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Jlynn Wilkinson

Fort Worth, TX

MY KIDS

My Travel Style

With small kids, these past few years have mostly been Disney Trips. 3 trips to Disney World between 08 & 12...with a California trip planned this year. We're looking forward to beginning to branch our style out a bit - looking to maybe hit the East Coast, or the Mountains soon. My husband and I used to travel a lot pre-kids - California and Chicago mostly. Australia for our honeymoon has been our highlight!

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Fort Worth Zoo

1989 Colonial Pkwy, Fort Worth, Texas

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My ratings by kids age

  • Big kids (6-8)
  • Tweens (9-12)
Visited: 2014-01-01 | Submitted: 2014-03-21 02:12:51.0 | I traveled with big kids (6-8) and tweens (9-12)

Fun in Fort Worth

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My family and I are Fort Worth residents and are always looking for things to do on the weekends and on staycations. I love that we have 2 zoos that are reasonable distance from our home. The Fort Worth Zoo has an incredible MOLA exhibit (MOLA stands for Museum of Living Art). In it is housed the reptiles and amphibians and outside of the exhibit, our favorite - lemurs! At the back of the zoo is an area devoted just to Texas regions and the animals native to each region. If you'd like to experience a bit of Texas in an afternoon, this is the place for you.

Tips for Families

You can bring your own lunch - we pack in a backpack and carry with us. Much cheaper. Don't pass the "Twister house" by. The first few times we went we didn't know what it was and walked right by it. When we finally entered, we found some adorable foxes and some more fun exhibits. If you like trains, you can ride a train inside the zoo, then stop at the miniature train on the way back to the main roads. It will drive you around the Trinity River.

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Anabella Hotel Anaheim

1030 West Katella Avenue, Anaheim, California

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KID-FRIENDLY AMENITIES

  • Rollaway beds available
  • Kids stay free
  • Smoke-free property
  • Refrigerator in room
  • Cribs (infant beds) available
  • Outdoor pool


Average user rating (61 Reviews)

My overall rating

My ratings by kids age

  • Big kids (6-8)
  • Tweens (9-12)

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$75

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Visited: 2013-06-01 | Submitted: 2013-07-11 19:50:42.0 | I traveled with big kids (6-8) and tweens (9-12)

Quiet, Quaint, and Close to the Parks

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We chose this hotel because we intended to only visit Disneyland while we were in the Los Angeles area. Online the Anabella says they are within walking distance to the parks....which was our selling point. I didn't want to mess with a shuttle to get there. It was within walking distance - probably about 10 minutes. The walk itself was quiet and peaceful, as it almost appeared as if we were the only hotel that used the street we used - until we got to the Disney hotels. We used the entrance through the Grand Californian. Hotel: The room was nice. The beds were comfortable. I believe they were queens, which gave a bit extra room for us when we have kids. Overall we were pleased with our room. The outside of the hotel had a bit of upkeep that needed to be done. There were air conditioning units that were leaking on the ground outside their doors. Also, we tried to use the elevator once and had a panic when it wouldn't move after pushing the floor number - nor would the door open. We tried to use the emergency phone and it also didn't work. Our cell phones were dead (it was late at night) and we had about a 5 minute "stuck in the elevator" experience. It finally moved after pushing the 3rd floor button a few more times. We used the stairs for the rest of our visit. We found the staff to be pleasant and honest. I left my phone in the lobby bathroom by accident one day and it was turned in and they had it waiting for me when I came back later that day. We tried their restaurant, Tangerine, for lunch one day and breakfast another. Service at lunch was incredible. Service at breakfast could have used some improvement. We were given free breakfast for two at the time of check in (courtesy of the hotel - not anything we did with our travel agent). It was a nice surprise, but the moment the hostess learned we had them her attitude took a noticeable change on how she treated us. Our breakfast waiter didn't seem to want to be there and it took me 2 or 3 times to request things (to go cups, extra plates and napkins). We didn't use the rest of our free breakfast coupons based on the experience we had in the morning. Overall a good experience. We would definitely stay here again.

Tips for Families

GREAT place to stay for convenience to the parks.

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Bahia Resort Hotel San Diego

998 West Mission Bay Drive, San Diego, California

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Average user rating (1 Reviews)

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  • Big kids (6-8)
  • Tweens (9-12)

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$67

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Visited: 2013-06-01 | Submitted: 2013-07-10 02:11:43.0 | I traveled with big kids (6-8) and tweens (9-12)

Good location

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The plus side: *Location - walking distance to the Beach. It's in Mission Beach - on the Bay. The water front hotel had calm waters since it was on the bay rather than the ocean. Easier for kids to play in. *Kid activities - I knew about the kid activities only because I'd seen them posted on Facebook. They were going on (according to their website) the day we arrived. However, the employee checking me in didn't mention them to me. We had to find an Urgent care instead, so didn't get to take advantage of them. *The seals! My kids (6 & 9) loved checking on the Bahia's 2 rescue seals each day. They would ask to see them each morning when they woke up, and every day when we arrived back to the hotel we would have to walk through the Seal area to check on them. *The staff - While I don't think they did a very good job of mentioning activities for the kids, they did make an attempt at helping me locate an Urgent Care that was open when we arrived. The down side: The rooms were only just average. The online pictures made the rooms appear a bit nicer than they actually were. The beds were small, and not very comfortable. *The bathroom had very little counter space behind closed doors. There was a vanity area outside, but not enough space for toothbrushes and other items that we typically keep next to the sink. *The kitchen we had was outdated and the sink water had a smell to it when we turned it on. *Thin walls/windows. SeaWorld is incredibly close. And we could hear the fireworks every night. When you are trying to get your kids to sleep after a busy day, and before another one - if you're not night people (we aren't) the late night fireworks put a bit of a crimp in our winding down time! The plus with the bad. When we first arrived, we were given one room. It had a broken sliding glass window. (we were on the ground floor). The maintenance staff mentioned it looked like someone had tried to break in (NOT something you want to mention in front of a guest - we think someone had had a little too much to drink and broke the door). They had us moved to a room 2 doors down within 15 minutes of calling the front desk.

Tips for Families

Ask about family activities if no one asks There is an arcade & pool - we just didn't have time to enjoy either There is a GREAT pizza place walking distance towards the ocean called Luigi's. A slice of pizza as big as a small pizza is a great challenge for a 9 (or around that age) year old boy!

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Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Lake Buena Vista

2901 Osceola Parkway, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

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KID-FRIENDLY AMENITIES

  • Connecting rooms
  • Babysitting
  • Kids' club
  • On-site restaurant(s)
  • Kids' menu in restaurant
  • Refrigerator in room
  • Microwave in room
  • Kitchenette or kitchen in room
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Cribs (infant beds) available


Average user rating (46 Reviews)

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  • Little kids (3-5)

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$190

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Visited: 2008-02-01 | Submitted: 2012-12-11 01:18:51.0 | I traveled with little kids (3-5)

By Far the best Disney Location

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This is written with a disclaimer that we haven't stayed on property since 08 - though we have visited the property since then. We chose to stay here because my son loves animals. We didn't pay for a savannah room, but lucked out and had a small pen of animals right outside our room. The food at Boma is awesome - it's a buffet serving an attempt at traditional African cuisine. Whether it's authentic or not, I don't know - but delicious it is! Even my kids (who are now 6 & 9) find things they enjoy. We enjoy this restaurant so much we try to make it each time we travel to Disneyworld. The staff at Animal Kingdom lodge has always been superb. During our last visit we had a wait for dinner. My kids struggled with finding a couple hidden Mickeys within the reception area. One of the staff members helped them out for a while, giving them clues and telling them stories about the decorations within the building. The biggest complaint about this resort was the proximity to the other parks (EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios). But the views of the animals and the beautiful buildings make up for it!

Tips for Families

*rooms with bunk beds seemed smaller than rooms with 2 beds, though the bunk beds were a huge hit!

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Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort Lake Buena Vista

900 Cayman Way, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

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  • Little kids (3-5)

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Visited: 2010-04-01 | Submitted: 2012-12-11 00:47:26.0 | I traveled with little kids (3-5)

Atmosphere

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We chose to stay in a Pirate themed room and we loved it! The details were total Disney (aka awesome). When we ate breakfast outside the main house each day it felt like we were in the tropics! We checked in at 10pm and checked out at 5:30am and I want to compliment the staff that helped us! They were just as friendly and cheerful at those times than they usually are at 2 in the afternoon. I would never have noticed how late/early it was based on their demeanor. The walk from our room to the main house (restaurant, store) was a bit long. But at least it was pretty. We walked along the water and my kids enjoyed taking detours to play in the sand and hang out in the hammocks. There are multiple pools, though we only hung out at the main one. The waterslides were awesome. The one thing I didn't like at this resort - as compared to other Disney resorts I've stayed at is that the bus travel seemed long. Disney's bus transportation stops multiple times in the resort. If you're at the end of the pick up cycle - which we were - there are times that the buses were too crowded for us to get on with our big stroller. We found it was easier to walk up to the Main house and grab transportation from there.

Tips for Families

*small fridge means bring snacks to eliminate having to walk to the store when snack urges hit *get the kids meal that comes in a pail - with a shovel! Get it early in your trip so your kiddos have a scooper and bucket for the sand on the water *find time to walk the entire path that meanders through the resort. The views are stunning!

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Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort Lake Buena Vista

4600 North World Drive, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

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KID-FRIENDLY AMENITIES

  • Smoke-free property
  • Babysitting
  • Kids' club
  • On-site restaurant(s)
  • Refrigerator in room
  • Microwave in room
  • Kitchenette or kitchen in room
  • Cribs (infant beds) available
  • Outdoor pool
  • Kids' pool


Average user rating (8 Reviews)

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  • Big kids (6-8)

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$279

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Visited: 2012-01-01 | Submitted: 2012-12-11 00:30:50.0 | I traveled with big kids (6-8)

Location, Location, Location!!

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We stayed in a 2 bedroom suite with 3 generations of family members. Each one of us loved the resort for different reasons. The older ones of us enjoyed the artwork and the modern decor. The kids loved that they could see the Magic Kingdom right from our resort! While there wasn't much for my kids to do within the resort - there is no hotel or store (you walk to the Contemporary) - the convenience of being 10 minutes walking distance to the Magic Kingdom was byfar the best part about the stay. The Contemporary has a great restaurant - Chef Mickey's - for kids. Be sure to book a reservation. They are very busy!

Tips for Families

*book reservations for Chef Mickey's far in advance *bring your own snacks or buy snacks to keep in your room's fridge. The walk across the open air bridge from the Bay Lake Tower to Contemporary can be cold at 6 am in the winter!

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