Category Archives: Theme Park

Sea World


We haven’t had Sea World passes in a while, but this great deal popped up this year that we might just have to jump on it!  Pre-school aged children can get a free fun card this year.  Not only that, but the fun cards are being sold at the child’s price for adults.  Go here so sign your 3-5 year old up for a free fun card!

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Sea World

Thanks to an old high school friend, last week we were given Sea World passes. The Hubby and The Boy went on Friday and I took The Girl on Saturday. The Boy hadn’t been since he was a tiny baby so everything was new to him. He had a great time! The Girl remembered a lot from when we used to go, but since we haven’t been for so long, some things have changed and she had forgotten a lot. We got there before the park opened and went straight to the new ride, Manta. Unfortunately, The Girl was too short so we didn’t get to ride. I was told that it was really fun. Bummer. So we started off at the Bay of Play.

We had fun on the kiddie rides and The Girl had a great time playing in the play areas. Then we were off to see the animals. Most things haven’t changed much in the last couple of years. We loved the penguins and the arctic where the polar bears, walruses, and beluga whales reside.

We also loved the new sea turtle exhibit.The Girl really enjoyed playing the video game in the exhibit where you use a sea turtle shaped joystick-type thing to virtually eat food and avoid obstacles. She did quite well. In fact, she would have won, except she ran into a shark at the last minute. I guess she spends too much time on the computer at home!

We also saw some shows. Our first show was the Shamu show. I can’t remember what it’s called really, so we just called it the Shamu show.

I have to admit, I was disappointed. It was always kind of cheesy, but it has gotten worse and now that the trainers can’t even get in the water with the killer whales, it’s just kind of lame. After that, we had planned to go to the dolphin (again, I don’t remember the actual name of the show) show. I wasn’t too excited about that after seeing Shamu. But I should have been. That show was amazing!

Sure, the dolphins did tricks, but it was more than that. There were acrobatics and divers and people (and birds) flying all over. It was really well done and definitely enjoyable and entertaining. It was for sure the highlight of our day. Of course, we couldn’t miss the “Pets Rule” show. The Girl said that was her favorite part of the day. I think she liked it because she got to pet a dog and a pig at the end. That show is exactly the same as it was 3 years ago, so if you’ve seen it once, you probably don’t need to take the time to see it again. All in all, we had a great time. And if you’re planning a trip to Sea World any time soon, don’t miss the dolphin show!


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We took a trip this week (on Wednesday) to Disneyland.  The Girl has been really excited about it for a long, long time.  I think she’s quite spoiled, getting to go as often as she does.  We had a great time.  Somehow, both kids were great all day.  Even standing in lines wasn’t too bad.  Usually when we go to Disneyland we pack in as many rides as we can.  This time, however, I told the kids that we were just going to see the characters.  With the broken elbow, I didn’t know what the situation would be.  She was fine for rides, so we did do a few, but the kids really were more excited about the characters.  The problem is, those are the lines that go SLOW.  But we had all day.  We got up early and made it to the park around 9:30 or so.  The Hubby stood in line for fast pass tickets to World of Color while I took the kiddos to the princess line.  The Hubby was done first and met us in the princess line about 40 minutes later.  The line for the princesses (when we got there at 9:45) was already 50 minutes long.  The Girl got to see her two favorite princesses (for now), Tiana and Ariel.  They Boy really wanted to ride Dumbo so we went there next.  After Dumbo, The Hubby’s family (who was there with us) took The Boy on a few rides while we stood in line to see Rapunzel.  I think it’s crazy to stand in line for 90 minutes just to see a character, but we did.  Of course, by the time we were through the line, They Boy was back from his fun with Granny and Papa and also got to see Rapunzel and Flynn Rider.  He was probably as excited to see Flynn Rider as The Girl was to see Rapunzel.

Then, of course, we had to see Mickey.  After seeing Goofy and freaking out on our way up Main Street, I thought The Boy would be quite hesitant when it came to Mickey, but he was a seasoned pro by the time we made it that far.  He walked right up to him and handed him his autograph book (that we bought at the 99 Cent store on Tuesday).

We also saw Alice and the Mad Hatter.  They happened to be walking through the park.  The Girl said hello, and Alice invited her to walk with her!

So cute!  She loved it and felt so special.

We had to watch the parade.  My kids thought it was just for them and stood waving at everybody.  They absolutely loved it.  The Girl thought it was great that Peter Pan stopped and asked her if it was Captain Hook that broke her arm.

After the parade, we headed over to California Adventure.  They have been doing some construction at the front gate, so it was kind of a pain to get in, but I’m told things are back to normal there now.  They still have construction going on as they are building Cars Land, though.  We enjoyed some adult rides while The Boy slept in the stroller, and we didn’t have long lines at all.  We went on Hollywood Tower of Terror (which the girl used to like but doesn’t anymore) and California Screamin’ (which is my favorite roller coaster of all time).  We also stayed for World of Color which I haven’t seen before.  It was really incredible.

Just a suggestion, if you get fast passes, still get there early.  Our view wasn’t the greatest even with the fast passes.  I’m also told that if you go to the later show, fast passes aren’t really necessary anymore.

We had a great time!  Now an extra Disneyland tips.  Get the app.  I think The Hubby got the Disneyland Wait Times — WalkeeWait for iPhone.  It was free and it was great!  We could look up wait times and closures and other pertinent information without having to go to the ride itself.  Then when we would get in line for a ride, he would start the line-timer so that we could update for someone else wanting to go on that ride.  Very useful.  I love Disneyland.  When can I plan my next trip?

For more tips on Disneyland with kids, go here.

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Sea World

I have weekend updates soon, but right now I wanted to let you (who are teachers) know that you can get a FREE Fun Card to Sea World just by being a teacher!  I just printed one off for my husband.  The Fun Card gives you admission to the park for the rest of 2011.  What a deal!  Go here to get it.

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A Guide to Disneyland

I know Disneyland isn’t in San Diego county at all, but it’s definitely close enough for people vacationing here to spend some time there.

We go to Disneyland a lot.  Probably too much.  In fact, The Girl told me yesterday that we need to move into the hotel by Disneyland so we can go there even more often.  I asked her what we would do about school and dance and Daddy’s work.  She assured me that we could find another school, another dance studio, and Daddy could find another job.  And the house?  She doesn’t like it anyway.  It’s scary.  The Grand Californian Hotel would be a much nicer place to live, according to her.  Okay, who am I kidding?  She’s right.  That place is amazing.  And I’m sure we’ll never stay there again, but that’s beside the point.  My intention today is to give you (who are planning trips to Disneyland with kids) a couple of tips.  These are a few little tricks that I have learned.

Stroller Switches: These are really a life saver with little ones.  You and whatever other adult you are with can still hit up the big rides and not have to stand in line twice.  The way it works is, part of your party waits in line for the ride.  When they get near the front, there will be a worker from whom they can ask for a stroller switch.  On some rides (like Space Mountain) it’s at the beginning of the line.  While they’re waiting in line, you can keep the kids occupied with other things.  Then when you meet up again, take the stroller switch to the front of the line and you’re on!  The stroller switch is only good for 2 people.  Also, they only work on rides that kids can’t go on.  For example, since you can take a baby on Buzz Lightyear, you can’t use a stroller switch.

Fast Passes: Some rides have fast pass distribution.  They are usually the ones that have long lines.  You swipe your ticket and a ticket is printed for you, telling you when you can come back to get right on the ride.  Sometimes you still have to wait in a bit of a line, but it’s nothing compared to the line that you would have to wait in normally.  I think you can only get 1 or 2 fast passes at a time.

Make Small World your last ride: The last time we went to Disneyland (a couple of weeks ago) the kids were getting cranky and ready to go home.  Usually, though, when it’s time to leave, they don’t want to get back into the stroller and actually leave the park.  This time was different.  It just so happened that the last ride we rode was Small World.  They were both completely mesmerized and were so calm by the end of it, that getting into the stroller was easy and we left the park with no fits.  I don’t think that’s ever happened before.

Baby Center: Both Disneyland and California Adventure have a baby center.  You can find it on the map.  This place is a must use for anybody with small children.  There are nice changing tables, small toilets, rocking chairs to nurse or pump, high chairs, purified water, and a number of other helps that a mother can use.  Of course for normal diaper changes I just use the closest restroom, but it’s nice to go into the baby center to cool off and relax for a minute.  It’s quiet and calm there.  I’ve pumped and/or nursed there many times.

Disneyland with disabilities: We recently went to Disneyland with a friend who has a disabled child.  Check out her blog for tips on taking your wheelchair bound (or highly functioning special child) to Disneyland.

I’m sure I’ll think of more things as time passes (or the next time I haul my kids to Disneyland) and as I do, I’ll add to the list.

Post Edit:

Pack a lunch:  Disneyland allows you to bring food into the park.  Sure, it’s always fun to buy park food, but it can be quite expensive.  I very rarely buy food while I’m there.  I pack sandwiches and a number of snacks to keep the kids happy and full while we stand in lines and wait for parades.  And don’t forget the waters!  Then we stop somewhere for dinner on the way home.

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