Busch Gardens Tampa Welcomes Baby Cheetahs

Busch Gardens Tampa Welcomes Baby Cheetahs

Busch Gardens Tampa Welcomes Baby Cheetahs

Cubs Receive Around-The-Clock Care By Park’s Animal Care Experts

 

Busch Gardens Tampa has welcomed two new adorable additions – three-month-old cheetah cubs. The Busch Gardens animal care team is providing 24-hour-care as the cubs continue to get stronger and explore their new home.

The cubs were born on Nov. 22, 2014 and weigh approximately 12 pounds. Their names, which were given by the Busch Gardens animal care team, are Tendai, meaning “thankful,” and Thabo, meaning “joy.”

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Once the cubs are old enough, they will start their own coalition as part of Cheetah Run, the innovative cheetah habitat that opened alongsideBusch Gardens’ triple-launch coaster, Cheetah Hunt, in 2011. Until then, guests can see the cubs at various times throughout the day in the Edge of Africa area of the park, or by taking an Animal Care Center Behind The Scenes tour through Sunday, March 1.

Busch Gardens Tampa Welcomes Baby Cheetahs  2

 

Cheetahs are included on both the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list of vulnerable species as well as on the US Endangered Species Act list of threatened species. Upon reaching maturity, the cubs may also become an important part of Busch Gardens’cheetah breeding program that will help boost the cheetah population.

Busch Gardens Tampa Welcomes Baby Cheetahs

 

These births are part of Busch Gardens’ participation in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP). The mission of the SSP is to cooperatively manage specific, and typically threatened or endangered, species populations within AZA-accredited facilities. Busch Gardens’ participation helps create genetically diverse, self-sustaining populations to guarantee the long-term future of these animals.

 Busch Gardens Tampa logo PhotoKey

Busch Gardens is owned by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™, one of the world’s foremost zoological organizations and a worldwide leader in animal welfare, training, husbandry and veterinary care. The company cares for one of the largest animal collections in North America and has helped lead advances in the care of species in zoological facilities and in the conservation of wild populations.

 

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New I-Drive Four Pass Attraction Combo Ticket

 Four Orlando I-Drive Attractions Offer New Combo Ticket

Visit four of Orlando’s most popular attractions with just one ticket 

 

Solve a crime and catch a killer … see Titanic artifacts recovered from the ocean floor … explore oddities from around the world … experience more than 100 interactive exhibits – all on a single ticket.

Four of Orlando’s most popular I-Drive attractions – CSI: The Experience, Titanic: The Artifact ExhibitionRipley’s Orlando Odditorium and WonderWorks – are now offering anew I-Drive Four Pass ticket that allows guests to visit all four attractions for one low price.

The new ticket saves both time – all the attractions are conveniently located along a two-mile stretch of International Drive – and money.

An adult I-Drive Four Pass ticket costs just $74.99 (plus tax); that’s a savings of more than $12 compared to purchasing an adult ticket to each attraction individually. A children’s ticket (ages 12 and under) costs $54.99, saving more than $6. Children under three are free.

I-Drive Four Pass tickets are now available and can be purchased at each of the four attractions or online at idrivefourpass.com. Tickets are good for one year from the date of purchase and cannot be combined with any other discount or offer. 

Orlando I-Drive Four Pass Attraction Combo Ticket

WonderWorks is an indoor amusement park for the mind, featuring more than 100 interactive exhibits for all ages to experience, including a ropes course and 4D motion theater ride.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Orlando Odditorium is the only place in Orlando where visitors will find shrunken heads, an authentic vampire killing kit, a shooting gallery and a spinning vortex tunnel among the hundreds of oddities, exhibits and artifacts.

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition tells the dramatic story of the most legendary ocean liner ever built. The 25,000 square foot exhibit features artifacts recovered from Titanic’s wreck site 2.5 miles beneath the ocean’s surface. Guest can walk her decks, peer into her cabins and meet some of the passengers and crew.

CSI: The Experience puts visitors in the role of crime scene investigator, collecting clues and analyzing evidence in lab rooms. After reviewing all the evidence, they submit their report to Gil Grissom to see if they have successfully solved the crime and put the killer behind bars.

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Busch Gardens Tampa Welcomes Baby Gorilla

 Gorilla Birth Busch Gardens Tampa

Busch Gardens Tampa Welcomes Baby Gorilla Enzi

Female is Second Since December, Bringing Gorilla Troop to Seven

 

Busch Gardens Tampa has welcomed another endangered western lowland gorilla. The female gorilla was born on Feb. 6 at 8:30 p.m. and is being cared for by 27-year-old mother Mary.

Gorilla Birth Busch Gardens Tampa

Guests will be able to see the baby gorilla on the Myombe Reserve habitat in the coming days, along with the rest of the gorilla troop.  Or, check out the Busch Gardens YouTube channel now for a first look!

“The first month will be the critical period as the mother, Mary, and the infant begin to integrate into the current gorilla troop, so the Busch Gardens animal care team will be monitoring their progress closely,” said Jeff Andrews, vice president of zoological operations for Busch Gardens.

Gorilla Birth Busch Gardens Tampa

This is Busch Gardens’ third successful gorilla birth. Bolingo, the suspected sire, was the park’s first gorilla birth in 2005. The mother, Mary, came to Busch Gardens in February 2010 from Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas with daughter Pele, who just gave birth this past December to baby Enzi.

 

 

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D23 Disney Twenty-Three Spring Issue Details

D23 Disney Twenty-Three Magazine Cinderella Spring 2015

CINDERELLA STAR LILY JAMES OPENS UP TO DISNEY TWENTY-THREE ABOUT THE MAGIC OF MAKING THE NEW FILM

D23 GETS AN EXCLUSIVE BEHIND–THE–SCENES LOOK AT DISNEY’S LIVE-ACTION FAIRY TALE. PLUS, JOSS WHEDON REVEALS THE SECRETS BEHIND MARVEL’S AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON AND BRITT ROBERTSON TAKES US TO TOMORROWLAND

 

With Cinderella set to grace movie theaters on March 13 in Disney’s new live-action adaptation of the beloved animated classic, Disney twenty-three, the publication of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, sat down with the creative team to get all the details—from the tiniest mouse to the biggest pumpkin coach. And star Lily James opens up about her first nerve-wracking day of filming, taking on the role of one of the most iconic princesses, and the challenges of dancing in a spectacular couture creation.

Cinderella Ball D23 Disney Twenty-three Spring 2015 D23

Also in Disney twenty-three’s Spring issue, available exclusively to D23 Gold Members, is an interview with Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultronwriter/director Joss Whedon, who reveals some surprising details about the highly anticipated spring release, including why Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver were two must-have characters in the film. In addition, stars Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans and Robert Downey, Jr. put in their two cents about the helmsman.

Plus, the issue features an exclusive interview with Britt Robertson about working on the upcoming film Tomorrowland, and a celebration of 40 years of Space Mountain with a look back at some of the original designs, early photography, and opening day materials for the Walt Disney World attraction. Also, the Walt Disney Archives unveils 14 of the newest treasures added to its incredible collection, including an original Donald Duck doll circa 1935, a pair of out-of-this-world space boots from the Epcot attraction Horizons, and Sam Eagle’s CIA travel badge from Muppets Most Wanted.

Also included in the Spring issue of Disney twenty-three:

  • How runDisney has turned Disney fans into marathon runners—and colorful characters
  • A sneak peek at the design, menu, and costumes of the soon-to-reopen Cinderella’s Royal Table at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom
  • Original concept art and drawings for the 1950 animated classic Cinderella
  • A look back at how Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color television series seamlessly transformed intoThe Wonderful World of Disney
  • Regular columns including A Walk with Walt, D Society, and Ask Dave

D23 Members are invited to visit D23.com for additional features and members-only content, including a gallery of additional images of Cinderella from the Animation Research Library.

Other features coming to D23.com include:

  • More exclusive interviews with the cast and filmmakers of the live-action Cinderella
  • Tomorrowland’s Britt Robertson talks about filming at Disneyland and her Disney favorites
  • A Turkey Pot Pie recipe from Walt Disney World’s Cinderella’s Royal Table that lets you bring a taste of Disney to your dining room table

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

 D23 disney twenty-three Fanniversary D23 Destination D

About D23

The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his fledgling studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s 90-plus-year history. D23 gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication, Disney twenty-three; a rich website at D23.com with members-only content; member-exclusive discounts; and special events for D23 Members throughout the year.

Fans can join D23 at Gold Membership ($74.99) and General Membership (complimentary) levels at D23.com and at DisneyStore.com/D23. To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow us @DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.

 

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Chocolate Chips Galore At Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme Ghostbusters Halloween Doughnuts

Enjoy Chocolate Chips Galore at Krispy Kreme

New Java Chip and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Doughnuts Now Available at Central Florida Krispy Kreme Locations

Chips, chips and more chocolate chips!  The new Krispy Kreme® Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Java Chip Doughnuts are moist, creamy, and loaded with deliciously sweet chocolate chips. Available now through March 22, 2015 at the following Central Florida locations (while supplies last)
       1031 S. Orlando Avenue (17-92), Winter Park, FL  32789
       Open 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. (SundayThursday) and
       5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Friday and Saturday)

4080 Millenia Blvd., Orlando, FL 32939

5310 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway (192 / Mile Marker 11.5), Kissimmee, FL  34746

Krispy Kreme
Pick up a dozen of these sweet treats at your nearest Krispy Kreme shop.  A doughnut for the cookie lover in all of us.
  • The new Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Doughnut is a glazed ring doughnut with a chocolate chip cookie dough flavored Kreme™ center and milk chocolate drizzle on top.
  • A mocha lover’s dream. The new Java Chip Doughnut is a shell filled with chocolate and coffee flavored Kreme and topped with coffee flavored icing and mini chocolate chips.
 
Save the Date
Krispy Kreme commemorates 1000th doughnut shop with global celebration with FREE Original Glazed® doughnut for first 1000 fans at participating shops around the world on February 24, 2015. No purchase necessary. Not available at grocery or wholesale locations.
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Four Space Shuttle Astronauts Selected for 2015 U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Four Space Shuttle Astronauts Selected for 2015 U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction

2015 Marks Historic 25th Anniversary for the Hall of Fame

On Saturday, May 30, 2015, four space shuttle astronauts will be inducted into the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame during a public ceremony held at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex’s Space Shuttle AtlantisSM  attraction: John Grunsfeld, Ph. D., Steven Lindsey, Kent Rominger, and M. Rhea Seddon, M.D.

These astronaut heroes will join the ranks of well-known space explorers including Alan Shepard, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. This year marks the historic 25th anniversary of the Hall of Fame, which was conceived in the 1980s by the six remaining Mercury astronauts as a place where space explorers could be remembered. Past Hall of Fame inductees include Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle astronauts.

This year’s inductees comprise the 14th group of space shuttle astronauts named to the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, bringing the total number of members to 91. Among this year’s inductees are a robotics expert who conducted three missions to repair the Hubble Space Telescope; two former military aviators who became space shuttle pilots and commanders on key shuttle missions to build the International Space Station; and a medical doctor and payload commander on life sciences missions who was one of NASA’s first female astronauts.

The 2015 Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 30. Admittance into the ceremony is included in admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex; however, seating is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com 

John M. Grunsfeld, Ph.D. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Astronaut Hall of Fame
John M. Grunsfeld, Ph.D.

John M. Grunsfeld, Ph.D., was selected as a NASA astronaut in March 1992. A five-flight veteran (STS-67 Endeavour, STS-81 Atlantis, STS-103 Discovery, STS-109 Columbia and STS-125 Atlantis), he has logged more than 58 days in space, including 58 hours and 30 minutes of extravehicular activity (EVA) over the course of eight spacewalks.

On his last three missions, Grunsfeld worked to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. As a mission specialist on STS-103 in December 1999, he performed two of the three EVAs required to restore the Hubble to working order after the failure of its gyroscopes. As payload commander of STS-109 Columbia in March 2002, Grunsfeld was responsible for the five EVAs over five consecutive days required to upgrade Hubble’s systems. He performed three of these spacewalks, installing a new solar array, power control unit and other equipment. STS-125 Atlantis in May 2009 was the fifth and final Hubble servicing mission. Grunsfeld served as the lead once again for the five EVAs required to perform repairs and to install crucial new equipment. He performed three of the five spacewalks.

Grunsfeld retired from NASA in December 2009 to become the Deputy Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute and a professor of physics and astronomy at Johns Hopkins University. He rejoined NASA in 2012 and is currently the agency Associate Administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Steven W. Lindsey Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Astronaut Hall of Fame
Steven W. Lindsey

Steven W. Lindsey (Colonel, USAF, Ret.) was selected as a NASA astronaut in March 1995. A veteran of five space shuttle flights, Lindsey has logged more than 1,510 hours in space.

Lindsey first flew in space in November 1997 as the pilot of STS-87 Columbia. During one of STS-87’s spacewalks, Lindsey piloted the first flight of the AERCam Sprint, a free-flying robotic camera. As the pilot of Discovery STS-95 in October 1998, Lindsey returned to space alongside Senator John Glenn. His first mission as commander was STS-104, the 10th International Space Station (ISS) assembly mission. After launching in July 2001, the crew of Atlantis rendezvoused with the ISS and conducted joint operations with the Expedition 2 crew in order to install the Quest Joint Airlock. In July 2006, Lindsey commanded STS-121 Discovery, the second Return to Flight test mission after the Columbia mishap. And in February 2011, Lindsey commanded STS-133, the 39th and final flight of Discovery. The crew docked with the ISS and delivered the Permanent Multipurpose Module, an Express Logistics Carrier, and Robonaut 2, the first human-like robot in space.

During his time with NASA, Lindsey served as Deputy for Space Shuttle Operations and Co-Chairman of the Space Shuttle Cockpit Council, Chief of International Space Station Operations for the Astronaut Office, and Chief of the Astronaut Office. In July 2011, Lindsey retired from NASA and joined Sierra Nevada Corporation to lead the Dream Chaser spacecraft flight operations.

Kent V. Rominger Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Astronaut Hall of Fame
Kent V. Rominger

Kent V. Rominger (Captain, USN, Ret.) was selected by NASA to become an astronaut in 1992. A veteran of five space flights, he has logged more than 1,600 hours in space.

Rominger first launched as the pilot of STS-73 Columbia in October 1995. He returned to space as the pilot of STS-80 Columbia in 1996 and STS-85 Discovery in August 1997. Rominger’s first mission as commander was STS-96 Discovery, which launched May 1999. During this 10-day mission, the crew successfully completed the first docking of a space shuttle to the International Space Station and delivered four tons of logistics and supplies in preparation for the arrival of the first crew. During training, he helped discover and optimize the ISS orientation maneuver to save hundreds of pounds of propellants. During his final mission, STS-100 Endeavour, which launched in April 2001,Rominger commanded a diverse international crew, representing the United States, Russia, Canada and Italy. Together they installed the Canadian-built Robotic Arm and Rafaello Logistics Module to the ISS. Endeavour was docked eight days on the most complex robotics flight in the history of the Space Shuttle Program.

During his time at NASA, Rominger served in the Astronaut Office Operations Development Branch, as Deputy Director of Flight Crew Operations, and as Chief of the Astronaut Office. He retired from NASA in 2006 to accept a position with ATK Launch Systems.

Rhea Seddon, M.D. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Astronaut Hall of Fame
Rhea Seddon, M.D.

Rhea Seddon, M.D. was selected by NASA in January 1978 and in August 1979, became part of the first U.S. astronaut class to include women. A three-flight veteran, she has logged more than 722 hours in space.

On her first mission in April 1985, Seddon served as mission specialist on STS-51D Discovery, where she performed numerous science and medical experiments. She returned to space in June 1991 on STS-40 Columbia, again serving as mission specialist. This mission was the first Spacelab Life Sciences flight (SLS-1), during which the crew performed numerous experiments which explored how humans, animals, and cells respond to microgravity and re-adapt to Earth’s gravity upon return. As payload commander on her third and final flight, STS-58 Columbia in October 1993, Seddon was in charge of all science activities. This Spacelab Life Sciences mission (SLS-2) received NASA management recognition as the most successful and efficient Spacelab flown to date. During the flight, 650 samples were collected from the crew and 48 rodents to help build a more comprehensive picture of how humans and animals adapt to zero gravity.

After leaving NASA in 1997, Seddon served as the Assistant Chief Medical Officer of the Vanderbilt Medical Group in Nashville for 11 years. Now with LifeWings Partners, LLC, she acts as a consultant to healthcare institutions across the United States. She recently wrote a memoir entitled “Go for Orbit” to inspire young women to pursue careers in science and technology.

Each year, inductees are selected by a committee of Hall of Fame astronauts, former NASA officials, flight directors, historians and journalists. The process is administered by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. To be eligible, an astronaut must have made his or her first flight at least 17 years before the induction. Candidates must be a U.S. citizen and a NASA-trained commander, pilot or mission specialist who has orbited the earth at least once.

 Space Shuttle Atlantis Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

About Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex brings to life the epic story of the U.S. space program, offering a full day or more of fun and educational activities, including the Kennedy Space Center Tour featuring the Saturn V Center with an actual Saturn V moon rocket, the new Space ShuttleAtlantisSM, Shuttle Launch Experience®, 3D IMAX® space films, Astronaut Encounter, Exploration Space®:  Explorers Wanted and many other interactive exhibits. Admission also includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, featuring historic spacecraft and the world’s most comprehensive collection of personal astronaut memorabilia (opens daily at noon; closing times vary by season). Only 45 minutes from Orlando, Fla., Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9 a.m. with closing times varying by season. Admission is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3-11. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers annual passes starting at $75 + tax for adults and $60 + tax for children ages 3-11. For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.

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Chef Norman Van Aken Creating Culinary Adventures At Busch Gardens Tampa

Busch Gardens Tampa Food and WIne Festival Logo Chef Norman Van Aken

CULINARY HEAVYWEIGHTS COOK UP EXCITEMENT AT INAUGURAL FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL

Award-Winning Chef Norman Van Aken Helps Create Culinary Adventures Busch Gardens

 

This spring, the Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival is feeding guests’ appetites for adventure with wild flavors and concerts for every taste on Saturdays and Sundays from March 7 through April 26. In addition to Busch Gardens’ own Executive Chef Ron DeBonis, acclaimed Chef Norman Van Aken, founder of NORMAN’S at The Ritz-Carlton in Orlando, has helped inspire these culinary masterpieces.

 

Chef Norman Van Aken

Chef Norman Van Aken Busch Gardens Tampa Food & Wine

Referred to as the “Father of New World Cuisine,” Chef Van Aken has several culinary awards, including a James Beard Award and was honored as one of the “Founders of the New America Cuisine” at Madrid Fusion. And this year Chef Van Aken will represent Florida at the USA Pavilion at EXPO Milano as part of the World’s Fair, titled “American Food 2.0, United to Feed the Planet.” 

He’s also the author of six cookbooks and was selected by The Tampa Bay Times as “one of the 25 people who mattered the most in Florida’s history.” Van Aken’s restaurant, NORMAN’S, was nominated as a finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Restaurant in America,” and Chef Van Aken is the only Floridian inducted into the James Beard list of “Who’s Who in American Food and Beverage.”

 

Fans can find Chef Van Aken during the opening weekend of the Food & Wine Festival on March 7-8. In addition to making appearances throughout the Festival grounds, he will also do a book signing on Saturday, March 7. Be sure to check buschgardens.com for the latest information.

 Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival Chef Norman Van Aken

Busch Gardens invites guests to unleash their inner foodie during the inaugural Food & Wine Festival with an exciting variety of sample-size tastings of delicious cuisine and spirits, tempting taste buds like never before. Plus, the Food & Wine Festival brings together the best in pop, soft rock, Latin, country, contemporary and classic music during live concerts every event day on Gwazi Field.

The Festival is included with any Pass, Fun Card or daily admission. Food and beverage is not included with park admission and is available for an extra fee. Guests must be 21 years of age or older to consume alcoholic beverages.

 Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival Logo

For more information, visit buschgardens.com. Or, be the first to know about new events, special deals and future announcements by following the park’s blog at BuschGardensTampaBlog.com, and join the conversation by using #CorksandCoasters on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Invites Guests to Fly With An Astronaut

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

For Two Days Only, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Invites Guests to ‘Fly With An Astronaut’

New Half-Day Program Offered Sunday, Feb.15 and Monday, Feb. 16 Features Private Tour, ‘Flight’ on Shuttle Launch Experience® and Lunch with Veteran NASA Astronaut

 

For the first time ever, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will offer a special, limited-time, limited-capacity program called Fly With An Astronaut, in which guests can spend a thrilling half day experiencing the highlights of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, including a ‘flight’ on Shuttle Launch Experience®, with a veteran NASA space shuttle astronaut and pilot.

Limited to just 43 guests per day on Sunday, Feb. 15 and Monday, Feb. 16 only (Presidents’ Day weekend), the program includes admission to the Visitor Complex as well as a morning of tours and activities guided by astronaut Jon McBride. One of many highlights of the day is the opportunity to “fly” on Shuttle Launch Experience with McBride, who served as the pilot of STS-41G aboard space shuttle Challenger and is a former naval aviator who has logged more than 8,800 total flight hours, 4,700 of those hours in jets. The experience also includes a catered buffet lunch in a VIP area of the Apollo/Saturn V Center; a panoramic photo stop at the Launch Complex (LC) 39 Observation Gantry, which is otherwise not accessible to guests; an autographed photo of the guest with the astronaut hero; and a retail gift.

“We are proud to offer this extraordinary opportunity to guests who want to learn about and experience America’s space program through the eyes of an experienced, veteran NASA astronaut,” said Therrin Protze, chief operating officer for Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. “What better way to engage and inspire guests of all ages, particularly our future space explorers, than to offer them a chance to ‘fly’ aboard a shuttle with an actual space shuttle pilot, see actual spaceflight operations areas, and hear firsthand his personal recollections of life in space?”

Fly With An Astronaut participants will meet at Space Shuttle Atlantis at 9:30 a.m. each day for a “preflight” briefing and individual photo with McBride – and then the countdown begins! The newly recruited “crew members” will enter Shuttle Launch Experience to find out what it feels like to launch into space aboard a shuttle traveling 17,500 mph – with an experienced NASA astronaut and space shuttle pilot at their side!

“I’ve ridden plenty of launch simulators and I’ve been at the controls of the real space shuttle, so I can tell you that Shuttle Launch Experience is the closest thing to a shuttle launch as you can get without actually leaving Earth,” said McBride. “I’m looking forward to sharing that exhilarating experience with guests who want to come and ‘fly’ with me and spend a few hours learning more about Kennedy Space Center and the past, present and future of our space program from an astronaut’s perspective.”

Participants will then board a bus with McBride for a private tour of Kennedy Space Center, including a drive past the Vehicle Assembly Building and a stop at the LC-39 Observation Gantry. Here, McBride will share stories of his launch aboard space shuttle Challenger and his astronaut experiences as guests take advantage of panoramic photo opportunities of KSC and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in the distance.

The next stop is the Apollo/Saturn V Center, where participants will enjoy a guided tour with McBride, followed by a catered buffet lunch in the upstairs conference room overlooking Kennedy Space Center and Launch Pads 39 A and B. During lunch, guests will receive a printed photo of themselves with McBride and have an opportunity for him to autograph it. At the end of the tour, at approximately 1:30 p.m., guests will receive a retail memento and will be free to continue touring the Apollo/Saturn V Center or board a bus back to the Visitor Complex.

The new, limited-time, limited-capacity program is tremendous value at $199 for adults; $174 for children (ages 3-11), including Visitor Complex admission, a catered lunch, an autographed photo and a retail gift. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex annual pass holders may purchase the program for $149 per adult or $134 per child (ages 3-11)

Seating is limited; for reservations, please call 877-313-2610.

Space Shuttle Atlantis Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

About Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex brings to life the epic story of the U.S. space program, offering a full day or more of fun and educational activities, including the Kennedy Space Center Tour featuring the Saturn V Center with an actual Saturn V moon rocket, the new Space ShuttleAtlantisSM, Shuttle Launch Experience®, 3D IMAX® space films, Astronaut Encounter, Exploration Space®:  Explorers Wanted and many other interactive exhibits. Admission also includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, featuring historic spacecraft and the world’s most comprehensive collection of personal astronaut memorabilia (opens daily at noon; closing times vary by season). Only 45 minutes from Orlando, Fla., Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9 a.m. with closing times varying by season. Admission is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3-11. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers annual passes starting at $75 + tax for adults and $60 + tax for children ages 3-11. For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.

 

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Don’t Miss Your Chance to Meet the Entire Orlando City SC Team

Orlando City SC

Don’t Miss Your Chance to Meet the Entire Orlando City SC Team

Tickets Available for the Lions’ Season Kickoff Luncheon on February 17, includes Admission to Season Opener March 8

 

With just over three weeks separating Orlando City Soccer Club from the season-opening match, the Lions invite all fans to kick back and get to know their team on Tuesday, February 17, at a special luncheon at the Hilton Orlando Altamonte Springs.

President and Founder Phil Rawlins, Head Coach Adrian Heath and the entire squad will attend to meet with fans, reflect on the team’s history and celebrate the year ahead.

“The moment we’ve all been working toward is here, and we invite all our fans to take advantage of this unique opportunity to meet our players and celebrate the historic season ahead,” said Rawlins.

Hosted by the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association, the luncheon will take place on Tuesday, February 17 at the Hilton Orlando Altamonte Springs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Seats can be purchased at CFHLA.org/OCSC. Admission to the Tailgate includes a ticket to the inaugural match on March 8.

Real Radio 104.1 personality Jack Bradshaw will emcee the event filled with food, music and tailgate games. Fans are encouraged to take photos with players and purchase team merchandise.

Orlando City SC will host several events leading up to March 8 as part of Operation #FillTheBowl. Admission to many of these events includes a ticket to the historic first game. More information is available at www.OrlandoCitySC.com/FillTheBowl.

Orlando City SC 2015 MLS Tickets Header

To purchase season, group or individual tickets, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com or call 855-ORL-CITY.

Also, follow the latest Orlando City SC news and updates via FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

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The New Cinderella Trailer Is Here

Cinderella

I get more and more excited for March 13, 2015, every time I see a new image or trailer for Cinderella!

The story of Cinderella follows the fortunes of young Ella (Lily James) whose merchant father remarries following the death of her mother. Eager to support her loving father, Ella welcomes her new Stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and her daughters Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drisella (Sophie McShera) into the family home. But, when Ella’s father unexpectedly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of a jealous and cruel new family.

Cinderella Step Mother

Soon, she is forced to become their servant, disrespected, covered in ashes and spitefully renamed Cinderella. Yet, despite the cruelty inflicted upon her, Ella will not give in to despair nor despise those who mistreat her, and she continues to remain positive, determined to honor her mother’s dying words and to “have courage and be kind.”

Cinderella Meeting In The Woods

When Ella meets a dashing stranger in the woods, unaware that he is really the Prince (Richard Madden) and not merely Kit, an apprentice at the palace, she believes she has finally found a kindred soul. It appears her fortunes may be about to change when the King (Derek Jacobi) summons all maidens in the kingdom to attend a royal ball at the palace, raising Ella’s hopes of once again encountering the charming Kit. Alas, her Stepmother forbids her to attend and callously destroys her dress.

Cinderella Ball

Meanwhile, the calculating Grand Duke (Stellan Skarsgård) devises a plan to thwart the Prince’s hopes of reuniting with Ella and enlists the support of the devious Stepmother. But, as in all good fairy tales, help is at hand. Soon, a kindly beggar woman (Helena Bonham Carter) steps forward and, armed with a pumpkin, a few mice and a magic wand, changes Cinderella’s life forever.

I am really excited to share the latest Cinderella trailer with you today!

httpv://youtu.be/erecP_j6aKE

Looking to keep up with all the latest Cinderella news and images? Make sure you give the following accounts a like or a follow!

Visit the official Cinderella Website: http://disney.com/Cinderella

Like Cinderella on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cinderella

Follow Cinderella on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CinderellaMovie

Follow Cinderella on Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/DisneyCinderella

Follow Cinderella on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/disneystudios/cinderella

Follow Cinderella on Google +: https://plus.google.com/+disneycinderella

Cinderella opens in theaters everywhere on March 13th!

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Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Celebrates World Sword Swallower’s Day

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Orlando Hosts Free Sword Swallowing Demos on

World Sword Swallower’s Day 

February 28 event highlights the deadly, ancient art of sword swallowing
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! will once again pay tribute to the ancient art of sword swallowing by holding free sword swallowing performances as part of World Sword Swallower’s Day on Saturday, February 28.
Ripley’s will showcase sword swallowers from all over the world at its Odditoriums in New York City, Hollywood, San Francisco, Baltimore, Gatlinburg, Myrtle Beach, Branson, Atlantic City, Orlando, St. Augustine, Panama City Beach, Key West and Grand Prairie.
In Orlando, attendees will see three amazing performers:
 
-Dan Meyer, World Sword Swallower’s Day founder and America’s Got Talent finalist, will attempt several death-defying feats. Meyer has swallowed as many as 21 swords – at one time
-Franz Huber, who is coming all the way from Germany to participate
-Haley Hall, who at just 16 years old may be the youngest sword swallower in the world!
 
The show will start at 1:30 pm with an official swallow at 2:28:15 to coincide with the2/28/15 date. Ripley’s Orlando Odditorium is located at 8201 International Drive. The sword swallowing performances will be FREE, but admission is required to tour the Odditorium. 

Dan Meyer will lead a trio of
sword swallowers performing
at Ripley’s Orlando
This will be the 8th annual World Sword Swallower’s Day celebration, founded by the Sword Swallowers Association International (SSAI) and co-sponsored by Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
“We established World Sword Swallower’s Day to recognize the handful of people in the world who can do this and honor this art that is more than 4,000 years old,” said Dan Meyer, president of the SSAI.
The event also raises awareness of the contributions sword swallowers have made to the fields of medicine and science and raises money for esophageal cancer research.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! has long chronicled the death-defying achievements of sword swallowers. Sword swallowers were a prominently featured at the very first Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1933.
People who want to try their hand at sword swallowing – and not risk their lives – can use the Ripley iSword app to swallow a virtual sword and freak out their friends. All it takes is nerves of steel and lightning-fast reflexes. The app is available at the App Store for iPhone, iPad or iPod touch iOS 5 or later.
Click here for images from previous World Sword Swallower’s Day events and here for video highlights.
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Tips For Last Minute Disney Inspired Valentine’s Day Shopping

 Last Minute Disney Inspired Valentine's Day Shopping Header

Shopping for the perfect Disney Inspired Valentine’s Day gift far from Walt Disney World can be difficult and sometimes cause even the coolest cucumber to get a little antsy as the big day draws closer.

However, with so many big box retailers carrying more Disney Merchandise the daunting task of finding the perfect gift for your favorite Disney Fan has become easier.

So what I thought I would do is take you along to one of my go-to stores, Walgreens, to share some of my favorite last minute tips for putting together a great Valentine’s Day gift!

Before we go any further, this post is not sponsored by Walgreens or anything along those lines. I just genuinely like shopping there!

Tips For Last Minute Disney Inspired Valentine’s Day Shopping

1. While you want your Valentine’s Day gift to be super adorable for this holiday, make sure that it matches the style of the recipient.

I like to decorate a shelf in our den with holiday Disney items, and while I love a good romance I am not so big on ‘mushy’ gifts.

For someone who is like me, these fun Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse decorative items would be a great option! (I hope you heard that Dave!!!)

Last Minute Disney Inspired Valentine's Day Shopping Home Decor

2. We all have favorite characters, but when you are tight on time keep it to the classic characters!

If your significant other loves an obscure character, you may drive yourself bananas trying to find something specific for them if you’re like me and have waited to the last moment.

I especially love these mugs, water bottles, and cups that show Mickey and Minnie as a perfectly matched pair!

Last Minute Disney Inspired Valentine's Day Shopping Couples Gifts

3. Don’t be afraid of buying plush for Valentine’s Day!

You make think that plush is for the little ones, but it definitely is not.

Walgreens has a pretty sizable selection of plush for a broad spectrum of taste.

While you can never go wrong with a Mickey Mouse or Minnie Mouse plush, this heart shaped pillow with the both of them is absolutely adorable!

Last Minute Disney Inspired Valentine's Day Shopping Plush

4. Let them eat chocolate on Valentine’s Day!

While this is number four on my list, it is number one in my heart!

Last Minute Disney Inspired Valentine's Day Shopping Chocolate

5. Little ones need some Valentine’s Day love, too!

Zoe always comes home with a metric ton of candy from her school pals on Valentine’s Day, so I like to find fun small toys and activities for her goodies.

Last Minute Disney Inspired Valentine's Day Shopping Kids Ideas

What I also like to do is instead of buying one Valentine’s Day card, I like to get her Valentine’s Day cards like the ones she gets in school. She always gets a kick out of opening all the little cards!

Last Minute Disney Inspired Valentine's Day Shopping Kids Valentines

6. Don’t forget the card and wrapping!

Walgreens carries a variety of Hallmark cards and products, and this year the cards are even more adorable than ever.

Last Minute Disney Inspired Valentine's Day Shopping Hallmark Cards

This year, I found some great Valentine’s Day gift bags and matching tissue paper that will make you look like a Pro!

Last Minute Disney Inspired Valentine's Day Shopping Gift Wrapping

Don’t skimp on the wrapping!!! When the delivery method of the gift matches the spirit of what’s inside you have just taken yourself to the next level of gift giving!

I hope that these tips for last minute Disney inspired shopping were helpful, and if you happen to see this Walgreens…call me! 😉

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