Pick Six: Universal Orlando Naughty & Nice Holiday

I always enjoy the holiday events at Universal Orlando. The celebration takes place in both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure with a lot to see and do. This year I was able to take my nephew for his first time to take part in the festivities. Here are six highlights from that day and my previous visits over the past few of years.

 

1. Grinchmas – Islands of Adventure

Universal  Grinch

MeanOne  Finale

Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas has always been one of my favorite Christmas stories so seeing it brought to life on stage is so fun! The music is great and the Grinch is always fantastic. There are even a few surprises thrown in! The show runs several times a day. There aren’t any bad seats, but in my experience I like sitting on the right side of the stage for a good view of one of those surprises I mentioned.

2. Suess Landing – Islands of Adventure

SeussLanding LittleTree WelcomeChristmas

Garland Lorax

To get to Grinchmas, you must pass through Seuss Landing. This is the most decorated parts of the park with trees and garland everywhere! I love all the whimsical touches. There are even signs with lyrics to “Welcome Christmas.”

3. Macy’s Holiday Parade – Universal Studios

ParadeBanner Minions Hippo

CandyCane Santa SantaLights

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a must-watch for me every Thanksgiving morning for as long as I can remember. One year in college I was lucky enough to be able to visit New York and see it in person. I may not be able to visit New York each year, but I can get a little taste when some of the balloons and floats travel down for the parade here. It even features Santa Claus, who will light the Christmas tree set up in front of the Macy’s façade. How can you not smile while giant balloons float by? Some of them might even dance for you! One year I hope to be able to be one of the balloon handlers!

4. Giant Balloons – Universal Studios

Elf Grover Garfield

Cat George

Speaking of balloons, some of the larger ones from the New York parade are set up around the park. It’s fun going around and taking pictures with them. Garfield and The Cat in the Hat are my favorites!

5. Mannheim Steamroller Concerts – Universal Studios

FullStage Mannheim BlueStage

Mannheim Steamroller performs on Saturday and Sunday nights during the holidays. I’ve always enjoyed their Christmas music so it’s a treat to hear them live, especially “Carol of the Bells.” The concert does take a lot from the Grinchmas show, providing almost a recap with actors from the show. So it can get a little repetitive if you had watched that show earlier in the day. The music is still great though!

6. Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Island of Adventure

Snowman BerryWreath Wreath

I’m putting this one last because not much changes here from a normal day that’s not during the holiday season. But I had to include it because the snow covered roofs and snowman seem so much more festive and fitting when there are wreaths on the doors!  I’ve also heard the Frog Choir sing a few Christmas songs.

 

Have you been to Universal Orlando during their holiday celebration? What are you favorite things to see and do? It’s definitely become a tradition to go each year to take part in the festivities!

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Holidays At Waldorf Astoria Orlando

Experience The Magic Of The Holidays

At Waldorf Astoria Orlando

Waldorf Astoria Orlando

Festive Caroling, Horse-drawn Carriage Rides, Bed-time Stories with Mrs. Claus, and

Many More Special Offerings to Celebrate the Holiday Season

 

This holiday season, guests of the Waldorf Astoria® Orlando will experience the magic of the holidays with a variety of unique activities, special holiday menus, and new family traditions. Additional delights include caroling in the lobby, story time with Mrs. Claus, and horse-drawn carriage rides on select nights. Holiday rates start at $199 per night through December 20, 2013.

In Orlando, there are memorable experiences for families around every corner, including Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom® and Holidays Around the World at Epcot®. If shopping is desired, the resort is only minutes from The Mall at Millennia, featuring Orlando’s largest collection of upscale shops and department stores.

 

THANKSGIVING WEEKEND ACTIVITIES

The Harvest Classic (Thursday, November 28) – This annual Waldorf Astoria Golf Club Harvest Classic is a great way to enjoy 18-holes for $75. Nike® rental clubs included. For tee times, please call the Golf Club at 407-597-3780. (Weather permitting)

Thanksgiving Family Golf Clinic (Saturday, November 30, 10am-11am) – The holiday family clinic is a great place to improve your strokes. Tee off with the family, participate in a complimentary putting contest and participate in the small group golf instruction from the Waldorf Astoria Golf Club PGA golf staff. Nike® golf clubs provided if needed. Beginner to moderate-based instruction provided. $25 per person. For reservations, please call the Golf Club at 407-597-3780. (Weather permitting)

Lighting of the Menorah (Nightly, November 27-December 5) Guest may join us nightly to share in the festival of lights. During the eight nights of Hanukkah, we will light a candle on the menorah outside of our lobby with all those who like to attend. Please contact the Concierge for more details.

Thanksgiving Weekend Fireworks Show (Saturday, November 30, 9:30pm– Bonnet Creek Resort continues the celebration with a private fireworks show for resort guests.

Thanksgiving Dinner at Oscar’s® (Thursday, November 28, 5pm-10pm– Thanksgiving Day, Oscar’s will present a traditional, holiday family dinner buffet. Menu will feature traditional Thanksgiving fare and is $49 per adult and $26 per child under 12. For guests who paid the resort fee, children under 12 are complimentary. Tax and gratuity are additional. Reservations are suggested: 407-597-5450.

Thanksgiving Dinner at Bull & Bear® (Thursday, November 28, 5pm-10pm– Guests can enjoy a four-course Thanksgiving dinner at Bull & Bear. This dining experience includes an extensive, traditional holiday meal with all the trimmings. The Bull & Bear a la carte menu will also be available. $95 per person. Wine pairing programs are available. Tax and gratuity are additional. Reservations required: 407-597-5409.

Thanksgiving Private Dining (Thursday, November 28, 5pm-10pm– Guests can experience a traditional family-style Thanksgiving dinner in the comfort and privacy of their suite. Menu includes choice of entrée along with additional special selections. $65 per person. Tax, delivery charge and gratuity are additional. Requests for Thanksgiving Private Dining must be received prior to 2pm Thanksgiving day to 407-597-5480.

 

HOLIDAY ACTIVITES FOR ALL AGES

Starting December 1 through December 28

 

Bring the holidays right into your guest room! (Daily, December 1-31Guests can experience the tradition of a beautifully ornamented Christmas tree in their room. Decorated table-top Christmas trees are available for purchase. It’s the perfect opportunity to bring the family together and embrace the holidays! Reservations required by calling Concierge.

A New You For the Holidays (Daily– The Waldorf Astoria® Spa is the perfect place to celebrate the holidays. Guests looking for a special hairstyle before a big night out, a manicure with some added sparkle, or just a moment of Zen to reflect on auld acquaintances will find the resort’s Spa a haven for pampering. To schedule an appointment, call 407-597-5360.

Twilight Golf (Daily, after 2 pm– Guests can take advantage of the Waldorf Astoria® Golf Club Twilight Package and enjoy 18-holes after 2 pm at a special rate. Nike® rental clubs included. (Weather permitting)

Live Entertainment at Peacock Alley (Sundays, 3pm-9pm; Mondays-Thursdays, 5pm-9pm; Fridays-Saturdays, 6pm-10pm– Enjoy live, nightly music while taking in the fabulous atmosphere of Peacock Alley.

Bar du Chocolat (Fridays and Saturdays, 6:30pm-10:30pm– A decadent selection of chocolate treats hand crafted by Waldorf Astoria Orlando’s world-class pastry team. Highlights include chocolate truffles, exotic chocolate cakes, a rich selection of cookies, gourmet cocoa, pillows of chocolate mousse and bowls of beautiful bon-bons. [Priced per piece]

Royal Tea (Sundays, 3pm-5pm– Guests can experience finely prepared tea sandwiches and house-made pastries, while sipping premium hot tea and listening to live piano music.

Gift Wrapping Services (Daily, December 12-24– This year, we are offering holiday gift wrapping services for resort guests. This holiday service is available for a fee. Please contact the Concierge for additional details.

Holiday Caroling (Friday, December 20 & Tuesday, December 24, 6pm-8pm– The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing aloud for all to hear! Guests may join our Carolers for a little holiday merriment in the lobby.

Horse and Carriage Rides (Saturday, December 14, 21 & 28, 6pm-10pm) – Guests can enjoy a 30-minute enchanting trip around the Bonnet Creek Resort in our horse-drawn carriage while enjoying champagne and strawberries. Holiday cookies are available for children. It’s an incredible holiday affair perfect for the entire family. $75 per carriage. Reservations are recommended. Please contact the Concierge for details.

Mrs. Claus Holiday Photos in the Lobby (Tuesday, December 24, 4pm-6pm– Mrs. Claus will greet guests in the lobby on Christmas Eve for an opportunity to take photos and capture a magical family moment.

Mrs. Claus Holiday Tuck In (Tuesday, December 24, 6pm-11pm– Little ones can delight in a memorable Mrs. Claus Holiday Tuck-In, where they are visited by Mrs. Claus at bedtime. Complete with a snack and bedtime story, it’s an experience they will treasure forever. $49 per room. Advance reservations required. Please contact the Concierge for details.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Dinner Buffet at Oscar’s® (Tuesday, December 24 & Wednesday, December 25, 5pm-10pm– On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Oscar’s will feature a holiday family buffet. This special feast will include classic holiday fare, new Waldorf Astoria traditions, and a special dessert finale. Holiday dinner buffet is $59 per person and $29 per child under 12. For guests who paid the resort fee, children under 12 are complimentary. Tax and gratuity are additional. Reservations: 407-597-5450.

Christmas Dinner at Bull & Bear® (Wednesday, December 25, 5pm-10pm– Guests can take pleasure in a four-course holiday dinner, served on Christmas Day at Bull & Bear. This dining experience includes a choice of entrees, along with special selections. The standard Bull & Bear a la carte menu will also be available. $105 per person. Wine pairing programs are available. Tax and gratuity are additional. Reservations required: 407-597-5409.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Private Dining (Tuesday, December 24 & Wednesday, December 25, 5pm-10pm– Guests can savor a traditional family-style Christmas dinner with all the trimmings in the luxurious comfort and privacy of their suite. Menu includes choice of entrée along with additional special selections. $70 per person. Tax, delivery charge and gratuity are additional. Requests for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Private Dining must be received prior to 2pm of the corresponding day to 407-597-5480.

Family Golf Clinic (Thursday, December 26, 10am-11am) – The holiday family clinic is a great place to improve your strokes. Tee off with the family, participate in a complimentary putting contest and participate in the small group golf instruction from the Waldorf Astoria Golf Club PGA golf staff. Nike® golf clubs provided if needed. Beginner to moderate-based instruction provided. $25 per person. For reservations, please call the Golf Club at 407-597-3780. (weather permitting)

 

RINGING IN THE NEW YEAR

Starting December 28 through January 1

 

A Prelude to the Countdown Fireworks Show (Saturday, December 28, 9:30pm– Bonnet Creek Resort begins the celebration a few nights early – a prelude to the countdown – with a private fireworks show for resort guests. Best viewing areas include the pool deck, Sena terrace and Signature Island.

New Year’s Eve Buffet at Oscar’s® (Tuesday, December 31, 5pm-10pm– On New Year’s Eve, Oscar’s will serve a delectable dinner buffet. This special feast will include contemporary American dishes and a special dessert finale. $75 per person and $25 per child under 12. Tax and gratuity are additional. Reservations: 407-597-5450.

New Year’s Eve at Bull & Bear® (Tuesday, December 31, 5pm-10pm– Guests can celebrate the advent of the New Year with an exclusive prix fixe menu consisting of seven inspired and distinctive courses. Included with each reservation, is exclusive access to the dessert room and a private celebration at Sir Harry’s®. A vegetarian menu option will be made available, as well. $195 per person. Wine pairing programs are available. Tax and gratuity are additional. Reservations required: 407-597-5409.

New Year’s Day Breakfast and Brunch Buffet at Oscar’s® (Wednesday, January 1, 7am-1pm– On New Year’s Day morning, Oscar’s will serve a delicious breakfast and brunch buffet. For guests who paid the resort fee, children under 12 are complimentary. Tax and gratuity are additional. Reservations: 407-597-5450.

 

Christmas events are available to all guests of Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek. Fees may apply to select activities. Event schedule subject to change without notice.

 

Holiday rates start at $199 per night through December 20, 2013. For reservations, call 407-597-5500, or visitwww.waldorfastoriaorlando.com/christmas-holidays . For those wanting to give a special and flexible holiday gift, the hotel offers Waldorf Astoria Orlando Gift Cards. Visit www.waldorfastoriaorlando.com/resort/giftcard.

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About Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts WALDORF ASTORIA is Hilton Worldwide’s luxury brand of landmark hotels, with each one as singular and timeless as the brand’s namesake, The Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. From classic elegance to modern grandeur, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts each represent worldly sophistication and unparalleled guest service. From sumptuous spas and culinary excellence to world-class golf, each hotel & resort offers the exquisite accommodations and signature accoutrements that define refinement and sophistication. Discover Waldorf Astoria by visiting www.waldorfastoria.com. Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts is one of Hilton Worldwide’s ten market-leading brands.

About Hilton Worldwide

Hilton Worldwide is the leading global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxurious full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and mid-priced hotels. For 93 years, Hilton Worldwide has offered business and leisure travelers the finest in accommodations, service, amenities and value. The company is dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences across its global brands. Its brands are comprised of more than 3,800 hotels and timeshare properties, with 630,000 rooms in 90 countries and include Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages the world-class guest reward program Hilton HHonors®. Visit www.hiltonworldwide.com for more information and connect with Hilton Worldwide at www.facebook.com/hiltonworldwidewww.twitter.com/hiltonworldwidewww.youtube.com/hiltonworldwide,www.flickr.com/hiltonworldwide and www.linkedin.com/company/hilton-worldwide.

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Festival of Trees at the Orlando Museum of Art

The 27th Annual Festival of Trees has started and I’m pretty sure that means the holidays are upon us!

Last week I got a chance to take a sneak peek at 2013’s “All That Glitters” trees and decorations. And oh my goodness, there is LOTS of glitter around the the Orlando Museum of Art!

Festival of Trees runs until November 24th, 2013 and features all different styles of trees…

There are trees for EVERYONE’s taste!

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I thought this Cinderella inspired tree was very well thought out – she’s ready for the ball on one side of the tree and dirtied with soot on the other.

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Deck the Halls, where you can view and purchase various handmade wreathes…

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Gingerbread Village…

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The Sweet Shoppe (in the PERFECT location – with all the gingerbread houses)…

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toy shop…

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boutique shop…

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tabletop designs…

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and so much more!

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And I heard a rumor that a certain jolly man will be there in his cozy corner!

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There are various galas and events happening throughout the Festival of Trees as well a scavenger hunt for the little ones!

You can purchase tickets here.

For more information on this and other events, check out the Orlando Museum of Art website!

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Amway Center: Trans-Siberian Orchestra Returns

Amway Center Trans-Siberian Orchestra The Last Christmas Eve

Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) celebrates their first 15 years of touring with an encore and final performance of their multi-platinum rock opera, “The Lost Christmas Eve.” TSO’s 2013 Winter Tour will begin on November 13, playing over 100 shows in 67 cities across North America, presented by Hallmark Channel. TSO returns to Amway Center for two spectacular performances onNovember 30 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets go on sale September 13 at 10 a.m.

WHAT:
TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA

“The Lost Christmas Eve” Final Performances

WHEN
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2013 | 3 P.M. & 8 P.M.

WHERE
AMWAY CENTER | ORLANDO, FLORIDA

ON SALE:
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2013 | 10 A.M.

TSO, whose phenomena has grown year after year, has played over 1,500 shows for more than 10 million fans in the past 15 years, and quietly became one of the world’s biggest arena-rock acts. The unprecedented fan driven growth is a testament to TSO founder Paul O’Neill’s vision of “Rock Theater,” the perfect amalgamation of Broadway storytelling with the spectacle of rock, delighting audiences of all ages year after year.

During the final tour, audiences will get to experience the modern Charles Dickens-like classic, “The Lost Christmas Eve.” Following the 2012 premiere of this acclaimed rock opera, critics were raving, calling it “…a must see for any music lover,” “…a rock ‘n’ roll holiday celebration worth seeing,” and an “unrivaled spectacle of sight and sound.” “The Lost Christmas Eve” features a diverse soundtrack fusing elements of rock, classical, folk, R&B, and theatrical-styled music, with the story taking you on a journey into the “Capra-esque” world of TSO creator/producer, Paul O’Neill. The critically acclaimed rock opera encompasses a rundown hotel, an old toy store, a blues bar, a Gothic cathedral, and their respective inhabitants all intertwined during a single enchanted Christmas Eve in New York City. “The Lost Christmas Eve”, performed in its entirety for the final time, will feature the hit single “Wizards in Winter,” as well as longtime crowd favorites, “Christmas Nights in Blue” and “Siberian Sleigh Ride.” It will be followed by songs from last year’s EP release from Lava/Republic, “Dreams of Fireflies (On a Christmas Night),” classics from TSO’s debut album, “Christmas Eve & Other Stories” and the rest of the heralded catalogue of rock operas.

httpv://youtu.be/EehOFiA-dxA

While off the road, TSO is constantly stockpiling new projects in their Rock Theater arsenal, including the rock operas “Gutter Ballet and the New York City Blues Express,” “Letters from the Labyrinth” and “Romanov: When Kings Must Whisper,” an epic story set amidst the Bolshevik Revolution.

Since their debut in 1996, TSO has defied the rules of an ever-changing music industry being regarded as a mix of The Who’s “Tommy,” Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musicals, and Pink Floyd’s expansive light show. Year after year, the group has ranked in the Top 10 for both gross revenues and attendance, according to Pollstar magazine. Having played live to over one million fans each year, TSO saw a 15% increase in sales alone in 2012, transforming them into a year round tradition that’s here to stay.

For more information on TSO 2013 tour dates, please visit: www.trans-siberian.com.

Tickets$30$38.50, $48.50, $58.50 & $68.50 – Buy tickets at amwaycenter.com, Chase Box Office at Amway Center, Ticketmaster retail locations, charge-by-phone at 800.745.3000 or at Ticketmaster.com.  All dates, act(s) and ticket prices are subject to change without notice.  All tickets are subject to applicable taxes, service, handling and facility fee charges.  For Amway Center box office and ticket information, visit amwaycenter.com (phone purchases are not available through the Amway Center box office).  The Amway Center is located at 400 West Church Street and the box office is located on the north side of the Amway Center, near the intersection of Church Street and Hughey Avenue. 

Doors Open:  Door opening times for the Amway Center vary according to each event. Guests may enter the arena one hour prior to the start time of each event, unless otherwise specifically noted. Guests may check door times in advance by calling 407.440.7900.

Camera Policy:  The show reserves the right to approve camera use at any time during and/or before the event and to prohibit the use of any camera that is deemed unacceptable. Cameras with a detachable lens, iPads and the use of flash photography are prohibited at all Amway Center events. Check amwaycenter.com or call the administration office at 407.440.7000 prior to the event for any camera policy updates. Camera policy is subject to change at any time at the show’s discretion.

 

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SeaWorld Orlando Halloween Spooktacular

SeaWorld Orlando Halloween Spooktacular

AN OCEAN OF HALLOWEEN FUN AWAITS AT

SEAWORLD ORLANDO’S HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR

Join SeaWorld Orlando every weekend in October for silly, spooky fun at Halloween Spooktacular. During this daytime event, families will be immersed in an underwater “fantasea” filled with trick-or-treating, dancing with sea fairies and pumpkin fish and sea-themed arts and crafts.SeaWorld Orlando Halloween Spooktacular

SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular takes place weekends in October: 5-6, 12-13, 19-20 and 26-27, from 12 to 8 p.m., leaving the littlest of trick-or-treaters wide-eyed for all of the fun-filled activities. Halloween Spooktacular is included with park admission.

 SeaWorld Orlando Halloween Spooktacular

Spooktacular Highlights Include:

NEW this year: Spooktacular Dance Party

Princess Penelope and her undersea friends invite guests to join the Spooktacular Dance Party, where children can dance along to a Spooktacular mix of line-dancing favorites as clouds of bubbles fill the evening air. The party will kick off at the front of the park every event night an hour before SeaWorld’s park closing time.

Waves of Trick-or-Treat Fun

Offering more than two million pieces of sweet treats, costumed youngsters can trick-or-treat “under the sea.” Each trick-or-treat station features an assortment of ghoulish goodies including Tootsie Roll, Jelly Belly jelly beans, Airheads and other candy favorites.

Penelope’s Party Zone

Located at SeaWorld’s Bayside area, this dynamic underwater environment comes to life each day with a live DJ, a variety of interactive crafts to choose from, countless bubbles floating overhead and colorful pumpkin fish gliding around!

Sweet Treat Decorating

Kids and parents alike can have a “splash” creating their own sweet treats at the cookie decorating station. Kids will be able to decorate and devour their spooky cookie when they purchase a kit that comes equipped with a cookie, frosting and toppings.

Jelly Belly® Bean Art to Come to Life at Spooktacular

Jelly Belly artist in residence, Kristen Cumings, will use more than 10,000 Jelly Belly jelly beans to create a portrait of rockhopper penguins, reflecting SeaWorld’s all-new, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. Guests can watch as this handmade jelly bean creation comes together in front of their eyes during the final weekend of Halloween Spooktacular, Oct. 26 and 27. Kids can join in the fun too, with the opportunity to decorate a Halloween Spooktacular mural with a variety of Jelly Belly jelly beans.

Not included with admission to SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular, but always a really fun time is…

Count von Count’s Spooktacular Breakfast

Halloween Spooktacular
This is Zoe with a special greeter at the Count Von Count Spooktacular Breakfast last year

1-2-3… Dine with me! Don’t walk around on an empty stomach, stay 1 step ahead of hunger! What goes great with your 2 morning eggs? How about infinite hugs from Count von Count, Elmo and his furry friends! Featuring a delicious buffet sprinkled with the hottest characters  in town, the Count’s Spooktacular Breakfast is a fun-filled experience sure to delight kids and parents alike. You can “count” on it! Adults $24, Child (2-9) $14.

We’ll be heading to SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular, and will be bringing you all sorts of great tips, tweets, and pictures!

Halloween Spooktacular

Make sure to Like SeaWorld Orlando on Facebook or follow on Twitter and Instagram for the latest details about SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular. #SeaWorldSpooktacular

 

 

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Wordless Wednesday: Halloween Mickey & Minnie

Wordless Wednesday – September 11, 2013

 Wordless Wednesday

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays! So when I start to see the Halloween decorations go up at the Magic Kingdom I get really excited! This week’s Wordless Wednesday takes us to the fun windows of the Emporium on Main Street USA! I absolutely adore Minnie and Mickey’s new Halloween outfits, and can’t wait to go to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party on Friday!

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Gaylord Palms Gets Frosty for Ice! This Winter

Gaylord Palms

Do you hear what I hear? Jingle bells and caroling choirs, belly laughter and clinking mugs of hot cocoa can mean only one thing: Christmas is coming! Gaylord Palms Resort brings the icy North Pole to Central Florida starting Nov. 23. Celebrate the traditional values of Christmas with fun for the entire family.

This year, everyone’s favorite snowman comes to ICE! Frosty the Snowman, the jolly, happy soul with a corncob pipe and a button nose and two eyes made out of coal, will be featured in a colorfully frozen retelling of the original Christmas classic. More than 2 million pounds of hand-carved vibrant ice sculptures bring your favorite scenes to life in a 9-degree frosty palace, so you’ll want to bundle up (oversize parkas provided). Besides, a little extra padding will come in handy when sliding down the four, two-story ice slides in the slide room!

New in 2013, a bonus area – the Frostbite Factory featuring Artisans in Action – a live ice-carving zone – allows you to get up close to watch a masterful ice carver from Harbin, China, home of the International Ice and Snow Festival, as he creates amazing sculptures before your eyes! He is part of a team of 40 talented artisans who travel from Harbin to work meticulously for more than a month to slice and shave 6,000 blocks of colored and clear ice, each weighing approximately 400 pounds, to carve this incredible experience.

This awe-inspiring journey concludes with the wonder and grandeur of the traditional nativity scene in ice. After all that, what better way to warm up than to sip on some hot cocoa.

Guests can also purchase Gingy’s Gingerbread Decorating experience. Hosted by Gingy from DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek, this traditional encounter offers several different design options. After you’ve decorated to your heart’s content, make your way to meet Gingy for a heartwarming hug that you can capture with your own camera.

Christmas at Gaylord Palms is a place where the happy get happier and the giddy get even giddier. Picture-perfect with poinsettias, more than 2 million twinkling lights and lavish holiday displays, the resort features the famous 54-foot-tall majestic Christmas tree in a magnificent tree-lighting ceremony; DreamWorks Animation characters; and spectacular live entertainment that crowds have grown to love: the spirited Luminescence show in Emerald Bay Plaza and carolers guaranteed to generate the spirit of Christmas.

Gaylord Palms Christmas Tree

The best way to benefit from all that Gaylord Palms has to offer is to book a room and become immersed in the splendor of Christmas. Guests have two Christmas packages to choose from: Christmassy DreamWorks Experience, which includesunlimited entry to ICE! with priority access, and Christmas at Gaylord Palms, which includes unlimited entry to ICE!

Let’s not forget this is Florida, folks! After all the shivering and shimmying inside with Frosty and friends, hotel guests can head outside to delight in the light of the sun! Slide into more fun at Cypress Springs Family Fun Water Park and participate in a Crack-A-Lackin’ Pool Party with your friends from DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar, and then catch a Splash ‘N’ Screen movie poolside. Get together with your favorite characters from DreamWorks Animation films for hugs, photos and fun with Character Meet & Greets throughout the resort.

Can’t get enough of the character carnival? The ever-popular ShrekFeast Interactive Character Breakfast at Villa de Flora is sure to please. Kids will love becoming an honorary Ogre and joining Shrek and friends for a fairytale feast fit for a king (additional charges apply).

Gaylord Palms is chock-full of top-notch entertainment, events and attractions. Don your magic hat and treat your family to a traditional Christmas at Gaylord Palms.

ICE! is open daily from Nov. 23, 2013 to Jan. 5, 2014, including holidays. Ticket prices start at $16.99. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to www.ChristmasAtGaylordPalms.com.

Gaylord Palms Christmas

Gaylord Palms Resort is located five minutes from the gates of Walt Disney World at 6000 W. Osceola Parkway, Kissimmee, FL 34746.

Be sure to “Like” Gaylord Palms on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the most up-to-date information and special deals and promotions!

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Wordless Wednesday – Epcot For The Fourth

Wordless Wednesday: July 3, 2013

Wordless Wednesday 4th of July
This week’s Wordless Wednesday takes us to Epcot for the Fourth of July last year. While Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky at the Magic Kingdom is great, there is nothing like the special tag they add to Illuminations!

 

 

Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky

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Disney’s Grand Floridian Easter Eggs

The second annual decorative Easter Eggs at Disney’s Grand Floridian hotel are up! But only for a few more days – through Sunday, March 31.

If you walk in the front door of the lobby, you will immediately see these gorgeous eggs. I didn’t get a chance to see them last year, so this was a huge treat for me to stumble upon.

The amount of work and detail put into each of these eggs is amazing. The fact that the Wall-E egg has lights kind of blew my mind. If you’re able to stop by the Grand Floridian before the eggs are egg-stict (sorry, I had to), be sure to do so!

Disney’s Grand Floridian Easter Eggs

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Wordless Wednesday – Hanukkah In Lights

Wordless Wednesday
Wordless Wednesday brings us Hanukkah in Lights at the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! Happy Hanukkah!!!
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Walt Disney World Gift Cards With Flair

 

With the holidays quickly approaching I am always on the look out for new and fun ideas for holiday gifts, and I found a pretty fun way to give a gift card with a fun twist.

walt disney world gift cards

Just inside of Curtain Call Collectibles, near the entrance to the Town Square Theater on Main Street USA, you will find an area where you can find over a hundred unique Walt Disney World Gift Card designs that are printable on demand.

walt disney world gift cards

While you can find these gift card designs online, this is a really fun way to either bring home a special gift from the parks or an easy way to be able to go shopping around Walt Disney World while showing off your favorite character!

walt disney world gift cards

On the counter of this area, you will find a binder that is chock full of great Walt Disney World Gift Card designs that you won’t find elsewhere in the park! You can find anything from nautical, villains, and rare characters options. There are even special gift card sets that you can purchase.

walt disney world gift cards
I love this tug of war gift card set that you can get!
walt disney world gift cards
You can find classic character with a twist cards that will please any fan.
walt disney world gift cards
The Villains cards are super awesome.

 

These gift cards work just like other Walt Disney World Gift Cards, and can be activated with as little as a $5 balance. Also, they take only a few minutes to print out making them extremely convenient, as well.

walt disney world gift cards
You can see that the quality of printing is exactly the same as what you will find in the design book!

Also, if you are a Disney Visa Card holder looking to receive your gift card that you have earned you can choose from one of these designs as well.

So if you find yourself on Main Street USA this holiday season, you may want to stop by and create a unique Walt Disney World Gift Card for that hard to shop for Disney fan!

 

 

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Ice Featuring Merry Madagascar At The Gaylord Palms Resort Is Here!

Ice Featuring Merry Madagascar At The Gaylord Palms Resort Is Here!

Ice Featuring Merry Madagascar
Ice Featuring Merry Madagascar starts November 10th!

Two Million Pounds of Sculptured ICE await visitors to Gaylord Palms’
“Florida Freezer”

Brrr! Do you feel that chill in the air? It’s time to bundle up in those cozy winter coats, hats and scarves and slip on over to Central Florida’s coolest one-of-a-kind 9-degree Christmas attraction: ICE! featuring DreamWorks Animation  SKG Inc.’s “Merry Madagascar” at Gaylord Palms. Celebrating its 10th year, ICE! is more fun than ever, exhibiting more than 20,000 square feet of hand-carved ice sculptures made of 2 million pounds of ice — including four incredible two-story ice slides. The adventure begins Nov. 10 for people of all ages, and is open seven days a week.

Lions and Penguins and ICE! Oh, My!

Prepare to be mesmerized by the vibrant color blast as you wander through the icy wonderland at your own pace. Relive the story of how Alex the Lion and his friends saved Christmas after Santa and his reindeer crash onto the island of Madagascar with this inspiring tribute to the unforgettable DreamWorks Animation TV classic “Merry Madagascar.”

Eleven vignettes showcase different scenes from the TV classic. Capture the charm of the “Florida Freezer” with characters such as Melman the Giraffe, the tallest sculpture, standing at 10 feet. Dare to disregard the pizzazz of the penguins. Not to disappoint, we’ve also got something for those thrill-seekers searching for a way to make their indelible mark. Enter a room featuring the Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, Big Ben, St. Basil and the sphinx and plummet down one of four massive ice slides!

A team of 40 talented artisans traveled from Harbin, China, to work meticulously for more than a month to slice and shave 6,000 blocks of colored and clear ice, each weighing approximately 400 pounds, to carve this incredible experience. To illuminate their craftsmanship, they froze more than 1,000 LED light tubes into the attraction.

IMPORTANT: ICE! is kept at a frigid 9 degrees Fahrenheit (-13 degrees Celsius). Be sure to dress appropriately: Closed-toe shoes and long pants are required. Hooded winter coats are provided for your warmth and comfort inside the attraction and are available in a variety of sizes, including sizes for children. Hats and gloves are strongly recommended and may be purchased on site at the ICE! house gift shop.

Ice Featuring Merry Madagascar at Gaylord Palms is a can’t-miss event for everyone this Christmas season. Whether you’re looking for something to do during the afternoon to ignite the holiday spirit or you’re a thrill-seeker in search of your next daring adventure, Ice Featuring Merry Madagascar  is for you. Additional activities offered around the resort free of charge include a massive 54-foot tall majestic Christmas tree lighting; live stage shows, including the spirited Luminescence – featuring The Edge Effect Christmas show; and the Polar Bear Pursuit Scavenger Hunt.

However, the best way to benefit from all that Gaylord Palms has to offer is to book a room and become immersed in the splendor of Christmas. Guests seeking a complete Christmas experience can purchase special “Christmassy DreamWorks Experience” packages starting at $189.99 per room, per night (for a three night stay)! Packages include unlimited visits to ICE! and a number of other activities, including a ShrekFeast Interactive Character Meal, and more!

You may feel a chill in the air, but you’ll feel warmth in your heart as you create wonderful holiday memories that last a lifetime.

Ice Featuring Merry Madagascar  is open daily from Nov. 10, 2012 through Jan. 1, 2013, including holidays. Ticket prices for children start at $9.99, and adult ticket prices start at $18.99. Florida Residents — Save an extra $4 per ticket. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to www.christmasatgaylordpalms.com. ICE! is presented by Coca-Cola.

Gaylord Palms Resort is located five minutes from the gates of Walt Disney World at 6000 W. Osceola Parkway, Kissimmee, FL 34746. For more information, visit www.gaylordpalms.com or call 407-586-2000.

Be sure to “Like” Gaylord Palms on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @GaylordPalms to get the most up-to-date information and promotions!

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Christmas Merchandise At Walt Disney World

 

Christmas Merchandise has started to arrive at Walt Disney World, and it is cuter than ever!!!

This year’s merchandise is filled with a lot of shimmer and whimsy!

I really like how they have more than just one standard look and feel to the Christmas merchandise this year.

I hope that you enjoy this quick peek at some of our favorite pieces from the Christmas merchandise at Walt Disney World!

 

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LEGOLAND Florida Halloween Fun Will Fill The Park During Its First Brick-Or-Treat Celebration!

LEGOLAND Florida Halloween Fun Will Fill The Park During Its First Brick-Or-Treat Celebration!

LEGOLAND Florida - LEGO Pumpkin for Brick-Or-Treat
LEGOLAND Florida Has Been Invaded With Halloween Fun For Its Firs Brick-Or-Treat

Ghouls, ghosts and goblins will invade LEGOLAND Florida during its first kid-friendly Halloween celebration of Brick-or-Treat presented by Wells Fargo.  This spooky, kooky event takes place on Saturdays in October from 10am to 9pm and Sundays in October from 10am to 5pm.

During Brick-or-Treat, presented by Wells Fargo, Miniland USA will transform into a fun, haunted scavenger hunt for the whole family with the invasion of LEGO® Monster Fighters and their enemies. With extended hours on Saturdays, Miniland USA gets a bit more spooky when the sun goes down and the fog rolls in on these LEGO® cities.

This thrilling family event also features trick-or-treating along the brick-or-treat trail, a kids’ four category costume contest with brick-tastic prizes and a build your own Halloween themed LEGO® pumpkin model activity station.  Only found at LEGOLAND Florida, families can also check out the world’s largest LEGO Jack-O-Lantern made of 26,500 LEGO bricks and capture a great photo memory.

Activities Include:

  • LEGO® Pumpkin Build: Build your own LEGO Pumpkin at the model activity station in the Wells Fargo Fun Town 4D Theatre Plaza
  • LEGO® Monster Fighters Haunted Scavenger Hunt: Help the LEGO Monster Fighters capture monsters haunting the cities of Miniland USA in this haunted scavenger hunt. The whole family can enjoy searching for these creatures found in the over 30 million LEGO bricks that make up Miniland USA. With extended hours on Saturdays, Miniland USA gets a bit more spooky when the sun goes down and the fog rolls in on these LEGO cities.
  • Brick-or-Treat Trail: Trick-or-Treat along the Brick-or-Treat trail near the Pirates South Stadium for goodies, tasty treats and other fun surprises
  • Dance Party: Join us for our spooky Dance Party in the Haunted Miniland USA with a live DJ and dance games (Saturday only)
  • Kids Costume Contest: Show off your BOO-tiful costumes in the Kids Costume Contest in the Wells Fargo Fun Town 4D Theatre Plaza to win brick-tastic prizes like LEGO product and tickets to LEGOLAND Florida. Children may enter one of 4 specialized categories: Heroes & Villains, LEGO Monster Fighters, LEGO Themed, and most Creative.
LEGOLAND Florida Halloween Brick or treat House
LEGOLAND Florida Halloween Brick-Or-Treat House

This thrilling Halloween celebration is made possible by our generous sponsors: Hurricane Grill & Wings®, LEGO ClubTM, LEGO® Monster Fighters, Old Navy®, PEPSICO®, Sam’s Club®, Sour Jacks, TECO® Energy, Webb’s Candy Shop, Wells Fargo® and Wendy’s®.

Brick-or-Treat as well as more than 50 rides, shows and attractions can be experienced at LEGOLAND Florida and is included with normal park admission – No upcharge for evening events. For the most current information on LEGOLAND Florida special events, operating schedule and to purchase tickets, visit www.LEGOLAND.com.

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Halloween Trading Pins Are Out At Walt Disney World!!!

It is my favorite time of year again…time for Halloween Merch at Walt Disney World!!!

I was beyond excited to find Halloween Trading Pins and Holiday Lanyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios last night!!!

I am in love with the Duffy Pin!!!

I hope you enjoy this first look at the 2012 Halloween Trading Pins and Lanyard!!!

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