A Day at SeaWorld, Orlando – All the Rides, Rollercoasters, Feeding a Sea Lion, the Dolphin Nursery, Animal Experiences and More!

During my recent visit to Florida, I was so excited to have the chance to visit SeaWorld Orlando – someplace I had never been before!  

I am a huge lover of animals – especially ones in the ocean – dolphins, turtles and having the chance to see killer whales has always been something I’ve wanted to do. Being able to see these animals and more up close + personal was a real treat for me – something I found SeaWorld does a wonderful job at!

Here’s a video I put together sharing our day. I left out the Dolphin Days + One World Killer Whale Shows as I am going to put that together in a separate video. Stay tuned for that, but check out our Day at SeaWorld video and let me know what you think! 

Side Note: Make sure you watch it in HD! 

Before I get into our day at SeaWorld Orlando in this blog post, I must let you know that I HAVE seen The Cove and Blackfish. Both movies have left a very lasting impression on me, in regards to animals in captivity.

If you haven’t seen either movie yet, be sure to add it to your movie list. Both are something everyone should watch.

I am going to discuss my opinion on the park, the movies and more in a separate post. Today is all about our visit!

My mom and I were both excited to explore SeaWorld together and see what it had in store for us. 

And Bonus, everything SeaWorld was all decked out for the holiday season. So that was nice to be able to see the decorations and enjoy some of the festive events. 

Our first animal encounter of the day – a Flamingo Parade walking right down the park! That was cool to be able to see such beautiful animals up close and personal. 

After the parade, we made our way to enjoy some rollercoasters! We got to the park right at opening and had the place to ourselves. I was able to walk right on two of the more popular coasters – Mako and Kraken Unleashed. Both were super fun and a treat for me as I don’t usually get to ride things like this when we are at parks with the kids. 

Check out the video to see the coasters in action!

After that we made our way over towards SeaWorld Rescue to see the Manatee Rehabilitation area. This five acre Rescue Center is used for rehabilitating wildlife that has been ill, injured or orphaned – including manatees, sea turtles, birds and other marine animals.

We also got to see Turtle Trek, which is a 3D movie inside a 360* theatre that showcases the vulnerable sea turtles and asks everyday heroes across the globe to help make a difference in saving animals in the wild.

It was a beautifully done film. And seeing the creatures that need a little extra help, like this turtle missing a flipper, was nice to see and learn about. 

Next it was time for another ride – this time I went on the Journey to Atlantis water ride. Check out the video to see the drop in action!

Then we made our way over to Antartica to go on the Empire of the Penguin ride. Here we were turned into a baby penguin, learning to walk + explore the Antarctic wonder. 

This ride was cool because you become the penguin in the experience and then the ride opens up to see all the live penguins at SeaWorld. 

This little guy was my favorite. 

After that we made our way over to Pacific Point Preserve to see the Sea Lions and Harbor Seals. 

Hands down one of my favorite parts of the day was getting to feed these animals, all by myself. The fish were gross, but the experience was so cool. 

Sea Lion Selfie. 

This one was my favorite because when I was feeding him and asked him to say “Please” he gave me a flipper wave! Multiple times! 

Check out the video to see it in action, but I’m basically a Sea Lion Trainer now. 

Boom. 

Feeding the seals & sea lions was super cool. 

But THE BEST part of my day – was the Dolphin nursery. 

Here I got to get SUPER CLOSE to these insanely beautiful + smart creatures. I took TONS of photos and videos from this part of the park. I could have stayed here for HOURS. 

Hours and Hours and HOURS. 

It was unbelievable to be able to be so close and to interact with these dolphins. They were very aware of the people watching them and interacted back with us. 

This one wanted to be in a picture with me! I think she saw her reflection in my flipped iPhone and wanted to check herself out. 

It was amazing.

And she smiled. 

I think I took about 300 pictures in the dolphin nursery. And we did stay in this one spot over an hour, just watching these amazing creatures. 

They are so incredibly special.

I feel a little more in love with dolphins on this trip. This part of our visit to the park is one of my most special memories of the day. It won’t soon be forgotten. 

Ok – back to the rest of the park! There is more to SeaWorld than dolphins – even though there doesn’t need to be because they are just THAT good. 

I was SO IMPRESSED with all the rides, shows and animal experiences. The rides were awesome because they were geared towards ‘bigger kids’ so older siblings and teenagers will love all the thrills and coasters. And Sesame Street is bringing a whole new section of SeaWorld in 2019, so that’s something the younger kids will love too. 

We did most of the rides, saw all three of the main shows – dolphins, sea lions + killer whales  {more on all those later} and enjoyed most, if not all of the animal encounters. There were so many aquariums and viewing areas for everyone to enjoy each in different neighborhoods of the park. 

The park itself is MASSIVE – as it should be when it is home to so many animals. You need to plan accordingly when walking from one side of the park to the next – especially if you are aiming to see a particular show. But the walk around the park is beautiful and SO CLEAN. 

I was seriously impressed. 

We had an absolute blast – watch my video to see all the animals up close and personal and to get an idea of what the park is really like. 

There was way to many photos and videos of everything we saw and did to share in one post. And thanks for sticking around this one to the end – I know it was a long one! 

Stay tuned later this week for round 2 of our visit! And a HUGE thank you to my friends at SeaWorld for having us! 

Now I’d love to know –

Have you ever been to SeaWorld? Which location? What did you think?! Please share!

A Holiday Weekend in Atlantic City – The Water Club at The Borgata, Izakaya + Immersion Spa

This weekend the husband and I enjoyed a little pre-Christmas treat!

His work threw at holiday party on Friday night at The Water Club in The Borgata hotel – and since we had the grandparents standing by for babysitting, we decided to make a weekend out of it!

I’m always the kinda gal where I would love to go somewhere, see or do something special, than get a present. And two peaceful night sleeps away from my two favorite little monsters – that’s the gift that keeps on giving!

//  dress {on sale!} / heels / Bowie Fringe Earrings / Personalized Clutch

I was so excited for this party because it was the perfect excuse to get a new dress! {Insert salsa dancer emoji here!} I wanted something conservative {because, work function} but with a little sparkle and flare {because, holiday party in AC!} and this little number fit the bill. Bonus was that when I went to buy it, it was on sale!

Winning.

I shared a bit of the part on my Instagram, but it was super cool. There were dancers, food from all the amazing Borgata restaurants and the party itself was over The Water Club pool. You looked down from the main stage area and you were over the pool. So crazy!

A little look at some of the sushi spread, from Izakaya and Double Knot {in Philadelphia}. The lights were pretty dark {as is the norm in most casino settings} so it was hard to get too many photos – but all the food was delicious. Most items came with cute little mini drink pairings too! It was a lovely holiday party and I’m so glad we were able to be a part of it!

Some other trips we’ve gone on together with my husbands work:

// Atlantis, Bahamas / Walt Disney World {with Brooks at 3 months old!} – for a blast from the past, check out those posts!

After all the holiday fun, Saturday was made to rest and relax. This was my third visit to The Borgata {and The Water Club} in the past year. We were here in March, celebrating Charles’ birthday – and then again in July, for Britney Spears! So I knew that during our weekend visit I HAD to visit the Immersion Spa in the Water Club.

I always end up having the hot tub and steam room to myself, it’s fabulous. This time I treated myself to The Borgata Buster – which is a half Swedish/ half Deep Tissue.

It was pretty magical.

Then we got ready for night #2 out – we started off with drinks at Angeline by Michael Symon. I had the GRONICELLO NEGRONI –  lemony riff on Italy’s most famous cocktail: The Negroni. Strong but a nice balance between bitter grapefruit and sweet lemon.

Watershed Four Peel Gin, Limoncello, Campari, Cinzano Rosso.

Delicious. Obviously.

// clutch 

Then we made our way over to our dinner reservation spot – Izakaya. When we were here in March I put up a IG poll to go to Izakaya or Bobby Flay. Steaks won that time, but this visit I was pumped for the husband to experience Izakaya. We had just had a bunch of their sushi on Friday night at the holiday party, but its such an amazing restaurant to sit down and enjoy. We did the chefs tasting menu and it was out of this world.

Sushi, Soup Dumplings, Spicy Tuna Crackers, Mahi Mahi Tacos, BBQ Short Ribs Robatayaki and so much more. Like the amazing S’mores dessert tart. AH! Such a fabulous meal as always. This was my second time here for dinner and it will not be my last!

It was a chill, relaxing and super fun two nights away. I think it’s super important for a couple to sneak away from the kiddos and have some adult time every now and then – plus its so good for the kids to be without the parents too! A great weekend away for sure – I hope we can come back again in the Spring!

Fingers Crossed!

// top / 2 in 1 earrings / jeans /  clutch / heels

What’s your favorite place to sneak away with your significant other?!

Please share – I’d love to hear it!

A Day at Toy Story Land – Toy Story Mania, Alien Swirling Saucers + {almost} Slinky Dog Dash

Ok, now for the Grand Finale of our Disney extravaganza – Toy Story Land!

We started off our trip Around the World Showcase Epcot followed by a morning in Animal Kingdom {and Pandora!} all of which was amazing, but I was here to check out the brand spankin’ new Toy Story Land.

Because, let’s be honest – Buzz and Woody are THE BEST. 

Toy Story Land just opened a few months ago, so that makes it bright, shiny and new to the Hollywood Studios park in Disney World. That also made it the perfect ending to our Disney trip. I was SO EXCITED to get there – and apparently so was everyone else, because it was filled with people!

But that’s cool because I enjoy being among my fellow Toy Story lovin’ friends.

First up – Toy Story Mania!

This ride isn’t new to this park, but they did re-work the main entrance into the ride – so now you can only get on it inside Toy Story Land, which makes sense as it’s a Toy Story Ride! Along with the new entrance there is lots more decor from Andy’s Room – in true Disney fashion, it’s wonderfully done.

Thankfully I was able to score Fast Passes for this ride, so we were able to walk right on and blast our way through this 4D carnival themed arcade ride.

Toy Story Mania is always a family favorite. Highly recommend.

Next up – Alien Swirling Saucers! This is one of the two new rides inside Toy Story Land – and I couldn’t believe it when a magical Fast Pass came my way! The ride for this one was LOOOOONG – but we were able to walk right on {#bless!} and it was SO.MUCH.FUN. My mom and I were giggling and laughing the whole time.

And I have to say, I’m not a fan of things that twirl around and around {makes me sick} but this was so well done that you don’t feel that sense of motion sickness.

Check out my IG Highlights to join my mom and I on this ride to see for yourself!

Love these little aliens.

I wasn’t able to ride Slinky Dog Dash, sadly. The wait was too long and at this point in the day, I didn’t have it in me to stand in line. But it looked amazing and it’s cool because it just gives me another reason {even though I don’t need one!} to come back – it will be fun to ride it for the first time with the boys!

It was amazing to finally be able to walk around Toy Story Land – I feel like we had been waiting forever for it to open, but it was totally worth the wait. Beautiful, playful, fun – everything you’d expect Toy Story Land to be.

Bonus: Got to hang out with Buzz, all decked out for Christmas.

And we got to see some of the other fun Holiday decor!

Side Note: Check out my amazing popcorn bucket holiday alien – totally got this, ate all the popcorn and brought it home as a little popcorn/cookie jar for the kids this holiday season.

They love it and I do too!

After spending ALL our time in Toy Story Land – we walked around the rest of Hollywood Studios and spent some time in the Star Wars section – because I’ve got two little Jedi lovin’ boys at home. We were able to catch the March of the First Order on our way out.

Storm Troopers are the best, wouldn’t you agree?

 Thanks so much to the amazing folks at Disney for having us! As you can see, we had a blast and I’m already excited for our next visit to the most magical place on earth! Next time, the kids get to come, but as you can see – you don’t need to have kids with you to have an absolute blast in Walt Disney World!

My mom and I enjoyed two, quick, magical and amazing days in Disney. The perfect little treat for my us to enjoy a few days away together, Disney side – but our Florida fun wasn’t over yet.

Stay tuned to see where we headed next!

Encouraging Creativity & Imaginative Play with PLAYMOBIL – Hidden Temple with T-Rex #PlayWithPlaymobil

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PlayWithPlaymobil #CollectiveBias

Finding the right toys for the right age for kids can be a challenge. And finding toys that will last and grow with them, to challenge them, to really engage them can be even harder. This Holiday season, I’m excited to throw it back to one of MY favorite toys as a kid to share with my boys 30 something years later.

How crazy is that?!

Enter PLAYMOBIL.

PLAYMOBIL toys are a family classic, my brother and I had a BUNCH of them when we were kids – most of which my parents actually saved. Now that Brooks is old enough, it’s crazy {and fun} to bust out the ‘old school’ PLAYMOBIL toys with him when we visit their house.

Fun Fact: Those ‘retro’ PLAYMOBIL toys are in perfect condition. These things LAST.

Aside from getting to have some fun with the PLAYMOBIL toys at my parents, Brooks must have been on the SUPER DUPER nice list with Santa this year, because he dropped off a brand spankin’ new Hidden Temple with T-Rex PLAYMOBIL just for my little man as a little pre-Christmas treat.

Brooks was more than excited and up for the challenge to work on this set together.

Before I get into all that is awesome with this set – I’m excited to share that now they are now NEW to Walmart – how awesome is it to be able to find quality toys at a convenient retailer with a great price.

Interested in buying this set?

Hover over the photo to click through to Walmart to shop!

This Christmas we are focusing on creative, imaginative and learning toys for the boys. Last year we went a little overboard on a bunch of different sets of toys {each with a million tiny pieces} and most of which they have long been forgotten about.

This year we are focusing on what will last, what will stand the test of time and what will encourage creativity and imaginative play. Something I know is so important for my soon to be 5 year old little guy.

PLAYMOBIL toys focus on imagination, fun, incredible detail, endless possibilities, and each piece is high quality. Just like I remember from when I was a kid.

My favorite parts of the Hidden Temple are the details in the design and thoughtfulness of it – Like the secret map – Simply rub the map to reveal a hidden path where X marks the spot!

How cool is that? Talk about using your imagination!

And Brooks’ favorite part – The T-Rex – has movable arms, legs, and jaw allow for realistic motion and make him one intimidating dino – If you have a Dino lovin’ little in your house, you MUST check out this PLAYMOBIL set for the holidays.

Side Note: Our T-Rex LOVES to attack! 

The functioning pulley is great to bring needed equipment + supplies {or to just hide from the T-Rex!} up to the top floor. But another highlight is the included UV flashlight, which reveals cool glow-in-the dark features, such as with the ruins crystal eyes, jungle plant, and more! All amazing parts of this set to help develop both cognitive and social/emotional skills. And the large set with multiple explorers make this a great set to play with multiple friends! Wins all around.

The thing that I like most about this set, and PLAYMOBIL in general is that their toys brings you imaginative play sets focused around iconic figures from a variety of worlds, both realistic and fantastical (Explorers + modern day dinosaurs). Each and every piece I’ve ever played with has had nothing but super high-quality and has strong attention to detail.

Thanks so much to our friends at PLAYMOBIL for this little treat. Brooks has been loving every minute with it and we hope Santa might add another set or two under the Christmas tree this year!

Now I’d love to hear from you – Are you a PLAYMOBIL lover to? What’s your favorite set?

AND

Do you have any tips to encourage creative + imaginative play? Please share!

If you are interested in learning more about PLAYMOBIL and all the fun ways to play, be sure to check out the #PlayWithPLAYMOBIL Social Hub!



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