On The Go with Gail: A Trip To Wild Florida

Wild Florida

We recently visited Wild Florida located in Kenansville, if you haven’t been yet there is so much to do! You can do airboat rides, there’s a gator park, animal encounters, and a drive-thru safari park!

This time we just did the drive-thru safari park, but I know we will be back to do the rest soon!

Wild Florida

At only a 45 minute drive away from Orlando, this is an attraction you don’t want to miss. They have over 100 native and exotic animals roaming freely.

Wild Florida
Wild Florida

As soon as you enter the drive-thru you start seeing animals right away, not only are they roaming around the 85 acres of untouched scenic landscapes, but the way it is set up gets you upfront and personal with the animals. We even saw the car in front of us had an emu come right up to their vehicle and stick their head inside! You are not permitted to feed them but I’m sure they get curious and want to take a look!

Wild Florida
Wild Florida

They have animals from as far away as the African Savanna to the deciduous forests of North America. They do state that your vehicle has to have a top, no convertibles (could get awkward when an emu decides to call shotgun and ride with your family!). No motorcycles either, assuming you are too exposed and the noise could frighten the animals.

Wild Florida

You will have the opportunity to get up close to many animals such as giraffes, zebra, eland antelope, scimitar oryx, American bison, mouflon sheep, and many more! It’s a two-mile path through the safari, and there are places to hug the path a little if you wanted to pull to the side and let people by, while you admire the animals and take some epic photos! It really does feel amazing to be that close to these animals.

I loved how they had little feeding areas scattered around the route to encourage the animals to graze close to the safari path so we could see them better. It was even nice to see them resting so close to us!

After you have driven the route you can come back anytime during that day to drive it again as many times as you like before they close, which is great because you get the opportunity to see animals you may not have seen that close the first time. You can also head over to the giraffe encounter after, this is where you can pay extra to actually feed the giraffes up close. We didn’t do it this time but it looks like an amazing experience for the family! They even offer a painting with a giraffe package which sounds amazing!

Included in your drive-thru safari ticket is admission to their Gator Park. Here you can view more than 200 additional animals, as well as enjoy a variety of educational animal shows. You can also meet Crusher, their biggest American alligator (weighing just over 1,000 pounds). You can also watch a demonstration with some of their residents during their Exotic Animal Show.

They also have airboat rides and special animal encounters. You can pick from meeting a sloth, porcupine, tamandua, lemur, and more! They have unique swamp delicacies served at their Chomp House Grill so you really can make a whole day of visiting here!

Since 2010, their goal has been to provide an unforgettable Everglades experience that promotes a connection with animals while inspiring education and conservation. There really is something for everyone here, we can’t wait to go back and experience more. You can visit their website http://wildfloridairboats.com to purchase tickets in advance, and check out the VIP Tours and Florida resident tickets/annual pass options. Or you can call 407-957-3135.

They are open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m to 6 p.m and closed on Sundays.

Want to be On the Go with Gail more? Follow her @gailyw on Instagram and find posts like her visit to the Apopka Wildlife Drive here!

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On the Go in MCO: Wild Holiday Fun

Don’t forget that you can catch these great events and more on the Obie & Ashley Unfiltered Podcast!

When you think of being On the Go in MCO I’m sure that animals aren’t the first thing that pop into your head, but this holiday season animal lovers will find that there are a ton of ways to celebrate the season with their favorite animals!

On the Go in MCO: Wild Holiday Fun

Gatorland Holiday Ho Ho Ho Down 2021 On the Go in MCO

Ho Ho Ho-Down at Gatorland

This holiday season Gatorland, the Alligator Capital of the World, will host the Holiday Ho, Ho Ho-Down event weekends through December 19th.

During the holiday shindig guests will enjoy Family Friendly Holiday Fun, included in the regular price of admission.

Ho Ho Ho-Down highlights include holiday displays, interactive characters, and the most Floridian holiday photo opportunities you’ll ever find!

Throughout the attraction, you can meet a variety of characters including Gator Claus, on his…unique sleigh, merry elves, and the infamous Krampus Croc!

Deck the Seas SEA LIFE Orlando 2021 Scuba Claus On the Go in MCO

Deck the Seas at SEA LIFE Orlando

This holiday season SEA LIFE Orlando at ICON PARK is inviting you to Deck the Seas daily until December 31, 2021, with unique experiences below the surface.

What’s better than listening to a holiday story?

Listening to a holiday story with Scuba Claus underwater surrounded by spectacular sea creatures!

Ready for some interactive fun?

Pick up your Deck the Seas Scavenger Hunt guide on your way inside the attraction and begin your adventure to find six cold water sea creatures located throughout the aquarium!

Ready for even more fun?

Before you leave SEA LIFE Orlando, make sure to leave a special holiday card for your favorite sea creature! Drop it in the mailbox on your way out so their creatures can get all their cards in time for the holidays.

SeaWorld Orlando Christmas Celebration 2021 Map On the Go in MCO

Christmas Celebration at SeaWorld Orlando

The SeaWorld Orlando Christmas Celebration festivities are filled with more cheer than ever until January 2, 2021!

For 2021 SeaWorld Orlando has been transformed into a winter wonderland with more than 3 million sparkling lights to welcome a new holiday entertainment and fireworks finale while returning favorites will bring a smile to your heart!

Dinso in lights Orlando Science Center 2021 On the Go in MCO

BONUS: Dinos in Lights at the Orlando Science Center

Join STAN the T-Rex and his fossil friends in DinoDigs at the Orlando Science Center as they show off their twinkling talent in a festive display of music and light.

Each family-friendly show will begin every half hour and runs for four minutes, concluding with a wintry surprise.

While you are there, make sure to check out their newest exhibit Design Zone!

Want to find even more holiday fun On the Go in MCO? Follow @onthegoinmco on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and YouTube
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New Year’s Eve at The Edison

New Year's Eve at The Edison Disney Springs

You can ring in the new year at The Edison’s dazzling New Year’s Eve gala, which will be filled with live entertainment, world-class dining, and an open dance floor.

The excitement begins at 8 p.m. on December 31st at Disney Springs with captivating performances from The Sound Society Radio Show, The Pearls burlesque trio, stilt walkers, an aerialist, DJ, and more.

Guests will be privy to signature passed appetizers and food stations featuring everything from buffalo chicken sliders, prime rib, crab cakes, and loaded mashed potatoes to chocolate cake and key lime pie bites for dessert.

A selection of The Edison’s premium beer and spirits will also be available via cash bars.

When the clock strikes midnight, the evening will conclude with a celebratory champagne toast as we usher in the new year.

New Year's Eve at The Edison clock

For guaranteed seating, tables can be reserved to accommodate 2-10 guests, or individual bar seating can be purchased, for $150 per person plus tax.

Reservations include entry at 8 p.m., access to food stations, passed appetizers, and champagne at midnight.

A limited number of standing-room-only tickets will also be available for purchase, which includes entry at 10:30 p.m., desserts, the champagne toast, and access to the electrifying lineup of lavish entertainment for $25 per person plus tax.

Both ticket types can be purchased HERE !

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Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Announces New Attraction

In an ongoing mission to bring the epic story of the U.S. space program to life, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex today announced a new attraction. Slated to open in March 2022, Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex.

The new exhibit will focus on the present and future of collaborative space exploration, enabling guests to experience the interstellar travel of tomorrow while celebrating what is happening right now within the space program. It will feature a showcase of NASA and commercial spacecraft hardware with immersive displays, as well as a “journey” through space, unique launch viewing opportunities, and more.

The 50,000-square-foot, multi-level attraction, currently under construction in the shadow of the Rocket Garden, will engage and inspire guests through one-of-a-kind experiences, artifacts, and exhibits.

Featuring a comprehensive collection of modern-day spacecraft, Gateway will offer the opportunity to explore the future of space travel in a way never before possible.

Through immersive education, atmospheric effects, and a 4D motion theatre, guests will see, experience, and feel what it is actually like to travel in space.

The striking façade of the Gateway building is designed to capture attention and spark imagination even before entering. The outside walls are accented with iridescent panels of bright turquoise that will alternate with shades of purple, replicating the constant motion and brilliant colors of the universe.

Upon entering Gateway on the first level, “space travelers” will be greeted with a futuristic design intended to set the stage for their journey. Displayed like massive space sculptures in an outdoor garden, visitors will be surrounded by actual space-flown artifacts and full-scale models, placed around the floor and suspended from above to allow 360-degree viewing and interaction.

Highlights of the new exhibit at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex include:

  • Orion Crew Vehicle from EFT-1 Mission (space flown)
  • Boeing CST-100 Starliner Crew Vehicle (full-scale engineering model)
  • SpaceX Falcon 9 booster, officially known as Booster 1023, which supported two SpaceX missions (space flown)
  • Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser (full scale replica)
  • NASA Space Launch System (scale model)
  • ULA Atlas V and Delta IV heavy (scale model)

As well as offering a “nose-to-nose” view of the SpaceX Falcon 9 booster, Gateway’s second floor features a 30-foot, floor-to-ceiling Robotic Trail Blazers Wall with interactive, touchscreen displays through which guests can learn about almost 40 different satellites and probes in space.

Also in this area will be a HoloTube presentation station where guests can learn about the high-powered James Webb Space Telescope by manipulating holographic imagery, video, and animation through a touchscreen kiosk.

Nearby, guests will be transported into the future of space travel at Spaceport KSC, the first and only airport of the future.

Upon entering the concourse, travelers will be surrounded by the sights and sounds of a galactic spaceport: atmospheric airport chatter will surround travelers as they peer through windows at distant views of active launches and landings.

The main concourse features multiple screens that will showcase destination promo videos and departure and arrival information. Guests will then board their “spaceships” – in the form of a two-story, 4D flying theater – for one of four journeys: Cosmic Wonders, Daring Explorers, Red Planet, or Uncharted Worlds. Each distinct destination allows for the possibility of a different experience with each visit.

Gateway’s rooftop will be a versatile space for both launch and landing viewing and hosting special events.

Affixed to the rooftop will be a Planewave CDK20 Telescope with an Espirit 100mm triplet deep-sky APO Refractor, and an Altair 125mm solar refractor will offer access to some of the sky’s most amazing celestial and solar wonders. The stunning images can then be shared for educational purposes.

As always, the health and safety of employees and guests is the highest priority for Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendations, the visitor complex continues to operate at a limited attendance, accommodating social distancing, encouraging advance daily admission purchases, and implementing increased frequency of sanitization and disinfection. All guests, including those vaccinated against COVID-19, are required to wear face coverings in all indoor locations, except when actively eating or drinking. This includes all attractions, attraction queues, show viewing areas, restaurants, and buses. Guests who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are not required to wear face coverings outdoors. Additional details are available at: www.kennedyspacecenter.com/info/coronavirus.

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ICON Park Spotlights the Christmas spirit

Frostival The Orlando Eye ICON Orlando Orlando Wine Festival 2020 ICON Park Play Pass

ICON Park will be hosting a celebration of the beloved hymns and carols, goodwill toward all, and of course, gathering together to spread light and love with the Light the World with Love Christmas Concerts.

From December 6 to 11, local high school, church, and community choirs will be performing nightly from 5 through 8 p.m. Each night, four choirs will perform traditional Christmas songs in front of ICON Park’s holiday tree. There will also be Christmas-inspired videos, and emcees will lead the crowd in singing some Christmas carols themselves. To close out the evening, professional performers will take the stage each night.

ICON Park Christmas Concerts 2021

But that’s not all. To really drive home the reason for the season, the concerts will spotlight local charities. Attendees will be invited to donate via a virtual giving machine at www.lightorlando.acahand.org to help make a difference.

“At ICON Park, we’re all about showing locals and visitors alike what Orlando is all about,” said Chris Jaskiewicz, president and CEO of ICON Park. “The Light the World with Love Christmas Concerts are a perfect way to show off the talent here in Orlando, as well as to give back to the community we care about so much—plus, who couldn’t use a dose of the Christmas spirit?”

This is the first year for this event.

Local charities to be featured throughout this year’s event include Clarita’s House Outreach, Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, Edgewood Children’s Ranch, Frontline Outreach, Latisha’s House, Matthew’s Hope, One Heart for Women and Children, Orlando Community & Youth Trust, Orlando Day Nursery & Childcare, Orlando Serve Foundation, Poverty Solutions Group, Russell Home, The Howard Phillips Center for Children & Families, United Against Poverty, and The Salvation Army.

Featured performers include Daniel Emmet, Sunshine Mafia, Opera Orlando, David Osmond, Ofi, and God’s Example. Community choirs come from all over Central Florida.

ICON Park is at the center of the Orlando Entertainment District. With free parking and conveniently located near I-4, Universal Boulevard, and the Beachline, this premiere entertainment complex is easy to access for any Central Florida resident or Orlando tourist.

The schedule for this year’s performances can be found here. To learn more about ICON Park, visit https://iconparkorlando.com.

Want to find even more holiday fun around the City Beautiful? Follow @onthegoinmco on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and YouTube
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Holidays at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Holidays in Space Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center December 2020

The holiday season has landed early this year at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex!

Special Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are just beginning, holiday season guests can look forward to revamped festive experiences, and new virtual offerings for kids to enjoy over the holiday break.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals

Available for purchase on Friday, November 26 only, a special Black Friday deal for a 13-month Atlantis Annual Pass provides the passholder access to the visitor complex for the remainder of 2021 as well as all of 2022 (expiring December 31, 2022).

The 13-month Atlantis Annual Pass can be purchased at a discounted rate of $86 + tax per adult, and $68 + tax per child aged 3-11, a $10 savings.

The Black Friday offer will be available online and through the Reservations Department (855-433-4210).

On Cyber Monday, savvy shoppers can take advantage of a Buy-One, Get-One daily admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for just $57 + tax.

Available only on Monday, November 29, 2021, this offer includes free child daily admission with the purchase of each adult ticket.

This special offer provides one-day access to the visitor complex and must be used by December 24, 2021.

This Cyber Monday offer is available through the Reservations Department (855-433-4210) and online only.

Holidays in Space Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center December 2020
Holidays in Space

Move over, pumpkins. As the fall holidays come to a close, the visitor complex will delightfully transform into a universe of twinkling lights and memorable experiences.

This year, guests can experience magnificent holiday décor throughout the park – from the transformation of the big NASA meatball that greets guests at the entrance into a holiday ornament, wreaths adorning every lamp post, a reimagined holiday tree, thousands of lights in dazzling displays and much more.

New to this year’s Holidays in Space will be a Winter Wonderland, beginning December 17 and located next to the Atlantis attraction.

This free-standing experience sponsored by Pepsi Zero Sugar, will take place under a large enclosure and feature holiday-themed, engaging and interactive education stations, holiday photo opportunities, performers, a DJ and more.

The Winter Wonderland runs through December 31, 2021.

Holidays in Space Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center December 2020
Kennedy Space Center Club Discovery

Over the holiday break, young space enthusiasts and future explorers can experience Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex from the comfort of their homes through a virtual Kennedy Space Center Club Discovery experience.

At $30 per person, kids in grades 3 – 6 will have the chance to participate in one of two virtual missions: Spacewalk or Moon Base.

Each 3-hour program, offered Monday, December 27 – Friday, December 31, will feature STEM activities that can be completed using normal household items.

More information, as well as registration for the programs, can be found at the following link: KSC Club Discovery.

As always, the health and safety of employees and guests is the highest priority for Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendations, the visitor complex continues to operate at a limited attendance, accommodating social distancing, encouraging advance daily admission purchases, and implementing increased frequency of sanitization and disinfection. The visitor complex has updated the face mask policy. All guests, including those vaccinated against COVID-19, are required to wear face coverings in all indoor locations, except when actively eating or drinking. This includes all attractions, attraction queues, show viewing areas, restaurants and buses. Guests who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are not required to wear face coverings outdoors. Additional details are available at: www.kennedyspacecenter.com/info/coronavirus.

Want to find even more holiday fun around the City Beautiful? Follow @onthegoinmco on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and YouTube
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On the Go in MCO: Light Up the Holidays

On the Go in MCO Light Up the Holidays
Don’t forget that you can catch these great events and more on the Obie & Ashley Unfiltered Podcast!

There are so many ways to get in the holiday spirit when you are On the Go in MCO, and I had an absolute blast talking to Obie & Ashley about my favorite holiday lights around town!!!

On the Go in MCO: Light Up the Holidays

Night of a Million Lights at Give Kids the World Village
On the Go in MCO Give Kids the World Village - Night of a Million Lights 2021

Give Kids the World Village, located in Kissimmee, is a truly magical place, and during the Night of a Million Lights Holiday Light Spectacular, the 89-acre nonprofit resort is an enchanting and joyful winter wonderland nightly through Sunday, January 2, 2022!

This year’s Night of a Million Lights includes a 360-degree dancing lights show encompassing 21 fully programmed buildings set to music, with six three-minute holiday vignettes playing each hour. 

In addition, a holiday marketplace will offer upgraded food and beverage experiences, festive holiday merchandise, and an opportunity for children to meet Santa in his elaborately decorated Florida home.

Also, new this year, guests can make their visits extra special by purchasing one of a variety of premium packages, ranging from behind-the-scenes guided tours and dessert parties to special events and exclusive balcony experiences – providing a stunning setting for marriage proposals, vow renewals, birthday and anniversary celebrations, and other special moments. 

The event runs from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily, with entry times staggered to prevent crowding.

Dazzling Nights at Leu Gardens

Orlando’s iconic Harry P. Leu Gardens will become a winter wonderland featuring a million dazzling lights, shining forests, magical displays, music, and beautiful sculptures during “Dazzling Nights” through January 9, 2022.

This family-friendly event gives guests the opportunity to embark on an unforgettable, three-quarter-mile, interactive holiday experience including:

  • A massive light maze
  • 185 hanging Moroccan Lanterns
  • A forest of dancing light through hundreds of LED light tubes
  • A Rose Garden filled with beautiful balls of light.
Asian Lantern Festival: Into the Wild
On the Go in MCO Light up the Holidays

The Asian Lantern Festival: Into the Wild lights up the Central Florida Zoon on select nights through January 16, 2022.

Guests of all ages can enjoy this unique event that features over 30 different, hand-made illuminated lanterns around the Zoo on a three-quarter-mile path.

And don’t be fooled…these lanterns are larger than life!

The event takes place from 6-10 p.m., and food and beverages are available for purchase.

As a reminder, this event occurs at night outside of normal Zoo operating hours, and only an Asian Lantern Festival ticket is required to enter.

Want to find even more holiday fun On the Go in MCO? Follow @onthegoinmco on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and YouTube
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Design Zone Exhibit Premieres at Orlando Science Center

Design Zone Orlando Science Center

Explore the science behind music, art, and action in Orlando Science Center’s latest exhibit, Design Zone, until January 9, 2022. 

This exhibit was produced by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and made possible by a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant. It highlights the relationship between mathematical thinking and the creative process in art, music, and engineering.

Behind every half-pipe, there’s a vert. Behind every dance mix, there’s a beat. Behind every thrill ride, there’s velocity. Design is everywhere we look and in everything we do, and math is behind it all. 

Design Zone is focused around three thematic areas, which draw visitors into real-life scenes of music production, video game development, and extreme sports that directly and experientially relate to mathematical concepts. 

Design Zone Orlando Science Center

Displays encourage visitors to get hands-on with patterns, variables, scale, and ratios and experience how these mathematical concepts are used by artists, architects, engineers, musicians, and other innovators. 

Design Zone features over a dozen hands-on exhibit pieces allowing you to create your experience!

HEAR IT!
Step into Club OSC and learn about the relationship between math and music as you learn about pitch, rhythm, and audiovisual representations of sound!

SEE IT!
Enter the Digital Design Lab and see how designers use scale, patterns, grids, and more in everything from video games to architecture!

MOVE IT!
Roll into Action Park and discover how math and physics are behind anything that moves. Design a roller coaster, build your own skate park, or race your bike to the finish line!

Design Zone Orlando Science Center

In Design Zone, you’ll solve real-world challenges and discover that math isn’t just a subject in school—it’s one of the coolest creative tools we have to design and invent everything in the world of art, music, entertainment, and extreme sports.

Design Zone is included with admission to Orlando Science Center, which is FREE for members*, $21 for adults, $19 for seniors and students, and $15 for youth (ages 2 – 11). Tickets include access to all four floors of exhibits, movies, and live programming. Get your timed-entry tickets online at www.osc.org/tickets.

To become a member for unlimited access to Orlando Science Center all year long, discounts to camps, and special member-only events, visit www.osc.org/membership or call 407-514-2158.

If you have an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) or WIC card with a State-issued photo ID matching the name and state of the card, you qualify for a $3 admission per person for up to six individuals.

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Night of a Million Lights Holiday Lights Spectacular

Give Kids the World Village, located in Kissimmee, is a truly magical place, and during the Night of a Million Lights Holiday Light Spectacular, the 89-acre nonprofit resort is an enchanting and joyful winter wonderland from Friday, November 12, 2021, through Sunday, January 2, 2022!

What began as an inventive pandemic pivot for Give Kids The World has evolved into Central Florida’s most beloved new holiday tradition. 

Give Kids the World Village - Night of a Million Lights Tunnel

More than 92,000 guests attended Night of a Million Lights in 2020, named by USA TODAY the “Number One Thing To Do In Orlando In December.” With the return of wish families to the Village, this year’s event promises to be brighter and more festive than ever, while preserving the privacy and comfort of wish families during their visits.

“Children with critical illnesses face countless appointments, treatments and hospital stays, and they are often told “no” due to the limitations of their illness.  We feel privileged to give wish children and their families a week of “yes” where they can forget their worries, experience joy, and spend precious time together,” said Give Kids The World President and CEO Pamela Landwirth.  “We look forward to once again sharing some holiday joy with the community while raising the funds that will enable us to continue creating the happiness that inspires hope for these precious families.”

This year’s Night of a Million Lights enhancements will include a 360-degree dancing lights show encompassing 21 fully programmed buildings set to music, with six three-minute holiday vignettes playing each hour.  

Give Kids the World Village Night of a Million Lights

Fun Fact: A majority of the Night of a Million Lights were donated by Walt Disney World!!!

In addition, a holiday marketplace will offer upgraded food and beverage experiences, festive holiday merchandise, and an opportunity for children to meet Santa in his elaborately decorated Florida home.

Give Kids the World Village - Night of a Million Lights 2021

Also new this year, guests can make their visits extra special by purchasing one of a variety of premium packages, ranging from behind-the-scenes guided tours and dessert parties to special events and exclusive balcony experiences – providing a stunning setting for marriage proposals, vow renewals, birthday and anniversary celebrations, and other special moments.  

The event will run from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily, with entry times staggered to prevent crowding.

Give Kids the World Village - Night of a Million Lights 2021

Tickets are on sale now at www.gktw.org/lights, enabling guests to immerse themselves in an exquisitely decorated fairytale neighborhood that wish families call home during their stays.  

Guests can explore a sparkling tree trail; view larger-than-life holiday displays; take photos at one-of-a-kind step-in frames and backdrops; and enjoy a guided storytelling tour of 100 magnificently lit villas from the comfort of a tram, included in the price of the ticket.

Give Kids the World Village - Night of a Million Lights 2021
Want to find even more holiday fun around the City Beautiful? Follow @onthegoinmco on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and YouTube
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Christmas at the Gaylord Palms 2021

This year during Christmas at Gaylord Palms, guests can explore acres of twinkling lights and decorations and more than 12 hours of exciting holiday activities, shows, and events from November 19, 2021, to January 2, 2022

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2021 - Mission Save Christmas Buddy the Elf

Christmas is in trouble, and Santa needs your help!

For the first time this Christmas, guests will journey into Buddy the Elf’s world to help save the holiday in an all-new, multi-sensory experience!

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2021 - Mission Save Christmas with Elf

Once inside the marquee experience, guests will need to conquer fun, interactive challenges alongside familiar friends like Mr. Narwhal to muster enough Christmas cheer to power the Kringle 3000 and Santa’s sleigh!

Live Entertainment

Live entertainment is the heart of Christmas at the Gaylord Palms, and this year’s lineup is full of new additions and holiday traditions.

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2021 - Greatest Story

The Greatest Story Stage Show tells the story of the birth and life of Jesus Christ through the eyes of six international storytellers in a musical stage show and multicultural celebration of everlasting faith, hope, and love. Complimentary seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2015 ICE!

Cirque: Spirit of Christmas, new for 2021, fills the St. Augustine atrium with dazzling acrobatics, feats of flexibility, and high-flying stunts nightly. Returning guests will want to note that this show is a ticketed event.

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2021 - Atrium Christmas Tree

Brand new for 2021, the Shine Light Show will dazzle as thousands of dancing lights, synchronized to a high-energy, seasonal soundtrack, transform the atrium ceiling into a gleaming and glowing holiday spectacle.

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2019

Join the jolliest hostess for a batch of Santa’s favorite snack, songs, and stories during Mrs. Claus’ Christmas Traditions.

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2021 - Sugar Plum Fairy

The Sugar Plum Fairy and the Nutcracker Prince are back in the Alpine Village Sweet Shop with Sugary Sweet Storytime – a celebration of sweets that retells the story of The Nutcracker in an interactive experience complete with holiday sing-alongs and lots of laughs.

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2021 - Adventure Kids Wonders of Winter

Adventure Kids: Wonders of Winter is a (w)interactive show to educate and entertain Adventure Kids Club members during the chilliest of the seasons.

Cold Weather Fun in the Sunshine State

Snowball Build & Blast is your chance to build and toss real snowballs in the sunshine state! You’ll want to practice your aim to help your team earn points and power the Snow Factory.

Snow Flow Mountain is a mechanized, snow play space where guests will slide through factory conveyor belts that have frozen solid and ride tubes down a thrilling plummet slide or hilly ice coaster at Snow Factory.

Interactive Experiences

The best way to get into the holiday spirit is by immersing yourself in the interactive experiences during Christmas at Gaylord Palms!

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2019

Jack Frost is up to his yuletide tricks in the Naughty or Nice Escape Room! You only have a little time to solve all the puzzles and dash away before St. Nick returns, or you’ll be on the naughty list with a lump of coal in your stocking.

Inside the Gingerbread Decorating Corner Nutmeg, the Gaylord Palms gingerbread man, watches guests achieve confection perfection as they decorate gingerbread houses and cookies.

Learn the secrets of becoming one of Santa’s helpers from his top toy-maker and create a keepsake gift or craft for someone special at the Elf Training Academy.

Did you know that Santa has a secret Service? Only the most elite yuletide sleuths have what it takes to break the Secret Santa Scavenger Hunt code and earn their Santa’s Secret Service badge.

Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2019

Make sure to take an ‘elfie’ as you take a stroll along the Christmas Tree Trail. This complimentary experience features eight elaborately decorated holiday trees throughout the 4.5-acre Everglades atrium.

Mailing a letter to the North Pole works, but nothing can beat a personal visit with Santa Claus for a photo while making sure you’re on the nice list.

Tickets and Packages

Christmas atChristmas at Gaylord Palms 2020 Gaylord Palms 2020

Tickets for Christmas at Gaylord Palms are available now and advance online reservations are required for all ticketed events.

If you are looking for a holiday staycation, Christmas at Gaylord Palms packages include entrance to Mission: Save Christmas featuring Elf as well as additional fan-favorite holiday activities.

As the safety of its guests and STARS (employees) is of paramount importance, the Christmas at Gaylord Palms programming 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.

To find out more about Christmas at Gaylord Palms, visit www.christmasatgaylordpalms.com!

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Venardos Circus Returns to Winter Garden

Venardos Circus

Venardos Circus (veh-NARR-dos), a Broadway-style, animal-free circus, is back on the road and returns to Winter Garden this month at the Hamlin Town Center – located at 16406 New Independence Parkway. 

“We are thrilled to be back out on tour again bringing smiles and joy to families and kids of ALL ages,” explained Kevin Venardos, founder and producer of the Venardos Circus. “Guests can expect to be transported back in time to the center ring of a centuries-old tradition, but one that we have reinvented for a next generation while still tugging at the nostalgia of those returning to the circus.” 

 There will be 26 shows over three weeks in the intimate red-and-white striped tent, November 10-28, 2021. This will be Venardos Circus’ first show in Florida since their last visit in early 2020. 

Venardos Circus show schedule:  

  • Wednesday, November 10 – 7:00 p.m. **OPENING NIGHT 
  • Thursday, November 11 – 7:00 p.m.  
  • Friday, November 12 – 7:00 p.m. 
  • Saturday, November 13 – 1:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m. 
  • Sunday, November 14 – 1:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m. 
  • Wednesday, November 17 – 7:00 p.m.  
  • Thursday, November 18 – 7:00 p.m.  
  • Friday, November 19 – 7:00 p.m. 
  • Saturday, November 20 – 1:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m. 
  • Sunday, November 21 – 1:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m. 
  • Wednesday, November 24 – 7:00 p.m.  
  • Thursday, November 25 – 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. **THANKSGIVING 
  • Friday, November 26 – 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. **BLACK FRIDAY 
  • Saturday, November 27 – 1:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m. 
  • Sunday, November 28 – 1:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m. 

Venardos Circus proudly features its own custom-made big-top, a classic red-and-white striped tent, with an intimate feel and limited seating. The circus performers also are the crew in this traveling tour, much like the original circus tradition. There are no animals in Venardos Circus.  

Venardos Circus

General Admission tickets start at $17.00 for youth under age 12 and $27.00 for adults. One child in arms is admitted free with each paying adult. (24 months or younger per paying adult seated on a lap). Premium Reserved seating is available for premium pricing. Please visit www.Liveyourcircusdream.com.  

Parking is free. Festive preshow entertainment begins an hour prior to showtime.

Tent concessions will be available when doors open. Classic circus treats like fresh popcorn, cotton candy, house-made all-natural pink lemonade, nachos, hot dogs, packaged candy, and more are available for purchase.

Venardos Circus

What to expect:  

  • Concessions are available, and we encourage guests to order online in advance when purchasing tickets. Contactless payment options are available.  
  • The main event lasts approximately 90 minutes with a brief intermission. 
  • We follow all safety protocols of the local municipality of the communities in which we perform. 
  • Handicap parking and seating is available. 

You can find out more about events around Orlando by following @onthegoinmco on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and YouTube

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Rock Into The Holiday Season With Violectric

Violectric

Performing together LIVE on stage, renowned “Vinylinist” and Founder of Violectric Michelle Jones and the talented musicians of the Central Florida strings super-group announce the exciting return of the Violectric Holiday Show rocking into the Walt Disney Amphitheatre at Lake Eola Park on Saturday, December 11, 2021, starting at 7 pm.  

Free and open to the public, the 90-minute live concert presented by the City of Orlando Department of Families, Parks and Recreation will feature traditional holiday songs like O Christmas TreeThe First Noel, and Hanukkah, O Hanukkah mashed up with classic rock tunes and modern hits like Born to RunHeroes and Sweet Dreams with special guest Kids Choir of Central Florida, delivering a fun-filled, energetic and highly-unique holiday show unlike anything seen and heard before. 

Violectric will debut their all-new LED instruments, and the concert will be simulcast around all of Lake Eola. 

Violectric has also teamed back up with Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando for the pet-friendly show.  Attendees are encouraged to bring their pets and a cash donation for Pet Alliance. 

In addition to the much-anticipated holiday concert, fans will get two chances to see Violectric live on stage this season as headliners for Flavor Fest of Horizon West at Hamin Town Center on Saturday, November 13.  Violectric will perform starting at 5 pm and provide live music throughout the evening until 9 pm.

“We have double the excitement taking the stage at Flavor Fest and our annual Violectric Holiday Show,” says Jones.  “It means so much to us to perform together as a band, and we are thrilled to see live entertainment coming back more and more.  We cannot wait to give the community the gift of the best live holiday rock strings show in Central Florida at our annual holiday concert and support our longtime, deserving friends at Pet Alliance.  We look forward to family, friends, and fur babies all gathering safely together for what we promise is a night of pure joy, music, and some very merry surprise guests this year.” 

Experience the 9th Annual Violectric Holiday Show on Saturday, December 11, 2021 at 7pm at Walt Disney Amphitheatre at Lake Eola Park located at 99 N Rosalind Avenue, Orlando, Florida 32801.  For more information on Violectric, visit http://violectric.net.  For booking, contact Southwest Artist Group at 877-297-SWAG (7924).   
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FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando Series is BACK!

Dr Phillips Center for the Performing Arts Interior

I am BEYOND excited that the FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando season is about to begin at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts!

“We’re thrilled to be bringing Broadway back to the Dr. Phillips Center this fall for what will be a spectacular season,” said Susie Krajsa, president of Broadway Across America. “We have been working diligently with producers, booking agents and other national tour representatives to reschedule and rebuild the lineup for the FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando season. We are so grateful for the support of our subscribers and patrons who have remained steadfast awaiting the return of Broadway to the Dr. Phillips Center.” 

Because of the continued impact on the Broadway industry—there are some FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando schedule changes and exciting new additions to note:

  • Hadestown has been rescheduled to December 13–18, 2022. It will remain a part of subscribers’ current season and tickets have been automatically moved to the corresponding performance.
  • Wicked has been rescheduled for January 25–February 12, 2023 and will be a season option on our 22/23 season. Subscriber tickets have been automatically moved to the corresponding performance.
  • Beautiful–The Carole King Musical has been added to the lineup as an option for the current (21/22) season.
  • Hamilton will return in the FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando 22/23 season. Current subscribers will have first access to secure seats for the return of Hamilton when renewing their subscription for the 22/23 season.

With all that out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff!!!

2021-2022 FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando Season

FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando Season 2021 2022 - Tootsie

Tootsie November 2–7, 2021  – Walt Disney Theater 

Call it “musical comedy heaven” (Rolling Stone). Call it “the most uproarious new musical in years!” (The Hollywood Reporter). Call it TOOTSIE. This laugh-out-loud love letter to the theater tells the story of Michael Dorsey, a talented but difficult actor who struggles to find work until one show-stopping act of desperation lands him the role of a lifetime.  

Featuring a hilarious Tony-winning book by Robert Horn and an outrageously clever score by 2018 Tony-winner David Yazbek (The Band’s VisitDirty Rotten Scoundrels), this New York Times Critic’s Pick is “a joyful delight” (The Washington Post) that’s “so packed with punchlines, it should be called a jokebox musical!” (Bloomberg). “In these turbulent times, when the world seems out of balance, we need a place to let the good times roll,” raves Rolling Stone. “TOOTSIE is it!”  

FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando Season 2021 2022 - The Prom

The Prom December 7–12, 2021 – Walt Disney Theater 

Everyone’s invited to the joyous Broadway hit that New York Magazine hails as “smart and big-hearted” while The New York Times declares it “makes you believe in musical comedy again!” THE PROM is a new musical comedy about big Broadway stars on a mission to change the world and the love they discover that unites them all.  

Variety raves, “It’s so full of happiness that you think your heart is about to burst.” And The Hollywood Reporter cheers, “It’s comic gold!”  

THE PROM features direction and choreography by Tony Award­­–winner Casey Nicholaw (Mean Girls, The Book of Mormon), a book by Tony Award–winner Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone) and Tony Award–nominee Chad Beguelin (Aladdin), music by Tony Award–nominee Matthew Sklar (Elf) and lyrics by Tony Award–nominee Chad Beguelin. 

You belong at THE PROM!

FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando Season 2021 2022 - Ain't too proud to Beg

Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the TemptationsJanuary 25–30, 2022 – Walt Disney Theater 

AIN’T TOO PROUD – THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE TEMPTATIONS is the electrifying, new smash-hit Broadway musical that follows The Temptations’ extraordinary journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. With their signature dance moves and silky-smooth harmonies, they rose to the top of the charts creating an amazing 42 Top Ten Hits with 14 reaching number one.   

Nominated for 12 Tony Awards, AIN’T TOO PROUD tells the thrilling story of brotherhood, family, loyalty and betrayal, as the group’s personal and political conflicts threatened to tear them apart during a decade of civil unrest in America.   

The unforgettable story of this legendary quintet is set to the beat of the group’s treasured hits, including “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” “Get Ready,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” and so many more.  

Written by three-time Obie Award winner Dominique Morisseau, directed by two-time Tony Award winner Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys) and featuring the Tony-winning choreography of Sergio Trujillo (Jersey BoysOn Your Feet!), AIN’T TOO PROUD launches its first national tour to over 50 cities across America.  

FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando Season 2021 2022 - Frozen

Disney Frozen February 24–March 6, 2022 – Walt Disney Theater 

From the producer of  The Lion King and Aladdin, FROZEN, the Tony-nominated Best Musical, is now on tour across North America and the critics rave, “It’s simply magical!”  

(LA Daily News). Heralded by The New Yorker as “thrilling” and “genuinely moving,” Frozen features the songs you know and love from the original Oscar-winning film, plus an expanded score with a dozen new numbers by the film’s songwriters, Oscar winner Kristen Anderson-Lopez and EGOT winner Robert Lopez. Oscar winner Jennifer Lee (book), Tony and Olivier Award winner Michael Grandage 

(director), and Tony winner Rob Ashford (choreographer) round out the creative team that has won a cumulative 16 Tony Awards.  

An unforgettable theatrical experience filled with sensational special effects, stunning sets and costumes, and powerhouse performances, Frozen is everything you want in a musical: It’s moving. It’s spectacular. And above all, it’s pure Broadway joy.  

FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando Season 2021 2022 - Cats

CATS – March 29–April 3, 2022  – Walt Disney Theater 

CATS, the record-breaking musical spectacular by Andrew Lloyd Webber that has captivated audiences in over 30 countries and 15 languages, is now on tour across North America.  

Audiences and critics alike are rediscovering this beloved musical with breathtaking music, including one of the most treasured songs in musical theater: “Memory.” Winner of 7 Tony Awards including Best Musical, CATS tells the story of one magical night when an extraordinary tribe of cats gathers for its annual ball to rejoice and decide which cat will be reborn. The original score by Andrew Lloyd Webber (The Phantom of the OperaSchool of RockSunset Boulevard), original scenic and costume design by John Napier (Les Misérables), all-new lighting design by Natasha Katz (Aladdin), all-new sound design by Mick Potter, new choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton) based on the original choreography by Gillian Lynne (Phantom) and direction by Trevor Nunn (Les Misérables) make this production a new CATS for a new generation. 

FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando Season 2021 2022 - Jesus Christ Superstar

Jesus Christ Superstar June 7 – 12, 2022 – Walt Disney Theater 

An album that inspired a REVOLUTION. A REVELATION that changed the world. A REINVENTION for this millennium.  

Jesus Christ Superstar is an iconic musical phenomenon with a world-wide fan base. In celebration of its 50th Anniversary, a new mesmerizing production comes to North America. Originally staged by London’s Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and helmed by the acclaimed director Timothy Sheader (Crazy for YouInto the Woods) and award-winning choreographer Drew McOnie (King KongStrictly Ballroom), this production won the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival, garnering unprecedented reviews and accolades.  

Appealing to both theater audiences and concert music fans, this production pays tribute to the historic 1971 Billboard Album of the Year while creating a modern, theatrical world that is uniquely fresh and inspiring.  

Featuring award-winning music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, Jesus Christ Superstar is set against the backdrop of an extraordinary series of events during the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas. Reflecting the rock roots that defined a generation, the legendary score includes “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” “Gethsemane” and “Superstar.” 

FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando Season 2021 2022 - Hadestown

Hadestown December 13-18, 2021 – Walt Disney Theater 

COME SEE HOW THE WORLD COULD BE. Welcome to HADESTOWN, where a song can change your fate. Winner of eight 2019 TonyAwards® including Best Musical and the 2020 Grammy® Award for Best Musical Theater Album, this acclaimed new show from celebrated singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell and innovative director Rachel Chavkin (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812) is a love story for today… and always.  

HADESTOWN intertwines two mythic tales—that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone—as it invites you on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back. Mitchell’s beguiling melodies and Chavkin’s poetic imagination pit industry against nature, doubt against faith, and fear against love. Performed by a vibrant ensemble of actors, dancers and singers, HADESTOWN is a haunting and hopeful theatrical experience that grabs hold and never lets go. 

We would love to see you with us at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts during the FAIRWINDS Broadway Season!

Make sure you check out the Health and Safety Guidelines before you visit!!!

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The ROYAL Caribbean Comeback

Royal Caribbean Comeback October 2021

I am suuuuuper excited to share this guest post from Shaene!!!! He is an avid cruiser, and after hearing his experience I quickly booked my own Royal Caribbean cruise! I cannot wait!!!

Cruising has been the chosen way to vacation for millions of families for decades because of its all-inclusive pricing and the fact that there is something for all ages to enjoy while onboard with Royal Caribbean.

Because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, however, the cruise industry was shut down for over a year. Now with vaccines, testing, and newly instituted health and safety protocols, the industry is getting back on its feet. Recently I had the opportunity to cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas and I can say that it was a great experience.

The ship normally can hold 4000 guests onboard, as well as 1200 crew members according to the cruise director, but because of CDC guidelines, they are sailing at a reduced capacity.

On the September 20-24 sailing, there were only 1100 guests onboard. The health and safety protocols can vary by departure port, but Florida requires anyone ages 12 and older to be fully vaccinated as well as have a negative COVID-19 test within 2 days of departure. Kids ages 2-11 have to have a negative test within 3 days of departure and will be tested while onboard as well. Kids under 2 do not have to test.

Royal Caribbean Comeback October 2021 Perfect Day at Coco Cay

Upon arriving at the port, even before going into the building, you are asked to show your vaccination card and negative test results twice. When going through security and a health screening you are again asked for the same information. You are then given a bracelet that signifies that you are vaccinated to wear throughout your sailing. 

When you go to the check in counter you are asked for it once again and then finally one more time right before you head from the port to gangway to enter the ship. 

Once onboard masks are required in indoor spaces and there are certain areas and shows that only vaccinated guests can go that are designated with a (V*) beside their description. 

To enter those areas, the crew were checking to make sure guests had on the bracelet you were given after the health screening you received prior to boarding the ship. In the Windjammer (buffet-style restaurant) the crew served everyone instead of the traditional serve yourself type of buffet. They had tables blocked off so that there could be a distance between people eating and on tables that you were allowed to dine at, signs were on them once they were clean and on the flip side said please wait until we clean this table before sitting down,

Another way they have tried to keep guests safe is that in the main dining room there are 2 levels in use. On the higher floor, they only had families with kids under 12 who couldn’t be vaccinated and had them spread out and those waiters only had 1 family they were responsible for serving to minimize chances of a child getting sick.

Signs were everywhere to try to maintain social distancing including one family or only 4 people in an elevator at a time.

They also ran the stage shows and comedy acts numerous times throughout the sailing in order to space out guests who wanted to experience them and have fewer people in the theatre. 

All in all, the experience of cruising was a great one. I felt safe while onboard. Even safer than going to the mall or grocery store at home.

Was it the same as before the pandemic? No, but nothing will ever be the same as it was. The level of care and warmth of the entire crew you can tell they missed cruising.

By the way, all the guests onboard followed the guidelines set to be able to sail, you can tell they missed cruising.

It was great to be back out on the ocean relaxing and being able to appreciate something that was gone for over a year.

Welcome back to the seas Royal Caribbean.

It was definitely a ROYAL Comeback.

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EPCOT International Festival of the Arts Returns in 2022

EPCOT International Festival of the Arts Returns in 2022

I am really excited to share that the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts will be debuting on January 14, 2022!

EPCOT Festival of the Arts 2022 - Painting in Person

This global celebration of the performing, culinary and visual arts runs through Feb. 21, 2022, as part of The World’s Most Magical Celebration honoring the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort.  

EPCOT Festival of the Arts 2022 - Disney on Broadway Series

And, there’s more good news! The DISNEY ON BROADWAY Concert Series is returning for this year’s festival, where you can see some of your favorite entertainers perform Disney songs live at America Gardens Theatre in World Showcase.

EPCOT Festival of the Arts 2022 - Food

During the festival, art lovers of all ages can enjoy inspirational experiences, such as:

  • Culinary delights from Food Studios around World Showcase
  • The Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine – a fun food stroll featuring five delicious sweet and savory treats
  • Chalk artists turning walkways into stunning landscapes and portraits
  • Photo ops where you can step into famous artwork
  • A paint-by-number mural
  • Figment’s Brush with the Masters scavenger hunt
  • Performance and visual artists
  • Special festival merchandise
EPCOT Festival of the Arts 2022 - Mural Painting

The EPCOT International Festival of the Arts is available with valid theme park admission and a park reservation for the same date.

I REALLY enjoy the Festival of the Arts, and I am beyond excited for the return of the Disney on Broadway Series!

As always, you can find more information about the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts and other special events by following @onthegoinmco on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and YouTube!

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