Over The Top Mommy


Southern California Resident Ticket Offer Returns for Disneyland Resort

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Happy 2018! There’s no better way to kick off the new year than a very special Disneyland Resort ticket offer for Southern California Residents. This offer comes just in time for guests to “get more happy” with some upcoming, exciting offerings including:

  • enhanced Star Wars experiences at Disneyland Park
  • the guest-favorite Lunar New Year celebration
  • the popular Food & Wine Festival returning at Disney California Adventure
  • the first-ever Pixar Fest, a resort-wide celebration of stories and characters from
    Pixar Animation Studios.

disneyland-resort-ticket-offerIn addition to this great offer for tickets, the three hotels of the Disneyland Resort are offering special rates on standard and premium rooms for a limited time.(see below for more information about this.) disneyland-mark-twainThe Southern California resident ticket offer* provides flexible options for two or three days of magic and adventure at special prices. For a limited time, guests may select from these purchase options, which can save Southern California residents up to 25 percent off select multi-day tickets:

• 2-day ticket with choice of one park per day for $159
• 2-day Park Hopper ticket for $204
• 3-day ticket with choice of one park per day for $199
• 3-day Park Hopper ticket for $244
Please note: These tickets are valid January 8 through May 24, 2018, excluding the following blockout dates: March 23 through April 8, 2018. Purchase from January 8 through May 21, 2018. Tickets expire on May 24, 2018.
disneyland-summer-celebrate-summer-colorful-wallThese limited-time tickets are an ideal way for Southern California residents to make
unforgettable memories and “get more happy” with family and friends. Guests using these
special tickets will enjoy a variety of classic attractions and entertaining shows throughout the resort, as well as exciting new experiences.disneyland-resort-celebrate-summer-max-passWhile you’re visiting, definitely consider adding MaxPass to your ticket. It’s a great value and has some amazing benefits, allowing you to access FastPass through the app and allows unlimited downloads of your PhotoPass photos. To read more about Disney MaxPass, go here.

disney-social-media-moms-paradise-pier-hotelSpecial hotel offers are available for guests who want to turn their visit into a getaway and stay in the middle of the magic at any of the three Hotels of the Disneyland Resort are available during the first few months of the year. Guests may save on standard and premium rooms for select nights from January 7 through April 12, 2018, if booked by March 17, 2018.** This is an ideal time to stay at the newly renovated Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, the modern classic Disneyland Hotel, or the seaside-themed Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. For more information about these great offers, please visit Disneyland.com.

Some images may be property of Disneyland Resort and used with permission. 

All the Great Reasons to Stay at Holiday Inn Ontario Airport Hotel

I received media accommodations in order to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own.

The Holiday Inn Ontario Airport is our new favorite place to stay when we have a cheer competition in Ontario, California. Our most recent one was held at the Ontario Convention Center and luckily, for us the Holiday Inn Ontario Airport is just a hop, skip and a jump away from the Ontario Convention Center so getting to stay there was very convenient!holiday-inn-ontario-2 (1)As a cheer mom, there are way too many things to worry about on the morning of a cheer competition including: getting your cheerleader up early, having their (fake) hair and makeup done just right, getting the uniform and cheer shoes on, and getting to the actual competition on time.holiday-inn-ontario-airport-accessories-2The last thing you really want to do is drive a far distance and have the stress of traffic to make you late. Let’s face it, there’s always traffic in Southern California. It was beyond convenient to be able to just walk across the street to get to the cheer competition!holiday-inn-ontario-airport-roomholiday-inn-ontario-bathroomOur hotel guestroom was spacious with 2 beds and plenty of space to relax and stretch out. It was also perfect for a bunch of cheerleaders to all congregate in during the morning time, to get ready together. (Because that’s what cheerleaders do!)holiday-inn-ontario-accessoriesholiday-inn-ontario-airport-fridge-and-coffee-makerRooms at Holiday Inn Ontario Airport also include:

  • an in-room microwave / refrigerator
  • an in-room coffee maker with supplies
  • toiletries and a hair dryer
  • free high speed internet
  • an iron and ironing boardholiday-inn-ontario-airport-bathroom-toiletries

Here are some other great things I loved about staying at this property:

  • Free Parking and Shuttle service
  • A full-service restaurant (where kids eat free) and bar
  • Room Service
  • Outdoor pool and whirlpool
  • Free High-Speed Internet
  • Business Services
  • Heated outdoor pool and whirlpool
  • Complimentary Fitness Center

holiday-inn-ontario-airport-shuttleIn addition to being located near the Ontario Convention Center, the Holiday Inn Ontario Airport is close to several other Inland Empire attractions and points of interest including Auto Club Speedway of California, Raging Waters Water Park, Ontario Mills Outlet Mall, Citizen Business Bank Arena, Victoria Gardens Shopping Center, Pomona Fairplex, San Manuel Amphitheater, Quakes Stadium, Mount Baldy and San Antonio Winery.holiday-inn-ontario-airport-lobbyDid you know that Holiday Inn is an IHG Green Engage Hotel? When you stay at an IHG Green Engage Hotel you are participating in an advanced, world-wide sustainability effort. I can appreciate that they understand the importance of having an active role in protecting our environment. holiday-inn-ontario-1Whether you’re traveling to Ontario for a cheer competition, a business trip, or just for pleasure, I’d definitely recommend staying at Holiday Inn Ontario Airport. To find a Holiday Inn for your next stay, visit their site here. Connect with Holiday Inn Ontario on Facebook and Twitter.

SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration Featuring New Live Nativity Through January 6

I was invited to attend a media event in order to provide this coverage. All opinions are my own.

I was so excited when family and I were invited to a special night at SeaWorld San Diego to experience their Christmas Celebration. Wow, SeaWorld goes all out, with more than a million holiday lights, hundreds of Christmas trees and 5,000 feet of garland. The lights of SeaWorld’s 320-foot Skytower Tree of Lights, which is the largest Christmas tree in Southern California, dance in sync with classic holiday songs.seaworld-celebration-family-photo-1

What’s New at SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration for 2017
This year at SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration, there’s an all-new live holiday musical, O Wondrous Night. It brings the moving story of the Nativity and the meaning of Christmas to life through song and celebration, It is “The Greatest Story Never Told:.seaworld-o-wondrous-night The spectacular stage show is performed nightly, under the stars, in the Nautilus Amphitheater It tells the Christmas story from a new point of view: through the eyes of the animals. The musical features more than 30 carols, beautiful storytelling puppets and live majestic animals, including camels, a donkey, llamas, sheep and doves. seaworld-o-wondrous-night-nativity-sceneIt’s absolutely amazing and beautiful and will fill your heart with the true message of Christmas. Here’s a look at “O Wondrous Night”:
In addition to O Wondrous Night, all the seasonal favorites that have made SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration a family holiday tradition are back for park guests to enjoy. Here are some of the other fun holiday festivities you’ll find this year at SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration:
Rudolph’s Christmastown

Returning this holiday season is the most famous reindeer, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in his very own area, Rudolph’s Christmastown. rudolphs-signWe were excited to see our friend Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer again this year. Did you know SeaWorld is the only theme park on the West Coast where people can meet Rudolph?rudolph-and-friends Yep! Rudolph is hanging out with his friends Clarice, Bumble, and Yukon Cornelius. You should get over there to visit him and take advantage of the fun photo opportunities. seaworld-christmas-celebration-just-rudolph Nightly Tree Lighting
There’s a nightly tree-lighting ceremony featuring the 40-foot Happiest Christmas Tree, which is accompanied by the Misfit Brass band. It was a delight to sip on hot cocoa and watch all the fun! seaworld-christmas-celebration-hot-cocoaFestive Food Offerings
There’s also an special holiday menu featuring Holiday Pizzas and delicious varieties of Mac & Cheese.  Feast on Mashed Potato, Cranberry Arugula and Classic Pepperoni Pizzas.seaworld-mashed-potato-pizzaThere’s also Holiday Mac & Cheese, Christmastown Mac & Chese and Classic Mac & Cheese.

seaworld-holiday-mac-and-cheeseSanta’s Christmas Village 
Friends and family can cozy up at Santa’s Christmas Village, where children listen to Mrs. Claus during story time. Kids can share their wish list and take pictures with Santa at Santa’s Cottage. seaworld-santa-and-mrs-clausParents can also check in for a pager that will hold their spot in line to meet Santa so that the family can explore the Village, including educational encounters with real reindeer from Santa’s workshop, “Merry Moments” with Santa’s friendly elves and delectable culinary creations. You’ll also want to join in the Christmas Sing-Along with Mrs. Claus and the Elves, as well as the Elves Dance Party. For extra fun, mae sure to stick around for when it starts to snow! seaworld-christmas-celebration-snowDolphin Island Christmas
SeaWorld’s Christmas-themed dolphin show celebrates the holidays with a tropical twist as dolphins and pilot whales perform amazing athletic feats set to island music.seaworld-dolphin-island-christmasClyde & Seamore’s Christmas Special
The park’s prank-loving pinnipeds Clyde and Seamore have a hilarious holiday time in this Christmas-themed sea lion and otter show!seaworld-christmas-sea-lionsCat’s Christmas Parlor
Outside Nautilus Amphitheater, guests will find the Cat’s Christmas Parlor, where the feline stars of Pets Rule! hang out in their own holiday-themed house. It’s so cute to see them hanging out!

seaworld-celebration-lightsAll of SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration festivities are included with park admission. (with exception of arcade-style games and reserved experiences such as Breakfast With Orcas and Santa) SeaWorld has a variety of admission ticket offers that provide tremendous value perfect for both local residents and tourists, including the SoCal Annual Pass for less than $100. seaworld-family-photo-2.Did you know….a visit to SeaWorld helps support animal rescue programs as well as provide millions of dollars in donations and in-kind services to conservation projects around the world? Seeing animals at SeaWorld supports saving them in the wild. For more information, please visit http://www.SeaWorldSanDiego.com or call (619) 222-4SEA.

Some images are property of SeaWorld and used with permission. 

Let’s Take a Look at Disney’s Pop Century Resort

This is not a sponsored post. 

lets-talk-about-disney-againHave you been to Walt Disney World before? Well, it’s one of my most favorite places to travel with my family and on our last visit there, our family stayed at Disney’s Pop Century Resort. disneys-magical-expressStaying at a Disney Resort Hotel is a “must” for us on our trips because there are so many benefits to staying in an official Disney World Resort Hotel. We’d never stayed at “The Pop” before and were pleased with everything about our stay. disneys-pop-century-resort-exteriorDisney’s Pop Century Resort is one of five “Value” resorts at Walt Disney World and is unique because it features themed sections from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and the 90’s.disneys-pop-century-roger-rabbit If you have any connection with these decades you’ll definitely appreciate the exterior of the property, as well as the decor throughout the lobby area with its timeless fashions, catch phrases, toys and dances that captivated the world through these decades. If you’re too young to remember any of those decades, don’t worry, you’ll still smile as you take a tour of “the olden days”. (as my daughter referred to them.) disneys-pop-century-resort-80s-sectionDuring our stay, the Pop Century was in the middle of renovating many of the guest rooms. We were fortunate enough to stay in the “80s” section of the hotel (a nod to my own childhood and genius inventions such as Rubik’s Cube®) and our particular room had already been renovated. Our room was adorable! disneys-pop-centry-welcomeWe opted for a Standard Room and it was the perfect size for our family of 3. When you enter the room, there’s one double bed and a small table with 2 chairs that is easy to slide over so you can pull down a (second) Murphy bed from the wall. We just stuck the table and chairs over by the window. disneys-pop-resort-beds The room features light wood floors and bright Mickey Mouse decor. It’s super cute! The furniture is modern and there’s plenty of room for 4 guests to stay in one room. The bathroom is super modern in-room-amenities

In-room amenities at Disney’s Pop Century include:

  • a dresser with drawers
  • a big screen TV with remote
  • extra blankets and pillows
  • a (small) table and chairs for dining
  • A/C
  • an ironing board and iron
  • shower/tub combo
  • a small fridge with freezer
  • a coffee maker with coffee and necessitiesdisneys-pop-century-closet
  • a shower/tub combo
  • Disney H2O+ toiletries
  • ample closet space with hangers
  • laundry services are available (for a fee)
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi



Other resort amenities, unique to the Pop Century include:

  • 3 swimming pools with complimentary towel service
  • a playground
  • a jogging trail
  • an arcade
  • movies under the stars




I appreciated the food situation at the Pop Century. There’s a pretty big food court area with plenty of options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as many “grab & go” items. Some of my favorites included Mickey waffles and bacon, fresh pastries, pot roast, pasta, and pizza. mickey-waffleYou also have the option to order Disney pizza delivery to your room. There are also beverages available at the Petals Pool Bar, located adjacent to the Petals Pool. If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, this is a perfect place to eat at. (To learn more about Disney Dining Plans, go here.) disneys-pop-century-pizza-deliveryresort-transportation

Disney’s Pop Century Resort is located in the Wide World of Sports Area and offers complimentary bus transportation to and from the Parks, as well as Disney Springs. You can find a schedule out in front of the bus stops, which are in front of the hotel.disneys-pop-resort-bus-transportation Bus service begins about an hour before the first Extra Magic Hours of each day and continues until about an hour after the last park closes. Buses seem to run about every 20 minutes to each of the parks. You can also ask Concierge for more information about the transportation at the Pop Century Resort.mickeys-ice-cream-barOverall, we loved staying at Disney’s Pop Century Resort so much. It truly is a great hotel to book a stay at and I don’t think there was anything about it we didn’t like. memory-maker-epcot

Our family can’t wait to return to Walt Disney World again! We make so many great memories together on each trip. Do you currently have a Disney trip planned anytime soon? If so, I’d love to hear about it! Share with me in the comments!



Guide to Making the Most of the Holidays at the Disneyland Resort

It’s the merriest and most wonderful time of year at the Disneyland Resort. The hustle and bustle along Main Street, U.S.A. and Buena Vista Street is in full swing. With holiday decor and twinkling lights all around, both parks are adorned and ready for guests of all ages to visit this holiday season.disneyland-holidays-sleeping-beauty-castle-adornedDisney-Holidays-Buena-Vista-StreetOur family spent a day out at the resort taking in all of the sights, sounds, and holiday fun to be had. I think it’s my most favorite time of year to visit.disneyland-holidays-with-mickeyFrom riding special holiday attractions like “it’s a small world” Holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday to watching A Christmas Fantasy Parade and “Believe….in Holiday Magic” Fireworks to enjoying holiday treats and offerings in the Festive Foods Marketplace at the Disney Festival of Holidays, we had an excited and jam-packed day.disneyland-holidays-castle-1I feel as giddy as a little girl when I visit Disneyland Resort this time of year. Of course, I could actually say that about every visit there! Do you feel that way too?holidays-at-disneyland-resort-its-a-small-world-2Since there’s so much to do at Disneyland Resort this holiday season, I’ve put together a a guide for you to be able to make the most of your visit. You don’t want to miss out on any of the magic of both parks. I highly suggest a multi-day ticket, so you can take more time exploring each of the parks’ holiday offerings. However, it is possible to fit a lot of the holiday magic into just one day. Here’s my best advice. I hope it’s helpful.guide-to-making-the-most-of-holidays-at-the-disneyland-resortSpend some time planning before you go
I’m a definite planner so before each of our visits, I’ve found myself looking online, on the Disneyland Official Site, looking at Park Hours and the Entertainment Schedule for the day we’re going to visit. It’s a great way to plan ahead and have an idea in your head of how you should map our your stay. The site also has a ton of other info, including Disneyland Resort hotel information if you’re looking to make it a complete vacation experience.disneyland-holidays-mainstreet-at-nightDownload the Disneyland Mobile App
It’s the most magical app and the official app for the Disneyland Resort. Download it on App Store and/or get it on Google Play. The Disneyland Mobile App allows you to do such things as see park hours and maps, check wait times, buy park tickets, check FASTPASS return times, see restaurant menus and make dining reservations, view Disney PhotoPass photos, locate Disney Characters, and so much more. For more info about the Disneyland Mobil app, go here.disneyland-appDo add Disney MAXPass to your ticket
By now, you’ve probably heard a lot of talk about Disney MaxPass. If you haven’t, it’s a great feature to add to your park ticket (or Annual Pass) for $10 a person. MaxPass allows you to schedule your FASTPASS reservations to your ticket ELECTRONICALLY from your phone, through the Disneyland app. What this means is you don’t have to walk over to the attraction you’re hoping to grab a FASTPASS for. You can just schedule it from your phone. You can even be in the other park as you make your reservation. It’s such a great feature. Plus, it allows gives you access to download , save, and share, all of your PhotoPass photos from the day. Character photos, family photos, photos from designated attractions! It’s a great option to add and I highly recommend exploring it, especially during the holiday season. For more information about MaxPass, go here.disney-max-pass-imagedisneyland-resort-celebrate-summer-max-passMake a dining reservation beforehand
There are so many dining options at Disneyland Resort. Some are quick dining while others are table service. There are also grab & go food options throughout both parks. I highly suggest you make 1 dining reservation ahead of time. During the holiday season, the table service restaurants can be extra busy and I know for our family, when the hunger hits, there’s only one way to make everyone better and get them back into a good mood: FOOD! It’s easy to make a dining reservation on the app or on the site. You can also call 714) 781-3463.to make one.disneyland-grilled-cheeseStrive to make it to park opening
There are a couple advantages of making it there before opening. I feel like the parking situation is lighter when it’s early in the morning. Also, if you are there early, you’ll have better access to FastPass+ reservations, especially for the big ticket attractions that tend to “sell out” quickly. My favorite reason to get to the parks before opening is to be able to experience “Rope Drop”, which is a fun countdown right before they allow guests to head into the park. Also, if you make Rope Drop in Disneyland Park, you’ll be able to see a bunch of Cast Members all along Main Street, U.S.A. as they are giving out High 4’s to guests! (They wear Mickey gloves so that’s why it’s a “High 4”). There’s truly nothing like being in one of the parks at opening though.

Utilize Disney PhotoPass Services
PhotoPass photographers are all throughout both parks and are your best bet to capture the best shots from your visit. They are equipped with professional equipment and are set up in front of attractions, with characters, and some other fun places. They also know how to capture your best side, in the day or nighttime. I already shared that one of the benefits to adding MaxPass to your day is the ablity to access all of your PhotoPass photos from the day. It’s the best money you’ll spend and our own family loves to use one of the PhotoPass photos for our own holiday card.disneyland-holidays-photopass-with-tree-1Seek out special holiday-inspired attractions
During the holidays at Disneyland Resort, there are a few attractions that have holiday overlays and you won’t want to miss out on experiencing any of them. In Disneyland Park set sail aboard “it’s a small world” Holiday and hop on a dune buggy in Haunted Mansion Holiday. In Disney California Adventure Park, be sure to get over to CarsLand and take a holly jolly spin on Mater’s Jingle Jamboree and Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl. Once January 7 passes, these specially transformed attractions will go back to their original versions. (Kind of like what happened to Cinderella at midnight.)holidays-at-disneyland-resort-its-a-small-world-1Enjoy all the holiday treats
Although there are many foods I enjoy eating when I’m visiting the parks, my most favorite this time of year are the holiday treats. Whether it’s a special bakery treat, a hand-twisted candy cane or something warm and festive to sip on, the holiday treat offerings at the Disneyland Resort are not to be missed!disneyland-holidays-festive-treats-1Watch A Christmas Fantasy Parade
There are usually 2 performances of “A Christmas Fantasy Parade” each day. It’s a beautiful parade that the whole family will enjoy watching together. All of your favorite characters and princesses make an appearance, dressed in holiday attire, as do Santa and Mrs. Claus.disneyland-holidays-santa-in-parade-1

disneyland-holidays-a-christmas-fantasy-parade-gingerbread-manFireworks are a must!
There’s nothing ore magical than watching the nightly “Believe…in Holiday Magic” Fireworks at Disneyland Park. It’s one of our family’s favorite parts about nighttime in Disneyland Park during the holidays. Be sure to plan out where you’ll want to watch it from and try to get a spot a little early.disneyland-holidays-fireworksSave room for “The Festival of Holidays” food
Over at Disney’s California Adventure Park you’ll find 12 different kiosks set up for the “Festival of Holidays”. For more information about the foods and offerings this year, go here.disneyland-holidays-festival-of-holidays-sign-1Celebrate the season with the entertainment at Disney Festival of Holidays
In Disney California Park, there is a full lineup of holiday-inspired performances that’ll warm your heart. Be sure to check times for live music and dancing, as well as performance times of the Disney ¡Viva Navidad! street party.disneyland-holidays-viva-navidad-signLook for special holiday merchandise – Every year, I look forward to the newest holiday EARs available in the shops. I had a tough time deciding this year between the black sequinned Minnie EARs with a plaid bow or the red sequinned ones with a green bow, so I bought both! I just coudn’t resist! There is so much fun holiday-inspired merchandise to choose from this time of year. It makes my Disney heart happy!disneyland-holidays-mickey-merchandisedisneyland-holidays-merchandise-ears-1disneyland-holidays-red-sparkly-earsThere’s truly no better time like the present to create new holiday memories that will last a lifetime and no better place to do so than the Disneyland Resort! Do you have plans to visit this year? Share with me in the comments. Just be sure to do so before January 7th! Happy Holidays!\\

Some images are property of Disney. 

Celebrate the Holiday Season at Knott’s Merry Farm

I was invited to attend a media event at Knott’s. All opinions are my own. 

I get as giddy as a little girl when I spot signs of the holidays at Knott’s Berry Farm. From decorated Christmas trees to holiday music and all of the festive treats, I consider myself lucky to live in Southern California where you can celebrate the holidays while still enjoying the beautiful sunny weather outside. I am all about making the most of this time of year with my family and Knott’s Merry Farm is an annual tradition for us. knotts-merry-farm-family-1I think one of the things I love most about visiting Knott’s Merry Farm each holiday season is knowing I can expect some of my usual favorites to be there but I also to get excited for what’s new each year, in addition to all of the regular attractions we normally enjoy on our visits.knotts-merry-farm-hot-cocoaThis holiday season, it looks like the culinary team at Knott’s stepped up their festive treats game, more than usual, to catch the eyes and the palettes of all the visiting foodies. Not only will you find traditional favorites such as Mrs. Claus’ milk & cookies, hot cocoa with candy cane topping, roasted nuts, and but this year, you can feast on such offerings as tamales, Christmas pizza, and candy cane churros!knotts-merry-farm-tamalesknotts-merry-farm-christmas-pizzaMmm!  There were so many yummy treats to try, you should definitely bring an appetite with you, I almost forgot about the attractions and entertainment!knotts-merry-farm-candy-cane-churroHere are the special entertainment offerings this year at Knott’s Merry Farm:

  • “Merry Christmas, Snoopy!” (in the Charles M. Schulz Theatre) – This festive ice show continues to be a favorite, year after year and is perfect for guests of all ages. The show stars the Peanuts Gang and a cast of world-class ice skaters. Watch Snoopy enjoy all of the best parts of the season including trimming the Christmas tree, awaiting Santa’s arrival, and attending the Christmas Ball! “Merry Christmas, Snoopy!”is guaranteed to warm your heart.knotts-merry-farm-snoopy-on-ice-2
  • “It’s The Merriest Christmas Show Ever, Charlie Brown!” (at the Calico Mine Stage) – Audiences can dance and sing along to a live performance of this charming holiday show. It continues to delight audiences as The Peanuts Gang star in this toe-tapping, merry musical sure to bring out the Christmas joy in all.knotts-merry-farm-christmas-show-ever
  • “A Peanuts Guide to Christmas” (at the Camp Snoopy Theater) – The Peanuts Gang offer their take and unique wisdom on surviving the holidays, while singing you a mashup of their favorite holiday tunes.
  • Charles Dickens’A Christmas Carol and O. Henry’s A Gift ofthe Magi (in the Bird Cage Theater)- Knott’s melodrama company bring classics to life.knotts-merry-farm-decorations-birdcage
  • Snow and Glow Show (in Calico Ghost Town) – After the sun sets, enjoy this show with nightly falling snow set to thousands of sparkling lights and traditional Christmas music. knotts-merry-farm-snow-and-glow

Don’t forget to look for The Calico Bell Choir, strolling throughout Ghost Town, singing the songs of the season! knotts-merry-farm-carolers-2

If you’re looking for Santa  you can find him, along with many festive holiday treats, inside of Santa’s Christmas Cabin. Commemorative Santa Photos are available for purchase.knotts-merry-farm-christmas-treeKnott’s is the perfect place to spend many a day together with friends and/or family creating new memories together, which is a great reason to grab a 2018 Knott’s Season Pass. They make great holiday gifts and include one free visit to enjoy Merry Farm in 2017, unlimited visits in 2018 with no blackout dates, discounts on select food and merchandise,  and access to exciting year-round seasonal events.knotts-merry-farm-holiday-decorA Regular Season Pass includes unlimited admission in 2018 to Knott’s Berry Farm and a Gold Season Pass includes unlimited admission in 2018 to both Knott’s Berry Farm and the newly expanded Knott’s Soak City Waterpark with no blackout dates. Now at the lowest price of the year, Regular Season Passes start at just $92.00 or six easy payments of $15.33 and Gold Season Passes are $110 or six payments of just $18.33.These offers end January 7, 2018.Applicable taxes and fees apply online. Payment plans are only available at knotts.com.
knotts-merry-farm-trainHave you been to Knott’s Merry Farm before? If so, share your favorite memory with me in the comments. Happy Holidays! knotts-merry-farm-family-2


Character Dining With Pooh and Friends at The Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom Park

This is not a sponsored post. 

Let’s talk about character dining at Walt Disney World Resort. Do you have a favorite place to dine at? For our family, character dining is a must-do on every one of our trips there! It’s a chance to enjoy a delicious meal together and grab some great photos of our family along with some of our favorite Disney characters. We LOVE Winnie the Pooh!the-crystal-palace-photo-with-poohOne of character dining experiences to go to is The Crystal Palace inside Magic Kingdom Park. It’s where you’ll find Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, and Eeyore. the-crystal-palace-picture-with-pigletthe-crystal-palace-exteriorLocated on Main Street, U.S.A., The Crystal Palace is the perfect place to start your day off, as well as a great place to grab some dinner after a day of exploring. the-crystal-palace-tigger-and-piglet-decor As you walk through the front door of The Crystal Palace, you’ll notice how light and bright everything is, as the decor was inspired by the Victorian greenhouses of the late 1800’s. With topiaries and tropical palms galore, It’s the perfect setting to have a “Friendship Day Celebrashun”, which is what Winnie the Pooh and his friends do there every single day! the-crystal-palace-friendship-day-celebrashunGuests have the option to dine at The Crystal Palace for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, depending on what time of day they visit. The food is served as an All-You-Care-to-Enjoy buffet. Since Mickey waffles seem to be one of our family’s favorites, we usually opt to dine there for breakfast, following Extra Magic Hours in Magic Kingdom Park.the-crystal-palace-food-1the-crystal-palace-pancakes-and-baconGuests will be delighted to choose from a bountiful selection of breakfast items including:

  • made-to-order omelettes
  • assorted hot and cold cereals
  • freshly-baked pastries
  • breakfast meats
  • breakfast potatoes
  • pancakes, french toast, and Mickey waffles
  • fresh fruit
  • yogurt

There’s even a special Pooh’s Corner, Children’s Buffet, which is where you’l be able to grab those Mickey waffles. We’re all “children” at Walt Disney World though, right?mickey-waffleCoffee, tea, milk, juice, and other non-alcoholic options are also included with your meal.the-crystal-palace-winnie-the-pooh-wavingWhile you’re enjoying your meal, Winnie the Pooh and his friends walk around and visit each table to sign autograph books and take photos, allowing you to capture those special moments to look back on and smile about for years to come! Helpful tip: Have your camera  and/or phone ready to go before they get to your table.  the-crystal-palace-pooh-topiaryOur family hasn’t had the chance to try the lunch or dinner option yet at The Crystal Palace but I will tell you that the breakfast is fabulous! the-crystal-palace-breakfast-lunch-and-dinnerTo view the menu, pricing, and to check table availability, go here. As always, you can also make a dining reservation by calling (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463. Have you dined at The Crystal Palace before? Leave me a comment below telling me who your favorite character to visit there is?

the-crystal-palace-photo-with-tiggerTo view the entire list of character dining experiences at Walt Disney World, go here.

*Please note: A valid park admission is required to access The Crystal Palace.

10 Benefits of Staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel

This is not a sponsored post.

It’s no secret that our family loves all things Disney. We can often be found hanging out at the Disneyland Resort since we are lucky enough to live pretty close by.disneyland-photo-pass-snowglobeLet’s talk about about my “other favorite subject” though: Walt Disney World Resort!  Up until a few years ago, I’d never traveled to Orlando nor visited Walt Disney World. Fast forward to present day, we’ve been there 4 times now!when-can-we-go-back Walt Disney World is literally my new favorite place to travel and every time we return from one trip, I start looking at our calendar to see when we can sneak away to Florida again. Can you relate?disney-world-pop-centuryWith over 25 different resorts to choose from at Walt Disney World Resort, you’re going to find at least one that fits within your family’s budget. Whether you choose a Value, Moderate, or Deluxe Resort to stay at, you’ll be enamored by all of the magical touches and thematic decor around your resort and inside your room. You’ll can scroll through an entire list of Walt Disney World Resort Hotels here.disney-world-yacht-club-roomAs a busy mom, I truly appreciate how easy it is to make your hotel reservations, once you’re narrowed your choices down. You can either make reservations on the official Walt Disney World site or call Disney Resort Hotel Reservations directly at (407) 939-1936 and a Cast Member will assist you in doing so. Bonus: If you call to make a reservation or ask a question, you get to listen to Disney music from the Parks and the parades! epcot-coffee-cupOn each of our 4 trips to Orlando, our family has stayed at a different Disney World Resort and I’ve found that there are tons of benefits for guests who stay at one, they just won’t get when you stay “off property” (a.k.a. a non-Disney World hotel). To be honest, I’d probably still stay at a Disney World hotel even if there weren’t benefits because I’m that Disney Mom who never wants to miss out on anything!  Today I want to share 10 great benefits of staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel with you, in hopes of helping you plan your next trip to Walt Disney World. Check them out! 10-benefits-of-staying-at-a-walt-disney-world-resort-hotelComplimentary MagicBands
MagicBands are literally your “key to the magic” and when you stay at a Disney World hotel,  you can customize your Magic Bands on the site first, with name and color, and they’ll be mailed to you for free, prior to your visit. During your vacation, Magic Bands are not only your room key, but they also access your FastPass+ selections, and even allow you to pay for anything you need during your trip because they’re linked to your credit card on file. Guests not staying on Disney property have the option to purchase MagicBands for a fee. walt-disney-world-magicbandsEarly FastPass+ Scheduling
Speaking of FastPass+ selections, here comes another cool part…when you have reservations at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, you can go online (either on the site or on the app) and schedule your FastPass+ selections, which include attractions, entertainment, or Character Greetings, 60 days out from your trip., as long as you already have your Park admission tickets or an Annual Pass. schedule-a-fastpass-on-the-appThat’s 30 days earlier than guests who don’t have a reservation “on property”. This allows you to secure highly sough after attractions early on so you can have those in place and rest assured. We felt so lucky to grab FastPass+ selections this past trip for Pandora  – World of Avatar, which is absolutely breathtaking, by the way! To learn more about FastPass+, go here.
Advanced Dining Reservations
Anyone wishing to dine at one of the restaurants at Walt Disney World Resort can make a reservation 180 days in advance. If you have a reservation at one of the Disney World hotels, you are actually able to make one 180 days in advance PLUS 10 days of your arrival date. That means you can make a dining reservation 190 days in advance of your arrival date and this can actually make a huge difference when you’re trying to land a reservation at one of the more popular restaurants such as Be Our Guest in Magic Kingdom, Victoria and Albert’s at the Grand Floridian, or  character dining such as Royal Sommerhus at Epcot or The Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom, which is one of our favorites. You can make a dining reservation either online or by calling (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463.crystal-palace-with-pigletDisney’s Magical Express
One of the best perks of staying on Disney property is not having to worry about transportation to and from the Orlando International Airport. Disney’s Magical Express is complimentary motorcoach transportation from the airport to select Walt Disney Resort Hotels, including checked luggage delivery straight to your room. This means that you don’t have to go to baggage claim and you can just head straight out to the Parks if you desire. Disney’s Magical Express operates between 5:00 A.M. and 10:00 P.M. To read more information about Disney’s Magical Express, go here.disneys-magical-expressExtra Magic Hours
This is one of my favorite benefits! Extra Magic Hours are only available to those guests staying at a Walt Disney Resort. Each day, one of the 4 parks has Extra Magic Hours, some are in the morning and some are in the evening, after park closing. I think the name “magic” is appropriate because it truly is magic, just how many attractions you can get on that would normally have you waiting for a much longer time period. When we took advantage of Extra Magic Hours at Magic Kingdom, we also found a lot of character photo opportunities as we walked down Main Street, U.S.A. Most of the time Extra Magic Hours are early morning so we just make it a point to get up early and get there on time. In the case of a popular attraction, especially during peak months to visit, Extra Magic Hour might be the only realistic way you can ride the attraction without waiting for a huge amount of time. seven-dwarfs-mine-trainTransportation to Disney Theme Parks, Disney Water Parks & Disney Springs
When you stay at a Walt Disney World Resort, you don’t have to worry about a rental car or transportation to and from the 4 theme parks, 2 Disney Water parks, and Disney Springs. Transportation for resort guests is complimentary and depending on which resort you’re staying at, you may have access to an air-conditioned bus, a relaxing boat ride, or even their world-famous Monorail. For more specifics on the complimentary resort transportation, please go heredisney-world-transportationDisney Dining Plan
The Disney Disney Plan is only available to Disney World Resort guests. It’s a great addition to add to your vacation, saves you a significant amount of money because it’s prepaid and includes a predetermined number of meals and snacks, per guest, per day, depending on which plan you have. To learn more about the different Disney Dining Plan categories or to add one to your vacation package, please go here.mickey-waffleShip Your Purchases Directly from the Parks to your Hotel
Another great benefit to staying “on property” is that you can have any (or all) of your purchases from the parks shipped directly to your resort hotel. I absolutely loved this option because there have been so many instances that we bought souvenirs which were either too large to carry around with us or too heavy to lug in my purse. This is such a great convenience to be able to take advantage of.walt-disney-world-where-dreams-come-trueAirline Check-In at your resort
This is just another great benefit guests will appreciate. If you are departing from Orlando International Airport, you’ll have the ability to check-in for your flight and receive your boarding passes and check your luggage, all from your resort. This benefit is available to guests flying on Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines (U.S. Domestic Flights Only), JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines. More information can be found about this service here.art-of-animation-little-mermaidResort Activities 
Not all of the Disney magic is reserved for the parks. When you stay at one of the Disney World Resorts, you’ll also find special activities geared towards both children and families. Each resort offers different activities such as crafts, pool games, movies under the stars, dance parties, and more. Some of our favorite activities during our stays included Mickey tie dye shirt making and S’mores night!disney-smoresIn addition to all of these key benefits, there are also other perks you’ll get once you’ve booked your stay at a Disney World Resort, such as special mailers and email reminders about different options to add onto your vacation. The whole experience is a magical one and for our family, there’s just no reason to ever stay anywhere besides a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel when we visit Walt Disney World!

memory-maker-epcot Have you been before? Share your favorite trip memory with me in the comments! If not, are you planning a trip soon? I hope so!For more information about Walt Disney World Resort, please visit their official site here.



Pixar Fest Set to Open at the Disneyland Resort April 13, 2018

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

We just got one more reason to be excited about spring! I know, I know, winter hasn’t even started yet. The holidays at the Disneyland Resort have yet to even arrive, but now there’s something to be excited about come spring: Pixar Fest at the Disneyland Resort! It’s going to be the biggest Pixar celebration ever to come to Disney Parks and will bring guests together to celebrate friendship and beyond beginning April 13, 2018!pixar-fest-at-the-disneyland-resortThis limited time event will bring some of the beloved stories from Pixar Animation Studios
to life in new ways, at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Parks,, with characters and experiences from films such as Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story”, “Monsters, Inc.,” “Finding Nemo” and “Up.” Guests will join the fun as they experience so many new additions in both parks. together-forever-fireworksA new fireworks spectacular – “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular,” will
celebrate Pixar stories through the decades as it lights up the sky over Disneyland,
connecting guests with characters they’ve come to know and love. Along with dazzling
pyrotechnics and memorable music, a heartwarming story celebrates the theme of
friendship, an ever-present concept in Pixar animation. Guests are invited to embark on
an emotional journey that begins with the meeting of unlikely Pixar pals and follows their
adventures as they overcome obstacles and forge everlasting friendships. “Together
Forever” comes to life through projections on iconic park locations: Sleeping Beauty
Castle, the water screens of the Rivers of America, the façade of “it’s a small world” and
the buildings of Main Street, U.S.A. The grand tradition of Tinker Bell flying over
Sleeping Beauty Castle also gets a Pixar twist, with a special flyover by Buzz Lightyear.pixar-fest-play-paradeTwo favorite parades will return to the Resort, both with fresh new Pixar surprises – .  For the first time, “Pixar Play Parade” will make its way through Disneyland Park this spring, and it’s being led by someone new. The parade will begin just as all Pixar films have, with an appearance by Pixar’s iconic lamp from the short film “Luxo Jr.” Other new parade elements will welcome characters from “Up” and “Inside Out.”pixar-fest-play-parade-2Also on April 13, the guest-favorite “Paint the Night” parade returns, and this time the
parade’s 1.5 million, brilliant LED lights and catchy tunes come to Disney California
Adventure. “Paint the Night” features pals from Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story,” “Monsters,
Inc.” and “Cars.” And another beloved Pixar story will join “Paint the Night” later in the
year, adding to this guest-favorite experience.

During PIxar Fest, guests can admire some new décor brought in for this limited time event. There will also be creatively themed food and beverage throughout the parks, as well as:

  • Exclusive event merchandise – For those who wish to get into character and celebrate friendship, an exclusive Pixar Fest charm bracelet will be part of the merchandise selection. With multiple bracelet options and a variety of charms with fun friendship messages and Pixar characters, guests can mix and match for themselves, or friends and family.
  • A collection of Pixar Shorts – Stop by the Sunset Showcase Theater at Disney California Adventure during most of Pixar Fest, to watch a collection of Pixar Shorts, including favorites such as “For the Birds” and “LAVA.” The short films will rotate during the celebration.
  • A musical troupe– Guests will be entertained with Pixar-inspired performances in the Paradise Gardens area of Disney California Adventure.Opportunities to meet n’ greet Pixar characters – A celebration of friendship this big is only complete with beloved characters like Buzz, Woody and Jessie from “Toy Story,” Mike and Sulley from “Monsters, Inc.,” Nemo and Dory from “Finding Nemo,” and Lighting McQueen and Mater from “Cars.” Those pals – and more – will be part of the fun at Pixar Fest.

Some exciting changes will be added to some of the existing attractions and entertainment in the parks that feature many favorite Pixar characters. Here’s what to expect:
At Disneyland

  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters: In this interactive attraction, guests fire lasers to
    help battle Evil Emperor Zurg, who is trying steal the batteries from helpless toys.
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage: Guests take a submarine voyage to explore
    the world of Nemo and his underwater friends.
  • “it’s a small world”: Woody, Jessie and Bullseye from “Toy Story” are among
    the many toys and dolls found in this classic attraction.
  • Character encounters with Pixar pals: Guests can continue to meet Merida
    from “Brave” in Fantasyland and Woody and Jessie from “Toy Story” in
  • “Fantasmic!”: Favorite Pixar characters appear in the finale of “Fantasmic!”
    nightly on the Rivers of America.

At Disney California Adventure

  • Cars Land: Guests step into the world of Radiator Springs with three attractions
    plus themed shopping and dining locations across 12 acres.
  • Toy Story Mania!: Guests shrink to the size of toys and take aim at objects to
    score points in 4D midway-inspired carnival games hosted by the characters
    from the “Toy Story” films.
  • “a bug’s land”: Shrinking to the size of a bug, guests experience this story
    through family-friendly attractions.
  • Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!: Guests take a wild taxi ride
    through Monstropolis with Mike and Sulley as they search for their lost human
    friend, Boo.
  • Turtle Talk with Crush: Crush, the sea turtle from “Finding Nemo,” interacts with
    guests in live, real-time, animated conversations.
  • “World of Color”: Characters from “Finding Nemo,” “WALL-E,” “Toy Story,” “Up”
    and “a bug’s life” appear in this nighttime water spectacular which combines
    animation, music, lights and color with more than 1,200 fountains.
  • DJ’s Dance ‘n Drive: Interactive dance party in Cars Land invites guests to
    move to the music.

Spring is looking to be an extra exciting time at the Disneyland Resort. For more information, please visit here.