We were in Miami recently, en route to the Florida Keys and stopped off at the Fairchild Botanic Garden in Miami with kids. Wow. We LOVED it. Except for the heat. It was super hot. The garden is really big, so plan for enough time, like a few hours. And some time to get a drink or ice cream there.Continue reading “Review: Fairchild Botanic Gardens in Miami with Kids”
Off the side of the road in Tavernier Florida on the Florida keys is the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center. It doesn’t look like much from the road (granted, nothing in the Keys looks like much from the road), but it’s worth pulling over to see the birds here.Continue reading “Review: Florida Keys Wild Bird Center with Kids”
We had a ridiculous amount of fun at the Everglades Alligator Farm, in spite of it dumping rain on us an hour after the photo below was taken.
The Everglades Alligator Farm claims to be the oldest alligator farm in South Florida, with 2,000 alligators. They are located near the entrance of Everglades National Park. It was super touristy, but still a good visit.
We got there as the hourly airboat ride was getting read to board, so we went straight there. It’s a good thing we did because the rides an hour later got delayed/cancelled because it was raining so hard. Our driver told us that when it’s raining hard, they worry about the visibility. If a boat is out of commission, it’s hard to get another boat out there to rescue it.Continue reading “Review: Everglades Alligator Farm with Kids”
When visiting the Florida Keys, take 2 hours to visit the Turtle Hospital in Marathon. This nonprofit rescues injured and sick turtles in the area, rehabilitates them if possible, and releases them back into the wild. If they’re not able to be rehabilitated, they stay at the center.Continue reading “Visiting the Turtle Hospital in the Florida Keys with Kids”
We returned from 3.5 day trip to Disney World in early February. Here are our Disney World tips to make your trip easier.
Disney World tips for Magic Kingdom fireworks: You don’t have to stand in the mosh pit in front of Cinderella’s Castle, or pay for expensive dessert packages to have a great view of castle fireworks. We stood on the bridge between the circle in front of the castle (the one with the Walt statue) and Liberty Square (close to #37 and #38 on the map). We got there less than 10 minutes before the fireworks. It was not a mob scene. It was not very crowded at all. And we got a great reflection of the castle in the water too.Continue reading “Disney World Tips to Make Your Trip Magical”
I went to Disney World in February with friends, including one person, RC, who uses a wheelchair/scooter and has difficulty walking. Does Disney World offer disability passes? Definitely. RC qualified for the Disability Access Service (DAS) at Disney World and we were not sure what to expect during the registration process or while we were there. This post will help explain the DAS pass at WDW and how to use it. You’ll find info on how to register for the DAS pass Disney World at the bottom.Continue reading “Disney World with the Disability Pass”
Before kids, I used to get lots of free airplane tickets for getting bumped. I traveled off season, which was cheaper. Now that I have kids, paying for travel for four is tough, especially since my husband doesn’t like getting bumped (“I want to get home NOW!”) and we travel during school breaks. Given how expensive travel is, especially to the Orlando parks, I’m excited to welcome Summer Hull to Jersey Kids today. She is launching an ebook called Frequent Flyer Toolkits, including one called Orlando for Nearly Free. She has been running MommyPoints.com, a popular blog that helps travelers navigate the frequent flyer type point programs to make travel more affordable.
I first dabbled in the miles-and-points hobby as a cash-strapped grad student at New York University. I racked up frequent flyer miles flying back and forth to visit friends and family in Houston. Then, after graduation, while my friends could only muster up the money for a drive to the shore, I was able to use miles and points to take my boyfriend at the time to Hawaii. After that, I was hooked. I didn’t have as much travel occur naturally after grad school, so I had to find ways to earn miles outside of flying.
I kept learning more about how to earn and leverage loyalty currency and eventually my husband got sick of hearing me talk about it all the time! He encouraged me to start a blog and that’s how MommyPoints.com was born in 2011. Since that time I’ve shared tons of tips and strategies that can help just about anyone earn miles they can redeem for a nearly free flight (you still pay tax on award flights) and hotel stay.
What kind of freebies do you talk about in your ebook in terms of traveling for free?
The books teach you how to use frequent flyer miles, hotel points, and bank points. The fact is, using loyalty currency can drastically reduce your costs on all sorts of travel-related expenses. Frequent flyer miles can be redeemed for nearly free flights. All you’ll pay for, in the case of a ticket to Orlando, is the tax (which is $5.60 per flight segment per person). Continue reading “Orlando for Nearly Free – find out how”
To make the days at Disneyland and California Adventure even MORE fun, I bought the book Disneyland’s Hidden Mickeys: a Field Guide to Disneyland Resort’s Best Kept Secrets (see Hidden Mickeys on a Disney Cruise here. See the rest of this Disneyland/California Adventure series here.)
Note that the book is a few years old so it’s a bit outdated (Cars Land isn’t in there and it covers the time before the renovation of Buena Vista street and the main entrance). We had fun reading through the scavenger hunt and additional clues to find the Hidden Mickeys. We found the scavenger hunt way too difficult and preferred to just read the hints and look for them (we would have missed everything otherwise!). There’s also a Hidden Mickeys book for Disney World.
Like in the book, I’ll separate these out between actual Hidden Mickeys and mere decorative Mickeys. Unfamiliar with a Hidden Mickey? It’s a representation of Mickey in a place you might not look for it or expect it. Y
Here are a few we saw at Disneyland and California Adventure:
Disney parks have the most awesome thing since all-inclusive tickets: the FastPass. While parks like Six Flags and Universal Studios charge for these “get to the front of the line” passes, everyone has access to FastPasses at Disney for no extra cost. Read on for using a FastPass at Disneyland. Disney World changed its FastPass system – you can read more about it here.
What are they?
A FastPass is a timed ticket to get you into a special, faster line during a one hour period. Otherwise you ride “standby” which is Disney lingo for “huge long line.” The FastPass line sometimes get you in immediately, but more likely you have to wait a few minutes (though we’ve never waited more than 15-20 minutes unless the ride was broken down). Continue reading “How to use a FastPass at Disney parks”
I did a lot of reading before heading to Disneyland and California Adventure (and even more for our Disney World trip). Some might say too much reading. But since it was going to be crowded (spring break) and I wanted to maximize our time there (and minimize lines), it was totally worthwhile. Here are some tips you likely won’t read in other Disney guides. This is part of a Disney/Disneyland series.
FYI – this is part of a Disneyland/California Adventure series. See the bottom for links to other posts in the series.
Being nice pays off
Twice, being nice to the Disney cast member during a problem (a ticket purchase snafu, and a ride breakdown) caused the cast member to give us an extra “readmission pass” Continue reading “Tips You Won’t Read Elsewhere – Adventures in Disney”