Fusion Fest Returns to Orlando

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Night of a Million Lights at Give Kids The World

This week we were invited to preview the upcoming Night of a Million Lights event, taking place for the first time ever at Give Kids The World!

The Give Kids The World Village was forced to close back in March this year due to Covid-19, delaying more than 4,000 wishes. This 89-acre non-profit resort provides critically ill children and their families with magical week-long wish vacations at no cost to them. There are a total of 166 storybook residential villas for them to stay in while enjoying experiences at the local theme parks and attractions.

Night of a Million Lights is designed to raise funds to ensure that when they are able to reopen, the wishes for these families can be granted and return bigger and better than ever before.

This event has transformed the village into a dazzling wonderland!

The Night of a Million Lights features more than 3 million glittering lights, larger than life displays, and 45 amazingly decorated wish family residential villas. This really is a sight to see!

Once you enter the residential villas area, you will see each house has its own sponsor, some are very obvious who the sponsor is before you even read the sign, one of my favorites being the Crayola house!

I love the crayons “decorating” the house and their expressions!

Mayor Clayton’s home, which is home to the 6-foot tall bunny rabbit who governs the Village, has a garden area that is not to be missed with decorations under a beautiful archway perfect for those selfies!

They were busy at work setting up all the lights and we even saw a “whack a mole” game being set up.

Admission for all guests includes complimentary ice cream from the Village’s new centerpiece, Henri’s Starlight Scoops and hot cocoa. There is also unlimited access to the Village’s wheelchair-accessible rides and attractions.

Additional food and beverage and special edition holiday merchandise- including 3D glasses for the lights will be available for purchase.

Santa and some other surprises will be making this visit extra special for all guests!

Night of a Million Lights will take place from November 13 through to January 3, from 5:00 p.m to 10:00 p.m daily with staggered entry times to promote social distancing. Mask wearing will be required for all guests.

The Village is always open for more volunteers, especially to help decorate for this upcoming event, you can apply on their website now at http://gktw.org/lights/volunteer or email them at volunteer@gktw.org

To purchase tickets for the event please head to their website http://gktw.org/lights today as some busy days may start selling out.

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Tickets On Sale For Give Kids The World Village’s Night of a Million Lights Holiday Spectacular

For the first time ever, Give Kids The World Village in Kissimmee will open its gates to the public – offering a glimpse into the magical, whimsical non-profit resort that fulfills the wishes of critically ill children from around the world. 

Give Kids the World Night of a Million Lights Holiday Spectacular

From Friday, November 13, through Sunday, January 3, 2021, visitors can experience the childlike wonder of the Village during Night of a Million Lights, a walk-through, fully immersive holiday light spectacular.

More than three million lights will adorn the 84-acre resort, including a 150-foot lighted tunnel along the Avenue of Angels leading to elaborately decorated wish family residential villas; more than 50 larger-than-life holiday-themed wireframes, some spanning more than 40 feet; an enormous dancing gingerbread arch; and out-of-this-world space-themed decorations showcasing the Village’s newest centerpiece, Henri’s Starlite Scoops. 

Give Kids the World Night of a Million Lights Holiday Spectacular

A stellar group of corporate treasured Partners will showcase their design talents by adopting and decorating a residential villa for display throughout the 52 nights of the event.

Tickets are on sale starting October 1 at www.gktw.org/lights, enabling guests to walk among the brilliant lights and participate in a variety of fun and festive activities in a safe, socially distant manner.  Ticket prices start at $15 for children ages 3-17 and $25 for adults, and include on-site parking, complimentary ice cream and hot cocoa, and unlimited access to the Village’s wheelchair-accessible attractions – including The Enchanted Carousel; Marc’s Dino Putt; Kelly’s Sunny Swing; Lori’s Magical Flight; an interactive model railroad; and the Village’s iconic Castle of Miracles, where thousands of stars fill the ceiling in honor of wish children who have visited the Village.  The event will run from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily, with staggered entry times at 5:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m., and 8:00 p.m. (confirmed at the time of purchase) to ensure social distancing.  Mask wearing will also be required for all guests.

Give Kids the World Night of a Million Lights Holiday Spectacular

Proceeds from the event will support Give Kids The World’s mission to provide wish vacations for critically ill children and their families.  When wish-granting organizations receive a request from a critically ill child who wants to visit Central Florida, Give Kids The World fulfills the wish – providing each child and his/her family with a magical week-long stay at absolutely no cost.  Each family receives transportation, accommodations in one of the Village’s 166 storybook residential villas, all meals and snacks, nightly entertainment, tickets to Orlando’s world-class theme parks and attractions, and priceless interactive experiences at the Village.  Since 1986, Give Kids The World has welcomed more than 176,000 families from 50 states and more than 76 countries. 

Give Kids The World Village closed to wish families in mid-March due to the global pandemic, delaying more than 4,000 wishes.  Night of a Million Lights is designed to raise funds to ensure that the wishes of critically ill children can return bigger and better than ever before once the Village reopens.

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Halloween in the Theme Parks 2020

Halloween in the theme parks of Central Florida may look different this year, but they are creating safe and spooky fun for the entire family to enjoy.

Fall into Fun at the Magic Kingdom

Halloween 2020
Kent Phillips, photographer

Until October 31st, Walt Disney World is inviting guests to experience Fall Fun at the Magic Kingdom Park. During the celebration Fall decorations will line Main Street U.S.A., beloved characters will pop-up throughout their park in their Halloween costumes, special treats will be served up, slightly spooky merchandise will be available, and PhotoPass photographers will be snapping special pictures. Best of all? Guests of all ages are invited to wear their Halloween costumes to the park to be a part of the festivities.

SeaWorld Spooktacular

Halloween in the Parks Halloween 2020

SeaWorld Orlando is hosting an ocean of safe Halloween fun for the whole family during Halloween Spooktacular weekends until November 1st. While this is an annual event, this year the modified daytime event, guests can safely explore the slightly spooky trick-or-treat trail, meet silly Halloween characters with physical distancing protocols in place, and much more during this safe, family-friendly event. SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular is included in admission to SeaWorld Orlando.

Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store at Universal Studios Florida

Halloween 2020
Universal Orlando Resort

The spirit of Halloween Horror Nights carries on in Universal Studios Florida’s Tribute Store. This spooky shopping experiences dares guests to brave Frankenstein’s Lab, step into Jack the Clown’s Carnival, party with the ‘ghost with the most’ Bettlejuice, and enjoy creepy specialty beverages and treats. The themed rooms, spooky sounds, and exclusive merchandise will have Halloween Horror Nights fans feeling festively eerie. While you are in the Tribute Store, make sure to keep an eye out for past Halloween Horror Nights Easter Eggs.

Brick or Treat at LEGOLAND Florida

Halloween 2020
LOCK + LAND, Edward Linsmier for LEGOLAND Florida Resort

LEGOLAND Florida is filling October weekends with spooky, kooky fun for the entire family! During Brick or Treat, included with admission to the park, guests will enjoy neighborhood-style trick-or-treating, seasonal shows, exclusive Halloween LEGO characters, and LEGO themed activities with fun prizes. It’s important to note that all character and performer interactions will be staged using generous spacing, of six feet or more, and elevated platforms and during trick-or-treating model citizens will be practicing social distancing while wearing face coverings (masks and/or face shields) and gloves.

Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Halloween 2020
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Howl-O-Scream is returning for its 21st year at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay with frights Friday and Saturday nights until November 1st. Created in consult with medical experts, significantly limited crowds will experience the heart-pounding fear of unexpected horrors including freakishly fun themed open-air scare zones throughout the 335-acre park and a new outdoor venue for the fan-favorite Fiends show. In addition to the frights, Howl-O-Scream guests can enjoy the thrill of the park’s coasters at night. It is important to note that Howl-O-Scream is intended for a more mature audience, as the event contains intense adult content such as violence, gore, and blood. Guests will also be required to wear protective face coverings and costumes are not allowed to be worn. Howl-O-Scream is a separately ticketed event, and reservations for the event are required.

You can find more information about theme park news and tips by subscribing to our YouTube Channel and following @onthegoinmco on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

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Night of a Million Lights Holiday Spectacular

Give Kids the World Night of a Million Lights Holiday Spectacular
Give Kids the World Village Rendering

For 34 years, the non-profit Give Kids The World Village has been brightening the lives of critically ill children and their families from around the world; and now, local businesses led by Presenting Sponsor Dreams Unlimited Travel will have the chance to illuminate the Village – literally- during the Night of a Million Lights Holiday Spectacular.

For 53 nights from Friday, November 13, through Sunday, January 3, 2021, the Village will come alive with Night of a Million Lights, a walk-through holiday light spectacular that is sure to warm the hearts of Central Florida residents. More than one million lights will adorn the 84-acre whimsical Village, including a 150-foot lighted tunnel leading to 33 decorated villas; more than 50 larger-than-life holiday-themed wireframes, some spanning more than 40 feet; an enormous incandescent gingerbread arch; and out-of-this-world space-themed decorations showcasing the Village’s newest centerpiece, Henri’s Starlite Scoops.

Adding to the fully immersive lights and sounds experience, Santa Claus will greet guests from the balcony of Towne Hall, with Give Kids The World’s beloved ambassadors, Mayor Clayton and Ms. Merry, on hand to lend some holiday cheer.

Give Kids the World Night of a Million Lights Holiday Spectacular
Give Kids the World Village Rendering

Corporate and community partners can get into the holiday spirit by adopting a villa, with the creative freedom to decorate it however they’d like for display throughout the 53 nights of the event. A friendly contest among the villas is guaranteed to bring some added fun and excitement, with long-time Village supporter Dreams Unlimited Travel already planning on ways to outshine the competition.

“We can’t think of a better way to celebrate the season than by shining some light on the wonderful work Give Kids The World does to bring happiness and hope to critically ill children and their families through this event,” said Dreams Unlimited Travel CEO Pete Werner.

Beginning on October 1, guests can purchase tickets on the Give Kids The World website at www.gktw.org to walk among the brilliant lights, vote on their favorite villas, and take part in a variety of family activities in a socially distant manner.

Most of the Village’s wheelchair-accessible attractions will be available at no cost, including The Enchanted Carousel, Marc’s Dino Putt, Kelly’s Sunny Swing, and Lori’s Magical Flight – all elaborately decorated for the holidays. Complimentary hot cocoa and ice cream will also be served throughout each evening.

In addition, guests can visit the Village’s most iconic venue, the Castle of Miracles – featuring a mysterious forest, a wishing well that burps, a magic tree that makes pillows, and more.

The Castle is highlighted by thousands of stars that fill the ceiling and the adjoining Star Tower, each placed in honor of a wish child who has visited the Village.

Give Kids the World Night of a Million Lights Holiday Spectacular
Give Kids the World Village Rendering

Proceeds from the event will support Give Kids The World’s mission to provide wish vacations for critically ill children and their families. When wish-granting organizations receive a request from a critically ill child who wants to visit any of the world-class theme parks Central Florida has to offer, Give Kids The World fulfills the wish – providing each child and his/her family with a magical week-long stay at absolutely no cost. Each family receives transportation, accommodations in one of the Village’s 166 storybook villas, all meals and snacks, nightly entertainment, tickets to Orlando’s world-class theme parks and attractions, and priceless experiences at the Village.  Since 1986, Give Kids The World has welcomed more than 176,000 families from 50 states and more than 76 countries. 

“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 priceless time together,” said Give Kids The World President and CEO Pamela Landwirth. “We look forward to sharing some holiday joy with the community while making it possible for future wish children to have their wishes fulfilled.”

Give Kids The World Village closed to wish families in mid-March due to the global pandemic, delaying more than 4,000 wishes.

The Night of a Million Lights is designed to raise funds to ensure that wish trips can return bigger and better than ever before once the time is right reopen.

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I Love Christmas Movies Coming to Gaylord Palms

I Love Christmas Movies Gaylord Palms Resort Christmas 2020

As the holiday season approaches, Gaylord Palms is excited to announce a new one-of-a-kind marquee Christmas pop-up experience that will debut November 13, 2020, and run through January 3, 2021. Called I Love Christmas Movies, the new experience presents a multi-sensory exhibition in collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products allowing guests to experience beloved holiday movies in a completely new way.

The new pop-up experience anchors Gaylord Palms’ lineup of renowned annual Christmas programming, promising an enchanting holiday celebration this year. 

With the unveiling of the new, I Love Christmas Movies immersive pop-up experience, visitors will enjoy enhanced holiday fun and delights as they discover this exclusive activity offered only at Gaylord Hotels for a limited time.

I Love Christmas Movies Gaylord Palms Resort Christmas 2020

I Love Christmas Movies presents a fully immersive exhibit featuring key moments from some of the most iconic Warner Bros. Pictures Christmas movies including THE POLAR EXPRESS, A CHRISTMAS STORY, ELF, NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION, and THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS.

As guests young and young at heart navigate the multi-sensory exhibits, they will enjoy over 13 fully immersive scenes complete with replicas of film props, audio clips, and more, making participants feel as if they have stepped into the part of the actual story. Guests will travel with Buddy the Elf from Santa’s North Pole workshop to New York City; take photos in front of the Griswold’s house adorned with thousands of Christmas lights; and more.

For almost two decades, Gaylord Palms has become legendary for providing magical holiday events and activities for winter visitors to experience, and this year will be no different.

I Love Christmas Movies Gaylord Palms Resort Christmas 2020

A lineup of additional signature activities and experiences visitors have come to know and love over the years is being developed and will be featured alongside the new I Love Christmas Movies experience. 

With a full lineup to be announced soon, visitors can look forward to experiences such as ice tubing, scavenger hunts, gingerbread decorating, elf training academy, holiday stage shows, and much more, all

to be enjoyed within acres of airy indoor atriums decorated with millions of twinkling holiday lights, towering Christmas trees, and thousands of shimmering ornaments.

“The holidays are the perfect time of year to make memories with friends and family, and we know that this year more than ever, guests will be looking for places where they can celebrate the magic of the season in a safe environment,” said General Manager Johann Krieger. “This year we are excited to present the new I Love Christmas Movies experience, along with our other amazing events and activities our guests have come to know and love.” 

I Love Christmas Movies Gaylord Palms Resort Christmas 2020

As the safety of guests and STARS (employees) is of paramount importance, the Christmas at Gaylord Palms program is being developed in accordance with Marriott’s “Commitment to Clean” program and with enhanced protocols and social-distancing measures. Programming will also operate in consideration with the latest local, state and federal legislation. 

Overnight Christmas packages including admission into the I Love Christmas Movies immersive pop-up experience are available to book now. Tickets for all the events and activities for Christmas at Gaylord Palms will go on sale in early October. 

For more information about the I Love Christmas Movies pop-up and Christmas programming, visit ChristmasatGaylordPalms.com, which will be updated with this year’s lineup soon. 

You can find more information about theme park news and tips by subscribing to our YouTube Channel and following @onthegoinmco on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

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Amway Center to Open as an Early Voting Location

Amway Center Early Voting Center 2020

The City of Orlando and the Orlando Magic joined the NBA, its players, and coaches in efforts to increase access to voting and have announced the Amway Center will open as an early voting location.

This is a collaborative effort between the City of Orlando, Orlando Magic, Orange County, and Orange County Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles. Early voting at Amway Center will run October 19 – November 1, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. on the north side of Amway Center at the Church Street entrance inside the Disney Atrium.

“As a community, it is so important that we work together to ensure that every eligible voter is able to have their voice heard by making voting accessible and safe,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “The City of Orlando is proud to partner with the Orlando Magic and the Orange County Supervisor of Elections to transform our Amway Center into an early voting site.”

All registered voters from Orange County may cast their ballot at the Amway Center location, which is one of 20 early voting locations within Orange County. 

Drive-up ballot boxes will also be available along Church Street in front of the arena for those who prefer to hand-deliver their vote-by-mail ballot.

Additionally, on National Voter Registration Day, September 22, Amway Center will be open for voter registration which will also take place inside the Disney Atrium from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The deadline to register to vote is October 5 and people can visit www.registertovoteflorida.gov for more information.

“In these unprecedented times, we’re grateful for the opportunity to utilize Amway Center as an early voting location,” said Orlando Venues Chief Venues Officer Allen Johnson. “It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to serve the community for this important purpose.”

The NBA recently announced that its teams, players and coaches immediately established a social justice coalition, with representatives from players, coaches, and team governors. The coalition will focus on a broad range of issues, including increasing access to voting, promoting civic engagement and advocating for meaningful police and criminal justice reform

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Orlando Science Center Hosts Kids Night

The Orlando Science Center is hosting a Kids Night at the Museum this Saturday, August 29th, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., where kids ages 5 to 12 years have the opportunity explore exhibits, experience enhanced programming, and enjoy dinner and a film in age-appropriate small groups to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Orlando Science Museum Kids Night at the Museum August 2020

The best part? Caregivers can enjoy a stress-free and childless evening on the town while their budding scientists have an entertaining experience of their own exploring the wonders of everything the Science Center has to offer.

Orlando Science Museum Kids Night at the Museum August 2020

This event has a limited capacity to support our health and safety guidelines and ensure proper social distancing so caregivers need to reserve spots for their children ASAP.  The schedule for the evening will be as follows:

  • 6:00 p.m. – Drop-off Begins Until 6:30 p.m.
  • 6:30 p.m. – In Classroom Activities 
  • 7:00 p.m. – Pizza Dinner
  • 7:30 p.m. – Guided Exhibit Hall Experience
  • 8:00 p.m. – Live Science Show
  • 8:30 p.m. – Guided Exhibit Hall Experience
  • 9:00 p.m. – Giant-Screen Film
  • 9:45 p.m. – In Classroom Activities (pickup begins)
  • 10:30 p.m. – Program Concludes

Registration is open until this Thursday night at 11:59 p.m. so we’re just trying to get the word out.

Orlando Science Museum Kids Night at the Museum August 2020

For more info, including FAQs, fees and how to register, please visit https://www.osc.org/visit/events/kids-night-at-the-museum/

Discounts available for siblings and Orlando Science Center members and families. The Science Center’s exhibits don’t come to life after hours, but during Kids Night at the Museum, the building will definitely be full of energy!

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Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store Opens Final Rooms

While it’s a bummer that we won’t get to experience Halloween Horror Nights this fall, having the Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store has helped ease the pain.

Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store 2020

And what’s really exciting is that the Tribute Store has opened its final two rooms today, marking the completion of the immersive retail location dedicated to the legacy of the world’s premier Halloween event.

Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store 2020
20-49004 CE20 Discover Universal Blog HHN Merchandise/Tribute Store Jack Monsters Attic Bettlejuice

In addition to exploring rooms themed after legendary icons and monsters, guests can now make their way through an incredibly-immersive room themed after one of the original characters from the event’s 1991 debut, “the ghost with the most” – Beetlejuice – as well as another haunting space where they can enjoy a variety of food and beverage options inspired by Halloween staples.

Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store 2020

Outfitted with an assortment of specialty, retro-themed merchandise, the new Beetlejuice area within the store will pay homage to one of the original faces of Halloween Horror Nights, with décor inspired by iconic scenes from the film, including the Graveyard, Stairwell Snake, and more.

Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store 2020

And right next door, guests can get a taste of horror with an assortment of nearly 20 sweet and savory items, including the Halloween Confetti Cake, Vegan Brownie Skull, the Cherry Gummy Beating Heart and more.

Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store 2020

Located in the New York area of Universal Studios Florida and now open daily during regular park hours, the Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store celebrates legendary themes and characters from Halloween Horror Nights’ past.

Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store 2020

Each highly-themed room within the retail location features a collection of limited-time “throwback” merchandise – from t-shirts and socks to posters, face coverings, and more – that pay homage to some of the iconic characters and experiences that have haunted guests for years.

Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store 2020

Guests can also browse the assortment of Halloween Horror Nights merchandise and make purchases from the comfort of their homes by visiting Universal Orlando’s Online Merchandise Store at www.shop.UniversalOrlando.com.  

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Ole Red Battle of the Bands Coming Soon

Today Ole Red Orlando has announced a new weekly competition series that will entertain guests with some of the best up-and-coming country music talent from around the nation and provide local and regional artists opportunities to showcase their talents on a national stage as the performances will be live-streamed across each venue.

Ole Red Orlando Blake Shelton ICON Park Ole Red Battle of the Bands
Ole Red Orlando

Ole Red Battle of the Bands begins on Wednesday, August 19th, and will take place across all Ole Red locations, giving fans in Orlando; Nashville and Gatlinburg, Tenn.; and Blake Shelton’s hometown of Tishomingo, Okla., virtual experiences of visiting each Ole Red location in one night. Fans can vote for their favorites and the winning band will take home bragging rights and a cash prize.

The program will be hosted every Wednesday beginning at 7 p.m. ET. Bands will play two songs, including one original and one cover, and guests will receive a special offer just for participating in the voting process.

The inaugural Ole Red Battle of the Bands features the following artists:

  • Orlando: Bryan Malpass
  • Gatlinburg: Dismal River Boys
  • Nashville: Monroeville
  • Tishomingo: Telina Rudd
Ole Red Orlando Stage Ole Red Battle of the Bands

Ole Red Orlando features live music nightly with state-of-the-art acoustics and lighting for a concert-quality music experience as well as indoor and outdoor private event areas and three bars. The venue is equipped with a large stage and concert-level production and sound capabilities, along with a video wall and additional LED screens. For the full live programming calendar, menus and upcoming special events, visit olered.com and follow Ole Red on social media @olered.

In partnership with the company’s official wellness advisor, Vanderbilt Health, each Ole Red location has taken precautions to ensure the safety of its guests and employees. For more information, visit olered.com.

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Join the Nationwide Virtual Solarbration Saturday

Seminole State College of Florida Planetarium
Seminole State College: Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust Planetarium

One trip around the cosmos is never enough, that’s why the Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust Planetarium at Seminole State College of Florida is teaming up with astronomers and planetariums from all over the country to host a Solarbration. 

Telescopes from the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, the Central Florida Astronomical Society, the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association and the Feynman Observatory will all point to the sky on Saturday, June 20, 2020, at 10:30 a.m. EDT. From YouTube Live, everyone will focus on the brightest star in the sky: the sun.

The nationwide live-streaming party is in honor of International SUNday, an annual event held on the Sunday nearest to the summer solstice with the goal of bringing together a wide array of experts and equipment from different locations.  

Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust Planetarium at Seminole State College of Florida Solarbration
Derek Demeter, Director Emil Buehler Planetarium

Planetarium Manager Derek Demeter tells us, “the sun is our most important star in the sky. It gives us life on Earth and what better way to celebrate it than showing our guests an amazing view through the telescope. We will be able to look at large plumes of gas shooting off the sun, the boiling of its surface, sunspots and so much more! Our star is like a living breathing organism, constantly changing.” 

Whoever attends this amazing event will not only learn a lot but see a lot as well.

“Solarbration guests will have the opportunity to see the sun through different telescopes and filters, and to also see the sun in the way that heliophysicists study it,” said Amy Oliver, head of public affairs for the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. “We’ll be talking about sun science too, so our guests can expect to learn about sunspots, magnetic fields, space weather including aurorae and other cool things about the sun.”

She applauds the hard work of our team at the Emil Buehler Planetarium at Seminole State College for their commitment to launching and maintaining programming virtually throughout the pandemic. She knew that our team would be a great co-host for their nationwide events.    

To participate in the Nationwide Livestream Solarbration Party, tune in on YouTube Live from any device on June 20 at 10:30 a.m. EDT and enjoy your guided tour of the sun. 

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Dr. Phillips Center Updates Orlando 20/21 Season

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts UPDATES TO THE 20/21  FAIRWINDS BROADWAY IN ORLANDO SEASON ANNOUNCED

Dr. Phillips Center has announced that the previously scheduled performance of the FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando engagement of To Kill a Mockingbird, scheduled for Dr. Phillips Center will be postponed. The highly anticipated Orlando run will be part of the 21/22 season. 

In addition, The Cher Show, originally scheduled for June 15 – 20, 2021 will not come to the Dr. Phillips Center as part of the 20/21 Broadway season. The show has postponed its national tour with new dates to be announced. 

Jesus Christ Superstar will appear as part of the 20/21 season at Dr. Phillips Center on June 15–20, 2021.

Jesus Christ Superstar Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

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 SUPERSTARis 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’.

Current season subscribers will be contacted by email with updated season package information, and you can find more information by visiting drphillipscenter.org.

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
Courtesy of Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

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Country Thunder Announces New Dates

Country Thunder Logo 2020

Country Thunder Music Festivals has had to make the difficult decision to postpone its first event of the 2020 season due to the uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus Pandemic.

The final decision came down following Friday afternoon’s announcement from Osceola County officials which bans mass gatherings of over 250 people. The guidelines mirror those of neighboring Orange County, as well as the city of Orlando.

“We look forward to the rescheduled dates in Florida and getting back to see some of the greatest country fans in America,” says Country Thunder CEO, Troy Vollhoffer. “We have always strived for excellence when it comes to the fan experience. But there has always been an acute awareness that a great music festival begins with fan safety, and the comfort of patrons who attend our events

“We felt that pushing our dates to the fall gives us the best opportunity in making Country Thunder Florida the world-class event which fans have come to expect. Luckily for us, our artists were more than happy to oblige the schedule changes.”

Originally scheduled from March 27-29, Country Thunder Florida 2020 will now take place from October 16-18, again at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee. Headliners Eric Church, Kane Brown and Dierks Bentley have all been re-confirmed for the new dates.

All ticketing and camping options will be honored for the rescheduled dates.

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FS Open Tournament for Charity

Full Sail Open Tournament FS Open

Are you tired of missing the outside world? Us, too.

That’s why Full Sail is bringing the fields to you! (Well, digitally anyway.)

On Thursday, April 23, 2020 you’ll have the opportunity to play in FS Open, a public Rocket League tournament where participants can compete for amazing prizes and raise money for communities affected by COVID-19.

Participants who enter won’t just be competing for glory and sweet gear. All proceeds from the tournament go directly to Feeding America.

It’s no fun being stuck at home, so why not join your fellow gamers for a good time, and a great cause?

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to put your gaming skills to the test and support your local community.

If you’re not quite ready to burn rubber in Rocket League you can still show your support by tuning into Full Sail Armada’s Twitch channel: twitch.tv/fullsailarmada on April 23, 2020.

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Wallenda to Walk the Pirate Island Hotel Plank

Nik Wallenda LEGOLAND Florida Pirate Island Hotel Announcement

Just a few days after he performed his most daring stunt yet, walking over an active volcano, live on ABC, world-renown daredevil Nik Wallenda announced this morning that his next major event will be at LEGOLAND Florida Resort to mark the opening of the all-new Pirate Island Hotel.

In true pirate-fashion, Wallenda will “walk the plank” from inside the theme park to the new hotel to kick off the resort’s opening festivities on Thursday, April 16. LEGOLAND Florida Resort park and hotel guests are invited to take part in the fun and watch the nail-biting stunt safely from the ground.

This event will be no “walk in the park” for the Wallenda Team as they will construct a high wire longer than 500 feet for the walk. They will also work closely with LEGOLAND master model builders to craft LEGO bricks onto Wallenda’s 28-foot balance pole.   

LEGOLAND and Nik Wallenda fans alike can stay tuned to Facebook and Instagram as the park releases additional details on how to watch the stunt unfold live on Thursday, April 16. 

Pirate Island Hotel will officially open to the public on Fri., April 17. Reservations are available at LEGOLAND.com/pirateisland  

NEW! LEGOLAND Pirate Island Hotel Grand Opening – April 17

LEGOLAND Florida LEGO Pirate Island Hotel
LEGOLAND Florida

Located just 130 kid-steps from the theme park entrance, LEGOLAND Pirate Island Hotel will feature 150 LEGO-filled rooms (including four suites), a heated pool (complete with LEGO soft bricks to build in the pool), hundreds of LEGO models, exclusive character experiences and in-room LEGO treasure hunts. Similar to the popular LEGOLAND Hotel, each room will include two separate spaces: a kid’s sleeping area and an adult area.

LEGOLAND Florida Introduces All-Inclusive Vacation Packages 2020
Photo: / LOCK + LAND, Chip Litherland

The five-story hotel will house the pirate-themed Shipwreck Restaurant with family-style dining, Smuggler’s Bar for adult swashbucklers, an entertainment area with kid-friendly nightly programming and LEGO play areas. Directly outside the entrance to the hotel, a pirate shipwreck will greet guests and offer a unique photo opportunity.

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