Busch Gardens Launches PhotoKey: A new photo sharing program in the Park
PhotoKey Allows Guests to Collect, View and Share Photos Instantly
Busch Gardens Tampa has launched PhotoKey, a new photo sharing program that allows guests to collect, view and share their unforgettable in-park experiences. PhotoKey users can collect photos using their PhotoKey card and view and share photos instantly with the PhotoKey mobile app.
Guests can purchase PhotoKey online at buschgardens.com or at any photo station inside the park and take advantage of photo opportunities at most roller coasters, the park entrance, with roaming photographers or even on a Serengeti Safari.
The PhotoKey mobile app is available for download on Android and iPhone and users can also purchase products in-park and online to create one-of-a-kind memorabilia, including prints, frames, key chains, posters, bed sheets and more.
Unlimited Access – All photos can be viewed, shared and downloaded at any park Photo location, on the PhotoKey mobile app or on the PhotoKey website.
Save on Purchases – Receive discounts on in-park photo products that are available at any photo location.
A couple of weeks ago, the Disney Parks Blog posted a sweepstakes for readers to try to win a spot in their next meet-up at Walt Disney World. It would take place at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party on September 14th and include tickets to the new Villains’ Sinister Soiree hard ticket even within the party. I caught the window of the sweepstakes just in time and threw my name into the hat and surprising won a spot! I was thrilled because I probably wasn’t going to make it to the party this year otherwise, plus I was able to take my mom to her very first Halloween party!
The following is my recap of the event with a little review of the special ticket event. Also, check out the Disney Parks Blog recap with much better pictures!
The evening began at 4:00 PM when we were able to check in and receive our party credentials. After that, unlike previous meet-ups I have attended, we were pretty much free to enjoy the party as we wished. At least until 11:45, which was the assigned dessert party time for all meet-up attendees. The Villains’ Sinister Soiree includes a dessert party in Cinderella’s castle and there are two seatings per night. Ours was the later seating.
First order of business was to get some dinner before the party started at 7:00pm. Our go-to counter service meal is usually Columbia Harbour House so that’s where we headed. After that, we rode a few rides with little wait.
At 7:30 we were able to enter the reserved viewing section for the first Boo-To-You parade. This section is reserved for anyone who buys tickets for the Villains Soiree and is located in the Hub in front of the castle. If you’ve ever had a Fastpass+ reservation for the Festival of Fantasy parade, it’s that same area.
Once we showed our credentials and got into the area, we were offered to take water bottles from the ice coolers. They were the small, kid-sized bottles, but we were able to take as many as we wanted which was welcome given how humid it was. Then a lovely cast member from New Zealand asked us if we wanted to know what the best spot for the parade was. Of course we said yes, and he led us over to the Liberty Square side of the Hub, right in front of the bridge. This way we could see them coming head-on and then make the turn to go in front of the castle.
The spot was great and my mom loved her first parade experience – especially the Haunted Mansion section! Here are a few of the pictures I took.
Next, we had to decide if we wanted to stay on the reserved section for the fireworks. I was worried we would be too close to the castle, but we opted to stay since we had plenty of space to move around. We also caught the Villains Mix and Mingle show while we waited. It ended up being fine and we had a great view.
We then had a couple of hours to kill before the dessert part so it was time for trick-or-treating. If I’m not mistaken, there are few more treat stations this year. The party wasn’t crowded at all so the cast members were being very generous with their handouts! At one point we decided to sit in the relative coolness of the Tomorrowland Terrace and rest a bit, Our timing was good because we ended up being able to see a little bit of the second parade as it travelled down Main Street!
Soon it was time to head to Cinderella Castle for the main event: the Villains’ takeover. Once we were let into the lobby, the Queen of Hearts and Anastasia and Drizella Tremaine were meeting. If no one went up for a picture, they would heckle the crowd. For example, I was wearing a villains t-shirt that did not include the Queen of Hearts. She was not pleased! I was also wearing Maleficent Mickey ears and Drizella told me about Maleficent being her and Anastasia’s babysitter when they were little and let them have all the candy. Ha!
Finally we were let up to the main dining room. We had assigned tables and footmen led us to them. We got a table by the windows! On the table was a personalized menu, an autograph card, a Maleficent cup filled with candy, and a plate of cheeses and meats. We were also given a drink named after Captain Hook named the Captain’s Not-So-Poisoned Potion. It was pretty sweet, but I thought the poisoned apple glow cube was cute.
Around this time, the villains made their grand entrance and presented their themed desserts. They also made their rounds at the tables. This was definitely the highlight. Great interaction with all of the villains! At one point, Lady Tremaine and her daughters performed a musical number for us: a mash-up of Sweet Nightingale and Royals by Lordes. Hilarious! I wish I had a good video of it.
The desserts themselves were awesome in their presentations and just okay in taste. Nothing really stood out.
Soon, it was time to leave. Keeping in character, Lady Tremaine basically just kicked us out! We were given parting gifts of posters and a hitchhiking ghost from the Parks Blog (these things do not usually come with the Villains’ Sinister Soiree ticket, but everything else I’ve mentioned does).
We walked out to a pretty empty Magic Kingdom since the party had been over for almost an hour. I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I didn’t have to get up for work the next day!
I had a really fun time at this meet-up. So grateful to the Disney Parks Blog for hosting us, with the help of some pretty cool villains.. I know the big question is whether or not the Villains’ Sinister Soiree ticket is worth the extra cost on top of a party ticket. Honestly, it probably depends on what you want out of it. For me, it wouldn’t be. The reserved spots for the parade and fireworks are really worth much, especially at a party that isn’t very crowded. The party in the castle is a lot of fun, and being in the castle is special and the atmosphere with the villains is awesome, but for me it wouldn’t be worth the $99 extra. And if I were buying a ticket, I would definitely want the later seating so I could still enjoy most of the party. If you really want to spend some quality time with these villains though, it might be worth it for you.
Have you been to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party? Would you or have you attended the Villains’ Sinister Soiree? Who is your favorite villain?
Holocaust Memorial Resource And Education Center Of Florida: Looking Back and Moving Forward with Central Florida Civil Rights
Collaboration and education were instrumental in moving forward early Civil Rights efforts, which is why The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida has brought together institutions and individuals throughout Central Florida to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act and join in examining the impact of this landmark legislation.
Through a series of exhibits, films, drama and community presentations throughout Central Florida, the reflect on the progress that has been made with civil rights, as well as encourage important conversations about issues that remain to be addressed in hopes to move forward and challenge bigotry and intolerance in all of its forms.
At the center of this initiative, The Holocaust Center will host a moving exhibit, Hateful Things from the Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State College, which displays nearly 150 years of anti-black/racist material, and will send its own Civil Rights exhibit, Embracing the Dream, which celebrates local heroes who were part of ending segregation, on a Central Florida tour. Several featured presentations are listed below and a detailed calendar of all programs can be found by visiting, www.centralfloridacivilrights.org.
October 19, 2014: Last White Knight – film and filmmaker talk-back
Admission – $10
Orlando Museum of Art, 2416 N. Mills Avenue, Orlando
October 20, 2014: Prom Night in Mississippi – film and discussion
University of Central Florida
Student Union – Cape Florida Room, #316
October 26, 2014: Best of Enemies – live drama and one-night fundraising event
Fundraising event – $100
(Best of Enemies run dates are October 15 – November 16, 2014)
Call for show prices – 407.447.1700
Orlando Shakespeare Theater – 812 E. Rollins Street, Orlando
November 6, 2014: Privilege and Progress – Forum with guest speaker, former skinhead, Angela King
Admission – Free
The Holocaust Center, 841 N. Maitland Avenue, Maitland
November 12, 2014: Panel discussion on Marginalized Communities
Admission – Free
The Holocaust Center, 841 N. Maitland Avenue, Maitland
Visit www.centralfloridacivilrights.org for current details regarding events sponsored by the Holocaust Center and its regional partners. This new comprehensive website is created and managed by the Holocaust Center.
The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida is a nonprofit organization dedicated to combating anti-Semitism, racism and prejudice with the ultimate goal of developing a moral and just community through its extensive outreach of educational and cultural programs. Using the lessons of the Holocaust as a tool, the Center teaches the principles of good citizenship to thousands of people of all ages, religions and backgrounds each year.
Located at 851 N. Maitland Avenue, The Holocaust Center is one of the oldest facilities of its kind in the nation. It houses permanent and temporary exhibit space, archives and a research library. It is a supported by tax-exempt donations and is open to the public free of charge.