Category Archives: Theme Park

Best Small Town Theme Parks To Visit This Summer

Birthdays are always a hot topic at my house. It doesn’t matter if your birthday is 364 days away, we’re planning for it. Ironically, it’s not me (anymore)- it’s my children who’ve taken over the topic. They love discussing their pick for birthday meal. There’s always running conversation about Continue reading Best Small Town Theme Parks To Visit This Summer

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Reasons To Use A Disney Planner

There is no doubt, a Disney vacation is magical and memorable. I would argue it’s the best trip a family can take. However, planning a Disney vacation can be memorable for the wrong reasons. Not only are the choices overwhelming, but the amount of work that goes into the planning will rival your day job.

There’s nothing better than making family memories at Disney!

For those reasons, I’m a huge fan of using a Disney Planner when booking our Disney travel. Having an expert plan the details of your trip not only makes for a smoother experience, but it also allows you to get the most out of your vacation. Disney Planners are knowledgeable, organized and work hard to customize the perfect trip for your family.

My good friend, Laurence Brown, is our Disney Planner. He put together a helpful list of reasons why using a Disney Planner is a win-win for you as you book your next Disney vacation.

Laurence and his sweet girl enjoying the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel at Disney World.

Service: You work with me and only me. I provide knowledgeable tips and advice personalized for your family. I want to help you and your family experience the most magical vacation possible.

Expertise: As an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I exclusively plan Disney travel. I am passionate about Disney, and have firsthand knowledge of Disney destinations.  I know Disney inside and out (we are actually tested on it!)

Time Savings: I do the planning for you! I can help you with advanced dining reservations and provide strategies to make the best FastPass+ selections. Additionally, I constantly monitor new discount offers to see if I can reduce the cost of your trip. Finally, it’s my job to help you with any and all details of your trip.

Awesome view of Mickey’s Fun Wheel at the Disney California Adventure Park.

Cost: Best of all, my services are absolutely FREE to you. You will not pay extra for the time I spend customizing the perfect vacation. You are able to make the most of the money you’re spending on the trip by not missing out on any deals, opportunities or dining experiences.

Laurence is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. His goal is to help you get the most magical vacation possible. As Disney becomes increasingly more complex, using a travel agent that specializes in Disney is very important. His services are FREE which makes it well worth it to have the stress that often comes with planning these vacations taken away.

Laurence and his girls trying to pull King Arthur’s sword (Excalibur) from the stone.

For a FREE quote on a Disney vacation (Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Disney’s Aulani Resort, or Adventures by Disney) contact him today!

email: L.brown@magicalvacationplanner.com

text or call: 865-300-6464

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The Best Roller Coasters In America

rollercoaster

A few weeks ago I took my daughter to the pediatrician’s office. Upon arrival the nurse checked her height and spoke it out loud as she recorded it in the chart. I could see the wheels turning in Mary Grace’s head as she converted the feet into inches. With a huge gasp she announced “I can ride the roller coasters at Sea World!”

Never worried about making a scene, she continued to broadcast her good fortune. It would seem that growing 1/4 of an inch was the best thing to ever happen to her. In addition to our nurse congratulating her, several other doctors and nurses stopped to give her a high-five. Of course then everyone wanted to know when we were going to Sea World.

At that point I admitted to everyone that we didn’t actually have a trip planned. As you might imagine, the news was met with lots of bizarre glances. Unfazed by the transition in enthusiasm, Mary Grace continued to celebrate. I decided to provide a brief summary of our last experience at Sea World for all those questioning her excitement. If you missed it, you can catch up here. Basically my roller coaster loving dare devil was 1/4 of an inch too short to ride the “good” ones.

Manta- one of the thrilling Sea World roller coaster experiences!
Manta- one of the thrilling Sea World roller coaster experiences!

Later that day I revisited her growth and wondered if perhaps a trip to Sea World should come in our near future. Not that I wouldn’t welcome another trip, but I’m also open to new experiences. Although she was really focused on missing out on the Sea World roller coasters, I knew she’d be equally excited at the opportunity to ride some other great ones.

So of course I did a little research to find the best roller coasters in America. Here were a few of my favorite lists:

Top 10 in 2016

12 Scariest

Best New in 2016

Top 10 Amusement Parks

 Do you like Roller Coasters? If so, where is your favorite one?

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Dollywood- Pigeon Forge (Part 2)

We are ready for a fun day at Dollywood
We are ready for a fun day at Dollywood

Yesterday I posted some of the highlights of our day at Dollywood. As I mentioned, the park has so much to offer, you’ll want to maximize your visit. If you missed it, go back and check out yesterday’s post (part 1) that included 5 things to be sure not to miss at Dollywood.

Here are 5 more things you’ll want to check out:

  1. Country Fair: This section of Dollywood is designed to be reminiscent of a country fair with bumper cars, swings, and all sorts of carnival games. This area also contains a variety of rides for toddlers. Additionally there are a few rides in the Country Fair section for families to enjoy together and a few that are for the thrill-seeking family members. The Country Fair section has the largest variety of rides in a very contained space which makes it an ideal place for families of various ages to spend time!
    TONS of action in the Country Fair section of Dollywood
    TONS of action in the Country Fair section of Dollywood

    2. Seasons: Dollywood does seasons…we’re talking ALL.OUT. The whole park gets decked out for all the various holidays and seasons. Our visit fell during fall and we were blown away by the attention to detail (although the weather still very much resembled summer!) From what we’ve heard, Christmas at Dollywood is something you shouldn’t miss!

    Beautiful fall decorations all over the park
    Beautiful fall decorations all over the park

    3. Dolly’s Home On Wheels: At one point we’d stopped to look at our park map. The kids were anxious to go on (yet another) water ride. Suddenly a man stepped out of an RV next to us (that I honestly hadn’t even noticed until the door almost hit me.) He assumed we were waiting our turn to tour Dolly’s Home on Wheels. Seeing an excuse to stall the water ride, I agreed to climb aboard. And we were so thankful we took the accidental opportunity. It was very cool to tour Dolly’s old RV and hear stories about her time on the road. We genuinely enjoyed the history lesson and seeing a glimpse into Dolly’s world!

    A peak inside the bus that carried Dolly all across the US on her tours
    A peak inside the bus that carried Dolly all across the US on her tours

    4. Grist Mill Cinnamon Bread: There’s really nothing to say about this except for “yummy.” It’s so delicious. If I lived in Pigeon Forge I’d be at the park gate every morning for a loaf (or 5) of this bread. We got a hot loaf to share almost immediately after arriving at the park and we also purchased 2 more to take home with us (taking advantage of the complimentary package pickup service that I mentioned yesterday.)

    Grist Mill Cinnamon Bread is to die for!
    Grist Mill Cinnamon Bread is to die for!

    5. Photo Card: Although a slightly extravagant souvenir, Dollywood makes purchasing a photo card well worth it. For $39.99 guests can purchase a photo card to be loaded throughout the day with photos of your fun. All of your roller coaster photos, plus any additional pictures snapped during your day can be added to the card. Additionally, with purchase you receive one 5×7 print of your choice. Dollywood allows you to select this picture at the end of your day. If you are in inclined to purchase one or two prints, this photo card is well worth the price!

    Making Memories
    Making Memories

    What are your “can’t miss” things at Dollywood?

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Dollywood- Pigeon Forge, TN (Part 1)

Dollywood Theme Park- Pigeon Forge, TN
Dollywood Theme Park- Pigeon Forge, TN

A few weeks ago our family had the opportunity to visit Dollywood Theme Park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Less than an hour into our visit, I decided I would buy a season pass if we lived closer. It’s the kind of place you could visit over and over without it getting old.

Dollywood combines the feel of a quaint mountain town, with thrilling rides and captivating shows. Between the shows, shopping and food, I could easily spend a whole day there without going on a single ride (not that my kids wanted to try!)

Here are 5 things to be sure not to miss at Dollywood:

  1.  Measuring Station: As with all other theme parks, most of the rides at Dollywood have height restrictions. Just inside the gate kids can get measured and tagged with a color coded bracelet. This will prevent employees from measuring your children at every attraction and allow you to plan height appropriate rides."<yoastmark
  2. Eagles: Dollywood boasts the largest collection of non-releasable bald eagles in the country. Their 30,000 square foot home delights guests with close encounters with the beautiful bird. Through demonstrations, staff members, and signs, you can learn all about the bird that is our country’s mascot.

    Education at the bald eagle's mountainside sanctuary
    Education at the bald eagle’s mountainside sanctuary
  3. Southern Food: It is worth going to Dollywood for the food alone. EVERYTHING we tried during our visit tasted amazing. There is no shortage of southern staples and dessert in the park. We highly recommend eating at least one meal at a sit-down restaurant.

    BBQ Nachos at Backstage Resturant
    BBQ Nachos at Backstage Restaurant
  4. Roller Coasters: Dolllywood’s roller coasters are known throughout the country for being some of the most unique and exciting. Although the biggest roller coasters have height restrictions, several of them were designed for smaller children (42 inches and taller.) Another fantastic feature of the theme park- many of the big roller coasters have playgrounds nearby for smaller family members to enjoy while others in their party ride.
    Roller coaster fun for the whole family!
    Roller coaster fun for the whole family!

    Perfect playground placement close to the big roller coasters.
    Perfect playground placement close to the big roller coasters.
  5. Shopping: Again, like the food, you could come to Dollywood JUST to shop. The Dollywood stores contain a variety of touristy, local and trendy items. Truly you can find something for everyone. Also, be sure to take advantage of their awesome (and complimentary) package pick-up offer. Rather than carry your purchases around the park, have them sent directly to the front entrance for easy pick-up on your way out!
    Great shopping at Dollywood!
    Great shopping at Dollywood!

    There are so many great things to do and see at Dollywood! Later this week I will post 6 more things not to miss during your visit.

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