Thursday, July 13, 2017

Merlin Entertainments Makes for a Magical Family Time in Orlando

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions stated are my Merlin-Entertainments-Loving own!



Merlin Entertainments has these three great attractions, all in a row, that make for an awesome way to spend some time in Orlando. We went there recently and it was a great alternative to the hustle and bustle we usually voluntarily dive right into when we are in the area (theme parks, most generally). In fact it was so low-key that it was relaxing and so, so very nice. It was definitely an easy way to get quality family time in, away from the daily tasks of life, and w.o.r.k. (which I love and appreciate, but you get what I'm saying). You can select one to attend, or get a discounted ticket price if you go to all three!


 

This stunning attraction is called the Orlando Eye. It stands 400 ft. in the air, and you can see it from so many different places within the city. We could actually see it from our hotel room that was about 20 minutes away.


The ride up is steady, and slow and you are sitting inside of an air conditioned area with an iPad that gives you an optional tour of the area. Let me tell you, the views are stunning.


Some of you might remember that I'm game for most any thrill ride, and will get on them without batting an eye...but Ferris Wheels for some reason make my heart skip a beat. I swore the last time I got on one (a big, beautiful one in Chicago) that it would be my last...because we got stuck at the top, for a very long time. The Orlando Eye was too hard to resist though and the ride was different than most wheels.

The boys and their aunt weren't scared. :)
It really wasn't that scary at all, until my 2nd oldest son tried to be funny and touch the door while we were at the top. He wasn't trying to open it, just touched it to take a selfie of me behind him freaking out (ha, I raised a brat!) and I tried not to oblige, but my mom instinct kicked in and I heatedly and hastily assured him that touching the door was not a great idea. He laughed and got his photo opp. -_-  I'm sure those doors are locked, and he barely touched it, just enough to be funny (which it definitely was not), but why take any chance at all? I'm just saying. 


The beauty of this for me was that it didn't stop at the top. It is in continuous slow motion the whole time it is running, and you comfortably step on and off while it moves. I also loved that you could sit on the seat in the middle, or stand anywhere along the sides to get the view you were hoping to see. The ride/view were both great, and I do recommend this attraction to you if you're going to be in the Orlando area.

-Website: https://www.officialorlandoeye.com

When you've floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee for so long
I guess it just gets old... Ali looking completely apathetic about the K.O.
The second attraction they have, directly next door is Madame Tussaud's Celebrity Wax Museum. This place was chock full of your favorite celebrities and I even got to get my picture taken with Danny Zuko (I knew I'd have my arms around him someday...sorry, Sandy, not sorry). Grease. It was the photos with the kids that were making me laugh though. My son got knocked out by Muhammad Ali. That's one of my favorite pictures from the day. It depicts exactly what the wax museum is all about; having a good time, and getting in some fun photo opps.

"Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts."
                                                                                  -Albert Einstein
Then he talked Mr. Einstein into wearing his sunglasses.
They must be a timeless style because he looks pretty good in 'em too. ;)

He was Swift to pick up a guitar and play along.
My youngest got to jam with Taylor Swift (I'm sure she's still remembering his talent). She was so mesmerized that she just quit playing. He on the other hand, could not put the guitar down.

Everyone always reminisces about how Neil Armstrong's jokes were just out of this world. ;)
He also took a little side trip to the moon. Oh hey, Neil (Armstrong)!! Thanks for taking my kid along on such a monumental event!

I don't mind them out for a ride together late at night, just so long as they don't forget to 'phone home.'
Then both of the boys took a bike ride with E.T. Is it just me, or is little bro looking a little nervous about his big brother's cycling prowess?

"I have understood well that the duty of self-preservation
rests solely with..."
 the American people Madame Tussaud. ;)          
I was just amazed at how real the wax figures looked. Abraham Lincoln, J-Lo, Samuel Jackson, Angelina Jolie, Channing Tatum, Uncle Sam (not the singer ;) ), Thomas Edison and more. They were just so authentic that it made the jaunt through the museum so silly and fun. Photos are encouraged and props are included at many of the stations. The kids' aunt was along and she kept touching the people like they were real. It was cracking us up. Every time we turned around she was touching a hand, arm, leg or face. She's not invasive like that in real life, which made it even funnier to watch in the museum. I think she was stunned at how real they all looked too. ;)

This is an awesome place to go for singles, couples, and families. We had a blast.

-Website: https://www.madametussauds.com/orlando


The third Merlin Entertainments selection we went to, that is again, right next door was Sea Life. In addition to the aquariums they run they also have 6 sea life sanctuaries that treat and release back into the wild (when possible), injured seals and sea turtles.


The aquarium we went to in Orlando was gorgeous, and very interactive. There were educational discussions and feeding times you could attend while there.


What I loved was the layout and design. There were tunnels you could walk under (adult and children-sized),


and these glass bubbles you could climb into that made you a part of the aquarium itself.


There were also glass floors in some areas, and a walk-through tunnel where you could see the sea life swimming all around you, even overhead.


Some of the windows just left me mesmerized, and I'd stay so long the kids would have to come back and get me, lol. The area that had Stingrays, fish, sea turtles, eels and sharks swimming around was one of those windows.


My SIL was entranced by the jelly fish (real and this replica hanging from the ceiling). :)


There were touch centers too. I was surprised they had sea anemone's out to touch. I didn't know they weren't sensitive to you. In fact, we had a salt water tank years ago and I never touched ours. Admittedly, I was not the one taking care of the tank, I just admired it in the house. :)

The embossing stations made for a fun souvenir. My SIL found them all for us.
They also had stations all over the aquarium where you put a seal on your map to note you had been there. My SIL was the one doing this, and after awhile it definitely caught my youngest son's interest. Such a fun touch to add to the self-tour, and a great souvenir to take home.


And speaking of souvenirs, I may or may not have spent a small fortune on a souvenir book to take home that had several of our pictures laced throughout it. To me? Worth every penny. What can I say, I'm a sucker for a good picture. :)

-Website: https://www.visitsealife.com

All in all the day was a nice, relaxing way to spend some time with family. I love that all three of the attractions were side-by-side, and the square where they were located was lovely in landscape and decoration. There was also a seven-story parking garage right next to these attractions and parking there was free. In Orlando??? Yep, free parking in Orlando. :) If you're looking for something unique to do this summer, I recommend these three Merlin Entertainments attractions. The one thing you don't want to forget when you go? Your camera!

50 comments:

  1. We are going down to Orlando next month. I hope to go here when we are in the area!

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    1. I hope you go too. Your boys would probably love the wax museum. I didn't NKOB in there though!! You should start a petition. ;) :)

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  2. This looks awesome! Seems like a super fun time! All of the fish would be my fav!

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    1. I could have stayed and looked at the fish all day!

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  3. this really does look like a great way to spend a day. especially in the summer time with all the free time. i have a lot of friends who live in orlando gonna pass this along.

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    1. We have been a million times and I never knew the wax museum or aquarium were there. It is a nice way to spend the day.

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  4. Is the Orlando Eye related to the London Eye I wonder? I went on the London Eye nine years ago this month, awesome experience and got to take in some amazing views. I would love to go back to London again. I didn't know one of these was in Orlando, we will definitely have to check out these attractions on our next visit to Orlando. I've always wanted to visit the wax museum.

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    1. The same company runs them both. I'd love to ride the one in London too. :)

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  5. I've not been to any of those attractions. However, I have ridden the Wheel at Myrtle Beach.

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    1. I have never been to Myrtle Beach. We got an invite this summer, but have too much going on to go!! Some day. :)

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  6. I am actually really impressed with the Taylor Swift statue. It looks so much like her!

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    1. They all were so good! A lot of talent is showcased in that place (in more ways than one). :)

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  7. I had never heard of Merlin Entertainments before. All those attractions look absolutely amazing for a fun family time!

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    1. Yep, they all were perfect for family time!

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  8. That looks like a great place for a family day! They all look like a blast, I'd especially like Sea Life.

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    1. They did such a good job setting up Sea Life. It was very relaxing, and every time we thought we saw it all, something else would swim by. The Moray Eel was a huge surprise for me to see. It's a good thing my camera had a strap or I might have dropped it. ;)

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  9. I am up in Orlando in years. It looks like there's more than just Disney World in Orlando. Looks like he also had a lot of fun while you're there.

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    1. Orlando has so much going on. The people who live there are lucky. They never want for things to do, that's for sure. :)

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  10. All three sure look like fun indeed. hahaha touching the door just had to be done if it would get a rise out of you. Einstein sure is styling away. Can't top a moon trip and then floating along the bay.

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    1. He's a grown-up brat, but I love him anyway. ;)

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  11. This looks like so much fun! My daughter went to school in Orlando, but we haven't been there so much since she graduated. What a great place.

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    1. School in Orlando would be awesome. It's definitely a fun place for finding cool things to do.

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  12. That looks like such a fun place to visit! I need to go sometime when I'm in Orlando!

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  13. There really is so much to explore. I have been wanting to go to Madame Tussaud's Celebrity Wax Museum for years. I am going to try to talk Jason into taking me when we travel to the west coast next week.

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    1. Definitely some fun photo opps to be had in there!!

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  14. Seeing all the pictures, it does look like a lot of fun! I think it's an awesome place to take the family to. Just look at how happy your kids are! It's totally worth going here!

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    1. The kids did have a really good time. We all did. :)

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  15. So I was typing a comment, and the comment box went away. I'm sorry if you get 2 comments. One 1/2 of a comment.

    Rides totally freak me out. I'm such a chicken! I feel like I'm or my family is just going to fly off the track, or swing in to heaven with the flying swings.

    I love the photo with E.T.! I love that movie! That and Stand By Me. My family makes fun of me for wanting to watch them so much.

    I hope your summer is going well. I feel like I'm not even having one.

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    1. I bet you don't, with the surgery recuperation. I'm glad you've been posting your updates on social media so we can see how you're doing!! xoxo

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  16. I lived in Orlando for several years and never knew this place existed. We are planning a trip in September - and have a couple of days break from planned events in between. I want to go see that aquarium.

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    1. That's what I said...we've been a bazillion times and I had no idea it was there. Orlando has SO much to discover!

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  17. What a fun place. I'd have a great time here. Yes indeed.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. ☺

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  18. The Orlando Eye looks very neat.

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  19. Looks like you guys had a lot of fun! Well, minus the part about touching the door while you were in the gondola ;) I'm sure my kids would enjoy checking these out.

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    1. lol, yes, minus that part it was awesome :)

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  20. I know for sure my family would have a blast here. I love that there's things like this to enjoy. I will have to see what we have for fun family attractions in the New England (mainly NH and VT) area!

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    1. I'd love to visit that neck of the woods someday too!

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  21. This looks like such a fun place to go on Vacation, and I would love to go to Orlando and take the family to viist!

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    1. Orlando is hands down one of my most favorite places to visit.

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  22. You were having way too much fun on this outing. I love that you had a lot to choose from and they included some historical/educational components.

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    1. Loved the historical/educational components too!

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  23. I have seen quite a few posts from my Central Florida friends about these adventures! I'm thinking the hubby and I need a date day so we can go over and experience it for ourselves!

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    1. Date days are always a good idea. :)

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  24. Living in Central FL basically my whole life, we have passed the Orlando Eye a million times. I have never once thought about riding it..LOL! It is way to high for me. I would however love to visit Madame Tussaud's Celebrity Wax Museum & Sea Life. I don't even think I knew Sea Life was there! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. They've done a wonderful job with Sea Life. I'd go back any time and be happy to do so. :)

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  25. How fun. I want to get back down there.
    Think I am going to try to get the kids to Disney next year ;)

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  26. This place looks awesome! I am going to look into going here.

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