Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center Announces New 3D Film

 Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

All New 3D Film ‘Journey To Space,’ narrated by Sir Patrick Stewart, Launches at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex 

New Movie Showcases NASA’s Bold Plans for Deep Space Exploration, Highlighting Accomplishments of Space Shuttle, International Space Station and Brave Astronaut Explorers

 

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has launched a new 3D space film, “Journey To Space,” showcasing NASA’s bold plans for the future, including landing astronauts on Mars and capturing asteroids – painting a clear picture for viewers that “NASA’s next era will be its greatest yet.”

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center 3D Movie Launch

Through extensive interviews with astronauts Chris Ferguson, commander of the final shuttle mission, and Serena Aunon, a new astronaut chosen for future flights, as well as narration by film and television legend Sir Patrick Stewart, the film gives a sweeping overview of NASA’s past space accomplishments, current activities and future plans. Using spectacular space footage, this inspirational new film puts into historical context the magnificent contributions made by the Space Shuttle Program and its astronauts, such as deploying and repairing the Hubble Space Telescope and assembling the International Space Station. Together, the space shuttle and ISS programs have taught humankind how to live, build and conduct science in space, setting the stage for the deep space exploration missions to come.

The film concludes with a realistic scenario of how astronauts will actually get to Mars, live there, and then return home after a two-and-a-half-year mission. During this incredible 3D journey, guests will meet the icons of deep space exploration: the Orion crew capsule; Olympus, an inflatable transportation habitat that will provide astronauts the work area and living space necessary for long-duration missions; and the powerful Space Launch System rocket that will launch Orion and its crew. SLS also will carry the Mars landers and ascent vehicles to get astronauts to the surface of Mars and back up to the Orion spacecraft for their return trip to Earth.

More than recounting NASA’s past, present and future, “Journey To Space” captures the spirit of human exploration and describes how it is at the core of human DNA. It also highlights the enormous risks associated with human spaceflight, accentuating the bravery of all space travelers.

“Through breathtaking imagery shot on the ground and in space, as well as personal accounts from past and current astronauts, ‘Journey To Space’ lays out in clear detail the bright future of America’s space program and NASA’s new mission to explore Mars and beyond,” said Therrin Protze, chief operating officer for Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. “We invite the public to join us in viewing this powerful film that celebrates the incredible accomplishments of the space shuttle program, particularly the International Space Station, that have served as a springboard for deep space exploration.”

Produced specifically for IMAX®, giant screen and other specialty theaters, the 3D film provides the optimal way to see this larger-than-life NASA story. The images projected onto the Visitor Complex’s 5-story screens are in the highest resolution possible for theatrical viewing, which will help audiences feel like they are truly a part of the action.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center 3D Movie Launch

“Journey To Space” is one of two space films currently shown at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Both “Journey to Space” and the IMAX® film “Hubble 3D” are included in the price of admission and are free for annual pass holders.

“Hubble 3D,” follows the crew of STS-125 Atlantis as they embark on the space shuttle’s final mission and very last chance to save the ailing Hubble Space Telescope. Narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, the film not only shows celestial images of stars, nebulas and galaxies, it also showcases the incredible moments as space walkers climbed into the bowels of the school-bus-sized telescope to replace its cameras – an activity they likened to performing brain surgery wearing oven mitts – all while spending hour after hour in partial darkness and temperatures reaching 200 degrees below zero.

“Journey To Space” is co-produced and co-distributed by K2 Films, Inc. and Giant Screen Films and will be released in IMAX, giant screen and other specialty theaters in 2D and 3D.

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Halloween Horror Nights 25 At Universal Orlando Dates Revealed

 WILL YOU SURVIVE TWENTY-FIVE?

Halloween Horror Nights 25 Logo 2015 Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights Celebrates 25th Year with More Event Nights and More Scares than Ever Before.

Guests Can Be Among the First to Book A Vacation Package

for the Nation’s Premier Halloween Event

By day, guests at Universal Orlando Resort are propelled into some of pop culture’s most iconic and beloved stories – laughing as they experience cutting-edge attractions and screaming as they brave plummeting roller coasters.

But there’s another, darker side to Universal Orlando.

httpv://youtu.be/cVVcTuqampU

On select nights in September and October, guests sprint away in paralyzing fear. They scream uncontrollably. Their nightmares come to life at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights.

Now, guests can be among the first to book a vacation package that combines the excitement of Universal Orlando’s two world-class theme parks by day and heart-pumping horror of Halloween Horror Nights by night.

Consistently ranked the nation’s best, Halloween Horror Nights is the ultimate Halloween event, attracting guests from around the world. From the moment guests step inside the event’s gates, they become a victim inside their own horror film. The streets of Universal Studios Florida are transformed into highly-themed scare zones, brought to life with elaborate scenery and teams of menacing “scare-actors” that lunge from the shadows and tactically hunt guests as prey.

Multiple haunted houses are erected throughout the theme park, rivaling the most detailed and terrifying of movie sets. Once inside, guests shriek their way through an unpredictable, multi-sensory labyrinth based on anything from iconic slasher films to hit horror video games to haunting original stories created by Universal’s Entertainment team.

This fall, Halloween Horror Nights will mark its milestone 25th year as the biggest, longest and most intense in event history. It will run for a record-breaking 30 nights, including the following event dates:

  • Sept. 18-19, 24-25, 26-27
  • Oct. 1-4, 7-11, 14-18, 21-25, 28-31
  • Nov. 1

Details about the newly-announced Halloween Horror Nights 25 Hotel & Ticket Package are available below. Additional details about the event will be announced at a later date. For more information, visit www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com/Orlando.

Halloween Horror Nights 25

Hotel & Ticket Package

Starts at $165 per adult, per night, tax inclusive**Book by Oct. 31 for travel from Sept. 18 to Nov. 1 · 3-night on-site hotel accommodations at Universal’s Cabana Bay Resort – allowing guests to stay in the heart of the horror· 1-night ticket to Halloween Horror Nights 25 (Non-Saturday)· Special event entry gate for on-site hotel guests until 8 p.m.

· 2-day Park-to-Park ticket to Universal Orlando’s theme parks

· Early Park Admission to select attractions at one Universal Orlando theme park as determined by Universal one hour before scheduled park opening.

· Access to select live entertainment venues at Universal CityWalk

· Upgrade to one of three AAA Four-Diamond deluxe on-site hotels at Universal Orlando Resort to receive complimentary Universal Express Unlimited ride access to skip the regular lines at select attractions in both theme parks all day (a FREE benefit worth up to $89 per person, per day)

· Additional accommodations also available at Universal Partner Hotels

***Additional ticket and vacation offers for Florida Residents will be announced at a later date.

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#DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treats

#DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treats

I really enjoy finding recipes for treats that are super easy and super fun, and this #DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treats recipe is a twist on an old favorite!

These Mickey Pretzel Treats are a great mix of sweet and salty, and are a crowd pleaser

The most expensive part of these treats are the Hershey’s Kisses and M&M’s, however I like to shop the after holiday sales to scoop them up at half off!

#DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treats Recipe (Yield 60)

Ingredients:

1 – Bag of Pretzels (I used Snyders of Hanover Pretzel Snaps, but you can use whatever shape of pretzel you would like)

2 – 11 oz Bags of Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolate

2 – 1.77 oz Tubes M&M’s Minis

1 – 12.6 oz Bag of M&M’s Milk Chocolate

Tools:

1 – Baking Sheet

2 – Small Bowls

1 – Medium Bowl

1 – Storage Container

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 300° F

#DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treats

 

2.Place each size of M&M’s into their own small bowl

#DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treats

3. Unwrap all of the Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolate (This is extremely time consuming and no fun…you’ve been warned)

#DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treats

4. On the Baking Sheet, line up all of your pretzels and place a Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolate on top of each pretzel

#DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treats

5. Put the Baking Sheet into the oven for 3 minutes

#DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treats

6. When you pull the pretzels and kisses out, the chocolate should be shiny & smooth and you can depress the tip of the Kiss easily with your finger. If the chocolate has cracks in it or looks dry, you are going to want to start over at Step 4.

#DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treats

7. Place a regular sized M&M’s on each pretzel by depressing it into the Hershey’s Kiss. If you find that it doesn’t easily go into the Kiss, put the Baking Sheet back into the oven until you can depress the tip of the Kiss easily with your finger.

#DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treats

8. Place two M&M’s Minis on top of each of the regular M&M’s to make Mickey’s ears. I found that when I kept the regular sized M&M’s in rows by color that it was easier to place the matching color of M&M’s Minis.

#DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treats All together

9. Once your Mickey Pretzel Treats and the Baking Sheet have reached room temperature, place the sheet into the refrigerator for the chocolate to set for 30 minutes.

#DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treats

10. Once the Mickey Pretzel Treats have cooled completely, place them into your storage container. Mickey Pretzel Treats can be placed in the refrigerator for up to a week.

#DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treats

I hope that you enjoy this #DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treat as much as we do! Below you will find a download of the recipe that you can print out.

#DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treat Recipe

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Why I Love Mardi Gras At Universal Orlando

Disclosure: I was an invited guest of the Universal Orlando Resort to experience Mardi Gras, however all opinions are my own.

 Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Header

Why I love Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando

Mardi Gras is my absolute favorite time of year to experience Universal Studios Florida!

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Archway

Mardi Gras is an annual celebration, included with park admission, that happens on select weekends until April 18th where entertainment, specialty food items, an amazing parade, and a concert series that is full of amazing performers fills the park with an electric energy!

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Mardi Gras Entertainers

The celebration vibe is set once you enter the gates of Universal Studios Florida, and you are greeted with some of the many special entertainers on stilts that are wonderful!

Also, roaming the streets you will find a roaming band performing some Mardi Gras favorites.

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Band

What would a great Mardi Gras party be without food?

The vibrant French Quarter Courtyard is where you will find cajun and creole treats and specialty drinks available for purchase.

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida French Quarter Courtyard Jester

During the media event we had the opportunity to try a few of the goodies that you will find!

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Media Event Food

We all got to try the spicy Jambalaya, grilled Andouille sausage with peppers & onions, and the creole gumbo.

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Gumbo
Creole Gumbo
Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Andouille Sausage
Andouille Sausage with Peppers & Onions
Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Jambalaya
Jambalaya

Then as an even sweeter treat, we got to finish our meal with beignets and funnel cakes.

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Beneigts
Beignets
Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Funnel Cake
Funnel Cake

And the Voo Doo Punch is dangerously good!

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Voo Doo Punch
Voo Doo Punch

You can’t celebrate Mardi Gras without a parade, and this one definitely doesn’t disappoint!

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Mardi Gras Riverboat Float

Over the course of Mardi Gras Universal Orlando will let 1.8 million beads fly during the Mardi Gras Parade.

Universal Mardi Gras Parade Map

While the route covers a good portion of Universal Studios Florida, I recommend catching the parade near the Horror Make-Up Show since you will get the chance for double beads as the parade starts and ends here.

This year the Mardi Gras Parade stops for some dance breaks during which the Mardi Gras Krewe gets down off of their float to give out premium Mardi Gras Beads. They are a ton of fun!

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Krewe

Little Mardi Gras fans and their families may want to consider viewing the parade from the Little Jester’s Area, near the Brown Derby, where they have less people to contend with for beads. This area is available beginning one hour before the parade starts.

On an earlier visit to Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando, I was able to ride the Elegance of India Float and throw beads it was an AMAZING experience! Annual Passholders can sign up for the chance to be chosen here. Not an Annual Passholder, make sure you follow @UniversalORL on Twitter!

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Mardi Gras Float Riding

During Universal Mardi Gras the streets of Universal Studios Florida are filled with the sounds of great performers and bands!

On the French Quarter Courtyard stage you can find some of Louisiana’s most popular bands performing authentic blues, zydeco, and more!

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida French Quarter Courtyard Trumpet

The Courtyard Stage is set up near Transformers: The Ride 3-D, and has even more room this year for dancing. It’s a really great place to spend some time!

Here are the bands that are set to perform on the French Quarter Courtyard Stage for the remainder of Mardi Gras.

  • March 13: Mississippi Rail Company
  • March 14: Mississippi Rail Company
  • March 15: Mississippi Rail Company
  • March 20: Soul Project
  • March 21: Soul Project
  • March 22: Soul Project
  • March 28: Naughty Professor
  • April 4: Daddy Mac Blues Band
  • April 11: Big Al and the Heavyweights
  • April 18: Gravy

Later in the evening you can head over to Music Plaza Stage to catch live performances from some of the biggest names from the worlds of pop, rock, country, R&B and more.

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Music Concert Plaza Stage

Here is the line-up of artist who will be performing during this year’s Mardi Gras Celebration.

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Lineup Universal Studios Florida

I’ve also shared some of my best concert tips in this post!

It is important to note that, there is an ADA viewing area is located at the far right side of the stage near the restrooms adjacent to Twister…Ride It Out.

During the event we got to see Kelly Clarkson, and it was AMAZING!!! Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Kelly Clarkson

 

Everyone in my family has an Annual Pass to the Universal Orlando Resort, and if you don’t have your’s yet this is a great time to get one because there is a great Mardi Gras promotion going on!

Florida Residents Get up to 3 Months Free on any Annual Pass with a valid UPC/Promo Code on select Coca-Cola Packages or Wendy’s cups.

For a limited time, you can become an Annual Passholder, and get three additional months added to your Preferred Pass or Premier Pass. Or, get one additional month added to your Power Pass. Includes access to special events and other perks all year round. (Offer valid on new purchases only; must be purchased and activated by 04/19/15. Blockout dates apply for Power Pass. You can find out more information here.)

Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando is our family’s favorite time of year, and we can’t wait to go back!

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Mardi Gras FamilyI can’t thank Universal Orlando enough for the opportunity to experience Mardi Gras, and if you haven’t gotten the chance to go yet…What are you waiting for???

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Discovery Cove Welcomes Baby Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin

Discovery Cove Baby Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin

Female Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin Born at Discovery Cove

Discovery Cove in Orlando welcomes Dolphin Awareness Month with special news – sharing the birth of a beautiful bouncing baby girl born Feb. 7, 2015. The female calf now weighs approximately 44 pounds, is 3 feet 10 inches long, and is nursing and bonding with her mother, Coral. This is Coral’s second calf and the 29th dolphin to be born at Discovery Cove since it opened in 2000. Coral was also born at Discovery Cove in October 2000.

A week after the calf was born, the Discovery Cove Veterinary and Zoological Team performed her first neonatal wellness exam. Mom Coral kept a watchful eye close by as the team conducted the mini-physical. These examinations are part of the general health care given to all animals at Discovery Cove, which ensures the highest standards of care.

Discovery Cove Baby Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin

The Zoological Team is excited to welcome this new addition to the family and is providing around-the-clock care for Coral and her new calf. The veterinary team is checking on the progress of the baby 24 hours a day to monitor her behavior, respirations and nursing. By observing Coral throughout her pregnancy, and now providing supplemental care for the calf, the team is able to gather necessary research to better understand the dolphin gestation process, and it also aids the Animal Rescue Team when rescuing ill, injured, orphaned or abandoned dolphins in the wild.

Discovery Cove will soon host a naming contest on its Facebook page where fans can help choose the new baby dolphin’s name.

Discovery Cove Baby Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin

Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive tropical day resort where guests experience awe-inspiring encounters swimming with dolphins, snorkeling among rays and tropical fish, hand-feeding exotic birds and relaxing on pristine beaches. For the second consecutive year, Discovery Cove was named the No. 1 amusement park in the world in the 2014 TripAdvisor® Travelers’ Choice™ Amusement Parks and Water Parks category. To learn more about Discovery Cove and to book reservations, visit the recently redesigned website DiscoveryCove.com, featuring a more user-friendly interface.

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#DisneySide @Home Celebration: Getting Started

DISCLOSURE: I was provided with promotional items to host a #DisneySide Party from Disney. All opinions are my own.

DisneySide Celebration

I am really excited to be hosting another #DisneySide @Home Celebration, and all this week I thought I would share some of the fun I have been having planning and preparing for my party!

The first thing I want to do is answer a few of the questions I have been asked about hosting a Celebration.

Now I am going to share a lot of things that I like to do and insights into the ins & outs about blogging in this post. I promise that the next few will be more ‘fun’, but I thought it would be interesting (and hopefully helpful) to those who wonder how all these things come together and work.

So let’s get this started!

What is a #DisneySide @Home Celebration? 

Everyone has a Disney Side- that fun-loving adventurous spirit that comes out to play when you’re feeling the Disney magic! Whether you show your Disney Side through fashion, food, or your favorite characters, or frequent visits to Disney Parks, it’s time to let it shine.  Gather your fellow Disney fans, grab your Mickey ears and prepare to sprinkle some pixie dust on those who cross your path as you let your Disney Side take over!

How do you get selected to host a #DisneySide @Home Celebration?

I registered at MomSelect, BSM Media, and indicated my interest in hosting parties among other options.

When new campaigns, such as #DisneySide @Home Celebration Hosting, are launched you are sent surveys to fill out.

BSM Media is a great resource if you are looking to work with outstanding companies, and I cannot recommend registering with them highly enough! They are wonderful!

What happens next?

If you are chosen to host a Celebration, you will receive a confirmation email which has even more details about hosting and details about what is contained in your party kit.

To keep up with the deliveries I LOVE the UPS App, and if you do a lot of online shopping it also really comes in handy!

What is included in the #DisneySide @Home Celebration Party Kit?

Inside the kit you will find products, activities, and great ideas for hosting your Celebration.

httpv://youtu.be/4b1cOZEgIo8

Will it be everything you need? Probably not, and there is no guideline for how much you have to go above and beyond for your party. Last year I went bananas and rented a bounce house and cotton candy machine, but this year I am focusing more on how to spend more time with my guests.

I also have chosen to reach out to various companies I enjoy working with to either feature their products at my party and to giveaway during the party. If you choose to do this, you will want to be upfront about the party being sponsored and the other products you have received.

What are the steps to REALLY hosting a #DisneySide @Home Celebration?

The #DisneySide Celebrations website breaks it down with great resources!

  1. Get inpired by downloading your Disney Side party kit here:
  2. Set your party date and invite your friends and family to join you in showing off their Disney Side.
  3. Add some Disney flair to your party decor, refreshments and goodie bags and design your perfect party by exploring Disney Side activities and recipes. Make the party unique by incorporating some of your family’s most beloved Disney traditions. Disney Parks might be the happiest place on Earth, but your living room might be a close second when you’re done; don’t forget to whistle while you work!
  4. Enjoy your party! Make sure you trade in your hostess hat for your favorite pair of Mickey ears and join your guests in showing off your Disney Side.
  5. Share, share, share! Share your Disney Side photos and videos on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, using the hashtag #DisneySide.

You might even see someone familiar…It really was an honor being asked to create a video for the Celebrations site last year!

httpv://youtu.be/I4dEqai9r4g

I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading about the ins and outs of how you get to host a #DisneySide @Home Celebration, and if you didn’t I promise that the next fun will have more Shelley fun as I talk about one of the new snacks I am making for the party!

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Orange County Region History Center Sunday Funday

Orange County Region History Center: Free admission on Sundays until May 3, 2015

SundayFunday

I was excited to learn that the Orange County Region History Center is offering Free admission on Sundays until May 3, 2015.

The Orange County Regional History Center, a Smithsonian Institution affiliate and American Alliance of Museums member, is one of the state’s preeminent cultural institutions. The History Center includes a history museum in a renovated 1927 courthouse, the collection of the Historical Society of Central Florida, the Joseph L. Brechner Research Library, the Emporium Museum Store, and Heritage Square park. The museum has advanced its global mission to honor the past, explore the present, and shape the future through wide-ranging programs, permanent and traveling exhibits, and limited-run exhibitions from other prestigious institutions.

Upcoming exhibits are a highway men art exhibit,  An African American quilt exhibit,  A Rock and Roll music history exhibit.

For more information on the history center visit their website at http://thehistorycenter.org.

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Orlando City SC Transportation and Parking Options #FillTheBowl

Orlando City Soccer Club Fill The Bowl Header Orlando City SC

Orlando City SC Transportation Options and Parking for March 8

Free SunRail Service and Free Continuous LYNX LYMMO Line Service to Citrus Bowl Highlight Convenient Options for Fans

 

Orlando City SC today announced a series of options for fans traveling to the Club’s inaugural Major League Soccer (MLS) match against New York City FC at the Orlando Citrus Bowl on March 8. With an expected crowd of 62,000 fans as part of Operation #FillTheBowl – everyone is encouraged to arrive early!

Fan Fest – featuring entertainment, live music, food, a beer garden, a kids’ zone and other festivities – will start at 2 p.m. along Rio Grande Avenue on the east side of the Orlando Citrus Bowl. Gates will open at 3 p.m. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. ET.

LYNX LYMMO – Increased Downtown Service:

  • Estimated to run on 5 minute increments, there will be continuous service on both the Grapefruit and Orange LYMMO lines circulating throughout downtown starting at 2 p.m. with opportunity to transfer to Citrus Bowl connection services. This will provide fans with a convenient opportunity to get to the stadium from a variety of locations across downtown Orlando (including the Church Street SunRail stop). A complete transportation map can be found here.

LYNX ‘Citrus Bowl Connection’ Service Between Downtown & Citrus Bowl:

  • In addition, LYNX and Orlando Venues will provide free continuous bus service between downtown and the Orlando Citrus Bowl. More than 40 buses will be continuously running in a loop post-game to ensure fans a smooth exit from the stadium to various downtown locations.

SunRail:

  • Free SunRail service for fans will be provided before and after the game on Sunday, March 8. This convenient opportunity allows fans to arrive in Downtown from surrounding communities and to take LYNX LYMMO lines to the stadium, alleviating the need for parking. For more information, click here.

Parking: 

  • Citrus Bowl: Fans can pre-purchase Citrus Bowl parking via TicketMaster here. Space will be limited and sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. Season Ticket Members should contact their account representatives for parking information.
  • Downtown Garages: Fans can park in any Downtown garage and take the free LYNX LYMMO service to and from the stadium. Fans are encouraged to pre-pay for parking by visiting orlandoeventparking.com.

Prepaid Tolls Post-Game:

  • To help ease fans’ exit from the Citrus Bowl following the match, Orlando City has partnered with the Central Florida Expressway Authority to prepay tolls for vehicles leaving Citrus Bowl parking lots post-match (7-8 p.m.) and entering State Road 408 at the Orange Blossom Trail ramp.

“We have all worked so hard for this historic match on March 8, and we want to ensure all our fans have a wonderful experience from the moment they leave their home,” said Orlando City Founder and President Phil Rawlins. “We are thrilled to work with our friends at LYNX and SunRail to provide our fans with a wide variety of convenient mass transportation options.”

Orlando City will host several additional events leading up to March 8 as part of Operation #FillTheBowl, including Soccer Under the Stars on Friday, March 6 and a Record Breaking Pub Crawl on Saturday, March 7.

Orlando City SC Orlando City Soccer Club

Less than 1,000 season tickets remain! To purchase season tickets, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com or call 855-ORL-CITY.  Also, follow the latest Orlando City news and updates via FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

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Orlando City SC And Walt Disney World Resort Agreement Announced

 Orlando City SC Orlando City Soccer Club

Walt Disney World Resort becomes founding sponsor of Orlando City SC

Walt Disney World Resort and Orlando City SC have announced a multi-year agreement making Walt Disney World Resort a founding sponsor of the Club. The announcement comes at an exciting time, as Orlando City Soccer Club’s 2015 Major League Soccer (MLS) debut is this Sunday.

Under the agreement, Walt Disney World Resort becomes the official theme park and resort destination of Orlando City SC; Disney Cruise Line becomes the official cruise line of the Club; and Disney Vacation Club becomes the official vacation club of the team. Also, Disney will have a significant presence at Orlando City home matches at the Citrus Bowl in 2015 as well as at its future multi-purpose downtown stadium starting in 2016.

Additionally, the new agreement will help bolster Orlando’s and Walt Disney World Resort’s profile in key travel markets, such as Brazil and other Latin American countries where soccer is a national pastime. Building on the growing sports business at Walt Disney World Resort, the Orlando City Soccer Club will collaborate with ESPN Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World Resort on a range of soccer events at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

The sports complex is the premier site for amateur sports in the nation and has a rich history of hosting a variety of youth and professional soccer events.

“This collaboration further strengthens the existing bond between the two Orlandos – the one known around the world as Disney theme parks and the metropolitan, vibrant growing downtown represented by Purple Pride,” said Club President and Founder Phil Rawlins. “Over 60 million tourists visited Orlando last year – with many coming from Brazil. There’s a natural synergy here to showcase all the wonder that is the City Beautiful. We also look forward to jointly hosting additional high-profile soccer events at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney through this relationship to the benefit of our fans, our community and the region.”

 

“Orlando City Soccer Club is writing an exciting new chapter in our region’s history,” said George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort. “We are proud to be part of the community-wide team effort to help the Lions become Central Florida’s next great success story.”

The 2015 Major League Soccer season kicks off at the Orlando Citrus Bowl as the Lions host New York City FC in front of a capacity crowd of more than 60,000 on March 8, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. ET.

To purchase season, group or individual tickets, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com or call 855-ORL-CITY.  Also, follow the latest Orlando City news and updates via FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

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Orlando City Soccer Club Releases 2,000 Additional Tickets #FillTheBowl

Orlando City Soccer Club Fill The Bowl Header

Over 2,000 Standing Room Only Tickets Released for Orlando City Soccer Club’s Opening Day

Orlando City announce more tickets available to historic MLS opener

 

Fret not City fans – Orlando City Soccer Club announced that over 2,000 standing room only tickets on the Orlando Citrus Bowl’s North Plaza have been released for the historic home opener against fellow league newcomers New York City FC.

The standing room only tickets will be released via www.ticketmaster.com and sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. The inaugural match will take place on March 8, 2015. Kickoff is set for 5:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

All seats except for a limited number held for season ticket sales have been sold for the March 8 match. Fans interested in purchasing season tickets can visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com or call 855-ORL-CITY.

“Based on the over-whelming demand from our fans to attend this match, we are thrilled to be able and extend a special standing room only ticket for what will be a historic event for our Club,” said Club President and Founder Phil Rawlins. “We know there are thousands of fans who greatly desire to watch the Lions take the field on March 8, and we look forward to seeing them all there!”

Orlando City will host several events leading up to its inaugural match on March 8. As noted earlier, due to the sellout of seats, admission to these events no longer includes a ticket to the historic first game. More information is available at www.OrlandoCitySC.com/FillTheBowl.

To purchase season, group or individual tickets, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com or call 855-ORL-CITY.  Also, follow the latest Orlando City news and updates via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Orlando City Soccer Club Fill The Bowl Header

About Orlando City Soccer Club:

The Lions’ first team set the U.S. record for best start of any professional soccer club in its first 100 league matches (66-12-22). Orlando City has won three USL PRO regular season titles and two postseason championships. Outside of the first squad, OCSC also has a youth club, Orlando City Youth Soccer (OCYS) and a U-23 team that participates in the PDL. For more information on the pro and youth clubs, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com and www.OrlandoCityYouth.org.

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2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Additions

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

Today the 2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival begins and runs until May 17th, and I was lucky enough to be an invited guest of the Walt Disney World Resort to take a special Behind-the-Scenes tour of some of the things you will find at this year’s Festival.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

Eric Darden, Horticulture Manager for the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, and Carla Shuman, a Walt Disney World Landscape Architect, served as our guides as we walked around the Festival as all the pieces were coming together.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World
Eric Darden and Carla Shuman leading our tour

2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival New Additions

1. The 2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival can’t Let It Go!

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

The Anna and Elsa topiaries are beautiful and are sure to be a hit this year!

One of my favorite touches is that Anna’s side is full of a vibrant assortment of flowers, while Elsa’s side is delicate white flowers representing snow. I personally wish that Olaf was joining them, but I do love their faces and the scale of the topiaries.

This is sure to be a crazy busy spot for photos, and PhotoPass Photographers will definitely be stationed there for the duration of the Festival.

2. Botanas Botánico joins the Outdoor Kitchen line-up

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

This year Botanas Botánico, located between the Morocco and France Pavilions, joins the Outdoor Kitchens group with great food options and a beautiful garden that tells a vivid story of indigenous foods.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

I had the opportunity to taste the Cachapa con Queso (Sweet Cortn Pancake with Farmers Cheese), and it is a light and flavorful treat that will be great on a hot day! The sweet corn and rich cheese are a wonderful combination.

3. Farmer Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse Topiaries

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

This year Farmer Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse have Spaceship Earth as their backdrop in an American Gothic-esque photo opportunity.

I loved Goofy here, and can’t wait to take my picture here this year.

4. Fun New Gardens can be found everywhere

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

The Flower and Garden Festival this year features several new mini-gardens that are themed to their surrounding areas, educational experiences, and even upcoming movies.

I especially love the Shakespeare Garden, located near the United Kingdom Pavilion Restrooms, and the Inside Out Emotion Garden, located just outside of Journey Into Imagination with Figment, because while they are completely different their integration with their surrounding areas is a great added touch.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

5. 2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Merchandise

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

The Disney Parks Blog shared a peek at this year’s Flower and Garden Festival Merchandise, and I am in trouble!

The Festival Exclusive Disney Dooney & Bourke might be one of my favorite prints of all time!

Steven Miller shared the Festival Merchandise information here.

6. Fun Fresh Weekends

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

Every year the Flower and Garden Festival is full of great presentations, performances, and more, but this year the Festival launches Fun Fresh Weekends.

During select Fun Fresh Weekends, guests of the Festival will be treated to additional experiences. You can find the Fun Fresh Weekends schedule here.

I am excited to bring you more coverage of the 2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, because this year’s additions really make the Festival special!

Disclosure: I was invited guest of the Walt Disney World Resort to experience this Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Behind-the-Scenes tour, however all opinions are my own.

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SeaWorld Orlando Bands, Brew, & BBQ Festival Kicks Off This Weekend

SeaWorld Orlando Bands, Brew, & BBQ 2015 USO

SeaWorld Orlando’s Bands, Brew, & BBQ Festival Kicks off March 7-8 with Live Performances by Toby Keith and Lynyrd Skynyrd

           –Event salutes the military in partnership with USO Central Florida–

 

SeaWorld Orlando’s Bands, Brew & BBQ Festival returns for four sizzling weekends starting Saturday, March 7. The event honors America’s Heroes and features live concerts from top classic rock and country bands and artists, tasty BBQ and thirst-quenching beer. Happening weekends throughout March (7-8, 14-15, 21-22 and 28-29), Bands, Brew & BBQ is included with regular park admission.

This year’s event kicks off with live performances by country superstar Toby Keith on Saturday, March 7, and southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrdon Sunday, March 8.  Event festivities begin at 11:30 a.m. each weekend, with concerts at 4 p.m.*

SeaWorld Orlando Bands, Brew, & BBQ 2015 USO

The celebration also salutes America’s Heroes with military discounts for both active military and veterans, patriotic offerings and a partnership with the USO Central Florida, an organization that has been lifting the spirits of America’s troops and their families for more than 70 years.

“We’re thrilled to partner with SeaWorld, and we appreciate their longstanding dedication to honoring the troops and retirees,” said Roland Emerson, executive director of USO Central Florida. “Working together during Bands, Brew & BBQ, we can make a difference in the spirits of many service members and their families.”

The patriotic-themed USO Garden will offer a relaxing place away from the crowds that reflects the spirit of the renowned organization, viewing of the concerts on large flat screens and refreshments. Guests can get up close with animals and kids can work on masterpieces at coloring stations, take photos with SeaWorld costume characters, learn from educators and play interactive games.  In addition, this area offers messaging about the USO while music that speaks to the history of the USO provides a nostalgic atmosphere to the area.

And, the first weekend will feature a special performance by the USO Show Troupe, a military quartet who performs a diverse repertoire of morale-boosting musical entertainment for active duty military, their families, veterans and patriotic Americans everywhere.

SeaWorld Orlando is proud to offer a special discount for all enlisted men and women AND veterans during Bands, Brew & BBQ — 50% off a 2015 Fun Card which allows unlimited admission to SeaWorld all year for the price of a single-day ticket.  For more details, visit wavesofhonor.com.

SeaWorld Orlando Bands, Brew, & BBQ 2015 USO

Special SeaWorld Orlando Bands, Brew, & BBQ Packages:

For a VIP experience, packages with reserved seating are available. Guests that take advantage will receive an in-park spending credit that can be used toward mouth-watering food, craft beer samplers, merchandise, Quick Queue or even an up-close park experience.

  • Front Row Seating – Starting at just $39, guests can reserve a front row seat (just inches from the artists) and feel like part of the band.  As an added bonus, guests will enjoy $10 toward in-park spending.
  • Floor Seating – Starting at just $19, guests can enjoy reserved floor seats right in front of the band.  This package also includes $10 toward in-park spending.
  • Craft Brew Sampler – Sample 10 ice-cold craft beers from a selection of 30 for just $25.  

SeaWorld Orlando Bands, Brew, & BBQ 2015 USO

More SeaWorld Orlando Bands, Brew, & BBQ Details:

Food is also celebrated during Bands, Brew & BBQ.  Serious barbecue connoisseurs can sample Orlando’s best barbecue from local smokehouses –Bubbalou’s Bodacious Bar-B-Que and Sonny’s BBQ® – plus SeaWorld’s very own sweet & smokin’ barbecue.

In addition to the signature acts and festivities, the event also will feature a secondary stage to showcase local bands, and a DJ spinning music for guests of all ages who want to show off their line dancing and boot scootin’ skills.

The best way to experience this and all of SeaWorld’s special events throughout the year is with a 2015 SeaWorld Orlando Fun Card, where guests pay for a day and play all year.  Plus, for a limited-time, guests who purchase a Fun Card can also enjoy a one-day visit to Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark™.

Stay tuned for the latest event information and artist announcements on SeaWorldOrlando.com as well as SeaWorld’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. Join the conversation using #SeaWorld #BandsBrewBBQ.

*Event times, dates and talent are subject to change or cancellation without prior notice.

SeaWorld Orlando Bands, Brew, & BBQ 2015 USO Toby Keith

About Toby Keith
Toby Keith has been one of the most consistent self-directed songwriters and hit makers of his era. From his first number one smash, “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” to “I Love This Bar,” his unparalleled success is strongly due to his songwriting, which includes having written a number one song for 20 consecutive years. He has been honored with the Nashville Songwriters Association of International’s Songwriter/Artist of the Decade distinction and is a three-time BMI Country Songwriter/Artist of the Year. His albums have sold more than 40 million copies, and his tours have drawn more than one million fans each year for the last 14 years.

SeaWorld Orlando Bands, Brew, & BBQ 2015 USO Lynyrd Skynryd

About Lynyrd Skynyrd

The legacy began some 41 years ago in Jacksonville, Florida, and continues today as the rock and roll powerhouse Lynyrd Skynyrd consistently tours around the world.  With a catalog of over 60 albums, sales beyond 30 million worldwide and their beloved classic American rock anthem “Sweet Home Alabama” having  more than 2 million downloaded ringtones, Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Lynyrd Skynyrd remains a cultural icon that appeals to all generations.

SeaWorld Orlando SeaWorld CampsAbout SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc.

SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: SEAS) is a leading theme park and entertainment company delivering personal, interactive and educational experiences that blend imagination with nature and enable its customers to celebrate, connect with and care for the natural world we share. The Company owns or licenses a portfolio of globally recognized brands including SeaWorld®, Shamu® and Busch Gardens®. Over its more than 50-year history, the Company has built a diversified portfolio of 11 destination and regional theme parks that are grouped in key markets across the United States, many of which showcase its one-of-a-kind zoological collection of approximately 89,000 marine and terrestrial animals. The Company’s theme parks feature a diverse array of rides, shows and other attractions with broad demographic appeal which deliver memorable experiences and a strong value proposition for its guests.

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Busch Gardens Tampa Celebrates Sesame Street Safari Of Fun

Busch Gardens Tampa Sesame Street Safari of Fun Logo

Sesame Street Safari of Fun

Celebrates 5th Birthday at Busch Gardens Tampa

 

Busch Gardens Tampa invites guests to bring the kids and come celebrate the fifth birthday of Sesame Street Safari of Fun.

Busch Gardens Tampa Sesame Street Safari of Fun Logo

Join Elmo, Big Bird and other Sesame Street characters for a sidewalk parade while dancing along to a kid-friendly DJ. Guests can meet some of their favorite animal ambassadors, enjoy a cake cutting and have fun with other special surprises at this family-friendly party. Plus, Sesame Street Safari of Fun’s hit show A is for Africa, along with Big Bird’s 123-Smile with Me portrait studio appearances, will be scheduled throughout the day.

Busch Gardens Tampa Sesame Street Safari of Fun Logo

The festivities will take place Friday, March 27 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and then on Saturday, March 28 and Sunday, March 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Sesame Street Safari of Fun area, which features kid-friendly rides, cool water fun and plenty of memorable adventures.

 Safari of Fun Tea Party - Show Busch Gardens Tampa Sesame Street Safari of Fun

Find more information at buschgardens.com. And be the first to know about new events, special deals and future announcements by following the park’s blog at BuschGardensTampaBlog.com, or “Like” the Busch Gardens Facebook page, and follow @buschgardens on Twitter and Instagram.

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