Clermont’s Holiday Enchanted Forest

The City of Clermont has many activities to safely enjoy this season and take part in. They just had their Virtual Light up Clermont Ceremony on December 4th, which featured a special message from the Mayor and Council. Don’t worry if you missed it, because there’s something so fun going on at Victory Pointe!

Clermont’s Holiday Enchanted Forest opened December 5 and runs until January 3, 2021 at Victory Pointe. It is open nightly until 10pm. There are over 40 decorated trees all lined up by the lake.

Schools, organizations, businesses, and families have individually decorated these trees being showcased nightly.

You can stroll through the Enchanted Forest at your leisure while listening to the Holiday music being played throughout. Signs in front of each tree tell you which group decorated each tree, some are more obvious than others, but they are all so fun!

We went on quite a cold night for Florida, and since it is located right by the lake it got very chilly so be sure to take a blanket or decent coat/sweater so you can enjoy it more. Don’t be like me in shorts and a T-Shirt wondering “where this cold snap even came from?”.

There is also a box to drop off letters to Santa in Santa’s mailbox which will be delivery directly to the North Pole. It’s right by the entrance to the Holiday Enchanted Forest, and also has a great area for photo opportunities.

It really is a fun, cute event and completely free! I want to go back in the day time now to enjoy some of the details more as they were all lit up so beautifully but I want to see the creativity close up!

On the way out we decided to walk by the historic village and I am so glad we did, they have a few little cute displays and cut outs. But what was a really nice addition this year was over in the bay window of the Train Depot, the building closest to West Avenue.

Tommy Candido, display coordinator at John Zweifel’s President’s Hall of Fame, set up his personal Christmas Village. The display fills the entire window and is lighted every evening, 6-10pm.

It’s such a pretty animated display, featuring children on sleds, ice skaters, an air balloon and Gibbon (a Yeti, a signature of every Christmas Village Candido has put together over the years). I loved the little town square in the middle with all the light up trees leading to the big tree!

You can check out more about this event among others if you head to their website www.ClermontFL.gov

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Museum of Illusions Announces Opening Date

Museum of Illusions Orlando ICON Park
Photo: Museum of Illusions Orlando

Museum of Illusions Orlando, a mind-bending “edutainment” experience where guests enter the fascinating world of mental deception, is opening to the public on January 9, 2021.

Situated on International Drive at ICON Park, this is the first Florida outpost and 20th location for the rapidly-expanding Museum of Illusions brand that started in Zagreb, Croatia in 2015.

With over 50 intriguing exhibits, Museum of Illusions offers more eye-fooling fun under one roof than any other destination in Central Florida. From January 9 to January 31, Orlando residents and visitors can enjoy special “preview days” pricing for $15 per person of any age, a $10 savings off full-price, regular adult admission. Children two and under are free.

Museum of Illusions Orlando ICON Park
Photo: Museum of Illusions Orlando

The museum’s collection of interactive, immersive, and distinctly incomprehensible exhibits are based on math, science, and psychology.

Visitors are prompted to learn about the tricks of perception and how the human brain works as they move through each exhibit. Imaginations can run free in the vast expanse of the Infinity Room, defy the laws of gravity in the Reverse Room, and shrink to miniature size in the Ames Room — all while capturing a coveted, baffling photo.

With uniquely mind-boggling backdrops – including several designed just for the Central Florida location — Orlando’s newest museum offers photo opportunities that visitors won’t find anywhere else in the area.

“Many international guests are familiar with our concept through social networking,” said Museum of Illusions Orlando General Manager George Youngdahl. “We can’t wait to bring our museum to Central Florida – there’s nothing quite like it here.”

In addition to its core collection, the museum’s climate-controlled building, 1-2-hour experience, free parking at ICON Park, and adjacency to food and beverage outlets, make it a winning entertainment option for inquisitive minds of all ages.

Guests can purchase puzzles, mind-tricking games, and other souvenirs in the museum’s gift shop.

Operating hours are 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday and 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Museum of Illusions Orlando ICON Park
Photo: Museum of Illusions Orlando

Orlando’s newest museum will launch with a variety of COVID-19 safety measures in place, including mandatory face masks, limited capacity, designated time slots, one-way paths through exhibits, ongoing cleaning by staff, and hand sanitizers and wipes for guests.

Purchase tickets and learn more at https://orlando.museumofillusions.us/. To make group sales reservations, call 386-256-1001 or toll free  833-541-0992. Museum of Illusions Orlando is located at ICON Park, 8441 International Drive Suite #250 Orlando, Florida, 32819.

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Christmas in Downtown Winter Garden

This year, Downtown Winter Garden will be different for Christmas in order to keep people safe, but they are still offering some fun and safe entertainment for everyone.

This year, they have festive lighting and decorations, holiday-themed photo stations, a painted holiday mural wall, Santa’s Workshop, Winter Wonderland and many more activities outside for everyone.

There were plenty of places for photo opportunities and they even had a small area cordoned off with real snow that they kept topping up for kids and big kids-alike!

All the activities were free except for the horse-drawn carriage which requires reservations.

Our personal favorite was the projection light show they are doing on Town Hall. It runs in about a 20 minute loop and features Christmas songs and projection mapping over the building.


The light show runs mostly on weekends from 6-9pm, the link to will be at the bottom of the page for their Holiday Calendar.

They also have a Merry Winter Garden Farmer’s Market every Saturday in December, 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, where you can find produce, artisan foods, wreaths and holiday plants.

Seasonal food, drinks and merchandise will be available for purchase at shops and restaurants, and you will find expanded outside seating. Make sure you also check out the Garden Theatre, as they will be having live theatre and holiday movies shown throughout December.

Check out http://downtownwg.com for the town’s schedule and www.gardentheatre.org to see what Garden Theatre is offering this Holiday season.

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New in 2021: ICON Park Welcomes New Thrills

Icon Park 2021 Attraction - ICON Park Slingshot

Thrill seekers, adrenaline junkies, and theme park buffs, you better hold onto your hats – two brand-new, record-setting attractions are coming to International Drive next summer. ICON Park™ will be the new epicenter for thrills with three of the world’s tallest attractions: ICON Park Slingshot™, ICON Park Drop Tower, and Orlando StarFlyer.

ICON Park Slingshot

The ICON Park Slingshot is the world’s tallest slingshot ride at 300 feet. The two-tower attraction will launch two riders out of an “exploding volcano” approximately 450 feet straight up into the sky and reach speeds of up to 100 mph.

ICON Park Drop Tower

Standing at a daunting 430 feet, the ICON Park Drop Tower is the world’s tallest free-standing drop tower. Thirty riders will be able to embrace the beautiful sites of ICON Park and I-Drive as the tower rotates around the gigantic tower and rises high into the skyline. Once the ride vehicle reaches the top, it’ll tilt forward 30 degrees and face the ground for a brief moment before free falling nearly 400 feet at speeds reaching out over 75mph.

Icon Park 2021 Attraction - ICON Park Slingshot

“The Slingshot Group of Companies is committed to bringing the biggest thrills to Orlando,” said Ritchie Armstrong, Owner. “We’re very excited to open the world’s tallest slingshot and free-standing drop tower at ICON Park to stand opposite of the Orlando StarFlyer, the world’s tallest swing ride.”

Along with the two new attractions, the Slingshot Group of Companies operates the 450-foot Orlando StarFlyer, the world’s tallest swing ride. With these three record-setting attractions, ICON Park is becoming known as the “land of the giants.”

“ICON Park is constantly growing and expanding our entertainment options for locals and tourists alike,” said Chris Jaskiewicz, president and CEO of ICON Park. “We’re proud to welcome these two record-setting attractions to the Orlando Entertainment District and look forward to the joy and adrenaline they will bring our guests.”

To learn more about the ICON Park Slingshot and ICON Park Drop Tower, visit https://www.iconparkslingshot.com.

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2021 Food Events at Disney’s Swan and Dolphin Resort

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is offering the perfect gift option for foodies this holiday season – tickets to one of three food and beverage events hosted by the resort on January 16, February 7, and February 27, 2021.

Sip, Savor and Stay Saturdays Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel Fall 2020 September 2020 October 2020

On January 16 and February 27, the resort will host Food & Wine Classic: A Taste of Swan and Dolphin from 5:30-8:00 p.m., with each event offering 10 food stations from the hotel’s award-winning restaurants and more than 50 beverage offerings. Both will feature live entertainment and unlimited food and beverage tastings, including dessert selections from the hotel’s world champion pastry chef, Laurent Branlard.

Highlights include:

  • Roasted organic pumpkin ravioli gnudi with seared sea scallop, whipped ricotta cheese, and pumpkin gremolata (served by Todd English’s bluezoo at the January 16 event)
  • Surf and Turf featuring roasted Linz heritage Angus prime strip loin and marinated shrimp with creamed spinach and sauce foyot (served by Shula’s Steak House at the Feb. 27 event).

For the sports-centric foodie, the resort will for the first time host a Big Game Tailgate Watch Party Sunday, Feb. 7 at 6:00 p.m. The event will begin 30 minutes prior to kickoff and last through the end of the game. While watching all the action, guests can enjoy seven food stations and unlimited craft beer and wine. Menu highlights include crispy fried chicken wings with an array of sauces, Angus beef sliders, carne asada tacos, Italian sausage sandwiches, a selection of desserts, and more.

Each event will feature different menu items so attendees will have a distinct experience each time. Guests will enjoy an intimate atmosphere and experience the latest in responsible food delivery safety measures and social distancing procedures to ensure an entertaining, unforgettable, and mouthwatering experience.   

Event-only tickets can be purchased online at SwanDolphinFoodAndWineClassic.com for $110 per person. Room packages start at $359 and include event access for two adults. To book, call 1-888-828-8850 between 8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. weekdays; 5:00 p.m. on weekends. Events are limited to those 21 years and older.

Among the protocols implemented for each event are temperature checks at the entrance; plexiglass walls for all food service areas; all cast members wearing PPE; socially distanced event space; seating available to accommodate each party at their own table; touchless menus and clearly marked social distancing signage.

For more information, visit SwanDolphinFoodAndWineClassic.com.

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Frontyard Festival at the Dr. Phillips Center

Dr Phillips Center Front Yard Festival - Logo

The Dr. Phillips Center has kicked-off the Frontyard Festival, a series of live entertainment events featuring local artists designed to bring people together to enjoy the arts.

“COVID-19 has created significant challenges for performing arts centers and stages around the world,” said Dr. Phillips Center President and CEO Kathy Ramsberger. “To keep our mission moving forward, our team has come up with a unique way for guests to re-connect and re-engage with one another and enjoy live entertainment and culture again. This big idea is gaining fantastic support by sponsors, partners, and artists.” 

The Frontyard Festival transforms the outdoor areas in front of the Dr. Phillips Center’s three front parcels, including the Seneff Arts Plaza, into the region’s most unique, dedicated outdoor entertainment venue that will showcase a diverse mix of music, comedy, films, health and wellness programs, and local community arts performances.  

Dr Phillips Center Front Yard Festival - view

“Fully activating the arts center’s front parcels and Seneff Arts Plaza has always been part of our long-range plan,” said Ramsberger. “We had intended to complete Phase 2—Steinmetz Hall and The Green Room—then turn our attention to conceptualizing how we could transform the plaza into a vibrant, active outdoor space for the arts, entertainment, and wellness.”

In addition to the live entertainment plus health and wellness programs, several local restaurants and popular food trucks will be on-site each day offering seasonal menus, beer, wine, and cocktails for purchase. 

Many performances will require the advance purchase of tickets, allowing artists and arts groups to generate much-needed revenue. There are also additional daytime programs showcasing professional musicians at no cost to attend.  

“More than anything, we’re excited to produce a platform that will reunite artists and wellness instructors with live audiences,” Ramsberger said.   

Health & Safety First 

To keep guests properly distanced from one another, the arts center has built 380 elevated seating “pods” inspired by a similar outdoor venue created at the Virgin Money Unity Arena in Newcastle, UK.  

Each 5’ x 7’ pod, which can seat up to five guests, has been built using metal scaffolding materials with six feet of space between each pod.  

Additional health and safety protocols, developed with guidance from federal, state, and local health authorities and the Dr. Phillips Center’s partner, AdventHealth, include a mask requirement, temperature checks prior to admission, and mobile purchasing options for tickets and Food Trucks. 

“Arts and events not only help provide needed jobs and employment for our residents but also food for our souls,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “That’s why we are proud to partner with the Dr. Phillips Center as they create a new outdoor venue in our downtown. The space will help bring our arts back and bring our community safely together to gather, celebrate, relax, and be inspired.”  

For more information and to purchase tickets to the Dr. Phillips Center Frontyard Festival, please visit their website.

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A Visit To Historic Clermont with Gail

This week we decided to take a walk through historic Clermont and the waterfront there. It was such a beautiful breezy day for Central Florida so we had to go out and enjoy it!

At the corner of West Avenue and Osceola Street, is Clermont’s Historical Village. The houses were individually moved from their original locations to sit where they are now, for visitors to come and learn about the City’s history. The Kern House was built in 1885, the Townsend House was built in 1895, and the Depot building around 1925.

The village also features the original Cooper Memorial Library, built in 1914, and it also has a Quonset Hut which is used as a World War II Museum. Clermont’s Historic Village open hours are Friday from 1 p.m to 3 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Clermont was founded in 1884 and incorporated in 1916. Right now, the City is undergoing a Downtown-Waterfront Master Plan, so you will see a lot of construction going on around the Downtown area and around the Historic Village. There are some wonderful additions coming, some have already been built like Victory Point, Kehlor Recreation Center and the new boat ramp.

Currently, they are working on a Wi-Fi Trail to enhance safety and navigation for trail users, plus, it will be able to support events with data and live broadcasting in key areas. The streetscape is also in progress all around the area, to create a focal point at City Hall. I am most excited about their Art Walk area, this is still under construction downtown and due to be completed at the end of this year. If you want to take a look at any of the improvements and what’s coming you can visit https://www.clermontfl.gov/MasterPlan

After the Historic Village, we took a walk down to the waterfront as it was such a beautiful day, you can often catch sight of gators and many different native birds down here.

There’s a bike trail going right past the lake (part of the upcoming Wi-Fi Trail) and many picnic benches, so it’s a perfect location to bring the family or friends and catch up with a great view! Today we just walked around staying outside, enjoying the views. But Clermont has some amazing places to eat and drink, with many new places opening all the time. Next time you are thinking of visiting a local town, consider Clermont as there’s something for everyone here.

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Gaylord Palms Announces Partnership with Wild Florida

Gaylord Palms Partnership with Wild Florida

The Gaylord Palms is pleased to announce Wild Florida as the resort’s new wildlife partner, providing brand-new educational and interactive guest experiences, including up-close animal encounters and live shows.

For almost two decades, Gaylord Palms has become known for its 4.5-acres of atrium-enclosed gardens with thousands of tropical plants and several species of animals that are native to Florida. With this new partnership, Wild Florida is providing access to many of these unique species including alligators and snakes. 

“We are very excited that Wild Florida is our new wildlife partner because they provide a one-of-a-kind experience for our guests,” said General Manager of Gaylord Palms Johann Krieger. “Their family-friendly experiences allow our guests to learn more about Florida’s diverse ecosystem and get up-close with unique animals, all while exploring the rest of our resort’s distinctive environment.”

Gaylord Palms Partnership with Wild Florida

Educational and interactive guest experiences Wild Florida is providing include:

  • 20 alligators that live inside the resort’s St. Augustine atrium habitat, Gator Springs
  • Six hatchlings, also known as baby gators or “grunts,” that have a home in the Everglades atrium
  • Four snakes that guests can see in Sawgrass Place, located within our Everglades atrium
  • Live gator feedings with a Wild Florida representative at Gator Springs at 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday and Saturday
  • Up-close animal encounters with critters from Wild Florida’s nearby zoological park on select days

Plus, each experience is complimentary for overnight guests, allowing them to enjoy the lush gardens and native species at any time throughout their stay.

“Gaylord Palms Resort is an amazing world-class facility,” said Sam Haught, Co-owner of Wild Florida. “We are grateful to partner with a company that shares our same passion for inspiring visitors to make a connection with Florida’s wildlife.”

Gaylord Palms Partnership with Wild Florida

In accordance with Marriott’s “Commitment to Clean” practices, the resort provides enhanced cleaning technology, hospital-grade disinfectants, attendants dedicated to sanitizing frequently throughout the day, social distancing protocols, and hundreds of new cleaning processes to take care of guests while they enjoy the resort’s amenities. 

For more information about Wild Florida’s new educational and interactive experiences, visit the resort’s website.

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Holidays in Space Return to Kennedy Space Center

Holidays in Space Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center December 2020

The North Pole is taking up residence in the cosmosphere this December as Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex unveils this year’s Holidays in Space from December 21 – 30*, as the visitor complex will be transformed into a holiday wonderland – snow included.

“This has been a difficult year for all of us. We wanted to create a holiday-themed escape for our guests, reminding us all that the joy, light and warmth of the holiday season is alive and well at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex,” said Therrin Protze, chief operating officer, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

Holidays in Space Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center December 2020

From 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., guests will delight in the festive holiday décor that has taken over the visitor complex. From the NASA meatball turned holiday ornament, to shooting stars adorning light poles, a mosaic holiday tree, and walk-through ornaments in the Rocket Garden – seasonal spirit abounds. Beginning at 1 p.m., snow will begin to fall and a dance party will commence.

The Holidays in Space experience is included with daily admission. For more information and to book a visit, go to www.kennedyspacecenter.com.

Holidays in Space Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center December 2020

*Holidays in Space will not be open December 24 or 25. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will be closed on Christmas Day, December 25.

Trusted Space

 As always, the health and safety of crew members and guests is the highest priority for Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has implemented safety protocols to ensure a trusted space for the well-being of our crew and guests.

 In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendations, the visitor complex will continue all precautionary measures, including limited capacity and encouraging advance daily admission purchases; requiring face coverings and temperature screening for employees and guests; accommodating social distancing queues, restaurants, show viewing areas, and other facilities throughout the complex; and implementing increased frequency of sanitization and disinfection.

Additional details are available at: www.kennedyspacecenter.com/info/coronavirus  

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Universal Orlando Unveils VelociCoaster Vehicle

Universal Orlando Resort Universal Islands of Adventure Jurassic Park VelociCoaster
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

The Universal Orlando Resort has shared a new glimpse at the VelociCoaster, the all-new species of roller coaster coming to Jurassic Park at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in summer 2021.

Jurassic World VelociCoaster will raise the bar in extreme roller coaster design and become the ultimate experience for thrill-seekers – catapulting guests up to 70 mph and more than 150 feet in the air as they feel the rush of the hunt alongside a swift pack of Velociraptors.

Designed for speed and engineered for the hunt, the coaster’s revolutionary ride vehicle will send riders twisting and soaring across 4,700 feet of track as they encounter near-misses, launches, 12 heart-pounding seconds of airtime, and more – with just a lap bar restraint holding them in place. Click here for an up-close look at the vehicle.

More details about Jurassic World VelociCoaster will be revealed in early 2021, so make sure that you follow @onthegoincmo on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for updates!

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The Chick-Fil-A Christmas Spectacular at the Citrus Tower

The Citrus Tower in Clermont has brought back its light show for the first time since they stopped the show 2 years ago. The new light show this year features 50,000 lights on the 226-foot tower, synchronized to music and snowfall.

Owners Scott and Heather Homan reached out to the community for help and support in funding the return of the show. They were seeking people to purchase $100 annual memberships, and the proceeds from those sales would go toward the light show. Then, Chick-Fil-A of Clermont’s owner Rocky DeStafano contributed 20-free chicken sandwich vouchers per membership, and sales spiked. With the support of other local business groups and the Real Life Church, they were able to meet the funding needed to make the show happen.

This 360-degree light show truly is one of a kind, and something we felt is very safe to be able to go view during these times of Covid-19. As you can see, it is really easy to social distance from people here. At first, we stayed in our car, but then we got out to view it better since the parking lot gives you plenty of space to stay away from others safely. They do have an announcement asking that children are monitored since it is a working parking lot.

Back in March this year, they had some lights attached to communicate hope amid the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic. But bringing back this light show was so magical, they even have snow machines set up and have a little closed off area right up front for people to stand closer away from the parking lot.

The owners have recently transformed the inside of the building adding a coffee shop, arcade, and a board game store. They also added free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and a new seating area at the top of the tower to sit and enjoy the views, maybe with a coffee from downstairs.

The show will run until January 1st from 6-10 pm every night. Their Facebook page suggests you wear a mask at all times, social distance when possible, and to remain in your car to view the show if you are at risk for Covid. If you are comfortable heading inside (wear a mask please) the Citrus Coffee Company inside the lobby has a limited-time Christmas Drink: Ginger Snap S’More Latte available for purchase among other sweet treats.

The Florida Citrus Tower is located at 141 S Hwy 27, Clermont FL 34711.

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Dazzling Nights at the Leu Gardens

Dazzling Lights Harry P. Leu Gardens Holidays 2020

Orlando’s 50-acre Harry P. Leu Gardens will transform into a stunning, magical wonderland featuring a million dazzling lights, shining forests, magical displays, music, and beautiful sculptures during Dazzling Nights – a new family-friendly adventure that gives guests the opportunity to embark on a three-quarter-mile interactive holiday experience.

Created by the team who brings the IMMERSE Festival to Downtown Orlando every October and presented by AdventHealth, Dazzling Nightsis an awe-inspiring holiday event.

Dazzling Lights Harry P. Leu Gardens Holidays 2020

A few snapshots of the adventure:

  • When guests arrive at Leu Gardens, they will have a photo opportunity in front of a unique, 30’ tall towering Christmas tree.
  • Interactive lights on the ground light up and ring-like holiday bells when stepped upon.
  • Guests journey through a forest of light and fog as if walking through the aurora borealis.
  • Visitors immerse themselves in a 65’ long tunnel of wondrous light.
  • And the evening would not be complete without snow and holiday tunes.
  • And so much more!

The outdoor event is designed to ensure adequate social distancing and safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and visitors will be required to wear masks.

Dazzling Nights Info At-A-Glance

LOCATION:  Harry P. Leu Gardens, 1920 North Forest Avenue, Orlando, FL 32803

DATES:  December 1, 2020 to January 3, 2021.  To ensure the safety of guests, timed entry will take place from 5:30pm-9pm.

TICKETS:  $22 per person and can be purchased at dazzlingorlando.com

PARKING:  On-site parking is available for a small fee.  Complimentary parking and a shuttle will be provided off-site at Blue Jacket Park, 2501 General Rees Avenue, Orlando, FL 32814.

You can find more information about Dazzling Nights on their website  dazzlingorlando.com!

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Fusion Fest Returns to Orlando

Celebrate the People and Many Cultures That Make Central Florida Awesome at the Free Two-Day Festival That Features Over 1,000 Local Artists and Draws People From More Than 110 Different Cultures to Experience Music, Dance, Food, Visual Arts, Spoken Word, Games and Interactive Activities

Downtown Orlando’s annual celebration of the people and the many cultures that make Central Florida awesome, FusionFest, announces the return of the in-person festival, keeping CDC guidelines, on Thanksgiving Weekend: Saturday, November 28 from Noon to 8pm and Sunday, November 29 from Noon to 6pm.  Cultures from all across the world will fill the Seneff Arts Plaza in front of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and Orlando City Hall Commons Plaza for the free, two-day festival, which draws people from more than 110 different cultures to experience music, dance, food, visual arts, spoken word, games and interactive activities and features over 1,000 local artists, who will perform and showcase their work on the stages, gallery and interactive installations at FusionFest. 

Guests of FusionFest will enjoy the Opening Spectacle, International Food Court and Marketplace, three stages featuring music, dance, spoken word and fashion, Film Pavilion screening the MYgration Films in partnership with Global Peace Film Festival, Global Street Dance Party, Diversitastic! Choir, Interactive Experiences, Visual Arts Gallery, Fun and Games Station, exciting prizes, community panels, Fusion contests with cash awards up to $1,000, plus a new station highlighting cultural celebrations from around the world.

“FusionFest began as a grassroots movement,” says FusionFest Chief Instigator Terry Olson and Business and Development Manager Thali Sugisawa.  “When you see a festival the size of FusionFest, it is easy to think that this is a corporate effort, but it isn’t.  There is a Steering Committee in place of over 40 people representing many different cultures, ethnicities and communities.  Representation matters and FusionFest has it in mind since day one.  It is about honoring the diverse local community and highlighting Central Floridians talents, and we are proud to continually show the community and the world that people with different lifestyles and different ethnicities and heritages can live together in a non-divisive way.”

In compliance with state and local laws, FusionFest will implement a wide variety of health and safety protocols, which include: Six feet social distancing for tables, chairs and patron lines, temperature checks at dedicated entrances for staff, vendors, performers, volunteers, participants and all attendees, masks for vendors, staff and volunteers and facial coverings available for sale on site, increased handwashing and hand sanitizer stations throughout the festival, and continuous spraying of CDC-approved disinfectant on all high touch areas will be handled by several staff members. 

“With theme parks and schools open, we have examples to observe now,” says Olson and Sugisawa.  “We are conducting additional research at any outdoor festivals happening between now and then, and we attended the recent Florida Festivals and Events conference to discover and formalize best practices for social distancing at outdoor events to ensure that this year’s FusionFest is a safe, comfortable and secure environment, while also a fun-filled, memorable and always meaningful festival for everyone attending.”

FusionFest is a free to attend.  VIP Passports can be ordered in advance online or at the festival for $25, which include: (1) Neck Wallet, (4) Food Tokens, (1) Souvenir Button, (1) Prize Ticket and (1) Super Prize Raffle Ticket ($300 Gift Card).

Experience FusionFest on Saturday, November 28 and Sunday, November 29, 2020 in Downtown Orlando.  For updates on the performance schedule, artist lineup and vendor stations and for more information, visit www.FusionFest.org for or call 407-836-5540.  Apply as an Artist, Vendor or Volunteer (until October 1) at www.FusionFest.org/JoinUs.

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Holidays at LEGOLAND Florida Bring Holly Jolly Fun

Holidays at LEGOLAND Florida 2020
Chip Litherland, Merlin Entertainments Group

The Cheerful holiday spirit is filling the LEGOLANDFlorida Resort this season during Holidays at LEGOLAND, select dates November 27 through December 31.

The theme park built for kids will be transformed into a holiday wonderland with unforgettable live, seasonal entertainment, unique LEGO activities, twinkling lights, and specialty treats that are included in general admission to the park. ​

This year’s Holidays at LEGOLAND Florida feature several new experiences families will want to check out!

Holidays at LEGOLAND Florida 2020
Photo: LOCK + LAND, Chip Litherland

Mrs. Claus’ crew of holiday helpers find themselves in a delicious dilemma as they sing, dance, and work together through some frosty fun in the new, original musical stage show, The Very Merry Mix-Up.

Holidays at LEGOLAND Florida 2020
PHOTO / LOCK + LAND, Chip Litherland

Explore the all-new Holiday Village Postal Service where children can handwrite letters to LEGO Santa himself. At this interactive post office, children will watch through digital screens as their special letters travel directly to the North Pole!

Holidays at LEGOLAND Florida 2020
PHOTO / LOCK + LAND, Chip Litherland

Then, the whole family can hop aboard Fun Town’s multi-level carousel and join in a new holiday singalong!

Returning guests will delight in the return of Holidays at LEGOLAND’s favorite traditions, including the LEGO Sleigh and Reindeer photo spot.

Holidays at LEGOLAND Florida 2020
PHOTO / LOCK + LAND, Chip Litherland

Dancing lights and music bring your perfect holiday visit to a festive close “Rockin’ Around,” a 30-foot-tall LEGO Christmas tree spectacular that comes to life with dazzling lights and sounds to celebrate the season.

North Pole Nonsense will also return to LEGO City Stage with holiday hijinks featuring some of Santa’s silliest elves and their wacky juggling and slapstick fun.

Holidays at LEGOLAND Florida 2020
PHOTO / LOCK + LAND, Chip Litherland

Colorful characters are around every holly-packed corner with socially distanced selfie spots with LEGO Santa, LEGO Gingerbread Man and LEGO Toy Soldier. Unikitty will also don her jolliest attire for festively fun photos to delight guests of all ages. Please note that all character and performer interactions will be staged using generous spacing, of six feet or more.

Families can grab a brick and help build a themed LEGO mosaic to celebrate the holidays from around the world, or journey to DUPLO Valley, where iconic holiday symbols have been sprinkled throughout the farmland. Grab the scavenger hunt clues to solve the riddles and find each one! 

Holidays at LEGOLAND Florida 2020 New Year's Eve CHRISTMAS BRICKTACULAR Legoland Florida Resort
PHOTO / LEGOLAND Florida, Merlin Entertainments Group, Chip Litherland)

Then make sure to mark your calendars to say goodbye to 2020 with Kids’ New Year’s Eve fireworks! Guests can ring in 2021 at the kid-friendly time of 8 p.m. as fireworks transform into bursts of LEGO bricks right before their eyes, exclusively on December 31, 2020!

For more information on the Holidays at LEGOLAND Florida and more, make sure to visit LEGOLANDFlorida.com.  

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Wekiva Island Winter Wonderland 2020

Wekiva Island will be hosting its beloved Winter Wonderland celebration from December 1 to January 1. In its fifth year, the event will be adjusted for the “elf” and safety of guests and staff—but it will still bring the holiday cheer with daily “snow” flurries, thousands of lights, festive décor, and plenty of events for the whole family.

Wekiva Island Winter Wonderland 2020

To officially kick off the event, Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive at 7 p.m. December 4, bringing the first “snow” of the 2020 holiday season with them.

“We’ve put a lot of thought and hard work into making sure this event is as safe as possible for all of our guests,” said Carrie Vanderhoef, manager. “This is always a favorite event, and we’re happy to be able to keep the holiday spirit alive this season.”

Guests will have plenty of opportunities to soak in that spirit and capture the perfect holiday photo on the Island.

This year’s Winter Wonderland will feature a breathtaking Christmas tree forest full of decorated trees that will serve as the perfect backdrop.

The schoolhouse will be made up to look like a giant gingerbread house, and “snow” flurries will fall nightly from 6 to 9 p.m. and 12 to 9 p.m. on weekends.

Guests can also take a “sleigh” ride down the river for $20 for adults and $10 for children on Saturdays and Sundays.

Families looking for the Santa experience with the kids also won’t be disappointed. Mr. and Mrs. Claus will make a socially distanced appearance for photos on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

This year, rather than sitting on Santa’s lap, guests are encouraged to leave letters for Santa in a special mailbox or via email. These letters will be read live at 7 p.m. every Tuesday on Wekiva Island’s Facebook.

Wekiva Island Winter Wonderland 2020

Winter Wonderland features many socially distanced holiday activities for children of all ages to enjoy:

  • Breakfast with Santa – Enjoy the most important meal of the day with Jolly Old St. Nick himself! Bring the entire family for the chance to take socially distanced photos with Santa while enjoying a delicious plate of breakfast eats. 9 a.m. to noon on December 13 with ticketed seating by the hour. $12.95 for adults and $9.95 for children 10 and younger.
  • VIP Winter Wonderland Party – Get the VIP treatment at the Island’s exclusive ticketholder-only holiday party. Enjoy craft beer and wine, gourmet small plates, live music and more from 7 to 11 p.m. on December 19. $50 per person, $90 for couples.
  • Holiday movies – Bring the whole family out to watch holiday classics at the Island! Bring your own lawn chair to social distance in style while enjoying the popcorn and hot cocoa available to purchase. 7 p.m. Sundays starting December 6.
  • Cocoa, stories & cookies with Mrs. Claus – Spend some time with Mrs. Claus and enjoy some tasty treats! This event is limited to the first 20 children in person but will also take place virtually. Reservations required. 6 p.m. December 10 and 17. $10 per child.
  • Reindeer feed box workshop – Join Santa and Mrs. Claus to learn how to make reindeer feed from the pros. For $10 a child, guests will receive all necessary ingredients to make the feed, a keepsake box and a cup of hot cocoa. If parents prefer a virtual experience, boxes can be purchased from The Tooting Otter General Store for $10. 6 to 8 p.m. December 14.
  • New Year’s Day Brunch – Ring in the New Year with a delicious brunch and river views on January 1.

To give back to the community, Wekiva Island will be filling canoes with toys to donate to Toys for Tots starting November 27. Marines will visit from 1 to 5 p.m. December 12 to collect the toys.

Wekiva Island also offers gift options at its General Store, and those who purchase a $100 gift card receive a $20 gift card free. The Island offers free gift wrapping on ALL gifts, even those not purchased there, so guests can kick back and enjoy a relaxing beverage while the Island elves do the hard work.

Winter Wonderland is open to the public. There is a $2 admission fee. A full calendar of daily events is available here. Tickets can be purchased for select events here.

Wekiva Island is requiring masks for guests at the entrance and whenever they are outside the boundaries of their small, socially distanced group. Temperature checks are required at the gate.

For more information, visit wekivaisland.com or call 407-862-1500.

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