A Little Bit of Kindness Can Go A Long Way in a Kia Niro PHEV

They say little bit of kindness can go a long way.  As it turns out if you are driving a 2018 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) you can go even further on less. Right before we shut things down for the holidays Kia Motors America invited Jillian from Hello Splendid and I to take a “Choose Your Own Adventure” road trip from L.A. to San Francisco and we had the most amazing time spreading kindness all over California together.

Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid Solvang CA

As exciting as this adventurous opportunity was on its own, this would also be a very meaningful trip for the two of us to take together. Just 39 weeks prior Jillian received some very life changing news.  Before this, we had been talking about “one day soon” taking a road trip together. I’ll tell you that I leave a lot less for “one day soon” now. Our plans for the trip and so many more things would be put on hold as all concentration had to be forth to fight this new diagnosis in the months following. It felt like the world was simultaneously spinning and standing still for everyone. When we talked 36 weeks ago, it was decided as soon as it was possible we would ABSOLUTELY be taking that road trip we had talked about. It was a promise of something to hold on to, something to hope for. So much happened in the weeks that followed but on December 13 we finally were able to set out on that road trip together.

Day Made. (Ps I love you @hellosplendidblog )#thenewkia

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As it is with a choose your own adventure type trip we got to choose the adventure!! We had a starting time/location, a generous budget at our disposal and an ending time/location- that was it! There were a few other teams traversing the roads with us and given the same parameters. A list of bonus points would be granted and tallied once we reached the predetermined destination. Before we arrived, Jillian and I had talked about how we would structure this adventure. One of the biggest themes we wanted to incorporate was kindness. Kindness is something we both feel strongly about making time for no matter the day or agenda. Countless times we have both given and received kindness in different forms the last year and it was the best way we could imagine to theme our trip.

kindness kit Collage

As we prepped for the trip, Jillian shopped for supplies to include in our “kindness kits” and I started planning our route. Trip planning and finding unique destinations is one of my favorite things to do. I especially enjoy catering each trip to the interests and likes of those taking it. Jillian let me keep the itineraries a secret until literally the moment we were on the road. I love surprises but I’d totally be lying if I said I didn’t have butterflies in my tummy wondering if she would like what I had chosen.

After a brief product presentation and run down on the Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid, charging stations, and lunch, we had a fantastic send of from Charles Phoenix a master of road trip Americana! His energy totally set the stage for road trip excitement! We didn’t have to worry about where we would be recharging on the road as there were plenty of level 1 and 2 charging stations in between our starting point and end destination. Whether you’re at home or on the road, rest assured you’ll find a power source anywhere you can plug into the electric grid. And with Kia’s UVO eco App, you can schedule charge times at home and find public charging stations.

But first…. Target! We needed a few more supplies for a very important stop that would come later. On our way in and out of the store we made it a mission to return all the stray carts in the parking lot. It’s such a simple thing to do and costs nothing. It made at least one employee’s job easier that day and the organized side of my heart was fulfilled. Kindness mission #1 : CHECK!

Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid roadtrip Target

It was time to get on the road before we hit too much of L.A. traffic. Even with the best of planning, we definitely saw our fair share of traffic but we had plenty of great conversation and music to keep us going. Every road trip needs its soundtrack and  the Harman/Kardon Premium Sound System delivered crisp sound for all our playlist favorites. The Clari-Fi™ technology restores compressed tracks for noticeable clarity. The music wasn’t fading but after a few hours on the road we were . We made one stop for coffee and hustled towards our evening resting stop. We drove over mountains and watched the sun set. When it became dark we could smell the smoke from the California fires inside the Niro. Our conversations became more serious as we thought about those who had lost so much. We traveled a bit further the smell of smoke dissipated as we entered the Danish streets of Solvang, California, a location that has since become one of my favorite locations in the U.S.

Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid Solvang CA

We were in love with the town right away. We arrived to our hotel, The Landsby, about 7PM. The hotel staff was lovely and made a ton of recommendations for places to eat and visit during our stay. They were kind and welcomed us genuinely. We took our things to the room and were in love with every detail, from the llama artwork on the walls to the tiny lavender sachets reading “good night” placed on each of our beds. We were so enamored with every detail here. I promise to do a full post just on the Landsby itself soon.

The Landsby hotel Solvang CA

One challenge we had arriving to Solvang later in the evening was that the town begins to close down around 8-9 pm. This left us with just a few options for dining but those that were open were welcoming and warm. We walked to dinner at a location nearby our hotel thinking we might enjoy a little stroll after. When we stepped out after dinner the temperature had dropped dramatically. Instead of walking, we hopped back into our Kia Niro PHEV and toured this adorable storybook city listening to Christmas music just in awe and grateful for this time together.

Solvang CA flag

As we were driving and noticing the adorable shops and just FALLING IN LOVE with every shop and street in the city we noticed something else. There were a record number of fire trucks also parked along the road and completely filling one parking lot adjacent to our hotel. Many of the men and women helping to keep the residents and landscape secure during this time were also making Solvang their safe space for the evening. This gave us another moment of kindness inspiration.

delivering kindness kits on our roadtrip

We didn’t know exactly when or where our Kindness Kits would come into play during our trip but we knew that if you prepare the opportunity will present itself. The next morning we left a few items of support to those serving all year long.

Delivering Kindness to firemen in California

After that we were off in search of a traditional Danish breakfast. It’s funny to be a transitioning vegetarian in a Danish community- sausage or some form of meat is offered always. There were definitely options but we in search of the traditional æbleskiver.

Danish æbleskiver in Solvang

Aebleskiver are round pastries, like pancakes formed in a sphere.  In Denmark, æbleskiver are common at Christmas and over the days leading up to it. In December, they are often served with gløgg, Scandinavian mulled wine. In Norway, warm waffles have much of the same function as æbleskiver in Denmark.

Shoe store in Solvang CA

We walked by a few shops and so many that we wanted to visit. We decided at breakfast that we would scrap a few other things on the agenda in order to stay as long as possible in Solvang. We were already planning a trip back. Before we left we did a little photo shoot with our matching Dinosaur costumes because when you have a friend that has a matching costume the only question is “Will it fit in my carry on?” (more Dinosaur photos coming soon!)

dinosaur costume at the Landsby

The staff at the Landsby had been so nice to us that we made sure to leave them a handwritten note of thanks. I can’t wait for my next stay here!

Thank you notes hotel

We had several more hours of driving ahead of us so it was time to get on the road. Our next stop was one we were both very excited about. The last several months had given us plenty to catch up on and as with most road trips there were several stretches of highway for miles.

Kia Niro PHEV

Due to the route we chose to save time we didn’t have a ton of ocean front views but we waved as we drove by. Jillian lives just steps away from the ocean in CA so we were most excited about seeing parts of California that neither of us had discovered.  We definitely did make note of several places we want to stop on our next trip.

Our next stop took us to Oakland, right across the bridge from San Francisco. We both have a friend who is near and dear to our heart, Brandi from Mama Knows It All.  Even though it was moving week for her she was able to get away and meet up for a quick visit. Little did she know that we had a surprise for her too. (Remember that Target run we took ?)

Gifts for a friend

These items may seem like an unusual combination but have a meaning. Together they represent trusted friends who: travel through life with you even when the outcome is uncertain, genuinely celebrate your wins, believe in your gifting, show up at just the right times, and offer their gifts to you making life even sweeter. Simple gifts and time together, no matter how short, are treasured.

2018 Niro Plug-In Hybrid

We attempted to recharge the Kia Niro PHEV while we refueled on donuts and coffee and found it so easy to locate charging stations anywhere on your route. You can check for available charging stations right from the dashboard in your car or from the Chargepoint app. We weren’t far from our next stop in San Francisco. This night we would be staying at Hotel Zeppelin.

Hotel Zeppelin The Den

Hotel Zeppelin gameroom

It wasn’t long before all the teams had arrived together at the hotel. It was such a fun reunion with all the other road trip teams who has been out traveling as well. We got to see pictures of the different roadside attractions, share stories of adventures and ways that kindness was shared. It was an amazing thing to see that although we have lots of choices in the route we take there is joy in every journey and the people who share it with you.

The next morning Clarissa, Jillian, and I loaded our suitcases back into a Kia Niro PHEV and headed out to the airport to return to our homes spread literally across the nation. We all agreed what a wonderful experience it had been and we started planning for our next trip(s) together in 2018.

Airport friends

What were some of the best trips you took this year? Any special road trips planned for 2018?

*As is common, all travel, accommodations, and budget for this trip was provided for by our host, Kia Motors America. All opinions and storytelling are the sole expression of the author. 

The Kia Stinger GT is a Lot More Than Just a Pretty Fascia – It’s Fearless. #StingerIsHere

kia Stinger highway

The Kia Stinger is a lot more than just a Pretty Fascia

No one will disagree that the all new Stinger is a remarkably appealing vehicle. Even at its lowest trim level without custom add ons now available at time of purchase or upgrades, it is undeniably striking. Cars are built for a lot more than sitting still and looking pretty though. The 2018 Kia Stinger GT is so much more than its exterior. It’s precise and powerful and at a price accessible to everyone. What I love most about this addition to the Kia line up is that they aren’t attempting to create a new story but additional chapters to the existing one. The thing is where you’ve been ALWAYS plays a part in who you are today. For many of us that means we’re stronger, wiser, and more capable than in previous years. It gives us confidence. It makes us fearless. The Kia Stinger doesn’t negate the road that Kia traveled in the years preceding. It just offers a new layer of depth and makes the miles ahead a lot more exciting.

2018 Kia Stinger

What happens on the inside is just as important, if not more so, than what is shown on the outside. During the course of a few days in California, hosted by Kia Motors North America, I had the opportunity to really get to know the Stinger and put its capabilities to the test. After being thoroughly impressed getting to drift at SEMA a few weeks ago, I kinda already knew what I was getting into but this time I would get to drive distance as well.


We were hosted at The Garland hotel which if you have the opportunity to visit, you’ll find bathed in hues of orange, warm woods, and plenty of retro vibes. If you are looking to do a little Hollywood sightseeing, you definitely don’t have to go far from property. Located only a couple blocks away is the exterior of the famed Brady Bunch house. I took a short walk with friends before dinner to catch a quick glimpse myself and of course, take a selfie or 7.

Brady Bunch House

That evening we dined under the stars in the courtyard at The Garland with a menu theme based on the movies and stars of yesteryear. The Godfather offered an Italian selection while Jaws encircled the seafood, The French Connection… well you get the idea. After dinner, we played a few groovy games in the hospitality suite and listened to vinyls on record players courtesy of Harmon Kardon.

From the moment of its unveiling in Detroit, early this January, the Kia Stinger has been turning heads. All over the internet and in print people have commented on how well designed it is. Those within the company have held an air of confidence from the very beginning knowing how well it would perform. The thing is, Kia has been designing more than just “pretty cars” for quite some time now. The K900, the Cadenza, and the Optima all hold their own in the line up and in recognition. J.D Power has ranked Kia #1 in initial quality for two straight years. Consumer Reports lists them as top 3 in reliability and in the top 6 best car brands in the market. They have been the ONLY non-premium brand to earn three APEAL awards( J.D.Power).

What’s wrong with being “pretty”?

Nothing is wrong with being “pretty”, “hot”, or “sexy”. To me, it’s just not the most meaningful part about well, anything or anyone. Reducing something to mere aesthetics alone will always initially overlook the more powerful capabilities, potential, and personal story. Looking beyond the surface will ensure you get the whole picture and Kia is no exception. Their story has been one with plenty of ups and downs. It has been thrilling one to follow and personally be part of for the past several years. The way the Stinger GT plays into their story is perhaps the most intriguing part of all for me.

So, what’s the story?

Kia Stinger GT Magic Mountain

In a few sentences or less, The Kia Motors story holds all the elements of a classic heroic story-line. A brand underdog that with time and determination has risen to the top, quite literally. Knowing it takes a team to win, they carefully curated a dynamic team, leading in design, performance, and engineering. From concept to showroom, they were able to develop something that nobody could say no to.

The Kia Stinger GT doesn’t negate the road that Kia traveled in the years preceding. It just offers a new layer of depth and makes the miles ahead a lot more exciting.

Kia Stinger GT

It’s Fearless

There was once a time in my life where I cared what other people said. I carefully considered who was watching and behaved according to what I though their perceptions might be. The problem with this is that you limit yourself and your potential to your past accomplishments or mistakes. One day all that faded away. I began to move forward not even thinking about who may be watching. I don’t know that there was this defining moment that shifted things either. Shifts like that typically happen in a series of events or over time. It didn’t mean I behaved in ways that were reckless or less than thoughtful- I was just finally free to be who I was. I’ve never considered “fearless” an attribute I posses but actually that’s exactly what I’m describing here and I think it’s the place Kia has arrived at too.

During our last laps on the auto-cross course Kia had set up, JB, Eden and I took the Stinger out for a little “Confidence Training”. There was a smoke, squealing tires and a lot of laughter after holding our breath for 30-40 seconds at a time while we trusted the driving abilities of each other behind the wheel. This is something I would never have attempted without permission but I am so glad we did it! In those moments, it wasn’t about showing off, as most of the group had already left for the rest of the scenic drive portion. It wasn’t about proving anything. It was just a drive experience where you could be confident in the skills and capabilities you already have access to in a vehicle that was equally as capable. It was about experiencing life without holding back and living to your fullest potential.

It was about living life fearlessly.

What’s next? Where do we go from here?

As exciting as it was to experience the Stinger in this way, the majority of us don’t have time for drifting and smoking tires during our daily commute. Most of us just want to escape the daily grind. This is the beauty of the gran turismo. An authentic gran turismo means long distance, high-speed, safe driving, and high-speed stability. The Stinger is designed for all of that and more.

2018 Stinger

“A true gran turismo, a car for spirited long-distance driving, is not about outright power, hard-edged dynamics and brutal styling, all at the expense of luxury, comfort and grace,” notes Gregory Guillaume, chief designer, Kia Motors Europe. “The Stinger has nothing to do with being the first to arrive at the destination – this car is all about the journey.  It’s about passion.”

Have you ever wanted to just pack a bag, get in the car and drive? This is the car for that. It’s designed for miles and miles of road and scenery. We’ve all said “one day I’d like to go…..” Don’t wait for one day. Make one day today. Find that place and take in something new. Find the places that feel right and once you get there consider staying an extra day or two. Bring a friend. There is plenty of room for their luggage too (or drone equipment depending on who you bring…. looking at you Yarby).

But wait…. what will this cost?

If I’ve sold you on performance, design and dreams, you’ve probably still got questions. I mean, we’ve all got day jobs and grocery runs after all. What exactly is this going to cost? Probably a lot less than you may be thinking.

This is where the Kia Stinger still shines and makes the most sense. An area where Kia has always excelled: affordability. Offered in five trim levels – Stinger, Stinger Premium, GT, GT1, and GT2:

  • Stinger starts at $31,900
  • Stinger Premium starts at $37,100
  • GT starts at $38,350
  • GT1 starts at $43,250
  • GT2 starts at $49,200
  • All-wheel drive:  $2,200
  • Destination: $900

“The Stinger is a prime example of Kia’s commitment to surpassing consumers’ expectations in everything we do,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, KMA. “Although the Stinger is unlike any other Kia that has come before it in terms of pure driving enjoyment, it is still very much a traditional Kia in that it offers consumers a very compelling value proposition, providing excellent performance and handling, premium features and functionality when compared to its much higher-priced competitors.”

All in all this is definitely a car worth taking a look at and taking a long drive in. Stop into your local dealership and see for yourself. Fair warning, you are going to want to take this one home.

 

SEMA 2017 : Kia Stinger Style

SEMA 2017 Kia Stinger StyleYou know the reaction that most people have if you ask them about going to Disneyland? That’s the same reaction I had when Kia asked me to attend SEMA with them for the unveiling of TWO custom designed Stingers. Not only would I have the opportunity to see them I would have the opportunity to actually get behind the wheel myself AND do a little drifting with a professional driver. This is what automotive dreams are made of y’all. I was 100% all in.

SEMA IS my Disneyland. Growing up in the Midwest, our small family of four took a lot of day trips and even more long Sunday drives than I could ever count but we took only one true family vacation together. A single day at Disneyland and a single day at Knott’s Berry Farm, saddled next to an automotive conference for my father’s business. To this day I can still recall how the excitement over what would be revealed at the show was built up with slightly more enthusiasm than the visit to Sleeping Beauty’s castle.

Curiosity Keeps Leading Us Down New Paths

Whether your heart dreams of magic castles or the magic that can be found in a paint booth, the common ground these two venues, companies, creators, and attendees all have is best summed up by this quote from Walt Disney himself:

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

It’s this curiosity that binds us together. The curiosity to build something better. Something faster. Something more compelling that connects the story of creator and consumer. Each year the companies and creatives work around the clock, creating something spectacular to reveal. Each year SEMA draws a crowd bigger than the last curious to see whats been done whats been created.  In this world it is where the artists and dreamers really shine and since there’s simply no city that shines brighter than Las Vegas, here we are.

SEMA Kia Stinger Style

Kia  has been working relentlessly to elevate their design and product for years. In a sense the Stinger is the embodiment of that vision before us. It’s a monumental offering to add to the brand’s line up. So they weren’t playing when they partnered with West Coast Customs to bring an amazing amount of style to this years SEMA show.

SEMA Kia Stinger GT wide body rear plate

 

Kia Stinger GT Federation

SEMA Kia Stinger GT Federation

SEMA Kia Stinger GT Federation front view

SEMA Kia Stinger GT Federation front

SEMA Kia Stinger GT Federation rear

Kia unveiled the Stinger GT Federation in a color aptly coined “Performance Orange”. It is a uniquely modified Stinger outfitted with parts and accessories from leading aftermarket suppliers. The Stinger GT Federation reveal followed the announcement celebrating the offering of high-performance aftermarket parts available for purchase in conjunction with the Stinger launch. The exterior body accent kits include a rear spoiler, rear diffuser and redesigned hood vent. A K&N cold-air intake and a low-restriction quad-tipped Borla exhaust help the Stinger breathe more freely and are designed to pump an additional 15 horsepower through the twin-turbo 3.3-liter engine, bringing the vehicle’s horsepower to an estimated 3806. Eibach springs, thicker antiroll bars and a reduced ride height aim to offer a more spirited driving experience, while aggressive staggered 20-inch TSW wheels shod with Falken tires round out the Stinger GT Federation’s visual and technical achievements.

Kia Stinger GT Wide Body

SEMA Kia Stinger GT wide body West Coast customs

SEMA Kia Stinger GT Wide Body interior

The Stinger GT Wide Body is a specially modified work of art by legendary West Coast Customs. Unveiled in beautiful pearl metallic blue took the Stinger GT to a whole new level of stunning. “Taking inspiration from the racing GT cars of the 1970s, this modern interpretation seamlessly blends tire accommodating wide fenders with the Stinger’s already narrow waist. Riding on a suspension that’s been lowered 1.4-inches up front and 1.2-inches in the rear, the Stinger GT Wide Body rides on 21-inch Keen forged wheels wrapped with high-performance tires. A lightweight carbon fiber aero kit and rear diffuser will keep the Stinger firmly planted at high-speed, while the quad-port exhaust tips proclaim that this is no typical sports machine. Inside the driver-centric cockpit, the Stinger GT Wide Body includes custom blue leather seat piping, a distinct hand-stitched gray leather dash panel, alcantara-wrapped steering wheel as well as gloss black center console trim.”

Drifting in the Kia Stinger

SEMA 2017 Kia Stinger Style

At this point, no one could deny that this is a pretty car. It’s designed and crafted to be more than just looks though. Honestly, to comment on the aesthetics alone would be slightly insulting but if we’re really being honest there are those who are still trying to reconcile the name badge with the performance level that this car is touting. Maybe that’s fair… we all have to prove ourselves from time to time and when you are confident in your abilities it’s fun to show off a little too.

The opportunity for Kia to show what the Stinger is capable of came just outside the convention center floor. In the Gold Lot outside, Kia provided an exclusive opportunity for us to get behind the wheel for ourselves and do a little drifting with a professional driver in the all-new Kia Stinger. Words alone just cant do it justice. Here’s a few video clips of our experience:

It was truly an incredible Vegas experience and my ride in the Stinger was definitely faster than the Dumbo ride at Disneyland. I had a few more foodie adventures and an evening with Sir Elton while I was in Vegas that I want to share with you soon. Before that I’ll be heading out to Hollywood to spend a little more quality time with the Stinger and see how it handles on the streets of California. Stay Tuned I have so many stories to share with you.

Disclosure: As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with accommodations, meals, and other compensation. My host for this adventure was Kia Motors America as part of the #StingerExperience #KiaSEMA

 

Taking Time to Inventory Life

California Coastal Views #KiaSBEXp

Late last week, I was sitting down with a friend over coffee and the best breakfast tacos Austin has to offer (more on that later) recounting how fast life moves. It seemed impossible that sections of life that felt so lengthy and exhausting at the time were only a mere 24-36 months in total. It felt like a lifetime. In some ways it really was a lifetime ago, depending on how you measure a life cycle.  It was a different life I lived then. I was a different person then.

Just keep swimming. Keep moving forward.

Keep moving forward. Keep swimming. That’s how I lived a good deal of my early life. It wasn’t so much a life plan I was enacting as it was mostly self-preservation but as I retold sections of my life’s timeline, I evaluated just how very much I’ve lived, endured, succeeded and failed in these 30ish years of mine.

So much. Life is SO MUCH sometimes, isn’t it?

This morning as I take stock in this first half of 2017, I realized this year has brought quite a bit to the table by itself. In this first six months we’ve: welcomed a new baby to the family, I became the weekend wife, leaving a place that felt like loosing “my person”, finding a new home, having our entire life packed in a u-haul and then having it stolen from our driveway (for the record, I still can’t believe that happened), a new job, new schools, a two-week road trip, passing of pets that were like family to us, several speaking engagements, and graduations. I’m sure I’m forgetting so many other things in between because life often moves too fast to take inventory.

Kia Optima SXl Coastal Views

This week I’m fortunate to have been invited on a trip where I get to pause and finally do that. Kia Motors America invited a group of us to the Belmond El Encanto in Santa Barbara, CA to spend the week especially designed to allow us a little time to relax, reflect and take inventory. They paired us with some of their most luxurious vehicles, the Kia Optima SXL and the Kia Cadenza, for a drive up the scenic California coast. During our time here we’ll be treated to extended dining experiences, spa treatments, vineyard tours, kayak adventures, and dinner cruises. There is also a good allowance of time built-in for me give attention and consideration to the details of life that may have been overlooked. After all, the details are often the most meaningful memorable parts.

A lot has happened in this first 6 months of the year. I’d be foolish to think that 2017 has any intention of slowing down for the last half. I’m taking inventory, resetting and getting ready. Good things are on the way, friends. Really good things.

You are Amazing #KiaSBEXP

Tips for the Perfect Family Trip to Six Flags

Six Flags Spring Break
We’d like to thank Kia Motors America for sponsoring this post and providing park tickets for our day of fun! As always all thoughts,opinions, and experiences are 100% our own.

Deciding where to go and what activities to choose during spring break is always a daunting task. This year was no different. Our criteria is always about making it fun and exciting, making the most of the time we have together but without breaking the bank. Sound familiar? Since we’d just returned from a really wonderful family ski trip a couple of weeks ago, we decided staying relatively local was our best bet for a fun time. Six Flags over Texas is only 20 minutes away from our new house in Dallas and of course the kids were THRILLED at the suggestion Spring Break at Six Flag it was! Spring is actually my favorite time to visit ANY theme park because the weather isn’t too warm to enjoy a full day, there is usually a breeze.

We made sure to print our tickets at home before getting to the park to save both a bit of time and money. We also made sure everyone wore comfortable shoes and dressed in light layers.

The Kia Ride and Drive Experience at Six Flags 

Kia Six Flags

(Wait…. what IS a “Ride and Drive” anyway? I’m glad you asked.  If you’ve never been to a ride and drive, it is an opportunity to get behind the wheel of a car (or several cars)  you’ve been curious about without any sales pressure. It’s a great way to keep a current and experience new automotive technology. Sometimes there are even really great thank you gifts- see below.)

Kia Family of cars

The Kia ride & drive tent was easy to spot as we approached the entrance of the park. Everyone was super friendly and asked if we had a preference of what car we would like to drive first. Randall had been looking for a chance to get behind the wheel of the all new Cadenza for himself after I told him what a PERFECT car it would be for him after driving it during the Cadenza national press launch last year. Kaitlyn and Sebastian were looking to ride in Kia that was new to them as well. So the Cadenza it was! Our specialist drove us through the busy parking lot until we got away from the crowds and this gave Randall a chance to check out the passenger comforts of the Cadenza.

Randall at Six Flags over TX Kia Cadenza

inside the Kia Cadenza

We were really impressed with the knowledge the product specialists shared. We like to ask a lot of questions – we like knowing ALL the details. There wasn’t a single question they didn’t know the anwser to. As a thank you for our 10 min drive, each of us were given flash passes and $10 Daffy dollars to use inside the park for food or product. We also go to use a special VIP entrance eliminating the longer lines to get into the Six Flags. Flash passes are one of my VERY favorite things ever invented for Six Flags or any theme park!

Six Flags over Texas Kia

I loved that taking a 10-15 min ride in a Kia potentially saved us hours waiting in line. We also were excited to find a place to charge up our cell phones ( ProTip: Kia ride and drives almost always have charging stations.) During this time we made a plan for which rides we would go to first. We each chose one ride that was a “must do” for us. Honestly the only must do any of us really cared about was being together so there would be no splitting up the group. We all agreed we would wait in line or ride as a group for all rides. 

Charging with Kia Six Flags

Now we were charged up and ready to head into the park! The carousel was our first ride, my choice. I was worried that the kids may have outgrown the fun of it but they were as nostalgic as I was to ride it and happily hopped on their choice of carousel steed.

Next up was a Virtual Reality Coaster, the Galactic Attack! Did you know Six Flags Over Texas has total of 13 roller coasters??11 steel, 1 super-hybrid and 1 wooden! Sebastian doesn’t enjoy extreme roller coasters so I loved knowing that Six Flags has “Thrill Swap” as option for families like ours. When a child (or anyone) can’t or does not want to ride a ride, your entire party stays together and goes through the ride line. When preparing to board the ride, notify the attendant that you’d like to use Thrill Swap. One person rides, while the other stays with the child. When they return, the swap takes place; allowing the other person to ride while the child waits with the other guardian. It is a brilliant time saver and allows everyone to have a great time together.

Six Flags over Texas Kia Rides

In addition to flash passes & utilizing Thrill Swap,  I have a few more time & money-saving Suggestions to making the most of a trip to Six Flags during spring break or any time of year!

Tips for the Perfect Family Trip to Six Flags

  1. Buy your tickets online and print at home – Plan ahead for the day you want to visit, and be sure to review our website to prepare for the day. Our website offers the best deal on admission tickets, so you can save time and money at the park. You’ll be able to save up to $18, depending on the day you plan to visit. Plus, you can print your tickets at home so when you arrive at the park, you’ll skip the ticket booth and head straight to the front gate – getting you in to rides faster.
  2.  Plan your meal times earlier or later than normal – Taking a few moments to re-energize will help you stay refreshed so you can tackle more rides without getting worn out. Plan your schedule accordingly so you can spend less time waiting for meals. Eat lunch and dinner a little earlier or later than the “normal” time. This will allow you to be out riding while everyone else is eating. Then, when you’re ready to eat, you’ll miss the mealtime rush and save time, getting out to more rides as quickly as possible.
  3. BUY FLASH PASSES- I cannot encourage this enough. There is nothing better than breezing past rows and rows of other visitors to be at the front of line at your favorite ride.
  4. Take a photo of your parking spot- There is nothing worse than having a tired crew and not remembering where you parked. Snap a quick pic of your spot to help you remember and make a bee line straight to your spot. You can also purchase preferred parking to get an even closer spot to the park.
  5. Pick a meeting spot first thing- In the event that your family or group splits up or gets separated, pick a meeting spot well in advance with the understanding that you will meet there and wait. I sent my husband a text saying to meet me at the group of red picnic tables, little did I know that around the corner from me were several groups of red tables just like ours. If we had picked a spot first, we wouldn’t have lost time looking for each other.

Funnel Cakes Kia Six Flags

We always wait until after the rides are over for snacks and treats. Because we typically try to avoid fried and sugary foods, we’ll often pack a cooler for lunch and snacks in the van and get stamped for reentry. There is a nice shaded area of picnic tables right outside the park. Since it was Spring Break and we did have Daffy dollars to use from our ride & drive experience we splurged on an ice cream funnel cake. It was a super fun splurge and it was so fun to say yes to a request that seemed so whimsical and extravagant. The kids thought we were the coolest parents ever this spring break!

Funnel Cake Ice Cream Six Flags

It was a perfect ending to a perfect day! If you have spring break in the near future, check out the dates below to see when Kia will be hosting a ride and drive in your area! I highly recommend working Six Flags in as part of your spring break plans.

Chase Family Kia Six Flags

Six Flags Spring Break

Dates & Info for all upcoming Kia Six Flags Events:
4/14 – 4/16: Six Flags Magic Mountain
26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy, Valencia, CA 91355
4/14 – 4/16: Six Flags Great Adventure
1 Six Flags Blvd, Jackson, NJ 08527
4/21 – 4/23: Six Flags America
13710 Central Ave, Bowie, MD 20721
5/13 – 5/15: Six Flags St. Louis
4900 Six Flags Rd, Eureka, MO 63025
5/27 – 5/29: Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
1001 Fairgrounds Drive SW, Vallejo, CA 94589
5/27 – 5/29: Six Flags New England
1623 Main St, Agawam, MA 01001
What are you doing this year for Spring Break? I’d love to know what YOUR plans are!