Friday, December 28, 2012

New Years Eve in Orlando

Fireworks
This year, we have 3 major new years events going down right here in Orlando Fl.

The first event, which happens ever year at Universal Citywalk is the " Orlando's Premier New Years Eve Party". This year, Universal has "REO SPEEDWAGON" as the featuring performance! The ticket price for this event is $144.99 and includes your admission, your meal, a champagne toast and of course the live entertainment starting at 8pm till and partying till next year! (2am). The venues included in this event will be "Latin Quarters, Red Coconut Club, Citywalks Rising star, Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville, Bob Marley's tribute to freedom, Pat O Briens, and the GROOVE" and all have live entertainment for the night of the event including "DJ LEONY, Herb Williams & LIVE Dj, Karaoke Center stage with Live Dj, Micah and the reason, Chain Reaction, and Dueling pianos! Oh and lets not forget the menu! ALL YOU CAN EAT GOURMET CUISINE, Filet Mignon, Jumbo Shrimp, Dessert and more!

The next big event is of course at the Walt Disney world and will most likely cater to the younger ages. Walt Disney goes all out of New years eve and will have events going on all over the property!

MAGIC KINGDOM- The Fantasy in the sky fireworks, a special holiday treat will launch at 11:50 pm Dec 31st 2012 and the parks Wishes Fireworks will begin at 8:30 pm that same night.

EPCOT - IllumiNations and Reflections of Earth will begin at 11:42 pm and also earlier that day at 7 pm, also guest can enjoy live music by Dj's set up at different pavilions threw out the park. Epcot also offers a special dinning event inspired by the film "Fantasia" and also "fantasia 2000" The Buffet will take place at World Showcase pavilion. Reservations are needed and is priced at $68.67 for adults and $47.37 for children.

HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS- HWS channels a more Rock N Roll Theme for New years eve, featuring again this year "MULCH, SWEAT AND SHEARS" This is an energetic Family Friendly event that takes place right in front of the Sorcerers hat and provides some contemporary rock, funk, and classic rock and roll favorites. They will have 4 sets of concerts with a hint of pyrotechnics.

DISNEYS BOARD WALK- Atlantic Dance Hall will be holding its special ticket event again this year from 8 am to 2 pm. This event will include a video Dj, Midnight countdown and unlimited viewings of EPCOTS IllumiNATIONS, and Reflections of Earth from the Hall Balcony along with a midnight champagne toast to finish off the year! Additional beverages will be available at the 3 on site bars. You must be 21 and over for this event.

DOWNTOWN DISNEY Disney Quest- This indoor theme park with virtual games and videos will bring back the fun from 8pm to 1 am in the next year! This event will include a DJ Dance party along with Character meet and greets, unlimited access to the special games and attractions, and guest who make it to midnight will receive special vouchers to the entree eatery with a side and a drink plus party favors!

Cirque Du Soleil- The La Nouba Performance will begin at 6 pm and 9 pm, all guest will receive a Limited edition Walt Disney world Trading Pin along with a special finally at the end of the performance. Special drink purchases are also available for this night.

Another event going on in Orlando fl will be the first annual Orlando Ball. Taking place at The Ballroom Church street. They will have a 5 hour open bar beginning at 9pm to 2 am along with some live entertainment from CRESPO, Dj TBD and a special surprise guest. The dresscode will be cocktail attire so dress to impress!!

The final that i will add in is going down on Wall Street in Orlando. This event is called NYE and will have 9 different nightlife venues along with 2 city street Djs, wall video and music performances plus a few other surprises at midnight. The tickets will be $20 dollars in advance and $25 at the door. They will also have a resolution package with a Vip Tented lounge, open bar from 10pm to 2 with Heineken, midnight toast and a 2am breakfast bar and some more surprises for only $100.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Osborn Family Spectacle of Light


Osborn Lights
During the holidays, I like to visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Perhaps, you must be asking what is it in that park that totally will make you feel with the holiday spirit?

Trust me, they have one beloved and must cherish tradition to me and my family, The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights!

The story is simple. A father wanting to create a wonderful gift to its kids, decided to put on his home amazing lights…next year, music…next year creating a wonderful story with lights…and so forth, until there was an array of about 3-million lights over a section of the driveway and 35-days during Christmas season. Then the Supreme Court asked, in 1995, the Osborne’s to dismantle and shut down this work of art. Enter Disney, they decided to save this amazing displayed and put it in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Unfortunately, last year 2011 Mr. “papa” Osborne died and they put a nice little angel that stands as for him!

From “Feliz Navidad” from Jose Feliciano to “Winter Wonderland” the combination of songs and lights will leave you spellbound. Open mouthed is just an understatement, the more than 5-million lights thru 40-miles goes to its dancing segments for about 30-40 minutes, and trust me! You’ll be standing there just looking above and trying to take this incredible amazing spectacle.

The creative minds at Disney decided to play tricks with the guests looking at this awesome display, and they decided to include Hidden Mickeys and over 40-different icons, including a little black cat. This last one is an inside game, cause they change the cat’s position each year, making it a “who can spot the black cat” game!

I tell you, the holiday spirit is well and alive in Disney. And more so in Disney’s Hollywood Studios…the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is the most amazing thing you’ll see. The music and the actual wonderment of the lighting arrangement will leave you with your heart fill with the holiday spirit!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Holidays at Universal Orlando

Macy's Day Parade
There are a ton of exciting things going on at Universal Orlando this Holiday season! From the Macy's Parade to some very cool live entertainment, they are sure to have something everyone will enjoy. The Macy's Parade features floats and balloons directly from the Macy's Thanksgiving parade in New York City! With the appearance from Santa, this is something that cant be missed. Universal also has Bands, and the spectacular tree lighting with this special event starting Dec 1st threw Jan 1st daily every evening at 5 o clock!

Universal is also celebrating the holidays with the Mannheim Steamrollers! Back again this year at Universals music plaza, on select Saturday and Sunday nights during December starting at 6 o clock pm( Dec 1,2,8,9,15,16,22,23). Did you know they are the best selling Christmas artist of all time? Make sure you don't miss the Fun Grinchmas Show at Islands of Adventure featuring music recorded by the Mannheim Steamrollers themselves.(For best sitting, skip the parade and go straight to Music plaza at park closing).

Of course there is also some more live entertainment to enjoy including Barney and Friends Sing a long, Clap a long at A Day in The Park With Barney and also The Blues Brothers Holiday Show performing some Christmas time favorites. Jake and Elmood with "Santa Clause is coming to town" and also "Blue Christmas". The Shows also include snow for the children to have fun in after the show.

Grinchmas has began again at Islands of Adventure! The centerpiece of the celebrations this year is a heartwarming live show including the Grinch himself. Dr Suess Landing comes to life during this special appearance with all the Who's from who-ville spreading Christmas cheer!

Have you ever dreamed out the Grinch and friends joining you for breakfast? Now at Universal, this can be reality! Get up and personal with all your favorite Dr Suess friends and have pictures to prove it. You do need reservations and tickets are needed so make sure to book those now. Room for this awesome event runs quickly. Adults - 24.99, and Children -10.99 with breakfast times at 7:00 am, 8:00am, 9:00am, 10:00am.

Finally, of course Universal is also giving us all the chance to personally meet the Grinch in person! You can get an Autograph, shake his hand or get a good silly picture with the mean green Grinch man for a great holiday souvenir. See park map for times.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid

Ariel at the New Fantasyland
It is slowly becoming one of the biggest expansions in the history of the park itself, that is what Magic Kingdom is doing to his original Florida theme park. One of the most anticipated additions is being open, Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid. And what a treat it will be for the visitors to go into this amazing ride. Just the outside will tell you how imaginative and creative the imagineers at Disney has been. They wanted to make you feel as if you are walking into a portal that will allow you to go inside this wonderful movie that sparked the other renaissance of Disney Animation. You’ll see the facade of Eric’s castle and as you walk into the passageway toward the ride itself, you’ll see little imaginative entertainments that will certainly allow the sure-to-be-long-lines a little more bearable. This will include a little crab who will play a little virtual game with the stash of treasure that Ariel has acquired thru her young age. Once you walk inside you’ll be greet with a huge incredible wall to wall painting that will be a delight to see, as if taken out of the celluloid of that incredibly fun-filled movie. You’ll meet your clam-mobile, which is similar to the “Doom Buggies” at Haunted Mansion but more appropriately decorated as a clam.

The ride itself is fantastic. You’ll actually be admiring and singing and dancing in your awesome clam-mobile when you see your favorite scene from the movie. From the one where Ariel is signing “Part of your World”, then there’s no denying that you’ll enjoy one of the biggest animatronics sets that Disney has produce when the “Under the Sea” portion comes out, it’ll get you dancing and be amazed by the level of craftsmanship that Disney has achieved. Be careful with the little ones when Ursula comes, it is the biggest animatronic ever built by Disney and yet this section is a little scary, but I guess if the kids have seen the movie, they will be alright. And of course, you cant never finished this type of rides with the happy ending, and it will be a lovely one.

This will be one of the biggest attractions in the new revamp Fantasyland…and this is not all what Disney promised to be in store. Next year, they are planning to finished the expansion with what sure will be the most amazing rides ever design with the opening of the Seven dwarves mining ride, which is a blend of a roller-coaster type of ride with the most state-of-the-art technology in the hands of Disney!! Cant wait, and surely you’ll hear more as the information becomes available!

Monday, November 19, 2012

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride - 3D!

Transformers - The Ride 3D
The biggest news around Orlando right now is the appearance of Optimus Prime and Megatron at Universal Studios Florida. Optimus is warning Orlando of an intergalactic battle against the Decepticons to save the human race beginning the summer of 2013 at Universal Orlando. The new TRANSFORMERS: The Ride - 3D is an authentic experience for all ages. The Autobots are at war against the Decepicons bringing the non-stop action films to life, with this new technological level of blending seamless 3-D. This is the most complex attraction to be put together at this pace, with the shortest build time in the history of Universal! TRANSFORMERS: The Ride - 3D is already opened in Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Singapore and has thriving ratings. Guests will be able to interact with the Autobots virtually. This is something fans have dreamed about. This new ride is unlike other 3-D rides as it will travel threw different sets and 3-D screens similar to The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man. There is no news yet on who all will make an appearance other than Optimus, Bumblebee, Devastator and Ravage, but it has been revealed that you will come face to face with Megatron.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Epcot Processional...the performers

Epcot Candlelight Processional
One of the awesome things about Epcot's processional besides its amazing orchestra and the chorus and the lights and the holiday spirit sprinkling to all is the incredible performances of the invited artists. And this year is no different!

Look at this year's invited guest that will be reciting Christmas poems, songs and stories that will touch everyone's heart. Scheduled to appear are:

  • Nov. 23-25 — Geena Davis
  • Nov. 26-29 — Neil Patrick Harris
  • Nov. 30-Dec. 1 — Whoopi Goldberg
  • Dec. 2-4 — Andy Garcia
  • Dec. 5-7 — Blair Underwood
  • Dec. 8-9 — James Denton
  • Dec. 10-13 — Jodi Benson
  • Dec. 14-16 — Lea Salonga
  • Dec. 17-19 — Alfre Woodard
  • Dec. 20-22 — Trace Adkins
  • Dec. 23-25 — Gary Sinise
  • Dec. 26-28 — Amy Grant
  • Dec. 29-30 — Marlee Matlin / Jack Jason
Some "old" returnees this year will be Ms Matlin, Mrs Grant which are a favorites, and lately crowds have been raving about Mr. Harris (aka Doogy Houser).

Do not miss this amazing performance! You'll be filled with the whole holiday spirit, and it will be an unforgettable event that is included with the purchase of your day admission to Disney's Epcot!

Let Disney sprinkle not only with its pixie dust magic, but also with the Christmas magic!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Empire of the Penguins

Sea world Orlando's biggest expansion ever is under way, and we still have very little details on the newest attraction that I am so excited to finally open. What we do know that it is a "State of the Future" ride and also, you can get up closer than ever and walk alongside the massive live colony. They are including the underwater viewing, which is the only thing SW had in the last Penguin encounter exhibit (which has since been tore down). This big new exhibit/ride is the coldest attraction the park will offer, knowing the continent of Antarctica is around -129 degrees F it is sure to be freezing. With the new interactive ride technologies that give you a different experience every time, this is sure to be a must see when it does open in spring 2013.

SeaWorld is calling this a family adventure ride so assuming it will be for young and older park visitors. This ride will allow riders to see the mystery and wonder of life through the eyes of some very special penguins. Some of the species that we will get to see here will be the Ade-lies, King, Gentoo’s, and Rock hoppers. Around 89% of the continent of Antarctica is covered in ice; it is the coldest, driest, and windiest of them all on earth.

Since demolishing the older Penguin Exhibit, they have added a penguin cam to keep us enticed till the opening next year. They are slowly revealing the icy secrets along the way!

Antarctica in SeaWorld Orlando

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Be Our Guest Update!

Be Our Guest Chandelier
So everyone has been waiting for the Grand opening of "Be our Guest". Now that they have opened, it is very hard to get a reservation for this french inspired cuisine restaurant. They have a quick dining service during the day and by night they are serving up a more heartier meal with traditional dining services. In all they have 3 amazing dining rooms. The first room is the mysterious west wing, in this room you get to see the famous enchanted floating rose and some very interesting memorabilia. The ball room is for the quick dining services during the day but you must see the ceiling mural based off the one in the actual movie! The last room is my favorite, you get to see a special addition and it is a life sized music box from beast to bell, this is the centerpiece of "Be our Guest". Also in this room is the enchanted fireplace painting of Prince but changes to beast when you are not looking. The actual restaurant is located in the new fantasy land area of the park below the mountains underneath the castle hidden away in a cave. You actually have to walk across the legendary bridge to get in. When you first walk in, you are standing in front of some very realistic and fierce looking Minotaurs holding up the castle pillars. This is a very over the top replica of everyone's favorite Disney classic from 1991. With soft snow falling out side the windows, this is a must see.
Be Our Guest French Dessert
The French inspired cuisine is also another reason to go check this place out. Day and night, they have something for every one. They have some french sandwich and salads including the classic croquet monsieur (ham and cheese) also tuna nicoise salad and grilled steak sandwiches with garlic butter spread and of course french fries which is only quick serve and only available in the ballroom.The night dining is a little different than the daily dining. The dinner menu includes, Braised pork, grilled strip steak with pommes frites (french fries) and french onion soup and of also Wine and beer to compliment the french cuisine. To finish off the night for desert, they have your choice of a cupcake or a cream puff! But reservations are required.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Upcoming Orlando Events!

What usually is what brings to mind when it comes to Orlando? Vacation? Theme parks? Disney? Universal Studios? Islands of Adventure? Harry Potter?

If you said any of that you are right, but you could be wrong….Orlando is much more than that!

It is also one of the destinations for incredible entertainment and spectacular events. From amazing Broadway type of events, to musical events, and don’t forget that Orlando holds sporting venues as well!

What will be happening in Orlando other than theme parks?

During these weekend, Orlando will be immerse in entertainment:

Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre
First, in the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, during October 5-7 the magical and enchanting tale of Beauty and the Beast will be performing. this award winning (Tony and Oscar winner) will make you fall in love, cheer, laugh, and totally rise in a standing ovation. The music and the actors will totally make you have goosebumps and touching your heart.

For the kids, the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre will be showing up the charming Sesame Street Live: Elmo Makes Music during Oct 9-10. Elmo, Big Bird, and their Sesame Street friends will be sharing their love for music. Something that the entire family will be enjoying!

And for the sports fans around, don’t forget that starting Oct 11th is the tip-off for the NBA Pre-Season. After the amazing win by the Heats last year, all the teams have been revamp which promises to be a season for the ages! The first game of the magics will be with a Eastern Conference playoff hopeful, the Philadelphia 76ers.

Get your reservations ready, and enjoy other things which makes Orlando special. Not only there’s theme parks, but entertainment for every possible person in the family!

Friday, September 28, 2012

An Ocean of Halloween Fun


Count von Count
October 6 is the first day of my favorite Halloween event during the day time. The only time of year when you can dress up in costume and spend the day by the sea at Seaworld. Seaworld's Halloween Spooktacular is from October 6-7, 13-14, 19-21, and 26-28 and they have a ton of Spooky Halloween fun going on. Firstly they have the Count Von Count's Spooktacular Breakfast! This yummy breakfast buffet is a party of its own hosted by Count himself, and a couple of really awesome friends.

The count down to Halloween takes place in the streets on the park with sing a longs with friends. This musical Celebration will be hard to miss. You mite even the chance to meet Elmo! Then head over to Penelope's Party Zone! Located in Bayside stadium all day long and enjoy music, crafts and family fun, Penelope is also hosting Candy apple and Rice Crispie decorating! Decorate your favorite chocolate covered treats with friends and family. Make sure you also watch out for "sea star paparazzi over at Bayside Stadium by the Wild Artic exibit, wear your best costume for the glamorous photo shoot and watch your shots during the virtual parade during the Spookacular pre show before Shamu Rocks. (Arrive at Shamu Stadium around 30 mins early to see the preshow).

Of course you can trick or treat all over the park with Special Spooktacular Maps to stop at over 15 different stations featuring candy galore. The Spooky sea witches Gummy Worm Wanda, Salt Water Taffy, Swedish Fish Suzy, along with over 35 other fanciful sea creatures, greet, mingle, and play with guests making their way through the event.

Do you want to see everything at Spooktacular, and to get the tour of sea-lion, dolphin and other animal exhibits, along with some front line access with a light lunch? Well then take the Family Tour! You have a personal tour guide that embarks on a 4 hour walking tour around to our favorite animal exhibits, like maybe the dolphin nursery and you get to touch a penguin! Also reserved seating for the new killer whale show "One Ocean" plus a light lunch and front line access at Shamu's Happy harbor along with a special gift from Shamu himself.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Force is coming to LEGOLAND Florida!

For my ally is the Force. And a powerful ally it is” -Yoda

Legoland Star Wars Expansion
As you all know, one of my favorite movies of all time is Star Wars. Period! I get my hands on collecting anything that crosses my eyes that has to do with the franchise, and I’ve seen thru the awesomeness of Disney’s Star Wars Weekend a few of my favorite villains and characters from this amazing movie. There’s been some geeky-status highs (standing side by side to the awesome and fan-friendly Jeremy Bulloch aka Boba Fett), and some lows (I am looking at you mom for selling my collection of toys, including my very treasured Millennium Falcon, sniff sniff). 

I got amazing news for you all Rebel Alliance geeks out there (and for Emperial Troops out there, I am looking at you). Legoland has announced that they will be building a new Star Wars miniland!

Opening November 2012, you will be able to see many creations built with LEGO bricks recreating scenes and characters from the scifi all 6-films saga (A new Hope, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith), adding to this the awesome TV series “The Clone Wars” (which you can watch in Cartoon Network).

Amidst a replica of the Millenium Falcon, which surely looks simply amazing in its detail, and the character replica of the villain Darth Maul with its undistinguishable double light saber, this is terrific news to this wonderful and whimsical park.

Legoland Florida has minilands with beloved Florida attractions and venues of interest all made with legos, including a whole impressive area that has new york, san Francisco, las vegas, and Washington DC areas which are incredibly detailed and fill with funny outtakes. Plus around the park you can find attractions that will showcase awesome entertainment and a grand view of the natural beauty around the park.

This will certainly add a new centerpiece for a whole Star Wars super week…you can head to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and enjoy Star Tours 2: The Adventure Continues, or enjoy the wonderful geek-tastic Star Wars Celebration which happens every year here at Central Florida, and now add Legoland’s Star Wars land in your things-to-do!

Can’t wait for this area to be open…and I know it will be a thing of beauty and fun for the entire family!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Kids Eat Free at SeaWorld

For the first-time-ever, SeaWorld, Orlando's favorite theme-park is offering a special park perk at Dine with Shamu.  This behind the scenes attraction, is featuring kids-eat-for-free valid through  December 31, 2012.

Kids ages 3-9, will be immersed into the mysterious world of killer whales in training and free lunch to boot.  This pool-side buffet at Shamu Stadium will create lasting memories for years to come.

Where children normally eat for $24, (children under age 3 free),  now they can enjoy fresh hot dogs, Sea Shell Pasta with vine ripe tomato marinara and meatballs, Mac & Cheese, and Seasonal Fruits with Vegetables for free.  

Perhaps the only downside to the deal is that all members must purchase regular admission to the iconic theme park SeaWorld Orlando. Kids will be mesmerized while eating as they see up close Shamu and friends in training. No doubt about it, this is one-in-a-lifetime experience for children of all ages.

Dine with Shamu experience offers a unique close encounter with these playful orca's that will give kids a healthy perspective which underscores the gracefulness and power of these remarkable creatures.

During your meal, children will be able to satisfy their curiosity by question and answer time with  SeaWorld's professional handler's. Don't miss this pool-side event from now until the end of the year. 

Main Menu
  • Seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Certified Sustainable Seafood
  • All natural grain fed Beef Sirloin
  • Open flame grilled free range chicken
  • 100% natural pork loin with no preservatives or additives
  • Seasonal accompaniments  
  • Fresh breads baked daily by our skilled Sea World bakers
  • Signature desserts
Beverages
  • Assorted Coca-Cola products
  • Hot tea
  • Coffee
  • Beer and wine 

Kid’s Buffet featuring all kids’ favorites:
  • Hot dogs
  • Sea shell pasta with vine ripe tomato marinara and meatballs
  • Mac and cheese 
  • Seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fantasyland News

Fantasyland
Disney has announced that they are adding in a Character Greeting into the new Fantasyland and its my favorite Disney Movie Character. Ariel from "The Little Mermaid" will have her own greeting area in Fantasy land. She will be seated in a seashell throne for everyone to meet though this is separate from the new "Under the sea- Journey of the little mermaid" attraction which is a ride threw Prince Eric's Castle and rock out to this musical attraction. The Grotto will be close to where Prince Erics Castle is located. A lot of guest have requested a Little Mermaid attraction and Disney has really come threw with the character meeting plus the whole new attraction! The soft opening starts November 19th and the Grand opening is set for December 6th 2012.

I have heard that they also may have some more of our favorite characters around Fantasyland, but has not confirmed which characters. The new attractions that are set to open on December 6 2012 are Under the sea- journey of the little mermaid, Be our guest Restaurant(a feast right in the middle of Beasts magical Castle), The Enchanted Tales of Belle( a Storytelling time with Belle Herself!), Ariel's Grotto, Gaston's Tavern, and Bonjour! and will continue working on Fantasyland until the opening of the Princess Fairytale Hall in 2013 and the new Disney mountain 7 dwarfs mine Train in 2014. The part of Fantasy land that will have Prince Eric and Beasts Royal Castles and character greets is called " The Enchanted Forest" and the other half of Fantasyland is named Storybook Circus. We have a lot of excitement to look forward to in the next couple years at Disney World!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Can't Wait for Horror Nights....

So it is that time of year again! Universal Studios Orlando is preparing to start Halloween Horror Nights 2012. The theme they chose this year has everyone frantic. Not only do they have it themed with a maze based on The famous Living Dead Series but they are also adding in scare houses based on Alice Copper and The Silent Hill video games. This year they are going all out and I can’t wait. My Favorite year would be Halloween Horror nights XIX from 2009 "Cut from Silver screen" but I think this year will take the spot. In Universal Hollywood, last year they featured an Alice Cooper Scare House and this year they have expanded it to the other coast here in Orlando. It is still unknown if the Silent hill theme will be a scare zone or an actual house but we are expecting this year to be over the top compared to last year’s Lady Luck theme. Another small Haunted house that they have released details on is called "Penn and Teller, New Las Vegas". It is supposedly Las Vegas turned upside down and filled with monsters. If you have never visited HHN, this is the year to go and see what all the fuss is about. I have been almost every year and let me tell you it is a scary place but also a lot of fun. It is the perfect way to celebrate the time of year. The characters the scare zones go way out of the way to scare you. They love to blend in and walk along side of you until your realize that they are not a normal civilian with their skin missing from their faces. I have been chased and cornered by the cast members all in good scary fun. The houses are the best part. The Haunted Houses are a big part of HHN and they go way over the expectations every year. While walking through the houses, Zombies and other monsters jump out and scare you or sometimes just watch you closely and that is enough to make me run screaming. HHN is definitely something to check out this year.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Discovery Cove

All Inclusive Experience

At Discovery Cove,  guests can explore  a one-of-a-kind experience under the water.  With a limit of 1,000 visitors per day,  Discovery Cove insures that guests can maximize their adventure in a whimsical tropical paradise.

Just imagine, an all-inclusive experience provides a fun-packed day filled with extraordinary interaction with marine life.  Kids  and adults alike will just love the  Discovery Cove's 7 signature attractions available for the entire family.

Swim with the playful dolphins,  feed your new feathered friends in the Explorer's Avaiary,  wonder into the freshwater oasis with playful otters, take an underwater tour of the Grand Reef, enjoy the pristine beaches of Serentity Bay, or just take a whimsical trip down Wind-away River in this peaceful tropical hideaway.

Packages Include:
  • Dolphin interaction for 30-minute  
  • Scuba dive at the Grand Reef with 1,000's of rays and tropical fish
  • Hand-feed your favorite free-flight feathery firiends in the Free Flight Aviary
  • Enjoy a little respite on the pristine beaches of Serenity Bay
  • Get swept away in the whimsical Wind-Away River
  • Satisfy your taste buds with a freshly prepared meal with unlimited snacks and drinks
  • Ammenities including lockers and gear
  • 14 consecutive days of unlimited admission to SeaWorld and Aquatica

Monday, August 6, 2012

My Fav Time of the Year...


Epcot Food and Wine Festival
I am so excited cause it's getting to that time of the year that i totally love....you see, i am a "foodie". I am the kinda guy who will try anything at the table, the chef's choice, i will try to find that extra oomph in what the cooks where trying to create...finding that "perspective", if i can take a line from one of my favorite movies "Ratatouille".

As you can probably figure out by now, i love Epcot's International Food and Wine Festival. It's one of those amazing things that Disney's Epcot has created to the delight of every food lovers out there whilst exposing many people to the different foods that are around the regions of the world.

From September 28th to November 12th Epcot will be the place to engage in a deliciously palatable odyssey to the senses! 30 Kiosks around the Seven Seas will feature food from different continents and places around the world (from Argentina, Brazil, Caribbean, South Africa, Italy, Germany, Japan, New Zealand to Australia to name a few), two of those are brand new: Florida (which offers a showcase of the many fantastic recipes that are from this region of the USA), and Terra (that is a heaven to all vegans palates).

But, the outstanding culinary experiences aren't all that you are bound to enjoy in this festival. Other amazing things to really enjoy is the "Party for the Senses", an spectacular tribute to the pairings of food and wine and other drinks that not only enhances your taste buds but also will make the night be much more enjoyable!

And, Don't forget one of the best kept secret the "Eat to the Beat" concert series, which features amazing artists that has made top 40 music who with their awesome beats will make you dance, be romance and feel the rush of memories sweeping you whilst enjoying your favorite delicatessen.

Even if the title of the festival would make you feel is for just grown ups, then you will be for a surprise! Kids must be included in this amazing festival, that is why Disney has created special plates specifically designed for the little ones in the house!

Cannot wait for this awesome Festival starts, Disney's Epcot always brings the best chefs and cooks for this amazing treat! Remember, the International Food & Wine Festival 2012, a heaven for your senses!

Monday, July 16, 2012

As one of the most immersive family dining experiences in Orlando, Dine With Shamo is one of SeaWorld Orlando's centerpiece attractions.

With a reservation at the Dine With Shamo venue, guests will indulge in a delicious menu at a pool-side table while getting up close and personal with the parks majestic marine life.

Be mesmerized when you get a glimpse of the interactions between black orcas and SeaWorld's notorious trainers.

Discover what notable characteristics of killer whales make them such intriguing animals. 
Learn about the little things that can be done to help rescue valuable ocean resources and habitats by enjoying sustainable and natural foods.

This behind-the-scenes experience will transport our guests to a new under-the-sea experience like never before.
Some facts: 
 Make reservations at the in-park reservations center by calling 800.327.2420.
SeaWorld’s commitment to the world we share extends into the food we serve.
All items served at Dine With Shamu are seasonably fresh.
Menu:
  • All-natural, grain-fed Black Angus strip loin 
  • 100% natural cinnamon-cured roasted pork loin 
  • Rosemary-glazed free range grilled chicken 
  • Fillet of cod (certified sustainable) 
  • Seasonal sides including lemon butter herb roasted red potatoes, summer vegetable lo mien, cucumber salad, mixed green salad, summer fruit salad, coconut Caribbean rice 
  • Baked goods made fresh at SeaWorld 
  • Signature desserts 
  • Special kids’ buffet

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cabana Bay Resort scheduled for 2014

With it's  750-room Portofino Bay Hotel, 1000-room Royal Pacific, and  650 -room Hard Rock Hotel, Universal Orlando is adding a fourth resort to it's line-up of hotels.

Universal is pandering to a new trend of family resorts that provide value at a lower rate.  The Universal Cabana Bay Resort will accommodate up to 6 persons while offering a more affordable rate with a larger group.

Universal's new corporate owner, cable-TV giant Comcast Corp., is blessing the theme-park giant by investing millions into the entertainment business.   Comcast's blessing is provoking an interest in Universal products and services.
During Universals recent surge of popularity due to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, park attendance grew 35% increasing to some 13.7 million visitors.   To be more competitive with Disney,  Universal decided to build a new resort that will meet the demand of lower-end family suites due to larger groups.

The only caveat is that the new resort will not offer front-of-the-line park perks with the new Cabana Bay booking which could prove to be detrimental.  By contrast, Disney World is offering the same park perks for a booking at any one of it's 26,000 hotel rooms.

By not offering park perks with a value stay at Cabana Bay Resort, Universal can lure in guests by offering a more attractive price.   But some think this will be a negative affect when guests can not enjoy additional park specials.

But park officials believe that the new tiered ammenities will actually offer guests a wider range of options that it's competitors. 

Cabana Bay will be built on 37 acres adjacent to Islands of Adventure theme park and will be jointly share between Universal and Loews which holds about a 50% stake in the hotel.  Other hotels owned by Universal include Loews Portofino Bay Hotel,  Loews Royal Pacific Resort and the Hard Rock Hotel.

According to artists renderings,  the Cabana Bay hotel will model a large sweeping motor court of a days-gone-by era marked by  road trips Americans grew up enjoying while on vacation.  Images are reminiscent  of a hotel showing a retro-style entrance, with clean lines accented by orange-and-turquoise flourishes.

Opening concurrently with the Cabana Bay in 2014 is the all new theme-park "Land" as a tribute to the famous boy wizard Harry Potter.  Land is expected to create another large frenzy of visitors to the 100 year-old theme park.


Friday, July 6, 2012

Tourist tax revenues may take a hit after Judge's ruling

Most online companies like Orbitz or Expedia  pay lower taxes on the wholesale price for hotels rooms but do not tax the retail price to the consumers.  

With the new Orlando Arts Center and Florida Citrus Bowl renovations, Orlando leaders will rely heavily on these revenues to pay for financing. 

Revenues also go toward global marketing of Orlando and for the convention center debt.

A ruling by judge Judge Fred Lauren sides with online booking companies that they can pay the lower tax.

This new way of doing business could cost County leaders millions of dollars in taxes need to pay for upgrades including the $1.75 million for the Citrus Bowl.

State legislators could be emboldened by the ruling to change statutes that cut deeper into bed tax revenues.  State Rep. Jason Brodeur from Sanford indicated that it may be prime time review the entire bed tax statute.

The downside of bed tax is they rely heavily on tourism that is dependent on the economy.  Case in point during the 2008 economic downturn  the bed tax crunch was heavily affected by decrease in tourism as a whole.

Some $1.1 billion in projected bed tax has been pledged by Orlando officials to pay for the performing arts center, Amway Center and the Citrus Bowl.

When the County of Orlando took companies like Expedia to court to settle the lower tax issue, it cost the County some $1.1 million in legal fees.  Was it worth it, when the online company settled for $9 million?

To date lawmakes side with the online company's and any further clarifications from the government could come at a higher cost to Orlando officials.

In the future, existing hoteliers could end up following the online tavel company model further affecting the bed-tax revenues.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Inaugural Kissimmee Festival of Festivals

Inaugural Kissimmee Festival of Festivals

This September the Festival of All Festivals is coming to the Kissimmee area. This three day festival will be filled with music, arts and crafts, food, races, hot air balloon rides and of course fun. Generously planned and funded by sponsors in Osceola County these businesses and organizations are bringing you a great weekend of fun for the whole family! The Kissimmee Balloon Festival will kick off with two evening foot races on Friday. During the event foot racers will have the opportunity to run alongside hot air balloons during the race.

Bright and early the next day (Saturday) hundreds of international hot air balloons will take to the sky for a cross country ride. Viewers will get to witness the various shapes, colors and sizes of the different balloons dot the edge of the Osceola County skyline and several hundred visitors will get to ride the balloons themselves! Throughout Saturday both tethered and free flying balloon rides will be offered to all festival-goers. But the rides aren’t the only thing available; the main festival grounds will have an array of activities. Enjoy food, contests, games, arts and crafts and a the festival fare, followed closely by live concerts!

The festival is set to bring people from all corners of the state to enjoy the fun and entertainment, so you don’t want to miss it. With great opportunities and once in a lifetime hot air balloon rides this is one event you won’t want to miss. Be ready to enjoy this great fare on September 21st through the 23rd!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Grand opening of "Be Our Guest" restaurant

As part of the ongoing Fantasyland expansion later this year Disney will debut for the first-time-ever it's "Be Our Guest" restaurant featuring Disney's animated characters Beauty and the Beast.

At the Be Our Guest eatery, guests will discovery both a quick service and table service menu during the evening.

As a tribute to the big p roduction "Beauty and the Beast",  the new eatery will offer a variety of French menu items including carved turkey baquette, tuna Nicoise salad,  Croque Monsieur sandwich,  grilled steak sandwhich,  braised pork, vegetale quiche to mention a few.

Enjoy an upscale dinner menu including sautóed shrimp and scallops, veggies puff pastry with creamy lobster sauce, pork rack chop over gratin pasta, , rotisserie rock hen  with roasted potatoes, pan-seared salmon, grilled strip steak and more.



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

First Twin Sea Lion Pups born at SeaWorld

SeaWorld welcomes it's first set of Sea Lions born in captivity since the park opened in March 21, 1964.

Although  the sex of the pups has not been determined,  the first one was born at 11:00  July 25 and the second a couple of hours later.
Even in the wild, it is extremely unusaula for a Sea Lion to give birth to twins. 

Not only was this an amazing performance by mom but SeaWorld also reap the benefits of this rare occurance in nature.

A 14 year old sea lion, Fable can be seen showing off her new pups at SeaWorld's  Pacific Point Preserve.

Fable who has recovered quite well well after giving birth will nurse her pups for 6 to 12 months.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tropical Storm Debbie smites Florida

Forming in the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday was the 4th new tropical storm Debbie that already caused a state-of-emergency in Louisiana declared by the state's governor.

Not only was Debbie responsible for floods in southern Louisiana but she also interfered with the oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico.

She began with maximum sustained winds of about 50 mph.   She was one of four storms in the Gulf that occured prior to  July1 since record keeping in 1851.

For the last 4 days, Debbie has dumped over 26 inches of rainfall on Florida causing the closure of  Disney's typhoon lagoon where flooding may of occurred.

On Saturday, Debbie began by dropping from 6 inches up to 10 inches of rain in many areas around the Gulf. 

The US government reported that 9 production platforms and one drilling rig were evacuated on Saturday.
Not expected to dramatically affect prices,  the suspended crude production amounts to about 2 percent of U.S production and about 0.1 percent of global production.

Disney hopes to open it's signature water park Typhoon Lagoon soon. 

Stay posted.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wet 'N Wild Orlando debut's Blastaway Beach



Share the Rush Wet 'N Wild

Voted by the Amusement Business Magazine as America's #1 Water park, Wet 'N Wild  offers a complete day of fun  with over 17 rides and attractions. for the entire family.

The park's mantra is simple, "nobody has more multi-person water thrills than Wet 'N Wild."  

Experience  a variety of new attractions including the largest family water play area in Florida dubbed Blastaway Beach, including a themed water playground Sandcastle,  160 interactive toys, 15 slides, 60 foot sandcastle, 2 pools equaling 85,000 gallons, and a secluded area with dedicated seating.

Wet 'N Wild now offers a unique ticket for 2012 dubbed the Wet 'N Wild 14 Day Length of Stay Pass.  Unlimited access for 14 consecutive days allows you to  maximize your visit to Wet 'N Wild.

Not only does Wet 'N Wild offer a soaking wet day at the park, but now you can enjoy its centerpiece attraction, Blastaway  Beach.  Can you imagine a sandcastle that towers over 15 slides,  two splash pools and more than a 160 soakers, water jets, cannons and waterfalls?

With over 14 soaking-wet rides to choose from,  blast off in the two-person hydra capsula at The Black Hole Next Generation, jump board a tube with 2-or-4 friends in the hypnotizing water thrill Brain Wash,  make a quiet escape to Florida's Lazy River, or just drop through an elevated chute in The Storm.



Saturday, June 23, 2012

Something new at Orlando theme parks

Poised to debut it's newest attraction Wednesday , Universal Orlando is gearing up for rush-hour when they unveil first-time-ever ride dubbed Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. 

Produced by NBC Universals Studios movie production unit, the ride was based on the animated film Despicable Me.  Riders will be transfored into greenish goggle faced creatures as part of the unique experience.

 Perhaps you may be the lucky one to get a shot Universal Orlando's newest attraction during the weekend's rehearsal  while employees begin teseting the attraction.   Out with the old and in with the new as some enthusiasts are dissappointed with the replacement of Jimmy Neutrons' Nicktoon Blast at Universal Studios Florida.

The new 3-D simulator ride will join an evening lagoon show and parade at Universals Studios which has fallen behind  counter part Islands of Adventure.  The amazing Wizarding World of Harry potter propped up the Island's of Adventure theme park in 2011 causing the popularity of Universal Studios to languish a bit.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Legoland breaks world record

Legoland which is derived from the root Lego  in  Latin meaning "I assemble"  has been bringing joy to children for the last 80 years since its founder Kirk Christiansen built his workshop in Denmark in 1932.

Legoland's signature plastic bricks did not come into existence until 1949 until after the company bought it plastic injection molding equipment. Since then, improvements in the inner tube bricks offer an unlimited number of building combinations making the design so unique.

Today the legoland's legacy company is becoming a staple brand geared toward  children between the ages of two through twelve.   With it's debut in winter Haven, Florida in 2012,  Legoland is quickly receiving world attention by the local theme-parks as a  formidable competitor.

Just recently, Legoland had set the world's record for the greatest number of beach balls in the air at any one time.  Guiness World Record recorded the event on May 24, 2012 at the grand opening of it's highly coveted water park.  During that particular event, park guests maintained 1,290 beach balls bouncing at simultaneously.

In tandem with this spectacular event,  Legoland announced a $20 savings on Florida resident's annual pass set to expire in July 31.  For just $129 per child, residents gain admission to the Winter Haven theme park with no black-out dates.

But that's not all,  the tickets also features free parking, discounts on food and merchandise.   Guests may also participate in Holiday events including Independence Day, and Brick-or-Treat during Halloween time.

Don't forget to check out the $10 online discount for a 1-day pass including access to the water park  Legoland offered through Oct 21, for just $67  per child.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Double Dumbo Ride Debut

Disney Double Dumbo
As part of one of the largest expansions in the history of Disney World, enthusiasts are already anticipating the unforeseen surprises awaiting at their favorite theme-park Magic Kingdom.

For the next few days, during the soft opening  in July of double dumbo ride, cast members will begin training on the new attraction.  Some guests may enjoy a  preview of the ride as the cast members are training.

As one of the animated movies that debuted in 1941,  Dumbo the Flying Elephant is one of the legendary rides that ran when the Magic Kingdom park first opened in 1971.  During the remodeling,  this legacy ride was removed from it's original placement to run in tandem to exact duplicate dubbed  "double dumbo ride."

As guests pass through the portal to Storybook Circus, , riders will filter through the new indoor queue to board  the all-new side-by-side double dumbo.   

Some guests may choose to cool off first at the Casey Jr. Splash 'N' Soak station before the face the double dumbo ride.  Especially on hot days when the little engine gets ready to blow it's stack sending up a burst refreshing water to the screaming children below.



Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Disney's Art of Animation Resort

Pixar  & Disney Animation have joined forces to bring to life many of the beloved Disney characters that will be portrayed at the Disney Art of Animation Resort.

Disney Art of Animation will immerse guests into a new of world of wonder in the middle of Disney classics.  Dance under the sea with The Little Mermaid, strut through the jungle with Pumba and friends, burn rubber on the road in Cars, or catch a ride on the back of sea turtle with Nemo.

Now you can simply jump into the screen and become a hero in one of
Pixar and Disney films.  So get ready  for a big surprise, your journey is about
to begin at the Art of Animation Resort.

As you can imagine, everything that you will see began on the drawing board of one
of Disney's Imagineers.  Disney Art of Animation is a first of a series realization of behind-the-scenes video
production  making it an animation lover's paradise.
Now you will be able to stay in one of four amazing themed environments that
will put you in the middle of all you favorite Pixar Animation films, finding Nemo,
Cars, The Lion King and The Little Mermaid.

Enthusiasts are anxous about their check-in time, to be the first to see the
opening of Nemo, phase one. Today, let's take a sneak peek into the
creation process of this exciting new resort.

At Art of Animation, guests will feel like they are the star in their favorite animated
movie, broken into a series of small shots, then a colorful wide shot
panoramic scenes displayed at the resort.

Later, guests can walk through the court yards where all the action occurs
dipicted by animated figures all created to scale for a more personal
encounter with their favorite characters.

In the Finding Nemo court, guests will discover that they are about the same size as Nemo, where Mr.
Ray's larger than life image has a  wing span of just 26 feet sporting a tail 33 feet off the ground. 
Feel like you are one of the specific characters in the storyline at Art of Animation.

As you meander through each family suite, you'll be fascinated with all the details of the movie.
All of the objects of the movie are custom made with a special a touch including the beds, tables, windows,  and mirrors.

With 2,000 guest rooms, over half of them are family suites that will accomodate up to
6 people.  Second to none,  Disney Art of  Animation, will offer spacious guest rooms
allowing family's all the room necessary to spread out. 

The latest technological advances dubbed  the "Next Generation Experience Initiaitive", will be
featured  on the doors of each guest room.  Instead of inserting key cards  to unlock guest rooms, guests will simply hold the key card  in the proximity of the door and  wireless card reader will open the door.
At the inception of the twentieth century, affordable suites similar to the 777-room Nickelodeon Suites Resort have continued to grow increasing popular among middle-class travelers. Today, it's not unusual for a travelers to have extended family or other, larger groups that vacation together.  With the new Disney Art of Animation, the additional value-resort rooms will help fill in the gaps of inventory lost to other resorts.

Disney says the hotel will support 750 permanent jobs, in addition to the 800 construction jobs created in the interim.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Carbon Freeze Me Experience

Carbon Freeze Me
Several of you know my love affair for everything StarWars related. I totally love that Hollywood Studios have StarWars Weekend (this 2012 year will be from May 18th to June 10th). So, you cannot even fanthom the excitement for the following news from Disney about the brand-spanking new experience "Carbon-Freeze Me":
"Using state-of-the-art imaging technology, this experience casts your likeness as a three-dimensional, eight-inch figurine. At the Carbon-Freezing Chamber (located adjacent to The American Idol Experience), several cameras will capture multiple angles of your face. The images are then reconstructed in a computer for processing, and in approximately four weeks, the completed figurine is shipped directly to your house. "
If you are a Jedi at heart, then this will be a no-brainer. This is like any boyhood dream where you really wanna be Han Solo, the only thing missing there's no Princess Leia in that awesome Jabba the Hutt outfit (you all know what i am refering)!

Perhaps you are asking me about pricing....and here's where the marketing machine from Disney kicks-in:

"Each carbonite figurine is $99.95 (plus shipping). You can order additional figurines using the same image scan for $74.95 each. The replica figurine can be hung on a wall, just like the gangster Jabba the Hutt did in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi. Guests also receive a light-up wristband."
For those members of the "Rebellion" eager to get their hands on this, some extra info:

"The experience will officially open on May 18 with the launch of Star Wars Weekends.Reservations are required and can be made starting Monday, May 7 by calling 407-WDW-TECH (407-939-8324)."
As usual in this type of experiences, Disney has some cancellation policies, so make sure to call and get acquainted with those before you purchase this incredible experience! Can't wait to call and make sure to get my very own personal Carbonite "Me", not even Sith Lord Vader can't get me away from this one!

May the force be with you all Jedis!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Turtle Trek at SeaWorld Guest Review

Turtle Trek People
Finally, one of the newest attractions of SeaWorld Orlando opened, Turtle Trek!

What an amazing experience! You get to see and be immerse in a world like no other. As you enter into the attraction, you’ll be welcomed by the “water stream” arch. At the end of the walk-way, you’ll see the doors leading to the first exhibit, which holds the Manatees. Here, you’ll feel as if you have enter into their world. Hanging from the ceiling, you’ll see little informative strips that shows the different species of manatees as well as other fishes that roams in their aquarium. Those animals are enormous and huge, but they are very docile and gentle. Then, you’ll be escorted to our next exhibit, which has the turtles. What an awesome exhibits, with different species of turtle, including a couple of huge sea turtles that were pretty awesome.

It’s in this exhibit that our SeaWorld expert starts introducing the third portion of this attraction, which is truly the highlight. She starts asking the crowd different questions in regards to turtles, and also how to make sure we can help them so they don’t become extincts. One interesting fact is that, the sea turtle makes about 100 eggs and from this, only 1 in 10 makes it to the open water. Not only they got enemies at the time they hatch, but also once in the water they have other enemies, natural and man-made. Our expert shows us the trapping nets that the US Government wants the fishermen to use use when catching fishes, this one is pretty cool cause it has a nice little back door that only turtles can go out from.

Once the doors open, you are headed into a room which has a dome on top. From here, you’ll experience the fascinating story of one turtle from hatching to going back again to the place where she born. And let me tell you, if you have a beating heart, you’ll be having tears (uh-hum “a little dust”) in your eyes. You will feel like if you are the turtle. The 3-d is impressive, and to top it all off the 360-degrees angle makes you feel as if you are right there. The sights and the sounds will make vivid the scenes and appreciate more what this lovely animals go thru. Not only that, but the message is loud and clear, to be a “hero” participating in the conservation.

Once outside, you’ll go thru the outside section of the same exhibit where the turtles and manatees are. This will give you a better angle from the top to see another sight of these lovable animals. Plus, for the nintendo/PS3/XBox crowd there’s a video game where you play the turtle and have to ditch the different obstacles that you can find at the sea.

This is a wonderful addition to SeaWorld and another one of those attractions that will be a definite favorite one. Stay tuned, tho, cause SeaWorld will open next year another fully immersive attraction called “Antarctica – Empire of the Penguin”.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

B.B. Kings Classic Soul Dinner

B.B. Kings Classic Soul DinnerOne of the newest shows in the Central Florida area is at a long time classic in Pointe Orlando. If you’re down here on vacation and you are visiting the theme parks then a dinner show is a great way to end your night after a long day at the parks. Instead of going back and wasting your vacation time in the hotel you can kick back for a delicious meal and enjoy even more entertainment. It’s the perfect way to end any night, vacation or not!

We walked into B.B. Kings Classic Soul Dinner not knowing what to expect, so just about anything they threw our way would be a surprise. When we got in we were quickly seated and treated to some delicious appetizers that came free with the show ticket. I got catfish bites and my friend got fried pickles, both equally tasty. After that they brought us out our salads before moving to the main course. They had three selections on the menu, but since there was only two of us we got filet mignon and some ribs which came with a full half a chicken.

After we were totally stuffed we were served a fine dessert, but the whole time we were eating the band was have a grand old time on stage. They were singing and playing the blues like it was nobody’s business. Down front the other guests (Not us) were dancing to the beat on the dance floor with drinks in hand.

If you are looking for a fun night out with lots of energetic fun then this is the place to be. With dancing, singing, an open bar and awesome southern food it can’t get any better. The great atmosphere and good food is what I call a good night.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Avatarland

There have been very few successful kickstarts to theme-parks in the Orlando área based on movies or themes to date. Until recently, hype over new areas of a park have been relatively minimal. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been a HUGE success in the re-inventing and refreshing of Universal’s Islands of Adventure(IOA). Hugely based on Disney’s recent purchase of Marvel Studios, IOA has spent the last couple years struggling and in need of a new addition. Soon after the last Harry Potter film was sent into production, the park decided that the fanbase for that was vast. And why not ride the coat-tales of the number one international grossing movie of all time? Soon after, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was born; sending park attendance to record breaking heights within the first month of its opening.

James Cameron walking in Animal Kingdom

But what about other failing parks in the area? Even Disney had record lows in it’s Animal Kingdom park the last few years, and has been looking to revamp and refresh the parks atmosphere. Even through the opening of Everest, Animal Kingdoms one and only Roller Coaster, the park received very little increase after the first few weeks of its opening. So what could Disney do to refresh it’s age old park? James Cameron, and his team at Lightstorm Entertainment have been offered rights to build a very large Avatar Themed section of Animal Kingdom. By 2017, guests will be able to experience the sights, sounds, and feel of Pandora, the planet that the film is based out of. Having the highest grossing film internationally (Before Deathly Hollows pt. 2) caught Disney’s eye, and they decided that this would be their new venture as a company. James Cameron walked the park with his lead designer to get a feel of what he was getting into, and left very encouraged. He mentioned that Animal Kingdom was a perfect place for guests to experience both natural, and supernatural creatures in a world they may not be entirely accustomed to.

We’re more than excited to see what James has in store for this project, and working side by side with the same engineering team that brought you Star Tours, and Tomorrowland, guests can rest assured that this Avatar Universe will be unlike anything they have ever stepped into before. Hype has been building, and more people have spoken out at the excitement than expected. Disney is ready, James is ready, we are ready, how about you? Are you ready?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Flower and Garden Festival

For 19 years Epcot has been in relation with HGTV to bring events throughout the park. From Epcots fabulous Wine Festival to the International Flower and Garden Festival. This year is the International Flower and Garden Festival. It’s a 75 day festival that runs through May 20. It has hundreds of experts there ready and will to explain any and every question you may have about planning, building, growing, or maintaining your home’s landscape. The park is springing to life with colorful displays, garden workshops, and over 100 HUGE character topiaries that turn Epcot into something you’ve never seen or experienced before. Your senses are sure to be buzzing with the different smells, sights, and even tastes that Epcot is offering at this year’s festival.

The festival Centerpiece is HGTV’s interactive, and hands on displays and showcases. Guests will be able to walk through displays with experts on hand ready and willing to explain why and how these displays are created, as well as give you advice and pointers for your home and garden. Whether you’re in the planning stage, or just need ideas, experts are on hand to help you. HGTV is providing numerous shows and demos throughout the park, and at various times that will be located on your park map to fit into the busy schedule and also allow time to visit the other attractions inside of Epcot.

And while this may all seem very adult oriented, don’t fret. HGTV is offering multiple rides and attractions for the kids as well. Based on the upcoming DVD and BLUERAY release “Pixie Hollow”, Test Track’s main entrance is offering a hands on display garden featuring topiaries of your kids favorite fairy and pixie characters from multiple Disney films, as well as Pixie Hollow. This is designed for kids aged from 2 to 5 years old, but provides entertainment for people of all ages. There are two different “play gardens” that fuse a playground with a garden, with themes from Toy Story, to Disneyworld. This allows kids to get in on the flower action while still enjoying the themes they’ve come to love. Bambi’s Butterfly house immerses children into a world of color and abstraction. They are thrown into a world with hundreds of different species of butterflies, with over thousands of them in an interactive environment. They also throw in a mix of everyone’s favorite Bambi characters displayed as colorful Topiaries.

If you’re native to Florida (or if you’re not) and are looking for something different, this is the place to go. The range of entertainment is vast, the displays and demos are colorful, and the knowledge is endless. This is definitely a great chance of pace from the tradition Epcot (If you’re a florida resident), or a great addition to it (If you’re not!). Make sure you don’t pass this opportunity up. If you get the chance to visit this festival, take it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New Fantasyland soft opening


One thing I should say from the get-go is that I love Disney. One of my favorite theme parks is Disney's Magic Kingdom! It has my favorite ride of all time: It’s a Small World (the one with the song that everyone has a love-hate relationship).

One indelible memory I have inside of any Disney park, it was the moment when my precious sister (minus one front tooth) and very small little me hopped into "Dumbo". It was a happy moment, we were sitting together and then she was pushing the button, and the flying elephant was going up and down. Besides the shaking, and the little stomp when you pressed the button, you cannot wait to do it again and enjoy that moment where you can feel the entire world stop and you just laughing with so much joy!

Fast forward 30-years after that event and I couldn’t resist calling my sister, while I was doing some video-chatting, and I was inside Dumbo! But this one wasn’t any ordinary Dumbo, it was the new revamped one that just opened at the new Fantasyland!!!

Disney just opened one section of the new refurbished Fantasyland, which includes Dumbo and The Barnstormer. The last one has Goofy “The Great Goofini” as the title character. This whole area will have the section name of Storybook Circus. To get here, you can take the railroad and get off in the Fantasyland Station. Once you get off, you'll see in the upper board that this place is called Carolwood Park, which is another nod to Walt Disney (Carolwood Pacific was the name he used for the railroad in his backyard).

Only in Disney you'll feel like you are your younger-self again. It was surreal, I was feeling like my little me and it was a flood of memories and wanted to share them with my sister. She was like "oh my god! I can’t believe it!" and then suddenly she was teary eyes and telling me that in her next trip we'll ride Dumbo together!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

One More Disney Day

So all I hear about lately is that Disney is having their leap year celebration. The “One More Disney Day” is supposed to be a huge event, but since its announcement a few months back it has been all hush hush and no one has gotten the scoop on what’s going to happen.

Well, Disney has finally revealed some special entertainment for the 24 hour One More Disney Day event. Since the park is going to be open through the night most guests are really excited about getting to ride their favorite rides when the sun goes down. Something you don’t usually get to do at the theme parks. You can expect to see enthusiasts like me planning ahead of time to get into specific rides that just seem awesome in the night air.

As for the extra additions to the schedule you can find an electrical parade full of lights and your favorite characters at 10pm as well as midnight. There will be a welcome show at 5:50 am as well as a Main Street Trolley that will make its appearance several times throughout the day. There will also be a castle projection show at 5:30am, right before the end of the day, which is rumored to have a special surprise.

Finally there will be a variety of Leap Year characters that will be around the theme park throughout the day, meaning you can take a picture with these characters on a special day, something no one else will get to do come 6:00am in the morning. It pretty much means your pictures are collector’s items.

I hope to catch you guys at the event because you can rest assured I will be there!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman - Makeover

The Amazing Adventures of SpidermanAt the Islands of Adventure theme park in the Marvel Super Hero Island section of the park you can find one of my favorite rides. The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman has been around since the parks opening, and features everyone’s “Friendly neighborhood hero” as he battles a whole slew of heroes, half of which I didn’t even know existed. But regardless of how much you know about this superhero how can you not like a guy that swings around on webs? Well this great ride is getting a complete makeover.

Now not much has been said about this 3-D adventure, accept that it’s going to be updated with modern technology, an important improvement when you realize that it’s been there since 1999. With new high tech 3-D glasses to replace the old and 4K digital high definition animation this ride is really going to pop off the screen. There is also a promised update to the light and audio systems, bringing this ride back to life.

If you have never been on the Amazing Adventures of Spiderman then you are missing out. This great ride is like a roller coaster with a story! You fly around through the city following Spiderman as he battles his villains. But as you fly around you actually feel the water on your skin when there’s a splash, you feel the intense heat when there’s a fire and your cart shakes when there is electricity. It feels like you are actually there!

With these new additions you will be able to dive deeper into this story and there is supposed to even be a cameo by the story’s legendary comic book icon and Spider-Man co-creator, Stan Lee. I got to get over there in March when it’s done and check it out!