On the Go in the Parks: May 15-17, 2020

On the Go in the Parks may 15 2020

IT IS GOOD TO BE BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It has been far too long since we have been On the Go in the Parks!!!

Don’t forget to tune into News 96.5 WDBO this evening to hear me talk about these events and more on Orlando’s Evening News with Tony Marino!!!

Are you ready? Let’s Go!!!

On the Go in the Parks: Universal Orlando’s CityWalk

Let’s Start over at the Universal Orlando Resort for the reopening of CityWalk!

Universal Orlando Resort CityWalk Reopening

CityWalk was really the ‘Epicenter of Awesome’ this week as they opened with limited operations. 

It was so great to once again see people roaming CityWalk, but I will caution you that I expect the area to be busy this weekend so there a few things you can do to cut down on your waits!

  1. Download the Official Universal Orlando Resort App – Be ready to make those Cashless purchases and make sure to link your Universal Orlando Resort Pass for discounts!
  2. Plan to arrive early: They are limiting the number of guests they are allowing in the CityWalk area, and there can be a back up at the parking plaza as self-parking is free.
  3. Be prepared  – Have that mask on and ready as you approach the temperature check so security can pass you as quickly as possible.
  4. Be patient – Mind those 6ft social distancing markers on the ground, relax, and make sure to enjoy your time once again at Universal’s CityWalk!!!

CityWalk at the Universal Orlando Resort is open daily from 4-10 pm, but please remember that the theme parks and resorts are still currently closed. 

On the Go in the Parks: Disney Springs

While I know it is a bit early…let’s look ahead to the opening of Disney Springs on May 20, 2020!

Disney Springs Reopening

There is so much to look forward to, and new information is coming out everyday!

Disney Springs dining locations opening May 20th include:
  1. Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill
  2. STK Orlando
  3. Wine Bar George
  4. Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC
  5. YeSake
  6. The Polite Pig
  7. Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea Co.
  8. 4 Rivers Cantina Barbacoa Food Truck
  9. Sunshine Churros
  10. Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream
  11. Earl of Sandwich – Just Announced
  12. Planet Hollywood Observatory – Just Announced
  13. Chicken Guy – Just Announced
  14. The Boathouse – Just Announced
Disney Springs shopping locations opening May 20th include:
  1. American Threads
  2. Anthropologie 
  3. Crystal Arts by Arribas Bros.
  4. Free People
  5. Pele Soccer
  6. Pop Gallery
  7. Ron Jon Surf Shop
  8. Uniqlo
Disney Springs Reopening- More Restaurants Opening Soon
Disney Springs dining locations opening May 22nd include:
  1. Pizza Ponte
  2. Morimoto Asia
  3. Morimoto Asia Street Food
  4. Vivoli il Gelato

We are still waiting on a lot of details about the opening of Disney Springs, so make sure to follow @onthegoinmco on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

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Disney Springs Reopening: More Restaurants Opening Soon

Disney Springs Reopening- More Restaurants Opening Soon

You know it is going to be a great day when we can start it off by sharing additional openings coming soon to Disney Springs!!!

The Patina Restaurant group announced that four of the Disney Springs dining locations that they operate will open on May 22nd with a new “Dine Safe” program.

The dining locations that will be resuming their operations with limited menus for lunch and/or dinner service include:

Vivoli Il Gelato At Disney Springs
  • Vivoli il Gelato – Open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Morimoto Asia (Main Dining Room Dinner Service) – Open from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Morimoto Asia Street Food (Outdoor Dining Lunch & Dinner Service) – Open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Pizza Ponte (Indoor/Outdoor Dining Lunch & Dinner Service) – Open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Please keep in mind that the operating hours listed are tentative and could change.

Disney Springs Reopening

Now, let’s take a look at their new “Dine Safe” program that is being implemented across all of their locations.

Disney Springs Patina Group Dine Safe Program May 2020

The “Dine Safe: Commitment to Care” program is a comprehensive set of reengineered operating procedures to minimize contact risk and bolster hygiene protocol that meet or exceed the best-practice guidelines recommended by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“These heightened sanitation standards will help us manufacture a dining environment that keeps guests and our team members as safe as possible,” said Kyle Collins, Director of Marketing for Patina in Florida. “The health, wellbeing, and peace of mind of our guests, team members, and the community remain our highest priorities.” 

The key components of the Dine Safe program include:

The Dining Room and Guest Experience:

  • To enhance health and safety measures, guests will be required to wear face coverings at all times except while eating and drinking.
  • Ensuring current social distancing procedures are upheld via the redesign of table layouts for seating guests as directed by local and state regulators and in compliance with the CDC.
  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitization protocols, including hourly disinfecting as needed for all high-touch surfaces. 
  • Multiple hand-sanitizing stations strategically placed throughout our facilities.
  • Controlled access to the facility to carefully monitor incoming and outgoing patrons and employees through clearly designated entrances and exits.
  • Using single-use menus to limit contact. 

Team Member Safety Measures: 

  • Undergo a health check when they report to work.
  • Sanitize their hands when they report to work and are required to wash and sanitize their hands every 20 minutes throughout the shift.
  • Wear masks while on duty.
  • Undergo a comprehensive “Dine Safe” Training Program. 

“We look forward to welcoming our guests back very soon and are dedicated to continuing to deliver an unparalleled dining experience,” Collins said.

The remaining Patina Restaurant Group-operated locations at Disney Springs including Maria & Enzo’s, Enzo’s Hideaway, and The Edison will also be resuming their operations soon, and we’ll be sure to share that news as soon as it becomes available!

You can find more information about theme park news and tips by subscribing to our YouTube Channel and following @onthegoinmco on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!
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Universal Orlando Resort CityWalk Update

Universal Orlando Resort CityWalk Reopening

CityWalk, at the Universal Orlando Resort, will begin limited operation of select venues on Thursday, May 14 from 4-10 pm daily as they take the first steps toward reopening the destination.

Let’s talk about what you will find once the area begins its limited operations!

5 things to know about Universal Orlando’s CityWalk Limited Operations

1. What safety measures will be in place for guests?

The Universal Orlando Resort is working closely with local health officials and their own health and safety experts and adhere to CDC guidelines. 

Universal Orlando Resort CityWalk Reopening Safety
Universal Orlando Resort

Here are specific safety measures you will find when Universal Orlando’s CityWalk begins limited operations:

  • Team Members will undergo temperature checks and will wear face coverings.
  • Temperature checks for each guest will be taken upon arrival. If a guest has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater, they will not be able to enter CityWalk.
  • The Universal Orlando Resort will require guests to wear face coverings during their visit, and they will have complimentary disposable face coverings as well as face coverings available for purchase at cost. If a guest has a disability that prevents them from wearing a facial covering, they’ll be directed to the Guest Services team to discuss reasonable accommodations.
  • Each venue will limit the capacity to help enforce social distancing, and all chairs and tables will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after each seating. High-touch surfaces throughout CityWalk will be frequently cleaned and disinfected as well.
  • Cashless payments will be available at all venues.

Please note the CDC advises that older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Guests should evaluate their risk in determining whether to attend.

People who show no symptoms can spread COVID-19 if they are infected, any interaction with the general public poses an elevated risk of being exposed to COVID-19, and the Universal Orlando Resort cannot guarantee that you will not be exposed during your visit.

2. Where can I park?
Universal Orlando Resort CityWalk Parking

During the limited operations of Universal Orlando’s CityWalk, self-parking is complimentary and is subject to change.

Valet parking will not be available at this time.

3. What entertainment venues will be open?
Hollywood Drive-In Golf Golf at Universal Citywalk

You can take advantage of the lovely weather and take a swing at Hollywood Drive-In Golf™.

However, you will want to keep in mind that Blue Man Group, all nightclubs, and Universal Cinemark will remain temporarily closed at this time.

4. What restaurants will be open?
Universal Orlando Resort CityWalk Mobile Ordering
Universal Orlando Resort

Select full-service restaurants and quick-service food locations will be open including:

It is important to note that each restaurant will have a limited menu and limited seating available, and reservations are recommended for full-service restaurants.

Guests are also encouraged to go contact-free with the Official Universal Orlando app, available for free in the App Store and Google Play Store.

5. What shopping locations will be open?
Orlando CityWalk Universal Orlando -

While additional shopping locations may open, currently the following CityWalk locations are scheduled to open May 14, 2020:

To prepare for your visit, you can find more information on the CDC guidelines here and more information about Universal Orlando’s policies during this time here.

Again, please keep in mind that Universal Orlando’s theme parks and hotels as well as Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal CityWalk Hollywood remain closed through at least May 31, 2020.

Shelley at Universal Orlando Resort CityWalk Entrance February 2020

I am soooo excited to see locations begin to reopen, and I can’t wait to visit Universal Orlando’s CityWalk!

You can find more information about theme park news and tips by subscribing to our YouTube Channel and following @onthegoinmco on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

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Dr. Phillips Center Updates Orlando 20/21 Season

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts UPDATES TO THE 20/21  FAIRWINDS BROADWAY IN ORLANDO SEASON ANNOUNCED

Dr. Phillips Center has announced that the previously scheduled performance of the FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando engagement of To Kill a Mockingbird, scheduled for Dr. Phillips Center will be postponed. The highly anticipated Orlando run will be part of the 21/22 season. 

In addition, The Cher Show, originally scheduled for June 15 – 20, 2021 will not come to the Dr. Phillips Center as part of the 20/21 Broadway season. The show has postponed its national tour with new dates to be announced. 

Jesus Christ Superstar will appear as part of the 20/21 season at Dr. Phillips Center on June 15–20, 2021.

Jesus Christ Superstar Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR is an iconic musical phenomenon with a world-wide fan base. In celebration of its 50th Anniversary, a new mesmerizing production comes to North America. Originally staged by London’s Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and helmed by the acclaimed director Timothy Sheader (Crazy for YouInto the Woods) and award-winning choreographer 

Drew McOnie (King KongStrictly Ballroom), this production won the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival garnering unprecedented reviews and accolades. Appealing to both theater audiences and concert music fans, this production pays tribute to the historic 1971 Billboard Album of the Year while creating a modern, theatrical world that is uniquely fresh and inspiring.

Featuring award-winning music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice,JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTARis set against the backdrop of an extraordinary series of events during the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas. Reflecting the rock roots that defined a generation, the legendary score includes ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him’, ‘Gethsemane’ and ‘Superstar’.

Current season subscribers will be contacted by email with updated season package information, and you can find more information by visiting drphillipscenter.org.

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
Courtesy of Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

You can find more information about the City Beautiful by subscribing to our YouTube Channel and following @onthegoinmco on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

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Disney Twenty-Three June Cover Celebrates Archives

Disney twenty-three magazine June 2020 Cover Walt Disney Archives
D23

This June, the Walt Disney Archives celebrates its 50th anniversary, and what was once a one-man operation run out of a one-person office in the Animation Building on The Walt Disney Studios lot has grown into a dedicated team of 30 staff members and a model for archives around the world. In the new issue of Disney twenty-three, available exclusively to Gold Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, film critic and historian Leonard Maltin explores five remarkable decades of preserving Disney’s most beloved treasures while remaining a vital resource for writers, directors, and, of course, Disney fans.

It’s once again time to play the music, and it’s time to light the lights. With the premiere of the new series Muppets Now coming soon to Disney+, the team bringing the show to life takes Disney twenty-three behind the scenes for a heartfelt look at the show. And Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy sit down for an exclusive interview to talk about their return to the screen—and the importance of Miss Piggy, of course.

Plus, Sir Kenneth Branagh, Dame Judi Dench, Josh Gad, and newcomer Ferdia Shaw discuss adapting the YA phenomenon Artemis Fowl into an epic feature, premiering this June on Disney+. Director and producer Don Hahn pens an essay on the making of his moving Howard Ashman documentary Howard for Disney+, and illuminates the inside story of the award-winning lyricist responsible for some of Disney’s most beloved songs. And Secret Society of Second-Born Royals star Skylar Astin reveals his Disneyland favorites, with photos shot exclusively for Disney twenty-three earlier this point year at the resort.

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

  • Brian Henson takes us on the set of the out-of-this-world Disney+ talk show Earth to Ned, complete with a celebrity-obsessed alien charged with destroying the planet
  • Film historian Dan Lanigan gives us an insider look at the making of Prop Culture, the fascinating new Disney+ series that looks at iconic props from timeless films such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Mary Poppins
  • From The Sound of Music to The Reluctant Dragon, 10 must-see Disney+ movies selected by members of the Walt Disney Archives team
  • Dazzling then-and-now Disneyland park photographs—plus an array of classic merchandise­—in honor of the park’s 65th anniversary
  • Regular features including From the Desk of, By the Numbers, Character Analysis, D Society, and Ask the Walt Disney Archives

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 latest issue will begin arriving before the end of May.

D23 disney twenty-three Fanniversary D23 Destination D Disney D23 Expo

About D23

The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his first studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s 90-plus-year history. It gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication, Disney twenty-three; a rich website at D23.com with members-only content; member-exclusive discounts; and special events for D23 Members throughout the year.

Fans can join D23 at Gold Membership ($99.99), Gold Family Membership ($129.99), and General Membership (complimentary) levels at D23.com. To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

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Disney Springs Reopening – 5 Things to Know

Yesterday the Walt Disney World Resort announced that Disney Springs will begin a phased reopening on May 20, 2020.

Disney Springs Reopening

A phased reopening of Disney Springs will begin on May 20. Following the guidance of government and health officials, a limited number of shopping and dining experiences that are owned by third-party operating participants will begin to open during this initial phase. The rest of Walt Disney World Resort will remain closed, including theme parks and resort hotels.

As we continue to monitor conditions, and with the health of guests and Disney cast members at the forefront of our planning, we are making several operational changes. Disney Springs will begin to reopen in a way that incorporates enhanced safety measures, including increased cleaning procedures, the use of appropriate face coverings by both cast members and guests, limited-contact guest services and additional safety training for cast members. 

While the announcement wasn’t full of details, there were 5 key takeaways to note.

Disney Springs Reopening:

5 Things to Know

1. What we know about the locations opening on May 20, 2020…

When Disney Springs reopens guests will find, “a limited number of shopping and dining experiences that are owned by third-party operating participants will begin to open during this initial phase. The rest of Walt Disney World Resort will remain closed, including theme parks and Disney Resort hotels.”

Disney Springs Town Center at Walt Disney World Resort Disney Springs Reopening
Photo: Walt Disney World Resort

So when it initially reopens, Disney Springs guests will not be able to shop at stores or dine at locations operated by Walt Disney World.

While not listed in this announcement, examples of these Walt Disney World operated locations include stores like World of Disney and the Co Op as well as dining locations like Jock Lindsey’s and D-Luxe Burger.

2. What we know about planning your trip to Disney Springs in the initial reopening phase…

When you think about planning your trip to Disney Springs in this phase, it is important to note that there will be limitations on capacity, parking, and operating hours.

Photo: Walt Disney World Resort

While no specifics were given in this initial announcement about any of these three important details, it will be important to watch for these details to make planning easier.

3. What will be different when Disney Springs begins reopening…

Disney Springs did note in their announcement that they would be making several operational changes that would include enhanced safety measures including increased cleaning procedures, limited-contact Guest Services, and additional safety training for Cast Members

Disney Springs Reopening
Photo: Walt Disney World Resort

We will apply learnings and ideas from leaders in the health and travel industries, and we’re also talking to our unions as we prepare for some Cast Members to return to work.

Safety is ALWAYS at the forefront of operations at the Walt Disney World Resort, and I am beyond confident that they are going above and beyond to ensure the safety of guests and Cast Members.

4. What will guests need to have to visit Disney Springs…

Included in the many safety measures that Disney Springs is taking is, “…the use of appropriate face coverings by both Cast Members and Guests…”

Disney Springs Reopening
Photo: Walt Disney World Resort

This isn’t meant to spark debate…just know that you will need to wear a face covering to visit Disney Springs in this phase of reopening.

5. More Information

As we get closer to May 20, 2020, more specific information will be coming out, but I would encourage everyone to stay patient, understanding, and most of all kind as we continue to figure this out together!!!

Disney Springs Reopening
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

We are really excited about the reopening of Disney Springs, and will be sharing information as it is released!

You can find more information about theme park news and tips by subscribing to our YouTube Channel and following @onthegoinmco on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

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Country Thunder Announces New Dates

Country Thunder Logo 2020

Country Thunder Music Festivals has had to make the difficult decision to postpone its first event of the 2020 season due to the uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus Pandemic.

The final decision came down following Friday afternoon’s announcement from Osceola County officials which bans mass gatherings of over 250 people. The guidelines mirror those of neighboring Orange County, as well as the city of Orlando.

“We look forward to the rescheduled dates in Florida and getting back to see some of the greatest country fans in America,” says Country Thunder CEO, Troy Vollhoffer. “We have always strived for excellence when it comes to the fan experience. But there has always been an acute awareness that a great music festival begins with fan safety, and the comfort of patrons who attend our events

“We felt that pushing our dates to the fall gives us the best opportunity in making Country Thunder Florida the world-class event which fans have come to expect. Luckily for us, our artists were more than happy to oblige the schedule changes.”

Originally scheduled from March 27-29, Country Thunder Florida 2020 will now take place from October 16-18, again at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee. Headliners Eric Church, Kane Brown and Dierks Bentley have all been re-confirmed for the new dates.

All ticketing and camping options will be honored for the rescheduled dates.

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Take a Swing at Walt Disney World Golf

Walt Disney World Golf May 2020

Golfing is a great way to spend time outdoors while social distancing, and Walt Disney World Golf, operated by Arnold Palmer Golf Management, is offering players the chance to experience their four fantastic courses.

Disney’s Palm Golf Course

Walt Disney World Golf - Disney Palm Golf Course
Photo: Walt Disney World Golf

Disney’s Palm Golf Course, rated 4 stars by Golf Digest, is an 18-hole championship course that is visually stunning and challenging with 59 bunkers and 9 holes with water hazards.

Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course

Walt Disney World Golf - Disney Magnolia Golf Course Logo
Photo: Walt Disney World Golf

Designed in classic Tour style, Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course is the longest of the Walt Disney World Resort golf courses with elevated tees, spacious greens, and wide fairways with 97 bunkers and 11 holes with water hazards. 

Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course

Walt Disney World Golf - Disney Lake Buena Vista Golf Course
Photo: Walt Disney World Golf

Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course, conceived by Joe Lee, is an 18-hole classic, country-club style course that has hosted the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, and USGA events.

Due to the current closure of Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, players must have a confirmed tee time reservation before entering the property. 

Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Club

Walt Disney World Golf - Disney's Oak Trail Golf Course
Photo: Walt Disney World Golf

Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course is a  family-friendly, 9-hole walking course with rolling greens and exciting challenges.

Walt Disney World Golf FootGolf
Photo: Walt Disney World Golf

If you are looking for a different spin on the game, you can also take on its 9-Hole FootGolf course that is certified by the American FootGolf League (AFGL), the governing body for the sport of FootGolf in the United States.

FootGolf combines the game of soccer with shortened length golf holes, where the fewest kicks wins the hole.

Walt Disney World Golf Logo

When you are ready to take your swing, players will notice that significant measures to help ensure the well-being of all who visit and work at Walt Disney World Golf have been implemented.

Most notably, the new “Park and Play” procedure allows players to make an online tee time reservation and pre-pay online. Upon arrival, each player will have a designated sanitized golf cart waiting to take them to the first tee.

Other measures to be aware of include: 

  • Tee time intervals have been adjusted to help aid in social distancing.
  • Club drop off is not being offered, but the staff will be available if special assistance is required.
  • Rentals of clubs and shoes are not available.
  • Tees, pencils, and scorecards can be requested.
  • The courses no longer have bunker rakes, water coolers, and ball washers.
  • Flagsticks should not be removed, and raised cups are in use on the greens to make ball retrieval easier.
  • The Pro Shop is open with special social distancing and sanitizing procedures.
  • On course food and beverage carts are not in use, however, Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Deli (Magnolia, Palm, and Oak Trail) and Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Cafe (Lake Buena Vista) are available during play without seating for guests.
  • All transactions must be completed with chip only credit cards.
  • All facilities have hand sanitizers.

You can find more information about the Walt Disney World Golf courses by calling the reservations center at (407) WDW-GOLF or by visiting golfwdw.com.

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Star Wars Day 2020 – What to Watch

It’s a very special day… Its Star Wars Day!!!

And while there’s no place I would rather be than running around Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, there are some really great things you can watch to celebrate Star Wars Day at home!

5 Things to Watch on Star Wars Day

Star Wars Day May the 4th Be With You
1. Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian

On May 4th Disney+ will be adding some great Star Wars content and features you won’t want to miss!

Star Wars Day - Disney Plus Disney Gallery Star Wars The Manalorain
Disney+

I am REALLY excited about the new ‘Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian’ 8 episode series that takes fans behind the scenes of the first live-action Star Wars series.

In the series Executive Producer, Jon Favreau along with the cast and crew share an unprecedented look at the making of the series through interviews, never-before-seen footage, and roundtable conversations hosted by Favreau himself.

New Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian episodes will be released every Friday after Star Wars Day.

2. The Final Episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Star Wars Day - Disney Plus Final Clone Wars Episode
Star Wars

I don’t know about your house, but my house is excited for the final episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, “Victory and Death.”

Created by George Lucas and shepherded by Dave Filoni (The Mandalorian), the animated series first aired in 2008 and became an entry point into Star Wars for an entire generation, following fan-favorites like Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Padmé Amidala, while introducing major new characters like Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano and Captain Rex. Star Wars: The Clone Wars became a multiple-Emmy Award winner and a favorite among Star Wars fans.

The final season features Ahsoka Tano and Rex on their adventures that lead up to Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.

3. Stream Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Star Wars Day - Disney Plus Final Clone Wars Episode
Star Wars

TODAYS IS THE DAY!!!!!!

You can now stream the entire Star Wars Saga because Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is now available on Disney+.

Though I’ll let you argue about the right order to see them in…

4. Star Wars Concept Art takes over Disney+
Star Wars Day - Disney Plus Concept Art Takeover
Star Wars

This week there is going to be a concept art takeover on Disney+ featuring each Star Wars film’s and series’ artwork.

From Star Wars: A New Hope to The Mandalorian, the updated art will feature pieces from celebrated artists such as the legendary Ralph McQuarrie and Academy Award-winning artist, author, and production designer, Doug Chiang. On the Disney+ home screen, the animated Star Wars brand tile, viewable on web and connected TV devices, gets upgraded with a new animation that honors the signature hyperspace jump.

Disney+ Bonus
Star Wars Day - Disney Plus Final Clone Wars Episode
Star Wars

There are new Star Wars avatars for Disney+!!!

You can now choose from Darth Maul, Jabba the Hutt, Bo-Katan, D-O, Captain Rex, a porg, and 332nd trooper.

5. Watch YouTube videos of Star Wars attractions in the parks!

Since we all can’t be in the parks for Star Wars Day, watch your favorite Star Wars attractions on YouTube!

And while you are there…make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel!!!

I hope that you have a great Star Wars Day!!! May the 4th be with you!!!

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Celebrating Earth Day with Disney

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and Disney has been honoring the important role that nature plays in igniting joy during these unprecedented times for the last month by sharing educational information about this extraordinary planet we inhabit.

And for over 30 years the Disney Parks have been dedicated to environmental and sustainability initiatives, implementing programs in support of waste and emissions reduction, and water and resource conservation.

They are continually exploring, testing, and implementing new ways to turn everyday occurrences into sustainable experiences.

These efforts have led to incredible progress towards conserving natural resources – protecting the magic of nature for the future of our business, community, and the planet.

This year also marks a special year for several anniversaries for The Walt Disney Company.

The Disney Conservation Fund (DCF) is proudly celebrating 25 wonderful years of supporting nonprofit organizations globally in their efforts to save wildlife, inspire action, and protect the planet.

The Walt Disney Company is also celebrating one year since welcoming National Geographic into the Disney family.

National Geographic recently launched NatGeo@Home to support families and caregivers during the COVID-19 crisis.

Nat Geo at Home Earth Day 2020

The hub is home to free educational resources and content to help parents and educators keep kids engaged while schools are closed, including an exciting neighborhood safari. 

The Earth Day Neighborhood Safari invites families to design their own “safari stop” with resources available on NatGeo@Home, complete with lessons from Disney Animation, Pixar, and Marvel Studios on how to draw your favorite safari animal. National Geographic is collecting a feed of “safari art” on NatGeo@Home to help bring neighborhoods all over the world together.

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FS Open Tournament for Charity

Full Sail Open Tournament FS Open

Are you tired of missing the outside world? Us, too.

That’s why Full Sail is bringing the fields to you! (Well, digitally anyway.)

On Thursday, April 23, 2020 you’ll have the opportunity to play in FS Open, a public Rocket League tournament where participants can compete for amazing prizes and raise money for communities affected by COVID-19.

Participants who enter won’t just be competing for glory and sweet gear. All proceeds from the tournament go directly to Feeding America.

It’s no fun being stuck at home, so why not join your fellow gamers for a good time, and a great cause?

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to put your gaming skills to the test and support your local community.

If you’re not quite ready to burn rubber in Rocket League you can still show your support by tuning into Full Sail Armada’s Twitch channel: twitch.tv/fullsailarmada on April 23, 2020.

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Local Businesses Find Ways to Give Back

Margaritaville Orlando Resort and AdventHealth staff delivering meals to first responders (Left to right): 

  • Jim Vespa, Hotel President, Margaritaville Resort Orlando
  • Scott Robbins, General Manager, Margaritaville Resort Orlando
  • Stacy Crawford, Advent Health 
  • John DeMarco, Director of Food & Beverage, Margaritaville Resort Orlando
  • Sonja Lezama, Director of Events, Margaritaville Resort Orlando

Right now the coronavirus is changing how we do things, and it seems like our days are filled with news updates on how COVID-19 is affecting society.

One thing that has been a welcome break from the barrage of news that can be scary and said, it is nice to find news to share on how local businesses are giving back to their communities!

Buca di Beppo Delivers Thousands of Meals to Hospitals Across the Country

Buca di Beppo has also been delivering meals to hospitals across the country including Advent Health Celebration Hospital in Orlando, Florida, Gardena Memorial Hospital in Gardena, California, West Hills Hospital and Medical Center in West Hills, California, Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California and Keck Medicine of USC in Las Angeles, California. 

Wahlburgers launches #WhateverYouNeed Initiative to Support and Serve Communities

Wahlburgers recently launched the #WhateverYouNeed initiative, highlighting their commitment to supporting and serving their communities. Currently, Wahlburgers’ efforts are focused on feeding healthcare workers as well as first responders and accepting food donation requests.

Insomnia Cookies Partners with the Red Cross to Bring Back the Fan-Favorite Heart-Shaped Cookie Cake

These can be submitted HERE

Insomnia Cookies is partnering again with the American Red Cross to bring back the popular Heart-shaped Cookie Cake. $1 from every heart-shaped cake sale from April 13 – May 31 will be donated to the American Red Cross.

This fan-favorite cake comes in any 9 of their traditional cookie flavors and can be customized with a cake center image or icing. 

To place an order for local or national delivery visit www.insomniacookies.com.

Stay connected on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Local delivery is available until 2:45 a.m. for most locations.

And not to be left out…

On Saturday, April 11, Margaritaville Resort Orlando provided meals to AdventHealth Celebration Hospital to 100 first responders. The resort’s team was eager to do their part and provide meals for the hard-working medical staff during this critical time. 

In addition, many tenants at the resort’s entertainment district, Sunset Walk are currently offering discounts to first responders including Ford’s Garage, Capone’s and Bento Asian Kitchen + Sushi. 

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Huey Magoo’s Offers Special Deals to Help Feed Families

Huey Magoo's


The Greatest Tasting Chicken Tenders Brand Introduces Special 20% Off Deals on Family Meals, Catering and Gift Cards

Now, families and neighborhoods can more easily enjoy a delicious, healthy meal they crave. 

Starting this week, Huey Magoo’s, the popular Southeast chicken tenders brand, will offer the following special deals on Family Meals, Catering and Gift Cards: 20% off Family Meals (20-piece tender and 30-piece tender options), 20% off Catering (meals individually packaged) and 20% off Gift Card orders ($100 minimum purchase). 

Huey Magoo's

See a personal message from Huey Magoo’s President and CEO Andy Howard here: https://vimeo.com/405140448/d7def000b5.

“In today’s unforeseen times, we want to do our best to continue feeding our families and our neighborhoods in the safest manner possible and make it easier and more accessible for everyone to enjoy our tenders,” Howard continues.  “Whether it’s a family, employers wanting to feed their employees, or any single person wanting a fresh and delicious meal, we look forward to serving all of our neighborhoods in every Huey Magoo’s restaurant across all of our locations in Florida and Georgia the best chicken tenders in America.”

Huey Magoo’s is currently offering take out, delivery through third-party delivery services, and curbside pickup (at participating locations). 

Customers will enjoy Huey Magoo’s signature grilled, hand-breaded or “sauced” premium chicken tenders, farm fresh salads, sandwiches, and wraps. 

Huey Magoo's

Each Huey Magoo’s tender is always made fresh, all natural, with no antibiotics ever, no hormones, no steroids and no preservatives.

For a list of all Huey Magoo’s locations and contact information to place an order, visit www.hueymagoos.com

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ICON Park restaurants offer meal donation programs

ICON Park Logo

First responders and healthcare workers to receive free meals from local food chains

ICON Park has launched a meal donation program to benefit the heroes keeping the Central Florida community safe during this unprecedented time while simultaneously supporting local hospitality workers. 

ICON Park will be collecting donations via a GoFundMe campaign to provide delicious meals to the first responders and healthcare employees working tirelessly throughout this pandemic.

Local hospitality workers at the ICON Park Yard House, Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba’s Italian Grill will use 100 percent of the donations collected to deliver meals to the Orlando Health Dr. P. Phillips Hospital, Orange County Fire Department Station 57 and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Sector 5 Substation.

ICON Park ICON Wheel Bowl Game Colors
PHOTO: ICON Park

Donating a delicious meal to local heroes has never been easier. Those interested in providing a meal can do so by visiting https://www.gofundme.com/f/iconparkorlando-firstresponders.

“ICON Park and our tenant partners are always looking for ways to add light to our community,” said Chris Jaskiewicz, ICON Park CEO and president. “We’re proud to honor our first responders and healthcare employees while supporting local hospitality workers by establishing a convenient way for caring residents to donate meals.”

While The Wheel is social distancing like the rest of us, every night, you can see it wearing its resplendent red, white and blue in support of the men and women on the front lines of this critical moment.

To our first responders and healthcare workers, look to The Wheel glowing in the night and know that you are seen, your sacrifices are seen, your families are seen, and they are appreciated by all who call Orlando home. You are the best in our city and our nation.

To learn more about ICON Park visit: https://iconparkorlando.com.

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Universal Behind the Scenes: Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes

Discover the Behind-the-Scenes Story of the Toys at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes

Two years before the orange doors of Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes officially opened in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida, Maria Kazaros and her team were already hard at work to bring novelty jokes and pranks inspired by those of Fred and George Weasley to life.

As a senior buyer on Universal Orlando Resorts’ merchandise team, Maria essentially is involved with product development, taking the idea of something and turning it into something tangible. Or, as is the case with her role developing merchandise for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, taking the idea of something and turning it into something magical. 

“One of the hardest parts in the beginning was just, how do you bring things to life from Harry’s world,” Maria explains. “We spent many months watching the movies, reading the books, brainstorming, doing work sessions. And we brought in some of the fans to see what they liked. Those fans care and they know what they want, so that helped us all in figuring out what the merchandise in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter would be.”

Of course, while the source material for the Wizarding World (as seen in the Harry Potter film series) is plentiful and rich in detail, it can be tricky taking something you see in a movie and figuring out how to make it into an operational toy. 

“One thing that I do is I rely on my product partners who are experts in the industry and know how toys can go from nothing to something,” Maria says. “I ask a lot of questions or just come to them and say, ‘I want to make this, can I?’ And then we’ll sort of reengineer it and I get to create my vision, so to speak.” 

Maria has been with the company since 1999, starting out as a store manager in a handful of merchandise locations until joining the merchandise development team in 2001. Maria says she enjoys working with toys because it allows her to be a problem-solver.

“It’s challenging to take something non-magical, like a pen, and make it magical,” Maria says. “Or something that is magical, like The Monster Book of Monsters, and make it something real for people to interact with.” 

Walking through Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, there is a lot to interact with. From the toilet-in-the-front-window flushing at the flick of your interactive wand, to all the Extendable Ears and Skiving Snackboxes your heart desires, the entire shop is packed to the ceiling (which, be sure to look up at for a surprise) with Weasleys-inspired items and tie-ins to the movies.

“I still watch the movies over and over because there’s so much that you can still catch from them that you haven’t seen,” Maria says.

To be honest, I also watch the Harry Potter movies over and over, so what’s the difference when Maria does? When I watch a scene with the Marauder’s Map, I am simply enjoying the magic of it all. Maria on the other hand…

“The Marauder’s Map was a fun one to figure out,” Maria says. “You hit it with the wand and the footprints go around, just like in the movies.”

One of Maria’s top priorities when developing merchandise for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is ensuring everything feels authentic — taking the notch up on what people expect from an everyday toy. And as for the merchandise in Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, there is a unique chaos she aims to capture.

“When you think of that scene in the movie, everything is moving. Dolores Umbridge on the unicycle moves in their store and moves in ours. So that’s one we actually created and brought to life from the movies.” 

What’s your favorite piece of Wizarding World merchandise? Let us know in the comments below and show it off by tagging us on Twitter @UniversalORL and Instagram @UniversalOrlando.

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