Double-Digit Extravaganza!! (Part 1 of 3)

Friday, July 10, 2015 by  

Birthday joy, tickets to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios, Florida, Orlando, great excitement (3)Birthdays are a big deal in our household. Turning double digits?  Birthday joy, tickets to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios, Florida, Orlando, great excitement (2)

Well, that’s just momentous.

These photos are the tickets to an adventure of a lifetime: We took Little One on a Tweendom Extravaganza to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Orlando, Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Titanic Artifact Exhibit, Disney’s Epcot Center, and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to visit Winter & Hope of Dolphin Tale 1 & 2, CoCo Key Water Resort & Mystic Aquarium.

We walked over 120,000 steps – thank you, pedometer – which translates to 52 miles!

In blue are links to Parts 2 & 3 of this story – yes – so remarkable, they deserve their own posts!

To explore the magical world of wizards & wands, chocolate frogs, Butterbeer & Platform 9 3/4, click Part 2: Harry Potter World

To see Winter, the sweet dolphin who lost her tail when she was only 2 months old, click Part 3: Winter & Hope
Animal Kingdom, Disney World, Magic Kingdom, Epcot (2)  Animal Kingdom, Disney World, Magic Kingdom, Epcot (6) Animal Kingdom, Disney World, Magic Kingdom, Epcot (7)

Animal Kingdom, Tree of Life, Rainforest lunch, up close with Little One’s favorite bird, Safari

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Disney World’s beautiful Main Street and big smiles!

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Cinderella’s castle, reserved birthday spot to see Disney’s Fantasy Parade & meet the characters, Animal Kingdom, Disney World, Magic Kingdom, Epcot (19) Animal Kingdom, Disney World, Magic Kingdom, Epcot (20) Animal Kingdom, Disney World, Magic Kingdom, Epcot (21)
Enjoying Disney’s Ferry Boat ride, power lines on the I-4 – cool!! and Epcot Center

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Gorgeous Annual Flower Festival at Epcot, Space Center, coral reef cuddles

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Animal Kingdom, Disney World, Magic Kingdom, Epcot (26)  Universal

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Dad & Little One enjoying the water resort where we stayed. That slide was insane!

CoCo Key Water Resort Orlando (2) CoCo Key Water Resort Orlando (1)

♥♥♥ And best of all was celebrating at Mystic Aquarium & CoCo Key Water Resort with family & friends. ♥♥♥

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bright spot flowerThe Bright Spot – Enjoy the stories of Harry Potter World and Winter & Hope by clicking these blue links…or just keep scrolling, they’re next. We highly recommend both vacation sites!!  🙂


Bianca

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Part 2 of 3)

Thursday, July 9, 2015 by  

Harry Potter World, Universal, Harry Potter, wizards, wands, Universal Studios (28)Incantations, frothy Butterbeer, chocolate frogs & interactive wands. Hogsmeade & Diagon Alley, Hogwarts Express & Flight of the Hippogriff…all wizarding wonders our young Harry Potter aficionado enthusiastically embraced.

Humidity & sunny 90 degree weather in a full-length black satin & polylined cloak ~ with a touch of heat exhaustion on the 2nd day ~ could not stop this 10-year-old from soaking in the sights & sounds of Universal’s magical adventure.

The conductor at Hogsmeade, spotting her special birthday pin, suddenly stopped the crowd of hundreds in the station to heartily announce the arrival of our birthday darling to which the crowd spontaneously erupted into thunderous applause.

It was a movie moment. A memory to last a lifetime.

 

Enjoy this 30-second video of Little One going through Platform 9 3/4, the fire-breathing dragon atop the amazing Escape from Gringotts 3-D ride & more.


Harry Potter World Snippets
1st stop – Ollivanders – Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC – to pick up her interactive wand which works throughout the park to make water fly, needles knit, feather pens write, and lots of hands-on spellcasting. It was there that she chose Dumbledore’s Army scroll case & wand collection as a fine memento – heavy, well-crafted, great quality.

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Hogwarts Castle is simultaneously breathtaking & ominous.

Harry Potter World, Hogwarts Castle, Universal, wizards, wands (2)Harry Potter World, Hogwarts Castle, Universal, wizards, wands (6)The paintings move & talk just as they do in the movies.

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The Birthday Girl enjoyed a special breakfast in the Leaky Cauldron & a Butterbeer toast followed by…

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…an adventurous visit to Gringotts.

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The Hogwarts Express took us on a fascinating journey to Hogsmeade…with Harry, Ron & Hermione!
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Then lunch at the Three Broomsticks & more spellcasting lessons from a passerby witch.

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And what would a trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter be without a stop in Honeydukes sweet shop or Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes store with Wildfire Whiz-bangs or Every Flavour Beans

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Okay, seriously, how excited is this reader ~ broomstick in hand, all her Potter books have come to life!!
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From the Muggles’ perspective, Phillip & I were thrilled for our Little One and her magical week!!

 

 

bright spot flowerThe Bright Spot – A wonderful adventure for Harry Potter fans. Highly recommend it!!

To see part 1 & 3 of this story, click Part 1Double-Digit Extravaganza for Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Titanic & Animal Kingdom.Harry Potter World, Universal, Harry Potter, wizards, wands, Universal Studios (40)

For Part 3, click: Dolphin Tale-Winter & Hope for the Clearwater adventure or just keep scrolling, it’s next. 🙂

Thank you for sharing and we hope you enjoy a trip to these family-fun places in the near future.

 

 

 


Bianca

Dolphin Tale – Winter & Hope (Part 3 of 3)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015 by  

Clearwater, Courtesy of Fintastic Photo (1)

As part of our daughter’s 10th birthday extravaganza, we surprised her with a special visit with Winter, the beautiful dolphin who lost her tail when she was only 2 months old. Her tail was caught in commercial fishing lines.

Clearwater, Courtesy of Fintastic Photo (7)

(Courtesy: Fintastic)

 

 

 

 

She is now 9 years old & lives with her best friend, Hope, at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

 

Clearwater, Courtesy of Fintastic Photo (4)

 

 

 

Our budding marine biologist was thrilled to meet them both and all the marine animals under treatment in the hospital.

 

Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Winter, Hope, Dolphin Tale, Dolphin Tale movie, Dolphin Tale 2 (28)

Winter’s real-life rehab story has captivated audiences worldwide in Dolphin Tale & Dolphin Tale 2.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Winter, Hope, Dolphin Tale, Dolphin Tale movie, Dolphin Tale 2 (8)

Both movies, starring Harry Connick, Jr. & Ashley Judd, were filmed on location at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium with Winter.

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Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Winter, Hope, Dolphin Tale, Dolphin Tale movie, Dolphin Tale 2 (7)

A look at the timeline these past 9 years and how Winter has inspired suffering children & veterans:

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Clearwater, Courtesy of Fintastic Photo (3)

Our fintastic trip wrapped up with a trolley ride between the filming site rehab center & museum, dinner on the water, and the best memories of Winter & Hope!

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Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Winter, Hope, Dolphin Tale, Dolphin Tale movie, Dolphin Tale 2 (32)

bright spot flowerThe Bright Spot – Empowering your children to grow up living their dreams.

For Part 1, click: Double-Digit Extravaganza      For Part 2, click: Harry Potter World


Bianca