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My Instagram Account Was Disabled

UPDATE 1/11/2021 – After 3 weeks of trying, my Instagram Account was finally reenabled! If you aren’t doing so yet, make sure to follow @minnievanmom on Instagram.

As most of you know, I started Minnie Van Mom by creating an Instagram account that slowly turned into a blog. I spent hours curating the best content for my Instagram, connecting with others, and sharing what was happening in my life. Ten days ago, on my 31st birthday, I thought there was no better way to celebrate than by sharing a giveaway with my followers. Boy, was I wrong.

When I decided to do a giveaway, I wanted to do something fun, useful, and Disney (of course), so I decided to giveaway the cutest Mickey Mouse Loungefly Backpack. I’ve done giveaways many times before without any issues, and I was excited to give something away right before Christmas. The rules were relatively simple, follow me and tag a friend on my post, with plans to announce the winner on Christmas Eve. I posted the giveaway on my Instagram page on December 19 and Sunday, December 20, I woke up to quite a few of my followers informing me that someone had made a fake account pretending to be me

The account was “@minnievanmom.official” to my “@minnievanmom,” and they had even stollen and used my profile picture. Although I didn’t screenshot the account itself, the bio said something like “the official winner account of @minnievanmom,” and they followed my followers. This account was apparently messaging my followers saying, “Congratulations! You won my giveaway! Please enter your credit card information for shipping, and I will mail you your prize”. But, they weren’t mailing anything; they were pretending to be my and stealing my followers’ credit card information.

Although I knew that I couldn’t control crazy people, I felt responsible and honestly sick to my stomach. I immediately reported the account as impersonating me. I also went to my personal Instagram account and reported the fake Instagram account from there as well. I felt a little better until I went back to my @minnievanmom account and received an error message informing me that MY account had been disabled.

At first, I felt stressed, followed by some calm (because, well, I KNEW my account wasn’t doing anything wrong). The message I saw on my @minnievanmom Instagram account said they would text my phone a code and that I needed to enter the code to regain access to my account. I followed the directions, and the next message I saw told me that in 24 hours, I could return to my Instagram account to file a review. The whole thing made me so upset, I tried reaching out to Instagram but quickly learned that there was NO ONE to talk to, so I waited for 24 hours.

The next day, I tried logging back into my account, and I saw a screen asking for my information. I entered my name, email address, and Instagram handle and attached a copy of my driver’s license. Once that form was filled out submitted, I received a message saying that Instagram would soon contact me.

A couple hours later, I received and email asking me to send a selfie with my license in hand, which I did, and moments later received this message:

I was shocked, genuinely shocked. I racked my brain, wondering HOW this could possibly be the case as the account was mine; I created it and had worked so hard on it. I tried submitting a new picture and received the same message, so finally, I cried.

The next day, I got my act together. I woke up early and researched as much as possible about disabled Instagram accounts and what I could do about it. I quickly realized that there wasn’t really much I could do, but I would try. To start, I remembered that Facebook owns Instagram, so I decided to give Facebook Customer Service a try. Luckily, my Instagram account was a “Creator” account, and it was connected to my Minnie Van Mom Facebook page, which is a business page, so I was able to reach out to Facebook Business Help.

Finally, I was able to talk to a person and explain what was going on. I tried not to let my frustration get the best of me and just explained what happened. My Facebook contact, gathered some information from me and created a case ID. She informed me that this would need to go to a specialized team and give me updates along the way. Staying true to her word, she has emailed me every so often over the past couple of days, giving me updates and asking questions about my account. Unfortunately, that is about as far as I have gotten.

So now, I wait. It has been nine days since Instagram disabled my account; Nine days, I have been unable to create content and connect with people, which I love doing. It is still insane to me that my account was disabled for impersonation when I was the one who reported someone for truly impersonating me; someone who was using the Instagram platform to steal others’ credit card information.

Although I have cried about it multiple times, I try to see the good in the situation. My account was disabled over Christmas which means I could unplug and spend time with my family without worrying about content. I had a wonderful Christmas with my family and didn’t have to worry about taking pictures or posting things. I am losing hope quickly that I will ever have access to my account again, but I hope this will inspire me to push myself and do new things in 2021.

If you have any tips or tricks on how I can get my Instagram account back, please comment below or message me. I will take all of the help that I can get.

Sending love and magic.

Disney Dinner & A Movie Night: Frozen

Well, we finally did it. We watched Frozen.

I’ll be honest, while I have always liked the movie Frozen, I don’t love it, and I don’t think it lives up to all of its hype. In my opinion, Frozen became such a popular movie in part thanks to outstanding marketing. Tangled came out just a few years before Frozen but had terrible marketing and wasn’t nearly as popular (but I think Tangled is the better movie). I feel like I have been subconsciously putting off watching this movie as a family, but it really did make for a great movie night.

The movie Frozen tells the story of two sisters, Anna and Elsa. Elsa possesses supernatural powers that allow her to create ice and snow. After accidentally setting off an eternal winter, Elsa isolates herself. Anna heads out on an adventure, with her new companion Kristoff and his reindeer Sven, to find Elsa and bring her home.

I wanted to get Brooklyn something special to wear for our movie night, so I ordered a soft play dress from Little Adventures. I know that I have talked about their dress-up clothes before, but they truly are my favorite! Not only are their dresses soft, but you can throw them in the washing machine when they get dirty. The dress I ordered is the Alpine Princess Coronation Dress, which looks just like Anna’s dress on Coronation Day (make sure you check out Little Adventures and use code MVM15 to save 15% at checkout!).

Each time I plan a Disney Movie Night for my family, I do a lot of brainstorming about what I should make for our meal. I try to find foods that are toddler-friendly and easy to cook, but also along with the movie. For Frozen, I was inspired by some of the most popular songs in the film. In the song “Love Is An Open Door,” Anna and Hanz sing about finishing each other’s sandwiches, so I quickly decided sandwiches would be our main course. I broke out the panini press (that I haven’t used in years) to make our turkey and swiss sandwiches a little more exciting, and I even used it to make Brooklyn a grilled cheese. 

For our sides, I made us each a “Melted Olaf” along with some “Frozen Hearts.” For the Frozen Hearts, I cut some strawberries into the shape of a heart, dipped them in warm white chocolate, sprinkled them with blue sprinkles, and allowed them to cool. Below you will find the full recipe for my Melted Olaf.

Melted Olaf

16 ounce sour cream

1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix

carrots

pretzel sticks

black olives

Carefully stir the Hidden Valley Ranch Mix in the sour cream. Once the ranch dip is ready, place a scoop of ranch into a small bowl or cup. Add two pretzel sticks, a carrot, and two black olives (Olaf’s arms, nose, and eyes). Enjoy!

In the song “For The First Time In Forever,” Anna sings about stuffing chocolate in her face. For our dessert, I knew I needed to make chocolate cake balls. I made cake balls for our Inside Out Night, and they are truly the easiest dessert to make. To make cake balls, you bake a cake according to the directions, and once cool, you crumble the cake and stir in a tub of frosting. Once the cake and frosting are combined, scoop out the mix, roll into bite-size balls, and dip in melted chocolate. Brooklyn has a sweet tooth, and I think stuffing her face with chocolate was her favorite part of the night!

Brooklyn sat through the entire movie and LOVED it! She also loved twirling around in her dress to all of the music in the film. Although we don’t do these movies as often as we once did, we love them and hope to do them more often. There are so many fun things coming up in the next couple of weeks, and I can’t wait to share it all with you. Please subscribe to my blog if you haven’t done so already!

Sending love and magic,

Plush Mickey Conversation Hearts

It’s time to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a cute DIY! I made these plush Mickey “Conversation Hearts” for my daughter to play with, and she is obsessed. I love that you could place them out as decoration or string them together in a garland.

These are similar to the Gingerbread Men I made for Disney Parks Blog and they are so easy to put together. Let’s create!

What You Need:

Felt

Red Yarn

Red Puffy Paint

Polyfil

Mickey Cookie Cutter

Scissors

Marker

Needle

Using your Mickey cookie cutter, marker, and scissors, trace and cut two Mickey shapes from your felt.

With the red puffy paint, write a cute phrase or word on one of your Mickeys.

Once the paint is dry, whip stitch your two Mickeys together.

Before you close up the Mickey, stuff with polyfil.

I hope you enjoy these precious stuffed Conversation Mickeys as much as we do.

Sending love and magic.

Gideon’s Bakehouse at Disney Springs

Gideon’s Bakehouse is a local Orlando bakery that initially opened in 2016 at the East End Market. Although many Orlando locals have been familiar with their award-winning cookies, I was unaware that these delicious treats existed until a couple of years ago. In 2018, The Polite Pig (an incredible quick service barbecue restaurant at Disney Springs) started selling Gideon’s Bakehouse Original Chocolate Chip Cookies at their register. These cookies would sell out daily, but on one of my trips, I was able to grab one. It was the most delicious cookie I have ever had, and I was hooked.

After trying my first Gideon’s cookie, I was obsessed. So you can imagine my excitement when Disney Springs announced that a Gideon’s Bakehouse flagship store would be coming to The Landing. A little over a month ago, Gideon’s Bakehouse opened at Disney Springs, and with wait times that can be over three hours, you could say that it’s a pretty popular spot. I was lucky enough to try Gideon’s for myself, and it did not disappoint.

We arrived at Disney Springs on a Saturday afternoon, and the line for Gideon’s was already so long. At the end of the line, I spoke with a Gideon’s employee who explained that we would first need to check into the virtual queue (a different line altogether) to get in line. I waited in the virtual queue check in, which took about 5 minutes, and when I got to the front of the line, I gave the employee my name and phone number. They quoted the wait to be about three and a half hours and said I would receive a text message when it was my turn.

With three and a half hours to kill, my husband and I decided to leave Disney Springs altogether. We drove around, grabbed some coffee, and shopped before we returned to Disney Springs. Three and a half hours later, I received the text message that it was time to get in the Gideon’s line! Once I checked in to the line, I was told that the wait would be about 15-30 minutes.

There were about six groups in front of us in line, and before we knew it, it was our turn. Before going inside Gideon’s Bakehouse, we were greeted by Steve, the owner of Gideon’s. He was standing outside greeting every single party in line, talking to everyone, and sharing his story. It was such a cool touch! After our chat with Steve, we headed inside to get our treats.

Gideon’s Bakehouse is set inside of an old bookstore; it is beautiful, spooky, and whimsical all at the same time. The walls are lined with books and pictures, and the smells inside will take you to another place. The bakery itself is relatively small, only holding about five parties at a time, but the employees were accommodating and friendly (getting guests in and out as quickly as possible).

There are a few display cases around to help give you an idea of what you want, but there are also rotating items and secret menu items that aren’t on display. You will also find a drink menu with some crazy delicious drinks on it (peanut butter cold brew, anyone?).

We decided to order the Original Chocolate Chip Cookie, Triple Chocolate Chip Cookie, Pistachio Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie, Red Velvet Cake, Peanut Butter Cold Brew, and Classic White Cold Brew. Full disclosure, each of their cookies weighs almost half a pound, and we didn’t even come close to finishing everything that we ordered.

After exiting the store, we found a bench to sit on and enjoy our snacks and quickly found that each cookie is just as delicious as we imagined.

The Triple Chocolate Chip Cookie was almost like a brownie (and very rich).

The Original Chocolate Chip Cookie was just as good as I remember from the Polite Pig (basically the best chocolate chip cookie you’ll ever have).

The Pistachio Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie was sweet and salty (my favorite).

We also enjoyed the Red Velvet Cake as it wasn’t overly sweet, and the cream cheese frosting was incredible. Both of our cold brew drinks were amazing and the perfect complement to our treats.

Overall, we were so impressed with the story of Gideon’s and their amazing sweet treats. There are so many other menu items that we want to try from Gideon’s, and I can’t wait to go back. We learned that to get into Gideon’s, the best thing to do is to get in the virtual queue as early as possible. The virtual queue wait times seem pretty accurate, so try to be back at Disney Springs around your quoted time if you leave. Waiting 3 1/2 hours to get a cookie might seem a little crazy, but it was definitely worth it.

Sending love and magic.

How The Disney College Program Changed My Life

Twelve years ago today, I walked into a small meeting room at the Vista Way Apartment Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Florida (if you know, you know) and checked in for my Disney College Program. I did not realize at the time how life-changing this experience would be, but it left such an impact on me and my future. I secretly wish I could go back in time and do it all over again, but ultimately I am so thankful for the Disney College Program and how it changed my life.

I applied for the Disney College Program in August 2008 during my first semester of college. At the time, to apply, you had to go to a DCP Presentation at your college and then apply and interview after. If your college didn’t offer a presentation, you could go to one at a nearby school or do the presentation online. The presentation at my school wasn’t until the very end of the semester. I was too anxious to wait, so I watched the online presentation and applied at the beginning of the semester, interviewed quickly after, and had an acceptance letter in mid-October 2008. I remember standing in my mom’s kitchen after receiving that letter and telling her, “I would regret it for the rest of my life if I didn’t do the Disney College Program” (how 19-years-old of me).

Once you are accepted to the College Program, you pick a date to arrive, an apartment to live in, and a roommate if you have one (if not, they will assign a roommate). I wanted to get to Orlando as soon as possible, so I first picked a December 2008 arrival date. My brother was getting married on January 16, so I changed my arrival until after his wedding date. On January 25, 2009, my dad, stepmom, and I loaded down the car in Texas and drove 20 hours to Orlando, Florida. At the time, I knew who my roommate was, where I would be living (Chatham Square), and that I would be working in Attractions (but wasn’t sure which ride or park). On January 26, 2009, I checked in at Disney and soon found out that I would be working in Attractions in Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom.

The next couple of weeks were filled with tours, training, and teaching. I ended up working in the “Stitch Complex” in Tomorrowland, which meant I worked at Stitch’s Great Escape, Tomorrowland Transit Authority, and Astro Orbiter. I quickly made friends with Sarah, who is still one of my best friends years later, and my future husband, Kalib. Out of the thousands of Spring 2009 Disney College Program Participants, Kalib and I found ourselves arriving on the same day, working in the same place, and training together, just the two of us (something we still laugh about to this day). We all learned the ins and outs of Magic Kingdom, and Tomorrowland were so excited to spend an entire semester there.

Sarah and I quickly became friends with another Tomorrowland CP, Kaelyn, and we spent every day together. Most of our Tomorrowland shifts were late in the evening, so we would spend our days together at the parks. We bought Universal Studios Annual Passes (they were like $150 at the time, haha) and spent so much time there as well. Every day felt like a vacation, and work was always fun, even when we had to stay at work Extra Magic Hours until 3:00 am. I still laugh about how much Kalib annoyed me on our College Program; he loved to be silly and play jokes on everyone during our shifts (I never thought he would be the one for me). No shifts in Tomorrowland were mundane because you were constantly moving around and interacting with guests. I spent my Disney College Program surrounded by fun people, magical moments, and Disney magic. I wanted to stay forever, but of course, all good things must come to an end.

In June of 2009, as our Disney College Program was ending, I decided that I would stay in Orlando for a bit longer. I ended up getting a boyfriend while I was at Disney, who shall remain nameless, haha, and he convinced me to stay. My parents were reluctant but ultimately supported my decision to stay in Orlando for awhile. I got an apartment, signed up for online college classes, got a job at Universal Studios (that I had for like a solid 5 days before I quit) and watched all of my Disney College Program friends head home.

Not long after my College Program ended, I received a job offer to work with Disney’s Animal Programs Education Team at The Seas with Nemo and Friends as an Education Instructor. I lived in Orlando and worked full time at the Seas until March 2012, and then I went home to Texas to finish college (and started dating Kalib). I continued as a Seasonal Cast Member with Disney until June 2014, returning twice a year to work and keep my Cast Member status. Disney decided to do away with most seasonal positions around that time, and I was no longer a Cast Member.

In June 2014, I had a Disney Fairytale Wedding at Walt Disney World and married Kalib (yep, the same guy that I trained with on my College Program and pestered me). Two of the bridesmaids in our wedding were Sarah and Kaelyn, and we are still the best of friends to this day. Although we all no longer work for The Mouse, we now get to experience Disney as guests, and I think we are all okay with that.

I might have been a little dramatic when I told my mom that if I didn’t participate in the Disney College Program in June 2009, I would “regret it for the rest of my life,” but it’s true. I made the most magical memories and incredible friends and learned hard life lessons when I worked at Disney, but it changed everything about my life. I would do it over again in a heartbeat if I could.

Sending love and magic.

Minnie Mouse Bow Strawberries

Today is National Polka Dot Day, and I figured there was no better way to celebrate than by making a fun recipe inspired by my favorite polka dot wearing mouse, Minnie. These candy-covered strawberry bows will be a hit for anyone who loves Minnie Mouse as much as I do.

Minnie Mouse Bow Strawberries

You Will Need:

Strawberries

Red Candy Melts

White Chocolate Chips

Toothpicks

Wax Paper

Directions

Rinse the strawberries and pat dry. Remove the stems and leaves and then slice each strawberry in half lengthwise.

Place the halved strawberries point to point and connect them using a toothpick (they should look like a bow).

Melt red candy melts according to package directions. Carefully dip the bow shaped strawberries into the red candy melts.

Set candy covered strawberries on wax paper. Before the candy hardens, place white chocolate chip “polka dots” on strawberries. Allow candy coating to harden and enjoy!

Cheers to our girl, Minnie, and all things polka dots!

Sending love and magic.

Disney Dinner & A Movie Night: The Incredibles

After an incredible week of finally getting my Instagram account back, I felt the only appropriate movie to watch this week was The Incredibles. (Yes, you heard that right, I finally got it back. Make sure to follow my @minnievanmom Instagram account!)

The Incredibles is a Pixar movie about a family of superheroes. They are forced to hide their superpowers after the public becomes concerned, but they save the world in the end. Although my daughter has never seen The Incredibles, I knew she would love all of the superhero fun.

I decided to start our Friday with a fun activity, and I made a new sensory box for my daughter. To make this, I first soaked black, red, orange, and yellow water beads overnight on Thursday. On Friday morning, I poured all of the water beads into a large, flat plastic tub and added some of our Incredibles figurines. I then gave my daughter the option to play with her hands or with a pair of Incredibles gloves (she loved both ways).

This sensory box gave us hours of fun on Friday during the day (and while we watched our movie). She loved burying the figurines in the water beads and digging them out.

After playing with her sensory box all morning, my daughter took a nap, and when she woke up, I surprised her with her own Incredibles costume! Of course, the first thing she wanted to do was go outside and play in her “superhero clubhouse.” She had so much fun running around, being silly, and getting ready to watch The Incredibles. 

I thought long and hard about what I wanted to make for dinner, and my husband inspired me to make something I like to call “HONEY, WHERE IS MY SUPER SOUP?!” (just one of my favorite quotes from Frozone in the movie). My husband is on the keto diet, so I found this Creamy Taco Soup recipe from Gimme Delicious which is keto-friendly and really good. It’s cold outside, so it was nice to curl up with a warm bowl of soup to watch the movie. I also made an “incredible” topping bar for our soup.

Dessert is always important for our movie nights and I made something a little silly, “Brownies Edna Mode”. These brownies contain M&M’s and are topped with vanilla ice cream and a pair of chocolate glasses (that look similar to Edna Modes’ glasses in the movie). Below you will find the recipe for this delicious treat.

Brownies Edna Mode

Brownie Mix

M&Ms (red, yellow, orange and brown)

Vanilla Ice Cream

Melting Chocolate

Plastic Bag

Wax Paper

Start by mixing brownies according to the package and stir in some M&Ms. Bake the brownies according to the package.

While the brownies are baking, melt chocolate in the microwave. When the chocolate is melted, scoop into a plastic sandwich bag.

Make a tiny cut in the corner of the plastic bag and carefully pipe tiny chocolate glasses onto the wax paper (they don’t have to be perfect!).

Put the chocolate glasses in the freezer to set. Once brownies are done baking and cooled, top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a pair of chocolate glasses. Enjoy!

I’m so glad we are back to doing our Disney Dinner & A Movie Nights again! We haven’t decided what we are doing next week, but I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Sending love and magic.

Where Do We Go From Here – 2021 Plan

If you read my last post, you know that my Instagram account has been disabled since December 20, 2020. What I thought would be an easy fix has turned into a long, drawn-out process, and truthfully, I don’t think I will ever get my account back. Losing my Instagram account (over someone impersonating me) has been such a weird blow, and I have spent the last couple of weeks thinking about how I want to move forward.

I started my @minnievanmom Instagram account in March 2020, and it quickly grew into something I truly loved. When Instagram disabled my account, it made me rethink my blog and social media accounts plan. It is terrifying that you can put so much time and effort into social media, and it can be taken away, no questions asked. I’ve gone back and forth over whether or not I should “start over,” and it stresses me out to think that I could put more time and effort into something, and it could be removed again. I’ve thought about using other social media platforms; I just really loved using Instagram.

So, where does that leave me? Over the last couple of days, I’ve sat and thought about where I should go from here. On the one hand, I have truly enjoyed the break from social media, but on the other hand, I really love creating content. I’ve decided that in 2021 I will focus more time and energy on my blog and less time and energy on social media. Eventually, I may start a new Instagram or Tik Tok account, but for now, I will focus on creating content and blogging (and using a platform that can’t be taken away from me).

I hope you will stick around for all of the fun that I have planned for this year. If you haven’t subscribed to my blog, enter your email address below and sign up to follow along.

Sending love and magic.

Epcot Holiday Cookie Stroll Cookies

If you have ever been to Taste of Epcot® International Festival of the Holidays at Walt Disney World, then you know how magical and fun it is. Last year my husband and I attended the festival for the first time, and it quickly became one of my favorite festivals that Epcot has to offer. A couple of weeks ago, we were able to attend again and try the Holiday Cookie Stroll for the first time, which is what I want to share with you today.

Epcot’s Holiday Cookie Stroll is a fun adventure through Epcot where you purchase five cookies in different countries, receive stamps for each cookie in your passport, and then redeem your passport a the end to get a free cookie. I enjoyed how leisurely it was, truly a stroll from country to country, and all of the yummy cookies.

Peppermint Pinwheel Cookie, Canada – 9/10

The first cookie on our stop was the Peppermint Pinwheel Cookie from the Yukon Holiday Kitchen in Canada. This cookie is definitely one of the most festive! It is a red and white swirled peppermint shortbread cookies with red and green sprinkles on the outside. Although I am not the biggest fan of peppermint in my baked goods, I thought that this cookie wasn’t overly pepperminty (is that a word?). This cookie was a great way to kick off our Holiday Cookie Stroll.

Gingerbread Cookie, World Showplace Events Pavilion – 3/10

The second cookie we sampled was inside of the World Showplace Events Pavilion. To be honest, I wouldn’t say I like gingerbread all that much, but I had really high hopes for this cute cookie. This cookie is a traditional Gingerbread Man cookie complete with frosting buttons and a face, but it was not my favorite. I didn’t like how soft the cookie was, and I didn’t even finish eating it. I probably wouldn’t purchase this cookie again, but it was a fun part of the cookie stroll.

Black and White Cookie, Morocco and France – 5/10

We found our next cookie, the Black and White Cookie, between the France Pavilion and Morocco Pavilion. I had really high hopes for this cookie but was not blown away. You will see that this is a traditional black and white cookie that has a super sweet layer of vanilla and chocolate frosting. Overall, I found the cookie to be too sweet and not very memorable, and I ended up not finishing this cookie either. It wasn’t the worst cookie of the bunch, but it also wasn’t the best.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookie, The American Adventure – 10/10

The fourth cookie on our Holiday Cookie Stroll was the Chocolate Crinkle Cookie from The American Adventure. Wow, this cookie was SO good! This Chocolate Crinkle Cookie is a chewy chocolate cookie with powdered sugar on it; you can’t beat it. I loved everything about this cookie and almost considered getting a second one because it was that good. I want to try to find a way to make these yummy cookies at home.

Linzer Cookie, Germany – 8/10

The Linzer Cookie that you can find in the Germany Pavilion is a traditional Linzer sandwich cookie with raspberry filling. I have never been a raspberry fan, but I didn’t think that this cookie’s raspberry was too overpowering. By this time of the cookie stroll, I was over cookies but still managed to finish this one. It was the perfect cookie to end the stroll, and I would definitely purchase this cookie again.

Complimentary Minnie Peppermint Cookie, Showcase Plaza – 7/10

At this point, our passport was complete, and it was time for our free cookie. I stopped at the Showcase Plaza, where they directed me to the “Cookie Stroll Completer” Window, and I was presented with a Minnie Peppermint Cookie. This cookie is by far the cutest of the entire Cookie Stroll and, although you can purchase this cookie separately, it was much more fun to receive it as a “prize.” This cookie is a traditional sugar cookie with peppermint, and it is pretty good. My daughter loved this cookie and gobbled it down.

Overall, we enjoyed the Holiday Cookie Stroll at Taste of Epcot® International Festival of the Holidays and would absolutely do it again in the future. We loved strolling through the World Showcase, sampling fun cookies, and creating so many memories. I can’t wait to share more holiday fun from our trip, so stay tuned!

Sending love and magic.

SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration

We seem to fill our December with holiday outings, trips, and adventures. So you can imagine how excited I was when SeaWorld San Antonio invited me out for a day to enjoy their park and experience their SeaWorld Christmas Celebration. This holiday celebration is one of Texas’s largest, and we had a magical time experiencing all that SeaWorld San Antonio had to offer.

SeaWorld San Antonio is an animal theme park located in San Antonio, Texas. At 250 acres, it is the largest of the SeaWorld Parks, the others being in Orlando and San Diego. This park has educational animal encounters, incredible rides, multiple shows, and a separate waterpark called Aquatica. As a child growing up in San Antonio, we often took trips to SeaWorld, and I am pretty sure SeaWorld was my first theme park experience.

Please note that SeaWorld San Antonio has many safety measures in place during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Guests two years old and older must wear face coverings while in the park, physical distancing measures are in place, hand sanitizer stations are located throughout the park and, upon arrival at SeaWorld, they will check your temperature. We also noticed that the rides were being wiped down and cleaned every hour, which was nice. All of these precautions made us feel safe during our trip to SeaWorld.

We had big plans to wake up early Sunday morning and spend the entire day at SeaWorld, but after my toddler woke up a little grumpy, we decided to wait to go until she had her afternoon nap. Luckily, SeaWorld was open until 9:00 pm, so I knew that we would have plenty of time to enjoy the park even if we arrived in the afternoon. My daughter napped until 3:00 pm, and as soon as she woke up, we were on our way.

Upon arrival at SeaWorld, our temperature was taken, and we headed off to enjoy ourselves. Our first stop was the Sesame Street Bay of Play, a child-friendly spot with smaller rides for kids and a huge playground area (currently closed due to Covid). In this area, you have the opportunity to meet your favorite Sesame Street characters, and my daughter was so excited to see Elmo (socially distanced, of course).

We also enjoyed Elmo’s Christmas Wish, a cute show starring Elmo, Cookie Monster, Rosita, Grover, and Zoe. My daughter probably would’ve been happy staying in the Bay of Play area all night, but there was more to see!

We continued through the park, where we saw cute Christmas photo spot setups based on the 1960’s classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. This area seemed to draw a crowd (and I can see why!), so we moved through rather quickly. But, my daughter and husband were able to quickly grab a picture with Yukon Cornelius.

After a quick stop to check out the flamingos, we stumbled upon the Fireside S’mores area (which might’ve been my favorite part of our whole visit).

This area had live music, hot cocoa, and the chance to roast your s’mores! We purchased a s’more kit, and my husband and I had so much fun roasting our s’mores over the fire.

We also grabbed some hot chocolate in this area and a delicious shortbread Christmas Tree cookie for my daughter. The Fireside S’mores area is the perfect place to have a sweet snack and take a break!

Around this time, the Christmas lights started to come on, and we were getting excited. My mom came along with us, so my husband and I decided to quickly ride The Great White Roller Coaster and Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster before it got too dark. Both of these rides offer breathtaking views of the park, and I genuinely think they are some of the best roller coasters that I have ever been on.

After our rides, the Christmas lights were on so we snuggled my daughter in her stroller and headed off to look at the lights throughout the park. SeaWorld San Antonio’s Christmas Light Display is the largest in Texas and does not disappoint!

There were so many beautiful lights and areas to see; it felt so magical. I truly love that you can stroll through SeaWorld San Antonio and take it all in without feeling rushed.

Although we didn’t have time to do everything that we wanted to at SeaWorld San Antonio, we truly had a so much fun and cannot wait to come back. I was so pleased to see the safety precautions that they have made during Covid and even more excited to see all of the Christmas lights. I am so thankful that SeaWorld San Antonio invited us out to experience their park and give us the opportunity to create some wonderful memories as a family.

If you are looking for a wonderful way to create memories during the holiday season, look no further than SeaWorld San Antonio.

Sending love and magic.