Steffee Landing Paddling Center on Shingle Creek

Steffee Landing Paddling Center on Shingle Creek
 
Recently, we had some time on our hands so we visited the Steffee Landing Paddling Center located on Shingle River.
Steffee Landing Paddling Center on Shingle Creek
 
They rent kayaks for a reasonable fee and were more than happy to give us instructions. The first pleasant surprise was that getting into a two-person kayak was easy and safe. It turns out that they very stable, even more so than canoes. Paddling is very easy, particularly if you ever used a canoe. Within minutes, we were enjoying a paddle down the river towards a Cypress Forest. We chose this direction because we wanted to see the forest, but we also could have gone upriver as well.
 
For a couple of hours, we were very relaxed and in harmony with the Florida wildlife. During that time, we saw osprey fishing, as well as turtles, sunbathing and swimming.
 
Also, we saw fish in the clear water, some over a foot long and not very afraid of the boat. There are also hiking and biking trails at the same landing as well as at other landings on the creek. Fortunately, for us, it was a slightly cool and overcast day. Between the weather and the shade of the trees, we were not sunburned or overheated from the paddling. Still, we would suggest you bring drinking water and suntan lotion with you. You might even want to pack a snack to eat on the way.
 
We paddled by other kayakers going in the opposite direction and shared our sightings with each other. At the furthest point from the landing, we were in the heart of a Cypress forest and the open waterway was becoming very narrow.
 
At that point, we opted to turn around and slowly head back. I must admit that Kayaking on Shingle Creek is an experience to savor while slowly cruising along and observing Florida’s nature at its finest.
 
As an interesting side note, the Steffee Landing is located just off the very busy highway US 192. You would never expect to find the very tranquil world there waiting for you to enjoy. All in all, it was an afternoon of pleasant surprises around each and every turn in the river.

 

Steffee Landing Paddling Center on Shingle Creek

Disney’s Keys to The Kingdom Tour

Disney’s Keys to The Kingdom Tour

 Keys to the Kingdom tour

Have you ever wondered what the Keys to the Kingdom Tour at the Magic Kingdom is all about?  We took this guided tour (yes, it costs extra!) and this was time well spent for us!

Windows Keys to the Kingdom

 

 

The tour lasts about 5 hours. We were a little concerned it would not be very exciting and we would be stuck for the whole 5 hours. But, there was no need for concern.

“On-Stage”

We started at the Town Square Theater which is to the right after you enter the park and go under the Disney Railroad. They give you an appointed time to meet your group and guide.

The provided headsets allowed us to hear better in noisy places and the guide can speak lower in public areas. Right from the beginning, we learned about the many hidden messages along the street. Take note of the windows and all the writing on them because they all have hidden meanings. Additionally, we learned about Liberty Square and Frontierland.

“Off-Stage”

Our “off stage” experience was a backstage ride in the Jungle Cruise and the Haunted Mansion. The tour guide gave us lots of information about special effects that Disney uses.

Keys to the Kingdom Tour

 

We toured the area where they maintain and store the parade floats. We were able to watch various groups practicing their acts for the parade.

For me, the famed tunnels were the highlight of the Keys to the Kingdom Tour. They are comprised of a series of interconnecting tunnels, with many rooms off to the sides of them.

Cast members dressed in their themed costumes use the utilidors to get to other parts of the park. Down in the utilidors is many offices, hairdresser, cast member cafeteria. It is also the place where all food and merchandise come into the park. It is then distributed into the park thru secret stairways.

Frequently, we had to move to the side to allow an electric cart laden with merchandise to pass by. The tunnels are quite busy.

Something I found very interesting is that the tunnels are actually the first floor of the park. They were built first and then the ground level was brought up to the top of them. What we know as the Magic Kingdom park is actually on the second floor.

There is a separate charge of $99 per person for the tour plus you need a park pass for the day as well.  For this, you get the 4 to 5-hour tour, lunch at one of the restaurants, a few keepsakes and everything described above. If you like everything Disney, this is a must for you.

To book your tour, visit Disney’s website.

Valentine’s Day Disney Activities

Valentine’s Day Disney Activities are a fun holiday to spend with loved ones.  See what  Disney Interactive activities we have found for you.

Valentine's Day Disney Activities

Spend Family Time Making These Valentine’s Day Disney Sweets

Mickey’s Chocolate-Dipped Valentine Cookies | Disney Family

It’s true Mickey can be forgetful, but on Valentine’s Day you won’t find this smitten Mouse caught short. Dipped in chocolate, these holiday treats are designed to show his leading lady he’s all heart.

Allergy Friendly: The Beast and Belle’s Enchanted Rose Tart | Disney Family

Detailed nutritional information not available. PLEASE READ: This recipe does not include ingredients that contain milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soy. When grocery shopping, it’s important to read food labels to ensure that the specific brands you are purchasing do not contain any of your allergic triggers or traces of them.

 

Why Not Spend Valentine’s Day in Style

Here are some great food recipes

14 Valentine’s Day Food Hacks

Valentine’s Day is almost here and these simple hacks will save you lots of time. Time you can spend with your little love bugs and that one very special sweetheart. And what’s the quickest way to someone’s heart? Through their stomach, well at least that’s what my grandma said.

Show Your Love to Your Little Ones

Here are some great printable lunchbox notes for the little ones

12 Printable Lunchbox Notes for Your Little Valentines

Lunch tastes so much better when it’s packed with love. So as Valentine’s Day grows near, we thought it would be cute for all of us moms to add a little extra something to our kids’ lunchboxes. From knee-slapping jokes to simple and sweet sentiments, here are 12 printable lunchbox notes for kids of all personalities.