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5 Tips to Make Your Day at Disneyland Resort Easier (MaxPass is Awesome!)

We were invited to a media day in order to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own. 

 

It’s no secret that our family loves all things Disney. Creating new memories together in the parks is the best, especially having fun photos to look back at and remember our day.disneyland-summer-celebrate-summer-colorful-wallWe were invited to celebrate summer at Disneyland Resort, which happened to be the day Disneyland Railroad and the other Rivers of America attractions reopened, so it was a great day to be there!disneyland-resort-celebrate-summer-davy-crocketts-explorer-canoesNow that Disneyland Railroad, Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Colombia, and Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes, and Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island reopened, all seems right in the world again! Just wait until you ride on Disneyland Railroad’s new route!  It’s been beautifully updated but they also kept all of the important and historial elements of this attraction and I bet you’ll be in awe for the entire train ride! I know we were!
disneyland-resort-celebrate-summer-colombiaAdding to our excitement about being at Disneyland Resort was the opportunity to try out the new MaxPass. If you haven’t heard of it before, don’t worry, I’ll explain more. Just keep reading. By the way, MaxPass is awesome! disneyland-resort-celebrate-summer-max-passHere’s something you may not know about me: I’m planner and usually have a schedule of some type for most occasions, even if it’s just in my head and my family doesn’t know about it. (Shh, don’t tell them!)disneyland-fantasmic-fast-passes Planning your day out at Disney, even if it’s just a little bit, will help it go smoother. I’m not saying that you can’t enjoy being spontaneous at Disney, I just know that it can sometimes be overwhelming, especially on a busy day. As a mom, I always appreciate helpful tips I get from others. Today I want to share my own tips with you about how you can make your day in the parks much easier.5-ways-to-make-your-day-at-disneyland-resort-easier1) Download the Disneyland App
First off, I highly recommend downloading the Disneyland app and familiarizing yourself with it prior to your visit. It can be found in the App Store and is free. Once you have it downloaded, set up your account, using an email and password. I also recommend playing around with the app a little bit at home, to get to know where things are. It looks like this:

disneyland-appThe Disneyland app allows you to view current wait times, make FASTPASS selections through MaxPass, view your PhotoPass photos, locate show and parade times, and find amenities such as dining locations and restrooms. I assure you that having this set up ahead of time will alleviate the stress of hurrying to do so when you arrive at the Resort.

2) Add Disney MaxPass to your ticket (It’s totally worth it!)
We were super excited to try out MaxPass the day we visited. If you’re not familiar with what that is, don’t worry, it’s something new. disney-max-pass-imageDisney MaxPass is a feature you can add to your ticket and includes 2 great benefits to make the most of the magic! For $10 a day, per person, you’ll have access to PhotoPass services and be able to reserve digital FASTPASS selections for any of the 16 attractions that have this set up. (per availability)max-pass-review-and-confirm This is all done through the Disneyland app on your mobile device. (Now you see why I recommended downloading it!) With MaxPass, you have the convenience of scheduling your digital FASTPASS selections through your mobile device. With a regular FASTPASS, you have to walk over to the attraction to obtain it on your ticket through. You can also reserve a digital FASTPASS from either park, as long as you’re in one of them. It saves you so much time not having to walk back and forth. Your feet will actually thank you! I know mine did! disney-photopass-splashYou’ll also appreciate the Disney PhotoPass benefit included with MaxPass. You’ll be able to download your photos taken at select locations throughout the parks, character photos, and also photos from popular attractions. Sometimes the poses caught on the attraction photos are beyond hilarious and priceless!disneyland-resort-celebrate-summer-mickeyWith PhotoPass benefits, you can almost instantly download your photos from the app and share them online. You’re also able to download them and print them out as keepsakes, once you’re home. For just $10 per person, per day, Disney MaxPass is totally worth it and makes your day so much easier.

3) Plan out your meals for the day
Have a plan for meals. This may sound a little too planned out but trying to deal with your family when they are hangry (that’s hungry + angry) is no joke! There are many different food options at Disneyland which include a ton of quick service restaurants and snack carts. disneyland-grilled-cheeseIf you think you might want an actual sit-down meal during your day, I recommend making that reservation before you even arrive at the parks. As soon as you download the Disneyland app, you can make a dining reservation. Some of the restaurants that offer dining reservations at Disneyland include Blue Bayou Restaurant, Cafe Orleans, Carnation Cafe, Plaza Inn (offers character dining for breakfast), and River Belle Terrace. At Disney California Adventure Park you can make a reservation for Ariel’s Grotto (character dining) and Carthay Circle Restaurant. disneyland-resort-soupAlthough it’s super simple to make a dining reservation through the app, you can also always call 714.781.DINE or 714.781.3463 to make one also. For more info about all of the dining options at Disneyland Resort, go here.

4) Choose parades and shows you want to watch ahead of time 
On any given day that you choose to visit Disneyland Resort, there’s always a great lineup of shows to go see and parades to watch in both of the parks. You can get entertainment info for the day you’re visiting on the Disneyland app. Paper schedules are also available when you go through the Main gate at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park.

 

Again, I recommend planning ahead because some of the shows may require you to get a FASTPASS early on in the day, such as World of Color and Fantasmic!. main-street-electrical-parade-signThere are also dining packages available for World of Color, Fantasmic! and Main Street Electrical Parade, which include preferred seating in the package. If you have an idea of what shows and/or parades you’re determined to watch, it will help drive the rest of your day. For a list of entertainment at Disneyland Resort, go here.

5) Carry a backpack and get a locker for the day! 
I can’t tell you just what a huge difference it makes for me to carry a backpack instead of a purse! It allows me to throw everything I’m going to need for the day inside the backpack and then just carry it around on my back and have the ability to have my hands freed up.disneyland-backpack-and-locker I also invest the money in a locker for items such as extra clothes and a change of shoes for nighttime and also to put my big camera if I happen to bring it and get tired of lugging it around. At the end of the day, it’s all worth it!

disneyland-resort-celebrate-summerI hope my tips are helpful for you! A very special thank you to Disneyland Resort for inviting our family to spend a special day in the parks. We hope to see you again real soon! Happy Summer!

Disney MaxPass image property of Disney Parks. 

 

 

 

Orange County Great Park to Host Grand Opening Celebration for New Sports Park on 8/5

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

 

In celebration of the new sports park, Orange County Great Park will host a grand opening celebration with a free“community open house” on Saturday, August 5 from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. orange-county-great-park-sports-park-grand-openingHosted by Irvine City Officials and FivePoint, the development manager of Great Park Neighborhoods, the event will offer a first-hand look at the 53-acre first phase of the Sports Park, a world-class youth sports facility that complements the award-winning schools, vibrant economy and well-planned neighborhoods that help Irvine rank consistently as one of the best places to live. Built on the site of the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, the Sports Park is ultimately planned to be nearly twice the size of Disneyland.orange-county-great-park-sports-park-grand-opening-1orange-county-great-park-sports-park-grand-opening-2Attendees at the grand opening celebration will be treated to a day long festival of family-friendly games, including sneak peeks at the world-class amenities, demonstrations and sports clinics with well-known athletes, including Landon Donovan, Amy Rodriguez and Brad Friedel; and savory eating at 14 food and dessert trucks. The grand-opening celebration will culminate in a free concert featuring Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi of the Blues Brothers.

Here is a schedule of the event:

  • 2 – 5:30 p.m. – Exhibitions, clinics, competition, games at Tennis Courts, Soccer Fields & Volleyball Venue
  • 3:30 p.m. — Opening Ceremony, FivePoint/City of Irvine (Soccer Stadium)
  • 4 – 5:30 p.m. – Soccer Exhibition Game (Soccer Stadium)
  • 7:00 p.m. – Welcome / Free Concert featuring The Blues Brothers

This event is free and open to the public so if you’re looking for some free family fun next weekend, come out to the Orange County Great Park! Seating for the concert will be first come first served, so guests are encouraged to bring a blanket or law-chairs to enjoy the free Blues Brothers concert. It’s going to be a fun day! Hope to see you there!

You can find more information about the Orange County Great Park here.

Images are property of Orange County Great Park. 

 

 

Holiday Inn® “Summer of Smiles” Program Promotes Reading for Young Guests

I was invited to attend a special media event in order to write this post. All opinions are my own. 

 

This summer, Holiday Inn® hotels kicked off the “Summer of Smiles”, a series of on-property events, made possible with their partnership with Scholastic. The main goal of the program is to help keep kids reading all summer long. The “Summer of Smiles” is the Holiday Inn brand’s new program full of in-hotel experiences, including character breakfasts, a lending library, and a total eclipse viewing party, were especially crafted to make both parents and kids smile.holiday-inn-summer-of-smiles-clifford-1As I mentioned, the Holiday Inn brand has partnered up with Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, for this program. We were invited to attend a special character breakfast with the popular Scholastic book characters Clifford the Big Red Dog® and Geronimo Stiltonholiday-inn-summer-of-smiles-geronimo-stiltonholiday-inn-summer-of-smiles-activities-1Young guests at the hotel were able to meet and take pictures with the characters. They also received a take-home frame to displaying their character photo and took part in fun craft activities during the breakfast. holiday-inn-summer-of-smiles-activities-2Attendees were also gifted a Scholastic book, which will also remain available for young guests at check-in, at participating locations, through the end of August.holiday-inn-summer-of-smiles-breakfastholiday-inn-summer-of-smiles-breakfast-2Another great component of the program is the lending library. Select Holiday Inn hotels will offer a Scholastic lending library, through the end of August, where kids can borrow a book to read during their stay. Parents who are away from home on business can also borrow a book to read their kids a virtual bedtime story. Participating hotels will lend traveling parents a stand for their smartphone or tablet so they can read hands-free to their little ones at home. For a list of participating Holiday Inn hotels, please visit HolidayInn.com/smilesahead.

“Nothing puts a smile on kids’ faces like summertime, and we want all of our guests to feel that same sense of joy when they visit our hotels this summer. We’re going above and beyond to celebrate even more of those unforgettable moments that truly put the joy in travel and leave a positive lasting impact on our guests.” – Eric Lent, Vice President, Full Service Hotels & Food and Beverage Solutions, The Americas

holiday-inn-eclipse-imageOn August 21st, the Holiday Inn Nashville-Vanderbilt hotel and Scholastic will host a Total Solar Eclipse Viewing Party. Hotel guests will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch the first total solar eclipse in America in nearly 100 years. The hotel is along the eclipse totality line, providing families with the optimal view of this rare celestial occurrence. Kids and parents alike will learn about space with the “Magic School Bus Presents: Our Solar System” book while cherishing this unforgettable moment together. Guests will also receive a special pair of eclipse-viewing glasses and have the opportunity to meet two Scholastic characters. The solar eclipse viewing party is complimentary for hotel guests. For bookings, please go here.holiday-inn-summer-of-smiles-outsideAs a mom, and an elementary teacher, I really appreciate the efforts of the Holiday Inn brand in encouraging reading, even when on vacation. It’s one of the most important things we need to instill in our children, beginning at a young age! holiday-inn-smiles-ahead-follow-alongJoin in on the conversation by using and following along with the hashtag #SmilesAhead.

Some images property of Holiday Inn. 

 

2017 Dates Announced for Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own,

 

It’s almost Halloween time at Disneyland Resort and Mickey’s Halloween Party dates and details are here! If you’ve never been to Mickey’s Halloween Party, i’t a magical experience won’t want to miss out on. This event sells out quickly every year so keep reading for dates and ticket information.mickeys-halloween-party-mickey-and-minnieMickey’s Halloween Party is a separate-ticket event, offered on 14 different nights in September and October. The event features special entertainment, Disney characters in their Halloween attire, and trick or treating at locations throughout Disneyland for candy and healthy snacks. Guests have the option of dressing up in costumes for the party. (Please review the costume guidelines before selecting your costumes.) halloween-time-at-disneyland-resort-haunted-mansion-holiday-facadeIn addition to seasonal Halloween attractions Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion Holiday from “A Nightmare Before Christmas” in Disneyland Park, guests will enjoy fun, exclusive events to the party. One extra-special treat is the “Halloween Screams” fireworks spectacular, a Mickey’s Halloween Party tradition presented exclusively for party guests and hosted by “Master of Scare-omonies” Jack Skellington.mickeys-halloween-party-halloween-screamsAlso 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 Ichabod and Mr. Toad”). The Horseman rides through the park on his ghostly black steed with a flickering jack-o’-lantern to usher in the parade featuring Jack Skellington followed by a procession of grim, grinning (and hitchhiking) ghosts from the iconic Haunted Mansion
attraction.mickeys-halloween-party-headless-horsemanThe creepy Dr. Facilier from Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog” calls on mystical powers, summoning his Shadow Men from the bayou to loom large over his strange and twisted Voodoo parlor. The mischievous Disney villains appear out of the darkness, ready to stir up some trouble. The wicked gathering includes the Evil Queen, Jafar and Cruella.
mickeys-halloween-party-paradeDisney characters–villains as well as Mickey Mouse and friends–will appear at locations
throughout the park, and the Cadaver Dans ghostly quartet will perform on the Rivers of
America in New Orleans Square and Frontierland.halloween-time-at-the-disneyland-resort-dansnew-for-2017 Another popular feature of the party is the opportunity for guests to “mix in” with regular park guests for three hours prior to the party’s opening time. This year’s ticket to Mickey’s Halloween Party has even greater value as guests will be able to visit Disney California Adventure as well as Disneyland during those three hours prior to the beginning of the party in Disneyland.

DCA_entrance_halloweenAlso, new for 2017….guests who have admission to Mickey’s Halloween Party will enjoy the added bonus of unlimited Disney PhotoPass. What a great way to capture those special memories without having to worry about taking your own photos so you can just be in the moment with your family. You can download your images to share online or even print out at home as souvenir keepsakes. It’s a great offering and so exciting that guests will now have this included in their party ticket. 2017-mickeys-halloween-party-dates

  • Wednesday, Sept. 20
  • Friday, Sept. 22
  • Monday, Sept. 25
  • Wednesday, Sept. 27
  • Friday, Sept. 29
  • Tuesday, Oct. 3
  • Friday, Oct. 6
  • Tuesday, Oct. 10
  • Friday, Oct. 13
  • Tuesday, Oct. 17
  • Friday, Oct. 20
  • Tuesday, Oct. 24
  • Friday, Oct. 27
  • Tuesday, Oct. 31, Halloween night.

mickeys-halloween-party-ticketsTickets for Mickey’s Halloween Party, purchased in advance, are available at a discount on select nights. Prices start range from $85-$120 for Annual Passholders and $95-$120 for the general public. (The price depends on the selected party date)

Tickets for Mickey’s Halloween Party went on sale Monday, July 17 for Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club members and Disney Visa Card holdersBeginning July 24, Mickey’s Halloween Party Tickets* may be purchased by the public online and on mobile devices at http://Disneyland.com/party, as well as at the Disneyland Resort main gate and by phone at 714-781-4400.

Other important things to know about Mickey’s Halloween Party:

  • 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.
  • All guests 3 and over must have a ticket.
  •  Mickey’s Halloween Party is a non-smoking event.
  • All attractions and entertainment are subject to change.

Have you attended Mickey’s Halloween Party before or will this be your first year attending? What are you most excited for? Don’t forget to keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more updates!

Images and rendering are property of Disney. 

 

‘Fantasmic!’ Nighttime Spectacular Returns to Disneyland July 17 + the Disneyland Railroad is Reopening

Summer is underway at the Disneyland Resort and visitors this time of year are in for a whole lot of WOW on their visits to both theme parks.  celebrate-summer-at-disneyland-resortThere’s something to be said about getting to experience new magic with your family, during your visit, and creating new memories together. I know it’s a favorite in our family. summer-at-disneyland-resortThe thrilling new attraction, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! opened at the end of May and according to wait times shown on the Disneyland app, it continues to draw large crowds on a daily basis. disneyland-app-guardians-of-the-galaxy-wait-timeIt’s the only Disney attraction in the universe where guests step into a Guardians of the Galaxy story, as they help Rocket rescue this cosmic gang of misfits. With multiple ride profiles, guests never know which adventure they’ll encounter.

guardians-of-the-galaxy-mission-breakout-facade

guardians-of-the-galaxy-insideMore exciting news for Disneyland Park as some of the classic attractions are scheduled to reopen n July.  On Monday, July 17, which will also be the 62nd anniversary of the 1955 grand opening of Disneyland,  a newly enhanced “Fantasmic!, will premiere. This popular nighttime spectacular. tells the story of Mickey Mouse and his vivid imagination. “Fantasmic!:will return to the Rivers of America in Frontierland with its classic theme song and engaging storyline, which guests have treasured for 25 years.fantasmic-mickeyIts portrayal of Mickey’s exploration now features new scenes with characters from “Aladdin,” “Tangled,” “The Lion King” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.”fantasmic-aladdin-sequenceOne dazzling sequence finds Aladdin and Jasmine discovering “A Whole New World” as they float on their flying carpet over a bed of fog on the Rivers of America. Those sensational “Fantasmic!” adventures come alive with new mist screens and innovative, state-of-the-art projection technology to create visuals that are brighter and more vibrant than ever before.disneyland-park-here-you-leave-todayExciting news for train lovers of all ages is the re-opening of the Disneyland Railroad, beginning July 29. Park guests aboard the Disneyland Railroad will, once again, be taken on a Grand Circle Tour of Walt Disney’s “original Magic Kingdom”.disneyland-railroadThe Disneyland Railroad, one of the park’s original attractions, returns with its iconic steam-powered locomotives for new adventures. The Disneyland Railroad will now travel across the rocks on a trestle that extends out into the Rivers of America, and for the first time ever it will make a left-hand turn on its tour of the park.new-disneyland-railroad-route-renderingAlong the way, guests will enjoy a view of Walt Disney’s legendary Dioramas of the Grand Canyon and Primeval World, which have been carefully restored to their original splendor with a bit of new magic added to both. Guests on board the Disneyland Railroad also will discover a breathtaking new view along the north bank of Rivers of America.

A gorgeous new Columbia Gorge section highlighted by five new picturesque waterfalls can be seen from the trains as well as from the Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia and Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes. This new adventure complements the scenes guests have come to know and cherish through the years. Landscapes inspired by four of America’s majestic rivers–the Mississippi, the Columbia, the Missouri and the Rio Grande–are carefully recreated, complete with indigenous rock formations, natural forests and wildlife, and the waterfalls.disneyland-mark-twainOther Classic Rivers of America attractions are also set to relaunch July 29, including the Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia and Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes. They’ll be bringing new adventures and breathtaking new views for guests to enjoy. Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island reopened June 16.disneyland-columbia-shipIn addition to the returning classics in Frontierland and New Orleans Square, the beloved Main Street Electrical Parade continues nightly performances in Disneyland through Aug.20, featuring such favorite scenes as Cinderella’s ball, the appearance (and disappearance) of Elliot, the smoke-breathing, tail-wagging “Pete’s Dragon,” and the glittering “To Honor America” finale.main-street-electrical-parade-signThere’s so much going on this summer at the Disneyland Resort. You’ll want to be sure to check out The Summer of Heroes festivities, which continue at Disney California Adventure Park through Sept. 10. For more information about all of the happenings going on at the Disneyland Resort, visit their site here.

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Some images are property of Disneyland Resort. 

 

 

Celebrate July 4th at Dana Point Harbor

This is not a sponsored post. 

 

OC Parks invites the community to spend July 4th at Dana Point Harbor. Enjoy waterfront dining, ocean activities, boating, sailing, and experience south Orange County’s best aerial fireworks display, the July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza.Dana Point Independence DAyThe July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza will light up Dana Point Harbor. Visitors can enjoy fantastic views from the harbor, Baby Beach, the Island, and the many waterfront eateries located within the harbor. The display begins at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, July 4 and early arrival is recommended. Visitors are encouraged to bring a personal FM radio to tune into KSBR 88.5FM and listen to the patriotic music accompanying the fireworks display.dana-point-harborSpend the week of Independence Day enjoying Dana Point Harbor’s many waterfront restaurants and ocean activities, or take a cruise in the harbor on July 4th to view the fireworks display. The Ocean Institute, Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching, and Capt. Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari are all offering 4th of July Fireworks cruises.dana-point-harbor-whale-watchingVisitors are encouraged to take advantage of the free shuttle services on July 4th to avoid traffic jams. The shuttles will make round trips from Dana Hills High School to Dana Point Harbor from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Shuttle service will suspend at 9 p.m. until after the fireworks and will resume until 11 p.m.dana-point-harbor-trolleyThe Dana Point Trolley will drop off and pick up at stop #6 on July 4th in the Harbor from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and the inter Harbor shuttle will pick up and drop off at the restaurants and retail area, Baby Beach, the Island, and Ocean Institute from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.dana-point-harbor-baby-beachCelebrate Independence Day at Dana Point Harbor and experience the spectacular July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza. For more information visit http://www.DanaPointHarbor.com.doheny-state-beachPlease note: Streets within Dana Point Harbor will have restricted left hand turn lanes and cars will be detoured to go right only (Dana Point Harbor Drive, Puerto Place & Island Way). Cove Road will be closed during the fireworks and re-opened after the fireworks.

Some images are property of OC Parks. 

 

 

Disney·Pixar’s “CARS 3” Road to the Races Rolls Into Los Angeles June 14-18

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own. 

 

Ka-Chow! Road to the Races is rolling into Los Angeles from June 14-18! This nationwide tour invites fans of #95 to gear up for the upcoming big-screen release of Disney•Pixar’s “Cars 3.”, The roster of cities has already included Miami, Dallas, Chicago, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Denver.. Fans who come out for the free, fun event will get to see life-size, character look-alikes of five-time Piston-Cup champion Lightning McQueen and tech-savvy Cruz Ramirez, and take part in a host of activities. They’ll also get a sneak peek of the “Cars 3” movie which hits theaters June 16. cars-3-carsThe Los Angeles stop on the tour will be hosted at Autry Museum of the American West, (located at 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, CA 90027)
The event schedule for Los Angeles is as follows:

  • Wednesday, June 14th- 2pm-5pm
  • Thursday, June 15th- 11:30am-5pm
  • Friday, June 16th- 11:30am-5pm
  • Saturday, June 17th- 10am-4pm
  • Sunday, June 18th- 12pm-4pm

cars-3-road-to-the-racesSome of the fun activities fans will be able to experience at the event include:

  • Alamo Rent A CarSM is hosting a street art booth and will bring “Cars 3” to life with a giant coloring mural featuring Lightning McQueen and friends, along with a color pencil pack souvenir. Owned and operated by Enterprise Holdings, Alamo Rent A Car offers low rental rates and a hassle-free customer experience at the most popular travel destinations around the world.
  • Coppertone® is creating a racer pit crew that encourages visitors to take part in a tire-changing activity and photo-sharing opportunity. A leader in the sun care industry, Coppertone is made by Bayer HealthCare, LLC.
  • Crest® and Oral-B® celebrate the Road to the Races tour, providing fans with an opportunity to create a digital postcard with Lightning McQueen and get “Cars”-themed oral care products. Crest and Oral-B are the first step to enjoying a lifetime of healthy smiles.
  • Dole®, the leader in fresh, quality produce, invites visitors to fuel up and recharge their batteries, sample high-octane fruit and vegetable smoothies, collect “Cars 3”-inspired recipes and discover how Dole and Disney are working together to make healthy living fun and easy for families. To see more of Dole’s exciting promotions around summer family fun, visit http://www.dole.com/Cars3.
  • Mattel presents an interactive play area, which sends Lightning McQueen and other racers down the gravity drop and launches them into action in new play sets that feature locations from the movie. Also on display will be a collection of die cast racers from past and present. Mattel is the leading global childhood development and play company.
  • Fans will also be able to catch a sneak peek of the movie in the Cinetransformer Mobile Movie Theater.
  • Visitors will also be able to take photos with the life-size character cars.

In addition, the sports national youth program NASCAR Acceleration Nation will display the science behind NASCAR racing, and elements from the NASCAR Hall of Fame will allow attendees to get up close and personal with the history of NASCAR.cars-3-posterThe life-size character cars also roll onto the red carpet for the “Cars 3” world premiere on Saturday, June 10, 2017. The “Road to the Races” nationwide tour wraps up in California with a visit to NASCAR at the Sonoma Raceway June 24-25, 2017. For information, visit CARS3tour.com.

Images are property of Disney-Pixar. 

 

Family Guide to Knott’s Soak City Water Park

We were invited as guests of Knott’s Soak City to attend a media event in order to facilitate this post. All opinions are 100% my own. 

 

How is it that I go to Knott’s Berry Farm quite often and had never been to Knott’s Soak City until last weekend? I don’t know how it is that I’d never been there but I had so much fun that I’m already planning our family’s next visit to Knott’s Soak City!knotts-soak-city-facadeIf you aren’t familiar with Knott’s Soak City, it’s Orange County’s largest family water park, located adjacent to Knott’s Berry Farm Park, in the heart of Buena Park. The park just finished going through an extensive 2-acre expansion and renovation, which included the addition of 7 new slides and 2 slide towers, Shore Break and The Wedge.  Along with the renovation came an upgrade to the landscaping of the park, which now looks like somewhat of a tropical oasis. More cabanas, available for rental) have also been added to the park, as well as additional shady areas and expanded seating.  knotts-soak-city-tropical-oasisGrand Re-Opening Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
We were so honored to be present for the grand re-opening event, where guests in attendance heard from Knott’s General Manager John Storbeck, who was joined by Buena Park Mayor, Beth Swift. Snoopy was also on hand for the grand occasion and ribbon cutting to welcome the new area to the park.knotts-soak-city-ribbon-cutting

Below is a rendering of the two new areas in Knott’s Soak City. You can see both The Wedge and the set of slides at Shore Break. (artwork is property of Knott’s.)knotts-soak-city-renderingImmediately following the ribbon cutting, we headed directly over to try out the first of the new rides: The Wedge. This thrilling ride takes families with up to 6 riders, on an open-raft ride as they descend down navigating hair-raising twists, turns, and unexpected dips.knotts-soak-city-first-rideMy girls rode in the inaugural raft of The Wedge that morning and absolutely loved it! They loved it so much that they immediately went back on, dragging me on with them. I loved it too!ready-to-ride-the-wedgeNext, we hit up Shore Break, which is the other new group of slides that were part of the expansion. Shore Break includes 6 new slides. First, there are 4 slides that will take single riders on an adrenaline-filled water adventure as thrill-seekers board one of four Aqua Launch chambers to await the chamber’s floor dropping from beneath their feet sending them on a high speed free fall down a 60-foot tall slide and through a series of exhilarating drops and daring loops. Also part of Shore Break are two dueling tube slides which will have riders zipping through adventurous drops and turns as they soak up the warm summer sun.knotts-soak-city-longboards-grill

Menu Expansion at Longboard’s Grill
After going through a menu expansion and remodel, Longboard’s Grill opened this season boasting a newly redesigned sleek restaurant layout and a menu which features delicious items such as hand-breaded chicken tenders, fish & chips and assorted wraps. The menu also includes classic favorites such as grilled burgers and hot dogs. I appreciate that Longboard’s Grill also offer options like meatless hot dogs and vegetarian pizza for guests, upon request. Just outside of the eatery, by the restaurant’s entrance, there’s a new, shaded seating area that’s been added, allowing guests to take a break from the sun while they eat.knots-soak-city-longboards-grill-chicken-tendersIn addition to the newest areas at Soak City, we also had tons of fun relaxing on the Lazy River, playing in Tidal Wave Bay wave pool, and hanging out at Beach House, waiting for the big red bucket to dump on us!knotts-soak-city-lazy-riverknotts-soak-city-beach-houseknotts-soak-city-beachhouseIf you have small children, you’ll want to be sure to visit the Gremmie Lagoon area too.knotts-soak-city-gremmie-lagoonWith all of the new things to check out at Knott’s Soak City, in addition to this summer’s Ghost Town Alive! At Knott’s Park, there’s never been a better time to grab a Knott’s Gold Pass! A Gold Pass includes unlimited 2017 admission to both Knott’s Berry Farm and Knott’s Soak City Waterpark. Gold Season Passes can be purchased online starting at $117.00 or 6 easy payments of $19.50. Applicable taxes and fees apply. Please note: the Season Pass payment plan is only available online at knotts.com

knotts-soak-city-sungearThe sun is always shining in Southern California, so what are you waiting for? Grab your swimsuit, sunscreen, and sunglasses, and plan your day at Knott’s Soak City Water park soon! For more information about Knott’s Soak City and to begin planning your visit there, go here.knotts-soak-city-logo

 Logos and artwork are property of Knott’s.

 

{Giveaway} The America’s Family Pet Expo at OC Fair & Event Center April 28-30

This is not a sponsored post. Images and logo are property of The America’s Family Pet Expo. All opinions are 100% my own. 

 

The America’s Family Pet Expo will return to the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa Friday, April 28 – Sunday, April 30, 2017. All creatures great and small, from four legged to flying, will all be on display at this annual family-friendly event.americas-family-pet-expo-logoThe Pet Expo offers visitors education on responsible pet care, entertainment, and pet adoptions and is the ultimate destination for all pet lovers. Each year the show progresses to include the best in pet ownership and care and offers a variety of educational presentations, product launches, amazing pet acts and our popular animal adoptions, as well as showcasing the latest trends in the pet care industry.americas-family-pet-expo-birdAt the 2016 Pet Expo, there were more than 500 animal adoptions including dogs, cats, and even a few guinea pigs, that were adopted from the Pet Expo’s Southern California animal rescue partner organizations. Pet Adoptions will be handled onsite at the Expo for those looking for that perfect animal addition to the family. There will be hundreds of animals hoping to find their “furever home” from local community partner organizations at the Pet Expo.americas-family-pet-expo-hogsThe Pet Expo is excited to announce the return of the crowd pleasing “Cook’s Racing Hogs & Dogs,” a race that consists of four pigs, which run from one end of a 90-foot U-shaped track to the other. Four dogs then compete in a similar race. Waiting at the end of the track is a treat – vanilla ice cream and a golden Oreo cookie.americas-family-pet-expo-pettingThe 2017 Expo will be the “Cat’s Meow” as the The Catit Playground Debuts. The interactive activity brings a close up view for guests to watch adorable adoptable cats and kittens and see how they interact with different toys and people. This is a great atmosphere for guests to learn all about cats and toys they like.americas-family-pet-expo-cat-areaLucy’s Wave Maker will return and also feature a cat surfer. The world’s one and only mobile wave machine makes an encore appearance America’s Family Pet Expo showcasing the best surfing dogs and cats too! The wave maker made international headlines from its appearance in the 2017 Rose Parade. America’s Family Pet Expo is the first stop on the 2017 National Tour that kicks off in Costa Mesa.americas-family-pet-expo-reptilesReturning favorites to the Pet Expo include Repticon, reptile show and sale, offering hundreds of common and rare species of reptiles in all shapes and sizes, such as lizards, snakes, and spiders. Plus, the ever-popular Splash Dogs will also be on hand offering a “splashing” good time as these dogs compete at dock jumping.americas-family-pet-expo-splash-dogsAdded to the Expo line-up is the America’s Family Pet Expo Hobbyist Aquascaping contest. This new feature will consist of intermediate to advanced “aquarists” in a competition to create the most appealing natural aquarium. The participants will use a variety of live plants and other natural decorations in order to create a miniature underwater jungle. Pet Expo attendees are encouraged to come watch the process of setting up a fully functional planted aquarium from 10am on Friday, April 28th to 12pm on Saturday, April 29th. Ribbons and cash prizes will be awarded to the top 3 aquascapers on Saturday, April 29th at 5:00pm.

Pricing for The Pet Expo is as follows: 

  • General Admission, $15.00
  • Seniors 60 and over, $13.00
  • Children 6-12, $10.00.
  • 5 yrs and under, free.
  • Active and retired military free with ID.

Event parking is $8.00. 

Show hours are:

  • Friday 10am-6pm
  • Saturday 10am-7pm
  • Sunday 10am-6pm

giveaway-enter-to-win

I’m also having a giveaway where one of my lucky readers can win a family 4-pack to this year’s event. To enter, just leave a comment on this post sharing your favorite pet with me. I will close the comments on Sunday, April 23 at 11:59 p.m. and pick one winner via Random Number Generator. Winner will be notified by email and will be mailed the tickets. Tickets have no cash value. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only, 18 and older. Good luck everyone! 

OC Fair & Event Center is located at 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa 92626.  Kindly leave all pets at home. For more information and to purchase tickets online visit http://www.PetExpoOC.org .

 

Must Haves at Knott’s Boysenberry Festival

I was invited as a guest of Knott’s Berry Farm to a day in the Park in order to write this review. All opinions are 100% my own.

 

If you’ve been following along on my Instagram lately, you may have notice a few of the delicious pictures I posted from Knott’s Boysenberry Festival.knotts-boysenberry-festival knotts-boysenberry-festival-usI had the opportunity to spend a day in the Park, enjoying many of their boysenberry-inspired foods and drinks. I got so excited to see Ghost Town all decked out for the occasion!
ghost-town-decorknotts-boysenberry-festival-decorDid you know that the boysenberry originated at Knott’s? Yep! The roots of Knott’s Berry Farm stretch back to the early 1930s when Walter Knott nurtured the only surviving boysenberry vines back to health and began selling the berries from his fruit stand on Beach Blvd. in Buena Park, California. knotts-boysenberry-festival-1920The popular purple little boysenberry put Knott’s Berry Farm on the road to being America’s first theme park. The rest, as they say, is history. As the birthplace of the delectable boysenberry Knott’s Berry Farm.knotts-boysenberry-festival-fry-breadKnott’s Boysenberry Festival runs from April 1-23 this year. During the festival, guests have the opportunity to enjoy boysenberry foods, both sweet and savory, and boysenberry-inspired craft beer and wine. Trust me when I say that you need to try all of the special boysenberry offerings during Knott;s Boysenberry Festival. One of the best ways to get a tasting of a variety of these foods is by purchasing a Festival Tasting Card. For just $25, you’ll get to sample 6 different items. As you can see, I started with one of the desserts, Boysenberry Panna Cotta! knotts-boysenberry-festival-tasting-cardThe Festival Tasting Card gives you quite a bit of food as you get samples of Boysenberry BBQ Meatballs, Boysenberry Fry Bread, Boysenberry Buffalo Wings, Boysenberry Ravioli, Boysenberry Panna Cotta, and Boysenberry Pizza!knotts-boysenberry-festival-chefsknotts-boysenberry-festival-wings

knotts-boysenberry-festival-boysenberry-pizzaI loved all of the items I got to try but I couldn’t stop there because there was still so much more boysenberry goodness to try! Some of the other boysenberry items you can find during the festival include:

  • Ribs and grilled chicken smothered in Knott’s farm-made Berry Market Boysenberry BBQ sauce
  • Corn on the Cob with Boysenberry Butter and Boysenberry Mayo
  • Boysenberry Short Ribs over riceknotts-boysenberry-festival-short-rib
  • Deep Fried Alligator & Fries with Boysenberry Aioli
  • Chocolate covered Boysenberry cheesecake on a stickknotts-boysenberry-festival-cheesecake-on-a-stick
  • Boysenberry Corn Dog
  • Boysenberry & Apricot Pulled Pork  Sandwich in a Boysenberry Bun Combo
  • Boysenberry Nutella crepesknotts-boysenberry-festival-boysenberry-crepe
  • Boysenberry Cookiewich Sandwich & Boysenberry Ice Cream Cone
  • Boysenberry Flautas
  • Boysenberry Cotton Candy
  • Boysenberry ICEE floats, Boysenberry Cream Soda, and Boysenberry Lattes & Frappuccinos
  • Fun Bun – Fried Cinnamon Roll with Boysenberry Cream Cheese Toppingknotts-boysenberry-festival-fun-bun

Many of the special Knott’s brand jams, jellies, sauces, candies, and other boysenberry products are available year-round inside the park in General Store (located in Ghost Town)  and outside the park at Berry Market (located in the California MarketPlace), as well as online. This is such great news for someone like me who is obsessed with all things boysenberry.knotts-boysenberry-festival-productsAside from all of the boysenberry goodness at Knott’s Boysenberry Festival, there’s also a great lineup of entertainment for the whole family, you won’t want to miss including Snoopy’s Boysenberry Jamboree (on the Calico Mine Stage), Old Time Melodrama (Bird Cage Theater), The History of Boysenberry & Knott’s Berry Farm (in Town Hall), Cloud 9 Ballroom/Studio K Classic Dance Party (in the Boardwalk Ballroom), Wild West Stunt Show: Frontier Feats of Wonder! (in Wagon Camp Theater), and the fun Camptivities (in Camp Snoopy). Also stop by Calico Park for some fun, music & games and visit the animals Old MacDonald’s Farm (in Ghost Town).

knotts-boysenberry-festival-merchKnott’s Boysenberry Festival is a must-do. Be sure to stop by before April 23rd! For more information, visit Knott’s Berry Farm’s site here.knotts-boysenberry-festival-chocolate-bar

Some images and logo are property of Knott’s. 

 

 

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