Category Archives: Travel

GameTime Arcade and Restaurant in Ybor City Tampa Florida Review with Video

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We recently visited an awesome arcade in Tampa Florida called GameTime.  They have so many games and the variety was immense.  There are games for adults all the way down to toddlers.  I took my 4 year old there and he had a blast.  We played the new Terminator game and he did pretty good.  We then played a pirate game where we were shooting some skeletons, and he got a little scared. He got out of the game and said, “That’s enough mommy.”  I thought that the game was a little intense too but was really neat and awesome graphics.  There was some arcade games that resembled a carnival atmosphere.  My son loved those games the most.  The games were all well kept and the lights were vibrant that drew you to them.  You wanted to play them all!  They had a nice selection of prizes you can win from the tickets.  There is also a restaurant and a bar area.  We ordered a cheese pizza and some lemonade.  The pizza was Chicago style and was thick and delicious.

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In Miami, Tampa and coming soon to Fort Myers we offer the ultimate experience combining the best in indoor amusement with great food, full sports bars (with multi HDTVs), party facilities (with catering) and loads of entertainment for the entire family!

Join the FUN CLUB and Receive 2 Hours of FREE GameTime in any location!
Print out a coupon for this here!  Good until 1/1/16

*Timed play card not valid on photo, prize or some e-ticket dispensing games. Timed play cards will not accrue e-tickets. This is NOT a coupon, you must sign-up online for the Fun Club prior to your visit to receive this offer.

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GameTime offers fun indoor amusement with something for all ages and a great place to celebrate DAD on Father’s Day. Challenge Dad in a round of family friendly video arcade games, shoot some hoops, ride our simulators, and win Dad an iPad, iPod or some Beats in our awesome redemption machines!

Each of our Restaurants and Sports Bars offer a fantastic menu that Dad is certain to enjoy and will have a great experience. In Miami we have added over $1 million in upgrades to our entire center, and the largest part of our project lies in our restaurant and sports bars. Dad can watch his favorite sporting event on 60 NEW TV’s up to 80″ in our main dining area and sports bar or upstairs in our modern pub and billiard lounge!

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Tons of FREE Disney Junior Crafts and Printouts

Maybe you’re stuck inside on a rainy or snowy day and need to entertain the youngin’s.  Maybe your child has a day off from school.  Maybe you just want to do a fun activity with your child and be the cool mom or dad on the block.  Whatever your reasoning is, it doesn’t matter, because I am telling you, as an adult, I would do over half of these activities for myself!  Good thing I have a preschooler that loves everything Disney like his mommy!  We can do these anytime when we want to show our #DisneySide !

Here’s some examples:
Sheriff_Callies_FREE_guitar Jake_neverland_pirate_FREE_hat

Just go to their website and have a little (or a lot) of fun!  There is also online games and videos!

Go to:  http://disneyjunior.disney.com/activities

Hey…psssssst…there’s a page for grown-ups too! Yippe! http://forgrownups.disneyjunior.com/

Wallaroo Station Children’s Zoo at Lowry Park Zoo Review

Yesterday we had a wonderful time at Tampa Lowry Park Zoo.  They just reopened the Wallaroo Station Children’s Zoo in May.  They updated Billabong splash pad zone.  It is MUCH bigger and there is a lot of water squirting and spraying around.  The ground is that rubber feeling and doesn’t get hot, so you and your kids can take off your shoes and walk around.  My son didn’t want to leave that area.  I brought his swimsuit and towel so he could change after playing.  He really loved the turtles squirting the water out of their mouths.

Watch my video of the Wallaroo Station rides.
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♥There is a new ride called, Lil Joey’s Caravan.
My son loved it!!!  It is a similar layout to a rollercoaster but it goes around the track slow.  The toddlers loved it.  It went around the track three times.  Your child has to be between 36 – 48 inches to ride.

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There is also:

♥Overland Express which is an adorable train.  An adult can ride with a toddler or baby. To be able to ride by him/herself, your child needs to be 4 or older.  I noticed that goes around two times.

♥Outback Bumper Boats, which are exactly what you’d think.  They are boats that you try to bump into each other with.  You have to be 3 years old to ride, maximum height is 48 inches and no more than 90 pounds.

♥Boomer’s Flyin’ Banana’s is a ride like Dumbo from Walt Disney World.  Your child has to ride by themselves though.  It goes around and up and down.  Your child has to be at least 3 years old and under 100 pounds to ride it.

♥Jungle Carousel is just outside the Wallaroo Station, but is a traditional carousel but with zoo animals.  Everyone loves a carousel!

There is a roller coaster called Tasmanian Tiger Coaster that my son didn’t want to ride.  But I wanted to!!  It’s a small one, but it looked so much fun!  You have to be 36 inches or taller to ride.

My child didn’t visit the new Hopper’s Mining Company, where you can look for fossils and gems, as there was just so much to do at the zoo we ran out of time.

My son did enjoy the Petting Zoo though.  He was able to pet some well behaved goats.  They were not the aggressive kind you see at some of these other petting zoo’s around.  He loved looking at the Haflinger horses in the barn next to the petting zoo!

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You can see these animals at Wallaroo Station Children’s Zoo area
African Pygmy Goat
Domestic Pig
Emu
Flying Fox Bat
Gang Gang Cockatoo
Green Tree Python
Haflinger Horse
Kookaburra
Llama
New Guinea Singing Dog
Palm Cockatoo
Pot-Bellied Pig
Queensland Koala
Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo
Rose-Breasted Cockatoo
Rosy Starling
Slender-Billed Corella
Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo
White-Tailed Black Cockatoo
Yellow-Footed Rock Wallaby

There is a Mommy Center now where you can go sit down and relax with a baby and feed him or her.  There is also a vending machine you can purchase much needed last minute supplies for your baby or toddler.

We could of spent all day in the Wallaroo Station Children’s Zoo area!  We decided to walk around and look at the other animals and ride the safari ride.

I have a hint:  If you ride the Expedition Africa Guided Tours safari ride, try to get the left side.  That’s where most of the animals are located, to the left of the tram.  You will be able to see adorable animals better.

We saw manatees, pet sting rays, watched a Florida panther run around, flamingo’s flap their wings while hopping, orangutans interacting with humans, and so much more!

There are many shows too at the Lowry Park Zoo!  You can check the schedule here!

What a fun time we had!  I recommend this zoo to anyone living in Florida or visiting Florida.  Even if you have no children, it’s a wonderful time!

You can take your toddler there anytime and get $3 off!

$3 off Zoo Admission for Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo!!! http://floridaparentsguide.com/coupon.php?regionid=405&bid=12004&lid=16613&dealid=1941 @LowryParkZoo @usfg

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Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is operated by the Lowry Park Zoological Society, an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to excellence in education, conservation and research. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and has been rated No. 1 by Parents magazine, “10 Best Zoos,” (2009) and Child magazine, “The 10 Best Zoos for Kids” (2004). The Zoo is located at 1101 W. Sligh Avenue in Tampa, one mile west of I-275 (exit 48) and is open seven days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Parking is free. Visit www.LowryParkZoo.org or call (813) 935-8552 for information. Also find the Zoo on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you to Lowry Park Zoo for providing me with admission so that I could review the new Wallaroo Station Children’s Zoo.

Hey #Tampa Visit the new Wallaroo Station at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo and get a discount

Receive a $3 discount!

See my review here!

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On May 11, 2002 Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo introduced Wallaroo Station, a 4.5 acre Australian-themed family area, where thousands of families with young children have enjoyed an interactive Australian adventure. The hands-on, family-friendly features helped the Zoo secure top honors from two national parenting magazines: Parents, “10 Best Zoos,” (2009); and Child, “The 10 Best Zoos for Kids” (2004).

Earlier this year, Wallaroo Station temporarily closed for remodeling – the first significant updating of this award-winning attraction in its 13 year history. Newly re-opened for spring, guests to the “new Wallaroo” can expect this Aussie area to be even more “Auss-ome” with new animals and upgraded amenities, including:

* a female Queensland koala named “Ceduna” (a mate for our male “Heathcliff”);

* “Bushland Birds” habitat with feathered friends and Fiji-banded iguanas;

* more water features in “The Billabong” splash ground;

* redesigned cafe with “grab and go” food and beverage;

* expanded dining area with additional seats and shade canopies;

* a new nursing mothers area with baby-friendly features;

* a new and fun ride for young children – Lil’ Joeys Caravan;

* new midway games and activities;

* ponies on parade (twice daily) and a goat show; and

* livestock training demonstrations with ponies and llamas.

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EXPLORE

Take a trip to the “Land of Oz” and visit a variety of animals of Australia and its neighbors including koala, wallabies, cockatoos, emu, singing dogs and flying fox bats. Help welcome the newest Aussie additions – a female Queensland koala named “Ceduna,” colorful birds and Fiji-banded iguanas, and take a walkabout with the wallabies in their walk-thru exhibit. The petting area features a herd of friendly goats that children can brush, pet and feed. Adjacent to the petting area, families can step into a barn that houses Haflinger horses and llamas. Don’t miss the new daily pony parade, goat show and livestock training demonstrations!

PLAY

The newly upgraded “Billabong” water play area takes kids “down under” to an interactive splash zone with in-ground fountains and free standing water features. Try your hand at new midway games with the chance to win prizes and souvenirs, or go mining for gems and fossils at the new Hopper’s Mining Company.

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RIDE

Children can take a spin on one of five fun rides: the NEW Lil Joey’s Caravan, Tasmanian Tiger Family Roller Coaster, Overland Express Kiddie Train, Boomer’s Flyin’ Bananas and Outback Bumper Boats.

REFRESH

Parents can enjoy added shade while their little joeys cool off in the water play area. Next door is Boomer’s Cafe, a redesigned grab-and-go restaurant offering a variety of freshly prepared foods and drinks. A “mommy center,” designed for nursing mothers, provides shade and privacy for infants and caregivers.

About Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is operated by the Lowry Park Zoological Society, an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to excellence in education, conservation and research. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and has been rated No. 1 by Parents magazine, “10 Best Zoos,” (2009) and Child magazine, “The 10 Best Zoos for Kids” (2004). The Zoo is located at 1101 W. Sligh Avenue in Tampa, one mile west of I-275 (exit 48) and is open seven days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Parking is free. Visit www.LowryParkZoo.org or call (813) 935-8552 for information. Also find the Zoo on Facebook and Twitter.

Enjoy the Savings! Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo has offered to give my readers $3 off Zoo Admission! http://floridaparentsguide.com/coupon.php?regionid=405&bid=12004&lid=16613&dealid=1941 @LowryParkZoo @usfg

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Free Star Wars Disney Pin and activities at Disney Store 5/4 May the Fourth Be With You!

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This year the Disney Store is bringing the Force to Guests on May the 4th, the official Star Wars fan holiday!

 

At Disney Store locations nationwide, Guests will be introduced to the story and characters that started it all in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope with fun in-store activities, giveaways and promotions.

The first 100 Guests who visit a Disney Store location on Star Wars Day will receive a FREE Limited Edition Star Wars pin perfect for starting or adding to an existing collection.

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Kids ages 3 and up are invited to learn about the “Ways of the Force” where they can:

  • Discover the Jedi Mind Trick and learn how Obi-Wan Kenobi uses it to serve the greater good
  • Master a Lightsaber through hands-on training
  • Help Luke Skywalker destroy the Death Star through an interactive experience on the Media Wall
  • Participate in a Medal of Bravery CeremonyGroupon_Disney_Coupons

Disney Store will also release new exclusive Star Wars merchandise to the current assortment of product, including talking action figures.
Ad copy from the Disney Store Blog.

Get Your FREE Favorite Walt Disney World and Disneyland Character Autograph Photo

Disney_Free_AutographsWrite to your favorite Disney character and tell them how much you love them.  From the comfort of your own home, just write and ask for an autograph and you will receive a FREE photo autograph from them!
(Insert the character you’re writing in the Attention field for quicker turn around)

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Example:
Walt Disney Company
Attn: Figment Fan Mail Department
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521

Walt Disney Company
Attn: Fan Mail Department
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521

Walt Disney World Communications
P.O. Box 10040
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-0040

The picture will arrive with 4-6 weeks.

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Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort for Toddlers

Traveling to Epcot with a toddler
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I think Epcot is an amazing place to take toddlers, kids, and adults for that matter. There is a lot to do believe it or not.  You can keep a toddler entertained at Epcot. Here is an in depth look at what is good for toddlers during a trip to this unique Walt Disney World Resort park.

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1. Make sure you have a stroller
It’s good to have one for your child to rest so they don’t get as cranky as if they had to walk.  Or you would have to hold them a lot!  You can rent one for $15 inside the park if you didn’t bring your own.  Walk through the ticket (Magic Band) scanner and then to your left.  You should see the stroller and wheelchair rental shop.  When you rent a stroller you get to write your name or last name on a character card.  Most people don’t ever mention this, but on the back of card with your name written on it, is a keepsake souvenir.  Here is a picture before we filled it out at home.

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2. Bring snacks
You can bring food into the park.  I’ve brought bananas,  peanut butter, GoGo squeeze pouches, lollipops, crackers, and many other little snack items for my toddler and myself.  It really helps to just pull a snack out when you’re walking from attraction to attraction. Or during a line for an attraction or show.

3.  I want it, I want it!
Your child will definitely want a souvenir, so try to wait until the end of the night after Illuminations.  The stores up near the front of the park are open for an hour after the park closing time.  During the day, tell your toddler if they are on their best behavior, they will get a toy or souvenir after the fireworks.  It seemed to work for me.  If my toddler got a little out of hand in the line, (swinging from the rope que in line), I would remind him that if he did not listen, he couldn’t get that toy.

4.  What can my toddler ride or see?

To Ride:
Spaceship Earth
Journey Into Imagination
The Seas with Nemo and Friends
Living with the Land (Boat ride inside the Land)
Ellen’s Energy Adventure
Soarin (If your toddler is 40 inches)
Test Track (If your toddler is 40 inches)
Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros (Boat ride in Mexico)

Shows:
Captain EO 3-D Movie (Next to Journey Into Imagination) (On hiatus for Tomorrowland movie preview)
The American Adventure (World showcase)
The Circle of Life (Inside the Land- might be boring for toddler,possible nap time!)
Turtle Talk with Crush (Inside The Seas with Nemo and Friends)
Impressions de France (World showcase)
O’ Canada (World showcase)
Reflections of China (World showcase)
Train set outdoor (Near Germany)
Illuminations (light and firework show at closing around the lagoon)
Interactive Play:
Advanced Training Lab (Inside Mission Space, playground)
Coral Reef Aquarium (Inside The Seas with Nemo and Friends)
ImageWorks (Inside Journey into Imagination)
Jumping water fountains (Outside Journey Captain EO entrance/exit)
Innoventions East
Innoventions West
Project Tomorrow: Inventing the Wonders of the Future (Inside Spaceship Earth)
Flavors of the World (Future World)
Kidcot Fun Stops (In all countries, read # 6 below for more information)
Disney Phineas and Ferb: Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure (In most countries See #7 below)
Splash Pads (See #10 below)

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5. Take a long Break
The best place to let your family and your toddler rest would be the Ellen’s Energy Adventure.  It’s a 45 minute “ride”, they call it a traveling theater.  The first part is Ellen and Bill Nye the Science guy talking.  Around the 12 minute mark, you are then riding through looking at dinosaurs for about 5 minutes, then back to Ellen and Bill for the rest of the ride.  It’s a great place to encourage a nap as your seated for that long and it’s air conditioned.

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Click for a larger view of each countries stamp and unique signature

6. Kidcot Fun Stops
This is such a wonderful FREE magical experience for your family and your toddler.  When you arrive at World Showcase, you can go to the first country and find the Kidcot station.  Usually they are in the back near or inside a shop.  It’s like a scavenger hunt trying to find the stations, which is fun and lets your family see a little bit more of what each country has to offer!  Once you are at the first Kidcot station (It will be marked with a sign “Kidcot”), you will see a table full of a characters on a stick and markers.  Pick your family up one or two and have the cast member sitting at the Kidcot station sign the back of the stick!  The cast members usually make really cute signatures representing their countries.  Your toddler can use the markers to color the front of the character they choose.  Go to each Kidcot station in each country to collect all the signatures.  You can also buy a Epcot Passport and have the cast member sign a page for their country and stamp it with the date in which you visited them.

 

 

 

7. Disney Phineas and Ferb: Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure
This is also a fun FREE experience for the whole family.  It probably wouldn’t be just for a toddler, as you need to be able to work the little gadget cell phone device they give you to do the hunt.  This too is like a scavenger hunt.  You will find hidden moving objects that other guests who are not doing this hunt won’t.  Sometimes you may interact with a cast member.  You pick which country you would like to do the hunt in, and stay in that country until it’s finished.  You can go back and start another country’s mission too.   You can pick up your device at the Italy or Norway Pavilions, International Gateway (near the UK Pavilion), or the east side of the main walkway from Future World to World Showcase.

8. Where to find characters?
When you walk into Epcot, you will see a map/guide holder.   Make sure you get the TIME GUIDE as well as the map, because it will tell you the times of the characters (and shows/entertainment).  Make sure to pick up a couple extra and store them somewhere, (like the bottom of the stroller).

Figment: He is ONLY at Epcot and occasionally found near the jumping fountains near the entrance of Captain EO.  He’s known to come out with Dreamfinder.

China
Mulan

Epcot Character Spot
Chip and Dale
Mickey and Friends

France
Aurora
Belle

Germany
Snow White

Main Entrance
Pluto

Mexico

Donald Duck

Morocco
Jasmine
Aladdin

Showcase Plaza (World Showcase)
Duffy the Disney Bear

United Kingdom
Mary Poppins
Pooh Bear
Tigger
Eeyore
Alice (Alice in Wonderland)

Visa Character Spot
Only for Disney Visa Cardholders
Inside Innoventions West and usually Mickey Mouse is the character.

9.  Get a free Soda and pep for the family
If you need a little sugar pep during the late afternoon, get your toddler and family a little sip of each of the soda’s at Flavors Around the World.  You get little cups to try soda’s for free from Italy, Greece, Thailand, Japan, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Peru, and Brazil.  Our favorite was South Africa’s soda called Bibo, but don’t forget to try Italy’s soda!  This is in Future World near Innoventions West.

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10.  Cool off at the Splash Pads or at a water mister
There is a splash pad near Innoventions going towards the World Showcase on the right.  It has a rubber surface and water sprouting up.  Let your toddler run around in there to cool off.  (Bring a change of clothes or their swimsuit/swim trunks).There is also misters near Test Track and Ellen’s Energy Adventure.   You can find a couple other misters around the park.  Toddlers seems to love these both.  (And kids of all ages really!)

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#Kidcot #Epcot #WaltDisneyWorld #FlowerandGardenFestival #EpcotCharacters #MeetDisneyCharacters