Pick Six: Halloween Spooktacular at SeaWorld Orlando

Halloween Spooktacular

A highlight of the Halloween Party season in Orlando for our family is Halloween Spooktacular at SeaWorld Orlando!

Halloween Spooktacular events at SeaWorld Orlando take place weekends in October on the 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, and 26-27 from 12 to 8 pm, and Trick-or-Treat stations, special characters, Penelope’s Party Zone, and more are all included with your admission! There are also special Halloween Spooktacular themed cookie decorating, merchandise, and games which are available at a very reasonable extra charge.

While the party is filled with great activities, characters, candy, and fun here are our favorite highlights of Halloween Spooktacular at SeaWorld Orlando!

Pick Six:

Halloween Spooktacular Orlando Highlights

1. Decorations

Halloween Spooktacular

I absolutely adore how SeaWorld Orlando is transformed for Halloween Spooktacular! You’ll find fishy looking pumpkins, tons of bubbles, colorful banners, and scenes that really transport you to a Halloween ‘Fantasea’! Zoe especially loves the bubbles everywhere!!!

2. Characters

Halloween Spooktacular

When you think of SeaWorld you may not think of meeting characters,  but you should! This year Pirate Shamu and friends are meeting and dancing with guests at Penelope’s Party Zone in Bayside Stadium. This is a HUGE improvement from last year’s meet and greet location, because the characters really know how to boogie and really who doesn’t want to dance with Shamu???

3. Free Activities

Halloween Spooktacular

Since Halloween Spooktacular at SeaWorld Orlando is during the day and centered around family fun, there are really great free activities for kids of all ages! For the younger guests at Halloween Spooktacular, there are coloring easels with stools and play areas. And for the older guests, there are pumpkin foam crafts to make and iPads with big screens set up to play the SeaWorld Turtle Trek game! These activities are all found in Penelope’s Party Zone, and I will warn parents that you will spend a lot of your Halloween Spooktacular time here!

4. Cookie Decorating

Halloween Spooktacular

Every year there is a special treat to decorate, and this year’s cookie decorating doesn’t disappoint! On the upper walkway of Bayside Stadium you will find the cookie decorating tents where you can purchase a cookie decorating kit for $5.50, which includes a cookie, icing, decorating sprinkles & candies, and your choice of water, apple juice, and milk. What I especially love about this area is that it is a place where you and your children can sit away from the party to grab a snack and let them unwind for a spell. If you are a SeaWorld Orlando Annual Passholder, you will receive a discount on the cookie decorating kit!

5. Animal Interactions

Halloween Spooktacular

Zoe ALWAYS loves the animal interactions that she finds when we visit SeaWorld Orlando, and she loves them even more when she can take a picture with them in her Halloween costume! The day we attended Halloween Spooktacular, Zoe met a Tawny Frogmouth, who was super soft and sweet!

6. Trick-or-Treating

Halloween Spooktacular

I left our favorite highlight for last…Trick-or-Treating! At Halloween Spooktacular Trick-or-Treating is no joke! You can enter the Underwater Fantasea Path near Shamu Stadium or at the path near the Dolphin Nursery, and the path takes you through the center of all the Halloween Spooktacular fun with 12 Trick-or-Treating spots. The lines are clearly marked which keeps things really organized, and the type of candy being distributed is clearly displayed so you can see if you want to stop or if you need to start thinking of a candy trade to make! You also don’t have to worry about bringing a bag for your treats, because they have high quality paper bags and maps at both entrances to the path!

When you do go to Halloween Spooktacular at SeaWorld Orlando, make sure that you follow SeaWorld on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for great details and information! If you are sharing pictures also make sure to tag your pictures with #SeaWorldSpooktacular, because SeaWorld wants to hear from you and they are even holding contests for attendees!

I hope that you enjoyed our Pick Six for Halloween Spooktacular at SeaWorld Orlando, and I’d love to hear what you love the best about this family-friendly and fun filled Halloween event!

 

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RunDisney Costumes

You’ve signed up for a Run Disney race, trained physically and prepared mentally. You have the perfect running shoes and you’ve picked out your race day running clothes, a basic running shirt and shorts. Ok, so it’s practical, it will be sufficient for running, but you could have so much more fun. What about wearing a running costume?

RunDisney Costume
Tower of Terror Birthday Shirts

Costumes for Disney races are becoming increasingly popular and creative. The easiest and most popular thing to wear is a tutu. Runners wear everything from a simple one color tutu to a detailed specific character inspired creation. It’s a fun way for anyone, of any age, shape and size to add a little kick to their running attire. There are Minnie’s, Tinkerbell’s, Pirates and lots of Princesses, especially for the upcoming Walt Disney World Princess Half Marathon. And RunDisney Costumes are not just for the ladies!

RunDisney Race

Wondering where to start to design your costume? Start with a good moisture-wicking running shirt in the color of the character you are trying to emulate. For example, to dress as Rapunzel, I purchased a lavender running shirt and attached pink ribbons to give the laced up corset effect. I also added tulle and ribbons to the sleeves. I made a lavender and pink tulle tutu and decorated it with ribbon, rhinestones, and flower accents. Top it off with a sparkling tiara and it’s an easy princess look.

Tutu’s are great for running because they are practically feather weight and can be worn over any running skirt or shorts. Tutu’s aren’t the only option when it comes to running costumes but an important thing to consider is materials and fabrics. It’s always a good idea to do a practice run in your costume before race day to be sure it’s comfortable and doesn’t inhibit your ability to run properl

RunDisney Costume

Run Disney does have a few guidelines when it comes to costumes so be sure to follow their specifications. A really fun thing to do is to run in costume with a group. This is an especially popular idea for the upcoming inaugural 10k in Disneyland this summer. The race is rumored to be themed to Alice in Wonderland so lots of participants are planning groups of Alice, the Mad Hatter, the Red Queen and the Cheshire Cat.

Go look in your closet or visit your craft store for inspiration and supplies to make a unique running costume. If you aren’t crafty, let someone design and create it for you. Be creative, have fun and let your imagination run free!

Beth has taken her passion for RunDisney Costumes, and she’s built a business

around it with Beth’s Bowtique!

She makes all sorts of bows & tutus, and she posts her creations on Twitter all the time!

RunDisney Costume

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Storybook Circus Update

Storybook Circus

The other day, I was so excited to see some of the new elements in the Storybook Circus area of the New Fantasyland expansion in the Magic Kingdom. I had not looked at any pictures, so I had no preconceived notions and hadn’t really done any research about the Big Top Souvenirs, Pete’s Silly Sideshow and the new open seating and food areas. Like the other sections of New Fantasyland that have been revealed so far, my expectations have been far exceeded.

Storybook Circus Characters

I only had a short time to explore, but I thoroughly enjoyed everything I saw. First, we explored the gift shop/snack location that is Big Top Souvenirs. This space is amazingly detailed and the Imagineers really did a great job bringing you into the whole circus theme. As you enter, you are greeted by Cast Members in circus costumes, welcoming you to play fun games like bean bag toss to knock over cans and juggling scarves. Awesome new merchandise themed around Storybook Circus as a whole and more specifically Dumbo, as well as general parks merchandise, are featured at the front of the shop.

Big Top Souvenirs
Big Top Treats
Juggling scarves
Toothpick holders
Carpet detail

The carpet is beautiful going from grass, to wooden planks, to the canvas of the circus tent. Circling the walls inside you find train cars from Casey Jr. themed after different animals like Tigers, Bears, Giraffes, Hippos, Hyenas, and even Penguins (where you can find the chilled bottle drinks). Above you, high up in the big top, you see rope ladders and trapezes. Not a detail was spared in the creation of this new shopping and snacking spot.

Caramel Corn and Haloween Cupcakes

Food offerings are similar to what you can find on Main Street in the Bakery and Confectionery and focus on baked goods like cookies, cupcakes and caramel apples. You can also find specialty items like Caramel Corn Cupcakes, Caramel Corn and other circus themed treats. One of my favorite frozen drinks, glaciers, are available in blue raspberry, strawberry and lemonade. Many of these items can be used as snack credits if you are participating in the Disney Dining Plan. In additional to these fresh baked items and drinks, you can find your typical offerings of Minnie’s Bake Shop prepackaged goods and Goofy’s Candy Company sweets.

Fulfilling yet another meet and greet area, Pete’s Silly Sideshow, plays host to the opportunity to meet Daisy, Minnie, Donald and Goofy in their alter egos as circus performers. There are some great nods in this area to classic characters like Pete and to films like Melody Time. It is a different setup here with a large tent open with four queues coming out of the middle and the meet and greet areas in the four quadrants of the circular tent.

Pete’s Silly Sideshow exterior
Pete’s meet and greet
Daisy and Minnie meet and greet area
Astounding Donaldo

Adjacent to the two tents is another tent that is open on one side and acts as a mini guest relations location. Cast Members are on hand to answer guest questions, Fastpass machines for Dumbo and Barnstormer are now located here, and there is lots of seating with fans blowing down on the benches and seats to keep guests cool. This area was so neat with a great map of Storybook Circus, water fountains, height measurements for the rides in Storybook Circus, and while we were there it seemed really quiet. I can imagine sneaking away to relax in this tent on an evening to take respite from the crowds in other areas of the park.

Tent waiting area
Outdoor seating area
Pretzel cart
Hot dog cart

Just between these three areas are some food carts with snacks like popcorn, churros, hot dogs, chips and drinks. Lots of tables and chairs circle this section of Storybook Circus, offering plenty of places to rest and relax while grabbing a quick bite between attractions. I love the brightly colors of the tables, and they even remind me of the Pixar ball.

All in all, I am so excited for the rest of New Fantasyland after seeing Storybook Circus. The attention to detail is beautiful and really plays into the circus theme very well. I look forward to what is in store with the rest of the work that is being done in this new section of the park. Have you seen the Storybook Circus’ newest additions yet? What are you most looking forward to seeing in person?

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Exploring Camp Minnie-Mickey

An often overlooked are of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Camp Minnie-Mickey.  I personally visit it almost every time I visit the park, if for no other reason than to see The Festival of the Lion King.  I highly recommend taking some time during your next trip to visit this area.

Camp Minnie-Mickey is designed to look like a summer camp in the Adirondack Mountains.  When it is filled with park guests, it feels like it is the first day of the summer camp when all of the parents drop the campers off.  It is full of activity from the Character Greeting Trails and the other character meet and greets and Gi-Tar Dan to the always popular Festival of the Lion King.

When you leave Discovery Island and head into Camp Minnie-Mickey you begin encounter bridges and building that have a very rustic feel.  The railings for all of the bridges and the signs are all made of carved wood.  You see a special waterfall that looks like the water is coming out of a dragon’s mouth.  This may be a remnant of the rumored Beastly Kingdom.  As you proceed along the trail, you encounter Daisy with Huey, Duey, and Louie who are out on a nature hike.  You also find Mickey, Donald, Goofy and Pluto relaxing by the river and fishing.

Festival of the Lion King is inside a large (air conditioned!) theater in the round.  The theater is supposed to resemble a camp hall.  I think that if a bon fire was set in the middle of the theater, everyone would be ready to roast some s’mores.  I could probably write a whole post about the show.  The show is a live show with singers, dancers, gymnasts and even a flame twirler.  It includes live music from The Lion King and even some audience participation.

The Character Greeting areas remind me of picnic pavillions with each area being covered. The only thing they’re missing is the picnic table. During the holidays, the trails are each decorated by the respective characters and they’re decorated with a personalized Christmas tree.

You also have common areas of the camp.  You will usually see Thumper and Ms. Bunny hanging out near the exit from the Festival of the Lion.  Wandering around, like a senior camper is Gi-Tar Dan.  If you get a chance to, take a few minutes and talk to him.  He may make up a song just about you!

If you have visited Camp Minnie-Mickey let me know what you think about it.  I’ll be happy to share pictures of your favorite features in a future post!

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Just off of Discovery Island at Disney’s Animal Kingdom you’ll find that Camp Minnie Mickey is overflowing with character specific Christmas Trees!!!

It was soooo much fun going from tree to tree taking in all the details each had to offer!!!

Have fun spotting who and what is represented in each Christmas Tree!!!!

** WARNING: I went a little picture crazy in this post!!! I was having too much fun!!!! **

 

 

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Party at the Polynesian!

A few weeks ago, we were invited to our first birthday party at Walt Disney World.

I have to be honest, that when I read the invitation and it said that the party would be at the Never Land Club at the Polynesian I freaked out a bit. I mean who has birthday party at Walt Disney World? But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense!

The birtday party lasted for two hours, and there was never a shortage of things to do!!! During the party, the kids had free reign over the club where they could play dress-up, play Wii or Playstation, color, and could even play in the nursery from Peter Pan.

Here is the sign showing that Never Land Club would be closed.

The party was also “hosted” by two cast members who greeted and directed party guests, led activities and crafts, served the food, and did all the general party duties.

During the party Mickey and Minnie hung out with the kids, and Zoe had a ton of fun coloring with Mickey.

Included in the cost of the party in the basic package ($34 per child with a minimum of 10 children) is Use of the Never Land Club for two hours, Lunch (Two slices of pizza per child), Drinks (Juice Boxes), Birthday cake, Goody Bags, Decorations, A cast member led activity/craft, Disney video (shown during lunch), and Disney video games. If you want to kick your party up a notch, you can upgrade to the Premium level ($69 per child, with a minimum of 10 children). At the Premium Level you get everything in the basic package plus a visit from a character for one hour (broken into two 30 minute sets). If you would like extra characters, it is an additional $400.

There are six party themes with characters available to visit during each one…

  • Luau – Lilo, Stitch, Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, and Goofy
  • Mickey/Minnie – Mickey and Minnie
  • Pirate  – Captain Hook, Smee, Peter Pan, Wendy, Mickey, and Minnie
  • Princess – Cinderella, Belle, Jasmine, Aurora, Snow White, and Mulan
  • Sports – Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, and Goofy
  • Tinker Bell – Tinker Bell, Mickey, and Minnie

Birthday Parties can be booked a few weeks in advance by calling (407) WDW-BDAY.

I have to say that this was an AMAZING experience that we will all remember for quite some time!!! 

I hope you enjoy the pictures!!!

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