The outdoor festival will include food and beverage seminars, food and wine tastings and live music. Seminars will be led by the hotel’s chefs and certified beverage experts, while the hotel’s award-winning restaurants will showcase signature culinary selections to pair with tastings from more than 30 wineries.
Celebrity Chef Todd English will be in attendance to meet and greet with guests. English is a renowned restaurateur who has gained national acclaim through his line of restaurants and cookbooks, and other food-related enterprises. Todd English’s bluezoo is located in the hotel and features fresh seafood in a vibrant atmosphere.
With 17 restaurants and lounges, and a distinguished culinary and beverage team, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel continually earns national recognition for its food and beverage program. The hotel features more than 70 certified wine sommeliers and 1,400 wine selections.
In the heart of the Walt Disney World Resort, the award-winning Walt Disney World Swan andDolphin Hotel is the gateway to Central Florida’s greatest theme parks and attractions. The hotel is located between EpcotandDisney’s Hollywood Studios, and nearby Disney’sAnimal Kingdom Theme Park and Magic Kingdom Park. Guests can discover 17 world-class restaurants and lounges, sophisticated guest rooms with Westin Heavenly Beds and the luxurious Mandara Spa. The hotel features five pools, two health clubs, tennis, nearby golf, complimentary transportation throughout the Walt Disney WorldResort and the Extra Magic Hours benefit, where each day, one of the four Walt Disney World Theme Parks offers additional time for guests to enjoy select attractions. (Valid Theme Park admission and Resort ID required). The hotel can be reached at 800-227-1500, www.swandolphin.com or through Facebook at www.facebook.com/swananddolphin.
This Year’s Mardi Gras Celebration Delivers More Excitement Than Ever Before With an Extended Concert Series Featuring Robin Thicke, Nelly, The Wanted and More
First things first, I absolutely adore Mardi Gras at the Universal Orlando Resort!!! It is by far one of my favorite things to attend in Orlando!!!
On select nights February 8 through May 31, the Universal Orlando Resort comes alive with a Mardi Gras celebration featuring 20 nights of AMAZING concerts from popular stars and New Orleans bands, great food that takes you to the heart of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, a parade full of fun floats and bead throwing, and a party atmosphere that is fun for the whole family! It is also one of my husband and date night!
The best part??? All of these are included in your admission to Universal Studios Florida!!!
There are so many great things to experience at Universal Studios Mardi Gras, but the concerts this year are AMAZING!!!!
This year’s powerhouse musical lineup features a diverse array of talent, from R&B superstar Robin Thicke, whose hit single “Blurred Lines” topped the Billboard chart for a near-record 12 weeks, to UK pop sensation The Wanted, who has sold nearly 10 million albums worldwide, to Latin idol Prince Royce, who reached number one on the U.S. Hot Latin Songs chart with “Corazón Sin Cara.” Also performing is rock band Daughtry, Grammy award-winning Hip Hop artist Nelly, and the classic rock group Foreigner, one of the best-selling bands of all time.
Guests can also catch colorful beads by the handful during this year’s parade, which will feature 12 vibrant floats, including three new additions celebrating Jules Verne’s novel, “Around the World in Eighty Days.” All of the exquisitely detailed Mardi Gras floats are engineered by Blaine Kern Artists, the same company that has been hand-crafting floats for the iconic New Orleans celebration since 1947.
In addition to all that, at Universal Studios Mardi Gras you can visit a vibrant French Quarter Courtyard for delicious and authentic Cajun cuisine, street performers, and bands pulled straight from Bourbon Street performing.
And when you are ready, you can keep the Mardi Gras party going at Universal CityWalk at their great bars and entertainment venues!!!
Florida residents have some pretty amazing special offer that they can take advantage of during Mardi Gras at the Universal Orlando Resort!
In addition to amazing deals on theme park Annual Passes, there are great deals on the three on-site hotels: Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort, and a fourth on-site hotel, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, opening March 31, 2014.
For a limited time, get up to 3 months free on any Annual Pass:
Power Pass – $174.99 (plus tax)
Preferred Pass – $244.99 (plus tax)
Premier Pass – $369.99 (plus tax)
Offer is also available on FlexPay, Universal Orlando’s monthly payment option
Must be purchased and activated by April 30, 2014 with a Coca-Cola UPC code or promo code on specially-marked cups at participating Wendy’s.
Visit UniversalOrlando.com for full details and to learn about the benefits of each annual pass
Florida Resident Getaway
2-night accommodations at a nearby Universal Partner Hotel
Florida Resident 2-day base ticket to both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure
Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before the theme park opens
Complimentary scheduled transportation between hotel and Universal Orlando Resort
Starts at only $105 per adult, per night, tax inclusive
Upgrade to one of three deluxe on-site hotels at Universal Orlando Resort and stay in the heart of the party! Plus, receive complimentary Universal Express Unlimited ride access to skip the regular lines in both theme parks (a FREE benefit worth up to $89 per person, per day)
Guests can also take advantage of this current special offer:
SAVE & Play Vacation Package
SAVE up to $500* with an On-Site Vacation Package
Deluxe On-site Hotel Accommodations at one of three AAA Four Diamond Award on-site hotels
Theme Park Admission
Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before the theme park opens
Complimentary on-site transportation via water taxi or shuttle bus to both theme parks and Universal CityWalk
Receive complimentary Universal Express Unlimited ride access to skip the regular lines in both theme parks (a FREE benefit worth up to $89 per person, per day)
Book by March 31 and use promotion code UNIPLAY at time of purchase to save!
About Universal Orlando Resort Vacation like you mean it at Universal Orlando Resort – where every heart-pounding, jaw-dropping, goose-bumping second counts. With two incredible theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, three magnificently themed on-site hotels and a nighttime entertainment complex, Universal Orlando is the only place where you can turn spending time with your family into spending timeas a family. Together, you can soar above Hogwarts with Harry Potter, swing above the streets with Spider-Man, become a Minion in the hilarious and heartwarming Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride, and join Optimus Prime in the fight to save mankind on the new mega-attraction, TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D.
Universal Orlando Resort is part of NBCUniversal, a Comcast company. Follow Universal Orlando Resort on Facebook, Twitter, Instagramand YouTube.
With the start of a new year and with so much going on after the holidays, I thought it would be a great time to restart our Week in Review and play a little catch up on this week’s highlights and news from the Orlando and Central Florida Attractions and Venues!
Week in Review – December 30, 2013 to January 3, 2014
Walt Disney World Resort
The Disney Parks Blog announced a new contest where you can win a 5-day/4-night vacation for four to either the Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort.
We’ve just launched disney.com/resolutions where Disney celebrities are sharing how they plan to resolve to spend more time with family in 2014. A new video will be uploaded everyday in January.
On disney.com/resolutions, we are also awarding a vacation-a-day from December 31, 2013 through January 31, 2014! So enter every day for your chance to win because this is the year to spend more quality time with the people you love most. Good luck!
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Open only to individuals, who are, as of Entry, legal residents of, and physically located within, the 50 U.S., D.C., Puerto Rico or Canada (excluding Quebec) and who are not Minors. Sweepstakes starts 12:01 AM (EST) on 12/31/13 and ends 11:59:59 PM (EST) on 1/31/14. Click here for Official Rules.
With Walt Disney World Marathon weekend right around the corner, runDisney was everywhere when they released details about the Limited Edition runDisney 2014 New Balance shoes!
I don’t know about you, but I am so excited for everything that is coming to the Universal Orlando Resort!!!
January is Passholder appreciation month at SeaWorld Orlando, and they are offering some great deals!
Bring a friend for FREE! SeaWorld® Orlando Pass Members receive a friend for free ticket*. Online registration is required. Valid for one single-day admission by January 31, 2014. Register Now.
Double Your Discount**
Save 20% on dining in all of our cafeteria-style restaurants
Save 20% on merchandise in our gift shops
*Pass Member must be present for guest to gain admittance. Free ticket offer valid for active SeaWorld Orlando 1-Year, 2-Year and FL Platinum Pass Members. Not valid for Fun Cards, Teacher’s Study Passes or Friends & Family Passes. Free ticket is non-transferable, not for resale and may be revoked for misuse.
**Offer only valid between Jan. 1-31, 2014. Must present active SeaWorld Orlando 1-Year, 2-Year, or FL Platinum Pass to receive savings. Not valid with any other discounts or offers. Not valid on All-Day Dining offers. Merchandise offer valid for in-park purchases only.
The Circus is coming to town!
Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus LEGENDS is coming to the Amway Center January 9-12, but Monday the circus train rolls into Orlando. Fantastic photo opportunities will be available as the Ringling Bros. pachyderm performers parade to the Amway Center.
The Ringling Bros.animal performers will unload at 8:00 p.m. and walk beginning at 8:30 p.m. Animals will unload at railroad tracks near 1035 W. Amelia, then travel east on Amelia, south on North Hughey Ave., then west on West South St. and enter the GEICO Garage behind Amway Center. (Note: route and time are subject to change without notice.)
Tickets are still available and start at $16. Ticketmaster service charges and facility fees not included. All seats are reserved. Tickets are available atwww.ringling.com or www.ticketmaster.com, at any Ticketmaster outlet, by calling 800-745-3000, or at the Amway Center box office (phone:407-440-7900). For group ticket sales and information, call 866-248-8740.
If your house is anything like mine, you have watched the trailer for ‘The LEGO Movie’ four times daily and I was excited to see that they are going to be having a weekend of activities in February!
February 8 & 9, 2014 Enjoy fun for all with activities to celebrate “The LEGO Movie”, the first-ever, full-length theatrical LEGO adventure featuring an all-star cast and set to open in theaters February 7. Guests will enjoy a special movie-themed building activity, movie-themed scavenger hunt in Miniland USA and meet and greet sessions with costume characters Emmet and Wyldstyle, who play leading roles in this epic movie.
Busch Gardens Tampa
January is also Passholder appreciation month at Busch Gardens Tampa!
Double the Fun – Bring a Friend for FREE
During January, Pass Members can bring a friend for free! Online registration required. Limit one free ticket per active Pass Member. Offer valid between January 1-31, 2014. Other Restrictions Apply. Log in now to register your friend’s ticket and learn more about this limited time offer.
Triple the Savings – 30% off merchandise, food, and beverages
All month long, Pass Members get 30% off merchandise, food and beverages when you visit the park! Offer valid between January 1-31, 2014. Other Restrictions Apply.
Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex
A Falcon 9 rocket is targeted to lift-off during a dramatic SpaceX launch scheduled for January 3, launch time is subject to change but the launch window of 5:05 p.m. to 7:17 p.m. EST. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex guests may view the launch from the Apollo/Saturn V Center, the closest possible public viewing area, or special areas at the Visitor Complex.
Launch viewing from the Apollo/Saturn V Center, located in Kennedy Space Center, includes live mission control commentary and is available for Visitor Complex guests for $20 plus the cost of admission. Admission to the Visitor Complex is $50 plus tax for adults and $40 plus tax for children 3-11. Bus boarding for the Apollo/Saturn V Center begins at 3:15 p.m.
Launch viewing, featuring live mission control commentary, also is available from Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and is included in regular admission.