Celebrate Independence Day Weekend at ICON Park

Light Up I-Drive ICON Park Fourth of July 2019
ICON Park Lights Up I-DRIVE this Fourth of July

Get ready for the newest Independence Day celebration on the block! ICON Park, the walkable entertainment destination in the heart of Orlando’s I-Drive, is bringing the spirit of red, white and blue to Central Florida just in time to kick off the weekend.

The debut event, ICON Park Lights Up I-Drive, invites locals and tourists alike to ring in the summer season with a fun-filled, two-day Fourth of July celebration!

 ICON Park Light Up I-Drive

Guests can light up the sky like never before, surrounded by all their favorite attractions. The skies will be illuminated both nights with dazzling colors from an electrifying pyrotechnics and light show, set in the background of the courtyard to encapsulate the grandeur of The Wheel at ICON Park.

“This will be the best Independence Day celebration at ICON Park and we’re eager to share it with our community,” said Chris Jaskiewicz, President and CEO of ICON Park. “Whether you’re visiting the I-Drive area or an Orlando native, we welcome you to join us for this one-of-a-kind, local event. We couldn’t be more thrilled to bring the patriotic spirit to our exciting, iconic destination.”

The two-day event will jumpstart the weekend on Thursday, July 4 and Friday, July 5. The first day of the celebration begins on July 4 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and continues on July 5 from 4 p.m. to midnight.

ICON Park Lights Up I-Drive has something for everyone to enjoy – From rocking live bands to a comedian MC sure to have you rolling on the floor. Other entertainment includes stilt walkers dressed as Uncle Sam, balloon animals and more!

ICON Park Fourth of July Light Up I-Drive Entertainment

Fourth of July favorites will be for sale at the event including juicy hamburgers and hot dogs fresh off the grill, and red, white and blue popcorn. Beer, wine and other drinks will be also be available for purchase during the festivities.

The fun doesn’t stop there – ICON Park will host plenty of contests to spark your competitive spirit! For those with a sweet tooth, Mattie’s Cupcakes will sponsor a pie eating contest and Buffalo Wild Wings is bringing the heat by sponsoring a Blazin’ wings Challenge for adults.

ICON Park Light Up I-Drive Skeletons Museum Fourth of July

During the day families can discover Skeleton’s Museum of Osteology where up to two children will enjoy free admission with the purchase of an adult ticket. The adults can continue the celebration at Tin Roof, the official ICON Park Independence Day after party venue.

This will be a closed event and guests can gain free entrance to the exclusive party with the purchase of a ticket for The Wheel at ICON Park (one per person). Prices start at $27.99 per person.

For more information on ICON Park or to buy your ticket now, visit ICONParkOrlando.com.

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Gator Week 2019 at Wild Florida

Wild Florida Gator Week 2019

Wild Florida hosts 3rd Annual Gator Week promoting alligator conservation & family fun

It’s no secret Wild Florida knows a thing or two about alligators. To share this knowledge and passion with visitors, Wild Florida will host their 3rd Annual Gator Week May 6-11 and offer free admission for everyone to its Gator Park throughout the week.

To many, alligators are viewed as fierce carnivores on the hunt, but that’s not the case. Like many misunderstood creatures, myths develop based on a lack of knowledge and focus too much on fear. Because of this, Wild Florida decided to dedicate an entire week to educating guests, debunking common myths and developing a more positive attitude towards these reptiles.

Jordan Munns, co-owner and co-founder of Wild Florida, says, “The most common emotional response to alligators is fear and that can lead to negative outcomes for wild predators. We hope to convert that fear to a healthy respect and appreciation for these incredible animals. ”

Wild Florida’s mission has always been to provide an unforgettable Everglades experience that promotes a connection with animals while inspiring education and conservation.

Wild Florida Gator Week 2017 Logo

GATOR WEEK SCHEDULE:

May 6, 2019

Alligators and crocodiles rank in the top two for having the strongest jaws in the animal kingdom. During day one of Gator Week, this power will be displayed during a live demonstration as alligators and crocodiles smash fruits and vegetables with their jaws. Later in the day, there will also be a gator water polo game in the Gator Pond.

May 7, 2019

Just like cats and dogs, alligators make very distinct sounds that everyone can master. At 12:00 p.m. inside Wild Florida’s Exotic Animal Pavilion, Wild Florida will host a Gator Call Competition. Later on, the Wild Florida team will host their first “Clock-the-Croc” demonstration, where, using a speed timer, the team will record the speed of one of their crocodiles on land and in the water.

May 8, 2019

During day three of Gator Week at Wild Florida’s Gator Feeding Show Pavilion, the Wild Florida team will measure the bite force of a snapping turtle, freshwater crocodile, alligator, and caiman. After the bite force test, stop by the Chomp House Grill as the Wild Florida team tries to break the world record for longest gator po’ boy!

May 9, 2019

Wild Florida’s popular Gator Jumpathon returns! At 11:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Wild Florida’s 3rd Annual Gator Jumpathon takes place inside their Gator Pond, where you can witness the true power of these animals and see just how high they can jump to catch their prey. Then, guests will have an opportunity to jump like a gator themselves and participate in the first-ever “Gator Jump Competition.” There will also be bounce houses available for kids to enjoy throughout the day and educational seminars from experts on alligator hatching, mating and farming.

May 10, 2019

Everyone might be used to seeing alligators during the day, but what about at night? Wild Florida will stay open after dark and do a special gator feeding show with their biggest alligator, Crusher. They will also host a Wild Paint Night Out, where Wild Florida’s albino alligators Snowflake and Blizzard will be the stars of the show. Guests will get to paint these impressive animals and see them up close while enjoying a delicious buffet dinner. Wild Florida will also be offering discounted night airboat tours to give guests a unique experience of seeing how wild the swamp is in the moonlight.

May 11, 2019

Capping off another year of Gator Week, there will be a Gator Week Corn Hole and Gator Slushy Drinking Competition where the winner from each competition will win a special prize.

Wild Florida Gator Week Gators March 2017

Be sure to follow Wild Florida on social media for updates, fun polls, educational tidbits, myth-busting stories, and giveaways throughout the week.

Also, check out www.GatorWeek.com for a full schedule of activities. Admission to Wild Florida’s Gator Park is only $10 for adults; Florida residents receive a 50

percent discount year-round. Admission to the Park is free for any guest who purchases a Wild Florida airboat tour or animal encounter. Learn more about Wild Florida’s offerings at WildFL.com.

Wild Florida Airboats and Gator Park, which opened on Lake Cypress in Kenansville in 2010, focuses on educating individuals about Central Florida’s natural resources. The Wild Florida team is dedicated to protecting, conserving, and enhancing Florida’s diverse ecosystem to ensure that future generations can enjoy the wonders of wild, native Florida.

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Dear Evan Hansen Digital Lottery Details

Dear Evan Hansen Digital Lottery Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts April 2019

Dear Evan Hansen Announces Digital Lottery for Discounted Tickets for Orlando Engagement

Dear Evan Hansen will host a digital ticket lottery offering fans the chance to purchase a limited number of $25 tickets available per performance. 

Dear Evan Hansen, part of the Fairwinds Broadway in Orlando series, opens at Dr. Phillips Center on April 16, 2019 and runs through Sunday, April 21, 2019.

HOW TO ENTER THE DIGITAL LOTTERY

Dear Evan Hansen Digital Lottery Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts April 2019
  • The digital lottery will begin accepting entries 48 hours prior to the first performance in Orlando and will be accepted until 9 a.m. local time the day before the performance.
  • Visit https://www.luckyseat.com/dearevanhansen/ to register.
  • Fans who have been selected will be notified daily via email and can then purchase up to two (2) tickets at $25 each.
  • The ticket lottery will continue on a rolling basis for every performance in the engagement.
  • All entrants are encouraged to follow Dear Evan Hansen on Instagram (@dearevanhansen), Twitter (@dearevanhansen) and Facebook (@DearEvanHansen) for additional lottery news and information.
  • Entrants must be 18 years or older. A valid, non-expired photo ID that matches the name used to enter is required for pickup.
  • Seat locations awarded by the lottery are subject to availability.
Dear Evan Hansen Digital Lottery Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts April 2019
Ben Levi Ross as ‘Evan Hansen’ and the Company of the First North American Tour of Dear Evan Hansen. Photo by Matthew Murphy. 2018

The winner of six 2017 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Dear Evan Hansen features a book by Tony Award-winner Steven Levenson, a score by Grammy®, Tony® and Academy Award® winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La Land, The Greatest Showman), and direction by four-time Tony Award nominee Michael Greif (Rent, Next to Normal).

Declared “One of the most remarkable shows in musical theater history” by the Washington Post’s Peter Marks, Dear Evan Hansen opened at the Music Box Theatre to rave reviews on December 4, 2016, where it’s broken all box office records and struck a chord with critics and audiences alike.

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Science of Wine at the Orlando Science Center

Science of Wine Orlando Science Center 2019

Ready your mind – and palate – for a night of wining, dining and learning at one of Orlando’s most unique food and wine events, the Science of Wine!

ORLANDO, Fla.

The 9th annual Science of Wine, presented by Southern Glazer’s Wines and Spirits, on April 27th is your chance to sip, savor, and support the mission of Orlando Science Center while you uncork your inner sommelier (and scientist!).

The Science of Wine is not just another wine tasting, but an oenological odyssey for adults only with presentations on multiple aspects of wine growing and wine tasting in addition to samples of more than 150 fine wines from the world’s most important wine regions and some of the best food from your favorite region, Central Florida!

Science of Wine 2019 Orlando Science Center
Orlando Science Center Facebook Page

The Science of Wine Culinary Partners Include: 

  • Barnie’s Coffee & Tea
  • BENTO asian kitchen + sushi
  • Black Rooster Taqueria
  • Bonefish Grill
  • BJ’s Restaurant Brewhouse
  • Cocktails Catering
  • Fresh Kitchen
  • Gezellig Cookies
  • Hard Rock Cafe
  • Keke’s Breakfast Cafe
  • Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream
  • Lucky’s Market
  • Millenia Event Catering
  • Nicole Macaron
  • Olde Hearth Bread Co.
  • The Pub
  • Sonny’s BBQ
  • SusHi Eatstation
  • Sweet by Holly
  • Swine & Son’s
  • Tamale Co.
  • Tibby’s New Orleans Kitchen

There are also two add on experiences to take your night to the next level!

Science of Wine 2019 Orlando Science Center
Orlando Science Center Facebook Page

Swine & Sons Cooking Demos

Demos at 7:30pm and 8:45pm

$20 per person with purchase of Science of Wine ticket

Have you ever wondered why your favorite Cabernet compliments a grilled steak so perfectly, or which white wine would be best with the seafood dish you’re preparing?

We’ll explore the science behind some classic food and wine pairings and discover what works, and why in this interactive food and wine tasting demo hosted by Swine & Sons Provisions. 

Cooking demos are $20 per person with the purchase of a Science of Wine ticket, and seats are limited.

Thank you to our partner, Swine and Son’s for leading guests on this cooking journey. 

Wine Seminar – How’d It Get There?

Demo at 6:30pm

$20 per person with purchase of Science of Wine ticket

Want to become the wine expert within your friend group? Look no further than this wine seminar hosted by Julie Pepi, CSW Director for Fine Wine in Florida for Trinchero Family Estates!

You’ll learn why certain grapes grow better in specific places, what tannin and oak flavors actually are, where the bubbles in your favorite Champagne come from and so much more!

Seats to the Wine Seminar are $20 per person with the purchase of a Science of Wine ticket.

Limited seating is available so reserve your spot today.

Tickets are available now for this amazing evening benefitting the Orlando Science Center, and cost $100 for Orlando Science Center Members and $125 for General Admission.

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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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Holidays in Space at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Holidays in Space Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Christmas is Out of This World During Holidays in Space at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Annual Holiday event takes place December 14 – 30 adding an extra five days of holiday sparkle

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.

The annual “Holidays in Space” celebration at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex returns with a new kinetic light show and breathtaking holiday décor.

This year’s new show begins on December 14 and happens every night through December 30 (with the exception of Christmas Day). Which means that the event will take place a full five days longer than in previous years.

Holidays in Space KSCVC 2018

The reimagined show, appropriately wrapped like a present, will feature a fanciful kinetic light presentation on the Atlantis North Lawn.

Beginning at 5 p.m. each evening, the inspired production will feature jaw-dropping surprises and a rainbow of colors and special effects second only to the planets, comets and stars in the galaxy.

“Our Holidays in Space celebration gets better and better each year and 2018 is no exception,” said Therrin Protze, chief operating officer, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. “It’s an exciting time for space exploration with the recent 60th anniversary of NASA, and the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Moon landing and our holiday season here is designed to share our pride and excitement.”

Holidays in Space Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Also new this year will be a holiday-themed kids activity area in the Atlantis West Pavilion. Families can look forward to hours of fun, with special kids’ activities offered from December 26 – 30.

If you are looking for a uniquely ‘Florida’ holiday event, you will want to look no further than Holidays in Space at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex! The event is a great way to cap off you visit to the mesmerizing attraction,

For more information or to book a visit to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, click here.

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Light Up UCF Brings Holiday Fun to the CFE Arena

Light Up UCF 2018 Details

Light Up UCF returns for its eleventh annual season at the CFE Arena

Residents and visitors of Central Florida can expect snowy nights and sparkling lights with a spectacular light show, outdoor skating rink, exciting holiday attractions and more during Light Up UCF!

ORLANDO, Fla.

They’re spreading holiday cheer at CFE Arena and the University of Central Florida with the annual holiday festival, Light Up UCF, from Friday, November 16 through Tuesday, January 1.

This year’s festival offers 47 nights of ice skating, a world- class choreographed light show with new music, free holiday movies, live entertainment, rides like the Ferris Wheel and Light Up Express kids train, and much more.

At Light Up UCF, there is complimentary fun for all ages to enjoy!

The Holiday Light Show features more than 200,000 lights pulsing and strobing throughout the night in perfect synchronization to holiday songs under snowfall.

On select Friday and Saturday nights, the Holiday Film Festival encourages families to gather under the stars and view their favorite holiday films on a 2-story high screen, including titles like “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “The Santa Clause”, “Elf”, “Home Alone”, and more.

You can also walk through Light Up Lane for a beautifully lit Christmas tree forest with the sounds and smells of the holidays.

Then on select nights, Santa will be on location to hear all your Christmas wishes, with photos available for purchase.

Light Up UCF 2018
Photo: Light Up UCF

The Light Up UCF Ice Rink, an ultimate fan favorite, returns yet again as a staple of the festivities. The ice rink invites guests to glide along to their favorite Top 40 hits and holiday tunes, played by a live DJ.

Light Up UCF boasts a range of exciting rides for everyone.

The Ferris Wheel treats guests to panoramic views overlooking the entire event and UCF’s beautiful campus.

Light Up UCF 2018
Photo: Light Up UCF

Other family-friendly thrills include the Light Up Express Train, taking children for a holiday-themed train ride; the Arctic Glide Ice Slide where guests can slide down a 100-foot ice hill; and the Winter Whirl, taking guests on an exciting swing.

The entertainment continues on the Community Stage where local talents are invited to showcase their skills.

Keep the holiday cheer going on Saturday, December 15 and Friday, December 21 when Light Up UCF welcomes back its Holiday Market ‘Under The Stars’ for two special nights!

Light Up UCF 2018 -
Photo: Light Up UCF Facebook Page

Guests are encouraged to take a stroll through the market where they can marvel at the crafts of talented local artisans, all while finalizing their holiday gift shopping.

Tickets for ice skating, rides, and photos with Santa can be purchased at the CFE Arena Box Office. Select tickets are also available for purchase through Ticketmaster or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

More information for all Light Up UCF events can be found at www.LightUpUCF.com.

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Top Nine: Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes, and More

Top Nine: Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes, and More

October is full of great fall events, and here are our top nine picks for Central Florida’s best pumpkin patches, corn mazes, hayrides, and more!

Top Nine: Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes, & More

1. Lukas Nursery 1909 Slavia Road, Oviedo, 407-365-6163

lukasnursery.com

Lukas Nursery & Butterfly Encounter is keeping fall traditions alive in Oviedo with its 34th annual fall festival on October 13-14. From 10 a.m.-4 p.m. You can ride tractor-pulled hayrides and hang out in the pumpkin patch.

2. Harvest Holler 950 Tavares Road, Polk City, 352-895-8687

harvestholler.com

About 45 minutes from Orlando is the picturesque pumpkin patch at Harvest Holler. Between now and November 12th, get your pick of pumpkins every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You can also check out the farm during the week, if you make a reservation.

3. Partin Ranch Corn Maze 5601 N. Canoe Creek Road, Kenansville, 407-709-7250

partinranchcornmaze.com

Starting October 13th each Saturday and Sunday in October, you can try to make your way through Partin Ranch’s 5-acre or mini corn mazes. Attendees can also enjoy hayrides, a kiddie zip line, a corn box, and play areas.

4. Long & Scott Farms 26216 CR 448A, Mount Dora, 352-383-6900

longandscottfarms.com

Since 2003, Long & Scott Farms has been working to grow its 7-acre corn maze into a local tradition. This year’s events will also include tree, rope and mist mazes, as well as a labyrinth.

5. Uncle Donald’s Farm 2713 Griffin Ave, Lady Lake, 352-753-2882

uncledonaldsfarm.com

Don’t be afraid of the dark, hop on Uncle Donald’s Farm’s nocturnal hayride, where you’re sure to see owls and other nighttime creatures. Every Saturday in October you can also try the creepy barn crawl filled with reptiles, find your way through the hay maze and wander through the pumpkin patch.

6. CornFusion Maze 13444 Moore Road, Lakeland, 863-559-9952

smithranchlakeland.com

The Smith Family Ranch in Lakeland offers all sorts of family weekend fun in October. In addition to an 8-acre crop maze and pumpkin patches, you can have fun with hayrides, bounce pillows and a variety of other activities.

7. Club Lake Plantation 3403 Rock Springs Road, Apopka, 407-703-2707

http://clublakeplantation.com/events/fall-festival/

Six days a week in Apopka, you can wander the corn maze and pick from the pumpkin patch at Club Lake Plantation. Their Fall Festival runs from now until October 31st and includes hayrides, train rides, access to the country store and the chance to launch a pumpkin from an air cannon.

8. Santa’s Christmas Tree Forest 35317 Huff Road, Eustis, 352-357-9863

http://www.santaschristmastreeforest.com/pumpkins/

Christmas may be a few months away, but you can have fun at Santa’s Christmas Tree Forest this fall. A pumpkin patch, mazes, photo ops, unlimited hayrides, horse rides, ziplines, duck races and a petting zoo are open on weekends, from now until October 29th.

9. Stanley Pond Adventure Farm 15426 County Road 48, Astatula, 352-742-8180

http://stanleypondfarm.com/events.html

Stanley Pond Adventure Farm offers sunflower mazes and pumpkin patches every weekend in October to get you in the fall spirit. Hours of operation are 11 a.m.-5 p.m., with the last admission at 3 p.m.

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Altamonte Springs 23rd Annual Red Hot & Boom

Altamonte Springs 2018 Red Hot Boom

Altamonte Springs set to host 23rd Annual Red Hot & Boom

Altamonte Springs’ 23rd annual festival brings hot acts, family fun and dazzling fireworks for Independence Day

The Red Hot & Boom Festival in Altamonte Springs is set to deliver a day of music from the hottest artists, family fun, and of course, one of the best firework displays in the South.

More than two decades since it first began, the event has grown into an anticipated family-friendly tradition, drawing more than 175,000 spectators celebrating the spirit of summer.

Red Hot & Boom will take place on Tuesday, July 3, 2018 at Cranes Roost Park in Uptown Altamonte.

The event is known for featuring up-and-coming talent for a FREE show which starts at 4 p.m. and continues after the fireworks.

This year’s artists include:

  • Echosmith – This sibling trio stormed onto the scene with the hit “Cool Kids,” but the new release, “Over My Head” is already climbing the Billboard charts.
  • Lauv – Singer-songwriter Lauv has a collaboration with Demi Lovato and a tour with Ed Sheeran under his belt, but his breakout song “I Like Me Better” made him a star in his own right.
  • MAX – The 25-year-old model, actor and musician is known for his single “Lights Down Low.” The aspiring singer has also worked with the likes of Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz and Pharrell.
  • Jack & Jack – This rap-pop duo got their start on the social media platform Vine, but have since taken on music professionally, recently releasing the single “Beg.”
  • In Real Life – The winners of the reality show “Boy Band” have already released the single “Tattoo” and are touring this summer.
  • Alyssa Raghu – The Lake Nona High School sophomore is fresh off her stint on “American Idol,” where she graced the Top 24.
  • Logan Henderson – Known for his role on the TV show “Big Time Rush” and the band by the same name, Henderson is now taking on a solo career with several recent singles, including “Sleepwalker.”

The hottest act of the night is the show-stopping fireworks, lighting up the sky with a splash of color starting at 9:30 p.m., weather permitting.

The firework display is perfectly choreographed and synchronized to today’s hits and old-time favorites for the dazzling 25-minute show over Cranes Roost Lake.

Altamonte Springs 2018 Red Hot Boom Fireworks
Photo: Altamonte Springs

“Red Hot & Boom has become a tradition for families throughout the south east. We want to create a happy and energetic environment for all who attend this event,” said Jerry Sullivan, deputy director of Leisure Services for the City of Altamonte Springs. “We’re incredibly proud of this celebration, and we work hard to make sure this event is fun and memorable every year.”

Red Hot & Boom starts at 4 p.m. The event is rain or shine.

For more information, please visit www.UptownAltamonte.com/RHB.

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Disney Cruise Line Releases Rendering Of New Ships

It is a happy day for Disney Cruise Line enthusiasts, because new renderings have been releases of the three newest vessels setting sail in 2021, 2022 and 2023 will be no exception.

This first, early rendering depicts the magnificent exterior of the newest Disney ships that will elevate family cruise vacations to a whole new level.

Disney Cruise Line
Disney Cruise Line

In keeping with the distinct Disney Cruise Line style, the new ships will embody the elegance and romance of the golden age of ocean cruising with unique touches all their own. The new vessels will offer more innovation, new technologies, spectacular entertainment and more Disney stories and characters than ever before.

Ingenuity and innovation from stem to stern will amaze and delight Disney Cruise Line guests of all ages. Each new ship will be approximately 140,000 gross tons and each is currently planned to include about 1,250 guest staterooms.

We CANNOT WAIT to bring you more information about these new ships!Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Disney Cruise Line announces new Summer 2019 sailings

Disney Cruise Line offers new sailings from Rome and seven new ports in Europe, plus Alaska and Caribbean sailings take center stage

Disney Cruise Line new destinations Summer 2019 sailings

In summer 2019, Disney Cruise Line will sail on new itineraries and to seven new ports in Europe, including a first-ever round-trip cruise from Rome and first-time visits to destinations in Sweden, France, Spain, Denmark and Northern Ireland. Disney Cruise Line takes guests on a grand tour of Europe with visits to the Mediterranean in early summer and northern Europe in late summer. Plus, adventures continue with sailings to Alaska, the Caribbean and the Bahamas, including new cruise lengths aboard the Disney Fantasy.

Bookings open to the public on March 8, 2018. More details on 2019 itineraries can be found on the Ports and Itineraries for 2019 page of disneycruise.com.

New round-trip sailing from Rome

Disney Cruise Line Roman Coliseum
David Roark, photographer

For the first time, Disney Cruise Line guests can experience the rich history of Rome as a bookend experience in a single cruise.

In Rome, families can explore the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain and the Vatican, and sample authentic local cuisine.

On June 14, 2019, the Disney Magic will sail an eight-night cruise from Civitavecchia (Rome). Ports of call include Salerno (Positano, Amalfi, Pompeii) and La Spezia (Florence, Pisa), Italy; Villefranche (Monte Carlo, Cannes, Nice) and Marseilles, France; and Barcelona, Spain.

First-time visits to seven new ports in Europe

Disney Cruise Line Geiranger, Norway
Matt Stroshane, photographer

Disney Cruise Line will call on seven new ports in Europe for the first time in 2019, including Gothenburg and Nynashamn (Stockholm), Sweden; Toulon (Provence) and Brest, France; Cartagena, Spain; Fredericia, Denmark; and Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Belfast is a new destination on a seven-night British Isles cruise departing from Dover, England, near London, on Sept. 8, 2019. In Belfast, Disney Cruise Line guests can explore the stunning Giant’s Causeway, one of the most impressive natural wonders in the United Kingdom, and enjoy breathtaking vistas along the Antrim Coast, including the dramatic cliff-side ruins of the medieval Dunluce Castle.

Throughout the summer, the Disney Magic’s tour of Europe includes engagements in the Baltic, Norwegian fjords, Iceland, British Isles and the Mediterranean.

Return to Alaska                  

Disney Cruise Line Alaska
Kent Phillips, photographer

In 2019, the Disney Wonder will return to Alaska for the summer season, opening up a world of breathtaking natural vistas, magnificent glaciers and awe-inspiring wildlife. A variety of five-, seven- and nine-night itineraries will depart from Vancouver, Canada, with stops in Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Sitka, Icy Strait Point, Hubbard Glacier and Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska, plus Victoria, Canada.

Special Disney Fantasy itineraries to the Caribbean and Bahamas

Disney Cruise Line at Sea
Disney

In addition to seven-night eastern and western Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral, near Orlando, Florida, the Disney Fantasy will embark on a variety of special itineraries to the Caribbean and Bahamas throughout the summer of 2019.

The special itineraries include a three-night Bahamian cruise departing Aug. 7, a six-night western Caribbean cruise departing June 30, an eight-night southern Caribbean cruise departing June 22, and an 11-night southern Caribbean cruise departing July 27.

All cruises aboard the Disney Fantasy in the summer of 2019 include a stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, in addition to multiple tropical destinations where Disney Cruise Line guests can dive into charming island cultures, sunbathe on golden beaches and revel in local marketplaces.

Castaway Cay: More opportunities to explore Disney’s exclusive private island

Disney Cruise Line Castaway Cay
David Roark, photographer

In 2019, the Disney Dream will sail a series of cruises that include two stops at Castaway Cay so guests can have twice the fun in the sun and enjoy even more of Disney’s award-winning pristine island paradise.

On June 19, July 3 and July 17, 2019, the Disney Dream will sail from Port Canaveral on four-night Bahamian cruises to Nassau, plus two stops at Castaway Cay.

On June 14, June 23, June 28, July 7, July 12 and July 21, 2019, the Disney Dream will sail from Port Canaveral on five-night Bahamian cruises to Nassau, plus two stops at Castaway Cay.

These special itineraries are in addition to three- and four-night Bahamian cruises from Port Canaveral that visit Nassau and Castaway Cay.

Guided Experiences with Adventures by Disney

Disney Cruise Line Family
Chloe Rice, photographer

In the summer of 2019, Disney Cruise Line guests can enrich their experience by combining a Europe or Alaska cruise with a package from Adventures by Disney, a leader in family guided group vacations.

New pre-cruise Short Escapes

New in 2019, Adventures by Disney will offer pre-cruise guided experiences in Rome and Vancouver. These three-night Short Escapes, also offered in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Barcelona, allow families to experience memorable icons in ways that few can, such as a private, after-hours visit to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel in Rome. Plus, activities like ziplining, flamenco dancing and preparing local cuisine immerse families in the culture of the region.

Guided group excursion packages for select Europe cruises

Families can also enhance select European sailings with an Adventures by Disney package during the cruise. Knowledgeable Adventure Guides lead travelers to experience the best of each port, helping them unlock the wonders of the destination through immersive excursions and off-the-beaten-path adventures. In addition, guests will enjoy exclusive receptions onboard and have access to concierge service from these dedicated guides throughout the voyage.

These Adventures by Disney offerings open for booking beginning March 8, 2018, with the exception of the Vancouver Short Escape, which will open for booking later this year.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, visit disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact a travel agent.

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2018 Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival at Raglan Road

St. Patrick’s Day revelers will definitely want to enjoy three non-stop days of live music, Irish dance, first-rate food, and fun during the Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival 2018 at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Disney Springs March 16-18.

Raglan Road 2018 Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival

Here’s the Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival complete lineup:

  • Young Dubliners – One of Celtic rock’s hardest working bands, the You Dubliners play hundreds of shows to thousands of fans across the United States and Europe every year. Young Dubliners are known for their hearty rock and Irish-infused live performances.
  • Elevation (U2) — Back by popular demand, this stellar U2 tribute act will play two special nighttime shows March 16 and 17. They appeared at Raglan Road’s Great Irish Hooley last September during U2’s world tour celebrating 30 years of the groundbreaking Joshua Tree album.
  • The Maguires – Called “brilliant” by IrishCentral news, The Maguires traditional Irish family band comprises Emma, 17, on fiddle, flute and whistle; Aoife, 15, on concertina and uilleann pipes; Sean, 12, on bodhrán; and their dad, Philip, on guitar.  Trad favorites and modern tunes combine with syncopated, infectious rhythms sure to wow Mighty Festival crowds.

Raglan Road 2018 St Patricks Mighty Festival

  •  Briste — This inspiring all-female trio includes Emma Robinson (flute, whistle), Joanna Boyle (banjo, vocals) and Alison Crossey (bodhran, guitar). They grew up listening to and playing traditional Irish music, winning numerous awards at County, Ulster and All Ireland competitions, quickly gaining themselves a fine reputation in traditional music circles. Blending together their rich musical backgrounds, Briste creates a fresh and exciting mix of country, folk and Irish traditional music.
  • The Byrne Brothers — An exceptionally talented traditional Irish music family from Donegal. They are Luca, 13 (button accordion); Finn, 11 (banjo, mandolin and whistle); Dempsey, 8, (whistle and bodhran); and father,Tommy (guitar, Uilleann pipes, fiddle, whistles, bagpipes and bodhran). Their show combines exciting traditional Irish tunes with modern dance beats, and they love to interact with every audience.
  • The Raglan Roots Coalition – This edgy house band is known for its soul-rockin’ Celtic bluegrass with hip-swingin’, knee-shakin’ funky roots beats.
  • Reel Republic – Hailing from the southwest corner of Ireland, Aisling Egan-Sage (fiddle); Liam O’Keefe (box, vocals); and Colin Foley (guitar, vocals) are Reel Republic 2.0, three seriously talented musicians always pushing to make the next gig better than the last.
  • Out the Gap – Niall McIlroy (guitar, ukulele bass, whistles and flute); Deirdre Ni Mheachair (fiddle); and Aidan Byrne (guitar, vox, keys and percussion) make up the pub’s newest house band performing a sweet combination of innate musicianship, beautiful tune playing and fairly outrageous virtuosity.
  • The Raglan Road Irish Dancers – Plucked from the cast and stages of the world’s greatest Irish dance shows, the Raglan Road Irish Dancers perform throughout the Mighty Festival. You can even learn some traditional Irish dance steps – no experience necessary!

Raglan Road 2018 St Patricks Mighty Festival

Guests can enjoy a mighty selection of beers, spirits and craft cocktails to pair with exceptional pub grub and more elegant Irish fare while musicians and dancers perform on multiple stages, indoors and out, from noon-1:30 a.m. March 16 and 10 a.m. until 1:30 a.m. March 17 and 18.  Mighty Festival guests can accent their Irish holiday attire with complimentary face painting available for up to nine or 10 hours each festival day.  On March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, guests will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis with a cover charge of $10 for each guest age 18 and older. Reservations can be booked for other festival days by calling 407/938-0300.

The entertainment schedule will be posted at raglanroad.com.

Raglan Road 2018 St Patricks Mighty Festival

Guests can order from Raglan Road’s brunch, lunch, dinner and bar menus that include new dishes like the Guinness-braised pulled pork, apple chutney with pork crackling on a homemade bun, and the handmade gnocchi with seared Georges Bank scallops and crispy pork belly.  Traditionalists can dig into the pub’s loin of bacon and cabbage, the authentic Irish dish of St. Patrick’s Day, plus other pub classics.  Throughout the event, the restaurant’s Cooke’s of Dublin counter-service eatery will offer Irish favorites, as well, including fish and chips.

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Get Caught Up In The Mayhem of March

Aloma Bowling Center Logo Aloma Bowl Logo

Aloma Bowl, Boardwalk Bowl offer prizes, deals for Mayhem of March

Grab your jerseys and foam fingers – it’s time for college basketball to dominate your TV!

Boardwalk Bowl in Orlando and Aloma Bowl in Winter Park will make it easy for you to monitor every game of your bracket while enjoying prizes and a mug madness offering with the Mayhem of March event.

Brooklyn South Bar inside Boardwalk Bowl and Aloma Bowl will be the headquarters for the popular promotion.

While the NCAA tournament starts on March 13, the venues will turn the heat up early so you can get in the zone. Mayhem of March will last from March 1 to April 2. During this time, not only will the games be going strong, but the offers will be, too.

Prize drawings will take place throughout game day, when every guest in the venue can win…they don’t even have to be watching the game. Prizes get larger every week, ranging from items such as a $10 game card or a pitcher of beer to $50 gift certificates. All entries at each venue will be pooled for a grand prize drawing at the end of the tournament, with the winner receiving an Ap’Pintizer Party for 20, worth more than $500.

Brooklyn South Bar will also have drink specials with Mug Madness. Anyone who purchases a commemorative mug filled with domestic beer for $9 will receive $3 domestic refills all tournament long.

Each venue features HDTVs throughout, as well as several big screens or giant projection screens, so you can keep your head in the game while doing some winning and celebrating yourself.

For more information, visit www.AlomaBowlingCenters.com.

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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.

httpv://youtu.be/V2ULapP-hOU

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.Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram