Gift Guide “H OT” Products and Cool Getaways!
Super Wubble Brite It looks like a bubble, plays like a ball — and now it lights up the night. It’s Super Wubble Brite, the light-up, color-changing Wubble. Squeeze it, whack it, throw it, bounce it — even sit on it! It floats, wobbles, dribbles, spins, and smashes — all while putting on an amazing light show! Made from a squishy, squashy, super soft and lightweight Xpandium, Super Wubble Brite can be inflated to a gigantic 2 1/2 feet tall and changes from red to blue to green – and all the colors in between. It’s fun to play with in the dark, indoors or out, all year-round. Perfect for all ages 6 – 100. $24.99 Super Wubble Brite is available at Toys “R” Us, Target and www.WubbleBall.com
Introducing Water Wubble — refillable water balloon balls from the makers of the Super Wubble Bubble Ball! Fill them a little, or fill them a lot. There’s no tying, because they seal themselves — and no cleanup, because they splash, but don’t pop! Unlike traditional water balloons, you don’t need to fill Water Wubbles from a faucet or spigot. You can also fill them by dunking them under water, which makes them a great take along to the pool or beach! Perfect for ages 6 – 100. $14.99 Water Wubble is available at Toys “R” Us, Target, Walmart and www.WaterWubble.com
Laser X is the ultimate high-tech game of tag, designed to get kids moving! Blasters feature pinpoint accuracy up to 200 feet — day or night — and invisible infrared beams can go through windows and bounce off walls and mirrors to hit opponents. Advanced sensors know when players are blasting, being hit, running or hiding, and an interactive voice “coach” uses this intel to offer tips and tricks throughout the game. Plug in headphones (not included) and listen to a stereo soundtrack while you play. All Laser X sets work together. Play one-on-one, in teams, or set your blaster to “rogue” and it’s every man for himself! Perfect for all ages 1-100. $49.99 – Double Set or $24.99 – Single Set Laser X is available at Toys “R” Us, Target and www.GetLaserX.com 2
SOLSTICE® Jogging Stroller
he award-winning Solstice® jogging stroller is the perfect blend of style and function. The Solstice folds easily with one hand, has a lockable front swivel wheel
and features Spring Integrated Technology (S.I.T.™) seating for hassle-free loading and unloading. Share your love for the outdoors with your little one in the Burley Solstice.
Key Features: • One-handed fold allows for easy and quick folding even if holding your child. The automatic locking mechanism allows the stroller to be folded and locked all in one motion. Wheels keep the stroller off the ground when folded allowing you to roll instead of carry the stroller. • Padded Spring Integrated Technology (S.I.T.™) Seat prevents tangled straps and simplifies getting your little one in and out of the stroller. The S.I.T. Seat is also machine washable. • Seatback can be adjusted with one hand. The single centered adjustment strap ensures a level recline for the child and offers enhanced seating comfort in any position. • Extendable padded handlebar creates the perfect fit for parents of all heights. As the handlebar raises it also moves outward, allowing for increased stride length. • Easy to use knob allows for quick locking of the front 12” swivel wheel. Allow the wheel to swivel for excellent maneuverability or lock it for increased stability while jogging or when strolling on rough terrain.
•C oil-spring suspension system provides a smooth ride. Additional Features: • T ough, impact resistant polymer rear wheels with inflatable tires •R eclining seat • 5 -point harness keeps child safe •A djustable tracking knob on front wheel • E xtra-large cargo capacity allows you to bring plenty of extras including diaper bag, clothes, and food •A ll adjustment touch points are easily visible in bright yellow •H andlebar safety strap ensures stroller does not roll away if you lose control • F oot-actuated parking brake •S olstice is tested to US and European Stroller Safety standards, ASTM F833-13b and EN1888:2012 respectively •S olstice and Solstice accessories are chemically tested to meet US and European requirements MSRP $399 Available in fine retailers and https://Burley.com 3
This is SUMMER FUN!!! ZL90 - 90’ Zip Line
ip Line Fun is “The World’s Safest Zip Line.” Perfect for daredevils yet safe enough for Mom and Dad, this highquality zip line brings adrenaline-pumping excitement to any backyard. Featuring 90 feet of galvanized aircraft cable and an easy-to-grip trolley, it’s a strong piece that makes for absolutely entertaining get-togethers, family gatherings and more! Great for ages 8 & Up Available at www.AdventureParks.com – www.ZipLineFun.com – www.Amazon.com
“H OT” Products for Summer
Summer Gift and Travel Contents Products DVDs . . . . . . . . . . . . 12-13 Aquaheat On The Go Food Warmer . . . . . . . . . 21 Boppy Apparel Collection . . . . 16 Clip-A-Phone . . . . . . . . . . 25 Clotit Pet First Aid Kit . . . . . . 28 CureDiva Fancy Hand Fan . . . 23 Dad Gear Backpack Diaper Bag . . . . . . . . . . 20 Easy Disk . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Elephant Waggy Musical . . . . 17 HABA Sand Monster Mold Set . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Happy Salmon . . . . . . . . . 10 Happy Trolley . . . . . . . . . . 18 Heat Holders Socks . . . . . 7 & 25 HydroChic Active Swimwear . . . . . . . . 26-27 IMUSA Tortilla Press and Bamboo Mortar & Pestle . . . 22 Intova Duo Underwater Video Camera . . . . . . . . 28 Jetts Heel Wheels . . . . . . . . .8 Jon Renau Braided Wide Brim Hat . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Josh Cellars Personalized Wine Labels for Father’s Day! . . . . 22 KidCo® DinePod™ Portable Lightweight High Chair . . . . 19 KidCo® GoPod® Portable Activity Seat for Baby . . . . . . . . . 20 Little Cosmetics Darling Set . . . 16 Lounge Chair Totes . . . . . . . 23
Marcus and Marcus Collapsible Bowl . . . . . . . 24 Motorola MBP853 Connect Digital Video Monitor . . . . . 21 Mustela Diaper Rash Cream 1-2-3 . . . . . . . . . 21 Ponilox . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Puppy Waggy Musical . . . . . 17 RingStix . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 RipSurf . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Solstice Jogging Stroller . . . . 2-3 Swicharoos Sandals . . . . . 14-15 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles . . . . . . . . . 11 The Original Squeeze with Eeeze ~ Freeflowing . . . . . 24 Wireless Speaker . . . . . . . . 28 Yvolution NEON Street Rollers . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Zipline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Zume Games Bottle Battle . . . 10
Travel Disney Plans Exciting New Travel Opportunities . . . . . Great Wolf Lodge . . . . . . . Knotts Berry Farm . . . . . . . Nighttime Awakens at Disney’s Animal Kingdom . . . Solvang . . . . . . . . . . . . . Walt Disney World’s Newest Offerings for ‘Frozen’ and ‘Star Wars’ Fans . . . . . . . Walt Disney World Transforms Downtown Disney . . . . . .
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HOT GIVEAWAY! Register to WIN a Pair of Heat Holders!
Ladies Lite Socks $12.99 New Heat Holders LITE™ thermal socks have been designed to provide our famous thermal protection and comfort in a medium thick profile, ideal for wearing in casual shoes and boots! These super Lite socks come with a 1.6 tog rating and are available in 5 different colors. www.heatholders.com ®
Ladies Lounge Socks $17.99 Wrapped in a pretty ribbon that says “Just for you,” these lounge socks make a thoughtful gift! Also available in stripe style. www.heatholders.com
Men’s Ankle Slipper Socks $11.99 The same warmth and comfort as the original Heat Holders® Crew sock, but in a shorter ankle length! Includes non-slip grippers on the bottom to provide better traction on indoor wood or tiled surfaces. Also available in non-Slipper style. www.heatholders.com
Men’s Worxx Socks $17.99 All our original warmth but with a durable reinforced heel & toe. www.heatholders.com
Simple email your entry to FCA@FamilyMagazineGroup.com for a chance to win. Be sure to include the following on your email. SUBJECT LINE: HEAT HOLDERS GIVEAWAY Your Name ~ Your Email Address ~ Your Physical Address ~ Your Phone Number
Good Luck! Rachel Wells, Family Giveways Coordinator 7
RingStix LIte RingStix is a new game. It is pretty easy to learnand one can play with a partner, alone or in a group. A full set includes: 4 Stix (1 orange, 1 purple, 1 blue and 1 green) and it comes with 1 red Ring. So it’s a full set for two players. Company: It all began with their first outdoor toy invention RingStix in 2011. Funsparks is committed to creating a super trendy, beloved product line, which includes the paddle game Jazzminton with 4 Birdies, Easy Disk (made with cloth) which is a flying disk like the Frisbee and now the Wireless Speaker. From toys and games to electronics, Funsparks’ vision is helping to connect families and children and positively influence their well being through play, creation and fun. Available online, speciality retailers and http://www.Funsparks.com
Jetts Heel Wheels Parents and kids can transform their ordinary sneakers into a fun way to roll, glide, and even create real sparking action with these adjustable heel wheels! Fitting US shoe size 12 youth to 12 adult, it’s the hottest way to roll. With the adjustable sizes, parents can also strap into Jetts and have fun — a great way to bond this summer. Only $39.99 at retailers nationwide for fun that will grow with you!
RipSurf If you don’t live near the surf, RipSurf allows you to “Surf Where You Live” with the coolest new board that LOOKS and FEELS like a real surfboard. The latest innovation from Razor was developed by its passionate surfers on the design team in its SoCal office — giving you the authentic cut and carving feel on the streets (without the wetsuit) that everyone will want! Already hugely popular with surfers and skateboarders, RipSurf just hit mass retail and is available now for Only $99.99 at Toys “R” Us. 8
Easy Disk Sensational Indoor/Outdoor Easy Disk — Play Disk without pain. The Easy Disk is built with a flexible grippy material that collapses on impact. This makes for an easy and painless catch. You can play indoors without breaking anything. The disk cuts through winds and allows you to hit precision shots from 30 yards away. One set includes: 1 Easy Disk 9 inches.Funsparks has many innovative new outdoor products and is committed to further create a super trendy product line, which includes the paddle game Jazzminton, RingStix Lite, Easy Disk and now the Wireless Bluetooth Speaker. From toys and games to electronics — Funsparks’ vision is helping to connect families and children and positively influence their well being through play, creation and fun. Great for ages 6 and up. Available online and major retailers or http://www.Funsparks.com
Yvolution NEON Street Rollers Revolutionize your favorite pair of shoes instantly with the Neon Street Roller by Yvolution. These heel skates can fit most shoes and offer a customized fit with an adjustable quick lock size system. Simply adjust it, strap in and GO! Easy to master, kids control how fast they ride and just put their foot down to stop. The NEON Street Rollers feature innovative wheel technology with bright light-up LED’s. With each turn of the wheel, the LED’s glow. No batteries needed! Available in pink, green and blue. Ages 6 & Up; Max weight: 132 lbs. $29.99 Available at Walmart and Toys “R” Us 9
Zume Games Bottle Battle A fast-paced flying disc game offering non-stop offensive and defensive action, Zume Games’ Bottle Battle requires competitors to knock down their opponents’ bottle/pole as the defensive team attempts to catch the disc and bottle before they hit the ground. Available on Amazon.com and at select sporting good retailers $69.99 Available at Amazon.com, Zume-Games.com, and select sporting goods retailers.
Happy Salmon Happy Salmon is the simple, fast-paced card game packed with high-fivin,’ fin-flappin’ foolishness. With mini-celebrations built into the gameplay, Happy Salmon is the happiest game of all time!
frantic “Switcheroo,” and the delightful “Happy Salmon.”
There are no turns. Players call out the action shown on their cards as fast as they can. When two players have a match, they celebrate by performing the action. Actions include the classic
The “FIN-tastically” unique and cute fish pouch makes Happy Salmon perfect to take to camp, vacation or if you are just traveling upstream.
“High 5,” the loveable “Pound It,” the 10
Each time a player celebrates a match, they quickly discard a card. The first person to get rid of all their cards wins.
Available online, specialty Toy and Game Stores and Gift Stores or http://www.northstargames.com
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle New Releases
Playmates Toys T-Sprints Description: An innovative new figure and wheels play pattern — the mighty, motorized mini T-Sprints can quickly take off on wild adventures — just rev, drop and go! The highly stylized figures, which capture the personalities of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, feature a unique flywheel so kids can rev them up, release and watch them go! The figure powers the vehicle too, just rev the T-Sprints figures, drop it into the vehicle shell and send racing into action! T-Sprints are available in a collectible assortment of Single Packs with Vehicles. Recommended Age: 4+ $4.99 each Available at Target, Walmart, Amazon, Toys “R” US and more
Playmates Toys T-Blasts Quad-Blaster Assortment Description: Blastin’ into battle! With the all-new T-Blasts collection of foam blasters, kids have ninja power in the palm of their hands as they launch the Turtles into battle against Shredder and the Foot Clan! The personalities of the Turtles characters are brought to life through the unique, highly stylized design of the blasters. Each blaster fires up to 40 feet and comes with 4 Ninja Turtles character darts, which are oversized and made of safer, soft foam. Kids can press the trigger to rotate the barrel — then simply pull back and release to launch the next Turtle character dart into battle. No stored energy, perfect for the younger Turtle fan! Collection includes: Quad Blaster Leonardo, Quad Blaster Michelangelo, Quad Blaster Raphael. Recommended Age: 4+ $14.99 each Available at Target, Walmart, Amazon, Toys “R” US and more
Goldie & Bear: Best Fairytale Friends DVD The Disney Junior series Goldie & Bear is kind of a mash-up of several fairy tales. Goldie (Goldilocks) and Bear (Baby Bear) are best friends. Yes, she broke his chair when she first entered the house of the three bears, but since that time the two have become almost inseparable. This DVD includes 7 episodes (14 stories) from the popular series. Included in the DVD box is a Playtime Fun Set, which has a picture to color, a maze, and decals to place on a cardboard scene so kids can make their own story using Goldie, Bear, Humpty Dumpty, The Three Little Pigs, Jack, Red Riding hood, and the Big Bad Wolf.
The Peanuts Movie Combo Pack Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Woodstock, Linus, Lucy, Schroeder, Sally, Peppermint Patty, Marcie, Patty, Pig-Pen, Violet, Shermy, Franklin, and the Little Red-Haired Girl are even more endearing in The Peanuts Movie, if you can believe it. Charlie Brown continues to try to kick that football and to get his kite in the air, Lucy continues to give out psychology advice for five cents, Schroeder’s piano playing is even better than ever, and Linus is still Sally’s “Sweet Babboo.” Besides the fun film, there are plenty of bonus features.
‘The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar’ The Circle of Life continues with Simba’s son and daughter in the new Disney Channel series “The Lion Guard.” The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar focuses on Simba’s son Kion, who has inherited the ability to “roar” up a storm. He has what it takes to be a leader, to the chagrin of his sister Kiara who is in line to be Queen. With his new ability to really give a great roar, he joins a long line of ancestors who also had the ability to roar and to lead. These ancestors headed a Lion Guard, which protected the Pride Lands. There has been no Lion Guard for some time now. Kion is now entrusted with assembling a new Lion Guard. Kion creates a different Lion Guard than those in the past. With the exception of himself, his Lion Guard does not consist of lions. The DVD also includes a music video as well as a free talking backpack pull of Kion. This is not for children under 3 due to the small size and choking hazard.
The Good Dinosaur Combo Pack Little dino Arlo has a loving family. He is the smallest and the most fearful of his siblings who all work on the family farm. Arlo is afraid of everything. His father has faith that he will get through his fears. After his father dies, this little guy tries even harder to live up to his dad’s hopes. When he is inadvertently swept away by a river, he ends up a long way away from the farm. This is where he joins with a little orphan cave boy named Spot. Along the way fearless Spot and fearful Arlo encounter some other characters, both good and bad. But their devotion to each other is what saves them and pulls them through all the hardships. There are plenty of bonus features along with this delightful movie.
Open Season: Scared Silly Combo Pack “It was a dark and stormy night.” Isn’t that they way scary stories begin? That’s what Elliot thinks when he tells a scary story to his friends around a campfire. Elliot tells the story of the Wailing Wampus Werewolf, which frightens all characters but mostly Boog. Open Season: Scared Silly is the fourth in the movie franchise starring the loveable forest friends. Besides scaring Boog and escaping the wrath — and gun — of Shaw, the characters have side stories that complete the film. Mr. Weenie is feeling abandoned by Ed and Edna, Elliot is trying to convince Boog to go on a camping trip, and Boog is conflicted about living in the wild as opposed to his comfy and safe home in the city.
‘Zootopia’ on Combo Pack “Anyone can be anything.” That’s what little Judy Hopps thinks about the city of Zootopia. This optimistic and plucky little rabbit wants to make the world a better place, and she gets her chance in the hit animated movie Zootopia. Judy followed her dream and became the first bunny cop on the ZPD. Her eagerness for the job is not dampened when she is assigned parking duty. When she is tasked with writing 100 parking tickets, she sets her sights on writing 200. But she suddenly finds herself in the middle of a giant missing mammal case. Judy and her new acquaintance Nick Wilde, a sly but sweet fox, are on the trail of a missing otter. Together, this unlikely pair manages to get to the bottom of a sophisticated plot and uncover the mastermind. They form a friendship that gets them through some tough times. They are both fun characters, and Judy is a great role model for boys and girls. She is steadfast in following her dreams. After all, if she doesn’t try, she won’t know if she can succeed. That’s a great lesson for everyone. There are plenty of great bonus features.
It’s time to get ready for warmer weather and sunny days! Spring and summer are the perfect time of year for fashionistas. The seasons usher in a wardrobe change filled with stylish clothes and shoes. And, you can never have too many pairs of shoes, right? Young girls can enjoy a new pair of sandals every day with Swicharoos. Swicharoos is 12 pairs of sandals in 1. Swicharoos was invented to give girls lots of options so they can mix and match their fashion accessories. Swicharoos comes with a pair of soles and
stylish uppers which are easy to switch out — simply push, turn and click and just like that girls can go from wearing a pair of sandals with butterflies to sportin’ a bright pink pair. Choose from black or tan soles (or both) and the uppers feature all kinds of super cute designs such as flowers, butterflies, leopard, zebra, pink glitter, gold, silver and white. Perfect for girls ages 5-12. Sold online for $39 to $79 at http://swicharoos.com
Little Cosmetics Darling Set The Darling Set is the newest addition to the Little Cosmetics collection! Complete with realistic palettes, sparkle brushes, and a newly designed cosmetic bag, this pretend makeup looks and feels real, but doesn’t apply or transfer to the skin. Completely mess-free, fake makeup! Set includes: • Powder Compact • Rose Shimmer Glitter Pot • Grape Shimmer Glitter Pot • Wildflowers Artist Palette • Pink Lemonade Lipgloss • Floral Fuchsia Lipstick • Makeup Brush Set • Wildflowers Cosmetic Bag Little Cosmetics pretend makeup does not apply or transfer onto skin. This is not real makeup. Little Cosmetics is fake pretend makeup intended for creative play. Warning: Choking hazard. Contains small parts. Not for children under 3. $24.99 Available at http://www.littlecosmetics.com
Boppy Apparel Collection Dress baby from head to toe with the new Boppy clothing collection, a sweet multi-piece collection that include jackets, bodysuits, buntings, leggings and sleepers. The comfortable cotton garments are tagless and made with flat seams for better comfort and less irritation. The two-way zippers make for quick and easy changes, and are fully encased to prevent rubbing on young necks. Age: 0 - 9 months. $24-$36 Available at Babies R Us, Kohl’s, Target.com, Navy, Fred Meyer, Stage.com, Kroger and Buy Buy Baby.
Puppy Waggy Musical A child will be absolutely mesmerized watching this Musical Waggy sing his beloved song and moves his head to the music! An absolute joy to watch and listen to!
Cuddly and soothing, this ultra-soft doggy keeps your baby content when it plays music. from Kids Preferred
Carter’s Puppy Waggy Musical The Carter’s Puppy Waggy Musical is a cozy and cuddly little friend who will sing “How Much is that Doggie in the Window” to little ones. Its’ tail wags for ultimate enjoyment for babies who will be amzaed by the simple “magic.” Age: 0+ $22 Available at Kohl’s
Carter’s Elephant Waggy Musical The Carter’s Elephant Waggy Musical is a cozy and cuddly little friend who will sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” to little ones. Its’ tail wags for ultimate enjoyment for babies who will be amzaed by the simple “magic.” Age: 0+ $22 Available at Kohl’s
Happy Trolley! Soft 3D Baby Trolley new for the U.S. Market. $49.90 Available at www.o-oops.com
KidCo® DinePod™ Portable Lightweight High Chair
The DinePod™ is a lightweight portable high chair designed to bring baby to the table to share in family meals and fun time activities. At just over 5 pounds the DinePod™ sets up instantly and provides seating indoors and outdoors at home or away, the simple fold and go design makes this a favorite with parents.
belt that holds baby securely yet allows hassle free removal when baby is ready to get out. The classic color palette of gray and black offers a traditional look. Includes storage/ carry bag. Available at buybuybaby.com, diapers.com, babyhaven.com, babyearth.com
Features include a one button release safety
KidCo® GoPod® Portable Activity Seat for Baby The KidCo Go·Pod is a lightweight, portable activity seat that will keep baby safe and entertained at home or on-the-go! The Go·Pod has four height adjustments so it can grow with baby. The attached floor pad keeps baby’s feet clean. Features include a built-in snack and drink holder, and five nylon loops to hold baby’s favorite toys. One button release for folding and weighing only 7 pounds, the Go·Pod is perfect for outdoor and indoor use. At the park, outside gardening, or anywhere around the house, the Go·Pod is the perfect choice for that baby on-the-go! Recommended ages: from about 4 months (when baby can hold their head up to when they are ready to walk). Available at Target.com, buybuybaby.com, diapers.com, babyhaven.com
DadGear Backpack Diaper Bag A perfect gift for the new or expecting dad. He’ll love spending time with his little ones while fully equipped and hands free with the DadGear Backpack. Dad (and mom) will appreciate the Backpack’s roomy size, thoughtful organization, and superior quality. Everything needed for childcare fits neatly into the 13 easy-access compartments, including a Diaper Hammock that keeps diapers close at hand, and a convenient baby wipes window that puts wipes at the ready. Ergonomically shaped, padded shoulder straps make carrying the pack very comfortable; or use the integrated straps to easily hang it from a stroller. Made in the USA. Only $99 Available online or at www.DadGear.com
Motorola® MBP853Connect Digital Video Baby Monitor with Wi-Fi Internet Viewing
Smartphone not included
The Motorola MBP853CONNECT is a Wi-Fi video baby monitor that enables you to keep an eye on things while at home on the handheld parent unit and away on compatible smartphones, tablets, and computers. A full-color, 3.5 diagonal LCD display shows real-time video and sound from your baby’s room, and the Hubble app for iOS and Android features live video streaming and sound, motion, and room temperature notifications. ®
$249.99 Available at Amazon.com, BabiesRUs, Buy Buy Baby
Mustela® Diaper Rash Cream 1-2-3 Prevents, Relieves and Recovers Baby’s Delicate Skin at Each Diaper Change $9.00 Target, Babies R Us, Buy Buy Baby CVS, diapers. com, Walgreens and MustelaUSA.com
Aquahead Stainless On-The-Go Food Warmer Aquaheat quickly warms foods, liquids and bottles without the use of battery or electricity while on-the-go. The Aquaheat line includes food warmers and bottle warmer. Available at innobaby.com, amazon.com, buybuybaby.com and independent retailers or at http://aquaheatlunch.com. Only $29.99 21
IMUSA GlobalKitchen Tortilla Press Squishing balls of dough? Fun! The IMUSA Tortilla Press is another fun product that children will love to use. Make Taco Tuesdays a truly hands on and delicious experience with homemade tortillas! The press features a traditional and durable design that allows for perfectly pressed homemade tortillas, with just the right thickness and round shape. Easy to use — just insert your dough or ‘masa’ and with one press, your dough turns into griddle-ready disks to be cooked. Create authentic, restaurant-style tortillas, and impress your guests at your next Mexican-themed dinner! Ages 5 & Up. $18.99 Available at Target.com
IMUSA GlobalKitchen Bamboo Mortar & Pestle Another fun hands on task — crushing herbs! The IMUSA Bamboo Mortar & Pestle is perfect for crushing fresh herbs and spices. The silicone grip helps children crush garlic and herbs with ease. Cooking with fresh herbs provides a much richer flavor when compared to dried herbs, the whole family will be able to taste the difference! Ages 5 & Up $14.99 Available at Target.com
Josh Cellars Personalized Wine Labels for Father’s Day This Father’s Day, Josh Cellars wants to get personal with dads across the country by giving wine lovers the opportunity to create a bottle label with a personalized message. This free service will allow consumers to write a dedicated 140-character note to dad, including his name at the top and the gift givers name across the bottom. The labels can be created online at www.JoshCellars.com, and will be sent directly to the consumer’s home to affix to their bottle for a unique Father’s Day gift. The program is set to launch in May 2016 and will run through Father’s Day. Label is Free, Wine Varies 22
Available at Retailers Nationwide
Lounge Chair Totes It’s a lounger and a tote, all in one! Converts from a portable tote to the perfect lounger with a reclining backrest. Includes a large (17”w x 13”h) storage pocket with zipper to store a towel, flip flops and swim suit. Plus, three smaller sized external pockets designed to carry beverage bottle, sunglasses and cell phone. Also includes an adjustable shoulder strap to accommodate people of different heights. Size: Mat 20” W x 60” long; Backrest 20” x 20.”
Available at many specialty retail toy and gift stores, including Learning Express Stores. Also available online from assorted websites and http://www.3c4g.com
CureDiva Fancy Hand Fan CureDiva Fancy Hand Fan is the ultimate accessory for moms looking to stay cool on hot days. Adorned with stylish prints like flip flops and polka dots and the perfect way to stay cool, fans are lightweight, compact and come in a variety of stylish hues that can make any outfit pop. A gorgeous/trendy accessory, each fan also comes with a “Language of the Fan — Urban Edition” packet so ladies can play it coy while they stay cool. MSRP $23.50 Available at www.curediva.com.
Ponilox Ponilox is the first and only patented French comb with a pivoting barrette that has an elastic stretch. The high-quality plastic provides style without any metal pieces damaging those precious tresses. Ponilox provides all the security you need for buns, chignons, braided twists and any other fabulous, runway-ready looks. Great for Kids, teens and women — Any age! $8.95 Available at www.ponilox.com or Amazon.com. 23
HABA Sand Monster Mold Set Create all kinds of fun in the sand with these sand monster molds. Kids can make them as long and leggy as they’d like. The mold set includes 1 head, 1 body, 1 tail and 1 foot. Ages: 3+ Years $9.99 Available at www.HABAusa.com
The Original Squeeze with Eeeze ~ Freeflowing The Original Squeeze with Eeeze™ ~ Freeflowing has a free-flowing nipple spout. This is the perfect fit for the child that has graduated from bottles to sippy cups and straws. Made of certified food-safe materials that are BPA, phthalate and PVC- free. Freezer-safe. Dishwasher friendly, top-rack only. Available colors: Apple (red), Citrus (orange), Leaf (green) and Reef (blue). Ages: 2+ Years 6 oz. $15.99 Available at www.BuyBuyBaby.com
Marcus and Marcus Collapsible Bowl Take dry snacks anywhere with Marcus & Marcus’ Marcus the Lion animal themed container with lid. The food-grade silicone container is lightweight and collapsible for easy travelling and storage. Marcus & Marcus collapsible containers are molded from BPA-free, PVC-free and phthalate-free materials. Ages: 6+ Months $15.99 Available at www.Amazon.com
Heat Holders USA Flag Slipper Socks Choose from solid blue with red points and a USA flag emblem, or go all out with red and white stripes and blue points. Both styles feature a star-spangled non-slip grip on the bottom, perfect for lazy days that are too laid back for shoes. These patriotic socks boast a soft brushed inner that caresses the skin, and are non-binding, so won’t leave unsightly red rings, or cause issue with circulation. Fully machine washable and available in both mens and womens sizes. $17.99 Available online and www.heatholders.com
Jon Renau Braided Wide Brim Hat The perfect beach accessory, Jon Renau Headwear is produced with the finest quality fabrics, making them soft, light and comfortable for everyday use. Whether mom is looking for some extra UV protection, or a cute new accessory to flaunt this summer, these soft, luxurious-feeling hats can be dressed up or down! The collection includes a variety of headcovers for every season as a trendy hat is always a successful accessory. MSRP $23 Available at www.curediva.com.
Clip-A-Phone Share the world as you see it with this easy to use and dependable accessory that turns your smart phone into your own personal cameraman! Record your vacations, take those unforgettable photo’s, all while keeping your hands free. To use, simply pair your phone with the included Bluetooth shutter, place the clip on your favorite cap, insert your phone (camera facing forward) into the clip and secure it with the strap. Now you’re ready to start taking pictures or recording video of your adventures just the way you see it. Only $19.99 Available online or at http://clipaphone.com. 25
HydroChic Active Swimwear Swimwear that can go from gym to swim. $29-$95 Available at select retailers in the USA and Canada and at http://hydrochic.com/
HydroChic’s Land & Sea Swim Capris Swim and exercise capri pants for women are slenderizing and comfortable. Cut to flatter every figure, these capris are perfect for activities both in and out of the water! Great for ages 15 - 80. Hidden back zippered pocket to stash key card, money, ID. Covered elastic waistband 100% chlorine proof Fabric: Polyester/PBT Available in Missy XS-XL and Plus Full Cut 0X - 3X, Quick Drying, UPF 50+ sun protection. Pants are 33” long in a size Medium, inseam is 23” $64
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HydroChic’s Amphi Spirit Athletic Skirted Capris A customer favorite, HydroChic’s Amphi Spirit swim skirt beautifully transitions from a water skirt to a running skirt! This versatile modest fitness skirt creates a slimming and feminine effect, while providing unrivaled performance, comfort, and a sporty chic look for your active lifestyle. Our PREMIER Chlorine resistant fabric is made of XTRA LIFE LYCRA®/nylon. UPF 50+ sun protection, Ages: 18-80 Comes with attached pants for added coverage Covered elastic waistband Available in Missy XS-XL and Plus Full Cut 0X-3X, Quick Drying. Skirt length is 15” in a size Medium, pants are 23” $79
HydroChic Surf and Sport UV Rashguard Feminine surf and sport design come together as one in this colorful rash guard top. Feel summery in short sleeves while getting the sun protection that you want with this round neck swim top. Our PREMIER Chlorine resistant fabric made with XTRA LIFE LYCRÂ® offers UPF 50+ sun protection, keeps its shape longer, is quick drying, light weight, and easy to care for. Comes with a sports/swim bra to hold and support you. Ultra Chlorine resistant, Fabric: XTRA LIFE LYCRA®/ Nylon Comes with a complimentary swim/sports bra Quick Drying, UPF 50+ sun protection. Available in Missy XS-XL and Plus Size 0x-4x. Price includes choice of separate swim bra (regular, racerback or mastectomy bra) $81
Intova Duo Underwater Video Camera The Intova Duo is designed for adventures on land and underwater. The Duo has rugged yet lightweight housing that is removable, waterproof up to 100 feet, and floats. The Duo features a rechargeable battery, along with a built-in, full-color LCD screen. It is available in multiple fun colors. Only $49.99 It’s the perfect choice for photographers of all ages! Available for purchase online and https://www.intova. net/shop/waterproof-cameras/duo-action-videocamera/?v=e2ae933451f4
Wireless Speaker The Wireless Speaker is not just a speaker; it comes with a Micro SD card, therefore it turns into a MP3 Player. With a cool design and availability in several colors; green, red, pink and orange — loud speakers have never looked this good. Its silicone casing makes it shock-proof, dust-proof and water-resistant. Its round shape and its loop make it look like a cute creature from a movie. Package includes: Speaker, USB wire, Aux wire, Manual $29.99 Available online, speciality retailers and www.FunSparks.com
Clotit Pet First Aid Kit The ClotIt Animal First Aid Kit features ClotIt® Brand blood-stopping powder, as well as 21 other items that you may need to assist your wounded pet, including: medical gauze, tweezers, dry swabs, wash swabs, a tick remover, medical tape, and bandages. It is a great gift for all animal lovers. $24.99 Available at Various pet retailers throughout the US, Doctors Foster and Smith, Amazon, or direct from Protege Biomedical by emailing email@example.com 28
Great Wolf Lodge Opens in Southern California By Francine Brokaw
reat Wolf Lodge has opened its 13th resort, this time in Southern California. Located in Garden Grove, about 40 minutes (without traffic) from LAX, the resort provides year-round fun for families. First, the resort boasts an enormous indoor water park which encompasses 120,000 square feet of great H2O fun, whether it be sliding down one of the many water slides, swimming and playing in the pools, surfing in the Wolf Rider Wipeout pool, or simply playing in the waves. What makes this water park so enjoyable is that there is no need to slather on the sunscreen. It’s all inside and the temperature is a constant 84 degrees with the water temp kept between 82 and 83 degrees, so no one will get a chill when exiting one pool and heading to another. For those who love the sun, there is one outside pool with more water fun. Parents don’t need to worry because there are complementary lifejackets available and plenty of lifeguards in every pool. Children do need to be accompanied by an adult though. If you’re thinking a water park isn’t a good idea for drought-ridden California, the water 30
park contains 565,000 gallons of water, which is less than an Olympic-size swimming pool. The water is filtered, treated, heated, and reused. And the way they use it, with all the
slides (over 4,000 feet in all) and recirculation, it is not even a proverbial drop in the bucket. The water park is probably the main focus of this resort, however there are plenty of other activities that deserve recognition and consideration when planning your next family vacation. There is the 24-hour Northern Lights Arcade with over 100 games from which to choose. And there is a shortened bowling alley with five-pound balls so little ones can enjoy the game. As if thatâ€™s not enough, there is a glow-in-the-dark indoor miniature golf course too. Little ones can take advantage of the Scooops (no misspelling) Kid Spa with several choices, including a Mommy & Me Pedicure ($79.99), manicures ($44.99), a princess experience ($89.99), and other options. And every option includes an ice cream dessert.
The HowlyWood XD Theater presents 5minute special effects films with motion seats that react to the films. Audiences get right into the action here.
Seven eateries provide guests with plenty of choices, from a simple buffet to a tableservice restaurant. And with three stores in the resort, there is everything from swimming essentials to jewelry to all kinds of souvenirs and stuffed animals. One store even has a sort of build-a-bear area with the various characters from the resort. And speaking of the Great Wolf Lodge characters, they consist of the mascot, Wiley the Wolf, along with fellow wolf Violet, Oliver and Rachel Raccoon, Brinley Bear, and Sammy the Squirrel. The lodge has several character appearances during the day as well as a Wolf Walk where guests learn about the great Northwoods wildlife. Story Time happens in the lobby area every night at 8 and 9 pm. Little ones gather (often already in their PJs) to hear a bedtime story before heading back to their rooms. The different room options sleep up to 7 guests. Included in the nightly room fee is free admittance to all areas of the lodge, however, with the exception of the water park, each activity is a separate fee. When registering guests get wristbands so there is no need to carry any money. Simply use the wristband to charge any activity or food to the room. MagiQuest is a game that is available to play throughout the resort. Magic wands (starting at $18 and can be personalized with options and additional games) work throughout the resort at several locations. The interactive game gives guests challenges and plenty of fun with the wave of the magic wand. This wand can be used at any of the Great 31
Wolf Lodge resorts. Currently there are 13 with more planned throughout the country. What might appeal to parents is that for every night guests get two days of fun in the resort. Even if your room is not ready when you get to the lodge, you can start taking advantage of all the activities, and on the day
“At Great Wolf Lodge, we want each family to have a truly memorable experience,” said CEO Ruben Rodriguez. There are standard suites as well as themed suites. Every room is a suite with plenty of room (no pun intended) to move around. Great Wolf Lodge Garden Grove offers
of check-out guests can still access the water park and activities until closing. Holidays are made special at the resort with Howl-O-Ween October (plenty of special activities corresponding to Halloween) and Snowland December where snow falls daily in the Grand Lobby.
visitors to Southern California another option for a family vacation. It’s really an interesting family destination, and close to other resorts including Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland. Great Wolf Lodge has a relaxed, family-feel with everything under one roof.
Disneyland Resort’s Newest for Summer 2016 By Francine Brokaw
he Diamond Celebration continues at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in Southern California. In Disneyland, Super Hero HQ is the place to find out more about several Super Heroes and meet them in person. Chewbacca and other Star Wars characters visit the Star Wars Launch Bay, which has a Star Wars — themed cantina and replicas from the film. And speaking of Star Wars, Space Mountain has been transformed into Hyperspace Mountain with a new soundtrack, putting guests right into an X-Wing battle. Even more Star Wars fun is waiting for guests at ‘Star Tours — The Adventures Continue” with a journey aboard a Starspeeder 1000. And a short film, “Star Wars: Path of the Jedi,” shows several iconic scenes from the films with a new perspective. A reimagining of the “Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple” interactive show is hosted by Darth Vader.
The “Paint the Night” parade is the updated “Main Street Electrical Parade” that was popular for so many years. This new — and bright — experience will continue through September 5, 2016, as will the amazing “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular. This is worth the ticket to the park. It’s the most remarkable, inventive, and immersive display ever, with surprising projections in several locations in the park as the music plays and the fireworks erupt. Disney California Adventure just celebrated its 15th anniversary. During those
15 years it has experienced some major changes, including the addition of Cars Land, which recently added Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters. Guests ride in 1950s style micro cars as they dance and move along to the music. Each car has its own special routine, so each experience is different. A new musical, Frozen Live at the Hyperion, based on the film Frozen, brings a live adaptation of the story to guests, with production numbers and all the fun of the movie. “World of Color — Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney” continues to dazzle guests at night with spectacular lasers, colorful fountains, and the story and history of Walt Disney. Dining in the two parks as been ramped up
with themed food and new offerings. Plus the Disney characters join guests for several meals including the “Minnie & Friends Breakfast in the Park” at Plaza Inn in Disneyland and the Disney Princesses dine at Ariel’s Grotto in Disney California Adventure. Disneyland is always changing. It is limited only in imagination, and the imaginations of the folks at Disney never fail to come up with new and exciting experiences. Marilyn Monroe sang, “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.” But girls aren’t the only ones who are enjoying this Diamond Celebration. And according to James Bond, “Diamonds are Forever.” But the Diamond Celebration is not. Enjoy 2016 at Disneyland Resort with many new attractions and the limited runs of the spectacular night shows.
Walt Disney World’s Newest Offerings for ‘Frozen’ and ‘Star Wars’ Fans By Francine Brokaw
alt Disney once said, “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” The Imagineers are those people and the newest additions to Walt Disney World in Florida show just how creative these folks are. This summer several new attractions will be opening and, as Disney also said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” FROZEN Let’s face it; Frozen is a phenomenon that has taken the world by storm, no pun intended. Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf are beloved characters and have taken their place among the other Disney characters that have entertained generations. The World Showcase in EPCOT is bringing these characters to visitors in the Norway pavilion. “Frozen Ever After” transports visitors to Arendelle where they will see the North Mountain and Elsa’s Ice Palace. The
original cast from the film provides the voices on this magical boat ride and the classic songs from the film accompany the excursion, “with a twist,” as the Imagineers revealed.
The idea to change the Norway pavilion began in November 2013, before the movie even premiered. The creative people at Disney knew the relationship between Norway and the film was something that would appeal to 35
visitors to EPCOT. They are lengthening the original boat ride that has been part of the pavilion since it opened. The ride also builds on the songs with the characters, and, as was explained to me, everyone is friendly now, even Marshmallow (the big snowman that
guarded the Ice Palace in the film). Besides the boat ride, visitors to Norway will see the summer home of the royal family. This is the place where Elsa and Anna spent their childhoods and contains plenty of artifacts from that time in their lives.
STAR WARS In 2012 Disney announced the company was acquiring Lucasfilm, which meant the Star Wars franchise would now be part of the company. Star Wars fans have plenty to be excited about in Walt Disney World. Disney’s Hollywood Studios now has several attractions to take visitors to a galaxy far, far away.
At “Star Tours — The Adventures Continue,” guests are now taken to a new destination from the latest film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Plus a new live show brings the characters up close and personal to visitors. There is also Jedi training area, which young visitors to the park especially enjoy.
At the “Star Wars Launch Bay” items from the films are on display. It’s here you’ll see the uniforms and the droids. And of course, there is a store where all kinds of Star Wars items are available to take home. The piece de resistance for Star Wars fans is the new nighttime fireworks spectacular, “Symphony in the Stars.” Imagine standing — or sitting — and hearing the music we all recognize accompanied by an amazing light and fireworks show. As the tempo swells the fireworks explode, bringing a rush of excitement to all the fans. But that’s not all. There are sound bites from the films that also accompany this nighttime extravaganza. There’s no one that can put on a fireworks spectacular better than the folks at Disney! And thank you, John Williams, for composing that theme song that is impossible not to hum while leaving the park after the show. There are plenty more new additions coming this summer to Walt Disney World. These are just the tip of the iceberg (again, no pun intended)! May the force be with you.
Walt Disney World Transforms Downtown Disney into Disney Springs By Francine Brokaw
oodbye Downtown Disney. Hello Disney Springs. Walt Disney World’s Disney Springs (formally Downtown Disney) is undergoing the largest expansion in its history. This is a fun area of WDW in which guests can eat, be entertained, drink, shop, have fun, and even take a ride in a hot air balloon — tethered, of course. Disney Springs consists of four neighborhoods, each serving its own purpose and each with its own architecture, but revolving around a “natural” Florida Springs like towns of the past. Disney isn’t just slapping together buildings and calling it Disney Springs. Plenty of thought has gone into this newest region of Walt Disney World. It is meant to immerse guests in the history of old Florida while taking them through different eras as they walk around the property. The Landing neighborhood is set in the 1900-1910 period with building facades that reflect that time. The Town Center neighborhood consists mostly of shops and looks like a town did around the 1920s, with Mediterranean-inspired architecture. Next,
the Marketplace neighborhood reflects the 1930s. These new neighborhoods will open to the public on May 15, 2016. The West Side is already open and is the place we think of when we hear “Downtown Disney.” This “neighborhood” is built in the character of the 1950s. Here is where you can ride the balloon, go bowling in Splitsville, dine in a variety of eateries, watch a show, and just have fun.
Disney Springs is “a special and magical place,” said Keith Bradford, Vice President of Disney Springs. Besides the activities, the Disney folks wanted to “focus on storytelling like the parks and the cruises.” Bradford 37
exclaimed, “this is the largest growth we’ve ever experienced in the history of this property.” With the expansion, Disney Springs is going to be a major destination for visitors to WDW.
Cirque du Soleil has it’s own theater here and presents its spectacular show La Nouba. This is a show for all the senses and engrosses visitors in a magical experience. Aerial ballets above the stage mesmerize guests while plenty of amazing acrobatics are playing out on the stage. This is truly a fascinating experience. As they said, this show has been given “an extra push.” While you’re walking around Disney Springs, why not test out a water car. These are authentic Amphicars that can drive on land and float on the water. This is the only place in the world guests can experience the Amphicars.
And for shopping for Disney items, the World of Disney here is the largest in the country with separate areas designed specifically for the different characters. How fun is that? Answer: really fun. Plus, let’s not forget Disney Quest. This is where virtual reality makes its mark. Create your own excitement and experience a variety of virtual experiences. There are areas in this gigantic building designed just for preschoolers, so don’t think this is only for adults. It’s a great place for family fun. A variety of dining experiences await you in Disney Springs. Morimoto Asia recently opened. This is the place created by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto and offers a variety of Asian selections with a few kid-friendly options. After all, this is Walt Disney World. Whether you want Italian food, steaks, seafood, fish and chips, American food, sandwiches, coffee, or all kinds of sweets, Disney Springs has it. Disney Springs is a nice little change from the other theme parks. Whether you are driving yourself or accessing it from the Disney Bus Transportation System or the Disney Boat Transportation System on the waterways that serves Port Orleans, Old Key West, and Saratoga Springs resorts, Disney Springs is an area for all kinds of family fun.
Nighttime Awakens at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World By Francine Brokaw
isney’s Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World now offers guests a new experience — night. The park magically transforms into a nighttime destination for guests visiting WDW. There’s no need to exit the park at dusk. With plenty of things to do and see after the sun goes down, Animal Kingdom is filled with even more thrills and excitement. The Kilimanjaro Safari at night is a completely different experience than during the day. Watching the animals in their habitats in the dark brings guests right into their lives and with the knowledgeable guides pointing out where and what animals are in view, it’s almost like being in Africa on a quiet night. Just seeing the giraffes walking next to the open vehicle or the lion majestically lying on a rock is a thrilling experience in itself. And listening to them in the quiet of the darkness is an experience not quickly forgotten. This is definitely a different safari ride at night, and animal lovers will undoubtedly enjoy every minute of it. Expedition Everest, the thrill ride that takes guests through the mountain with a close encounter with the Abominable Snowman, is now a nighttime “must do” for those who
enjoy the ride in the daytime. There’s something to be said for the darkness of night adding a different element to this attraction. This is definitely a thrill ride, so the little ones, and those who aren’t comfortable with this kind of ride, should avoid this attraction.
The Kali River Rapids is a heart-pounding whitewater adventure that also takes on a different dimension after dark. Yes, expect to get wet on this ride. The “Harambe Wildlife Parti” fills the marketplace with authentic African music, acrobatics, and fun for the whole family. When 39
the sun goes down, the party starts! The Tree of Life is the focal point of the park. This majestic tree is beautiful during the day, but when it awakens at night it is stunning. Colors light up the tree and the spirits of the animals come to life. Visions of hummingbirds, a fox, a doe, a bunny, apes, fish and others demonstrate the circle of life with extraordinary images on this amazing tree, all with the Disney magic touch. The Tree of Life at night is truly an amazing spectacular for everyone to watch. It’s something you have to witness before leaving Animal Kingdom.
And finally, the newest nighttime light show, “Rivers of Light,” will be premiering this summer. This is a visual extravaganza that combines light, lasers, and animal spirits in a show filled with beauty. Lotus flowers, water fountains, lanterns, and color fill the lake while at the same time telling the story of the animal spirits. Sitting in the amphitheater with fireflies flickering around as the story unfolds on the water with music and visual effects will not only amaze guests, but also engage their senses. They have outdone themselves with this nighttime experience on the Discovery River Lagoon, giving one more reason to make Disney’s Animal Kingdom a great way for families to experience the hours after dark at WDW. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park at Night has new evening experiences for everyone, from young to old. The rides at night are unlike experiencing them during the day, and the colors and magic of the “Rivers of Light” show and the awakening of the “Tree of Life” are completely awe-inspiring and the best way to end a day at WDW.
Disney Plans Exciting New Travel Opportunities By Francine Brokaw
ecently Karl Holz, President of Disney Cruise Line and New Vacation Opportunities, and Ken Potrock, Senior VP and GM of Adventures by Disney and Disney Vacation Club told members of the media about several new projects ahead. Before a lavish lunch at Walt Disney World, the two men shared the views of the Disney Company and their respective divisions. DISNEY CRUISE LINE Holz began by proclaiming, “The Disney Cruise is the ultimate ocean-going vacation for families.” He explained the cruises take guests to “a fantasy world” onboard the ships, while also visiting ports of call and of course, Disney’s Castaway Cay, it’s own secluded island. The cruises definitely have the Disney touch, and next year they will have 15 Star Wars themed days at sea with sailings from January to April 2017. While offering families plenty of activities
aboard the ships, Holz said they also have “Broadway quality shows” that entertain the entire family. Two new Disney ships will be joining the fleet in 2021 and 2023, and currently there are updates concluding on the Disney Wonder. Each one of the ships (Disney Magic, Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, and Disney Wonder) has unique offerings for all the guests, however they share one thing in common. That is the Disney touch with plenty of fantasy, magic, wonder, dreams, and fun. Hence the names of the ships! New destinations that will be served by the Disney Cruise Line are new ports in Alaska, Europe, Norway, the British Isles, the Caribbean, the Bahamas, and Amsterdam. DISNEY VACATION CLUB Ken Potrock described Disney’s Aulani Hawaiian resort as a “multi-generational” destination. The resort, which was opened five years ago, immerses guests in the “beauty and the spirit of the islands.” 41
Disney Vacation Club currently has 14 resorts, with the newest at the Wilderness Lodge in WDW as well as waterfront cabins. The other locations in this ownership program include 8 other resorts in Walt Disney World, one in Disneyland, one in Vero Beach, one in Hilton Head Island, and one at Aulani on Oahu. Members of the Disney Vacation Club not only get special treatment in the resorts, but also get special Magic Bands to wear in the theme parks which identify them to cast members as being special guests where they receive individual treatment in the parks.
ADVENTURES BY DISNEY Adventures by Disney is a unique vacation experience for couples or families. Now in its tenth year, the program immerses travelers in activities and experiences around the world. The groups consist of about 30 people, making the tours small enough for a more individual experience. With 40 itineraries
covering six continents in 2017, Adventures by Disney has the world covered. New domestic destinations include Philadelphia where visitors see the birthplace of the nation, Montana, where guests experience a dude ranch, and Yellowstone National Park where guests experience “glamor camping,” as Potrock explained. RIVER CRUISES BY DISNEY Disney has joined with AMA Waterways, a high-end river cruise company in Europe, to bring two famous rivers to Disney vacationers: the Rhine and the Danube. The new AMA Kristina, debuting in 2017, will be a luxurious ship for families and is touted to be a milestone for Disney River Cruise ship. There’s no doubt the folks at Disney are looking far ahead to bring the most fun to all their guests. As they explained, a Disney vacation is a special and memorable experience for the whole family.
Knott’s Berry Farm Has Fun for the Whole Family By Francine Brokaw
es, Knott’s Berry Farm is filled with rides, but there are plenty of other activities to do and see here in this Buena Park, California theme park. First of all, there is a Ghost Town that transports visitors back to the days of the old west. There, you can see how work was done by hand in the “old” days. Demonstrations throughout the day have blacksmiths at work, and you might even get to see some authentic weaving being done. An old jail and other buildings provide a step back in time. It’s kind of like going to the backlot of a movie studio, but these buildings are not facades, they are places visitors can enter and experience for themselves. And while you’re there, why not pick up a sarsaparilla to whet your whistle, or some famous Knott’s boysenberry punch. By the way, throughout the park you can find places to get a special boysenberry Icee. Can you say “delicious” and “refreshing?” Excitement enthusiasts take note: there are plenty of roller coasters throughout the
park. Many of them have height requirements and might be too scary for the little ones, but if you love to be taken to the limits, you’ll be satisfied with all their coasters. They have the “Silver Bullet,” “Xcelerator,” “Bomerang,” 43
“Montezooma’s Revenge,” “Coast Rider,” Pony Express,” “Sierra Sidewinder,” “Timberline Twister” (created for kids), and the “Jaguar.” You’ll have to take a look at each of these for yourselves to decide whether you want to take the plunge!
Besides coasters, there are plenty of other thrill rides that either turn you around or drop you from above. The Sky Cabin is something most families can do together. It’s a slow-moving 44
elevator-type enclosure that takes visitors up 180 feet then slowly turns to give everyone a 360-degree view of Knott’s Berry Farm and the surrounding areas. Of course there is the obligatory Carousel. This one is an authentic century old merrygo-round. The Ferris wheel and several other rides are also great for families to experience together. At the end of The Timber Mountain Log Ride you will drop down a waterfall, so yes, you will get a little wet. But it’s a fun way to go. The Calico Mine Ride is a slow-moving train that transports riders deep into the mountain to see how a gold mine operated. While there are some dark areas, this is not a scary ride for kids. And speaking of kids, Camp Snoopy was designed just for them. They have a “Flying Ace” ride where the little ones can sit in their own WWI plane while Snoopy keeps watch. The “Linus Launcher” is definitely unique. Guests lie on their stomachs and spin around 10 feet in the air. Think of the time Snoopy grabbed Linus’ blanket and the little guy was taken on the ride of his life. Well, this is it.
The “Camp Bus” lets the little ones take an interesting ride on the bus that raises and rotations them around — slowly — so they get to see what life is like when you’re a bird —like Woodstock!
dining at the newly designed Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant. Cap off your dinner or lunch with a piece of fresh boysenberry pie or some refreshing boysenberry sherbet. Summer 2016 marks the 75th Anniversary of the Ghost Town. There will be several new adventures and entertainment in the little Ghost Town of Calico. If you’re coming to Southern California this summer, check out Knott’s Berry Farm for some excitement, entertainment, and family fun. “The Grand Sierra Railroad” takes the little ones (and big ones) through the area where all the Peanuts gang plays and explores. You’ll see their campground and you’ll have no problem figuring out which tent belongs to Charlie Brown. A cute live show with Lucy and her friends entertains Peanuts lovers of all ages. There is plenty more for kids to enjoy in Camp Snoopy. You might even get to meet Snoopy himself! If you are in the mood to shop, there are several places to get a souvenir or some delicious treats. And, do not leave without
Solvang A little bit of Denmark in California By Francine Brokaw
orth of Los Angeles is a cute little town called Solvang. This picturesque city is home to approximately 5,000 residents who rely mainly on tourism, and agriculture. Nestled in the mountains of Santa Barbara County, this quiet little town is a fun daytrip from Los Angeles and close to many wineries for those looking for a vacation spot. What makes Solvang unique is the Old World charm. With Danish architecture and a variety of stores and museums, the town is filled with art, culture, and souvenirs from Scandinavia. Plus, let’s not forget the pastries. If you want some great Danish pastries, this is the place to go. The town has many events during the year. A highlight is the “Solvang Danish Days” that pays tribute to the establishment of the town by Danish Americans. The history of the town dates back to the 1700s but the Danish influence didn’t arise until the mid 1800s when Danes traveled to America in search of economic prospects and a better life. 46
Solvang has been named “One of the 10 Most Beautiful Small Towns in the Western United States” by Sunset Magazine. This Danish Village is a little piece of the Old World in California. If you saw the film Sideways, you would have seen parts of Solvang.
Walking through the town is like a step into another world. With cute little shops and plenty of food, this is a fun way to spend a few hours or a day. And with the charming hotels, it’s a nice destination spot for families or just the two of you. Granted it’s not very big. You can walk the entire town in a short time. Shopping and eating on the other hand takes time. While you’re there, take in a local winery or at least some museums. Yes, at times the streets are filled with busses of tourists, but
hold on a few minutes. They soon depart leaving the town calm and the stores easily available for browsing. And, if you are into the old style Danish plates and collectibles — the white and blue styles — you are luck in Solvang. Plenty of items to fill in your collection can be found here. Solvang, California is a fun town to visit while you’re in Southern California. It’s definitely unique. And, take it from me, you have to sample the pastries. Can you say “delicious?”
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