this summer, the submarines officially arrived at LEGOLAND® California Resort! Eight 22,000 pound submarines were unloaded and installed in the 300,000 gallon tank. Up to 12 guests will board one of eight submarines that are designed after the LEGO City Deep Sea Adventure line of toys
LEGO® CITY: Deep Sea Adventure submarine ride is Merlin Entertainments’ single largest investment for a ride in any LEGOLAND® Park. For the first time in the United States, LEGOLAND California Resort brings guests onboard a real submarine where they’ll go underwater to discover a truly amazing world filled with more than 2,000 real sea animals, including several species of stingrays and a variety of sharks. Through the use of touchscreens at each porthole inside the sub, guests can help the LEGO minifigure dive team identify gems, pearls, LEGO® gold coins and more throughout the four minute journey. The submarine ride will be included in the price of admission this summer at LEGOLAND California Resort. For more information and to sign up for the latest updates, please visit LEGOLAND.com/deepsea2018.
Submarine photo and video are property of LEGOLAND California Resort and used with permission.
Knott’s Berry Farm will welcome HangTime, a brand new steel rollercoaster, and the only dive coaster on the West Coast, to the theme park in the 2018 summer season. HangTime will tower 150 feet over the Boardwalk area, showcasing gravity-defying inversions, mid-air suspensions and twisting dive tracks. HangTime will send riders up a vertical lift hill into a 15-story 96-degree drop – the steepest drop in California. The coaster’s train will come to a halt once the highest peak is reached, and will leave riders suspended at the crest for several seconds staring downward at a 60-degree angle, giving the illusion of a disappearing track. Then the train will suddenly descend in a beyond-vertical drop, through 2,189 feet of steel track and five gravity-defying inversions. HangTime will be only the second rollercoaster in the Western Hemisphere to feature a
negative-g stall loop, which gives riders the sensation of floating.
“HangTime’s disappearing track creates a memorable illusion of the unknown as riders feel like they are hanging over a cliff, staring at the ground in nervous anticipation. People who crave that adrenaline rush will want to ride this coaster again and again. Introducing a coaster like HangTime firmly positions Knott’s Berry Farm as a must see attraction among Southern California theme parks, and we look forward to welcoming our guests to this new experience.” Jon Storbeck, vice president and general manager, Knott’s Berry Farm.
HangTime’s ride structure itself will come to life and illuminate the Boardwalk area with
colorful nighttime track chase lighting that will accompany the coaster train’s travels across the smooth steel track. The coaster continues Knott’s legacy in rollercoaster innovation and industry firsts; the park introduced the very first corkscrew inversion rollercoaster with Corkscrew, and the first flywheel launch coaster with Montezuma’s Revenge. HangTime is manufactured by Gerstlauer Amusement Rides, GmbH, and is the company’s next generation “infinity coaster” model.Guests can experience an entire season of fun including the thrill of HangTime with a 2018 Knott’s Season Pass, on sale now at the best price of the year. A Regular Season Pass includes unlimited admission in 2018 to Knott’s Berry Farm with no blackout dates, and a Gold Season Pass includes unlimited admission in 2018 to both Knott’s Berry Farm and the newly expanded Knott’s Soak City Waterpark with no blackout dates. Regular passes are just $92 or nine easy payments of $10.22 and Gold Season Passes are $110 or nine payments of just $12.22. These offers end October 29, 2017. Applicable taxes and fees apply online. Payment plans are only available at knotts.com. For more information about HangTime, Knott’s Berry Farm and Knott’s Season Passes, please visit knotts.com. Join the conversation about HangTime dive coaster using #KnottsHangTime and #KnottsBerryFarm.
I received hotel accommodations in exchange for coverage. All opinions are my own.
Hear ye! Hear Ye! The brand-new LEGOLAND® Castle Hotel at LEGOLAND® California Resort is officially open! After a royal ceremony complete with knights on horses, a little girl squire and boy knight plus a hawk that flew the key to the Castle to Merlin the wizard and trumpeters to announce the grand opening of in front of hundreds of media and special guests, the hotel was declared “officially open”! Here’s a short video of the Grand Opening Ceremony that also shows a little bit of the hotel too.
“We’re excited to open a second hotel having learned from the first how powerful the brand is and children love how their experience in our theme park transforms into an overnight magical memory. Not only will this 250-room hotel bring more people to the beautiful city of Carlsbad which benefits local business, but we’re adding more than 200 jobs further boosting the economy in the region. Considering that, plus the amazing locally-sourced food, great entertainment and whimsical features found throughout the new hotel, this is already a great win for us!” – Peter Ronchetti, LEGOLAND California Resort General Manager
A royal LEGO statue marks the entrance and is just one of more than 2,100 LEGO models created out of more than three million bricks. As guests enter the Grand Hall, they are greeted by a towering LEGO wizard conjuring up spells to protect the Castle from the bad knights and dragons.In the Royal Princess rooms, the princess is joining forces with her jester friend to sneak into the grand tournament and compete with the knights. In the Knights and Dragons rooms, the knights are on a mission to defend the king’s castle and protect his treasure. In the Magic Wizard rooms, the wizards are concocting potions and fireworks for the grand tournament. Every room has a children’s sleeping area which includes:
a trundle bed
their own television
a LEGO building station
shooting stars illuminating on the ceiling.
Every adult sleeping area has an ornate head board with LED lights which could resemble a stained glass window, a canopy sparking with twinkling lights or shelves filled with potions and a magical bubbling illuminated cauldron.In Dragon’s Den, a full-service sit down restaurant, guests can watch chefs preparing their food, enjoy LEGO models and entertainers within a unique dining experience. Breakfast is included with each guest’s stay and includes made-to-order items along with a buffet.The Royal Courtyard immerses children in a fairy tale of their own creation with multiple play areas for different age groups, a giant movie screen, resort-style pool with interactive water features and hot tub and a tented stage for live plays and shows.Interactive elements throughout LEGOLAND Castle Hotel include a knock-knock door, a royal throne that makes silly noises, LEGO caricatures to build upon, a self-playing piano and a slide from the first floor to the lobby.
For more information about LEGOLAND® Castle Hotel at LEGOLAND® California Resort or assistance with planning your trip there, please visit http://www.LEGOLAND.com or call (760) 918-LEGO (5346).
Video and some images are property of LEGOLAND California Resort and used with permission.
This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
Universal Studios Hollywood has some exciting news! They announced that Friday, June 15 will be the officialgrand opening date of an all-new DreamWorks Theatre featuring the premier attraction, “Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest.”
Inspired by the global blockbuster franchise, the attraction will take guests on a thrilling journey that fuses captivating storytelling with state-of-the art visual effectsfor a highly engaging experience.
Created and produced by DreamWorks Animation and Universal Creative, “Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest” recountsa plot filled story whereby on the morning of The Emperor’s Great Feast of Heroes, dragon warrior Po embarks on a wild and perilous mission to deliver the rare and precious Liquid of Limitless Power to the Palace, while enlisting guests to join him on the exciting adventure filled with raging rapids, river pirates, awesome magic and Kung Fu.
With cutting-edge technology at the forefront of the multi-sensory attraction, “Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest” will introduce the first-ever integration of interior projection mapping designed toengulf guests in 180 degrees of immersive adventure. Developed by the innovative team at Universal Creative, this never-before-adapted technique will depict a series of immersive and visually dynamic scenic designs that will transform within the interior space and enhance the story. With detailing that is so precise, it will be near impossible to realize the projected imagery is a mere illusion.
Coupled with seven Christie 4K Boxer Cinema Projectors and 360 degree surround sound audio, sweeping physical effects from water to wind will empower guests to feelmore like participants than spectators in the adrenaline-spiked adventure.
Featuring an original score by composer Germaine Franco, the storyline begins as guestsenter the pre-show area of the theatre where they meet an arrayof DreamWorks characterswho kick-off the attraction’s narrative.From there, guests will enter the main theatre, complete with new ultra-plush, fully articulated seats that pivot and swivel in tandem with the 180–degree action.
The newly constructed building that houses the DreamWorks Theatre is inspired by Mission revival architecture and harkens back to the Golden Age of Hollywood’s Art Deco period of the 1920s, including a box office ticket seller booth, reminiscent of the time period and staffed by a three–dimensional usher asleep on the job.
As guests navigate past the ticket booth,through the flourishing outdoor garden and into the theatre queue, they will encounter a series of 36 movie posters that pay homage to DreamWorks Animation films. Within the lobby, a selection of over 20 award statuettes will be on display, representing a sampling of the Golden Globe, Emmy, People’s Choice, Critic’s Choice, National Board of Review and Annie awards DreamWorks Animation has amassed from 2008 to 2015. A collection of original sculpted maquettesof the “Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest”characters will also be on display along with artifacts embodying magical powers that Po brought back from the Spirit Realm.
We love all things Kung Fu Panda and are super excited to see all of this come to fruition! It’s just another reason to visit Universal Studios Hollywood this summer, right? For more information please visit http://www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com. Connect with Universal Studios Hollywood on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
In honor of Jurassic Park’s 25th anniversary, Universal Studios Hollywood is throwing an epic party inside the park on Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12 that includes a private screening of the film at Universal CityWalk’s state-of-the-art Universal Cinema. Check it out!
The Jurassic Park 25th Anniversary Celebration will roar to life at Universal Studios Hollywood, and guests are invited to be a part of this exclusive event in honor of the blockbuster action-adventure that brought dinosaurs out of extinction a quarter century ago. This first-ever themed Jurassic Park 25th Anniversary Celebration, created in partnership with Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment, is a separately ticketed event. Space is limited and tickets, which can be purchased here, will sell out.The multi-faceted immersive Celebration will feature a private screening of the epic Jurassic Park at Universal CityWalk’s all-new, state-of-the-art Universal Cinema. The exciting showcase will also re-release the film’s original trailer. The remainder of the event, which includes exclusive after-hours access, will take place within Universal Studios Hollywood, adjacent to the theme park’s thrilling “Jurassic Park—The Ride.”Guests will receive a special commemorative lanyard and unlimited access to all things Jurassic, from the acclaimed theme park ride, to original props, including the Gyrosphere as seen in the record-breaking Jurassic World, original dinosaur maquettes, costume displays and an interactive expo area. Live entertainment, themed food and merchandise will also be available to complement the event.Unique to the Jurassic Park 25th Anniversary Celebration event, guests will be invited to dress up as their favorite character from the franchise. Please visit here for costume guidelines requirements. For more information about this not-to-be-missed event, please visit http://www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com.