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Mom’s Guide to the Disney Cruise

The Most Magical Vacation on Earth

Have you been checking out your friend’s vacay photos from the Disney cruise and wondering if you should invest in the trip for your family? Well, the short answer is yes! It may be the best family vacation you will ever take!  

Truth time — I don’t typically like cruising. I tried three different cruise lines before going on the Disney Cruise Line, and I was not impressed. All-you-can-eat (nasty) food, gambling in a smoke-filled room and dancing in cheesy nightclubs was not my idea of a quality vacation. After trying the Disney Cruise Line (Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy), I can tell you: My eyes are now open! A Disney cruise is a must-do family vacation.  

The quality of the Disney Cruise Line ships’ décor, food and service is far superior to other cruise lines I’ve experienced. In fact, the Disney Dream cruise was voted the No. 1 Best Cruise Overall by the Cruiser’s Choice Award, with the Disney Fantasy cruise coming in a close second. Disney Cruise Lines offers mind-blowing experiences for kids while pampering parents in luxury.

Save your dollars for this epic family getaway. Here are my tips for getting the most out of your trip.

CRUISE PREP

Photo opp with Captain Mickey before boarding

Pack pirate wear for everyone, and don’t forget the princess dresses and Mickey Mouse ears. Bring a lot of sunscreen and Dramamine (Disney can’t stop the boat from swaying). Book the late dining time (8 p.m.); I’ll get to why later. Purchase a one-day Rainforest Room pass at Senses Spa. It’s not a spa service (like a massage or facial), but it’s just as good. 

WHEN YOU ARRIVE

Wear your bathing suit under your clothes so you can head straight to the pool deck. Skip the sit-down meal at the restaurant (you’ll have plenty of time for that later) and grab a quick bite at Cabanas café (equally delicious food). Don’t forget to show the kids the self-serve ice cream station. Now you’re ready to celebrate at the bon voyage party on the pool deck. This party is certain to get everyone amped up for the great trip ahead!

Mom Tip: As you will see, the AquaDuck waterslide will have a long line. Don’t wait in it. I know your kids (and you) will be excited to ride, but there’s no line for the AquaDuck during other parts of the cruise (I’ll get to that later).

View from our Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah on Disney Dream

Once the ship sets sail, people will make their way to their staterooms. Three quarters of the ocean view staterooms have spacious verandahs (definitely opt for a Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah when making your reservations.) We had a queen bed and bunk beds on our last four-day, three-night weekend getaway cruise on the Disney Dream. It provided plenty of room, with two bathrooms — one with a toilet and sink and the other with a shower, tub and sink.

Here’s a video showing you the how the bunkbeds look when they’re turned down for you in the evening (during the day, where the bunkbeds fold into the wall and a couch is there instead):

Three things to knock out first: 

1. Wait in line for your Disney Princess character meet-and-greet reservations. This is the only line you’ll stand in, but it’s worth it. You can reserve a time to meet Anna and Elsa (one reservation) or a time to meet all the other princesses (a different reservation). These spots go fast, so hit the Port Adventures Desk on Deck 5 to get the tickets between 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m. on day of embarkation. If you snooze, you lose.

The Oceaneer Club (kids only) is beyond anyone’s wildest imagination and cast members are hands-on making sure all kids are having a magical experience.

2. Register your kids at the Oceaneer Club. They’ll each receive their own Oceaneer (wrist) band that will serve as identification and method for check in/out of the club.

Mom Tip: Divide and conquer! After you grab two adult cocktails, Mom can wait in line for character meet-and-greet reservations (while reviewing the Personal Navigator), and Dad can take the tykes to register at the Oceaneer Club.

Midship Detective Agency kiosk

3. Meet back up at the kiosk where you pick up your clues to participate in the Disney Cruise Midship Detective Agency. This high-tech scavenger hunt is cool and fun to do while exploring the ship. Players use cards to activate animated artwork throughout the ship. It’s a really fun (and clever) way to get acquainted with the ship’s layout.

Okay, now that the business is out of the way, it’s time for the fun to begin!

DURING YOUR CRUISE

You’re going to be a little overwhelmed by how many activities there are on the ship, which is a good problem to have! There’s a movie theater playing Disney movies (movies also play in your room). There’s basketball, fantasy baseball, mini golf and yoga. There are tequila and cognac tastings. There are character appearances and dance parties. There’s the Bippity Boppity Boutique (now on both the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy), plus tons more shops. There are Broadway-style shows. But the Oceaneer Club and Lab for kids 3 to 12 years old trumps it all.

The Oceaneer Club is the coolest place on the planet for kids. And here’s the best part: no adults allowed. Adults can go in during scheduled open house tours, but parents are booted when the real fun begins. The Oceaneer Club has everything from interactive video games that project on the floor to wacky science demonstrations to up-close-and-personal character visits. Yes, your kids will run into Mickey more on this cruise than they will anywhere else — ever. The staff at the Oceaneer Club is superb. They interact with the kids the entire time. When your child is ready to be picked up, a counselor will call you on the ship phone you get when you arrive. There’s no limit to the time your child can spend in the Oceaneer Club. It’s impressive, and you can feel that safety is the staff’s utmost concern.

There are clubs for your older kids as well. Edge is for kids ages 11 to 14, and Vibe is for teens ages 14 to 17. Here’s a little-known fact: While Vibe amenities are typically off-limits to those outside the 14 to 17 age group, anyone can hit the pool at Vibe during the open house hours. If you want to skip the crowds, then take your clan to this hidden gem.

While the kids are preoccupied, visit the many adult-only areas of the ship, like the Quiet Cove pool, Senses Spa, or one of the bars. Ladies will love the Pink Elephant lounge that is beautifully decorated with champagne and bubbles, complete with pink velvet furniture. It’s a must-see! Dads will feel like kings watching their favorite sporting events in manly leather seating in front of several big screen TVs at the posh sports bar named 687.

You’ll receive your dining restaurant schedule when you arrive (it’s printed on your key card). All families rotate through the three restaurants: Animator’s Palette, Royal Palace and Enchanted Garden. My favorite is Animator’s Palette, where the walls include underwater animations that come to life during dinner (on the Disney Dream only). Crush (from Finding Nemo) makes an appearance and blows everyone’s minds by interacting with the guests on a first-name basis. It’s really … wait for it … magical. If you decide to organize a date night by putting the kids in the Oceaneer Club and reserving an adult-only dinner at Palo or Remy, make sure not to do it on a night you’re scheduled for dinner at Animator’s Palette.

Dine & Play

Enchanted Garden restaurant on Disney Dream

Opt for the later dining time (8 p.m.) to get the added benefit of Oceaneer Club counselors who come by the restaurants to pick up the kids (saving you the hike). You can check the kids in from your seat at the restaurant! Just inform your server that your children would like to participate in Dine and Play. Your kids will receive expedited meals, and counselors will arrive approximately 45 minutes into dinner to escort them to their respective youth activities groups. You can then enjoy the remainder of your dining experience sans the kids. After dinner, take a romantic stroll on deck or head to the adults-only nighttime entertainment district for dancing, drinks and excitement. This is such a nice little perk and is only available during the second dinner seating.

Download the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App prior to getting on board. This will list every character meet-and-greet time and location.

PORT OF CALL

Disney Cruise Lines sails to several different areas, but most Central Florida families take the quick three-night weekend getaway cruise (Friday to Monday) to the Bahamas. This cruise also stops at Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island. You can upgrade to try out several different on-shore activities during the ship’s stop at Nassau. I’ve noticed that many people stay on the ship, so the pool is packed. There are different options for excursion packages, but if you want to have the vacation of a lifetime, go to Atlantis.

Mom Tip: Consider going rogue and book your Atlantis excursion on your own. Just call Atlantis directly for a day pass to Aquaventure, the water park at Atlantis. You will save hundreds of dollars this way if you have a family of four or more. Grab a taxi and head to the Discover Atlantis desk in the Coral Towers to pick up your arm bands.

Your second evening on the three-night cruise is Pirate Night, where everyone is encouraged to wear their pirate gear to dinner, celebrate with pirate games and an awesome pirate show, and watch the famous at-sea fireworks display (only offered on the Disney Cruise Line). The fireworks are at 10:30 p.m., which is pretty late for little ones. You might want to flip a coin for who will head back to the cabin and who will stay up for the fireworks show.

CASTAWAY CAY

This is the day to hang back and let the masses rush to the island shuttles while you enjoy the AquaDuck (almost) all to yourself. Once you’ve ridden it a few times, visit Castaway Cay. Highlights for kids include the hermit crab races and the Pelican Plunge, a floating dock with a water slide and spray guns. Grab some BBQ lunch, then check the kids into Shuttles Cove (the supervised children’s area) while you hit Serenity Beach for some relaxation and fun in this adults-only area. There’s a lot to do on the island, such as snorkeling, riding wave runners and bicycling. Heck, you can even run a 5K!

Here are a few of my family’s favorite things about Disney Cruise Line vacations.

Rainforest Showers (light, aroma and water therapy showers)

My favorite thing: The Rainforest Showers at Senses Spa is the best kept secret of the ship! After this luxurious hydrotherapy experience, I melted into the heated lounge chairs facing a wall of windows overlooking the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean. It was heaven!

My hubs and son on the Aquaduck while everyone else was on Castaway Cay

My husband’s favorite thing:The Aquaduck water slide and the many food options. He specifically enjoyed Cabanas, which serves delicious buffet-style food almost any time of day.

My son couldn’t get over the all-you-can-serve-yourself ice cream on board.

My 10-year-old son’s favorite thing: Serve yourself ice cream bar, Pirate Night and (of course) the Oceaneer Club.

My daughter enjoying the indoor/outdoor splash area at Nemo’s Reef.

My 4-year-old daughter’s favorite thing: The Disney Princess meet & greet and Nemo’s Reef splash area adjacent to the pool.

Written by
Heather Reneau

Heather Reneau is an Oviedo mom of two and a graphic designer/art director with a natural flair for writing. Her entrepreneurial spirit has led her down many business paths, including conceiving and producing PLAYGROUND Magazine back in 2007. It's her passion to celebrate local people and spread the word about quality family businesses, services and events in Orlando and beyond.

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Written by Heather Reneau

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December 1
We are continuing to limit our sessions to allow for social distancing and comfort; masks are optional at this time. Admission is valid for the date of the reservation only! Play Session is for 1 child & 1 adult, for the 2 hours you select. You MUST stay with your children to ensure your safety & the comfort of others! We will sanitize all toys & play areas. We have also added sanitization stations all around the facility & will maintain sanitation throughout the day! We are trying to open more sessions when possible, as more bookings are made we will offer more sessions to accommodate. To allow us to operate with such small guest numbers, sessions are non-refundable & non-transferable should you choose not to attend or arrive late. We appreciate your support through this trying time, and we cannot wait to see you at Millie Moos! Book Online OPEN PLAY SESSION 1 child & 1 adult 2 hrs Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri
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Class / Educational
December 1
October is here and that means KINDERMUSIK $1 DEMO DAYS at Grow and Sing Studios are coming!! Have you been meaning to come try out a class, or are you just finding out about our program for the first time? We invite you to come check out one of these classes FOR ONLY $1, have some fun, make some music and hopefully fall in love with the magic of Kindermusik! Kindermusik is a music and music class aimed towards children from birth-age 7. Reservations are required and space is limited. We are “traveling minstrels” so our classes are offered at different locations around town throughout the week. To see what classes are available and where, visit growandsing.com/registration.
Read More
9:00 am / 6:00 pm
December 1

Buckle up for your wildest car ride yet! Travel down gravel paths within our Drive-thru Safari Park and discover more than 100 native and exotic animals roaming freely. During your journey, you’ll have the opportunity to observe a variety of animals often only found around the world. Enjoy identifying species from as far away as the African savanna to others from the deciduous forests of North America, all from the comfort of your own car.

Read More
December 1
Creative PLAY is so imporatant and Creative Jane's offers the perfect to have some fun!  
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Nature Play
December 1

Fables on the Farm is a children's fun time here at Wildflower Farm.

They will read a children's book in our pasture pavilion. After the book reading, the baby goats will come join for a meet and greet! We will supply fresh greens you can feed them.

Then they will ask for you to help to us give the "kids" a bottle of warm milk!

Farm products, local craft items and merchandise will be available for purchase.
Admission is $12.50 per person. (1 and under free)

Read More
Foodie Fun
5:00 pm
December 1

On Wednesdays, kids eat free* with the Little Piglet Dinner Special.

Wednesday, starting at 5pm, stop by Pig Floyd's locations for dinner and along with your dinner purchase, your child can enjoy a Quesadilla or Chicken tender kids meal, ON US.
Don't have kids, perfect night to invite a friend that does.

See you for dinner!

*Special offer restricted to this date/time only and applies to quesadilla or chicken tender kids meals. Items cannot be substituted.
FoodKid FriendlyFood tasting

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Class / Educational
December 2
October is here and that means KINDERMUSIK $1 DEMO DAYS at Grow and Sing Studios are coming!! Have you been meaning to come try out a class, or are you just finding out about our program for the first time? We invite you to come check out one of these classes FOR ONLY $1, have some fun, make some music and hopefully fall in love with the magic of Kindermusik! Kindermusik is a music and music class aimed towards children from birth-age 7. Reservations are required and space is limited. We are “traveling minstrels” so our classes are offered at different locations around town throughout the week. To see what classes are available and where, visit growandsing.com/registration.
Read More
December 2
We are continuing to limit our sessions to allow for social distancing and comfort; masks are optional at this time. Admission is valid for the date of the reservation only! Play Session is for 1 child & 1 adult, for the 2 hours you select. You MUST stay with your children to ensure your safety & the comfort of others! We will sanitize all toys & play areas. We have also added sanitization stations all around the facility & will maintain sanitation throughout the day! We are trying to open more sessions when possible, as more bookings are made we will offer more sessions to accommodate. To allow us to operate with such small guest numbers, sessions are non-refundable & non-transferable should you choose not to attend or arrive late. We appreciate your support through this trying time, and we cannot wait to see you at Millie Moos! Book Online OPEN PLAY SESSION 1 child & 1 adult 2 hrs Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri
Read More
9:00 am / 6:00 pm
December 2

Buckle up for your wildest car ride yet! Travel down gravel paths within our Drive-thru Safari Park and discover more than 100 native and exotic animals roaming freely. During your journey, you’ll have the opportunity to observe a variety of animals often only found around the world. Enjoy identifying species from as far away as the African savanna to others from the deciduous forests of North America, all from the comfort of your own car.

Read More
9:30 am / 10:00 am
December 2
Singing, dancing and moving to rhymes and simple stories will introduce young children to the joys of language and literature. We encourage full and active participation of accompanying adults. This class will adhere to social distancing guidelines and has limited capacity. Enrollment is required per baby/caregiver and accompanying siblings should be listed in the notes. Per CDC guidelines, face masks are required. Someone will check you in at the door to confirm your reservation. No exceptions will be made. Please cancel your enrollment if you can't make it to the class, failure to do so may result in placement on the wait list for future sessions. This class is being held outside of current open hours, so enter via the south doors (Lyman Ave side) where a staff member will be waiting. Attendees may browse Library collections following the class if desired. Class is held every Thursday and registration is required.
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December 2

How long? 1.5 hours for Family Members (ages 5+)

When? Various Dates and Times

Note: Adult Family Members Must Take Class with Children 5 to 17 years old

You and your family (friends/co-workers) can learn how to throw on the potter's wheel from one of our experienced artists. Children 5 to 17 years old must take class with an adult member of the family.  We will guide you and your family members step-by-step through the process of throwing a bowl on their own.  Everyone will have the opportunity to make 1 bowl during class, and then paint it with colors from our large selection of glazes. This is a super cool and a memorable experience you can do together! Book each family member’s seat individually up to 6. (by reservation only)

$35 per person.

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December 2

You can do the $25 drop-in class rate or monthly membership is $75. There are limited spots available so please be sure to message me to reserve your spot. Social distancing will be practiced during this class.

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Kiddie Culture / Nature Play / Recurring Events
6:00 pm / 10:00 pm
December 2

The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens will transform at night into the Asian Lantern Festival: Into the Wild!

Back by popular demand, this event is stunning and special for everyone in the family!

See over 30 different, hand-constructed illuminated lanterns displayed around the Zoo on a 3/4 mile path. Celebrate the art, beauty and wonder of traditional Asian lantern festivals.

Read More
December 3

Babies love music. With Virtual Little Music Makers, you and your baby can sing, play, and share the joy and whimsy of music while fostering language, movement, and social-emotional development milestones. Gather any instruments you have at home and engage your little ones during class time.

0-6 mo – 9am-10am

6-12 mo – 10am-11am

12-18 mo – 11am-12pm

All virtual classes held on Friday mornings during regularly scheduled hours.

Read More
Class / Educational
December 3
October is here and that means KINDERMUSIK $1 DEMO DAYS at Grow and Sing Studios are coming!! Have you been meaning to come try out a class, or are you just finding out about our program for the first time? We invite you to come check out one of these classes FOR ONLY $1, have some fun, make some music and hopefully fall in love with the magic of Kindermusik! Kindermusik is a music and music class aimed towards children from birth-age 7. Reservations are required and space is limited. We are “traveling minstrels” so our classes are offered at different locations around town throughout the week. To see what classes are available and where, visit growandsing.com/registration.
Read More
9:00 am / 6:00 pm
December 3

Buckle up for your wildest car ride yet! Travel down gravel paths within our Drive-thru Safari Park and discover more than 100 native and exotic animals roaming freely. During your journey, you’ll have the opportunity to observe a variety of animals often only found around the world. Enjoy identifying species from as far away as the African savanna to others from the deciduous forests of North America, all from the comfort of your own car.

Read More
December 3
Don't miss this rocking' teatime with Orlando's Favorite host with the most, Mr Richard! October 1 10 a.m. Infusion Tea
Read More
December 3
Creative PLAY is so imporatant and Creative Jane's offers the perfect to have some fun!  
Read More
December 3

How long? 1.5 hours for Family Members (ages 5+)

When? Various Dates and Times

Note: Adult Family Members Must Take Class with Children 5 to 17 years old

You and your family (friends/co-workers) can learn how to throw on the potter's wheel from one of our experienced artists. Children 5 to 17 years old must take class with an adult member of the family.  We will guide you and your family members step-by-step through the process of throwing a bowl on their own.  Everyone will have the opportunity to make 1 bowl during class, and then paint it with colors from our large selection of glazes. This is a super cool and a memorable experience you can do together! Book each family member’s seat individually up to 6. (by reservation only)

$35 per person.

Read More
1:00 pm / 7:00 pm
December 3
Join us in October for lots of fall fun on the farm! Included with admission: Pumpkin Patch & Photo Spots Farm Animal Petting Zoo Hayride Jolly Acres Play - bounce pillow, trike track, giant slide, maze, barrel train & more Saturdays and Sundays, October 8-31 - Free live performances for children Also available at additional cost: Bar, Grill, Fry Shack, & Sweets Gifts and Souvenirs Horse & Pony Rides - Saturdays & Sundays only Pumpkins for purchase Private Fire Pits & Birthday Party Area Online tickets are sold at a reduced price of $8-$15 and guarantee entry on busier days that may fill to capacity. Visit the ticketing site for more details.
Read More
Kiddie Culture / Nature Play / Recurring Events
6:00 pm / 10:00 pm
December 3

The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens will transform at night into the Asian Lantern Festival: Into the Wild!

Back by popular demand, this event is stunning and special for everyone in the family!

See over 30 different, hand-constructed illuminated lanterns displayed around the Zoo on a 3/4 mile path. Celebrate the art, beauty and wonder of traditional Asian lantern festivals.

Read More
7:00 pm / 9:00 pm
December 3

Host A Family Movie Night At Home

Gather the gang for Family Night, weekly family viewing events featuring movie specials or themed programming.

Download printable Family Night movie tickets , movie marquee signs and a movie snack box !

Don't miss family night every Friday from 7 - 9 PM on PBS KIDS!

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December 4
  • The Winter Park Farmers’ Market is normally held at the old train depot, located at 200 West New England Avenue, that has been restored into an historical landmark that hosts this NUMBER ONE produce and plant market in Central Florida. The market takes place every Saturday morning from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is a popular community gathering place that provides fine produce, plants, baked goods and so much more.
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8:30 am / 10:00 am
December 4

Offered Saturdays & Sundays from 8:30 – 10:00 am
Weekday reservations available upon request.
Adventure is open to all ages but we suggest one adult per two youth.

Embark on a behind-the-scenes tour through this fan-favorite exhibit which emulates animal habitats found in nature. Throughout your guided experience, you will participate in animal touches and feedings while learning about animal husbandry and the care that goes into keeping our animals happy and healthy. Once you’re familiar with the lay of the land, it’s time to learn the ropes and become an animal keeper!

Did you know our animal ambassadors are big fans of food prep? Our animals’ diets are designed to fit each of their unique nutritional needs. Help us prepare the day’s meals and feed some of our four-legged friends!

Enrichment is also a crucial part of our animals’ health and wellbeing. Learn how keepers use enrichment to keep animals physically and mentally fit. This will be demonstrated while an animal ambassador paints a two-colored masterpiece for you to take home as a keepsake for your exciting day!

Meet an animal ambassador! Once you've finished your animal keeper training, there will be time for a special opportunity to interact with an animal ambassador* and pose for photo-ops.

*Animal encounters are just as enriching for the animals as the humans who participate in them but, like humans, sometimes they want to stick to their own schedule. Animal well-being is our top priority, so if a particular animal does not want to participate in that day’s private experiences, our staff will select another exciting animal ambassador for you to meet!

Read More
9:00 am / 6:00 pm
December 4

Buckle up for your wildest car ride yet! Travel down gravel paths within our Drive-thru Safari Park and discover more than 100 native and exotic animals roaming freely. During your journey, you’ll have the opportunity to observe a variety of animals often only found around the world. Enjoy identifying species from as far away as the African savanna to others from the deciduous forests of North America, all from the comfort of your own car.

Read More
9:00 am / 10:00 am
December 4
Join us for yoga in the Garden in the midst of the beautiful Mead Botanical Garden. Take part in the opportunity to truly connect with yourself and nature. Bring a yoga mat and water.
Read More
10:00 am / 2:00 pm
December 4

Weekly Open House every Saturday at The Orlando School of Music!!

10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.!

Come visit us to view the school, receive a VIP tour of the school, and schedule a trial lesson! We have a lot of great perks for students and parents!

4968 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32803! (321) 281-8386!

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December 4

It isn’t the holidays without Clara and her sugar plum fairies. These special performances are tailored to your little toy soldier’s attention span. The whole family will enjoy this timely tale performed on stage by local talent.

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December 4

Public skating is for children 12 years old and younger and their parents.
$8.00 admission includes regular skate rental

Adults that want to skate the admission is only $5.00 with every paid child and as always non skating chaperones are free.

Need a lesson?

For $10.00, come in at 9 a.m. and have instruction from 9:15 to 10 a.m., which includes our Tiny Tot public session and regular skate rental!

Read More
December 4

How long? 1.5 hours for Family Members (ages 5+)

When? Various Dates and Times

Note: Adult Family Members Must Take Class with Children 5 to 17 years old

You and your family (friends/co-workers) can learn how to throw on the potter's wheel from one of our experienced artists. Children 5 to 17 years old must take class with an adult member of the family.  We will guide you and your family members step-by-step through the process of throwing a bowl on their own.  Everyone will have the opportunity to make 1 bowl during class, and then paint it with colors from our large selection of glazes. This is a super cool and a memorable experience you can do together! Book each family member’s seat individually up to 6. (by reservation only)

$35 per person.

Read More
Nature Play
December 4

Fables on the Farm is a children's fun time here at Wildflower Farm.

They will read a children's book in our pasture pavilion. After the book reading, the baby goats will come join for a meet and greet! We will supply fresh greens you can feed them.

Then they will ask for you to help to us give the "kids" a bottle of warm milk!

Farm products, local craft items and merchandise will be available for purchase.
Admission is $12.50 per person. (1 and under free)

Read More
1:00 pm / 7:00 pm
December 4
Join us in October for lots of fall fun on the farm! Included with admission: Pumpkin Patch & Photo Spots Farm Animal Petting Zoo Hayride Jolly Acres Play - bounce pillow, trike track, giant slide, maze, barrel train & more Saturdays and Sundays, October 8-31 - Free live performances for children Also available at additional cost: Bar, Grill, Fry Shack, & Sweets Gifts and Souvenirs Horse & Pony Rides - Saturdays & Sundays only Pumpkins for purchase Private Fire Pits & Birthday Party Area Online tickets are sold at a reduced price of $8-$15 and guarantee entry on busier days that may fill to capacity. Visit the ticketing site for more details.
Read More
4:00 pm / 5:00 pm
December 4

The Hive: A Makerspace- Join the Maker Movement! Go forth and create! In this collaborative workspace, you can try new tools, build new skills, and create something one-of-a-kind to take home. Makers are MacGuyvers. Through the simple act of making something, you are strengthening essential skills in problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration. These experiences will challenge you to bring your ideas to life, and every choice you make will lead you to something new. Makerspaces cultivate community so enjoy sharing your creations with each other. Being a maker is all about creativity and experimentation, so select one of the following projects for your group’s private experience to explore and make your own: 3D Design for Printing, Make Your Own Mouse Ears, Sew a Felt Succulent Garden

Offered Saturdays & Sundays from 9-10:30am or 4-5pm however weekday reservations are available upon request. This adventure must be booked online and workshops are best suited for makers ages 8 and older.

Read More
Kiddie Culture / Nature Play / Recurring Events
6:00 pm / 10:00 pm
December 4

The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens will transform at night into the Asian Lantern Festival: Into the Wild!

Back by popular demand, this event is stunning and special for everyone in the family!

See over 30 different, hand-constructed illuminated lanterns displayed around the Zoo on a 3/4 mile path. Celebrate the art, beauty and wonder of traditional Asian lantern festivals.

Read More
December 4

Yee-haw! Eight seconds may not seem like a long time, but when a bull rider is trying to stay on a bucking bronc, you'll be frozen with suspense!WHAT TO EXPECT:
Get ready to be mesmerized by the excitement and unpredictable danger of the Rodeo at Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo. Known for being an unforgettable evening of family-fun, the 1,200-seat rodeo arena draws rodeo athletes from all over to compete in trick riding, barrel racing, and of course, bull riding. Our Saturday Night Rodeo is a guest favorite and allows all guests to discover talented contestants while also enjoying a patriotic tribute to our armed forces. So come on down to the rodeo for a wild Florida night!INFO & TICKETS:
Tickets can be purchased at the entrance of the Rodeo. We do not offer advance tickets.Guests staying at the resort do get priority for tickets; any tickets left after resort guests are available to the public.Adults $25 • Children (ages 5-12) $15
Children 4 and under are complimentary
All ages are welcome

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December 4

All Your Favorite Classic Cars Come Together at One Place.

Join us every Saturday and take a trip down memory lane. The Old Town Classic Car Show has been a local tradition for over 30 years, it is one of the premier weekly car shows in Central Florida.

The Saturday Classic Car Show begins at 1:00 pm and welcomes show-quality 1983 and older hot rods, street rods, and antiques. Cars will cruise at 8:30 pm and all registered cars are able to participate.

The Classic Car Show is free for participants and free for the public to attend. It's the perfect outing for families of every generation, young and old, to enjoy.

Here are some reminders and safety precautions to ensure everyone enjoys their time at Old Town:
- Practice safe social distancing between you and other guests of at least 6 feet.
- No gatherings or congregating of more than 10 individuals.
- Face masks or coverings are strongly encouraged while you enjoy Old Town.
- Face masks are county mandated inside public facilities in Osceola County.
- Old Town has placed additional sanitizing stations throughout the property and at each restroom.
- All Old Town staff, security and housekeeping are required to be temperature checked and wear masks at all times.
- Old Town requires cars be parked at least 6 feet apart to ensure cruiser and guest safety.

For more information on how to stay safe and healthy during your visit to Old Town, please visit Stay Safe.

PARTICIPATING CLASSIC CARS: enter Old Town from Highway 192 under the east (left) side of the Jukebox signs where you’ll be greeted by Event Staff. They will then direct you to a security escort down the brick streets. Please do not drive on the bricks without permission.

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Date Night / Kiddie Culture

Outdoor Movie Night at Wekiva Island: The Polar Express

Wekiva Island
December 5
Bring the family down to Wekiva Island to enjoy a Christmas classic: The Polar Express! This outdoor viewing will begin at 7 p.m. on December 5, and guests are encouraged to bring their own chair for seating. While you enjoy the holiday fun, be sure to grab a drink and a snack! Admission to Wekiva Island is $2.
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8:30 am / 10:00 am
December 5

Offered Saturdays & Sundays from 8:30 – 10:00 am
Weekday reservations available upon request.
Adventure is open to all ages but we suggest one adult per two youth.

Embark on a behind-the-scenes tour through this fan-favorite exhibit which emulates animal habitats found in nature. Throughout your guided experience, you will participate in animal touches and feedings while learning about animal husbandry and the care that goes into keeping our animals happy and healthy. Once you’re familiar with the lay of the land, it’s time to learn the ropes and become an animal keeper!

Did you know our animal ambassadors are big fans of food prep? Our animals’ diets are designed to fit each of their unique nutritional needs. Help us prepare the day’s meals and feed some of our four-legged friends!

Enrichment is also a crucial part of our animals’ health and wellbeing. Learn how keepers use enrichment to keep animals physically and mentally fit. This will be demonstrated while an animal ambassador paints a two-colored masterpiece for you to take home as a keepsake for your exciting day!

Meet an animal ambassador! Once you've finished your animal keeper training, there will be time for a special opportunity to interact with an animal ambassador* and pose for photo-ops.

*Animal encounters are just as enriching for the animals as the humans who participate in them but, like humans, sometimes they want to stick to their own schedule. Animal well-being is our top priority, so if a particular animal does not want to participate in that day’s private experiences, our staff will select another exciting animal ambassador for you to meet!

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December 5

The Grinch comes down from Mount Crumpet for this celebratory shindig at the Enzian Theater for a family friendly screening and a special letter writing kit for their letter to the big man in red.

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December 5

New Weekly Indoor Sunday Market inside the Altamonte Springs Mall featuring Fresh Produce, Packaged Foods, Food Finds, Flowers, Local Artisans just off Center Court 1st floor

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