I was elated to find out some magical news last night on the Disney Parks Twitter….
Did you see? They announced that the Main Street Electrical Parade, currently residing at Walt Disney World, will have it’s final run (for now) at the Magic Kingdom on October 9th before it hits the road for California! This is the best news for Guests of the Disneyland Resort, although I do feel sad for anyone who will be missing this parade when it leaves Walt Disney World. The Main Street Electrical Parade, actually had a run as Disney’s Electrical Parade” at Disney California Adventure park from 2001 to 2010, but it hasn’t been in Disneyland park in 20 years, so we’re ecstatic! According to the Disney Parks Blog, the Main Street Electrical Parade will be at Disneyland as a limited-time encore engagement, at the beginning of 2017. Currently, I just feel like Christmas came early! After it was just last week that the “Paint the Night” parade would be going dark at the end of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, this news about the Main Street Electrical Parade is so exciting. However, on the Disney Parks Blog they also announced that the “Paint the Night” parade will actually return on select nights during the holiday season later this year! Yay!
To keep up on the latest updates, you can visit the Disneyland our eye on Disneyland Resort’s Entertainment Calendar here.
This is not a sponsored post, I just like writing about Disney a lot! All opinions are 100% my own. Main Street Electrical Parade image property of Walt Disney Company.
I was recently invited to attend a hardhat tour and unveiling event for a new Disney-close Anaheim hotel: the Grand Legacy At The Park hotel. The dramatic expansion of this popular Anaheim hotel which is currently operating as the Ramada Maingate At the Park, is set to be finished by February 2016!
Beginning in Februrary 2016, the Grand Legacy At The Park hotel will become Anaheim’s latest independent hotel. The property, previously under the Ramada brand, has operated as the Ramada Maingate At The Park for the past 17 years. The $10 million development and renovation make this hotel the latest star in Anaheim’s evolving hotel inventory. The Garr family has maintained ownership of this popular lodging location (directly across the street from Disneyland Park®) since 1974, and will remain owners of the newly minted Grand Legacy At The Park hotel.
This latest development includes the following features:
a new four-story hotel wing with luxurious guest rooms
a spacious lobby
six retail outlets featuring a mini mart, tickets and tours store, and pizza eatery.
cozy eating areas
meeting space – The property will offer both indoor and outdoor meeting spaces on the new rooftop area for corporate groups, meetings, special events, and weddings.
a distinctive rooftop bar area (set to open March 2016) – the 5,000 square foot rooftop bar and lounge, which will accommodate about 400 people, and will be open during the day to the public. The massive space will appeal to families, young adults, tourists, and locals alike. This area will transform nightly into a spectacular rooftop bar and lounge featuring music, up close views of Disneyland’s unforgettable firework show and Anaheim’s skyline. This one-of-a-kind gathering place is destined to become one of SoCal’s hot spots.
Additionally, the existing hotel has undergone major renovations during the past three years substantially enhancing its guest rooms and pool area. The unique features of the hotel’s growth includes the addition of family suites.
We’ve been in Anaheim since 1974 and I’m very proud of my family’s hotel legacy here. I’ve grown up in Anaheim’s close-knit hospitality industry and look forward to this next step in our growth. We will continue to honor our family’s heritage built on hospitality and now offer our guests more reasons to enjoy our new hotel with enhanced guest rooms, amenities and public spaces. We welcome Anaheim’s visitors and our community to experience the area’s latest independent hotel with a new view, the Grand Legacy At The Park. – Brandon Garr, Grand Legacy At The Park hotel owner.
The Grand Legacy At The Park will offer complimentary breakfast and Wi-Fi with a new guest loyalty program.
This is not a sponsored post. I was invited to a media tour of this property in order to share this information. All opinions are 100% my own. Some images and logos are property of the Grand Legacy At The Park.
A couple of months ago, I had the exciting opportunity to take a hardhat tour at the newest Great Wolf Lodge® location here in Southern California. I spent the day touring the site and learning all about what this family mega-resort, built around a 105,000 square-foot waterpark, will be offering its guests and I was completely WOW-ed! Well, I’m here to share some of the latest construction updates with you today. (updates were current as of December 3, 2015.) As the opening date gets closer, I get more and more excited!
Progress at the Resort
The ginormous 105,000-square-foot waterpark is coming to life! More slides and attractions have been installed, such as the Whooping Hollow kiddie slides (see the photos below) and cement has been poured throughout the park.
The Resort’s Grand Lobby is continuing to take shape, including the fireplace where daily Story Time will take place featuring Great Wolf Kids characters. Check out the antler chandeliers ready to be hung in these photos.
From the guest suites to the hallways, the family-friendly accommodations are looking more and more like Great Wolf Lodge every day. See the detailed décor in the photos.
The conference center, featuring 20,000 sq. feet of meeting and banquet space, is well on its way to completion.
The resort is slated to open in late February 2016. Great Wolf Lodge Southern California is offering guests the opportunity to book rooms with their grand opening discount offer! Families have until Dec. 31, 2015 to book their stay and receive up to 25 percent off. To learn more, visit here. This is such a great deal! Don’t wait, book today!
Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own. Some photos are property of Great Wolf Lodge.
Great Wolf Lodge® is opening in Southern California and our family is ecstatic! I was invited to take a hard hat tour of the newest location, which is currently under construction in Garden Grove and I’ve never seen anything like it! Great Wolf Lodge refers to themselves as the ultimate family vacation destination and I can see why! They pride themselves on providing quality accommodations, exceptional services, and a variety of amenities and entertainment all under one roof. The 603-room all-suite resort is going to WOW when they walk in!
At the start of the facility tour, I got to meet Wiley the Wolf, who is the official Great Wolf Lodge mascot. As I was During my hard hat tour, I felt like my mouth kept dropped open around every new corner! Seriously, I cannot wait for it to open!
The GIANT 105,000 square-foot indoor water park at Great Wolf Lodge is the most popular amenity for resort guests. Water park passes are already included in the cost of your stay and are exclusive for the guests staying at Great Wolf Lodge.
The water park itself is maintained at 84 degrees which means that weather will never affect your stay. Unique water slides and attractions will offer something for everyone.
The Howlin’ Tornado is the water park’s signature ride and is six stories tall! It sends riders swooshing up and down its enormous funnel before the final splash into the catch pool! I can’t wait to get on it!
Let’s talk about the accommodations! There are more than a handful of different suite options to choose from at Great Wolf. Each suite offers a complimentary coffee pot, microwave, and refrigerator. Families have plenty of room to spread out and relax and can choose the accommodations that best fit the size of their family.
Double Queen Suite – Features two queen beds and sleeps up to 4 guests.
Family Suite – Features two queen beds and a full sofa sleeper and sleeps up to 6 guests.
Wolf Den Suite – Features a queen bed, full sofa sleeper and a themed Wolf Den, complete with a set of bunk beds. Sleeps up to 6 guests.
KidCabin Suite – Features a queen bed, full sofa sleeper and a Great Wolf Kids-themed KidCabin complete with bunk beds and a twin bed. Sleeps up to 7 guests.
Grand Bear Suite – Features a private master bedroom with a king bed and a full bathroom. The main area includes two queen beds, a full sleeper sofa and a second bathroom. Sleeps up to 8 guests.
Great Bear Suite – Features two queen beds and a semi-private living room, complete with a private master bedroom with queen bed. Sleeps up to 6 guests.
Great Bear King – Features two queen beds and a semi-private living room, complete with a private master bedroom with king bed. Sleeps up to 6 guests.
The dining options at Great Wolf provide something for everyone in the family to enjoy. I like that Great Wolf not only acknowledges kids can be picky eaters but also offers options for guests with food allergies and have special dietary needs ,such as a gluten free diet. It’s something that moms can really appreciate as it isn’t often easy to dine out when your child has those kinds of needs.
Lodge Wood Fired Grill – A full serve a la carte restaurant open for lunch and dinner, with delectable shareables and unique signature items to create the perfect place to eat.
Hungry as a Wolf – Family meals on the go for lunch and dinner featuring fresh made pizza, sandwiches, salads, and pasta.
Bear Paw Sweets & Eats – A confectionary that offers a variety of treats, such as fresh-baked pastries, ice cream, lodge-made fudge and more.
Buckets Incredible Craveables – Located inside the water park, the casual menu offers burgers, hot dogs, french fries, cold beverages, ice cream, and more.
Loose Moose Family Kitchen – A buffet style restaurant, open for breakfast and dinner, that has options for the entire family.
Grizzly Jack’s Bar and Grill – Located by the outdoor water park, this is the place to refuel for more fun in the sun, offering a variety of food and drinks to choose from.
Dunkin’ Donuts – Located right inside the resort, this is America’s favorite all-day stop for coffee and baked goods.
Although most people are going to spend a lot of time at the water park, there are a ton of other attractions and entertainment to enjoy during a stay at Great Wolf Lodge including:
Character Appearances – Daily appearances with Wiley the Wolf and Violet the Wolf.
Story Time – The entire family can gather in the Grand Lobby each evening to hear a story about the Great Wolf Kids characters before bedtime.
Wolf Walk – Learn about the many animals and wildlife living in the Northwoods and make an origami wolf to take home.
MagiQuest – Battle dragons, befriend a pixie and wave a magic wand in this live-action adventure game throughout the resort. The games feature three unique chapters, each with their own challenges and quests.
The Great Wolf Kids Program – Daily activities for kids that take place around the resort, including dance parties, face painting, and games such as Wiley Bingo, Character Floor Memory, and Character Trivia.
Howly Wood XD Theater – This motion thrill ride transports riders directly into the movie action with every effect amplified, creating an unforgettable experience.
Howl at the Moon Mini Golf – 9-hole themed indoor miniature golf course.
Northern Lights Arcade – More than 100 interactive video and redemption games that allow guests to redeem points for prizes.
Scooops Kid Spa – A unique spa created for kids, complete with ice cream-themed manicures, pedicures, and more. Each service includes a real ice cream treat.
Ten Paw Alley – Family-style bowling with pint-sized bowling balls.
Clubhouse Crew – Interactive Scavenger hunt through the resort starring the Great Wolf Kids characters. It’s the perfect experience for the resort’s youngest guests.
Laser Frenzy – An exciting arcade-style game with the latest in touch and LED technology. Players can see who is fastest as they dart between the “laser beams”.
The Great Wolf Lodge Southern California also features over 20,000 sq. feet of meeting and banquet space. It’s the ideal location to host corporate meetings, youth excursions, family reunions, special occasions or more. With 12 separate and configurable meeting rooms, the resort’s team of experienced meeting professionals can create the perfect space to your needs.
Great Wolf Lodge Southern California is now accepting reservations for its newest location. You can book reservations for March 2016 through December 2016 by visiting http://www.greatwolf.com or calling 1-888-960-WOLF (9653).
So what are YOU most excited for at Great Wolf Lodge Southern California? My answer to that is “all of it!“
The Anaheim Marriot is a great property to stay at whether you’re visiting for business or pleasure, and when I say “pleasure” I’m most referring to Disneyland®, although there are a bunch of restaurants, shops, movie theaters, and even a bowling alley, all within walking distance of this hotel! Other popular places to visit within a short driving distance include Knott’s Berry Farm and Angel Stadium of Anaheim.
After checking into the hotel, my daughter was immediately enamored by the uber cool elevator call button. It’s more like a computer and takes the guessing out of your wait for an elevator. You key in the floor you’re going to, the screen tells you which elevator you’ll be getting in, and then you head over to wait for it. Watch how it works!
Our guest room was absolutely perfect! With a modern decor throughout, it had 2 very comfortable beds with luxurious bedding, a nice sized desk, a giant LCD TV, and a cozy sitting area. My daughter was especially excited by the Minnie Mouse surprise that was awaiting her in the room! You can call ahead of time and arrange for a surprise of your own to be there for your child(ren).
The bathroom was very clean (that’s always a biggie for me) with marble countertops and there were premium toiletries set out for us to enjoy. I love hotel toiletries, especially when they’re aromatherapy! I always appreciate when hotels do their part to care for our planet, don’ t you?
Some other in-room amenities included a single cup coffee maker, an iron and ironing board, and High speed Wi-Fi (available for a fee). You have the option of ordering your breakfast to be delivered to the room when you wake up, as well as traditional room service any time of day.
The balcony area has a gorgeous view of the city of Anaheim and a bird’s-eye view of the pool area down below. It was relaxing to sit out there with a drink and take it all in. That’s what a staycation is for!
We’re very fortunate to have such great weather in Southern California, which makes it possible to enjoy the pool area of the hotel almost any day of the year.
The Oasis pool offers both an indoor, semi-covered area and an outdoor area. There’s also a jacuzzi. Both the pool and jacuzzi are equipped with an aquatic wheelchair to provide access for any guests with those needs.
There are lounge chairs for sunbathing all around the pool area, as well as tables where guests can enjoy food and drinks from the Oasis Pool Menu, and even some fire pits.
I couldn’t get enough of the food at the Marriot! They offer quick take away service inside the hotel from Pizza Hut and a Starbucks. However, my favorite spot to hit up for a meal was nFuse Bar and Kitchen, the main restaurant in the hotel. We actually ate there twice, once for dinner and another time for breakfast!
The restaurant was recently renovated and is beautiful! There’s a variety of seating areas for guests who are dining. When you walk into the restaurant, you notice several different intimate tables or “social lounges” available for guests to sit at and enjoy a drink or small plates if they wish.
We sat in the main dining area. I started with one of their handcrafted cocktails called the “California Love“. It came highly recommended by our server and as soon as I took the first sip, I knew why! It was delicious!
While I looked over the menu, I thoroughly enjoyed the homemade bread served with butter. I think you can tell what that was like by looking as this picture, right?
The menu had so many delicious plates to choose from! I decided to order the nFuse “Prime” Tenderloin Filet. It pretty much melted in my mouth. I also sampled some of my daughter’s Rigatoni with broccoli. The food was truly delicious and prepared just right. I would love to go back and try some of the other creations on the dinner menu.
Luckily it wasn’t long before we returned to nFuse for breakfast the next morning. NFuse offers a traditional breakfast menu with several gourmet creations on it, as well as an All American breakfast buffet. I can’t resist buffets so that’s what I chose.
Breakfast buffets always seem to be the most ideal when you have children in your party mostly because of all the choices. There was so much delicious fruit on the buffet. I also enjoyed the freshly baked pastries.
I think there are very few people who can walk by bacon that looks this good without stacking it high on their plate! Can you tell I’m a bacon lover?
My most favorite item at the buffet though were the fresh, made-to-0rder Belgium waffles. It’s fun to add toppings and create it just the way you like it.
My staycation at the Anaheim Marriot ended way too soon but I’m happy to say that it was a wonderful experience overall. The rooms are top-notch, the location is prime, the food is excellent, and I was well-rested after getting to escape from reality for a short time. I can’t wait to back for another stay!
I am fortunate to live in Southern California for so many reasons, one of which is the beautiful weather. When the temperatures get down into the 50s and 60s, we also have the convenience of packing our stuff up in the car and heading out the to the beautiful Palm Springs area. Just east of Los Angeles, Palm Springs almost always promises its visitors warm desert weather.
I recently took a “Mommy & Me” girls weekend away with my daughter to Palm Springs. I found the most adorable bed and breakfast-style property online called Los Arboles Hotel. The site described the hotel as “rich in old California hospitality traditions and boasting a selection of amenities unmatched for a 21 room boutique hotel. Los Arboles is a desert retreat from the hectic pace of everyday life“, which is exactly what I was looking for. It’s located in the historical Palm Springs Movie Colony District and is within walking distance to Palm Canyon Drive, which offers a variety of shopping and dining.
I honestly fell in love with the property within minutes of parking in the lot. With the front office situated very close to the parking lot, it took practically no time for us to get checked in and shown to our room. Our room was actually a Junior Suite.
The landscaping around the property is kept very well-manicured and features many types of desert plants and cactus. I could smell the rosemary that was growing on the property, each time we stepped outside of our room. It was so fragrant!
The Los Arboles Hotel is a very quaint property with 21 guest rooms. Most of the rooms are situated either (outside a gate) around the perimeter of the pool area or very close to it.
Some of the rooms have their own hammock in the front patio. We had a swing and a hammock, which was where my daughter spent a lot of time relaxing.
The hammock outside of our room was one of her favorite places to hang out over our girls’ weekend!
Here’s a short video of her in the swing outside our room. I honestly didn’t think I’d ever get her out of it!
We were so pleased with our room, The El Mirasol Junior Suite! How adorable is our room key?
I loved the cool tile floors and the tiled detailing around the room. Our bed was made up so beautifully and there were so many great amenities in our room. We had an iron and ironing board, an armoire to hang up our clothes and store our things, a bench to sit on, a modern bathroom with a separate vanity and bathing area, and even an in-room sauna! The free Wi-Fi was also convenient.
Since we had the Junior Suite, our room also included a 2nd room attached with its own living room and a pull-out sofa and a separate bathroom with closet area. Both of the rooms in the suite had good-sized flat screen TVs too! We relaxed comfortably inside in the air conditioning!
The Los Arboles Hotel has an on-site restaurant called “El Mirasol at Los Arboles“, which is one of two Palm Springs locations. It promises artfully prepared Mexican regional cuisine and flavorful margaritas! It’s an especially popular place on Friday and Saturday nights and draws quite a crowd!
I enjoyed myself immensely during my visit to Los Arboles Hotel. In fact, I’m looking forward to returning to stay there again sometime in the near future. If you’re looking for a wonderful experience like I had, you’ll want to consider staying at Los Arboles Hotel in Palm Springs! When’s the last time YOU got away from the hectic hustle and bustle of everyday life?
I received hotel accommodations in order to write this review. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own. We had such a wonderful experience staying at the Handlery Hotel San Diego this past weekend. An early call time for a Sunday cheer competition made it necessary for us to stay overnight in “America’s Finest City” the night before. We wanted to stay somewhere centrally located to be able to take advantage of some of the fun things San Diego has to offer. Handlery Hotel’s location was just that! Located in Hotel Circle, t’s literally a hop, skip & a jump away from Fashion Valley Mall, Mission Bay, and San Diego State University. Since it’s located just off of the 8 freeway, it was so easy to get places without taking too much driving time.
The lobby of Handlery Hotel is nice and bright thanks to the natural light from above!
We were greeted by friendly faces at the front desk, upon our arrival. They quickly checked us into our room, located right next to the pool. The room was just perfect for us and had 2 beds, a clean, updated bathroom, and a big, flat screen TV to watch while we enjoyed our cheese platter and cookie tray.
As you can see, Emily immediately claimed, and personalized, “her bed”!
A nice, clean bathroom is one of my own personal travel necessities!
This cheese platter was amazing! The cookies were delicious too!
I instantly fell in love with the Holcombe & Moore Aromatherapy toiletries that were in the bathroom. They smelled so good, with a scent that wasn’t too overpowering. I could swear the same scent was being released into the hallways of the hotel and I actually asked about it at the front desk. Whenever I’d walk in the hallway or enter the lobby there was a wonderful smell in the air.
How cute are the towels?
The Handlery Hotel has a large pool area, with both a pool and jacuzzi. They are heated for guests’ convenience. I got some really pretty pictures of the pool area because we arrived around dusk. What a pretty backdrop the sunset was and I felt like I was in paradise just looking at all of the palm trees.
We didn’t get to actually swim in the pool on this visit because we were so busy with our cheer competition but the weather was sure perfect for it! Next time we’re definitely going into the pool! Southern California Winter weather is definitely something to be thankful for!
A poolside fountain
The hotel has a few different fountains throughout. I know for me, the sound of water is so soothing. The fountain by the pool was really pretty, as was the one by the hotel’s entryway.
Emi made a wish in this fountain that’s located near the hotel’s entryway.
Postcards Restaurant is located adjacent to the hotel’s lobby and serves breakfast and dinner and has a full bar with a TV to watch sports. It also provides the food for in-room dining. We had to hurry out early to our cheer competition so they packed us up a container of goodies and I took some coffee to go.
Freshly baked blueberry and banana nut muffins and a mini croissant to go!
You can grab a complimentary daily paper in the hotel lobby!
Our stay at the Handlery Hotel San Diego definitely wasn’t long enough. Once cheer season is over, we fully intend on returning for a longer, more relaxing stay, when we enjoy the accommodations a little more and take advantage of that pool area, including the poolside drinks and dining at the Reef Lounge Poolside Bar & Grill.
Some of the other accommodations available at the hotel are:
Complimentary wireless internet throughout the hotel
Business Center with computer, printer and complimentary boarding pass printing
Thank you, Handlery Hotel! You had her at “cookie”!
I’d like to send a HUGE thank you to the staff at the Handlery Hotel San Diego! It’s a great family-owned hotel, offering such warm service. We enjoyed ourselves immensely and hope to be back very soon!
A few days ago, I had the chance to take a quick trip with my family down to San Diego. It’s a short drive and I was excited to stay at The Hyatt Regency Mission Bay because it’s right on the water.
When we were checking in, I relaxed by the lobby fireplace with some of my stuffed animal friends. In the lobby there was a coloring table and right next to it is where I picked up one of the Scavenger Hunt pages that they have for kids to do during their stay. If you answer all of the questions, you can win a prize!
On our first day there, it was too late to go on the waterslides but we did go and look at the pool. There were 3 different pools all in the same area and one had a small waterside, while another one had 2 big waterslides. I couldn’t wait to go on them the next day!
Next to the pool area there’s a restaurant called “Swim” and they sell S’mores Kits there that you can roast at one of the hotel’s 3 fire pits. (hint: That’s actually one of the answers to one of the Scavenger hunt questions)
Each kit comes with a bunch of marshmallows, 2 big Hershey’s chocolate bars, a bunch of packs of Honeymaid graham crackers and 4 wooden dowels that you roast your marshmallows on.
It was so fun to make the s’mores by the fire with my parents. We also got to watch the Sea World fireworks when we were out there because Sea World is really close by.
The next day, I think we were at the pool all day long. It’s kind of cool that they give the kids a refillable purple cup to use. I got to have as much lemonade as I wanted. The smaller waterslide was fun because you could ride it with 2 people. I liked the bigger waterslides the best though. It was fun to make my mom go on them too!
At 3:00 there were races by the pool for all of the kids. They actually have different activities for kids by the pool each day, even on the weekends!