Disney Twenty-Three goes Into the Grid

Disney Twenty Three Spring 2023

The newest issue of Disney Twenty-Three looks at the attraction coming to Walt Disney World, a century of storytelling with Disney100: The Exhibition, leaping into the Quantum Realm, and so much more!

Greetings, programs! The race is on to the opening of TRON Lightcycle / Run this spring, where users will step out of reality and into the Grid while on this exhilarating attraction at Magic Kingdom Park. Based on the ground-breaking sci-fi classic TRON (1982) from Walt Disney Studios, as well as its sequel TRON: Legacy (2010), TRON Lightcycle / Run brings the digital world to Walt Disney World Resort with 3,000 feet of speed, sounds, and sights to light up the sky.

In an exclusive interview, Chris Beatty, Portfolio Creative Director for Walt Disney Imagineering, prepares readers to be digitized, revealing the story and excitement that await guests.

“We wanted to make sure TRON Lightcycle / Run is fun and thrilling and delivers on the heart and soul of TRON and the excitement of racing on the Grid,” Beatty says in the Spring issue of Disney twenty-three.

Find out how the Imagineering team powers up on this promise through an action-packed race, cutting-edge technology, a brand-new soundtrack, and elements from the films.

Disney Twenty Three Spring 2023 Disney100 The Exhibition Art

Disney100: The Exhibition, opening February 18 at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, takes guests on an immersive journey through Disney’s storytelling legacy, one that is sure to ignite a sense of joy and nostalgia while also tugging on the heartstrings.

Explore this one-of-a-kind exhibition with a behind-the-scenes look at the themed galleries, innovative technology, and rarely-seen treasures from the Walt Disney Archives’ vault that offer new perspectives on these beloved stories.

Disney Twenty Three Spring 2023 Marvel Quantumania

The highly anticipated Phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)—the continuation of the Multiverse Saga—kicks off with the release of Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania on February 17.

As readers take the leap into the Quantum Realm, stars Paul Rudd (Scott Lang/Ant-Man), Jonathan Majors (Kang the Conqueror), and director Peyton Reed share big details about this microscopic universe. As Rudd tells Disney twenty-three, “This movie is bigger in every way and will play an important part in what’s going to follow in the MCU.”

From the beginning of Phase 5 to the end of an era, Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and his band of former renegades turned rag-tag heroes reach their final chapter when Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 opens this May. New and returning cast members, including Sean Gunn (Kraglin), Will Poulter (Adam Warlock), and Pom Klementieff (Mantis) give readers a first look at what’s in store for this motley crew of misfits as they finally find their “place in the universe,” share what it was like to film this concluding installment of the Guardians’ story, and tease the emotional roller coaster to come.

The new issue, available exclusively to Gold Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, also takes readers to Disney Parks around the world with a roundup of some of the cute and not-so-cuddly current residents at Disney’s Animal Kingdom; a journey through 40 years of Tokyo Disney Resort with a look ahead to its future; a toon-tastic tour of the exhibit highlighting Mickey Mouse’s illustrious career featured in the queue for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disneyland Park in California; and a visit to Penny Proud’s princess party with a Disney twist on The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder.

Plus, as part of Disney’s 100th anniversary and to thank D23 Gold Members for being part of Disney’s official fan club, every issue shipped to members will include a magnet featuring the Mickey Mouse “Leader of the Club” Milestone Statue, created by artist James Fauntleroy.

Also, in the Spring 2023 issue of Disney twenty-three:

  • A Spring Break reading list featuring books by award-winning authors that revisit classic stories
  • The creatures, characters, convoys, and locations—both nostalgic and new—in the Star Wars universe you can find in The Mandalorian
  • A special By the Numbers: Disney100 looking back at the beginning of The Walt Disney Company—the first in a four-part series
  • Regular features include D Society, Character Analysis, and Ask the Walt Disney Archives

Disney twenty-three is delivered directly to fans’ doorsteps and is offered exclusively to D23 Gold Members as a benefit of their membership. The latest issue will begin arriving before the end of February.

D23 disney twenty-three Fanniversary D23 Destination D Disney D23 Expo

About D23
The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his first studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s nearly 100-year history. It gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic year-round through its quarterly publication, Disney twenty-three; the latest news and stories on D23.com; member-exclusive offers and discounts; the popular D23 Inside Disney podcast; and special experiences for D23 Members throughout the year.

Fans can join D23 at Gold Membership ($99.99/year), Gold Duo Membership ($129.99/year), and General Membership (complimentary) levels at D23.com. To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.

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Dr. Phillips Center Presents Into the Woods

Dr. Phillips Center Presents Into the Woods June 2023

The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts has announced that the hugely acclaimed and much beloved Grammy-winning Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Tony Award-winning triumph, Into the Woods, will go on sale for single tickets Friday, February 17.

The direct-from-Broadway production will play a series of select engagements across the U.S. in 2023, including seven performances in Walt Disney Theater. Starring Montego Glover as The Witch, Stephanie J. Block as The Baker’s Wife, Sebastian Arcelus as The Baker, and Gavin Creel as Cinderella’s Prince/Wolf reprising their Broadway roles, the strictly limited engagement will run from June 6 to June 11 presented by Dr. Phillips Center.

As one of only ten cities in the country selected to present this direct-from-Broadway production, the downtown Orlando arts center is excited to welcome Into the Woods and its incredible company to Walt Disney Theater, bringing four Broadway stars to Central Florida. 

Dr. Phillips Center Presents Into the Woods June 2023

Into the Woods, which became the first Broadway hit of the 2022/2023 season after its sold-out run at New York City Center Encores!, is directed by Lear deBessonet, with music supervision by Rob Berman, and choreographed by Lorin Latarro. This production is dedicated to the memory of Stephen Sondheim.

The company will include Cole Thompson as Jack, Katy Geraghty as Little Red Ridinghood, Diane Phelan as Cinderella, Nancy Opel as Cinderella’s Stepmother, Jason Forbach as Rapunzel’s Prince, Aymee Garcia as Jack’s Mother, David Patrick Kelly as The Narrator, Josh Breckbenridge as Cinderella’s Father, Felicia Curry as Cinderella’s Mother/Grandmother/Giant’s Wife, Ta’Nika Gibson as Lucinda, Brooke Ishibashi as Florinda, Kennedy Kanagawa as Milky White, Jim Stanek as the Steward, and Alysia Velez as Rapunzel with Erica Durham, Ellie Fishman, Marya Grandy, Paul Kreppel, Eddie Lopez, Ximone Rose, and Sam Simahk as understudies.

Into the Woods first premiered on Broadway in 1987, winning three Tony Awards, including Best Score and Best Book. It has since been produced worldwide and was adapted into a major motion picture in 2014. This production marks its first time on Broadway in more than 20 years.

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Indigo Bluegrass BBQ at the Central Florida Zoo

econd annual Indigo Bluegrass BBQ at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens

The second annual Indigo Bluegrass BBQ at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens’ Orianne Center for Indigo Conservation (OCIC) will take place on February 11, 2023.

The event will run from noon to 4 p.m. at the OCIC, with parking at Cassia Community Center, 29245 Florida Highway 44 in Eustis.

The country casual event will allow guests to get outside and enjoy the sounds of the popular Lake County group, Blackwater Creek Bluegrass Band.

A delicious selection of barbecue favorites will also be served by OakWood Smokehouse & Grill.

During the event, beer will be provided by Wayne Densch, Inc., and wine will also be available.

“This event was so much fun last year that we knew we had to do it again,” said Dr. James Bogan, the director of the OCIC. “It allows guests to get away from everything for a day of great food, great music, and great company. Plus, we couldn’t do the work we do every day without this support. Attendees can help save a species.”

Proceeds from the event support the OCIC’s mission to re-introduce the eastern indigo snake—a threatened species native to the longleaf pine ecosystems of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida that has been affected by habitat loss. The OCIC also works to reintroduce the striped newt.

The OCIC is the only captive breeding facility for the eastern indigo snake with the sole purpose of releasing the offspring into regions where the population has been extirpated.

The group has released more than 300 snakes at The Nature Conservancy’s Apalachicola Bluffs, Ravines Preserve in Bristol and Alabama’s Conecuh National Forest.

Attendees are asked to park at the Cassia Community Center and will be shuttled to the event site. The sponsor for the event is Publix Super Market Charities.

Tickets are $30 per person or $50 for two and are available here.

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Museum of Illusions Orlando presents Life in Neon

Museum of Illusions Orlando presents Life in Neon

Get ready to glow! Museum of Illusions Orlando is throwing its first party of 2023, and you’re invited to grab a drink and trick your senses all night long. 

On February 17, the Museum of Illusions Orlando will host Life in Neon, a nighttime event where guests can explore the museum’s mind-bending exhibits and party under neon lights.

The party will take place from 8 to 11 p.m. and promises colorful fun with body paint, live EDM DJs, and a cash bar provided by ICON Park.

With live music, delicious drinks and unique picture opportunities, Life in Neon is the perfect date night for the weekend following Valentine’s Day.

Dazzling décor and colorful lighting will provide an exciting new take on the museum’s fan-favorite exhibits.

From LED light-up balloons in the Infinity Room to the addition of a sparkling disco ball in the Head on a Plate exhibit, guests will find fun, new decorations at every turn.

There will also be glowsticks and other props for guests as they experience the optical illusions and photo ops.

“We love to welcome guests to our world of illusions every day and Life in Neon is an exciting way to experience Museum of Illusions like never before,” said Dayna Alcott, general manager of Museum of Illusions Orlando. “The body paint and neon lights will create fun photo opportunities all of our guests are sure to love!”

Admission to the party is $29.99 per ticket and guests must be 21+ to attend.

Museum of Illusions Orlando isn’t your average museum. You won’t find “do not touch” signs, get shushed by curators, or have to follow around tour guides – Instead, it encourages guests to get a hands-on experience and explore all the wonders of the mind through more than 50 engaging exhibits. 

To learn more about Museum of Illusions Orlando or to book tickets, visit https://moiorlando.com/.

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2023 Garden Rocks Concert Series Lineup

2022 Garden Rocks Concert Series

Get ready to rock with the Garden Rocks Concert Series – returning to the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival this March!

There’s nothing like ending your day at EPCOT with a concert that, BTW, is included with your theme park admission featuring internationally recognized artists performing Friday-Monday and showcasing local Orlando talent on Tuesday-Thursday at the America Gardens Theater!

The Garden Rocks Concert Series lineup is filled with talent from returning favorites like The Pointer Sisters, Simple Plan, and the Plain White T’s, along with fresh talent like legacy guitarist AJ Croce and GRAMMY award-winning Switchfoot.

Garden Rocks Concert Series Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2020

2023 Garden Rocks Concert Series Lineup

  • March 3-4 – Journey former lead vocalist STEVE AUGERI
  • March 5-6 – Daughtry
  • March 10-11 – Tommy DeCarlo
  • March 12-13 – Smash Mouth
  • March 17-18 – Mike DelGuidice
  • March 19-20 – Blue Oyster Cult – NEW
  • March 24-25 – Berlin
  • March 26-27 – The Pointer Sisters
  • March 31 – Luis Figueroa – NEW
  • April 1-2 – Piso 21 – NEW
  • April 3 – TBD
  • April 7-8 – STARSHIP featuring Mickey Thomas
  • April 9-10 – Don Felder, formerly of the Eagles
  • April 16-17 – Switchfoot – NEW
  • April 21-22 – A Flock of Seagulls
  • April 23-24 – Jo Dee Messina
  • April 28-29 – Ambrosia with Peter Beckett, The Voice Of Player
  • April 30, May 1 – Kool and the Gang
  • May 5-8 – Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
  • May 12-15 – The Orchestra starring former members of ELO
  • May 19-20 – A.J. Croce: Croce Plays Croce – NEW
  • May 21-22 – Casting Crowns – NEW
  • May 26-27 – Jason Scheff, longtime lead singer of Chicago – NEW
  • May 28-29 – Rick Springfield
  • June 2-5 – Plain White T’s
  • June 9-10 – The Spinners
  • June 11-12 – The Commodores
  • June 16-17 – Vertical Horizon
  • June 18-19 – Tony Orlando
  • June 23-26 – Simple Plan
  • June 30, July 1 – Living Colour
  • July 2-3 – Wang Chung

Beginning February 9, guests can secure their spot for these rockin’ performances with a Garden Rocks Dining Package. Check out FreshEPCOT.com.

Just a reminder, to experience EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival, guests must have both valid admission and a park reservation for EPCOT on the same date.

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Universal Mardi Gras 2023: Menu Highlights

Universal Mardi Gras 2023

Universal Mardi Gras 2023 is a global celebration with food offerings representing 17 different countries across 70 unique menu items.

With so much to choose from, let’s look at a roundup of some of the top bites you can enjoy at Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval!

Universal Mardi Gras 2023: Top Bites

Mofongo Trio Flight 
Mofongo Trio Flight 

Inspired by Carnaval Ponceño in Puerto Rico, this iconic dish is presented in three delectable servings.

The base for each is a traditional mix of smashed green plantains, bacon, garlic, and chicharrones and topped three different ways: traditional, shrimp criolla, and crispy chicken chicharron with mayo ketchup drizzle.

Pav Bhaji – Vegetarian
Pav Bhaji with mardi gras mask behind Universal Mardi Gras 2023

Pav Bhaji, pronounced pav baa-jee, is a popular Indian street food that is a thick vegetable stew with a medley of veggies and spices, including potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, ginger, and garlic with a buttery-toasted Hawaiian roll on the side.

Baja Shrimp Ceviche Tostada
Baja Shrimp Ceviche Tostada Mardi Gras 2023

The Baja Shrimp Ceviche Tostada is a light and refreshing Mexican dish that features citrus-blend marinated shrimp topped with avocado crema, chopped jalapeño (not spicy), cotija cheese, shaved red onion, and micro cilantro on a crispy blue tortilla.

Dirty Cauliflower Rice – Vegan
Vegan Cauliflower Rice Mardi Gras 2023

A vegan twist on the traditional New Orleans staple, this comfort food is a blend of cauliflower rice, black-eyed peas, meatless sausage crumbles, the holy trinity mix of celery, onions, green bell peppers, and authentic Cajun spices. 

Rod Polse
Rod Polse Mardi Gras 2023

The Rod Polse is a Danish red, skin-on hot dog is topped with curry remoulade, pickled cucumber, crispy onions, and fresh dill and served on a toasted top-split bun.

Indonesian Purple Sticky Rice Pudding – Vegan
Indonesian Purple Rice with mango and coconut Mardi Gras 2023 Universal Mardi Gras 2023

The Indonesian Purple Sticky Rice Pudding, a.k.a. Bubur Ketan Hitam, is a vegan dish made with purple long-grain rice, sweetened condensed coconut milk, diced mango, and shaved coconut.

Vegan Churros
Hand holding Vegan Churros after dipping in chocolate sauce Universal Mardi Gras 2023

When creating new menu items, the chefs at Universal Orlando Resort find inspiration everywhere, including suggestions from Passholders, guests and Team Members.

The vegan churros are a direct result of listening to guests’ dietary needs and desire to enjoy this sought-after treat. 

These pint-sized churros are coated in cinnamon sugar and come with two dipping sauces: chocolate and coconut agave nectar.

Brigadeiros (pronounced bri-ga-DAY-ros)
Trio of Brigadeiros on white dish Mardi Gras 2023

Brigadeiros are small bites of confectionary heaven made with sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, and butter that are then rolled in either hazelnuts, chocolate sprinkles, or Mardi Gras color sprinkles.

Liège Waffle
Fork Liege Waffles Mardi Gras 2023

The Liège Waffle, from Belgium, features a fluffy waffle, fresh strawberries, and clouds of whipped cream.

Even More Places to Sample Mardi Gras Eats

Paella Mardi Gras 2023 Universal Mardi Gras 2023

The Mardi Gras flavors go beyond Universal Studios Florida’s gates, allowing even more guests to experience the International Flavors of Carnaval.

In Universal CityWalk, themed kiosks will feature Tastes of the Mediterranean (Greece and France, and Belgium — the Liège Waffle is fantastic!), Tastes of the Islands, and the Best of New Orleans. 

Near the Port of Entry in Universal’s Islands of Adventure, guests can revel in authentic New Orleans cuisine, including shrimp gumbo, jambalaya, beignets, and King Cake. 

And next door at Universal’s Volcano Bay, Muffuletta Long Board Pizza is on deck.

Universal Orlando Resort Mardi Gras

Sweet Savings

Can’t make up your mind? The Mardi Gras Food & Beverage Card is a great way to enjoy more items for less.

It’s available for purchase at the food kiosks in Universal Studios Florida and can be used at any food and beverage location in all three theme parks and Universal CityWalk.

Premier and Preferred Passholder standard food discounts apply. 

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Celebrate Soulfully at Walt Disney World

Celebrate Soulfully during Black History Month at the Walt Disney World Resort with a variety of experiences to celebrate, educate and honor Black heritage and culture throughout the resort.

With the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts presented by AT&T in full swing, you’ll have the chance to meet two of the Black artists featured in this year’s festival lineup.

From February 3-5, Kahran and Regis Bethencourt, founders of CreativeSoul Photography, will be at The American Adventure pavilion to showcase their reimagined visions of classic Disney princesses through dolls, costumes, and photographic prints.

And for the first time ever, a gallery exhibit will feature life-sized dresses and natural hair-styled wigs seen in their photographic prints. 

Black Broadway performers will be featured during the DISNEY ON BROADWAY Concert Series on various dates between Feb 4 – 19. They include: 

  • L. Steven Taylor (The Lion King) 
  • Kissy Simmons (The Lion King) 
  • Michael James Scott (Aladdin) 

The already colorful and diverse Disney Springs Art Walk: A Canvas of Expression will receive two new additions by Black artists, and they will both paint their work live during Black History Month.

Ernest Shaw and Nneka Jones will join the likes of Everett Spruill and David Anthony Geary.

By the end of February, you will be able to celebrate the work of four Black artists on the Art Walk, showcasing the ongoing commitment to diversity and representation at Walt Disney World. 

If you visit Disney Springs often, you may be familiar with the smooth sounds of Motown experienced through live entertainment on Monday nights.

Black music will take center stage this February, with Black musicians featured on all three main Disney Springs stages on Sunday, Monday, and Thursday nights.

Celebrate Soulfully

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park continues to highlight Black culture through a variety of music and art found throughout the park.

Move to the beats of the Congo with the Tam Tam Drummers, let loose with the Caribbean Street party music of Viva Gaia, then take home authentic imported African art, clothing, crafts, instruments, and toys created by African artisans available at Mombasa Marketplace.  

Celebrate Soulfully

At the Conservation Station, uncover the secrets of how Disney’s first Black animator, Floyd Norman, brought favorite characters to life using real-life animals as inspiration

Be sure to stop and take in some of the fun with Magic Shots across the property featuring Princess Tiana in her element at Tiana’s place, selfies with Penny and friends from The Proud Family, and more.

Explore existing, returning, and brand-new Food & Beverage offerings across Walt Disney World for Black History Month.

And new this year, each Food & Beverage location will now highlight the cast inspirations of dishes with photos and storytelling.

Some new items debuting for February include:

  • Shrimp & Grits featuring spicy shrimp, corn grits with bacon jam, and crispy radish at Tiffins in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park 
  • Tiana’s Mardi Gras Shake features a cinnamon vanilla milkshake topped with a Mardi Gras King Cake Doughnut served at Hollywood Scoops in Disney’s Hollywood Studios 
  • Gumbo with chicken, andouille sausage, okra, and seasonings offered at ABC Commissary in Disney’s Hollywood Studios 
  • Pineapple Mule cocktail with Uncle Nearest Tennessee Whiskey, pineapple juice, ginger beer, and mint available at Geyser Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge 
  • Soulful Sunday Dinner at The Artist’s Palette at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa featuring a dinner plate of barbeque chicken, collard greens, black-eyed peas, and house-made cornbread
  • Jamaican Jerk Chicken Frites featuring Sweet n’ Hot jerk marinated chicken, pineapple salsa, scotch bonnet aioli, and fries are available at The Daily Poutine at Disney Springs. 

All these items and more are found in the Disney Eats Foodie Guide

I hope you enjoy all the ways to “Celebrate Soulfully” at Walt Disney World for Black History Month and throughout the year.

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2023 EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival

EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival
Courtney Kiefer, Photographer

The 2023 EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival brings bright blossoms, seasonally inspired flavors, and lively entertainment for the entire family to Walt Disney World daily from March 1 through July 5, 2023.

The event is one of the longest flower and garden festivals in the United States. The seasonal plantings change throughout the Festival, offering evolving displays of vibrant hues, textures, shapes, and scents. 

With so much to experience during the event throughout the park, here are some of my favorite highlights!

2023 EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival

EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival
Topiaries

Nearly 100 individual and iconic EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival topiaries crafted by Disney’s amazing horticulture team can be found throughout the park.

While guests to the event will be able to find favorites like Lumiere and Cogsworth topiaries in the France pavilion; Peter Pan, Captain Hook, and Tick Tock Croc in the United Kingdom Pavilion, and of course, Pumbaa and Timon from The Lion King. Several new additions are making their Festival debut.

Near the EPCOT main entrance, topiaries of Mirabel, Antonio, Isabela, and Luisa from Disney’s “Encanto” will make a grand appearance to welcome park guests.

In The American Adventure pavilion, Dreams really do come true as a new Princess Tiana topiary joins the pavilion’s lively decor.

And finally, new topiaries of the Seven Dwarfs will accompany Snow White near the Germany pavilion in World Showcase. 

EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival
Courtney Kiefer, Photographer
Interactive Outdoor Spaces for the Entire Family

Fun for the entire family spills out into every nook and cranny of the park during the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival, with interactive outdoor spaces around every corner.

Get your nose ready to experience one of my favorite recent additions, Blossoms of Fragrance, Presented by Scentsy, where guests are encouraged to slow down and enjoy the sights and scents of spring. Surrounded by vibrant butterfly topiaries, “guests can follow their noses to six scent stations – floral, fruity, citrus, spice, woods, and fresh – to form lasting memories with the help of unforgettable aromas.”

Little Botanists can also enjoy an assortment of playscapes and trails lined with activities spotlighting eco-friendly fun under the sun.

The perennial favorite Spike’s Pollen-Nation Exploration is returning once again! This affordable scavenger hunt for kids of all ages takes explorers throughout the park looking for their favorite bee, Spike, for a special prize. Purchase a map and stickers at select merchandise locations while supplies last!

EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival
Courtney Kiefer, Photographer
Outdoor Kitchens

During the Festival, tasty sips and bites inspired by spring’s bounty are showcased at over 15 Outdoor Kitchens.

Make sure to pick up an Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Passport at either park entrance to find out more about the flavors you can savor and how to participate in the Garden Graze, a food stroll featuring delicious dishes from various Outdoor Kitchens that, once completed, result in a festival-exclusive treat.

I also am excited because the Citrus Blossom, one of my favorite kitchens, has a new location in the Odyssey!  

When planning your culinary adventure, please remember that the Festival Outdoor Kitchens are open daily from 11:00 am to park close unless otherwise noted.

Garden Rocks Concert Series Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2020
Groovy Garden Rocks Concerts

Every night live musical performances rock the America Gardens Theatre.

Included with your theme park admission, these concerts feature internationally and locally recognized artists.

Want to take your concert experience to eleven? The Garden Rocks Dining Package, available for Friday through Monday concerts, includes a leisurely meal at select EPCOT restaurants and guaranteed seating at one of the performances later that same day. 

To see pricing, the full lineup of artists, performance dates, and to make a dining package reservation, visit FreshEPCOT.com.

EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival
Courtney Kiefer, Photographer
Festival Souvenirs

If you want to commemorate your visit to the 2023 EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival, a variety of event merchandise can be found at retail locations across EPCOT, and select items will also be available on shopDisney.com.

Like the lifecycle of a butterfly, merchandise offerings will change during the event, with new additional pieces debuting throughout the Festival.

Fan favorites are sure to include ‘70’s inspired Orange Bird merchandise, apparel, headwear, drinkware, and much more.

EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival
Courtney Kiefer, Photographer

To experience the 2023 EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival, guests need both a valid park admission and a park reservation for EPCOT on the same date. 

For more details on this year’s Festival, guests can visit FreshEPCOT.com.

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Country Nights Live Experience Coming to Orlando

Country Nights Live

Grab your cowboy boots and get ready for a good ole Southern time at Country Nights Live – a new dinner experience – is coming to Orlando this spring.

Presented by Orlando Dinner Entertainment – the creator of Pirates Dinner Adventure – the experience was created with families in mind.

Featuring live music, dancing, and delicious food, this interactive experience will transport you from the big city to a classic Southern hoedown.

“City lights have nothing on our country nights,” said Nick Kroger, Show Director for Country Nights Live. “Pirates Dinner Adventure has been offering family-friendly entertainment to Central Florida for more than 25 years and we’re always looking for new experiences to bring our guests. Country Nights Live allows our guests to become part of the show and is sure to create memories that last a lifetime.”

From February 2 to February 25, guests can get an exclusive look at the new show during sneak peek performances.

During this time, tickets are available for 50 percent off. To redeem this offer, visit www.countrynightslive.com and use code CNL502023 at checkout.

Country Nights Live isn’t your average dinner show. After you enjoy a mouth-watering spread of country cooking, it’s time to get ready for a knee-slapping, foot-stomping good time!

You become part of the show and learn how to do real country dances during the show.

Country Nights Live

For more information or to book your tickets now, visit http://www.countrynightslive.com.

 

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Seven Seas Food Festival Returns to SeaWorld

SeaWorld Orlando Seven Seas Food Festival 2017 Logo

The Seven Seas Food Festival is returning to SeaWorld Orlando with ALL-NEW flavors and fun for theme park foodies from February 3 to May 7.

Orlando’s largest theme park food festival will tempt guests with tasty bites from around the world while strolling between award-winning attractions and incredible animal presentations.

2023 The Seven Seas Food Festival

Seven Seas Food Festival

Tastes from Around the World

Foodies and families alike will find more than 200 food and drink offerings inspired by cultures from around the world at international marketplaces scattered throughout the park.

These marketplaces showcase foods from Italy, Ireland, Brazil, Germany, Asia, and beyond.

Some of the ALL-NEW food items guests can taste this year include:

  • NEW Parmesan Truffle fries: Grana Padano cheese, fresh parsley, winter white truffle oil
  • NEW Pork Belly Feijoada: pork belly and black bean Brazilian stew, garnished with green onions
  • NEW Ropa Vieja: 12-hour slow-cooked shredded beef served on top of smashed plantains, garnished with micro cilantro
  • NEW Classic Reuben: thin-sliced pastrami served on marbled rye bread with sauerkraut and Swiss cheese, garnished with a gherkin
  • NEW Italian Beef Arancini: arancini served on top of San Marzano tomato sauce, garnished with fresh basil
  • NEW Strawberry shortcake a la mode: vanilla ice cream served with yellow cake, topped with strawberry glaze
  • NEW Jameson Bread Pudding: Jameson-infused bread pudding topped with Jameson anglaise sauce
SeaWorld Orlando Sharks Underwater Grill

In addition to all the incredible cultural and culinary offerings stationed around the park during the Seven Seas Food Festival, there will also be NEW full-service menu items at Sharks Underwater Grill, including:

  • NEW Lobster and Shrimp Cakes: Caribbean remoulade, salsa verde, and rainbow green salad
  • NEW Chicken and Shrimp Tagine: a succulent slow-cooked light stew of chicken, shrimp, and vegetables with aromatic Mediterranean spices, jasmine rice
  • NEW Chocolate Mousse Marquise: chocolate mousse, raspberry coulis, pecans, and edible gold garnish
Seven Seas Food Festival

Food isn’t the only star at SeaWorld Orlando’s Seven Seas Food Festival. Guests can try the ALL-NEW Caribbean Moonshine Tasting booth next to Seafire Grill.

This marketplace will feature the following:

  • NEW Marmalade Mayhem: Orange 80 Proof Moonshine
  • NEW Cat 5: Coconut 80-Proof Moonshine
  • NEW Passionfruit Prohibition: Passionfruit 80 Proof Moonshine
  • NEW Banana Breeze: Banana 80 Proof Moonshine
  • NEW PB & C Cannonball: Peanut Butter and Chocolate 80 Proof Moonshine

There are also ALL-NEW refreshing cocktails guests can enjoy while savoring their way around the world at this year’s Seven Seas Food Festival, including:

  • NEW Island Rum Punch: light, dark, and coconut rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, cranberry
  • NEW Southern Peach: Fistful bourbon, peach schnapps, peach, Sprite, simple syrup
  • NEW Frozen Polynesian Summer: pineapple rum, mango, coconut cream, pineapple juice
  • NEW Aperol Spritz: Aperol and Prosecco
  • NEW Mediterranean Sangria: red Sangria, red wine, cranberry juice, orange juice, lime
  • NEW Tokyo Rose: Shimizu-No-Mai Pure Snow sake, Tito’s Vodka, Triple Sec, cranberry
  • NEW Irish Cold brew Latte: Jameson Cold Brew, coffee, cream, simple syrup
SeaWorld Orlando Seven Seas Food Festival 2021

Guests can also relax with an ice-cold beer at the Seven Seas Food Festival beer garden or at Flamecraft Bar, which will feature several local and regional brews like:

  • Tupac ShaPorter from Ivanhoe Park Brewing Company
  • Strawberry Blonde Ambition from Suncreek Brewery
  • Tag & Release Amber Ale from Sailfish Brewing Company
  • Florida Sunshine from Crooked Can Brewing Company
  • Frost Proof from Cigar City Brewing
  • Florida Orange IPA from 3 Daughters Brewing
Seven Seas Food Festival

Best Way to Savor and Sip

Guests will be able to discover endless combinations of food and drink offerings with a Seven Seas Food Festival Tasting Lanyard.

Guests can embark on their culinary journey with a 10-sample lanyard at $70 or take it up a notch with the fan-favorite 15-sample lanyard for the best savings.

SeaWorld Orlando Pass Members get the VIP treatment and can purchase 18 samples for the price of 15!

SeaWorld Orlando Seven Seas Food Festival 2017 Bayside Stadium Concert
SeaWorld Orlando

Headline Concert Series

SeaWorld Orlando’s Seven Seas Food Festival is not just about delicious eats and refreshing sips from around the world.

The festival also features an incredible concert series guests will not want to miss.

Concerts will take place every Saturday and Sunday during the festival at Bayside Stadium.

They will feature a taste of Rock, Country, Latin, Hip Hop, R&B, and 90s throwbacks – all included with park admission. This year’s headliners include:

  • February 4: En Vogue (R&B)
  • February 5: REO Speedwagon (Rock
  • February 11: The Commodores (Funk & Soul)
  • February 18: Collective Soul (Rock)
  • February 19: Jerry Rivera (Latin)
  • February 25: Don McLean (Rock)
  • February 26: Ludacris (Hip Hop)
  • March 4: Joey Fatone & Friends (Pop)
  • March 26: Eli Young Band (Country)

… and many more performers to be announced!

For the best seats in the house, Reserved Seating can be purchased online!

SeaWorld Orlando Seven Seas Food Festival 2021

Best Way to Play

One of the best ways for guests to experience SeaWorld Orlando’s Seven Seas Food Festival is with a SeaWorld Orlando 2023 Fun Card, which offers park admission through December 31, 2023, for one low price of $129.99.

Guests who purchase a Fun Card can attend the Seven Seas Food Festival, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, and Cinco de Mayo.

Guests will also be admitted to SeaWorld Orlando for a full calendar year to experience thrilling rides, amazing animal encounters, and energizing entertainment while being part of all the seasonal events happening in 2023.

For even more unbeatable benefits, guests can purchase a SeaWorld Orlando Annual Pass for as low as $14/month + tax with no down payment.

With an Annual Pass, guests will enjoy 12 months of visits with special benefits like exclusive access to “Pipeline: The Surf Coaster” through the “Passport to Thrills” program, free parking, free guest tickets, access to special VIP events, savings on merchandise and more! Some restrictions and blockout dates apply.

Annual Passes and Fun Cards can be purchased at SeaWorldOrlando.com.

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Big Bounce America Debuts in Orlando

Big Bounce America Orlando February 2023

The Big Bounce America 2023 tour comes to Dezerland Action Park Orlando this February with the most action-packed experience of the year.

This experience is s perfect for adventurous families and can be enjoyed from Saturday, February 4th through Sunday, February 5th, and Friday, February 10th through Sunday, February 12th

Featuring the only Guinness-certified world record holder of The World’s Largest Bounce House, The Big Bounce America is the biggest touring inflatable event in the world.

Sophia Wilson, Chief Operating Officer of The Big Bounce America, shared how important the event is for the times: “We need more fun in the world! After the times we’ve just gone through, we invite you to kick those shoes off and let loose for a while. We have the perfect event to allow kids and adults alike to get out of the house and enjoy an outdoor event like they’ve never experienced… this is going to be one immersive bouncing festival for all ages!”

It includes four massive inflatable attractions that you will have to see to believe.

Big Bounce America Orlando February 2023

There is a 16,000 sq. foot World’s Largest Bounce House that includes giant slides, ball pits, climbing towers, basketball hoops, and fun, friendly, over-sized characters of various colors, shapes, and sizes for those all-important Instagram moments.

Big Bounce America Orlando February 2023

New to the Big Bounce America tour is the Sport Slam, featuring a customized sports arena.

There are also special zones for climbing and a ‘battle zone’ where you can compete against your family and friends to see who can stay on their podium the longest.

Big Bounce America Orlando February 2023

For the athletes, there is an incredible 900+ ft. long obstacle course named The Giant.

There are 50 different obstacles to overcome as you make your way from the start line to our grand finale monster slide. Whether you’re looking for some fun competition between family and friends, or you want to bounce around the weird and colorful inflatable landscape at your own pace, The Giant is not to be missed!

Big Bounce America Orlando February 2023

And rounding out the most massive inflatable lineup, a unique, space-themed wonderland called airSPACE.

At the center of this dreamland is a custom-built stage where the resident DJ turns up the party, hosting games, and competitions and playing music tailored to each age group. 

Everyone is invited to enjoy the experience as sessions are organized by age, ranging from tiny tots to adult-only sessions.

The Big Bounce America continues to turn up the wow factor on family-friendly entertainment!

Big Bounce America Orlando February 2023

All-Access Tickets are available online and jam-packed with value. These tickets include a three-hour pass to the event, a timed session on The World’s Largest Bounce House, and unlimited access to Sport Slam, The Giant, and airSPACE!

Tickets start at just $22. Events are expected to sell out; advanced tickets are encouraged.

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FamilyFest Orlando 2023 at Dezerland Action Park

FamilyFest Orlando 2023

Start the new year with a day full of family fun at the FamilyFest Orlando at Dezerland Action Park.

FamilyFest Orlando will take place at Dezerland Action Park on Saturday, January 28, from noon to 6 p.m.

The annual event will be in Orlando for the first time and features dozens of displays with family resources promoting helpful parenting goods and services, along with the latest “mompreneur” products.

Attendees can check out a special exhibit from the Orlando Science Center, or take part in The Diaper Derby, a “crawling race” for babies 12 months and younger, a very popular tradition for all FamilyFest events, or the Toddler Derby, a walking or running race for toddlers 12 to 24 months. 

Other activities include corn hole, sand art, ring toss, and the chance to win 90 days of martial arts classes or a $125 spa certificate.

FamilyFest Orlando 2023

When guests enter the event, they’ll receive a FamilyFest passport with a special task as a reward!

When visitors get their event passport stamped by all the FamilyFest Orlando vendors, they’ll be able to redeem it at the registration desk for up to $80 in BOGOS that can be used at Dezerland Action Park’s attractions including Jump Start trampoline park, the Orlando Auto Museum, and more. 

Dezerland Action Park’s attractions are the perfect way to keep the family fun going after visiting the expo.

Dezerland Park Orlando

Kids will love the action park’s 30,000-square-foot trampoline park, glow-in-the-dark mini golf, and Florida’s longest indoor go-kart track with four skill and speed levels.

The whole family can compete with more than 300 arcade skill games, including vintage pinball machines and modern video gaming consoles, at Gamrz Delight or on the lanes of Dezerland Action Park’s boutique bowling alley.

Everyone can enjoy exploring the Orlando Auto Museum and taking photos with famous vehicles from Scooby Doo, Batman, Spiderman, Ghostbusters, The Fast and the Furious, and more.

And if visitors need a meal after all this exploration, they can stop by Dezerland Action Park’s food hall to sample cuisines from a variety of cultures. 

Guests can enter for FamilyFest for free and will be limited to five tickets.

A VIP package can be purchased online for $25 and offers guests early entry to the expo at 11 a.m., six admission tickets, and a digital copy of “Extraordinary Parenting “How To Raise Kids To Become Geniuses.”

To learn more about Dezerland Action Park, visit https://dezerlandparkorlando.com/

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Silver Spurs Rodeo Celebrates 79 Years of Tradition

Silver Spurs Rodeo

The Silver Spurs Rodeo is a staple of Central Florida history, and the Silver Spurs Riding Club will host Monster Bulls & Parade on February 11, 2023, followed by the 150th Silver Spurs Rodeo on February 17 – 19, 2023!

The Silver Spurs Riding Club will host the 12th Monster Bulls on Saturday, February 11th. They’re fierce. They’re feisty. They’re bred to buck! The 12th Monster Bulls is a one-night-only event featuring the biggest and baddest Silver Spurs bulls as they go head-to-head with local cowboys hoping for a big payout.

In addition, on the morning of February 11th, the Silver Spurs Riding Club will host the Silver Spurs Rodeo Parade in downtown St. Cloud.

Silver Spurs Rodeo 2020

Then the following weekend, the Silver Spurs Riding Club will host the 150th Silver Spurs Rodeo on February 17-19, 2023! 

For the second year, fans can now experience all Silver Spurs Rodeo events with an annual pass! Fans don’t have to miss a single buck while saving their bucks, with a savings of $45 in admission per person! Annual passes are available for purchase online at www.SilverSpursRodeo.com.

During the performances, rodeo fans will watch contestants from all over the nation compete in rodeo’s seven traditional events: bull riding, bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, women’s barrel racing, steer wrestling, and team roping for an entire year of bragging rights and $52,500 in cash. 

Silver Spurs Rodeo

Plus, rodeo fans will be entertained by our rodeo clown and talented Silver Spurs Quadrille team, who perform a square dance on horseback, something the club has performed since its inception over 79 years ago.

“I couldn’t be more honored to be the Big Boss as we celebrate our 150th Silver Spurs Rodeo. For over 79 years, we have been providing family-friendly entertainment while simultaneously supporting our local community. I’m very proud to be a part of that,” said Clifton Chapman, Silver Spurs Riding Club. “Help us do more for Osceola County by coming to support the 12th Annual Monster Bulls and end the week with the big 1-5-0 as we close out with the largest rodeo east of the Mississippi River.”

Silver Spurs Rodeo Schedule

Saturday, February 11, 2023, at 10:00 a.m.

  • Silver Spurs Rodeo Parade at 10:00 a.m. in downtown St. Cloud
  • Free, celebrates heritage and tradition of rodeo in Osceola County

Saturday, February 11, 2023, at 7:30 p.m.

  • Monster Bulls, extreme bull riding at the Silver Spurs Arena
  • $20, children ten years and under are free with a paying adult

Friday, February 17, 2023, at 7:30 p.m.

  • Silver Spurs Rodeo at the Silver Spurs Arena
  • Rodeo Day, all Osceola County School District students receive free admission.
  • $25, children ten years and under are free with a paying adult

Saturday, February 18, 2023, at 7:30 p.m.

  • Silver Spurs Rodeo at the Silver Spurs Arena
  • $25, children ten years and under are free with a paying adult

Sunday, February 19, 2023, at 10:00 a.m.

  • Special Rodeo, where children with special needs experience the rodeo at its finest with cowboys & cowgirls on the dirt floor of the Silver Spurs Arena. Club members and rodeo queens show the children a kid-friendly circuit of rodeo activities.

Sunday, February 19, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. 

  • Silver Spurs Rodeo at the Silver Spurs Arena
  • $20, children ten years and under are free with a paying adult
Silver Spurs Rodeo

To minimize touchpoints and guarantee seats, the Silver Spurs Club encourages fans to buy tickets online in advance.

Advanced tickets will be available at the door two hours before each event. All rodeo tickets include free admission to the Osceola County Fair.

Donations to further support the Silver Spurs Riding Club’s community efforts are being accepted online. Proceeds will support organizations in Osceola County for scholarships, cancer support, veteran needs, and more. You can go to  https://www.silverspursrodeo.com/silver-spurs-in-the-community/ to make donations.

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Raglan Road Hosts International Irish Coffee Day

Raglan Road Irish Coffee Day

Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Disney Springs will be celebrating International Irish Coffee Day all-day Wednesday, January 25th, with a special offer.

Raglan Road Director of Operations Sean Griffin invites guests to raise a glass to the national holiday wake-up call. “Today’s rain is tomorrow’s whiskey!” he says, “And guests will find the pub’s whiskey coffees well worth celebrating.”

That’s right…guests can enjoy the pub’s traditional Irish Coffee: “You buy the coffee, the whiskey is on us!”

At Raglan Road, the Irish coffee specialty menu rocks right along with the pub’s live Irish music and dance – three coffee-based cocktails are served daily.

The Lost Irish coffee is the pub’s new traditional Irish coffee recipe mixing Lost Irish whiskey, house-made Demerara sugar syrup,  coffee, and cream.

The Iced Irish, Bailey’s Salted Caramel with iced coffee, Paddy’s Irish Whiskey, and butterscotch schnapps topped with whipped cream.

The Irish Espresso Martini, Slane Irish Whiskey, Miami club coffee liqueur, Guinness simple syrup, and fresh espresso.

Griffin says Irish coffee is a staple in Ireland. “And there are no rules. It’s a perfect after-dinner beverage, a nightcap, or an afternoon treat,” he says. “That means you can join us any time of day to celebrate National Irish Coffee Day!”

Raglan Road Great Irish Hooley 2019 Rhythms of Raglan Road Disney Springs Walt Disney World

If you aren’t familiar with Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Disney Springs…let me fill you in!!!

Raglan Road is owned and operated by Irish partners John Cooke and Paul Nolan, whose Great Irish Pubs Florida, Inc., previously created Nine Fine Irishmen at the New York-New York Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. 

Raglan Road features traditional Irish dishes and new creations with a Celtic twist. The restaurant’s warm interior of aged walnut and mahogany woods from old Irish bars and churches was built in Ireland and shipped to Orlando. Live entertainment nightly, and during weekend brunch features Irish house bands and the Raglan Road Irish Dancers. 

The pub’s all-day menu is served from 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 

You can also enjoy the Weekend Rollicking Raglan Brunch from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 

Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant is located at Disney Springs in the Walt Disney World Resort, 1640 E. Buena Vista Dr., Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Visit www.raglanroad.com or call 407/938-0300.

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Sesame Street Kids’ Weekend at SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld Orlando Sesame Street Kids Weekend 2021

Sesame Street Kids’ Weekend at SeaWorld Orlando is back by popular demand this Saturday and Sunday, January 21 & 22! 

Sesame Street Kids’ Weekend Highlights

Families can join Elmo, Cookie Monster, Abby Cadabby, Big Bird, and all their favorite furry friends for a fun-filled Sesame Street Kids’ Weekend with hands-on activities, character photo opportunities, and more. 

SeaWorld Orlando Sesame Street Kids Weekend 2021

Kids can gather around Big Bird’s Nest for “Storytime with Big Bird,” where he will be sharing some of his favorite stories at select times throughout the day. 

Families can move and dance to the beat during the coolest party on wheels and celebrate with their favorite friends at the award-winning Sesame Street Party Parade. 

SeaWorld Orlando Sesame Street Kids Weekend 2021

Kids can earn special badges for things like Bravery, Helping, Manners, and more all weekend and join the Everyday Heroes Club. As part of Everyday Heroes Club, guests can meet members of the Orange County Fire and Rescue and the Sheriff’s Office and get an up-close look at first responder vehicles in Sesame Street Land! Each organization will have members present to meet guests, take photos, and answer questions. 

SeaWorld Orlando Sesame Street Kids Weekend 2021

Another exciting activity that will captivate kids during this special weekend will be “Oscar’s Trash Art,” where they can turn everyday materials that may seem like trash into beautiful works of art.

ALL-NEW Sesame Street Friends Arrive during Sesame Street Kids’ Weekend

Some ALL-NEW Sesame Street friends are visiting just for Sesame Street Kids’ Weekend at Sesame Street Land at SeaWorld Orlando. 

Baby Bear, Honker, and Dinger will join the fun. Guests will see them walking around Sesame Street Land at SeaWorld Orlando, can say hello, and take photos with these characters who are visiting for a limited time.

Sesame Street Weekend 2021 SeaWorld Orlando

Elmo & Julia’s Birthday Celebrations

In addition to Sesame Street Kids’ Weekend, there are two exciting birthdays in January and February! 

Guests can celebrate Julia’s birthday on January 24th in Sesame Street Land with a special storytime and photo opportunities with Julia. 

Julia Smiles Sesame Street Land SeaWorld Orlando Autism Acceptance Month

Then the party continues with Elmo’s Birthday Celebration, taking place daily between January 28 – February 3. 

During the celebration, guests can take part in meet-and-greets, a family-friendly DJ dance party, photo opportunities with Elmo and friends, and more surprises in select locations around Sesame Street Land at SeaWorld, including:

  • Elmo’s Birthday Storytime
    • Elmo has an incredibly special story to tell for his birthday, and he wants to share it with all his friends! Guests can watch his float throughout the day and find a spot to listen nearby.
  • Scavenger Hunt
    • There are many places around Sesame Street Land for Elmo’s pet goldfish, Dorothy, to hide, and families will have fun finding her in a special scavenger hunt!

And the best gift? It is all included with your theme park admission!

SeaWorld Orlando Aquatica Orlando Preschool Card 2020

SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica Orlando Preschool Card

The best way to take in everything Sesame Street Land at SeaWorld Orlando has to offer is with the free Preschool Card. 

SeaWorld and Aquatica Orlando offer an ocean of adventures perfect for some of the parks’ youngest guests with the 2023 Preschool Card. 

It is now available for registration exclusively for Florida residents. SeaWorld and Aquatica Orlando will offer kids ages five and younger a FREE Preschool Card valid for visits through December 31, 2023, for unlimited admission to both parks. 

This offer allows children to experience unlimited access to their favorite Sesame Street experiences, up-close animal encounters, family-friendly entertainment, and awe-inspiring animal presentations. 

SeaWorld Orlando Electric Ocean 2021 On the Go in the Parks

SeaWorld Orlando Annual Pass Offer

For even more unbeatable benefits, guests can purchase a SeaWorld Orlando Annual Pass for as low as $14/month + tax with no down payment. 

With an Annual Pass, guests will enjoy 12 months of visits with special benefits like exclusive access to “Pipeline: The Surf Coaster” through the “Passport to Thrills” program, free parking, free guest tickets, access to special VIP events, savings on merchandise and more! Some restrictions and blockout dates apply. 

Annual Passes and Fun Cards can be purchased at SeaWorldOrlando.com.

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