Fishing Excursions in Disney World

November 30th, 2015 by Guest Blogger No comments »

Fishing at Disney World

You don’t have to know that fishing is an activity buoyed by self-imposed excise taxes and annual license fees. You don’t have to contemplate Harry Truman’s progressive policy ideas or the conservation work made possible by the income from those taxes and fees. I learned about those tidbits and they are rather interesting, but you need only know that every time you and your kids cast a fishing line into the water from a pier or off a boat, or simply drop down a wiggly worm whilst standing in the marshy wet grasses at the edge of your local stream, you are helping to ensure the future of America’s waterways and aquatic resources. And that’s pretty darn cool. This is the very noble goal of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (the people behind the popular “Take Me Fishing” campaign) in the farthest reaches of Alaska, all the way down at Walt Disney World, and everywhere in between.

I know what you might be thinking — you have some reservations about going fishing with your kids. I TOTALLY get that! Launching your kid’s angling career may seem daunting for a parent not versed in the language of lines and lures, and then there’s the whole issue of actually touching the fish… and the bait needed to catch the fish! I’m 39 years old and only just baited my first hook (with a very lively worm!) recently. Obviously, I’ve yet to take my two daughters fishing. Frankly, I wouldn’t know how to go about going fishing on my own or with my kids, but thankfully non-anglers like me are not alone anymore. (and have countless resources aimed at helping families have easy, fun and successful days on the water. Doing exactly that from the most Magical Place on Earth is now even easier than baiting a hook! And if you think about it, is there a better, more picturesque and memorable spot in America for a child to experience the quiet anticipation of catching their first (or 50th) fish than Disney World?

Fishing by Boat at Disney World

There’s no shortage of memory-making family activities on offer in Orlando, but fishing (and boating excursions at Disney) is one you may not have known exists! There are guided catch and release outings departing from 10 different Disney World Resort Hotels, meaning you and your kids can launch into a fun search for large mouth bass in the lakes out in front of Cinderella’s famous castle and Space Mountain from nearly everywhere at Disney! Rates are $270 for a two-hour excursion for up to five people. All equipment, rods, reels, bait and lures are included, as are sodas and bottled water. And your odds of catching fish are very good!

Bass Fishing at Disney World

Your captain and fishing guide is capable of teaching you and your kids how to cast and reel in your catch once hooked, and if you’d like (yes, please!), he or she will also handle all of the ‘messy’ business — baiting your hooks with little shiners and removing the fish after you reel ‘em to the boat. Of course, you should take at least one posed picture with your first catch, remembering to hold the fish far away from you to make your catch look bigger in the photo than it actually is — after all, exaggerating the size of your catch is a fishing tradition! Look at that HUGE monster I caught!

Bass Fishing at Disney World

If you struggle with boats and motion sickness or would simply enjoy a more stable (and inexpensive) family fishing experience during your Disney vacation, head to Port Orleans – Riverside in the morning for a Tom Sawyer-esque dockside fishing adventure.

Cane Pole Fishing at Disney World

For just $16, you’ll get 4 to 6 cane poles, bait (worms and/or hot dog pieces) and 30 minutes to drop your line in to try and pull out a fish. Using Huck Finn-style cane poles, families visiting Disney World can enjoy the old-fashioned serenity of fishing amid the hustle and bustle of the Magic Kingdom.

— Jeff Bogle

Jeff Bogle is an at-home dad of two pre-tween daughters. He writes about parenthood, family travel and all things childhood on his site He considers himself one of the luckiest guys in the world. Jeff also writes for PBS.

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Gingerbread Display at Omni Grove Park Inn

November 27th, 2015 by Amanda Geronikos No comments »

Heading to Asheville for the winter holidays? Don’t miss the National Gingerbead House Competition at the Omni Grove Park Inn. The popular event–the largest of its kind in the U.S.–will run through Jan. 3, 2016, and includes 80 holiday trees, grand light displays and festive fireplaces.

Gingerbread House at National Gingerbread House Competition

Public Tours
Tours for the public are complimentary and take place Sunday to Thursday. There is a $10 charge for parking.

Hotel Guest Tours

Consider the Gingerbread Holiday Package, available through Dec. 29, 2015. It includes deluxe accommodations, buffet breakfast, gingerbread cookies (one per guest) and parking.

— Amanda Geronikos

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Winter Workshop at Conrad New York

November 25th, 2015 by Amanda Geronikos No comments »

The winter holidays are especially festive in New York City, with even hotels offering events to the public. Consider a visit to the Conrad New York for its Winter Workshop on Dec. 5, 12 and 19 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Lobby in Conrad New York

The event, now in its third year, will include the following:

– Photos with Santa
– Hot chocolate bar
– Ornament decorating
– Holiday treats

Tickets are $35 for children and $20 for adults. The Conrad New York is an all-suite hotel, and is located near Battery Park.

–Amanda Geronikos

— Amanda Geronikos

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3 Apps for Thanksgiving Travel

November 23rd, 2015 by Amanda Geronikos No comments »

Traveling for Thanksgiving? Don’t leave home without these handy (and free!) smartphone apps, guaranteed to ease your trip to grandmother’s house and beyond.

Mom and Son With Smartphone

Did you know Google Maps uses Waze to offer the quickest destination routes? Waze also enhances maps by providing alerts when there’s a cop in the area, a car pulled over, or an object in the middle of the road. All of the information is generated by app users, who are required to say they’re a passenger (with the tap of a button) before sending alerts.

TripIt easily compiles all your travel documentation, from airline confirmation numbers to restaurant reservations. You can input the information yourself, or simply send any travel confirmations to; the information will automatically go to your app. If you upgrade your account (for about $50 per year), you’ll also receive alerts, including gate changes at the airport.

You know service stations offer restrooms and restaurants, but what if there aren’t any service stations coming up? iExit allows you to see what’s offered at each exit along your route so you don’t have to waste time searching for what you need.

Which travel apps are your favorite? Share in the comments below.

— Amanda Geronikos

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