Traveling Mamas

Inspiring you to explore our world

  • The superstar boy band, One Direction, was hosted by Universal Orlando Resort on June 28, 2012 to experience the all-new attraction, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, officially opening on July 2, one of many new attractions at Universal Orlando. During their day at the theme parks, they encountered Gru and his daughters, Margo, Edith and Agnes before being transformed into minions on the ride. The band visited Orlando as part of their headlining summer music tour, featuring hit pop star Olly Murs – who joined them for a day at Universal Orlando’s theme parks.

    From Left: Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson

    Despicable Me Minion Mayhem is Universal Orlando Resort’s newest 3-D attraction. This brand-new ride combines the outrageous humor and memorable characters of Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s blockbuster film Despicable Me, with an all-new storyline, incredible new animation and the latest 3-D technology to create a wildly hysterical theme park experience.

    Despicable Me Minion Mayhem is located in Universal Studios Florida. For more information about Universal Orlando Resort, visit

    Planning a family holiday to Universal Orlando Resorts? Be sure to check out our review of Loews Portofino Bay Resort, our tips on visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and all about Seuss Landing.

    Image of One Direction and minions provided by Universal Orlando Resorts.

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  • I found myself previewing the Wizarding World of Harry Potter a couple of days back, and I can honestly say that it’s everything Universal Orlando has promised. And more.

    My job involves visiting a lot of theme parks and seeing a lot of cool stuff, but I have never felt so immersed in a fictional environment. I was walking the streets of Hogsmeade Village. I was a student at Hogwarts.

    Visitors can drink butterbeer and pumpkin juice (both yummy!), pick up a chocolate cauldron at Honeydukes, buy a wand at Ollivanders.

    You can witness the squabbling portraits at Hogwart’s Castle, get growled at by the Monster Book of Monsters, and be admonished by one Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.

    There is no doubt that fans of the Harry Potter books and movies are going to enjoy the heck out of a visit to the Wizarding World.

    And that’s an important note that this mom needs to make: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is aimed at the target audience for the Harry Potter series, tweens and older.

    It’s completely logical, of course. In fact, it’s best, because the creators of the Wizarding World could never be true to the environment they were creating if the land wasn’t aimed at the typical Harry Potter audience.

    But because many people think of a theme park as a family outing, I think it needs to be said: There are no kiddie rides in the Wizarding World.

    The new ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, has a 48-inch height requirement and a long list warning away anyone with a health issue more serious than a zit or a stuffy nose. The ride was not open during the preview, but obviously, it involves some intense thrills.

    The other two rides are both roller coasters, though one (Flight of the Hippogriff) is relatively tame as coasters go.

    And there’s some intense stuff going on in the shops and streets: Video “feeds” from Azkaban, a mounted Hog’s Head that startlingly comes to life. Like I said, it’s awesome. But it will totally scare a 3 year old.

    My rule of thumb would be this: If you would let your kids watch the Harry Potter movies, then they are old enough to enjoy the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. If not, they aren’t going to get much out of it. Logical, right?

    I’m not trying to discourage you from going to Universal’s Islands of Adventure, just pointing out the realities of the new Wizarding World for those who may not realize it. There’s still plenty for the little ones to do in the nearby Seuss Landing while the older kids go off to see the wizard.

    And moms, be sure to switch off the babysitting duties and get some Harry Potter time for yourself. It’s awesome. Really. Just not for a toddler.

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  • Universal Orlando just released this video preview of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey Tour, one of the many experiences for visitors to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I know one teen who can’t wait for his chance to step into the world of Harry Potter.

    Universal Orlando’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is scheduled to open to the public mid June. Harry Potter travel packages to Universal Orlando are available for booking.

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  • Our family just returned from a fun trip to Branson, Missouri. It isn’t just for seniors either! We all had a blast. You can read about the first hotel we checked out – Chateau on the Lake Resort and Spa. We’ll have lots more stories posted just as soon as we all recover.

    This week, I’d like to introduce you to the new mamas at I’m really excited about our latest contributors and what they represent – mamas who love to travel with (and without) their families while managing to keep an eye on their budgets. Find out more about ThemeParkMom, MommyMusings, and OneMomsWorld at our brand spanking new About Us page.


    Why do I get excited about Spring? I finally get to break out the white shoes without my mother making a fashion comment. I’ll be sporting white shoes from now until Labor Day. Do you like fashion like I do? Be sure to check out this amazingly cool website for all your summer fashion – They offer super-discounted online prices. I even found a pair of designer shoes for less than $20. That’s crazy!


    I’m keeping this post short this week, but wanted to make sure you had a chance to see the newest image from Universal Orlando’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

    That’s our travel news for this week. Thanks for your continued support. We have some wonderful new things coming up over the next few weeks. We’ve been busy around here and can’t wait to share!

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  • This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Kissimmee Tourism. All opinions are 100% mine.

    Kissimmee, Florida is a family travel destination with many attractions often overshadowed by popular area theme parks. I know that my family (my son in particular) wants to visit Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which officially opens June 18. However, there are so many other places to explore while spending a holiday or vacation in the Kissimmee area.

    Near Kissimmee Florida - Hogwart's Castle at Universal Orlando's Wizarding World of Harry Potter

    I went online to the official Kissimmee website to see just what other activities were around and I was surprised to see just how close Kennedy Space Center is located. Kissimmee is also only a two hour drive to Gulf Coast area beaches.

    I love planning family vacations and we all get involved in the process. My husband finds golf and fishing relaxing while I’m a spa fan. Fortunately, Kissimmee offers choices for both of us. The kids have asked to return to Discovery Cove to swim with dolphins now that they are a bit older and barely remember their first experience. It seems like this destination is a family-wide pleaser that will keep every member happy.

    Where would you go if you went to Kissimmee? Have been there before? We’d love to hear about your favorite places or that spot you’re dreaming of going someday for your family vacation or holiday. Share it in the comments.

    Visit my sponsor: The Heart of Florida

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