Wordless Wednesday – A Moment of Disney Cruise Line Zen

Disclosure: This post was created from experiences I had while onboard the Disney Dream as invited media by Disney Cruise Line. All opinions and over-use of exclamation points are all my own.

I haven’t done a Wordless Wednesday for a very long time, but after the past week of loss and stress I have found that I keep gravitating to this short video that Stephanie shot while onboard the Disney Dream as the ship made its way from Port Canaveral to Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas.

A moment of Disney Cruise Line Zen

Okay it is a little longer than a minute…but it sounds better than 1 minute and six seconds of Disney Cruise Line Zen…and maybe this isn’t so wordless…but it is Wednesday, so it works for me!

I am working on compiling all of my Disney Cruise Line posts to share with you, but until I do join me in watching this quiet moment and daydreaming of sailing again.

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2018 LEGOLAND Florida Brick Dash Details

Registration is now open for 2018’s Brick Dash 5K Presented by Publix, the popular Central Florida run/walk set for Saturday, April 14 at LEGOLAND Florida Resort.

LEGOLAND Florida 2018 Brick Dash 5K

The fun begins at 7 a.m. with a 5K race that sends runners winding their way through LEGOLAND Florida Resort, including the famous Cypress Gardens area, followed at 8 a.m.with a half-mile “fun run” for kids. Favorite LEGO characters like Emmet, Wyldstyle, Benny, Kai, Nya and Master Wu will cheer runners and walkers of all ages during both races.

Online registration is $35 per person (plus processing fee) for all 5K participants and “virtual” runners. Fun run registration is limited to children 3-12 and is $25 per person online (plus processing fee). A special family registration option is available by mail for $99, and includes 5K registration for two adults and fun run registration for two children.

To register online or to obtain the family registration form visit this website. A course map will be available soon using the same link.

All 5K participants and virtual runners will receive a Brick Dash T-shirt, a goodie bag of sponsor material and a special LEGO brick medal designed by LEGOLAND Master Model Builders.

LEGOLAND Florida 2018 Brick Dash 5K
Chip Litherland for LEGOLAND Florida Resort

Fun run participants will receive a Brick Dash T-shirt, a goodie bag of sponsor material and a collectible LEGO brick commemorating the event. T-shirts and medals are guaranteed only for registrations received by March 30. Winners in each division also will receive a one-of-a-kind LEGO trophy.

Brick Dash 5K Presented by Publix benefits Merlin’s Magic Wand, a worldwide charity that helps seriously ill, disabled and disadvantaged children and their families enjoy a magical day out at more than 120 Merlin Entertainments attractions around the globe. For those unable to visit a Merlin attraction, the organization creates whimsical Merlin’s Magic Spaces in community facilities that serve the needs of children.

Vote on a medal design

Brick Dash fans can vote for the final medal design on the official LEGOLAND Florida Resort Facebook page.

Stay, play and save!

Brick Dash participants who want to stay overnight can save up to $260 on a LEGOLAND Florida vacation package now through Feb. 28*, including:

• An overnight stay at any LEGOLAND Vacations accommodations, including the on-site LEGOLAND Hotel and adjacent LEGOLAND Beach Retreat.

• Two-day theme park/water park combo tickets for all adults on the reservation.

• A free, two-day child’s theme park/water park combo ticket for every adult on the reservation. That means a booking with two adults and two children will include two-day tickets for both adults and free two-day tickets for both children.

• Free breakfast for guests of LEGOLAND Hotel and LEGOLAND Beach Retreat (not including the day of arrival).

*Restrictions apply. For complete details or to book online, visit, and look for the “Kids Stay & Play Free” package.

Awesome awaits

LEGOLAND Florida Resort features more than 50 rides, shows and attractions inspired by popular LEGO and DUPLO® brands, including awesome experiences based on “The LEGO Movie™,” “LEGO NINJAGO®: Masters of Spinjitzu,” LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS™, LEGO City, LEGO Technic and LEGO Friends, plus LEGOLAND Water Park and on-site accommodations at the 152-room LEGOLAND Hotel and the 166-room LEGOLAND Beach Retreat. For more information, visit www.LEGOLAND.com/florida.

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Elton John Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour coming to Orlando

After more than half a century on the road and an unparalleled career that has redefined the cultural landscape, Elton John announced details of his final tour called Farewell Yellow Brick Road that will come to Orlando’s Amway Center on Tuesday, November 27. 

“Performing live fuels me and I’m ecstatic and humbled to continue to play to audiences across the globe,” said Elton. “I plan to bring the passion and creativity that has entertained my fans for decades to my final tour. After the tour finishes, I’m very much looking forward to closing off that chapter of my life by saying farewell to life on the road. I need to dedicate more time to raising my children.”

Elton John Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour Amway Center 2018

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, February 2, at 10 am, but there are other ways to purchase your tickets in advance for this can’t miss concert.

American Express card members may purchase tickets in advance until Monday, January 29 at 10 p.m. EST. A limited number of exclusive VIP Packages are available now, and these exclusive offers can include premium tickets, on-stage photo opportunities at Elton’s piano, backstage tours, limited-edition lithographs, custom merchandise and much more. Tickets and VIP packages may be purchased at EltonJohn.com.  

The Elton John Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour pre-sale is powered by Ticketmaster Verified Fan (Ticketmaster’s fan-first technology, built to help artists combat ticket bots and get tickets into the hands of fans that intend to go to the event). Tickets for the tour will be available through registration using Ticketmaster Verified Fan until Saturday January 27. The pre-sale will begin Tuesday January 30 at 10 a.m. EST and run through Wednesday January 31 at 10 p.m. EST; supplies are limited. Registration is required to participate in the TM Verified Fan Pre-sale. For more information and to register, visit EltonJohn.com.

Tickets for Elton John Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour pricing has not been released yet, but you can 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

And now for the Elton John Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour fine print:

  • Limited on-ice seating is available upon request.
  • Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more. 
  • All dates, act(s) 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. 
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Valentine’s Day Special Events at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando

If you are looking for a luxurious way to spend Valentine’s Day, the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort has special dining and spa offers for couples.

At , and at Capa, a four-course prix-fixe. menu is offered for USD 155 per person.  Plus, The Spa at Four Seasons is offering special treatments for Valentine’s Day, with complimentary prosecco and chocolates for spa guests. 

Ravello 

Ravello Couple Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Easter Brunch Valentine's Day
Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

At Ravello, authentic Italian cuisine is prepared by Executive Chef Fabrizio Schenardi, originally from Torino, Italy. Enjoy the warm ambiance of Ravello including the lively open kitchen. 

And to celebrate Valentine’s Day, Ravello is offering a special four-course prix-fixe menu is offered for $75 per person (plus tax and gratuity) that includes:

First Course

• Choice of: Poricini budino parmesan and local artisanal greens salad – mushroom flan, crispy parmesan, local greens, truffle vinaigrette

• Or: Tuna carpaccio caper berries with arugula and pickled vegetables – black pepper seared tuna, blistered caper berries, micro arugula, pickled vegetables 
Second Course

• Housemade spaghetti and polpettine to share – “Lady and the Tramp” single piece housemade spaghetti, housemade meatball to share 
Entree

• Choice of: Crispy halibut brandade with braised spinach and lobster – pan seared halibut, crisp potato brandade, spinach, lobster sauce

• Or: Duck with wilted greens and sweet potato sun choke – duck breast, sautéed greens, sweet potato and sun choke puree, cherry jus 
Dessert

• Nougat glace – wild berry sorbet, milk chocolate cremeux, almond cake

Capa
 

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Capa Valentine's Day
Four Season Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

Capa, the Resort’s rooftop level Spanish-inspired steakhouse, is known for its fresh seafood and prime meats. The stunning ambiance in hues of crimson, black and grey features an open kitchen and wood-burning grill, plus an expansive terrace where couples can enjoy views of the nightly Magic Kingdom Park fireworks. Capa was named to Wine Enthusiast magazine’s list of 100 Best Wine Restaurants in the US. 

On Valentine’s Day, Capa is also offering a special four-course prix-fixe menu is offered for $155 per person (plus tax and gratuity) that includes:

First Course

• Choice of: Alcachofa – baby artichokes, oysters, citrus condiment

• Or: Ensalada – fennel salad, orange, chorizo, oats 
Second Course

• Choice of: Viera – seared scallop, celery root, caper and lemon butter sauce, brioche croutons

• Or: Cordoniz – quail, spinach, parsnip puree, saffron hollandaise 
Entree

• Choice of: Pescado – cobia al pil pil, saffron potatoes, tomato, olives, marjoram

• Or: Carne – Lamb rack, Israeli couscous, za’atar yogurt, smoked pinenuts

• Or: Tomahawk – Tomahawk for two, grilled asparagus, preserved lemon, Capa steak sauce 
Dessert

• Vanilla yogurt Bavarois, citrus, champagne, berries

To make reservations for either of these special prix-fixe dinners at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando, call (407) 313-6161.

Have a Couples Day at The Spa
 

The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Valentine's Day
Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

Celebrate Valentine’s Day at The Spa at Four Seasons. On Wednesday, February 14, 2018, all who receive a treatment between 8:00 am and 9:00 pm will receive a complimentary glass of prosecco and special valentine truffles from local chocolatier Norman Love Confections. 

Sweethearts can treat their honey to an indulgent Healing Honey Treatment, featuring a massage with local Winter Garden Honey Farm honey.  Those experiencing the Healing Honey Treatment on Valentine’s Day will receive a small bottle of the signature honey. 


In addition, couples who experience a 50-minute Couples Massage on February 14 will receive a complimentary Luscious Lips enhancement to ensure the sweetest, smoothest kiss. The couple will also receive a complimentary lip gloss from the signature line Kaplan MD.
For the ultimate couples spa day, consider a Daycation Duo. Recharge, renew, relax and refresh together, the perfect recipe for romance.

The Couple’s Daycation is $570 and includes a $35 per person lunch credit at PB&G, plus fitness classes for the day, two 80 minute Spa treatments, and use of the Spa’s beautifully appointed locker rooms equipped with steam room, experience showers, whirlpools and full vanity area.

To reserve a Spa appointment this Valentine’s Day, contact The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Orlando by calling (407) 313-6160.

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ICYMI: VooDoo Doughnut is coming to Universal CityWalk

VooDoo Doughnut Coming to Universal Orlando CityWalk

The Universal Orlando Resort announced that VooDoo Doughnut will arrive east of the Mississippi when they open at Universal CityWalk, Universal Orlando Resort’s entertainment and dining complex, this spring.

Voodoo Doughnut Comes to Universal CityWalk

VooDoo Doughnut was created by Kenneth “Cat Daddy” Pogson and Tres Shannon in Portland, Oregon, in 2003. The pair had enjoyed experimenting with unique flavors to create eccentric pastries and they turned their passion into the phenomenon that is Voodoo Doughnut. As they say, the rest is history.

The Doughnut stop is loved for its sinfully delicious, delightfully weird lineup of fried creations. Their selection of doughnuts will feature signature originals and one-of-a-kind delectables such as the Dirt Doughnut, the Bacon Maple Bar, Grape Ape and, of course, Voodoo Doll doughnuts.

VooDoo Doughnut Universal Orlando CityWalk selection

The Universal CityWalk shop will feature the same eclectic pink theming and irreverent names that can be found in current Voodoo Doughnut locations, and will be located next to NBC Sports Grill & Brew, just steps away from the iconic Universal Globe and Universal Studios Florida entrance.

Good Things Come in Pink Boxes, and I cannot wait to give them a try! 2018 just got sweeter!

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#RockTheDots With Minnie Mouse At Disney Springs

My favorite fashionista, Minnie Mouse, will soon be getting her very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and Disney Springs will be hosting a special event to celebrate her style, flair, and polka dots from January 18-21, 2018.

Minnie Mouse Rock the Dots Disney Springs 2018

At Disney Springs you will find all sorts of great offers and #RockTheDots Activities including:

Disney Springs Minnie Mouse Rocks the Dots 2018-page-001 Disney Springs Minnie Mouse Rocks the Dots 2018-page-002

  • A new ‘Minnie’-makeover debuting on January 18th at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique that is called the Minnie Dot Package that includes a tutu, t-shirt bow and Minnie Mouse hairstyle. I strongly advise calling to book an appointment advance via 407-WDW-STYLE in Florida. AS A BONUS: guests that experience a Minnie Dot Package Makeover January 18 – 22, 2018 at Disney Springs, they’ll be eligible for a complimentary Minnie Mouse dessert at Amorette’s Patisserie.
  • PANDORA Jewelry will release a new limited-time Minnie Mouse gift set featuring three Minnie Mouse-inspired charms, plus a gift with purchase – a polka dot Minnie Mouse scarf – while supplies last.
  • Fifteen Disney Springs retailers will be offering additional savings from January 18 – 22, 2018.
Minnie Mouse Makeover BBB Disney Springs
Dot Package Makeover
  • At Alex and Ani, the first 100 guests each day will receive a free gift along with daily in-store surprises.
  • At Coach, a free gift with any purchase is in the bag for all event guests. 
  • M.A.C. Cosmetics is also participating with a complimentary “mini” Minnie-inspired demo.
Minnie Mouse Pandora Charm Set Disney Springs
PANDORA Jewelry Minnie Mouse gift set
  • A handful of food and beverage locations (Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza, Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea, Paddlefish, D-Luxe Burger, The Ganachery and Sprinkles) will feature discounts and/or Minnie-themed products as well, so bring your appetite, too.

The #RockTheDots event culminates on January 21, which just happens to  be National Polka Dot Day, when the main event showcases a DJ Dance Party in the heart of Town Center from 1 – 6 p.m. where Minnie Mouse will make frequent appearances in different stylish outfits.

Minnie Mouse Rock the Dots Disney Springs

There will also be a photo backdrop sponsored by PANDORA Jewelry with Disney PhotoPass photographers on-site to capture the moment with fun props and frames to ensure you strike your most stylish pose.

If you want to start the party early, Paddlefish will offer a “polka dot brunch” from 12 – 3 p.m. that infuses a bit of pampering to the meal, there will be complimentary hand massages from L’Occitane, and make-up applications from Sephora are on the menu.

#RockTheDots Image Minnie Mouse Disney Springs

As a special treat for Minnie Mouse herself, she is going to get a very special send-off for her grand Hollywood adventure to get her star from Disney’s Hollywood Studios this Sunday, January 21 at 1 pm EST!

If you can’t make it in person to the send-off, you can watch a special #DisneyParksLIVE stream of this milestone in Disney history!

Also commemorative buttons will be given out at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort while supplies last.

For more information on Minnie Rocks the Dots in Florida, follow @DisneySprings on Twitter and Instagram.

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See Monster Jam Trucks Around Orlando Tomorrow

Seven of the biggest stars, the giant monster trucks from Monster Jam, will be on display in Orlando this Thursday, January 18. For fans, it’s a chance to see and take pictures with the enormous trucks before these beasts roar into Camping World Stadium on Saturday, January 20. Best part, it’s all free to the public.

Monster Jam 2015 Orlando Citrus Bowl

Approximately 12 feet tall and about 12 feet wide, Monster Jam trucks are custom-designed machines that sit atop 66-inch-tall tires and weigh a minimum of 10,000 pounds. Built for short, high-powered bursts of speed, Monster Jam trucks generate 1,500 to 2,000 horsepower and are capable of speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. Monster Jam trucks can fly up to 125 to 130 feet (a distance greater than 14 cars side by side) and up to 35 feet in the air.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 18 – MONSTER JAM TRUCKS ON DISPLAY in Central Florida 

Max-D Driver: Tom Meents 2-6 p.m. Circle K, 8979 S. John Young Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32819
Bounty Hunter Driver: Jimmy Creten 2-6 p.m. Circle K, 3820 Canoe Creek Rd, St. Cloud, FL 32819
Black Pearl Driver: Cole Venard 3-6 p.m. America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses, 4652 Millenia Plaza Way, Orlando, FL 32839
Team Hot Wheels Driver: Scott Buetow 3-7 p.m. Toys R Us, 4607 Millenia Plaza Way, Orlando, FL 32839
Monster Mutt Dalmatian Driver: Candice Jolly 3-7 p.m. Metro PCS, 1453 Sand Lake Rd, Orlando 32809
Scooby-Doo Driver: John Gordon 3-7 p.m. Circle K, 700 S Kirkman Rd, Orlando, FL 32825
El Toro Loco® Driver: Chuck Werner 5-8 p.m. Frogger’s, 1601 Rock Springs Rd, Apopka, FL 32712

*Trucks listed above are subject to change.

Monster Jam will be performing at Camping World Stadium in Orlando on Saturday, January 20, 2018. Gates open at 5 p.m., opening ceremonies are at 6:30 p.m., and racing starts at 7 p.m.

The Monster Jam Pit Party, which will take place on Saturday, January 20, from 2:30-5:30 p.m., provides unprecedented access to the Monster Jam trucks and drivers. This unique experience in the world of motorsports gives fans access to see the trucks up close, take pictures, meet the drivers and get their autographs.

New in 2018, the Pit Party Early Access Pass is available to every fan who purchases a ticket to the event. The pass provides early entry into the Pit Party from 1:30-2:30 p.m. and serves as the regular Pit Party pass from 2:30-5:30 p.m. Monster Jam drivers will depart from the Pit Party at 5 p.m. The Pit Party Early Access Pass must be accompanied by an event ticket, and quantities are limited.

Tickets and Pit Party Passes are available at the Amway Center Box office in advance, online at www.ticketmaster.com, or charge by phone at 800-745-3000. Same day event ticket and pit pass required for entry to pit party. All seats reserved. Subject to facility fee, plus convenience and handling charges. Camping World Stadium is located at One Citrus Bowl Place, Orlando, FL 32805.

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Epcot International Festival of the Arts Must Do’s

DISCLOSURE: I was invited by the Walt Disney World Resort to experience the Epcot International Festival of the Arts, but all opinions and over-use of exclamation points are 100% my own.

The Epcot International Festival of the Arts is back for its second year filling the park with a six week celebration of all forms of art forms from the visual to the culinary to the performing that is quickly becoming one of my favorite events at Walt Disney World.

While this year’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts has even more offerings than last year, the biggest and best change to this year’s Festival  is that the fun continues seven days a week from now until February 19th!

With so much to do and experience at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts, I wanted to share my list of ‘Must Do’s’ for your visit to the Festival!

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2018 Walt Disney World

9 Epcot International Festival of the Arts Must Do’s

1. Taste the Culinary Arts

It wouldn’t be a Festival at Epcot with amazing food, and at this year there are even more Food Studios with enticing tastes at stops around the World Showcase promenade.

Not only do the offerings taste amazing they are definitely photo-worthy with unique twists and interesting plating.

This year five new Food Studios have joined the culinary adventure for a total of 13 at the Festival, and you can find the new locations in:

  • France (“L’Art de la Cuisine Française” or “The Art of French Cooking”),
  • Morocco (“Mosaic Canteen”),
  • Japan (“Takumi Table”),
  • Italy (“L’Arte di Mangiare” or “The Art of Eating”), and
  • China (“The Painted Panda”). 

A complete list of Food Studios and menus are at The Culinary Arts: Food Studios, but I will be talking more about food soon!!!

2. Be a part of the Art

Also returning this year is the hands-on wall mural (located in the Expression Section which is on the Showcase Plaza Promenade as you are traveling to/from Canada from Future World), where you can pick up a brush and assigned paint color to complete a square of a mural with a certain dragon that is ‘from head to tail, he’s royal purple pigment‘. 

3. Art Walk around World Showcase

Inside of each World Showcase Pavilion guests can find galleries showcasing artwork or relics from that country year round, but during the Epcot International Festival of the Arts guests will find an Art Walk in their Festival Guide that encourages them to visit each gallery to do a relief rubbing of the gallery’s icon plaque.

 4. Unique finds

While this year’sEpcot International Festival of the Arts is really fantastic (I LOVE the water color inspired design), there are some really unique ways to bring home a souvenir from the event in addition to the artist booths.

Two of my favorites are Enemy Ink (located just inside of the building with Starbucks and Club Cool) where you can create a custom Festival t-shirt on-demand in a variety of designs & color combinations and Jortra Jewelry (their booth is located between Morocco and France in World Showcase) offering hand-made jewelry from natural materials melon seeds, orange peels and coffee beans.

5. Fun Photo Spots

Epcot is full of great photo spots, but during the Epcot International Festival of the Arts you can find some really unique ‘Artful Photo Ops’ throughout World Showcase where you get to step into famous works of arts.

You can find them in the following locations:

  • Italy: The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli
  • Italy: The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci & The Scream by Edvard Munch
  • American Adventure: Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Gottlieb
  • France: Luncheon of the Boating Party by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

There are PhotoPass photographers at each location, but they will also take photos with your camera or phone.

6. Free Seminars

During the Festival accomplished Disney artists, guest-perts, and Cast Members impart their professional expertise at complimentary seminars, hands-on workshops, and quick study sessions at the Odyssey Festival Showplace seven days a week.

These Seminars happen at 1:30 pm and 4:30 pm, but space is extremely limited so if there is one that you HAVE to attend make sure you arrive early to grab a seat.

You can find a week-by-week list of free seminars here.

Also, during the Epcot International Festival of the Arts you can find the Animation Academy (YAY!) intermittently from 2 pm – 8:30 pm in the Odyssey Festival Showplace where you can learn to draw Disney characters from Disney artists for FREE!

7. Interactive Workshops

Each week the interactive workshop series offers Festival Guests a unique opportunity to walk away with an enhanced skillset or new understanding of various artistic and culinary techniques from animation drawing and floral arranging to calligraphy, abstract painting and other interesting topics.

All of the interactive workshops ($39 per person plus tax, Epcot admission required but not included, & 15% discount per Annual Passholder or Disney Vacation Club Member) are held in the Odyssey Festival Showplace seven days a week at 11 am to 12:15 pm.

Space in these workshops is EXTREMELY limited, and you will need to make reservations in advance by calling (407) WDW-TOUR to reserve your spot or visit the Odyssey Festival Showplace. Guests under 18 years of age must have parent or guardian permission to call.

You can find a week-by-week list of the interactive workshops and how to book them here.

8. Live Performances

This year there is an increased presence in the performing arts at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts with entertainment on the Fountain View Plaza Stage throughout the day.

We had the opportunity to see the new Art Defying Gravity show, and it is amazing what those performers can do!!!

The Epcot Times Guide, found at the entrance and in retail locations throughout the park, lets you know when you can catch these fun performances.

9. Disney on Broadway Concert Series

The EXTREMELY popular (and rightly so) Disney on Broadway Concert Series take the stage in the American Gardens Theater in World Showplace on ‘Disney Weekends’ (Friday to Monday) bringing a taste of ‘The Great White Way’ to Florida!

The concerts showcase the stellar talents of performers who sing selections from award-winning Disney on Broadway musicals that you will not want to miss!

Here’s the lineup:

  • January 19-22: Kara Lindsay (NEW!) and Kevin Massey Jan. 19-22, who will perform songs from “Tarzan,” “Aladdin,” “Newsies” and “Frozen.”
  • January 26-29 and February 2-5: Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White will perform songs from “Tarzan,” “The Lion King,” “Aida,” “Aladdin” and “The Little Mermaid.”
  • February 9-12 and 16-19: Ashley Brown and Josh Strickland will perform songs from “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Tarzan,” “Mary Poppins,” “Newsies” and “Frozen.”

All Disney on Broadway shows are included in theme park admission and will take place Fridays through Mondays at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m.  Even though there are three shows a night, GET THERE EARLY!!! I cannot stress how popular these performances are!

New this year are the Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Packages that are available at five participating Epcot restaurants that can be booked online or by calling (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-7463.

*** BONUS FOR ALL WALT DISNEY WORLD ANNUAL PASSHOLDERS ***

Not only to Walt Disney World Annual Passholders have exclusive Festival merchandise, but they can receive an Epcot International Festival of the Arts print.

Simply go into the American Adventure Pavilion (you will see a sign outside guiding you to enter on the left set of doors), show your valid Walt Disney World Annual Pass and photo id, and a Cast Member will give you the Belle print with an embossed seal. It’s really pretty!!!

You can find out how to book specific experiences and find more information for planning your ultimate day at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts with the official website.

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The SeaWorld Orlando Preschool Card is BACK!

SeaWorld Orlando is bringing back a popular offer that has Florida Moms jumping for joy…the SeaWorld Orlando Preschool Card!

What to know SeaWorld Orlando Preschool Card

Now through December 31, 2018, Florida kids ages five and younger can enjoy all the excitement of SeaWorld Orlando for free by registering for the SeaWorld Orlando Preschool Card.

Shamu Express SeaWorld Orlando Preschool Card 2018 Blog
SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld offers an ocean of experiences that are perfect for pint-sized guests, from up-close animal encounters to breathtaking live shows. The Preschool Card also includes popular SeaWorld events such as the Seven Seas Food Festival, Electric Ocean, Halloween Spooktacular, and the fan-favorite Christmas Celebration.

What you should know about the SeaWorld Orlando Preschool Card:

  • The 2018 Preschool Card ONLINE registration is exclusively for Florida residents,
  • Registration is open from now until May 13, 2018,
  • Advance registration must be completed ONLINE and cannot be done in person at the park, and
  • This offer is only valid for children ages five or younger at the time of redemption at the park.
SeaWorld Just For Kids - Imagination Movers Concert SeaWorld Orlando Preschool Card
Check out when Zoe was little at the Just for Kids concert! Where has time gone???

SeaWorld Orlando has fun celebrations for the entire family all year, but this spring preschoolers and their families can dive into Just For Kids, an event crafted especially with young guests in mind. From April 21 to May 13, families can spend their weekends dancing to the beat and learning together along with everybody’s favorite furry, finned and flippered friends during this special event.

SeaWorld Orlando Preschool Card Aquatica Orlando Add On
SeaWorld Orlando

Parents can add Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark, to their child’s Preschool Card for only $59.99 to enjoy two parks all year. From Walkabout Waters to Kata’s Kookabura Cove, young guests can explore endlessly on interactive play structures, splash zones, and miniature slides designed just for them. With the upcoming opening of Ray Rush, a new family raft ride, the Preschool Card presents a great value for families with young children in 2018.

To learn more and to register for the Preschool Card, Florida residents can visit SeaWorldOrlando.com/PreschoolCard.

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The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle Debuting This Month

For the first time ever at Universal Orlando Resort, guests will be able to celebrate their Hogwarts house pride during an all-new, breathtaking experience –The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle – debuting on Wednesday, January 31, and running select nights throughout the remainder of the year. 

The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle Harry Potter Wizarding World of Harry Potter Universal's Islands of Adventure Hogsmeade Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando Resort

As night falls in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, state-of-the-art projection mapping, coupled with special effects and lighting, will wrap Hogwarts castle in a dazzling display celebrating the four houses of Hogwarts – Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin. Guests will watch in awe as the spirit and iconic elements of each house are brought to life on the majestic castle – all set to incredible music based on the original scores from the Harry Potter films. 

This will be the second projection mapping experience that Universal Orlando has featured in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade. Over the holiday season, Universal debuted “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle,” which brought incredible Christmas moments inspired by the Harry Potter series to life. Both experiences were also featured at Universal Studios Hollywood.

“The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle” will make its official debut at Universal Orlando Resort on Wednesday, January 31, and run continuously each evening starting at dusk select nights throughout the year – but park guests can preview the new experience on January 27 and January 28 during “A Celebration of Harry Potter 2018.” 

And guests who’ve purchased A Celebration of Harry Potter vacation package can be among the first to see this experience at Universal Orlando during an exclusive preview event on Friday, January 26.  Event packages can still be purchased here.

“The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle” is scheduled to run January 31 – February 5, and February 7 – February 12.  Additional dates will be announced at a later time onwww.universalorlando.com

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A New Character Breakfast Is Coming To Universal Orlando

Starting January 13th, the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort will host a new character breakfast in the outdoor Cayman Court covered pavilion where you can dine with friends from Despicable Me that include Gru, his daughters, and the Minions every Saturday with seatings at 9:00 am and 10:30 am.

Universal Orlando Despicable Me Character Breakfast Loews Sapphire Falls Resort
Universal Orlando

Some of the dishes you will find on the all-you-care-to-eat buffet that include a fruit, cereals, baked goods, scrambled eggs, buttermilk pancakes, country pork sausage, Applewood-smoked bacon, and Yukon Gold breakfast potatoes. Your choice of a regular coffee, decaffeinated coffee, a variety of juices, soft drinks, and organic and herbal teas is also included included with the price of the breakfast.

Also included with the Despicable Me Character Breakfast is one digital photo taken during the breakfast (via My Universal Photos™).

Despicable Me Character Breakfast tickets must be purchased at least 24 hours in advance by calling (407) 503-DINE (3463) or online, and cost $34.99 plus tax and gratuity for adults (ages 10 and up) and $20.99 plus tax and gratuity for children (ages 3-9).

Here are few things to keep in mind before you book your Despicable Me Character Breakfast experience:

  • You’ll need to arrive 15 minutes prior to the reservation time.
  • Tickets are not refundable and not exchangeable.
  • Prices, dates, times, menu, and characters are subject to change without notice.
  • If you have special dietary needs, you will want to contact the Universal Orlando Resort to answer any questions you may have about the menu. They have a special  website that can help you find easy answers or contact information for further help.
  • To redeem your photo, the digital photo ticket must be exchanged for a My Universal Photos card at the Despicable Me Character Breakfast. Access to digital viewing is provided by Colorvision International, Inc. and is subject to additional terms and conditions. Data rates and other charges may apply. Please check with your carrier. Guest can visit myuniversalphotos.com to view and gain digital access to photo. Association of photos with My Universal Photos account is required. Additional restrictions may apply.
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Universal Orlando Resort Announces 2018 Mardi Gras Details

It’s almost time to let the good times roll at Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras Celebration from February 3 until April 7 at Universal Studios Florida! 

During the celebration guests visiting the park can take in the sights, tastes, and the sounds of a real Mardi Gras experience.

Universal Orlando Resort Announces 2018 Mardi Gras Details

One of our favorite highlights is the Headliners Concerts that take place on 13 select nights on the Music Plaza stage, including GRAMMY Award-winning rapper, Macklemore, international superstar and recording artist, Sean Paul and award-winning, multiplatinum chart-toppers, Fifth Harmony.  

 

2018 Mardi Gras Headliners Concerts 

Universal Orlando Mardi Gras 2018 Headliner Concert

February 3 –  Sean Paul

February 10 – The Beach Boys

February  17 – Kelsea Ballerini

February 18 – Andy Grammer

February 24 -Macklemore

March 3 – 311

March 4 – Phillip Phillips

March 10 – To be announced

March 11 -Fitz and the Tantrums

March 17 – Foreigner

March 18 – Fifth Harmony

March 24 – To be announced

March 25 – BUSH

The musical stars won’t be the only ones on display as a constellation-themed Mardi Gras parade will keep the good times rolling every night throughout the streets of Universal Studios Florida with breathtakingly detailed floats, festive krewes of colorful dancers and stilt performers, and countless beads.  Six new celestial floats – including Taurus, Virgo, and Serpentarius – complete a lineup of 12 intricately hand-crafted floats engineered by Kern Studios, designer of the original New Orleans Mardi Gras floats for more than 50 years.  

Universal Orlando Mardi Gras 2018 New Parade Floats
Sketches for the new Universal Orlando Resort Mardi Gras Parade Floats

Guests will also enjoy mouthwatering shrimp po’boys, jambalaya, beignets and more at the French Quarter Courtyard while listening to authentic sounds of New Orleans straight from Bourbon Street. 

Universal Orlando Mardi Gras Food

2018 Mardi Gras New Orleans Bands

February 3 –  20: Free Agents Brass Band

February 21 – March 6: Naughty Professor Brass Band

March 7 – March 20: New Breed Brass Band

March 21 – March 31: Young Pinstripe Brass Band

April 1 – April 7: Dirty Bourbon River Show

The excitement of Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras celebration is included with admission to Universal Studios Florida or with an annual pass.  Florida Residents can get three months free on Power, Preferred and Premier Annual Passes with a UPC code from select Coca-Cola products.  For more information, visit www.universalorlando.com/mardigras.

2015 Memories On the Go
This was us a few years ago, before we got the opportunity to toss beads in the Mardi Gras Parade at Universal Studios Florida.

We look forward to Mardi Gras every year, and can’t wait for this year’s fun!!!

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Tips For Visiting the Dr. Phillips Center For The Performing Arts With Kids

DISCLOSURE: I was invited by the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts to see a performance of ‘School of Rock’ with my daughter, but all opinions are my own

I have always loved going to the theatre, and I even majored in it and met my husband at the Theatre Arts program at Virginia Tech.

So when Zoe finally started expressing an interest in seeing a musical, I wanted to make sure that she was both able to fully enjoy the experience as well as respect the experience of others.

The Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts, located in downtown Orlando, is a beautiful venue that is the perfect place for families in this same position since it is grand while not being intimidating and offers a diverse season of shows, concerts, and traveling productions.

Dr Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Here are some of the ways that I prepared Zoe for our outing to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

Tips For Visiting Dr. Phillips Center For The Performing Arts With Kids

Pick the right show for your family

The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts has a variety of performances (you can see the schedule here), and the next FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando is Disney’s The Lion King that will have performances February 14 to March 11, 2018, and tickets start at $35.25.

Make sure that younger ones can stay up late

While most shows offer weekend matinee shows, most performances happen on the later side of the evening which means that dinner and bedtimes will need to be shifted some.

Dr Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
Courtesy of Dr Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Familiarize your little ones with the show that they’ll be seeing

Kids tend to do better when they understand the premise of the show that they are going to go see, and a nice way to do that is by talking about the show that you will be seeing, watching a movie version of the show, or reading the book that the show is based on to give them an idea of what they can expect to happen during the show.

Don’t be afraid to also keep reviewing what they’ll be seeing and experiencing, especially when you are on your way to the theatre, so you can answer any additional questions they may have.

Talk about expected behavior at the theatre

While it can be overwhelming thinking of taking a child to the theatre to sit through two to three hours with a small break when they need to be able to sit relatively sit still while having good etiquette, but if you look at it theatre etiquette is really a lot like movie theater etiquette!

  • Pay attention to announcements that are made prior to many shows about the rules of the theater you are attending and the location of the fire exits.
  • Speaking during the performance impacts those around you, so make sure that if it is an emergency that you speak in a whisper.
  • Remember that the Overture (introductory music) in Musical Theater is part of the performance, so be quiet when it begins.
  • Pictures during the performance can be very distracting to the actors and can cause a mishap, so try to take them before/after the performance or during intermission.
  • Keep in mind that the seats are close, so please keep your feet on the floor and refrain from kicking the seats in front of you.
  • Do laugh and applaud when it is appropriate during the performance. While the lights on the stage are bright and the actors may not see you, they appreciate your interaction.
  • Make sure to applaud at the end of the show to let the performers and crew know that you appreciate their work, and you can even stand and applaud if you really thought the show was great.

Dr Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Make going to the theatre an event!

Who doesn’t love getting gussied up to go to a fancy place?

Use your time at the theatre as an excuse to get dressed up to show that this is an important and special outing.

Arrive early to the theatre

Since the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is located in Downtown Orlando (445 S. Magnolia Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801), so you will want to factor in time for traffic, parking and walking to the venue , and going through security so it is best to give yourself some extra time to cut out some of the stress of getting to the venue.

Once you arrive, I also suggest taking a few moments to take in the beautiful building and use the facilities.

For directions, the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts has great information on their website.

As for a little boost for shorter ones to see

If you are going to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts with a child on the shorter side, you can visit the information desk, located under the staircase towards the back left of the lobby, to receive a free booster for them to see the show better.

Take a walk around the lobby during intermission

A good way to get the jitters out from sitting still during the first act is to take a walk around the lobby during the intermission.

Intermission typically lasts 15 minutes, so keep an eye on the lines at the concessions area and the restrooms to make sure if you need to visit either you have time to do so without rushing too much.

If they have a blast, the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts offers a large variety of classes.

The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts offers classes for children as young as two, and you can find information here.

Dr Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Zoe and I had an absolute blast at the fantastic performance of School of Rock,  but should I worry that I asked her to clean her room & she started blasting ‘Stick it to the Man’?

 

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All About The New LEGO NINJAGO DAYS At LEGOLAND Florida

For three weekends in January LEGO NINJAGO Days will fill LEGOLAND Florida with ninja-themed activities, new LEGO character meet-and-greets, delicious, kid-friendly treats and the debut of a 12-minute, “4D” theatrical attraction starring the heroes of Cartoon Network’s “LEGO NINJAGO: Masters of Spinjitzu”.

All About The New LEGO NINJAGO DAYS At LEGOLAND Florida 2018

Included with all forms of theme park admission, LEGO NINJAGO Days joins the park’s immersive land, LEGO NINJAGO World, nearly one year after it opened with a groundbreaking interactive ride the whole family can enjoy.

LEGO NINJAGO Days

LEGO NINJAGO Days LEGOLAND Florida

  • Jan. 20-21 (Saturday & Sunday10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • Jan. 27-28 (Saturday & Sunday10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • Feb. 3-4 (Saturday & Sunday10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

Event activities – included with theme park admission:

LEGO NINJAGO Days LEGOLAND Florida
LEGOLAND Florida
  • On Saturday, Jan. 20. the theme park will debut “LEGO NINJAGO: Master of the 4th Dimension,” an action-packed film that combines computer-generated 3D animation with 4D effects such as wind, water and fog in an original story in which Master Wu’s ninja students find themselves trapped in a mind-bending dimension. The short film will play six times daily at the Wells Fargo Fun Town Theater each day of the event and will join the theater’s other 4D films afterward.
LEGO NINJAGO Days LEGOLAND Florida
LEGOLAND Florida
  • For the first time ever, strike a ninja pose with the wise, all-knowing Master Wu, who joins ninja siblings Kai and Nya for daily meet-and-greets.
  • On event dates only, guests also can meet Lloyd Garmadon, the secret Green Ninja from “The LEGO NINJAGO Movie”.
  • Achieve a state of zen or show off your wacky ninja moves during the once-a-day “ninjoga” session – a yoga class just for kids.
LEGO NINJAGO Days LEGOLAND Florida
LEGOLAND Florida
  • Come dressed as your favorite LEGO NINJAGO hero or villain for a chance to win a LEGO prize.
  • Join Master Wu and his crew of ninjas to defend NINJAGO City from Lord Garmadon and his evil Shark Army in “THE LEGO NINJAGO Movie” video game.
  • Count every Master Wu hiding among the landmarks of MINILAND USA and drop off an entry form at LEGO Studio Store for a chance to win a LEGO prize pack.

Fuel your ninja

LEGO NINJAGO Days LEGOLAND Florida
LEGOLAND Florida
  • Visit Market Restaurant for delicious treats including kid-themed candy sushi, ham and cheese sandwich sushi, chocolate-dipped fortune cookies and ninja trail mix.Available for a limited time only.

Staying the night

  • LEGOLAND Hotel guests will enjoy a nightly Ninja Training School, a competition build, a scavenger hunt and guest appearances by different LEGO NINJAGO heroes.
  • LEGOLAND Beach Retreat will host a NINJAGO warrior obstacle course and nightly scavenger hunt.
LEGO NINJAGO Days LEGOLAND Florida
LEGOLAND Florida

The fun continues inside LEGO NINJAGO World, where kids can practice their martial arts skills in the Ninja Training Camp before becoming the ninja on LEGO NINJAGO The Ride as they blast fireballs, lightning and more at villains like Lord Garmadon and the Great Devourer while the vehicle keeps score. Shop like a ninja – and even dress like one – at Wu’s Warehouse, a themed retail shop filled with LEGO NINJAGO building sets, children’s apparel, costumes, books, souvenirs and more.

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Tips For Stepping Into THE VOID At Disney Springs

DISCLOSURE: I was invited guest of the Walt Disney World Resort to experience THE VOID on opening day, but all opinions are my own.

Tips THE VOID Disney Springs

Disney in collaboration with THE VOID, Lucasfilm and ILMxLAB has launched a new “hyper-reality” VR experience in Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort.   The Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire “hyper-reality” experience is an immersive virtual reality experience like no other.

THE VOID Disney Springs Indoor Sign

 

Part of legitimate Star Wars canon, the experience takes place around the time of Rogue One and features characters like Captain Cassian, Darth Vader, and K-2SO.  Part of a rebel team, your mission is to infiltrate a covert imperial base in search of the mysterious contents of a secret shipment.  Unlike other virtual reality experiences, as you make your way through THE VOID you truly feel like you are in an alternate reality.  You and your team, dressed as Imperial Stormtroopers, must fight your way through the base as the smells of sulfur permeate your nose and the heat of molten rock radiates beneath you.

THE VOID Disney Springs Official Photo
THE VOID

Here are my 5 tips for a successful mission inside THE VOID:

  • Take extra time with the fit and securing of your pack to ensure that you feel all the haptic feedback from laser blasts and explosions.

THE VOID Disney Springs Backpack

  • Guests must be 10 years old and at least 48” tall, and the pack weighs more than 15 pounds, so ensure your children are ok carrying the weight.
  • When you get into the staging room, make sure the volume on your helmet is turned up, so you can hear the experience as well as your teammates.

THE VOID Disney Springs Warnings

  • Wear close-toed shoes to keep from tripping or getting your feet stepped on by your teammates.
  • Teamwork is critical, so make sure you communicate with your fellow rebels throughout the mission.

You begin your experience in a briefing room where you verify your identity, choose your storm trooper uniform, and have your missing briefing from Captain Cassian.  Once you are clear on your mission you move into the equipment room to get your pack and helmet before boarding your hijacked imperial shuttle.  Once you arrive at the imperial base, K-2SO will help guide you through the mission.  This is a completely immersive experience, so make sure you look and feel around your environment to see everything.  You will have to interact with physical objects like blasters, door locks, and computer panels to complete your mission.

THE VOID Exterior Disney Springs

I recommend purchasing tickets for THE VOID Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire in advance on their official website.

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