Category Archives: Orlando

Seaworld’s Halloween Spooktacular {Review}

This weekend we finally got a chance to take the kids over to Seaworld for the Halloween festivities. We’ve never checked out this event before, so we were all types of excited (Okay maybe even a little more excited than the kids were).

The Halloween Spooktacular is and in park trick or treat experience and celebration, so you can get the family dressed up (I understood that only kids can dress up, so we only did costumes for them) for the party!

They have 3 main highlights: Trick or Treating, Penelope’s Party Zone, and the Sesame Street Countdown to Halloween. We did it all except the last.

Overall it was a great experience. We all had a great time in all.There’s not much in all to comment on other than that so I will amuse you with pictures of the event with the occasional witty comments!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bam Bam and Pebbles!! We made the kid’s costumes (which was a new feat for us)!!

The Trick or Treat stations are adorned by large jellyfish. The lines are usually pretty long though. We didn’t wait many of them. The ones on the upstairs portion of the stadium where the party zone don’t have many people. Also if you forget to bring your Jack o’lantern for candy they have some bags that you can use to keep your goodies all together.

I also like the fact that they try to show kids that you can have healthy treats too, they passed out mini bananas and peanuts!

The Party Zone. The front had a DJ playing music. They had character meet-n-greets. Some easels with pages to color and tables for families to sit. This was the main part of all the entertainment.

They have a make your own dipped apple station. Which to me was the best thing EVER. You can choose to dip it in white chocolate, regular chocolate, or caramel. Then you take your dipped apple to the topping bar on the side and add whatever you want to it. Very messy, but so much fun!!

What’s Seaworld without some animal friends! This little guy was out so everyone can see and touch him!

We had to visit the penguins (they are my favorite) and even they were in on the festivities!

Also, this flamingo….I think he had his costume on. He sure wasn’t pink like everyone else!!

Well that about wraps it up for this event!
There are two more weekends left for this event so if you have a chance go check it out!

-Sakina

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Epcot International Food & Wine Festival {Round 2}

I think I’m up WAY too early to write this post. But I’m sacrificing myself for you guys (the 3.5 people that probably read this. Thanks) But let’s move on! Yesterday was another Food and Wine day! And boy was it great!!

So Nicole and I decided to check out the Festival Center first before heading out to the food. It was cool. They had some demonstrations going on with real chefs from some Disney property restaurants. They also had all the merchandise avaliable for the event. Some really cool things there! We grabbed the passports which are really cool. You get a stamp in every country and there is all the foods and wines in all the booths. So you get to keep track of what you had!

One of the greatest things I think Is the reloadable Food and Wine gift cards. Basically you put as much money as you want and when you get to the booths you slide the card and don’t have to worry about dealing with cash or with credit cards. I absolutely love it! So we loaded up $20 each and went out to see how much food we could eat. (Well I had $1.85 left on my card so I had $21.85).

We’re going to call this the $21.85 challenge!

THE CHALLENGE FOOD 

Booth: Brazil
Item: Brazil’s National Dish – Feijoada ($2.75)
Review: This was a really great starting dish. It’s basically a stew of Black Beans and Pork. The Black beans were really good, seasoned well, and you got really big portions of a pork sausage chunk. I thought it was delicious.

Booth: China
Item: Black Pepper Shrimp with Sichuan Noodles ($4.50)
Review: I was really hesitant to pay 4 bucks for some noodles and shrimp but I stood by the booth and looked at the plates while other people bought and it was HUGE, so I was in. You got about 4 shrimp and a hunk load of noodles. Really good. The shrimp were seasoned good. They had a nice pepper spice to them, but it wasn’t overkill. The noodles were tender and were great too.

Booth: Poland
Item: Golabki ($2.75)
Review: This was a pork stuffed cabbage. This was a really good dish for cheap. The pork was really tender and was delicious. You could taste the cabbage but it wasn’t overpowering the pork. Really good.

Booth: Singapore
Item: Beef Rendang with Jasmine Rice ($3.25)
Review: I love this dish. I had it last year. The beef is really spicy but sweet at the same time (I know because of the coconut), but its amazing. I do have to warn you it is SPICY. So if you love that, I recommend this  to you!

Booth: Portugal
Item: Calamari Salad with Fennel, Smoked Paprika and Olive Oil ($2.75)
Review: I absolutely loved this dish as well (then again, I didn’t meet a plate of food I didn’t like) I have to say. The calamari was fresh and delicious. Everything else on the plate was just adding to how great it was. I would get it again.

Booth: Belgium
Item: Guylian Belgian Chocolate Seashell Truffles ($1.75)
Review: These are little Belgian chocolates they give you in a box. I really have to say there were amazing. Really rich in flavor. They had a hint of hazelnut which was an amazing addition.

Booth: Canada
Item: Canadian Chedder Cheese Soup ($3.75)
Review: FAVORITE! It was absolutely amazing. We really passed the booth 3 times and were SO CLOSE to buying it again. It was a thick soup that was just awesome. This was the last thing we ate so it was a great wrap up to the night. Plus it was a little chilly out so the soup was perfect.

Booth: Desserts & Champagne
Item: White Chocolate Macadamia Mousse with Dark Chocolate Pearls ($1.50)
Review: This was also really great. I didn’t want it to end at all. The dark chocolate pearls were crunchy so it was a real great contrast. It worked amazing together.

Everything I wrote about above was purchased with my gift card and I didn’t reload it again. The only thing was I paid $1.90 at the last booth because we ran out of money. But if you think about the amount of food that was purchased with only 20 bucks it was great!

Now There are a couple of things Nicole bought differently that I tried as well so I’m going to write about those next.

NICOLE’S DISHES

Booth: Caribbean
Item: Ropa Vieja ($3.50)
Review: Really good dish. The beef was seasoned really well and was very tender.

Booth: Italy
Item: Ravioli di formaggio all’Emiliana ($4.50)
Review: Baked cheese ravioli with creamy beef bolognese, parmesan, and Mozarella. The portion is HUGE. So if you wanna get full go for this one. It was an amazing dish. Everything tasted really great together.

Booth: Belgium
Item: Belgian Waffle with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream ($3.00)
Review: This is one of her favorite things here. She didn’t get the berry’s like always (but always asks for extra whipped cream LOL). This is amazing. They make the waffles right there in front of you and it’s just wonderful and fluffy and just all around amazing!

THE CONCERT

Sugar Ray was the show yesterday. It was awesome. We sang and danced along to all our favorite songs.

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Where is it Wednesday #4

Come one! Come all!! The guessing game is back again!!

If you know how to play, begin! If you don’t, its simple. Just guess where the picture was taken and put your answer in the comments below!

Good luck!

Answer: Inside the Spiderman queue at Universal’s Island of Adventure.

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A Tale of Trades

Pin Trading

The year is 1999. With the millennium approaching, Disney introduced to the world pin trading. I don’t know if they were aware of how big that would become, or it would fizzle out like other fads. But this one has still stayed strong!

What is so cool/unique/fascinating about pin trading?
With Disney pin trading, you can collect pins from either your favorite movie, Disney attraction, and even character. So your collection can be personalized to what exactly YOU want. Also there are special Hidden Mickey pins that you can only acquire by trading with Disney cast members.

Trading Tips

  • Buy starter packs. Buying single pins can cost you a pretty penny, starter packs give you a little more pins for a grouped price.
  • You can trade with any cast member that has a black lanyard around their neck, or  hip lanyard. Green/teal lanyards mean the cast member can only trade with kids 12 and under.
  • You can only trade 2 pins per cast member per day. For example, you can only trade 2 pins cast member Suzy in any one day. After your two trades with her you can move on to another cast member.
  • You can ONLY trade Disney pins. (Seems obvious enough, but just in case the question arrises.)
Disney has pin trading etiquette available.
Also on their website are pin trading FAQ.

Vinylmation

There is now, a new neighbor in the town of trading. These are Vinylmations. While they are not as easily transported as pins are able to be (Can you imagine trying to carry around like 12 of those of your neck all day?), they are unique in their own way. They are the little Mickey Mouse figures that are designed all differently to represent something else.

Vinylmations come in series, like groups, and they are classified by the specific series they are in. For example one of the “on-going” sets are the Park Series, which, like the name implies, are things taken from the parks. There are 12 different Vinylmations in a series 11 of them being known and 1 mystery chaser. The thing is that the sets are limited, and the mystery chaser is even more limited than the individuals in the set.

How do I know what I got? 

You don’t. Until you open the box, and you can’t open the box until you buy it. So it’s pretty much the luck of the draw. There are also sets that are open box, which means there is a little window in the box so that you are able to see which Vinylmation you are choosing.

How big are these things?

They come in the sizes. The normal series come in 3 inch figures, with each series a couple of 9 inch figures are released, and there are also the Vinylmation Jr. which are 1.5 inches and have the ability to be a keychain.

Can I trade these?

Yes! You can trade the regular Vinylmations and in some places even the Vinylmation Jr.’s. There is no trading on the 9 inch figures.

Soooooooooo how do you trade them?

There are two options for this. Clear and blind box trading. Some stores have these large black boxes numbered. You pick a number and then whatever is behind that door you trade for. Again, luck of the draw. The clear boxes contain 3 different figures that you can see and can pick to trade from.

So who is the better of the two? I can tell you that for years the big breadwinner is the pins, but they’ve also been around for years. I honestly like them both though. I have pins and vinyls. They both are different and unique in they’re own way. For example in pins I collect ALL figment pins, with Vinylmation I collect only the ones that I like or mean something to me. My friend Nicole on the other hand also collects a specific character in pins, Minnie Mouse, and with Vinylmation she likes to pick a set she likes them all and then tries to complete the set. So your collection can vary depending on your specific tastes.

What’s in your collection???

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Food Friday: 24 Hours of Tacos Edition

Got out of work late? Went downtown to party? Just up late at night for no reason at all? And you start to get these grumbles in your stomach. Oh yes, those are the signs that your tummy wants to party as well.

That reminds me of this clip….also very unrelated, but my favorite episode of Adventure Time.

(Video is thanks to CartoonNetwork on Youtube)

Anyways. Back to the food part.
You are hungry and want some food. What sounds better than Mexican food at all hours of the night? I can’t think of anything else really.

The spot: Beto’s. Once in a galaxy long long ago, it was probably a Taco Bell, or some other fast food place that later shut down, and this 24 hour gem came in. Yes, I said it’s 24 hours. So no matter what time of day. Morning, noon, night, or very LATE night, you can satisfy your cravings for glorious mexican food.

Now what food you say? Read on my young padawans, read on.

Continue reading

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{Don’t Overlook} Universal Orlando Edition

This week we are going to take a hop, skip, and a jump away from Walt Disney World over to Universal.
I sometimes think that as a whole Universal is the underdog park, overshadowed by it’s little brother Islands of Adventure. In my heart, since it was the original I love it, I remember when even Citywalk didn’t exist and you parked right in front of the arches. And though I do have a couple of bones to pick with them (*cough* replacing Back to the Future with The Simpsons COME ON! *cough), it’s still a

But we aren’t here to walk down memory lane. We will leave that for another time. Let’s get down to business!

Universal has only a handful of attractions, so seeing the majority of it in one day is mostly possible. I think this makes it most difficult to make this list up for this park. But I’m going to go with what I think.

Continue reading

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The “Sunshine State”

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Not today I guess….lol

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Food Friday: Gas Station Edition

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Another weekly post I’m adding! I introduce to you: Food Fridays!
I think its self explanatory….it involves food in some way/shape/form.

This week I was going to write about something totally different. But due to unforeseen circumstances (read: I fell asleep) I got another idea.

When you think of good food you often don’t think of a convenience store do you? Yeah, me neither. BUT I did find something that has changed my opinion on that in a certain way. This, ladies and gents, is the ‘Smoked Turkey & Jack Cheese’ sandwich from 7-11.

Now before you all click the search bar because you think I’ve gone batty for glorifying a turkey sandwich, hear me out. This thing has become a morning staple for school or work bound breakfasts. Its turkey, cheese, lettuce, and southwest mayo in between cracked wheat bread. It’s part of 7-11’s Fresh To Go selection. And to be honest it really is a great refreshing start to a day.

So if you are at a 7-11 and having hunger pains…I can suggest you one item at least!

-Sakina

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Epcot International Food & Wine Festival {Round 1}

I had the opportunity to attend the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival this past week. It’s something I look forward to every year. So much food (and now since I’m old enough so much wine) to try out. Although the weather was still too a little hot during they afternoon hours it’s starting to finally feel like Fall in central Florida. Hallelujah! Hiding in pavilions between eats because of the heat is not a good look!

Last year was probably the first time that I was able to take in the Food and Wine Festival for all the amazingness that it is. And yes, amazingness is a word. Okay maybe just in my mind, but I’m ranting. So anyways, I really tried to go for so many different things and I really enjoyed it so much. This year I plan on going multiple times, and trying things I’ve never had. Isn’t that the whole point? To expand one’s palette?

I plan on going a couple of times, so I didn’t try to overdose myself this one go-around. Our “theme” this year is kind of a vintage travel. But let’s get down to the real business here:

THE FOOD 

Booth: Australia
Item: Shrimp on the Barbie w/ Pepper Berry Citrus Glaze ($4.50)
Review: I thought it tasted really good. It was a mix of spicy and sweet at the same time. A little more on the spicy side though, but I love spices so I found it great!

*No Picture*

Booth: China
Item: Pork Pot Stickers ($3.50)
Review: I didn’t really like them. I found them kind of hard. And I couldn’t taste the pork so much. Eh?

Booth: Germany
Item: Nürnberger Sausage in a Pretzel Roll ($4.50)
Review: I really enjoyed this one! I might do a repeat on this in my next round. The sausage tasted amazing, not spicy though but very good. And the pretzel roll was just right. And all that mustard all together, it was great! Loved it!


 

Booth: Hawaii
Item: Kalua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Dole Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise ($3.00)
Review: This one was also very good. I thought that it was going to be doused in sauce, but it wasn’t. The pork wasn’t dry either. Just the right mix of everything! Very good!

Booth: Mexico
Item: Flan ($3.00)
Review: This one might be a bit biased because I love flan. But this one was REALLY good! It was very moist and the flavors was awesome…I didn’t want to share this one! Great last dish for the night!

I went late in the afternoon so I didn’t get a chance to try a whole lot, plus I wanted to leave some things for the next couple of rounds. I also didn’t try any of the wine. I plan on doing that in a week or so.

Also if you weren’t aware there is also a concert series that takes place during the Food and Wine Festival. “Eat to the Beat” shows are 5:15, 6:30, 7:45 , at the American Gardens theater in the America pavilion.

The official schedule of artists are as follows:

  • Taylor Dayne: 9/30-10/2/11
  • 38 Special: 10/3-5/11
  • Jon Secada: 10/6-7/11
  • Roger Hodgson formerly of Supertramp: 10/8-9/11
  • Billy Ocean: 10/10-12/11
  • Starship starring Mickey Thomas: 10/13-16/11
  • Sugar Ray: 10/17-19/11
  • The Orchestra starring former members of ELO: 10/20-21/11
  • Howard Jones: 10/22-23/11
  • Boyz II Men: 10/24-26/11
  • Gin Blossoms: 10/27-28/11
  • Sister Hazel: 10/29-30/11
  • Hanson: 10/31-11/1/11
  • The Pointer Sisters: 11/2-3/11
  • Night Ranger: 11/4-6/11
  • Air Supply: 11/7-8/11
  • Richard Marx: 11/9-10/11
  • Big Bad Voodoo Daddy: 11/11-13/11
*Bold artists are the ones I plan on seeing.
That’s about it for the first round of the Food & Wine festival over at Epcot. There’s more to come as the fun unfolds.
What foods do you want to try??
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Take 7 for October

October is here! October is here!

Goodbye summer tourists.

Goodbye 3 o’clock rain showers.

Goodbye 100 degree feeling weather.

I hope you are excited for this month, because I sure am! It’s one of my favorites! All the fun and amazing weather is upon us.

This is my top 7 list of things you should check out / do this October:

  1. Halloween Horror Nights: It’s a must, I really insist so. If you’ve never been, I am going to insist it even more! I’ve already been a couple of times and you can find my review here.  TIP: A large group of friends helps you “feel” safer at least, I can’t guarantee it will work though!
  2. Carve a Pumpkin: Okay, it sounds kind of kid-ish. But if you find yourself with some free time I suggest you run to the store and pick up a pumpkin. There are tons of different patterns you can find online. Check out Zombie Pumpkin and Martha Stewert just to give you a couple of ideas. A Google search can suffice if you are looking for something specific.
  3. Dress Up!: Again, not something that everyone likes to do, or even does. But it can be a lot of fun. I like to do it. Whether you are going to a party or heading downtown for the Halloween weekend you need a good costume. You can throw a couple of things together you have in the back of the closet, go thrift store shopping, or ditch the hassel and just buy your costume.
  4. Horror Movie Marathon: What better to do late at nights than catch horror movies? Do you reach for the classics? Do you like newer movies? Will they make ANOTHER Saw? Or you could even grab a group of friends and do trivia on horror movies. Anyone know what happened on Elm Street?
  5. See Rocky Horror Picture Show in a theater: Speaking of movies, if you’ve never seen this movie run out rent it first. Note: The movie is rated R for a REASON! It is a live interactive performance of the movie. I’ve been a couple of times, and I’ve loved it every time.  They do it twice a month every month usually and it is always at the theaters in Universal Citywalk. Also Near Halloween they always do a special show. For calendar and even more details including FAQ check out the Rich Weirdos website.
  6. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: Always a fall staple. Food and drinks around the world with a couple of friends is NEVER a bad idea! All of the dishes are sample sized, but run less than $6 a plate. The drinks run about $5-$11 bucks depending on sizes. I find the drinking part a little expensive, so I tend to lean towards the food part. They also have a concert series that takes place during the festival with bands like Starship, Boyz II Men, and Hanson all coming out to Epcot. Look out for my reviews coming soon.
  7. Eat your Favorite Candy: Who cares, try every candy till you find a new one that you like! I think this one might go hand in hand with #6. But whether you are craving Sixlets or you haven’t had Razzles since the 80s go ahead and eat it. You can also dig through a younger family members Halloween night stash to try something out. I won’t tell anyone! =P

Hope you get a chance to try out some of these things, I know I will be doing them!

What other things do you guys like to do during the month of October??

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