This year Mom It Forward blew us away with another amazing Family Forward Universal Orlando Adventure. There are so many notable moments, but I wanted to share a list of the top show stoppers
Happy Flash Mob
In a theme park as exciting as Universal Orlando everyone's focus is driven toward riding the next great attraction, meeting the next fun character, and getting quickly to the next express line. Yet, a crowd of hundreds milling around and breaking into a groove upon the first beat of Happy by Pharrell is still a significant attention grabber. We loved the unique opportunity to learn this dance from a group of Universal Creative Team dancers, as well as a crew of dancing minions, before heading out to the street with our performance.
Diagon Alley: Gringott's DragonThe newest addition to the Harry Potter experience at Universal Orlando is Diagon Alley. There is so much to explore in this back alley of London and we have a huge list of memories from our private evening in Diagon Alley, but the Jaw Dropping centerpiece is the famous Gringott's Bank topped with an impressive fire breathing dragon. The life like dragon caught us off guard with every one of his frightening roars! (side note: each roar was appropriately followed by one of Gabe's impressive screams)
Croc on the Loose
Dr. Brady Bard and the team from National Geographic Kid's Animal Jam joined Family Forward for an informative and engaging presentation on the difference between crocodiles and alligators. The kids were loving it, in fact the crowd was following Dr. Bard around the room captivated by his every move. After each child had a chance to safely see the crocodile up close, Dr. Bard explained, once on their backs crocs find themselves very vulnerable and act paralyzed. This particular croc must have wanted to shake things up a bit and so it did....by defying his norms and leaping off the table into the "pied piper's" captive audience of little ones. Yes, this really happened. For the record I didn't run, but I may or may not have grabbed a 5 year old and jumped on top of a banquet table
Blue Man Group
Talk about a SHOW! From the time you are seated until the final curtain call #BMGOrlando is 100% entertaining. The crowd is engaged. The paint is flying. The music is loud. The happy hormones leave everyone with wide smiles. One might think the show has peaked, and the 10 year old boys in the audience could not possibly laugh any harder, when the dancing blue men begin to list 100 different words for their shaking heinies. No, it is not the end, they finish off the show with the most amazing display of floating lights, bouncing balls, and streamers. Streamers galore! Watch out Halloween, the Blue Man Group is on the short list of family costume ideas.
30,000 Give Kids the World Stars
Decidedly, the most moving moment of Family Forward '14 came on our tour of Give Kids the World Village. At the center of the resort is The Castle of Wishes. Every child whose Make a Wish gift has brought them to the village is given a star to shine forever in the bell towers of the castle. Our tour guide reported the 30,000th star was hung this summer. Staggering statistics, but at #GKTWVillage the focus is on making happy memories for families instead of focusing on the sad in each story. However jaw dropping the request from the kiddos retreating at GKTWVillage, the volunteers are taught to never say "no!" As a result, they serve a whole lot of ice cream for breakfast ;) While the property, the volunteers, and the offerings here are remarkable everyone reiterated they "would love to close GKTWVillage down tomorrow if it meant there were no more sick children.
Looking forward to sharing more about Family Forward's Choose Your Own Adventure moments soon!
Has your family ever seen the Blue Man Group? Have you ever explored Animal Jam's Kids' Community? Do you know the difference between an alligator and a crocodile? Are the words Gringott's and Diagon Alley new to your vocabulary?
Have you had any show stopping, jaw dropping moments this week?