#OntheGo Around the Parks: Taking It Easy In The Magic Kingdom

#OntheGo Around the Parks:

Taking It Easy In The Magic Kingdom

 

An awesome perk of living so close to Walt Disney World is being able to pop over for a quick visit, check out my last visit to Epcot, but it also means that when the Parks are busier you tend to steer clear of the crowds.

However on Monday I decided to venture to the Magic Kingdom for some time with my friend John for an easy, breezy day.

Now I say breezy, because it was definitely ‘Florida Cold’! We moved from Virginia and I went to school at Virginia Tech in the Blue Ridge Mountains (Go Hokies!), so I know it’s not cold-cold…but my blood has thinned considerably!

It was a beautiful day with a super blue sky! It was gorgeous.

#OntheGo Around the Parks Magic Kingdom January 11, 2016

It was the perfect morning to take a leisurely stroll to Cinderella Castle where we caught part of Dream Along with Mickey (which I hadn’t seen in awhile).

#OntheGo Around the Parks Magic Kingdom January 11, 2016

We are both trying to get 10,000 steps a day, so we decided to take a walk through Fantasyland. The area was busy but not crazy. I had to stop to take a picture of Zoe’s favorite Princess’ Tower.

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And we also made a new friend. This little guy was so adorable!

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The wait for Haunted Mansion wasn’t awful (25 minutes), so we decided to see if there was room for 2 more…

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#OntheGo Around the Parks Magic Kingdom January 11, 2016

 

#OntheGo Around the Parks Magic Kingdom January 11, 2016Afterwards we decided to set sail on the ‘Happiest Cruise That Ever Sailed’, and I had a lot of fun trying to catch some of the reflections. I’m going to go back with my DSLR to see if I can catch some better shots, but it was a fun photo adventure!

#OntheGo Around the Parks Magic Kingdom January 11, 2016

#OntheGo Around the Parks Magic Kingdom January 11, 2016

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We caught a quick bite to eat at Pecos Bill…but I forgot to take a picture of my burrito…I was hungry! However, I will say that I really wish they’d bring back some of the BBQ options.

When we were done with lunch we flew over to Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room for a sing-along with some of our favorite feathered friends.

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Our last ride of the day was on Pirates of the Caribbean, and while we were splashed quite a bit we had a great time.

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#OntheGo Around the Parks Magic Kingdom January 11, 2016 Pirates of Caribbean Hat Man

It was a great day with a great friend (Check out John’s Big Fat Panda site for his antics), and I can’t wait to take you along #OntheGo Around the Parks soon!

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Don’t forget to follow @onthegoinmco on Twitter & Instagram for all of our adventures!

 

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2016 Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras Concert Line-Up #UniversalMardiGras

Universal Orlando Mardi Gras 2016 Logo

 2016 Universal Orlando Resort’s

Mardi Gras Concert Line-Up

Florida’s Biggest Party to Also Feature Authentic Cajun Cuisine, a Dazzling Mardi Gras Parade

and More Than 1.7 Million Beads

Celebrating Mardi Gras at the Universal Orlando Resort is something that I look forward to every year, and this year’s concert line-up looks AWESOME!

On select nights February 6 through April 16, guests can top off their day in the theme parks with a family-friendly version of the famed “N’awlins” celebration at Universal Studios Florida – featuring delicious Cajun cuisine, a dazzling parade and 14 nights of exhilarating concerts from some of the biggest names in music.

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida French Quarter Courtyard Trumpet

This year’s star-studded concert lineup features a diverse array of talent with something for everyone to enjoy. Headliners include rock band Fall Out Boy, teen pop sensation Shawn Mendes, GRAMMY-nominated recording artist Adam Lambert, country singer-songwriter Hunter Hayes and legendary entertainer Diana Ross.

Universal Orlando Mardi Gras 2016 Concert Line-Up Collage

2016 Universal Orlando Resort Mardi Gras Concert Line-Up

Mardi Gras Event Dates

Headliners

(performing in the Music Plaza)

New Orleans Bands

(performing in the French Quarter)

February 6

Hunter Hayes

Rockin’ Jake

February 13

Diana Ross

Mississippi Rail Company

February 14

Barenaked Ladies

Mississippi Rail Company

February 20

Nate Ruess

Naughty Professor

February 27

Fall Out Boy

Cha Wa

March 5

Kool & the Gang

Beth McKee & the Sliders

March 12

The Fray

Soul Project

March 13

Adam Lambert

Soul Project

March 19

Shawn Mendes

The Big Easy Playboys

March 20

3 Doors Down

The Big Easy Playboys

March 26

REO Speedwagon

Gravy

April 2

T-Pain

Dirty Bourbon River Show

April 9

Jessie J

Daddy Mack Blues Band

April 16

Yandel

Big Al and The Heavyweights

This year’s Mardi Gras parade features 12 vibrant floats, including four new additions that celebrate different cultures and festivals from around the world – Venetian Carnival, Oktoberfest, 4th of July and Rio de Janeiro Carnival. All of the exquisitely detailed Mardi Gras floats are engineered by Blaine Kern Artists, the same company that has been hand-crafting floats for the iconic New Orleans celebration since 1947.  Plus, guests can visit Universal Studios Florida’s very own French Quarter Courtyard to enjoy authentic Cajun cuisine and see performances by bands pulled straight from Bourbon Street.

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Mardi Gras Riverboat Float

The excitement of Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras celebration is included with admission to Universal Studios Florida.  Florida Residents get up to three months free on any 2-park Annual Pass with a Coca-Cola UPC code or promo code on specially marked cups from participating Wendy’s restaurants. For more information on this special offer and Mardi Gras, visit www.universalorlando.com/mardigras.

Universal Orlando Resort Logo 25th Anniversary

About Universal Orlando Resort
For 25 years, Universal Orlando Resort has been creating epic vacations for the entire family – incredible experiences that place guests in the heart of powerful stories and adventures. Guests can soar above Hogwarts with Harry Potter, swing above the streets with Spider-Man, grab a Krusty burger in Springfield, join the ranks of the Minions and so much more.

Universal Orlando’s two theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, are home to some of the world’s most exciting and innovative attractions. Its on-site resort hotels, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, and Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort are destinations unto themselves.  Its entertainment complex, Universal CityWalk, offers dining and entertainment for every member of the family. And just minutes away is Wet ‘n Wild, a family water park.

Universal Orlando Resort has unveiled 18 new guest experiences in the past five years – powerful attractions, incredible dining opportunities and a dramatically themed hotel.  And more is on the way.  Coming in 2016 is Universal Orlando’s fifth on-site hotel, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort; and Skull Island: Reign of Kong, a groundbreaking attraction in Islands of Adventure. And in 2017 will come Universal’s Volcano Bay, an entirely new water theme park experience.

Universal Orlando Resort is part of NBCUniversal, a Comcast company.  Follow Universal Orlando Resort on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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New Ticket Options At SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Parks

SeaWorld Orlando Aquatica Orlando Busch Gardens Tampa Adventure Island

New Ticket Options At SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Parks

NEW YEAR BRINGS NEW VALUES AT FOUR FLORIDA PARKS

With New “Choose Your Adventure” Ticket, More Park Visits = More Savings

Visitors and Florida residents can now choose from a variety of new admission products for the Busch Gardens and SeaWorld family of parks that provide more value and flexibility.

For tourists visiting Florida, the NEW “Choose Your Adventure” ticket option simplifies vacation planning so guests can enjoy multiple visits to four of the Sunshine State’s most popular theme parks.

The program allows guests to customize their ideal itinerary AND receive substantial savings for each additional park or visit — the more they visit, the more they save.

Guests can create their own favorite theme park adventure across the following four parks: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay,SeaWorld Orlando, Adventure Island Tampa Bay and Aquatica Orlando.

SeaWorld Orlando Summer Nights Ihu's Breakaway Falls Now Open at Aquatica Orlando - slideout Ticket

For example, when tickets are purchased in advance, online, special prices are as low as:

  • One visit to any park  – $79
  • Two visits to any of the parks – $99
  • Three visits to any of the parks – $109
  • For the ultimate adventure deal — the new Length-of-Stay ticket provides 14 consecutive days of unlimited adventure to all four of the popular Florida theme parks, along with free parking at each, for one low price of $139.

FLORDA RESIDENTS

There also are new values for Florida residents who are looking to visit all year long, with incentives for purchasing early in the year.

SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Ticket

  • Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island “BOGO Fun Card”: Now through February 29, guests who buy a Fun Card to Busch Gardens also will receive a FREE Fun Card to Adventure Island.

  • SeaWorld Orlando “Preschool Card”: For a limited time, SeaWorld Orlando will offer kids ages five and younger a FREE Preschool Card valid for unlimited admission through December 31, 2016. Cards must be registered online and redeemed in the park by May 27, 2016.

  • Annual Pass: The best value at SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is the Annual Pass with unlimited admission all year, free parking, no blockout dates and special benefits. NEW this year for Pass Members are enhanced Instant Rewards – a 12-month calendar of exclusive offerings each month such as discounts, ticket offers and free gifts.  With a new reward each month, there is incentive to purchase early and enjoy the full year of offers. With EZ Pay, Annual Passes start at just $14 per month for one park, and $18 per month for both parks.
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#OnTheGo Around the Parks: An Afternoon at Epcot

 

#OnTheGo Around the Parks:

An Afternoon at Epcot

One thing that I really love doing is walking around the Parks, and while I usually tweet and Instagram my day I thought it would be a nice change to share my afternoon and my thoughts here.

It was a chilly (by Orlando standards) and slightly overcast afternoon at Epcot, but it was great to get out of the house for a few hours before I picked Zoe up from her after-school activity.

Onthego In the Parks Epcot

I didn’t have any plans or FastPass+ return times, and I wasn’t in a rush so I decided to take an easy stroll around Future World.

My first stop was to see Baymax in his new Meet and Greet area in Innoventions West.

Onthego In the Parks Epcot

This was my first time seeing the area, and it was great to see I wasn’t alone! He had a large line, and while his workshop background may seem sparse it fits right in with all of the construction that is going on inside of Innoventions.

After a quick picture, I decided to head over to The Seas with Nemo & Friends.

Onthego In the Parks Epcot The Seas with Nemo & Friends Exterior

This is one of Zoe’s favorite rides, and when we ride it’s often filled with a lot of pointing and chatting about what is going on around us so it was weird to ride it in silence.

Onthego In the Parks Epcot

There was a lot of activity in the tanks as people were snorkeling. I would love to try that one day!

Onthego In the Parks Epcot

I also had to find one of my all time favorite Hidden Mickeys…

Onthego In the Parks Epcot

And Nemo!

Onthego In the Parks Epcot

Heading over to The Land Pavilion I decided to keep up my Hidden Mickey Hunting, and found this little guy.

Onthego In the Parks Epcot

While Soarin’ is closed until later this year, it was nice to see that the Pavilion was still chocked full of people!

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Living with the Land has always been one of my favorite rides!

Onthego In the Parks Epcot

I found a ton of Mickeys and got to see a Florida Snowman.

Onthego In the Parks Epcot

Before I leave, I always take a moment to say goodbye to the balloons.

Onthego In the Parks Epcot

The latest addition to Epcot is the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival.

Onthego In the Parks Epcot

The Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival is a 3D experience that begins with a short film where you hear from John Lasseter and Ed Catmull talk about the beginnings of Pixar by showing the progression of their work.

Onthego In the Parks Epcot

The Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival features 3 shorts in ways that you have never seen them before.

Onthego In the Parks Epcot

‘Get a Horse’ is the first short that pops off the screen (literally) bringing this classic short to life in a whole new way. While the 3 and 4D effects were really well done, what really was amazing was to hear Walt Disney voicing Mickey ringing through the theater. I won’t lie…it gave me chills.

‘La Luna’ really sparkled in the 3D format, and it was really nice to revisit a short that is one of my favorites.

And finally, ‘For the Birds’ is a really quirky and fun short that ends the experience on a solid laugh.

We’ll miss you Captain EO, but I have to say that I really enjoyed watching the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival. I can’t wait to bring Zoe back with me next time!

Then it was off to Innoventions East to visit Colortopia Presented by Glidden.

If you haven’t had the chance to stop by and experience the newest spot in Innoventions…what are you waiting for?

Onthego In the Parks Epcot Colortopia

I really love all of the the different interactive areas and activities, and it is a really great way to spend some time out of the Florida elements.

Onthego In the Parks Epcot Colortopia

Seriously, what are you waiting for? I promise that you will really enjoy Colortopia…so go!

Onthego In the Parks Epcot

Walking out of Innoventions East I ran into the Jamminators. And while these guys have several identities throughout the year, I always like to stop for a second to watch them perform. They are a really fun group.

Onthego In the Parks Epcot

And I was in luck, because today was ‘Junior Jamminator Day’ and I am now an honorary Jamminator!

Onthego In the Parks Epcot

I haven’t ridden Test Track in awhile, so I decided to head over to the single rider line. It was a 25 minute wait, not too shabby, but it was nice to just relax and go with the flow!

Onthego In the Parks Epcot

When you go through the single rider line you don’t get the full design experience, but the car I chose placed 2nd which is much better than when I do the designing so I will call it a win!!!

And it wouldn’t be a trip to Epcot without riding my absolute favorite ride in the world…Spaceship Earth.

Onthego In the Parks Epcot

All in all it was a lovely afternoon at Epcot, and I hope that you enjoyed tagging along with me on my trip!

Onthego In the Parks Epcot

See ya real soon!

 

-Shelley

 

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Ring In The New Year At SeaWorld Orlando

 

SeaWorld Orlando Christmas Celebration Logo

Ring in the New Year at SeaWorld Orlando

–All-New dining-and-firework show package to delight families and friends

this New Year’s Eve–

Families and friends can ring in the New Year at SeaWorld Orlando on December 31 as vibrant fireworks fill the night sky and festive entertainment can be enjoyed throughout the park until 1 a.m., including interactive DJ stations, craft beers and delectable bites.

New this year is the New Year’s Eve Seating with Fireworks Package. For $49 per person, guests will enjoy reserved seating at Bayside Stadium to watch the Winter Wonderland on Ice Show followed by a fireworks display.

Also new this year is the New Year’s Eve Dinner & Fireworks package, where guests can indulge in a 4-course prix-fixe signature dinner at Sharks Underwater Grill – the park’s full-service, upscale restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows that create a perfect viewing scene into the world of sharks.  Guests can choose between Char-grilled Filet Mignon, Savory Garlic & Butter Gumbo Shrimp Scampi and much more. Guests will also receive a souvenir group photo and end the evening at a private lite-bite sweets reception from 11 p.m. to midnight that includes a champagne toast as fireworks dazzle above. Dinner and fireworks package is $199 per person. Find out more about New Year’s Eve here.

SeaWorld Orlando New Years Eve

Plus, guests who visit SeaWorld on December 31 will experience all the wonder, excitement and fun of SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration™, which includes:

  • Shamu® Christmas Miracles – Experience the power and beauty of the Shamu family in this nighttime holiday show. Set to majestic seasonal music, the show features killer whales in a story of peace, friendship and the everyday miracles that surround us all year long.
  • O Wondrous Night – Hear the classic Christmas story as told through the eyes of the animals. With more than 30 carols, life-size puppets and a live nativity, this show will charm, entertain and delight. This must-see show has become a family holiday classic for all of our guests.
  • THE POLAR EXPRESS Experience – Now boarding! It’s a wondrous journey to the North Pole aboard THE POLAR EXPRESS. The beloved holiday classic comes to life as you and your family are immersed in the heart-warming story of a young boy’s thrilling ride into an enchanted world. The sights, sounds, and scents of the season surround you. From the moment the conductor calls “all aboard” to your arrival at the North Pole (where you’ll meet Santa Claus himself), THE POLAR EXPRESS Experience promises to create an unforgettable holiday memory.

SeaWorld Orlando Christmas Celebration Shamu

  • Elmo’s Christmas Wish – Sesame Street® friends have come to SeaWorld® Orlando for a festive holiday musical celebration.  Join Rosita, Grover, Zoe, and Cookie Monster as they work together to help Elmo find his Christmas wish!
  • Winter Wonderland on Ice – Christmas glistens on a stage of ice, jewels and light as skaters dazzle and delight in this show-stopping, ice-skating extravaganza. In addition to graceful skaters, the show also features towering fountains of water and a sea of lighted trees sparkling over the lake. It’s a don’t-miss experience for the holidays that will take your breath away.
  • Sea of Trees – Take a walk through our wintery, watery wonderland. This glistening forest of more than 100 Christmas trees sparkles to music and lights up the water.
  • The Christmas Village – Artisans, festive entertainment, and delicious culinary delights create a bustling market that lines Bayside Pathway. Guests can discover one-of-a-kind gifts, enjoy scrumptious holiday treats, encounter playful elves and holiday characters, sing-a-long with musicians, and marvel at a charming model train village. It also is the perfect spot to view the Sea of Trees display, relaxing near the warm glow of the fire pit and sipping a holiday craft brew.

The best way to experience SeaWorld’s New Year’s Eve and SeaWorld’s Christmas CelebrationTM is with an Annual Pass offering unlimited general admission and free parking all year long. Florida residents can purchase an annual pass with EZPay, a convenient payment option starting at $13 per month. Pass holders can enjoy a variety of other perks, including discounts on food and beverage and savings on admission to Discovery Cove.

Visit SeaWorldOrlando.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest details about New Year’s Eve at SeaWorld. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #SeaWorldNewYear.

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Osborne Lights Hidden Gems

Osborne lights
Osborne lights history display

As many of you already know, this is sadly the last year for the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. After 20 years the lights will be packed up to make way for some awesome new changes coming to the Studios in the forms of Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land over the next few years. We can certainly hope that the Osborne Lights will return to us in some incarnation down the road, even in another location would be fine, but for now we have to assume that this is the end.

I don’t mean to say this in a melancholy way, but rather to give each and every one of you the encouragement to go out and catch the Osborne Lights for one final (or first) time if there’s any way you can. The last night will be Sunday, January 3rd, 2016, and I am personally planning to be there until they shut it down and kick me out. The lights started just three years before I moved to Florida and first experienced the Osborne Lights in their previous home on Residential Street in 1998. They moved the lights to the Streets of America in 2004 after Residential Street closed. For the past 17 years the lights have been the highlight of the Christmas season at Walt Disney World and are my must do above all other holiday traditions here.

This year it seems that the Imagineers have gone an extra step in adding even more hidden gems to the light display as a final send off. Each year it has been tradition to find the black/purple cat that was mixed in from Halloween decorations from the Osborne family. The first fifteen or so years the cat was placed once and stayed in the same location for the whole duration of the lights in November and December. The last few years the Cast Members made a fantastic decision to move around the cat from week to week, which makes it even more fun for those of us who are fortunate enough to go multiple times throughout the eight weeks of the Osborne Lights.

Among some of the fun things I have discovered hidden in the lights the year, in addition to the dozens of hidden Mickeys, are some other characters in lights, some peeking out of windows, others hanging from fire escapes, and even more in window displays. You can literally spend hours exploring all the corners of the 7+ million light display. I love that the canopy on San Francisco Street and how it has changed over the years, now including one of my favorite dancing projections of Jack Skellington from the Nightmare Before Christmas when What’s This plays. I hope you enjoy some of my favorite pictures of the Osborne Lights and a few of these hidden gems that I’ve discovered. I hope that you all have gotten a chance or will get to see the lights before they shine and dance for the last time on January 3rd.

All white angel in memory of Jennings Osborne
All white angel in memory of Jennings Osborne
Arkansas Razorback
Arkansas Razorback
Osborne family stockings hung above the fire
Osborne family stockings hung above the fire
Tinkerbell
Tinkerbell
Incredibles logo
Incredibles logo
Finding Nemo
Finding Nemo
Mickey and Minnie silhouettes
Mickey and Minnie silhouettes
Hidden Mickey and Jack Skellington
Hidden Mickey and Jack Skellington
Scrooge McDuck
Scrooge McDuck
Mary Poppins penguin in top window
Mary Poppins penguin in top window
Clarabelle Cow in upper right window
Clarabelle Cow in upper right window
Tony's from Lady and the Tramp
Tony’s from Lady and the Tramp
Hanging upside down Animal
Hanging upside down Animal
Miss Piggy
Miss Piggy
Kermit hanging on the ladder
Kermit hanging on the ladder
Kermit playing banjo
Kermit playing banjo
Hidden Baymax head
Hidden Baymax head
Mr. Potato Head Santa Claus
Mr. Potato Head Santa Claus
Roger Rabbit
Roger Rabbit
Santa Stitch
Santa Stitch
Dalmatians
Dalmatians
Dancing stars on the canopy
Dancing stars on the canopy
Jack Skellington head
Jack Skellington head
Toy Story Alien
Toy Story Alien
Star Wars First Order and Jedi symbols
Star Wars First Order and Jedi symbols
Hidden Olaf in white at the bottom of the window
Hidden Olaf in white at the bottom of the window
Purple cat 1
Purple cat 1
Purple cat 2
Purple cat 2
Purple cat 3, Hidden Mickey, and Toy Story Alien
Purple cat 3, Hidden Mickey, and Toy Story Alien
See You Real Soon
See You Real Soon
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LEGOLAND Florida Offers First Look At The LEGO Movie 4D A New Adventure

LEGOLAND Florida The LEGO Movie 4D A New Adventure

LEGOLAND Florida News:

Exclusive First Look at ‘The LEGO Movie 4D A New Adventure’ Offers Sneak Peek of Dazzling New Attraction

Emmet, Wyldstyle and Friends Reunite in All-New Story Debuting Jan. 29 at LEGOLAND Florida Resort

For the first time ever, LEGOLAND Florida and other LEGOLAND Parks are offering a first look at an exciting new theme park attraction that reunites the stars of “The LEGO Movie™” in an all-new story appearing exclusively at LEGOLAND theme parks and LEGOLAND Discovery Centers in 2016.

LEGOLAND Florida The LEGO Movie 4D A New Adventure

The 30-second clip released today gives fans the first glimpse of what happened after the blockbuster movie, when Emmet, Wyldstyle, Unikitty, MetalBeard and Benny reunite at the invitation of a shady new character, Risky Business, who plans to open a curious theme park bearing a suspicious resemblance to LEGOLAND.

httpv://youtu.be/2WTsb94lvMc

“The LEGO Movie 4D A New Adventure” will premiere Friday, January 29, 2016 at LEGOLAND Florida Resort in Winter Haven, FL, followed by LEGOLAND California Resort in Carlsbad, CA, on Saturday, February 6. The attraction will debut later at LEGOLAND theme parks and LEGOLAND Discovery Centers worldwide.

LEGOLAND Florida The LEGO Movie 4D A New Adventure

Returning to voice their iconic characters are actors Elizabeth Banks (Wyldstyle), Nick Offerman (MetalBeard), Charlie Day (Benny) and Alison Brie (Unikitty). Actor, writer and comedian Patton Oswalt lends his voice to the scheming Risky Business, whose Evil Secret Plot requires the heroes to call on the Master Builder skills of a surprise ally to save the day.

The 12 1/2-minute 3D film will play several times a day at each LEGOLAND site, with “4D” effects such as wind, water, fog and more bringing the action bursting off the screen and into the audience.

LEGOLAND Florida The LEGO Movie 4D A New Adventure

Los Angeles-based Pure Imagination Studios is creating “The LEGO Movie 4D A New Adventure” with input from Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the talented writer-directors who brought “The LEGO Movie” to life, along with contributions from Rob Schrab, who is directing the movie’s eagerly awaited sequel, due in 2018.

LEGOLAND Florida The LEGO Movie 4D A New Adventure

Also upcoming for LEGO fans are three more feature films:  The as-yet untitled LEGO BatmanTM opens on Feb. 10, 2017; “NINJAGO,” on Sept. 22, 2017; and “The LEGO Movie Sequel,” on May 18, 2018.

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Madame Tussauds Orlando Welcomes Britain’s Royal Family

madame tussauds logo

Madame Tussauds Orlando Welcomes Britain’s Royal Family

The wax figures of Queen Elizabeth, Prince Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive in Orlando

Madame Tussauds Orlando is providing a royal welcome for the arrival of its newest figures of Queen Elizabeth, Prince Harry, Prince William and Duchess Catherine. Britain’s royal family will be featured in the Orlando attraction in a special holiday-themed set for a limited time. Guests are encouraged to get up close and personal with royalty and snap their best selfies for a memorable holiday card.

Madame Tussauds Orlando

Queen Elizabeth’s wax figure is fitted in an exact replica of the dress she wore for her official Diamond Jubilee portrait. Madame Tussauds studio artists were invited to the Palace to obtain exact measurements, photos and detailed notes of the dress. It is embellished with approximately 10,000 Swarovski crystals, and took artists over 60 hours to complete. Her jewelry is handmade and includes the George IV State Diadem, the Garter Star, the Garter Badge, the insignia of the Royal Order of George V and George VI, and Colette necklace and earrings.

Prince Harry’s figure is dressed in a Dege & Skinner suit from Savile Row — created by the actual tailor he uses for his uniforms. Prince Harry is adorned with medals: a set of three Court-Mounted full-size medals, three pairs of gilt and enamel Garter Stars, and one pair of Flying Wings.

Duchess Catherine’s figure is styled after her look at the 2011 BAFTA Awards in a one-of-a-kind pale lilac Alexander McQueen gown. Prince William is in a double-breasted six button two-piece dinner suit specially made for Madame Tussauds by Gieves & Hawkes.

Madame Tussauds enjoys a close relationship with the British Royal Family dating back to William IV, King of England when the attraction first opened in London in 1835. Their Highnesses have been closely involved with the royal figures. Madame Tussauds originally began as a traveling exhibit before establishing a permanent home in London and ultimately expanding to 19 attractions worldwide.

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Christmas Town At Busch Gardens Tampa Brings Even More Holiday Cheer

Christmas Town Busch Gardens Tampa Bay 2015 

Christmas Town Upgrades at Busch Gardens Tampa Brings Even More Holiday Cheer

Christmas Town™ transforms Busch Gardens® into a holiday wonderland of Christmastime entertainment, and the best way to unwrap the cheer is with all-new exclusive experiences that you and your family will treasure forever.

Christmas Town Busch Gardens Tampa Bay 2015

NEW! Holly Jolly Christmas Party

‘Tis the season for a Holly Jolly Christmas Party where spectacular Yuletide celebrations await. Mrs. Claus and her elves join you for dinner with a delicious all-you-care-to-eat pizza and salad buffet at the Garden Gate Café. The party keeps going with fun holiday activities, including writing a letter to Santa, decorating decadent cupcakes and singing classic Christmas carols.

Christmas Town Busch Gardens Tampa Bay 2015 NEW! Christmas Town™ VIP Experience

Unwrap all the magic of the holidays during the Christmas Town VIP Experience, a three-hour-long guided tour that is sure to make your Christmastime memories even more merry and bright. This ultimate experience is complete with:

  • Front-of-the-line access to Santa’s House presented by Coca-Cola®, where the Claus family invites you into their North Pole home as the elves prepare for Christmas. There, Santa will take a break from his busy holiday schedule to meet and take photos with in his private study.
  • An exclusive up-close encounter with Busch Gardens’ African penguins.
  • Fun holiday activities at the Holly Jolly Christmas Party, including writing a letter to Santa, decorating decadent cupcakes and singing classic Christmas carols.
  • Delicious pizza and salad buffet hosted by Mrs. Claus and her elves at Garden Gate Café, or a holiday feast at the Crown Colony Restaurantfor an additional fee.
  • VIP seating to Christmas On Ice, where Yuletide melodies, deadline-driven elves and the big man himself come together to celebrate the many wonders of Christmas during this holiday spectacular.
  • Commemorative photo with Santa Claus and refillable hot chocolate mug.

Christmas Town Busch Gardens Tampa Bay 2015

For more information about these exclusive experiences, visit ChristmasTown.com for pricing and reservations. Christmas Town is included with any annual pass, Fun Card or daily admission to the park.

The 2016 Fun Card is available for purchase now. With the 2016 Fun Card, guests pay for one day and get all of 2016 free. Plus, guests who purchase their 2016 Fun Card now can also visit Busch Gardens for the remainder of 2015 for no additional cost, including the popular Christmas Town™ event.

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Universal Orlando Resort Partners With Veterans Advantage

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Universal Orlando Resort Partners with Veterans Advantage to Launch Exclusive Military Benefits

 

Universal Orlando Resort and Veterans Advantage have collaborated to create two new benefit packages that give military veterans, active duty, National Guard and reservists, retired military, and their immediate families the opportunity to save on vacation packages to Universal Orlando Resort.

Veterans Advantage members now receive up to 10 percent off the following packages:

  • The 2-Park Getaway Vacation Package, which includes a three-night hotel stay and a two-day Park-to-Park ticket
  • The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Exclusive Vacation Package, which includes a four-night hotel stay, three-day Park-to-Park ticket and breakfast at the Leaky Cauldron and more

Universal Orlando Resort Military Captain America

Veterans Advantage members can customize their vacation package to their choosing and enjoy special benefits. Both packages include early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, access to select live entertainment venues at Universal CityWalk and more.

Additionally, qualified Veterans Advantage members and active duty or retired military have access to an Exclusive Military Vacation package to Universal Orlando Resort. This package includes three-night hotel accommodations plus a one-day park-to-park ticket with two days free.

“We honor veterans and their service and we are excited to offer them a special opportunity to enjoy Universal Orlando Resort with their families,” said Bill Davis, president of Universal Orlando Resort and a Vietnam War veteran.  “We want to help them make memories that will last forever.”

Veterans Advantage currently partners with a robust lineup of leading travel providers, which include United Airlines, JetBlue, Amtrak, Greyhound, Avis and Budget, and AIG Travel Guard, offering special savings and exclusive benefits for Veterans Advantage members.

“We are excited to launch this exclusive travel benefit with this world-class vacation destination and premier theme park provider,” said H. Scott Higgins, CEO of Veterans Advantage and a Vietnam War veteran. “With more than 15 years of experience serving the needs of Veterans Advantage travelers, we know this will create a lot of excitement in our community,” Higgins added.

For special instructions on accessing these discounts, please visit VeteransAdvantage.com/Universal.

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Christmas Bricktacular At LEGOLAND Florida Resort

CHRISTMAS BRICKTACULAR Legoland Florida Resort

Holiday Fireworks Making Spirits Bright During Annual Christmas Bricktacular Celebration at LEGOLAND Florida Resort

This December, LEGOLAND® Florida Resort will celebrate the holidays in a uniquely LEGO® way with the return of Christmas Bricktacular Presented by Shutterfly®, the theme park’s annual seasonal celebration for kids. This year, the festivities expand with an exclusive yuletide fireworks spectacular presented each night, plus a more than 30-foot-tall Christmas tree made entirely of LEGO and DUPLO®bricks, a life-size LEGO model of Santa, his reindeer and sleigh, themed scavenger hunts and more.

CHRISTMAS BRICKTACULAR Legoland Florida Resort
            PHOTO / LEGOLAND Florida, Merlin Entertainments Group, Chip Litherland)

Included with park admission, Christmas Bricktacular takes place on select dates through December and provides a fun and interactive place for kids to enjoy holiday festivities in a playful way only LEGOLAND Florida Resort could imagine. In addition to creative holiday photo opportunities and festive décor throughout the park, activities will include:

  • Meet-and-greets with LEGO Santa and LEGO Toy Soldier
CHRISTMAS BRICKTACULAR Legoland Florida Resort
               PHOTO / LEGOLAND Florida, Merlin Entertainments Group, Chip Litherland)
  • A LEGO Christmas mosaic guests can assemble with our Master Model Builders
  • Holiday-themed scavenger hunts in Miniland USA and DUPLO Valley with a chance to win a LEGO prize pack
  • A station where kids can write a LEGO letter to Santa and send it to the North Pole
  • A Jingle Jam to kick off the event, dance and celebrate with LEGO Santa and LEGO Toy Soldier
  • A competition build in DUPLO Valley with another chance to win a LEGO prize pack
CHRISTMAS BRICKTACULAR Legoland Florida Resort
              PHOTO / LEGOLAND Florida, Merlin Entertainments Group, Chip Litherland)

The wintertime fun concludes each night with a holiday-themed fireworks show presented only during Christmas Bricktacular. For the best viewing location, guests should head for the spacious Ski Stadiums in Pirates’ Cove or the grass lawn in between.

CHRISTMAS BRICKTACULAR Legoland Florida Resort

Looking for a special LEGO gift? Select stores will stay open for an extra hour of holiday shopping each night after the park closes. Guests will find a dizzying variety of LEGO-branded toys and souvenirs throughout the park, including hard-to-find LEGO sets, children’s and adult apparel, and great stocking stuffers.

CHRISTMAS BRICKTACULAR Legoland Florida Resort
              PHOTO / LEGOLAND Florida, Merlin Entertainments Group, Chip Litherland)

Guests can share their favorite Christmas Bricktacular photos with #ChristmasBricktacular on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and tag @LEGOLANDFlorida for a chance to win a special LEGO prize.

For even more fun, guests can book a spot at LEGO Santa’s Christmas Workshop, a special VIP experience.  The workshop includes a playful interaction with holiday characters, tasty seasonal treats and the chance to meet a Master Model Builder and create an exclusive Christmas decoration to keep.

CHRISTMAS BRICKTACULAR Legoland Florida Resort
PHOTO / LEGOLAND Florida, Merlin Entertainments Group, Chip Litherland)

2015 Christmas Bricktacular Presented by Shutterfly® Dates:

  • December 12-13 (Saturday & Sunday)
  • December 19-20 (Saturday & Sunday)
  • December 26-30 (Saturday-Wednesday)

On Thursday, Dec. 31, ring in 2016 at the high-energy Kids’ New Year’s Eve celebration, which features a LEGO brick-drop countdown to midnight Kid Standard Time (that’s 8 p.m. to moms and dads), a kid-centric dance party and a dazzling fireworks display to end the year with a bang. It’s all included with park admission.

CHRISTMAS BRICKTACULAR Legoland Florida Resort
             PHOTO / LEGOLAND Florida, Merlin Entertainments Group, Chip Litherland)

For more about everything there is to do and see at LEGOLAND Florida Resort, including the brand-new, onsite LEGOLAND Hotel, visit http://florida.legoland.com and our official blog at www.llfblog.com.

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Dreaming of a Disney Christmas: Christmas Ornaments With Character

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Dreaming of a Disney Christmas: Christmas Ornaments With Character

Adding a touch of Disney magic to your Christmas Tree is as awesome as ever with these new Christmas Ornaments from Disney Parks.

I’ve shared several of these Disney Christmas Ornaments over the years, but I love how they keep getting better with even more details and expanding to new characters.

All of these ornaments are $19.99 plus tax, and I would love to hear which ones are your favorites!

Don’t forget you can use the Shop Disney Parks App available on iTunes and Google Play Store to find these and more great Disney Parks items with free shipping!

 

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A Visit To The Star Wars Launch Bay For Beginners

Star Wars Launch Bay Disney's Hollywood Studios

Visiting the newly opened Star Wars Launch Bay at Disney’s Hollywood Studios can seem intimidating if you aren’t familiar familiar with the Star Wars Saga, but fear not because it is actually a really great place to start your Star Wars Fandom if you keep a few things in mind!

The first thing to know is that there is no shame in admitting that you aren’t a huge Star Wars fan! After the initial gasp, you will find that the only thing that Star Wars fans are more passionate about than the movies is sharing their love of the movies!

Now that you’re ready for your visit to the Star Wars Launch Bay, here are a few things to do to make your visit awesome!

1. Bring a friend who is familiar with Star Wars with you.

While visiting the parks alone is always fun, having a friend visit with you who is familiar with Star Wars is a great resource for any questions you may have along the way.

Star Wars Launch Bay Disney's Hollywood Studios

2. Once you arrive at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, head directly to the ABC Soundstage to watch ‘Path of the Jedi’.

This dramatic 10 minute film compiles exhilarating Star Wars movie moments to tell the tale of the Jedi Order’s fall and return.

For over a thousand generations, the Jedi Order protected the galaxy and brought peace to the Galactic Republic—with the help of a mysterious power called the Force. A young Jedi named Anakin Skywalker—secretly influenced by the scheming Darth Sidious—turned to the Dark Side of the Force and brought ruin to the Jedi. Anakin became the dreaded Darth Vader and Darth Sidious became the evil Emperor Palpatine.

A generation passed and Anakin’s children, Luke and Leia, joined the Rebel Alliance to oppose the tyranny of the Galactic Empire. With the help of a charming rogue named Han Solo, Luke and Leia succeeded in defeating the Empire and turning Darth Vader away from the Dark Side.

Star Wars: Path of the Jedi retells this epic saga and hints at what’s next! The Star Wars story continues in the new movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens—Luke, Leia and Han return along with a new cast of brave heroes and dastardly villains.

3. Don’t skip the line to enter the Star Wars Launch Bay.

Star Wars Launch Bay Disney's Hollywood Studios

Why it may be extremely tempting, don’t skip the line to line to enter the Star Wars Launch Bay through the Launch Bay Theater. because the queue is FULL of great details and images!

4. Get Hyped by watching the ‘Behind-the-Scenes’ short film in the Launch Bay Theater!

Inside this stellar screening room, watch a stirring short film celebrating the Star Wars saga. Running continuously throughout the day, this 10-minute “behind-the-scenes” movie includes exclusive interviews with the directors, writers, producers and other key players responsible for bringing the Star Wars galaxy to life.

Now why will you get hyped? I’m glad you asked!

The short film’s interviews are a great glimpse into the passion that the creators have for Star Wars with peeks at the movies.

5. When you are waiting in line for the amazing Meet and Greets in the Star Wars Launch Bay, make sure you pay attention to the trivia that is playing on the screens.

While the Meet and Greet queue itself is full of great props and replicas from Star Wars, along the walls you will find screens playing Star Wars Trivia. This is a great opportunity to learn details from the movies and to find out even more by asking questions.

6. Learn to read Aurebesh…No really…do it!

Star Wars Launch Bay Disney's Hollywood Studios
Super huge thanks to Christie for letting me use her photo! You can find her on Instagram and Twitter!

Along the walls of the Star Wars Launch Bay you’ll see sayings from the movies in Aurebesh, and if you ask a Cast Member they may have the Aurebesh alphabet with our alphabet to help you ‘decode’ the messages.

7. Take your time!

The Launch Bay is full of great galleries chocked full of costumes, props, models, actual items from the movies, and more so make sure you take your time to read all the plaques and to ask the near-by Cast Members questions.

Star Wars Launch Bay Disney's Hollywood Studios

8. Bring something to trade with the Jawas.

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but bringing something to trade with the Jawas is always a ton of fun!

Star Wars Launch Bay Disney's Hollywood Studios

The Jawas love shiny things, don’t we all really, however you can see in my video that I traded an On the Go in MCO button and things went swimmingly!

9. After you’ve had the full Star Wars Launch Bay experience, pick a character that you really liked to learn more about before Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens on December 18, 2015!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Poster

Find your favorite character, find out more about them, buy some fun merchandise, and have fun…just keep away from Bobba Fett…he’s all mine!!!

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Madame Tussauds Orlando Welcomes YouTube Stars SMOSH

 

madame tussauds logo

Madame Tussauds Orlando Welcomes YouTube Stars SMOSH

Madame Tussauds  adds the comedy duo and YouTube sensations are the first digital media stars to be honored by the celebrity wax attraction

 

Madame Tussauds Orlando has rolled out the red carpet for its newest wax figures of digital celebrities Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox, the duo behind powerhouse comedy brand SMOSH.

The figures will be featured inside the Orlando attraction’s film zone in a special set featuring a green screen, which encourages fans to select between numerous SMOSH-centric backdrops as well as graphic elements to enhance their photo experiences. Images and videos taken will be available to fans via email or text to share and preserve their experiences with SMOSH.

SMOSH Madame Tussauds Orlando

Madame Tussauds artists met with the duo to take hundreds of measurements so they could create the most accurate and lifelike representation of SMOSH. The SMOSH figures are dressed in clothing personally selected and donated by Padilla and Hecox. The figures were originally unveiled in California at the world premiere of SMOSH: The Movie this past summer.

“What an honor it is to be recognized and chosen for Madame Tussauds [as the] first YouTube wax figures in their 250 year history,” said Hecox and Padilla during the initial unveiling. “To have the big reveal take place on the red carpet at the premiere of our first movie just made this eventful day even more memorable.”

Named as one of the top-ranking celebrities by teens in a survey commissioned by Variety Magazine and supported by over 30 million subscribers across the brand’s multiple YouTube channels, SMOSH represents a new, community-driven sector of digital entertainment.

Smosh’s 3,000-plus videos have accrued 7.4 billion views. Their first video, released in November 2005, the Pokémon Theme Music Video catapulted them to success. It became the most-viewed video on YouTube at that time, and has since gained 24.7 million views. SMOSH has released four studio albums, Sexy Album (2010), If Music Were Real (2011), Smoshtastic (2012) and The Sweet Sound of Smosh (2013).

Wordless Wednesday Walt Disney Madame Tussauds Orlando iDrive360 Orlando

Madame Tussauds Orlando also has new Florida resident rates, offering attraction admission for $18 ($13 for children between the ages of 3-12). This special offer saves visitors more than 25 percent off regular admission. For a limited time, tickets may be purchased at MadameTussauds.com/Orlando or at the attraction’s admissions desk.

This offer is valid for Florida residents, with valid proof of residency, such as a state-issued ID, utilities or cable bill, bank statement, library card, or recent paystub. Restrictions may apply. Prices and hours subject to change without notice. Attraction admission is not guaranteed and subject to availability. The offer is not valid for premium products and cannot be combined with any other offers or packages.

Madame Tussauds is world-renowned for the creation of detailed and lifelike wax figures that pay homage to A-list celebrities from film and television, sports icons, musicians from all genres, and notable figures from history and pop culture. Each Madame Tussauds figure is truly a work of art, involving teams of professional artists and sculptors who spend months on extensive research and take more than 300 measurements to recreate world-famous icons, to achieve the kind of astonishing realism that has been at the heart of the 250-year Madame Tussauds legacy.

Guests at Madame Tussauds Orlando will experience the essence of America with this brand new, immersive and interactive wax experience, bursting with family fun and world-class entertainment, as they move through themed areas meeting all of their favorite stars from award-winning film actors, to historical and modern world leaders, sports stars, music legends as well as figures important to Florida. All visitors can shake hands with the president, get on stage with rock stars and pop princesses, or get up close and personal with a Hollywood heartthrob and take the ultimate selfie! For more information, visit www.madametussauds.com/orlando.

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