8 Things to Do in Orlando for $20 or Less

Millions, yes millions, of people head to Orlando each year to visit a mouse, to experience some Harry Potter and to see an orca jump high in the air. These millions of people spend thousands of dollars for a week long visit to the major theme parks in the area.

Did you know there are also lots of things to do in the Orlando area that are much less expensive? 

Fun for $20 or Less

Andretti Indoor Karting & Games: Featuring multi-level indoor karting on International Drive, this venue also has bowling, a ropes course, laser tag, games, gourmet food, two bars and more. Adult races are $19.95 with membership ($21.95 for non-members), and other activities are well under $20.

 Ripley’s Believe It or Not!: Interactive exhibits and artifacts can be found at this International Drive attraction that celebrates oddities from around the world. Admission is $19.99 for adults and $12.99 for children 3-11 when purchased from Visit Orlando, with kids under 3 free.

 Crayola Experience: Located at The Florida Mall, this two-story, 70,000-square-foot family attraction provides a full day of creative, colorful fun with 26 hands-on activities, including drip art and a color playground. When purchased from Visit Orlando, tickets are just $18.95 each. You can also find some discounts on tickets HERE.

 I-Drive NASCAR: On International Drive, race state-of-the-art karts at this indoor attraction, which also boasts an arcade, bowling, pool tables, and a full bar and restaurant. When purchased online, races are $18.99 for adults and $16.99 for children under 16, who must be at least 55 inches tall, and a discounted combo package is available from Visit Orlando. Discount tickets are available HERE

 Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens: See more than 500 animals, including rare and endangered species, as well as 23 acres of gardens in Sanford, about 25 minutes from downtown Orlando. Admission is $19.50 for adults, $15.95 for seniors, $13.75 for children ages 3-12, and free for kids under 3.

 Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour: The waterfront mansions you’ll see cost considerably more than the narrated tour itself, which is $13.15 for adults and $6.57 for children ages 2-11 when purchased from Visit Orlando. You’ll also witness the waterways and natural scenery of this charming city about 25 minutes from downtown Orlando. Discount tickets are available HERE.

 Orlando Museum of Art: Besides showcasing local, national and international works of art, the museum has two discovery centers for children. Admission for adults is $15, $8 for seniors, and $5 for ages 4-17. Kids under 3 are free, as are active and retired military personnel.

 Bronze Kingdom African Art Gallery: With more than 2,000 pieces, this gallery at Orlando Fashion Square Mall near downtown Orlando features the largest collection of rare African bronze sculptures in the world, plus beaded and wood sculptures. General admission is $5, and guided tours are available at a cost of $12 for adults, $9 for seniors, and $7 for children under 12 and students with proper ID.

There is also a long list of things to do in the area that are free and you can find some HERE




Get Ready to Return to Arendelle – The Frozen 2 Trailer

I sat on this trailer for a day before attempting to put my thoughts here. I watched it over and over again and continued to find the trailer dark and grim. Not at all what I expected.

To be honest, I don’t know what I expected but I do know I didn’t expect Frozen 2 to be grim. Over time I think we have all come to think of Frozen as a happy story hugely because we know the ending and love the songs.

This initial trailer is not at all what was expected, but we all know that trailers can sometimes be deceiving, and we’ll certainly see more trailers with different tones and focal areas of the film before November.

This initial trailer feels a wee bit dark to me. It’s a wordless collection of scenes of the characters striving at various unclear tasks. 

And then there are the new characters! Who are they? How will they be brought into the film? The new girl looks a lot like Anna – is she a young Anna in a bit of a flashback? 

We have been told that Frozen 2 will again be a musical with original songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez returning to write the songs.

Officially we have also been told that Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf are going far into the forest to know the truth about an ancient mystery of their kingdom.

The end of the trailer does show our favorite characters walking together and staring out over beautiful scenery and seems to imply they’re going someplace. 

Disney will certainly share more trailers as the release date gets closer, along with an official synopsis that will answer many of our questions. In the meantime, what are your thoughts on this first trailer?

 

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Frozen 2 opens in U.S. theaters on November 22, 2019.

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Tips for Visiting Epcot with a Toddler

Many people assume Epcot is just for adults. However, nothing is further from the truth.

My kids always loved Epcot when they were young. There is so much to look at and take in, the kids can sit back in their stroller and have a more relaxing day.

There are many shaded and secluded areas in Epcot that are perfect spots when nap time rolls around. You’ll also enjoy the quiet and the shade while the little one naps for a bit in the stroller.

Epcot is a wonderful way to spend a day with little ones. It’s also a much more relaxed day than the other parks so gives the kids plenty to do but at a slower pace so is an ideal mid-week park. Get a bit of a rest but still have lots of fun!

Take advantage of the following tips, if you’re heading there with a toddler. It’s the best way to ensure everyone has a good time.

Eating

There are plenty of quick service spots for the little ones to eat, but why not take a visit to Epcot to expose them to different foods from around the world.

For a long time we would make it a habit to eat in a different country on each trip so that the kids could experience foods from around the world.

Plan Ahead

As with any other trip to Walt Disney World, exploring Epcot with a toddler is much simpler if you go in with a well-thought-out plan. In this case, the My Disney Experience app is an invaluable tool for planning your trip.

One of the biggest advantages to preparing for your vacation in advance is you can reserve FastPass+ selections. This allows you to skip the line at an attraction and ride it at a pre-reserved time.

Creating a plan also helps to make sure that you have time to see everything that you want to see while you’re at Epcot. Especially if you only plan to spend one day there, you’ll need to manage your time effectively, if you don’t want to rush.

Try to leave a bit of extra time between each attraction in case your toddler sees something he or she wants to check out more closely on the way.

And . . . definitely don’t miss Turtle Talk with Crush!

Throughout the day most of the countries offer scheduled entertainment. All of it is family-friendly. My family can watch the acrobats in China over and over again!

Look for Character Meets

Epcot is a great Walt Disney World park for experiencing character meals and meet-ups. You’ll typically find characters hanging out in the world showcase pavilion of the country their movie draws inspiration from.

For example, you can find Belle and the Beast at the France Pavilion and Alice from Alice in Wonderland at the United Kingdom Pavilion.

Again, take advantage of the My Disney Experience app to see which character meet and greet experiences are going to be available during your stay at the park. If possible, schedule and attend the selected character meets early in the day before the lines get too long.

Become a Kidcot World Traveler

If your children enjoy scavenger hunts, they’ll love looking for Kidcot Fun Stations in each of the pavilions at Epcot’s World Showcase. These stations have a unique stamp, one for each of the countries represented in the World Showcase.

Kidcot Fun Stops keep the kids motivated to travel to each country in the World Showcase country. Even young kids will have fun coloring at the free craft stations. If you purchase the passport for the kids they will also receive stickers to decorate the book and there is a scavenger hunt aspect of filling the passport and it makes a great souvenir of the day at EPCOT. 

The stamps can be collected on their own.  But, you can also purchase a Passport to the World book to put them in, which includes stickers and other fun activities. Not only does this give kids something fun to do at each of the stations, it also doubles as a souvenir you can pass on to them when they get older.

Epcot Toddlers




Aladdin Trailer – Will Smith as the Genie

If you watched the Grammy Awards, you’ve already seen it. If you didn’t – here it is – the first ever TV spot for Disney’s Aladdin.

Although many have not been fans of the live re-makes that Disney has been doing, I have to say that I have loved each one.

I’ll will admit, I did struggle just a wee little bit with this new Disney live-action remake. It wasn’t the film itself I was struggling with. It was the Genie I was struggling with. In my mind I felt that Robin Williams would always be the Genie and there was nothing anyone could do to change that.

Can you imagine Will Smith having to live up to the memory of Robin Williams as the Genie. Kudos to him for trying. Kudos to him for doing such a great job. I can’t wait to see the whole film.

Now I know they will do a great job with the film and it will be easy to see Will Smith in the role.

Well, I’ve always been willing to admit when I’m wrong and when it comes to Will Smith’s Genie – I was wrong. I was surprised by the negativity on Twitter following the release of this trailer. I don’t think many are giving it a chance.

Just this tiny little snippet made me smile. Reminded me of the goofy Will Smith and the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. It reminded me of the Will Smith that made me grin from ear to ear before he was the adventurous, action hero.

I honestly think Will Smith will do a great job – we shall see when the film opens May 24. 

Apart from the Genie, check out the beautiful and vibrant colors in the parade scene, it makes you want to jump right in and be there!

 

Official Synopsis

A thrilling and vibrant live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic, “Aladdin” is the exciting tale of the charming street rat Aladdin, the courageous and self-determined Princess Jasmine and the Genie who may be the key to their future. Directed by Guy Ritchie, who brings his singular flair for fast-paced, visceral action to the fictitious port city of Agrabah, “Aladdin” is written by John August and Ritchie based on Disney’s “Aladdin.” The film stars Will Smith as the Genie; Mena Massoud as Aladdin; Naomi Scott as Jasmine; Marwan Kenzari as Jafar; Navid Negahban as the Sultan; Nasim Pedrad as Dalia; Billy Magnussen as Prince Anders; and Numan Acar as Hakim.

“Aladdin” is produced by Dan Lin, p.g.a., and Jonathan Eirich, p.g.a., with Marc Platt and Kevin De La Noy serving as executive producers. Eight-time Academy Award®-winning composer Alan Menken provides the score, which includes new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Oscar®-winning lyricists Howard Ashman and Tim Rice and includes two new songs written by Menken and Oscar and Tony Award®-winning songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

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On May 24, 2019 hop on a magic carpet and go see “Aladdin” in theaters nationwide!




Don’t Miss the 18th Annual KidzTime Festival at Broadway at the Beach – Myrtle Beach

Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach, S.C., is set to host the 18th Annual KidzTime Festival on Saturday, February 23, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is a family-friendly event open to the public, featuring FREE admission.

Whether you’re a local looking for a fun day for the kids or a visitor looking to add some excitement to your visit, the KidzTime Festival will be the place to be on the 23rd!

There is never a shortage of things to do around the beach but the annual KidzTime Festival, in it’s 18th year, is a full day of fun you won’t want to miss. It’s free to attend and helps a good cause all at the same time. Mark your calendar and get ready for a full day of fun! 

Broadway at the Beach has partnered with Help 4 Kids for this year’s KidzTime Festival and during the event, representatives from Help 4 Kids will be collecting much needed items for their Backpack Buddies program.

These items include: canned pasta, Vienna sausages, Pop Tarts, chicken noodle soup, toothpaste, toothbrushes, socks and underwear for school-aged children, K-12th grade. Attendees are encouraged to bring donations for this local organization helping the kids in our community stay healthy and not hungry.

This year’s festival will take place in parking lot 17, near the Broadway 360 Observation Wheel at Pavilion Park West on the 21st Avenue North side of the property.

A wide range of vendors will be participating and will be located inside and outside of a large, heated, circus-style tent.

A variety of kid-friendly games, interactive activities, performances, mascot appearances, character appearances and giveaways will be offered by vendors. These include, but are not limited to, face painting, stilt walking balloon artists, bounce houses, trackless train rides, spin-to-win wheels, corn hole, a petting zoo, art contests and more.

Live performances, prize giveaways and demonstrations will be featured throughout the duration of the festival on the stage set up inside the tent.

Festival goers will also be treated to a special visit from Marvel Comics superhero Captain America. He will be visiting from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with occasional breaks.

More information about Broadway at the Beach and the 18th Annual KidzTime Festival is available at BroadwayAtTheBeach.com or by calling 1-800-386-4662. Broadway at the Beach is also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

DATE: Saturday, February 23, 2019

TIME: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

EVENT: 18th Annual KidzTime Festival

LOCATION: Parking Lot 17 near Broadway 360 Observation Wheel at Pavilion Park West (21st Avenue North Side) – Under The Big Tent – Broadway at the Beach – Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

Don’t forget to put the 18th Annual KidzTime Festival on your calendar for February 23, and spend the day at Broadway at the Beach.  Admission is free and there will be fun for the entire family!