Orlando Science Center Seeking Community Partners

Pompeii exhibit Orland Science Center

Submissions are being accepted to help bring the story of this ancient city to life as part of the Pompeii: The Immortal City exhibition

ORLANDO, Fla. 

Next year the Orlando Science Center will welcome Pompeii: The Immortal City exhibition, and they are inviting artists and cultural organizations from around Central Florida to help bring the ancient city of Pompeii to life with complimentary art exhibits, educational lectures, and artistic performances.

As part of the exhibition coming to the Orlando Science Center will be allocating $75,000 to support partnership programs and collaborations leading up to and coinciding with the run of the exhibition Pompeii: The Immortal City, opening summer 2020. 

Selected program partners will develop engaging opportunities tied to the rich and influential culture of ancient Pompeii and the Roman world.

“A critical aspect of our mission is to support the creative and educational community,” says Orlando Science Center President & CEO JoAnn Newman. “Orlando is well known for its arts and sciences and we’re excited to bring them together in anticipation of this new exhibition.”

Pompeii: The Immortal City exhibition brings to light the extraordinary achievements of this ancient culture through artworks, interactive mechanical devices and multimedia experiences. The media-rich exhibition takes visitors on a journey through time into the daily life of the first-century Roman town, and places them at the center of events, as they hear and feel the roar of the volcano erupting before their eyes. 

Submissions for proposals are being accepted now through April 30, 2019. Applicants can register at www.osc.org/pompeii. Partnership events and programs should have the goal of appealing to diverse and broad audiences. No proposal is too small, and collaborations with other institutions are highly encouraged.

Orlando Science Center is one of only four locations in the United States to host this exhibit, thanks to generous support from the Orange County Arts and Cultural Affairs Blockbuster Fund.

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Busch Gardens Tampa Announces Tigris Opening

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Tigris
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Triple-launch coaster Tigris to officially open Friday, April 19 at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

TAMPA, Fla. 

Just in time for the holiday weekend, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will officially open Tigrisa triple-launch steel roller coaster, on Friday, April 19, 2019.

The new attraction is Florida’s tallest launch coaster and the ninth coaster in the park’s collection, solidifying Busch Gardens Tampa Bay as Florida’s thrill ride leader.

Tigris will catapult riders through an exhilarating array of looping twists with forward and backward motion, breath-taking drops, a 150-foot skyward surge, and an inverted heartline roll, reaching a top speed of more than 60 miles per hour. 

Riders will race riders along more than 1,800 feet of steel track designed to mimic the awe-inspiring agility of the world’s largest and most powerful cat –the tiger.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Tigris
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Tigris joins a top-rated list of favorites for coaster enthusiasts, including Cheetah Hunt, the park’s longest coaster, SheiKra, a 200-foot tall floorless dive coaster, Falcon’s Fury, a 335-foot freestanding drop tower, Montu, an inverted coaster, Kumba, and Cobra’s Curse, to name a few.

The best way to experience Tigris and all of the attractions at Busch Gardens as well as more than a dozen seasonal events throughout the year is with an Annual Pass. 

Guests can choose from four unique passes for the benefits and value they want most. Pass Members will also enjoy exclusive ride time on Tigris for the first two weekends in May before the ride opens for the day to general guests.

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2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Overview

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2019
Walt Disney World – Matt Stroshane, photographer

The 26th Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival has burst into bloom at the Walt Disney World Resort filling the park with the sights, sounds, and flavors of Spring daily until June 3, 2019. 

Lush Gardens

During the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival breathtaking flower beds, plots of plant life, and wildlife habitats can be found in every area of the park.

From Bonsai trees to butterflies, there’s a bounty of displays ready to capture your family’s attention and imagination.

Topiaries with character

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2019
Walt Disney World – Matt Stroshane, photographer

This year scattered around the park, 70 Disney-crafted topiaries have been created by the talented crew of Disney horticulturists.

Interactive Play Scapes

Step off the beaten Festival path to experience two new whimsical play gardens with fun, hands-on activities and interactive play scapes.

Bo Peep’s Playtime Training Grounds, located near Test Track, is a playful playground and garden inspired by Bo Peep and the rest of your Toy Story pals.

The Play Full Garden, located on the Imagination Walkway, will inspire the entire family to gather for interactive activities that focus on nutrition and wellness.

Outdoor Kitchens

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2019
Walt Disney World – Harrison Cooney

As festival-goers take in all the floral wonders of the Festival, they can also find culinary delights at over a dozen Outdoor Kitchens around Epcot’s World Showcase. 

The Outdoor Kitchens open at 11am, and just outside of each location a garden offers inspiration for learning to grow healthy ingredients. 

Garden Rocks Concert Series

The popular Garden Rocks Concert Series will rock every evening of the festival with three performances by chart-topping artists on the America Gardens Theatre Stage.

Here are the performers you’ll see:

  • April 3 through 4 – Christopher Cross – NEW to Garden Rocks!
  • April 5 through 7 – The Spinners
  • April 8 through 9 – Dennis DeYoung, original member of the group Styx
  • April 10 through 11 – John Michael Montgomery – NEW!
  • April 12 through 13 – Sister Sledge – NEW to Garden Rocks!
  • April 14 through 16 – Night Ranger
  • April 17 through 19 – Sister Hazel – NEW to Garden Rocks!
  • April 20 through 21 – Steven Curtis Chapman – NEW!
  • April 22 through 23 – TobyMac – NEW!
  • April 24 through 26 – Lonestar
  • April 27 through 30 – The Orchestra, starring former members of ELO
  • May 1 through 4 – Herman’s Hermits, starring Peter Noone
  • May 5 through 7 – Don Felder, formerly of The Eagles
  • May 8 through 9 – A Flock of Seagulls – NEW!
  • May 10 through 11 – Marshall Tucker Band – NEW to Garden Rocks! 
  • May 12 through 13 – Peabo Bryson – NEW!
  • May 14 through 15 – Richard Marx – NEW to Garden Rocks!
  • May 16 through 19 – Starship, starring Mickey Thomas
  • May 20 through 21 – Colin Hay of Men at Work – NEW!
  • May 22 through 23 – War – NEW!
  • May 24 through 27 – The Guess Who
  • May 28 through 29 – Jon Secada
  • May 30 through June 1 – Blood, Sweat and Tears
  • June 2 through June 3 – Eddie Palmieri – NEW!

Additionally, guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner at 15 popular Epcot restaurants with guaranteed seating for a nightly concert with a Garden Rocks Dining Package. Dining packages can be booked by calling (407) WDW-DINE.

Festival Exclusive Guided Tours

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2019
Walt Disney World – Matt Stroshane, photographer

Guided tours are available for guests interested in learning more about nature’s magic exclusively during the Festival. 

The Royal Tea Garden Tour, presented by Twinings, takes place each festival morning at the United Kingdom Pavilion, and guides guests through the tranquil tea garden to learn the history and artistry behind growing and blending tea.

The Gardens of the World tour, offered on select days, lets guests join a Disney horticulturist for a three-hour walking tour to explore the festival gardens and topiaries discovering new plant materials and gardening techniques to use in their home gardens.

Epcot admission and a fee are required to join these tours. To make a reservation, call (407) WDW-TOUR.

Family Scavenger Hunts

Gardeners of all ages are invited to participate in Spike’s Pollen-Nation Exploration family scavenger hunt through the garden pollination trail on a search for Spike’s best blooms as he pollinates flower beds across Epcot. 

The botanical-happy hunt begins by purchasing a map at Port of Entry for $6.99 plus tax, then continues with a visit to each World Showcase pavilion.

The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, including all gardens and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.

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Monster Jam World Finals XX

DISCLOSURE: This post was created in partnership with the Monster Jam World Finals XX to help spread the word about this event. All opinions and thoughts are 100% my own.

Monster Jam World Finals Orlando 2019

Monster Jam, the unexpected, unscripted and unforgettable larger-than-life sport, is proud to announce Orlando, Florida as the first host city in Monster Jam World Finals new schedule. 

ORLANDO, Fla.

The Monster Jam World Finals XX will be held at Camping World Stadium May 10–11, 2019 featuring all-new competition formats, including an elevated starting line above the seats, and seven championship crowning moments. 

Monster Jam World Finals Orlando 2019
Feld Motor Sports

As in previous World Finals events, there will be the following competitions:

  • Racing
  • Freestyle
  • Showdown (World Finals Qualifier)

And World Finals XX will see the debut of the following competitions:

  • High Jump
  • Two-Wheel Skills
  • ATV Racing
  • Speedster Racing
  • Speedster Obstacle Course

At the end of the two-day event, a total of 7 World Finals Champions will be crowned. 

Monster Jam World Finals Orlando 2019
2018 Monster Jam World Finals Winner Adam Anderson – Feld Motor Sports

“We are thrilled to announce the next step in the evolution of the Monster Jam franchise as we embark on a new chapter. Like other major sporting events, such as the Super Bowl and the NCAA Final Four, Feld Entertainment will bring our marquee event to world class destinations across the U.S., starting here in Orlando with our 20th Anniversary Monster Jam World Finals,” said Kenneth Feld, Chairman & CEO, Feld Entertainment. “Orlando is a city that is not only a premier sports destination, but it’s a city synonymous with family entertainment.  We’re excited to make Monster Jam World Finals accessible to even more fans, with the anticipation of over 50,000 fans from around the world converging on “The City Beautiful.”

The championship weekend will deliver unprecedented access to the most Monster Jam athletes and the larger-than-life Monster Jam trucks they drive with a free Pit Party from 11am – 5:30pm with your same day event ticket.

Monster Jam World Finals Orlando 2019
Feld Motor Sports

“On behalf of our board of directors and community partners, we are looking forward to hosting Monster Jam World Finals in 2019 and 2020,” said Jason Siegel, CEO of the Central Florida Sports Commission. “We want to thank the Feld family for the opportunity to welcome one of their premier events to Camping World Stadium, and we know their fans and athletes will have a tremendous experience here in Central Florida.“

Tickets to Monster Jam World Finals XX are on sale now, and you can receive 20% off select seats with code BLOG20. Not valid on VIP seating. Hurry for the best available seats! Code expires May 9, 2019.

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NBA Experience Opening Date Announced

NBA Experience Disney Springs West Side Walt Disney World

Guests can personalize their experience at this all new destination, bringing NBA in WNBA moments to life at Disney Springs 

The Walt Disney World Resort just announced that the NBA Experience, a brand new destination coming to Disney Springs, will officially open on August 12, 2019.

The NBA experience will give guests a chance to feel like a basketball superstar in one-of-a-kind environment packed with 13 interactive elements and hands on activities across 44,000 feet and two floors.

NBA Experience Disney Springs West Side Walt Disney World
Rendering: Walt Disney World

The design of the NBA Experience at Disney Springs was created in collaboration with the NBA, and will include immersive environments such as an entryway designed to make guests feel as if they’re walking through the players tunnel at an NBA or WNBA arena.

A ticket to the NBA experience grants guess access to every activity, in any order they choose with the ability to return to stations to improve performances or learn even more about the game, players, and the teams they love.

In addition to all of the experiences you can have, there will also be a retail store featuring NBA themed merchandise.

NBA Experience Disney Springs West Side Walt Disney World
Rendering: Walt Disney World

Here are a few of the elements that you will find inside of the NBA experience at Disney Springs:

  • A Slam Dunk Challenge, where guests can change the height of the standard 10-foot hoop to as low as 7-feet to perform their own superstar moves – captured by burst photography.
  • An activity that tests shooting skills with spots on a court that light up as guests move from one location to another attempting to sink as many shots as possible in 15 seconds.
  • A way for guests to see how they stack up to some of the world’s best basketball players by measuring their vertical leap, wingspan, shooting, and dribbling.
  • Personalization for various activities with guests names and associating me activity with their favorite NBA or WNBA teams.
  • Real-time technology to aggregate statistics of NBA and WNBA games and players for continuous updates, while leader boards will track top NBA experience performers throughout each day.
NBA Experience Disney Springs West Side Walt Disney World
Rendering: Walt Disney World
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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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Inside Look takes you behind-the-scenes at SeaWorld Orlando

Inside Look at SeaWorld Orlando 2019

Get a peek behind-the-scenes during SeaWorld Orlando’s Inside Look

First-time-ever access features some of the least seen and most interesting portions of the park weekends January 12-27 with special guests Guy Harvey, Chris Fischer and Jack Hanna

ORLANDO, Fla.

At SeaWorld Orlando’s Inside Look, hear and see, firsthand, what goes into providing world-class animal care from the people who do it every day.  Guests that visit on January weekends 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 and 27 can go behind-the-scenes for an “inside look” at what it takes to maintain a premier zoological institution like SeaWorld Orlando.

Inside Look at SeaWorld Orlando 2019
Photo: SeaWorld Orlando

This truly first-time-ever access features six of the least seen and most interesting portions of the park.  Guests are invited to visit all six locations, collecting stamps to earn an exclusive Expert Explorer’s Pin.  Inside Look tours are available at each location at various times throughout the day.

Inside Look at SeaWorld Orlando 2019
Photo: SeaWorld Orlando

Special Guest appearance on the weekends will feature Guy Harvey (January 12-13), OCEARCH founder Chris Fischer (January 19-20) and Jack Hanna (January 26-27).

  • SeaWorld Rescue Center –  Visit the home base of the SeaWorld Rescue Team to meet and hear from the dedicated team of filtration experts, animal care personnel, lab technicians and veterinarians who work around the clock to deliver life-saving care to animals in need.  While behind-the-scenes, visitors will get to see some of the many facilities that help SeaWorld provide top-quality care to the animals that call SeaWorld home, as well as the hundreds of rescued animals that receive care at SeaWorld annually.
  • Fish House – Step behind-the-scenes into an area rarely seen by park guests to meet the dedicated team of ambassadors who start their day before sunrise in order to provide the best of diets for every fish, sea turtle, sea lion, penguin, dolphin, or killer whale in the park.
  • Sea Lion & Otter Primary Housing – For the first time ever, visit the home of the talented group of California sea lions, Pacific walrus and Asian small-clawed otters from Clyde & Seamore’s Sea Lion High. Hear stories and gain insight from the team of trainers who perform with these animals on a daily basis and learn what goes into making a live performance look seamless.Animal Ambassador Hamlet – This historic facility has a rich history of providing a loving home to a variety of animals at SeaWorld Orlando, including our Animal Ambassador team. Comprised of an eclectic collection of small mammals, exotic birds and a handful of well-trained reptiles, the Animal Ambassadors make surprise visits out in the park, appear at local community events, news stations and travel far and wide making appearances on network television programs and events.

Inside Look at SeaWorld Orlando 2019
Photo: SeaWorld Orlando

  • Beluga & Seal Primary Housing – Step into the maze of back hallways that provide service access to the residents of Wild Arctic starting with the food prep area for the beluga whales, seals and walruses. Proceeding further in, guests will get to see a variety of beluga toys followed by a chance to step outside and see the back beluga pool and scales on which the whales are weighed.  Finally, guests will see the harbor seal holding pools where the seals spend time relaxing when they are not on exhibit.
  • Manta Aquarium – Go above the surface and discover what it looks like towering over the depths of Manta’s main aquarium.  In a location few have ever seen, uncover what goes into caring for the wide array of fish, rays, sea dragons, live corals and giant Pacific octopus that call Manta home. Meet the team of divers and aquarists who maintain the habitat and feed the wide range of fish within.  

Inside Look at SeaWorld Orlando 2019
Photo: SeaWorld Orlando

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 additional behind the scenes experiences, visit SeaWorld during any Inside Look day to buy one tour and get one free. Offer is only available at SeaWorld in the SeaWorld Rescue Store, the Information and Reservation Counter, or Guest Services.

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

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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.

httpv://youtu.be/zP5JJARGhDk

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.Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

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 2018Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

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!Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram