Category Archives: TRAVEL

Top 10 Things to do at Universal Orlando Resort

Top Ten Things to Do at Universal Studios Florida

Top Ten Things to Do at Universal Studios Florida

  1. Diagon Alley

Are you a Harry Potter fan? If so, this addition to Universal Studios is THE PLACE for you to visit. You feel like you have walked into your very own Harry Potter movie! The world of Harry Potter is brought to life in an exhilarating way with all your favorite shops, treats, and characters.

Top Ten Things to do at Universal Studios

Make sure to stop by the London shopping district, with lots of featured shops from the franchise, as well as the Hogwarts Express and some exciting rides.

Top Ten Things to do at Universal Studios

When you are done having fun, grab your own wand at Ollivander’s Wand Shop, and curb your hunger with a chocolate frog.

2. Drink a Butterbeer

*this one gets its own number because it is such an experience.*

Top Ten Things to do at Universal Studios

You have to drink a Butterbeer to really experience the whimsical Harry Potter world. It is delicious, and kind of impossible to describe! It is a must try in Universal Studios, if only for the experience and Instagram photo. This is one of my favorite of the Top Ten Things to Do at Universal Studios Florida!

Top Ten Things to do at Universal Studios

3. The Incredible Hulk Coaster

I am totally scared of wild rides, yet love them at the same time. The only thing that is a real deal breaker for me is when a ride is super bumpy and rocky!

That is not the case with the Hulk coaster!

This crazy fun ride includes reaches an intense speed of 67 mph, after a speed increase from 0 to 40 mph in just 2 seconds! It is so scary yet crazy exhilarating and will have you wanting to ride again and again.

4. Visit Volcano Bay

This BRAND NEW water theme park features a TapuTapu™ wearable so there’s “no standing in long lines, carrying rafts around the park, nothing between you and a full day of fun.”

Click the link to read more about Universal Studios Volcano Bay.

I haven’t been yet because it is so new, but I can’t wait to rocket down that Volcano water slide! It looks amazing.

5. Meet the Characters

While these characters differ a little from the princesses and mice that are found in the neighboring Walt Disney World, the superheroes and interactive characters you can find in Universal Studios make it an experience of its own.

*Especially if you have young boys and girls. There are so many more options to keep both happy!

6. Explore Knockturn Alley

For a great break from the sun head over to this eerie and enchanted area of Diagon Alley. You get to experience the darker side of magic and explore a different side of this magical world.

7. Hit the Water Rides

While water rides are often not a first choice because you will be wet for the rest of the day, it is an excellent option when visiting Universal in the summer! Not only is it a way to keep the kids entertained, but you can also stay cool when the temperature is exceptionally hot!

*Pack an extra set of clothes, but if you don’t want to bring extra clothes, you can pay for the air dryers. 

8. Hollywood Rip Rock RideIt Coaster

When you get into this ride, you choose from a wide selection of songs from all genres that play while you ride at speeds of 67 mph, with a terrifying 167 foot vertical drop and a non inverted loop.

9. Head over to Universal’s CityWalk for a delicious dinner after a long day at the parks!

Don’t fall prey to the ever-so-easy chain restaurants or insanely overpriced tourist traps. Head to CityWalk for a delicious meal that is convenient and fun!

*Try the Vivo Italian restaurant for a delightful ambiance and exquisite cuisine.*

10. Visit some of the more classic rides

While these older rides may be a tad more dated, more classic rides like Men in Black Alien Attack or ET can take you back to a nostalgic time. When you are done with the newer and more exhilarating rides, taking a slower ride back through some of your favorite memories can be a great way to relax and show your kids the classics.


Have you been to Universal Studios Florida? What is your absolute favorite thing to do out of the Top Ten Things to do at Universal Studios?
To see more of what Universal has to offer: http://www.universalstudios.com/

Top Ten Things to Do at Universal Studios Florida

Spa Celebration at Eau Palm Beach: Perfect for Any Occasion

When my sister and I met up for coffee last month, we realized our mom had a big birthday coming up…and fast. It wasn’t just any ol’ birthday either– it was her 65th! A very special day. We knew our mom didn’t want a party and couldn’t get away for a trip (unfortunately), so we decided to officially dub June 3rd “Mormor Day” and whisk her away for a spa celebration at Eau Palm Beach Resort!

Who or what is a Mormor, you ask? Mormor is “mother’s mother” in Swedish and what my daughter calls her grandmother. The nickname has spread like wildfire throughout my family and now, no one calls her anything but that. 🙂

www.swtmemoriesphotography.com

To make “Mormor Day” extra special, I booked a stretch limousine with my friends at Black Pearl Limousine. #dailybocaavery even got to ride with us to pick up my mom. She had a blast!

Our driver was fantastic and rolled out the red carpet (literally) for our party. We brought a couple bottles of champagne and got our party started as we headed up to Manalapan!

spa celebration at Eau Palm Beach

spa celebration at Eau Palm Beach

So pretty and festive!

If you haven’t been to the Eau Palm Beach before, it’s simply amazing. It’s a luxurious experience just walking into the lobby!

You can’t visit the resort without indulging in their amazing ocean views. So, we kicked off our spa celebration at Eau Palm Beach at their oceanfront restaurant: Breeze Ocean Kitchen.

spa celebration at Eau Palm Beach

It was a little rainy when we got there, but by the time we ordered cocktails and appetizers, the sun decided to come out and play!

The food was wonderful- it’s such a fun place to dine on property…and right by the pool AND ocean!

Spa Celebration at Eau Palm Beach Resort

After lunch, we had big spa day plans booked. Did you know that the Eau Spa Fairies have been picking their favorite treatments to share this summer at incredible summer pricing? Eau Spa Summer Specials will be offered through September 30, 2017, and are available Sunday through Thursday every week.

My mom and I booked a Self-Centered Massage (eau-mazing!) and my sister got an Essence Facial (which I tried last year). We also set Mormor up with a fabulous pedicure experience. We aimed to spoil her!

You just can’t beat a spa celebration at Eau Palm Beach. The spa lounge and bath facilities alone are top notch and so relaxing. I wanted to stay all day.

Thank you so much to the Eau Palm Beach  Resort & Spa and Black Pearl Limousine for hosting us and making “Mormor Day” the best celebration ever! Happy Birthday Mom!


Eau Spa is located at Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa at 100 South Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach.  Reservations are required. For more information or reserve a spot, please call the Eau Spa Fairies at 561-540-4960 or email concierge@eauspa.com.

Follow Eau Spa on Facebook @ILoveEauSpa, on Instagram @EauSpa and on Twitter @EauSpa.

Modern Boca Mom’s *Best Disney Trip Ever* Guide

Want to take the best Disney trip EVER? Here are Modern Boca Mom’s top tips and tricks for conquering Walt Disney World with your family…

Modern Boca Mom's 'Best Disney Trip Ever' Guide

10 Tips for the Best Disney Trip Ever:
  1. Take Comfortable Shoes  – This is likely my most important tip. From your personal walking-wear to your little one’s shoe of choice, making sure you have comfortable shoes is ESSENTIAL.  Be sure to choose a pair you have worn many times before without blisters or discomfort and that provide awesome support. Disney = lots of walking!
  2. Bring Snacks
    *PRO TIP* You can bring your own food and drinks into the park! 

    Bringing snacks can help keep your costs down and allow more time for play – instead of having to stand in long food lines with high prices.

  3. Bring H20 – Whether visiting in winter or in the dead of summer, I promise you and your family will get thirsty! Bringing your own water will save you big bucks in the park.
  4. Bring it all in a cute backpack – You’ll want to come prepared; snacks, water, sunscreen, Mickey ears – the works. But, you don’t want to lug it all around in a big, awkward bag! Splurge on a backpack. We also recommend bringing a stroller, especially if you have a baby or toddler who will inevitably get tired.
  5. Plan FastPasses in Advance – Plan your FastPasses well in advance and use them to organize the rest of your trek around the park. This will ensure you get on the rides you are dying to ride and see the characters you are dying to see! Modern Boca Mom's 'Best Disney Trip Ever' Guide
  6. Bring a Camera – Or, clear your phone so you have plenty of memory to snap pics! There are so many Instagram-able *and just downright cute* memories you’ll want to record when you are at the park.
  7. Don’t forget to put down your phone and your stress – You don’t want to miss any memorable family moments! Don’t be glued to your camera or your to do list– enjoy every second!
  8. If you are able, stay at a Disney resort– With so many amazing options, the confusion surrounding where to stay is oftentimes overwhelming. But, staying in a Disney hotel makes the experience all that much more amazing. Eat, breathe, sleep, Disney.

    *PRO TIP* Make sure your hotel (if it’s not Disney) has a shuttle. Parking can be expensive and oftentimes far from the park entrance.

  9. If you have little ones, make sure they have a segmented day. –  No one wants to spend 14 hours straight with kids under ten at “the happiest place on earth.” It can become not very happy at all! Go for a few hours at a time and don’t be afraid to break for your hotel pool.
  10. Use My Disney Experience – If planning isn’t your thing, this site/app can help you make an efficient and easy plan. It will help you to effortlessly manage the whole trip. Find it here: My Disney Experience.

Now that you have these tips for having the Best Disney Trip Ever, start planning your magical memories!

Here are some other Modern Boca Mom Disney Tips + Tricks!

Make a Day of it at the Newly Expanded Disney Springs

Best Places to Eat at Disney World- 2016 Update

My New Favorite Restaurant at Disney Springs

EXTRA PIN-ABLE:

Modern Boca Mom's 'Best Disney Trip Ever' Guide

5 Things the Walt Disney Company is Celebrating in 2017

It’s a good thing Disney has an amazing coffee partner because this mama needs a constant dose of caffeine to keep up with everything the Walt Disney Company is celebrating this year!

(HELLO- have you tried Joffrey’s Coffee yet?! It’s not all about Starbucks, people!)

As you may have read in our Disney Cruise post, Modern Boca Mom was invited to the 2017 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration! #DisneySMMC (for short) is an invitation-only conference where digital/social media influencers and bloggers are asked to come together, collaborate and learn. We were also filled in on many of the exciting developments (some even secret at the time) happening at Disney in 2017.

We already covered a few of them HERE and HERE if you want to check them out. 🙂

For the rest, we’ve narrowed down the major excitement to 5 top items. Some of which are happening now or REALLY, REALLY soon! Check them out:

5 Things the Walt Disney Company is Celebrating this Year

5 Things the Walt Disney Company is Celebrating this year
Post-film Q&A with Producer Roy Conli
1- Disneynature Born in China- Released on April 21, 2017

We had the opportunity to screen this stunning film in its entirety and absolutely loved it! Influencers were even part of a behind-the-scenes discussion post-film with producer, Roy Conli. This is definitely something the Walt Disney Company is celebrating this year!

Narrated by John Krasinski, “Born In China” takes an epic journey into the wilds of China where few people have ever ventured. Following the stories of three animal families, the film transports audiences to some of the most extreme environments on Earth. You will witness some of the most intimate moments ever captured in a nature film.


A doting panda bear mother guides her growing baby as she begins to explore and seek independence. A two-year-old golden monkey, who feels displaced by his new baby sister, joins up with a group of free-spirited outcasts. And a mother snow leopard—an elusive animal rarely caught on camera—faces the very real drama of raising her two cubs in one of the harshest and most unforgiving environments on the planet.

Featuring stunning, never-before-seen imagery, the film navigates China’s vast terrain. From the frigid mountains to the heart of the bamboo forest, on the wings of red-crowned cranes, this film seamlessly ties the extraordinary tales together. You have to see it!


5 Things the Walt Disney Company is Celebrating this year

2- MagicBand 2 + MagicKeepers Accessories

I personally think it’s been a long time coming, but Walt Disney World is finally allowing you to take your MagicBands…and conveniently wear them in style!

With the launch of the MagicBand 2, which we got to try for ourselves during the #DisneySMMC, we found out that you can now easily remove the center disc. That allows you to place it in a keychain, pendant– you name it– to wear it how you want! Disney has dubbed these accessories: MagicKeepers. These are only a few of the design options Disney showed us during the conference:

5 Things the Walt Disney Company is Celebrating this year

How will you wear your Magic Band 2?


5 Things the Walt Disney Company is Celebrating this year

3- Disney Springs

Modern Boca Mom covered the NEW, improved Disney Springs at length in this blog post, but it’s important to note that us influencers did have a few hours of fun there during our trip!

5 Things the Walt Disney Company is Celebrating this year
Lovingly gazing into Lilly Pulitzer…

Have you ever tried Disneybounding? I did for the first time during the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration and had a blast. It’s where you choose to dress in an outfit inspired by a particular Disney character.

Disney held a little social media contest for us and we were able to compete by either showing off our fashionable side, Disney fan side or our Disneybounding side! What do you think of my Maleficent?

5 Things the Walt Disney Company is Celebrating this year
Dress x Lilly Pulitzer
You can purchase my Lilly Pulitzer dress through this LINK.

5 things the Walt Disney Company is celebrating this year

4- Pizzerizzo at Disney Hollywood Studios

Disney Hollywood studios needed a good pizza place after Pizza Planet shuttered last year. It now has that and more in quick service restaurant Pizzerizzo located in Muppet Square!

Stop on by for pizza, a meatball sub or antipasto salad at this friendly neighborhood joint run by Rizzo, the wise-cracking rat. The ambience is fun and casual…and you may even meet a few colorful characters…

5 things the Walt Disney Company is celebrating this year
#dailybocaavery and #minigolightly

It’s also quite delicious!


5 things the Walt Disney Company is celebrating this year

5- 2017 Walt Disney Studios Films

You can check out this post to see the complete Walt Disney Studios 2017 movie slate, but let’s just say we got a BIG sneak peek into a few of the films to come. Since the conference, a few new trailers have even been sent our way and we’re excited to share!

Cars 3

The best part about Cars 3 was that we were able to see the Pixar short film, Lou, that will screen prior to the movie! The director of the film was even on hand to walk us through his creative process. It was fascinating!

5 things the Walt Disney Company is celebrating this year

This short is about a ‘creature’, named Lou, who resides in a school’s lost and found bin. After seeing the school bully, J.J., push the other kids around, Lou decides to take action.

It’ll make you laugh. It will make you cry. It’ll definitely be a nice visual appetizer prior to Cars 3.

COCO

COCO

Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events.

Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector, and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history. Coco opens on November 22nd.

Thor Ragnarok

In this Marvel Studios’ film, Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer. He finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela.

But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk! Chris Hemsworth stars as Thor and Tom Hiddleston reprises his role as Loki. They are joined by Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson and Karl Urban, with Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Hopkins. That is a major cast y’all! Can’t wait.

THOR: RAGNAROK opens in theaters everywhere November 3rd!

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

I’m absolutely giddy to be able to share with you the first official teaser trailer and teaser poster from STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI, which debuted at Star Wars Celebration Orlando!

This is where I would normally insert a film synopsis, but you don’t get that with Star Wars…please. Instead, try to insinuate what you can from this awesome trailer.

It’s going to be epic. Probably the top item the Walt Disney Company is celebrating this year. December 15th can’t come soon enough!


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Hosted: This 5 Things the Walt Disney Company is Celebrating this Year post was hosted by the Walt Disney Company. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own. They are not influenced in any way by the sponsor. Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I have been given exclusive experiences and branded merchandise for promotional consideration, but that does not impact my views or opinions. This 5 Things the Walt Disney Company is Celebrating this Year post also contains affiliate links.

Cruising on the Disney Wonder with a Preschooler: Hit or Miss?

Is a Disney Cruise for preschoolers? That was the question I seriously asked myself as I accepted Disney’s wonderful invite to the 2017 Social Media Moms Celebration. I mean, CLEARLY Walt Disney World parks are perfect for preschoolers (as we took complete and utter advantage of our annual passes in 2016).

But a cruise? And without my mom for travel backup? I figured we’d take a chance and give it a shot anyways…

Disney cruise for preschoolers

Is a Disney Cruise for Preschoolers? Our Experience on the Disney Wonder

Like I explained in this post, Modern Boca Mom was invited to the 2017 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. #DisneySMMC (for short) is an invitation-only conference where digital/social media influencers and bloggers are asked to come together, collaborate and learn about their company as well as other likeminded brands.

This year’s conference theme was Land and Sea. The sea part? Yep- a 3-night journey on the Disney Wonder out of Port Canaveral.

Disney cruise for preschoolers

Disney cruise for preschoolers

Disney cruise for preschoolers

Disney cruise for preschoolers

Disney Wonder Staterooms

#dailybocaavery made herself at home pretty quickly as you can see. The balcony staterooms on the Disney Wonder are a really nice size with two separate bathroom spaces. You can fit 4 people to a room easily. How cool is this bed conversion?

I read a ton of blogs pre-cruise and found that passengers like to decorate their doors with magnets. I got ours on Etsy (Little Mermaid Mickey), but I know other bloggers who totally DIY’d!

People went all out as you can see below. Many families also participated in something called a Fish Extender gift exchange. I couldn’t get it together to participate this cruise, but here is a little more info on what that is from one of my fellow #DisneySMMC bloggers.

I’m also proud to report: no seasickness! I knew #modernbocadad and I would be okay as we had cruised several times before, but we didn’t know how she would react on the high seas.

MBMom Tip: I hear drinking wine is really good for seasickness. 😉 And Disney Cruise Line allows you to pack 2 bottles of wine per person. Huzzah!

I knew in advance that I’d be pretty busy on this cruise. As soon as my family embarked, us bloggers were whisked away for lunch at the Animator’s Palate while our families were invited to dine on their own by the pool (be sure to pack your swimsuits in your carry-on, so you can start swimming right away!).

Animator’s Palate

The food overall on the cruise was excellent, but this particular restaurant had something special…

Animation Magic (available on 7-night and longer sailings on the Disney Magic, but conference attendees were able to experience it on the Wonder)! Try your hand at drawing your very own character—and then watch in wonder as your creation becomes part of the show, dancing alongside some classic Disney characters!

This activity screams Disney Cruise for preschoolers! Check out this short video featuring my “character”:

Fine, I loved it too. 🙂 Coloring at lunch isn’t just for the little ones! After, we had a few conference activities that involved champagne (!!!). I learned that the ‘tale as old as time’ (a.k.a Beauty and the Beast) is going to be enchanting the stage for the very first time in a brand new musical production on the Disney Dream on November 6 (2017)!

Disney’s Oceaneer Club

While I was busy doing conference stuff, #modernbocadad took Avery on a tour of the Oceaneer Club aboard. Children 3 to 12 years old can interact with Disney characters—and each other—as they explore multi-themed magical lands like Toy Story, Frozen and Marvel!

MBMom Tip: Be sure to pack tons of costumes for your child!

I now know why parents love cruising with Disney: the complimentary child care!!! Disney’s Oceaneer Lab is about learning while having fun (for the older kids) and Disney’s Oceaneer Club is pure Disney fantasy for the little ones. Character-driven performances, special storytelling sessions, larger-than-life playgrounds (a HUGE hit with #dailybocaavery), dress-up opportunities and cool interactive activities make sure there’s never a dull moment for your little one.

Your child will be outfitted with a special magic band when you register them at the Oceaneer Club. They are always accounted for and can have a Disney cast member text you (of course there’s an awesome Disney Cruise Line app- they think of everything!) to come pick them up when they are done. It’s fantastic!

Night 1: The Golden Mickey’s and Tiana’s Place

Before I knew it, it was time to get ready for dinner at Tiana’s Place and The Golden Mickeys!

We had the later seating for dinner each night, so that meant showtime was always first. I say this without hesitation: the shows were my favorite part of this Disney Cruise for preschoolers. They were excellent– even better than the ones in the parks.

The Golden Mickeys invites you to a Hollywood-style awards show. You’ll find out which Disney movie character wins “Most Heroic” or “Most Romantic,” and enjoy familiar tunes from Disney films like:

  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Tarzan
  • Mulan
  • The Little Mermaid
  • One Hundred and One Dalmatians
  • Toy Story 2
  • Lady and the Tramp
  • Tangled
  • The Lion King
  • Beauty and the Beast

Then it was off to dine at the brand-new Tiana’s Place, which was spectacular! You actually feel like you are IN the movie. How does Disney do that?!

Once seated at your table, Tiana herself stops by to welcome you. Then, the restaurant’s own band “The Crawfish Crooners” entertains you while you eat.

Feel free to get up and dance or even join the parade at the end of dinner! And don’t forget to order the beignets for dessert. So much fun!!!

All the kids menus are shaped like jazz instruments

Disney Princess and Frozen Meet & Greet

One complimentary activity on the Disney Wonder is the Princess and Frozen meet and greets. Be sure to register for this on the Disney Cruise Line website as soon as you book your cruise. Times fill up quickly to meet Ariel, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Belle, Elsa and Anna!

Night 2: Disney Dreams- An Enchanted Classic, Triton’s and Pirate Night

No, Disney Dreams isn’t about my daughter sleeping. It’s a musical about the power of dreams and family, starring a cavalcade of Disney characters! This live stage show features a dazzling procession of characters and songs from some all-time Disney classics like:

  • Peter Pan
  • Pinocchio
  • Cinderella
  • Aladdin

An award-winning musical, this show also includes stunning special effects—and a very special cameo appearance by Tinker Bell. All Disney productions are under 90 minutes, so they keep the attention of little ones.

MBMom Tip: You can bring a sippy cup of wine or order from the full bar at the theater. YES.

Dinner at Triton’s restaurant was delicious and it really felt like fine dining under the sea. Disney Cruise Line has guests on a rotational dining plan, so you eat dinner at a different restaurant each night, but with the SAME wait staff. It’s great!

This night also happened to be Pirate Night on the ship, a tradition on Disney Cruises. You will receive pirate bandanas to wear in your stateroom, but most passengers go all out with costumes and outfits. We certainly did on this Disney Cruise for preschoolers.

There is a pirate party on the deck after the second seating as well as fireworks over the ocean. Amazing!

Castaway Cay, Disney’s Private Island

Now for the piece de resistance! Castaway Cay (pronounced KEY) in the Bahamas, Disney’s own private island. Castaway Cay visitors will find an island completely outfitted for premium family leisure.

Amenities include sprawling beaches, sparkling lagoons teeming with curious sea life, splash-worthy water play areas, scenic walking trails, open-air BBQ dining locations serving complimentary meals, 2 shops featuring Castaway Cay gifts and souvenirs, free tram transportation around the island and more.

You can book excursions for an additional fee, but honestly, we were there the whole day and were completely entertained by all of the complimentary amenities. It was heavenly!

MBMom Tip: There’s also an Oceaneer Club on the island that serves lunch in case you’re craving a bit of adult time.

Buy this $26 swimsuit through my affiliate link HERE.

#modernbocadad and #dailybocaavery both went on this slide! I took a nap!

Night 3: Frozen, a Musical Spectacular and Animator’s Palate

These are the faces of three people who had a great day at Castaway Cay.

How could this cruise get any better? Well, it could be 4 days longer, but that’s for another time. The only negative thing I have to even say about this Disney Cruise for preschoolers is that I felt it was too short.

Typically, when I cruise, it’s for 7 days minimum. Since I was so busy with conference activities, it felt even shorter, but it made us want to go again. That’s the point right? 😉

On our last night, we saw the new Frozen, a musical spectacular. I don’t know how they are going to do better when it comes out on Broadway! Traditional theatrical techniques, state-of-the-art technology and classic Disney whimsy make this original stage show a flurry of fun. Avery was absolutely mesmerized.

Our last dining rotation sent us back to Animator’s Palate. It was the first time my whole family got to experience Disney black and white drawings come to life throughout our meal. At the end, Mickey even made an appearance in his Fantasia finest!

Our experience was a great one and jam-packed for 3 nights! There were so many things I didn’t even have time to experience like the spa, Royal Court Royal Tea, Bibbity Bobbity Boutique, the adult bars and clubs and movie theater on the ship. Whew! And of course, the conference topics require their own separate blog post. 🙂

Now I want to hear from you. Do you plan on taking a Disney Cruise? Comment below!

Hosted: This Disney Cruise for Preschoolers post was hosted by the Walt Disney Company. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own. They are not influenced in any way by the sponsor. Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I have been given exclusive experiences and branded merchandise for promotional consideration, but that does not impact my views or opinions. This Disney Cruise for Preschoolers post also contains affiliate links.

Heading to the Disney SMMC in the 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander SE

Being a blogger is filled with many ups and downs. For example, applying for a sponsored campaign with a big company and getting it: that’s an up! Thinking a brand or business would be an ideal client to work with…and then they don’t return your emails or calls: that’s a down. Getting invited to the 2017 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration and driving to Orlando in a brand new 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander SE: that’s a BIG UP! It’s probably the biggest up for the Modern Boca Mom blog to date, honestly.

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander
Thanks to American Tourister and the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, C3PO traveled with us in the 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander
What is the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration?

It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. #DisneySMMC (for short) is an invitation-only conference put on by Disney where digital/social media influencers and bloggers like myself are asked to come together, collaborate and learn about their company as well as other likeminded brands. You have no idea you’re going to be invited until you receive “pixie dust” in your email box. It’s pretty exciting, especially if you love Disney like I do!

And this year, it was a “Land and Sea” conference, which meant 2 days at the Walt Disney World parks and 3 days on Disney Cruise ship, The Disney Wonder. I HAVE BEEN DYING TO GO ON A DISNEY CRUISE! So, this was pretty much the most amazing news ever…

How did we get there? By driving the 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander SE

My family (up to 3 additional people this year) was invited to join in on the #DisneySMMC fun, so we packed for Orlando using our awesome C3PO suitcase from American Tourister (as well as other bags- lots of them, ha ha) and hit the road!

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander

The 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander SE is a fantastic SUV.  We reviewed the 2015 Sport model last year and really loved that it offered dynamic styling and excellent value in the 5-passenger compact crossover segment.

However, the 2017 SE model that we test drove starts at $24,495 and offers seven passenger seating with its standard third row. It even has heated seats which can come in handy this time of year!

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander

The 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander SE features sophisticated upgrades like available heated front seats and steering wheel, front dual-zone automatic climate control and premium Rockford Fosgate® surround sound.

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander

Per usual, I also loved the Multi-View Camera System that allows you to see a 360 degree bird’s eye view of your vehicle as you back out of your driveway or a parking spot. I need as many eyes as possible!

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander

We also loved the sunroof as our current family vehicle doesn’t have one. Car jealousy. Thanks DriveShop USA.

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander
Nice view, eh?

You can learn all about the Mitsubishi Outlander SE on the Mitsubishi website. Also, be sure to connect with Mitsubishi on your favorite social media sites! Like them on Facebook and Follow Mitsubishi on Twitter to stay updated on all of their latest car trends and special offers!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration: The Land Portion

Once we arrived at the conference, I literally hit the ground running. We checked into Port Orleans Riverside, which was gorgeous, and I sent #modernbocadad and #dailybocaavery off to the parks while I unpacked and sorted through the itinerary!

Then, conference attendees were invited to shop with the Hanes brand at a special suite at the hotel. I ended up LOVING their products! Who needs Victoria’s Secret when you can have a super soft bra from Hanes? I literally wear the t-shirt I won at the conference every night now. #happyinhanes

Later, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom…

That evening, conference attendees were shuttled to Animal Kingdom to a special cocktail party held at Festival of the Lion King. I love that show, so I couldn’t believe were having drinks in the middle of the auditorium. Surreal!

We were there because Disney had just announced the opening date of Pandora: The World of Avatar. We even got to peek at the model.

Pandora will transport guests to a mystical world of bioluminescent rainforests, floating mountains and soaring Banshees. Disney is bringing to life the fantasy world of Pandora, inspired by James Cameron’s epic film AVATAR. Pandora opens May 27, 2017!

#dailybocaavery and #minigolightly posing by the Pandora signage at dinner sponsored by GoGo squeeZ

I wrote about Pandora and the launch of what we saw next on BocaMag.com recently (did you know I contribute a column to the magazine 2x per month. It’s called “Boca Mom Talk”- check it out!).

Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

There’s a new show after dark at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, and we got to see a sneak preview! Now open, Rivers of Light is an elaborate theatrical production that takes guests on a breathtaking emotional journey—a visual mix of water, fire, nature and light all choreographed to an original music score.

It was so impressive! The new 15-minute show is the latest addition to the lineup of nighttime experiences at Animal Kingdom.

Celebrating the majesty of nature and the connection between animals and humans in the world, the performance combines live performers, beautiful floating lanterns, glistening fountains, special effects and authentic animal imagery projected on giant water screens. We even found out that all of the scenes projected are from past Disney Nature films! Rivers of Light will be performed on select nights. It’s a must-see, MBMoms.

The night wouldn’t be complete without viewing the light show at the Tree of Life! So beautiful!

And that was only #DisneySMMC DAY 1!!!

I started to cover a little of Day 2 in this post, but barely scratched the surface. I’ll be back with all of the 2017 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration details along with why I’ll never take a 3-Night Disney Cruise ever again later this month!


Pin for Later!

Hosted: This Heading to the Disney SMMC in the 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander post was hosted by DriveShop USA, the Walt Disney Company, American Tourister and Hanes. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own. They are not influenced in any way by the sponsor. Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I have been given exclusive experiences and branded merchandise for promotional consideration, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

My Favorite Family Moments from Holiday Break 2016

YAY, the kids are going back to school this week!!! BOO, the kids are going back to school this week. Sure, I am excited for my daughter to get back into her preschool routine. But, it’s also been so nice to spend quality time together over the past two weeks. We’ve truly had some amazing mother/daughter and family moments. From visiting local museums like MODS to a trip to the 2016 Disney Candlelight Processional, this holiday break was one for the books!

We visited the Museum of Discovery & Science (MODS) in Ft. Lauderdale  #hosted

http://mods.org/home.html

We played dress-up at the Boca Raton Children’s Museum

http://cmboca.org/

We traveled to Epcot for the 2016 Disney Candlelight Processional  #hosted

Modern Boca Mom was invited to let the memories begin during Epcot’s Holidays Around the World this season. Disney transformed their beautiful park into a holiday spectacular, featuring festive decor, diverse storytellers, spectacular shows and a Gospel choir.

We attended the Candlelight Processional (my first time!), a spectacular and wondrous show of pageantry that unites people from around the globe. Special guest stars like our narrator, Jodi Benson, recount the biblical tale of Christmas interwoven with rich orchestral music and song featuring a 50-piece orchestra and amazing choirs. It was spectacular.

Check out some of my photos and a short video from the show:

2016 Disney Candlelight Processional

2016 Disney Candlelight Processional

2016 Disney Candlelight Processional

2016 Disney Candlelight Processional

2016 Disney Candlelight Processional

 2016 Disney Candlelight Processional

2016 Disney Candlelight Processional

 We threw a New Year’s Eve soiree for friends with kids

We survived winter in Florida!!!

All in all, it was a fantastic winter break. We hope you and your family enjoyed a great start to 2017 like we did!


Hosted: This post was hosted by Walt Disney World and Museum of Discovery & Science. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by the host.  Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I was provided with complimentary park and museum tickets, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

Holiday Travel Gear for Kids You Can Actually Use Year-Round

After an exhaustive time traveling to/from the northeast for the Thanksgiving holiday this year, we vowed to stay local for Christmas. Well, easier said than done, especially when Disney invites you to come see their Candlelight Processional at Epcot two days after Christmas. You don’t say no to Disney when you’re a blogger. 😉 So, I was really excited when BubbleBum® reached out with some amazing recommendations for travel gear for kids– great for the car or on a plane/in transit.

travel gear for kids

BubbleBum is actually a family-owned company founded by mom of two, Grainne Kelly. Grainne was frustrated having to transport bulky, hard booster seats on planes and car rental companies not providing booster seats for her children. So, she designed her own portable booster seat and other travel innovations too!

The Latest in Travel Gear for Kids

BubbleBum: the First Inflatable Car Booster Seat

travel gear for kids BubbleBum

This is a must-have for road trips and all car travels (for kids 40+ lbs)! It’s an inflatable car booster seat for kids aged 4-11 years, weighing 40-100 lbs.

Weighing in at less than one pound, BubbleBum can deflate in minutes, making it simple to throw in a backpack or large purse. BubbleBum includes belt positioning clips in place of arm rests, so it’s possible to fit three boosters across the back seat of a car, minivan, or SUV. It’s available in black or pink chevron.

inflatable-booster-seat-black travel gear for kids

BubbleBum ($29.99) helps ensure that EVERY child has a safe booster seat on EVERY ride because they improve a child’s safety in the car by 59%!

BubbleBum Junkie

travel gear for kids BubbleBum Junkie

I set this up in my backseat on a recent trip to Vero Beach and this organizer is the perfect way to keep all entertainment and snacks organized! Especially if you have more than one child…

The BubbleBum Junkie ($39.99) features a tech sharing mount for tablets and other handheld devices. It also has stowable activity trays for backseat fun. The Junkie has an expanding compartment with a removable tote bag and organizes and carries your stuff from home to car.

It is a must-have for all of your family road trips and car rentals!

BubbleBum Sneck

travel gear for kids the sneck by BubbleBum

Don’t you hate watching your child’s head bob in their carseat?The Sneck pillow system ($14.99) is a travel pillow that converts into multiple uses. The innovative design makes napping in the car more comfortable.

The travel pillow’s micro-bead pods and cozy material allow kids to nap without getting a kinky neck. The Sneck easily attaches to the headrest with a Velcro strap. It stays in place allowing kids to rest without having to reposition the pillow. The Sneck’s stash pocket also allows kids to store MP3 players or small toys. Its three way design allows kids to manipulate and move the position for optimal comfort.

We are ready to hit the road (again) this holiday season and beyond with this travel gear for kids!

travel gear for kids


Hosted: This post was hosted by BubbleBum. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by the sponsor.  Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I was given travel gear for kids for consideration in a review post. That does not impact my views or opinions.

Make a Day of it at the Newly Expanded Disney Springs

Say farewell to Downtown Disney and HELLO to the newly expanded Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort this holiday season!

expanded Disney Springs

Disney Springs is wrapped and ready for the holidays following its multi-year makeover to a world-class shopping-dining-entertainment district. It honestly could be Disney’s fifth theme park, it’s so large (and fun)!

expanded Disney Springs

expanded Disney Springs

I had the opportunity to spend the good part of an entire day at the expanded Disney Springs and I still didn’t get to do everything.

expanded Disney Springs

The district is now separated into four “neighborhoods”, which have been transformed for the holidays through festive decor, entertainment and holiday shopping at some amazing new retailers- hello Lilly Pulitzer and Vera Bradley!

expanded Disney Springs Lilly Pulitzer

Retail locations range from name-brands to cozy boutiques to everything in between. There’s truly something for everyone!

expanded Disney Springs Vera Bradley

expanded Disney Springs Vera Bradley

expanded Disney Springs

I highly recommend taking a day this December to experience the newly expanded Disney Springs.

expanded Disney Springs

Here’s your recommended plan of action, should you choose to accept it:

  • Drive up from South Florida in the morning and park for FREE in one of Disney Springs’ new parking garages. There are even sensors in each row that tell you how many parking spaces are available. Too cool.
  • Stop for a quick lunch at one of the many new dining locations such as:
  1. D-Luxe Burger– try the Southern. You won’t regret it!

expanded Disney Springs

2. Planet Hollywood Observatory (which is finishing up a HUGE renovation)

expanded Disney Springs

3. Paddlefish (near the entrance of Portobello Country Italian Trattoria)

expanded Disney Springs

4. Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza (I love the one in Boca!)

expanded Disney Springs

expanded Disney Springs

  • Get shopping! There are so many options, including one of my NYC favs, UNIQLO. I discovered so many new stores at the expanded Disney Springs!

expanded Disney Springs

expanded Disney Springs

expanded Disney Springs

expanded Disney Springs
Diamonds International

expanded Disney Springs
Adorable shoes at Melissa

expanded Disney Springs

expanded Disney Springs

expanded Disney Springs
Monogramming at Kipling

expanded Disney Springs

expanded Disney Springs
You can’t miss the Lego store!

expanded Disney Springs
Awesome pink Christmas trees at the World of Disney store

expanded Disney Springs

expanded Disney Springs

expanded Disney Springs

expanded Disney Springs

Shopping won’t get you into the holiday spirit? Then head over to see the big guy himself at Santa’s Chalet. Even better, once dusk settles, take a stroll through the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail! This was amazing. The entire time I was thinking, “which one of these trees can I recreate at home?” Plus SNOW!

expanded Disney Springs

Have I mentioned that Disney Springs also features some amazing new dining destinations?

Several bloggers and I experienced a multi-course meal at Morimoto Asia. What a delight! I love that I no longer have to travel all the way to NYC for Morimoto or Chicago for Frontera Cocina. They’re all (and more!) at Disney Springs. 🙂

expanded Disney Springs

expanded Disney Springs

expanded Disney Springs

The grand finale of your day? Something truly groundbreaking…

“Starbright Holidays – An Intel Collaboration” is a first-of-its-kind light show featuring 300 Intel® Shooting Star™ show drones. The hi-tech spectacle invites guests to gaze skyward and make a special wish this holiday season. The synchronized choreography of the drones is set to a specially orchestrated arrangement of classic holiday music. Be sure to listen for a few bars of classic Disney melodies too!

expanded Disney Springs
This holiday season, guests at Disney Springs-the shopping, dining and entertainment district of Walt Disney World Resort-will get a chance to see Disney and Intel exploring remarkable new technology as hundreds of lighted show drones take to the nighttime sky in “Starbright Holidays Ð An Intel Collaboration.” (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

This is the first time in the United States that 300 show drones have flown at one time. They weigh less than a volleyball and feature built-in LED lights than create more than four billion color combinations! It was extremely impressive. Definitely a must-see!


Other fun options to explore at the newly expanded Disney Springs:
  • Coca Cola Store & Rooftop Beverage Bar: Enjoy classic and exotic flavors from around the world while taking in panoramic views of Disney Springs atop the Coca-Coca Cola Store. It’s pretty cool. I tasted every flavor they offered!

expanded Disney Springs

expanded Disney Springs

  • Characters in Flight: By the time I made it to this awesome hot air balloon experience, it was too windy to go up. But, it’s definitely on my list for next time! More info and pricing HERE.

expanded Disney Springs

  • The Disney Springs Christmas Tree: Be sure to take a selfie by this beauty! The tree is the centerpiece of all of the holiday decor at Disney Springs.

expanded Disney Springs


Hosted: This post was hosted by Walt Disney World. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by the host.  Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I was invited on a complimentary media trip with park tickets, meals, shopping experiences and accommodations, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

Unwrap the Holiday Magic at Walt Disney World this 2016 Season

When you’re an annual passholder at Walt Disney World, there’s no weirder feeling than going to the parks without your kid(s) and all their “stuff” in tow. Alas, that’s just what I did before Thanksgiving when I was invited to unwrap the holiday magic at Disney with a fabulous group of media friends. I still haven’t told #dailybocaavery. What she doesn’t know can’t hurt her, right?

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom


Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

We were hosted at the fabulous Walt Disney World Swan Hotel, Convention Center and they gave us the 5-Star treatment. The newly renovated rooms were so cozy and the Starwood hotel is in the final phase of a $140 million renovation, the largest in their history, with a $12 million lobby transformation to come.

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

I’m getting ahead of myself here, but the farewell breakfast they served us on the last day of the trip? I’m still thinking about it. YUM. But, back to the subject at hand…

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom


Our mission: To preview all of the holiday happenings including all-new attractions and entertainment that will make the 2016 season of cheer unlike any other in the history of Walt Disney World Resort.

Mission accepted. And gleefully, I might add. Here’s where I netted out in terms of my top #disneyholidays recommendations after the trip…

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom
April Golightly, Modern Boca Mom & Bibbidi Bobbidi Brooke

When it comes to holiday magic at Disney, here are 6 things you can’t miss this season at the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios:

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

1. Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Think Magic Kingdom is the only park decked out for the holidays at Walt Disney World? Think again! Hollywood Studios is bringing the entertainment factor this Christmas with the all-new nighttime spectacular “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!”

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

The facade of the Chinese Theater comes alive with state-of-the-art projections, and guests will experience special effects, fireworks and even snow on, above and around the theater. We watched the spectacle from a private dessert party. Talk about holiday magic at Disney…wow! Here are a few shots from the festive evening.

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

“Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” will run to Dec. 31, 2016.


Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

2. “A Frozen Holiday Wish” at Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Guess what, MBMoms? Anna and Elsa aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, they’re the ones in charge of transforming Cinderella Castle into a glimmering, shimmering ice palace for the holidays. It’s pretty much breathtaking!

Your kids won’t want to miss this special performance before Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party takes over the Park (which is an extra special ticket for purchase- FYI).


Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

3. “Once Upon a Time” Castle Projection Show at Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Projections are the name of the game now when it comes to holiday magic at Disney and it’s the best technology has to offer. Be sure to make plans to witness the dazzling new “Once Upon a Time” projection show playing out on Cinderella Castle.

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

The show uses projection-mapping technology to produce a dazzling three-dimensional effect that fits every nook and contour of the Castle. It also lets guests relive some of their favorite moments from classic Disney stories. The show is pretty amazing…and of course, magical. Watch the video I took below!


Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

4. “Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration” at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Disney’s Magic Kingdom

This new stage show gives families the opportunity to crash a Christmas party at Mickey’s house! Isn’t that on your holiday bucket list? Just me? Ok…

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Mickey and his pals host some of their friends for an unforgettable party on the Castle forecourt stage in “Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration.” Holiday songs, castle projections and merrymaking builds to a sensational, snowy finale. Disney brings out some of the characters we don’t see that often, so I really enjoyed this show…and its cheeky nod to technology and texting that is engrained in our lives now.


Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

5. Holiday Wishes – Celebrate the Spirit of the Season at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Disney’s Magic Kingdom

I’ve seen the show “Wishes” at Magic Kingdom a few times now this year, but it’s taking a backseat to “Holiday Wishes” during the season. If this show doesn’t get you in the holiday spirit, I don’t know what will.

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

The night sky literally bursts with color high above Cinderella Castle with this holiday fireworks spectacular…and more projections. 🙂


Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

6. Mickey’s “Once Upon a Christmastime” Parade at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Disney’s Magic Kingdom

I’m no stranger to parades at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. I already miss the Electrical Parade. Memories… But this parade was one for the books. I had never attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party before, but had heard the parade was nothing short of spectacular. I don’t even know how to narrow down the images that I managed to capture while experiencing this special seasonal performance.

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

The enchanting holiday parade transforms Main Street, U.S.A. into a snowy paradise. April Golightly and I watched in front of Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, which provided an amazing vantage point.

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Santa Claus, gingerbread men, elves, reindeer, toy soldiers and other friends from the North Pole join Mickey and his pals on fantastical floats.

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf from “Frozen” also join in the fun! SO. MUCH. FUN.

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom


But there’s more…

In addition to all of the seasonal entertainment and holiday magic at Disney, which will keep you super busy at Mickey’s Very Merry–trust me, several rides have been “Christmas-fied” including the Jungle Cruise (dubbed the “Jingle Cruise”)!

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

You can also head to a variety of locations throughout the park to enjoy complimentary holiday treats. The hot chocolate and snickerdoodle cookies at Tortuga Tavern in Adventureland® are to-die-for! Allergy-friendly and alternative healthy options are available upon request too.

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

There’s just so much holiday magic at Disney World this season! I haven’t even covered all of the fun at the NEW Disney Springs yet, just wait. We are so lucky to live in South Florida, just a few hours from Walt Disney World Resort.

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Will you be planning a trip to the ‘happiest place on earth’ with your family this holiday season? We already have our calendars marked for the Candlelight Processional at Epcot in December. Stay tuned for more information on that.

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom
It’s so nice to have a “media trip buddy” like April Golightly!

Wishing you and your family tons of holiday magic this season!


Hosted: This post was hosted by Walt Disney World. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by the host.  Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I was invited on a complimentary media trip with park tickets, meals and accommodations, but that does not impact my views or opinions.