Star Wars Day at Sea Returns to Disney Cruise Line

In 2018, the epic day at sea returns to Disney Cruise Line with 15 special Disney Fantasy sailings to the Caribbean from January through April. Star Wars Day at Sea transports guests to a galaxy far, far away to celebrate the legendary adventures and iconic characters from the Star Wars saga with Jedi, Wookiees, droids, Stormtroopers and others during the special day-long celebration. [Read more…]

Daddy and Daughter Holiday Retreat: Hello Fort Lauderdale!

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Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Well, this is the second of such trips where I split my two girls up for a one-on-one session with their Fit Father to create individual memories and experiences. I leave all work behind while letting them choose the destination and timing, as well as their respective itineraries. It’s all about them. [Read more…]

Fun in the great outdoors at the Adventure Park at Long Island!

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There’s nothing like a day at The Adventure Park at Long Island! Within seven beautiful acres of woodland you will find our amazing “aerial forest park.” Come to the Adventure Park to experience “adventure in the trees” on your own or with friends, family and parties. Ages seven to adult. [Read more…]

Summer Road Trip to Six Flags Great Adventure

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Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

I can still recall the fond and youthful memories of my 8th grade Spring Break trip with classmates to Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ. In fact I recently posted some of those classic photos on facebook to a cadre of the crew featured in the epic shots. It’s hard to believe we got away with that outlandish gear and crazy haircuts. Nevertheless, history does repeat itself as I witnessed equivalent energetic styles and innocent demeanors from today’s kids including my two daughters who had a blast at the amusement park.

It was Mika’s 13th birthday weekend and she requested Six Flags once again since this is her favorite summer pastime. Typically we take her out of the country for the celebration such as London and Paris in 2015. However, Mika wanted to honor her first days as a teen with friends and family. So I scheduled a 7-passenger SUV for the 4-hour road trip that just so happened to take place on the hottest Saturday of the summer with the heat index reaching 100 degrees. All I could think of was how much Vitamin D we would absorb from the sun.

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We arrived right on time at 10am since the parked opens at 10:30am on Saturdays. Right off the bat, Mika and her sister Aya begin screaming at the site of Kingda Ka, the world’s fastest and tallest coaster. Earlier in the week they bribed me into riding with them but I immediately tried to backtrack after witnessing the initial drop in person. Located in The Golden Kingdom, I was pretty thankful that it was closed during our visit. Their other favorite, The Joker, was also inoperable for reasons not disclosed so we focused on a few smaller rides while kicking it in Lakefront. The family crew jumped on the Buccaneer — my all time favorite boat ride — and then the spinning Swashbuckler. Everyone came off dizzy and wobbly. To cool off a bit more we entered the 242 foot-tall tower dubbed Sky Screamer which sends you 24 stories high and begins spinning your swing at a rapid 40 mph! Afterwards it was time for a water and bench break.

There was no need for the $50 Flash Pass since the weather kept many indoors so everyone got to enjoy more rides than initially calculated. Especially since a good amount of the top rides have 30-minute to 60-minute waiting periods. In the Plaza Del Carnival we warmed up on the El Diablo loop coaster before rocking the El Toro. I absolutely love classic wooden roller coasters since they are a reminder of my teenage years. Mika had us wait longer to hop in the front car and experience life in the fast lane. Wow! This bad boy has some of the most thrilling and fastest, twisting turns I’ve ever been on. Afterwards it was time for bean burritos at Macho Nacho while taking in the sounds of authentic Mexican music.

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With so much entertainment and a plethora of rides to enjoy time flew by like it does when you’re having fun. When planning a trip visit https://www.sixflags.com to ascertain you don’t miss out on any alluring activities. Choose between Hurricane Harbor while relishing water activities, SeaFari Theater, Wilderness Theater, Adventure Theater or the Safari Off Road Adventure to commingle with more than 1,200 animals. Or you can simply focus on Six Flags’ specialty themes like Holiday in the Park and Fright Night.

Whatever thrills you seek in life best believe Six Flags Great Adventure has the antidote. It sure did for the Rawlins Family as we ended summer 2016 with a bang!

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BUSCH GARDENS WILLIAMSBURG ANNOUNCES ITS FIRST WOODEN ROLLER COASTER COMING IN 2017

Verbolten®, Busch Gardens’ thrilling multi-launch roller coaster, takes passengers on a multi-sensory dash through the Black Forest with multiple launches, environmental-theme elements, sound and light effects and high-speed turns that must be experienced to believe. ©2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Verbolten®, Busch Gardens’ thrilling multi-launch roller coaster, takes passengers on a multi-sensory dash through the Black Forest with multiple launches, environmental-theme elements, sound and light effects and high-speed turns that must be experienced to believe. ©2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

   Busch Gardens announced today a new wooden roller coaster is coming to its collection of world-class thrill rides in spring 2017.  The family thriller will be the Virginia theme park’s first wooden coaster and eighth roller coaster in total – and will be designed as the world’s first “crowdsourced” ride.

     In an unusual industry move, the park is announcing the new attraction much earlier than typical so that fans will be able to help “decide the ride” including opportunities to vote on attraction details, contribute to theme elements and shape the marketing campaign.  The first such opportunity kicked off today, inviting fans to select the ride’s name.

     “Busch Gardens has a reputation for creating unique ride experiences, and our new family coaster will certainly continue that tradition,” said Larry Giles, vice president of engineering.  “The dynamics of a wooden coaster, combined with the many ways it will interact with the terrain and nearby attractions, will make this a one-of-a-kind thrill.”

[Read more…]

Healthy Vibes at California Roots Festival

We needed to hear more of the band Slightly Stoopid after their Cali Roots set on the opening evening so we ran 8 Monterey coastal miles to the vibes of “2Am” on repeat. The Fit Fathers team is now feeling refreshed, energized and recharged for today’s roots rock performances by Tarrus Riley, Stephen Marley and Damian Marley. Yes, it’s a movement!
#30for30 #FitFathersDay

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Family Vacation

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Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Welcome to the palatial villas at the idyllic Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Coast, California for a fun, family spring break getaway with the all-new and innovative 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan for new age families. Tooled with a vehicle that set the standard for group travel with its myriad of infotainment features, cozy seats, European-like drive and storage for days, Team Rawlins set sail for an extended weekend full of excitement, entertainment and bonding. Suffice it to say life was amazing on the West Coast for four glorious days with my wife and two daughters who absolutely adore the Golden State! [Read more…]

Jedi-in-Training and Jedi Masters of the Family

ÒJedi Training: Trials of The TempleÓ is where Force-sensitive children learn the ways of the Jedi and put their skills to the test in a final battle with the Sith Lord, Darth Vader. The experience is part of Star Wars Day at Sea, a day-long celebration that takes place during eight special Disney Fantasy sailings through April 2016. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

In 2016, Disney Cruise Line guests can celebrate the legendary adventures and iconic characters from the Star Wars saga during a brand-new, day-long celebration aboard eight special sailings on the Disney Fantasy: Star Wars Day at Sea.

Marking the first official appearance of the heroes and villains of Star Wars aboard a Disney Cruise Line ship, Star Wars Day at Sea combines the power of the Force, the magic of Disney and the excitement of cruising for an out-of-this-galaxy experience unlike any other.

Occurring one day during each of eight Disney Fantasy sailings, Star Wars Day at Sea transports guests to a galaxy far, far away — in the Western Caribbean. The event features a full day of Star Wars celebrations, including a deck party, meet-and-greets with favorite characters, Star Wars-themed family and youth activities, unique food and beverage offerings, and special merchandise.

Also featured are exclusive at-sea screenings of all seven Star Wars films and the new Disney XD animated series, Star Wars Rebels.

Throughout the day, Star Wars Younglings, Padawans and Jedi Masters alike can enjoy the immersive entertainment. Intergalactic highlights include:

Force-filled Fun for Everyone

  • Darth Vader, Captain Phasma, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, Boba Fett, Darth Maul, Stormtroopers and other characters from across the Star Wars galaxy are onboard for meet-and-greets, photos and may be seen patrolling the decks.
  • “Star Wars Saga: Tales from a Galaxy Far, Far Away” is an interactive participation show featuring guests retelling their favorite Star Wars stories, with the help of props and special effects.
  • Kids and families enjoy friendly competition during Star Wars trivia games, putting their knowledge of the film and television sagas to the test.
  • Guests are encouraged to bring their costumes and cosplay and participate in the costume celebration held in the ship’s atrium.
  • At noon, guests on deck will be treated to a very special episode – to mark the midday, the Disney Fantasy ship’s horn will resound the opening notes of the “Imperial March.”
  • In the evening, The Tube nightclub transports adult guests to another galaxy with Star Wars-themed specialty cocktails, lively cantina music and a super fan trivia challenge.

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Younglings Use Their Power

  • In “Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple,” Force-sensitive children to learn the ways of the Jedi and put their skills to the test in a final battle with the Sith Lord, Darth Vader.
  • In “Padawan Mind Challenge,” Younglings participate in a fun, brain-bending battle of wits and trivia to become mind challenge masters.
  • Star Wars-themed arts and crafts, games and activities are offered throughout the day in Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab youth clubs.

Star Wars Deck Party and Fireworks

  • The day concludes with more intergalactic fun when the “Summon the Force” deck party blasts off to an exciting evening filled with music, dancing and games.
  • The party culminates as Star Wars characters converge for a celebration of the saga in an epic show featuring special effects and guest participation.
  • The grand finale is a spectacular display of pyrotechnics, lighting, sound effects and a medley of Star Wars music.

Merchandise, Food and Beverage

  • Event merchandise exclusive to Star Wars Day at Sea is available on each sailing, including a range of collectible items, customizable nametags and eight special trading pins – one for each of the Star Wars Day at Sea cruises.
  • An epic day is not complete without a feast for the palate so the dinner menu includes creative fare such as Sand People salad, Bantha steak empanadas, Opee Sea Killer shrimp cocktail and Qui-Gon’s crisp chicken. Sweet endings complete the meal with Calrissian velvet cake, Cloud City macarons and a frozen carbonite sundae.
  • Specialty Star Wars-themed beverages include the colorful Galaxy in a Glass made with rum, coconut, mango and strawberry and a non-alcoholic Planetoid Punch.
  • For sipping, there are non-alcoholic beverages in collectible cups like a BB-8 sipper and Chewbacca stein and for snacking popcorn is served in containers themed to Darth Vader’s helmet or a tie fighter.

Film Screenings

  • Guests can watch all seven films in the Star Wars saga and follow Darth Vader, Luke, Leia, Han Solo, Rey and Finn along their epic journey.
  • Also showing are episodes of the new Disney XD animated series, Star Wars Rebels.

Star Wars Day at Sea will be on Disney Fantasy cruises sailing on Jan. 9, 23; Feb. 6, 20; March 5, 19; April 2 and 16, 2016. Departing from Port Canaveral, the seven-night Western Caribbean itinerary includes Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands and Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit http://www.disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact their travel agent.

REI Weekend Getaways for Fit Fathers

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Weekend Getaways are shorter adventures close to home, making it easier to match your schedule and your budget. With more than 40 trips from coast to coast, we’re sure to have an adventure that lets you to experience the great outdoors, polish new skills, and meet other outdoor enthusiasts. Last minute signups are available. Get outside on an REI Weekend Getaway!

Disney Cruise Line Dreams a Little Bigger with New Enhancements to the Disney Dream

On the Disney Dream, kids are transported to a far away galaxy at Star Wars: Millennium Falcon, a Force-filled play area inspired by the spacecraft from the legendary saga. Aboard the spaceship, younglings harness the power of the Force in the epic battle of good versus evil. (Kent Phillips, photographer)

New experiences and fun await guests sailing the Disney Dream, which has returned from a three-week dry dock.  Headlining the ship’s enhancements are two new interactive youth areas, one themed to Star Wars and another to Disney Infinity. Also new is a whimsical sweet shop serving handmade gelato and the ever-popular Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. For adults, a new splash pool and sun deck provide an oasis for relaxing.

Here is a glimpse at what is in store for guests of all ages:

[Read more…]