How to get a much-needed rest at Epcot

Epcot is my favourite park, but with the World Showcase and most of the rides spaced out there's lots of walking. The walking is great, you get to look around and see some amazing things but there are ways you can get a much-needed rest in Epcot, you can read about them below.



Spaceship Earth


This is the very first ride you come to and you can guarantee in the morning there'll be a large queue, people see the ride and join the queue but if you wait until later in the day you can be sure to get into Spaceship Earth without queuing. And of course it gives you a lovely sit down after all the working you're bound to have done!




In Spaceship Earth you get onboard an omnimover (kind of like a train) and listen to Dame Judi Dench as she narrates your journey through time. Learn about how new ideas spread throughout the world, like Johannes Gutenberg's printing press, and how they changed the world. See more audio-animatronics and be surprised by smells too! Spaceship Earth is entertaining, educational, and best of all you get a nice long rest!



Living with the Land


A boat ride where you get to learn about where your food comes from and how it's grown. Sail through greenhouses filled with growing food including Mickey shaped pumpkins! Sometimes Living with the Land can have long queues, we tend to try it out later in the afternoon as this is when it's been less busy. Most of the ride is indoors so you're out of the Florida heat and the boat ride is nice and relaxing. Listen to the narrator teach you about horticulture around the world and how Epcot has it's own farm with its produce served in the Garden Grill Restaurant. Your kids will learn while having fun - the best way to teach!

The great thing about Living with the Land is it's a nice break from the hectic park as you take the slow cruise through the lovely greenhouses and spy funny looking produce as well as some you'll definitely recognise.





Here in Florida, we have something special we never enjoyed at Disneyland... the blessing of size. There's enough land here to hold all the ideas and plans we can possibly imagine.

Walt Disney





Soarin' Around the World


Despite not liking heights Soarin' is one of my favourite rides at Epcot. While sitting in a seat you're raised above the ground and fly through the world. Now Soarin' has changed since I last visited, it is now Soarin' Around the World and I have yet to see it but I am excited to do so.

What I love about Soarin' is that your feet are completely off the ground, in fact they hang in air as you fly around the world. It's the perfect way to give them a rest and they're not even resting on the ground.

In the new Soarin' Around the World you get to see amazing landmarks like the Great Wall of China, fly over sailboats in Australia's Sydney Harbour and marvel at natural sights like Iguazu Falls in South America. Be sure to book your fastpass+ for this ride, it gets very busy and unless you like queuing for hours the fastpass is the way to go.



Journey Into Imagination with Figment


This is a ride for the little ones, the older kids and teens in your party might get a little bored with this, but it is a great chance for a sit down. Climb on board a carriage and watch as Figment takes you on a trip to teach you about the 5 senses - a great learning opportunity for the little ones. There's a song too - and it's one you'll leave the place singing!


The logo outside the Journey Into Imagination ride in Epcot, Walt Disney World. The sky is a cloudless blue and there is a green bush with pink flowers sitting in front of the logo. Image for "How to get a much-needed rest at Epcot"


Despite us having a teen (BP - 13) and an older child (LP - 9) we'll still ride Figment. I love the little dragon and the song sticks in my head, but to be honest it's more about nostalgia. I took BP on Journey Into Imagination when he was young, probably around 5 years old, LP first rode it when he was a baby, just over a year old, and they were both amazed by the little purple dragon. Even if you aren't interested in the "kiddie" rides, it's a great chance to sit down for a while!



World Showcase


World Showcase is where you'll do lots of walking, there's 11 different countries to walk through with plenty of things to see.





But if we can bring together the technical know-how of American industry and the creative imagination of the Disney Organization - I’m confident we can create right here in Disney World a showcase to the world of the American free enterprise system.


Walt Disney



Mexico


In the Mexico area there's a great boat ride for you to rest on, Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros. Inspired by the 1944 Disney film The Three Caballeros you follow the three amigos around Mexico as they search for Donald Duck - but will they find him in time for the big celebration at the end?


A clear view of the Mexico Pavillion in Epcot. The terracotta building has stairs leading up to a small tower at the top of the building. There is a green tree with pink blossom to the left of the photo. The sun is shining down on the pavilion. The sky is a clear blue. Image for "How to get a much-needed rest at Epcot".


It doesn't last very long but again it's a good chance to get away from the hectic park and floating in a boat is somehow relaxing, even in Walt Disney World.

United Kingdom


While sitting on the ground (or a bench if you can find one!) you get to listen to British rock music played live. You get to listen to British Revolution play music by The Who, Queen, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, and more while you enjoy some fish and chips!




This is one of my favourite entertainment shows in Walt Disney World, it's especially good at night. When Epcot is open late (extra magic hours) the Hubby and I have a night out without the kids (thanks kids club!) and we have a routine sorted. We grab a baguette from France, chips from the nearby fish and chips stand, and eat our dinner while listening to the awesome rock music. The show is 30 minutes long, it's recognisable music, and the enthusiasm of the entertainers is infectious. One not to miss!



When timed right, or using fastpass+, you can get much-needed rest throughout the day. We spend hours at Epcot and knowing the places to go to rest is so important. There are benches around the park but they're often being used, but there are plenty of places you can just sit on the floor - but be careful, it may be hot!

Which would you most like to do?




If you're planning a holiday to Walt Disney World don't forget to check out my guides on where to get a much-needed rest in Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. And be sure to take a look at how to make your trip to Walt Disney World more magical.

To read more posts like this and receive top tips and aids to help you plan the most magical holiday enter your email address below.




Colt Express Review

A lot of the board games that we play are ones that come with a flat board, they have various playing pieces but the thing that is fairly standard is they all have some sort of playing board and all the action happens on this board. Colt Express is one of those games that doesn't conform to this, while it is a board game it doesn't have a playing board - all the action happens on a train!



About Colt Express


It's 1899 and the Union Pacific Express is headed north to deliver its payroll and forty-seven passengers. Suddenly the train is attacked by a host of thieving bandits aiming to become the richest outlaw of the Old West!

The award-winning Colt Express invites players to take on the role of the outlaws, battling to collect the most loot from a detailed three-dimensional train. 

Will the outlaws keep their cool or will the marshal save the day and prevent the stealin'? All that matters is which outlaw is the riches when the train pulls into the station!

Suitable for 2-6 players, aged 10+



Colt Express game box with train on either side of the box.





Gaming has been a great way to get to know people. That's part of what I love about games, that they are social.

Rich Sommer





Setting up the game


The game takes a little more setup than other games the first time you open it, there are cacti to put together and a train to build. Once all your bits and pieces are built you pick 4 carriages for your train, add loot (money bags and diamonds) according to the type of carriages you have and get your players ready.


Colt Express set up on a dining table, with cacti and rocks next to a train with characters on it.


Players begin the game in the back 2 carriages of the train, the marshal stands in the front of the train, guarding a case full of loot.

Your train sits in the middle of the play area but should be accessible to all players so they can move their pieces around and steal loot. You can add cacti and rocks to your playing area too. 

Each player has a player board to keep your cards organised and you're given your sets of cards, that's Activity cards, and bullet cards, as well as a bonus card for later. You're also given 1 money bag to start the game.


Colt Express Belle player board with bullet cards, activity cards, and bonus card as well as a money bag and suitcase.



Playing Colt Express


Each player takes a turn to choose an Activity card to place it in a pile in the middle of the play area, play goes around the table with each player placing cards until the sequence (according to your play card) is finished.


6 Colt Express Activity Cards, the train is in the background.


When placing an Activity card you can choose a move card which allows you to move through carriages or go up on the roof (or back down) of the train, a shoot card which lets you try to shoot one of your opponents, a steal card which lets you steal loot from one of the carriages, a punch card which lets you try to punch an opponent and steal some of their loot, or a marshal card which allows you to move the marshal. You have to try to keep track of all your (and your opponents') moves, which is difficult, and attempt to steal the most loot before the end of the game. Keeping track is so difficult that you will often find yourself punching the air or stealing nothing!


A pile of Colt Express Activity cards as played by each player in turn. They are fanned out so you can see all the cards.


The aim of the game is to have the most loot by the end of the game, but you can sneak a win if you've shot your opponents enough times - there's a bonus $1000 for the most bullets shot!





When the board games came out of the cupboard when I was a kid, I had to beat my two brothers every time.

Lily James





What we think about Colt Express


The boys love this game. It's fun and it's not just a flat board so they get to move around their character, pick up loot, and shoot or punch (not literally!) each other or me or their dad.


A close up of Colt Express on a dining table. A white figurine stands on top of one carriage, a blue one stands in the next carriage along. There's a money bag in the carriage beneath the white character.


While it can be difficult to keep track of moves it's still a fun game and despite punching the air or shooting no-one we still manage to have fun. It is fun watching everyone shooting each other or trying to get someone back for punching them.


The front of the Colt Express train, containing a blue and a pink character standing next to a suitcase.


Colt Express is great fun and I'd recommend it for older children, I know the recommended age is 10+ but LP, aged 8 (almost 9), can play with no trouble. 


The Ghost card for Colt Express, it has lots of money bags and diamonds on it but has he won?


Colt Express winning player board for Ghost, has lots of money bags, diamonds, and the bonus shooting card.
BP's winning board!


There is a more complicated mode to the game too that we have yet to try out. This adds to the fun though because it means if we ever get bored of the standard game we can change it up and enjoy the game again!


Colt Express - a great game to play as a family. Have you tried it yet?


Have you ever played Colt Express - what did you think?


I was sent Colt Express free of charge as part of Blogger Board Game Club in order to review. All opinions are my own. 

Teaching your children about online gaming

With a husband that has worked in the gaming industry for more than 20 years gaming has been a part of my life for a long time. When Hubby worked in an office and made console games I knew all about new consoles and the types of games there were, these days he works on mobile games and I know a little about that too. The thing is, being a parent I'm more aware of the things we need to be teaching our children about these games and the fact that a lot of them are now online. 

Over the years Hubby and I have seen the online games industry change - from primarily PC driven games like StarCraft, then onto console games like Call Of Duty, and more recently mobile games like Clash Royale. As a result we've also seen a change in the types of people who play the online games. When it was PC games, because of the tech involved and the cost players tended to be adults. As the industry welcomed consoles and they gradually became connected to the internet the players got younger, usually older teens. But now that games are freely available on mobile phones and tablets, and you can be entertained while sitting on the bus on your way to school, players of online games tend to be even younger - some as young as 4 years old.

With that in mind I decided to do a little research and share my knowledge about online games. After a little research I learned a stat that surprised me - 34% of 3-4 year olds play games on a tablet or device. Now these aren't necessarily online games but it's food for thought isn't it? If these children are using a mobile device, whether tablet or phone, there's a possibility they're playing online. Of the children that are playing online nearly 1 third of them are playing with people they haven't met in person. That's quite a scary thought isn't it?





Video games are bad for you? That's what they said about rock-n-roll.

Shigeru Miyamoto





Of course that doesn't mean it's all scary and you should keep your children off online games. They can be great, educational even, and they are part of the future. Keeping your children away from these games and devices is only depriving them of learning that will be essential to their development  and the development of the future of the world, in my opinion. Mobile devices and online games can be a huge help to some children, they can help develop fine motor skills, they can help with maths, they can even help with learning other languages.

Encouraging our children to take to the devices to learn and play we take on the responsibility of teaching them about their online privacy, social media (if the game offers sharing), and, of course, online gaming. 



Talk to your children


No matter what age your children are you need to be talking to them about the kinds of games they like. Knowledge is power, and if you know what games your children are playing you can arm yourself with relevant information and be aware of risks or potential problems. There are lots of different types of games including role-play games, sports games, strategy and quest games or first-person shooters. Knowing the types of games your children like to play helps you judge whether they are age appropriate and maybe even protect your children against potential risks.


A boy's hand holds a playstation controller, in the background is a large TV with a car on the screen. Image for "Teaching your children about online gaming".



Personal information


Your children's privacy is the most important thing you should be protecting. Your children need to be aware that their personal information, things like their real name or their birthdate, is private and should be kept secret. They should avoid giving out any information that could give away their identity or their location. You can help them do this by giving them an online name that is nothing like their real name - a lot of the online gaming devices offer to give you an online name without you having to think of one yourself. 



Liar, liar


If your children spend any time chatting to people online, whether through text on screen or via their headsets connected to the consoles (like LP and BP often do!), they need to be told about the honesty of others. Not everyone is who they say they are. Not everyone is honest when they're chatting to people they don't know. In fact, sometimes even when it is someone they do know they don't tell the truth. Children need to be aware that there are people online who will lie to them - sometimes to try and get information out of them.



Bad language


This is more for when your children are listening to others when they're playing on console games but warn them about bad language. Now this is only an issue if they aren't really exposed to it - like my boys. I don't swear, ever. That might sound strange to some but I don't, and nor does the Hubby, so if and when my boys hear swear words they're more shocked than someone who hears them a lot would be. As a result I warned both the boys about bad language, they do know these words exist and have even heard some of them, but they don't hear them from me. The biggest warning they need though is that those words can be used as an insult directed at them, which if they're not used to hearing it can be quite a shock, it may even hurt their feelings. Forewarned is forearmed. 



Bullying


Another thing your children should be aware of is the potential for bullying. This is usually paired with the bad language and more often than not it's when they're wearing their headsets. Bullying can be used as a tactic to help people win the games and your children could be exposed to mean people or even abusive people. Talk to your children, make them aware of the possibilities and tell them that if they feel like they're being bullied they should tell you. Online gaming sites and companies often have a route for reporting bullying behaviour and if you're aware of it happening you can report the accounts that you feel are being offensive. Teaching your children that they can report people who are bullying them is important and will make them feel more secure.


Two large white birds fight in mid-air. The sea is blurred in the background. The bird on top has it's large orange beak around the neck of the other bird, its claws are about to grab the other birds wings. Image for "Teaching your children about online gaming".



Time Limits


For a long time now we have enforced time limits on the boys' gaming. We didn't used to have time limits but as the boys have got older their game playing time increased and when it started to impact school work and getting up in a morning. The last thing you want is for your children to become reliant on having a device to keep them entertained - which is why time limits are a good idea. This encourages them to try other types of entertainment and even to get bored so they think of new things to do. Online gaming can (and will when they're in the tween/teen stages) impact their moods, when BP is online he will often get annoyed at the game or other players and start shouting - that then flows into our home life and he will snap at his brother or me. This is when I know he needs time away from the games.





Some people say video games rot your brain, but I think they work different muscles that maybe you don't normally use.

Ezra Koenig





In-App purchases


In the past few years there have been reports on the news and social media about cases where a child has spent thousands of pounds through in-app purchases. Some games have in-game purchases that can be made and children have been known to run up large bills without realising it. Now as far as I'm concerned you should have permissions on yours and your children's devices set so that in-app purchases cannot be made without your consent. However, sometimes your children can get hold of your devices and play their games so the best course of action here is to talk to your children about the in-app purchases. Teach them that it costs money to do those things, talk to them about the cost and tell them they shouldn't do it without permission. Talking to your children is the best way to teach them, again the more they know the more they are aware and that can help you.



PEGI


All games have a rating, it's called a PEGI (Pan European Gaming Information) label and it is a reliable indication of suitability of the game content for different ages. The age levels are 3, 7, 12, 16, and 18 and there are descriptors that indicate why a game has a particular rating. Descriptors include bad language, discrimination, drugs, fear, gambling, sex, violence and online gameplay with other people. I know so many parents that ignore these ratings and will let their children play games that aren't age appropriate. I know of parents who will let their children (aged 7 or 8) play Grand Theft Auto V - a game that I have watched the Hubby play and know is inappropriate for anyone younger than 18. If you do one thing today learn the PEGI ratings for the games your children play and make sure they are age appropriate.


As a mum of two boys I know that online gaming is something I need to be aware of and know the risks. I need to do my job and protect them while still allowing them to play the games they love. All the things listed are from my experience parenting children who love to play online games and having a Hubby in the industry. I hope that this helps you in some way and helps you educate your children.

Do your children play online games?


Teaching your children about online gaming.





My Random Musings

Shank You Very Much

Post Comment Love 23rd - 25th March

Welcome back to another Post Comment Love with Stephanie and me, we're looking forward to reading your posts this week. Link up with your best or favourite post of the week and we'll stop by to read, comment and share.

It's been a weird week this week, both busy and not. I feel like a lot has happened despite being at home all week and not really getting much done. Does that make sense? No. Probably not.

Hubby fell off his bike last week, on Thursday, and it was a pretty bad one. It was his own fault, he was going too fast, but he was hurt. He'd gone out on his own (without LP) and decided to "go for it", then came off his bike at the bottom of a hill. He ended up going to A&E on Friday morning because he was worried he'd broken his thumb. After an x-ray the doctors said they couldn't see a break but gave him a support for his hand. He's still suffering with pain now. He's not really able to drive or write and even typing is tough for him. Not great. So as you can imagine I spent last weekend looking after him.




On Saturday we headed to Alton Towers, hoping to get on the new ride Wicker Man. It was cold and snowing but we figured it would be fine - and Hubby had checked the app before we left to make sure it would be open. Unfortunately when we arrived there was a member of staff wandering around telling everyone that because of the temperature (-2ºC) they weren't running any rides. It's quite a drive from Nottingham to Alton Towers, at least an hour, but because we have Merlin Annual Passes and Hubby was injured we decided to just go back home and try again next time. We're hoping it'll be okay for this Saturday.

During the week this week I've spent a lot of time trying to get blog posts done and scheduled for the week. With the Easter holidays coming up (end of next week!) I'm hoping I can get more posts scheduled so I'm not spending too much time doing work instead of spending it with the boys. It's tough though, time seems to slip away without me noticing these days!

Then there's the kids. I've had LP wanting to change up his lunchtime routines so I've been trying to think of ways to make it more interesting for him. He mentioned that his friends take pasta to school for their lunch but when I said it would be cold pasta he scrunched his nose and said "ugh!". I said I'd look into getting him a lunch box that would keep something warm for him so he might be able to take something hot to school - he was quite excited by the thought. I had no idea such a thing existed and told him it probably wouldn't be possible. Then I happened to see something interesting in the supermarket. It was some sort of flask for food so I went onto Amazon and did more research. In the end we settled on a small Thermos and got it delivered the same day! LP went to school yesterday with baked beans and he couldn't have been more excited. Now I just need to think of different things he could take so that he's not having baked beans every day!


Grilled sandwich on a brown plate on a light blue background.


BP has been preparing for cooking again this week. I bought his ingredients and he went to school with them - he's making a chicken pie this week. It's nice to see him enthusiastic about something, he always seems to enjoy cooking. I'm also waiting for him to find out that LP is taking hot food to school, I have no doubt he will decide he wants the same! I don't mind it though, it'll certainly make it easier to prepare something for them both. I've scoured Pinterest for ideas and even have a board for hot lunch ideas, but if you have any ideas for me let me know in the comments - I'd love to hear them.

How was your week?

***Post Comment Love is taking a break for Easter next week, but we'll be back on 6th April ready to read your fabulous posts!***



Blogger Showcase Sarah from Life in a Break Down and UK Bloggers




Who are you?


Hi, I’m Sarah I’m 32 and from the midlands, I am a full-time blogger running Life in a Break Down and UK Bloggers, I made the decision last year to try and make it my full-time income and so far, so good!



How did you discover blogs/blogging?


Many years ago a friend set me on the path of Live Journal and I used it as a way to express my feelings. I think that was my first real experience of what blogging was and what I could become.



Why did you start blogging?


I read many blogs before I decided to try it myself, I was at a very low point in my life, I had been diagnosed with yet another health issue and had given up on everything. So, I began my blog in the hopes of remembering something good from each and every day. I never would have thought it would lead me down the path it has.



What do you find most challenging?


Spelling and grammar are really hard for me, I’m actually really dyslexic and while over the past 7 years it has vastly improved I know it isn’t the best and it can be quite disheartening when you just can’t spell the word you want to use. Other than that, it has to be social media – I over think things a lot and quite often rewrite tweets or Facebook posts many times and never actually post any version of them.



What is your favourite topic to write about?


I actually don’t know – I’m one of those people who finds it very hard to stay on one subject, so I love the fact I can bounce about between topics and hopefully still keep people engaged and interested.



Are you blogging for fun or do you have goals?


I started out blogging for fun, it really was a way to help try and make myself better and while that’s still at the heart of what I do, I do have goals these days. I would love to make my blog bigger, better and more well know.



What are your 3 best posts?


This post where I admitted something about mental health that I have never before, speaking about my dyslexia, which I hope helps someone who is going through it as well and helps them know it doesn’t have to hold you back and I’m going to say this one on Hawkchurch Spa and Resort as myself and Ash had an amazing time in Devon.



Describe yourself in three words!


Creative, Crazy, Ill



Are you a tea and biscuits or coffee and cake person?


Can I go for tea and cake? If not, then tea and biscuits.



What's your idea of a perfect night out?


Gosh I don’t do nights out much with my health, but definitely good friends, nice food and delicious drinks.



Your perfect night in?


Cosy setting, good movie, good drinks and lots of laughs with friends.



What would your best friend/OH/mum or kids say is your best quality?


I just asked the other half and he said I’m good at making hot chocolate and patient.



Connect with Sarah



Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions Sarah, you can totally choose tea and cake 😉. Feel free to grab our 'featured' badge and display it ever-so-proudly on your blog!


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Pocolo


Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked.

The rules; Link up your best post written in the last week and we'd like you to comment on at least two other linked posts, as well as the hosts.

Help us spread the #PoCoLo word on Twitter and include the badge on your post.

Please do pop over and say hi to this week's Blogger Showcase. It's always nice to get a comment or two.

If you'd like to be featured in our Blogger Showcase please do check out the questions and email your answers to us at postcommentlove@gmail.com.

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Thank you for popping by.


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Beating cancer thanks to medical research

Last year I was diagnosed with cervical cancer after a regular smear test. It was one of the most scary things that has ever happened to me and all sorts of terrifying thoughts went through my head. After treatment and follow up, which have all been clear so far, I am able to think about other things - like how medical research has saved my life.

I beat cancer thanks to medical research done by companies around the world. I had a regular smear test and the results were looked at in a lab, thanks to the research they were able to detect small changes in cells and see that cancer had started to grow. As terrifying as that is, the idea that it can be silently growing inside you, the fact that doctors can detect the cancer early enough that a quick procedure can get rid of it is amazing. 



Cervical cancer survival rates


In the last 40 years survival rates of cervical cancer have increased from 46% to 63% and that is thanks to medical research and increased awareness. Companies like WHO (World Health Organisation) and Cancer Research UK help to raise awareness but there's also the medical research and companies like Tempus, founded by Eric Lefkofsky, are helping to improve patient outcomes.

These companies working together with the medical community are helping to increase survival rates, not just of cervical cancer but of other cancers too.





Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, brain and spinal cord disorders, diabetes, cancer, at least 58 diseases could potentially be cured through stem cell research, diseases that touch every family in America and in the world.

Rosa DeLauro





My story


It has been almost a year since my diagnosis and a lot has happened. I've had to cope with bleeding between periods, heavy bleeding during my period, and stress like you can't believe. Waiting for the results of a test that will determine whether you still have cancer is worrying and despite doctor's assurances nothing can take that worry away. 


Me at Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World - before the cervical cancer diagnosis.


My cervical cancer experience was over relatively quickly - I didn't need to have radiotherapy or chemotherapy. But hearing the word "cancer" when talking to your doctor will stay with you forever, it's one of those things you never expect and it hits you like a freight train. Now I have to have lots of follow up tests to make sure the cancer doesn't grow again but it's worth it to know that I will still be here in 10 years. 



Medical research


When a company makes a medical discovery through research and has a breakthrough with the possible treatment of cancer it can make a difference to thousands of lives. I remember recently seeing on the TV that a cancer cure could be around the corner. Now I know that there's a lot more research necessary before doctors can announce they have found a cure for cancer - given that there are so many different types - but it's an exciting prospect, and it's all thanks to medical research done by companies like Tempus.





I don't want to die until I see cancer cured.

James D. Watson





Hearing the word cancer is scary - to say the least - but with companies doing amazing research in the background we can trust that survival rates will keep increasing and perhaps one day cancer will be eradicated.

Sponsored

How to get a much-needed rest at Animal Kingdom

Being the largest park in Walt Disney World at 500 acres you can understand why you might want a rest at some point during your trip to Animal Kingdom. There's lots to see and so much walking that it's going to be a tiring day but below you'll find some tips on how to get that much-needed rest.





That’s the real trouble with the world. Too many people grow up.

Walt Disney





Discovery Island


Inside the Tree of Life - which you need to check out because it is amazing! -  Flik (from the movie A Bug's Life) invites you to see the world from a bug's point of view in It's Tough to be a Bug. With your special "bug eye" glasses (3D) you'll see spiders, termites, and stink bugs during the show. You'll learn about the bugs as well as getting to meet a few of Flik's friends. It's Tough to be a Bug can get a little scary for the little ones, be aware that there will be screams from the crowd - perhaps hold their hand to reassure them. When both BP and LP were little they didn't like how loud the show was, but this is the case for all shows throughout Walt Disney World - really I think it was more that the screaming bothered them and that it is dark when the show is on.




Now the boys are a little older we love the show, it's a great opportunity to sit down after all the walking around. I can't remember there ever being a huge queue for this but I do remember that you have to wait a while inside the Tree of Life so be prepared for some waiting.



Africa



A photo taken outside the entrance to Kilimanjaro Safaris at Animal Kingdom. A crowd of people are queuing outside the entrance. The sun is shining down on them, they are shaded by the surrounding trees. Image for "How to get a much-needed rest at Animal Kingdom".


Take a safari across the Harambe Wildlife Reserve and spend 18 minutes looking out for animals in their natural habitat. The 110 acre reserve is a sanctuary dedicated to protecting African animals. Now it's not what you would call a comfortable rest - riding in the Safari truck can get quite bumpy at times (not recommended for people with back issues), but you are sitting down and you get to see some truly beautiful animals. Your guide (on Kilimanjaro Safaris) and truck driver is sure to point out the most interesting animals and he or she will give you information on the animals to, telling you stories of when they were born or brought to the Reserve. Make sure you have your camera at the ready on your safari because you never know when you'll spy an animal, these animals roam free and have been known to stop the safari truck from being able to move! On the safari you'll likely see crocodiles, gazelles, zebras, and be sure to keep an eye out for the baby hippo!


A brown spotted giraffe reaches its long neck to the top of a palm tree to eat. It is surrounded by stripped palm trees. Long green and brown grass reaches up to its belly, blocking the view of its legs. Image for "How to get a much-needed rest at Animal Kingdom".


You can now take a tour at night too! This is new since I last visited and we'll be sure to try it out when we visit later this year.




If you're in need of a longer sit down try Festival of the Lion King, a 30 minute musical show that includes puppetry and songs from the movie. Timon leads everyone in the song "Hakuna Matata", Scar sings "Be Prepared" and more, so if you know the movie songs you'll be able to sing along. By the time it's finished you'll feel like one of the tribe.





What’s a motto? Nothing, what’s the motto with you?

Simba and Timon, The Lion King





A train, a goat's head skeleton on top of it, heads towards the camera. It has a sign on it saying "wildlife express". It is a black train. Image for "How to get a much-needed rest at Animal Kingdom".


Be sure to hop on the Wildlife Express Train which takes you on a 7 minute 1.2 mile journey to Rafiki's Planet Watch - an area of the park dedicated to the preservation and conservation of animals. While on the train you'll see animal housing for rhinos, elephants, and other animals. It's not quite a 20 minute rest but given that Animal Kingdom is all about the walking (there's lots to see) even a 7 minute sit down is welcome.




A new show, that we haven't seen yet, is Rivers of Light. As far as I can gather it's a 15 minute show, but without seeing it I can't tell you what I think - but look out for an update later in the year. 



DinoLand U.S.A


An absolute must-see is Finding Nemo - The Musical, a 40 minute musical version of the movie. Watch puppets brought to life, amazing dance techniques, and truly wonderful voice talent. Finding Nemo - The Musical contains new music and songs, and you'll find yourself singing along with the fish as they swim around on stage. It is one of the BEST shows you could possibly see in Walt Disney World (in my opinion) and you get to sit down for a long time too!


A puppet of Nemo, from Finding Nemo, a person dressed in a purple suit controls the puppet from underneath.


We really enjoyed Finding Nemo - The Musical, it was a lot better than I was expecting and watching the actors use the puppets and sing as well was awe-inspiring. You soon forget that there are actors moving the puppets as you watch the show, it's almost like the fish - and especially Crush the Turtle - are actually there, singing. I cannot wait to go and see this show again.


When you visit Animal Kingdom be prepared for lots of walking, there are trails where you get to see Tigers, trails where birds fly about your head, and areas where you can actually touch the animals. The few things at the park that allow you to have a rest can get busy so be sure to check times for shows and get there early, and don't forget to book your Fastpass+ if possible!


A photo of the Tree of Life. On top of this is a box with the words "How to get a much-needed rest at Animal Kingdom", Morgan's Milieu logo is at the top of the image and at the bottom is "www.morganprince.com" - all text is in black.


Which rest spot do you like the sound of most?







Mummies Waiting

Teaching your children about social media

Until you give your children a mobile phone it can be easy to ignore social media, they don't get much opportunity to get involved and they're usually too young to be able to anyway. But when you do finally give in and let them have a phone then you'll have to start talking to them about social media, teaching them how to use it, and how to protect their privacy.

BP was 10 when we got him his first phone, it was a windows phone and had all the apps he needed or wanted. He was excited to get a phone but to be honest he didn't use it much. We mainly got it for him so we could track his location when he was out and about on his own. At that time he was walking to school on his own and we were preparing for him going up to Secondary School. 

During the summer before he went to Secondary School we taught him to use his phone. We told him what he could and couldn't do with it, and it was mainly used for texting and phoning me and his dad. It was great. 

Then we let him have an iPhone and things changed drastically. He had the Windows phone for more than a year and in that time we learned that he was able to take care of the phone and be careful enough that if we did get him an iPhone he could be trusted not to lose or drop it. So, like I said, we let him have an iPhone, and that's when his phone habits changed - a lot!

He was spending all of his time looking at his phone and downloading all sorts of apps and games. His friends were telling him about apps he should get, like SnapChat, and Instagram, and he would come home asking about them. For a long time we simply said no, he was too young. But eventually we gave in, particularly with Facebook. Now that he is 13 he has a Facebook account, he's also on WhatsApp. He spends lots of time using his phone and chatting to his friends. 

But over the last year or so we have learned that there are certain things we won't let him do. There are apps we don't like, for whatever reason, and there are things we needed to talk to him about. It started with privacy, talking to him about sharing personal information, and eventually we've covered why I refuse to let him have SnapChat.



Positives


There are positives to social media, I mean I use it daily and get to stay in touch with family and friends that live far away. It's a fantastic tool to keep us connected to those closest to us even when we live hundreds (or thousands) of miles away. We can share photos, send messages, and laugh together, even when we're not in the same room, and that's a truly wonderful thing.

With all the charity coverage on Facebook it could encourage your children to get involved in giving back. They could choose to volunteer or help in some way thanks to something they've seen on social media.





Technology and social media have brought power back to the people.

Mark McKinnon





Social media also allows our children to be creative, they can share ideas, music, and even art via their social media accounts and get feedback from their followers. It gives them a platform to be themselves and I think that's brilliant - if it wasn't for this blog I think I would've gone stir crazy years ago!

Another positive is social media allows our children (and us) to find other people with similar interests. It used to be that if you wanted to meet people who liked the same thing as you you would have to go to a class - you liked dancing, you'd go to a dance class - but these days it is so much easier. You simply type in a search term and find people who like the same search term. It takes seconds. 

The positives are great, but they only work if we teach our children to be careful when using social media. If you're my age (37) or older then you'll remember a time before social media, you'll remember the scary times when the internet began. I think we are more aware of the risks, partly because we're now the adults but also because we saw the birth of social media. It is our job to teach our children appropriate behaviour online - just like we taught them how to act when in public.



Personal information


We live in a time when the "selfie" is a thing - everyone does them. Teenagers constantly post selfies and tag friends, they share these photos without thinking because it's just something they do. A few times we've had to mention to BP that he shouldn't post personal information with the selfies he takes, like his real name or his location. Apparently 9 out of 10 teenagers use their real name and post photos of themselves online. They reveal birthdates, school names, and even their interests. I can't tell you how much this worries me. 


Two teenage girls sit on a beach, they are both looking at the camera. One has a camera in front of her face, and the other has an iPhone in front of her face, they're both taking a photo of the photographer. Parked cars are blurred in the background, lining the beach. Image for "Teaching your children about social media".


We have spoken to BP about his personal information more than once. We have spoken to him about privacy online too. We want to protect our son for as long as we can, stop him from making mistakes that so many other teenagers do. Yes, our lives are online these days, but that doesn't mean we have to give up ALL of our information without a fight. We should be protecting our personal information as if our life depended on it - you never know what damage could be done if someone decided to steal your identity.



Privacy settings


If you haven't already make sure you go through the privacy settings in every app your child uses. Go through it together, so they can see the different settings and you can explain what it all means. Both you and your child need to understand what the settings mean, and the implications of changing those settings. Explain that passwords are there to protect them against identity theft and should never be shared - not even with a boyfriend, girlfriend, or best friend.

More importantly here make sure YOU understand the privacy settings. Make sure your child isn't changing them without your knowledge or permission. Don't forget that your child has their phone with them all the time and the last thing you want is their location being broadcast to anyone that wants to see it - like the maps in SnapChat.



Keep things to themselves


Teach your children that whatever they post could be used against them. They may innocently think that posting a photo of them enjoying the beach on holiday is fine, but if they are also sharing their home address that's like a big neon sign for burglars. They should also avoid posting locations of parties or events, as well as their phone numbers. 

Now I know that teens and young adults need to share these photos and like to show that they're having fun, but they can still do that without sharing the specific information. They can post the photos but don't allow the location tagging, or share the specific locations.

We have spoken to BP about this a few times, especially when we go on holiday. We don't want him sharing that we're going away, but we obviously don't want him to feel like he can't stay in touch with his friends. We set rules, and he follows them (so far!).



Be nice


When we're raising our children we teach them to be nice right? We say that they should treat people the way they would want to be treated. We try to teach them to respect others and look after friends and family. And that's exactly what we should be teaching them about posting things on social media. The social accounts are not an opportunity to hide behind a fake name and write horrible stuff about people you don't know. We should teach our children to be nice online too. 

Social media is already filled with trolls and people spouting hateful nonsense so if we can teach our children to be respectful of others we can help rid the world of the hateful people. There are always going to be those people but if we can teach our children to be kind we can help to drown out the hurtful comments.



What would grandma say?


That's a phrase I've heard a lot of recently and it's a great way of teaching our children to be mindful of what they're posting. We need to teach our children that "once it's out there you can't get it back.", we've already spoken to BP about this stuff and I've said that phrase more than once. Talk to your children and say they shouldn't post anything they wouldn't want their grandma, teachers, or future bosses, to see - or perhaps before posting simply think "What would grandma say?"



Friends


Sooner or later your children are going to start getting friend requests or followers that they don't know. People who aren't connected to your child in any way will send them friend requests. A simple rule to teach your children to follow here is if they don't know them in real life then they shouldn't "friend" them. 


Five teens sit on a wooden park bench with their backs to the camera. They're all looking towards a city in the distance. A large bridge sits on the left of the photo in the background. There are 3 boys, then a girl, then another boy on the bench. Image for "Teaching your children about social media".



Trust


These days trust is expressed in certain ways, like sending your boyfriend or girlfriend that nude pic because they promise they won't share it. The thing is you never know what will happen. While it sounds odd to teach our children not to trust, when it comes to social media this is the best course of action. Don't share nude pics - the person you're sending it to might share it. Don't give out your passwords - someone might take over your account and post something awful. All we can do is try to teach our children the best way to protect themselves, and when it comes to social media that is "Don't trust. Even friends."





If we don't act now to safeguard our privacy, we could all become victims of identity theft.

Bill Nelson





Believe


Social media is full of people putting their best side out there. Everyone wants to look like they're having fun or living their best life and as a consequence the photos or posts they share back that up. They don't share the bad hair days, they don't share when something goes wrong. It's easy to believe that that's what real life is like. Things can be perfect. But obviously that's nonsense. We need to be teaching our children that they shouldn't believe everything they read or see on social media. Photos can be edited, people aren't always truthful, and we need to teach our children that. 



Supervision


The one thing we insist on is supervision - whether that's going through BP's phone, or monitoring his use, this is non-negotiable. As his parents we are here to protect him and until he is old enough to make informed decisions then we will supervise. 



Role Models


Most importantly be a role model for your child. How you act, what you post, and what photos you post are all visible to your child so make sure you set a good example. If you feel like you're using your phone too much, maybe take a break from it for a while. Your child will watch what you do and copy, be mindful of the way you act and be a role model for them.


Pinnable image. Features "Morgan's Milieu" logo, a black square has the words "Teaching your children about social media", and "www.morganprince.com" at the bottom of the image. A MacBook keyboard, headphones, and iPhone, and a selfie stick are in the background.


Social media is a part of our lives, and as our children grow it becomes part of their lives too. As parents it is our job to teach our children best practices for online health and protecting privacy

Have you discussed any of the above with your children?


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