2019 Epcot International Festival of Arts Must Do’s

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Entrance

DISCLOSURE: I was invited by Walt Disney World to preview the Epcot International Festival of Arts, however all opinions are my own.

The Epcot International Festival of the Arts is back to kick off 2019 with an even larger celebration of the visual, culinary, and performing arts until February 25th.

During the 39 day Festival, you will find a large selection of activities that are included with your admission, concerts featuring Broadway stars, and food that is both beautiful and tasty.

With so much to choose from, I thought that I would share my top picks for a day at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts!

2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts Must Do’s

1. Disney on Broadway Concert Series

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Disney on Broadway Concert Series

My number one choice should come as no surprise! 

The Disney on Broadway Concert Series, with performances at the American Gardens Theatre, features Disney on Broadway stars singing a selection of songs from award-winning Disney on Broadway productions

New this year, the Disney on Broadway Concert Series has expanded to seven days a week during the festival, providing more opportunities than ever before to bask in live Disney magic.

The lineup of performers and songs will rotate regularly, and you can find more information on both on the official Epcot International Festival of the Arts website.

The concert series is included with park admission with shows at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. nightly.

The Disney on Broadway Concert Series is INCREDIBLY popular, and lines form well before the shows begin. However dining packages are available at participating Epcot restaurants and guarantee show seating, and reservations can be made by calling (407) WDW-DINE.

2. Find a picture perfect snack at the Festival Food Studios

The Epcot International Festival of the Arts will feature 13 Food Studios, plus additional creative food and beverage offerings, scattered around Epcot, with an expanded selection of delicious new tastes to savor.

My favorites this year from the preview were:

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Beef Wellington

Beef wellington with mushroom bordelaise, fennel cream and roasted baby vegetables that can be found at The Artist’s Table.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Salmon

Smoked salmon and cream gâteau with egg yolk cream, paddlefish caviar and micro-herbs is sure to be a new favorite at The Painter’s Palate.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Strawberry

Almond frangipane cake with raspberry and chocolate at Pop Eats!.

3. Find fun photo stops

Another one of my favorite things to do during the Epcot International Festival of the Arts is to step inside works of art and take fun photos.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Photo Ops

These fun photo ops are scattered around the park, and at each one you will find a Disney PhotoPass photographer to help capture your iconic pose.

4. Learn something new at a complimentary Festival Seminar

Epcot International Festival of the Arts - Seminar

Experience a 30-minute seminar led by artists giving helpful instruction for producing your own artwork at home.

These seminars take place in the Odyssey Festival Center from 11:30am until noon and are available on a first-come,-first-serve basis.

All events are subject to cancellation or change, so you will want to check your Epcot International Festival of the Arts times guide. A full list of the Seminars can be found online.

5. Revisit the Animation Academy

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Animation Academy

During the Epcot International Festival of the Arts you can once again pick up your pencil at the Animation Academy where you can learn how to draw some of your favorite Disney characters at the Odyssey Events Pavilion.

6. Make your own masterpiece at Festival Workshops

A variety of workshops led by professionals will teach guests to create their own masterpiece using a variety of artistic techniques Friday-Monday for $39 per participant plus tax at the Odyssey Events Pavilion.

The workshops take place from 1:30pm until 2:45pm, and must be booked in advance by calling (407) WDW-TOUR. If you are an Annual Passholders and/or Disney Vacation Club member, you will receive a 15% discount.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Odyssey Festival Event Center

All events are subject to cancellation or change, so you will want to check your Epcot International Festival of the Arts times guide. A full list of the Workshops can be found online.

7. Become a Festival Artist

You don’t just get to see the art at the Epcot International Festival of Arts, because you can grab a paintbrush and help create a wall mural along World Showcase Plaza.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Mural

After you finish your squares, make sure to visit the mural throughout the day to watch it come to life!

8. Take part in an artful scavenger hunt

Help Figment learn about art on this scavenger hunt around World Showcase with Figment’s Brush with the Masters Scavenger Hunt.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Scavenger Hunt

To get started, purchase your map and stickers at Pin Central, Disney Traders, or World Traveler. Then, search for Figment hiding inside famous works of art at each World Showcase pavilion (Here’s a hint… look for the Figment-themed picture frame). Every time you find Figment, add the corresponding sticker to the pavilion on your map.

Once your journey is complete, return your map to Disney Traders for an artful surprise.

9. Don’t forget to exit through the Gift Shop

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Festival Merchandise

You won’t want to miss the chance to take home a piece of artwork or a souvenir from your time at the Epcot International Festival of Arts.

Art collectors and Disney enthusiasts alike will find artwork for sale throughout the entire park, from the Art of Disney store to Festival Markets.

In addition, special merchandise will be available at Mouse Gear and other Epcot locations featuring the festival’s logo adorning shirts, mugs, totes and other charming items.

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Inside Look takes you behind-the-scenes at SeaWorld Orlando

Inside Look at SeaWorld Orlando 2019

Get a peek behind-the-scenes during SeaWorld Orlando’s Inside Look

First-time-ever access features some of the least seen and most interesting portions of the park weekends January 12-27 with special guests Guy Harvey, Chris Fischer and Jack Hanna

ORLANDO, Fla.

At SeaWorld Orlando’s Inside Look, hear and see, firsthand, what goes into providing world-class animal care from the people who do it every day.  Guests that visit on January weekends 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 and 27 can go behind-the-scenes for an “inside look” at what it takes to maintain a premier zoological institution like SeaWorld Orlando.

Inside Look at SeaWorld Orlando 2019
Photo: SeaWorld Orlando

This truly first-time-ever access features six of the least seen and most interesting portions of the park.  Guests are invited to visit all six locations, collecting stamps to earn an exclusive Expert Explorer’s Pin.  Inside Look tours are available at each location at various times throughout the day.

Inside Look at SeaWorld Orlando 2019
Photo: SeaWorld Orlando

Special Guest appearance on the weekends will feature Guy Harvey (January 12-13), OCEARCH founder Chris Fischer (January 19-20) and Jack Hanna (January 26-27).

  • SeaWorld Rescue Center –  Visit the home base of the SeaWorld Rescue Team to meet and hear from the dedicated team of filtration experts, animal care personnel, lab technicians and veterinarians who work around the clock to deliver life-saving care to animals in need.  While behind-the-scenes, visitors will get to see some of the many facilities that help SeaWorld provide top-quality care to the animals that call SeaWorld home, as well as the hundreds of rescued animals that receive care at SeaWorld annually.
  • Fish House – Step behind-the-scenes into an area rarely seen by park guests to meet the dedicated team of ambassadors who start their day before sunrise in order to provide the best of diets for every fish, sea turtle, sea lion, penguin, dolphin, or killer whale in the park.
  • Sea Lion & Otter Primary Housing – For the first time ever, visit the home of the talented group of California sea lions, Pacific walrus and Asian small-clawed otters from Clyde & Seamore’s Sea Lion High. Hear stories and gain insight from the team of trainers who perform with these animals on a daily basis and learn what goes into making a live performance look seamless.Animal Ambassador Hamlet – This historic facility has a rich history of providing a loving home to a variety of animals at SeaWorld Orlando, including our Animal Ambassador team. Comprised of an eclectic collection of small mammals, exotic birds and a handful of well-trained reptiles, the Animal Ambassadors make surprise visits out in the park, appear at local community events, news stations and travel far and wide making appearances on network television programs and events.
Inside Look at SeaWorld Orlando 2019
Photo: SeaWorld Orlando
  • Beluga & Seal Primary Housing – Step into the maze of back hallways that provide service access to the residents of Wild Arctic starting with the food prep area for the beluga whales, seals and walruses. Proceeding further in, guests will get to see a variety of beluga toys followed by a chance to step outside and see the back beluga pool and scales on which the whales are weighed.  Finally, guests will see the harbor seal holding pools where the seals spend time relaxing when they are not on exhibit.
  • Manta Aquarium – Go above the surface and discover what it looks like towering over the depths of Manta’s main aquarium.  In a location few have ever seen, uncover what goes into caring for the wide array of fish, rays, sea dragons, live corals and giant Pacific octopus that call Manta home. Meet the team of divers and aquarists who maintain the habitat and feed the wide range of fish within.  
Inside Look at SeaWorld Orlando 2019
Photo: SeaWorld Orlando

Best Way to Play

The best way for guests to experience all of the events at SeaWorld Orlando is with an Annual Pass, starting at $10.99 a month for Florida residents. Special members-only benefits such as discounts on dining and shopping make the Annual Pass especially valuable to enjoy SeaWorld’s events throughout the year.

For additional behind the scenes experiences, visit SeaWorld during any Inside Look day to buy one tour and get one free. Offer is only available at SeaWorld in the SeaWorld Rescue Store, the Information and Reservation Counter, or Guest Services.

For more information, park hours and to purchase tickets, visit SeaWorld.com/Orlando.

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Rock The Universe 2019

Rock the Universe 2019

Universal Orlando Resort reveals new dates and headlining acts for Rock The Universe 2019

Florida’s biggest christian music festival returns to Universal Studios Florida in February 2019

ORLANDO, Fla.

Rock the Universe 2019 will feature the same great content – with better dates. The event, which is popular with youth groups, will take place on February 1 and 2, 2019 – well after the start of school in most cities – allowing guests to enjoy a faith-filled weekend of live music, worship and theme park thrills.

rock the universe universal Orlando 2019 - Music Plaza Stage
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

This year’s event will feature performances by GRAMMY-nominated Christian rock band, Skillet, GRAMMY award-winning hip-hop artist, Lecrae, chart-topping artists of Bethel Music, Dove Award-winner, Matthew West and more.

 rock the universe universal Orlando 2019 - February

  • Lecrae
  • Matthew West
  • Big Daddy Weave
  • Colton Dixon
  • Matt Mahar
  • Rhett Walker Band

 rock the universe universal Orlando 2019 - February

  • Skillet
  • Bethel Music
  • Crowder
  • Francesca Battistelli
  • Micah Tyler
  • LEDGER

Rock the Universe guests will also enjoy autograph sessions with the genre’s top artists and access to the FanZone presented by Coca-Cola, which features more live performances by up-and-coming acts.

FanZone Presented by Coca-Cola

rock the universe universal Orlando 2019 - FanZone
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Features Austin French, David Dunn and Carmen Justice on Friday plus Apollo LTD, Tiger Drive and PEABOD on Saturday. You’ll also have a chance to meet select Rock the Universe artists at autograph sessions each night.

Keep in mind that autograph sessions are not guaranteed and are subject to change without notice. Space is limited and open on a first-come-first-served basis.

Saturday Candlelighting Ceremony

rock the universe universal Orlando 2019 - Candlelight
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Join with other faithful for a touching ceremony with a special message and moving music performed live by one of our headliners. Saturday evening at the Music Plaza Stage, 11:45 pm.

Sunday Morning Worship Service

Wrap up your weekend praising God with youth from around the country at a powerful non-denominational worship service located inside Universal Studios Florida™ at 9:30 am and 10:45 am. Admission is included with any 2019 Rock the Universe™ Ticket. Space is limited so advance registration is required. Check back soon to reserve your group.

rock the universe universal Orlando 2019 - Logo

Experience mind-blowing rides at Universal Studios Florida, included with your event ticket. Get a Rock Your Weekend ticket and you can also head next door to Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Plus, with a 3-Park Rock Your Weekend Ticket, you can enjoy Universal’s Volcano Bay.

It’s an unforgettable weekend of faith and fun.

Rock the Universe is a separately ticketed special event.

For more information about Rock the Universe 2019, visit www.RockTheUniverse.com.

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January 2019 Theme Park Ticket Offers

January 2019 Theme Park Ticket Offers

January 2019 Theme Park Ticket Offers

Right now there are some FANTASTIC ticket and annual pass offers available for the theme parks of Central Florida!

Let’s take a look at them all!

SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica Orlando Preschool Card

January 2019 Theme Park  Ticket Offers

The 2019 SeaWorld/Aquatica Preschool Card is now available for registration exclusively for Florida Residents offering an ocean of experiences that are perfect for pint-sized guests, from up-close animal encounters to breathtaking live shows.

SeaWorld and Aquatica Orlando will offer kids ages 5 and younger a FREE Preschool Card valid for visits through December 31, 2019 for unlimited admission to both SeaWorld and Aquatica Orlando.

Advance registration must be completed online and is only valid for children ages 5 or younger at the time of redemption at the park.

Please note registration is required by January 27, 2019 and ticket redemption is by February 28, 2019.

To redeem your Preschool Card visit a SeaWorld Orlando or Aquatica Orlando ticket window and present all of these:

  • Your Preschool Card online registration confirmation
  • Your child’s birth certificate or travel passport
  • Your Florida resident ID

Also keep in mind that the Preschool Card does not include taxes, service fees, free parking, separately-ticketed events, or other discounts.

To learn more and to register for the Preschool Card, Florida residents can visit https://seaworld.com/orlando/tickets/preschool-free-admission/.

Busch Gardens Tampa and Adventure Island Preschool Card

January 2019 Theme Park  Ticket Offers

The 2019 Busch Gardens Tampa/Adventure Island Card is now available for registration exclusively for Florida Residents offering an ocean of experiences that are perfect for guests 5 and under.

Busch Gardens Tampa and Adventure Island will offer kids ages 5 and younger a FREE Preschool Card valid for visits through December 31, 2019 for unlimited admission to both Busch Gardens Tampa and Adventure Island.

Advance registration must be completed online and is only valid for children ages 5 or younger at the time of redemption at the park.

Please note registration is required by January 27, 2019 and ticket redemption is by February 28, 2019.

To redeem your Preschool Card visit a Busch Gardens Tampa Bay or Adventure Island ticket window and present all of these:

  • Your Preschool Card online registration confirmation
  • Your child’s birth certificate or travel passport
  • Your Florida resident ID

Also keep in mind that the Preschool Card does not include taxes, service fees, free parking, separately-ticketed events, or other discounts.

To learn more and to register for the Preschool Card, Florida residents can visit https://buschgardens.com/tampa/tickets/preschool-free-admission/.

Busch Gardens Tampa and Adventure Island BOGO Fun Cards

January 2019 Theme Park  Ticket Offers

For a limited time, buy a 2019 Busch Gardens Fun Card and get an Adventure Island Fun Card FREE. Blockout dates apply.

Valid at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay through December 31, 2019.
2019 Blockout Dates: Mar. 30 | Apr. 6 & 13-27 | May 25-26 | July 1-7 | Nov. 23-24 & 29-30 | Dec. 21-22 & 28-30.
Valid at Adventure Island March 15 through October 27, 2019.
2019 Blockout Dates: April 14 & 20-27 | May 25-27 | July 4-7, 13-14 & 20.

Keep in mind that a Busch Gardens Tampa Bay / Adventure Island Fun Card

  • Does not include admission to select special events (including Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens), parking, or discounts on food and merchandise.
  • Only valid for residents of the US, Canada and Puerto Rico.
  • Non-transferable and non-refundable. Not valid with other discounts or special offers.
  • Other restrictions apply.
  • Subject to change without prior notice.
  • Adventure Island is a seasonal park.

For more information on the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay / Adventure Island Fun Card visit https://buschgardens.com/tampa/tickets/fun-card/.

LEGOLAND Florida Preschool Pass

January 2019 Theme Park  Ticket Offers LEGOLAND Florida Preschool Pass

LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s FREE Preschooler Pass, available from January 10 through February 18, 2019,  will grant Florida Resident children ages 3-years-old and 4-years-old 12 months of unlimited admission to both LEGOLAND Florida Theme Park and Water Park.

As the theme park built for kids, LEGOLAND Florida Resort offers more than 60 percent of its rides and attractions for guests 40 inches or taller. The one-time offer pass includes all seasonal events including Brick or Treat and early spring visits when THE LEGO® MOVIE™ WORLD opens. Taking guests from the theater to the theme park, the newest theme park addition will feature three attractions, inspired by the characters and themes of the worldwide blockbuster THE LEGO® MOVIE and the upcoming THE LEGO® MOVIE 2: The Second Part.

LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s Preschooler Pass will be available for a limited time at the admission ticket window only. Guests purchasing the pass must bring a copy of their child’s birth certificate or travel passport for proof of age. Children must be aged 3-years-old or 4-years-old at the time of receiving the Preschooler Pass to qualify. Guests ages 2-years-old and under will continue to receive free admission.

Annual Passes are none refundable, however if you have purchased a LEGOLAND Florida Resort Annual Pass for your 3 or 4-year- old, you can choose to extend the validity of that pass by 12 months or transfer the purchased pass to an immediate family member. (Transfers are limited to one per person).

Learn more about the Preschooler Pass at https://www.legoland.com/preschooler-pass/.

Universal Orlando Resort Annual Pass

January 2019 Theme Park  Ticket Offers

Universal Orlando Resort has launched a first-of-its-kind offer that gives Passholders more thrills and adventure than ever before. Starting today, guests can get up to six months FREE on Universal Orlando Resort Annual Passes depending on what tier they choose.

This special offer is valid on 2-Park (Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure) and 3-Park (Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay) Seasonal and Annual Passes and is available for purchase and activation through April 4, 2019.

Here’s a look at the different Universal Orlando Annual Passes:

  • Seasonal Pass
    • $269.99 for two park, $368.99 for three park
    • Three months free
    • Doesn’t include any parking or merchandise discounts,
    • Includes blackout dates
  • Power Pass
    • $354.99 for two park, $463.99 for three park
    • Three months free
    • 50% off regular daytime self-parking after your first visit
    • Limited discounts at CityWalk, Blue Man Group, and resort hotels
    • Includes blackout dates
  • Preferred Pass
    • $394.99 for two park, $503.99 for three park
    • Six months free
    • Free self-parking and discounted rates for normal and Red Carpet valet parking after your first visit
    • 10% Discount at Universal-owned stores and restaurants (not carts), CityWalk, Blue Man Group, and resort hotels
    • No blackout dates
    • Early park admission without having to be a resort guest
  • Premier Pass
    • $559.99 for two park, $733.99 for three park
    • Six months free
    • Free prime self-parking and normal valet parking, with a large discount for Red Carpet valet parking
    • 15% Discount at Universal-owned stores and restaurants (not carts), CityWalk, Blue Man Group, and resort hotels
    • No blackout dates
    • Early park admission without having to be a resort guest
    • Free Express Pass after 4pm

For more information and to purchase Universal Orlando Resort Annual Passes visit their website.

Walt Disney World Florida Resident ‘Discover Disney’ Ticket

January 2019 Theme Park  Ticket Offers

For a limited time, Florida residents can take advantage of a special ticket offer and purchase a 3-day Discover Disney Ticket for only $175 plus tax—valid for admission to one theme park per day! Plus, add a 4th day for just $20 more plus tax! These tickets can be used on non-consecutive days through June 30, 2019 with no blockout dates.

Visit multiple theme parks on the same day by upgrading your ticket to include the Park Hopper Option for just $32.50 plus tax more for a 3-day ticket or $37.50 more plus tax for a 4-day ticket.

For an additional $57.50 plus tax, add the Park Hopper Plus Option to a 3-day Discover Disney Ticket—or for an additional $62.50 plus tax, add the Park Hopper Plus Option to a 4 -day Discover Disney Ticket. If you add the Park Hopper Plus Option to your Discover Disney Ticket, you get all the benefits of the Park Hopper Option, plus you can enjoy 3 visits with the 3-day Discover Disney ticket or 4 visits with the 4-Day Discover Disney ticket to the Disney Water Parks, select Disney golf courses and more Walt Disney World fun.

Take advantage of these great prices:

3-Day Discover Disney Ticket – $175 plus tax

3-Day Discover Disney Ticket with Park Hopper Option – $207.50 plus tax

3-Day Discover Disney Ticket with Park Hopper Plus Option – $232.50 plus tax

4-Day Discover Disney Ticket – $195 plus tax

4-Day Discover Disney Ticket with Park Hopper Option – $232.50 plus tax

4-Day Discover Disney Ticket with Park Hopper Plus Option – $257.50 plus tax

Purchase through June 27, 2019. Discover Disney Tickets are valid for use through June 30, 2019 and can be used on non-consecutive days—with no blockout dates.

Tickets and options are nontransferable and nonrefundable and exclude activities/events separately priced. Discover Disney 3- and 4-Day Tickets and add-on Options expire on June 30, 2019.

To learn more and to purchase the Walt Disney World Florida Residents Discovery Tickets visit https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/special-offers/resident-discover or to book by phone, call (407) 939-4290 and speak with a vacation planning expert, or call your travel agent.

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Gaylord Palms Resort hosts new Three Kings Festival

Gaylord Palms Resort Three Kings Festival 2019

Cap off the holiday season of Christmas at the Gaylord Palms with new shows and activities to celebrate Three Kings Day from January 1-6, 2019.

KISSIMMEE, Fla.

For the first time ever, Christmas at Gaylord Palms will offer the Three Kings Festival, a special commemoration of the extended holiday season celebrated by many Christians in Spain and Latin America.

The resort will add additional shows and activities as part of the festival to highlight Three Kings’ Day, a holiday that honors the Three Wise Men and their visit to the meet baby Jesus as told in the Gospel of Matthew. The event will run from January 1- 6, 2019, also allowing guests one last chance to experience the other activities of Christmas at Gaylord Palms.

Gaylord Palms Three Kings Festival 2019

FESTIVE FUN AND FLAVORS

Twice daily, guests can enjoy the all-new show, The Journey of Los Tres Reyes Magos.

This free stage show showcases the Three Kings in a musical celebration as they retell the Christmas story and the celebrations surrounding it, including Las Posadas and el Día de los Reyes, all on stage in Emerald Plaza inside the grand St. Augustine Atrium.

Gaylord Palms Three Kings Festival 2019

The origin of Christmas is also celebrated inside the resort’s signature holiday attraction ICE!. This true winter wonderland attraction, kept at a chilly 9 degrees, features hand-carved ice sculptures made from 2 million pounds of ice. Featuring colorful, life-sized ice sculptures and five two-story ice slides, the experience ends with the majestic Nativity carved from crystal-clear ice, watched over by a towering frozen angel sculpture that is sure to leave guests in awe.

Gaylord Palms Three Kings Festival 2019

The resort’s popular snow sliding attraction gets a hot, new twist for Three Kings Festival, becoming Snow Tubing Latin Nights. During the evening hours, guests will zoom down our eight-lane tubing hill accompanied by high-energy Latin music. Guests may enjoy unlimited runs on their ticket date. Double riding tubes are available for parents with small children. (Snow Tubing will close on January 5, 2019.)

Gaylord Palms Three Kings Festival 2019

In celebration of Three Kings Day, Gaylord Palms’ award-winning restaurants will feature the traditional Coquito cocktail plus some Latin-inspired favorites:

  • MOOR: Beef or Chicken Empanadas with Chipotle Aioli
  • Socio: Ham Croquettes with Garlic Mustard
  • Wreckers Sports Bar: Mojo Pork Tacos with Cilantro Slaw
  • Villa de Flora: Three Kings Cake on the dessert buffet

FREE AND INEXPENSIVE FAMILY FUN

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2015 ICE! Gaylord Palms Three Kings Festival 2019

While visiting the resort for Christmas at Gaylord Palms and the Three Kings Festival, guests are encouraged to also enjoy these complimentary experiences:

  • CIRQUE DREAMS UNWRAPPED – “Holiday thrills” take on a whole new meaning during Cirque Dreams Unwrapped, a 25-minute, action-packed experience, featuring soaring acrobatics, theatricality and imagination that will have guests on the edge of their seats. Cirque Dreams Unwrapped features new acts and performers each year to bring to life a magical and timeless Christmas wonderland, all imagined by Broadway director and renowned Cirque Dreams founder Neil Goldberg.
  • DREAMS OF CHRISTMAS LIGHT SHOW –  Gaylord Palms’ St. Augustine atrium is home to a brand-new, dazzling light show called Dreams of Christmas. This multisensory experience features a new musical score accompanied with millions of dancing, choreographed lights all around the resort’s six-story Christmas tree during nightly shows.
  • CHRISTMAS TREE TRAIL – Guests exploring the meandering paths inside the resort’s Everglades atrium will find the Christmas Tree Trail, a display of nine magnificent trees provided by Balsam HillTM.  Sparkle the Elf, Santa’s chief Christmas Tree Decorator, has personally prepared these for display at Gaylord Palms.  From snowmen and candy canes to reindeer and nutcrackers, each tree represents one of Sparkle’s favorite things about Christmas, with one even honoring the Florida-themed resort!
  • ACRES OF DÉCOR AND FUN SIGHTS TO SEE – All ages enjoy wandering the 4.5 acres of indoor gardens found inside Gaylord Palms Resort, but during the Christmas season, there is even more to discover with unique and fun photo opportunities that are totally Christmas card-worthy! Guests can discover native Florida wildlife in each atrium locale that range from Florida’s most famous reptile, the American Alligator, to huge snapper and tarpon in the Key West lagoon.

Guests can learn more about the Three Kings Festival and other activities at Gaylord Palms at www.gaylordhotelsnews.com/ThreeKingsFestival.

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Make a runDisney Goal – My runDisney 5K Story

Conversations with Cheryl: Make a runDisney Goal – My runDisney 5K Story

I never thought I could achieve a 5k.  My friends were in participating in the runDisney 5K, and at over 310 pounds I was scared but excited to join them.

Conversations with Cheryl Make a runDisney Goal - My runDisney 5K Story 

How I started slowly…

The idea of training for my first 5k was daunting at first, but once I became more comfortable with the idea that a 5K was 3.1 miles which I typically walked during a day in the parks I was ready to get started.

My favorite (and easy) practice walk was to go to Epcot and walk around World Showcase, which is 1.2 miles.

After I got  comfortable walking for longer periods of time, I found that I wanted to keep going so I would walk at night around my neighborhood or I would hop on the treadmill.

runDisney Conversations with Cheryl 5K runkeeper

Do you need a buddy for a runDisney 5k?

I like to walk with friends, but it is not completely necessary.

If you think you would like to have a buddy, don’t be shy about asking your friends. Who knows…you could inspire them to give it a try, too!

Also if you look on Facebook it is easy to find running groups, charity runners, and running events in your local area.

You can also find a runDisney practice program online and Motivation Tips at Cigna.

runDisney Conversations with Cheryl 5K with Shelley
Getting ready for a runDisney 5K with Shelley

You can do it, too!

I wear my 5k T Shirts and people say “I could never do a 5k”.  My response is If I can walk a 5k at my weight, they should be able to walk one as well.

One thing that helped keep me motived and focused was Cigna Coaching!

Part of my insurance with Cigna involves Cigna coaching for those that don’t meet their BMI.  My coach is friendly  and it is incredibly convenient for me to meet my coach at his mobile office.

httpv://youtu.be/zP5JJARGhDk

My biggest piece of advice? Don’t be scared about meeting with a coach!

One of the first things you will do with your coach is to set goals together.

Your goals can be as simple as:

Do you have Cigna as your health insurance?  You may be able to get voice coaching.

Cigna also offers assistance with Achilles International, they will have some athletes in the races and some Cigna Employees.

What if I don’t have Cigna Insurance?

Coach by Cigna Logo runDisney

Cigna offers a free coaching app which is accessible to everyone on the Apple app store or the Android Google Play Store.

How to register for a runDisney 5K

Registration for the Run Disney 5k fills up quickly, plan to register now.

If your event is full, consider running for Charity listed at the end of the event page.

 

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Three Kings Celebration Returns to SeaWorld Orlando

Three Kings Celebration SeaWorld Orlando 2019

SeaWorld Orlando 2019 Event Line-Up Kicks off with the Return of Three Kings Celebration

Three Kings Celebration Brings Cherished Traditions and Festive Cuisine to Orlando January 1 – 6

ORLANDO, Fla. 

In honor of the cherished tradition of Latin cultures, families are invited to help commemorate the arrival of the Three Wise Men as only SeaWorld can.

Enjoy extended opportunities to see O Wondrous Night and Sea of Trees, partake in authentic festive cuisine, and best of all see the Three Kings and camels take the stage as they share the tale of their journey.

SeaWorld’s Three Kings Celebration is included with park admission and begins at 11 a.m. daily, January 1 – 6, continuing through park close.

Three Kings Celebration SeaWorld Orlando 2019 Three Kings food SWO
Photo: SeaWorld Orlando
  • Tale of the Three Kings – Join the Three Wise Men at a live nativity scene depicting the arrival of the Three Kings. A storyteller will share the tale of their journey and the traditions of the Three Kings holiday to park guests. This presentation, featuring live animals, will take place several times throughout the day and offer a truly special photo opportunity for park guests.
Three Kings Celebration SeaWorld Orlando 2019 Three Kings food SWO
Photo: SeaWorld Orlando
  • Festive Food and Drinks – Food connoisseurs can enjoy Latin-inspired dishes and drinks prepared exclusively for SeaWorld’s Three KingsCelebration. Menu items include papas rellenas (fried stuffed potatoes), empanadas (cheese, chicken or beef) and bacalaitos (codfish fritters). Libations include frozen sangria and coquitos.
Three Kings Celebration SeaWorld Orlando 2019 Three Kings food SWO
Photo: SeaWorld Orlando
  • O Wondrous Night – Hear the greatest story never told with over 30 carols, life-size puppets and live animals in this signature show that will charm, entertain and delight people from all walks of life. Lots of singing, special effects and incredible lighting enhance this production and holiday spirit. It’s a live nativity that only SeaWorld can bring to life.
Three Kings Celebration SeaWorld Orlando 2019 Sea of Trees
Photo: SeaWorld Orlando
  • Sea of Trees – Take a walk through our wintery, watery wonderland and immerse yourself in a sea of holiday trees. Our glistening forest with over 100 trees sparkles to music and lights up the water…and, your eyes.

SeaWorld Orlando Three Kings Celebration Discovery Cove Orlando Valentine's Day Dolphin Experience

Best Way to Play

The best way for guests to experience all of the events at SeaWorld Orlando is with an Annual Pass, starting at $10.99 a month for Florida residents.

Special members-only benefits such as discounts on dining and shopping make the Annual Pass especially valuable to enjoy SeaWorld’s events throughout the year.

For more information, park hours and to purchase tickets, visit SeaWorld.com/Orlando.

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19 Magical Experiences in 2019 at Walt Disney World Resort

19 Magical Experiences in 2019 at Walt Disney World Resort

Over on the Disney Parks Blog, Jeremy Schoolfield just shared a blog post about the 19 new Magical Experiences in 2019 coming to Walt Disney World.

2019 is definitely going to be one for the Theme Park history books!!!

Check out what’s coming in his post and let us know what you’re looking forward to the most!!!!

19 Magical Experiences in 2019 at Walt Disney World Resort

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2019 is going to be an amazing time at Walt Disney World Resort, with so many new and exciting things happening all year long. You’ll travel to a galaxy far, far away and experience zany fun aboard a runaway railway. You can MousekeDance yourself silly and play basketball like the pros. Or maybe you’ll want to take in beautiful views while you dine 15 stories high atop a new resort hotel tower or glide across the sky in a gondola.

So let’s get to it!

Here are 19 reasons to be excited for a trip to Walt Disney World Resort in 2019:

2019 Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Celebration Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

1. Anything Can Happen at Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Celebration – Starting Jan. 18, Magic Kingdom Park is honoring those true originals, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, now, more than ever with new entertainment, merchandise and specialty food and beverages. The new “Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party” will parade up Main Street, U.S.A. several times daily, while you can meet Mickey and Minnie together – wearing their new birthday outfits – in Town Square Theater.

2019 Hollywood Studios 30 Logo

 

2. Celebrate the 30th anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios – On May 1, Walt Disney World Resort will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The park is honoring this achievement all year with a new 30th anniversary logo and other fun and excitement (see below!).

2019 Illuminations Farewell Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

3. Say a Fond Farewell to IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth – After nearly 20 years of delighting Epcot guests through music, fireworks, fire torches and more, this nighttime spectacular will be ending in the second half of this year. Now, more than ever you’ll want to spend another evening around World Showcase Lagoon to celebrate this classic show that has entertained millions since its October 1999 debut.

4. Jaleo Cooks Up Fresh Tastes at Disney Springs – Chef José Andrés will bring the spirit and flavors of Spain to Disney Springs with his new Jaleo restaurant, opening this winter. The tapas experience will offer a lively setting befitting its name, which means “revelry.”

5. Party with Pixar Pals at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Starting Jan. 18, celebrate the park’s 30th anniversary with The Incredibles, who will host a dance party at Pixar Avenue (where you can also meet the one and only Edna Mode!). A door to the monster world will open at Walt Disney Presents, where Mike and Sulley from Disney•Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.” will be greeting you. And Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Jessie and the rest of the gang are ready to welcome you into Andy’s backyard at the new Toy Story Land.

2019 Festival of the Arts Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

6. Disney on Broadway Concert Series Expands During Epcot International Festival of the Arts –This celebration of the visual, culinary and performing arts returns Jan. 18-Feb. 25. This year, the Disney on Broadway Concert Series will expand to seven days a week, so you can bask in live Disney magic more than ever. The festival also will feature 13 Food Studios, a variety of workshops led by professional artists, interactive exhibits and activities, and much more.

7. “The Lion King” Roars Again at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of Walt Disney Pictures’ animated classic “The Lion King.” To mark this occasion, starting Jan. 18 Rafiki and Timon will lead you in dances and games during the “Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party” on Discovery Island.

2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

8. Take in the Topiaries During Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival – Welcome spring’s arrival with this popular festival, which returns March 6-June 3. This year’s event will feature delectable bites at outdoor kitchens, as well as dozens of world-renowned, Disney-themed topiaries. In addition, the Garden Rocks Concert Series will include three shows a day for all 90 days of the event.

2019 Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

9. Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy Speeds into Disney’s Hollywood Studios – When this new show experience opens this spring, you’ll come face to face with racing legend Lightning McQueen, who will teach you about racing from his years of experience on the track. This will be the untold story of Lightning McQueen … as told by Lightning McQueen!

2019 H2O Glow Nights Typhoon Lagoon Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

10. H2O Glow Nights Return to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park – These evening beach parties happen Thursdays and Saturdays from May 30 through Aug. 17, transforming the water park into a new nighttime experience through special music, lighting and food. Come party with friends from Pixar’s “Toy Story” films during the 30th anniversary summer of Typhoon Lagoon!

11. New Cinematic Nighttime Experience Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios – As part of the theme park’s 30th anniversary, Wonderful World of Animation will debut May 1. The show will use state-of-the-art technology to take you on a magical journey through more than 90 years of Disney animation, all beginning with Mickey.

2019 Gran Destino Tower Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

12. Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort to Open New Tower – This summer, the resort will complete a total reimagining, including the new 15-story Gran Destino tower featuring a rooftop restaurant and 545 new guest rooms. A second new restaurant will be located on an island in the middle of the resort’s 14-acre lake, while all of its existing 1,800-plus rooms have been fully updated with new fixtures and furnishings.

2019 NBA Experience Disney Springs Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

13. NBA Experience Will Be a Slam Dunk at Disney Springs – This brand-new destination will allow you to participate in your own scouting report, take you through pregame preparations and let you step onto the court to make clutch shots and highlight reel-worthy slam dunks. By participating in 13 unique and innovative hands-on activities, you’ll feel like a star player.

23rd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

14. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Will Spice Up Fall – The aromas and flavors of global marketplaces will welcome you to the 24th year of this renowned festival. You’ll have a chance to meet celebrity chefs, try new food and wine pairings, and listen to great music during the Eat to the Beat Concert Series.

15. Major Youth Sporting Events Return to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex – The Jr. NBA World Championship will return to the complex, showcasing top boys and girls basketball teams from around the world. In December, the 63rd Pop Warner Super Bowl will bring hundreds of young football players to Walt Disney World to compete in national championship games.

2019 Black Spire Outpost Star Wars Galaxy's Edge Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

16. Explore Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Live your own Star Wars adventure when this deeply immersive land opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this fall (and this summer at Disneyland Park in California). You’ll explore Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu, where you’ll find all manner of new sights, sounds, smells, tastes, characters and creatures from a galaxy far, far away. The land will also feature two thrilling new attractions: Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

2019 Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

17. Take a Ride on Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway – Opening later this year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this will be the first ride-through attraction themed to Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. It will feature a new original story and lovable theme song, taking you on a journey inside the wacky and unpredictable world of Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts. New technologies will transform the two-dimensional cartoon world into an astounding multi-dimensional experience.

2019 Disney Skyliner Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

18. Glide Through the Air in the Disney Skyliner – Disney Skyliner will offer Tinker Bell views later this year as guests float in gondolas to either Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studios on roundtrips from Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and the new Disney’s Riviera Resort.

2019 Disney's Riviera Resort Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

19. Disney’s Riviera Resort Will Be 15th Disney Vacation Club Resort – Scheduled to open by the end of this year, Disney’s Riviera Resort will reflect an elegant early 20th-century design, inspired by Walt Disney’s travels to the Mediterranean. The deluxe DVC resort is slated to offer approximately 300 family-friendly vacation home units.

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