Swim With Sharks At Discovery Cove

In celebration of Shark Awareness Day on July 14, guests at Discovery Cove can now take part in exclusive new animal experiences at the park. Discovery Cove has always been known for its memorable dolphin interactions, and now guests can enhance their visit with one of-a-kind, hands-on encounters with sharks and stingrays.

Swim with Sharks at Discovery Cove

Discovery Cove Shark Swim

The awe-inspiring Shark Swim program provides closer-than-ever encounters with legendary predators. While guests have always been able to view park’s sharks, the new program takes them on a daring next step – swimming freely among five species: Pacific blacktip, reef whitetip, nurse shark, zebra shark, and a spotted wobbegong.

The immersive session is divided into two unique interactions and begins as guests meet with the park’s shark team and head into the water. Through hands-on interaction, guests learn about shark anatomy and the threats the animals face in the wild. Guests can also join the sharks in the deeper part of their habitat and embark on an exhilarating snorkel experience.

Discovery Cove works to dispel myths about sharks and to inspire guests to learn more about these mysterious creatures. As top predators, sharks play an essential role in maintaining the balance of ocean ecosystems worldwide by monitoring fish populations. Sadly, shark finning and overfishing threaten many shark species and disrupt that natural balance. Guests who take part in the new Shark Swim program will walk away with a deeper understanding and appreciation for these fascinating ocean ambassadors.

Discovery Cove Shark Swim

The Shark Swim experience is available to Discovery Cove guests ages 10 and older. The cost is $85 per person. For every shark swim package purchased, SeaWorld will donate 5% of the proceeds to the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF) in support of shark conservation and research.

In addition to the Shark Swim program, Discovery Cove has launched a new Ray Feeding experience. This exclusive opportunity gives guests the chance to feed the stingrays during a private tour of the Grand Reef. Guided by one of the park’s aquarists, guests ages 6 and older spend their session in the Grand Reef learning all about the species of rays as they hand-feed the incredible creatures. The Ray Feeding program is $50 per person.

The new interaction programs require a Dolphin Swim or Day Resort reservation at Discovery Cove to participate. Space for each program is limited and guests are encouraged to book in advance. For additional program and booking details guests can visit their official website.

Beginning August 1, Florida residents who book a day at Discovery Cove will also receive unlimited admission to SeaWorld and Aquatica, SeaWorld’s water park, through January 2018 – including SeaWorld’s special holiday events.

Christner’s Prime Steak Summer Wine & Dine Menu

Tantalize the senses at Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster for a legendary experience to feature only the finest USDA Prime steaks, artfully paired by Christner’s very own sommelier, Dan Colgan, this summer with an all-new special Wine and Dine four-course menu.

The four-course wine-paired dinner menu, available Thursday and Friday evening, includes rare wine selections, not available in retail locations. Each course is thoughtfully selected and expertly prepared with the distinguished palate in mind. 

Christner’s Prime Steak Summer Wine and Dine four course menu 2017Grouper Bites

Galerie, Naissance, Napa (2014) Sauvignon Blanc

Classic Caesar Salad

Filet Mignon

Neyers, Neyers Ranch, Conn Valley, Napa (2011) Merlot

Crème Brûlée

Pacific Rim, Vin de Glaciere, Selenium Vineyard, Columbia Valley (2012) Riesling

This four-course menu costs $87 per person (6 oz. Filet), $94 per person (8 oz. Filet), $103 (12 oz.) plus tax and gratuity

No substitutions or sharing, please. Reservations encouraged. Menu subject to change.

This special menu is available only on Thursday and Friday evenings with a new prix fixe menu to debut in August. 

Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster Logo

About Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster

Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster, located at 729 Lee Road, has been a favorite of the Orlando, Fla. community for more than two decades. Designed to reflect the Christner family’s rich history of exceptional quality and meticulous service, the award-winning menu features only the finest USDA Prime steaks, fresh seafood and outstanding wine and spirits. Boasting two unique lounges, nine private dining rooms and an intimate main dining room, guests enjoy an elegant fine dining experience complemented by celebrated live entertainment. A popular venue for holiday parties, wedding receptions, business meetings, birthday celebrations and special occasions, Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster accepts reservations online or 407.645.4443.

Sam Bailey Visits LEGOLAND Florida Resort

UK pop star Sam Bailey, who recently wrapped her “Sing My Heart Out” tour in support of her second album, visited LEGOLAND Florida Resort on July 8 with husband Craig, their three children, Tommy, Brooke and Miley, mum Jackie and several close friends during a weeks-long Florida holiday celebrating her 40th birthday.

Sam Bailey Visits LEGOLAND Florida Resort   Sam Bailey Visits LEGOLAND Florida Resort   Sam Bailey Visits LEGOLAND Florida Resort

The “X Factor” winner enjoyed a stay in the popular LEGOLAND Hotel’s LEGO Friends suite, plus a private tour of the resort’s Model Shop, where Master Model Builders create and repair the many elaborate LEGO models on display throughout the theme park.

Sam autographed a star made of LEGO bricks for the hotel’s wall of fame, which includes autographs from celebrities such as singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow, actress-singer Jennifer Hudson and broadcaster Megyn Kelly. In appreciation of her visit, the Florida resort presented Sam with a mosaic of her 2013 debut single, “Skyscraper,” made out of more than 600 LEGO pieces.

Sam Bailey Visits LEGOLAND Florida Resort   Sam Bailey Visits LEGOLAND Florida Resort   Sam Bailey Visits LEGOLAND Florida Resort

Sam and friends ended the evening at the Winter Haven, Fla., vacation destination as special guests of LEGOLAND Knight Lights, the park’s exclusive summertime special event.

 

Disney Twenty-Three Disney Legends Issue

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Disney Legends award, created to honor those who have made significant contributions to the Disney legacy, and to mark the occasion, Disney twenty-three has created a unique stand-alone issue featuring all 267 current honorees, as well as the 10 new Legends, who will be inducted next week at D23 Expo 2017.

D23 Disney Twenty-Three Fall 2017 Dick Van Dyke

Since 1987, the award has been given to individuals who have worked with and for Disney in front of the camera and behind the scenes, from the shining stars of the silver and small screen to the creative minds behind its films, attractions, music, and entertainment.

For the issue, exclusively for Gold Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, Disney twenty-three Photo Editor Ty Popko photographed 40 Legends in Disney settings: from Walt Disney’s Office Suite and the Walt Disney Archives to Walt Disney World Resort and the Good Morning America studios. Featured Legends include Tim Allen, Hayley Mills, Paige O’Hara, Regis Philbin, Anika Noni Rose, Lea Salonga, Richard Sherman, and Dick Van Dyke. Kurt Russell, also photographed for this issue, gives a first-person account of his time working for Walt himself and the many Disney adventures he has had over the years.

Plus, Disney animator Eric Goldberg crafted a piece of artwork exclusively for this issue featuring more than 30 Disney Legends, including Julie Andrews, Steve Martin, Angela Lansbury, and Robin Williams, at a fabulous “Legend-ary” party. As a bonus, D23 Gold Members attending D23 Expo 2017 will be able to receive a complimentary print of the artwork at the event.

D23 Disney Twenty-Three Fall 2017 D23 Legends Charicature

Also included in the fall issue of Disney twenty-three:

  • A Disney Legends-themed Ask Dave with Disney Legend Dave Smith
  • Photographs from Disney Legends Awards ceremonies through the years
  • A tribute to Annette Funicello by Richard Sherman

Disney twenty-three, which is delivered directly to fans’ doorsteps, is offered exclusively to D23 Gold and Gold Family Members as a benefit of their membership. The new issue will begin arriving in late
July.

Seminole State College of Florida Summer Programs

Seminole State College of Florida enhances the educational, economic, and cultural vitality of the region by providing exemplary learning opportunities for a diverse community. This mission embraces the general public through enrichment and quality of life programming and production of lifelong learning and cultural events to include fine arts, theater, speaker series and planetarium shows. All events are family-friendly, open to the public and free to attend (unless noted with a nominal ticket price).

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

Located onSeminole State College of Florida Sanford/Lake Mary Campus, the Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust Planetarium at Seminole State College of Florida offers live, interactive shows and full-dome video presentations. For more information on the Buehler Planetarium visit https://www.seminolestate.edu/planet/, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @seminoleplanet.

Planetarium Events at Seminole State College of Florida

The Space Times * July 6, 7pm – 8pm * FREE

Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust Planetarium, 100 Weldon Blvd., B, Sanford, FL 32773

The Space Times: What’s going on up there, down here. Join us for “The Space Times,” a monthly exploration of breaking news from our Solar System and beyond. We’ll showcase the Universe as only the planetarium can, with our immensely powerful fulldome video system taking center stage. As a public talk, there is no admission fee to “The Space Times” presentation, but due to the size of the planetarium, we are limiting the number of guests to 65. Seating is first-come, first-served, and we will open the doors for the presentation at 6:45 p.m.

 Summer Laser Extravaganza

We celebrate the start of the planetarium year with a weekend of laser shows — the Summer Laser Extravaganza! Ten shows over three nights covering the entire musical spectrum, from classic rock to electronica and everything in-between! For full show descriptions, please visit http://www.av-imagineering.com/index.php/laser-shows/. $10 for adults, $8 for students and adults 55+, $5 for Seminole State faculty, staff  and students with College ID. Ticketing for each show will begin 10 minutes prior to the presentation. A valid ticket stub from a previous laser showing will be good for $2 off any admission level.

July 6

8:30 p.m. Laser Show: Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon”

9:30 p.m. Laser Show: Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”

July 7

7 p.m. Laser Show: “ElectroPop”

8 p.m. Laser Show: “Laser U2”

9 p.m. Laser Show: “LaseRetro”

10 p.m. Laser Show: “Hypnotica”

July 8

7 p.m. Laser Show: “Laser Vinyl”

8 p.m. Laser Show: “Laser Beatles”

9 p.m. Laser Show: “Laser Zeppelin”

10 p.m. Laser Show: “Laser Metallica”

Summer Watch * July 8, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m. * FREE

Join the Planetarium for an evening of planet watching. Telescopes will be available for up-close views of the moon, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn. To help everyone cool down after a long summer’s day, we’re proud to host Jeremiah’s Italian Ice and their Ice Truck for delicious treats from 8-10 p.m. Please note: the planetarium’s Summer Laser Extravaganza will be occurring simultaneously in the planetarium dome. The laser presentations do require paid admission, but admission is not required for the Summer Planet Watch.

Legends of the Night Sky Children’s Laser Shows

We invite kids of all ages to join us for some family-friendly laser fun at the Planetarium! We’re presenting a double-helping of planetarium double features: “Legends of the Night Sky’,” one of the most well-received children’s laser shows ever produced, and a guided tour of our Solar System utilizing the planetarium’s immensely powerful fulldome video system. While the event is open to everyone, the laser shows are most appropriate for ages 12 and under. $6 for adults, $4 for children ages 3-17 and Free for children under three years of age.

July 11

1:30 p.m. Laser Show: “Legends of the Night Sky: Orion”

2:30 p.m. Laser Show: “Legends of the Night Sky: Perseus”

July 12

1:30 p.m. Laser Show: “Legends of the Night Sky” Double-Feature

2:30 p.m. Laser Show: “ElectroPop” Matinee 

July 13

1:30 p.m. Laser Show: “Legends of the Night Sky: Orion”

2:30 p.m. Laser Show: “Legends of the Night Sky: Perseus”

“Stories of the Night Sky” * July 14 and July 28, 8:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

“Stories of the Night Sky” is a five-episode series of presentations that explore the myths, legends and facts surrounding some of the most famous and important constellations in the sky. Part of the planetarium’s cultural astronomy series, “Stories of the Night Sky” showcases constellations currently visible, and guests will hear these stories as they were told many years ago – underneath a dark, star-filled sky. Most appropriate for ages nine and up. Episodes are live presentations, so content can be modified for age appropriateness. $6 for adults, $4 for children ages 3-17 and 55+ and free for Seminole State students, faculty, and staff.

Central Florida Nights * July 21: 8:30 – 9:30 p.m. * FREE

Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust Planetarium

100 Weldon Blvd., B, Sanford, FL 32773

Central Florida Nights is the flagship show of the Buehler Planetarium at Seminole State, shown more times each year than any other show. Offering a guided tour of the current night sky, it is updated every two weeks to match the slow march of constellations we see as Earth revolves around the sun. During each presentation, guests will learn how to locate seven or eight prominent constellations. The locations of the visible planets, upcoming meteor showers, bright comets and other notable celestial happenings will also be explored. Skies permitting, guests can go outside afterward to identify many of the objects seen during the show. They can also take a look at the night sky through the planetarium’s telescopes. Please note that the planetarium will not hold telescope viewings during the months of May-August.

Appropriate for all ages. “Central Florida Nights” is shown the first and third Friday of each month. Seminole State College Logo

Planetarium Parking Update

Seminole State College of Florida facilities department will be working on parking and roadway improvements through August 8, 2017. A section of College Drive will be closed, along with the parking lot between the planetarium and the new student services building.  Click here for a map for parking information.

Disney Dreamers Academy Applications Now Open

Disney Dreamers Academy

Applications Now Open for Disney Dreamers Academy Class of 2018 at Walt Disney World Resort

One hundred high school students to be selected for exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime program taking place in March 2018 

High School Students can now apply for the Disney Dreamers Academy to be among 100 selected to participate in the 2018 Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE, the innovative, outside-the-classroom, mentoring program that takes place in March at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

For over a decade, Disney Dreamers Academy has helped to inspire young minds from across the country by fueling their dreams and showing them a world of possibilities as they prepare for the future. Each year, students participate in hands-on, immersive career workshops, ranging from animation to zoology. Each participant learns important skills, such as communication techniques, leadership qualities and networking strategies, and are inspired by celebrity speakers and special guests who share their stories and provide insight on how to achieve success and DREAM BIG.

The program has produced many success stories, inspiring students to become authors, nurses, pilots, doctors, journalists and engineers following the three-day all-expenses-paid experience at Walt Disney World Resort where the theme parks become vibrant ‘classrooms’ leading to career discoveries and fun memories to cherish for a lifetime.

“After 10 years and over 1,000 Disney Dreamer alumni, we’re excited to begin the next decade ofDisney Dreamers Academy,” said Tracey D. Powell, Walt Disney World vice president of commercial management resorts and Disney Dreamers Academy executive champion. “We are excited about the many success stories, as this program continues to cultivate and inspire the minds of young high school students from across the nation to follow their dreams and accomplish their goals. By applying for Disney Dreamers Academy, future leaders of this country are taking a step toward an experience that can change their lives.”

Program applicants must answer essay questions about their personal journeys and dreams for the future. Students are selected based on a combination of attributes, including strong character, positive attitude and determination to achieve their dreams. Selected applicants, along with a parent or guardian, will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort.

Applications are open to U.S. high school students, ages 13 to 19, through Oct. 31, 2017. A distinguished panel of leaders will evaluate the applications, and selected participants will be announced in early 2018.

For more information regarding applications, interested applicants can visit the official website, or learn more about the program on Facebook and Twitter.

Summer Additions At Disney’s Hollywood Studios

This Summer you can find two new additions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to help add some pep to your evenings after a day in the park.

Summer Additions At Disney’s Hollywood Studios

's Hollywood Studios 2017 Pinterest

The Music of Pixar Live! A Symphony of Characters

Three times a night The Music of Pixar Live! takes to the Theater of the Stars Stage to celebrate 20 years of unforgettable soundtrack favorites from some of your Pixar favorites including Cars, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc., Toy Story, and UP performed by a live orchestra.

's Hollywood Studios Summer Additions 2017 - Pixar Live in Concert Cars

As you listen to your favorite, heartfelt songs you get to watch movie montages, outtakes, and interview excerpts with the folks behind Pixar’s captivating music.

Also, don’t be surprised if you find that several friends join in the fun along the way.

The finale of this 45 minute show stars YOU! You and your family get to join with the orchestra and some of your Pixar pals for an onscreen sing-along to Randy Newman’s Academy Award-nominated, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.”

Insider Tips – The Music of Pixar Live! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

* If you aren’t able to grab a FastPass+ or are not doing a Music of Pixar Live! Dining package, don’t worry too much about being able to grab a seat because the Theater of the Stars is rather large. I would suggest arriving early on traditionally busy days and weekends.

* Guests can enter the Theater of the Stars 20 minutes prior to showtime, and for your timeliness you will be rewarded with some preshow fun with the Green Army Men from Toy Story.

's Hollywood Studios Summer 2017 Additions - Pixar Live in Concert Final Sing Along

* If you have little ones in your traveling party and you are concerned about them sitting through a 45 minute show, try sitting towards the front to keep them engaged with the characters.

* While the center screen behind the orchestra is large, there are two smaller screens on either side of the stage that show the same images if you are seated on the side or back of the theater.

The Music of Pixar Live! has shows until August 27, 2017, so don’t forget to add this show to your summer plans in the park!

Disney Movie Magic

Thirty minutes before the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Fireworks guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios can take in a 10 minute trip down movie memory lane that includes footage from movies from Mary Poppins to Pirates of the Caribbean movies to Tron that ends with an awesome montage of live-action comedies, adventures, musicals, and more!

's Hollywood Studios Summer 2017 Additions - Disney Movie Magic Tron

Insider Tips – Disney Movie Magic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

* Guests start grabbing prime spots up to an hour before Disney Movie Magic begins, so make sure you pay attention to where designated areas are located (usually with masking tape) so you won’t have to find a new spot late in the game.

* If you can’t  get close to the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (The Great Movie Ride) for a sweet spot, trying staying as center as possible and go back a little further than you think so you can see all of the buildings around the Theatre as they also have projections.

's Hollywood Studios Summer 2017 Additions - Disney Movie Magic Pirates

* My favorite spot to watch Disney Movie Magic from is to the left (as you are facing Grauman’s Chinese Theatre) near the large projection booth, because you get to see all of the projections and laser effects.

* Disney Movie Magic is presented rain or shine, so be prepared for whatever Mother Nature has in store!

There is no current end date listed for Disney Movie Magic, so I have my fingers crossed that it will be at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for awhile!

Both The Music of Pixar Live! and Disney Movie Magic are really great ways to wind down your Summer day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! I really enjoyed both shows, and can’t wait to watch them with Zoe & Dave!

Busch Gardens Summer Nights Kick Off Next Week

Party louder and play later at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay during the reimagined Summer Nights event, featuring park-wide party zones, summer cuisine, thrill rides in the dark and an all-new summer ice show at the Moroccan Palace, Turn It Up!

The event is free with park admission and kicks off June 16 running through August 6. Summer Nights is open until 9 p.m. on Sundays through Thursdays, and until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

NEW!  Turn It Up! Ice Show 

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Summer Nights 2017
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

The Moroccan Palace is now home to the hottest show on ice, Turn It Up! This all-new ice show vibrantly celebrates summer with electric performances set to today’s hottest hits.

NEW! Party Zones

Summer Nights will feature three uniquely themed party zones at Cheetah Hunt® Plaza,Pantopia®, and Stanleyville. Guests can dance into the night at each location and indulge in spectacular summer fare inspired by the party zone itself.

¡Fiesta Festa!

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Summer Nights 2017
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Cheetah Hunt Plaza transforms into the ¡Fiesta Festa! party zone, complete with an immersive and authentic Latin experience including lively entertainment and a flavor-packed menu, including slow roasted mojo pork, jerk chicken empanadas, and chicharróns. The party zone will also feature several drink options including sangria, margaritas and international and domestic beer selections.

Luau

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Summer Nights 2017
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Pantopia becomes the Luau party zone with entertainment inspired by the islands, and a Hawaiian-inspired menu, including huli huli chicken, Hawaiian barbecue ribs, and pineapple cheesecake parfait as well as tropical cocktails, craft brews and much more!

Vibin’ Village

The Vibin’ Village party zone takes over Stanleyville and will transport guests to Africa with an immersive experience of tribal entertainment and an authentic cuisine featuring craft beers, artesian wines and cocktails, chicken mafi with peanut sauce, tamarind shrimp watermelon cooler and a smoked chicken pocket with harissa.

NEW! Summer Nights Sampler Lanyards

The best way to savor sensational Summer Nights cuisine is with Busch Gardens convenient 8-item Summer Nights sampler lanyard, modeled after the guest-favorite Food & Wine Festival lanyards. Guests can enjoy park-wide summer samples from themed party zones and select food locations throughout the park, including Twisted Tails, Garden Gate Café, Serengeti Overlook™ Pub and more. The Summer Nights lanyards are $34.99 each with Pass Member discounts available.

Thrill Rides in the Dark

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Summer Nights 2017
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

It’s not summer at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay without thrill rides in the dark. Florida’s top thrill rides will be open during Summer Nights, including favorites like Falcon’s Fury®, Cheetah Hunt, SheiKra® and Busch Gardens’ newest spin coaster, Cobra’s Curse™.

Wild Florida Welcomes Albino Alligators

Wild Florida is thrilled to announce the arrival of two rare albino alligators to its Gator and Wildlife Park in Kenansville. The 23-year-old female and 12-year-old male were acquired from the St. Augustine Alligator Farm.

Wild Florida Albino Alligator
Wild Florida

This will be the first pair of breeding albino alligators in Central Florida and one of the few places in the world visitors can see these rare animals. Due to the lack of melanin this species produces, their skin is completely white and sensitive to sunlight, so a state-of-the-art, climate-controlled exhibit has been built for the pair.

The addition of these gators to the park will allow the park to have the opportunity to showcase how unique gators are and further educate visitors.

“We’re very fortunate to add these gators to our Wild Florida family and can’t wait for our guests to see how incredible they are,”  says Sam Haught, co-owner and co-founder of Wild Florida.

Admission to the Gator and Wildlife Park is free for the remainder of 2017 to celebrate Wild Florida’s 7th anniversary as well as give all visitors the chance to see these rare alligators.

Wild Florida Airboats and Gator Park, which opened on Lake Cypress in 2010, focuses on educating individuals on Central Florida’s natural resources. The Wild Florida team is dedicated to protecting, conserving, and enhancing Florida’s diverse ecosystem to ensure that future generations can enjoy the wonders of wild, native Florida. For additional information, visit www.wildfloridairboats.com.

WWE News: Full Sail University Hosts Mae Young Classic

WWE announced that the first-ever Mae Young Classic will be held in Orlando’s Full Sail Live Venue on Thursday, July 13th.

wwe mae young classic logo
WWE

The tournament, named after WWE Hall of Famer and one of the greatest WWE Superstars in history, Mae Young, will feature 32 of the top female competitors from around the world participating in a single-elimination tournament.

“The Mae Young Classic will mark a significant moment in the evolution of WWE,” said Paul “Triple H” Levesque, WWE Executive Vice President, Talent, Live Events and Creative. “We are proud to provide this unique opportunity for the best female talent from around the world.”

To find out more about how Mae Young influenced the world of wrestling, check out her page on WWE.com!

If you want to attend the event tickets are on sale now, but if you can’t make it to Full Sail Live for the Mae Young Classic the unprecedented event will stream later this summer exclusively on WWE Network.

The Alfond Inn At Rollins Hosts Tesla Test Drive Event

Have you ever wanted to test drive a Tesla? (I know I have!)  Well this weekend you can get your chance as The Alfond Inn at Rollins in Winter Park hosts an exclusive Tesla Test Drive Event.

The Alfond Inn at Rollins Winter Park Tesla Test Drive Event June 2 2017

The Alfond Inn at Rollins in Winter Park will be connecting itself to the growing Destination Charging Network of Tesla, celebrating  the advent of sustainable energy with an exclusive test drive event featuring the award-winning Model S and Model X vehicles from the recognized American Electric Vehicles company.

The event will be on Friday, June 2 through Sunday, June 4 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  The specialized vehicles will be parked at the hotel for viewing and test drives, with tours also of The Alfond Inn’s featured charging location.

Tesla’s electric battery vehicles are gasoline independent, emit no pollution and have a range of up to 265 miles.  The Tesla Model X is the safest, quickest, most capable sport utility vehicle in history while the Model S, Tesla’s flagship premium sedan, is the most exhilarating car on the road, capable of accelerating from zero to 60 mph in as little as 2.5 seconds.

Alfond Inn hotel guest Jonathan Eisenberg drives his Tesla vehicle from Boca Raton, Fla. to Winter Park for work each month.  “I’ve been doing this for the last 6 months, soon after the delivery of my car.  It’s a huge bonus that the hotel is close to my company’s Winter Park office and has a charging station which enables me to drive rather than fly,” Eisenberg explained.  “And I don’t have to rent a regular car which would be a lot more expensive.  The hotel is amazing and I would only stay at a hotel with a charging station.”

The Tesla team will be on hand at The Alfond Inn June 2, 3, and 4 to answer any questions and schedule test drives.

For more Tesla information, contact Tesla Orlando by calling (407) 998-2060, and for more information on The Alfond Inn, go to www.thealfondinn.com.

Experiencing Pandora – Wilderness Explorers Badges

Visits to Disney’s Animal Kingdom always include stops to earn Wilderness Explorers badges for my family, and I was really excited to find that in Pandora – The World of Avatar there were two new badges to earn!

The wilderness must be explored. Caw. Caw. Rawr!

Experiencing Pandora The World of Avatar - Wilderness Explorers Badges - Pinterest

Experiencing Pandora – Wilderness Explorers Badges

The first thing that you will notice about the badge guides in Pandora – The World of Avatar is that they are in their typical uniforms and name tags instead of being a part of A.C.E. (Alpha Centauri Expeditions).

Experiencing Pandora The World of Avatar - Wilderness Explorers Badges - Cast Member with handbook
Photo: Cheryl Perlmutter

This is because they are visiting Pandora – The World of Avatar like us, and are encouraging us to explore the area as we would a State Park back on Earth. (I thought it was a really a lovely way to encourage guests to explore and learn about their areas from a new perspective when they get home!)

As soon as you cross the bridge into the area, you will find your first of two Wilderness Explorers Badges!

Botany Badge – Plants help the planet!

At this badge location you will earn your Botany Badge by exploring the plants on Pandora (Page 11 of the Wilderness Explorers Handbook).

Experiencing Pandora The World of Avatar - Wilderness Explorers Badges - Botany Badge Overview

A Wilderness Explorer understands that plants are an essential part of the ecosystem on Pandora just as they are back on Earth. They support life, provide oxygen, and create habitats for animals. Plants also have many special features that help them survive. If you look closely you will see that many of the plants here on Pandora are similar to plants back on Earth.

Experiencing Pandora The World of Avatar - Wilderness Explorers Badges - Flaska Reclinata Large
Adult Flaska Reclinata

For this badge Wilderness Explorers will interact with the adult Flaska Reclinata that you can find at the entrance to the Valley of Mo’ara, their offspring along the river, and plants that we have on earth.

Ecology Badge – Pandoran Animals

The Ecology Badge (Pages 12 & 13 in the Wilderness Explorers Handbook) location is closer to the floating mountains and some interesting Pandoran Animals…the Pluropoda Saggitaria and Cerebellis Scapularis.

Experiencing Pandora The World of Avatar - Wilderness Explorers Badges - Ecology Badge

Ecology is the study of relationships among plants, animals, and their environment. the Na’vi understand that the plants and animals of Pandora are connected to each other in unique ways. What can you learn about these connections?

To earn this badge you will first spend time learning the basics of relationships that can be found in ecology from the Badge Guide before you start your search for the Pluropoda Saggitaria and Cerebellis Scapularis in Pandora – The World of Avatar.

Experiencing Pandora The World of Avatar - Wilderness Explorers Badges - Pluropoda Saggitaria
Pluropoda Saggitaria and Cerebellis Scapularis

We really had a great time earning the two new Wilderness Explorers Badges, and I really love the touch of Earth that has been brought to Pandora!

Family Tip! This is a great way for younger visitors to spend time while their family and friends are experiencing Avatar the Flight of Passage.

But with these new additions comes a little bit of bad news…Fans of the Wilderness Explorers program at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will notice that in the new handbook two older Wilderness Explorers Badges for Hand Washing and Currency have been retired.

We’ll be bringing you more information about Pandora – The World of Avatar over the next few weeks, so make sure you follow @onthegoinmco on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Check out my post on the Five Things You Should Do Before Visiting Pandora – The World of Avatar!

Five Things To Do Before Traveling To Pandora

Pandora – The World of Avatar opens at Disney’s Animal Kingdom officially on May 27, 2017, but before you make the 4.4 light year journey to the Valley of Mo’ara here are five things you will want to do before you go!

Five Things To Do Before Traveling To Pandora - The World of Avatar - Pinterest

Five Things To Do Before Traveling To Pandora – The World of Avatar

1. Watch Avatar or read a synopsis

While it is not necessary to watch the almost 3 hour movie Avatar to enjoy your time in Pandora – The World of Avatar, knowing about the world will help you feel more at home in this new & beautiful land.

Over on icFlorida, you can find my short synopsis of the movie!

The year is 2154 and Jake Sully, a paralyzed former U.S. Marine, takes the place of his deceased brother in the Avatar Program on Pandora. After a six year flight, Jake awakens from cryrosleep and arrives at the Resources Development Administration (RDA) run colony who’s focus is mining the extremely valuable mineral called Unobtanium that is desperately needed on Earth and found in abundance on Pandora.

While Pandora is covered in lush rainforests, the air is poisonous for humans to breathe so the RDA has developed the Avatar Program that allows humans to control avatars, which are genetically engineered hybrids of humans and Na’vi the sentient race of tall, blue-skinned humanoids that are native to the planet.

After Jake learns to control his avatar body from Dr. Grace Augustine, he goes on to find out more about the Na’vi including their language and culture in hopes of furthering relationships with them…at least on the surface as he is also working under the orders of Colonel Miles Quaritch to get the Na’vi to move away from the Hometree so the large deposits of unobtanium can be mined.

Through a series of action-packed events Jake rides a Banshee, becomes accepted into the Omaticaya clan, and even earns the love and trust of a female Na’vi named Neytiri.

And of course as soon as that happens, things go sour as the RDA destroys the Hometree. Soon after Quaritch learns that several Na’vi clans are planning to meet at The Tree of Souls against the RDA mining on their planet, and he figures this is the best way to destroy all the Na’vi in one swoop…literally as Jake and the Na’vi ride Banshees as part of the attack and epic battle against the RDA.

The Na’vi win the battle, and exile most of the RDA back to Earth. At the end of the movie Jake returns to the Tree of Souls to undergo the consciousness transfer from his human body to his avatar form, and awakens to a new life as a Na’vi.

2. Download the My Disney Experience App (iTunes and Google Play)

Pandora the World of Avatar Before You Go -
Walt Disney World

Let’s be honest…the My Disney Experience App can take up a good amount of valuable space on your device and the My Disney Experience website is fantastic to use when you are at home, BUT make sure that you reinstall the app before you arrive in the Valley of Mo’ara to take advantage of FastPass+, mobile ordering at the Satu’li Canteen (more on this soon), and to view your Disney PhotoPass pictures that can include exclusive magic shots in Pandora – The World of Avatar.

3. Check out the Menus at the Satu’li Canteen and Pongu Pongu

The food inside of Pandora – The World of Avatar is a new take on casual, quick-service dining at Walt Disney World.

Pandora the World of Avatar Before You Go

Inside the Satu’li Canteen, a former RDA mess hall that has been redecorated to include Na-vi art and cultural items, guests can dine all-day from a menu of healthy choices inspired by international cuisines and Pandora’s natural abundance.

Pandora the World of Avatar Before You Go
Vegetable Curry Pods with Crunchy Vegetable Slaw & Vegetable Chips

I haven’t had the chance to try breakfast yet, but I highly recommend both the cheeseburger and vegetable curry steamed pods that are served with Crunchy Vegetable Slaw and Vegetable Chips.

Pandora the World of Avatar Before You Go

Just outside of the Satu’li Canteen you can find Pongu Pongu, which is Na’vi for ‘Party Party’, offering a “bioluminescent” frozen cocktail called the Night Blossom that can be served with or without alcohol, the Mo’ara Margarita, two indigenous beers, and the most amazing sweet treat called Pongo Lumpia* with sweet pineapple and creamy filling.

*= I apologize for the lack of a photo of the Pongo Lumpia. I have no excuse other than I ordered it twice, and was so excited that I forgot to take a photo…again twice…but I feel like that’s much more of an endorsement than a photo!

4. Set a budget

After spending so much time in such an immersive atmosphere, you may find yourself inside Windtraders looking to bring a piece of Pandora- The World of Avatar home with you!

Pandora the World of Avatar Before You Go

The merchandise for this new land is awesome with a little something for everyone and every budget!

I went a little crazy with my shopping haul, but remember that Annual Passholders receive a discount on their purchases (except for Banshee adoptions).

5. Plan to take advantage of Extended Park Hours

When you are planning your time in Pandora – The World of Avatar, make sure to keep in mind that from opening day on May 27th until July 4th that Disney’s Animal Kingdom park will stay open from 8 am until 11 pm for all guests giving you ample time to really explore the Bioluminescent flora and fauna of the Valley of Mo’ara.

Pandora the World of Avatar Before You Go - Pandora at Night
Walt Disney World

However guests staying at select Walt Disney World Hotels will be able to take advantage of “Extra” Extra Magic Hours that will be offered exclusively in Pandora – The World of Avatar for a limited time from 11 pm to 1 am, May 27 to July 4, 2017!

Pandora the World of Avatar Before You Go

We’ll be bringing you more information about Pandora – The World of Avatar over the next few weeks, so make sure you follow @onthegoinmco on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Over on icFlorida you can check out the video of my first journey to Pandora – The World of Avatar!

Katy Perry Bringing Tour To Orlando

The Amway Center announced earlier this morning that Katy Perry will be brining her WITNESS: The Tour to Orlando on Sunday, December 17. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Monday, May 22 at 10 am EST.

Katy Perry Witness The Tour Amway Center Orlando Florida

Katy Perry announced the June 9 release of her new album, “Witness” (Capitol Records), and an extensive arena tour. With “Witness,” Perry reflects on the changes in her own life and in the world around her, delivering songs that both challenge and inspire. The singles released thus far – the platinum-certified, “Chained to the Rhythm” featuring Skip Marley and the follow-up single, “Bon Appétit” featuring Migos – hint at the breadth of the musical and thematic elements found on “Witness.”

The WITNESS: The Tour pre-sale, powered by Ticketmaster Verified Fan, begins Thursday, May 18th at 9 am EST. Tickets for the tour will be available through registration using Ticketmaster Verified Fan, an easy to use fan-first technology that helps artists combat bots and get tickets into the hands of fans. Registration is open now and continues until Tuesday, May 16 at 1 pm EST.

“Having just launched a new national advertising campaign with Katy, we’re thrilled to extend our relationship to encompass the upcoming Witness Tour,” said Jennifer Breithaupt, global consumer chief marketing officer, Citi. “Citi card members will have exclusive access to pre-sale tickets for what promises to be one of the biggest and most memorable tours of the year.”

Each ticket purchase for WITNESS: The Tour also includes a pre-order for “Witness: The Album.” All U.S. concerts on WITNESS: The Tour are presented by Xfinity. Additional sponsors are Citi, COVERGIRL and Katy Perry Parfums.

Citi is the official U.S. credit card of WITNESS: The Tour. Citi card members will have access to U.S. pre-sale tickets beginning Thursday, May 18 at 12 p.m. EST through Saturday, May 20 at 10 pm EST through Citi’s Private Pass® program. For complete pre-sale details visit citiprivatepass.com.

Katy Perry Witness The Tour Amway Center Orlando Florida

Katy Perry | WITNESS:  THE TOUR | Info At A Glance

WHEN:
Sunday, December 17, 2017 | 7 pm

WHERE:
Amway Center | Orlando, FL

On- Sale:

Monday, May 22, 2017 | 10 am

Tickets:

$47.50, $87.50, $147 & $197 (prices subject to change).

Buy tickets at amwaycenter.com, Chase Box Office at Amway Center, Ticketmaster retail locations, charge-by-phone at 800.745.3000 or at Ticketmaster.com.

All dates, act(s) and ticket prices are subject to change without notice.  All tickets are subject to applicable taxes, service, handling and facility fee charges.  For Amway Center box office and ticket information, visit amwaycenter.com (phone purchases are not available through the Amway Center box office).  The Amway Center is located at 400 West Church Street and the box office is located on the north side of the Amway Center, near the intersection of Church Street and Hughey Avenue.

LEGOLAND Florida Resort Honors Heroes With Special Offer

LEGOLAND Florida Resort May 2017 Real Life Hero PromotionAll this month the LEGOLAND Florida Resort is honoring real-life heroes dedicated to keeping our cities safe with FREE, single-day theme park admission. In addition, eligible personnel can purchase tickets for up to four additional guests at a 50% discount.

This promotion to recognize these heroes is open to active and retired law enforcement, fire and rescue, and EMT/EMS personnel working in the United States.

Eligible positions for this special offer include:

  • Fire and rescue first responders,
  • Emergency medical services employees (EMT/EMS),
  • Municipal and county police and sheriff’s officers,
  • Highway patrol officers,
  • Corrections officers,
  • State and federal law enforcement officers,
  • Fish and wildlife field officers,
  • U.S. Forest Service rangers,
  • National Park Service officers,
  • Homeland Security agents, and
  • Environmental protection officers.

LEGOLAND Water Park admission can be added to this special offer for a $20-per-ticket upgrade. Note that the water park is only open select dates in May.

To receive complimentary and discounted tickets, eligible personnel must visit the LEGOLAND Florida Resort ticket windows in person on the day of their visit and present their employee ID or professional organization membership card. This offer is not available online, by telephone or through ticket resellers, and is valid through Wednesday, May 31, 2017.