All-new restaurant to put modern twist on open-fire cooking, adding bold flavors to American classic dishes
This summer, Universal Orlando Resort will debut its next original concept dining experience – Bigfire – an all-new, full-service restaurant that will bring a specially created menu and a highly-themed environment directly to guests at Universal CityWalk – and take open fire cooking to a whole new level.
Bigfire will feature unique theming designed to make guests feel as though they have stepped into a grand lakeside lodge, creating an atmosphere reminiscent of summers spent by the water.
The two-story venue will feature warm modern surroundings, from a cozy fireplace to cast iron and wood design elements mixed with nostalgic camp lanterns and oversized plaid blankets.
As guests step onto the outside patio, they will be greeted with twinkling lights, comfortable seating and lawn games for the entire family to enjoy. And guests will be able to enjoy one of the most popular fireside treats– s’mores – which they will be able to prepare themselves right at their table.
At the heart of the venue will be a custom wood fire grill that will allow guests to see their meal being prepared from anywhere in the restaurant. And for the first time at Universal Orlando, each dish will be expertly paired with the perfect type of wood to bring out the smoky goodness in each bite.
From Cherrywood to Pecanwood and more, the pairings will add bold flavors to the American classic dishes and unique entrees, including a signature bison burger, coffee, chili and cocoa rubbed top sirloin, delectable freshwater trout, mouth-watering smoked salads and more.
Bigfire will be another example of what happens when the Universal Creative team that designs world-class theme park attractions partners with Universal’s award-winning culinary team to create incredible dining experiences for guests.
When it opens, Bigfire will become the next highly-themed, original concept restaurant at CityWalk, and join other popular experiences such as The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen, NBC Sports Grill & Brew, The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar, VIVO Italian Kitchen and more.
The restaurant will be located between VIVO Italian Kitchen and Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville on the edge of the lagoon – offering incredible views of Universal CityWalk.
With the start of a new year and with so much going on after the holidays, I thought it would be a great time to restart our Week in Review and play a little catch up on this week’s highlights and news from the Orlando and Central Florida Attractions and Venues!
Week in Review – December 30, 2013 to January 3, 2014
Walt Disney World Resort
The Disney Parks Blog announced a new contest where you can win a 5-day/4-night vacation for four to either the Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort.
We’ve just launched disney.com/resolutions where Disney celebrities are sharing how they plan to resolve to spend more time with family in 2014. A new video will be uploaded everyday in January.
On disney.com/resolutions, we are also awarding a vacation-a-day from December 31, 2013 through January 31, 2014! So enter every day for your chance to win because this is the year to spend more quality time with the people you love most. Good luck!
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Open only to individuals, who are, as of Entry, legal residents of, and physically located within, the 50 U.S., D.C., Puerto Rico or Canada (excluding Quebec) and who are not Minors. Sweepstakes starts 12:01 AM (EST) on 12/31/13 and ends 11:59:59 PM (EST) on 1/31/14. Click here for Official Rules.
With Walt Disney World Marathon weekend right around the corner, runDisney was everywhere when they released details about the Limited Edition runDisney 2014 New Balance shoes!
I don’t know about you, but I am so excited for everything that is coming to the Universal Orlando Resort!!!
January is Passholder appreciation month at SeaWorld Orlando, and they are offering some great deals!
Bring a friend for FREE! SeaWorld® Orlando Pass Members receive a friend for free ticket*. Online registration is required. Valid for one single-day admission by January 31, 2014. Register Now.
Double Your Discount**
Save 20% on dining in all of our cafeteria-style restaurants
Save 20% on merchandise in our gift shops
*Pass Member must be present for guest to gain admittance. Free ticket offer valid for active SeaWorld Orlando 1-Year, 2-Year and FL Platinum Pass Members. Not valid for Fun Cards, Teacher’s Study Passes or Friends & Family Passes. Free ticket is non-transferable, not for resale and may be revoked for misuse.
**Offer only valid between Jan. 1-31, 2014. Must present active SeaWorld Orlando 1-Year, 2-Year, or FL Platinum Pass to receive savings. Not valid with any other discounts or offers. Not valid on All-Day Dining offers. Merchandise offer valid for in-park purchases only.
The Circus is coming to town!
Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus LEGENDS is coming to the Amway Center January 9-12, but Monday the circus train rolls into Orlando. Fantastic photo opportunities will be available as the Ringling Bros. pachyderm performers parade to the Amway Center.
The Ringling Bros.animal performers will unload at 8:00 p.m. and walk beginning at 8:30 p.m. Animals will unload at railroad tracks near 1035 W. Amelia, then travel east on Amelia, south on North Hughey Ave., then west on West South St. and enter the GEICO Garage behind Amway Center. (Note: route and time are subject to change without notice.)
Tickets are still available and start at $16. Ticketmaster service charges and facility fees not included. All seats are reserved. Tickets are available atwww.ringling.com or www.ticketmaster.com, at any Ticketmaster outlet, by calling 800-745-3000, or at the Amway Center box office (phone:407-440-7900). For group ticket sales and information, call 866-248-8740.
If your house is anything like mine, you have watched the trailer for ‘The LEGO Movie’ four times daily and I was excited to see that they are going to be having a weekend of activities in February!
February 8 & 9, 2014 Enjoy fun for all with activities to celebrate “The LEGO Movie”, the first-ever, full-length theatrical LEGO adventure featuring an all-star cast and set to open in theaters February 7. Guests will enjoy a special movie-themed building activity, movie-themed scavenger hunt in Miniland USA and meet and greet sessions with costume characters Emmet and Wyldstyle, who play leading roles in this epic movie.
Busch Gardens Tampa
January is also Passholder appreciation month at Busch Gardens Tampa!
Double the Fun – Bring a Friend for FREE
During January, Pass Members can bring a friend for free! Online registration required. Limit one free ticket per active Pass Member. Offer valid between January 1-31, 2014. Other Restrictions Apply. Log in now to register your friend’s ticket and learn more about this limited time offer.
Triple the Savings – 30% off merchandise, food, and beverages
All month long, Pass Members get 30% off merchandise, food and beverages when you visit the park! Offer valid between January 1-31, 2014. Other Restrictions Apply.
Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex
A Falcon 9 rocket is targeted to lift-off during a dramatic SpaceX launch scheduled for January 3, launch time is subject to change but the launch window of 5:05 p.m. to 7:17 p.m. EST. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex guests may view the launch from the Apollo/Saturn V Center, the closest possible public viewing area, or special areas at the Visitor Complex.
Launch viewing from the Apollo/Saturn V Center, located in Kennedy Space Center, includes live mission control commentary and is available for Visitor Complex guests for $20 plus the cost of admission. Admission to the Visitor Complex is $50 plus tax for adults and $40 plus tax for children 3-11. Bus boarding for the Apollo/Saturn V Center begins at 3:15 p.m.
Launch viewing, featuring live mission control commentary, also is available from Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and is included in regular admission.
Universal CityWalk Drops New Year’s Eve Celebration Details and Advanced Ticket Offers!
Celebration features access to six Universal CityWalk venues, unlimited gourmet cuisine,
six unique party zones and Orlando’s biggest dance floor
On December 31, 2013,guests can experience non-stop entertainment at Eve, Universal CityWalk’s new, incomparable New Year’s celebration.With unique party zones – each featuring their own entertainment and signature drinks, access to six different clubs with live music and unlimited gourmet cuisine,Eve will be the place to ring in the New Year.
Partygoers can celebrate all night on Orlando’s biggest dance floor – built just for this event – in front of the CityWalk Plaza Stage. Whenmidnight strikes, guests will kiss 2013 goodbye in style with a champagne toast, a pyrotechnics display and incredible special effects.
Tickets are on-sale now for Universal CityWalk New Year’s Eve Celebration advance pricing of $99.99 plus tax until December 21, 2013.
Admission to Universal CityWalk New Year’s Eve Celebration festivities include:
Unlimited gourmet cuisine, including filet mignon, jumbo shrimp, custom desserts, and more
Six unique outdoor party zones with entertainment and signature drinks
Orlando’s largest dance floor, featuring live music from DJ M-Squared on a 360˚ DJ platform
Admission to six Universal CityWalk venues, including: Bob Marley’s – A Tribute to Freedom, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, Pat O’Brien’s, the groove, Rising Star and Red Coconut Club
and Electrifying Holiday Concerts by Mannheim Steamroller
ORLANDO, Fla. (Nov. 15, 2013) – It’s the most wonderful time of the year at Universal Orlando Resort. From Dec. 7 through Jan. 4, families can create lifelong memories during Universal Orlando’s Holidays celebration. Kids from one to 92 can come face-to-face with The Grinch at Grinchmas, watch larger-than-life balloons float through the streets during the Macy’s Holiday ParadeTM and hear Christmas music sensation, Mannheim Steamroller, perform beloved holiday classics with a modern twist.
At Universal’s Islands of Adventure, guests will smile from ear-to-ear during the heartwarming live show, “Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular,” featuring The Grinch and the Whos from Who-ville, accompanied by an original musical score by Mannheim Steamroller. Guests can meet the mean, green one himself and the Whos daily and, on select dates, enjoy a special breakfast with the characters.
At Universal Studios Florida, the Macy’s Holiday Parade will fill the streets with the same larger-than-life balloons seen in the famous New York City parade. Guests will be immersed in the spirit of the season with holiday characters, fantasy-filled floats and a tree-lighting ceremony with the big man himself, Santa Claus. This year, there is a brand new addition to the line-up of timeless holiday parade icons. Happy the Hippo, a recreation of a 1940s Macy’s Parade balloon, will make her debut in New York City this Thanksgiving before heading to Orlando to appear in the Macy’s Holiday Parade at Universal Studios Florida.
Following the parade, the acclaimed musical group Mannheim Steamroller will take to the Music Plaza stage in Universal Studios six nights this year to perform memorable holiday hits on Dec. 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22.
All theme park holiday entertainment – including Mannheim Steamroller concerts – is included as part of park-to-park or multi-day admission to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. For a memorable getaway, guests can take advantage of the following vacation packages:
Make Your Season Bright with Incredible Offers from Universal Orlando
Florida Resident 2-Park Preferred Annual Pass
**Available on FlexPay
2-Park Preferred Annual Pass for less than $12* per month
Admission to both Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure
Free self-parking after first visit
No blockout dates
*Down payment and restrictions apply.
Florida Resident 2-Park Getaway
**Starting at $149+ per adult, per night, tax inclusive
2 night stay at one of three AAA Four Diamond Award deluxe on-site hotels at Universal Orlando Resort
Florida Resident 2-day base ticket to both theme parks
Universal Express Unlimited ride access to skip the regular lines in both theme parks – a FREE benefit worth up to $89 per person, per day
PLUS early park admission to experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter before the rest of the general public
**Must be booked by Dec. 15, 2013 with travel occurring by Dec. 19, 2013.
New Year’s Eve at Universal CityWalk
On December 31, guests can experience the epic sophistication of EVE 2013, Orlando’s boldest New Year’s party at Universal CityWalk. This year’sall-new event features six unique entertainment zones, access to seven of CityWalk’s high-energy nightclubs, unlimited gourmet cuisine and amidnight champagne toast.
Holiday Festivities at the Three Deluxe On-Site Hotels at Universal Orlando
The celebration continues at the three deluxe on-site hotels at Universal Orlando – Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort – all of which will glisten with holiday decorations. Hotel guests will be immersed in the spirit of the season with holiday buffets and dining events, tree-lighting ceremonies, visits from Santa, and holiday poolside “dive-in” movie presentations.
Loews Portofino Bay Hotel features the Gather Together Thanksgiving feast with Pilgrims and Indians on Thanksgiving Day, then kicks off the holiday season on Friday, November 29 with ‘Holiday Harbor Nights,’ a wine, food, music and tree lighting celebration on the Harbor Piazza. On select nights in December at Portofino, guests can enjoy Holiday in the Harbor featuring carolers, storytelling and visits with Santa. Hard Rock Hotel features special Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve buffets and Santa stops by The Kitchen restaurant every Friday in December. Loews Royal Pacific Resort offers holiday buffets for Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, plus a special New Year’s Eve luau to ring in 2014.
About Universal Orlando Resort Vacation like you mean it at Universal Orlando Resort – where every heart pounding, jaw-dropping, goose-bumping second counts. With two incredible theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, three magnificently themed on-site hotels and a nighttime entertainment complex, Universal Orlando is the only place where you can turn spending time with your family into spending time as a family. Together, you can soar above Hogwarts with Harry Potter, swing above the streets with Spider-Man, become a Minion in the hilarious and heartwarming Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride, and join Optimus Prime in the fight to save mankind on the new mega-attraction, TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D.
Universal Orlando Resort is part of NBCUniversal, a Comcast company. Follow Universal Orlando Resort on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram andYouTube.Follow us for more updates:
This year Matisyahu returns to Orlando, and will be performing on September 17 at the Hard Rock Live Orlando.
Matisyahu puts on an amazing show that is perfect for teenagers, young adults, and all Matisyahu fans. The performance features a full band and highlights songs from Matisyahu’s new record Spark Seeker as well as some fan favorite songs like “One Day”, “King Without a Crown”, “Sunshine”, and “Jerusalem”.
The Hard Rock Live Orlando is located at Universal CityWalk, and is a really great place to see a concert and I love Matisyahu!!!
Tickets are still available, so what are you waiting for???Follow us for more updates:
Our adventures on Saturday June 15th took us to the very first Hard Rock Cafe Orlando’s “Social Media Rock Party”, exclusively for @Hardrockorlando ‘s Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook fans.
Guests were told to meet at the Hard Rock Cafe Orlando at 6:30, and despite all the rain that night, there was even a red carpet to welcome us on arrival!
We were guided upstairs to a private room just for us social media fans. As soon as we walked in we were greeted by the friendly staff and asked to sign in to receive our name badges. Looking around it was a great turn out, some familiar faces, and lots of new ones to meet and mingle with!
We were told to help ourselves to the food and soft drinks provided, which not only looked like a nice selection but was presented so uniquely too.
Being a vegetarian I was so pleased to see they had considered their guests’ different tastes, and offered plenty for non meat eaters also!
The food was delicious, and it was made even sweeter by their cupcakes for dessert! I personally highly recommend their tiramisu cupcake, had to resist to only eat one so as not to appear greedy!
The room we were seated in was full of rock memorabilia of all eras, so offered great talking points for the guests and fun items to see.
After a bit of mingling and, of course, a photo opportunity with their social media mascot Rocky Bearboa, we were introduced to some of our hosts for the evening.
One of which included the Hard Rock Cafe Orlando VIBE Host, which every Hard Rock Cafe has at least one, who really specializes in rock and roll and Hard Rock’s history.
We learnt so many interesting facts that we didn’t know before tonight, and guests who were able to answer trivia questions were rewarded with Hard Rock Swag bags!
Our night was really topped off when we found out that next we would be attending the show at Hard Rock Live to see Classic Albums Live Featuring Queen’s “A Night At The Opera”!
But before heading to our seats we were taken on a tour into the Lennon Room! This is a special room designed to replicate Lennon and Ono’s apartment in the Dakota, which one can only gain access to upon being taken to via a tour or by invite.
The room was largely white, but filled with memorabilia all around! One of my favorite pieces was the couch that John actually used to compose some of his songs on!
After touring this room, and getting to see the beautiful views from the patio, we were lead upstairs to our upper balcony VIP leather seats!
The show was amazing, and the second set featured many Queen classics from Bohemian Rhapsody, and Under Pressure, to We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions!
From our seats it was obvious to me that everyone was singing along with the words and dancing. They were even given a standing ovation at the end, best Freddie Mercury tribute singer I’ve had the pleasure to hear!
That night we left feeling like we were treated like true VIP rock royalty! We met some amazing new people, and got to see a side to Hard Rock Cafe that most don’t get the chance to.
But next time you are here, be sure to ask for a special tour if you’re early enough, and you too may get to see the famous Lennon Room!
If you have never eaten at a Hard Rock Cafe before, be sure to stop by, and if you have the pleasure of being served by @justmikeyhrc then you are indeed in for a treat! Not only is he a passionate music fan, but he was also the one responsible for putting together this wonderful event for us!
So thank you Mikey, the sponsors and the workers of the world’s largest Hard Rock Cafe Orlando! What a fantastic event, showing us that Orlando truly does ROCK!