2021 EPCOT Festival of the Arts – Disney Songbook Performance

2021 Epcot Festival of the Arts Entrance

The 2021 Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Arts is happening daily at the Walt Disney World Resort until February 22, 2021.

What makes this festival so awesome is that it brings together the visual, culinary, and performing arts in a magical way…that is included with your theme park admission.

One of the 2021 Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Arts highlights is the performances on the America Gardens Theatre stage in the American Adventure Pavilion of EPCOT’s World Showcase.

New for 2021 is the Disney Songbook performed by the iconic Voices of Liberty!

This 15-minute show happens throughout the afternoon on Fridays and Saturdays and features several fan-favorite songs from Disney movies that celebrate the artistry of Disney composers and lyricists.

While the Voices of Liberty have performed songs from Disney movies and attractions before, this performance at the 2021 Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Arts features a wider variety of songs including:

  • “Be Our Guest” from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
  • “Touch the Sky” from Pixar’s Brave
  • “You’ll Be in my Heart” from Disney’s Tarzan
  • A Moana medley including “How Far I’ll Go” and “You’re Welcome”
  • “When You Wish Upon a Star” from Pinocchio

If you are interested in attending a performance of the Disney Songbook by the Voices of Liberty, I encourage you to arrive early as the show is incredibly popular and seating is limited in the America Gardens Theatre.

All this week I will be sharing more information, videos, and pictures from EPCOT so make sure to follow @onthegoinmco on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook!

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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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Clermont’s Holiday Enchanted Forest

The City of Clermont has many activities to safely enjoy this season and take part in. They just had their Virtual Light up Clermont Ceremony on December 4th, which featured a special message from the Mayor and Council. Don’t worry if you missed it, because there’s something so fun going on at Victory Pointe!

Clermont’s Holiday Enchanted Forest opened December 5 and runs until January 3, 2021 at Victory Pointe. It is open nightly until 10pm. There are over 40 decorated trees all lined up by the lake.

Schools, organizations, businesses, and families have individually decorated these trees being showcased nightly.

You can stroll through the Enchanted Forest at your leisure while listening to the Holiday music being played throughout. Signs in front of each tree tell you which group decorated each tree, some are more obvious than others, but they are all so fun!

We went on quite a cold night for Florida, and since it is located right by the lake it got very chilly so be sure to take a blanket or decent coat/sweater so you can enjoy it more. Don’t be like me in shorts and a T-Shirt wondering “where this cold snap even came from?”.

There is also a box to drop off letters to Santa in Santa’s mailbox which will be delivery directly to the North Pole. It’s right by the entrance to the Holiday Enchanted Forest, and also has a great area for photo opportunities.

It really is a fun, cute event and completely free! I want to go back in the day time now to enjoy some of the details more as they were all lit up so beautifully but I want to see the creativity close up!

On the way out we decided to walk by the historic village and I am so glad we did, they have a few little cute displays and cut outs. But what was a really nice addition this year was over in the bay window of the Train Depot, the building closest to West Avenue.

Tommy Candido, display coordinator at John Zweifel’s President’s Hall of Fame, set up his personal Christmas Village. The display fills the entire window and is lighted every evening, 6-10pm.

It’s such a pretty animated display, featuring children on sleds, ice skaters, an air balloon and Gibbon (a Yeti, a signature of every Christmas Village Candido has put together over the years). I loved the little town square in the middle with all the light up trees leading to the big tree!

You can check out more about this event among others if you head to their website www.ClermontFL.gov

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Christmas in Downtown Winter Garden

This year, Downtown Winter Garden will be different for Christmas in order to keep people safe, but they are still offering some fun and safe entertainment for everyone.

This year, they have festive lighting and decorations, holiday-themed photo stations, a painted holiday mural wall, Santa’s Workshop, Winter Wonderland and many more activities outside for everyone.

There were plenty of places for photo opportunities and they even had a small area cordoned off with real snow that they kept topping up for kids and big kids-alike!

All the activities were free except for the horse-drawn carriage which requires reservations.

Our personal favorite was the projection light show they are doing on Town Hall. It runs in about a 20 minute loop and features Christmas songs and projection mapping over the building.


The light show runs mostly on weekends from 6-9pm, the link to will be at the bottom of the page for their Holiday Calendar.

They also have a Merry Winter Garden Farmer’s Market every Saturday in December, 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, where you can find produce, artisan foods, wreaths and holiday plants.

Seasonal food, drinks and merchandise will be available for purchase at shops and restaurants, and you will find expanded outside seating. Make sure you also check out the Garden Theatre, as they will be having live theatre and holiday movies shown throughout December.

Check out http://downtownwg.com for the town’s schedule and www.gardentheatre.org to see what Garden Theatre is offering this Holiday season.

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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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A Visit To Historic Clermont with Gail

This week we decided to take a walk through historic Clermont and the waterfront there. It was such a beautiful breezy day for Central Florida so we had to go out and enjoy it!

At the corner of West Avenue and Osceola Street, is Clermont’s Historical Village. The houses were individually moved from their original locations to sit where they are now, for visitors to come and learn about the City’s history. The Kern House was built in 1885, the Townsend House was built in 1895, and the Depot building around 1925.

The village also features the original Cooper Memorial Library, built in 1914, and it also has a Quonset Hut which is used as a World War II Museum. Clermont’s Historic Village open hours are Friday from 1 p.m to 3 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Clermont was founded in 1884 and incorporated in 1916. Right now, the City is undergoing a Downtown-Waterfront Master Plan, so you will see a lot of construction going on around the Downtown area and around the Historic Village. There are some wonderful additions coming, some have already been built like Victory Point, Kehlor Recreation Center and the new boat ramp.

Currently, they are working on a Wi-Fi Trail to enhance safety and navigation for trail users, plus, it will be able to support events with data and live broadcasting in key areas. The streetscape is also in progress all around the area, to create a focal point at City Hall. I am most excited about their Art Walk area, this is still under construction downtown and due to be completed at the end of this year. If you want to take a look at any of the improvements and what’s coming you can visit https://www.clermontfl.gov/MasterPlan

After the Historic Village, we took a walk down to the waterfront as it was such a beautiful day, you can often catch sight of gators and many different native birds down here.

There’s a bike trail going right past the lake (part of the upcoming Wi-Fi Trail) and many picnic benches, so it’s a perfect location to bring the family or friends and catch up with a great view! Today we just walked around staying outside, enjoying the views. But Clermont has some amazing places to eat and drink, with many new places opening all the time. Next time you are thinking of visiting a local town, consider Clermont as there’s something for everyone here.

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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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The Chick-Fil-A Christmas Spectacular at the Citrus Tower

The Citrus Tower in Clermont has brought back its light show for the first time since they stopped the show 2 years ago. The new light show this year features 50,000 lights on the 226-foot tower, synchronized to music and snowfall.

Owners Scott and Heather Homan reached out to the community for help and support in funding the return of the show. They were seeking people to purchase $100 annual memberships, and the proceeds from those sales would go toward the light show. Then, Chick-Fil-A of Clermont’s owner Rocky DeStafano contributed 20-free chicken sandwich vouchers per membership, and sales spiked. With the support of other local business groups and the Real Life Church, they were able to meet the funding needed to make the show happen.

This 360-degree light show truly is one of a kind, and something we felt is very safe to be able to go view during these times of Covid-19. As you can see, it is really easy to social distance from people here. At first, we stayed in our car, but then we got out to view it better since the parking lot gives you plenty of space to stay away from others safely. They do have an announcement asking that children are monitored since it is a working parking lot.

Back in March this year, they had some lights attached to communicate hope amid the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic. But bringing back this light show was so magical, they even have snow machines set up and have a little closed off area right up front for people to stand closer away from the parking lot.

The owners have recently transformed the inside of the building adding a coffee shop, arcade, and a board game store. They also added free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and a new seating area at the top of the tower to sit and enjoy the views, maybe with a coffee from downstairs.

The show will run until January 1st from 6-10 pm every night. Their Facebook page suggests you wear a mask at all times, social distance when possible, and to remain in your car to view the show if you are at risk for Covid. If you are comfortable heading inside (wear a mask please) the Citrus Coffee Company inside the lobby has a limited-time Christmas Drink: Ginger Snap S’More Latte available for purchase among other sweet treats.

The Florida Citrus Tower is located at 141 S Hwy 27, Clermont FL 34711.

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Wekiva Island Winter Wonderland 2020

Wekiva Island will be hosting its beloved Winter Wonderland celebration from December 1 to January 1. In its fifth year, the event will be adjusted for the “elf” and safety of guests and staff—but it will still bring the holiday cheer with daily “snow” flurries, thousands of lights, festive décor, and plenty of events for the whole family.

Wekiva Island Winter Wonderland 2020

To officially kick off the event, Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive at 7 p.m. December 4, bringing the first “snow” of the 2020 holiday season with them.

“We’ve put a lot of thought and hard work into making sure this event is as safe as possible for all of our guests,” said Carrie Vanderhoef, manager. “This is always a favorite event, and we’re happy to be able to keep the holiday spirit alive this season.”

Guests will have plenty of opportunities to soak in that spirit and capture the perfect holiday photo on the Island.

This year’s Winter Wonderland will feature a breathtaking Christmas tree forest full of decorated trees that will serve as the perfect backdrop.

The schoolhouse will be made up to look like a giant gingerbread house, and “snow” flurries will fall nightly from 6 to 9 p.m. and 12 to 9 p.m. on weekends.

Guests can also take a “sleigh” ride down the river for $20 for adults and $10 for children on Saturdays and Sundays.

Families looking for the Santa experience with the kids also won’t be disappointed. Mr. and Mrs. Claus will make a socially distanced appearance for photos on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

This year, rather than sitting on Santa’s lap, guests are encouraged to leave letters for Santa in a special mailbox or via email. These letters will be read live at 7 p.m. every Tuesday on Wekiva Island’s Facebook.

Wekiva Island Winter Wonderland 2020

Winter Wonderland features many socially distanced holiday activities for children of all ages to enjoy:

  • Breakfast with Santa – Enjoy the most important meal of the day with Jolly Old St. Nick himself! Bring the entire family for the chance to take socially distanced photos with Santa while enjoying a delicious plate of breakfast eats. 9 a.m. to noon on December 13 with ticketed seating by the hour. $12.95 for adults and $9.95 for children 10 and younger.
  • VIP Winter Wonderland Party – Get the VIP treatment at the Island’s exclusive ticketholder-only holiday party. Enjoy craft beer and wine, gourmet small plates, live music and more from 7 to 11 p.m. on December 19. $50 per person, $90 for couples.
  • Holiday movies – Bring the whole family out to watch holiday classics at the Island! Bring your own lawn chair to social distance in style while enjoying the popcorn and hot cocoa available to purchase. 7 p.m. Sundays starting December 6.
  • Cocoa, stories & cookies with Mrs. Claus – Spend some time with Mrs. Claus and enjoy some tasty treats! This event is limited to the first 20 children in person but will also take place virtually. Reservations required. 6 p.m. December 10 and 17. $10 per child.
  • Reindeer feed box workshop – Join Santa and Mrs. Claus to learn how to make reindeer feed from the pros. For $10 a child, guests will receive all necessary ingredients to make the feed, a keepsake box and a cup of hot cocoa. If parents prefer a virtual experience, boxes can be purchased from The Tooting Otter General Store for $10. 6 to 8 p.m. December 14.
  • New Year’s Day Brunch – Ring in the New Year with a delicious brunch and river views on January 1.

To give back to the community, Wekiva Island will be filling canoes with toys to donate to Toys for Tots starting November 27. Marines will visit from 1 to 5 p.m. December 12 to collect the toys.

Wekiva Island also offers gift options at its General Store, and those who purchase a $100 gift card receive a $20 gift card free. The Island offers free gift wrapping on ALL gifts, even those not purchased there, so guests can kick back and enjoy a relaxing beverage while the Island elves do the hard work.

Winter Wonderland is open to the public. There is a $2 admission fee. A full calendar of daily events is available here. Tickets can be purchased for select events here.

Wekiva Island is requiring masks for guests at the entrance and whenever they are outside the boundaries of their small, socially distanced group. Temperature checks are required at the gate.

For more information, visit wekivaisland.com or call 407-862-1500.

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A Visit to Newton Park with Gail

In these times of Covid-19, we have to decide what we are comfortable doing when venturing out of the house and looking for entertainment.

It really depends on what you feel is right for you and your family. For my family, we have a young toddler, so I personally haven’t felt comfortable to go inside buildings with her yet.

Instead, we try to choose some outdoor places we can visit, and we try to do this a couple of times a week.

Newton Park

This week we decided to wander around Newton Park, in Winter Garden which is a lakefront park by Lake Apopka.

It wasn’t busy at all mid week, but I can see it being more popular on weekends for fishing and picnics.

Newton Park

In this park, you can even bring your own boat and go out onto the lake itself and do a little fishing.

Newton Park

We mainly love it because it’s so peaceful and the views are so pretty, on a clear day you can see pretty far.

The day we went, it was pretty cloudy so you couldn’t see too much but it helped that it was much cooler!

Newton Park

We walked right out onto the pier to take in some of the views since it was such a nice windy day.

Pro-tip, try not to drop any Goldfish snacks along the pier if you can help it, was a bit daunting like a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds movie!

Newton Park

We even got to see some gators, they were a few baby-sized ones floating around and then we spotted this larger one right by the pier. Must have been a good 5-6 feet long!

Newton Park
Newton Park

Lake Apopka is the fourth largest lake in Florida, and during the 1940s was one of Central Florida’s main attractions.

Anglers traveled from through the world to fish here. The Edgewater Hotel in downtown Winter Garden used to house many of these visitors.

Newton Park
Newton Park

Sadly, the discharge of water, rich in nutrients from agricultural and other sources, produced conditions that created a chronic algal bloom and resulted in a loss of the lake’s recreational value and game fish populations.

In the ’90s, clean up measures with good intentions failed and muck choked the lake bottom.

This eventually led to other restoration projects, each with its own problems and work continues to develop a plan to ensure future development does not negatively impact the lake.

Newton Park

We continue to visit other parks in the area but wanted to talk about this one since its a lovely local place to visit.

Newton Park is located at 31 W Garden Ave, Winter Garden, FL, 34787.

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Our Christmas at Gaylord Palms Adventure

Disclosure: I was invited by the Gaylord Palms Resort to experience Christmas at Gaylord Palms, but all opinions and overuse of exclamation points are all my own!!!

Christmas at Gaylord Palms has become a valued holiday tradition in my family over the years, and the holiday season begins for us when we walk through the revolving doors of the resort.

There’s a special magic to their larger-than-life celebrations!!!

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2020

And with it being 2020 we were nervous about what that would mean for our beloved tradition, but I’m BEYONDDDD excited to say that their magic is still there and even more joyful than before. 

Commitment to Clean

The Gaylord Palms Resort STARS really have gone above and beyond when it comes to making their guests feel comfortable with enhanced cleaning procedures and new contact-less service options.

There’s absolutely NOTHING like waking up to this view…

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2020

Or taking a moment to sit on your atrium balcony at the end of your day. 

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2020

See? That’s some holiday Magic right there!!!

I Love Christmas Movies 

This year the new I Love Christmas Movies takes you through 17,000 square feet of holiday movie magic.

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2020

A Production assistant takes you and another party through iconic movie scenes from THE  POLAR EXPRESS, A CHRISTMAS STORY, ELF, NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION, and THE YEAR  WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS.

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2020

We had a great time enjoying the interactive elements, and went through several times during our stay!

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2020

It’s a unique experience chocked full of fun movie facts, movie replicas, special effects, and fun photo opportunities. 

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2020
Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2020

We had a great time, and our PA was awesome at helping us snap family photos!

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2020

Just make sure to hit your mark!

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2020
Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2020

I do have to say that I was super excited to see the Nativity scene they created to keep the tradition going…

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2020

And for the return of ICE! in 2021!!!

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2020

Snow Factory 

While the Snow Factory has looooong been a favorite stop for us, this year the area has been completely been redesigned.

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2020

Let’s start with the slides!!!

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2020

This year 6 slides made of REAL ice let guests can choose their thrill experience! There’s the speed slide for a race to the bottom or the opportunity to brave the “ice coaster” plummet.

Then our favorite…the Snowball Build & Blast lets families compete to see who can make the best snowballs out of ice AND how accurately they can throw them. 

We are a SUPER competitive family, so we played as much as we could during our stay!!!

Explore the Alpine Village 

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2020

The Alpine Village is really the heart of Christmas at Gaylord Palms, and this year the village has been designed with more room for social distancing with the same amount of fun!

Zoe was stoked for her annual visit to the Build A Bear Workshop! She always makes a special friend, and this year it was awesome to see costumes that tied to the movies in I Love Christmas Movies!

Why yes…that is a Cousin Eddie outfit for your Build A Bear!!!

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2020

And you can’t sleep on the outfits that are exclusive to the Gaylord Palms Resort!

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2020

Also tucked into the Alpine Village are fun, hands-on experiences. 

We had a blast in the Elf Training Academy making ornaments.

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2020

You seriously aren’t shocked that I monogrammed mine…right?

And we created our annual Gingerbread house with Nutmeg the Gingerbread Man!

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2020

PRO-TIP: At the entrance to the Alpine Sweet Shop, you will find bags of candy to purchase. Our bag was less than $3 and having the extra options made the decorating process less stressful. It was AWESOME!!!

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2020

Help the Grinch

A staple of every event at the Gaylord Palms Resort is their scavenger hunt, and this year you get the explore the beautifully decorated resort to help The Grinch. 

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2020

The Grinch’s Wonderful Awful Idea Scavenger Hunt lets families solve puzzles together for a great prize. 

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2020

Time together + holiday fun + the opportunity to walk-off and earn more holiday treats = Priceless

Amazing Entertainment 

Christmas at Gaylord Palms has gone out of its way to maintain its fantastic entertainment schedule in a safe environment for performers and audience members.

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2019

Cirque Dreams Unwrapped is once again filling the St. Augustine Atrium Stage with thrilling acts several times a night. 

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2020

The Greatest Story, a multicultural, musical journey celebrating the story of Christ, will fill your heart with the holiday spirit.

Christmas atChristmas at Gaylord Palms 2020 Gaylord Palms 2020

And you won’t want to miss the #LIT light show featuring thousands of sparkling lights, a larger-than-life Christmas Tree, and holiday music.

Tickets and Packages 

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2020

Tickets and overnight Christmas packages including admission into the I Love Christmas Movies experience are available now at ChristmasatGaylordPalms.com and ILoveChristmasMoviesExperience.com.

Online advance reservations are required for all ticketed Christmas at Gaylord Palms events and face-coverings must be worn at all times during activities. 

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Dazzling Lights transforms Leu Gardens

Dazzling Lights Harry P. Leu Gardens Holidays 2020

Orlando’s Harry P. Leu Gardens will transform into a magical wonderland featuring a million dazzling lights, shining forests, magical displays, 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 Octoberand presented by AdventHealth, Dazzling Nightsis an awe-inspiring holiday event.

“When we began dreaming about a holiday experience, we knew it had to be more than just lights on trees,” says Creative City Project Executive Director, Cole NeSmith. “We’re always asking how we can create unique, creative experiences that will inspire our guests. Some of the installations are breathtakingly epic, and others are quite intimate. We think adults and kids, alike, are going to want to make this an annual tradition.”

Dazzling Lights Harry P. Leu Gardens Holidays 2020

A few snapshots of the Dazzling Nights fun:

  • 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.
  • The evening event also features snow and holiday tunes.
  • And so much more!

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

“Our holiday traditions may look a little different this year because of COVID, and that gives us an opportunity to find new ways to discover joy, feel whole and find inspiration this season,” said Sharon Line Clary, vice president of marketing at AdventHealth. “We encourage our neighbors to visit Dazzling Nights, take in the fresh Florida air, and celebrate the holidays at the beautiful Leu Gardens with your loved ones.”

Dazzling Nights will feature lights, music, and interactive elements to complete the transformation of the 50-acre, Harry P. Leu Gardens into a stunning holiday wonderland.

“AdventHealth is the perfect partner for Dazzling Nights,” says NeSmith. “They are committed to the wholeness and healing of all people, and I think Dazzling Nights will do just that. I’m excited to see spirits lifted among families and groups of friends as they share this meaningful experience together.”

You can find more information about the holidays in and around the theme parks by subscribing to our YouTube Channel and following @onthegoinmco on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

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The Jolly Creek Holiday Festival & Marketplace, taking place select nights until January 2nd, is full of holiday fun for the entire family including the Holiday Village complete with thousands of dazzling Christmas lights, live music, snow, and Santa Claus!

You can even dine on specialty food & beverage or shop at the Christmas Marketplace. Food, beverage, and merchandise are available at an additional cost.

Society Orchestra

Jolly Creek Holiday Festival & Marketplace

Fresh off their 32 year run at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the Society Orchestra has found their new Holiday Home at Jolly Creek.

The Jolly Creek Society Orchestra plays nightly at Jolly Creek, every hour for 20 minutes.

See it Snow

Jolly Creek Holiday Festival & Marketplace

The whole family will love the artificial snowfall each hour of the Jolly Creek Holiday Festival!

Meet Santa Claus

Jolly Creek Holiday Festival & Marketplace

No visit to a Holiday Village is complete without meeting the big man himself.

Santa Claus will be available on a socially distanced stage and you can interact with him from a distance of 6 feet.

All guests are permitted to take selfies with Santa, but may not approach or stand on the stage.

Marketplace, Specialty Food & Beverage, Crafting, & More

Available at additional cost, guests can indulge on unique Christmas shopping, some festive Holiday bites, or try their hand at Christmas Crafts, all with the aid of Santa’s Helpers.

Jolly Creek Holiday Festival & Marketplace

The best part is that a portion of the proceeds of this event goes to benefit the Second Harvest Central Florida food bank.

Jolly Creek Holiday Festival & Marketplace

Tickets for the Jolly Creek Holiday Festival & Marketplace are available now online.

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Santa Workshop Experience at ICON Park

This holiday season ICON Park will be transformed into The Santa Workshop Experience – a winter wonderland complete with all of your favorite festivities.

ICON Park Holidays 2020 Santa Workshop Experience Logo

The Workshop will kick off November 6, 2020, at 5 p.m. and runs until December 24, 2020.

“ICON Park is ready to kick off the holiday season in Central Florida! We’re proud to provide fun, open-air entertainment for our locals to enjoy this year,” said Chris Jaskiewicz, president and CEO of ICON Park. “Our team has been able to build a safe, socially-distanced experience with Santa that will provide unforgettable memories for our community.”

For many years, The Santa Workshop Experience selected the best Santa experience in Central Florida, was at the Mall at Millenia. This year, The Workshop has been expanded, SANTA-TIZED, and moved to ICON Park.

For parents who are concerned about having to skip the classic pictures with Santa tradition this year, ICON Park and The Santa Workshop Experience have the perfect, socially-distanced solution.

On the photo set, a plexiglass barrier will be set up on Santa’s chair between the big man himself and the children. They will be able to have all of the same interaction and connection as normal, but without direct contact. Plus, Santa’s elves have magically made the plexiglass barrier completely invisible in the photos.

Christmas guests will be able to take their own candid photos of their children in a new Holiday Set in addition to the professional photos with Santa. There will also be special attractions like cookie decorating and story time with Mrs. Claus!

Upon arrival and safety check-in, only one family group will visit with Santa at a time in our secure 800 sq. foot Workshop assuring everyone a socially distanced and memorable event.

Santa will be at ICON Park Monday – Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Friday – Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Every child who participates in The Santa Workshop Experience will receive a free ticket to ride The Wheel at ICON Park. Additional tickets can be purchased with a 50 percent discount for all of Santa’s guests.

In addition to meeting Santa, families can take a ride on the Pearl Express Train decked out in its holiday best. In fact, the train will pick up registered children for free directly from the parking garage. Parents simply show their reservation confirmation, and the train will transport their family to Santa’s workshop.

The Wheelhouse Market Food Hall will be serving up your holiday favorites including Hot chocolate, frozen hot chocolate, and cookies.

ICON Park Holidays 2020 Santa Workshop Experience Frozen Hot Chocolate

ICON Park is at the center of the new Orlando Entertainment District. With complimentary parking and complimentary valet parking after 4:00 p.m.

To register for The Santa Workshop Experience, click here.

To learn more about ICON Park, visit https://iconparkorlando.com.

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