2019 Epcot International Festival of Arts Must Do’s

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Entrance

DISCLOSURE: I was invited by Walt Disney World to preview the Epcot International Festival of Arts, however all opinions are my own.

The Epcot International Festival of the Arts is back to kick off 2019 with an even larger celebration of the visual, culinary, and performing arts until February 25th.

During the 39 day Festival, you will find a large selection of activities that are included with your admission, concerts featuring Broadway stars, and food that is both beautiful and tasty.

With so much to choose from, I thought that I would share my top picks for a day at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts!

2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts Must Do’s

1. Disney on Broadway Concert Series

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Disney on Broadway Concert Series

My number one choice should come as no surprise! 

The Disney on Broadway Concert Series, with performances at the American Gardens Theatre, features Disney on Broadway stars singing a selection of songs from award-winning Disney on Broadway productions

New this year, the Disney on Broadway Concert Series has expanded to seven days a week during the festival, providing more opportunities than ever before to bask in live Disney magic.

The lineup of performers and songs will rotate regularly, and you can find more information on both on the official Epcot International Festival of the Arts website.

The concert series is included with park admission with shows at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. nightly.

The Disney on Broadway Concert Series is INCREDIBLY popular, and lines form well before the shows begin. However dining packages are available at participating Epcot restaurants and guarantee show seating, and reservations can be made by calling (407) WDW-DINE.

2. Find a picture perfect snack at the Festival Food Studios

The Epcot International Festival of the Arts will feature 13 Food Studios, plus additional creative food and beverage offerings, scattered around Epcot, with an expanded selection of delicious new tastes to savor.

My favorites this year from the preview were:

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Beef Wellington

Beef wellington with mushroom bordelaise, fennel cream and roasted baby vegetables that can be found at The Artist’s Table.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Salmon

Smoked salmon and cream gâteau with egg yolk cream, paddlefish caviar and micro-herbs is sure to be a new favorite at The Painter’s Palate.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Strawberry

Almond frangipane cake with raspberry and chocolate at Pop Eats!.

3. Find fun photo stops

Another one of my favorite things to do during the Epcot International Festival of the Arts is to step inside works of art and take fun photos.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Photo Ops

These fun photo ops are scattered around the park, and at each one you will find a Disney PhotoPass photographer to help capture your iconic pose.

4. Learn something new at a complimentary Festival Seminar

Epcot International Festival of the Arts - Seminar

Experience a 30-minute seminar led by artists giving helpful instruction for producing your own artwork at home.

These seminars take place in the Odyssey Festival Center from 11:30am until noon and are available on a first-come,-first-serve basis.

All events are subject to cancellation or change, so you will want to check your Epcot International Festival of the Arts times guide. A full list of the Seminars can be found online.

5. Revisit the Animation Academy

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Animation Academy

During the Epcot International Festival of the Arts you can once again pick up your pencil at the Animation Academy where you can learn how to draw some of your favorite Disney characters at the Odyssey Events Pavilion.

6. Make your own masterpiece at Festival Workshops

A variety of workshops led by professionals will teach guests to create their own masterpiece using a variety of artistic techniques Friday-Monday for $39 per participant plus tax at the Odyssey Events Pavilion.

The workshops take place from 1:30pm until 2:45pm, and must be booked in advance by calling (407) WDW-TOUR. If you are an Annual Passholders and/or Disney Vacation Club member, you will receive a 15% discount.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Odyssey Festival Event Center

All events are subject to cancellation or change, so you will want to check your Epcot International Festival of the Arts times guide. A full list of the Workshops can be found online.

7. Become a Festival Artist

You don’t just get to see the art at the Epcot International Festival of Arts, because you can grab a paintbrush and help create a wall mural along World Showcase Plaza.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Mural

After you finish your squares, make sure to visit the mural throughout the day to watch it come to life!

8. Take part in an artful scavenger hunt

Help Figment learn about art on this scavenger hunt around World Showcase with Figment’s Brush with the Masters Scavenger Hunt.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Scavenger Hunt

To get started, purchase your map and stickers at Pin Central, Disney Traders, or World Traveler. Then, search for Figment hiding inside famous works of art at each World Showcase pavilion (Here’s a hint… look for the Figment-themed picture frame). Every time you find Figment, add the corresponding sticker to the pavilion on your map.

Once your journey is complete, return your map to Disney Traders for an artful surprise.

9. Don’t forget to exit through the Gift Shop

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Festival Merchandise

You won’t want to miss the chance to take home a piece of artwork or a souvenir from your time at the Epcot International Festival of Arts.

Art collectors and Disney enthusiasts alike will find artwork for sale throughout the entire park, from the Art of Disney store to Festival Markets.

In addition, special merchandise will be available at Mouse Gear and other Epcot locations featuring the festival’s logo adorning shirts, mugs, totes and other charming items.

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Rock The Universe 2019

Rock the Universe 2019

Universal Orlando Resort reveals new dates and headlining acts for Rock The Universe 2019

Florida’s biggest christian music festival returns to Universal Studios Florida in February 2019

ORLANDO, Fla.

Rock the Universe 2019 will feature the same great content – with better dates. The event, which is popular with youth groups, will take place on February 1 and 2, 2019 – well after the start of school in most cities – allowing guests to enjoy a faith-filled weekend of live music, worship and theme park thrills.

rock the universe universal Orlando 2019 - Music Plaza Stage
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

This year’s event will feature performances by GRAMMY-nominated Christian rock band, Skillet, GRAMMY award-winning hip-hop artist, Lecrae, chart-topping artists of Bethel Music, Dove Award-winner, Matthew West and more.

 rock the universe universal Orlando 2019 - February

  • Lecrae
  • Matthew West
  • Big Daddy Weave
  • Colton Dixon
  • Matt Mahar
  • Rhett Walker Band

 rock the universe universal Orlando 2019 - February

  • Skillet
  • Bethel Music
  • Crowder
  • Francesca Battistelli
  • Micah Tyler
  • LEDGER

Rock the Universe guests will also enjoy autograph sessions with the genre’s top artists and access to the FanZone presented by Coca-Cola, which features more live performances by up-and-coming acts.

FanZone Presented by Coca-Cola

rock the universe universal Orlando 2019 - FanZone
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Features Austin French, David Dunn and Carmen Justice on Friday plus Apollo LTD, Tiger Drive and PEABOD on Saturday. You’ll also have a chance to meet select Rock the Universe artists at autograph sessions each night.

Keep in mind that autograph sessions are not guaranteed and are subject to change without notice. Space is limited and open on a first-come-first-served basis.

Saturday Candlelighting Ceremony

rock the universe universal Orlando 2019 - Candlelight
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Join with other faithful for a touching ceremony with a special message and moving music performed live by one of our headliners. Saturday evening at the Music Plaza Stage, 11:45 pm.

Sunday Morning Worship Service

Wrap up your weekend praising God with youth from around the country at a powerful non-denominational worship service located inside Universal Studios Florida™ at 9:30 am and 10:45 am. Admission is included with any 2019 Rock the Universe™ Ticket. Space is limited so advance registration is required. Check back soon to reserve your group.

rock the universe universal Orlando 2019 - Logo

Experience mind-blowing rides at Universal Studios Florida, included with your event ticket. Get a Rock Your Weekend ticket and you can also head next door to Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Plus, with a 3-Park Rock Your Weekend Ticket, you can enjoy Universal’s Volcano Bay.

It’s an unforgettable weekend of faith and fun.

Rock the Universe is a separately ticketed special event.

For more information about Rock the Universe 2019, visit www.RockTheUniverse.com.

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January 2019 Theme Park Ticket Offers

January 2019 Theme Park Ticket Offers

January 2019 Theme Park Ticket Offers

Right now there are some FANTASTIC ticket and annual pass offers available for the theme parks of Central Florida!

Let’s take a look at them all!

SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica Orlando Preschool Card

January 2019 Theme Park  Ticket Offers

The 2019 SeaWorld/Aquatica Preschool Card is now available for registration exclusively for Florida Residents offering an ocean of experiences that are perfect for pint-sized guests, from up-close animal encounters to breathtaking live shows.

SeaWorld and Aquatica Orlando will offer kids ages 5 and younger a FREE Preschool Card valid for visits through December 31, 2019 for unlimited admission to both SeaWorld and Aquatica Orlando.

Advance registration must be completed online and is only valid for children ages 5 or younger at the time of redemption at the park.

Please note registration is required by January 27, 2019 and ticket redemption is by February 28, 2019.

To redeem your Preschool Card visit a SeaWorld Orlando or Aquatica Orlando ticket window and present all of these:

  • Your Preschool Card online registration confirmation
  • Your child’s birth certificate or travel passport
  • Your Florida resident ID

Also keep in mind that the Preschool Card does not include taxes, service fees, free parking, separately-ticketed events, or other discounts.

To learn more and to register for the Preschool Card, Florida residents can visit https://seaworld.com/orlando/tickets/preschool-free-admission/.

Busch Gardens Tampa and Adventure Island Preschool Card

January 2019 Theme Park  Ticket Offers

The 2019 Busch Gardens Tampa/Adventure Island Card is now available for registration exclusively for Florida Residents offering an ocean of experiences that are perfect for guests 5 and under.

Busch Gardens Tampa and Adventure Island will offer kids ages 5 and younger a FREE Preschool Card valid for visits through December 31, 2019 for unlimited admission to both Busch Gardens Tampa and Adventure Island.

Advance registration must be completed online and is only valid for children ages 5 or younger at the time of redemption at the park.

Please note registration is required by January 27, 2019 and ticket redemption is by February 28, 2019.

To redeem your Preschool Card visit a Busch Gardens Tampa Bay or Adventure Island ticket window and present all of these:

  • Your Preschool Card online registration confirmation
  • Your child’s birth certificate or travel passport
  • Your Florida resident ID

Also keep in mind that the Preschool Card does not include taxes, service fees, free parking, separately-ticketed events, or other discounts.

To learn more and to register for the Preschool Card, Florida residents can visit https://buschgardens.com/tampa/tickets/preschool-free-admission/.

Busch Gardens Tampa and Adventure Island BOGO Fun Cards

January 2019 Theme Park  Ticket Offers

For a limited time, buy a 2019 Busch Gardens Fun Card and get an Adventure Island Fun Card FREE. Blockout dates apply.

Valid at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay through December 31, 2019.
2019 Blockout Dates: Mar. 30 | Apr. 6 & 13-27 | May 25-26 | July 1-7 | Nov. 23-24 & 29-30 | Dec. 21-22 & 28-30.
Valid at Adventure Island March 15 through October 27, 2019.
2019 Blockout Dates: April 14 & 20-27 | May 25-27 | July 4-7, 13-14 & 20.

Keep in mind that a Busch Gardens Tampa Bay / Adventure Island Fun Card

  • Does not include admission to select special events (including Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens), parking, or discounts on food and merchandise.
  • Only valid for residents of the US, Canada and Puerto Rico.
  • Non-transferable and non-refundable. Not valid with other discounts or special offers.
  • Other restrictions apply.
  • Subject to change without prior notice.
  • Adventure Island is a seasonal park.

For more information on the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay / Adventure Island Fun Card visit https://buschgardens.com/tampa/tickets/fun-card/.

LEGOLAND Florida Preschool Pass

January 2019 Theme Park  Ticket Offers LEGOLAND Florida Preschool Pass

LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s FREE Preschooler Pass, available from January 10 through February 18, 2019,  will grant Florida Resident children ages 3-years-old and 4-years-old 12 months of unlimited admission to both LEGOLAND Florida Theme Park and Water Park.

As the theme park built for kids, LEGOLAND Florida Resort offers more than 60 percent of its rides and attractions for guests 40 inches or taller. The one-time offer pass includes all seasonal events including Brick or Treat and early spring visits when THE LEGO® MOVIE™ WORLD opens. Taking guests from the theater to the theme park, the newest theme park addition will feature three attractions, inspired by the characters and themes of the worldwide blockbuster THE LEGO® MOVIE and the upcoming THE LEGO® MOVIE 2: The Second Part.

LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s Preschooler Pass will be available for a limited time at the admission ticket window only. Guests purchasing the pass must bring a copy of their child’s birth certificate or travel passport for proof of age. Children must be aged 3-years-old or 4-years-old at the time of receiving the Preschooler Pass to qualify. Guests ages 2-years-old and under will continue to receive free admission.

Annual Passes are none refundable, however if you have purchased a LEGOLAND Florida Resort Annual Pass for your 3 or 4-year- old, you can choose to extend the validity of that pass by 12 months or transfer the purchased pass to an immediate family member. (Transfers are limited to one per person).

Learn more about the Preschooler Pass at https://www.legoland.com/preschooler-pass/.

Universal Orlando Resort Annual Pass

January 2019 Theme Park  Ticket Offers

Universal Orlando Resort has launched a first-of-its-kind offer that gives Passholders more thrills and adventure than ever before. Starting today, guests can get up to six months FREE on Universal Orlando Resort Annual Passes depending on what tier they choose.

This special offer is valid on 2-Park (Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure) and 3-Park (Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay) Seasonal and Annual Passes and is available for purchase and activation through April 4, 2019.

Here’s a look at the different Universal Orlando Annual Passes:

  • Seasonal Pass
    • $269.99 for two park, $368.99 for three park
    • Three months free
    • Doesn’t include any parking or merchandise discounts,
    • Includes blackout dates
  • Power Pass
    • $354.99 for two park, $463.99 for three park
    • Three months free
    • 50% off regular daytime self-parking after your first visit
    • Limited discounts at CityWalk, Blue Man Group, and resort hotels
    • Includes blackout dates
  • Preferred Pass
    • $394.99 for two park, $503.99 for three park
    • Six months free
    • Free self-parking and discounted rates for normal and Red Carpet valet parking after your first visit
    • 10% Discount at Universal-owned stores and restaurants (not carts), CityWalk, Blue Man Group, and resort hotels
    • No blackout dates
    • Early park admission without having to be a resort guest
  • Premier Pass
    • $559.99 for two park, $733.99 for three park
    • Six months free
    • Free prime self-parking and normal valet parking, with a large discount for Red Carpet valet parking
    • 15% Discount at Universal-owned stores and restaurants (not carts), CityWalk, Blue Man Group, and resort hotels
    • No blackout dates
    • Early park admission without having to be a resort guest
    • Free Express Pass after 4pm

For more information and to purchase Universal Orlando Resort Annual Passes visit their website.

Walt Disney World Florida Resident ‘Discover Disney’ Ticket

January 2019 Theme Park  Ticket Offers

For a limited time, Florida residents can take advantage of a special ticket offer and purchase a 3-day Discover Disney Ticket for only $175 plus tax—valid for admission to one theme park per day! Plus, add a 4th day for just $20 more plus tax! These tickets can be used on non-consecutive days through June 30, 2019 with no blockout dates.

Visit multiple theme parks on the same day by upgrading your ticket to include the Park Hopper Option for just $32.50 plus tax more for a 3-day ticket or $37.50 more plus tax for a 4-day ticket.

For an additional $57.50 plus tax, add the Park Hopper Plus Option to a 3-day Discover Disney Ticket—or for an additional $62.50 plus tax, add the Park Hopper Plus Option to a 4 -day Discover Disney Ticket. If you add the Park Hopper Plus Option to your Discover Disney Ticket, you get all the benefits of the Park Hopper Option, plus you can enjoy 3 visits with the 3-day Discover Disney ticket or 4 visits with the 4-Day Discover Disney ticket to the Disney Water Parks, select Disney golf courses and more Walt Disney World fun.

Take advantage of these great prices:

3-Day Discover Disney Ticket – $175 plus tax

3-Day Discover Disney Ticket with Park Hopper Option – $207.50 plus tax

3-Day Discover Disney Ticket with Park Hopper Plus Option – $232.50 plus tax

4-Day Discover Disney Ticket – $195 plus tax

4-Day Discover Disney Ticket with Park Hopper Option – $232.50 plus tax

4-Day Discover Disney Ticket with Park Hopper Plus Option – $257.50 plus tax

Purchase through June 27, 2019. Discover Disney Tickets are valid for use through June 30, 2019 and can be used on non-consecutive days—with no blockout dates.

Tickets and options are nontransferable and nonrefundable and exclude activities/events separately priced. Discover Disney 3- and 4-Day Tickets and add-on Options expire on June 30, 2019.

To learn more and to purchase the Walt Disney World Florida Residents Discovery Tickets visit https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/special-offers/resident-discover or to book by phone, call (407) 939-4290 and speak with a vacation planning expert, or call your travel agent.

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Make a runDisney Goal – My runDisney 5K Story

Conversations with Cheryl: Make a runDisney Goal – My runDisney 5K Story

I never thought I could achieve a 5k.  My friends were in participating in the runDisney 5K, and at over 310 pounds I was scared but excited to join them.

Conversations with Cheryl Make a runDisney Goal - My runDisney 5K Story 

How I started slowly…

The idea of training for my first 5k was daunting at first, but once I became more comfortable with the idea that a 5K was 3.1 miles which I typically walked during a day in the parks I was ready to get started.

My favorite (and easy) practice walk was to go to Epcot and walk around World Showcase, which is 1.2 miles.

After I got  comfortable walking for longer periods of time, I found that I wanted to keep going so I would walk at night around my neighborhood or I would hop on the treadmill.

runDisney Conversations with Cheryl 5K runkeeper

Do you need a buddy for a runDisney 5k?

I like to walk with friends, but it is not completely necessary.

If you think you would like to have a buddy, don’t be shy about asking your friends. Who knows…you could inspire them to give it a try, too!

Also if you look on Facebook it is easy to find running groups, charity runners, and running events in your local area.

You can also find a runDisney practice program online and Motivation Tips at Cigna.

runDisney Conversations with Cheryl 5K with Shelley
Getting ready for a runDisney 5K with Shelley

You can do it, too!

I wear my 5k T Shirts and people say “I could never do a 5k”.  My response is If I can walk a 5k at my weight, they should be able to walk one as well.

One thing that helped keep me motived and focused was Cigna Coaching!

Part of my insurance with Cigna involves Cigna coaching for those that don’t meet their BMI.  My coach is friendly  and it is incredibly convenient for me to meet my coach at his mobile office.

What is a Health Coach?

My biggest piece of advice? Don’t be scared about meeting with a coach!

One of the first things you will do with your coach is to set goals together.

Your goals can be as simple as:

Do you have Cigna as your health insurance?  You may be able to get voice coaching.

Cigna also offers assistance with Achilles International, they will have some athletes in the races and some Cigna Employees.

What if I don’t have Cigna Insurance?

Coach by Cigna Logo runDisney

Cigna offers a free coaching app which is accessible to everyone on the Apple app store or the Android Google Play Store.

How to register for a runDisney 5K

Registration for the Run Disney 5k fills up quickly, plan to register now.

If your event is full, consider running for Charity listed at the end of the event page.

 

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Three Kings Celebration Returns to SeaWorld Orlando

Three Kings Celebration SeaWorld Orlando 2019

SeaWorld Orlando 2019 Event Line-Up Kicks off with the Return of Three Kings Celebration

Three Kings Celebration Brings Cherished Traditions and Festive Cuisine to Orlando January 1 – 6

ORLANDO, Fla. 

In honor of the cherished tradition of Latin cultures, families are invited to help commemorate the arrival of the Three Wise Men as only SeaWorld can.

Enjoy extended opportunities to see O Wondrous Night and Sea of Trees, partake in authentic festive cuisine, and best of all see the Three Kings and camels take the stage as they share the tale of their journey.

SeaWorld’s Three Kings Celebration is included with park admission and begins at 11 a.m. daily, January 1 – 6, continuing through park close.

Three Kings Celebration SeaWorld Orlando 2019 Three Kings food SWO
Photo: SeaWorld Orlando
  • Tale of the Three Kings – Join the Three Wise Men at a live nativity scene depicting the arrival of the Three Kings. A storyteller will share the tale of their journey and the traditions of the Three Kings holiday to park guests. This presentation, featuring live animals, will take place several times throughout the day and offer a truly special photo opportunity for park guests.
Three Kings Celebration SeaWorld Orlando 2019 Three Kings food SWO
Photo: SeaWorld Orlando
  • Festive Food and Drinks – Food connoisseurs can enjoy Latin-inspired dishes and drinks prepared exclusively for SeaWorld’s Three KingsCelebration. Menu items include papas rellenas (fried stuffed potatoes), empanadas (cheese, chicken or beef) and bacalaitos (codfish fritters). Libations include frozen sangria and coquitos.
Three Kings Celebration SeaWorld Orlando 2019 Three Kings food SWO
Photo: SeaWorld Orlando
  • O Wondrous Night – Hear the greatest story never told with over 30 carols, life-size puppets and live animals in this signature show that will charm, entertain and delight people from all walks of life. Lots of singing, special effects and incredible lighting enhance this production and holiday spirit. It’s a live nativity that only SeaWorld can bring to life.
Three Kings Celebration SeaWorld Orlando 2019 Sea of Trees
Photo: SeaWorld Orlando
  • Sea of Trees – Take a walk through our wintery, watery wonderland and immerse yourself in a sea of holiday trees. Our glistening forest with over 100 trees sparkles to music and lights up the water…and, your eyes.

SeaWorld Orlando Three Kings Celebration Discovery Cove Orlando Valentine's Day Dolphin Experience

Best Way to Play

The best way for guests to experience all of the events at SeaWorld Orlando is with an Annual Pass, starting at $10.99 a month for Florida residents.

Special members-only benefits such as discounts on dining and shopping make the Annual Pass especially valuable to enjoy SeaWorld’s events throughout the year.

For more information, park hours and to purchase tickets, visit SeaWorld.com/Orlando.

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19 Magical Experiences in 2019 at Walt Disney World Resort

19 Magical Experiences in 2019 at Walt Disney World Resort

Over on the Disney Parks Blog, Jeremy Schoolfield just shared a blog post about the 19 new Magical Experiences in 2019 coming to Walt Disney World.

2019 is definitely going to be one for the Theme Park history books!!!

Check out what’s coming in his post and let us know what you’re looking forward to the most!!!!

19 Magical Experiences in 2019 at Walt Disney World Resort

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2019 is going to be an amazing time at Walt Disney World Resort, with so many new and exciting things happening all year long. You’ll travel to a galaxy far, far away and experience zany fun aboard a runaway railway. You can MousekeDance yourself silly and play basketball like the pros. Or maybe you’ll want to take in beautiful views while you dine 15 stories high atop a new resort hotel tower or glide across the sky in a gondola.

So let’s get to it!

Here are 19 reasons to be excited for a trip to Walt Disney World Resort in 2019:

2019 Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Celebration Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

1. Anything Can Happen at Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Celebration – Starting Jan. 18, Magic Kingdom Park is honoring those true originals, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, now, more than ever with new entertainment, merchandise and specialty food and beverages. The new “Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party” will parade up Main Street, U.S.A. several times daily, while you can meet Mickey and Minnie together – wearing their new birthday outfits – in Town Square Theater.

2019 Hollywood Studios 30 Logo

 

2. Celebrate the 30th anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios – On May 1, Walt Disney World Resort will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The park is honoring this achievement all year with a new 30th anniversary logo and other fun and excitement (see below!).

2019 Illuminations Farewell Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

3. Say a Fond Farewell to IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth – After nearly 20 years of delighting Epcot guests through music, fireworks, fire torches and more, this nighttime spectacular will be ending in the second half of this year. Now, more than ever you’ll want to spend another evening around World Showcase Lagoon to celebrate this classic show that has entertained millions since its October 1999 debut.

4. Jaleo Cooks Up Fresh Tastes at Disney Springs – Chef José Andrés will bring the spirit and flavors of Spain to Disney Springs with his new Jaleo restaurant, opening this winter. The tapas experience will offer a lively setting befitting its name, which means “revelry.”

5. Party with Pixar Pals at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Starting Jan. 18, celebrate the park’s 30th anniversary with The Incredibles, who will host a dance party at Pixar Avenue (where you can also meet the one and only Edna Mode!). A door to the monster world will open at Walt Disney Presents, where Mike and Sulley from Disney•Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.” will be greeting you. And Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Jessie and the rest of the gang are ready to welcome you into Andy’s backyard at the new Toy Story Land.

2019 Festival of the Arts Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

6. Disney on Broadway Concert Series Expands During Epcot International Festival of the Arts –This celebration of the visual, culinary and performing arts returns Jan. 18-Feb. 25. This year, the Disney on Broadway Concert Series will expand to seven days a week, so you can bask in live Disney magic more than ever. The festival also will feature 13 Food Studios, a variety of workshops led by professional artists, interactive exhibits and activities, and much more.

7. “The Lion King” Roars Again at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of Walt Disney Pictures’ animated classic “The Lion King.” To mark this occasion, starting Jan. 18 Rafiki and Timon will lead you in dances and games during the “Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party” on Discovery Island.

2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

8. Take in the Topiaries During Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival – Welcome spring’s arrival with this popular festival, which returns March 6-June 3. This year’s event will feature delectable bites at outdoor kitchens, as well as dozens of world-renowned, Disney-themed topiaries. In addition, the Garden Rocks Concert Series will include three shows a day for all 90 days of the event.

2019 Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

9. Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy Speeds into Disney’s Hollywood Studios – When this new show experience opens this spring, you’ll come face to face with racing legend Lightning McQueen, who will teach you about racing from his years of experience on the track. This will be the untold story of Lightning McQueen … as told by Lightning McQueen!

2019 H2O Glow Nights Typhoon Lagoon Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

10. H2O Glow Nights Return to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park – These evening beach parties happen Thursdays and Saturdays from May 30 through Aug. 17, transforming the water park into a new nighttime experience through special music, lighting and food. Come party with friends from Pixar’s “Toy Story” films during the 30th anniversary summer of Typhoon Lagoon!

11. New Cinematic Nighttime Experience Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios – As part of the theme park’s 30th anniversary, Wonderful World of Animation will debut May 1. The show will use state-of-the-art technology to take you on a magical journey through more than 90 years of Disney animation, all beginning with Mickey.

2019 Gran Destino Tower Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

12. Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort to Open New Tower – This summer, the resort will complete a total reimagining, including the new 15-story Gran Destino tower featuring a rooftop restaurant and 545 new guest rooms. A second new restaurant will be located on an island in the middle of the resort’s 14-acre lake, while all of its existing 1,800-plus rooms have been fully updated with new fixtures and furnishings.

2019 NBA Experience Disney Springs Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

13. NBA Experience Will Be a Slam Dunk at Disney Springs – This brand-new destination will allow you to participate in your own scouting report, take you through pregame preparations and let you step onto the court to make clutch shots and highlight reel-worthy slam dunks. By participating in 13 unique and innovative hands-on activities, you’ll feel like a star player.

23rd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

14. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Will Spice Up Fall – The aromas and flavors of global marketplaces will welcome you to the 24th year of this renowned festival. You’ll have a chance to meet celebrity chefs, try new food and wine pairings, and listen to great music during the Eat to the Beat Concert Series.

15. Major Youth Sporting Events Return to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex – The Jr. NBA World Championship will return to the complex, showcasing top boys and girls basketball teams from around the world. In December, the 63rd Pop Warner Super Bowl will bring hundreds of young football players to Walt Disney World to compete in national championship games.

2019 Black Spire Outpost Star Wars Galaxy's Edge Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

16. Explore Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Live your own Star Wars adventure when this deeply immersive land opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this fall (and this summer at Disneyland Park in California). You’ll explore Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu, where you’ll find all manner of new sights, sounds, smells, tastes, characters and creatures from a galaxy far, far away. The land will also feature two thrilling new attractions: Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

2019 Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

17. Take a Ride on Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway – Opening later this year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this will be the first ride-through attraction themed to Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. It will feature a new original story and lovable theme song, taking you on a journey inside the wacky and unpredictable world of Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts. New technologies will transform the two-dimensional cartoon world into an astounding multi-dimensional experience.

2019 Disney Skyliner Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

18. Glide Through the Air in the Disney Skyliner – Disney Skyliner will offer Tinker Bell views later this year as guests float in gondolas to either Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studios on roundtrips from Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and the new Disney’s Riviera Resort.

2019 Disney's Riviera Resort Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

19. Disney’s Riviera Resort Will Be 15th Disney Vacation Club Resort – Scheduled to open by the end of this year, Disney’s Riviera Resort will reflect an elegant early 20th-century design, inspired by Walt Disney’s travels to the Mediterranean. The deluxe DVC resort is slated to offer approximately 300 family-friendly vacation home units.

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ICON Orlando Holiday Savings and Experiences

ICON Orlando Holiday Savings and Experiences 2018

ICON Orlando Rolls Out New Savings & Experiences for the Holidays

ICON Orlando offers Friends & Family Discounts, Dining Package, Sky Bar 360, & More

ORLANDO, Fla.

ICON Orlando is rolling out a festive collection of seasonal savings for group and individual flights, exciting new options for group celebrations and gatherings, nightly light shows, and unique dinner experiences.

Designed for visitors and locals alike, the new offerings present significant savings on memorable holiday outings for friends and families, including always FREE garage parking at the popular dining and entrainment complex.

Located in the heart of Orlando’s International Drive entertainment district, ICON Orlando 360 is home to an array of unique dining experiences.  From authentic Spanish and Mexican fare to traditional American eats, ICON Orlando 360 offers selections to please any palate.  Nightly live music, shopping venues and a central courtyard with fountain and choreographed water displays, complement the experience.

The Orlando Eye I-Drive 360 icon orlando

“Whether entertaining out-of-town guests, toasting the holidays with friends or co-workers, or looking for an iconic Orlando vacation experience, these new offers deliver memorable moments and substantial savings,” said Cindy Dykman, director of sales and marketing at ICON Orlando 360.

ICON Orlando new seasonal experiences include:

Holiday Friends & Family Pass – (Groups of Three or More) – Share the experience with your loved ones this holiday. A group of three riders on ICON Orlando pays less than $22.00 per person, per rotation and can fly during any time of the day or night. For groups of more than three riders, the admission price drops to just $14.99 per additional rider, compared to the listed $29.99/adult and $24.99/child general admission pricing.
Fly Before 4 and Save – Take a flight on ICON Orlando before 4 p.m. and pay just $14.99 per person, per rotation – a savings of $15.00 per standard adult and $10.00 per standard child admission rates. (*Block out dates include December 24, 2018-January 1, 2019.)

Florida Residents Anytime Flight – Florida residents riding ICON Orlando enjoy a savings of 25 percent with prices at $19.99 for adults and $14.99 for children when purchased online.

ICON Orlando

Sky Bar 360 – ICON Orlando now offers private Sky Bar 360 beverage capsules for up to 10 guests, starting at just $29 per person. An ideal experience for a holiday gathering of friends and colleagues, Sky Bar 360 capsules include options for a bottomless selection of beer and/or wine plus two full rotations (44 minutes) on ICON Orlando. Beer options include Bud Light, Corona and Blue Moon with wine offerings including an array of white, red, sparkling, and Prosecco. Guests of the Sky Bar 360 capsules must be 21 years or older. Customization for quantity and selection of beverage offerings is available upon request.  (Not available December 31st).

Holiday Light Show – More than 64,000 LED lights will bring the tallest observation wheel on the east coast of the United States to life in a kaleidoscopic 10-minute show, synchronized to a festive holiday soundtrack.  The light show runs until January 6, 2019 (Sunday-Thursday at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.; Friday & Saturday at 8 p.m., 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.).

ICON Orlando

Fly & Dine – Fly & Dine includes one flight aboard ICON Orlando, along with a choice of dinner options at seven of ICON Orlando 360’s fast casual and full-service restaurants. The set menu options start at just $32 for fast casual or $45 for full-service dining at participating restaurants, including Sugar Factory Orlando, Tin Roof Orlando, Tapa Toro Spanish Restaurant, UNO Pizzeria & Grill and others.

New Year’s Eve – Exciting plans are underway for an iconic New Year’s Eve celebration.  More information will be announced soon!

The centerpiece of the 18-acre ICON Orlando 360 dining and entrainment complex, ICON Orlando captivates guests with an experience like no other. One of the tallest observation wheels in the world, the 400-foot ICON Orlando provides riders with a bird’s-eye view of Central Florida. Its gentle rotation allows time to take in the Central Florida landscape, and enjoy meaningful time with friends and family for the holidays. In addition, SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium, Madame Tussauds Orlando, SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology and the all-new StarFlyer Orlando provided added entertainment.

ICON Orlando

For more information on how to purchase tickets and to view the all-new options, visit the official website.

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Epcot International Festival of Holidays Must Do’s and Tips

Disclosure: I was an invited guest of the Walt Disney World Resort to experience the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, however all opinions are 100% my own.

Epcot International Festival of Holidays Must Do’s and Tips 2018

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.

The Epcot International Festival of Holidays fills the park with holiday magic, international seasonal delicacies, captivating live entertainment, and festive decor daily until December 30th. And the best gift of all? Most of what you can experience is included with your theme park admission!

The Festival is a great way for families to learn about and even celebrate Holiday traditions from around the world, and at this year’s Epcot International Festival of Holidays you can also experience a new Holiday Cookie Stroll as well as new food and beverage items at Holiday Kitchens throughout Epcot.

With so much to do, I thought I would share my Epcot International Festival of the Holidays must do’s and tips!

Top 7 Epcot International Festival of the Holidays Must Do’s and Tips

Try a tasty teats at the Holiday Kitchens

At the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays  you can savor holiday dishes and beverages from across the globe at 12 specialty kitchens set around the park’s World Showcase.

Epcot International Festival of Holidays Must Do’s and Tips 2018
The L’Chaim Holiday Kitchen is new this year, and the potato knish with herb sour cream was AMAZING!!!

New items this year include black forest roulade with cherry whipped cream at the Bavaria Holiday Kitchen in the Germany pavilion and sofrito-marinated beef with sweet plantains, and olives at the Feast of the Three Kings Holiday Kitchen.

AND a brand-new kitchen this year, L’Chaim!, will feature traditional Jewish dishes such as pastrami on rye, chicken and matzo ball soup, and more. I can tell you that this Holiday Kitchen is an ABSOLUTE MUST DO!!!!

If you want to find out a COMPLETE list of what you can find at each Holiday Kitchen, visit the official Festival website to plan your culinary celebration!

Tip – If you want to sample dishes at the Holiday Kitchens, you can stay on budget by using Disney Gift Cards! Also, don’t forget to register your card on disneygiftcard.com, because if you lose the card you can still have access to the money you’ve loaded onto the card.

Three words…Holiday Cookie Stroll

New this year is the Holiday Cooke Stroll where you can enjoy delicious cookies from cookie stroll locations around World Showcase.

Epcot International Festival of Holidays Must Do’s and Tips 2018
Here’s a list of all the cookies on the stroll!

As you enjoy the cookies you will collect stamps for each one in your Holiday Passport, and if you get all five stamps you will be rewarded with a complimentary “completer” cookie and a cold glass of milk!

Tip – You don’t have to eat all all five cookies in one day, but I won’t stop you…you have until December 30th to present your completed passport for the Cooke Stroll.

Candlelight Processional

Candlelight Processional is the heart of Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays, and is a retelling of the story of Christmas by a celebrity narrator accompanied by a full choir and a 50-piece orchestra in a performance that inspires joy and fills you with the holiday spirit.

Epcot International Festival of Holidays Must Do’s and Tips 2018

This elegant showcase is performed three times nightly at 5:00 PM, 6:45 PM and 8:15 PM through December 30th at the America Gardens Theatre in Epcot’s World Showcase.

Here’s a list of this year’s remaining celebrity narrators:

  • NEW! Alfonso Ribeiro – November 27, 2018
  • Robby Benson – November 28 to 30, 2018
  • John Stamos – December 1 to 2, 2018
  • Neil Patrick Harris – December 3 to 6, 2018
  • Whoopi Goldberg – December 7 to 9, 2018
  • NEW! Bart Millard – December 10 to 12, 2018
  • Blair Underwood – December 13 to 14, 2018
  • Gary Sinise – December 15 to 17, 2018
  • Pat Sajak – December 18 to 20, 2018
  • NEW! Auli’i Cravalho – December 21 to 23, 2018
  • Edward James Olmos – December 24 to 25, 2018
  • Jodi Benson – December 26 to 27, 2018
  • Cal Ripken Jr. – December 28 to 30, 2018
Tip -Seating for Candlelight Processional can get quite packed, so if there is a celebrity narrator that you MUST see consider taking advantage of a Candlelight Processional Dining Package. You can choose to enjoy a delicious breakfast, lunch, or dinner at some of the tastiest restaurants in Epcot and the adjacent Disney’s BoardWalk Resort and Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts followed by reserved seating at a performance of the Candlelight Processional. To reserve Candlelight Dining Packages, call (407) WDW-DINE.

Storytellers and Holiday Entertainment

Another MUST DO for the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays is to stroll the World Showcase stopping to see costumed performers bring the traditions of their home countries to Epcot with holiday stories and music, along with a variety of other international festive entertainment.

Epcot International Festival of Holidays Must Do’s and Tips 2018
The new Hanukkah Storyteller (located between Morocco and France)
Tip – As soon as you get into the park pick up a times guide (or two) for the week, because this is the only way to find out what times performances are happening in each pavilion.

Chip ’n Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree

Chip & Dale are on a scavenger hunt, collecting ornaments for their Christmas tree—and they need your help!

Epcot International Festival of Holidays Must Do’s and Tips 2018
Here’s a look at this year’s map!

To get started, simply purchase a map and stickers ($6.99 plus tax) from select merchandise locations including Pin Central, Disney Traders, and World Traveler at International Gateway.

As you travel around World Showcase, be on the lookout for Chip & Dale in each World Showcase pavilion.

Once you spot them, add the corresponding ornament sticker to your map.

Then, take your completed map to Disney Traders or World Traveler and exchange it for a festive surprise, courtesy of Chip & Dale!

Tip – Look carefully for Chip & Dale on wreaths on the Holiday Kitchen buildings…some are hard to find, so be patient!!!

IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth

The Illuminations: Reflections of Earth nighttime spectacular of fireworks, special effects, flame torches and more includes a special holiday finale nightly until December 30, 2018.

Epcot International Festival of Holidays Must Do’s and Tips 2018
This is the view from the area between France and the United Kingdom pavilions.

This will be the final holiday season for IllumiNations, as the show is currently scheduled to conclude at the end of summer 2019, with new thrills on World Showcase Lagoon set to debut immediately afterward (more on this soon).

Tip – While most of the fireworks and special effects take place in the air, I still like to arrive 30 minutes before Illuminations: Reflections of Earth begins (make sure to check your times guide) to find a spot close to the water so I can see all of the magic!

Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus

If you are looking to take an iconic Holiday photo, head to The American Adventure pavilion where you can pose for a photo and share their holiday wishes with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Tip – The lines to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus can get quite long, so if you are visiting with little ones try to have one adult wait in line while the other adult keeps the little elves busy with the Kidcot Fun Spot at the pavilion or by grabbing a snack from the nearby Holiday Kitchen.

Epcot International Festival of Holidays Must Do’s and Tips 2018

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Top 10 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Tips

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a really fun way to ring in the holiday season, and since attending the party is a splurge for most families here are some of my best tips for making the most of your time at the celebration:

Top 10 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Tips

Tickets for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party vary by date, so make sure you pick the best date for your schedule and wallet. Also, on select nights there are discounts for Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members. Also remember that while the party officially starts at 7 pm, you can enter the park with your Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party ticket starting at 4 pm.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Ticket Prices

When you are entering the Magic Kingdom, make sure to grab a Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party event map…in fact grab more than one since you will be referencing it often during the celebration.

A lot of the entertainment happens around the hub in front of Cinderella Castle, so if catching as many of those as you can is a priority consider grabbing a spot that allows you to see several of the offerings at once.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2018

Little ones getting restless? Head over to Club Tinsel, inside of Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, where they can dance with holiday friends and get out some energy.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

There are several attractions opens throughout the park during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, but if rides aren’t your priority I still recommend taking a spin on the Jingle Cruise.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2018

There are several party exclusive treats this year that are only available after the party begins at 7pm, however if you use the My Disney Experience app to mobile order you’ll find them before the party starts. (I 10 out of 10 recommend the Feliz Navidad Nachos at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe!)

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2018
I **promise** there are nachos under all these toppings!!!

If you see merchandise you really want to purchase or a party exclusive photopass picture you want to take…do it right away! As the night goes on, lines can get longer and/or you may find yourself on the other side of the park.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Don’t forget to pick up your Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party exclusive Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card from the Firehouse on Main Street U.S.A.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2018

After the fireworks, a sizable portion of the attendees at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will leave the park, so it is always a good idea to watch the second parade. BUT keep in mind that A Frozen Holiday Wish and Holiday Wishes fireworks only happen once during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

Wordless Wednesday Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Skipping the first parade also means shorter wait times for treats and attractions during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! Yes, you are seeing at 5 minute wait for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin!

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2018 Also, don’t forget to check out my Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Guide before you go to help plan your night!

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Know Before You Go: Now Snowing in Celebration, Florida

Celebration Now Snowing Logo

Celebration, Florida’s Now Snowing event celebrates 20 years of snow

Now Snowing, Central Florida’s original and premier “Snowing” event, offers one of the area’s only synthetic ice rinks, special community performances by some of the area’s top young talent, and special concert events throughout the season.

Now Snowing is a month-long Winter Wonderland Spectacular featuring strolling Charles Dickens style Carolers, photos with Santa, horse drawn carriage rides, ice skating, train rides, and nightly snowfall at 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00 PM. It’s a true throwback to the traditional family style holiday.

In addition to the everyday fun at Now Snowing Nightly, you can catch A Countdown to Christmas on December 15th – an evening filled with young talent from across the United States and featuring talent seen on national television and radio, and more. These free concerts are in addition to the everyday fun already a part of Now Snowing.

A special Radio Disney Holiday concert filled with surprise performances will take place on December 8th. Past performances have included All-Star Weekend, Drew Seeley, Ryan Beatty, Justin Bieber, Keke Palmer and more.

Now Snowing Celebration Florida 2018
Parking is Free in Open Lots. The town will enforce parking laws, and tow vehicles illegally parked or parked in unauthorized areas at owner’s expense. Please pay close attention to parking and street signs.

** Additional Parking available at the Celebration K-8 School- $5.00 donation **

Now Snowing Celebration Florida 2018Free Nightly Snowfall at 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00 PM

everyday November 24th-December 31st *

*weather permitting. Inoperable during heavy rain or temperatures below 32 degree (F)

ICE SKATING

Now Snowing Celebration Florida 2018

Cost to Skate*: $10.00 (ice skates included) for 30 minutes of skating

Hours:  4:00 pm-10:00 pm Nightly November 24th-December 31st.

For more Information: 407-566-2526

*Synthetic ice rink

CELEBRATION EXPRESS TRAIN

Now Snowing Celebration Florida 2018

Cost: $5.00

Hours:  5:00 pm-close Nightly November 24th-December 31st.

For more Information: 407-566-1500

HORSE AND CARRIAGE RIDES

Now Snowing Celebration Florida 2018

Cost:

Cinderella Carriage $65.00 for up to four riders, $10 each additional

Christmas Sleigh: $55.00 for up to four riders, $10 each additional

Vis a Vis (Small Carriage): $45.00 for up to four riders, $10 each additional

Wagon Rides: $5.00 per person

(infants under 1 year of age-no charge)

Hours:  5:00 pm-close Nightly November 24th-December 31st.

For more Information: 321-624-6380

SANTA PHOTOS

Now Snowing Celebration Florida 2018Cost: Depends on Package Purchased

Hours:  5:30-9:00 PM Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturday and Sunday through December 24th and 6:00-9:00 PM Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays through December 24th

For more Information: 407-512-0662 or visit towncenterphotos.com

Wednesdays November 28th, December 5th, December 12th, and December 19th.

The event is brought to you by Lexin Capital, and sponsored in part by the Celebration Town Tavern, and Experience Kissimmee.

Now Snowing Nightly parking and admission are free. Celebration is conveniently located between Highway 192 and interstate 4 near Walt Disney World.

For more information on Celebration Town Center and Special Events visit us on the web at www.celebrationtowncenter.com or call (407) 566-4007.

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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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