Training Dragons Live

Dragon Live - NightmareThree years ago, B and I took the boys to the Walking With Dinosaurs show.  We were amazed by the realistic looking dinosaurs walking around the stage.  I’ve long loved dinosaurs (when I was young I wanted to be a paleontologist) and it was great to see my kids’ interest being sparked.

Many of the same people who made the amazing dinosaurs come to life have set their sights on a group of more mythical creatures: dragons.  Twenty-three dragons will walk, fly, and even breathe fire during Dreamworks How To Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular.  The dragons are very realistic looking (well, as far as fantasy creatures can be).

Vikings Train the Deadly NadderThese aren’t merely small, light-weight props, either.  Each dragon weighs up to 2.6 tons and have wingspans up to 46 feet.  One dragon, Toothless, weights nearly 4 tons and flies over a mile during the show.  That’s like having an SUV flying above the audience.  The entire production requires 30 18-Wheeler trucks to transport.  In other words, it’s a big show.

Of course, I haven’t seen it yet so this isn’t a review.  That will come later.  In the meantime, though, I’ve been reading up on the show and am getting very excited about it.  Here’s a trailer for the show:

Hiccup Touches ToothlessWe haven’t told NHL and JSL about the show just yet.  That will be a surprise for three weeks from now.  I’m sure they’ll be amazed by the show and will likely come out of it wishing they could have their own dragons to train and ride.  (Given their size, though, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I’ll be glad we don’t have to feed one of them!)

If you are interested in attending a show, you can find tour dates and tickets by going to  If you are in the Albany, NY area, the show will run on Thursday, October 4th through Sunday, October 7th in the Times Union Center.  In addition, you can save 25% off the cost of select seats by using the promo code "MOM".

Disclaimer: I received tickets to the How To Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular for me and my family.  The images above were provided to me for use in my post.  However any opinions, not to mention enthusiasm, stated above are my own.

The #DisneySMMoms Report: Dinoland Party

Note: To see all of my posts on DisneySMMoms 2012, go here.

When we last left off, we were done with the speakers for the day.  As we had some time and as that night’s party would take place in Animal Kingdom’s Dinoland, we decided to head to Animal Kingdom early.

While there, we rode the Kilimanjaro Safari and looked at the flora and fauna around the Animal Kingdom.


Of course, we also saw a very lucky bug.

Finally, it was time to head into Dinoland, USA for the party.  What awaited us was amazing.  First, Chester and Hester greeted us at Dinoland’s entrance.


The tables had great centerpieces and the food was spectacular.  Of course, all that was only part of the party.  There were some great characters to meet:


And there were four rides open for our enjoyment: Triceratops Spin, Primeval Whirl, Dinosaur, and Expedition Everest.


The boys immediately wanted to ride the rides, so we didn’t even eat, but secured a spot and then split up.  B took NHL on Primeval Whirl (twice) while JSL (too short for that ride) went on Triceratops Spin with me.  Then, we switched.  NHL went on Primeval Whirl with me three times in a row.  We didn’t even have the leave the car since there was no line.  We just kept going around and around and around again.  By the end, I was ready to eat.  However, after taking a quick photo with some characters, NHL grabbed B’s father for another Primeval Whirl run.  (I don’t think he liked it at all.)

After JSL ate, B took him to something that we’ve never let the boys do before.  You see, in Chester and Hester’s, there are dinosaur-themed carnival games.  We’ve never let the kids play them because they usually require you to pay for each play.  ($2.50 a pop, I believe.)  For the party, however, they were free.

JSL came back to me so proud that he had won a turtle.


After NHL finally stopped riding enough and ate some food, he and I joined in the game playing fun.


In the end, NHL walked away with five stuffed animals.  One from each game he tried.  This would later become an issue when JSL complained that he only had 2.  (We still hear "NHL has more stuffed animals than me" to this day.)

Stuffed animal dilemma aside, the boys, B’s parents, B and I had a blast.  Disney sure knows how to throw a prehistoric party!

Disclaimer: We paid for our own trip to Disney World to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. Though we were given an incredible deal from Disney, they never asked us to blog about this event. All opinions expressed above are my own.

Dinosaur Train Toys Review and Giveaway

My boys love the Dinosaur Train television show on PBS by The Jim Henson Company.  They also love playing with toys.  So when I was given the opportunity to review three Dinosaur Train toys from Uncle Milton’s Toys, I was excited.  When I saw that the toys had educational value, I jumped at the opportunity.

Dinosaur Poop

Let’s be honest.  Tell any kid that you’re going to let them play with poop at the table, and they’ll look at you funny.  But once you take out this product, they’ll be crying for you to open that package quicker.


Of course, the contents are not really poop, but a brown dough-like substance.  They come inside of a storage container to keep the “poop” fresh between uses and some pieces of the dinosaur’s most recent meal.


In the case of a carnivore, these pieces are 2 fish skeletons.  In the case of a herbivore, 2 plants.  An omnivore has one fish and one plant.  The pieces can be put together like a puzzle for even more fun.

IMGP7978 IMGP7981 IMGP7999 IMGP8001

Once all the pieces have been found, you can flatten the poop and press the fish skeleton or plant into it to form a fossil impression.

IMGP8006 IMGP8007

You can also get more creative and form poop sculptures.


Of course, this toy can also lead to interesting statements from parents such as “Who wants to play with poop?” or “Keep that poop on the table and not on the floor!”


How would your child like to grow his or her own dinosaur?  Hatchers lets your child do just this.  Each package contains an egg.

IMGP8025 IMGP9606

Drop the egg into a glass of water and out hatches a dinosaur.


Ok, not immediately.  This is the tough part.  The hatching takes about two days.  So children get to learn a lesson in patience.

IMGP9618 IMGP9619IMGP9620 IMGP9621
IMGP9624 IMGP9625
IMGP9628 IMGP9629
IMGP9644 IMGP9645

Dino Track Discovery Pack

My boys love games.  So it was only natural that they loved playing with the Dino Tracks.  Each package comes with three trails.  Each card contains a dinosaur footprint on one side and some dinosaur facts on the other.  There are also two “egg” cards with suggested games such as follow the trail or try to jump the space of one dinosaur stride.  (As you can see, one T-Rex step is just a little bit shorter than JSL on top of NHL.)

IMGP9652 IMGP9654 IMGP9659 IMGP9664


Thanks to Uncle Milton Toys, one lucky winner will receive a Dinosaur Train prize pack which includes two packages of Dinosaur Poop and two Dinosaur Train Hatchers. To enter, simply leave a comment below answering this question: What is your favorite dinosaur?

You can also earn bonus entries by doing any (or all) of the following items. Just be sure to leave a separate comment for each item that you complete.  (Don’t just leave one comment listing everything you did.)

  • Follow @TechyDad on Twitter. (1 bonus entry)
  • Tweet about the giveaway on Twitter. Be sure to include @TechyDad and a link to this post in the Tweet. (1 bonus entry per day) For example: Play with poop and hatch some dinos with @TechyDad’s Dinosaur Train #Giveaway
  • Subscribe to my RSS feed or let me know if you already are. (1 bonus entry)
  • Leave a comment on any of my non-giveaway posts from April/May/June. Leave a comment here letting me know which post you commented on. (1 bonus entry per comment, maximum 3 entries)
  • Enter any of my open giveaway posts (excluding this one, of course).  Leave a comment here letting me know which giveaway you entered. (1 bonus entry)
  • Write a post on your blog linking to this giveaway. Leave 3 comments about this to get credit for all of your extra entries. (3 bonus entries)

To enter, please follow the rules above within the comment section. Contest starts today, May 24th and ends at Noon EST on June 7th, 2011. You do not have to be a blogger to enter, but must leave a valid e-mail address for me to contact you for mailing address once the giveaway is over. I will select the winner using and contact you via e-mail. You will have 48 hours to claim the prize. If there is no response, another winner will be selected. Open to U.S. residents only.

Disclaimer: The products were provided for this review by Uncle Milton.  The opinions expressed above are my own.

Indoor Minigolfing and Outdoor Ice Cream

Last Sunday, during JSL’s nap-time, I decided to spend some time with NHL and give B some time to herself. So I took NHL to his first game of mini-golf. Now the skies were not bright and sunny. In fact, some raindrops came down upon us as we arrived at our destination. Not to worry though because the place we went to had indoor mini-golf.

After paying for our golfing session, we headed to the indoor mini-golf area. As we got our clubs, I told NHL to look at his shoes. Thanks to the black light, they were glowing. NHL was quite amused to discover that his socks, white stripe on his pants and even my shoelaces were glowing as well.

We entered the mini-golfing area and a nice family of ten in front of us allowed us to play through. Thanks go out to them. I’m sure NHL would have gotten very frustrated if he needed to wait for 10 people to finish each hole before he could proceed.

The first set of holes had an under the sea theme. Here, we shot balls past an octopus and into a shark’s mouth. Next, we entered a jungle and attempted to get our balls past a bear, tiger, and a big purple gorilla. After we exited the jungle, a time warp took us to a prehistoric era. Here, we putted past a triceratops and NHL was almost eaten by a velociraptor. Finally, we launched into space were we faced off against robots and aliens before our balls were sucked into a black hole.

NHL loved every minute of indoor mini-golf and it was over all too quickly. After a quick call to B to make sure that everything was alright at home, NHL and I stopped by the soft serve ice cream stand right next to the mini-golf. (Talk about convenient!) Luckily, by this point, the sun had fought off some of the clouds. We both had chocolate and vanilla swirl soft serve ice cream, though we had to put our quickly melting conefuls into cups to eat them less messily.

After a quick peek at the outdoor mini-golf course that they had (and protests by NHL that he wanted to play more mini-golf), we headed home hoping to soon head back for more mini-golf fun. Maybe next time JSL will join us.

[nggallery id=47]

More Roar or How Walking With Dinosaurs Affected JSL

On Saturday, we had the pleasure of seeing Walking With Dinosaurs: The Live Experience.  For those of you who don’t know what this is, you travel back in time and see some real, live dinosaurs.  Ok, they’re people in costumes and animatronics controlled by people, but the production values are so good, you’d swear the dinosaurs are real.  The scale is fully kept too, so when the Brachiosaur stomps onto the stage, it is nearly 33 feet (10 meters) tall.  And when the mother T-Rex comes charging in, she is over 26 feet (8 meters) of flesh tearing, loud roaring dinosaur.  (Reminder: Do *NOT* mess with this momma’s kid.  The kid may seem small and weak but the mother can eat 144 pounds in a single bite.  The average adult wouldn’t be more than a mozzarella stick is to us.)  The whole production mixes science and entertainment perfectly.

NHL, of course, loved it.  His favorite dinosaur kept shifting depending on which dino was on stage last.  We took JSL along, hoping he wouldn’t be scared by the loud noises.  Towards the end, he was a little jittery, but not completely freaked out.  A little reassurance that daddy was there and he was fine.  We figured the long-term affects of the show would be more evident with NHL than with JSL.  (We signed him up for an archeology summer program at the local community college.)  However, tonight JSL showed that he too liked the dinosaur show.  At least, he liked the roaring and charging parts of it.  Don’t just take my word for it, though, see for yourself.


My little JSL-a-saurus!