Traveling With Teens To Hershey Park- My Family Story

Traveling With Teens To Hershey Park- Hershey PA

 

If your family is like mine, we travel. Hubby and I have traveled since before the children were born so we never let it stop us once our family began to grow. As you know, my kids are tween, teen and adult now so the road of travel has been long and forever changing for this family. We have been through traveling with tons of things including bottles, diapers and strollers and everything you can imagine. As for now I am happy to report that we can enter a theme park in the “NO Bag Lane” for the most part! Pure Joy!

But, kids growing up and travel does come with its challenges. All of a sudden it’s not about the baby rides and the mid rides and your day is centered around the biggest thrill rides you can find. Teens in their own right are a little off, but when you take them traveling you really never know what to expect. I do feel kind of lucky in the respect that my three kids LOVE to travel with us as a family. The one thing I really would never condone along the whole let’s split up and meet at the end of the day. To me, there is no point traveling together if we are just going to split and not even see each other. The entire trip is about making family memories.

So, here is generally how it goes with my family. We always start the day off with breakfast before we enter the park. This way we can chat about everyone’s ride goals for the day. As with any theme park, Hershey Park is huge and there are only so many hours in the day. On our last trip we entered the park at 10 am and left at 9 pm, full day! Our family always kicks off Hershey Park with a ride on the carousel. Yes, teens and adults do ride the carousel, especially the one in Hershey Park. That one hundred year old gem can you really give you a spin! We also ride The Scrambler because it’s right next to the carousel. Well, okay we do ride one more together before anything else happens- Reese’s Cup Fusion. The joy of Hershey Park is that there are plenty of family rides!

Then we head up the hill. Sometimes this is where we split off for a little bit. When I say little bit, we usually met up in about three hours at a lunch area. During that time I generally hang around with Emm going on her favorites while the guys take on the biggest coasters in the area. Since Emm and Mom are not exactly Fahrenheit material we enjoy the Pirate Ship and monorail ride around the park. We ride anything she wants and that list changes every year!

Before you know it it’s time to meet up! By the way, if you are traveling with teens it is SO worth it to purchase the All Day Dining and the Refillable Drink cup!

Most of the rest of the time we travel as a family. Hershey Park is set up very family friendly. There are different types of ride levels in each section of the park so no one gets bored while waiting for the coaster riders. We also love to play carnival games although we never have any luck winning on those darn skee ball machines! If you are traveling with someone that wants to win (because teens love prizes, too) our favorite winner every time stand is the PLYNKO! They have Hershey themed prizes including a plush Hershey’s Kiss, Hershey’s Chocolate Bar and others, you can even win headphones!

Five Tips For Traveling With Teens

Tip One: Be patient and try to make a plan before entering the theme park. Get everyone’s favorite ride choices!

Tip Two: Separate for a designated block of time (2-3 hours). Don’t spend the entire time apart but it is okay to split for a little while.

Tip Three: Purchase the Drink all day cup and the dining plan. Meet up for lunch to chat about how the day is going and to be a part of all the fun that has been taking place. Lunch is a great time to catch up and share stories and laughs.

Tip Four: Be sure to ride at least three rides as a complete family. You are there to make memories together.

Tip Five: Be flexible. The best days are the ones that we all just go with the flow. Enjoy your time traveling with teens!

Well, there you have it. Kids are growing older every day and the time crunch to spend time with them may be on but you can rest assured that when it comes to Hershey Park the kids ( and teens) will always want to come along! Here’s to creating sweet memories that last a lifetime!

Disclosure: All opinions are that of Diane Sullivan and do not reflect the views of the parent company represented. Contact me at 3decades3kids@gmail.com or @3decades3kids aross all social media networks. Post is a result of invited media event by Hershey Park. Thank you Hershey Park.

 

 

 

Our Day Aboard Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Magic- Now Sailing From #DCLNewYork

Our Day Aboard Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Magic- Now Sailing From NYC!disneymagicmickeymouseThe New York City shoreline just got a little more magical with the view of Disney Cruise Line’s gorgeous Disney Magic adorning the dock of Pier 88! Recently I had the chance to spend the day on board the Disney Magic. What a amazing day! Our morning began with a guided tour of the enormous ship that holds over two thousand guests. Passing by the grand entrance was breathtaking, especially decked out for Halloween with an interactive Jack-0-lantern tree. The buzz of guests exiting the ship gave me goose bumps at the thought of the pixie dusted memories their families just had the chance to create together. Children passing by with Captain Mickey and Elsa stuffies, little girls in Cinderella gowns and moms, dads and grandparents wearing their finest Disney ears. The sight of it all just warmed my heart.

disneymagicdeck10disneymagictopOur first stop was the Oceaneer Youth Club, a club designed for children ages 3-12, where they can stay and play for as little or long as they would like while their parents take advantage of time alone or at one of the finer dining experiences on the ship. With saying that, if I were I a child I but you would never get me out of the place! It was truly amazing with a bigger than life version of Toy Story Andy’s room complete with his bed on the top and a slide down through Slink! There was also a dance and game floor, Pixie Hollow, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  My favorite part of the room was the The Marvel Avengers Academy where you can virtually suit up into the top-secret command post of S.H.I.E.L.D. and prepare to complete your battle. You will even get an official card upon completion!  You can also find the weaponry of some of your favorite Avengers including Thor’s hammer, Captain America’s shield and Iron Man’s armor. There are even computer games and arts and crafts. During our visit there was a surprise visit by Captain America himself! This completely put me in the mood for the upcoming Marvel Day at Sea coming in 2017! My kids were super jealous but I did make them proud by fighting like the superhero they trained me to be! Let’s not forget, I was a boymom for sixteen years before my little princess arrived!disneymagic1disneymagiccapAs we toured decks 9 and 11 I could just envision the families splashing in the pools, dancing to the music that played non stop and just cherishing the precious moments only a Disney cruise could deliver. We were shown many pool areas, some for families and also adult only. Disney cruise is not just for children, it’s also great for adults with many adult options in every venue. One example is the Mixology Class at Keys we were treated to, where we were able to test out our bar-tending skills. We learned tips and tricks to making a perfect cocktail, mojito, and even a layered triple shot! Wooza! Did I mention you can sample of fully enjoy each of the five drinks you create firsthand. This is something I highly recommend if you do cruise with Disney! disneymagicmixologydisneymagiccheersOur group was treated to an amazing treat! Playing now on the Disney Magic is one of my favorite stories, Tangled! With original music from the incredible Alen Menken. The audience was outfitted with overflowing buckets of hot popped popcorn and drinks of choice and it was not long before this musical feast began. The live show does not exactly follow the Disney movie, Tangled but does take its own life in this original version. We loved it and judging by the thunderous applause coming from the onlookers I would have to say that this show would definitely be on the top of my list if I were heading to the Disney Magic again. Tangled The Musical is a must do!

Of course before the show started we did have privi to some top secret information!! In 2017 for the first time ever Disney cruises will host Marvel Day at Sea! We were treated to a sneak peek mini show with superheroes Captain America, Spider-Man entering via webbing and Thor with hammer in hand! If that was a preview, I can’t even begin to imagine how amazing the real thing is going to be.    There will many Marvel themed activities for both children and adults during the event. There will even be Marvel themed food and drinks. A Marvel movie marathon will take place leading up to the latest blockbuster that premieres in November 2017. Marvel characters will be on hand for photo memories and an up close to the characters experience. There will also be a Marvel themed dance party and FX fireworks that will include heroes and villains. Count me in!disneymagictangledsigndisneymagicpopcornLunch was served at the Animator’s Palate, one of the many restaurants to choose from on board of the Disney Magic. There is something so amazing about this restaurant that captivated both adults and children during our time spent there. After being seated the waited directed each one of us at the table to our placemat. He gave us some directions to draw a character using the marker provided. No one really knew what to expect but we all spent the next few minutes creating a rendition of ourselves. My character had glasses and of course a Mickey Tee! We handed in the placemat and continued onto our delicious appetizer dish which consisted of a sampling of a few different mini appetizers. disneymagicapp

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My entrée choice was penne with garlic shrimp, which was absolutely incredible. As we chatted and dined the many screened that surrounded the dining area kept us entertained with clips and songs from Beauty and the Beast, Lady and the Tramp and more. Suddenly everyone noticed that the characters we had created before the dining began were actually coming to life on the screens. Each of the  screens highlighted the guests seats in their immediate area. Everyone loved the experience watching themselves march across the screen, dance and interact with Mickey Mouse and his friends. It was such a treat. Speaking of treats, the dessert sampler was mouthwatering. Bravo, Animator’s Palate staff, you are top rate!You can check out our fun day aboard the Disney Magic sailing from NYC Pier 88.

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So if you family or your friends or just you (because going alone may be the best decision ever), are looking for a magical experience on the high seas look no farther than right in our own backyard on 12th Ave, Pier 88! The Disney Cruise- Disney Magic is waiting for you, it’s waiting for your family. Memories will be made that will last forever. As you sail away from the hustle of NYC you will be leaving your stress on the street and trading it for an unplugged (if you choose) experience where you can spend time with the kids, friends, family or alone. On that note, there are some SPA experiences that will drift you into paradise…..Why did I have to disembark?? My heart was filled with happiness as I exited the Disney Magic listening to the families being welcomed one by one onto the ship. I could not help but think of the magic that was about to take place for those lucky people……

There is nothing in the world that can compare to a magical Disney experience. Check out more about Disney Cruise Line Here. disneymagicdianeDisclosure: Diane Sullivan/ 3decades3kids is a Disney Partner Blog and Disney Social Media Mom. All opinions are that of Diane Sullivan and do not reflect the opinion of the parent company represented. A media invitation was extended for a day visit on the Disney Cruise- Disney Magic while in port. No compensation was provided for this post. We love Disney and always enjoy sharing information with our readers that provide a first hand account of our experience.

#hosted Great Wolf Lodge Family Fun Getaway! #GWL @greatwolflodge

Great Wolf Lodge Family Fun Getaway!GWLSUmmerRoadTripTeeAs you may have guessed by now, our family loves Great Wolf Lodge. We have only been to one of the lodges so far- the Poconos location- although I have heard wonderful things about each and every one of them. Recently our family took our traditional summer trip to Great Wolf. There are many room choices to decide between when you are booking your trip, our family went with the Majestic Bear Suite. This is one of Great Wolf’s largest suites. The suite has a huge balcony, a private lock off master bedroom with a king size bed and tv, a living room area with pull out couch, another bedroom with two queen size beds and a very large dining area complete with six high rise chairs, fridge and microwave. Every time our family gets this room we basically never want to leave it. But, of course we did leave the room and boy did we have fun!

Although our family loves the indoor waterpark, we also love taking advantage of the summer months and the outdoor activities and pool area. This year for the very first time we checked out one of the outdoor private cabanas. It was a dream come true. There are private cabanas that surround the outdoor and also the indoor pool. Let me sum it up in one word- amazing!

GWLSummerCabanaAdGWLSummerCabana4Each fully private cabana is great for about 8 people. It is stocked with waters in the fridge and also comes with an additional eight drinks and a pizza. There are towels ready for your family and even a basket of fresh fruit. In addition, our server shared her number so we could text her if anyone needed anything or was in the mood for something delish! Check out our Cabana Life Tour by clicking here!

 

We loved the cabana so much we ended up having it for a second day! Another plus about the outdoor area is that you are so close to Howler’s Peak Rope Course, oversized family games and S’mores station. GWLSummerDrinkGWLSummerPoolfromcabanaAs for indoor activities they are always fun and our family can never get enough of them. My daughter is obsessed with Magiquest and reactivates her wand every time. Magiquest is an interactive game that you can play throughout the lodge. It’s a magical experience and definitely worth it.GWLSummerMagiquest1GWLsummerfairySo, if your family is in the mood to have some quality time together and make memories that will last a lifetime- you know where to go. You can call GWL or book the rooms yourself on https://www.greatwolf.com/ As a quick tip, you may want to check out the 48 Hour Sale for great rates. A second tip on securing a good rate- book ahead, the farther ahead the better the rate! The rooms are ALL fantastic so it doesn’t much matter which one you choose. We have stayed in all the different types and they are all just a matter of choosing which one is right for your family. Thinking of booking a room for Howl-O-Ween? It’s one of our favorite times of year to visit. Click here to see our Howl-O-Ween visit. See you at Great Wolf Lodge!

GWLSUmmerVioletGWLSummerpoolDisclosure: Diane Sullivan/3decades3kids is a Great Wolf Lodge Partner Blog. All opinions are that of Diane Sullivan and do not reflect those of the parent company . This post is part of our #Roadtrip2fun series. Contact me at Diane@3decades3kids.net and @3decades3kids across all social media platforms. Snapchat us at: ThreeDecades

 

 

@SesamePlace A Very Furry Christmas Is Open Daily Until Dec. 31st! #Fireworks

Sesame Place A Very Furry Christmas Is Open Daily Until December 31st! Fireworks, Too!

spxmasemilyOne of our favorite places to visit during the Christmas season is Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pa. Just under two hours from the NYC area it’s a great place to spend the day with the family. This year the weather has cooperated like no other year. It’s just a gorgeous winter to be outside and play. Although Christmas is officially over, Sesame Place will remain open daily thru December 31 and even have fireworks on New Year’s Eve! It’s a wonderful place to make dreams come true as you watch your child’s face light up the moment they come face to face with their favorite Sesame Street character. 

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spxmasferriswheelThere is plenty to do at Sesame Place- A Very Furry Christmas including shows, character meet and greets, new seasonal rides just for the winter event, and of course Dine with Me where you can dine with all of your favorites up close and in a warm setting. While visiting be sure to carve out time to see the Very Furry Christmas parade. You will not want to miss all the seasonal add ons and you may even be in an area where it will snow! (If you want to be in the snow area be just past the fire truck on Sesame Street). 

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If you visit on December 28 or 29th you can meet up with a special guest, Curious George.  Meet Curious George at these times in 1-2-3 Smile with Me! 1:30-2:00, 2:30-3:00, 3:30-4:30, 5:30-6:00, 6:30-7:00. There is also a special Dine With Me where you can dine with Curious George-It’s a lunch on both days at 12 noon. Check out more about it here.

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If you are planning of spending New Year’s Eve at Sesame Place be sure to stay until the end of the day. Sesame Place has a wonderful fireworks display. Fireworks take place on Thursday, December 31st 6:25-6:35pm). It’s definitely a great way to ring in the new year a little bit early with all of your little ones. 

See you at Sesame Place! 

Check out our awesome video of the A Very Furry Christmas 2015 parade! 

Disclosure: Diane Sullivan is a Sesame Place Ambassador Blogger. All opinions are that of Diane and are honest. No compensation was given for this post. A season pass and family passes are provided to experience Sesame Place. Contact me at Diane@3decades3kids.net and @3decades3kids everywhere else across social media. This post is part of our #SesamePlaceAmbassadorBlogger and #Roadtrip2fun series. 

Six Flags Great Adventure Holiday In The Park #HolidayInThePark

Six Flags Great Adventure Holiday In The Park

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This past weekend our family had the pleasure of checking out Holiday In The Park at Six Flags Great Adventure. This is a first for our New Jersey Six Flags and after a few minutes in the park we were already completely taken by the magical holiday atmosphere that surrounded our family. We already love Six Flags and visit every summer and fall. Now we can add winter to the mix. When you first enter the park you will be greeted by an incredible Christmas tree!  Holiday Magic A Celebration of the Season is a spectacular light show on a 52-foot-tall tree in the heart of the park that dazzles nightly every 30 minutes through eye-popping effects and classic holiday music. The only show of its kind anywhere in the country.

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There is so much to do at Six Flags Great Adventure during the Holiday in the Park! One great place to see a show and to warm up those chilly hands is inside at Jack Frost’s Magical Christmas where Jack Frost has an evil plot to steal Christmas is reversed by the warmth and magic of the holiday season in this live stage show filled with acrobatics, illusions and surprise guests. Fun!

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Don’t miss Gingerbread Junction that features peppermint swirl-wrapped trees, dancing lights around the carousel pavilion, the Gumdrop Hop dance party and a giant gingerbread man towering above. Emm was thrilled to win a gigantic candy cane! It definitely made the night more fun. You can find out all about the roots of each holiday celebration if you walk down Joy to the World.  It is a tranquil pathway of lit trees, luminaries and stained glass showcasing religious holidays from around the world. It’s really beautiful. 

sixflagscandycaneYou will not want to miss the North Pole where guests are welcomed into the warmth of Santa’s home for a meet-and-greet and holiday photos by Kodak, plus kids can write letters to Santa, meet a reindeer and build a stuffed toy. There are even singing reindeer that are super adorable and plenty of affordable gifts, tees, and candies for you and the kids to enjoy. Poinsettia Peak and Skull Mountain roller coaster has been transformed into a mountain of dazzling red lights with a crimson beauty, the Poinsettia Princess, greeting guests nearby.

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One of my favorite places in the park is Polar Point where you can find  stunning, ice-blue trees twinkle with the illusion of falling snow up above, while the towering, larger-than-life Snow Queen meets guests below.  Holiday Memories is a perfect part to see green, red and gold brighten this section filled with special photo opportunities like Mistletoe Moments, Wishing Tree and With Love giant greeting card, while nearby the Jingle Jammers sing holiday tunes by the fire pits as guests toast s’mores. Yum!

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The sweet and savory tastes of the holiday season can be found throughout the park. Spiked egg nog, holiday-flavored coffee and hot chocolate, peppermint and mocha fudge, holiday beers, festive funnel cakes with peppermint eggnog and caramel pecan bacon toppings, specialty holiday platters of sliced turkey, smoked turkey leg and chicken platters with cranberry sauce, chili bowls, harvest salads and flatbreads and hot soups are available in various restaurants.

Holiday in the Park also features 30 thrilling rides such as SkyScreamer, Carousel, Big Wheel and Tea Cups. Children can enjoy 11 pint-sized thrills in Whimsical Wonderland. Coaster fans can challenge world-class rides like Nitro, BATMAN™: The Ride, THE GREEN LANTERN and SUPERMAN – Ultimate Flight, THE DARK KNIGHT Coaster and Poinsettia Peak. All rides and entertainment are weather permitting. Frontier Adventures including Safari Off Road Adventure, Bugs Bunny National Park, Golden Kingdom and Plaza del Carnaval do not operate during the festival. https://www.sixflags.com/

Disclosure: Diane Sullivan is a Six Flag Great Adventure Partner blogger. All opinions are that of Diane Sullivan and honest. Compensation was given for this post. A family media invite was extended to our family. Please contact me at Diane@3decades3kids.net and @3decades3kids everywhere else. #ad #Sponsored