Gringotts

Harry Potter at Universal Studios, Florida

The kids have been on a mission to read the entire Harry Potter series of books during lockdown which has made them even more keen to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios when we are able to travel again. In fact, they have been watching YouTube videos of the rides and attractions on the TV. Did you know that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley is in Universal Studios, whilst Hogsmeade is next door in Universal’s Islands of Adventure, meaning you have to purchase Universal Studio tickets for both parks, however, at Diagon Alley …

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Jedi Training Academy

The 5 Best Family-Friendly Destinations in the USA

A holiday abroad is the perfect way for parents to spend some quality time with their kids and can strengthen their bond throughout the years. It will also ensure their children have many wonderful memories to look back on in adulthood.  If you want to provide your kids with an unforgettable getaway in 2019, you might be considering jetting off to the United States for a fun-filled adventure with the clan. To help you pick the right option for both you and your children, here are the five best family-friendly destinations in the USA. Orlando, Florida Orlando might have been …

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Typhoon Lagoon

Splashtastic Fun at Typhoon Lagoon

When visiting Walt Disney World the one location that filled me with dread was a visit to the water park.

I knew Hubby and the kids would love it, but as a forty-something mum of 6 my figure is not what it once was and although I love swimming, the thought of wandering around in a swimsuit filled me with dread.

Walt Disney World has two water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon and we opted for the latter as didn’t have time to do both.

Typhoon Lagoon

Typhoon Lagoon features some of the wettest and wildest attractions at Walt Disney World but don’t let that put you off if you have a young family as there is plenty for them to do too.

Typhoon Lagoon

We started our day off in the Typhoon Lagoon Surf pool, which is the largest surf pool in North America and I needn’t of worried about the way I looked as there are people of all shapes and sizes and everyone is far to intent on having fun.

Typhoon Lagoon

The pool is set out like a large beach, with loungers on the sand where you can relax and soak up the sun. There is a thunderous sonic boom noise before they release a 6ft wave. Brave and experienced swimmers like Hubby and Isaac went in deep to catch the full force of the wave, whereas Sebby, Eliza and I stayed in the shallows and enjoyed the wave coming into shore.

Typhoon Lagoon

We played in there for some time before trying out some of the other attractions in the park.

Castaway Creek was a firm favourite with all of us as you take a tube and join the flowing river at any of the 5 landings along the 2,000-foot-long route.

Typhoon Lagoon

For little ones you can grab a rubber ring with a base, or hop into a double one or just float on a single ring along the continuous, flowing river that winds its way around all of Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon.

Typhoon Lagoon

Safety is key at the water park and I have never seen so many lifeguards on patrol which really reassured me. We did have an incident on Miss Adventure Falls, which is a raft ride. You head up a long conveyor belt onboard a raft which holds 4 people to a large winding water chute. Isaac lost his nerve at the top and bolted out of it, so they hit the emergency stop button and had to talk him down. It was a scary moment but I am so grateful to the staff for looking after him and Eliza who then refused to ride too.

Typhoon Lagoon

Sebby on the other hand loved it so much that he insisted that Daddy take him on it again and again!

Typhoon Lagoon

Hubby is an adrenalin junkie and was keen to try out some of the more extreme rides at the park, so I took the kids to Ketchakiddie Creek, which has 10 different aquatic activities just for preschoolers and younger children.

Typhoon Lagoon

With scaled-down slides that give little kids big-kid-style thrills, interactive shallow areas with whimsical sculptures like snapping crocodiles and squirting seals and elephants inspire imaginative play.

Typhoon Lagoon

Isaac and Eliza loved the mini inner-tube rapids ride and went round and round again and again.

Typhoon Lagoon

They also enjoyed racing down the water chutes.

Typhoon Lagoon

In the meantime, Hubby was off racing down slides such as Crush ‘n’ Gusher, Gangplank Falls, Humunga Kowabunga and Mayday Falls.

Typhoon Lagoon

A visit to one of the water parks is the perfect antidote to the theme parks as, although it is busy, it has a very relaxed atmosphere and we didn’t queue for more than 10 minutes for any of the fast slides.

Typhoon Lagoon

We spent a good six hours enjoying the water before heading back to the hotel. We then changed and headed back to the Magic Kingdom to watch the evening fireworks.

Disclaimer:This post is in partnership with Walt Disney World and Mumsnet. I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity and all opinions here are my own. 

Typhoon Lagoon



 

 

Epcot

Can Walt Disney World keep everyone happy? – Epcot

If there is one thing that Walt Disney World is, it is fun for ALL the family. Walt Disney World is a champion of family time with four theme parks and two water parks, each with unique theming and attractions, plus dining shopping and entertainment experiences, there really is something for everyone at Walt Disney World and I have already shared my thoughts on Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. Epcot Epcot is the park I was most intrigued to visit as it was the one I knew the least about, other than its iconic ball-shaped structure. Epcot consists of two distinct parts, Future …

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Tree of Life

Can Walt Disney World keep everyone happy? – Animal Kingdom

If there is one thing that Walt Disney World is, it is fun for ALL the family.

Walt Disney World is a champion of family time with four theme parks and two water parks, each with unique theming and attractions, plus dining shopping and entertainment experiences, there really is something for everyone at Walt Disney World and I have already shared my thoughts on Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.

Animal Kingdom

My kids love discovering all about the natural world around them, so were really excited about visiting Animal Kingdom.

Hubby, on the other hand, was more excited about visiting Pandora: The World of Avatar.

Animal Kingdom’s 500 acres are home to some 1700 animals representing 250 different species throughout the park and with the exception of the Pandora area, seemed a lot quieter than the other three parks.

Pandora: Flight of Passage

As with my last two posts, it is recommended that if you are staying in a Walt Disney Hotel, get to the parks during their Magic Hours as it’s the best chance to get on the rides queue free, however, with Pandora being so new and with all the fastpass+ tickets booked weeks in advance, you were always going to queue for Pandora: Flight of Passage and Hubby waited a staggering 210 minutes to ride it. (Thankfully parent swap passes were available so I got to ride too).

Pandora - World of Avatar

Whilst he queued for this ride, the kids and I enjoyed the Na’Vi River ride which had a much more reasonable 15 minute queue and then headed off to explore the rest of the park.

Navi-Shaman

With Pandora being so busy we almost had the rest of the park to ourselves and found ourselves amidst dinosaurs and digging for fossils in the Boneyard with Donald Duck.

Animal Kingdom

With the rest of Disney being so full on, the Boneyard made a relaxing change which allowed the kids to climb atop rocks, cross rickety rope bridges, roam mysterious caves and hurl themselves down twisting slides.

The Boneyard

Opposite the Boneyard was a funfair themed area called Dino-Rama with games to play, the Primeval Whirl rollercoaster and the Triceratop Spin. Sadly Sebby was 2cm too short to ride Dinosaur, a moving simulator ride but we had fun nonetheless.

Dino-Rama

By now, Hubby had re-joined us and it was time to see what the rest of the park had to offer and take advantage of our photo pass.

Animal Kingdom

A definite highlight of Animal Kingdom is a ride on the Kilimanjaro Safari which gives you a chance to see many of the parks resident animals as they drive you through the African Savannah.

Hippo

I envisaged a Longleat style safari but it was so much better. It honestly felt as if we were in the African Savannah seeing animals in their natural habitat in the Harambe Wildlife Reserve.

Animal Kingdom

The tour guide had bat like vision and managed to spot and point out animals that I would have missed, stopping so we could get a good photograph.

Animal Kingdom

I love elephants so it was a real treat to see them wandering around and watching a hippo swimming underwater was fascinating.

Harambe Wildlife Reserve

I think the animals are so used to seeing the jeeps trundle around the track that they just carry on with whatever they are doing and don’t bat an eyelid.

Harambe Wildlife Reserve

The safari takes around 20 minutes and we then boarded the Wildlife Express train to get a sneak peek of some of the behind the scenes wildlife areas before heading into Rafiki’s Planet Watch, home to fun exhibits dedicated to animal conservation and a petting area for the kids.

Animal Kingdom

The kids were given some challenges to complete which allowed them to earn wildlife badges, just like Russell from the film Up!!

Animal Kingdom

Sadly we missed our photo opportunity with Rafiki but we did manage to find Russell.

Animal Kingdom

Another of our highlights from Animal Kingdom were the shows and thanks to the Festival of the Lion King, I have a family of new fans.

Festival of the Lion King

Festival of the Lion King is a kaleidoscope of colour with giant puppets, acrobats, spirited dancers, regal stilt walkers and brilliant singers, all in imaginative costumes with ornate beads, feathers and fringe and of course Simba, Timon and Pumbaa. You will be expected to join in too!

Lion King

Another amazing show was Finding Nemo – the Musical, 40-minute show features original songs that bring the big, blue world to life, along with extraordinary puppets and vibrant sets that plunge you right into the depths of Nemo’s fin-tastic terrain.

Animal Kingdom

We stopped to have lunch under the Tree of Life, which celebrated all living creatures, making this the iconic centrepiece the symbol of Disney’s Animal Kingdom park.

Tree of Life

Inside the Tree of Life root system is where It’s Tough to be a Bug! is performed. This 8-minute, 3D movie and multimedia show stars Flik and Hopper from the Disney•Pixar film A Bug’s Life—along with a supporting cast of insects and arachnids who provide a surprising glimpse into the animal kingdom. It is a great show, but beware of some unexpected surprises!

Animal Kingdom

For adrenalin junkies there is Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain rollercoaster which not only goes forwards, but sends you hurtling backwards to avoid ‘missing track’, the Kali River Rapids, Dinosaur and Pandora: Flight of the Avatar.

Animal Kingdom

All four main Disney Parks have evening entertainment and Animal Kingdom certainly doesn’t disappoint. As you are waiting for the main show to begin, the Tree of Life awakens and watch in awe as animal spirits light up the whole of the tree.

Rivers of Light

The main show is the Rivers of Light, a brilliant fusion of water, sound and light and quite unlike anything I’ve experienced before!

Rivers of Light

With projections on fountains, boats, floating flowers and animals, it was a truly stunning show.

Rivers of Light

It is also worth noting that Pandora: World of Avatar has Disney Magic Hours at nightime too and is well worth a visit to see it in all its bio-luminescent glory in the dark too.

Pandora-at-Night

Disclaimer:  This post is in partnership with Walt Disney World and Mumsnet. I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity and all opinions here are my own.

animal kingdom