Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Fifth Annual Food & Wine Classic Dates Announced

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Announce

Dates for Fifth Annual Food & Wine Classic

Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

Culinary artistry, fine wine and celebrity chef meet-and-greets will once again highlight the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic. The event, back for its fifth year, will be held on Friday, Oct. 31, and Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014, at the Epcot Resort Area hotel.

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.

Tickets to the Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic are currently available as part of a hotel package or individually.  For more information or to book, please visit www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com or call 1-800-227-1500.

Walt Disney World Swan and

In the heart of the Walt Disney World Resort, the award-winning Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel is the gateway to Central Florida’s greatest theme parks and attractions. The hotel is located between Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and nearby Disney’s Animal 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 World Resort 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 800-227-1500www.swandolphin.com or through Facebook at www.facebook.com/swananddolphin.

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Busch Gardens Tampa Announces Pantopia

Busch Gardens® Tampa has announced that when it launches Falcon’s Fury™, North America’s tallest freestanding drop tower, in spring 2014, it will also unveil its newest land – Pantopia.

Busch Gardens Tampa

Currently known as Timbuktu, the fully remodeled Pantopia will boast elaborately-jeweled theming and feature thrilling rides and attractions, sensational new food and beverage options, exciting entertainment, shopping, a renovated indoor theater and more.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7B8IhawwuEQ&feature=c4-overview&list=UUKQQCjf0TeYhychkbXdto-Q

Located in the heart of Busch Gardens, the centerpiece of Pantopia will be Falcon’s Fury. The one-of-a-kind drop tower will stand at 335 feet and beckon guests from across the globe as it takes riders soaring straight down. At the ride’s highest point there is an element of surprise.  Like its bird of prey namesake, riders will pivot 90 degrees in midair to a face-down dive position. An instant later they’ll plunge 60 mph at 3.5 Gs straight down.

Busch Gardens Tampa

In addition to Falcon’s Fury™, this completely reimagined land will be a creative haven that has been inspired by centuries of world travelers, offering something for every member of the family.

Busch Gardens Tampa

“In addition to the power and allure of Falcon’s Fury™, Pantopia will celebrate the spirit of animals, welcome adventurers from the four corners of the earth, explore ancient lore and display fantastic architecture,” says Busch Gardens Park President Jim Dean. “Guests will find multiple portals and doorways and learn about the legends that have drawn journeyers from around the world to Pantopia™. Plus, family favorites like the Scorpion, Phoenix, Bush Flyers, Desert Runners and the Kiddie Train will return.”

For more updates about Falcon’s Fury™ and Pantopia, go to falconsfury.com. And be the first to know about new events and special deals by following the park’s blog at BuschGardensTampaBlog.com. You can also “like” the Busch Gardens Facebook page, and follow @buschgardens on Twitter, on Pinterest and Instagram.

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

A Closer Look At The Villas At The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

The Disney Vacation Club will be opening their 12th property, The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa on October 23, 2013, so I thought we would take a closer look at the rooms they’ll be offering.

The Villas at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

Combining tons of Victorian elegance, fun Disney touches, and state of the art technology The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa are beautiful!

We had a chance to tour the model rooms at the Disney Vacation Club Walt Disney World Preview Center, and while some of the finishes may be different when the resort opens I know I can’t wait to see the finished product.

httpv://youtu.be/qg9IWD2UyuE

There are four room types at the Villas, and they all feature crown molding, granite countertops, and a mirror TV in each bathroom in addition to what guests have come to expect from staying in a Disney Vacation Club room.

Room Types Available At

The Villas at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa:

Deluxe Studio

  • Sleeps up to 5
  • 1 queen-size bed, 1 queen-size sleeper sofa, 1 pull-down bunk size bed
  • Kitchenette
  • Small refrigerator
  • Wet bar
  • Flat panel TV and Blu-ray™ player
  • Full bathroom with separate tub and shower
  • Private porch or balcony

One-Bedroom Villa

  • Sleeps up to 5
  • 1 king-size bed, 1 queen-size sleeper sofa, 1 pull-down bunk-size bed
  • Fully equipped kitchen
  • Dishwasher
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove and oven
  • Washer and dryer
  • Flat panel TV and Blu-ray player
  • Freestanding tub with air jets
  • Walk-in shower
  • Private porch or balcony
The Villas at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
The Villas at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will feature many of the amenities guests have come to love at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa…especially the larger selection of H2O products found in each bathroom.

Two-Bedroom Villa

  • Sleeps up to 9
  • 1 king-size bed, 2 queen-size beds, 1 queen-size sleeper sofa, 1 pull-down bunk-size bed
  • Fully equipped kitchen
  • Dishwasher
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove and oven
  • Washer and dryer
  • Flat panel TV and Blu-ray player
  • Freestanding tub with air jets
  • Walk-in shower
  • Private porch or balcony

Three-Bedroom Grand Villa

  • Sleeps up to 12
  • 1 king-size bed, 4 queen-size beds, 1 queen-size sleeper sofa
  • Fully equipped kitchen
  • Dishwasher
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove and oven
  • Laundry room with washer and dryer
  • 4 bathrooms – 1 with whirlpool tub and shower, 1 with shower only, and 2 with combination tub/shower
  • Media room with home theater system including flat panel TV and Blu-ray player
  • Flat panel TV in living room and each bedroom, with Blu-ray player in living room
  • Dining room with dining table and chairs
  • Private porch or balcony

Cheryl shared some thoughts comparing The Villas at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa to Bay Lake Tower in this DVC post, and I can’t wait to hear what she thinks of the completed project!

I hope that you enjoyed this look around The Villas at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and don’t forget to join us on October 23rd

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride–3D Technical Rehearsals

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride–3D is set to have it’s grand opening on June 20, 2013, but the attraction is currently in technical rehearsals right now meaning that it will not be scheduled to open and can be closed at any time.

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D

The N.E.S.T. building is impressive, especially now that Optimus Prime adorns the entrance rooftop above the attraction entrance.

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D

The wait when I got to the attraction was 90 minutes, and the single rider line was being used sparingly. On our ride we were directed to use the Express Pass queue line.

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D

Right before it’s your time to protect the AllSpark, N.E.S.T. agents are debriefing guests about their ride vehicle, EVAC.

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D

Once you’re inside of EVAC, the ride vehicle, you know that this is going to be a really great attraction.

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D

The attraction is very similar in feel to The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, because it uses the same ride vehicle and 3D glasses technology.

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D

The graphics are well done and feel very real, like you are actually a part of the battle.

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D

The story line and ride sequence of TRANSFORMERS: The Ride–3D are fun and intense!

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D

Here is a closer look at EVAC, the newest transformer, is protecting the AllSpark from Megatron, so you are always being chased by him and the Decepticons.  Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and other autobots help out you and EVAC along the way to help defeat the Decepticons.

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride–3D was really entertaining, and I cannot wait to ride it again! But since it is a new attraction, you will want to be prepared for a long wait especially if you are visiting before it officially opens.

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

World Of Chima Opening At LEGOLAND Florida Announced

World Of Chima Opening

Animal Tribes Invade LEGOLAND! World Of Chima Opening Date Announced! 

An army of animal tribes from LEGOLANDFlorida’s newest expansion featuring interactive family fun, The World of Chima presented by Cartoon Network, invaded Central Florida with an important announcement. The dozens of three-foot LEGO® models of characters from the new product line, LEGO® Legends of Chima, descended upon downtown Orlando and downtown Tampa, bearing tags announcing that the park’s The World of Chima attraction will open to the public on July 3.

Laval the Lion, Eris the Eagle and members of other Chima animal tribes are searching for the missing CHI, a powerful energy source needed to power LEGOLAND Florida’s newest attraction that was stolen by Cragger, the leader of the Crocodile tribe.

 

World Of Chima

Soon fans can join The Quest for CHI to help Laval and his friends find the CHI needed to power The World of Chima presented by Cartoon Network by joining an interactive Facebook contest beginning May 27. One grand prize winner will be selected to be a VIP for the Opening Ceremony on July 3.

This expansion will be one of the centerpieces of the new LEGO Chima brand, which already includes a major LEGO product line, a stunningly animated television series to air on Cartoon Network beginning in July and multiple interactive video games and apps. LEGOLAND Florida is the only place in the world that LEGO fans can go to unleash the power and be fully immersed in The World of Chima, providing an experience like no other.

World Of Chima Opening

The centerpiece of the new World of Chima at LEGOLAND Florida is an interactive, family-friendly water ride, The Quest for CHI. Guests will enter The World of Chima through a fantastical stone and moss covered entrance which leads to the Lion Temple at the base of the majestic 45-foot tall floating Mount Cavora. There, guests will explore a diverse landscape setting and join the Lion Tribe in an epic battle to recover the stolen CHI orbs. Guests will board a watercraft which will take them on an interactive experience using water cannons to help their hero, Laval the Lion Prince, defeat Cragger the Crocodile King as he attempts to steal the precious supply of CHI. The journey will take them through the land of Chima where they will meet some of the highly advanced animal tribal habitats, including the Rhino Quarry, Raven’s Roost, Eagle’s Nest, Wolves Encampment, Gorilla Forest and Crocodile Swamp among other imaginative settings.

World of Chima

The World of Chima also features a super-charged, super-fast SpeedorzTM Arena where multiple players build their LEGO Speedorz and compete to win the precious supply of CHI by participating in-group challenges and competing in a series of obstacles. Families can also enter Cragger’s Swamp, the Croc Tribe’s secret hideout, where they will find a lush green foggy swamp filled with playful bubbles, intermittent water spouts and interactive elements that trigger swamp water effects. A new 4D movie, the LEGO Chima 4D Movie Xperience, will further immerse families into The World of Chima by bringing the characters to life on the big screen. Kids will also get to meet their hero Laval the Lion Prince and Cragger the Crocodile King at daily character meet and greet sessions. Plus, with the largest supply of LEGO products in Central Florida, guests can find their favorite LEGO Legends of Chima sets and Speedorz.
For more information regarding The World of Chima presented by Cartoon Network and the more than 50 rides, shows and attractions, visit www.LEGOLAND.com. The best way to experience LEGOLAND Florida is with a Florida Resident Annual Pass for just $99 plus tax. Pass members will receive unlimited admission for 12 months to LEGOLAND Florida and the LEGOLAND Water Park along with other Merlin U.S. attractions including LEGOLAND California Resort & Water Park, LEGOLAND Discovery Centers, Sea Life Centers and Madame Tussauds with no blackout dates. The LEGOLAND Florida Resident Annual Pass also includes admission into special events throughout the year including Red, Brick & Boom, Brick-or-Treat, Christmas Bricktacular and Kid’s New Year’s Eve.  Additionally, pass members will enjoy free parking and discounts on all food and merchandise throughout the year.

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

SeaWorld Orlando Partners With Lauren Alaina For Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin

SeaWorld Orlando Annouces Partnership with Lauren Alaina to promote new attraction, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin

 SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment has partnered with award-winning country artist Lauren Alaina to perform the official theme song for the new attraction at SeaWorld OrlandoAntarctica: Empire of the Penguin™, opening May 24, 2013.

Alaina recorded two songs for SeaWorld, including the theme song for the ride in Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, and a remix version called “Antarctica: One World, One Family.” Alaina also will be performing the song live at SeaWorld Orlando for the attraction grand opening the week of May 24th. The remix version will be available for free download starting May 9.

Alaina is currently in the studio working on her forthcoming sophomore album, and is scheduled to perform her new single “Barefoot And Buckwild” on American Idol Thursday, May 9, airing nationwide on Fox networks.

“I have such great memories of growing up and going to SeaWorld with my family, so being a part of the theme park and their new attraction is so exciting,” says Alaina.  “Recording the official theme song for the ride was so much fun – SeaWorld even brought a penguin named Pete to the studio to help inspire me!”

Georgia native Alaina captured America’s hearts when she appeared on Season 10 of American Idol.  Her first album, Wildflower, debuted at no.1 on the iTunes Country chart and no.2 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart in 2011, and was the best-selling digital album by a debut country female. Alaina has been nominated for several Teen Choice and CMT Music Awards, and recently took home the Artist of the Year: New Artist trophy at the 2012 American Country Awards.

Alaina is also the Special Olympics Project UNIFY® Ambassador for North America and traveled to   Pyeongchang, South Korea in January for the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games. In celebration of this partnership and their mutual support, SeaWorld will make a donation to Special Olympics. A Special Olympics athlete and family members also will receive a special visit to SeaWorld Orlando for the grand opening of Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, courtesy of Lauren Alaina.

“We’re excited to continue our strategy of expanding beyond family theme parks into different types of entertainment enterprises,” said Scott Helmstedter, Chief Creative Officer of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. “We’re so thrilled to welcome Lauren into our family and look forward to working with her on this project and many more into the future.”

For the behind-the-scenes story of Lauren Alaina recording the theme song for Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, watch an exclusive webisode at www.SeaWorldOrlando.com/Antarctica .

About SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™ is a leading theme park and entertainment company delivering personal, interactive and educational experiences that blend imagination with nature and enable its customers to celebrate, connect with and care for the natural world we share. The Company owns or licenses a portfolio of globally recognized brands including SeaWorld®, Shamu® and Busch Gardens®. Over its more than 50 year history, the Company has built a diversified portfolio of 11 destination and regional theme parks that are grouped in key markets across the United States, many of which showcase its one-of-a-kind collection of approximately 67,000 marine and terrestrial animals. The Company’s theme parks feature a diverse array of rides, shows and other attractions with broad demographic appeal which deliver memorable experiences and a strong value proposition for its guests. In addition to its theme parks, the company has recently begun to leverage its brands into media, entertainment and consumer products.   SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., a publicly traded company (NYSE: SEAS). Copies of this and other news releases as well as additional information about SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. can be obtained online at www.seaworldentertainment.com.  Shareholders and prospective investors can also register to automatically receive the Company’s press releases, SEC filings and other notices by e-mail.

About Lauren Alaina

Georgia native Lauren Alaina captured America’s hearts when she appeared on Season 10 of American Idol.  Her first album, Wildflower, debuted at no.1 on the iTunes Country chart and no.2 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart in 2011, and was the best-selling digital album by a debut country female.  She was also the youngest female to have her album debut that high since LeAnn Rimes 15 years prior.  Alaina has been nominated for several Teen Choice and CMT Music Awards, and recently took home the Artist Of The Year: New Artist trophy at the 2012 American Country Awards. She has toured with superstars Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Sugarland. She is also the Special Olympics Project UNIFY® Ambassador for North America, and traveled to   Pyeongchang, South Korea in January for the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games.   Lauren is currently in the studio working on her forthcoming sophomore album.  For more information, visit www.laurenalainaofficial.com or follow her on twitter @Lauren_Alaina. Lauren Alaina has partnered with SeaWorld to promote their new attraction, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, by recording the ride’s official theme song. Lauren Alaina appears courtesy of Mercury Nashville / 19Recordings / Interscope Records.

 

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

First Glimpse: Big Hero 6

Today we received a first glimpse into Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 2014 animated feature Big Hero 6!

Big Hero 6
BRIDGE TO SAN FRANSOKYO – Concept art showcases an iconic bridge and treasured landmark of the high-tech, fast-paced city of San Fransokyo, the setting for Walt Disney Animation Studios’ action comedy adventure “Big Hero 6”— in theaters on November 7, 2014.
Big Hero 6
SAN FRANSOKYO AT NIGHT – Pictured in concept art, the high-tech city of San Fransokyo is home to brilliant robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada and his team of first-time crime fighters in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ action comedy adventure “Big Hero 6”—in theaters in 3D on November 7, 2014.

Big Hero 6 Summary:

From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes Big Hero 6, an action comedy adventure about brilliant robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who finds himself in the grips of a criminal plot that threatens to destroy the fast-paced, high-tech city of San Fransokyo. With the help of his closest companion—a robot named Baymax—Hiro joins forces with a reluctant team of first-time crime fighters on a mission to save their city. Inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, and featuring comic-book style action and all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, the CG-animated Big Hero 6 hits theaters in 3D on November 7, 2014.

httpv://youtu.be/GSV3laJplpU

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Oz The Great And Powerful Flies Into Homes On DVD June 11th

Go Deeper Into the Spectacular Land of Oz

Oz The Great And Powerful

Oz The Great And Powerful New To Blu-ray™

Combo Pack, Digital and On-Demand – June 11, 2013

 

Disney’s Oz The Great and Powerful will once again provide audiences with a magical entertainment experience when it debuts for in-home release on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, DVD, Digital and On-Demand, June 11, 2013.

A must-own for any home entertainment collection, the Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) of Oz The Great and Powerful brings the epic adventure to life with its vibrantly colorful picture and sound, and boasts a sensational variety of never-before-seen bonus materials including: The Magic of Oz The Great and Powerful Second Screen Feature that provides viewers with an immersive opportunity to journey into the fantastical lands of Oz; James Franco’s personal story of his journey to the land of Oz that is produced and directed by the Oscar® nominated star himself; Golden Globe® nominee Mila Kunis’ makeup metamorphosis which is hosted by Academy Award®-winning makeup artist Howard Berger; A back-stage journey through each of the visual effects process that brought China Girl to life including an interview with Joey King; and much more. Additionally, all Blu-ray and DVD products include a digital copy of the film allowing consumers to watch “Oz The Great and Powerful” at home, in their car, and/or anywhere they go.

The film is directed by Sam Raimi who helmed the record-crushing “Spider-Man” trilogy, and produced by Joe Roth who fashioned Disney’s billion dollar-plus earning “Alice in Wonderland.” Oz The Great and Powerful boasts a stellar cast that includes Academy Award nominee James Franco (“127 Hours”) as Oscar Diggs, the predestined wizard; Golden Globe nominee Mila Kunis (“Black Swan”) as the tormented young witch Theodora; Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz (“The Constant Gardener”) as Theodora’s older sister, Evanora, the witch who rules over the Emerald City; and three-time Oscar-nominated actress Michelle Williams (“Brokeback Mountain,” “Blue Valentine,” “My Week with Marilyn”) as Glinda, the Good Witch. 

 

Bonus Features:

 

Blu-ray:

The Magic of Oz The Great and Powerful (Second Screen Experience) – An immersive Second Screen experience that details all things Oz.  From an interactive map full of secrets and surprises, to an inside look at the spectacular world of Oz. All fans need to do is download the special The Magic of Oz The Great and Powerful: Second Screen App (which is free and currently available for immediate download at the iTunes Store for iPads) which provides fans with infinite opportunities to remain connected to their favorite film, its cast of characters and to dive deeper into the magical world of Oz. This App provides exclusive access to invigorating and exclusive content including:

The Enchanting Characters and Creatures of Oz – From Munchkins and Tinkers to good witches, bad witches, and flying baboons, this piece follows each character and creature of the Land of Oz from inspiration to final outcome.

The Sounds of Magical Oz – What adds fragility to the sounds of China Girl’s footsteps; ferocity to the tornado; or weight to the flutter of Finley’s flapping wings?

Sleight of Hand: Zach Braff Puppet Theater – Actor, and voice of Finley, Zach Braff introduces viewers to the Finley mockup.

Mariah Carey Music Video

Bloopers

My Journey in Oz by James Franco – A personal story produced and directed by James Franco.

Mr. Elfman’s Musical Concoctions – An interview with composer Danny Elfman unveils his inspiration in scoring Oz The Great And Powerful.

China Girl and the Suspension of Disbelief – This feature uncloaks the several forms of movie magic employed to bring China Girl to life, from the initial artwork and character design, to the on-set puppeteering during filmmaking, and finally, through each stage of the visual-effects process; and includes an interview with Joey King, the voice of China Girl.

Before Your Very Eyes: From Kansas to Oz – Production designer Robert Stromberg takes viewers through the set design of the Land of Oz, from sketching his original ideas on a napkin, through to the final set pieces and the accompanying visual effects.

Mila’s Metamorphosis – Lead makeup artist Howard Berger expands on one of the oldest, most tried-and-true forms of movie magic: makeup design and effects.

Walt Disney and the Road to Oz – It is well known that Walt Disney had a fascination with the Land of Oz since he was a child.  See how that fascination grew into inspiration as he began planning for his own adaptation of the stories in the classic Baum books.

DVD:

Bloopers

Walt Disney and the Road to Oz

 

Social Media:

To learn more and stay connected with the film, please…

·       “Like” us on Facebook: facebook.com/OzTheGreatAndPowerful

·       Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/DisneyOzMovie @DisneyOzMovie

·       Follow us on Pintrest: pinterest.com/disneystudios/oz-the-great-and-powerful

·       Website and Mobile Site: http://www.disney.com/TheWizard

 

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

My Monsterous Summer Preview

Monsterous Summer

I had the pleasure of attending the Walt Disney World Monsterous Summer Media Preview last week, and it was great to learn so much about all the fun there is to be had this summer at the Walt Disney World Resort!

Disney’s Monstrous Summer is going to have a little something for everyone! It’s the first summer of fun in New Fantasyland, this summer the surprises of Limited Time Magic continue, and some all-new adventures begin around the Resort including the opportunity play pirate in the Magic Kingdom or becoming a wilderness explorer with badges galore in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

The Monstrous Summer lineup is inspired by the June 21 release of the Disney-Pixar animated feature, “Monsters University.” Mike and Sulley are dropping in from MU to scare up monstrous surprises! An all-new collegiate setting for meeting their favorite aspiring scarers will be on the Backlot at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will have a great view of the MU Campus. Also at the Magic Kingdom MU students have been studying new jokes to bring to the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor!

But the event wasn’t just about Mike, Sulley, and their friends! It was an event full of some great announcements, so let’s take a look at what I learned all about…

Monsterous Summer – Special Events

May the 4th Be With You  – In honor of Star Wars day, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be hosting “May the 4th Be with You!”—a one-of-a-kind Star Wars-themed celebration for the whole family. During this Limited Time Magic Event, you will be able to meet iconic characters, parents will be able to join their fellow Padawans in a special family Jedi Training Academy, purchase special merchandise with messages like “May the Fourth Be with You” and “Revenge of the Fifth”, you can join DJ Lobot for a Star Wars-themed Dance Party, and at the end of the day you can take a seat on Hollywood Boulevard and settle in for “Symphony in the Stars,” a spectacular fireworks display set to close the celebration. Catch all the amazing sights and sounds, the likes of which haven’t been seen since the fall of the Empire!

Monsterous Summer

Pull an All-Nighter to Celebrate the beginning of Summer – A larger than life Mike Mike Wazowski joined us to tell us all about another 24 hour celebration coming to both coasts on May 24th. You can find all of the details about the All-Nighter here.

httpv://youtu.be/OBRYUUO29LM

Downtown Disney Revs Up for Car Masters Weekend June 14-16 -Car Masters Weekend, now in its third year, is the perfect way to celebrate Father’s Day as Downtown Disney West Side hosts a classic car show with a modern twist June 14-16, 2013. Featuring all things “Cars,” the event showcases more than 150 classic, muscle and exotic cars; a chance for guests to meet “Cars 2″ stars Lightning McQueen, Mater and Finn McMissile; and special appearances by automotive designer Chip Foose and Disney-Pixar “Cars” filmmaker Jay Ward. Completing the car-nucopia of events, fans may purchase tickets for a ”Cars” & “Cars 2″ movie marathon at AMC Downtown Disney 24, “test drive” Ridemakerz “Cars” models, and enjoy caricatures, themed food and beverage, live entertainment and more. Entertainment subject to change.

Monsterous Summer – New Offerings

Senses, A Disney Spa At Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort – Joining later this summer its sister spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, the new Senses Spa at Saratoga Springs will be inspired by the healing properties of natural springs that have drawn people for centuries to Saratoga Springs in upstate New York. A completely redesigned space, Senses, A Disney Spa At Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort, will feature 10 treatment rooms offering an array of services including water therapy, massage and facials. Senses will incorporate the springs, nature and the storyline of health in its design and theming. For reservations and information, you can call 407-WDW-SPAS.

Wilderness Explorers Comes to Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Coming this spring Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests will be invited to become Wilderness Explorers and experience the park in engaging and challenging ways aimed at deepening their understanding of animals and the natural world we live in. When you sign up and take the official pledge, you set off with your field guide and in hopes to earn all 30 sticker badges of the Wilderness Exlplorers!  You will have to complete challenges as you explore the park and all of its rich details. While this activity is aimed at guests 7-10, it really looks like fun for the entire family! Who doesn’t love stickers? Wilderness Explorers will be self-guided and encourage more “up close and personal” time with the animal inhabitants of the park, and Wilderness Explorers will be included in Disney’s Animal Kingdom admission.

Monsterous Summer

New Meet-Up with Mickey, Minnie at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse are scheduled to welcome Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests to their new exploration headquarters, Adventurers Outpost, on Discovery Island, beginning this spring. The all-new indoor retreat is the perfect spot for guests to meet the globetrotting duo as they get ready to set off on their next adventure.

A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas – In testing now and scheduled to debut this Spring, “A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas” will be a new interactive adventure where Magic Kingdom guests participate in pirate raids throughout Adventureland. Pirate maps lead to fabulous treasures as guests join Captain Jack Sparrow and fight off the Royal Navy, Captain Barbossa, headhunters, curses — and the greatest threat of all, Calypso, the sea goddess. If they help Jack succeed in all the missions, they will be welcomed as part of his new crew. If not, they face the wrath of the cruel sea…alone. The adventure is divided into 5 different raids, each comprising a series of interactive tasks.

httpv://youtu.be/kUZOEV_k46I

Disney Dining – Coming by summer’s end: a re-imagined California Grill crowning Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Guests will experience a beautiful new dining room, onstage kitchen and new dining choices – chef Brian Piasecki will keep the focus on creative, fresh, seasonal dishes, and top-of-the-line sushi.  At Epcot, what says summer better than ice cream? The France Pavilion will be expanding with L’Artisan des Glaces, an artisan ice cream and sorbet shop, debuts in mid-June with 16 yummy flavors, all made in-house with fresh ingredients (with the option of adding a shot of liquor on top, for grown-up tastes).

Summer Latte, Anyone? More Starbucks Locations Coming to Disney Parks -Starbucks will be opening locations at Disney theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resortt. When it reopens in early summer, Main Street Bakery in Magic Kingdom will keep its name and theming and continue to serve Disney favorites such as cookies, brownies and seasonal cupcakes, in addition to Starbucks signature beverages and other menu items. At Epcot, Starbucks products will be featured when the Fountain View location reopens for midsummer. Each Starbucks location inside a Disney Park will reflect the theme of its surroundings.

New Summer Line of Disney Parks Cosmetics – In time for summer, fairy tale legends and secrets come to life with the captivating new Unlock the Spell collection from Beautifully Disney, Disney Parks’ line of cosmetics and beauty products. The new-for-summer collection — inspired by the spellbound Tiana, Belle and Rapunzel — is rich in lush colors: soft, pretty yellow, rosy golds, and punchy purples. Unlock the Spell will make its debut at Trend-D at Downtown Disney.

New Disney Dooney Pattern – This spring, a new pattern of Disney Dooney and Bourke purses will be released at TrenD. This coated canvas, features a bold and fun type spelling out Minnie and Mickey with Mickey and Minnie Heads.The colors are more of a neon/bright color and are really on point! It’s a really great and versatile pattern that is great for casual fun or taking to the office. I can’t wait to bring one home for myself!

Monsterous Summer

Monsterous Summer

Disney Ray-Ban Sunglasses – Disney Ray-Ban sunglasses will be coming this spring, and they are adorable! Available in both original Wayfarer styles, they feature a black and white Mickey pattern. What will be really interesting, is to see if the black version with the Mickey pattern on the inside will be considered ‘Disney Look’…I have my fingers crossed for all my Cast Member friends!!!

Monsterous Summer

Monsterous Summer – Announcements

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade – The Magic Kingdom will be replacing the ‘Celebrate a Dream Come True’ Parade with the Festival of Fantasy Parade that will be stepping off in the Spring of 2014. This all-new parade will bring a celebration of New Fantasyland to life through innovative parade floats, costumes, and an original soundtrack of familiar favorites and a specially crafted parade theme song. The Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade will specifically highlight the stories of “The Little Mermaid,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Dumbo,” “Pinocchio,” “Peter Pan,” “Tangled” and the Disney●Pixar film “Brave” among others.

Monsterous Summer

Monsterous Summer

Disney Magic Overhaul – There’s an extra dose of magic coming aboard the  Disney Cruise Line Disney Magic! The Disney Magic is the first ship of the fleet, and will be getting a “re-imagineering” transformation during dry dock from Sept. 7 through Oct. 10, 2013. The fleet’s flagship  will be receiving a new atrium, restaurant, improved dining experience in Palo, an update to the senses spa, additions in the kid’s club areas (I am most excited about the Avenger’s Academy addition),  new pool and water play areas, as well as two all new slides! It is going to be amazing! I can’t wait to take the plunge on the AquaDunk!

Monsterous Summer

httpv://youtu.be/qCmyUmJFp1s

As you can see from my crazy long pos (sorry) there is a lot of great new experiences coming to Walt Disney World this Summer!!!

In the next few days I will be sharing more information and pictures from the Monsterous Summer Media Preview!

What are you most excited about?

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

New WWE Performance Center Opening Summer 2013 In Orlando

                                            WWE Performance Center                                   

New WWE Performance Center Opening

 

This summer a state-of the-art WWE Performance Center will open, and will serve as home to WWE’s talent development system, recently re-branded NXT®. We were beyond thrilled to attend the Press Conference and to be able to tour the still under construction Center.

httpv://youtu.be/QVKKmt2zSvU

WWE Performance Center
The First Floor Plan of the New WWE Performance Center

Once complete, the Performance Center will be 26,000 square-feet of world class training facility featuring seven training rings, a world-class strength and conditioning program, and a cutting-edge editing and production facility focused on creating ‘Bulletproof’ athletes from the inside out.

WWE Performance Center

On our tour of the WWE Performance Center, led by Paul “Triple H®” Levesque, we got a great sense of how the Center will operate once it is opened this summer.

WWE Performance Center
Triple H and Governor Scott greeting us before the Tour of the Center

The all-new Performance Center will give WWE the ability to train more potential performers than ever before through a comprehensive program including in-ring training, physical preparedness, and character development.

WWE Performance Center

The new center will be the training ground for talent that includes former professional and collegiate athletes, Olympians, and entertainers, and will offer a best-in-class sports medicine program creating a central location for all WWE talent to receive the best care both in and out of the ring.

WWE Performance Center

The sports medicine aspect of the Performance Center will be a great asset, as it will allow doctors and trainers to work hand in hand to create stronger athletes whose health is comprehensively documented. This is especially important with rehabilitation from injuries and treatment of any future injuries.

WWE Performance Center

WWE Performance Center

But the highlight of the WWE Performance Center is the Training Room! This room will will feature 7 rings that will be outfitted with the same lights and equipment used for the taping of WWE Programs.

It was clear to see that the WWE Performance Center has been created to mold the next generation of WWE Superstars into complete and ‘Bulletproof’ packages. As a fan, I have to say that it was really exciting to see the care and thought that has gone into the design of the WWE Performance Center!

Not only is the creation of this Center beneficial to the future of the WWE, but it will also be contributing to the local economy as well.

WWE Performance Center
Governor Rick Scott

“Our economy has created nearly 300,000 new private sector jobs in just over two years, meaning that thousands of Florida families now have the opportunity to pursue their dreams,” said Governor Rick Scott. “WWE could have chosen anywhere in the world to house this new global performance center – and they chose the Sunshine State. Today’s announcement that WWE will create nearly 100 more jobs for families in Central Florida is further proof that everything we do is geared towards job creation and its working.”

WWE Performance Center
Governor Scott awarded Triple H and WWE a Florida award for Business

“We are so excited that WWE has chosen to establish its training and talent development operations in Central Florida,” said Teresa Jacobs, Mayor of Orange County. “In addition to strengthening our burgeoning entertainment production industry, the WWE Performance Center brings high-value jobs, capital investment and continued economic expansion to our area.”

Today’s announcement solidifies WWE’s presence in Orlando and evolves WWE’s partnership with Full Sail University.

WWE Performance Center
Triple H spoke about the importance of the WWE’s Partnership with Full Sail University for the future growth of the company.

Last year, WWE and Full Sail announced an innovative partnership that moved live tapings of WWE NXT series, WWE’s weekly one-hour show that broadcasts on WWE.com and in more than 60 countries worldwide, to Full Sail Live, the university’s state-of-the-art performance venue.

The partnership, which created a new student scholarship fund, also allows students of the university’s entertainment-focused degree programs, including Film, Show Production, Digital Arts and Design, Internet Marketing and Entertainment Business, and to gain real-world experience alongside WWE production staff during WWE NXT tapings.

WWE Performance Center
I got to meet some of talented NXT talent.

“The WWE Performance Center and our partnership with Full Sail University are critical to the future of our company,” said Paul “Triple H®” Levesque, Executive Vice President, Talent and Live Events, WWE. “Orlando is now the home to the next generation of WWE Superstars.”

WWE Performance Center
Triple H, his trusty sledgehammer, and several NXT performers helped in their own special way with the creation of the WWE Performance Center!

“Collaborating with WWE has elevated the education experience here at Full Sail University by creating many opportunities for our students to gain hands-on experience by being mentored by some of the best minds in the entertainment production industry,” said Garry Jones, President of Full Sail University. “We are excited to welcome WWE to the neighborhood and can’t wait to see what the future holds for this evolving partnership.”

WWE Performance Center

It was beyond an honor to be able to tour the facility, meet members of the WWE and Full Sail teams, and as a fan it was great to hear the enthusiasm that Governor Scott & Mayor Jacobs have for this partnership and its expansion in the future!

WWE Performance Center
This is my total Fan-Girl moment!

About WWE

WWE, a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family friendly entertainment on its television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing platforms. WWE programming is broadcast in more than 150 countries and 30 languages and reaches more than 650 million homes worldwide. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Miami, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Istanbul and Tokyo.

Additional information on WWE (NYSE: WWE) can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com. For information on our global activities, go to http://www.wwe.com/worldwide/.

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Disney-Pixar Finding Dory Swimming Into Theaters November 25, 2015

Finding Dory

 

Ellen DeGeneres,

the Voice of the Beloved Blue Tang Fish in 2003’s “Finding Nemo,”

Shares Plans for the All-New Big-Screen Adventure – Finding Dory

 

When Dory said “just keep swimming” in 2003’s Oscar®-winning film “Finding Nemo,” she could not have imagined what was in store for her (not that she could remember). Ellen DeGeneres, voice of the friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish, revealed details today about Disney•Pixar’s Finding Dory—an all-new big-screen adventure diving into theaters on Nov. 25, 2015.

“I have waited for this day for a long, long, long, long, long, long time,” said DeGeneres. “I’m not mad it took this long. I know the people at Pixar were busy creating ‘Toy Story 16.’ But the time they took was worth it. The script is fantastic. And it has everything I loved about the first one: It’s got a lot of heart, it’s really funny, and the best part is—it’s got a lot more Dory.”

Director and Pixar veteran Andrew Stanton takes audiences back to the extraordinary underwater world created in the original film. “There is no Dory without Ellen,” said Stanton. “She won the hearts of moviegoers all over the world—not to mention our team here at Pixar. One thing we couldn’t stop thinking about was why she was all alone in the ocean on the day she met Marlin. In Finding Dory, she will be reunited with her loved ones, learning a few things about the meaning of family along the way.”

According to Stanton, Finding Dory takes place about a year after the first film, and features returning favorites Marlin, Nemo and the Tank Gang, among others. Set in part along the California coastline, the story also welcomes a host of new characters, including a few who will prove to be a very important part of Dory’s life.

“Finding Nemo” won the 2003 Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature; the film was nominated for three additional Oscars® (Best Writing, Original Screenplay; Best Music, Original Score; Best Sound Editing). It was also nominated for a Golden Globe® Award for Best Motion Picture–Comedy or Musical. In 2008, the American Film Institute named “Finding Nemo” among the top 10 greatest animated films ever made. At the time of its release, “Finding Nemo” was the highest grossing G-rated movie of all time. It’s currently the fourth highest grossing animated film worldwide. The film has more than 16 million Likes on Facebook, and Dory—with more than 24 million—is the most Liked individual character from a Disney or Disney•Pixar film.

DeGeneres’ distinctive comic voice has resonated with audiences from her first stand-up comedy appearances through her work today on television, in film and in the literary world. Her syndicated talk show, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” is in its 10th season and has earned 38 Daytime Emmy® Awards. DeGeneres has won 12 People’s Choice Awards and the Teen Choice Award for Choice Comedian for three consecutive years. Additionally, her show won two Genesis Awards and a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Talk Show Episode. For her unforgettable turn as Dory, DeGeneres was nominated for an MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance.

Finding Dory

Like Finding Dory on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PixarFindingDory

Follow Disney/Pixar on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DisneyPixar

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

LEGOLAND Florida – Summer 2013 Park Expansion

In the 18 months that LEGOLAND has been open in Florida, they have kept busy with numerous additions…

IMG_2314IMG_2317

But yesterday LEGOLAND FLORIDA announced a major park expansion that promises to be epic.

We’re talking a whole new natural resource here…CHI! We will be the first to get this new resource straight from The World of Chima!

This expansion will be one of the centerpieces of the new LEGO Chima brand, which already includes a major LEGO product line, a stunningly animated television series to air on Cartoon Network and multiple interactive video games and apps. LEGOLAND Florida is the only place in the world that LEGO fans can go to unleash the power and be fully immersed in The World of Chima, providing an experience like no other.

IMG_2322

LEGOLAND Florida’s newest expansion is the first time a theme park has put so much into a brand new product line. While Legends of Chima maybe one of the newest brands of LEGO, it has taken off to a whole new level.

“This is the first time a theme park has invested in a major expansion concurrently with the rollout of a new brand and product line, and it was an easy decision based on how well LEGO Legends of Chima has been received by children and those who are young at heart around the world,” said LEGOLAND Florida General Manager Adrian Jones. “This is also a reflection of the overall success of the park, which has already enabled us to open a new Water Park and build multiple new attractions during the past 18 months.”

IMG_2324

Now is the time that I should probably tell you what this “CHI” is, right? (Hang on while I do some research…)

CHI is a water-like substance. All of the animal tribes (lion, eagle, croc, raven & wolf) of Chima can use it when it turns into blue orbs. The tribes need it to power vehicles and machines. Bonus! It can also give them speed, stamina and strength. (Do you get it now? You should ask your child, they can probably explain it better.)

IMG_2356

This land, set to open Summer 2013, is focused around a water ride called, The Quest for CHI.

The Quest for CHI will be the centerpiece of the new World of Chima at LEGOLAND Florida and will be an interactive, family-friendly water ride,. Guests will enter The World of Chima through a fantastical stone and moss covered entrance which leads to the Lion Temple at the base of the majestic 45-foot tall floating Mount Cavora. There, guests will explore a diverse landscape setting and join the Lion Tribe in an epic battle to recover the stolen CHI orbs. Guests will board a watercraft which will take them on an interactive experience using water cannons to help their hero, Laval the Lion Prince, defeat Cragger the Crocodile King as he attempts to steal the precious supply of CHI. The journey will take them through the land of Chima where they will meet some of the highly advanced animal tribal habitats, including the Rhino Quarry, Raven’s Roost, Eagle’s Nest, Wolves Encampment, Gorilla Forest and Crocodile Swamp among other imaginative settings.

IMG_2330 IMG_2332 IMG_2337 IMG_2338

There will also be a 4D movie that will put you right into The World of Chima.

Also there will be a Speedorz Arena, where guests can build ripcord powered vehicle models out of LEGO bricks and compete against each other.

IMG_2341

And the kids will also get the chance to meet their hero Laval the Lion Prince and Cragger the Crocodile King at daily character meet and greet sessions in the World of Chima expansion.

Another cool aspect of this new expansion is the partnership with Cartoon Network and the show that is airing on the station.

IMG_2351

“This is a great opportunity to continue the successful relationship that Cartoon Network has had with LEGO Group,” said Cartoon Network Chief Marketing Officer Brenda Piper. “We are always looking to expand the Cartoon Network brand to reach children outside the world of television and what better way to do that than by bringing the Legends of Chima to life at a theme park.”

As the presenting partner, Cartoon Network will have a major presence in the park during the summer months, and beyond. In addition, Cartoon Network will have screens placed around the park that will consist of other content from the network including the hit original series, Adventure Time.

It’s crazy to me that the construction site looks like this now and in just a few short months we’ll all be back to see this awesome new place and get immersed in The World of Chima.

IMG_2362 IMG_2363 IMG_2368IMG_2375 IMG_2377 IMG_2378 IMG_2380 IMG_2379

Being the huge LEGO fan that I am, I know that I’m ready for it! I can’t wait to check it out and see all that The World of Chima has to offer!!

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Re-Discovering America: Family Treasures from the Kinsey Collection Coming to Epcot

Guests to the American Adventure pavilion at Epcot will journey “between the pages” of history as the American Heritage Gallery opens its doors to an art exhibit representing over 400 years of African-American achievement and contribution from the Kinsey Collection.

“Re-Discovering America: Family Treasures from the Kinsey Collection,” which opens March 8, draws from an extensive collection of rare art, documents, books and artifacts amassed by philanthropists Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, who share a passion for African-American history.

Their private collection has been displayed throughout the U.S., including in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Approximately 40 pieces will be on display for Epcot guests at any given time on a rotating basis during the exhibit run.

Kinsey Collection

“We always wanted to extend the reach of the Collection to a larger, more international and diverse audience,” explained Bernard Kinsey. “So we are delighted to be collaborating with Disney to share the stories of our remarkable ancestors.”

Overseeing the collection is the Kinseys’ son, Khalil, whose school-age curiosity inspired his parents to build their collection.

The exhibit – themed to hope, belief, courage, imagination and heritage – provides optimistic and empowering stories from American history from voices that are not commonly seen or heard. Art and artifacts pay homage to African-Americans who helped build and transform a nation. Their stories of determination and courage, from the nation’s early days to the present, are at the heart of the exhibit.

To enrich the immersive storytelling experience of the exhibit, Walt Disney Imagineers added interactive displays in which Epcot guests can deepen their knowledge of the American heritage that the Kinsey holdings represent. Epcot guests will be able to use touch screens placed throughout the exhibit to further explore the art, artifacts and history. Guest-activated lanterns will help bring the history to life, with narration provided by Academy Award-winner Whoopi Goldberg (“The View”), Diane Sawyer (“ABC World News with Diane Sawyer”), and actors Chandra Wilson & James Pickens, Jr. (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Kerry Washington (“Scandal”), Zendaya Coleman & Roshon Fegan (“Shake It Up”), China Anne McClain (“A.N.T. Farm”), Tyrel Jackson Williams (“Lab Rats”).

“We are thrilled to bring the Kinsey Collection to Epcot guests,” said Jim MacPhee, senior vice president, Walt Disney World Parks. “Epcot is such a rich cultural tapestry that it serves as the perfect showcase for this powerful collection, with its celebration of the human spirit.”

Among highlights of each themed gallery:

HOPE

  • By age 19, Phillis Wheatley became internationally known as the first African-American ever to publish a book of poetry (1773).  She wrote poetry about hope and freedom and is now known as The Mother of African American Literature. (Document on display: Phyllis Wheatley’s first book).
  • Other Hope Gallery highlights: Samuel Francis Smith, My Country ‘Tis of Thee lyrics (1895); “Untitled,” Hughie Lee Smith (1951); Almanack, Benjamin Banneker (1796)

COURAGE

  • Harriet Jacobs, an enslaved young black woman often called an “American Anne Frank” stayed seven years in a tiny attic until she could escape to freedom. She later chronicled her story in an autobiography. (Document on display: Harriet Jacobs’ book, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, 1862)
  • Other Courage Gallery highlights: Sea Island Woman, fiber art, Bisa Butler (2006); Loss, sculpture, Michael Chukes (1998);

BELIEF

  • In 1870, only seven years after Emancipation, Hiram Rhodes Revels became the first African-American to represent Mississippi in the U.S. Senate. Josiah Walls became the first African-American to represent Florida in the House of Representatives. (Document on display: “Senator Hiram Rhodes Revels Cabinet Card Photograph”)
  • Other Belief Gallery highlights: Buffalo Soldiers Parade Flag (1889); What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking, Abby Fisher (1881); A Negro Explorer at the North Pole, Matthew Henson book (1912) and article.

IMAGINATION

  • Alain Locke not only became the first African-American Rhodes scholar in 1907, but his book “The New Negro” helped inspire the Harlem Renaissance, a period in American culture that produced artists, musicians, writers and thinkers that showed the world how American greatness comes from all of its citizens. (Document on display: The Negro in Art, by Alain Locke).
  • Other Imagination Gallery highlights: Harmon Foundation Catalogs (1931-1935); American Beach Negro Ocean Playground, Florida – Steel plaque (1930); “Untitled” (Kadir Nelson, 1992)

HERITAGE

  • History can be shared through many types of artifacts. Sometimes it’s as simple as a timeworn letter written by Carrie Kinsey (Bernard’s cousin) to President Roosevelt. Or an old sewing machine passed down through generations by Shirley’s grandmother, Susie Plummer Pooler. (Document on display: “Letter to President Roosevelt,” by Carrie Kinsey)
  • Other Heritage Gallery highlights: Bill of Sale-William Johnson (1832); Schedule of Over 500 Slaves (1820); Sewing Machine (1900), Susie Plummer Pooler

The American Adventure pavilion is in the heart of the World Showcase area of Epcot. “Re-Discovering America: Family Treasures from the Kinsey Collection” is included in Epcot admission. For more: http://thekinseycollection.com

 

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort Now Accepting Reservations

Cabana Bay

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort Now Accepting Reservations

Universal Announces Room Rates, New Features for New 1,800 Room On-Site Hotel

Guests can now book reservations for Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, the new, 1800-room hotel at Universal Orlando Resort that will feature value-priced guest rooms and moderately priced family suites.

The hotel is scheduled to open in early 2014 – with reservations now being accepted for stays beginning on March 31, 2014.

The new hotel is the fourth hotel within Universal Orlando Resort and will evoke the classic, retro-feel of iconic beach resorts from the 1950s and 60’s.  An area located around the North Courtyard will open first, followed later in 2014 by an area located around the South Courtyard.  Each area will have a unique look and feel.

Families will have two options for experiencing the hotel – a value-priced standard guest room or a moderately priced, 430-square-foot family suite that sleeps six.  From the moment they arrive, they will be surrounded by the hotel’s bold design, period colors, neon and retro feel.  When complete, there will be two pool complexes with sand beach and interactive features, a themed lazy river experience and 10-lane bowling alley.  Family suite rates will begin at $174 per-night; standard room rates will begin at $119 per-night.  Package rates are available with savings based on length-of-stay; a family of four can stay for seven nights for $47 per person, per-day – including accommodations and tickets to both Universal Orlando theme parks.

Cabana Bay

“We believe Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort will offer an experience unlike any other in Central Florida,” said Alice Norsworthy, executive vice president of marketing and sales at Universal Orlando Resort.  “And at the same time, it will create an entirely new, value-driven option for families that want to stay within the Universal Orlando Resort.”

As with all Resort hotels, guests at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort will be just a brief walk from Universal Orlando’s theme parks and Universal CityWalk.  They will enjoy benefits that include Early Theme Park Admission, complimentary shuttle bus transportation to the theme parks and Universal CityWalk, complimentary delivery of merchandise purchased throughout the resort to their hotel and resort-wide charging privileges with their room key.  Guests can upgrade to one of Universal Orlando’s three deluxe hotels for additional benefits – including complimentary Universal Express Unlimited ride access.  Those hotels are Loews Portofino Bay, the Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort.

Each of Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort’s Courtyards will have a unique design and atmosphere.  They will share a highly themed, two-story arrival building that will also be home to a food court serving traditional American classics along with an ever-changing selection of international cuisine, a 10-lane “retro” bowling alley, a game room and a fitness center.

 

FAST FACTS
Book now. 

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is accepting reservations.

Opening Dates: early 2014; reservations being accepted for stays beginning on March 31, 2014.
Style: Inspired by the iconic beach resorts of the 1950s and 60s, when the pool was the place to relax after the day’s road trip.
Rooms: 900 Guest Rooms and 900 Family Suites, each with colorful “retro” décor.
Pricing: Starting at $119 per night for guest rooms and $174 per night for family suites.  Guests who stay longer will save more with discounts up to 25 percent off per night.  Packages are available.
Unique Amenities: Highlights include a 10-lane, “retro” bowling alley; two main pools; and Universal Orlando’s first lazy river.
Dining: Food court serving American classics and international fare. The resort also offers light bites in the bowling alley and in the South Courtyard.
How to Book: Visit universalorlando.com or call             888-273-1311      .

 

North Courtyard (Reservations Being Accepted for Stays Beginning March 31, 2014)

Cabana Bay

First to open, the North Courtyard and its 600 family suites will be inspired by the sweeping motor courts of the 1950s and 60s.  It will feature four-story buildings with open corridors and direct access to guest rooms.  Each of the 600, 430-square-foot suites will sleep up to six and include a fold-out foam bed, kitchenette, a sliding partition for privacy, two flat-screen TVs, and an extra-large bathroom with preparation spaces for three people at once.

The suite buildings will surround a more than 10,000-square-foot, zero-entry pool with a 100-foot water slide, waterfall features and 4,000-square-foot interactive play area.  Cabanas will be available to guests for rent, and lounge chairs will ring the deck, backed by zones for sunning, game playing, picnicking and relaxing on the grass.

 

South Courtyard (Opening Later in 2014)

Cabana Bay
Cabana Bay Beach Resort Pool

The South Courtyard will also be inspired by the 50s and 60s, but with an entirely different feel.  The South Courtyard will feature a colorful, tropical resort design with serpentine, seven-story towers flowing like waves around a massive pool and lazy-river complex.

A more than 8,000-square-foot, zero-entry pool with a 6,000-square-foot sand beach will offer plenty of entertainment options, including the first lazy river at Universal Orlando Resort, a 700-foot-long feature offering multiple interactive zones.  In addition to 300 suites, the towers will feature 900 guest rooms that are each 300-square-feet and that sleep four and include two queen beds and mini-fridge.

Rates begin at $119 per night for guest rooms and $174 per night for Family Suites (guests who stay longer will save more, with discounts up to 25 percent off per night.  Package rates are available with savings based on length-of-stay; a family of four can stay for seven nights for $47 per person, per-day – including accommodations and tickets to both Universal Orlando theme parks.

To book, visit universalorlando.com or call 1-888-273-1311      .

 

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

KINGS Bowl Orlando Scheduled To Open April 15

Kings Orlando is International Drive’s Newest Hot Spot for Fun


KINGS Bowl

KINGS Bowl Orlando Scheduled To Open April 15 

30,000-Square-Foot Dining, Bowling and Entertainment Venue Features 22 Ten-Pin Bowling Lanes, Full-Service Upscale Restaurant, 60 Big Screen TVs and State-of-the-Art Sound System

KINGS Bowl, the Boston-based, dining, bowling and entertainment venue that pioneered the upscale bowling revolution in 2003, is scheduled to open its first Florida location on April 15, 2013 in the “I-Drive Live” project on Orlando’s world-famous corridor, International Drive.

KINGS first opened its doors in 2003 in the heart of Boston’s historic Back Bay. KINGS’ goal was to focus on recapturing and rekindling the fun and escape of bowling which had faded since its heyday. The 1950’s and 1960’s are considered to be the golden age of bowling and KINGS’ award-winning design and décor captures this nostalgic feeling, while adding modern twists. From the start, KINGS set out to create a unique and memorable entertainment experience by emphasizing world-class food, cold beer, creative cocktails, cutting edge technology and great music. The focus is on classic, retro-inspired décor and executive chef-designed menus brought to life by best-in-industry service. In doing so, KINGS sparked the modern day bowling renaissance and carved a name for itself as the original upscale bowling venue, which has revitalized the sport across America.

KINGS Orlando will offer a first-class dining and entertainment experience unlike any other along International Drive or in Central Florida. In addition to 22 ten-pin bowling lanes, KINGS will offer four full-sized billiards tables, a regulation-sized shuffleboard table, a full outdoor bocce ball court (one of only a few in the area), weekend disc jockeys, dancing and much more. Beer enthusiasts who have dreamed of tending bar will take great delight in innovative and engaging tables fitted with beer taps where they can pour the perfect pint at their own pace.  KINGS Orlando will be further differentiated by transforming into an adults-only experience after dark. By day, families with children can bowl and savor homemade ice cream and other treats. At 6 p.m, general public admission moves to adults only, ages 21 and above.

“This isn’t your dad’s bowling alley; it’s an upscale bowling joint,” says Patrick Lyons, president and founder of the Lyons Group and KINGS Bowl America. “Bowling has always been a great social sport and Kings has reinvented the experience for a new generation. Serious ten-pin athletes will relish our ultramodern lanes and roomy player accommodations, while even the most ‘gutter-prone’ will appreciate our chef’s delicious fare and our thoughtful menu of craft beers and signature cocktails.” The Lyons Group leadership team is backed by more than 100 years of combined entertainment industry experience with a track record of innovation and success. The group is credited with re-energizing Boston’s nightlife scene over three decades with more than 30 dining, nightclub and entertainment venues in its growing portfolio.

 

KINGS Bowl
Concourse Lanes

From the moment they set foot inside KINGS, guests will know that they are in for an experience unlike any other. A hip, retro-inspired vibe and grooving soundtrack will greet them as they navigate between a friendly evening at the lanes, great food in the restaurant and socializing in KINGS’ lounge bar that translates to an open, climate controlled outdoor café experience on the stylish, full-service patio. Committed sports fans can catch all of the action at KINGS’ massive sports bar boasting 60 HDTVs and projectors and a real-time sports ticker. Guests can also take in the scene on the energetic concourse catching all the action happening throughout the expansive facility.

The idea of bowling alley food as an afterthought is tossed in the gutter at KINGS; everything is

KINGS Bowl
Signature Cocktails

carefully crafted, made fresh and delivered daily. The full-service KINGS restaurant will serve an impressive, executive chef-designed menu of American favorites and delicious comfort food. Appetizers include unique, modern plays on classic bar fare, such as cheeseburger spring rolls, perfectly fried mac & cheese bites and homemade buffalo chicken wontons. Entrees are highlighted by house-smoked baby back ribs, juicy and creative burgers and KINGS’ signature, tender, award-winning steak tips. Diners will finish their meal with a taste of sweet nostalgia from the built-in Ice Cream Shoppe featuring creative sundaes and delicious homemade desserts. The impressive menu is served throughout the entire facility until close seven days a week.

“I look at every dish on the menu and I think of ways to exceed expectations by sourcing only the finest ingredients and adding a ‘kick’ to every dish,” says Executive Chef Andre Bautista. “We pride ourselves on everything being made from scratch, in-house daily and making sure that each and every plate has a ‘wow-factor’.” KINGS Bowl

In addition to the food and entertainment, KINGS is well-known for its special events and parties. The venue will boast multiple jaw-dropping private bowling and meeting spaces complimented by state-of-the-art audio and visual capabilities. Two meeting rooms can be made completely private and can accommodate up to 100 and 200 people, respectively. Party goers can bowl while enjoying an assortment of upscale culinary delights served right to the lanes, as well as best-in-industry service that has already made KINGS a repeat destination for so many in Boston and Chicago. Birthdays, bachelor and bachelorette parties, kids’ parties, and corporate and team building parties are all made memorable with the unique combination of entertainment, great food and unforgettable service.

KINGS is committed to being an actively engaged member of the Orlando community and has pledged to work with community-based initiatives in an effort to raise money through “fun-raisers” and in-kind donations. KINGS has already made a philanthropic name in its markets, having hosted and raised millions for local charities attended by the likes of popular celebrities and athletes including former and current NBA stars Shaquille O’Neal, Glen “Big Baby” Davis, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Patriots Tom Brady, Wes Welker and Jerod Mayo, Bears captain Charles Tillman, and BC and NFL legend Doug Flutie. KINGS will immediately look to make a similar impact in the Orlando area. Other famous guests at KINGS include Lady Gaga, Adam Sandler, Seth MacFarlane, Mark Wahlberg and many more of music and Hollywood’s finest.

KINGS will also assure that local residents and members of the Orlando hospitality industry are treated like royalty on the traditionally tourist-heavy International Drive. From opening, they will receive a free loyalty card that will provide the benefits of seasonally rotated, exclusive specials and discounts. Locals will also appreciate free surface parking in 600 adjacent available spaces and easy access via Universal Boulevard. KINGS has also planned a private opening party to offer an exclusive reveal of the venue to Orlando residents and hospitality industry members.

Keep your eyes on kingsbowlamerica.com for more information, and follow on Facebook and Twitter for updates on the Orlando opening.

 

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram