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Someone Told Me It’s All Happening At The Zoo…

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One of the best apps on my phone is Yelp. It is a great way to find new restaurants, a new mechanic or to let others know what you thought of an establishment. I have been on Yelp for a couple of years now, but this year I was inducted into the Yelp Elite. This is when you are a consistent reviewer and interact well with others on the site (giving compliments etc.).

On a regular basis, the folks at Yelp have gatherings where the Elite meet and greet and take part in some fun activities. My first gathering was this past weekend at Lowry Park Zoo here in Tampa, for their Brunch At The Zoo! 

A great crowd showed up!

A great crowd showed up!

I have to say, it was such a fun time! The Zoo catered the event with delicious food, from Roasted Tomato and Mozzarella Empanadas to Macaroni and Cheese Balls

Delicious food prepared by the zoo caterers!

Delicious food prepared by the zoo caterers!

(I think I may have enjoyed the chocolate covered red velvet cake pops a little too much!)

Red Velvet Cake Pops and Bread Pudding

Red Velvet Cake Pops and Bread Pudding

But not only were were there for the food and the camaraderie, but the Zoo right now is potting on their DinoQuest 2.

Welcome!

Welcome!

It is an animatronic world of dinosaurs that let’s you get up close and personal with the prehistoric era.

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They move and spit water at you! It is a lot of fun… Once you come back to present time, there are lots of things for the little ones to do as well. From digging for fossils in a sandbox to looking at dinosaur bones up close, to sliding down the mouth of a huge inflatable DinoSlide!

Dinoslide!

Dinoslide!

Once we finished playing with the dinosaurs, my wife and I went on to investigate the rest of the zoo! I have to admit that it has been many years since I have been to the Lowry Park Zoo and they have done a remarkable job with this jewel in Tampa. There are so many animals to see, from the new baby elephant and baby hippo ( they were too fay away and my iPhone couldn’t take cute awwwwwinspiring pictures) to the Manatee Hospital that brings in injured and sick Manatees to rehabilitate them

Brunchtime for the Manatees as well! Are they Yelp Elite too?

Brunchtime for the Manatees as well! Are they Yelp Elite too?

There are giraffes…

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And penguins…

Hey guys, Is this Yelp Elite brunch formal?

Hey guys, Is this Yelp Elite brunch formal?

To Meerkats…

Anybody have any of those cake pops?

Anybody have any of those cake pops?

And so many more! Do yourself a favor and go over to the zoo today… The animals will love it if you do!

Thanks to Brett and everyone at Yelp and Lowry Park for making this a great day at the Zoo!

And remember.. as Simon and Garfunkel once sang…

Checking Out The New Fantasyland at Walt Disney World!

I’m the one on the right!

 

Decided to load up the car with the wife and her sister and spend the day at DisneyWorld in Orlando, Florida to accomplish many things… We wanted to go to Hollywood Studios as we have yet to go on Toy Story Mania, and my Sister in Law had never been on Rockin’ Rollercaoster. We also wanted to go to Epcot and take part in the Food and Wine Festival, and we wanted to head to the Magic Kingdom to see all the holiday decorations for Halloween!

Our day was made however, when we saw that the new Fantasyland was partially open and they were letting guest do a walk through!

We walked up to the “Be Our Guest” restaurant, which will not be opening until the beginning of December. The castmembers told us about the new menu and that it will actually be open for lunch as a fast service place and then change to a full service restaurant for dinner!

We walked around and saw Gaston’s Tavern and who should be out front mugging for pictures, but the egotistical one himself! Going inside is a “roaring fireplace” and a huge picture of the namesake above! There was a drink that everyone was trying that included apple cider and a foam top. It reminded me of Harry Potter’s Butterbeer, but tasted a lot better!

As we walked on we were able to see  that Ariel’s Grotto was allowing people on the ride and we jumped in! The queue is long, but Disney has always known how to keep it moving. There are screens that have little blue crabs that you can interact with. For today’s purpose though, it actually slowed the line down, but in anticipation, we did not mind.

The ride was pure Disney. Clamshell cars on a track, winding through an undersea world with Ariel and her friends. It seemed short to us, but little ones will enjoy it just because it is Ariel!

I apologize in advance for the fuzziness of the pictures inside the ride, I was trying to abide by the no flash photography rule!

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All in all it was a great day and We all can’t wait til the full land opens up shortly (Not short enough for our liking!)

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

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