Busch Gardens Tampa Kicks of 2021 with Mardi Gras Fun

In 2021 exciting events will safely return to Busch Gardens Tampa starting with the park’s Mardi Gras event, now expanded to weekends and select dates from January 16 to February 16.

The Busch Gardens team has consulted with medical experts to offer modified events with required reservations and limited capacity for safe celebrations.

All seasonal events feature open-air entertainment throughout the park’s more than 300 spacious acres as well as enhanced health and safety measures including increased cleaning and sanitation, temperature checks, face-covering requirements, and physical distancing.

Reservations are required and limited and can be made at www.BuschGardensTampa.com

Busch Gardens Tampa Mardi Gras 2021

Let the good times roll with an expanded Mardi Gras celebration! Weekends and select dates, January 16 – February 16, 2021

With more weekends to celebrate safely, Busch Gardens is getting jazzed up with music, beads, and more for open-air festivities with French-Quarter flair.

Guests will have the opportunity to catch some beads from physically distant New Orleans street performers periodically strolling throughout the day.

There will be plenty of room to dance through spacious walkways while enjoying festive tunes from live musicians while flavorful dishes and cocktails tempt the senses.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Mardi Gras 2021

Busch Gardens has brought the “Big Easy” to Tampa Bay with Mardi Gras-inspired food including a signature shrimp po’boy, hearty jambalaya, and hot and fresh beignets.

Busch Gardens Tampa Mardi Gras 2021

Handcrafted cocktail classics like Hurricanes join new signature drinks for a perfect pairing with the park’s carefully crafted culinary offering, which can be best enjoyed with a Mardi Gras Sampler Lanyard. Starting at $34.99 for a 5-punch lanyard with a 10-punch option and an exclusive 12-punch lanyard for Pass Members, Sampler Lanyards make it easy for guests to embrace that “Fat Tuesday” feeling!

MORE fan-favorite events are returning to Busch Gardens Tampa this year!

The fun in 2021 doesn’t stop with Mardi Gras – park guests can look forward to modified versions of their favorite seasonal events to promote enhanced health and safety measures, including Sesame Street Kids’ Weekends, and the Food & Wine Festival.

Sesame Street Kids Weekends, January 30 – February 14

Busch Gardens Tampa Sesame Street Safari of Fun Logo

For kids and kids-at-heart, there are more special moments with Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Cookie Monster, and the rest of their Sesame Street friends coming up this season! Fans won’t want to miss new physically distant celebrations for Elmo’s birthday and Valentine’s Day this year.

Food & Wine Festival, Friday to Sunday, February 20 – April 25

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Food and Wine Festival 2020

Taste buds will bloom this spring with a delicious menu of dishes and drinks as dynamic and unique as the park’s thrilling roller coaster collection. Guests will also enjoy a taste of local musical talent throughout the open-air festival to accompany their sweet and savory samples.

Whether using a single visit ticket, Fun Card or Annual Pass, guests can enjoy these seasonal events and more included in their park admission.  

Enjoy TWO parks all year for the price of a single day Busch Gardens ticket with a limited-time Fun Card offer!

With so much to look forward to in 2021, Florida families can start the year with incredible savings on year-round park admission to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island!

For a limited time, guests who purchase the Busch Gardens Fun Card for $113.99 will receive an Adventure Island Fun Card for FREE. Save over $60, more than 35% off of the normal price and the same price as only one day of fun for unlimited visits in 2021!  

For more park benefits, guests can upgrade to a Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum Annual Pass to enjoy the perks they want most throughout 2021. Annual Pass Members receive 12 months of visits with the best benefits ever, including FREE parking, up to 6 free guest tickets, Pass Member-exclusive ride events for the NEW Iron Gwazi opening in spring, and up to 50% savings on merchandise, photo prints, Quick Queue, and more!

Visit www.BuschGardensTampa.com for more information and reservations—and to purchase tickets, Fun Cards, or Annual Passes.

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Shelley’s Weekend Top Picks: January 8-10, 2021

Every week you can hear me share my top weekend picks for things to do in and around the City Beautiful mornings on K92.3 with Obie and Ashley in the morning!

In case you missed it, here’s are my top picks for January 8-10, 2021!

This Weekend Around Orlando

Mecum Auto Auction kicks off at the Osceola Heritage Park!

Mecum Kissimmee, set for January 7-16, is the world’s largest collector-car auction featuring an estimated 3,500 vehicles and thousands of pieces of Road Art collectibles. 

Registered bidders from nearly all 50 states and a dozen countries travel to Osceola Heritage Park annually to participate in the renowned auction event, portions of which are televised live on NBC Sports Network.

Tickets are required and there are health & safety protocols in place. 

This Weekend in the Theme Parks

2021 Epcot Festival of the Arts - Mural

The Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Arts kicks off this weekend at Walt Disney World!

Starting January 8, 2021, the Walt Disney World Resort will welcome the Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Arts daily until February 22, 2021.

While this year’s global celebration of the visual, culinary, and performing arts may look a little different, guests will still be able to enjoy a wide selection of activities for the entire family that is included in their admission to the park.

Outdoor Fun

Southern Hill Farms Strawberry Picking with Gail and Harper
On the Go Gal, Gail, and her ADORABLE mini-me went to Southern Hill Farms to check out Strawberry Picking!

Celebrate the winter harvest at your local farm by picking your own farm fresh strawberries at the first strawberry season at Southern Hill Farms in Clermont. 

Tickets and/or reservations are not required, and you can visit the farm anytime that they are open. 

Quantities cannot be guaranteed and strawberry picking is first come, first served with $4/lb u-pick strawberries.

While you are on the farm make sure you check out their bakery for their new strawberry donuts, blueberry cobbler, blueberry muffins, and other seasonal treats. 

Please keep in mind that:

  • There are no additional crops or activities available at this time. 
  • Face masks are required for all guests over the age of 3 while under covered barns, standing in lines, and when social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • No animals of any kind allowed on the farm during the strawberry u-pick due to state and federal food safety regulations.
  • No outside alcohol, coolers, and catered meals are allowed.
  • Schofield Road is a Lake County clay road.
  • Southern Hill Farms is a working farm, you will be parking and walking in grass and unpaved areas.
  • All events are subject to change or cancellation due to inclement weather and crop availability.
  • Always check their website on the day of your planned visit for final event details.
  • Please arrive prepared. 

Hours and directions:

16651 Schofield Road, Clermont, FL 34714. from 11 am to 4 pm.

DEAL ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gatorland Orlando Social Distancing Skunk On the Go in the Parks

Gatorland has brought its most popular Florida Resident Special back from extinction.  Not seen since 2014, Florida Residents can visit the Alligator Capital of the World for just $9.99 for single-day admission, now through January 31st.  Tickets must be purchased at the admission’s gate with a valid Florida ID.   This rare discount won’t be around long.

Florida residents will enjoy their favorite rides, shows, and exhibits such as the Alligator Breeding Marsh, White Gator Swamp, Petting Zoo, Bird Aviary, Jungle Crocs of the World, the Alligators – Legends of the Swamp and Up Close Encounters shows, and of course, Social Distancing Skunk Ape.  Guests won’t want to miss Gatorland’s newest residents, Ben and Jerry, the Capybaras.

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2021 Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Arts

2021 Epcot Festival of the Arts - Mural

Starting January 8, 2021, the Walt Disney World Resort will welcome the Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Arts daily until February 22, 2021.

While this year’s global celebration of the visual, culinary, and performing arts may look a little different, guests will still be able to enjoy a wide selection of activities for the entire family that is included in their admission to the park.

Visual Arts

To celebrate the visual arts, Festival guests will find the brilliant and diverse works of Disney and other invited artists on display in marketplaces encircling World Showcase Lagoon. 

In addition to the outdoor art marketplaces, guests will also have the opportunity to enjoy curated gallery collections throughout the park. 

Culinary Arts

2021 Epcot Festival of the Arts Walt Disney World

Every year the Epcot culinary team creates a wide selection of culinary masterpieces that are both Instagrammable and delicious!

During the 2021 Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Arts, guests will enjoy these delectable creations at 15 Food Studios around the World Showcase Lagoon.

Performing Arts

2021 Epcot Festival of the Arts Walt Disney World

At this year’s festival, guests will find new and returning artists performing on the American Gardens Theatre Stage and around World Showcase.

Festival guests will be able to catch performances by Epcot musical artists Mariachi Cobre and the JAMMitors, watch artists create magic before their eyes, and enjoy the brand-new showcase of Disney songs celebrating the artistry of Disney’s composers sung by the iconic Voices of Liberty.

Family Fun

2021 Epcot Festival of the Arts Walt Disney World

One of my favorite things about the Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Arts is that you not only get to see the arts, but you also get to participate in them by helping to create daily Festival murals.

Also, families will want to join an artful scavenger hunt as you search for Figment around World Showcase to earn a fun prize.

Photo Locations

Epcot Festival of the Arts
This is obviously an older photo, but please keep in mind that face coverings must be worn at all times while you are in the park.

The Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Arts gives guests the unique opportunity to “Step into” life-sized versions of some of the most-admired artwork from around the world.

Festival Merchandise

2021 Epcot Festival of the Arts Walt Disney World

And while you are enjoying the Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Arts, don’t miss your chance to purchase exclusive festival merchandise featuring some of your favorite Disney characters. 

If you are interested in attending the Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Arts, please remember that all guests ages three and older must have a park reservation in addition to valid admission for the same park on the same date. 

For more information about the Walt Disney World Resort Park Pass Reservation System, a reservation availability calendar, and Florida Resident hotel and ticket offers, visit this website.

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Know Before You Go: Park Hopping in 2021

2021 is kicking off with an awesome start, because Park Hopping has returned to the theme parks of the Walt Disney World Resort!!!

Walt Disney World Park Hopping 2021

Starting January 1, 2021, guests visiting the Walt Disney World Resort who have purchased a ticket or annual pass with Park Hopper benefits will be able to visit more than one park per day.

I know you’re as stoked as I am, but before you go there are a few things to keep in mind about the park hopping process since it is a little different than we are used to using. 

Walt Disney World Park Hopping

Know Before You Go: Park Hopping in 2021

Reservations are Required…

With the updated Park Hopper experience, guests must make a Disney Park Pass reservation using the DisneyWorld.com/ParkHours or the My Disney Experience app for the first park they plan to visit that day.

If you want to park hop, you MUST enter using that first Park Pass reservation prior to visiting another. 

Park Hopping Hours

When planning your park hopping experience it is important to know that park hopping hours start at 2 p.m. each day and end at the park’s scheduled close time. 

Arriving Early

If you arrive at your second park prior to 2 p.m. you will be directed to a queue outside of the theme park’s touchpoints.

Park Hopping Limits

Currently, there is no limit on park hopping and guests can travel to more than two theme parks a day based on availability.

Park Hopping Planning

Walt Disney World is already hard at work to make the park hopping process easier!

Soon guests will be able to find up-to-date Park Hopper hours and helpful information to plan their day by visiting DisneyWorld.com/ParkHours website or using the My Disney Experience app.

Safety

These park hopping modifications are designed to help the Walt Disney World theme parks continue to manage attendance in a way that fosters physical distancing. 

Please note that all other enhanced health and safety measures remain in effect including face coverings required for all guests ages two and up.

Florida Resident Discover Disney Ticket

Walt Disney World is offering a special deal to Florida residents looking to start 2021 off with a little magic with the new Florida Resident Discover Disney Ticket. 

This special offer invites guests to visit the four theme parks of the Walt Disney World Resort now through June 18, 2021, subject to blockout dates, for just under $50 per day plus tax.

The Florida Resident Discover Disney tickets can be used on consecutive or non-consecutive days—so you can spread out the fun!

Discover Disney Tickets are valid for admission to one theme park per day (park reservations via the Disney Park Pass system are required). You can also choose a Discover Disney Ticket that includes the Park Hopper Option.

As always, make sure to follow @onthegoinmco on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for updates and fun around the City Beautiful!!!

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Pirate and Princess Weekends Return to Gaylord Palms Resort

Pirate and Princess Weekends 2021 Gaylord Palms Resort

The Gaylord Palms Resort is welcoming guests to enjoy a bounty of family-fun both inside the resort’s atriums and outside at Cypress Springs Water Park during their Pirate and Princess Weekends until March 7, 2021.

Pirate and Princess Weekends invites guests to join the story of the Captain and his crew of notorious pirates who have plundered the Florida Coast in search of The Princess’s priceless treasure. The pirates have made Gaylord Palms Resort their outpost commandeering the resort’s Everglades Swamp, and guests will get to embark on their own adventure as they choose to take the pirate oath or become an honorary princess or prince for the day. 

Pirate and Princess Weekends 2021

This year several new Pirate and Princess Weekend activities have been added to the line-up of swashbuckling fun that includes the Pirate Pool Party with Jolly Roger, the Princess Academy show where tales of The Princess and the Swordmistress are brought to life, and an exciting journey with Adventure Kid Sophie and friends as they explore the natural world we live in during Adventure Kids: Join the Club.

Pirate and Princess Weekends 2021 Gaylord Palms Resort

The new Pirate Outpost Invasion deep in the newly established Everglades Outpost is an interactive show experience where guests will hear tales of adventure, swashbuckling music, and enjoy a sip of The Captain’s brew. But take heed, because the pirates have made anchor in a nearby harbor and could invade at any time! Experience includes special pirate keepsakes. To allow for social distancing, tickets will be time-specific and capacity will be limited.

Pirate and Princess Weekends 2021 Gaylord Palms Resort

Guests can wet their whistle among relics from past treasure hunting voyages and the pirates who scoured the seven seas to retrieve them in the resort’s new, hidden Pirate Speakeasy. These crafted cocktails are fit for a true buccaneer.

Pirate and Princess Weekends 2021 Gaylord Palms Resort

In addition to the Pirate and Princess Weekends events, resort guests can enjoy several daily activities.

Pirate and Princess Weekends 2021 Gaylord Palms Resort

The Princess’s Shiny Stash Treasure Hunt leads guests throughout 4.5 acres of the resort’s indoor gardens to find the precious treasures hidden from the Princess’s kingdom. But be careful, because pirates love treasure!

Pirate and Princess Weekends 2021 Gaylord Palms Resort

As night falls, guests will want to watch high above the trees inside the resort’s St. Augustine Atrium to see the Pirate & Princess Light Display. Each night colorful lights and imagery of swords clashing, waves crashing, pirate ships, crowns, tiaras, and brilliant jewels will appear creating the perfect close to a day of an exciting adventure.

The Wildlife Rescue Experience is a virtual adventure that guides guests throughout the resort to track down endangered species and help ensure that they are monitored for their protection. The experience highlights indigenous animals from Florida and, with the magic of augmented reality, brings them to life before the participants’ eyes.

In celebration of Pirate and Princess Weekends, the resort is offering a special package starting at $189. The package includes overnight accommodations, a Princess’s Shiny Stash Treasure Hunt Booklet, and tickets to the new Pirate Outpost Invasion interactive show. The package excludes resort fee and parking.

For more information, visit CLICK HERE.

As the safety of its guests and STARS (employees) is of paramount importance, Pirate and Princess Weekends has been developed in accordance with Marriott’s “Commitment to Clean” program and with enhanced protocols and social distancing measures. Programming will also operate in consideration of the latest local, state, and federal legislation.


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Museum of Illusions Announces Opening Date

Museum of Illusions Orlando ICON Park
Photo: Museum of Illusions Orlando

Museum of Illusions Orlando, a mind-bending “edutainment” experience where guests enter the fascinating world of mental deception, is opening to the public on January 9, 2021.

Situated on International Drive at ICON Park, this is the first Florida outpost and 20th location for the rapidly-expanding Museum of Illusions brand that started in Zagreb, Croatia in 2015.

With over 50 intriguing exhibits, Museum of Illusions offers more eye-fooling fun under one roof than any other destination in Central Florida. From January 9 to January 31, Orlando residents and visitors can enjoy special “preview days” pricing for $15 per person of any age, a $10 savings off full-price, regular adult admission. Children two and under are free.

Museum of Illusions Orlando ICON Park
Photo: Museum of Illusions Orlando

The museum’s collection of interactive, immersive, and distinctly incomprehensible exhibits are based on math, science, and psychology.

Visitors are prompted to learn about the tricks of perception and how the human brain works as they move through each exhibit. Imaginations can run free in the vast expanse of the Infinity Room, defy the laws of gravity in the Reverse Room, and shrink to miniature size in the Ames Room — all while capturing a coveted, baffling photo.

With uniquely mind-boggling backdrops – including several designed just for the Central Florida location — Orlando’s newest museum offers photo opportunities that visitors won’t find anywhere else in the area.

“Many international guests are familiar with our concept through social networking,” said Museum of Illusions Orlando General Manager George Youngdahl. “We can’t wait to bring our museum to Central Florida – there’s nothing quite like it here.”

In addition to its core collection, the museum’s climate-controlled building, 1-2-hour experience, free parking at ICON Park, and adjacency to food and beverage outlets, make it a winning entertainment option for inquisitive minds of all ages.

Guests can purchase puzzles, mind-tricking games, and other souvenirs in the museum’s gift shop.

Operating hours are 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday and 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Museum of Illusions Orlando ICON Park
Photo: Museum of Illusions Orlando

Orlando’s newest museum will launch with a variety of COVID-19 safety measures in place, including mandatory face masks, limited capacity, designated time slots, one-way paths through exhibits, ongoing cleaning by staff, and hand sanitizers and wipes for guests.

Purchase tickets and learn more at https://orlando.museumofillusions.us/. To make group sales reservations, call 386-256-1001 or toll free  833-541-0992. Museum of Illusions Orlando is located at ICON Park, 8441 International Drive Suite #250 Orlando, Florida, 32819.

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New in 2021: ICON Park Welcomes New Thrills

Icon Park 2021 Attraction - ICON Park Slingshot

Thrill seekers, adrenaline junkies, and theme park buffs, you better hold onto your hats – two brand-new, record-setting attractions are coming to International Drive next summer. ICON Park™ will be the new epicenter for thrills with three of the world’s tallest attractions: ICON Park Slingshot™, ICON Park Drop Tower, and Orlando StarFlyer.

ICON Park Slingshot

The ICON Park Slingshot is the world’s tallest slingshot ride at 300 feet. The two-tower attraction will launch two riders out of an “exploding volcano” approximately 450 feet straight up into the sky and reach speeds of up to 100 mph.

ICON Park Drop Tower

Standing at a daunting 430 feet, the ICON Park Drop Tower is the world’s tallest free-standing drop tower. Thirty riders will be able to embrace the beautiful sites of ICON Park and I-Drive as the tower rotates around the gigantic tower and rises high into the skyline. Once the ride vehicle reaches the top, it’ll tilt forward 30 degrees and face the ground for a brief moment before free falling nearly 400 feet at speeds reaching out over 75mph.

Icon Park 2021 Attraction - ICON Park Slingshot

“The Slingshot Group of Companies is committed to bringing the biggest thrills to Orlando,” said Ritchie Armstrong, Owner. “We’re very excited to open the world’s tallest slingshot and free-standing drop tower at ICON Park to stand opposite of the Orlando StarFlyer, the world’s tallest swing ride.”

Along with the two new attractions, the Slingshot Group of Companies operates the 450-foot Orlando StarFlyer, the world’s tallest swing ride. With these three record-setting attractions, ICON Park is becoming known as the “land of the giants.”

“ICON Park is constantly growing and expanding our entertainment options for locals and tourists alike,” said Chris Jaskiewicz, president and CEO of ICON Park. “We’re proud to welcome these two record-setting attractions to the Orlando Entertainment District and look forward to the joy and adrenaline they will bring our guests.”

To learn more about the ICON Park Slingshot and ICON Park Drop Tower, visit https://www.iconparkslingshot.com.

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2021 Food Events at Disney’s Swan and Dolphin Resort

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is offering the perfect gift option for foodies this holiday season – tickets to one of three food and beverage events hosted by the resort on January 16, February 7, and February 27, 2021.

Sip, Savor and Stay Saturdays Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel Fall 2020 September 2020 October 2020

On January 16 and February 27, the resort will host Food & Wine Classic: A Taste of Swan and Dolphin from 5:30-8:00 p.m., with each event offering 10 food stations from the hotel’s award-winning restaurants and more than 50 beverage offerings. Both will feature live entertainment and unlimited food and beverage tastings, including dessert selections from the hotel’s world champion pastry chef, Laurent Branlard.

Highlights include:

  • Roasted organic pumpkin ravioli gnudi with seared sea scallop, whipped ricotta cheese, and pumpkin gremolata (served by Todd English’s bluezoo at the January 16 event)
  • Surf and Turf featuring roasted Linz heritage Angus prime strip loin and marinated shrimp with creamed spinach and sauce foyot (served by Shula’s Steak House at the Feb. 27 event).

For the sports-centric foodie, the resort will for the first time host a Big Game Tailgate Watch Party Sunday, Feb. 7 at 6:00 p.m. The event will begin 30 minutes prior to kickoff and last through the end of the game. While watching all the action, guests can enjoy seven food stations and unlimited craft beer and wine. Menu highlights include crispy fried chicken wings with an array of sauces, Angus beef sliders, carne asada tacos, Italian sausage sandwiches, a selection of desserts, and more.

Each event will feature different menu items so attendees will have a distinct experience each time. Guests will enjoy an intimate atmosphere and experience the latest in responsible food delivery safety measures and social distancing procedures to ensure an entertaining, unforgettable, and mouthwatering experience.   

Event-only tickets can be purchased online at SwanDolphinFoodAndWineClassic.com for $110 per person. Room packages start at $359 and include event access for two adults. To book, call 1-888-828-8850 between 8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. weekdays; 5:00 p.m. on weekends. Events are limited to those 21 years and older.

Among the protocols implemented for each event are temperature checks at the entrance; plexiglass walls for all food service areas; all cast members wearing PPE; socially distanced event space; seating available to accommodate each party at their own table; touchless menus and clearly marked social distancing signage.

For more information, visit SwanDolphinFoodAndWineClassic.com.

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Frontyard Festival at the Dr. Phillips Center

Dr Phillips Center Front Yard Festival - Logo

The Dr. Phillips Center has kicked-off the Frontyard Festival, a series of live entertainment events featuring local artists designed to bring people together to enjoy the arts.

“COVID-19 has created significant challenges for performing arts centers and stages around the world,” said Dr. Phillips Center President and CEO Kathy Ramsberger. “To keep our mission moving forward, our team has come up with a unique way for guests to re-connect and re-engage with one another and enjoy live entertainment and culture again. This big idea is gaining fantastic support by sponsors, partners, and artists.” 

The Frontyard Festival transforms the outdoor areas in front of the Dr. Phillips Center’s three front parcels, including the Seneff Arts Plaza, into the region’s most unique, dedicated outdoor entertainment venue that will showcase a diverse mix of music, comedy, films, health and wellness programs, and local community arts performances.  

Dr Phillips Center Front Yard Festival - view

“Fully activating the arts center’s front parcels and Seneff Arts Plaza has always been part of our long-range plan,” said Ramsberger. “We had intended to complete Phase 2—Steinmetz Hall and The Green Room—then turn our attention to conceptualizing how we could transform the plaza into a vibrant, active outdoor space for the arts, entertainment, and wellness.”

In addition to the live entertainment plus health and wellness programs, several local restaurants and popular food trucks will be on-site each day offering seasonal menus, beer, wine, and cocktails for purchase. 

Many performances will require the advance purchase of tickets, allowing artists and arts groups to generate much-needed revenue. There are also additional daytime programs showcasing professional musicians at no cost to attend.  

“More than anything, we’re excited to produce a platform that will reunite artists and wellness instructors with live audiences,” Ramsberger said.   

Health & Safety First 

To keep guests properly distanced from one another, the arts center has built 380 elevated seating “pods” inspired by a similar outdoor venue created at the Virgin Money Unity Arena in Newcastle, UK.  

Each 5’ x 7’ pod, which can seat up to five guests, has been built using metal scaffolding materials with six feet of space between each pod.  

Additional health and safety protocols, developed with guidance from federal, state, and local health authorities and the Dr. Phillips Center’s partner, AdventHealth, include a mask requirement, temperature checks prior to admission, and mobile purchasing options for tickets and Food Trucks. 

“Arts and events not only help provide needed jobs and employment for our residents but also food for our souls,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “That’s why we are proud to partner with the Dr. Phillips Center as they create a new outdoor venue in our downtown. The space will help bring our arts back and bring our community safely together to gather, celebrate, relax, and be inspired.”  

For more information and to purchase tickets to the Dr. Phillips Center Frontyard Festival, please visit their website.

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Gaylord Palms Announces Partnership with Wild Florida

Gaylord Palms Partnership with Wild Florida

The Gaylord Palms is pleased to announce Wild Florida as the resort’s new wildlife partner, providing brand-new educational and interactive guest experiences, including up-close animal encounters and live shows.

For almost two decades, Gaylord Palms has become known for its 4.5-acres of atrium-enclosed gardens with thousands of tropical plants and several species of animals that are native to Florida. With this new partnership, Wild Florida is providing access to many of these unique species including alligators and snakes. 

“We are very excited that Wild Florida is our new wildlife partner because they provide a one-of-a-kind experience for our guests,” said General Manager of Gaylord Palms Johann Krieger. “Their family-friendly experiences allow our guests to learn more about Florida’s diverse ecosystem and get up-close with unique animals, all while exploring the rest of our resort’s distinctive environment.”

Gaylord Palms Partnership with Wild Florida

Educational and interactive guest experiences Wild Florida is providing include:

  • 20 alligators that live inside the resort’s St. Augustine atrium habitat, Gator Springs
  • Six hatchlings, also known as baby gators or “grunts,” that have a home in the Everglades atrium
  • Four snakes that guests can see in Sawgrass Place, located within our Everglades atrium
  • Live gator feedings with a Wild Florida representative at Gator Springs at 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday and Saturday
  • Up-close animal encounters with critters from Wild Florida’s nearby zoological park on select days

Plus, each experience is complimentary for overnight guests, allowing them to enjoy the lush gardens and native species at any time throughout their stay.

“Gaylord Palms Resort is an amazing world-class facility,” said Sam Haught, Co-owner of Wild Florida. “We are grateful to partner with a company that shares our same passion for inspiring visitors to make a connection with Florida’s wildlife.”

Gaylord Palms Partnership with Wild Florida

In accordance with Marriott’s “Commitment to Clean” practices, the resort provides enhanced cleaning technology, hospital-grade disinfectants, attendants dedicated to sanitizing frequently throughout the day, social distancing protocols, and hundreds of new cleaning processes to take care of guests while they enjoy the resort’s amenities. 

For more information about Wild Florida’s new educational and interactive experiences, visit the resort’s website.

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Holidays in Space Return to Kennedy Space Center

Holidays in Space Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center December 2020

The North Pole is taking up residence in the cosmosphere this December as Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex unveils this year’s Holidays in Space from December 21 – 30*, as the visitor complex will be transformed into a holiday wonderland – snow included.

“This has been a difficult year for all of us. We wanted to create a holiday-themed escape for our guests, reminding us all that the joy, light and warmth of the holiday season is alive and well at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex,” said Therrin Protze, chief operating officer, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

Holidays in Space Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center December 2020

From 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., guests will delight in the festive holiday décor that has taken over the visitor complex. From the NASA meatball turned holiday ornament, to shooting stars adorning light poles, a mosaic holiday tree, and walk-through ornaments in the Rocket Garden – seasonal spirit abounds. Beginning at 1 p.m., snow will begin to fall and a dance party will commence.

The Holidays in Space experience is included with daily admission. For more information and to book a visit, go to www.kennedyspacecenter.com.

Holidays in Space Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center December 2020

*Holidays in Space will not be open December 24 or 25. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will be closed on Christmas Day, December 25.

Trusted Space

 As always, the health and safety of crew members and guests is the highest priority for Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has implemented safety protocols to ensure a trusted space for the well-being of our crew and guests.

 In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendations, the visitor complex will continue all precautionary measures, including limited capacity and encouraging advance daily admission purchases; requiring face coverings and temperature screening for employees and guests; accommodating social distancing queues, restaurants, show viewing areas, and other facilities throughout the complex; and implementing increased frequency of sanitization and disinfection.

Additional details are available at: www.kennedyspacecenter.com/info/coronavirus  

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Universal Orlando Unveils VelociCoaster Vehicle

Universal Orlando Resort Universal Islands of Adventure Jurassic Park VelociCoaster
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

The Universal Orlando Resort has shared a new glimpse at the VelociCoaster, the all-new species of roller coaster coming to Jurassic Park at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in summer 2021.

Jurassic World VelociCoaster will raise the bar in extreme roller coaster design and become the ultimate experience for thrill-seekers – catapulting guests up to 70 mph and more than 150 feet in the air as they feel the rush of the hunt alongside a swift pack of Velociraptors.

Designed for speed and engineered for the hunt, the coaster’s revolutionary ride vehicle will send riders twisting and soaring across 4,700 feet of track as they encounter near-misses, launches, 12 heart-pounding seconds of airtime, and more – with just a lap bar restraint holding them in place. Click here for an up-close look at the vehicle.

More details about Jurassic World VelociCoaster will be revealed in early 2021, so make sure that you follow @onthegoincmo on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for updates!

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Dazzling Nights at the Leu Gardens

Dazzling Lights Harry P. Leu Gardens Holidays 2020

Orlando’s 50-acre Harry P. Leu Gardens will transform into a stunning, magical wonderland featuring a million dazzling lights, shining forests, magical displays, music, and beautiful sculptures during Dazzling Nights – a new family-friendly adventure that gives guests the opportunity to embark on a three-quarter-mile interactive holiday experience.

Created by the team who brings the IMMERSE Festival to Downtown Orlando every October and presented by AdventHealth, Dazzling Nightsis an awe-inspiring holiday event.

Dazzling Lights Harry P. Leu Gardens Holidays 2020

A few snapshots of the adventure:

  • When guests arrive at Leu Gardens, they will have a photo opportunity in front of a unique, 30’ tall towering Christmas tree.
  • Interactive lights on the ground light up and ring-like holiday bells when stepped upon.
  • Guests journey through a forest of light and fog as if walking through the aurora borealis.
  • Visitors immerse themselves in a 65’ long tunnel of wondrous light.
  • And the evening would not be complete without snow and holiday tunes.
  • And so much more!

The outdoor event is designed to ensure adequate social distancing and safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and visitors will be required to wear masks.

Dazzling Nights Info At-A-Glance

LOCATION:  Harry P. Leu Gardens, 1920 North Forest Avenue, Orlando, FL 32803

DATES:  December 1, 2020 to January 3, 2021.  To ensure the safety of guests, timed entry will take place from 5:30pm-9pm.

TICKETS:  $22 per person and can be purchased at dazzlingorlando.com

PARKING:  On-site parking is available for a small fee.  Complimentary parking and a shuttle will be provided off-site at Blue Jacket Park, 2501 General Rees Avenue, Orlando, FL 32814.

You can find more information about Dazzling Nights on their website  dazzlingorlando.com!

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Fusion Fest Returns to Orlando

Celebrate the People and Many Cultures That Make Central Florida Awesome at the Free Two-Day Festival That Features Over 1,000 Local Artists and Draws People From More Than 110 Different Cultures to Experience Music, Dance, Food, Visual Arts, Spoken Word, Games and Interactive Activities

Downtown Orlando’s annual celebration of the people and the many cultures that make Central Florida awesome, FusionFest, announces the return of the in-person festival, keeping CDC guidelines, on Thanksgiving Weekend: Saturday, November 28 from Noon to 8pm and Sunday, November 29 from Noon to 6pm.  Cultures from all across the world will fill the Seneff Arts Plaza in front of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and Orlando City Hall Commons Plaza for the free, two-day festival, which draws people from more than 110 different cultures to experience music, dance, food, visual arts, spoken word, games and interactive activities and features over 1,000 local artists, who will perform and showcase their work on the stages, gallery and interactive installations at FusionFest. 

Guests of FusionFest will enjoy the Opening Spectacle, International Food Court and Marketplace, three stages featuring music, dance, spoken word and fashion, Film Pavilion screening the MYgration Films in partnership with Global Peace Film Festival, Global Street Dance Party, Diversitastic! Choir, Interactive Experiences, Visual Arts Gallery, Fun and Games Station, exciting prizes, community panels, Fusion contests with cash awards up to $1,000, plus a new station highlighting cultural celebrations from around the world.

“FusionFest began as a grassroots movement,” says FusionFest Chief Instigator Terry Olson and Business and Development Manager Thali Sugisawa.  “When you see a festival the size of FusionFest, it is easy to think that this is a corporate effort, but it isn’t.  There is a Steering Committee in place of over 40 people representing many different cultures, ethnicities and communities.  Representation matters and FusionFest has it in mind since day one.  It is about honoring the diverse local community and highlighting Central Floridians talents, and we are proud to continually show the community and the world that people with different lifestyles and different ethnicities and heritages can live together in a non-divisive way.”

In compliance with state and local laws, FusionFest will implement a wide variety of health and safety protocols, which include: Six feet social distancing for tables, chairs and patron lines, temperature checks at dedicated entrances for staff, vendors, performers, volunteers, participants and all attendees, masks for vendors, staff and volunteers and facial coverings available for sale on site, increased handwashing and hand sanitizer stations throughout the festival, and continuous spraying of CDC-approved disinfectant on all high touch areas will be handled by several staff members. 

“With theme parks and schools open, we have examples to observe now,” says Olson and Sugisawa.  “We are conducting additional research at any outdoor festivals happening between now and then, and we attended the recent Florida Festivals and Events conference to discover and formalize best practices for social distancing at outdoor events to ensure that this year’s FusionFest is a safe, comfortable and secure environment, while also a fun-filled, memorable and always meaningful festival for everyone attending.”

FusionFest is a free to attend.  VIP Passports can be ordered in advance online or at the festival for $25, which include: (1) Neck Wallet, (4) Food Tokens, (1) Souvenir Button, (1) Prize Ticket and (1) Super Prize Raffle Ticket ($300 Gift Card).

Experience FusionFest on Saturday, November 28 and Sunday, November 29, 2020 in Downtown Orlando.  For updates on the performance schedule, artist lineup and vendor stations and for more information, visit www.FusionFest.org for or call 407-836-5540.  Apply as an Artist, Vendor or Volunteer (until October 1) at www.FusionFest.org/JoinUs.

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Holidays at LEGOLAND Florida Bring Holly Jolly Fun

Holidays at LEGOLAND Florida 2020
Chip Litherland, Merlin Entertainments Group

The Cheerful holiday spirit is filling the LEGOLANDFlorida Resort this season during Holidays at LEGOLAND, select dates November 27 through December 31.

The theme park built for kids will be transformed into a holiday wonderland with unforgettable live, seasonal entertainment, unique LEGO activities, twinkling lights, and specialty treats that are included in general admission to the park. ​

This year’s Holidays at LEGOLAND Florida feature several new experiences families will want to check out!

Holidays at LEGOLAND Florida 2020
Photo: LOCK + LAND, Chip Litherland

Mrs. Claus’ crew of holiday helpers find themselves in a delicious dilemma as they sing, dance, and work together through some frosty fun in the new, original musical stage show, The Very Merry Mix-Up.

Holidays at LEGOLAND Florida 2020
PHOTO / LOCK + LAND, Chip Litherland

Explore the all-new Holiday Village Postal Service where children can handwrite letters to LEGO Santa himself. At this interactive post office, children will watch through digital screens as their special letters travel directly to the North Pole!

Holidays at LEGOLAND Florida 2020
PHOTO / LOCK + LAND, Chip Litherland

Then, the whole family can hop aboard Fun Town’s multi-level carousel and join in a new holiday singalong!

Returning guests will delight in the return of Holidays at LEGOLAND’s favorite traditions, including the LEGO Sleigh and Reindeer photo spot.

Holidays at LEGOLAND Florida 2020
PHOTO / LOCK + LAND, Chip Litherland

Dancing lights and music bring your perfect holiday visit to a festive close “Rockin’ Around,” a 30-foot-tall LEGO Christmas tree spectacular that comes to life with dazzling lights and sounds to celebrate the season.

North Pole Nonsense will also return to LEGO City Stage with holiday hijinks featuring some of Santa’s silliest elves and their wacky juggling and slapstick fun.

Holidays at LEGOLAND Florida 2020
PHOTO / LOCK + LAND, Chip Litherland

Colorful characters are around every holly-packed corner with socially distanced selfie spots with LEGO Santa, LEGO Gingerbread Man and LEGO Toy Soldier. Unikitty will also don her jolliest attire for festively fun photos to delight guests of all ages. Please note that all character and performer interactions will be staged using generous spacing, of six feet or more.

Families can grab a brick and help build a themed LEGO mosaic to celebrate the holidays from around the world, or journey to DUPLO Valley, where iconic holiday symbols have been sprinkled throughout the farmland. Grab the scavenger hunt clues to solve the riddles and find each one! 

Holidays at LEGOLAND Florida 2020 New Year's Eve CHRISTMAS BRICKTACULAR Legoland Florida Resort
PHOTO / LEGOLAND Florida, Merlin Entertainments Group, Chip Litherland)

Then make sure to mark your calendars to say goodbye to 2020 with Kids’ New Year’s Eve fireworks! Guests can ring in 2021 at the kid-friendly time of 8 p.m. as fireworks transform into bursts of LEGO bricks right before their eyes, exclusively on December 31, 2020!

For more information on the Holidays at LEGOLAND Florida and more, make sure to visit LEGOLANDFlorida.com.  

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