Wednesday, May 30, 2012
The parks in Orlando have many years of professional experience, studies, engineering, and safety measures designed to keep everyone safe. They post rules for those with disabilities, physical or health conditions, height limitations, or pregnant mothers. Often, people ignore the rules and increase their possibilities of getting injured. Please follow the rules. They are there for good reasons. The fact is some rides are not good for you or your kids. They may be too fast, to rough, or not made for small kids. Kids who are too small for a ride will be turned away and if there is any question, there are always measuring poles at the ride entrances.
Although most parents want to anyway, you should ride with your kids every chance you get. Keep them toward the middle of the ride or at least away from latches or straps where they could inadvertently unlock something. Talk to them before boarding. Parents know that kids get excited and will throw caution to the wind so it's good to remind them this is more than a regular playground!
Also, the rides aren't the only hazards. Play places at the parks are safety marvels but a fall is still a fall. Another thing to watch out for is kids getting squashed when walking with a big crowd especially in the summer when the population swells and everybody is taking up every inch of walking space.
Be aware of wheelchairs, strollers, and hoverounds. The theme parks are handicapped friendly and there are many motorized carts so watch out for people backing or trying to maneuver in tight spaces.
Unfortunately, where there are lots of vacationers, there can also be predators. Keep an eye on your kids at all times and don't let kids watch kids. My kids are teenagers and I just now feel comfortable letting them go to another ride without me. They have to stay together and keep in touch with me by cell phone. We establish where and when we meet again and don't let them be away from you for too long. If they get lost or someone makes them uncomfortable teach them to go immediately to an employee who is dressed in uniform. Of course, all the parks have security officers and they are the preferred choice but they cover large areas and aren't always readily accessible.
Above all, don't go into restricted areas, unlighted areas, or places that are unpopulated, especially when returning to off-site hotels or restaurants.
Parents already know these things. I mention them because we think about having good times and can let our guard down. There are people who know this about vacationers and will take advantage of it. We need our visitors in Florida and take their safety seriously so use caution and have a great summer.
Monday, May 21, 2012
Thursday, May 17, 2012
First, when you book any 4 nights you get the 5th one free. Not bad. Also, you can book with hotels on the Eat Free All Day Deal. This one offers all day dining at participating park restaurants valued at $29.99 each. Then there is the package where you book with one of the hotels and get a free ticket to Aquatica, the Sea World Water park, for each participant.
Visit www.SeaWorldParks.com for more information. There are a number of great sites where you can book vacation deals so shop around but these are all good. Remember to visit reputable, well-traveled sites. There are scams out there so be careful. Another note is that on this site as well as the others you can roll airline tickets into your deal so have fun and look around.
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Dinner isn't a disappointment either. At our table we everything from lamb shank, burgers, and chicken, all prepared by the menu and direction of Master Chef Kevin Dundon. We sat for hours and listened to the music. I also met one of the managers, Steven Dulaney, originally from Dundalk. He was a fine guy and it was nice to have him take the time. The photo below is a shot of our appetizer - bangers. It's one of my family's favorites and we almost always have it when we go.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
You can enjoy authentic French food such as flat baked bread with cream fraiche, onion and bacon. Dinner specialties such as roasted duck (my recommendation) or broiled salmon are exotic but the menu is varied. Naturally, the choice of fine French wines is a must all served by a gracious wait staff - all French.
I always recommend reservations because nobody wants to walk around all day and stand waiting to be seated. Call 1-407-WDW-DINE (939-3463), or make reservations at guest relations when you first enter the park. You will enjoy this experience. The only thing they don't have is character dining here but everything else is spot on. I give the place a "A" for quality, service, cleanliness, and cuisine. Needless to say, a little pricey but all the restaurants at Disney are a little on the high end so if it's too much check out some of the more reasonable venues. Enjoy.
Saturday, May 5, 2012
The Grand Floridian doesn't come cheap. Room rates range from $460 a night (2 queen beds) to $1660 a night (Victorian Suite). There are several bars and nightly entertainment. It also has loads of activities for the kids like swimming, beaches, pirate adventures, arcade, character dining, and more.
We've only stayed there once in it's 20+ year history. It's pricey for a family of four but quite worth it to say you've done it once. I an say it will take your breath away. It's that beautiful.
Thursday, May 3, 2012
The idea was featured on local news but didn't give a lot of information. The reporter who floated the story emphasized that it is an organizational tool for travelers (got that) but didn't really detail how it works. He did say that it's been tested at the parks and appears to work so we'll see. As soon as I learn more I'll post an addendum to this one. Thanks for hanging on.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Also, the all new "Despicable Me Minion Mayhem" ride, which will replace the old Jimmy Neutron ride. This will be a virtual ride through the movie that the kids should love since it was such a blockbuster movie. Looking forward to this one!