A look into Disney On Ice presents Frozen!

sisters Disney on Ice presents Frozen Amway Center

On Wednesday night, we had the opportunity to attend a media preview of the final rehearsal for Disney on Ice Presents Frozen, the day before the show went live here at the Amway Center before heading out on a tour of North America!

I was so excited to see this show, as I had thought about how cool Frozen would be if Disney On Ice featured it, ever since I saw Stars On Ice here at the Amway Center in April!

Olympic Skater Gracie Gold paid tribute to Queen Elsa when she performed one of her routines to Let It Go, dressed in a smaller tutu version of Elsa’s iconic blue dress!

gracie elsa Disney on Ice presents Frozen Amway Center

On our way in, we could purchase merchandise from the stands. There were not only programs available for $15, but there were items that I haven’t even noticed in any Disney Stores yet! Pull apart Olaf was very adorable, and they had many souvenir character cups, and plushes to buy! You could also get your photo taken with cardboard cut outs of Olaf, Elsa & Anna, and even have your face painted like them!

merch Disney on Ice presents Frozen Amway Centerfacepainting Disney on Ice presents Frozen Amway Center

The show started with some warm up acts getting us on our feet, my favorite part being when they guided everybody though a dance and told us thats how you “do the snowman”! It got everyone dancing and ready for the show!

Our hosts came out to greet us first, which of course, was Mickey and Minnie Mouse! They were dressed up in warm skiing style costumes, and I admit to being very jealous about Minnie’s pink Ugg style boots, very stylish!

They soon brought out other Disney characters including the Princesses and their Princes! Soon enough the whole stage was full of our beloved Disney Characters. What a way to kick off the night!

intro Disney on Ice presents Frozen Amway Center

We the story of Frozen started during the performance, and we got a glimpse into young sisters, Anna & Elsa, staying up playing, and of course building a snowman! Our first glimpse at Olaf!

True to the story, the scene ended with Anna being injured by her sister, so Elsa was told to “conceal, don’t feel” and hid away from Anna in her room.

snowman Disney on Ice presents Frozen Amway Center

We were then treated to Anna’s “For The First Time In Forever” scene, in which we first see her grown up and this is where we really see her shine! Her excitement is represented through her moves as she dances through the square looking forward to the Coronation, while Elsa looks on in the background forlornly.

first time Disney on Ice presents Frozen Amway Center

Our next scene was “Love Is An Open Door” where Anna meets Hans for the first time, I loved the huge clock they had in the background, and the fountain added a nice effect from the movie.

When the other dancers came out for the Coronation, the colors used on the ice were just stunning and added such a beautiful visual!

open door Disney on Ice presents Frozen Amway Center coronation Disney on Ice presents Frozen Amway Center

After the coronation we saw Anna & Hans excitedly ask for, now Queen, Elsa’s permission to marry each other. Which she replied with the now famous “You can’t marry a man you JUST met!”, which as we know, led to the argument between the sisters, and Elsa’s mounting emotions coming through triggering her magic, accidentally setting off an eternal winter upon Arendelle. The pyrotechnics used during this scene really added to the dramatics and emotions of the moment.

marry? Disney on Ice presents Frozen Amway Center

The next scene led to a lot of cheers as we got to see grown up Kristoff and Sven, who we saw briefly at the beginning as their younger selves collecting their ice together.

Here we see them meet Anna, who persuades them to help her find her sister. However Anna is soon offended by Kristoff’s comments about Hans, “You mean to tell me you got engaged to someone you just met that day…didn’t your parents ever warn you about strangers?”.

sven Disney on Ice presents Frozen Amway Center

It felt like the next scene was the one that everyone had been waiting for, Elsa’s moment of freedom from the restrictions that she has lived under all her life. It was time for Elsa to “Let It Go”.

The lights and snow flurries used in this scene just added to the magic as she made her ice castle. It was truly so beautiful to see her surrounded by ice!

let it go Disney on Ice presents Frozen Amway Center

We were then introduced to a real life Olaf! Which was played out so brilliantly as it went from a full size Olaf, to being tossed around by Anna and Kristoff in pieces!

olaf Disney on Ice presents Frozen Amway CenterThis then led to such a fun part of the show, Olaf performing his “In Summer” song, it was so fun watching the choreography to this part!Disney on Ice presents Frozen Amway Center In summer

I loved the next scene that showed when Anna, Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven finally reaching Elsa’s ice castle.  Anna & Elsa began dancing around the ice together, during the “For The First Time In Forever (Reprise)” part, as Anna begs Elsa to come back home and restore summer in Arendelle.

But as we know, Elsa’s surprise leads her to accidentally freeze Anna’s heart, and she is prompted to order “Marshmallow” to drive them away.

Marshmallow was represented so well in this, he was huge and rolled out onto the ice with huge presence!

ice castle Disney on Ice presents Frozen Amway Center marshmallow Disney on Ice presents Frozen Amway Center

After running away from Marshmallow, Kristoff takes Anna to  the Valley of the Living Rock, to meet his family, the Trolls. Where they mistake her for his girlfriend and “He’s A Bit Of A Fixer Upper” is performed, I loved it when all the trolls one by one linked arms and they rotated around Kristoff & Anna in the middle, it was so cute!

The scene ends with Anna being told that only an act of true love can save her from freezing and her untimely death.

So Kristoff takes Anna back to Arendelle so she may receive a kiss from Hans, her supposed true love!

trolls Disney on Ice presents Frozen Amway Center

Sadly this scene leads to use fining out Han’s true intentions, that he never loved Anna and was only using her to become the King of Arendelle!

But it did lead to a scene with a lot of cheers and “aw’s” when Olaf appears, lights a fire for Anna and speaks his famous line…”Some people are worth melting for!”. I think the whole stadium audience melted at this point too!

melting Disney on Ice presents Frozen Amway Center

Luckily, Elsa, who managed to escape her capture by Hans, tries to find Anna but is hunted down by Hans which leads Anna to leap to the rescue and put herself in between them, freezing to death before the sword hits her. As we all know, Anna’s sacrifice was an act of true love for her sister, and then she is soon revived.

true love Disney on Ice presents Frozen Amway Center

The last scenes in this show were my favorite, as not only do we see the party back at Arendelle once summer is restored, but ALL the characters from the beginning opening come back out to celebrate with the Frozen Characters!

I personally loved this part, as it felt like classic Disney, embracing and celebrating their most recent hit in Frozen!

finale Disney on Ice presents Frozen Amway Center

I certainly recommend seeing Disney on Ice presents Frozen to any Frozen fan, as it did not disappoint!

For a complete list of tour dates visit disneyonice.com.





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A peek at Four Seasons Resort Orlando


4 seasons Four Seasons Resort Orlando

This week we got to take a look at the all new Four Seasons Resort Orlando, at Walt Disney World! The resort doesn’t officially open until August 3rd, but everything is looking amazing and ready for opening day!

Four Seasons Resort Orlando

The Four Seasons Resort Orlando is located within the prestigious Golden Oak Community, you enter through the main gates, although separate gated entrances ensure privacy for the residents from resort guests.

The resort features a Tom-Fazio championship designed golf course, a world-class spa and an ‘explorer island’ for kids and families.

Four Seasons Resort Orlando



chandy by night

The first thing I noticed on entering the resort was the amazing chandelier you are greeted with by the stairs, it is supposed to represent fireworks, and as the day changes into night it only becomes even more stunning throwing dancing lights all around! Look closely over the balcony and you will spot a large hidden Mickey!

hidden mickey

We headed outside and found a reflections pond right outside which the ducks were currently enjoying! You can see lots of cabanas along the lake that guests can rent out and grill by the lake. One of my favorite areas was a seating area that had a fun water feature that was a rotating clear ball over a fountain, very mesmerizing!

reflections pond

water ball

The first pool you come along is an adult only pool, gated off with child proof locks. Its called The Oasis and features under water audio!

the oasis

The part we were most excited to go see was Explorer Island, that features a family pool, a Splash Zone, a Lazy River, and The Drop.

This whole area is pretty amazing. The Splash Zone features an interactive fountain among ruins, I specifically loved the curtains of water falling from the arches, and at night the fountains light up all different colors. It’s beautiful!

splash pad Four Seasons Resort Orlando

The Lazy River reminds me of something that you would find at the Atlantis Resort!

It’s an 11,008 sq ft lazy river, and even has canons by the splash pad that reach pretty far out.

Four Seasons Resort Orlando

So watch out fellow tubers passing by, those kids standing by watching you may have hidden intentions! Cant wait to see these in action!


Four Seasons Resort Orlando

The Drop is their 242 foot water slide that’s made of see through fibre glass so you can watch your fall alllllllll the way down!

Four Seasons Resort Orlando

If you take the stairs up, you can get to The Mansion, that features tables tennis, bocce ball, pool tables, a fireplace, additional seating areas, and an observation deck to check out all the fun below!

Four Seasons Resort Orlando


After seeing the sunset around the pool we headed back inside to eat. We decided to eat at Ravello, a modern Italian restaurant located on the ground floor, and is linked to their bar upstairs.


I loved the lay out and seating in here, but I thought the live action “show Kitchen” was fun as you can watch the chefs prepare your food.

show kitchen

Four Seasons Resort Orlando

They had a limited menu since the opening isn’t until August 3rd, but it still had some great items on and really gave us an idea of what was to come.


I decided to order the Gnocchi, featuring gorgonzola, parmigano, provolone AND fontina cheeses! So delicious, and they even accommodated me not having the toasting walnuts on top due to my allergy, and ensured they used separate equipment and utensils too.


They had quite a long wine list to go with the menu, offering all of them by the bottle or by the individual glass. We were very tempted by the dessert since they had tiramisu but we were too full from our mains, so we will have to just go back to try those. I did enquire about whether they would be offering a Disney Cast Member discount, but they weren’t sure yet, so if you go make sure you ask about it as they may start to offer one. We loved this restaurant and we will go back once it has opened officially.


I loved getting to see around the Four Seasons Resort Orlando! The Resort is very beautiful, and with florida resident rates, I may have to go back!

On the way out through Golden Oak I spotted a Little Mermaid figurine with Sebastian and Flounder, very cute, see if you can find her too!

ariel Four Seasons Resort Orlando




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California Grill- finally my first visit!

California Grill


I have been wanting to dine at California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort for so long now, and I am always asked if I would recommend it. Of course, from what I hear I absolutely recommend it, but I had never actually been there myself. So it was my wedding anniversary this month, and we decided it was the perfect reason to go to California Grill as we had heard it was a very romantic restaurant. Plus it has recently been re-imagined with a new design inspired by mid-century modern California, featuring a new seasonal ingredients menu. The sushi bar was also extended and now features a 12-course omakase menu.


We found out that the Wishes fireworks at Magic Kingdom were going off that night at 10pm, so we booked our meal for 9:40pm knowing that would give us time to sit, peruse the menu, order some drinks and possibly appetizers right by the time we should be thinking about going out on the balcony to watch them. One of the highlights of California Grill is the amazing view over Magic Kingdom to watch the fireworks.


So we checked in at the California Grill desk on the second floor in the Contemporary, and were told to take the elevator upstairs to the restaurant. Upon getting out of the elevator, there’s a secondary check in desk in front of a very impressive wine selection of 1,600 bottles housed in a climate controlled showcase. It has been reported that they have about 250 wine selections, 80 by the glass!


While you wait for your table to be ready, you are invited to sit in the lounge area, where tables are a first come first serve basis. Some people without reservations actually dine here as the entire California Grill menu is available to order from the lounge also. We had only just been given our menus when our buzzer was already going off, so the wait was very short. The nice thing about when they take you to your table is that they walk you by the open kitchen, so you can see all the chefs and what dishes they are coming up with. The person who seated us actually pointed some items out that we were looking at, which later on helped me decide on which dessert I was going to order!


We ended up being seated in a quieter room toward the side of the California Grill. I want to say she called it the Monorail Room, but as there was no view of the monorail I must have misheard her. From what I gather this used to be the old wine room, but it was very intimate as the ceiling is lower here, and there are only around 10 tables inside. The view was very relaxing as although you couldn’t see Magic Kingdom, you could see the lake and the electrical water pageant very well.


I was told the drinks are wonderful at California Grill, so of course we had to try them out. Our favorite was the Sake Martini recommended by a friend, it was so delicious! The Cucumber Fizz was my second favorite, but I don’t doubt that had I tried more, that they would have all quickly become my new favorites!

IMG_9625 IMG_9620

By this point they had announced that in 5 minutes Wishes fireworks were going to be starting, so they give you time to get outside on to the balcony to find your spot. Of course, you don’t have to go outside, if you remain inside California Grill they dim the lights and play the music inside the restaurant for you. As we couldn’t see them from our room, we decided to head outside for them. We got a great spot, and they have speakers out there playing the same songs and sound effects as the ones in the park.


Despite living close by, there’s nothing like watching them from high up, going off over Cinderella Castle! Feels quite romantic too if you tune out the rest of the people around you and just face forward. This was truly a highlight of the meal at California Grill, and I’m sure it looked and felt just as beautiful from inside the restaurant if you had a lovely view.


We got back to our table and the server brought out our appetizers immediately, they must have been holding them ready for when you return from the fireworks. For our starters, my husband had sushi which he loved as it was such a generous portion for an appetizer! I had the Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli, which was nice but I wasn’t expecting it to just be one piece, at least I wasn’t too full for my main course.

IMG_9586 IMG_9587

For our main course, Simon had the grilled pork tenderloin, and he said it was so delicious and cooked perfectly to his liking! I chose something that wasn’t on the California Grill menu, I chose to go with the Vegetarian Unplugged, a dish that is always different. Basically you never know what you are going to get, as the chefs pass a dish around the kitchen and they put a part of whatever vegetarian side dish they are creating at that time. So you end up with something different each time you go, they also do a Vegan Unplugged dish too with the same idea.

IMG_9591 IMG_9592

My server wasn’t quite sure what my items were but they were pretty easy to figure out. The only thing I didn’t like was the fact that there didn’t seem to be much to each plate, so it wasn’t very filling and had a lot of similar tastes, which was a shame as it had sounded so promising. Nevertheless, I enjoyed my dishes at California Grill.


I would say the best part of the meal at California Grill was the dessert! Simon ordered the Seasonal Tasting featuring Peach themed desserts, and I ordered the Sundae Sampler. My favorite being the Reverse Root Beer Float, which featured root beer ice cream with a little tiny cute glass bottle of vanilla soda to pour on top! Very cute!

IMG_9600 IMG_9601


Overall we did really enjoy our food at California Grill, but for me, as a vegetarian I wasn’t that impressed with the dish I had. I was also a bit disappointed no one acknowledged that we were on our anniversary despite letting them know at the podium and telling our server. I’m not sure if they just don’t do anything special here, but a simple “Happy Anniversary” would have been lovely. I might not be rushing back to dine here, but now I can recommend it to others and I will certainly encourage them to try the Sake Martini and Reverse Root Beer Float!




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Maleficent Review With Gail


Maleficent, from Walt Disney Pictures, is out in theaters now, and I got to see an early showing in 3D. While this review is relatively spoiler-free, but there are bits of pieces of plot here and there so be warned!


I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first thought about seeing Maleficent, and had toyed with the idea of watching Disney’s 1959 classic movie Sleeping Beauty again before I went to refresh my memory on the original story in order to appreciate this re-imagined screen play.

I am glad that I chose not to do that, because despite the comparisons this movie really stands by itself and flips whatever you expected of it.

Maleficent is the first 3D movie I have seen in the movie theater, and I’m glad it was as the effects were amazing and the scenes just beautiful!


When we first see Maleficent, she is a young girl, queen of the fairies (played by Isobelle Malloy & Ella Purnell) and despite animosity between their kingdom and the humans, she befriends a young boy who wanders into their land. Their love blossoms over the years, yet it was not meant to be. Soon his drive and passion to one day be King takes over, and their bond is broken.

Without giving away too many spoilers, the link between the animated Sleeping Beauty and this re-imagined story, cross over at the christening of the King and Queen’s daughter, Aurora. Yet here we are given a more plausible and heart wrenching reason as to what motivates Maleficent to curse Aurora in the first place.

It is at this point that Maleficent places that curse on Aurora, that on her 16th Birthday, she will prick her finger on a spindle and fall into a coma like sleep. The only thing that can awaken her is true love’s kiss.

The King, in fear of his daughter’s life, sends her off to a secret location in the woods to live with 3 flying pixies who are to raise her and bring her back to the kingdom one day after she turns 16 and no sooner. Maleficent, with her sidekick Diaval, a raven she saved from being killed earlier in the story that she changes from raven to human and other forms, find the house Aurora is hiding in and they begin watching from afar.


Eventually they end up meeting in the forest, and the moments between them as Aurora grows up, are some of my favorite parts of the movie. Aurora at 5 is actually played by Jolie’s daughter Vivienne Jolie-Pitt. The interactions between them are both beautiful, yet chilling, marred with the knowledge that Maleficent put this curse on Aurora years earlier.

The final part of the movie I will let readers experience first hand, as the twists and feelings of the scenes were visually and emotionally stunning. I wasn’t expecting quite the array of emotions that I experienced watching this movie, and I really feel like Angelina Jolie did a wonderful job as Maleficent! Jolie reportedly hand-selected Lana Del Ray to cover the original film’s song “Once Upon A Dream” (based on Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty Waltz).

There are some fight scenes within this movie and strong imagery within the characters of the story, so while I recommend parental advisory for young or sensitive viewers, I do think families will enjoy discussing the comparisons and differences between Maleficent and the animated Sleeping Beauty Classic.

Maleficent selfie

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Girl’s Day in St Cloud

st cloud


I love finding small towns to visit that have wonderful historic downtowns, with fun places to shop and eat. St Cloud is one of those places for me. It’s a bit further out from where I live, so I like to try a different place each time I visit, especially on girl’s day! So this time I went to a cafe based on my friend’s recommendation that she had been to before. Diane’s Tea Room is located on New York Avenue in the heart of downtown St Cloud.


In the front of the cafe is a gift shop featuring collectibles, decor and gifts that you can peruse while walking through to the cafe at the back.


If it’s not too busy you can chose where you would like to sit, and really with all the cute decorations they have, you can’t really pick a wrong table!


They do feature some specials for dinner, and for lunch they had a good variety and had some vegetarian options too.


I decided to go with the homemade quiche that came with fruit and a choice of side. The quiche was brie and broccoli and it was so fresh and delicious I actually wanted more! I loved the presentation of the food, especially the chocolate covered strawberry! The plates used gave a warm homey touch to all the food.



They feature some delicious flavored iced teas, and their hot tea was very tasty too, which again, was presented very nicely in your personal tea pot and cup with a saucer.


For dessert we had to try the scones as they make them fresh and I was told they are so soft and melt in your mouth! The other desserts featured that day sounded great too, but the scones just sounded too tempting, especially when I saw they come served with fresh made Devonshire cream! Delicious!


I am already looking forward to the next time I visit Diane’s in St Cloud, as there were many other items I would love to try! I also loved how when you go to the bathroom, you walk through the back of the restaurant and into the foyer of the Hunter Arms Hotel. It had such cool decor, and I read afterwards that its known to be haunted, by a ghost named Vivian?! So if you’re into that kind of thing then maybe this is somewhere for you to visit! I just thought it looked like a cool historic hotel lobby!


After we ate, we walked around the antique stores and gift shops, and they have some lovely stores there that I always end up spending money at!


At the moment, the downtown area of St Cloud is under refurbishment, as they are removing the asphalt on the roads to expose the original historic bricks underneath! I didn’t even know you could DO that, but I’m sure its going to look beautiful once its finished! At the time of writing this I’m not sure how far they have gotten, hopefully they may have even completed it by now! I can’t wait to see what it looks like!


If you would like to visit Diane’s Tea Room, it is located on 1023 New York Ave in St Cloud, and you can also friend them on Facebook to look for their weekly specials.

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Top Ten Tips for attending Food Truck Nights!

YumYum food truck


If you have never eaten from a local Food Truck before, specifically one in Orlando, then you are missing out! There are many amazing gourmet trucks to be found, from BBQ, to Sushi, to burgers, to dessert trucks, there are many options for you to try! The best way to be able to try a range of all they offer is to attend a food truck night. A lot of local communities have organized monthly food truck events now, or there are food truck bazaars that travel around major locations around central Florida bringing a huge selection of trucks to your local Malls or Downtown areas.

Sweet City Gelato

Sweet City Gelato

My husband and I love to go round to the food truck events, so I thought for those of you who haven’t done that before, that I would compile a list of tips for attending a food truck night. I could think of many, but I will keep it to just 10 so it can hopefully help start you off, in descending order…

Tip Number 10:

Look up ahead of time where your nearest Food Truck event will be. A quick search online will lead you to many sites that will list where they are and when.

Tip Number 9:

Come Hungry! Sounds silly but you will find so many dishes you will want to try, from all different trucks, so bring your hunger and prepare to be amazed at what you will find.


Melissa's Chicken & Waffles

Melissa’s Chicken & Waffles

Tip Number 8:

Bring chairs and/or tables. This is something you may not think would be useful, but these events can take place among lake sides, parking lots, downtown areas, and many do not have any seats available. Bringing chairs, or even blankets, mean you can hang out more and relax while you try your selections. This is especially helpful if you have children or elderly friends or family members who would prefer the comfort of a chair and table.

Tip Number 7:

Bring friends or family! If you come in groups, it means everyone can maximize their options as you can split dishes and get to try things that normally you wouldn’t get to if you were only choosing one item.




Korean BBQ Box Korean BBQ Box Truck

Korean BBQ Taco Box

Tip Number 6:

Bring an umbrella in the car or in your bag with you. Many food truck nights take place during the summer months in which we have our torrential downpours in the afternoons/early evenings. Most of these nights the trucks continue come rain or shine, so don’t let the rain put you off!

Tip Number 5:

Bring cash or cards. The majority of the trucks accept cash and credit cards now, so no need to stop at the ATM if you don’t have cash, just bring a major credit card and you’ll be good to go! Many will even email the receipt directly to you, and you can even add gratuity to these also.

Kona Dog

Kona Dog

Tip Number 4:

Don’t stop at the first truck you see, its true that you will most likely find options at every truck you like the sound of, but walk around all the trucks first and see what they have. You will be surprised how many options there are, and for many diets too!

Tip Number 3:

Do you own a dog? Bring them with you! Not only may your dog love to socialize with the others there, but there are sometimes dog specialty food trucks also, featuring organic treats and refreshments for your best friend!

Fork In The Road

Fork In The Road

Tip Number 2:

Arrive early to avoid lines! Many food truck nights can get very busy, especially ones close to downtown areas where people can walk by on their way home from work. Getting there at the beginning of the night is always best if you can, the later it gets the longer the lines get, and since most of the items are cooked fresh for you, there may be a long wait if you arrive later on.

Tip Number 1:

Social media! Many, if not all, of the food trucks use social media to get the word out about not only which locations they will be in, but also what new menu items they will feature and any special offers going on. Its also a great way to keep in touch with your favorite truck, or to ask any questions ahead of time. They tend to monitor them closely so don’t expect a long wait to hear back from them, whether its Twitter, Facebook or emailing, they will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. If you look at the trucks, many will have decals and wraps stating how to contact them online.


Lakeside at Berkshire Park

Now all that is left for you to do is start looking up where your local food truck event is. Whether it’s in Orlando, Chicago or L.A, there are many out there to find, you will not be disappointed! Good luck and remember….arrive hungry!





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Girls day at The Barn Antiques, Lake Alfred

antique Rooster Table


Last week for girls day we decided to go visit The Barn Antiques, which is located in Lake Alfred toward Lakeland, and was established back in 1969. Not only is there a huge antique showroom, but also a large showroom of new gifts, some from local artists, but there is also a garden center and cafe!


The Stable


My friend told me about this place a while back, and how a lot of their antique items are from England, she has some great items from here around her home. So we thought we would make a day out of it and go for lunch and a shop around their antique showrooms.


We decided to meet early for lunch at 11:30am as she had mentioned it can get quite busy around the midday time. The cafe is called “The Back Porch” and has a lot of seating both indoors and outside in their porch area facing their gardens. Upon entering you pick up a paper menu with a post it note at the top, then take your seat where you would like to sit. There are pencils in jars on the tables, so you jot down your table number on the post it note at the top, then check the items you would like to order. The menu has so many options, and you are able to mix and match between these. We all chose “the Country Picnic”, which included a soup, sandwich, salad and dessert for only $7.84! There were even a couple of vegetarian options, and the soups were also vegetarian friendly.



For the drinks you could chose from their different freshly brewed ice teas, hot teas, coffees and lemonade. I decided to go for the spiced raspberry iced tea, which included free refills so that worked for me. When they bring the food out, they bring it in little picnic boxes, which I thought was such a lovely presentation style, so different! The food was delicious, and the little desserts were very cute and tasty, I opted for an English trifle, which didn’t include jello so was great for this vegetarian!



After lunch we headed into the antique showrooms. The gift part was a lot of fun as they had such an array of items to purchase! From candles, to jewelry, clothes, light fixtures and kitchen ware, they had it all! Some parts were presented in themes which made it easy to show around and look at your favorite things.



Next we headed into the antiques part, and It looked smaller inside, until i realized it just kept going and going! A lot of their pieces are from England and Europe dating from the 19th and 20th century! They get shipments quite regularly, so no one visit is the same, so it’s good to keep coming back and seeing what else they get in.


They even have a stained glass window section toward the back, which made me wish I had somewhere to put one as I saw some beautiful pieces!


Stained glass

We then made our way out to the “Backyard Shop” located in the garden. Here you could find so many whimsical garden ornaments and decor, from solar powered fairies to gnome homes and mailbox covers! Some parts of the store are designed around the oak trees themselves so you almost feel like you are shopping in the forest or inside a huge tree house!


We pretty much stayed the whole day at The Barn as there was so much to do. It was so relaxing and fun that I am already planning my next trip there! It’s only about a 45 minute drive from the Orlando area, so well worth the trip for some fun and unique antique finds! Their opening times are always seasonal, but this season they are open Tuesday through Saturday from 10-4pm, be sure to check them out soon for some great antiques!



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Stars On Ice at the Amway Center

stars on ice
Stars On Ice


Last week we had the opportunity to go see this years Stars On Ice at the Amway Center in Orlando. They just kicked off their nationwide 2014 tour and this year feature 2014 Olympic Gold Medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White as the headliners of every show! The couple took the first ever GOLD in ice dancing for the United States and will perform in every city in the 20 city tour across America, along with their bronze medal winning team mates from the inaugural Olympic figure skating team event. Fans of Meryl and Charlie can also watch them on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars on Monday evenings.


This is the first time ever that the Olympic figure skating team will headline the annual nationwide tour! Alongside our Gold medalists will be two-time US Champion Ashley Wagner, 2014 US Champion Gracie Gold, four-time and reigning US Champion Jeremy Abbott, 2014 US Silver medalist Jason Brown, and two-time reigning US bronze medal pair champions Marissa Castelli & Simon Shnapir. The tour also features two-time US dance silver medalists Madison Chock and Evan Bates, 2011 US Champion Ryan Bradley, and 2010 Olympian and 2014 US Bronze medalist Mirai Nagasu.

As the show began to start we found out that this show was actually being filmed and was going to be shown Sunday the 13th at 3pm on NBC, and therefore, was being hosted by Stars On Ice founder Scott Hamilton.

strike a pose


What I enjoyed most about the show was the music chosen for the routines! They ranged from very beautiful slow songs like Lana Del Rey’s “Young And Beautiful”, to Pharell’s “Happy” and Imagine Dragons “Demons”.


One of my favorite ones, and most surprising was Jason Brown’s routine to Mc Hammer’s “You Can’t Touch This”, it got everyone dancing and was really quite unexpected.

I also really enjoyed when the boys came out and had such a fun break dancing routine, their actual skates were designed to look like Converse sneakers to really look like true B-Boys!




After the intermission things were slowed down a little when the girls came out with a ballet number set to a boychoir singing Radiohead’s “Creep”, the colors and movements during this piece were so beautiful, it was visually stunning!




The couples routines were absolutely amazing, but I have to admit i got a bit hot and stressed out during some of them! Some of the moves were just stunning but absolutely nerve wracking too!

wow! amazing


I have to say, my favorite part of Stars On Ice was when Gracie Gold paid tribute to the Disney movie Frozen and performed to Idina Menzel’s “Let It Go”. Her outfit was gorgeous and certainly fit for a Queen, she looked just like Queen Elsa in ice blue sequins and a small skirt! It was a beautiful scene, and very popular with the audience here in Orlando!


Let It Go


At the end of the show, as it was being taped for National Television, they had the stars re-do a couple of their routines that just didn’t come out right on the tape, or had a slight error in them. So this was quite fun as it meant we got to watch some extra scenes and enjoy them all over again!


This show was so fun to watch live, I did manage to catch the taping they showed on TV, but it was just highlights so as not to spoil the show for people planning to go and see it live. I have to say, even though I couldn’t see their faces up close at the live show, I much preferred seeing it live as opposed to on TV. If the Stars On Ice tour is coming to a town near you, don’t hesitate to grab those tickets and go see the show, you wont regret it!



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Best Damn Race Orlando 2014

Best Damn Race Orlando

Earlier this month, March 1st, myself and fellow On The Go’er Betsy participated in the Best Damn Race Orlando 2014. I was interested in doing another 5K race and was looking for my next challenge, when a coworker mentioned this race to me. I had not heard of it before, but when she informed me that it featured free food, beer and massages at the end….well, it would have been rude for me not to attend really!

Best Damn Race Orlando

The way you sign up for this race is different to ones I had done or heard of in the past, it worked on more of a first come first serve basis, with the prices being tiered. The first 10 people to sign up only paid $1, the first 20 $5, the first 30 $10, and so on. I signed up with the first 500 people so ended up paying $25, a great deal for what you were promised at the end! You could sign up for the 5K, the 10K or the half marathon, all taking place on the same day but at different start times.

Best Damn Race Orlando

The race for the 5K was to start at 9am. Parking was pretty easy to find downtown, as the race started at Lake Eola and went through Downtown Orlando.

Once we arrived we signed in and picked up our shirts, unfortunately ours had already ran out, and as we had paid for them in our ticket we thought that was very odd. I have since contacted them and been told that they should be able to mail me the shirts, which would be nice as we were quite disappointed we didn’t have them as a memory.

Best Damn Race Orlando

Once we had our bibs we headed over to the start. Since we were walking most of it we decided to start half way back so we didn’t get in the way of any of the runners. After singing the national anthem we were all set to go. The course was very beautiful, as it was downtown they were a lot of bricked roads we walked over, my favorite part was going by the historic homes along the route, so pretty!

Best Damn Race Orlando

Every now and then our paths crossed with the people finishing the 10K and the Half marathon, I was looking on at them going by hoping that will be me one day!

At each mile they handed out water and gatorade which featured members of the Autism Society Of Greater Orlando, so we were encouraged to be as animated as possible and show our gratitude to these volunteers as we went by and accepted the refreshments.

Best Damn Race Orlando

It was great to see members of the public out supporting the runners along the route too, encouraging us on and letting us know that it wasn’t far now!

Best Damn Race Orlando

The last part of the route brought you back to Lake Eola for a photo finish!

Best Damn Race Orlando

The medal we received was very cool as it featured a bottle opener in the middle!

Best Damn Race Orlando

Once we had our medals we headed over to the buffet, there wasn’t much left so we decided to instead head to the beer tent! They ID’d you on the way in, and gave you a bracelet, then you could go get your beer. It looked like it was Michelob Ultra, either way it was very tasty and very refreshing, even if it was only 10 in the morning, it was 5 o’clock somewhere I’m sure!

Best Damn Race Orlando

After our beer we headed over to check out some of the sponsors stalls, my husband testing out a Therapuetix machine that massaged your muscles and promises to even heal sciatic pain!

Best Damn Race Orlando

We wanted to go take advantage of the free massages but there was only a few tables, and when we enquired about it, the wait was at 45 minutes, which I’m sure others didn’t mind waiting, but we didn’t want to hang around that long.


For the price the Best Damn Race Orlando was a great deal, especially with the free beer at the end, plus it was a lovely route through some really scenic neighborhoods. I will be looking out for when they come back next year for sure!

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Girl’s Day – Mount Dora Garden Gate Tea Room!

When I want to go and experience a quaint, relaxing and comfortable girls day lunch, a tea room always seems to be top choice. We are lucky to live in an area where we have many to chose from, specializing in many different foods and or themes. One of my most favorite places to go for this experience is the Garden Gate Tea Room in Mount Dora.



If you haven’t visited Mount Dora before, firstly you need to, and secondly its a wonderful little lake front historic town! Its famous for its festivals, arts, dining and especially its antique stores. They often have art fairs and festivals, there’s always something to do when visiting.

IMG_6266 Garden Gate Tea Room

There are so many restaurants I love here, but the Garden Gate Tea Room is always my most favorite!

Nestled in the heart of historic Mount Dora, The Garden Gate Tea Room is such a wonderful establishment, I end up spending the majority of my birthdays and celebrations here. They have a wide range of different teas, and despite my British heritage I actually find myself favoring their iced tea! My favorite is their Southern Belle peach iced tea, which comes served with the sugar around the rim of the glass, its so refreshing! I love their menu, as being a vegetarian I love that they have a delicious vegetarian option, the asparagus sandwich melt, and sometimes the quiche of the day. I feel neither are rushed just to simply accommodate vegetarians last minute, they are wonderful options.



One of their most popular dishes is their “famous Herb-crusted Rosemary Baked Chicken Pie”, everyone I go with who orders this cannot believe how it just melts in your mouth. It’s so popular they do end up selling out some days, but don’t fret as, really, any of their options are just wonderful.

They also offer “Afternoon Tea”, which does require at least a 24hr reservation in advance, and costs $17.95 per person. I can tell you it was worth every penny!  I let them know in advance one of us was vegetarian so they ensured that I had a starter in place of the salmon souffle salad normally served first.


After this you are presented with a three-tiered tray of chef’s assorted sandwiches (again vegetarian ones are made by request).


Next are the desserts, my favorite! This featured a selection of chocolate covered strawberries, lemon curd cookies, fruit and their home made Cream Puff Swans filled with Chantilly Cream, so good!!!


No afternoon tea is complete without  fresh home made scones! Theirs are served with clotted cream and jam. There is much debate on the appropriate way to layer ones scone, from what I have been told it is proper to spread the jam first, then apply the cream going around the scone in a circle. But hey, who are we to judge how to eat your scone, as long as it tastes delicious thats all that matters!

My favorite feature of this tea room is the simply stunning, shabby chic inspired decor. From the light blue paint, to the antique artifacts placed around the cafe, you feel so cosy and comfortable there. You wont be able to stop looking around at all the antique mirrors, lamps and twinkling lights.


For those with a sense of style, one may also select a hat from their collection to wear during tea! I like to try them on after my lunch and take silly selfies in the mirror, but thats just me!


Silly Selfies
Silly Selfies

The ladies who work there encourage you to take your time and take as many pictures as you’d like, and will happily take any groups pictures for you. Make sure you go down the stairs and look into their larger seating area too, its simply stunning. You can also get a glimpse into their garden from there, which is available for private functions.


If you have not been already I strongly suggest you take the time to visit this wonderful cafe, it does close at 2/3pm, so ensure you come early or book in advance.


After lunch, you can walk off your food and browse the many stores they have here, or drive a mile or so down the road to the lake and miniature lighthouse for a peaceful relaxing afternoon.


Mount Dora Lightouse
Mount Dora Lighthouse

You can visit www.thegardengatetearoom.com for more information or how to book your visit ahead of time, and also take the time to look at www.mountdora.com for ideas on how to make the most of your visit.




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Florida Day Trips – St Augustine

Living in Central Florida there is always something to do, or somewhere to go, it’s one of the many reason I love living here! Having said that, I do like to venture out a little bit, and the wonderful thing about Florida is that you don’t have to go very far to feel like you’re in another world. Whether its Miami, Naples, or Clearwater, or if you’re looking for scenery, culture, or shops there is so much to see and each place is unique in it’s own way.

St Augustine
St Augustine


There are some great Florida Day Trips, and my favorite place to visit to is St Augustine. The city is the oldest continuously occupied European established settlement and port in the Continental US, with a founding date of 1565. If you have a passion for history and or architecture, then this city is for you! Aside from that, it also has some wonderful stores, carriage rides, restaurants, and we can’t forget the famous ghost tours!

St Augustine  Clock

Speaking of Ghost Tours a few years ago i did one of the guided ghost tours, and one of the points of interest were the city gates. Legend has it that a ghost of a little girl (Elizabeth) who died due to yellow fever can be seen waving to passerbys. Others just capture orbs within their photos of the gates at night. While on the tour I was the only one who caught orbs by the gates, many of them in fact, so everyone wanted to look at my photo.


gate orb St Augustine
gate orb

I recently went back to St Augustine on a day trip and took another photo of the gates, this time in the day light. I didn’t notice at first, but on closer inspection I noticed that I captured an orb this time too by the gates. It was during the day light, yet its as bright as it were night, right by the gate. Whatever your beliefs are, it is a strange coincidence to get orbs in the same place, this time with my iPhone, and in day time.


St Augustine


The only other place I captured one that day was by the Old School house, which is the oldest wooden school house in the US. It was just as bright as the one I captured by the city gates!


school house St Augustine
school house
St Augustine  Old School House
Old School House


If you get the chance you should pay a visit to the St Augustine Lighthouse and museum out on Anastasia Island. Built in 1874 and standing at 165ft , the 360 degree views from the top are amazing! Some come back at nighttime for the haunted tour, but I have yet to be brave enough to do this!

Lighthouse St Augustine
Views St Augustine


The shops here vary quite a bit from gift stores, unique jewelry stores, health shops, and clothing. We especially loved our visit to the Arcade of Professional Artisans and Craftsman!


Arcade St Augustine

One of my favorite places to go for lunch is the Spanish Bakery right there on St George Street. Not only do they bake the best fresh bread, but they sell Empanadas, sausage rolls, soup, cookies, and a lot of carry out options. I like to buy 3 loaves of bread, one to eat when i get home and 2 to freeze. Although, the bread is so tasty they normally don’t even make it to the freezer!

St Augustine

If you haven’t been over Christmas time to St Augustine i highly recommend it, they have light shows, trolley rides, and the decor is just stunning all over!



We normally end up visiting the beach on the way home, as its pretty quiet and very pretty. Its also not far from the center of town.

I feel like there is something for everyone in St Augustine, and I haven’t even mentioned Castillo De San Marcos, Ripley’s Believe it or not, or the premium outlets! With so much to do in St Augustine, you could come back each week and still find things you haven’t done or seen before!

the mill St Augustine
the mill


Im already planning my next visit back, maybe it will involve another ghost tour this time since I haven’t done that in a while.

Have you had the chance to visit St Augustine?  If so, what were some of your favorite things to do or see when there?

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Classic Albums Live meet up at Hard Rock Orlando!

Hard Rock Cafe
Hard Rock Cafe

Friday night we had the opportunity to attend another great meet up at Hard Rock Orlando, hosted by Hard Rock Cafe Orlando. On The Go In MCO readers may remember the last one we attended that featured Classic Albums Live singing Queen’s “A Night At The Opera”. Well tonight’s event was Classic Albums Live singing The Beatles “Abbey Road” album.

Once we had signed in downstairs we were taken up to the balcony just off The Lennon Room, which personally is my favorite place here as the view of City Walk is so wonderful up there, especially at night!



Up on the balcony they had a buffet featuring an array of foods to try, chicken, spring rolls, burgers, and my husband’s favorite burger that night was the one with fried mac & cheese!

The Buffet


There was another table to the side packed full of different cheeses, fruit, and sushi, which I think I definitely had my share of cheese that night!



Once we got our food we then headed inside the Lennon Room to the bar, as they had kindly provided 2 drinks vouchers per person to get beer or wine alongside our meal.


Lennon Room


The Lennon Room is full of artifacts and memorabilia including the couch that he used to compose some of his songs on!




Close up
Close up

I couldn’t help but notice the huge cupcake display by the tea and coffee facilities inside, and thought it would be rude not to try them really, so I had the chocolate cupcake. It tasted just as good as it looked, and had I not filled up on all the food earlier I might have tried the other one too which looked like some sort of caramel, coffee, popcorn yumminess!




We toured the Lennon Room a little after eating, and then it was time to get the elevator down to the Hard Rock Live to watch Classic Albums Live, singing The Beatles Abbey Road album.


Classic Albums Live
Classic Albums Live

One of the first songs they did was my favorite from that album “Come Together”, and since we were in the standing section, everyone was dancing and cheering them on!

The band
The band

If you haven’t already seen this band perform you can look up their tour dates and see where they will be coming next by visiting http://classicalbumslive.com/

They perform different albums from bands such as The Beatles, Queen, Pink Floyd, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, and many more.

Once again we had such a wonderful night at Hard Rock Orlando, they host the best meet ups, and if you haven’t had chance already go pay a visit to Hard Rock Cafe, for not only some of the best food in town, but the best service also. Thank you Hard Rock Cafe Orlando, until next time!

Hard Rock Cafe
Hard Rock Cafe




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Putting Edge Glow In The Dark Golf

Glow golf

We recently had the chance to visit Putting Edge, which is an indoor glow in the dark Mini Golf place here in Orlando. I have walked past it before, and always been curious so when we saw that they had a Groupon for it, we thought it was time that we paid it a visit. Putting Edge is located inside of Festival Bay Mall, which is in the middle of being re-imagined into a more popular outlet mall design. So there is plenty of parking available as at the moment there is only the movie theatre at this side, a book store and the mini golf.

Putting Edge

The Groupon we purchased was just $10 for 2 to play, which was half price off regular admission. On entering you get to select your color golf ball and they give you a glow bracelet to wear that corresponds to the color ball you chose.



You are given a score card, and then an extra card that was so you could participate in the fun trivia found at each hole. You could then compare your answers at the end to see how many you got correct. It was fun as it was all winter based and Christmas themed!




It doesn’t take too long for your eyes to adjust, the colors are so vibrant and vivid it feels like everything is in 3D! Every now and then you get a hole that suggests you take the fun challenge, which consisted in tasks that made the course harder or just silly. For instance, one of them suggested that you hit the ball backwards the whole way, another you couldn’t step on the floor to take the shots, only the props! Sounds silly at first, but you do really get in to it, makes it so fun!


We went on a Thursday night so it wasn’t very busy which meant we were able to take our time and take lots of fun pictures along the course!




Each hole had a different theme, so each time you walked around the corner it was fun to see what fun decorations and illusions they had! I really loved the shark and pirate themed one!



Unlike outdoor mini golf, this indoor one played music throughout and you were even able to write down song requests so you could play to your favorite songs, which we thought was a fun idea!


Loch Ness



We also noticed they have a party room too that was all glow in the dark too, and this could be rented out for private functions and birthday parties etc.


glow frog


We really had fun at this mini golf and it doesn’t take too long to get round the 18 holes so its fun night out for families or friends. The Groupon made it an even better deal and it didn’t expire until the end of January 2014, certainly worth a visit for something unique and local!


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A first timer’s look into Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Castle

Friday was the kick off night for the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! I had always read about this night, and always wanted to go but each year put it off thinking it was maybe just for kids. Well last month we were lucky enough to go to the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, and you really didnt need kids to enjoy that one, you just may need to BE a big kid! Which was perfect for me! So we figured now was the best time to go to the Christmas Party and see what that one was all about!

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Snow on Main Street

As soon as you get your wristband and enter the park, it strikes you how they go all out for Christmas, the decor was just incredible. It might only be November on the calander but in my heart it was already late December! The lights, the wreathes, the music, the smells, everything screams holidays as soon as you enter into the park! I was very excited to see that on Main Street it was even snowing, in Florida, snowing! it was perfect and really got me into the Christmas Spirit!

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party hotchoc

The first place we headed was to the free Hot Chocolate and Cookies, you can look these up on the park map and also look out for the giant inflatable candy cane that shows you where they are being served. The hot chocolate place we first went to was by the Pirates Of The Caribbean ride, and was extremely hot. Luckily this made me remove the lid and I noticed marshmallows on the top, which I wish they had stated on the signs as being a vegetarian I cannot eat these. Fortunately everyone else in our party could, so after that I just made sure I requested mine without.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party jingle

Next we headed over to the Jungle Cruise, which, for the first time ever, had been converted into the Jingle Cruise featuring a holiday overlay. The ride was all Christmas themed from the names on the boats to the decorations on the props and the jokes told by the skippers. During the ride there are not many changes to the actual scenes, so guests who have not ridden the Jungle Cruise before would still be able to enjoy this classic ride with only a few Christmas themed jokes thrown in.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party minnie

By this time we thought we should try get a space for Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade, as it was a sold out night so we knew it was going to be busy. We ended up not really finding a great place to stand, but luckily we could still see over people enough to enjoy all the floats. It was really fun seeing all the characters in holiday attire, but my favorite part in the whole parade was without a doubt the toy soldiers…

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party toysoldiers

I just loved their little routines, their attire and they seemed to have so much personality and flair! Plus you knew once you saw them that Santa was going to be next as he is featured on the last float.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party santa

Once the parade ended we walked over to the Hub to get in place for the Celebrate The Magic show on Cinderella’s Castle, which I had seen some of this before but I had never stood in the middle for it with such a fantastic view before!

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party waltcastle

The show was everything it promised to be..magical! I loved every moment of it, from Tinkerbell flying out, to Walt’s face right there on the castle, the effects were just so beautiful!

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party gingercastle

The Christmas part at the end was really cool to see, my favorite part was this photo above, where they made the castle look like a giant gingerbread castle! It looked so real!

After the show we decided to stay in the same spot as it would be a great place for the fireworks! I am lucky enough to see the fireworks every day from home, but I rarely get to see them from right on front of the castle like this, its truly a wonderful experience.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party castlewow

I loved how they mixed the fireworks together with the Celebrate The Magic projections too, especially when it made it look like the fireworks were being set off right in front of the castle, when really it was behind!

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party castleworks

A great tip if you want to feel part of the show, is if you purchase the new Glow With The Show ears, the ears actually light up in synch with the fireworks and castle show, as can be seen in this photo above! You simply turn them on and they all coordinate, so it really adds another element to the show to enjoy as you get to participate with it.


Once we had enjoyed the fireworks we were all pretty tired so we decided on a loop around on the TTA and another stop for hot chocolate and cookies. I came home pretty exhausted but it was very worth it, this was my first time doing this party and it sure won’t be my last!

Tickets are on sale now and do require separate admission to get in. It is running already on select nights up until December 20th, but start looking now as they do tend to sell out some nights.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party popcorn

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A Petrified Forest – Do you dare go?

Petrified Forest


So for people looking for somewhere different and a bit more off the beaten path to do for Halloween, you might want to consider visiting A Petrified Forest – Musuem of Mayhem in Altamonte Springs. The main attraction is a haunted trail, where you are literally walking through a forest with scare actors hiding along the way! There is even a real cornfield along it! Some areas feature elaborate scenes, some are just in nature. The fact that you are walking through a forest, tripping on tree limbs and rocks, feeling branches and leaves on your head and arms, all play to heighten your senses. You know you are in a real forest so instead of the typical haunted house, you feel exposed and vulnerable. Some parts of A Petrified Forest were so dark you start imagining people there!

Museum of Mayhem

There is one scene where they use fog and lasers to create a misty lake where the actors hide underneath and jump out as if from no where, it was such an amazing effect and one I’ve not seen used before! You have one more night to go and experience A Petrified Forest this way, or for the really brave there are two special nights to go. November 1st and 2nd are known as Total Eclipse Nights! Basically on these nights, your group is given ONE glow stick per group, and the whole forest is plunged into complete darkness! They tell you that if a monster should steal your glowstick, another one will NOT be provided! I had a hard time enough seeing through this forest WITH the lights, but with no lights?! This would be the creepiest experience ever, and I’m not sure I’m brave enough to do it. Not this year anyway!

Eye See You

If you have never been to A Petrified Forest, I urge you to try it. It was very scary and the forest element really made everything so much creepier!


They also feature laser tag, which we tried out, it was more silly and funny than anything, and not something I’d do again but it was 10 minutes of giggles and laughter!

laser world

Another feature is their laser maze, where you have to dodge the lasers to collect artifacts from different rooms for prizes. We didn’t try this one as it didn’t look as fun, but people seemed to be enjoying it.


They had a live band on stage throughout the night, and food and drinks available for purchase. On the whole it was quite a fun night at A Petrified Forest, and I’m so glad we went as it’s something I had never experienced before. I am very very curious about the Total Eclipse night, the actors can even touch you then too, If anyone goes please report back, as we are not brave enough this year!

lazer tag

You can buy your tickets online before the event, or you can pay cash only when you get there.

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