Island H2O Live! Water Park At Margaritaville Resort Orlando

Margaritaville Resort Orlando Announces Island H2O Live! Water Park

Margaritaville Resort Orlando Announces Island H2O Live! Water Park Details

Island H2O Live! water park set to bring chills and thrills to Central Florida in Spring 2019

I don’t know about you, but I am STOKED for the opening of the Margaritaville Resort Orlando in Spring 2019!

And as I’ve been driving by the site, I can’t help but notice the HUGE water park area that is taking shape next to 192 in Kissimmee.

Today I was excited to learn that Central Florida’s newest and most immersive water park will be called Island H2O Live!, and will be opening with the Margaritaville Resort Orlando in Spring 2019.

Island H2O Live! will unleash the power of pure play and enthusiasm with nine different thrill rides, a lazy river, a wave pool, a kids’ area, and a river raft ride for the whole family. Designed to enable guests to customize their experience and share it with the world, the park uses a new RFID wristband system that will enable guests to personalize the music and lighting they experience on select rides, making every time very unique.

The park, owned by Horizon Waterpark, LLC and developed in collaboration with Encore Capital Management and Innovative Attraction Management, will change the way people think about water parks.

Island H2O Live Park Map Rendering
Margaritaville Resort Orlando

“Water parks are known for exhilarating rides and attractions, but Island H2O Live! will let guests be playful in interactive ways that have never been seen before,” said Albo Antenucci Jr., Executive in Charge, Horizon Waterpark, LLC. “These incredible opportunities for engagement will be what Island H2O Live! is all about.”

BEHIND THE TECHNOLOGY

The wristband system at Island H2O Live! is called Vantage and is the latest offering from water slide manufacturer WhiteWater West.

The Vantage system works through an app that guests download either before or when they arrive. Once they arrive at the park, guests sync the app to their wristbands and the fun begins, as a scanner on certain slides will read their wristband and automatically play songs and lighting effects from the previously established selections.

On some slides, the technology will enable cameras to snap pictures and video and share the content directly to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or other social media sites. Guests can also use their creativity and personal style to produce their own slide experience by choosing music playlists, lighting preferences and tagging their social media handles for easy sharing.

Another high-tech feature: “Be Live” invites guests to sing karaoke or star in other audio/visual experiences with clips from these sessions shared through the app.
The gamified app also allows guests to earn loyalty points with every ride. Guests can win prizes such as free food and beverage items, skip-the-line passes, and more.

“These features speak to the ‘Live’ part of our name,” Albo Antenucci Jr. “Customization offers guests the creative space to develop their own adventures, to be in the moment, but then capture those moments and share them in real-time.”

Margaritaville Resort Orlando The Island Rendering Island H2O Live
Margaritaville Resort Orlando

PERSONALIZED PARADISE

The experience at Island H2O Live! will be all about creating your own, unique, customized experience. For those looking to soak in the island vibe, listen to music, and have some chill with their thrill, tropically-inspired havens will abound with hammocks, cabanas and soft sand beaches around every turn and adult-only areas will offer cocktails only steps from your beach chair.

To keep the fun going. Island H20 Live! is within walking distance or a short trolley ride to Margaritaville Orlando Resort hotel and cottages, and Sunset Walk, the resort’s retail, dining and entertainment district featuring everything from Studio Movie Grill, to Rock & Brews, BurgerFi, Capone’s, Ford’s Garage, GameTime, Sketchers and more.

AFFORDABLE FUN

Island H20 Live! admission will offer the most fun you can have in the water at a great value. Please visit IslandH2OLive.com for specific ticket pricing or to book tickets call 407-910-1401.

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Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Guide 2018

November 2018 Theme Park Events - Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
Walt Disney Word Resort

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Guide 2018

Everything you need to know to plan a festive evening at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!

There’s no better way to celebrate Christmas than a evening at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World!

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, a special hard ticketed event not included with regular theme park admission, takes place on November 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 25, 27, 29 and 30; and December 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20 and 21 from 7pm until midnight.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party gives guests the opportunity to meet with some of their favorite Disney friends in their holiday finest, enjoy holiday entertainment, exclusive fireworks, a high-energy parade, complimentary treats throughout the park, and more topped off with a ‘snowfall’ on Main Street U.S.A.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Treats

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Let’s talk about those complimentary treats you can find during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, because it is more than just hot cocoa and sugar cookies!

Throughout the Magic Kingdom there are seven locations, marked with a giant inflatable candy stick, offering a wide variety of holiday treats until midnight.

Here is a list of where you can find the treats throughout the Magic Kingdom:

  • Tortuga Tavern (Adventureland): Snowman Soft Pretzel and Blue Sno-Cone
  • Liberty Square Ticket Office (Liberty Square): Ginger Molasses Cookie and Eggnog
  • Pete’s Silly Sideshow (Storybook Circus): Peppermint Crunch Cookie and Nesquik Chocolate Milk
  • Pinocchio Village Haus (Fantasyland): A variety of Holiday Favorite cookies and Hot Chocolate & Apple Cider
  • The Friar’s Nook (Fantasyland): Variety of DOVE Chocolate and Chilled Sparkling Apple Cider
  • Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe (Tomorrowland): Snickerdoodle Cookie and Hot Chocolate
  • Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies (Tomorrowland): Santa Claus Cookie and Blue Sno-Cone

If you have dietary concerns, there are allergy-friendly and alternative healthy options available upon request at each location.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Entertainment

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Another huge part of the celebration is the event exclusive holiday entertainment, and this year the returning favorites are fantastic! 

  • Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration: Mickey and his pals invite some of their friends over for an unforgettable Christmas party filled with music, dancing, color and fun on the Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage! The celebration features medleys of delightful holiday songs both classic and contemporary, along with special effects, magical projections and beloved Disney characters including Woody and Jessie from “Toy Story,” Fantasyland friends such as Peter Pan and Snow White.
  • A Frozen Holiday Wish: Arendelle royalty and their lovable snowman visit Magic Kingdom Park to help everyone feel the wintry chill in the air and love in their hearts. “A Frozen Holiday Wish,” presented on the Castle Forecourt Stage, features Anna, Elsa, Olaf and Kristoff. As a gift to the kingdom, Elsa lets it go and uses her icy powers to transform Cinderella Castle into a sparkling palace of ice. (Keep in mind that this only happens once a night during the party, but will happen before the party officially begins if you arrive early)
  • “A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas”: Buzz Lightyear, Mike Wazowski and Stitch join host Haley Comet for an intergalactic musical revue on the Rockettower Plaza Stage. The show is full of modern twists on classic holiday songs and the coolest dance numbers in town!
  • Club Tinsel: located inside Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café in Tomorrowland, becomes the coolest place to get down with a DJ and some North Pole pals in the cheeriest dance party this side of Santa’s Workshop!
  • The Edge Effect: Experience the incredible vocal harmonies in an unforgettable, a cappella holiday concert live on the the Rockettower Plaza Stage.
  • Storybook Circus Disney Junior Jingle Jam: Young partygoers can get their groove on with their favorite Disney Junior Characters.

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
Once Upon A Christmas Time

Stepping off in Frontierland, the Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade fills the streets of the Magic Kingdom with holiday fun and cheer featuring some of your favorite Disney characters, iconic marching soldiers & prancing reindeer, and ending with the big guy himself.

The Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade happens twice during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and typically the second parade is less crowded. 

Holiday Wishes Fireworks – Celebrate the Spirit of the Season

Wordless Wednesday Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Holiday Wishes Fireworks – Celebrate the Spirit of the Season is the holiday nighttime fireworks and pyrotechnic spectacular that lights up the skies above Cinderella Castle that is set to some familiar and favorite holiday songs with touches of Disney magic.

PLEASE keep in mind that this only happens once during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, so if this is a priority make sure you keep track of the time. The best viewing areas are in front of Cinderella Castle, and while getting there early is still a good idea it isn’t a necessity.

Special Disney Character Appearances during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Throughout the Magic Kingdom you can find characters, their locations are marked on the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party maps with a Mickey Mouse silhouette and in the My Disney Experience app, during the party that are exclusive to the event.

Here are the character locations from 2017’s Mickey Very Merry Christmas Party:

  • Main Street U.S.A.: Santa Claus and Mickey Mouse
  • Adventureland: Aladdin, Jasmine, Genie and Abu, Captain Jack Sparrow, Moana, and Peter Pan
  • Frontierland: The Country Bears
  • Liberty Square: Sandy Claws aka Jack Skellington
  • Fantasyland: Ariel & Prince Eric, Rapunzel & Flynn, Cinderella & Prince Charming, Belle, Pooh & Friends, Seven Dwarfs, Snow White & Prince, Aurora & Prince Phillip, Elena of Avalor, Minnie Mouse, Scrooge McDuck, Donald & Daisy, Santa Goofy, Mary Poppins & Bert, and Tiana & Naveen.
  • Tomorrowland: Nick Wilde & Judy Hopps

It’s important to know that these appearances can change at any time, so make sure you talk to the Cast Members around the entrances to the lines to make sure you are in the correct place.

November 2016 at Walt Disney World Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
Photo: Walt Disney World

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Event Merchandise

It wouldn’t be a special event at Walt Disney World without exclusive event merchandise that includes everything from ornaments to MagicBand, and this year the merchandise has a really fun retro vibe. 

Here is where you can find this year’s merchandise:

  • Full Event Collection: Emporium (Main Street U.S.A.), Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe (Liberty Square), Big Top Souvenirs (Storybook Circus), & Mickey’s Star Traders (Tomorrowland) 
  • Trading Pins: Emporium (Main Street U.S.A.), Frontier Trading Post (Frontierland), & Mickey’s Star Traders (Tomorrowland)  
  • MagicBand: Frontier Trading Post (Frontierland)  & Tomorrowland Light & Power Co. (Tomorrowland)
  • Walt Disney World Annual Passholder Merchandise: Emporium (Main Street U.S.A.) & Mickey’s Star Traders (Tomorrowland) 

To purchase Walt Disney World Annual Passholder exclusive merchandise, you will need your Walt Disney World Annual Pass and photo id.

Exclusive Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party PhotoPass Pictures

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

 This year the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party ‘Magic Shots’ from their PhotoPass photographers are AWESOME!!!

They range from the addition to some of your favorite Disney characters to fun holiday themed videos.

The Disney Parks Blog has examples of all the shots you will find at this year’s party!

New this year at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

This year at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, guests will be able to experience these new offerings during the festivities:

  • Very Merry Morsels Await – Guests will find festive new treats at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, such as the Sugar Rush Jumbo Red Velvet Cupcake or the Vanellope Éclair with rainbow cereal topping.
  • Holiday Music Happening in Tomorrowland – A new a cappella group will sing holiday favorites in Tomorrowland during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Look for them in between performances of “A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas”!
  • New Sweet-and-Savory Party Debuts on Town Square – Tony’s Most Merriest Town Square Party will debut this year as part of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. In this special experience, guests will discover a mix of sweet and savory treats including Tony’s famous meatballs, red velvet cupcakes and much more. The $99/person ticket also includes beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as special reserved viewing for Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade.

Purchasing Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Tickets

November 2016 at Walt Disney World Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
Photo: Walt Disney World – Ryan Wendler, photographer

Ticket pricing for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party varies by date and range in price from $95 to $125 plus tax for adults (ages 10 and up), $90 to $120 plus tax for children (ages 3-9), and children under 2 are free.

You will save some by purchasing your tickets in advance, and there are select dates that have discounts for Walt Disney World Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club owners.

As with any & every purchase, I only suggest buying tickets directly from Walt Disney World by using their website or by calling (407) 939-5277. Don’t take the chance that what you purchase is a lump of coal!

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Kidz Bop Weekend at LEGOLAND Florida

 

Kidz Bop Weekend at LEGOLAND Florida

KIDZ BOP Kids Bringing Live Concert Tour Back to LEGOLANDFlorida Resort November 10-12

Exciting LEGOLAND Florida Theme Park Kidz Bop Weekend to Feature High-Energy Stage Shows and Meet-and-Greets — All Included with Admission!

For the second year in a row, The KIDZ BOP Kids will bring their national concert tour to the place #BuiltForKids during KIDZ BOP Weekend, a music-filled event set for November 10-12 at the LEGOLAND Florida Resort.

Following the success of last year’s “Best Time Ever” tour, which sold out multiple shows across the country, The KIDZ BOP Kids are hitting the road again in 2018. KIDZ BOP announced the launch of the all-new North American Tour, “KIDZ BOP Live 2018,” kicking off June 1 in Toronto, with dates in more than 30 cities, including New York, Los Angeles and Boston.

LEGOLAND Florida Kidz Bop Weekend 2018

During the three-day KIDZ BOP Weekend, The KIDZ BOP Kids will perform two live concerts each day at LEGOLAND Florida’s KIDZ BOP Stadium, an outdoor venue on the picturesque shore of Lake Eloise, followed by an exclusive meet-and-greet with the performers. All activities during KIDZ BOP Weekend, including the concerts and meet-and-greets*, are included with all forms of theme park admission. No extra ticket required!

This spring, KIDZ BOP will debut an original musical collaboration with LEGOLAND, one that highlights all the awesomeness that awaits at the popular vacation destination. In 2016, LEGOLAND Florida Resort named KIDZ BOP its official music partner as part of a multi-year alliance that included the creation of a music video for The KIDZ BOP Kids’ performance of “The Weekend Whip,” the theme song of the long-running animated TV series, “LEGO NINJAGO: Masters of Spinjitzu.”

LEGOLAND Florida Kidz Bop Weekend 2018

“KIDZ BOP Live 2018” is the ultimate family concert experience, “sung by kids for kids.”  The KIDZ BOP Kids – Billboard Magazine’s No. 1 Kids’ Artist for eight consecutive years (2010-2017) – will headline the new show, performing some of today’s biggest hit songs. Just in time for the new tour, three new talented young performers – Olivia (12), Shane (13), and Indigo (11) – are joining the existing group of KIDZ BOP Kids: Ahnya (13), Cooper (14), Freddy (14), Isaiah (11) and Julianna (13). Four KIDZ BOP Kids will take the stage for each performance.

*Space is limited. First come, first served.

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Stranger Things Day at Universal Studios Florida

Stranger Things Day Universal Studios Florida

Hold your breath, mouth-breathers. You’re invited to join the search party for Will Byers on Stranger Things Day at Universal Studios Florida.

On November 6, the day that Will disappeared, from 11am – 7pm, all Universal Studios Florida guests will have the opportunity to walk through the Stranger Things haunted house from Halloween Horror Nights one last time in celebration of Stranger Things Day.

This marks the first time ever in the history of the Universal Orlando Resort that during the day, you can take on a fully fear-filled-house from Halloween Horror Nights, the World’s Premier Halloween Event, only at Universal Studios Florida.

Universal Orlando Resort Stranger Things Day November 6 2018

The full house experience, as well as select food and beverage options at Benny’s Burger Tent, San Fran Pastry, and Boulangerie will be open to guests with valid park admission for Universal Studios Florida and Annual and Seasonal Passholders. And as an added bonus, passholders will have access to the express queue line for the house.

Step into the shoes of Mike, Dustin, and Lucas as you venture into The Upside Down with the help of Eleven to rescue Will from the clutches of the Demogorgon.

But first, here’s a couple important details to know before you go to Stranger Things Day:

WHEN: Tuesday, November 6, 11am-7pm

WHERE: Universal Studios Florida

– Must have a valid theme park ticket for Universal Studios Florida or be a Universal Orlando Annual or Seasonal Passholder.

– House will be open only on Nov. 6 from 11am-7pm

– No other Halloween Horror Nights houses, scare zones or shows will be open during this date

– Dates, times and entertainment are subject to change and availability

– As always, no costumes or masks allowed

– Experience may be too intense for young children and is not recommended for children under the age of 13

We can’t wait to be at the first Stranger Things Day…Will we see you there?

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LEGOLAND Florida Honors U.S. Veterans This November

LEGOLAND Florida Veterans Deal November 2018
LEGOLAND Florida

LEGOLAND Florida Resort Honors U.S. Veterans for Entire Month of November

U.S. veterans and active military personnel can take advantage of free admission, standard parking, and special discounts

During the month of November, the LEGOLAND Florida Resort will once again honor U.S. veterans and active military personnel with free theme park admission, free standard parking, 50 percent off tickets for up to six guests, and up to 25 percent off overnight stays.

It’s our way of saying thank you to the men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces.

To receive free admission and parking, U.S. veterans must present valid military ID or proof of veteran status at the theme park ticket windows and parking toll plaza on the day of their visit. To book a discounted overnight stay, visit www.legoland.com/veteransThis offer is not available online or by phone.

On Veterans Day (Sunday, November 11th) only, LEGOLAND Florida Resort will further honor veterans with these exclusive offers:

  • A 10 percent discount on retail purchases and food and beverage items
  • Receive a second 6×8 photo free with purchase of the first photo
  • Receive two plays for the price of one on skill games (not including “prize every time” games)

Valid military ID or proof of veteran status is required to receive all offers. To receive free admission and purchase discounted tickets, please visit a LEGOLAND Florida Resort ticket window on the day of visit.

For the purposes of this promotion, U.S. veterans are defined as retired or non-active duty members of the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines and U.S. Coast Guard in possession of valid military ID or other proof of veteran status. The discounts described above are exclusive and cannot be combined with any other offers, including annual pass discounts.

In addition, active duty U.S. service members receive complimentary admission to LEGOLAND Florida Theme Park and LEGOLAND Water Park all year long! This offer is available only at the theme park ticket windows with valid military ID, and is not available online or by phone.

For additional details about discounts available to U.S. military personnel, please visit www.LEGOLAND.com/florida/buy-tickets/military.

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November 2018 Theme Park Events, Celebrations, and More!

November 2018 Theme Park Events, Celebrations, and More!

November 2018 Theme Park Events, Celebrations, and More!

We are coming off of a super busy October in the parks, but things aren’t slowing down in November 2018 as we kick off the holiday season and have some new and returning events to talk about!

Walt Disney World – November 2018

The holidays are kicking into high gear at the Walt Disney World Resort, but there will also be a celebration for Mickey’s 90th Birthday in November 2018!

Mickey’s 90th

November 2018 Theme Park Events - Mickey Mouse 90th
Walt Disney Word Resort

It was all started by a mouse, and this year Mickey Mouse will be celebrating his 90th Birthday this November.

Walt Disney World will celebrate Mickey’s birthday from November 16-18 with special merchandise and food & beverage items as well as the chance for guests to celebrate at Magic Kingdom Park during the “Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It!” Street Party, sing “Happy Birthday” along with the Dapper Dans on Main Street, U.S.A., and join in a special birthday dance party at Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland.

Then in 2019, the World’s Biggest Mouse Party, a limited-time celebration of Mickey and Minnie, comes to the Walt Disney World Resort. While we don’t have a lot of details yet, we do know that other Disney parks around their world will celebrate with new nighttime spectaculars, merchandise, specialized food and beverage offerings, and more.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

November 2018 Theme Park Events - Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
Walt Disney Word Resort

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a special hard ticketed event, meaning it’s not included with regular theme park admission, that takes place in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World on 22 select nights in November & December beginning November 8th.

During Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party guests have the chance to meet with some of their favorite Disney friends in their holiday finest, enjoy holiday entertainment, exclusive fireworks, a high-energy parade, complimentary treats throughout the park, and more topped off with a ‘snowfall’ on Main Street U.S.A.

We’ll be talking more about Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party soon, but keep in mind that you will save money by purchasing your tickets in advance.

Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

November 2018 Theme Park Events - Epcot International Festival of the Holidays
Walt Disney Word Resort

Discover a festival like no other, featuring the joyous holiday traditions of Epcot’s 11 World Showcase nations from November 18th through December 30th.

The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, included with admission to Epcot, surrounds guests in the wondrous sights, sounds and flavors of the season, as celebrated by cultures near and far.

During the festival guests can enjoy stirring live musical productions, savor seasonal food & beverage specialties at the expanded Holiday Kitchens, and take a festive global tour as costumed performers bring time-honored traditions to life throughout World Showcase.

Candlelight Processional

November 2018 Theme Park Events - Candlelight Processional
Walt Disney Word Resort

The highlight of the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays is the moving Candlelight Processional.

Each night, a celebrity narrator tells the biblical tale of a savior born to a virgin in Bethlehem. While gorgeous choral pieces are woven into the production as a 50-piece live orchestra and choir provide an inspirational backdrop with songs of hope and joy.

This dazzling presentation happens each night with multiple shows from November 22nd through December 30th at the American Gardens Theater, and does not require an additional ticket to attend.

Here is a look at the narrators and dates:

  • Chita Rivera – November 22 to 23, 2018
  • NEW! Helen Hunt – November 24 to 25, 2018
  • NEW! Alfonso Ribeiro – November 26 to 27, 2018
  • TBD – November 28 to December 2, 2018

Flurry of Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

November 2018 Theme Park Events - Disney's Hollywood Studios Flurry of Fun
Walt Disney Word Resort

It is a Flurry of Holiday Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios as their holly, jolly celebration is brimming with magical merriment!

Delight in festive shows, enchanting “snows”, holiday décor, Toy Story Land cheer, and so much more from November 8, 2018 through January 6, 2019.

You definitely won’t want to miss the colorful projections on The Hollywood Tower Hotel during Sunset Seasons Greetings. This year the show has new laser effects and “snow,” plussing the returning favorite that includes stories, songs, and holiday cheer brought to you by friends like Mickey, Minnie and Olaf.

But starting a few days earlier on November 6th, Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM will end each day with a Santa-sized spectacular that is jam-packed with holiday music, fireworks, special effects, and state-of-the-art projections.

Holidays at Disney Springs

November 2018 Theme Park Events - Holidays at Disney Springs
Walt Disney Word Resort

Disney Springs will once again be filled with Christmas cheer and fun in addition to their great shopping and dining experiences from November 8, 2018 until January 6, 2019.

I especially love the Holidays at Disney Springs, because parking and most of the activities are free!

During the celebration guests at Disney Springs will enjoy seasonal tasty treats and beverages, seasonal entertainment, a Christmas Tree trail featuring some of your favorite Disney character, a join Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt to help experiment 626 find his Ohana’s lost gifts, and even meet with the big guy himself at his Chalet.

Universal Orlando Resort– November 2018

Holidays are Universal as you celebrate Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, visit all the Whos down in Whoville with Grinchmas, and watch some of your favorite characters in the new Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s from November 17, 2018 until January 6, 2019.

Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

November 2018 Theme Park Events - Universal's Islands of Adventure Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade Magic of Christmas Hogwarts Castle
Universal Orlando Resort

The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle is back in November 2018. Revel in a dazzling projection of holiday spirit nightly in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade in Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

While in Hogsmeade, take in the festive décor, listen to the Frog Choir sing holiday themed songs and grab a Hot Butterbeer.

Then head over to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida to see more stunning holiday decorations throughout London and Diagon Alley.

And you won’t want to miss the talented Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees singing their holiday hits.

Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s

November 2018 Theme Park Events - Universal Studios Florida Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Macy's Holiday Parade Minion Despicable Me
Universal Orlando Resort

Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s is returning to the streets of Universal Studios Florida. This colorful parade fills the streets with music, confetti, and some of your favorite characters, including the Despicable Me Minions, Shrek and Fiona, King Julien, the Penguins of Madagascar, and more!

And, of course, there’s a visit from Santa as he rides high in the sky on a beautiful float, wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the holiday season.

Grinchmas at Universal’s Islands of Adventure

November 2018 Theme Park Events - Universal's Islands of Adventure Universal Orlando Resort Grinchmas Suess Landing
Universal Orlando Resort

Grinchmas is returning to Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Hear the tale of the Grinch and help the Whos down in Whoville save Christmas during a wonderful live stage show. Sing along to all your favorite songs and get into the Grinchmas spirit.

You can even start your morning off with breakfast with the Grinch himself (reservations required). Then stroll through Seuss Landing, all decked out for Christmas by the bustling Whos as they get their final preparations in order for Christmas.

Mannheim Steamroller

November 2018 Theme Park Events -Universal Studios Florida Universal Orlando Resort Mannheim Steamroller
Universal Orlando Resort

Fan-favorite Mannheim Steamroller will also be returning to perform live on the Music Plaza Stage. Their performances will take place on select night during the months of November and December.

SeaWorld Orlando– November 2018

In November 2018, the event lineup at SeaWorld Orlando offers something for everybody with three unique opportunities to add value to a visit to the park and events taking place every Saturday and Sunday.

Jack Hanna Weekend

November 2018 Theme Park Events - SeaWorld Orlando Jack Hanna Weekend
SeaWorld Orlando

World-renowned animal expert “Jungle Jack” Hanna is back for another weekend of excitement and storytelling at SeaWorld Orlando on November 3rd and 4th. The internationally-known conservationist, author, television personality and lifelong adventurer will share animal facts and his travel tales during captivating and interactive presentations at 1pm & 3pm inside the Nautilus Theater.

In addition to shows included with park admission, SeaWorld will have several additional opportunities for guests to personally interact with Jack Hanna at the park including meet-and-greets, autograph signings and exclusive dining packages.

  • Jack Hanna Reserved Show Seating (Saturday and Sunday November 3 – 4) – Save time and enjoy one of the best seats in the house for Jack Hanna. Prepare for Jack to entertain with animal facts, stories and answers to questions from you. Pricing begins at $20 per person and Pass Members receive a special discount.
  • Up-Close Dining at Shamu Stadium Jack Hanna Dinner (Saturday, November  3rd) – Enjoy a delicious dinner and mingle with Jack Hanna at Up-Close Dining at Shamu Stadium. The package includes a buffet dinner and a meet-and-greet with Jack Hanna. Dinner is at 5pm. Pricing begins at $49 per person. Pass Members receive a special discount on all dining package purchases.

Craft Beer Festival

November 2018 Theme Park Events - SeaWorld Orlando Craft Beer Festival
SeaWorld Orlando

Calling all beer connoisseurs, SeaWorld Orlando has a brand-new festival worth raising your glass over. The SeaWorld Craft Beer Festival will feature 100+ brews on draft at 18 locations around the park on from breweries across the state of Florida, plus a few domestic and international craft favorites on November 3rd, 4th, 10th, and 11th.

Park guests can enjoy brews from local breweries such as Orlando Brewing Company, Crooked Can, and Dead Lizard Brewing. In addition, the event will also feature a variety of beverages from Florida based craft breweries in Tampa, Gainesville, Jacksonville, and St. Petersburg.

The festival will also feature 20+ unique food items designed to perfectly pair with the event brew selection. Enjoy unique renditions of some bar food staples as well as a few new concepts designed to complement the festival’s draft beer selection. Some festival exclusive items include:

  • Infused Bacon Cheddar Pretzel Bites with Beer Cheese – Buttery Pretzel Bites Infused with Bacon and Smothered in Beer Cheese
  • BBQ Brisket Mac-n-Cheese – Jalapeño Cheddar Pepper Jack Cheese Sauce and BBQ Brisket Topped with Spiked BBQ Sauce and a Parmesan Garlic Crust
  • Bison Slider- Served with Lager Bacon Onion Jam and Minorcan Mustard
  • Jumbo Chicken Wings – Chicken Wings Tossed in a Pilsner Buffalo Sauce Served with Tangy Slaw
  • Fish and Chips- Traditional Fish and Chips with Beer Battered Haddock and Sea Salt Fries
  • Chorizo Potato Skins – Topped with Queso Fresco, Onions, Cilantro, and Avocado Crema
  • Candied Bacon Lollipops – Sweet and Savory Candied Bacon Served on a Wood Skewer
  • Buffalo Burger Quesadilla – Pepper Jack Cheddar Cheese Blend, Balsamic Onions, Baby Arugula, Crème Fraiche, and Roasted Tomato Salsa

Guests looking to taste their way around the Florida craft beer scene can take advantage of SeaWorld’s sampling packages designed for the most adventurous beer fans.

SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration

November 2018 Theme Park Events - SeaWorld Orlando Christmas Sea of Trees
SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration is where holiday traditions are made, with delicious food, stunning live shows, delightful holiday shopping and joyous entertainment.

SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration brings together family fun and holiday traditions on select nights from November 17 – December 31, 2018 and is included with park admission.

I am really excited for the official start of the holiday season in the parks, and can’t wait to share all the latest news and reviews of the celebrations with you.

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New LEGO Movie World Details Announced

In 2019 at the LEGOLAND Florida Resort you will be able to fly on a triple decker couch, hang with Emmet, go “Cuckoo” with Unikitty, and eat tacos… everyday!

LEGO Movie World News
Photo: LEGOLAND Florida Resort

New LEGO Movie World Details Announced

The LEGO Movie World, LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s newest interactive, fully themed land, will feature three new rides, themed retail shops & eateries, a spaceship-themed play hub and character meet & greets.

The LEGO Movie World will feature THREE NEW RIDES:

  • THE LEGO MOVIE Masters of Flight is a flying theatre attraction where guests join Master Builders on an exciting, action-packed adventure. Emmet’s latest invention, The Triple Decker Flying Couch, transports riders all over THE LEGO MOVIE universe with a suspended, 180-degree ride & full-dome virtual screen, giving guests the sensational feeling of flying.
  • Unikitty’s Disco Drop is a family ride that elevates guests to the heights of Cloud Cuckoo land, then drops, spins and bounces them unexpectedly, creating a thrilling and fun experience.
  • In the Battle of Bricksburg, guests take a seat in construction vehicles, navigating the flooded streets of Bricksburg for an interactive water play attraction. Riders are challenged to stop DUPLO aliens from invading and stealing LEGO bricks by spraying water at targets. Meanwhile, onlookers join the splash battle experience by spraying water cannons located on the perimeter of the course.

Made completely out of LEGO, Downtown Bricksburg is home to SEVERAL ATTRACTIONS:

  • Guests can grab a quick bite to eat at Taco Everyday or visit The Awesome Shop to find special memorabilia and souvenirs.
  • In the heart of THE LEGO MOVIE WORLD, kids can climb and play inside Benny’s PLAYSHIP!, a space-themed playground structure.
  • Kids can visit Emmet’s Super Suite apartment for a true character experience to meet Emmet and friends, and even snag a picture! The character experience features a variety of scenes from THE LEGO MOVIE universe.

It was also announced that the LEGOLAND Florida Resort will also have THE LEGO MOVIE themed rooms. More details to be released at a future date.

We will be bringing you more details as the become available! This is AWESOME news!

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Amazing Universal Orlando Resort Annual Pass Offer

Universal Orlando Resort Annual Pass Offer - Up To Six Months 2018

Unprecedented Offer Gives Up To Six Months Free On Universal Orlando Resort Annual Passes

This special offer is valid for both new and current Passholders looking to renew

ORLANDO, Fla.

Universal Orlando Resort has launched a first-of-its-kind offer that gives Passholders more thrills and adventure than ever before.

Guests can now get up to six months FREE on Universal Orlando Resort Annual Passes. This special offer is valid on 2-Park and 3-Park Seasonal and Annual Passes and is available for purchase and activation through April 4, 2019.

That’s up to a year and a half to enjoy some of the world’s most exciting and immersive theme park experiences, including The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Jurassic Park River Adventure, Fast & Furious – Supercharged and more, as well as two new spectacular nighttime shows – “Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration” and “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle.”

Passholders can also attend unforgettable events like the Holidays at Universal Orlando, returning November 17 through January 6, 2019, where guests can celebrate Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and watch some of their favorite characters in Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s. And, Florida’s biggest party kicks off February 9, 2019 with the annual Mardi Gras celebration at Universal Studios Florida.

With a variety of Pass options, Passholders can opt for a 3-Park Pass to experience Universal’s Volcano Bay, a tropical getaway where thrills and relaxation flow in perfect harmony. The revolutionary water theme park features more than 30 unique experiences and 19 different attractions, including a 125-foot drop on the Ko’okiri Body Plunge.

Passholders enjoy many benefits based on Pass type, including Universal Express access after 4 p.m., Early Park Admission, free self-parking, invites to exclusive events, special discounts on separately-ticketed events including Halloween Horror Nights, access to unique experiences at special events, additional discounts throughout Universal Orlando and more.

CLICK HERE for more details about Universal Orlando’s Seasonal and Annual Pass options and to take advantage of this incredible offer today. This special offer is also valid for current Passholders looking to renew – CLICK HERE for more information and to renew your Pass today.

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October at Madame Tussauds Orlando & Sea Life Orlando

mermaid sea life Orlando

Epic fall lineup at Madame Tussauds Orlando and Sea Life Orlando Aquarium

Orlando’s top attractions are ALL IN with nonstop excitement, thrills and fun this fall

ORLANDO, Fla.

With a summer that saw shirtless Justin Bieber, fearlessly faced an uncaged Shark Month and introduced the world to Justice League: A Call for Heroes, Madame Tussauds Orlando and SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium are gearing up for even MORE excitement, thrills and fun this fall.

Mermaids vs. Super Heroes 

You read that right! This fall, SEA LIFE Orlando welcomes the world-famous Mermaids of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park weekends from Sept. 28 to Oct. 21. Performing unbelievable underwater feats, the Mermaids will mesmerize guests as they swim amongst the creatures in Orlando’s only indoor aquarium. Performances will start on the top of every hour from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with meet and greets available all day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Madame Tussauds Justice League SEA LIFE Orlando

Not to be upstaged, the heroes of Justice League: A Call for Heroes are issuing a challenge to mermaid and super hero fans alike. Post a Halloween photo dressed as a mermaid or super hero on Instagram with #mermaidsvsheroes for a chance to win FREE tickets to Madame Tussauds Orlando and SEA LIFE Orlando. Details here.

Ready or Not…

david s pumpkins Madame Tussauds SEA LIFE ORLANDO

David S. Pumpkins is BACK at Madame Tussauds Orlando to scare the hell out of you! From Oct. 1 to 31, see everyone’s favorite fright Tom Hanks as David S. Pumpkins doin’ his thang with the skeletons who are part of it – whatever “it” is. Dressed in his infamous pumpkin suit, the original Saturday Night Live character is one #HalloweenSelfie you won’t want to miss! Any questions?

What’s New and Coming Soon!

SEA LIFE ORLANDO Octopus Madame Tussauds Orlando
Instagram: @sealifeusa

With a new, vibrant habitat SEA LIFE Orlando’s Giant Pacific Octopus is making waves this fall. The Giant Pacific Octopus is one of nature’s most enigmatic creatures, growing larger than any other species of octopus; and, its three hearts and nine brains beg the question – should you follow your head or your heart?

Follow @sealifeusa on Instagram to see Orlando’s Giant Pacific Octopus answering YOUR questions.

For tickets and more information, visit www.madametussauds.com/orlando or www.visitsealife.com/orlando.  

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How To Save Money at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

's Not So Scary Halloween Party

#TalkoTuesday: How To Save Money at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is an annual special after-hours and separately ticketed event that happens on select nights at the Magic Kingdom from August to October.

During Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party transforms the Magic Kingdom into a family-friendly Halloween party with exclusive entertainment, parades, characters, fireworks, treats (but not tricks), shopping, and more while still being able to enjoy most of the park’s attractions with shorter lines.

All of this fun does however come with a price tag, and one of my most asked questions over the years is how families can save money at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

So for today’s inaugural #TalkoTuesday I thought I would tackle this question!

#TalkoTuesday: How To Save Money at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

's Not So Scary Halloween Party Ticket Prices
waltdisneyworld.com

Choose your Date Wisely: Tickets to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party vary in price by date, so use the interactive calendar to find the best date and deal for your family

Purchase Your Tickets Online in Advance: This tip is actually what my Dad would call a ‘twofer’, because not only will you save $10 on your tickets compared to the day-of purchase price when you buy at least a day in advance but you’ll also not waste any time you could be partying it up waiting in line to purchase your ticket at the Ticket and Transportation Center.

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016 Wristband

Don’t Be Tardy To The Party: While Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party OFFICIALLY begins at 7pm, guests with party tickets can arrive as early as 4pm to receive their party wristband to enjoy time in the Magic Kingdom before the fun begins. This is a great time to ride attractions that are not open during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, to get some pre-party pictures, and to make a game plan for your evening in the park.

Make Sure To Eat Before You Arrive: Not all dining locations in the Magic Kingdom are open during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and you won’t want to dedicate too much of your time to finding food during the party, so my best advice is to eat a large lunch later in the afternoon.

BYOG – Bring Your Own Glow: When night falls and the glowing toy carts come out with a median price of $20 per item, be prepared by bringing your own glow in the dark necklaces and light up toys. I try to pick them up every time I go to the Dollar Tree or to Five Below.

's Not So Scary Halloween Party Costume Pajamas
shopdisney.com

Think outside the Costume Box: Let’s be real here…Most Halloween costumes aren’t made for the Florida heat as they usually have long sleeves and many layers. When Zoe was little we would buy a ‘fancy’ nightgown for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party from The Disney Store, because they were much lighter in weight and meant that we could put her right to bed when we got home instead of changing her out of her costume.

Be Prepared: A few Halloween’s ago, I wrote a detailed blog post with what I pack for a night at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party to cut down on unnecessary purchases…you should check it out!

Packing a Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Bag

Candy Hack: This one requires some planning, but I promise you it’s worth it! When you are packing your Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party bag, make sure you pack a gallon size zip top bag for each person attending. As you start filling up your provided candy bag, put some of your collected candy in your packed zip top bag. Not only will this cut down on little ones spilling candy, but you’ll find that you’ll be able to carry more candy easily.

If you or anyone in your party has allergies or dietary restrictions, make sure to check out this post on Trick or Treating at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party with allergies!
walt disney world gift cards
**These are older ones I have, but LOVE them and thought they were perfect for the post**

Budget Using Disney Gift Cards: One easy way to budget for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is to buy a Disney Gift Card, and every week add a little bit more by following the directions on the back of the gift card. There are also several ways to save money on purchasing a Disney Gift Card…but more on that soon!

To keep up with the latest news and information, make sure to follow @onthegoinmco on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook!

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Infinity Falls at SeaWorld Orlando Opening Date Announced

 

Infinity Falls Opening Date ThumbnailORLANDO, Fla.

After much anticipation, SeaWorld Orlando has announced the Grand Opening of the world-class attraction, Infinity Falls, will take place on October 4 at 12:00 pm.

Infinity Falls features roaring rapids, soaking fountains and a record-setting 40-foot waterfall drop, all against the backdrop of a rainforest utopia. Guests will have the opportunity to take on the role of a conservationist on a journey through the rainforest and learn about the importance of freshwater conservation through interactive games and stories throughout the ride experience.

Opening Date Announced for Infinity Falls at SeaWorld Orlando

Here are a few things to know about SeaWorld Orlando’s newest addition!

Know Before You Go: Infinity Falls at SeaWorld Orlando

  • Infinity Falls will be the first attraction at SeaWorld Orlando to tell a story beyond the ocean and share a message of fresh water conservation through the adventure of a white-water river expedition.
  • Aboard the raft that seats 8 passengers, riders will embark on a five minute adventure through a lush rainforest environment inspired by some of the world’s most incredible freshwater ecosystems featuring the world’s tallest drop on a river raft ride and an innovative elevator lift designed to transport the rafts to the top of the ride’s 40-foot drop.
  • As part of the park’s new “Park to Planet” initiative, a mission to help guests understand some of the challenges facing the planet and inspiring them to help, the new attraction will be the centerpiece of a newly themed area designed to resemble the basecamp of explorers and scientists.
  • After riding Infinity Falls, the entire family can explore the village and take part in interactive experiences.
  • One of which is a location, just outside of the entrance to the attraction with carvings of animals native to South America, where SeaWorld Orlando’s Animal Ambassadors will provide up-close encounters to guests throughout the day.
  • Another is an interactive play area that combines play with education to create a positive impact on freshwater ecosystems, reinforcing “Park to Planet” in real time.
  • In the village you will also find a gift shop with attraction merchandise with a unique design! The design of the building is patterned after modular buildings that were ‘air-dropped into the expedition camp’.
  • Part of the area is a new dining location with 14 new craft beer offerings that will seasonally rotate.

Mark Pauls, President of SeaWorld Orlando Parks said “From the excitement of the thrilling rapids, to the unique vertical lift element, Infinity Falls is an adventure that appeals to the entire family.”

The opening of Infinity Falls is the perfect addition to SeaWorld’s ever-growing ride portfolio. From the roller coaster thrills of Mako, Manta and Kraken to the water flume fun of Journey to Atlantis, Infinity Falls joins the park’s famed attractions as a must-do experience in Orlando.

We’ll be at the opening of Infinity Falls with a closer look at the attraction as well as a look at what to expect at SeaWorld Orlando in 2019!

To keep up with the latest news and information, make sure to follow @onthegoinmco on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!

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Nine Tips for Staying Cool in the Theme Parks

Don’t let the fact that it is almost Fall in Central Florida fool you, because staying cool in the theme parks should still be a priority!

These may seem like common sense tips, but there are the things that I like to keep in mind as I prepared for staying cool during a day in the parks with my family and friends.

Nine Tips for Staying Cool in the Theme Parks Pinterest

Nine Tips for Staying Cool in the Theme Parks

Indoor Attractions are the best attractions

Tips for Beating the heat in the Theme Parks

From 1 to 4 pm the heat is at its worst here in Central Florida, but can be oppressive at time until the sun goes down so you will want to find ways to try to stay inside as much as you can during your time in the parks.

In addition to attractions, these peak times are also great time to catch a show you haven’t seen in awhile. My absolute favorite is For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, because you aren’t living your best theme park life unless you’ve seen parents belting out these songs louder and prouder than their kids. Also Universal Orlando’s Horror Make-Up Show, inside Universal Studios Florida, is a fantastic show with very little gore. It’s also worth noting that all of the outdoor shows are SeaWorld Orlando have covered viewing ares or splash zones for some relief from the heat.

Find ways to wait indoors for attractions

Tips for Beating the heat in the Theme Parks

At all the parks there are several attractions with indoor queues and experiences that are perfect for waiting without the heat. My favorites are Dumbo the Flying Elephant at the Magic Kingdom with it’s indoor play as you wait area, The Mummy at Universal Studios Florida with an intricate queue, and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, and The Hogwarts Express at the Universal Resort are three of my favorite rides with indoor queues.

Splurge on dining for a break from the heat

Tips for Beating the heat in the Theme Parks

Dining in the parks can get quite pricey, but there are several quick service and restaurant locations that offer indoor seating to grab a bite to eat and cool down. If you are looking for a restaurant experience, make sure to get a dining reservation online on the Walt Disney World website or using Open Table for the Universal Orlando Resort and some Disney Springs restaurants.

Prepare for afternoon storms

Tips for Beating the heat in the Theme Parks

We often have daily showers, and being prepared for these rainy days will help keep your day on track instead of having to stop everything to find cover, so head on over on icFlorida.com where you can find some of my best rainy day survival tips!

Also please learn from my experience…don’t be fooled by the ‘covering’ over Diagon Alley at Universal Studio Florida, because it has openings and you WILL get wet!

Stay hydrated

Tips for Beating the heat in the Theme Parks

According to the CDC, it is important to drink fluids before you even begin to feel thirsty. Your body uses thirst to indicate that you are approaching dehydration. Rather than drinking to quench your thirst, it is healthier to continuously replenish fluids, even if you don’t feel thirsty at all.

Some other easy things to always remember when it comes to staying hydrated is to avoid soft drinks & alcoholic beverages, cool fluids can help encourage you to drink more during activity in hot weather, and try to have water every 2 hours.

There’s no shame in visiting First Aid

Tips for Beating the heat in the Theme Parks

If you are not feeling well or are in need of a more intense break from the heat, there is no shame in visiting the First Aid locations in the theme parks. Everyone from attraction attendants to members of the custodial teams will be able to direct you to the nearest and easiest way to help. Please don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help if you need it before it is too late.

Be Prepared

Packing a Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Bag - Charger and Cord

A few years ago I created a video on icFlorida.com about beating the heat in the parks with nine key items to bring with you in your ultimate theme park bag, and to save you some time I am sharing that list (with some updates) with you!

1. Pack a Water Misting Fan.

Before we get started I know that it’s not glamorous, but these Water Misting Fans really do the trick! While you can purchase them in the parks, but you can also pick one up before you go at a fraction of the cost at Walmart or Target. A huge bonus is that they also help keep little ones happy while you are waiting or walking around.

2. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

Sunscreen isn’t just for the pool, and you will want to follow the recommended directions to reapply for the best results. For everyone’s sake around you, please be careful when you are using an aerosol sunscreen.

3. Umbrellas are extremely useful!

Umbrellas are great for two reasons, they are great shade on the go and they are really useful when a storm pops up in the afternoon as they are wont to do in Orlando. I carry my umbrellas in a zip top bag, so if it does rain I can place my electronics in the bag and when I no longer need the umbrella I can put it in my theme park bag without getting everything else inside wet.

Just keep in mind that if you do use the umbrella for shade that theme park etiquette is that you should put it down before parades and outdoor shows.

4. Think of the children!

Little ones in a stroller will have shade, but they will also overheat easily. You can purchase a battery operated clip fan that will fit on most strollers in the theme parks or at Wal*Mart, Target, or online before you arrive at the park.

5. Stop to splash in the parks.

At all of the parks as well as Disney Springs and Universal’s CityWalk you can find splash pad play areas that are a really fun way to cool off while you are walking around. If this is something you are considering doing the day make sure you come prepared with bathing suits, swim diapers (if necessary), and a towel to make things a lot smoother for the rest of your day.

6. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.

Don’t worry about packing a million water bottles in your theme park bag, because anywhere that sells fountain drinks can also provide you with a free glass of ice water. I also like to carry an empty water bottle that can be filled as I need it during the day. Staying hydrated is extremely important!!!

7. Take advantage of cooling towels.

Along the same lines as the misting fan is the cooling towels. Now these have become extremely popular in the parks, but to save some money you can pick one up before arriving at the park. Again, this is something I pack in a plastic bag so I can store it in my backpack without getting everything else soaked.

8. Bring items that make you feel more comfortable.

I always bring what I call my ‘Bag of Necessities’ that I fill with anything from bandaids to chapstick, but making one of your own should really have what makes you feel comfortable in the park!

Download a weather app to your device.

Tips for Beating the heat in the Theme Parks

Now this one might not be physical, but having a weather app is a major must. My favorite weather app, of course, is the WFTV Channel 9 Weather app, available for android and apple devices. It’s great to have to keep up to date on any weather information, storm warnings, and to keep track of how close lightning is for attraction closures.

Pick the best location for a fun day with the weather in mind

Tips for Beating the heat in the Theme Parks

When you are planning your day, be realistic about your destination. If you and your family don’t do well in the heat, skip parks where there is limited shade or consider visiting a water park.

These are just some of my favorite tips for staying cool in the theme parks, but I would love to hear some of yours in the comments below!

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Dollywood Announces Wildwood Grove Expansion Opening In 2019

Dollywood is making their largest capital investment in their 32-year history with the Wildwood Grove expansion set to open in 2019. The total cost for the expansion is $37 million, meeting The Dollywood Company’s 2013 commitment of $300 million in investments over a 10 year period four years ahead of schedule.

Wildwood Grove Dollywood

Dolly Parton was joined by park officials to talk about this new land that will feature 11 themed experiences, comprised of six new ride attractions, live entertainment, various indoor and outdoor play areas, a new restaurant, nighttime experiences, and the lands icon – the 55 ft. tall Wildwood Tree.

Wildwood Grove is inspired by Dolly’s experiences as a child playing in the forests of the Smoky Mountains.

Wildwood Grove - Dollywood

“I’ve told you before about how I’d let my imagination roam free when I’d be out exploring in the hills around our home in the Smoky Mountains,” Parton said. “I’d pretend that the frogs and butterflies were my friends. I’d imagine about what it’d be like to fly with a dragonfly or to follow a bear family through the woods. Now all these things are coming true for our guests to experience in Wildwood Grove; it may be my new favorite part of Dollywood!

“This area is going to give families a place to explore, play and imagine together—but more importantly—it’s a place where they can spend more time together,” she explained. “I believe everyone has a song in their heart that needs to be set free. Wildwood Grove will be a place where families can learn together about what their heart song truly is.”

The new Wildwood Grove will provide an adventurous journey for guests to explore, imagine and play together as a family which begins as soon as guests enter the area, located near the Mystery Mine roller coaster, through the massive hollow trunk of a fallen tree.

As soon as guests enter the area their eyes are drawn to the Wildwood Tree—a tree unlike any other— that serves as the centerpiece of the area. It grows from a cluster of natural rock and boulders, and offers a natural platform for performances throughout the day and night. The green, leafy canopy is adorned with thousands of butterflies that dance playfully in the breeze.

Six new ride attractions will also call Wildwood Grove home that are designed for families to enjoy together.

Wildwood Grove - Dollywood
Rendering – Dollywood

The Dragonflier— This thrilling suspended roller coaster lets guests soar with a dragonfly as it dips and darts along the gushing geysers and lush landscape of Wildwood Grove.

Wildwood Grove - Dollywood
Rendering – Dollywood

Black Bear Trail— Riders hop on the back of these friendly bears for a spirited trek through their natural habitat. Families will enjoy meandering through the woods of this unique Smoky Mountain experience.

Wildwood Grove - Dollywood
Rendering – Dollywood

Sycamore Swing— Guests aboard this thrilling “leaf boat” swing back and forth just like a leaf falling from a giant sycamore tree.

Wildwood Grove - Dollywood
Rendering – Dollywood

Treetop Tower— This family tower gives guests a sky-high view of Wildwood Grove as they soar nearly 40 feet in the air. Riders, seated inside giant acorns, spin around the top of a tall oak tree before gently drifting back to the grove floor.

Wildwood Grove - Dollywood
Rendering – Dollywood

The Mad Mockingbird— Tennessee’s state bird—the mockingbird—gives visitors a lift as it flies in a high speed circle around a tall tree. Riders control their ride experience by moving a sail as the birds rush above the ground.

Wildwood Grove - Dollywood
Rendering – Dollywood

Frogs and Fireflies—These friendly frogs hop up and down as they chase each other around the lily pad trying to catch the flickering fireflies fluttering from the tall reeds and grasses. Adventurous guests can hop aboard for this riveting race.

Wildwood Grove - Dollywood
Rendering – Dollywood

Play options abound inside Wildwood Grove. Hidden Hollow, a 4,000 sq. ft. indoor play space, provides a climate-controlled area for families looking to recharge before their next big adventure. With climbing structures, slides and multiple games, play time here is full of exploration. Another refreshing stop for play is at Wildwood Creek where numerous pop jets, splashing pools and more await. There, guests also can discover their musical side thanks to the various “instruments” available to play.

Wildwood Grove - Dollywood
Rendering – Dollywood

For the first time at Dollywood, several new friends await guests to the area. In the tradition of the Wildwood butterflies before them, Flit and Flutter—Wildwood Grove’s butterfly ambassadors of beauty and grace—dutifully watch over the Wildwood Tree. While each has their own distinct personality, both Flit and Flutter enjoy interacting with visitors to Wildwood Grove. Guests also can meet Benjamin Bear, a playful friend who loves to explore the grove with new visitors.

Wildwood Grove’s featured dining establishment, named Till & Harvest, offers another great option from Dollywood’s award-winning foods team. Visitors can order from a selection of Southwest fresh favorites, including burritos, salads and more, all with a Southern twist. In addition to traditional entrees and a topping bar with assorted salsas, guests can add items like pulled pork and fresh coleslaw to their selections. A walk-up window provides sweet treats like churros and ice cream.

As with most areas of Dollywood, Wildwood Grove takes advantage of the natural beauty of the surrounding Smoky Mountains. Nearly $1 million has been planned for landscaping the area, with more than 400 trees and 1,000 shrubs helping transform this space into a lush and relaxing spot hidden within the foothills of the Smokies.

Wildwood Grove - Dollywood
Rendering – Dollywood

What makes Wildwood Grove so special is that as the sun sinks in the sky, the area will glow warmly as lanterns and lights glimmer like cheerful fireflies. Once darkness falls, the area sparkles as the Wildwood Tree comes to life each evening in a unique nighttime show that features the butterflies glowing in a kaleidoscope of spectacular color under the canopy of fireworks.

The new expansion is an exciting addition to Dollywood, and I am excited to bring you more information as it becomes available so make sure you follow @onthegoinmco on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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Thoughts on Theme Parks: Five Things I Will Miss When Summer Ends

While the summers in the theme parks of Central Florida may bring images of crazy crowds to your mind, for me this summer was full of amazing special events and offers.

Today I thought I would take a moment to talk about the five that I will miss the most when summer ends in just a few short weeks.

Theme Parks Thoughts When Summer Ends August 1 2018

Theme Parks Thoughts: Five Things I Will Miss When Summer Ends

SeaWorld Orlando

Free Beer

Theme Parks Thoughts When Summer Ends - Free Beer SeaWorld Orlando
Photo: Walt Disney World

SeaWorld Orlando is offering free beer to park guests ages 21 and up through September 2, 2018.

Guests can visit Mama’s Pretzel Kitchen Patio and receive up to two complimentary 7-ounce beers per visit from 10:30 a.m. to one hour before park close.

The park will rotate beer offerings throughout the summer starting off with SeaWorld’s very own Mako Red Ale. Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller Light, Yuengling, and more will also be featured throughout the summer.

Walt Disney World

Incredible Tomorrowland Expo at Magic Kingdom

Theme Parks Thoughts When Summer Ends - Tomorrowland Expo Incredible Summer
Photo: Walt Disney World

Until September 3 Disney•Pixar Super Heroes will take over Tomorrowland, as part of an Incredible Tomorrowland Expo that celebrates “all things super.”

Meet Mr. Incredible, Frozone, and other supers including Edna Mode for the first time from Disney•Pixar’s “The Incredibles” and upcoming “Incredibles 2.

Tomorrowland is also be decked out with Incredibles décor and sounds from the film, and it would be a celebration without a dance party on the Rocket Tower Stage.

Also, don’t forget to take time to spend time with the ‘Cosplay Supers’ who are attending the Tomorrowland Expo!

The Guardians of the Galaxy – Awesome Mix Live! Concert Series at Epcot

Theme Parks Thoughts When Summer Ends - Guardians of The Galaxy Live Concert Epcot
Photo: Walt Disney World – David Roark, photographer

Star-Lord and Gamora from “Guardians of the Galaxy” host a show that takes a musical journey through the cosmos in The Guardians of the Galaxy – Awesome Mix Live! concert series.

The show features tunes from Star-Lord’s Awesome Mixtapes, the soundtrack from the two movies.

The show is super high energy, full of tons of fun, and is performed five times daily through August 19th.

Disney H20 Glow Party Nights

Theme Parks Thoughts When Summer Ends - H2O Glow Nights Party Typhoon Lagoon
Photo: Walt Disney World

When the sun goes down, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon transforms on select evenings until August 11 into a massive glow party from 8 pm until 11 pm.

Guests can enjoy special entertainment, Disney PIXAR character meet and greets, exclusive menu items and beverages, and tons of glow-in-the-dark fun.

This is an especially awesome way to visit Typhoon Lagoon, because the lines are really short with fantastically fun entertainment and delightful menu & bar additions. Plus the event gets extra bonus points for not having to worry about sunscreen!

Tickets $55 per person plus tax for adults and $50 per person plus tax for children ages 3-9. For more information and to purchase tickets, call (407) 939-1872.

Disney Springs

Brews and BBQ Trail

Theme Parks Thoughts When Summer Ends - Disney Springs Brews and BBQ Trail
Photo: Walt Disney World

Until September 3, you can take a culinary exploration of Brews and BBQ at Disney Springs.

Discover a whole new host of tasty and unique food and beverage pairings as you stroll through the many restaurants and shops throughout the area to visit the 23 different locations across Disney Springs.

And what’s more? For guests ages 21 and older, each of these dishes can be paired with a crisp, craft-brewed beer!

To make the most of your visit, make sure to pick up a map of the participating restaurants and kiosks at the Disney Springs Welcome Center, located in Town Center.

You can find the menus for all the stops on my post over on icFlorida.com!

With every ending comes a new beginning, and tomorrow I will be sharing what I can’t wait to experience this Fall in the theme parks of Central Florida!

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom 20th Anniversary Celebration Details

This year Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be celebrating its 20th anniversary on Earth Day, April 22, with more wild adventures than ever before as they prepare for an incredible summer filled with all-new events and experiences at the Walt Disney World Resort.

's Animal Kingdom 20th Anniversary Celebration Details Pinterest

Commemorating the milestone year, the 500-acre adventure park will offer animal encounters, family-friendly activities, specialty desserts and more during an expanded Party for the Planet celebration from April 22-May 5, 2018.

Over the two-week “Party for the Planet celebration, guests can attend conservation talks by animal-care experts and participate in enhanced interactions with some of the more than 2,000 animals that make their home at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited park.

Disney's Animal Kingdom 20th Anniversary Celebration Details
Walt Disney World

Rafiki’s Planet Watch will take center stage for the year-long 20th anniversary. It’s home to fun educational exhibits and activities that help create awareness of animal issues. During the 20th anniversary, Rafiki’s Planet Watch will offer backstage experiences with experts where guests can learn about animal nutrition, visit the veterinary hospital and hear how Disney promotes global wildlife conservation.

Guests can also commemorate their visits to the theme park with special photo opportunities. They can step into an oversized picture frame celebrating the park’s 20th anniversary. Other photo frames support Disney’s “Reverse the Decline,” an initiative created to help protect 10 threatened animal species. One recent success of the program was the birth of two critically endangered Sumatran Tiger Cubs at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Just for kids is the chance to earn a limited-edition badge as part of the Wilderness Explorer program. The badge is one of many that youngsters can earn by completing fun activities throughout the park.

Party for the Planet will also include six different Tiffins Talks – themed dinners hosted by animal experts at Tiffins, the theme park’s signature, full-service restaurant. Watch the Disney Parks Blog for more information.

The 20th anniversary fun also includes a commemorative adventure guide, limited-edition merchandise, and a special-edition print created by renowned Walt Disney  Imagineer Joe Rohde.

He will be available on April 22 from 1-4 p.m. to sign prints at Discovery Trading Company. Quantities are limited. For more information on Party for the Planet, visit disneyworld.com/PartyforthePlanet.

Here are other experiences and adventures rolling out in 2018 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

Disney's Animal Kingdom 20th Anniversary Celebration Details
Walt Disney World
  • April 22 will mark the debut of a brand-new show, UP! A Great Bird Adventure featuring Russell and Dug from the Disney•Pixar animated comedy-adventure film “UP.” The show will give guests the chance to see Senior Wilderness Explorer Russell and his fuzzy friend Dug in a new adventure that includes encounters with exotic birds from around the world. This free-flying show will be performed multiple times daily.
  • A “dino-tastic” celebration with Donald and his friends will also premiere Memorial Day weekend in DinoLand, U.S.A. This dinosaur-themed party celebrates Donald Duck’s discovery that his bird ancestors were actually dinosaurs. DinoLand U.S.A. will feature colorful new décor and playful character greetings with rarely seen pals like Scrooge McDuck, Launchpad McQuack and more. A DJ-powered dance party will mix tunes from the truck-o-saurus stage, capping the nighttime festivities.
  • Memorial Day 2018 commemorates the one-year anniversary of Pandora – The World of Avatar. Here, travelers are transported to a mystical world of floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests and breathtaking new experiences. Inspired by the blockbuster film, AVATAR, the epic land invites guests to explore a glowing landscape, encounter a larger-than-life Na’vi Shaman of Songs and soar on the back of a banshee.

For more information about the 20th anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, visit DisneyWorld.com/AnimalKingdom.

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