Friday, August 1, 2014

Disney's Frozen Summer Fun at Hollywood Studios - Orlando Florida


For the First time in forever Disney's Hollywood Studios is having a Frozen summer fun celebration. This celebration is very special for several reasons but the first is that there is very little Frozen out there right now at the parks, so having this celebration finally brings Frozen to Disney World. But its also special in that it's a very limited time, in fact in only ran in July and will run in August which means that after August it will be gone. People have talked about hoping that Disney will keep in or at least extend it. This is somewhere unlikely simply because all the locations that the events take place are where they hold other special events at other times of the year. Not to worry though if you are heading to the parks in the next month there is a lot to enjoy.

Anna and Elsa
First off you need to know that Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff along with skiers, and skaters will make their way down Hollywood Blvd at eleven in the morning to greet all the people of Hollywoodland. Once they make their way down to the hat Anna and Elsa are presented with Flowers on stage and host a very special sing a long. It's a fun parade, but you can tell that Disney kinda threw in together at the last minute, (which they did for all the Frozen stuff). But it's still very entertaining.

If you love Frozen and the music from it like a lot of people do, then you can attend a Frozen sing a
long. Where two hosts will tell you the history Arendale while breaking for sing a longs with your favorite Frozen songs. And at the end if you're lucky, Anna, Elsa and even Kristoff might make an appearance. If you want to attend the sing a long its about 20-30 minutes and takes place in the premier theatre, and you need go there early in the day to get a ticket for the time you want to come back and see the show.

Figure Skaters
If you want to see something really special head over the Oakens the store for a ton of Frozen merchandise which is not easy to find right now. But right next door you can go in a summer fun land, where you can rent ice skates and skate for 30 minutes, or build a snowman out of real snow. But about 15 after the hour until 4:15 you can see a pair of figure skaters (someone told me from Disney on ice) figure skate to Frozen music. I like to get there a bit early and just cool off and find a good place to sit. I like to stand at the railing as if you sit on the benches people will stand in front of you. For the summer fun land and for Oakens there can sometimes be a line so be prepared for that, its not usually too long, but there can be a line.

And if you want to stay until the park closes, you can see the fireworks that are summoned by Elsa. At about five thirty a dance party takes place in front of the hat, and this will go on until fireworks time. There is a small stage show and the fireworks. The show usually starts about nine thirty and the fireworks at about nine forty five.

If you aren't sure if you want to attend any of these events not to worry you can find them online to get an idea of what you are looking at. And I have included a couple videos from my time at Frozen Summer Fun.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Ride - Orlando Florida

It's official the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Ride is open at the New Fantasyland at Disney World! There has been a lot of hype around this ride and Disney was trying to keep things about it secret up until they started their soft opening last week. I have to admit that I was a bit surprised at the wait time, when I got there at about eleven in the morning today, it was only an hour wait. I was expecting a much much longer time than than. It's my understanding that fastpasses are gone for at least a couple months, but it can't hurt to double check.

The ride itself is not very long, around two minutes. It's a smooth ride, not a lot of jerks or bumps like some other coasters. The ride is actually really good, the best part is not the coaster part, its the dwarfs part. You get to go through and see the dwarfs mining and the gems, maybe it was just because it was new, and I had never riden it, but  I found myself acting like a little kid the first time I rode it, pointing and going "awww".

This is a great family ride, its not all that scary, tamer than Thunder Mountain and not as jerky Barnstormer. If you are looking for a thrill ride, you might be disappointed. But if you are looking for a mild ride, its really good. I would say that most kids would enjoy it and it would not really scare them. I would tell anyone with or without kids to make sure that they rode this ride. However if you can't get a fastpass you might want to wait until right before the park closes to see if the line thins out or hit it when the park opens.

Just to kinda give you a taste of the ride I have added a video of the ride so you can see what it's like.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

T. T. Wentworth Museum - Pensacola Florida

The T. T. Wentworth museum has been around for a quite a while in Pensacola, granted it has gone through many changes through the years, and while the current museum is merely a shell of what the entire museum use to be it's still something that well worth seeing. The original museum was donated to the city by Wentworth, and opened in 1988. It housed Wentworth's collection of odd things shall we say. Things that were included were a mummified cat, things like what was suppose to be a dinosaur bone, and his other non really odd things were on a different floor. Museum is no longer in the building that it used to be housed in and it focuses more on things other Wentworth's collection.

The first floor has what they still have on display of Wentworth's collection, crammed in one or two small rooms, and honestly not very well displayed. It could be a bit more focused on his collection but since you can still see most of it, its worth going to. You can also see a Postal Exhibit that is pretty good on the first floor, and an exhibit about the City of Five Flags itself, Pensacola. The second floor has several rotating exhibits, so its best to check in advance if you're planning to visit.

The third floor use to house a discovery exhibit for kids, an interactive area. It use to feature unique things that educated children. Then it was used as a discovery area to children that was not as good but still fun for the young ones. But now its an open area that is to be used for more traveling exhibits.

Overall its a little disappointing if you ever went to the old T. T. Wentworth museum, but you can still see a lot of his artifacts on the first floor, even if they are poorly displayed and a little cramped. So its worth going to check out. You won't need a full day even if you want to check out all the other exhibits, I would say maybe a couple hours if you want to take your time, and enjoy yourself, and most of your time will more than likely be spent looking the Wentworth's collection. That is only thing that makes this museum worth visiting. So for that I highly recommend it to any visitor in the area.

The museum is free, there is not admission it's closed on all the major holidays. And is open from 10 in the morning to four in the afternoon, on Tuesday through Saturday.

It is located at 330 South Jefferson Street in Downtown Pensacola.
Their phone number is 850-595-5990.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

National Naval Aviation Museum - NAS Pensacola Florida

If you find yourself in Pensacola Florida and you are looking for a morning or afternoon adventure you should look into visiting the Naval Museum that is at NAS Pensacola. The first thing that you need to know is that it's on a Naval base. You can still visit it, and it's free, but when you get to the security checkpoint just tell them you want to visit the Naval Museum, they will give you instructions on how to get there. Just remember that you are on a Military base and you need to follow what they say, and don't decide to sightsee, you could end up in some trouble if you do that. That being said, once you get to the museum there is a lot that you can see and that will keep you busy. When I was little I always loved heading out to the museum, it was a fun and free activity that the whole family could do and have a good time.

If you are interested in seeing the cockpit of some of the aircrafts that are used or have been used in the past you are in luck. There are many of these available for you to climb in and sit at the cockpit of. The have moved these throughout the museum during the course of the years I have been going but the last time I visited the museum they were in south wing on the second deck. Be sure to bring your camera!

You will find that the museum has many exhibits such as different aircraft, but also exhibits that are about our space travels. You can also visit some exhibits that pay tribute to World War I, and even Sunken Aircraft. There are many exhibits that you should explore while visiting the museum those are just a few to name. Just remember if you are able to when you visit to go see the aircraft that is outside, weather permitting.

If you time your visit at the right time and the right day then you can catch a Blue Angels practice while visiting the museum. And on some days they hold a meet and greet inside the museum that is free to all museum visitors. This is something that many non locals view as a once in a lifetime event. So be sure to check the schedule of the Blues before you plan your trip if you are interested in this.

The museum itself is free, and it's open to the public. But the extras like the IMAX and simulators are not free and do cost a fee to see. You can visit the museum's website to find out what is playing and what the costs are for these events.

Naval Aviation Museum Website

Open 9 AM- 5 PM Monday-Friday
Open 10 AM- 5 PM Saturday and Sunday
Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day

Admission is Free

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Wildlife Sanctuary of Northwest Florida - Pensacola Florida

When I was a little kid my mom would always take us to places that were local and fun to visit. When I was really little my mom would take us to this sanctuary in Pensacola that housed animals that could not be released back into the wild or that just needed to heal and then be released or be placed in zoos. Some of the many things that we got to see when we went was a bear cub, owls, and a baby deer that someone had tried to keep in their back yard and it got hurt on the fence. When I was a kid the sanctuary would take cans as donations to help them keep running, I remember helping my mom save these cans so that we could go and help out the animals as well. Well now that I'm older I'm very please to say that I have located this sanctuary and to tell others that it's still around. It might have moved and it's a little different but it's great none the less.

The sanctuary still houses animals that can't be released or that need care to heal. And they help animals that people find and have a phone number for you to call if you find an animal that needs help. They allow people to come by and visit their animals that live at the sanctuary, they house over a hundred animals that can't be released. If you plan to visit the sanctuary then you might want to make sure that you know they keep strange hours, as far as I know right now they only allow people to visit their animals on Wednesdays - Saturday from noon to three thirty, but this can change. This might not seem like a long time but it's a great afternoon outing and it's a relaxing visit.

While I love animals and zoos can be fun this place is much better than any zoo I have been to. It's a calm and relaxing atmosphere and all the animals that that are there are being taken care of to help release them back into the wild or find them a more permanent place because they can't be released, or call the sanctuary home because they can't find homes elsewhere. There are a lot of animals that you see on your visit but it won't take you all afternoon to see them all. The last time that I visited I was able to see a wide range of critters including a serval and owls.

If you find that you can't head out on a weekday keep checking their website because sometimes if you find the right Saturday they might do an open house. This is where people can come and see some of their animals and they might even have animal encounters going on. This is a great way to head out there if you find that weekdays aren't the best for you or your family.

The Sanctuary is located at:

105 North "S" Street
Pensacola, FL 32505

Phone Number:  (850) 433-9453

Hours for Visiting:  Wednesday - Saturday: 12 noon to 3:30 p.m.

If you find injured wildlife drop offs are everyday from 8-5

They only ask for a small donation to help keep the sanctuary running, in order for you to visit.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

When the cool of Fall comes to south Florida and the thoughts of ghosts, ghouls and goblins start to cross your mind consider making a trip to the Magic Kingdom. On certain nights during the fall Disney’s Magic Kingdom holds it annual Halloween party, called Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. This is a family friendly Halloween party that it suitable for all ages, from trick or treating to parades and villains dancing, this party has something for everyone.

The Halloween party is an extra admission event that is held at the Magic Kingdom, you have to buy a ticket to the Halloween party, it is not included in park admission, but it’s well worth it. Once the party starts guests can take part in things that aren’t offered during regular park hours. A Special parade is held, along with a villain’s dance party, and trick or treating, not to mention the haunted mansion is made extra creepy for these special nights.

If you have never been to the party its good to know that you should arrive early, you can usually start to enter the park at least thirty minutes before the start of the party using your Halloween party ticket. Once you get in the park you should pick up a times guide for the Halloween events. If you can it’s a good idea to not go on Friday as this can be the busiest day to go.

The Dapper Dan's
I recommend starting out with visiting some of the trick or treat locations that are throughout the park. These locations are marked on the Halloween map; if you hit these early in the evening and late then you should not have much of a wait. So I think its best to hit one or two when the party first starts, and then by 7:30 have your spot for the first parade. Usually the parades will start at 8:30 and 10:30, I think its best to go to the early parade and be there at least an hour early. Most people will go to Main Street but this is a rookie mistake you want to head over to Frontierland to watch the parade, the parade starts in Frontierland and ends on Main Street. Spots will fill up fast and you want to get a good spot. I usually head to Casey’s Corner and grab some corn dog nuggets and find my spot in Frontierland an hour before the parade.

The Caretaker from the Haunted Mansion
Spots for the Boo to You Halloween Parade are hard to come by so guard it well, make sure that your entire party is there and waiting. It’s also important to note that before the parade you can see two things that can’t be seen at any time, the Dapper Dan’s are dressed up and singing stories or Halloween ghouls before the parade, if you are lucky you might catch wind of them signing of the scariest ghoul of all, the Headless Horseman. But beware about five minutes before the parade starts the Headless Horseman himself will ride through the parade route. (Please note, he cannot stop so make sure that you are clear of the route before he rides).  Following the horseman’s ride the parade will start and feature many of your favorite Disney characters dressed up in their costumes. If you are lucky you might catch a glimpse of some Disney ghouls such as the Haunted Mansion’s ballroom dancers, the Caretaker from the Haunted Mansion and his dog, the Hitchhiking ghosts, and classic Disney villains.

The Headless Horseman
Once the parade is over you should have a little time to hit a trick or treating spot or two or maybe a ride with a short line, but watch your time. If you want to catch the special Halloween fireworks show called Happy Hallowishes you will want to make sure that you give yourself plenty of time. Here’s a tip, don’t make the rookie mistake of watching the fireworks on Main Street, go to Beast’s Castle about fifteen minutes before the fireworks and watch them from there. There are fewer crowds, and it’s a much better view.

Haunted Mansion Dancers

After the fireworks it’s a good time to walk around and hit up a few of the rides that have shorter lines, then by about 10:00 the lines for a lot of rides will start to slack off and so will the trick or treating lines. A lot of people will be waiting for the second parade, and then will be leaving after that. So many ride lines that are usually very busy will thin out, when I was there the Peter Pan ride line was only a five minute wait, and Thunder Mountain was walk on. By 11:00 most trick or treat locations were cleared out and had no wait at all. It’s a good idea to make sure that you time your events well, that way you can make the most out of your time.

If you can try to plan visiting the Haunted Mansion during the second parade, the line will be pretty short and it’s a great time to do it. The cast members at the Haunted Mansion will be dressed up with makeup and
Haunted Mansion
cobwebs to look like they are dead and if you hang around in front of the mansion you can meet a ghost with a sense of humor. On the front lawn of the mansion you can meet one of the ballroom dancers, who likes to talk and make jokes at those that are still living. When I went her name was Miss Renalda, but it changes as to who is visiting each night. It can be fun to just hang out and watch her for a few minutes. She can be seen as you enter the mansion and as you exit the mansion.

While the Halloween Party is only a few hours long usually about 5 hours I think, if you know when and how to do things you can make the most of your time without having to rush at all. Just to give you a taste of some of the things to do, here are a couple of videos that I took at the party during my last visit.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Kooter Brown's - Pensacola Florida

So it has been a while since I talked about one of the best features of traveling, the food! It's always so much fun to try out new places to eat that you can't find in your home town. The best way to find some of these places to read up on reviews and to find out what the locals like. And if you want a great place in Pensacola follow the bumper stickers that say "I would rather be a Kooter than a Hooter". One of my all time favorite places is a small local place called Kooter Brown's, they are located in Pensacola Florida.

Kooter Brown's is a small restaurant that is a local place, that serves the typical food that you might associate with watching a football game. As a matter of fact that is the point behind this hidden treasure. It is meant to be a small place where people can come in and have a bite to eat and watch their favorite sporting event, no matter where you sit in this place you can see a television, and if you come in and wish to watch a certain event, all you have to do is request it, and they will either seat you in a place where you can see it, or turn the channel. If you are true sports fan you will also love the decor of the place, they have sports photos, banners and jerseys hanging all over the restaurant. Many professional and college teams are represented but there are also a good amount of local teams supported with their photos on the walls.

Now on to the good stuff, the food. If you find that you want to try out some of their Pre Game Warm Ups, I would have to tell you to try out the Fried Pickles. I love fried pickles and have tried my fair share of different versions, but this is by far my favorite. Most of the time when I go the person that I am with has to be careful before I eat all that they bring us. I would also highly recommend their chicken wings as a main course, my personal favorite is the honey BBQ, but I know that everyone's taste is different. I do have to admit though that they have very good wings, I usually don't care for wings but I keep finding myself craving Kooter's wings.

One thing to keep in mind is that when big games are being played the place is much more packed than when it's an off time for sports. Weekdays during the afternoon is one of the best times to go if you want to avoid the crowds. Plus if you go during the afternoon you can take advantage of the lunch specials. So now if you ever see someone with a bumper sticker in Pensacola that reads "I'd rather be a Kooter than a Hooter" you know what they are talking about.

6014 N 9th Ave 
Pensacola, FL
(850) 484-3100