Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle Debut Announced

Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle is Coming to Universal Orlando Resort this September
Universal Orlando Resort
All-New Experiences at Universal Orlando Resort will bring the Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle and more– including Death Eaters – to life in Hogsmeade on select nights September 14 through November 15

As darkness falls on select nights starting September 14 the all-consuming Dark Arts will be unleashed in Hogsmeade when the all-new light projection experience, Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle, will make its highly-anticipated debut at Universal’s Islands of Adventure at the Universal Orlando Resort.

The nighttime show utilizing state-of-the-art projection mapping, special effects and lighting to bring a new dimension of magic to life on the majestic Hogwarts castle. 

But before the experience, an ominous green light and fog will permeate the village, signaling the arrival of the Death Eaters. They’ll eerily roam throughout Hogsmeade, lurking amongst guests – practicing the Dark Arts with complete disregard of wizarding laws.

This marks the first time that guests at Universal Orlando will be able to encounter Death Eaters – devoted followers of Lord Voldemort known for their allegiance and practice of the Dark Arts – as part of their experience in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade.

As the Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle begins Hogwarts Castle is illuminated with a darker side of the wizarding world sinister creatures and villains – such as Dementors, Aragog, Mountain Trolls, Thestrals and more – cloak the castle through a mesmerizing display of light, music and special effects. 

To help battle these dark forces, guests will be asked to summon their inner strength and bravely face the Dark Arts and the visage of the powerful Dark wizard Lord Voldemort, until the Patronus spell – to cast one of the most famous, difficult and powerful defense of the Dark Arts charms in the wizarding world.

The highly anticipated Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle will run select nights September 14 through November 15 in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. 

For more information about Darks Arts at Hogwarts Castle and other theme park news make sure to follow @onthegoinmco on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!

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Preparing for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is always a blast, but to make sure we have a great time there are things that I make sure that I pack in my bag to have during the party.

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

1. Necessities

Packing a Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Bag - Necessities

I always have what I call a ‘Bag of Necessity’ with me in the parks, but for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party I will sometimes travel light and just carry medicine, a nail file, lip balm, and gum.

If you want to see what is usually in my crazy, Mary Poppins ‘Bag of Necessity’ here you go…

2. Charger & Cord

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Fuel Rod and cord

I always have a portable charger and cord with me in my bag, and I love having a Fuel Rod because you can exchange it in the park without having to worry about charging it at home before you go. It was the best $30 investment!!!

I like to keep the charger and cord in a zip-top bag, because it makes it easier to find and keeps it dry should it start to rain.

3. Extra Zip-Top Bag For My Phone

Packing a Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Bag - Zip Top Bag for Cell Phone

So while my iPhone is water resistant, I always like to be SUPER safe so I carry an extra zip-top bag with me for my phone.

4. Hand Sanitizer

Packing a Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Bag - Hand Sanitizer

Sometimes you need to eat candy, and you need to eat it now…so hand sanitizer!

5. MagicBand and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Ticket

While you can link yourMickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party ticket to you MagicBand, I always like to carry mine with me just in case!

5. Gallon Size Zip-Top Bags

Packing a Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Bag - Gallon Zip Top Bags

What aren’t gallon size zip-top bags good for at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party?

I like to use them to put candy in (those handles get stretchy as the night goes on), keep my maps together, and even to share with others who may need them!

6. Raincoat In Zip-Top Bag

Packing a Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Bag - Raincoat in Zip Top Bag

I always like to carry my raincoat with me to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, because I can use it when it rains, if I get cold, or if someone in a stroller needs a cover for sleep.

I also always keep it in a zip-top bag so if it does rain for a little bit, I can always take it off and put it back in my bag without getting everything else in the bag wet.

7. Wipes

Packing a Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Bag - Wipes

If you are stuck on a curb waiting for Mickey’s Boo To You Parade with sticky hands, these wipes come in handy!

They’re also great for stains, taking off face paint, and almost anything else. Plus how adorable is this Mickey pattern????

8. Extra Camera Batteries In A Zip-Top Bag

Packing a Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Bag - Extra Batteries

Extra camera batteries are good to have, because you never know how snap-happy you will get at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party!

Again, I carry them in a zip-top bag to keep them organized and dry.

9. Savory Snacks

Packing a Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Bag - Savory Snacks

Man cannot survive on candy alone…no matter how many times you tell yourself that! So to avoid the crazy food lines during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, I like to carry savory snacks.

We will be bringing you more coverage of this year’s Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, so make sure you follow our adventures on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!

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Gatorland Announces New Halloween Event

Gators, Ghost and Goblins Gatorland Orlando 2019

Park’s Halloween event to feature themed areas, actors, vendors, selfie zones, Frank & Stein’s Octoberfest Pavilion, , and spooky fun for everyone!

Gatorland, the “Alligator Capital of the World,” is getting ready for Halloween with an all-new special event called Gators, Ghost and Goblins that will include spooky fun for everyone on select dates in October.

Gatorland Orlando Gators Ghosts Goblins Halloween 2019
Gatorland Orlando

Included with regular price admission on October 19, 20, 26, 27, and 31, this special event will feature several spooky themed areas throughout the park!

Complete with ghoulish actors and selfie zones, fun shows, a variety of specialty vendors, and “Frank & Stein’s” Octoberfest Pavilion with even more entertainment and themed food and beer for purchase.

The infamous Skunk Ape that Gatorland guests have spotted throughout the years will also be making appearances throughout the day along with the mysterious Swamp Ghost, and his Stompin’ Gator crew.

Gatorland Orlando Gators Ghosts Goblins Halloween 2019
Gatorland Orlando

“Besides the great family entertainment we offer in the park every single day, we love doing fun new things for our guests via special events,” said Mark McHugh, President & CEO of Gatorland.  “It’s just another way we are bringing everyone the best of Gatorland during our 70th Anniversary year.” 

Gatorland is a 100-acre theme park combining Old Florida charm with exciting experiences, exhibits, and entertainment.  Originally Gatorland opened as a roadside attraction in 1949, and today the park is celebrating its 70th Anniversary of providing affordably-priced family fun!

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Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 2019

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party happens at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom park on select nights until November 1st, and during this after-hours event families are encouraged to put on their favorite costumes to spend the evening collecting candies, experiencing park thrills, and watching eerie entertainment with Disney Characters that go bump in the night. 

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 2019

This year more new additions than ever are joining the line-up of amazing event exclusive offerings!

Disney’s Not So Spooky Spectacular

2019 Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
David Roark, photographer

The new Disney’s Not So Spooky Spectacular lights the night sky during the witching season in a spellbinding display playing across the heavens.

As host of the spectacle, Jack Skellington from Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” spins a not-so-scary tale about how anything can happen on Halloween night.

Jack’s ghost dog, Zero, brings everyone along on a trick-or-treating adventure where four friends – Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy and Donald Duck – find themselves drawn into a haunted house. Encounters with dancing skeletons, waltzing ghosts and wickedly troublemaking Disney villains make for a hair-raising adventure. It all comes to life with state-of-the-art projection effects, lasers, lighting and dazzling fireworks.

Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade

2019 Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
Caitlyn McCabe, photographer

The galloping Headless Horseman fronts Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade, setting the stage for spooktacular fun throughout Magic Kingdom.

The parade opens with a flurry of beloved Disney friends, including Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in new Halloween costumes. 

The spectral Bride from The Haunted Mansion appears in the parade this year alongside waltzing spirits and those famous Hitchhiking Ghosts. 

Pixar pals join the fun, too, including The Incredibles and designer extraordinaire Edna Mode, as well as Buzz Lightyear and alien explorers on a planetary playset float inspired by Pixar’s Toy Story films.

Wreck-It-Ralph, Vanellope von Schweetz and the girls from Sugar Rush make sure there’s plenty of candy to go around during the parade. 

In addition, pirates sail in from Adventureland, Clarabelle Cow hosts a square dance during a Frontierland hoedown and a wicked assortment of Disney villains reigns over a Fantasyland-inspired grand finale.

Cruella’s Halloween Hide-a-Way at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant

2019 Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

As only she can, host Cruella de Vil invites guests to mix and mingle with her impossibly hip circle of friends during Cruella’s Halloween Hide-a-Way at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant. 

This new reservations-only social promises a fun, festive atmosphere with themed music and décor matched with divine hors d’oeuvres, sweets and drinks (including beer and wine). 

Guests can come and go as they please throughout the night and enjoy prime parade-viewing spot reserved just for them. The party keeps rollin’ until 12:30 a.m.

Cruella’s Halloween Hide-a-Way ($99 per person, plus tax) is available only during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. 

Reservations are required and can be made at Disneyworld.com or by calling Disney Dining at (407) 939-3463.

New Candy Spot

2019 Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

New this year, when guests follow a treat trail into the Monster World at Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, they’ll interact with a comic entourage of monsters who are learning about the curious human-world holiday called Halloween.

Special Attraction Overlays

2019 Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

Among many popular park attractions available to roaming ghosts and goblins, Space Mountain turns out the lights, going completely dark and hurtling guests through the blackness of deep space to the sounds of a new hard-rockin’ soundtrack.

Then guests embarking on Pirates of the Caribbean will encounter a crew of live pirates engaged in a whole new swashbuckling quest for treasure.

And finally at the Mad Tea Party, special lighting and music enhance the nighttime experience to bring out the maddest hatter in everyone.

New Dance Parties

2019 Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

The new DescenDANCE Party takes the stage at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café in Tomorrowland, where guests can groove to a beat inspired by the “Descendants” Disney Channel movies.

For young park goers, the Storybook Circus Disney Junior Jam in Fantasyland is the place to party with favorite Disney Junior characters like Doc McStuffins, Timon and Vampirina. New this year, Nancy Clancy from the hit Disney Junior series “Fancy Nancy” joins the fun.

2019 Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
Ali Nasser, photographer

The remaining dates in 2019 for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party are:

  • Sept. 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, 29
  • Oct. 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25, 27, 29, 31
  • Nov. 1

Tickets for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party start at $79 (plus tax) when purchased in advance and can be booked through Disneyworld.com or the Disney Reservations Center at (407) 827-7350. 

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Map 2019 Outside
Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Map 2019 Inside

Children are encouraged to dress in costume and enjoy the spirit of Halloween with their families, and you can find a full list of costume guidelines here.

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Halloween Horror Nights 2019 Line-Up

Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando returns to Universal Studios Florida to take fear to the max on select nights September 6-November 2, 2019.

During this year’s all-new Halloween Horror Nights, the 80’s return with a vengeance bringing with them some of the biggest frights of the era with 10 totally terrifying haunted houses, five pulse-pounding scare zones, and outrageous live entertainment.

Halloween Horror Nights Universal Studios Florida 2019

So let’s star this year’s HHN season with a look at everything you will encounter during the event!

Halloween Horror Nights Haunted Houses

Enter ten terrifying haunted houses, inspired by the biggest names in fear. You’re never quite sure if your spine is tingling with dread or sheer excitement.

Halloween Horror Nights Universal Studios Florida 2019

All-New STRANGER THINGS

Prepare to go even further into the chilling world of the Upside Down as STRANGER THINGS returns to Halloween Horror Nights in an all-new haunted house. Experience the most terrifying moments of STRANGER THINGS 2 & 3 as you face snarling Demodogs and scream through iconic scenes from Hopper’s cabin to the Starcourt Mall.

Halloween Horror Nights Universal Studios Florida 2019

Us

Jordan Peele’s new original nightmare comes to life as the Wilson family faces the ultimate opponent: themselves. Enter the funhouse on the Santa Cruz Pier where you’ll experience the horror of little Adelaide Wilson when she comes face to face with her menacing mirror image. Freeze in terror and disbelief as the Wilson family—and you—are hunted at every turn by terrifying doubles of themselves known as the Tethered. If you’re seeing double, you’re in trouble.

Halloween Horror Nights Universal Studios Florida 2019

Universal Monsters

Frankenstein. Dracula. The Wolfman. The world’s most terrifying monsters have come together to tear you apart. Flee through a dark Bavarian forest as the savage Wolfman grows ever closer. Try to escape from the manmade monster within Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory. Face the fanged terrors in Dracula’s castle. And encounter other untold horrors. It’s the more, the scarier.

Halloween Horror Nights Universal Studios Florida 2019

Ghostbusters

A rift between worlds has opened, releasing apparitions of every shape and size. Step right into the original film where Slimer and other ghoulish spirits, specters and ectoplasm-dripping phantasms materialize where you least expect. Your screams are going to be big. Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man big.

TM & © 2019 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Halloween Horror Nights Universal Studios Florida 2019

Killer Klowns from Outer Space

If ever there was a reason why people are afraid of clowns, this is it. The Killer Klowns from Outer Space have landed in an all-new haunted house. Don’t let them encase you in one of their cotton candy cocoons or you could end up as a gooey snack. These Killer Klowns won’t make you scream with laughter–just scream.

Halloween Horror Nights Universal Studios Florida 2019

House of 1000 Corpses

From “Captain Spaulding’s Museum of Monsters & Madmen” to the home of the psychotic Firefly family, Rob Zombie’s epic horror masterpiece comes to life. Scream all you want, you won’t find any mercy at the decrepit Firefly house. After all, what’s one more corpse when there are a thousand others inside.

Halloween Horror Nights Universal Studios Florida 2019

Depths of Fear

A deep-sea mining company has built an installation deep in the ocean, but the waters are infested with parasitic Mouthbrooders. They soon slither inside the mine and spew acidic eggs upon unwilling human hosts. You’re paralyzed with horror as the infected are driven to violent madness. The pressure is building. Implosion is imminent. The creatures are everywhere. There is no escape from your watery grave.

Halloween Horror Nights Universal Studios Florida 2019

Graveyard Games

Enter the gates of a cemetery in the dead of night, where disrespectful teens have awakened vengeful spirits. Ghosts rise to torment those who disturbed them. Skeletal beings send fear into your bones. The rictus smiles of ghastly apparitions match the screams frozen on your face. Don’t be caught dead here after dark.

Halloween Horror Nights Universal Studios Florida 2019

Nightingales: Blood Pit

Ancient Rome has suffered its worst drought in centuries. A ruthless emperor has declared the gladiatorial games will continue nonstop until the rains return. The nightingales, a grisly race of creatures, are drawn to the dead and dying. You enter the fray just as the rain begins to fall, recoiling with fear and disgust as the ravenous nightingales feed. Try to survive alongside gladiators, but with nothing to protect you, you’re history.

Halloween Horror Nights Universal Studios Florida 2019

Yeti: Terror of the Yukon

In a remote part of Canada that’s all but uninhabitable, loggers and trappers seek refuge from the cold. But there is no escape from beasts as brutal as the winter. Enter a logging camp that’s been torn apart. Cringe at the trail of blood leading to caves no humans have lived to see. You’re in Yeti territory, and they’ll stop you cold.

Halloween Horror Nights Scare Zones

Surrounded in shadow by screams and mad laughter, face nightmarish creatures on streets twisted into sinister scare zones.

Halloween Horror Nights Universal Studios Florida 2019

Zombieland Double Tap

“Check the Back Seat.” “Beware of Bathrooms.” “Always Double Tap.” Obey every rule if you don’t want to end up a zombie snack. Welcome to the United States of Zombieland. You may know the first movie, but you gotta make it through the sequel, too. Can you survive while everyone around you becomes meat?

Halloween Horror Nights Universal Studios Florida 2019

Rob Zombie Hellbilly Deluxe

Step into the heavy metal horror of Rob Zombie as many of his most popular songs have come to life. Zombie’s haunting lyrics and pulse-pounding music crank up the intensity as you and your pursuers are driven to an adrenaline-fueled frenzy of ragining madness.

Halloween Horror Nights Universal Studios Florida 2019

Anarch-cade

A sinister 80s-inspired arcade has taken over the Avenue of the Stars and you only get one life. Blacklights. A gang of neon slashers. Laser lights. It could be a party, except for the chainsaws. Once you scream, it’s game over.

Halloween Horror Nights Universal Studios Florida 2019

Vanity Ball

Your flesh is the canvas in Hollywood. Rabid fans cheer as their favorite blade-wielding artists slice up willing participants into horrific living works of art. And they can’t wait to take a scalpel to you.

Halloween Horror Nights Universal Studios Florida 2019

Vikings Undead

Brutal, horn-helmeted warriors have risen from the grave and laid siege to Central Park. Barred from Valhalla, the Viking paradise, these skeletal fighters have channeled their vindictive rage into an endless onslaught of gore. Bloodlust never dies.

Halloween Horror Nights Live Entertainment

Lose yourself in outrageous live entertainment filled with diabolically entertaining surprises.

Halloween Horror Nights Universal Studios Florida 2019

Halloween Marathon of Mayhem

A monstrous new show is rising from the depths of Universal Studios’ lagoon with a spectacle of screaming neon and synth. Pounding electro music, giant water screens and piercing lasers combine for a twisted new take on Stranger Things, Ghostbusters, Killer Klowns from Outer Space and Universal Monsters. This all-new show is a largerthan-life mix tape of retro mayhem.

Halloween Horror Nights Universal Studios Florida 2019

Academy of Villains: Altered States

This wicked talented group of artists is back for an all-new, bigger and better performance featuring a killer mix of dance and theatrics.

Rides & Attractions

Escape to some of Universal Studios’ most exhilarating attractions where heart pounding takes on a different meaning.

Halloween Horror Nights Universal Studios Florida 2019

Here is a list of attraction open on event nights:

  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts*
  • Revenge of the Mummy
  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
  • MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack
  • Fast & Furious: Supercharged*
  • TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D*
  • The Simpsons Ride**

*Closes prior to event end. 
**Open select event nights only.

From cinematic screams to the most horrifying cult classics, there’s no escape from the decade that just won’t die.

We are excited to bring you all sorts of Halloween Horror Nights coverage and frights, so for the latest make sure you are following @onthegoinmco on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!

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Celebrating Halloween in the Theme Parks

Halloween fills the theme parks of Central Florida with special events, and to help you choose the right event for your family I’ve put together the Best Halloween Events you can find.

Halloween in the Parks 2019
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is a special after-hours event that transforms the Magic Kingdom into a family-friendly Halloween party with exclusive entertainment, parades, characters, fireworks, treats (but not tricks), shopping, and more in addition to most of the park’s attractions. 

This year a new nighttime extravaganza called “Disney’s Not So Spooky Spectacular”, lights up Cinderella Castle and the nighttime sky with state-of-the-art projection effects, lasers, light, and fireworks!

Disney's Not So Spooky Spectacular Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Magic Kingdom Walt Disney World
David Roark, photographer

Hosted by Jack Skellington, this not so scary-tale stars Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy traveling to mysterious haunted house where they encounter dancing skeletons, waltzing ghosts, and a sinister gathering of Disney villains!

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is not included with theme park admission, and prices vary by date. Make sure to purchase your tickets online at least a day in advance to save $10!

Insider Tip: While Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party doesn’t ‘officially’ begin until 7pm, guests with tickets can begin to enter the Magic Kingdom as early as 4pm. 
Universal Orlando Resort Universal Studios Florida Halloween Horror Nights 2019
Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando’sHalloween Horror Nights

Halloween Horror Nights, the world’s premier Halloween event, fills the Universal Studios Florida theme park at the Universal Orlando Resort with screams, terror, and thrills with a frightful 1980’s flair.

Guests will face 10 elaborately themed haunted houses, navigate five sinister scare zones throughout the park filled with menacing scareactors, and enjoy Universal Studios’ most exhilarating rides and attractions.

This year a new nighttime show, “Halloween Marathon of Mayhem” will use more than 100 fountains, special effects, music, lasers and more to bring terrifying moments from Halloween classics to life on the Universal Studios Florida lagoon.

Halloween Horror Nights is not included with theme park admission, and prices vary by date. Make sure to purchase your tickets online at least a day in advance to save up to $53!

Insider Tip: With more houses (and longer lines) than ever, consider attending Halloween Horror Nights during the week for reduced crowds or purchasing a multi-night ticket to enjoy several visits to help spread out the haunted house and scare zone experiences.
SeaWorld Orlando Halloween Spooktacular
SeaWorld Orlando’sHalloween Spooktacular

It’s an ocean of Halloween fun for the whole family at SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular

Families are immersed in an underwater “fantasea” that includes trick-or-treating, whimsical sea creatures, special entertainment, and more!

The daytime Halloween fun begins at 11 am, and takes place every Saturday and Sunday through October 27th. 

The best part is that SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular celebration is included with theme park admission.

Insider Tip: This year SeaWorld will not be providing Trick-or-Treating bags, so be sure to bring one from home!
LEGOLAND Florida Resort Brick or Treat Halloween
LEGOLAND Florida Resort
LEGOLAND Florida Resort’sBrick or Treat

Brick or Treat, the Halloween party built for kids, returns to the LEGOLAND Florida Resort on Saturdays and Sundays in October as well as on Halloween. 

No extra ticket is required to enjoy Halloween themed shows, loads of candy along a uniquely themed LEGO trick-or-treating trail, interactive character meet-and-great, a fireworks spectacular, and so much more.

Guests can sip in style with an event-themed collector’s cup, indulge in Granny’s Apples Fries with Pumpkin flavored ice cream, and nibble on a variety of Halloween-themed snacks. 

Experience the tale of Captain Dreadbeard’s adventure to defeat the Imperial Navy during a unique fireworks spectacular, A Tale of Pirates’ Cove, each night of the event.

Insider Tip:  In honor of LEGOLAND Pirate Island Hotel opening in Spring 2020, kids (ages 2-12) who come dressed as pirates for the first weekend of Brick or Treat on October 5th & 6th will receive a complimentary ticket to visit the theme park before the end of year.  
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Great Irish Hooley Returns to Raglan Road

Raglan Road Great Irish Hooley 2019

8th Annual Great Irish Hooley Music Festival Will Rock Labor Day Weekend at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Disney Springs

Central Florida’s rip-roaring, toe-tapping, high-voltage boutique Irish music festival will serve up a colorful live playlist of traditional Irish, Celt grass, folk, blues and soul August 30-September 2 during the 8th Great Irish Hooley at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Disney Springs. 

There’s no cover charge to join the fun, which begins at 4 p.m. Friday, August 30 and continues into the wee hours of Labor Day, September 2.

Never heard of a “hooley?” It’s an old Gaelic term for a party with music and entertainment with fun for the whole family. The Great Irish Hooley will include Celtic face painting, Hooley-crafted cocktails and beer plus creative new bites by the pub’s inventive culinary team. Raglan Road also will serve the delicious Rollicking Raglan Brunch Saturday, August 31 through Monday, September 2.

Raglan Road Great Irish Hooley 2019

This year’s Hooley entertainment headliners include: 

  • Billow Wood – Playing Irish and U.S. music festivals, this four-piece band fuses its unique brand of instrumentation with multi-vocals and harmonies for a blend of Irish and folk music.  The band, which released its long-play  album, “Can You See Me” – available for streaming and downloading on Spotify and other music sites – will have everyone tapping along to its bass and drums.
  • Strings & Things – Before returning to Raglan Road this summer, the original Irish folk/trad four-piece band Strings & Things toured in London and throughout Ireland with their own original sound and a variety of crossover songs featured on their first original album, “Turbulence.”
  • High Time – This fresh new trio from Connemara, Ireland, combines Irish music and an intriguing blend of modern folk influences to produce a rich sound and exciting experience. The band rocks an energetic statement with its instrumental line-up of flute, whistles, harp, bodhran, guitar and vocals – as well as some Irish dance steps thrown in!
  • TradGad — Three talented musicians from Kerry, Dublin, Colin Foley (guitar, vocals); Fionn Morrison (Uilleann pipes, whistles); and Ciara Ni Bhrian (guitar, fiddle, mandolin, Uilleann pipes, tin whistle, banjo and bazouki, charm Raglan Road audiences with their vibrant performances.
  • Maca – Two Irish sister-musician-songwriters dubbed “Ireland’s next big thing” are rocking Raglan Road Pub stages with their extraordinary talent.  Saoise Carty (guitar,vocals) and Naoise Carty (fiddle, vocals) are from Wexford, Ireland. 
  • The Rolling Wave  –  Stephen & Abby are one of the finest traditional Irish music duos around.  These accomplished, energetic musicians work their crowd for some lively audience participation.
  • Atlantic Bridge – These accomplished musicians blend their rich musical backgrounds to create a fresh, exciting mix of country, folk and Irish trad music.
Raglan Road Great Irish Hooley 2019  Raglan Road Bar Disney Springs Walt Disney World
  • The Raglan Road Irish Dancers — Plucked from the cast and stages of the world’s greatest Irish dance shows, the Raglan Road Irish Dancers perform throughout the Great Irish Hooley.  You can even learn some traditional Irish dance steps – no experience necessary! 

Throughout the Hooley, guests can step up to one of Raglan Road’s 130-year-old imported-from-Ireland bars or grab a table for authentic contemporary Irish fare. 

In May 2019, Raglan Road received OpenTable honors as one of the top 100 restaurants in America with “all the ingredients for the perfect big night out – upbeat energy innovative cocktails . . . and outstanding food.” A TripAdvisor Hall of Fame honoree and The Daily Meal’s 2018 “Best Irish Pub” in Florida, Raglan Road is known for its beer-battered fish and chips, Shepherd’s pie with a contemporary twist, delectable seafood and desserts, plus gluten-free entrees. 

Raglan Road Disney Springs Mighty St Patricks Day Festival Great Irish Hooley Raglan Road Disney Springs 2016

The festival will run from Friday afternoon at 4 pm through the wee hours of Labor Day (actually 1 a.m. Tuesday).  

Check out raglanroad.com and join us for the fun!  

The complete entertainment schedule is at Great Irish Hooley 2019 .

Raglan Road Great Irish Hooley 2019 Rhythms of Raglan Road Disney Springs Walt Disney World

Owned and operated by Irish partners John Cooke and Paul Nolan, Raglan Road features traditional Irish dishes and new creations with a Celtic twist.  

The restaurant’s warm interior of aged walnut and mahogany woods from old Irish bars and churches was built in Ireland and shipped to Orlando.  

Live entertainment nightly includes a suite of shows featuring Irish bands and dancers. Guests also can enjoy shows beginning at noon during the weekend Rollicking Raglan Brunch.  Lunch is served 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Dinner 3-11 p.m.; Bar menu 11 p.m.-late; Saturday and Sunday Rollicking Raglan Brunch is served from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. 

Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant is located at Disney Springs in the Walt Disney World Resort, 1640 E. Buena Vista Dr., Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  

Visit www.raglanroad.com or call 407/938-0300. 

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Holidays in the Parks: Walt Disney World Resort 2019

DISCLOSURE: I was invited by the Walt Disney World Resort to find out more about the holiday season, but all opinions are my own.
Christmas 2019 Walt Disney World Holidays 2019 Christmas in July

The 2019 Walt Disney World holiday season begins on November 8th with returning favorites as well as the debut of all-new seasonal offerings in all four parks and Disney Springs.

The holidays at Walt Disney World are filled with special live entertainment, characters in festive garb, seasonal décor, holiday treats, specialty eats, miles of garlands and decorations, and a shimmering castle to lift holiday spirits.

To help you plan your trip to Walt Disney World during the holidays, here is a look at holiday happenings throughout the four parks and Disney Springs!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Joins in the Holiday Fun for the First Time

Disney’s Animal Kingdom will introduce the biggest holiday season in its two-decade history, with festive new entertainment and holiday décor in every land. Daytime and nighttime, guests will experience the majesty of nature and holiday magic. 

Christmas 2019 Walt Disney World Holidays 2019 Christmas in July
Rendering, Walt Disney World Resort

Here is some of what’s in store:

  • In the heart of the park, on Discovery Island, guests will find themselves immersed in a magical scene. By day, stylized, life-sized animal puppets mingle with villagers who make the island their home. As day becomes night, rooftop luminaries in animal shapes and bird lanterns throughout Discovery Island will bring a warm glow to the village.
  • As the sun sets, the Tree of Life will awaken with a series of wintry tales emerging from within, backed by a familiar and heartwarming holiday musical score. Between awakening moments, the Tree of Life will shimmer and sparkle throughout the night, alive with the magic of nature and the spirit of the holidays.
  • Dinoland, U.S.A. will rock out with the DJ-led “Holiday Hoopla Dance Party with Chip ‘n Dale” and plenty of interactive fun and games. Throughout the land, characters gathered for “Donald’s Dino-Bash!” will get in the holiday spirit with colorful costumes.
  • Diwali, the Holiday Festival of Lights in India, has inspired the residents of Anandapur in Glowing flowers, lanterns and more will illuminate the main square leading to the waterfront stage, home to authentic and colorful cultural performances.
Christmas 2019 Walt Disney World Holidays 2019 Christmas in July
Walt Disney World Resort
  • The village of Harambe in Africa will welcome guests with a unique holiday presentation, fusing Western traditions with the colors and texture of authentic African celebrations; colorful costuming and new music flavors each performance.
  • Tusker House diners get their merry on as Safari Donald Duck and his pals spread holiday cheer.
  • Guests will find out-of-this-world Christmastime fun at Pandora – The World of Avatar. Ex-pats living and working on the moon of Pandora roll out seasonal fun with a display at Pongu Pongu of kitschy holiday décor, pairing vintage pieces from Earth with items handcrafted from materials indigenous to Pandora.
  • Christmas tree will tower over the park entrance. Decorated with traditional ornaments and hidden animals, the tree is a prelude to the holiday magic that awaits inside the park.
Magic Kingdom Park to Unveil New Holiday Fireworks Show & Attraction Overlays

The skies above Magic Kingdom Park will sparkle to life this holiday season as visions of fireworks dance in the air during an all-new nighttime show – Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks. Hosted by Minnie Mouse, the holiday extravaganza invites guests to come together in a celebration of heartfelt moments and the magic of Christmas.

Christmas 2019 Walt Disney World Holidays 2019 Christmas in July
Walt Disney World Resort

The show will be presented during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which takes place select dates Nov. 8-Dec. 22, and nightly Dec. 23-29.

Also, for the first time ever during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, select Magic Kingdom attractions are receiving special enhancements just for the holidays!

Christmas 2019 Walt Disney World Holidays 2019 Christmas in July
Walt Disney World Resort
  • When you get behind the wheel on the Tomorrowland Speedway, you’ll find yourself cruising a festive freeway filled with thousands of lights and stylized décor.
  • The crew at Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor is putting some “Ha Ha Ha” in their “Ho Ho Ho,” with a new show for everyone visiting the Monster World during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. 
  • Space Mountain launches you on a trippy jaunt through the cosmos, filled with dazzling lighting and high-energy holiday tunes.
  • Mad Tea Party in Fantasyland becomes a wild and wacky Christmas party, as you spin your teacups to one of four new holiday combos of lights and music.

This holiday season will also see Magic Kingdom transformed into an enchanting wonderland with dazzling decorations, holiday treats, a shimmering ice castle and more. Returning holiday favorites include:

  • With glittery Cinderella Castle as its centerpiece, Magic Kingdom shines its brightest during the holidays. Guests will be swept into a magical scene of seasonal music, characters in their festive finery and fireworks bursting above. During A Frozen Holiday Wish stage show, Queen Elsa magically transforms Cinderella Castle with glistening ice.
  • Holiday Fireworks Dessert Parties are a sweet way to enjoy the new holiday fireworks. Offered nightly, each festive party includes seasonal treats and dazzling views of the new fireworks spectacular. Dessert parties are not included with theme park admission. For schedules, pricing information and reservations, guests can visit DisneyWorld.com or call (407) WDW-DINE.
Christmas 2019 Walt Disney World Holidays 2019 Christmas in July  Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2018
Ryan Wendler, photographer
  • Each of the 23 nights of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will feature performances of Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime ParadeA Totally Tomorrowland Christmas and Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration stage show. Guests will also experience select rides and attractions (including the “Jingle Cruise”), savor complimentary treats, discover event-exclusive merchandise and delight to a magical “snowfall” on Main Street, U.S.A.
  • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates: November 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24; December 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22. For more information and ticketing, guests can call (407) 939-1872 or visit Disneyworld.com.
Beloved Epcot Candlelight Processional Begins November 29 as Highlight of Holiday Festival

Joyous Yuletide traditions from across the globe are at the heart of the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays. 

November 2018 Theme Park Events - Epcot International Festival of the Holidays Christmas 2019 Walt Disney World Holidays 2019 Christmas in July
Walt Disney Word Resort

From November 29 through December 30, 2019, merry-makers will be immersed in a vast world of holiday decorations and entertainment, themed merchandise, festive cuisine and costumed storytellers in many of the 11 World Showcase nations including:

  • Epcot’s grandest holiday tradition – the Candlelight Processional – features the retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator backed by a 50-piece orchestra and massed choir. Performances will run three times nightly during the festival. Narrators already announced for this year include Whoopi Goldberg, Pat Sajak, Steven Curtis Chapman and Edward James Olmos. More narrators will be announced in the coming months. Dining packages include guaranteed seating for the holiday event and can be booked starting July 3 by calling (407) WDW-DINE.
  • Special Holiday Kitchens sprinkled throughout World Showcase will serve up tasty treats inspired by treasured holiday recipes from across the globe.
Epcot International Festival of Holidays Must Do’s and Tips 2018 Christmas 2019 Walt Disney World Holidays 2019 Christmas in July
  • World Showcase pavilions will come alive with the sights and sounds of special entertainment celebrating each country’s holiday heritage.
  • Chip & Dale are gathering ornaments for their Christmas tree and guests can join in the fun! To be part of Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree Scavenger Hunt, guests will purchase a map and stickers from select merchandise outlets and scout World Showcase locations looking for the famous chipmunks and their ornaments. Completed maps are returned for a special festive surprise, courtesy of the chipmunk duo.
  • Epcot guests can quite literally do their holiday shopping around the world. The World Showcase pavilions are filled with favorite fragrances, jewelry, toys, stocking stuffers and more.
  • Santa and Mrs. Claus will greet guests at The American Adventure pavilion.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios Glitters with Special Holiday Entertainment

Holiday adventures begin at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as new attractions, and lands turn this theme park into one big holiday gift. 

Flurry of Fun Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World New Year's Eve Christmas 2019 Walt Disney World Holidays 2019 Christmas in July
Walt Disney World

Add seasonal shows, enchanting “snowfalls,” décor and more, and it’s easy to see how holidays here become extraordinary:

  • Park guests will be mesmerized by the Sunset Seasons Greetings show projected onto the Hollywood Tower Hotel. Boasting amazing laser effects and “snow,” the experience also includes stories, songs and cheer courtesy of favorite Disney friends.
  • The nighttime spectacular “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” will treat holiday-goers to iconic music, fireworks, special effects and state-of-the-art projections to create a one-of-a-kind holiday experience at the iconic Chinese Theatre. To add a sweet touch, guests will be able to make reservations for the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Dessert Party. This event is not included with theme park admission, and pricing and reservation information will be available later this year.
Flurry of Fun Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World Christmas 2019 Walt Disney World Holidays 2019 Christmas in July
  • Holiday touches and festive décor throughout the park will include seasonal fun inside Toy Story Land, as well as joyous greetings from Santa or Santa Goofy.
  • As a curtain-closer, Olaf delivers a special holiday finale in For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along.
Disney Springs Delivers Season’s Greetings

Perfect for this special time of year, the Disney Springs retail, dining and entertainment district is where guests can make a holiday list and check it twice as they breeze among dozens of trendy brand-name stores and a large and varied collection of Disney merchandise. They can also indulge the holiday hungries at great dining spots that will also serve up seasonal cheer.

November 2018 Theme Park Events - Holidays at Disney Springs Christmas 2019 Walt Disney World Holidays 2019 Christmas in July
Walt Disney Word Resort

Live entertainment will include the spectacle of toy soldier stilt walkers, carolers and Living Statues in holiday attire. Holiday decorations set the colorful stage for Disney Springs festivities, which run November 8 through January 5, 2020:

  • Guests strolling the Christmas Tree Trail will be treated to custom-decorated holiday trees, each dedicated to a popular Disney theme featuring favorite Disney characters.
  • Guests will be invited to join in Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt and discover where the mischievous Experiment 626 is hiding.
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Killer Klowns from Outer Space Maze at Halloween Horror Nights

Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights 2019 Killer Klowns from Outer Space Mazes at Halloween Horror Nights 2019

Metro Goldwyn Mayer’s (MGM) Killer Klowns from Outer Space lands at this year’s Halloween Horror Nights in all-new chilling maze at the Universal Orlando Resort bringing together the most twisted scenes and ghastly gags from the popular horror sci-fi film at the nation’s premier Halloween events.

Based on the cult 1980s film favorite, the Killer Klowns from Outer Space mazes will transport guests to the sleepy small town of Crescent Cove, taken over by a pack of murderous clown-like creatures.

Guests will be lured by the sweet smell of cotton candy and ice-cream and find themselves in an otherworldly circus tent where they’ll come face-to-face with the crazed klowns and their sinister, side-splitting antics.

As they make their way through the Big Top Space Ship, guests will witness diabolical klowns making cotton candy cocoons from unsuspecting victims and will realize the joke’s on them as they are next to become the gooey snack.

From one shrieking klown to the next, the mazes will lead guests through the doomed community of Crescent Cove to an eerie amusement park closed for the season. Trapped in a terrifying funhouse full of killer klowns, guests will be left screaming as there’s no stopping this twisted three-ring circus.

Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights is the ultimate Halloween event. For more than 25 years, guests from around the world have visited Halloween Horror Nights to become victims inside their own horror film. 

Multiple movie-quality mazes based on iconic horror television shows, films and original stories come to life season after season. And, the streets of each park’s event are transformed into highly-themed scare zones where menacing scare-actors lunge from every darkened corner.

Halloween Horror Nights begins Friday, September 6 in Orlando, and additional details about the events will be revealed soon.

For more information about “Halloween Horror Nights” and to purchase tickets at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort, visit www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com.

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Celebrate Independence Day Weekend at ICON Park

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

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

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

 ICON Park Light Up I-Drive

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

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

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

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

ICON Park Fourth of July Light Up I-Drive Entertainment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Gaylord Palms Resort hosts new Three Kings Festival

Gaylord Palms Resort Three Kings Festival 2019

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

KISSIMMEE, Fla.

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

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

Gaylord Palms Three Kings Festival 2019

FESTIVE FUN AND FLAVORS

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

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

Gaylord Palms Three Kings Festival 2019

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

Gaylord Palms Three Kings Festival 2019

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

Gaylord Palms Three Kings Festival 2019

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

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

FREE AND INEXPENSIVE FAMILY FUN

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

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

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

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

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Light Up UCF Brings Holiday Fun to the CFE Arena

Light Up UCF 2018 Details

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

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

ORLANDO, Fla.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Light Up UCF 2018
Photo: Light Up UCF

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

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

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

Light Up UCF 2018
Photo: Light Up UCF

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Altamonte Springs 23rd Annual Red Hot & Boom

Altamonte Springs 2018 Red Hot Boom

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

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

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

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

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

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

This year’s artists include:

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

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

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

Altamonte Springs 2018 Red Hot Boom Fireworks
Photo: Altamonte Springs

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

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

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

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2018 Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival at Raglan Road

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

Raglan Road 2018 Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival

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

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

Raglan Road 2018 St Patricks Mighty Festival

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

Raglan Road 2018 St Patricks Mighty Festival

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

The entertainment schedule will be posted at raglanroad.com.

Raglan Road 2018 St Patricks Mighty Festival

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

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Get Caught Up In The Mayhem of March

Aloma Bowling Center Logo Aloma Bowl Logo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, visit www.AlomaBowlingCenters.com.

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