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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.

2017 Walt Disney Studios Movies to Look Forward to

We’re so excited for all of the 2017 Walt Disney Studios movies coming out this year! In fact, we’ve already written about a few of them as information became available. Thank you Disney PR!

2017 Walt Disney Studios movies

I’m sure Modern Boca Mom will get some additional sneak previews when we attend the Disney Social Media Moms Conference February 7-12 (#disneySMMC). We can’t believe the event is less than a month away! This year is flying already…

Here’s the 2017 Walt Disney Studios movies lineup, so you can keep track of their release dates:

March 17, 2017 – BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Walt Disney Studios)

#BeautyAndTheBeast; #BeOurGuest

The story and characters audiences know and love come to spectacular life in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic “Beauty and the Beast,” a stunning, cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved tales ever told. “Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a Beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart of the true Prince within.

The 2017 Walt Disney Studios movies stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s father; Josh Gad as LeFou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Ewan McGregor as Lumière, the candelabra; Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Audra McDonald as Madame de Garderobe, the wardrobe; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; Hattie Morahan as the enchantress; and Nathan Mack as Chip, the teacup; with Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.

The film is directed by Bill Condon based on the 1991 animated feature, “Beauty and the Beast.”

Alan Menken, who won two Academy Awards® (Best Original Score and Best Song) for the animated film, provides the score, which includes new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as three new songs written by Menken and Tim Rice.


April 21, 2017 – BORN IN CHINA (Disneynature)

#BornInChina

Narrated by John Krasinski, Disneynature’s new True Life Adventure film “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 2017 Walt Disney Studios movies transports audiences to some of the most extreme environments on Earth to 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, seamlessly tying the extraordinary tales together.


May 5, 2017 – GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 (Marvel Studios)

#GotGVol2

Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.

Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, featuring Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Tommy Flanagan, Laura Haddock and Kurt Russell.


May 26, 2017 – PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES (Walt Disney Studios)

#PiratesOfTheCaribbean; #APiratesDeathForMe

Johnny Depp returns to the big screen as the iconic, swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in the all-new “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” The rip-roaring adventure finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea—notably Jack.

Jack’s only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry (Brenton Thwaites), a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of the Dying Gull, his pitifully small and shabby ship, Captain Jack seeks not only to reverse his recent spate of ill fortune, but to save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has ever faced.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” also stars Kevin R. McNally as Joshamee Gibbs,  Golshifteh Farahani as the sea-witch Shansa, David Wenham as Scarfield, Stephen Graham as Scrum, and Geoffrey Rush as Captain Hector Barbossa. 

Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg are directingPirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” with Jerry Bruckheimer producing. One of the most anticipated 2017 Walt Disney Studios movies!


June 16, 2017 – CARS 3 (Disney / Pixar)

#Cars3

Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez (voice of Cristela Alonzo), with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage!


November 3, 2017 – THOR: RAGNAROK (Marvel Studios)

#ThorRagnarok

In Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok,” Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and 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!

“Thor: Ragnarok” is directed by Taika Waititi and returns Chris Hemsworth starring as Thor and Tom Hiddleston reprising 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.


November 22, 2017 – COCO (Disney / Pixar)

#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 (voice of Benjamin Bratt). 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 (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history. We can’t wait to write more about these 2017 Walt Disney Studios movies.


December 15, 2017 – STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII (Lucasfilm)

#StarWarsVIII

TRAILER:

Coming Soon…the world is holding its breath for this film!

 

Have a Wonder-FALL Season at Walt Disney World

It’s the second most wonderful time of the year: FALL! Even though I’m digging the (slightly) lower temps down in Boca Raton, there’s nothing like experiencing the fall season at Disney World.

There are festive Halloween decorations, new attractions for the whole family and a farewell celebration for an old favorite departing on October 9th: Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade. We said our proper goodbyes to the classic parade earlier this month at the Magic Kingdom. I encourage you to experience it with your kids before it’s too late! It’s truly magical.

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Tag your Main Street Electrical Parade photos with #DisneyMainStreetElectricalParadeFarewell

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Waiting for the Main Street Electrical Parade to begin, I looked around in awe at all of the gorgeous harvest decor. It made me want a pumpkin spice latte real bad. 😉 Good thing there’s a Starbucks right there.

Fall Season at Disney World

Fall Season at Disney World

Fall Season at Disney WorldFall Season at Disney World

During this fall season at Disney World visit, we were also invited to experience several of the new attractions that just opened at the parks.


Fall Season at Disney World 2016

Frozen Ever After at Epcot

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This is the ride with the fabled (yet actually true) 3 hour wait time.

MBMom Tip: Get to Epcot EARLY! We went on the ride twice and waited less than 30 minutes each time.

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Waiting in line…in Arendelle

Frozen Ever After is the most high tech ride at Disney to date. Olaf WALKS, all of the characters from the movie sing with custom projections on their faces (and new music) and the effects are spectacular, especially during the “Let it Go” sequence with Elsa.

Do not miss Frozen Ever After at Epcot! Our daughter wouldn’t let us anyway…

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Meet Anna & Elsa at Epcot’s Royal Sommerhus

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Anna and Elsa have moved from the Magic Kingdom into brand-new digs at Norway in Epcot’s World Showcase. I personally love their decorating style.

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But the best part? Meeting Queen Elsa and Princess Anna in person!

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This is a FastPass-enabled attraction conveniently located next to Frozen Ever After. Plan your day out so you arrive at Epcot early and get your Frozen fix!


Soarin’ Around the World

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Soarin’ Around the World, located at The Land in Epcot, is an updated version of the original which kept your glider flying firmly in the great state of California.

Now, you can see the pyramids of Egypt, the Taj Mahal in India, the Eiffel Tower in France, all from the comfort of a safe, air conditioned attraction. The new scents are awesome.

MBMom Tip: Try to sit in the second row of Soarin’ Around the World. That vantage point has a perfect view of the projection.

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Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular at Hollywood Studios

Fall Season at Disney World

And a spectacle it is! Star Wars: A Galactic spectacular did not disappoint my die hard, Star Wars-loving family. We snagged a viewing spot in front of the Chinese Theater about an hour before showtime and ate a pizza picnic-style while we waited.

MBMom Tip: Pizza Planet is now CLOSED! 🙁 The only place we could find to get pizza takeout was on Sunset Blvd. at Catalina Eddie’s.

I thought the show was a little heavy on the Star Wars movie clips, but the effects and projections have definitely been upgraded since the previous Star Wars fireworks show. As long as the movie score from John Williams is playing, I’m a happy girl.

Okay fine, I’ll be honest. As long as I’m at Disney, I’m a happy girl. 🙂

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Tell me, are you and your family planning a wonder-FALL season at Disney World this year? Comment below!


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 given 4 complimentary Disney Park Hopper passes, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

MBMtravel: Why Disney Hollywood Studios is One of My Favorite Parks

From our newest contributor, Modern Boca DISNEY Mom!

Disney Hollywood Studios WM


When I was a young girl, and Disney Hollywood Studios was still MGM, it was my favorite park at Walt Disney World.

I know, weird, right?

It wasn’t the most exciting park, although The Tower of Terror will surely knock your socks off. But, there was something about the glamour and nostalgia of Old Hollywood, the magic of filmmaking, and the homage to a time when my grandparents were still youthful that appealed so much to me. The old black & white movies, 1920’s fashions, and fantasizing about what Sunset Blvd. was like during the Classic Hollywood era are the reasons why I moved to Hollywood after college to work in the Movies. Disney Hollywood Studios made that tangible, even if it was made of the same facade as the New York City Streets on any backlot.

There is something that happens when you work in the movie industry though. After a while, the sparkle goes away. You can’t help but think about the process, the behind the scenes, and the reality of the illusion, rather than get captured up in the bright lights and shimmer that makes the Magic. And, Disney is all about the Magic!

I guess you can say that I came home from California a little bit jaded.

And even years after leaving Hollywood, the dimmer was still on in those first few trips back to now, Hollywood Studios. It went from being my favorite of all the parks to my least favorite at Disney World. I didn’t think that way about the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, or Animal Kingdom. It was only Hollywood Studios that I found boring.

This was probably because we weren’t watching a ton of Disney Junior quite yet, and Sophia The First had just premiered (truth be told, I probably like Sophia as much as my daughter). The Tower of Terror and Rock’n’Roll Rollercoaster were too old for my infant and toddler. American Idol was not a draw for me. The kids didn’t have the attention span for MuppetVision. There just didn’t seem to be a lot of age-appropriate activities or interests for us to explore. And, walking down Sunset Blvd. or being on the backlot wasn’t exciting for me in the least, when the real thing was my reality every day for years.

Now, you might be inclined (or not) to say “Let It Go”, and I am happy to report that I have!

I am singing a different tune (just not the one above)! My kids are a bit older (ages 2 and 3) and it’s been many years since I lived in Los Angeles, and I might even go as far as to say I am nostalgic for the City of Angels from time to time. So, my eyes are opening up to the amount of sites that there are to see, for all ages, at Hollywood Studios.

Disney is making some really smart changes, capitalizing on the popularity of Frozen and Star Wars, ditching the American Idol attraction and Indiana Jones (for the record, I was always a fan of “Indie”). They are obviously making room for some new permanent attractions, and by next year I wouldn’t be surprised if MGM…I mean, Hollywood Studios, competes with being one of my favorites!

Family with Lighting and Mater

Our Current Favorite Attractions at Hollywood Studios:

  • New Wandering Oaken’s Frozen Snowground – Get all your Frozen needs at the Trading Post and then build a snow castle at the Snowground. For my Floridian children, playing in the snow is a super treat!
  • Honey, I Shrunk The Kids Movie Set Adventure – Classic! Kids can run around the play area as if they are the size of a bug. Run through giant blades of grass, slide on a film strip (would they even know what that is?), sit on a bumble bee and ant bigger than they are, and go through huge root tunnels. Awesome!
  • Beauty and The Beast – I just love the costumes and dancing of the live version from Belle and Beast in the faux Hollywood Bowl.
  • Disney Junior – Any little fans of Disney Junior will love seeing Mickey and the Gang up on stage with Jake and The Neverland PiratesSophia the First, and Doc McStuffins.
  • Hollywood & Vine Character Breakfast and Lunch with Disney Junior – Good food, and you get to dance with Jake, Doc, and Sophia.
  • Star Tours – A little too rough for the kids, but the galaxy fighting simulation is great fun for me and my husband.
  • Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights – If you are at Disney during the holidays, don’t miss the coordinating Holiday lights on the New York City streets of Hollywood Studios.

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Attractions We Look Forward To:

  • Toy Story Mania – This 4D shooting game is probably the most popular ride at the park. You need to get to the park at opening and make a beeline for this ride or get a FastPass. I am going to prioritize this one the next time we go.
  • Fantasmic! – This firework and light show  are supposed to be…well…fantastic! We never stay at the park late enough to attend, but its on our list next trip. I think we will do a FastPass for this one. There is a Dining Package that you can book for priority seating options as well.

Rumor Has It:

  • Cars Land – My Kids would flip! They have seen video of Cars Land in Disneyland’s California Adventure and ask to go all the time. Too bad we live not the opposite Coast. There is a lot of inventory with the closing to The Backlot Tour, so it would just make sense to bring a Cars ride, let alone Land to Disney World.
  • More Star Wars – You know Star Wars fans would flock to Hollywood Studios with more Star Wars attractions, so why wouldn’t they expand the already popular Star Tours and Jedi Training Academy?
  • Frozen – I think it is safe to say that this summer’s Frozen themed ice skating rink and sing-along was a big draw for Hollywood Studios. I wouldn’t be surprised if Disney creates another Frozen attraction with all the changes being made at Hollywood Studios.

Regardless of what Disney has in the blueprints for Hollywood Studios, they are on point with the changes being made, and I am excited to see what they are building. With fresh rides and shows, we look forward to visiting Hollywood Studios a lot more in the future!


Casey has traveled to 47 out of the 50 States, and Disney World probably as many times. The mom of Irish Twins, she runs a blog called Hunting for Rubies that focuses on Family, Travel, and Adventure here in South Florida and beyond. Interested in travel tips and fun adventures to be had, follow Hunting for Rubies on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram