Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel: Holiday Season Activities

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel: Holiday Season Activities

Escape the cold and join guests for Holiday Happenings at Santa’s favorite resort – the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel.

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel is always one of my favorite places to visit during the Holiday Season, and this year their line-up of activities

During this month-long celebration, children and kids at heart can enjoy a magical holiday vacation experience at the Epcot Resort Area hotel with special holiday season room rates starting at $159 per night and this year’s activities line-up:

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel Christmas

Santa and Mrs. Claus Meet ‘n Greets 

Decked out in their Florida vacation attire, Santa, Mrs. Claus and Kandy Kane meet guests in Santa’s customized Tiki Hut on select nights. Featuring reindeer, palm trees and flamingos, this holiday photo opportunity is like no other.

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel Christmas Largest Santa

Life-Size Chocolate Holiday Santa Scene 

Constructed entirely of chocolate, this life-sized sculpture weighs in at approximately 2,000 pounds! The sculpture, created by the hotel’s executive pastry chef Laurent Branlard (the only two-time world pastry champion), is showcased in the lobby of the Swan. It features chocolate Santa sitting in his chair, a 7-foot tall, 400-pound chocolate nutcracker, chocolate fireplace, chocolate Christmas tree and chocolate toy train.  The scene will be displayed in the lobby of the hotel throughout December and is 100 percent edible. However, any chocolate lovers thinking of taking on the challenge of consuming this enormous sweet, should consider that it is 4 million calories! (By the way, the sculpture is not available for tasting!)

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel Christmas Dolphin Lobby

A Florida Snow Fall and Tree Lighting Ceremony

With the help of some holiday magic, guests can experience a snow fall in the comfort of the Dolphin lobby. Throughout December, the lobby is transformed into a festive holiday scene featuring a 45-ft tall Christmas tree surrounded by a holiday train set.  The scene is completed with regularly timed snow fall. This snow, however, requires no shoveling.  On select nights, guests can join Mrs. Claus for the lighting of the Christmas tree, followed by hot holiday beverages and crafts for kids at Santa’s Tiki Hut.

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel Christmas Santa in Bed

Bedtime Elf Tuck-Ins

Even after Santa’s elves have finished making presents, their work isn’t really finished! On December 24, a fully costumed elf will deliver milk, cookies, a plush toy and storybook to the room, read a bedtime story and tuck children into bed before Santa arrives. This premium service costs $59 for one child and $25 for each additional child. A service charge of 20 percent is added. Reservations are required and space is limited.

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel Christmas Santa Golf Cart

Dancing Lights Show

A dazzling musical light show transforms the outdoor causeway each evening into a holiday spectacle with dancing illuminated palm trees and favorite holiday tunes.

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel

Holiday Entertainment

On select nights, guests can catch entertainment by carolers, choirs and musicians in the hotel lobbies, on the causeway and in other public areas throughout the hotel.

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel Christmas Santa and Mrs. Claus on the balcony

Magic Keys for Santa

How will Santa deliver presents to each guest room without a chimney? With a magic key! Children can hang a magic key on their door to help Santa find his way on Christmas Eve. Magic keys are available at the concierge desk.

 Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel

Dessert Decorating and Holiday Movies

Throughout December, families can tune in to free holiday-themed movies either on their guest room televisions or, on select nights, on a large screen on the hotel’s private beach. Children can also decorate delicious holiday sweets in the lobby.

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel

For more details about all the holiday excitement, including a full schedule of activities, at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel or to make room reservations, please visit www.santasfavoriteresort.com or call 1-800-227-1500. Overnight rates start at $159 per night.

Walt Disney World Swan and
Swan and Dolphin Hotels

About the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel

In the heart of the Walt Disney World Resort, the award-winning Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel resides amongst the greatest theme parks and attractions in Central Florida. The hotel is located between Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and nearby Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and Magic Kingdom Park. Guests can discover 17 world-class restaurants and lounges, sophisticated guest rooms with Westin Heavenly Beds and the luxurious Mandara Spa. The hotel features five pools, two health clubs, tennis, nearby golf, complimentary transportation throughout the Walt Disney WorldResort, the extended park hours benefit, where each day, one of the four Walt Disney World Theme Parks is open extra time for guests to enjoy select attractions (Valid Theme Park admission and Resort ID required) and Disney FastPass+ service, where guests can reserve up to 3 select theme park experiences up to 60 days in advance of their visit. The hotel can be reached at 800-227-1500, www.swandolphin.com or through Facebook at www.facebook.com/swananddolphin.


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Christmas Town Returns to Busch Gardens Tampa

Christmas Town will take place 20 selects dates between November 27 through December 31.  New this year, the cheer keeps going until 10 p.m. every event night. The event is included with park admission.

Busch Gardens Tampa Christmas Town

Christmas Town creates beautiful family traditions for guests as Busch Gardens is transformed into a holiday wonderland with more than a million twinkling lights, Christmas entertainment, live music, festive treats, and holiday shopping.

Busch Gardens Tampa Christmas Town

The park will be filled with cheery surprises including Santa’s House presented by Coca-Cola®, where guests can meet the big man himself as he takes a break from his busy holiday schedule to take photos with families in his private study.

Busch Gardens Tampa Christmas Town

Christmas Town is included with any Annual Pass, Fun Card or daily admission to Busch Gardens. For more information, visit buschgardenstampa.com.

Busch Gardens Tampa Christmas Town

For groups looking to book unique holiday parties, there also are magnificent Christmas Town packages. For details, call the Busch Gardens Events Team at 813-987-5523.

Busch Gardens Tampa logo Photo Key Wild Days

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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Christmas at Gaylord Palms: ICE! featuring ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas Sneak Peek #ICEpert

ICE! Gaylord Palms Twas the Night Before Christmas Sneak Peek - ICE! at the Gaylord Palms Logo

Christmas at Gaylord Palms:

ICE! featuring ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Sneak Peek

Christmas at Gaylord Palms begins on November 24, and I was able to walk through ICE! featuring ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas for a special sneak peek.

ICE! Gaylord Palms Twas the Night Before Christmas Sneak Peek - Ice spinning

The Ice Artisans are hard at work to bring 4.5 acres and 2 million pounds of ice to life to bring the holiday classic to life in hand-carved, life-size ice sculptures.

ICE! Gaylord Palms Twas the Night Before Christmas Sneak Peek - Nativity

Guests will soon be able to walk through the chilly nine degrees as they experience the classic poem featuring four slippery ice slides, a live carving zone, and On the Blocks ICE! Bar, the exclusive adult-only bar inside of ICE!


You can find more photos from my visit on our Facebook Page!

While ICE! is the feature attraction of Christmas at Gaylord Palms presented by The Noerr Programs, there are so many other signature events that are sprinkled with new offerings to experience at the gorgeously decorated Resort.

This years events include Cirque Dreams Unwrapped, The Elf on The Shelf® Scavenger Hunt, Cosmic Snow Tubing, Breakfast with Mrs. Claus, Build-A-Bear Workshop, and the anxiously awaited nightly Grand Snowfall, and I can’t wait to bring you more pictures and information soon!

You can find out more about Christmas at Gaylord Palms at purchase tickets at www.ChristmasAtGaylordPalms.com!

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ME Dance Introduces the Inaugural I Dance Orlando Festival

ME Dance I Dance Orlando

ME Dance Introduces the Inaugural

I Dance Orlando Festival

Orlando’s all-new festival will be the first of its kind to showcase the versatility of dance as an art form

The ME Dance company today announced its new I Dance Orlando Festival, Orlando’s first arts festival to solely explore the art of dance to its richest extent. Registration for the dance festival has opened as of today for all local and regional dance schools and companies interested in participating. The event will take place April 22 – May 1, 2016 at the state-of-the-art ME Theatre, which is specially equipped for dance performances of all kinds.

I Dance Orlando Festival is being introduced to bring together the local community of dancers, choreographers, performers, educators and students in a cooperative manner that will allow them to perform new works and also inspire and educate the public through dance. The festival aspires to create an environment for students and artists to cultivate their talent and artistry to its fullest potential, all while strengthening public appreciation and support for this unique and vast art form.

ME Dance I Dance Orlando
Marshall Ellis

“The I Dance Orlando Festival is designed to offer a supportive, non-judgmental atmosphere aimed at cultivating a creative exchange of ideas,” says Marshall Ellis, founder and artistic director of ME Dance and concept designer for the festival. “The festival will encourage artists to explore new grounds, offer a creative outlet, and also provide both local artists and the public the opportunity to experience dance in a new way.”

Throughout the festival, the ME Dance School will host open, drop-in classes (no registration needed) for the general public for the deeply discounted price of only $7 per class. All those interested in learning to dance –  no matter age or experience – are encouraged to attend any of the various dance classes offered, which include: ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop and contemporary.

ME Dance I Dance Orlando

The registration form can be found at MEDance.org/IDanceOrlando. The cut-off deadline to register is December 31. The dance festival is open to all local and regional professional companies, schools, artists and students. All dance styles are encouraged. There is a limit of two artistic works per application, and each work needs to be between three and 15 minutes in length. Once final applications are in, they will be individually judged and qualifying applicants will be notified and chosen to perform on a select night during the festival.

For more information, visit MEDance.org or call 407-816-7080.


ME Dance I Dance Orlando 

About ME Dance, Inc.

Founded in 2012, ME Dance Inc. is an Orlando-based, non-profit arts organization founded by Marshall Ellis.  The mission of ME Dance is to introduce innovative ideas through dance to create growth in the arts community and to enrich the arts community by providing an outlet to feature talent in art through entertainment.

Founder Marshall Ellis brings more than two and a half decades of dance and choreography experience to the table with credits including Ballet Austin, London Studio Centre, Orlando Ballet, Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba and Walt Disney World. In addition to the professional dance company, Marshall Ellis’ portfolio also encompasses a dance school and Orlando’s newest performance venue.

The ME Dance School provides students with an environment in which to cultivate their talent and artistry to its fullest potential. As a result of a collaboration between the dance school and the professional company, Marshall Ellis also formed a pre-professional dance company. ME2 members are selected through an audition process and overseen by the artistic director to help mold young dancers, ages 14-21, into professionals who are well-versed in various types of dance styles. ME2 dancers have the opportunity to rehearse and perform with the professional company during select performances and participate in community events.

The ME Theatre is a state-of-the-art performance venue with flexible seating and a capacity of accommodating up to 130 guests. It is available for dance productions, concerts, musicals, plays, weddings, corporate events, meetings, private gatherings, photo shoots, video productions and other theatrical uses.

For more information, visit MEDance.org.

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Ten Fun Facts About Raglan Road

Raglan Road Bar Disney Springs Walt Disney World

Ten Fun Facts Celebrate Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant’s 10th Anniversary at Walt Disney World Resort

When it opened 10 years ago at Downtown Disney in Walt Disney World Resort, Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant was the new kid on the block with a culinary reputation to build.  Ten years later, the iconic Irish pub thrives in its original but renamed Disney Springs location at Walt Disney World Resort with a loyal following among locals and travelers from around the world.

Here’s what pub regulars know and first-timers learn: Celebrity Master Chef Kevin Dundon stars in his own popular PBS cooking series; the award-winning Raglan Road Irish Dancers perform daily to the tunes of top Irish bands; much of the restaurant’s interior was built from furnishings shipped directly from Ireland; and you can’t visit the pub without having a rollicking good time.

Raglan Road Bar Disney Springs Walt Disney World

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Raglan Road shares 10 fun facts that even its most loyal guests may not know:

  • Raglan Road Master Chef Kevin Dundon won Irish Dish of the Year for his Glazed Loin of Bacon with Colcannon Mash, a Raglan Road staple.He has published six cookbooks and has cooked for luminaries like Queen Elizabeth II, President George Bush and Bono.
  • One dish you won’t find at Raglan Road is corned beef and cabbage.Contrary to what many people believe, it’s a New York dish, not an Irish one!
  • The three founders and owners of Raglan Road – Paul Nolan, John Cooke and Kevin Dundon – have commuted a combined total of nearly 2 million miles to and from Ireland to Orlando in the past 10 years.That’s equal to about 78 circumnavigations of Earth at its equator.  Or eight trips to the moon.

Raglan Road Bar Disney Springs Walt Disney World

  • Nolan, Cooke and Dundon each engage in secret (until now) pastimes: Nolan is the pub “tweeter” (@RaglanRoadPub), Cooke is a bass guitar geek, and Dundon might be spotted at the Kentucky Fried Chicken drive-through when he thinks no one is watching.
  • Raglan Road sells more Guinness than any other pub in the United States.Nine Fine Irishmen in Las Vegas, the previous pub owned by Raglan Road’s founders, sells the second greatest amount of Guinness.
  • It takes 250 staff members to keep Raglan Road running daily operations.The pub, with 500 seats inside and on the patio, serves the equivalent of half the number of Americans who travel to Ireland each year.
  • Raglan Road coincidentally opened its doors 10 years ago on the birthday of Patrick Kavanagh, the Irish poet who wrote “On Raglan Road.” The poem became a song by Luke Kelly of The Dubliners and since has been sung by the likes of Sinead O’Conner, Van Morrison and U2.
  • The celebrated Raglan Road Irish Dancers perform on stage daily and also on a platform that is an old Irish church pulpit located in the center of the Grand Dining Room.Cabinet displays in the pub’s Music Room include century-old items from Ireland including a period phonograph and a fiddle.
  • There is a Hidden Mickey that has never, to our knowledge, been discovered.Try finding it in a “grand” location.  And don’t miss the signed portraits of Bono and other celebrities on the pub’s walls.
  • The official Raglan Road cookbook is “I’d Ate the Back Door Buttered, Ma!” which translates to “I’m so hungry I’d eat the back door if it were buttered, Ma!”The book features Dundon’s Raglan Road recipes but also the story behind Raglan Road: “There is a “road” to Raglan Road that crosses several continents and centuries – a journey involving brewers, publicans, singers, statues, gold rushes, a chef, a poet, yeast, several fishermen and an ex-priest.  In short, our story is part of the larger Irish story of misfortune, emigration, hard work, ingenuity and eventual success outside mother Ireland.”

Raglan Road features inventive cuisine by Irish celebrity chef Kevin Dundon, host of the TASTE Award-winning PBS and Create TV cooking show, “Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Food.”  The show also won a Silver World Media for “best culinary program” in the 2015 New York Festivals Best TV & Film awards.  The second season of Dundon’s TV series, “Kevin Dundon’s Back to Basics,” premiered nationally March 13 on public television’s Create TV.

Kevin Dundon Raglan Road Bar Disney Springs Walt Disney World
Kevin Dundon

Owned and operated by Irish partners Paul Nolan, John Cooke and celebrity chef Kevin Dundon – famous for his five-star hotel and cookery school in Ireland and his award-winning PBS and Create TV cooking series – Raglan Road features traditional Irish dishes and new creations with a Celtic twist.  The restaurant’s warm interior of aged walnut and mahogany woods from old Irish bars and churches was built in Ireland and shipped to Orlando.  Guests can enjoy live Irish bands and performances by The Raglan Road Dancers nightly and during the Rollicking Raglan Weekend Brunch.  Live music is also scheduled nightly on the pub patio.  Lunch is served 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Dinner 3-11 p.m.; Bar menu 11 p.m.-late; Weekend Brunch 10 a.m.-3 p.m.  Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant is located at Downtown Disney in the Walt Disney World Resort, 1640 E. Buena Vista Dr., Lake Buena Vista, Fla.  Visit www.raglanroad.com or call 407/938-0300.

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Universal Orlando News: A Celebration of Harry Potter Line-Up

Universal Orlando Resort A Celebration of Harry Potter

Universal Orlando News: A Celebration of Harry Potter Line-Up

Harry Potter Film Stars Rupert Grint, Matthew Lewis, Katie Leung, Bonnie Wright, and Evanna Lynch to appear at ‘A Celebration of Harry Potter’ at Universal Orlando Resort

Three-Day Event to Feature Film Talent Q&A Sessions,

Interactive Panels & Demonstrations, the Sorting Hat Experience and More


Harry Potter film stars Rupert Grint, Bonnie Wright, Matthew Lewis, Evanna Lynch, and Katie Leung will appear at “A Celebration of Harry Potter” – a special event hosted by Universal Orlando Resort and Warner Bros. Consumer Products. Creative talent also set to appear includes Pierre Bohanna, head prop maker for the Harry Potter film franchise,Paul Harris, the world’s only Wand Combat choreographer, and designers Eduardo Lima and Miraphora Mina of MinaLima, who established the visual graphic style of the Harry Potter films.

A Celebration of Harry Potter Universal Orlando -
I’m skilled at wand combat…Just saying…

“A Celebration of Harry Potter” will take place from January 29 – 31, 2016 at Universal Orlando, allowing fans to celebrate all of Harry’s adventures, from the beloved books to the feature films and more. Guests will enjoy three days of incredible experiences, including Q&A sessions with Harry Potter film talent, special panels and demonstrations with creative talent, and access to the Harry Potter Expo – where fans can enjoy the Sorting Hat experience, an interactive mini tour from Warner Bros. Studio Tour London and more.

Guests can also experience Harry Potter’s world for themselves by visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida. Vacation Package guests and those with a park-to-park ticket will also be able to board the iconic Hogwarts Express and enjoy a unique journey as they travel between King’s Cross Station and Hogsmeade Station.

A Celebration of Harry Potter Universal Orlando -
Access to “A Celebration of Harry Potter” is included with regular theme park admission or with an annual pass, with admission to certain activities being granted on a first-come, first-served basis. While most of the activities for “A Celebration of Harry Potter” will be open to all Universal Orlando park guests and will take place at both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida theme parks, guests who purchase the exclusive event vacation package will enjoy certain special benefits and reserved sections for the panels and demonstrations.

Here’s the A Celebration of Harry Potter Event Line-Up:

A Celebration of Harry Potter Expo Marquee
HARRY POTTER EXPO (Universal Studios Florida theme park)
The Harry Potter Expo will be held inside a Universal Orlando soundstage and will be open to guests throughout the weekend.  The expo will include the following booths and exhibits that will give guests deeper insight into the global phenomenon that is Harry Potter:

  • Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London offers visitors the chance to relive the magic through the eyes of the filmmakers who brought the Harry Potter film series to life. Visitors can step on to authentic sets and admire the real props and costumes used during filming at the series’ production home in England, UK.

The Studio Tour is bringing an interactive taste of the experience to ‘A Celebration of Harry Potter’ 2016, giving you the chance to see the incredible behind-the-scenes talent that went into creating the iconic film series. 

  • Harry Potter: The Exhibition

Sorting Hat Experience

Are you a Gryffindor or a Slytherin? A Hufflepuff or perhaps a Ravenclaw? At the beginning of each school year the Sorting Hat places new Hogwarts students into a house, and now you too have the opportunity to get sorted in a Great Hall setting inspired by the blockbuster films.

Step inside the Expo and the red carpet is rolled out welcoming you to an area celebrating the global impact Harry Potter: The Exhibition has had during its 7-year, 13-city tour, including an exclusive Quidditch inspired photo opportunity.

  • MinaLima

Graphic designers Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima worked for ten years on the Harry Potter films, creating countless unforgettable graphic props, some of which will be on display including iconic pieces such as The Marauder’s Map, Daily Prophet and Hogwarts school books. Since working on the films, they created the MinaLima Store selling authentic reproductions of the film artwork with limited edition art prints and stationery. They are currently in production on the new feature film from Warner Bros. Pictures, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

  • Pottermore from J.K. Rowling

Pottermore is the digital heart of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World and if discovering more about her magical universe excites you, Pottermore has a surprise in store for fans attending this year’s Celebration of Harry Potter. And keep your eyes peeled for their new Pottermore Correspondent (Rita Skeeter she certainly isn’t), who’ll be there hunting out exclusive scoops and bringing you updates on pottermore.com from the weekend’s activities.

  • Scholastic

Celebrate Harry Potter at Scholastic’s booth by sharing a message about what Harry Potter means to you. Color in a magical page from our brand-new Harry Potter coloring book. Be sure to enter daily raffles for a chance to win a copy of the new illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, a box set of all seven Harry Potter books, or a Harry Potter coloring book. Collectible giveaways are available for Harry Potter fans of all ages.

“A CELEBRATION OF HARRY POTTER” PANELS AND DEMONSTRATIONS (Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida theme parks)

A Celebration of Harry Potter Universal Orlando -

Demonstrations and Q&A sessions will be available featuring Harry Potter film talent and crew, with special panels and demonstrations for kids. Admission into panels and demonstrations will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Specific times will be released at a later date.

  • Behind the Scenes: Harry Potter Film Talent Discussion

Enjoy a fascinating and interactive Q&A session featuring some of your favorite actors from the Harry Potter films. Discover what it was like to work on the most successful film franchise in history.

  • Behind-the-scenes of the Harry Potter props with Pierre Bohanna

Ever wondered how long it takes to make a wand? Or where the inspiration for the hundreds of wand designs in the Harry Potter film series came from? Warner Bros. Studio Tour London presents head prop maker for the films, Pierre Bohanna, who will answer these questions and more. Once you’ve discovered how they were made, raise your own wand as Death Eaters invade the stage to demonstrate how battle scenes were brought to life. 

  • The Global Impact of Harry Potter: The Exhibition

Join us in celebrating the touring attraction that’s visited 13 cities in 9 countries and hosted almost 4 million guests. Harry Potter: The Exhibition is in a unique position to reflect on the global impact of the franchise. Get an exclusive look at the exhibition’s creation and the excitement it continues to deliver to fans around the world. Panel will include exhibition creators, film producers, and film actors who have participated in the openings.

  • Graphic Design for the Harry Potter Films with MinaLima

Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima, from the graphic design studio MinaLima, will share insights into their role as graphic prop designers, and how their paths crossed at the WB film studios while working for 10 years on the Harry Potter movies. They will discuss and show some of the iconic props they created for the Harry Potter films, including The Marauder’s Map, the Daily Prophet, and The Quibbler, amongst others.  Still immersed in all things Harry Potter, they will also talk about their  involvement in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, for which they designed all the street and store graphics. During the panel they will welcome questions from the audience.

This year’s “A Celebration of Harry Potter” will also include kids’ demonstrations and interactive experiences such as a ‘Dance Like a Beauxbatons and Battle Like a Durmstrang’ experience, as well as Harry Potter film trivia.

To join the conversation, use #HPCelebration. For more information about the event, tickets and available exclusive event vacation packages, visit www.universalorlando.com/celebration.

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All New MegaCon Fan Days Coming To Orlando #MegaFanDays


MegaCon Fan Days Logo

Tickets Now on Sale for All-New, Two-Day MegaCon Fan Days

Debuting November 21-22, 2015 at the Orange County Convention Center

Tickets are now on sale for the inaugural MegaCon Fan Days, a brand-new installment from the producers of MegaCon, the Southeast’s largest annual comic book, anime, gaming and multi-media extravaganza. The two-day show debuts at the Orange County Convention Center November 21-22 and will offer the same fandom and fun of MegaCon with the awesomeness of smaller crowds and lower ticket prices.

MegaCon Fan Days is a family-friendly playground for fans of all ages! The event’s line-up includes autographs, photo ops and panels with celebrity guests; Artist Alley, a ”must experience area” for anyone interested in meeting the comic industry’s rising stars; plus costumed characters and an exhibit hall bursting with 100,000-square-feet of shopping madness. Retailers from across the country will sell comics, original artwork, memorabilia, games, toys, t-shirts and much more.

MegaCon Fan Days Jason Isaacs

Celebrity guests confirmed to appear on both Saturday and Sunday are:

• Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter films, Star Wars Rebels)

• Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings, The Goonies)

• John Rhys-Davies (Indiana Jones, Lord of the Rings)

• Karen Allen (Indiana Jones)

• Paul McGann (Doctor Who)

• Sean Maher (Firefly, Serenity)

• Ryan Hurst (Sons of Anarchy, Remember the Titans)

• James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Another favorite of MegaCon attendees is the all-star line-up of comic book guests. Confirmed to date to appear are Eisner Award-winning writer and illustrator George Pérez (The Avengers, Teen Titans, and Wonder Woman); and creators Jimmy Palmiotti (Harley Quinn, Painkiller Jane), Amanda Conner (Harley Quinn, Power Girl), Cully Hamner (Red, The Question), Mike Perkins (Captain America, Stephen King’s The Stand), Tim Townsend (Uncanny X-Men, Dr. Strange), and Rob Hunter (Suicide Squad, Firestorm).

“MegaCon Fan Days offers a new opportunity for Orlando residents and visitors to celebrate their fandom at a smaller scale event of the same high quality as our annual show,” said MegaCon Show Director Christine Alger. “Join us to check off some gifts on your shopping list before the hectic holiday season begins!” she added.

MegaCon Fan Days Frost Sister

MegaCon Fan Days At-A-Glance

Location: Orange County Convention Center 

                West Building (Hall C)

                9800 International Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819

MegaCon Fan Days 2015 Showroom Dates and Hours:

                Saturday, November 21 – 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

                Sunday, November 22 – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Ticket Information:

Admission to MegaCon Fan Days starts at just $20. Buying tickets online in advance guarantees admission plus gives guests early entry at 9:30 a.m., 30 minutes before the Box Office opens to the general public at 10 a.m. A Kids Free coupon is available online; up to two children ages 12 years and under are admitted free with one paid adult admission when this coupon is presented onsite. Additional pricing options for MegaCon Fan Days passes include:

• Deluxe 2 day pass/unlimited access for Sat. and Sun.: $40.00

• Saturday single day pass/unlimited access: $25.00

• Sunday single day pass/unlimited access: $20.00

• Child single day pass/unlimited access: $10.00 when accompanying a paying adult.

For tickets and more information, visit www.megaconfandays.com.

Stay connected with the show for announcements, updates and contests by registering for the FAN EXPO HQ newsletter, and by following the show on its social networks: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Four Seasons Resort Orlando: Celebrate The Festive Holiday Season

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort Christmas Celebrate The Festive Holiday Season

Four Seasons Resort Orlando:

Celebrate The Festive Holiday Season

This holiday season, for those in cooler climates willing to trade shovels and snow boots for palm trees and infinity pools, the second festive season at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort is destined to be an unforgettable experience.  From a decadent gingerbread display in the lobby to holiday décor throughout the main resort areas, cooking and mixology classes, and many fun activities in Kids For All Seasons, Four Seasons offers something for everyone this holiday season.

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort Christmas Celebrate The Festive Holiday Season

Lobby Décor

The lobby will feature glorious holiday décor in elegant colours of plum and gold, complete with a grand 12-foot-tall (nearly 4-metre) Christmas tree in the lobby, wreaths and columns wrapped with garland, holiday-inspired floral arrangements, and more.  A gingerbread creation made by Executive Pastry Chef Rabii Saber will be a fun conversation starter, and Resort guests will enjoy complimentary hot cocoa and cider daily from 2:00 to 5:00 pm.   The holiday décor will be in place from December 3, 2015 through January 3, 2016.  Plus, a separate gingerbread creation by Chef Saber will be on display at the Festival of Trees event at The Orlando Museum of Art from November 14-22, 2015.

Sweet Treats

Lickety Split at Four Seasons Orlando Resort at Walt Disney World
Lickety Split at Four Seasons Orlando Resort at Walt Disney World

From peppermint bark to gingerbread cookies, and even holiday gelato flavours of crushed candy cane, cinnamon stick, gingerbread, and more, the holidays are the perfect time to indulge.  Lickety Split will also offer the traditional Italian holiday bread panettone di Milano, holiday stollen, pistachio and cranberry bark, pecan toffee, mini mint chocolate cookies and more to satisfy a sweet tooth. At The Hideout’s own sweet shop, Scoop, complimentary cookies and ice cream will be offered each Friday and Saturday afternoon for Resort guests. Also, complimentary cookie decorating with Chef Rabii will be offered to Resort guests on select dates.

Kids For All Seasons

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort Christmas Celebrate The Festive Holiday Season

The Kids For All Seasons (KFAS) complimentary kids camp, open daily for ages 4-12 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, has an array of organized activities planned for Resort guests throughout the festive season.  From candy cane scavenger hunts to animal visits, timed races in the Lazy River, balloon art, face painting, and much more, the KFAS team has a thoughtfully orchestrated schedule to provide fun for all ages.   Kids will love the weekly holiday movies, from classics such as The Grinch Who Stole Christmas to Home Alone and Elf¸ plus making jingle bell necklaces and writing letters to Santa.

Grown-Up Delights

Plancha Four Seasons Resort Orlando Tranquilo Golf Course - Hemmingway Daiquiri

The young, and young at heart, surely love classes like candy making and cookie decorating. But, Four Seasonshas not forgotten about those who would love more of an “adult” class – hence, the complimentary Mixology Classes led by the Resort’s team of master mixologists. Guests ages 21 and older can enjoy how to mix up cocktails guaranteed to spread the holiday cheer.  Classes include:

  • December 22, 2015, 3:00-4:00 pm, Plancha’s Slow Mulled Wine
  • December 29, 2015 3:00-4:00 pm, PB&G’s Eggnog with a Twist

For those who don’t want to take a class, but would enjoy mixing and mingling with other guests, the Resort is offering complimentary “Wine Mixers” for 21 and older guests in the Winter Garden Atrium on Thursdays from 3:00 to 4:00 pm. On December 24, 2015 the mixer will feature Holiday Wines, and on December 31, 2015 the mixer will feature New Year’s Eve Sparkling Wines.

In addition, the Resort will offer complimentary cooking demos for guests, including:

  • December 21, 2015, 3:00-4:00 pm, Ravello presents “Cooking for Christmas”
  • December 28, 2015, 3:00-4:00 pm, Capa presents “Sweet Sausage with Apples”

For Resort guests who don’t want to miss out on NFL games, The Lobby Bar will turn into the “Cigar City Fan Cave” during football games.  Table tennis and other games will be available in The Lobby Bar and a themed bar menu will be offered during the games.

Guests will also enjoy playing 18 holes on the picturesque Tranquilo Golf Club or unwinding with a Spa treatment at the 18-treatment room Spa. The Spa is offering several holiday treatments, including the Mistle-toes Pedicure & Manicure.

Holiday Dining

The resort offers several options for holiday dining.

  • Christmas Day, December 25, 2015

Capa is offering an a la carte menu plus a USD 64 prime rib special.  Seatings are available from 4:00 to 10:00 pm. Ravello is offering a buffet brunch for USD 105 per adult and USD 35 per child. Seatings are available from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Capa Lounge at Four Seasons Orlando Resort at Walt Disney World
Capa Lounge at Four Seasons Orlando Resort at Walt Disney World
  • New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2015

Capa is offering a dinner with two seating options: a three-course pre-fixe seating between 5:00 and 7:00 pm, available for USD 155 per adult and USD 65 per child; or a second seating, a five-course pre-fixe menu, between 8:00 and 11:00 pm, at USD 295 per adult or USD 95 per child.  Both Capa seatings include access to the New Year’s Eve “After Party” in the Grand Ballroom, which will feature a DJ, dance floor, balloon drop and more. Desserts and appetisers are included and there is a cash bar available.

Ravello is offering a New Year’s Eve Buffet from 5:00 to 11:00 pm, for USD 125 per person and USD 45 per child.

  • New Year’s Eve After Party

Admission to the after party, available exclusively for Resort guests and guests with restaurant reservations, is available for USD 75 per adult ages 21 and older and USD 35 per child and young adult ages 5 to 20.  Kids For All Seasons will host a special party on New Year’s Eve for children ages 4-12 for USD 95 per child and includes a children’s dinner buffet (Resort guests only).

For all holiday dining options and special events, space is limited and reservations are based on availability; for reservation inquiries, call 407 313 6161.


Anya Hindmarch Handbag exclusive to Four Seasons Orlando Resort at Walt Disney World
Anya Hindmarch Handbag exclusive to Four Seasons Orlando Resort at Walt Disney World

Four Seasons lobby level boutiques, Wardrobe and Fable, offer an array of options perfect for gift giving.  From fabulous outfits, chic accessories, Four Seasons logo apparel and more, there are numerous choices at all price levels. In addition, gift cards are available for purchase at the Resort’s front desk in any dollar amount.  Gift cards can be redeemed at Four Seasons Resort Orlando for overnight stays, treatments at The Spa, golf at Tranquilo Golf Club, shopping at the boutiques or any of the Resort’s dining outlets.

Festive Reservations

Guests of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort enjoy complimentary transportation in the Four Seasons motor coach to Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. In addition to enjoying all the nearby Disney attractions, a highlight of Four Seasons Resort Orlando is the five-acre (two hectare) Explorer Island water park, including a winding Lazy River complete with a rapids section, two water slides, an interactive splash zone with water cannons, and much more.  The Kids For All Seasons program offers organized activities for children ages 4-12, and is complimentary.  Adults will enjoy the adult-only pool, 18-hole Tom Fazio-designed Tranquilo Golf Club, and The Spa at Four Seasons. Recreational pursuits for guests of all ages are sure to provide ample entertainment. For more information on reservations, visit the web site or call 1 800 267 3046.

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Blue Man Group To Perform Sensory Friendly Show In December #DareToLive

Blue Man Group Autism Speaks Universal Orlando Resort

Blue Man Group Supports Autism Speaks with Sensory-Friendly Show December 5, 2015

Tickets are on sale now at http://bit.ly/1KXM90V


Blue Man Group will host a sensory-friendly show, suitable for children with autism spectrum disorders, supporting Autism Speaks on Saturday, December 5 at 6 pm at Universal Orlando Resort.

Co-founder Phil Stanton on why this partnership is an important step for Blue Man Group:


“We’ve heard from many families affected by autism that their children responded to the Blue Man character in a very moving way.  We don’t know the exact reason. We can only speculate that it has to do with the Blue Men communicating in their own unique way — non-verbally, through visuals, touch and sound. Their message often resonates on a deeper, more sincere level,” says Phil Stanton, Blue Man Group Co-Founder, “Once we knew that we could be helpful or provide an outlet for those affected by autism, we  felt it was important to do more. With our sensory-friendly shows, we want to create a safe and welcoming environment for individuals and families affected by this disorder, in the hopes that they can have an entertaining and joyful experience together.”

Slight modifications will be made to the show including:

  • Reducing sound and light levels at various moments during the performance.
  • Sound reducing headphones will be available upon request.
  • The Blue Men will limit the amount of direct audience interaction and keep their approach to the audience more subdued.
  • Blue Man Group will also create calming environments in the theater’s lobby for families seeking a break from the excitement.

Tickets start at $49 (plus applicable fees) with a portion of proceeds from the event going directly to the nonprofit. The fastest growing developmental disorder in the U.S., autism spectrum disorder affects one in 68 children and one in 42 boys. Characteristics include social challenges, communication difficulties and repetitive behaviors. This year, Blue Man Group is supporting autism programs in all of its markets, including Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas and New York, with a minimum donation of $25,000 given to the cause. As a non-verbal, visually-stunning show, Blue Man Group serves as a great fit for all children and families.

For more information, please visit blueman.com/autismspeaks or call 1.800.blueman.


Fans may keep up with Blue Man Group through Twitter,Facebook, Instagram, or the hashtag #DareToLive.

While I have never gotten the chance to see the Blue Man Group in person, this sends my appreciation of them through the roof!

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Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Holidays In Space Returns

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Holidays In Space Returns

Guests Can Celebrate ‘Holidays in Space’ at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex with

Light Show and ‘Spirit of Exploration’ Presentation


Looking for something new and unique to do this holiday season? Start a new tradition at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, where the holidays go high-tech with the fourth annual “Holidays in Space” celebration December 19, 2015 through January 3, 2016.

Holidays in Space Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

The iconic Rocket Garden will be the site of “Spirit of Exploration,” a stunning presentation of space imagery shown on the side of the 223-foot-long Saturn 1B rocket. The presentation, which takes guests on a journey through NASA’s history and plans for the future, features custom animation blended with historic footage of actual launches and awe-inspiring views of Earth from the International Space Station.

Holidays in Space Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

The “Rocket Garden Light Show” also takes place daily in the Rocket Garden, which features a majestic collection of real and replica capsules and rockets, some towering more than 100 feet into the sky.

Holidays in Space Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

In addition, from Nov. 27Jan. 3 the visitor complex is adorned for the holiday season with a stunning array of decorations including a 41-foot Christmas tree, a giant NASA “meatball” ornament, garlands, lights, ribbons, bows and more.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Christmas

All holiday activities are included with visitor complex admission; no advance reservations are required. Light shows begin at dusk each day. The visitor complex is open 365 days a year, including Christmas Day, Dec. 25.

Holidays in Space Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex’s holiday hours of operation are:

November 25 – December 21: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

December 22-25: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

December 26-31: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Space Shuttle Atlantis Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Fly With an astronaut

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 Apollo/Saturn V Center with an actual Saturn V moon rocket, the new Space ShuttleAtlantisSM, Shuttle Launch Experience®, IMAX® Hubble 3D and Journey To Space films, Astronaut Encounter, Journey to Mars: Explorers Wanted, Rocket Garden and many other interactive exhibits. 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 multiday admission 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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Bond Wishes

BondToday marks the official opening of the latest James Bond film, SPECTRE, in the United States. This 24th installment in the official Bond series has been widely anticipated for months now. U.K. box office records have been smashed with the opening of SPECTRE, and I have high hopes for a very strong performance after following up from Skyfall being a massive hit in 2012. Daniel Craig dons the tux for the fourth times as 007 and I cannot wait to see this movie. As I mentioned previously in our fall round table, this is the second most anticipated film of the year for me, just behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If you haven’t already, go back and check out my post on SPECTRE and why I cannot wait for this movie here.

Before I see this movie, probably multiple times in the next few weeks if it is half as good as the trailer seems to be, I wanted to share some of my wishes for this James Bond movie.

SPECTRE is the classic organization featured in Ian Fleming’s original stories as well as most of the Sean Connery era Bond flicks. I hope they reintroduce this group of baddies in a fresh way, but still paying homage to the Bond films of the 60s and early 70s.

To take this one step further, I’d love to learn the connection between SPECTRE and Quantum, and I’m sure Mr. White is somehow involved.

Bring Blofeld back! It doesn’t have to be the Oberhauser character that Christoph Waltz is playing, but I do want to see the return of the criminal mastermind in this or Bond 25 in a couple years.

I need to see a classic M/Q/Moneypenny scene in and around M’s office with the double red quilted leather doors. Ralph Fiennes as M needs to go back to treating Bond like Bernard Lee did back in the beginning. He acts as a scolding father figure who always has his agent’s best interest at heart, but never loses sight of the mission.

A return to the gun barrel opening with Daniel Craig as Bond would be amazing! This is just one of the quintessential Bond elements I would love to see in SPECTRE.

Another element I’ve been missing is a great action skiing scene reminiscent of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Spy Who Loved Me, For Your Eyes Only, and The World Is Not Enough. Maybe we can skip the cheesiness of the snowboarding to the Beach Boys’ California Girls in A View to a Kill.

Speaking of music, I’d love to hear more of the James Bond theme used properly at dramatic or action filled moments.

Lastly, I would adore a return to some of the fun, quippy one liners that we got with Sean Connery and Roger Moore. I understand this has been a reboot and was going for a darker tone, but just throw me a couple fun moments and I’d be a very happy Bond girl.

Are you planning on seeing SPECTRE this weekend? Are you one of the lucky ones overseas who has already been to see this new Bond film? What are you most looking forward to?

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Universal Orlando Resort News: 25th Anniversary Concert Series

Universal Orlando Resort Logo 25th Anniversary

Universal Orlando Resort News:

25th Anniversary Concert Series

The Universal Orlando Resort continues to celebrate their 25th Anniversary with their amazing Concert Series that returns next week.
On select nights November 14 – November 28 after you experience a full day at Universal Studios with your favorite attractions, shows, and food, the Music Plaza Stage at Universal Studios will come alive with amazing live performances from some of the hottest artists around.
Universal Orlando Resort  25th Anniversary Concert Series 2
Photo: Universal Orlando Blog

Saturday, November 14, 2015: Jason Derulo – 7:00 pm


Saturday, November 21, 2015: Colbie Caillat – 7:00 pm


Sunday, November 22, 2015: FLO RIDA – 8:00 pm


Friday, November 27, 2015: Carly Rae Jepsen – 8:00 pm


Saturday, November 28, 2015: Daughtry – 8:00 pm

Here are some things to keep in mind if you are thinking about attending Universal Orlando’s 25th Anniversary Concert Series:

  • Concerts are Included with your Universal Studios Admission
  • If being close to the stage is important to you, you will be able to queue up earlier in the day. The Team Members at the Music Plaza Stage are really helpful!
  • Event occurs rain or shine.
  • No rain checks, returns or refunds.
  • Prices, dates, times, attractions and entertainment subject to availability and may change without notice.
  • Other restrictions may apply.
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Demi Lovato And Nick Jonas Future Now: The Tour Coming To The Amway Center

 Amway Center Demi Lovato Nick Jonas Future Now Tour

Multi-platinum selling music artists, Demi Lovato & Nick Jonas, invite you to experience Future Now: The Tour. The North American tour, produced by Live Nation, kicks off on June 24, 2016, as the two influential entertainers join forces for what will be one of the year’s most anticipated summer music events. Future Now: The Tour visits over 40 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada including stops in New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, Las Vegas and Vancouver.

Future Now: The Tour plays Orlando’s Amway Center on Saturday, June 25, 2016. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Saturday, November 7 at 10 a.m.

Lovato’s newest album, “Confident,” is out now on Hollywood Records/Island Records/Safehouse Records and features the number one iTunes smash single, “Cool For The Summer.” Lovato kicked off the release of “Confident,” with powerful and poignant performances on “Saturday Night Live,” which generated the number one worldwide trending topic on Twitter and massive coverage by the media. Following the performance, the Village Voice declared, “Issue a warrant for Demi Lovato, ‘cause girl murdered ‘Saturday Night Live,’” adding, “Lovato’s full-throttle vocal assault on the Studio 8H stage with (“Confident”) could serve as a career standout for her.”

Lovato will perform songs from the critically acclaimed new album on “Good Morning America” (Oct. 29) and “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” (Oct. 30). Critical praise for Lovato’s, “Confident,” has been equally stellar. Billboard Magazine asserted, “Demi Lovato has become one of pop’s leading motivational figures,” while People Magazine lauded, “It’s Lovato’s dynamite vocals and striking vulnerability on aching ballads and gospel anthems that make ‘Confident,’ such a triumph,” and USA Today avowed, “She inarguably has one of the strongest instruments in pop right now.”

Island Records Artist, Nick Jonas introduced himself as a fully formed solo artist on his hit, self-titled debut, released in November 2014. The critically-acclaimed album includes double-platinum smash single and number one U.S. radio hit, “Jealous,” and his sultry second chart-climbing radio single, “Chains.” Jonas partially attributes his album’s darker overtones to the fact that while he was recording, he was also shooting the gritty television show ‘Kingdom’ — a mixed martial arts drama that premiered on DirecTV’s Audience Network last fall and was recently picked up for two additional seasons. Jonas recently earned two more high-profile roles, a guest starring role in Fox’s horror-comedy series, “Scream Queens” and a lead in the James Franco produced film, “Goat.” Showing no signs of slowing down this year, the breakout solo powerhouse joined forces with west coast rapper-producer, Sage the Gemini, to release their summer collaboration, “Good Thing.” Jonas’ latest single, “Levels,” has already amassed over 12 million views on YouTube and is rapidly climbing the Billboard Hot 100 chart. He also recently wrapped up his sold-out North American Live In Concert tour and has been nominated for a 2015 American Music Award for Favorite Male Artist – Pop/Rock.


Amway Center Demi Lovato Nick Jonas Future Now Tour





Buy tickets at amwaycenter.com, Chase Box Office at Amway Center, Ticketmaster retail locations, charge-by-phone at 800.745.3000 or at Ticketmaster.com. Ticket limit is eight (8) per person. All dates, bouts, fighters and ticket prices are subject to change without notice.  All tickets are subject to applicable taxes, service, handling and facility fee charges.  For Amway Center box office and ticket information, visit amwaycenter.com (phone purchases are not available through the Amway Center box office).  The Amway Center is located at 400 West Church Street and the box office is located on the north side of the Amway Center, near the intersection of Church Street and Hughey Avenue. 

Amway Center Fleetwood Mac Elton John

About Amway Center

The Orlando Magic served as the developer of the Amway Center, which hosts major national events, concerts and family shows.  Opened in the fall of 2010, the facility is owned and operated by the City of Orlando on behalf of the Central Florida community. The Amway Center was designed to reflect the character of the community, meet the goals of the users and build on the legacy of sports and entertainment in Orlando. The building’s exterior features a modern blend of glass and metal materials, along with ever-changing graphics via a monumental wall along one facade. A 180-foot tall tower serves as a beacon amid the downtown skyline. The 875,000 square foot, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certified building features a sustainable, environmentally-friendly design and unmatched technology, including 1,100 digital monitors, the tallest high-definition video board in an NBA venue and multiple premium amenities available to all patrons in the building. Amway Center was recently honored with TheStadiumBusiness Awards’ 2013 Customer Experience Award and named SportsBusiness Journal’s 2012 Sports Facility of the Year. For more information about the Amway Center, visit www.amwaycenter.com.

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Falling in Love with Jane the Virgin

Jane the Virgin
Image copyright CW

I have found a new love in my life, and it is a tv show called Jane the Virgin. This fantastically quirky, heartfelt, and humorous show debuted on the CW in 2014 and just started its sophomore season a few weeks ago.

Gina Rodriguez plays the title character whose full name is not really Jane the Virgin, but Jane Gloriana Villanueva. Jane is 23 when we first meet her, and despite the fact she’s in a two year committed relationship with her boyfriend, Michael, she is still a virgin. This is almost completely due to the influence of Jane’s abuela (grandmother), Alba, who Jane lives with, along with Jane’s mother Xiomara. Alba is originally from Venezuela and is a devout Catholic. Xiomara had Jane when she was only sixteen, so it is Alba’s mission to protect Jane’s virtue and to not let Jane follow her mother’s path.

The show is set in Miami and is so delightful with the cast of characters. The best way I have come up with to describe this fantastic show is a wonderful combination of the Gilmore Girls, a Mexican telenovela (soap opera), and the magical realism of author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, infused with the hallucinations of Ally McBeal. For Gilmore Girls fans, there are many similarities between Jane and Rory, and Xiomara is a much looser interpretation of Lorelai. Jane is hardworking, determined, goal oriented, and loves her family. She also longs to know her father, but Xiomara lied to Jane telling her he was a soldier on leave. In reality, Jane’s father was Xiomara’s high school love, Rogelio de la Vega, who turns out to now be a megastar on the Villanueva family’s favorite telenovela, The Passions of Santos.

The premise of Jane the Virgin is tricky, but I’ll try to explain in the least complicated way I can. It is a soap after all, complete with a narrator and captions on the screen. Jane lives at home with her mom and grandma, is in a loving relationship with Michael, is finishing up her undergraduate degree in education with hopes of becoming a teacher. To help pay her way through school, Jane works as a waitress at an upscale hotel on South Beach called the Marbella.

Here is where it starts to get complicated. Jane the Virgin works for the super hot young hotel owner, Rafael Solano, with whom she had shared a kiss five years prior when she was a waitress at the country club where he belonged. Rafael is married to Petra, who wants to have his baby to save their troubled marriage. He previously had cancer, but is now in remission, so Rafael had saved some sperm prior to his chemo with hopes of eventually having a child with Petra after she miscarried a few years earlier.

Petra is now taking Rafael’s sample to her ob/gyn to be artificially inseminated, without his knowledge. It so happens that Jane is at the same doctor for her annual exam. The doctor also coincidentally is Rafael’s half-sister Luisa, who is very upset, having found her wife cheating on her the night before. Even though her nurse tells Luisa correctly that she has an insemination in one room and an exam in the other, Luisa mixes up the rooms and goes into Jane the Virgin’s room. Luisa asks the exhausted and partially sleeping Jane if she’s ready for her insemination and Jane pulls a “what? yeah” out. So Jane is accidentally inseminated with her boss Rafael’s specimen, then Luisa enters the second room to find Petra there waiting to be inseminated. Did I mention this was also Rafael’s only remaining sample?

As you can imagine, hilarity, and a good bit of drama ensues once it is discovered that Jane the Virgin is pregnant with the baby her boss’ wife was trying to surprise him with and it was his half-sister that caused the mix up. Many soap opera tropes appear like hidden identities, twin swapping, unknown parentage, affairs, and of course murder.

Having said all of this, Jane the Virgin is one of the funniest and most lighthearted shows I’ve seen. I highly recommend you check it out. The first season is streaming on Netflix and available on dvd, and the first four episodes of this season are still streaming online at the CW. Jane is one of my favorite characters on tv ever. She is intelligent, independent, loving, and hilarious. Go watch Jane the Virgin now and I bet you’ll fall in love too!

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Four Seasons Resort Orlando: Couples Weeks Return #FiveDiamondOrlando

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort Couples Weeks Return

Four Seasons Resort Orlando:

Couples Weeks Return

A couples package plus dedicated adult-only offerings ensures an ideal couples escape to Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, Central Florida’s only AAA Five-Diamond resort

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort is a couples paradise, with amenities including a lakeside infinity-edge adult only pool, Tranquilo Golf Club, and an 18-treatment room Spa with six couples’ suites.  In September 2015, the Resort launched a new Couples Stay and Play package and special Couples Weeks. Now, Couples Weeks are back for December 1-17, 2015, and select dates in 2016, providing additional reasons to enjoy an adult-only getaway.

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort Couples Weeks Return

Couples Weeks feature added offerings, including twice-weekly mixology classes so couples can “shake and stir” things up, as well as Dinner & A Movie nights. Every Friday night throughout the select Couples Weeks, a romantic comedy will be shown poolside at The Oasis adult-only pool, with the option of ordering poolside dinner.  Also, The Oasis adult-only pool for guests ages 21 and older will offer extra complimentary amenities, such as infused fruits, each afternoon.  Movies for December Couples Weeks include Crazy Stupid Love on December 4, and 500 Days of Summer on December 11.

Mixology Classes
Mixology classes let couples have a little fun while enjoying some delicious cocktails of their own creation.  All classes are held in the Resort’s Demonstration Kitchen. The Couples Weeks mixology schedule is:

  • Wednesday, December 2 – Capa presents: Learn how to make a warm Spanish dessert cocktail
  • Saturday, December 5 – PB&G presents: Mix it up with PB&G’s eggnog with a twist
  • Wednesday, December 9 – Plancha presents: Discover how to make a delicious slow mulled wine
  • Saturday, December 12 – Ravello presents Café Amare: Enjoy an afternoon pick-me-up with this coffee-based cocktail, an Italian twist on a hot toddy
  • Wednesday, December 16 – The Lobby Bar presents North Star Nog:  Time to open up the spice rack! Indulge in this modern take on a holiday favourite with an added kick

Massage 101 Classes at The Spa

Couples can enjoy the benefits of therapeutic touch and learn techniques of massage at a special Massage 101 class at The Spa. A talented team of Spa professionals will guide participants through pressure points, assisted stretching and more to alleviate muscle tension, relieve stress, and connect with their loved one. Classes are offered to guests on December 3, 10 and 17 at 3:00 pm.


Couples Stay and Play Package

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort Couples Weeks Return
The Couples Stay and Play package includes two welcome cocktails, daily breakfast in bed for two, a guaranteed late check out of 2:00 pm to enjoy extra time to sleep in, unlimited in-room movies, plus the couple’s choice of a 50-minute Spa treatment for two, a golf lesson for two, or a tennis lesson for two.   

“This package gives couples the perfect excuse to check in without kids in tow,” says Thomas Steinhauer, General Manager. “It’s true there’s a lot for families to do in Orlando, but there’s also so much fun for adults to experience.”

The fun Steinhauer references includes the Disney theme parks and more – from fine dining at one of the Resort’ssix restaurants to enjoying the sumptuous spa and many recreation offerings, Four Seasons offers something to appeal to many couples’ interests.

Couples Weeks Calendar

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort Couples Weeks Return
Whether celebrating an anniversary, babymoon, mini-moon, reigniting the spark or just for fun (perhaps an early holiday treat!), Couples Weeks have never been more ideal.  Couples checking in December 3-17 will enjoy experiencing the Resort’s spectacular holiday décor and grand Christmas tree in the main lobby.  Couples Weeks are offered December 1 through 17, 2015.  Additional Couples Weeks dates for 2016 include January 4 through February 8, and April 27 through May 26.  The specific calendars of events for 2016 Couples Weeks will be released soon.  For reservations: 1 800 267 3046.

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