Tag Archives: Walt Disney World

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.

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!


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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.

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.

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.

Best Places to Eat at Disney World- 2016 Update

There is a tremendous amount of choices when looking for the best places to eat at Disney World. What is the best character dining? Where should we grab a quick bite to eat? Which restaurant has the coolest atmosphere?

Modern Boca Disney Mom shares the best places to eat at Disney World!

Safari Donald at Tusker House- Best Places to Eat at Disney

Character Dining: 

Character dining is the best way for you and your family to get great interaction with your favorite Disney characters. There are a lot of options in park and at Disney resorts, but here are our picks for the best places to eat at Disney World:

  • Tusker House at Animal Kingdom – Hang out with Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy at this colorful African inspired marketplace. The food is buffet style and includes Disney favorites along with the flavors of Africa. It is relatively easy to get into, character interaction is plentiful, and if you make reservations before the park opens, you can beat any crowds for popular rides.  MBMom Tip: Make a reservation for late morning and you can experience both breakfast and lunch.
  • Chef Mickey at Disney’s Contemporary Resort – This character dining experience is classic. Hang out with Mickey and the gang while the monorail passes above. It is typical Disney buffet food, but not bad for breakfast. Reservations can be hard to get, so book early. Since Chef Mickey can be busy, it often times take awhile for all the characters to get around to every table.  MBMom Tip: We have only experienced breakfast at Chef Mickey and from what I have heard, we will probably keep it that way.
  • Cinderella’s Royal Table at Magic Kingdom – This might be one of my favorite character dining experiences yet. I am not particularly enamored by Princesses, but being in Cinderella’s Castle was magical. We enjoyed a breakfast of delicious pastries, Filet & Eggs, all while overlooking Prince Charming’s Regal Carousel and the park attendees from above. The dining experience includes a souvenir family picture with Cinderella herself, as well as a Wishing Star and Prince’s Sword for the children.  MBMom Tip: If dinner is sold out, check for a late breakfast or lunch.
  • Ohana at the Polynesian Resort – My family loves Lilo & Stitch, but beyond the two of them, there is Mickey and a few of his friends. The food is Hawaiian family style dining and kind of ‘stick to your ribs’ selections with Pineapple Breakfast Bread (you will want to eat the entire loaf), Potatoes, and Hawaiian Sausage.
Lilo &Stitch Disney's Ohana Best Places to Eat at Disney
Lilo & Stitch Disney’s Ohana

Magic Kingdom:

  • Liberty Tree Tavern –  Recently renovated in 2015, this gem is located in Frontier Land and is a family style restaurant serving American Classics such as carved turkey, pork, and steak, with sides of mashed potatoes, gravy, mac & cheese, green beans, and stuffing. The food is plentiful and scrumptious and prix fixe.  MBMom Tip: Save room for the dessert. Also, if your little girl is a fan of Ariel, they have a killer souvenir cup with light-up mermaid you can purchase for only $5.

Best Places to Dine at Disney Little Mermaid Cup

  • Be Our Guest – Located in the new Fantasyland, this Signature Dining is available as a table service meal for Dinner, but I prefer it as a quick service for lunch. You still get to experience the inside of Beast’s Castle, but don’t have to keep the kids at a sit-down dinner for an hour + when they are itching to get on some more rides. The food for lunch includes American and French classics like French Onion Soup, Quiche, and Croque  Monsieur – all really good.  MBMom Tip: The only way to get into Be Our Guest for lunch is to make a fast-pass reservations at this special link here.

Hollywood Studios:

  • The Brown Derby – This is a Los Angeles staple, going all the way back to the 1920s, and was popular with Film Industry elite until the 1970s. Fun fact: The Brown Derby restaurant also invented the Cobb Salad. The food is sublime, the food fancy, and the price tag high.  MBMom Tip: Make reservations for the Fantasmic! Dining Package and enjoy dinner and the VIP treatment at the nighttime firework and laser show.

Epcot: 

There are as many options for food at Epcot than there are countries in the World Showcase. A few of our favorites among the best places to eat at Disney World include:

  • Teppan Edo in Japan – Hibachi style dining with options of Sushi.
  • Rose & Crown in England  – British Pub with great Fish & Chips and Shepherd’s Pie.  MBMom Tip: Try the beer flute.
  • Biergarten Restaurant in Germany – Food is okay, but atmosphere is fun and lively. Consider visiting Epcot during the International Flower & Garden or Food & Wine Festival and seek out the various outdoor kitchens for small bites and big flavors. No reservations necessary and exploring is the best part of the experience.  MBMom Tip: All these small bites really add up. If you are on the dining plan, you can reserve your snacks for the day you visit one of these shows and use them for single items at the various kiosks.
  • Cantina in Mexico – With (fancy) indoor and outdoor seating with a view and some of the tastiest fish tacos and margaritas MBMom has ever had, this stop is a must for happy hour or if you’re at Epcot in time to eat lunch.
Buffet at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom- Best Places to Eat at Disney
Beautiful Buffet and Atmosphere at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom:

  • Tusker House – The buffet is great for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They offer American classic dishes and then twist them up with African spices (see more in the Character Dining sections above).  MBMom Tip: If there is a wait or you feel like a mid-morning adult beverage, check out the numerous choices in Bloody Mary’s at the Dawa Bar just outside the Tusker House.
  • Yak & Yeti  – MBMom just dined here during her last visit and  the Chinese, Thai, American, Indian cuisine was delicious! Open for lunch and dinner. The Sweet & Sour Chicken and Chicken Tikka Masala are MUSTS. Trust.
Bloody Mary's Galore at Dawa Bar in Animal Kingdom- Best Places to Eat at Disney
Bloody Mary’s Galore at Dawa Bar in Animal Kingdom

Modern Boca Disney Mom’s Favorite Restaurant (still):

Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village. This restaurant is off the beaten path, just like we like it. We stayed at the Villas in 2013 and it is by far our favorite resort and dining experience. Make reservations for a little before sundown and enjoy Indian and African food as you watch the animals roam the Savanna.

MBMom Tip: The Butter Chicken and the Indian Style Bread Service are must haves!

There are so many options for dining at Disney that we surely have not had the chance to try them all. The list above reflects some our favorites among the best places to eat at Disney World and there certainly are a lot more great ones out there including this one at Disney Springs. Have fun trying them out as you visit our favorite place in Florida (besides Boca Raton of course), Walt Disney World!


MBMoms- what are your favorite places to dine at Disney? Comment below! 


Casey has traveled to 47 out of the 50 States, and Disney World probably as many times. The mom of Irish Twins Hunter and Ruby, 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 FacebookTwitterand Instagram

How to Celebrate the Holidays at Walt Disney World

From contributor, Modern Boca DISNEY Mom

Disney at the Holidays WM


“It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year” at “The Most Magical Place on Earth!”

Holidays at Walt Disney World
Cinderella's Castle at the Magic Kingdom
Cinderella’s Castle in Wintertime 2013

Disney swiftly transforms the Magic Kingdom from Halloween to Christmas overnight…literally.

From falling snow to twinkling lights, there are many ways to get into the holiday spirit at Disney World:
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Mickey and Minnie at the "Oh-So Jolly Holiday Parade" 2013.
Mickey and Minnie at the “Oh-So Jolly Holiday Parade”.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is one of Disney’s hard ticketed events. From 7PM-Midnight, the Magic Kingdom turns into a Winter Wonderland and your favorite characters dress for the occasion. Ticket holders may enter the park as early as 4PM to enjoy the Magic Kingdom before the party begins. The Christmas Party is very similar to the Halloween Party, so my same tips apply.

Highlights at the Christmas Party are to see Mickey and Minnie in their fancy holiday party attire, get your picture taken with Santa Clause, see Sorceress Elsa as she transforms the Castle in “A Frozen Holiday Wish”, check out “Celebrate The Season” stage show with Mickey and the gang in front of Cinderella’s Castle, Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, and the falling snow on Main Street, U.S.A..

If you have plans on going to the party, I recommend reading the Undercover Tourist “Guide to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party” for details of this year’s party. If you do want to go, buy your tickets today.

Oh, yes! Before I forget, make sure to eat and drink as many warm cookies and cups of hot cocoa as your heart desires, and have a cookie or two for me, please!

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Snow on Main Street U.S.A. 2013

Hotels

Right around Thanksgiving, the Deluxe Resorts at Disney World begin to put up exquisite Holiday decorations. It is very easy to jump on the monorail from the Magic Kingdom and go to the Polynesian, Grand Floridian, or Contemporary. Animal Kingdom Lodge and Kidani Village do an impressive holiday display too.

So if you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the crowds in the park, or you find you have some extra time during your visit and want somewhere to grab  a meal, consider visiting one of the Deluxe hotels, in which most case have much better food than in the parks plus are very much in the holiday spirit too.


Osborne Family’s Spectacle of Dancing Lights- LAST YEAR TO SEE IT!

Osborne Family's Spectacle of Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

I know our head Modern Boca Mom would feel at home on the backlot of Hollywood Studios during the Osborne Family’s Spectacle of Dancing Lights, a nightly show decorating the streets of “New York City” now and all the way through to January 3rd. One can’t help but feel like they are standing in front of the tree at Rockefeller Center and standing outside Macy’s in “Miracle on 34th Street” all at the same time.

I love this attraction so much and the best part is that it’s included in the price of admission to Hollywood Studios. But, it’s the last year to see, so expect it to be BUSY.

I say, enjoy a lot of the great things Hollywood Studios has to offer during the day, visit the “New York City” backlot to see The Osborne Family’s Spectacle of Dancing Lights, have dinner at the Brown Derby, and stay for Fantasmic!. Don’t forget to take the kiddies to experience a little snow at Wandering Oaken’s Snowground.

For me, a family tradition every year was to drive to Manhattan from Maryland, see a Broadway Show, have an excellent dinner in “The City”, and check out the tree at Rockefeller Center. Celebrating the holidays at Walt Disney World feels close to that, and I love it. I’ll be sad when it’s gone.


Have you been to Disney during the Holidays? Leave us a comment and tell us what your families favorite part of the trip was!
And don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to MBMom, so you never miss out on handy tips like these.

 huntingforrubies-stamp-2xCasey has traveled to 47 out of the 50 States, and Disney World probably as many times. The mom of Irish Twins Hunter and Ruby, 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 FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Beat the Crowds, Beat the Heat! Top 5 Walt Disney World Resort Pools

From Modern Boca Disney Mom…

Disney's Art of Animation Splash Pad
Disney’s Art of Animation Splash Pad

Spring = Summer here in South Florida, and Summer equals, well….you should probably just stay inside.

But, kids do need fresh air, so a trip to Disney World (or two) should be in the cards between April and October. Here is how #ModernBocaDisneyMom and family beat the heat and the crowds, and maximize our fun at Disney, even when it’s a scorcher outside!

Top 5 Walt Disney World Resort Pools

Strategy:

Get to the Parks when the gates OPEN. If you have never seen the Opening Ceremony at Magic Kingdom, get there a few minutes early for some song and dance, as Mickey arrives on the Steam Train. The show is short but sweet, and then you can zoom through the park for shorter lines at your favorite rides.

Tip: All parks do an Opening Ceremony show, so get to the parks 30 minutes earlier than gates open.

By lunchtime, the sun is high in the sky and everyone is at the park. This is when we head back to the hotel for some lunch, pool time, and maybe even a nap.

We make our way back to the parks around 4 p.m. (well rested and cooled off) and then to our dinner reservation sometime around 5:30 p.m. While everyone else is hitting dinner at 6-8 p.m., we might get lucky with another lull in the lines at the more popular rides.

If taking a break might seem like a waste of money, avoiding heat exhaustion, some of the crowds, and taking it easy will make for a much more enjoyable family trip. Plus, we find that our little ones are more likely to stay up for the night time festivities like the parade and fireworks with the little extra downtime. It’s a win-win for us all!

So what hotels have the best pools for that mid-afternoon break? Here are #ModernBocaDisneyMom’s top picks…


Best Hotel Pools at Disney World:

Art of Animation's Radiator Springs at Walt Disney World
Art of Animation’s Radiator Springs at Walt Disney World

5. Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is a great hotel with fun pool options, and is in the moderate price range!

“Hold the fort at this old Spanish citadel with a zero-entry pool, 2 slides and water cannons. Climb a spiral staircase to the top of a turret for an 82-foot trip down the larger slide, which penetrates the fortress wall! Two relaxing spas with the capacity for 12 allow for sweet surrender. Kids under 48 inches tall will love being marooned at the nearby shipwreck play area, where a barrel periodically dumps a deluge and 3 small slides delight little scalawags.”

4. Animal Kingdom Kidani Village could possibly be my favorite pool, but it is also my favorite resort that we have stayed at to date. Disney describes it as a “tropical oasis” and it really is. The kids area is both a water playground and splash pad, so they spent a lot of time there. Then you move on to a gorgeous zero depth entry, heated pool with a 128-foot-long waterside. It is kind of awesome!

3. Art of Animation has the the largest pool at Disney World which is the focal point of Art of Animation. The coolest features of this pool is the underwater music and Finding Nemo splash pad for the little ones. We could have probably skipped seeing Mickey with the fun my daughter had at 18 months. 

There are 2 other pools at Art of Animation for cooling off. The Little Mermaid pool and adorable Cozy Cone Pool from the movie Cars.

2. Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort‘s Nanea Volcano Pool just had its soft opening and will be in full effect by the end of April 2015. Considered Disney’s newest pool with brand new refurbishment, the upgrades will be worth the wait. The lava pool and slide have been redone. There is a new kids aquatic area that hosts playground and slide, 2 hot tubs, and a lay out area. Don’t forget to head over to the Pineapple Lanai for a DOLE WHIP – the ultimate in Disney cool-off treats!

Note: The East Pool will be closed for upgrades, as well as other areas under construction at The Polynesian.

1. Disney’s Beach Club Resort has the ultimate beach resort pool! Of course it is, it only has The Beach Club in the name! Stormalong Bay located near The Boardwalk, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot has something for everyone. Climb high upon a shipwrecked boat and ride down one of the highest hotel waterslides to see views of the Lighthouse, Boardwalk, and Crescent Lake. Even though you are an hour from the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf, enjoy a sandy beach that dips down into the pool. The Beach Club also is equipped with a relaxing lazy river, a sun-bathing deck and kiddie pool with its own slide.


Do you have great tips for cooling off at Disney? Let Modern Boca Mom know about  your favorite cold treats, rides with A/C, or ride/water attractions in the comments below!

 huntingforrubies-stamp-2xCasey has traveled to 47 out of the 50 States, and Disney World probably as many times. The mom of Irish Twins Hunter and Ruby, 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 FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Conquer the 2016 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

Spring is in the air! Or at least in Florida it is at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival…

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As spring breakers and lovers of summer head South to escape the winter weather, flowers are already in bloom at the 2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festivalopen now through May 30th (2016).

The beauty of the flowers and topiaries is just an added bonus to your park ticket to Epcot, along with a live concert series every weekend, educational gardening classes and The Outdoor Kitchens serving seasonal food and drink items throughout the park. 

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Hello, pineapple wine from Pineapple Promenade, Shrimp & Grits from Florida Fresh, Strawberry Marshmallow Macaroon from Fleur de Lys, Everything at Taste of Marrakesh. Plus all the craft beers, wine and sangria (and flights of tequila, what?!) to cool you off on a hot day, is just one of the many reasons Modern Boca Disney Mom and Dad love The World Showcase and The Epcot International Flower & Garden Show.

MBMOM TIP: If you are on the Disney Dining Plan, you can use your Snack credits for small bites at the Outdoor Kitchens. 

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Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2016

In addition to seeing some of Disney’s Classic characters in topiary form and some NEW friends (Donald, Daisy, Huey, Dewey & Louie at the entrance of the park and Ranger Mickey & Friends in Future World East), look out for some of your favorite Pixar characters like Woody & Buzz.

You won’t have to stand in long lines to catch a glimpse of Anna & Elsa at Epcot this year because  they all will be there…in flower form of course!

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival is the two Play Gardens added to the park including Music Garden Melodies near Imagination! It is even illuminated after dark.

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Epcot may not always seem like the most kid-friendly park at Walt Disney World, especially to the little ones, but the addition of a few slides and climbing structures (and comfortable chairs for Mom and Dad to rest their tired feet after a long day of chasing children) is a stop that will make everyone in the family happy!

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Another exhibit for the entire family is Butterflies on the Go in Future World, which takes you through the journey of the Monarch Butterfly. We always love an opportunity to learn a thing or two.

MBMOM TIP: Both play areas close at dusk; all other gardens are illuminated at night. 

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Enjoying some free reign sliding time at Epcot’s Flower & Garden Show

Beyond the topiaries, meander through the various gardens and find inspiration on how you can make your own outdoor living space greener.

Spring is one of our favorite times of year to visit Disney World and before the summer crowds and heat arrive, take advantage of the cooler weather and extra beauty at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival!

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Which Disney character would you like to see as a topiary? Comment below!

Casey has traveled to 47 out of the 50 States, and Disney World probably as many times. The mom of Irish Twins Hunter and Ruby, 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 FacebookTwitter and Instagram