Friday, December 28, 2012

iFly Adventure Orlando, FL off International Drive



Recently, Riley, Xander and I  had the chance to visit iFly off international drive, in Orlando, Florida which is about 20 minutes from Disney World. When I arrived I was happy to find that parking is free, you pull up to this really tall building that is blue, and kind of looks like something from N.A.S.A.


It was very loud when we pulled up because of the giant fan that reaches speeds of 140 plus miles per hour which is twice the speed of your average roller coaster!

The building where you check in is located next to the big blue building that you fly in, with a nice deck to sit and wait for your turn, it is stocked with soda machines, and has wheelchair access.

In the office building is just that. A small area where they have T-shirts for sale, the desk where you check in, restrooms and finally giant televisions on which you see who is flying.

The staff of iFly are all very good looking people, all young and fit I mean I would not normally say this-but you're going to notice.

When you arrive you can do a self check in, which really is just inputting your info like name and birthday, then once you have self checked in, they will call your name to get your paperwork signed. Once that is done you're given an armband.


The start of the journey! You start by climbing up about 30 stairs to the viewing area, the stairs are on the outside of the building with high arm rails.

The viewing area is just that, its a room with benches that you can sit and laugh your butt off at friends/family that decided that they want to fly, everyone is allowed in this room. In the viewing area there are alot of "warning signs" one talks about risk, like bumps, bruises and sprains, other talks about age, height and weight and finally another is just info.



 I was shocked to see how many of the participants were kids, Buggy wanted to go but she is only 2 and a half (they start letting them fly at 3 years old) so might have to take her back in a few months. They have other restrictions like if you are under 6 feet tall you must weigh less than 230 pounds, and those over 6 feet must weigh less than 250 pounds. Children under age 18 must have a adult to sign a wavier.


So its now time for myself, Riley and Xander to go to training! We leave the room and head up another 10 stairs to a little room which has lockers for all things in our pockets, or loose items (lockers are free and have a key). The training room is were you meet your instructor, ours was Chris and he showed us a video which talks about the hand signals that are used while in the air tunnel along with how to enter and exit. The movie is about 10 minutes long.

There are 4 hand signals, thumbs up is chin up, fingers in a peace sign out is legs out then bent in is legs in, and finally hang 10 is chill relax and have fun!

After the video you come back out to where the lockers are and get your helmet, goggles, ear plugs, not flattering jumpsuits and shoes if you need them.


It is good to have closed toed shoes when you come to iFly but if you're in sandals they do have shoes. The jumpsuits-oh the jumpsuits-wow lol they lift your butt and make you look chunky so trying to look good goes out the window so be prepared for that lol.

Also the jumpsuit goes over your own clothes no special changing is needed.


 Yeah!

Once you have lost all looking good rights you head out to the main viewing area and the show begins. The group enters into what is like a small plexiglass hallway with benches, the doors are shut and an air fan starts.

Your instructor goes in first, then here we go, each person gets 2 sessions of 60 seconds each which the average jump from a plane only lasts 45 seconds.

You enter the fan area which you feel like a fish because you're in a glass tank (the best way to describe how everyone is watching) so for me I was more embarrassed than scared lol.
You come in to the tunnel with your arms close to your chest then fan out with arms at about eye level with your chin up and legs lifted, I kept having an issue with keeping my legs out, I think it's because you're aware of the walls so you pull in from fear of hitting them. You also want to make sure to breathe because the air is being forced up your nose and you get that nice pancake face, which I seriously looked like an old man. Whoo! lol The time in the tank seems a lot longer then 30 secondss and I believe you reach the wind speed of 130 miles per hour or so.  I saw that with the kids they seemed to stay at about 110 mph. Your instructor is with you the whole time while you're in the tank, just to help you get the most flight as possible, because there are dead spots that you will just end up sitting on the net. Xander and Riley went after me and they did great, Riley was looking through the glass telling Paige "I'm done!" after like 5 seconds of being in there (because he wanted out) but we got him to go again. I loved how they make sure to go out of the way for kids, they take all kids by the arm and around the waist then crank up the fan and give them a really high shot into the air which the kids love!


I had a blast I would love to work there I mean wow what a fun job, after all the people in your group have gone the instructors get to go in and have fun showing off what they can do, Buggy was at the window and they would fly into it and she was laughing and having fun watching them. So once your done they shut the fans down and you go back up to the training room which you get your dvd if you purchased one, a certificate, and pictures if you want to buy some they are only 3-4 dollars per picture for them to be emailed,  which is a great price. For all the women/girls/guys with long hair ha ha ha I would recommend tucking it in the helmet because wow I had such a rats nest after to work with.


I would really recommend this for all ages that say they want to do it, it's not over priced for what it is, you get longer time in the air, you're in a much safer environment than if you were to sky dive and for $20 more you can go again!

Prices are as follows:
Earn Your Wings with our most popular first time flyer package. Includes two flights for one person in the wind tunnel for $54.95

Spread Your Wings and learn to fly with four flights for one person in the wind tunnel plus a DVD for $109.95

Spread Your Wings for Two can be shared by two people, so learn to fly with four flights in the wind tunnel plus a DVD for $129.95

Family Package can be shared by up to five people and includes a DVD of your experience and ten flights in the wind tunnel $269.95.

I promise it's a once in a life time experience that you will totally fall in love with when visiting Orlando, Fl.
It is wise to book in advance, and please show up a hour before to make sure your flight and training goes as scheduled.

Added by Paige: Xander and Riley after the first "training" flight didn't want to get back in for the second flight, after i begged them (through the plexiglass) they agreed and when they came out were begging ME! to go again, also I noticed that a lot of the people who came out from flying were saying what a great once in a lifetime experience it was, for those scared of sky diving, this looks like it really comes close without the dangers.
I would definitely take Xander and Riley back again, Xander already asked me if he could have his birthday at iFly!






Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Medieval Times!

Surrender to an age of bravery and honor and witness epic battles of steel and steed during our ALL-NEW SHOW. From ringside seats, discover a feast of the eyes and appetite with more action, more fun & more excitement than ever before.
As you thrill to a rousing live jousting tournament, marvel at awe-inspiring horsemanship and falconry, Medieval Times serves a four-course meal fit for royalty.
Hang on to your helmet. The show is about to begin.




Looking for something to do while in Kissimmee, Fl? Well check out Medieval Times!

Medieval Times is a one of a kind dinner show, the menu is that of the medieval days, which is soup, chicken, bread, sparerib, and potato. There is no flatware you eat everything with your hands! The chicken is a whole half of a chicken, drinks to choose are water or pepsi, but they do bring coffee at the end of the meal all drinks have free refills. If you would like any alcohol you can purchase from the bar wench.

Medieval Times is a show that which you have 6 sections and each section has their knight who they cheer for. The knights are green, blue, black & white, red, yellow and finally red & yellow. Each knight has different task to complete which include marksmanship, jousting, and sword fighting.  The kids were a little bored at the beginning because it looks like a lot of running back and forth on horses but once the knights brought out the swords the kids were totally into the show, yelling "Get him, Get him!". At the end of each game the knights who completed the task get 2 flowers which they throw into the crowd of their section. The winner of the tournament picks out a child from their section which the child gets a crown and sash.

I personally feel this would be more of a great "guys night out" kinda place. Its a one of a kind show that is nice to add to your family vacation cause your not going to experience anything like it anywhere else.

For more info on the show you can click here: http://www.medievaltimes.com/orlando/abouttheshow.aspx





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Thursday, December 20, 2012

The One and Only Arabian Nights



Arabian Nights is Orlando's number 1 dinner show. We had the privilege of checking out Arabian Nights with ALL 7 kids!

Parking was free, and the line for check in was not that bad we got there at about 7:10pm for an 8:30 showtime. We had the VIP experience which includes backstage tour, pictures of the kids on horses, guaranteed seating in rows 1-3 and drink upgrades to free wine and beer.


Upon entering they take your photo on a green screen (they insert their logo on it after the photo is taken) which is shown to you during dinner. and you have the chance to purchase at the price of  $20 for a 5x7 and 2 wallets or a full 8x10, or you can buy the whole package for $25.
Riley was making cross eyes in our picture, so we decided not to purchase, but they did offer us the chance to retake the photo after the show (didn't happen, kids were all way too hyper after to get them to stand still!)

After the picture you go through a small gift shop which had some neat stuff but we didn't really look because well 7 kids all wanting something gets pricy.

Once we were out of the gift shop we were in the grand room which has a nice pre-show of a belly dancer who interacts with the guests getting them to come up and learn some moves.

 Also in the grand room they have an appetizer of chips and salsa along with a cold pasta salad which was very good, it's buffet style so you can take your own.


Finally after about 30 minutes of being in the grand room we were able to get into where the dinner show will take place. If you're a VIP or rows A-F you go in the first set of doors to your right, everyone else heads back so better for them to stay to the left. As VIP we went through the first set of doors into the main show which we then walked onto the floor which was a mulch like dirt to go get the pictures of the kids on the horse.

Elizabeth and Joshua would not cooperate so they did not get their picture on the horse but the rest did.

Then from the pictures we went to meet the cast and horses, while we were there we saw a woman who was painting the one horse with hearts and tribal images for the show.
Then you could take a picture with another horse that they chosen to stand out, the rest of the horses were in their pen, they ask that you please do not pet the horses..

We left the meet and greet area and headed back to the main area which they had "horse races" going on. The kids got to take part of the "horse races" which was a stick horse and they played freeze tag. All kids can take part in this activity it was not for only VIP children.

Finally after the horses and such we went to our seats, in the mean time I took Sarah to get a new diaper and use the restroom which was very clean. Since having Sarah I have a travel system, (stroller and baby carrier set) I was able to park the stroller by the door and carry the car seat to the table. When we sat I had placed Sarah the long way on the bench so that the carrier was facing me, that was a big mistake because it slipped off and she went flying under the table just missing her head getting hit : ( bad mommy so then Paige figured out that the best way is to place forward like how we sat, it fit perfect on the backside of car and table.
We had the almost the whole row until 3 people got stuck with us (Sorry about that!) so the tables hold 12 per row. We were in the first row section J-1 because of them being long rows we had to come up with a strategy of how to sit kids so that they would cause the least amount of trouble (again, sorry to the people who got stuck by us!)  The server started us with pepsi (every table seemed to have pepsi, though I think we could have asked for something else, but we were too focused on getting kids settled) and water pitchers that they leave at the table so you can fill your cup as you like. Then Paige and I both had wine which was unlimited, and Paige did an upgrade of $15 for unlimited margaritas, hard lemonade or rum rummer, they said they would bring one every 20 mins which to me didn't feel unlimited, but she got 5 drinks, so she is not complaining!.
Paige and I both loved that our kids could also order off the adult menu, which I had the steak, Paige had the quarter chicken, 2 of my kids had the pulled pork and then the rest had chicken fingers with mac and cheese.


I noticed that when you are not VIP that when you sit down they bring the food out and you eat before the show, where as if you are VIP and doing the pictures with the horses and backstage tour, you kind of end up eating during the show, some might love this, some might not. For me, I missed a good portion of the beginning of the show because I was helping kids get settled with food (mom, ketchup!, Paige, a fork!)

The kids were all very good once they got their food (which was great! I loved my chicken, and the kids were all full and happy) and we watched the show which was amazing, I was surprised that it had such a nice story, about a girl from America that finds out she is a Princess and has to find her Prince (with the help of a genie)
The current featured production at Arabian Nights, The American Princess, is a lighthearted tale of adventure and romance.
On her 21st birthday, an all-American girl and champion rider discovers that she is actually the Princess Scheherazade. Along with her genie Abracadabra, Princess Scheherazade takes the audience on a magical journey around the world to find her prince – who must love horses as much as she does.
You’ll join the princess as Abracadabra takes her to Europe to see the famous military-style quadrilles; to Latin America to see the romance of the garrocha; to a Gypsy camp to see unbelievable acrobatics on horseback; to the world of Imagination to see that beauty of the magical, mystical unicorn; and back to the U.S.A. where four fabulous acts honor America!



I know our oldest kids understood the story but I don't think the younger ones did as much, but they were really excited when the performers did stunts on the horses, one girl jump roped on top of a horse! or the guy jumping through fire!

Although Arabian Nights offers unlimited Pepsi-cola soft drinks to guests of all ages, our guests over 21 years of age are invited to purchase one of our two Drink Packages to enjoy unlimited alcoholic beverages. Valid Photo ID is required.
drinks from the bar
  • Our Basic Drink Package is $5, and includes unlimited Bud Light and California blush wine all night inside the arena.
  • Our Premium Drink Package is $15, and includes unlimited House Merlot wine, House Chardonnay, Margaritas, Rum Runners, or our House Hard Lemonade all night inside the arena.



The Menu

All Entrées are served with dinner rolls and unlimited Pepsi-Cola products. We also include two Drink Packages for those guests over the age of 21 who wish to enjoy unlimited alcoholic beverages.
Our Basic Drink Package is $5, and includes unlimited Budweiser beer and California Blush wine. Our Premium Drink Package is $15 and includes an unlimited selection of Burgundy wine, Chardonnay, Margaritas, Rum Runners, or our House Hard Lemonade. Additional specialty drinks may be purchased a la carte from the bar. All a la carte drinks come in a souvenir cup.
Before the arena opens, our guests are invited to visit our complimentary appetizer buffet in the Great Hall. Once the arena is open, our friendly waitstaff will be waiting to take your entrée order.

Our History

On February 29th, 1988, Arabian Nights Dinner Attraction opened for business, fulfilling a dream for Owner and CEO Mark Miller. Bazy Tankersley, Miller’s mother, established  Al-Marah Arabian Horse Farm in 1940, where Miller grew up with a deep love and respect for horses. As an adult, Miller envisioned a place where the world’s greatest horses and riders could come together under one roof.
He wanted to keep the art of Equestrian performance alive, as horses are seen less and less in circuses and other performance venues because of poor footing or other logistics. Since it’s opening, Arabian Nights has become the most honored dinner show in the world, with nearly 9,000 performances. The show is ever-evolving, incorporating new generations and ideas. It is Central Florida’s largest family owned and operated attraction, and has been continually praised for setting and exceeding industry standards in the care and training of its horses. Arabian Nights is also proud to preserve dying equestrian arts, such as bareback acrobatics, training future generations of performers in these spectacular techniques.
Over the years, the show may have grown and the story may have changed, but one thing remains the same: Arabian Nights’ commitment to bringing quality equestrian entertainment to audiences of all ages.



Showtimes are Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at 6pm and Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 8:30pm.

Online ticket prices (save 25% by booking online!) are $50.49 for an adult, $30.99 for a child 3-11 and under 3 is FREE!

Purchase tickets online by visiting Arabian Nights Here

Monday, December 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Paige!

I am the one with the lamp shade : ) lol

Ripley's Believe It or Not!



This is definitely a place to go with older children, our kids all enjoyed it, but we as adults didn't get to stop and read and really enjoy because there was too much for the younger ones to get into, or run away from.


I was in shock on how there is really not that much to do once inside it looks like a huge 2 story building but it was far from that, it was like a maze, you kind of walk from room to room. Also you can take strollers, wheel chairs which there was 3 stairs to go up, and some areas it was a tight squeeze to get through with stroller and kids.

The kids loved the Bug car it was covered in instruments and they had a blast playing on it. I liked that fact about ripleys that they allowed for hands on because most places you touch anything and they will freak out but there were a lot of hands on things at ripleys. I have watched the tv series many times so it was neat to see some of the things in person.

It's a great place to let your mind wonder, and neat for those looking for a new look on certain aspects of life.

We had a good time but yeah I would recommend for persons of at least 10 and up so everyone can really enjoy what all strange and bizarre things they offer.

Ripley's Believe it or Not is open 7 Days a week and is located on International Drive about 15 minutes from Disney World. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Mrs Fields Winter Flurry Snowman Giveaway

This Review/Giveaway is done by Kathy's Freebies & Savings Happy Holidays everyone! I can't believe how fast Christmas is approaching. It's been snowing here in Wisconsin for a few days now. I just love the snow, how about you? Nothing is better than having some hot chocolate and cookies during the winter season. Have you tried Mrs Fields cookies yet? They are the most soft and delicious cookies ever! I received the Mrs Fields Winter Flurry Snowman to review. I couldn't believe how adorable this was. The snowman has on a hat and scarf, which makes this even more adorable. The snowman comes apart in three sections. It came with a bunch of different cookies, peppermint taffy and brownie bites. Everything was absolutely delicious. 102_2937   These are the softest cookies I have had ever. I've always tried to make my own cookies soft, but it never ends up right. I really loved the brownie bites and the cinnamon sugar cookies. Those were some of the best cinnamon sugar cookies I have ever had. Don't they look delicious? The brownie bites with the chocolate chips in them were so good. They were made with the perfect amount of chocolate and were soft and chewy. Best brownies I have ever had as well! cookiesIf you're still looking for a gift for Christmas, check out all of Mrs Fields goodies. I don't think you will be disappointed. They have a lot of different items to choose from, so it doesn't just have to be for Christmas. They have many goodies to buy for every occasion! Why not order yours today?
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...   Disclosure: I receive these products in exchange for a review. The opinions are all my own and may differ from yours. Theme Park Mama is not responsible for prize shipment. 

Thank you for entering at Theme Park Mama! 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Dinosaur World!

Dinosaur World located in Plant City, Florida exit 17 off I-4.
Paige and I went on Sunday, we got to Dinosaur World at about 11am. Dinosaur World is about an hour and half from Disney World, Fl.
We had 6 kids with us, I left behind Sarah because she is to young to understand anything and it was very hot.
Paige didn't think it would be as nice as it actually is, the pictures and brochures don't do it justice, from the outside she imagined it was old and run down, though she had heard that they have renovated recently so her image a few years ago might have been correct. She had never been until today and I had been once when my kids were about 5, 4 and 1 year old, which back then main building and play area did not exist.
We started at the playground it's the first thing you get to when you walk in, and if your kids are like ours they will take a detour to it. The playground is in 2 sections toddler,
and bigger kid.
Once your able to drag your kids away from the playground you walk across a small bridge and your now in the swamp with all the dinosaurs.

We you walk into Dinosaur World there are 3 sections, you have a path to your left which takes you on a little walkway with dinosaurs, the path to your right takes you to games and activities, and finally the path straight ahead takes you to T-rex, the caves which are host to a movie and picnic area. We started on the path to the right because I didnt want to get too far back because they have a dinosaur dig at noon (as well as other times, but we wanted to get it out of the way) which it was 11:00 now. The path to the right had a cute little pinic table along with a soda machine which cost a dollar for a can (woo! not too expensive!) they are Coca-Cola products.
All the trash cans are bright and colorful dinosaurs
They have signs posted all over about please do not touch the dinosaurs and stay behind the rope.
Every dinosaur at Dinosaur World has a sign saying what it is your looking at they have even upgraded some to accompany the smart phones.
There are over 150 dinosaurs at Dinosaur World I like that you can get clear pictures of all the dinosaurs you come across. These are a few of our kids favorites.
We headed back to the Fossil Dig because it was now noon, which they have other times but we didn't know at the time til we saw this sign.
Paige stayed at the playground with Elizabeth because I didn't wanna pay the $2 dollars for her to dig, (The free dig is included with admission, but only for kids age 4-11. I kind of wish I had because all the kids were able to dig and pick out their favorite 3 fossils, they all found at least one shark tooth.
They all loved it!(Can you tell how happy our oldest are? I think they wanted more than 3, which is why for an extra $2 you can let your child dig again during another time slot)
Paige and I would recommend that you do the fossil dig on the way out of the park (as the last thing you do) that way your kids have a nice souvenir and you can avoid them begging in the gift shop (which you have to enter to leave the park!)
After the fossil dig we went to the left which they have a T-rex head to take pictures in, the puzzle, another huge picnic area, soda machines, water area for pets, cooling area for guests and more.
T-rex head with Riley and Michael only ones who listen, since we told them all to get over there and only these 2 showed up!
Cooling area, and the saving the day soda machines.
Puzzle, Picnic area, and hidden dino.
Touch and Tell
At Touch and Tell the kids open a door, stick their hand in, feel around and try to identify what is in the door. They liked this area because some things felt a little weird so it was fun to scare each other.
The next stop the Boneyard! A really huge sandbox with bones to uncover.
At the Boneyard they have buckets, paint brushes, and shovels for the kids. This was Elizabeth's favorite thing to do, so much to the point we couldn't get her out and Joshua was thinking we were going to leave her there and he was worried lol. After finally getting Elizabeth out of the sand we headed over to the Skeleton Graveyard. Which is also the area where they have the movie and more picnic areas but it is under construction.
There are a few places which the kids can stick their heads onto a dinosaur and you get a pic.
They are made for really little kids which is a nice change from the ones you have to lift your child up to. While at Dinosaur World someone would have to go the bathroom, and I guess both Paige and I liked the bathrooms cause we both took pictures lol. Here are a few.
I have pictures of almost all the dinosaurs but i want to leave more for you to check out yourself. This was a fun time, things you need to know are: Only food they have are the vending machines, so your allowed to bring outside food and have a picnic in one of the many areas to eat. Pets on leashes and friendly are welcome.
Paige asked her youngest son Riley if he would go back he said "today? we are going today!" and was sad when she said not today, but yeah someday we will go back. All of our kids really enjoyed Dinosaur World it was a great way for kids to learn about Dinosaurs in a great environment.
It is $14.95 plus tax for adults, $11.95 plus tax for children ages 3 to 12 and $12.95 plus tax for seniors over 60. Parking is free. They also accept all major credit cards. So if you want something other than only Disney to do while in Florida check out Dinosaur World.