Category: Travel

Selfie Sticks Not Allowed on Rides at Disney

Posted on Jun 4, 2015 by No Comments

The popularity of selfie sticks has exploded. They make taking vacation pictures possible without finding someone to actually take the photo for you.

But some people have thrown common sense out the window and have used selfie sticks to get photos while on theme park rides and attractions. For this reason Disney has recently cracked down on the use of selfie stick on their theme park rides and have even added signs in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney Workd in Florida and Disneyland in Anaheim.

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This isn’t really a new restriction. If you’ve ever visited these parks you’ve experienced the announcement dealing with stowing personal items safely while on a ride. This includes everything from cameras to canes and really the selfie stick falls into this same category.

Social media is full of pictures from people using selfie sticks and along with that are a slew of complaints from fellow riders. But the real reason Disney is cracking down on the use of selfie sticks is that they are a safety issue as riders stick them outside the rides.

Greeters in front of attractions now instruct guest with a visible selfie stick to stow them while on the ride or attraction and if the stick is seen being used while onboard the ride, the guest will be asked to stow the selfie stick over the PA system. If they don’t comply, according to park policy the ride will be stopped.

Disney cast members have been trained for how to handle selfie sticks in order to stay in compliance with policy. Selfie sticks are not banned at Disney, they just aren’t allowed while on a ride or attraction due to safety concerns.

However visitors to Disney theme parks are free to use their selfie sticks as much as they’d like outside of rides and attractions. For now, signs have been posted outside some of the parks popular attractions including Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Space Mountain at Disneyland.

It turns out that Disney isn’t the only park dealing with the selfie stick safety issue. Universal Studios Orlando has actually installed metal detectors at three of their thrill rides to be sure there are not lose objects including selfie sticks. Some museums have even banned the selfie stick all together.

Photo credits: TTCdirector

12 People Stuck on Disney’s Kali River Rapids Ride

Posted on May 29, 2015 by 1 Comment

I enjoy trips to Disney World and consider it one of the best run theme parks. They do a great job with crowd management, and get me underroof and in to air conditioned space even to stand in most lines.

I’ve been to the park enough times to experience brief glitches in a few rides, like stopping inside the iconic Spaceship Earth, or on the Small World ride but they got things moving quickly.

However, for that initial moment when the ride stops my brain thought about being stuck. I wondered where the exits were. And truly I was more worried about having to listen to the “It’s a Small World” song over and over than anything else. To this day I scold anyone who even hums that song around me.

Twelve recent Disney World guests were not quite as fortunate the day they climbed aboard the Kali River Rapids attraction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Turns out the ride stopped and the 12 were stuck waiting for someone to come and help them.

Firefighters from the Reedy Creek Emergency Services were called into action at 1:21 in the afternoon and arrived at the Disney park at 2 p.m. According to the assistant fire chief for Reedy Creek, “No one was in jeopardy or in a dangerous situation.”

He explained that the guests were stuck on the ride following “some sort of malfunction” but was not clear about exactly what caused the malfunction. Once the guests were safely assisted off the ride, the ride was temporarily closed.

Disney describes the Kali River Rapids as a “rip-roaring, river raft ride that takes you on a tour through a lush jungle landscape.” It’s one of those rides I like to enjoy on a hot afternoon in hopes of getting a little wet to cool off. Disney told the local news that they would be draining the river and the ride would reopen later.

As I thought about this experience, I wondered about how many people get stuck on some ride when they visit a theme park. And what do people do if they are stuck on a ride like this with young kids.

This was a pretty quick rescue, but even 40 minutes stranded on a ride going nowhere can be an eternity if your kids get antsy. Have you ever been stuck on a theme park ride? And do you have a plan for keeping your kids happy if this happens to you? I’d love to hear about it.

Photo credits: MrDizneyKing

What Happens to that Half-Used Hotel Shampoo?

Posted on May 26, 2015 by No Comments

Hotels offer complimentary shampoos, conditioners, soup, and lotions which come in handy when traveling. Depending on how thick your hair is and how many people are sharing the room, it is usually enough for at least a couple of trips in the shower.

Then when it’s time to pack up, I’ve often packed up the unused portions because I figured they’d just get thrown away. It turns out all that changed about six years ago for many hotels.

A sales executive by the name of Shawn Seipler who stayed in about 150 hotels a year thought about all the half-used hotel shampoo bottles he left behind. He decided to ask one of the hotels what happened to the soap he used once and the shampoo that was still half full and he was told that all leftover shampoo bottles and opened bars of soaps were thrown out.

This gave Seipler and idea. Instead of just throwing all that soap and shampoo away, why not find a way to make it accessible to the 2.7 billion people around the world who don’t have access to basic sanitation? And so he launched “Clean the World” in 2009.

Clean the World works with hotels across the world to collect soap and other bottled amenities, recycles them, and then sends them to children in need.

While not every hotel has joined this mission, Clean the World has formed partnerships with Hilton Worldwide, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, IHG, Best Western, Hyatt, Walt Disney World, Las Vegas Sands, and Caesars Entertainment.

Clean the World has three big recycling centers where they process the donated products. Soap goes through a disinfecting process and is melted and repackaged as fresh new soap bars.

Since its inception in 2009, Clean the World has donated 25 million bars of soap to more than 99 countries. Not only that, but according to Seipler this recycling effort has diverted 7 million pounds of waste from North American and Asian landfills!

Photo credits: Daniel Morrison

5 Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe on Vacation

Posted on Apr 20, 2015 by 1 Comment

We are often reminded of the small things we can do to keep our homes safe while we are off on vacation. Taking steps like stopping mail and newspaper delivery and using timers to turn lights on and off make it less obvious that no one is home.

But along with taking such precautions to keep your home safe while on vacation, it’s important to take steps to guard an even more important part of our lives – our children.

Just like taking steps to keep our homes safe, it is best to plan ahead when it comes to children’s vacation safety. The process requires practice and training before you leave.

Most of these 5 ways to keep your kids safe while on vacation are practical reminders to keep your children in sight at all times.

Buddy System: Before you leave on vacation take the time to initiate the practice of the buddy system with your kids. Train them to stay with you or an older sibling at all times, or at least in your line of sight.

Practice the buddy system while shopping at your local department store before you leave. This helps make your expectations clear before you actually head out on that trip. And with older children, set a designated time and place to meet.

Always Accompany In Public: When it’s time to go to the bathroom or the arcade or any other public facility, always accompany and supervise your children.

Designate a Meeting Place: Always designate a meeting place just in case you and your children do get separated. Remind your children to stay in the area where they become separated.

Look for Help: Teach your kids to look for those who can help, such as a uniformed security officer, police, or an employee of the establishment.

Dress in Bright Colors: Pack bright colored clothing for your kids so they can be easily spotted in a crowd, just in case you do get separated.

And it doesn’t hurt for you to wear something bright, too. Even a brightly colored hat can help your kids find you if they get separated from you in a crowd.

These steps will make it clear when/if someone is missing, and offers both children and parents clarity of where to meet or who to turn to for help if that happens.

If everyone works together to practice these steps, the whole family can relax and enjoy their vacation safely.

Photo credits: Consumerist Dot Com

Link Round-up: A Guide to Brooklyn, St. Patrick’s Day Recipes, a Gardening Craft, and More

Posted on Mar 17, 2015 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has a guide to Brooklyn, home remedies for stomachaches, a craft project, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie shared 13 St. Patrick’s Day recipes with under 200 calories.

A Beautiful Mess shared a guide to Brooklyn.

Create Craft Love showed us how to transfer print to wood.

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Confessions of an Overworked Mom showed us how to make a cute framed Irish proverb.

Mommypotamus shared home remedies for stomachaches.

Pink Heels Pink Truck showed us a cute spring garden craft.

Makeup and Beauty Blog took a look at the Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Shimmering Nudes collection.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and Confessions of an Overworked Mom

Prince William Bored on Tropical Family Vacation? Really?

Posted on Jan 29, 2015 by No Comments

Kate Middleton and hubby Prince William are currently in Mustique to celebrate Kate’s mother’s 60th birthday. This is the same place the royal couple visited with its white sands and sunshine for what was dubbed a “babymoon,” back when Prince George was just six months old, for some grownup time.

This time around, George is with them, along with Kate’s mum, Carole; her father, Michael Middleton; and her younger siblings, sister Pippa and brother James.

While it sounds like a lovely getaway, Celebrity Dirty Laundry reports that Prince William is bored and wishes he would have stayed back in London.

In fact, originally he wasn’t going on the extended family vacation, but something changed. According to the CDL, it was pressure from Kate, Queen Elizabeth, and the media that forced him to change his mind.

I think it was more the draw of warm sunshine and an escape from London’s winter. The couple is staying on the private island, along with their son, in a $25,000-a-week Balinese-style hilltop villa that features a 64-foot pool and a service staff of six people.

All I can say is that I wouldn’t mind being bored in that way. People to wait on you, a tropical setting on a private island, and all that. Another reason I don’t really believe the whole boredom report is that the same article is also trying to insinuate that Prince William would rather be home to party with his brother Prince Harry and to cheat on his pregnant wife with some of his ex-girlfriends.

Mustique has been a popular destination for the royals, and this is probably one of their last chances to travel before the new baby comes.

We have to remember, the Royals are real people. Having another baby will change their lives, though not in the same way that it would change mine, but I bet Prince William decided to go along because once the new baby comes, life will be turned on its ear for a while.

That’s what happens to all of us, royal or not when a new baby arrives.

Photo credits: Mustique Island

Link Round-up: Paper Bag Pirate Puppet, Stencils, Pie Parfait Shots, and More

Posted on Dec 2, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has a paper bag pirate puppet, stencils for cakes and beverages, pie parfait shots, and more.

Homemade Interest taught us how to make easy pie parfait shots.

A Beautiful Mess taught us how to stencil cute designs on cakes and beverages.

Mind Body Green offered some tips for going on a digital detox.

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Crafts by Amanda showed us how to make a paper bag pirate puppet.

Homemaking Hacks shared time saving tips for appetizers.

A Mom’s Take shared the essentials for your next road trip.

The DIY Dreamer taught us how to make a beaded wrap bracelet with the kids.

Photo credit: Homemade Interest and Crafts by Amanda

Link Round-up: Christmas Decorations, Winter Driving Emergency Essentials, and More

Posted on Nov 27, 2014 by 2 Comments

Today’s link round-up has Christmas decorations, a faux gingerbread house, winter driving emergency essentials, and more.

Crafts by Amanda showed us a new kind of tree that looks gorgeous and takes up less space—the coastal branch tree.

Homemaking Hacks showed us how to make Santa belt clothespins for hanging pictures and art.

Our Simple Life offered tips for starting to live a simple life.

Create Craft Love showed us how to make a bottle cap Christmas wreath.

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Our Secondhand House shared eight winter driving emergency essentials.

Crafts ‘n Coffee showed us how to create a faux gingerbread house you don’t have to throw away.

A Cup of Jo showed us how to get ready for a holiday party in five minutes.

Photo credit: Crafts by Amanda and Our Secondhand House

Avoid Being the Parent of the Crying Child on the Plane

Posted on Nov 24, 2014 by No Comments

Flying with kids can be a challenge. One time I had a friend whose son decided he had to go to the bathroom as the plane was taxing for takeoff. The four-year-old started to throw a tantrum and the mother threatened the flight crew with a nasty-smelling mess if they didn’t accommodate her son’s “need.”

I’ll never forget her telling me the story after the fact. She thought it was funny. I can tell you right now that the rest of the passengers didn’t think it was funny. It’s probably one of those nightmare screaming-child-on-the-plane stories still shared today.

Recently when the Khalfin family was traveling with their two-year-old, he started to have a meltdown when the Frontier attendant required his parents to secure him in his own seat, a requirement for kids two and older.

According to the father, when he buckled his son in, the boy started “screaming and yelling.” The father held the boy in place by force and the noise escalated. The attendant came over and warned that the boy was too loud and told him, “If you’re not going to keep him calm in the next three minutes, you guys are going to have to leave the plane.”

The parents were relieved when their son calmed down, but it didn’t last. When the plane hit turbulence later in the four-hour trip, it scared him and he started up again. Can you imagine the stress on that plane!

The parents had to be sweating bullets, and the stress among the passengers would be understandable, and of course that would affect the airline staff. Turns out that the tension between the family and the cabin crew intensified to the point that the police were called.

The flight staff told them the family had been abusive toward them. When the plane landed, the family, including the toddler were ushered off the plane and met by police “like criminals.”

Flying with kids can be tricky business. What’s a parent to do? Of course the answer to that question depends on your child. It helps to start working with your kids long before the flight so they know what to expect. Things like the fact that they will have to sit in their own seat might help.

If this is something your child doesn’t like, you can even practice sitting in the seat before it is ever brought on the plane. Books like Airplane Flight can also help prepare kids with things to expect when flying.

Lastly, I would recommend trying to schedule flights that might accommodate nap time. A sleeping child, after all, is a quiet child.

Photo credits: wikimedia