Looking Forward Through the Year

I thought I’d take this opportunity to share some of the things I am looking forward to this year as it is almost time to spring forward.

This year I am hoping to participate in at least one race per month, and doing more local races too. This weekend I will be walking the 5K for the Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World. Next weekend I will probably also walk the Best Damn Race 5K in downtown Orlando near Lake Eola. April I think will be the 5K that goes through Legoland and the rest of the year is up in the air.

Cinderella Royal Family 5K medal

Spring Training is about to shift into high gear. Teams are practicing and I’ve got tickets to see my Braves play the Cardinals at home next month. I hope to catch at least one other spring training game and to make it to Atlanta once this year.

The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is starting in a couple of weeks and this is always a fun special event. Last year I got to meet one of my HGTV personalities, David Bromstad. I look forward to trying to see him again this year and to try out some of the new food offerings.

I would love to get to Busch Gardens as it has been almost a year since I last visited, despite this being the closer theme park to where I live. I need my coaster fix and to feed some kangaroos too.

A first for me this year will be to visit Universal Studios Mardi Gras. I haven’t been to Universal since 1992 other than a few trips to City Walk over the past decade. I am long overdue and hope to finally get to taste butterbeer and maybe one of those giant donuts from the Simpsons.

Summer will bring the return of Summer Nightastic at Busch Gardens and SeaWorld, both of which are a lot of fun. I would like to get back to SeaWorld to see their Viva La Musica celebration.

Coming soon, hopefully, will be the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at the Magic Kingdom. This new coaster will be something between the thrill level of the Barnstormer and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, but with some dark ride elements I’m hoping similar to Radiator Springs Racers in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure.

Late spring into summer brings the return of the beloved Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Last year I missed out on Hyperspace Hoopla in its entirety and I won’t let that happen again this year.

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom I am looking forward to the new nighttime spectacular that should be arriving sometime this summer. I also really want Festival of the Lion King to come back soon, but I know it is still a few months off.

July will bring the WWE Raw live in Orlando from the Amway Center. I hope to see this and compare it to my recent experience for WWE Live.

Also in July will be the Destination D event at Walt Disney World for D23. I hope this is as fun if not more so than the event in 2011.

Of course the fall will bring back the International Food and Wine Festival at Epcot that this year is extended to even more of September. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party starts up again in September into October. November and December will see Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in the Magic Kingdom as well.

One of the things that is on the back burner, but I’m still trying to work into my schedule is a trip back to Disneyland sometime in the next few months or so. Also, a cruise, or two, will be happening this year!

 

What events are you looking forward to this year? Did I miss any of your favorites?

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Halloween Horror Nights at Universal!

Halloween Horror Nights infected

 

So it’s almost upon us, Halloween! If you haven’t already made it over to the 23rd Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights, fear not (lol) you still have some time! There are still three more days of fear to enjoy, the last night being November 2nd. This year’s theme is zombies, with The Walking Dead being the main theme, but also featuring houses such as Resident Evil, Havoc, Cabin In The Woods, Resident Evil, Evil Dead, La Llorona, Afterlife and American Werewolf In London.

zombie pets

Without giving too much away about Halloween Horror Nights, my favorite house this year was, by far, American Werewolf In London! I think it’s because it gave me the most scares! I literally screamed my way through this house from start to end, the effects were just so lifelike and the werewolf felt so real! The scenes were very well set up also, and I found myself pushing my way through to get away from it all! Loved it!

hungry zombie

I also really enjoyed the Cabin In The Woods house, as having seen the movie, it was really fun being able to walk through the scenes and feel like i was actually on the set, it was so elaborate!

Walker

Halloween Horror Night’s scare zones this year were all the same theme, zombies. Which was quite gory but not really very scary in my opinion, as they don’t move very fast and tend to just groan or scream in your face. I miss the variety of scare zones they used to have with roller skating aliens and creepy pumpkin men! But if you are into the whole zombie theme then it is perfect for you, it feels like they are everywhere!

zombie arm

I didn’t do the Rocky Horror Picture Show this year, but I always catch The Bill & Ted Show every year, and this year was no exception. I felt this year it had more pop culture references that I understood, so I found it very entertaining, and the music is always so fun and upbeat. Its certainly worth taking a break from the Halloween Horror Night houses to do!

zombie neck

I actually really enjoyed being able to do some of the new rides too, as most of the large rides are open during Halloween Horror Nights and you’ll find they have decent wait times as most people are going into the houses, so many are just 10-15 minute wait times! I enjoyed eating a Krusty Burger (a vegetarian version, which was yummy!) at Moe’s and checking out the huge pink donuts on sale in Springfield!

Springfield

The tickets we chose this year were the Rush Of Fear passes, which gave us access to the first 3 weeks of Halloween Horror Nights. This we found was a great deal, as the first 3 weeks are much quieter as they start in September, and they include Saturdays, so we will be doing this for next year also. The Frequent Fear passes are another good option if you are planning on going multiple days, these last longer but block out most Saturday nights, which tend to be busier anyway so they are a great deal also.

 

Parking at City Walk is $16 up until 8pm, after 8pm it’s $5 and after 10pm its free for Florida Residents.

pinkzombie

So what are you waiting for? Go check out Halloween Horror Nights 23 before November 2nd, but be prepared to scream, jump and run your way through the night!

 

 

 

Bodies

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Girls Night Out At Universal CityWalk

 

 

A few weeks ago some of us On The Go ladies decided to have a impromptu Girls Night Out! Shalon, Megan and I decided to head to Universal Studios City Walk for some festive drinks and music!

We started out at Red Coconut for a few fruity and POTENT Cocktails! I only have one picture of my Lovely WhipTini but let me tell you that their martinis are TO DIE FOR! They have signature drinks and they always make them with extra love 😉

A Lovely martini from the Red Coconut Club
Made with LOTS of Love!!! A Whip Tini at the lovely Red Coconut Club

Club Details:

Dance to live music every Thursday through Saturday night. On all other evenings a DJ spins popular tunes into the wee hours of the night. Every Thursday is Ladies’ night with free admission for ladies.

Hours: Open seven nights a week Sun – Thurs 8 pm to 2 am and Fri – Sat 6 pm to 2 am
Charges: Cover is $7, tax included, after 9 pm or as part of the CityWalk Party Pass
Phone: For more information, please call the Red Coconut Club Line at 407-224-2425.
Admission is 21 and older and dress code is casual-chic.
Attire: Casual-Chic

After we got our drinks we decided to head over to Rising Star! Rising Star is one of my favorite places. Not only do you get to sing Karaoke style but you get a back up band and back up singers!!! They have a VERY extensive list of songs. I wish I could tell you how they pick each singer each night but it seems like a crap shoot lol. There are song lists and sign up forms when you walk in. You choose TWO songs and write them on the slips, you place them in a bucket on the stage and wait… and wait… and sometimes wait…. and wait still yet. There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to how the choosing is done. My suggestion is to pick a up beat and fun song, those seem to be picked more than slow songs. When we got there I immediately put my two song choices down and ordered a drink. The girls and I loved watching the other people on stage. Some are amazing and some are…. let us say less then so 😉 We were having a great time being impatient! Finally my name was on the list! So I went downstairs to I wouldn’t be late! I am sharing this with you all because I love you…. lol. No judging allowed…. well at least not in comments 🙂

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2chC5Wt7Smo

Was it my best? No. Was it a Blast? YES! The backup singers and dancers were so much fun and having a live band behind you instead of just  recorded music was a blast. I am looking forward to heading back after this summer when it isn’t as busy for some more singing fun! I also plan on entering their annual Karaoke contest at the end of the summer!

Club Details:

Enjoy karaoke nightly. Tuesday through Saturday nights you can perform with a live band and backup singers, with a host keeping the show moving. Sunday and Monday evenings feature a host, live backup singers and recorded tracks. There’s a large selection of song titles to choose from, in a variety of tempos and styles from hard rock to country ballads to favorite standards.
Hours: Open nightly from 8 pm – 2 am
Info: Tuesday – Saturday: Live band with backup singers & host
Sunday & Monday: Backup singers and host
Cover: $7, no charge to sing
CityWalk Party Passes accepted
Full Bar with signature cocktails

We decided that it was time to shake out tail feathers for the remainder of the night so we headed over to The Groove. Who can pass up dancing with the girls? The place was packed but we got some shaking in and people watched which is always fun as well!

Club Details:

Dance to the best in Top 40, Hip-Hop, R&B and Top Pop Hits. There’s a DJ every night, and occasional appearances by live performers. It’s a different experience every evening!

Hours: Open 9 pm – 2 am 7 days a week
Charges: Cover is $7, tax included
Must be 21 and older
Attire: Casual chic; no hats or tank tops

If you want to take a break from the dance floor there are multiple bars and three themed lounges – the cool Blue Room, which has a futuristic sci-fi feel; the sizzling and romantic Red Room; and the tranquil Green Room, which has a 70’s vibe.

Overall, I love City Walk. It is awesome that you can get lots of different club vibes  in one area. We didnt go to Bob Marley or Pat O’Briens this time but rest assured, we will be back! Their dining options are great too! I have NOTHING but good things to say about the fried pickles at Margaritaville! And I will always recommend stopping by the Long Palm Bar and picking up a VooDoo Juice !!!!!!

I can not wait to show you readers out next Girls Night Out activity!!!! We have all sorts of fun things planned!!!!!

 

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

“Sparks Fly” This Saturday Night With A Live Performance by Miranda Cosgrove At Universal Orlando’s Summer Concert Series 2012 Summer Concert Series Concludes This Saturday

Universal Orlando’s Summer Concert Series wraps this weekend with teen actress and pop sensation Miranda Cosgrove!

Cosgrove is best known for her starring role in Nickelodeon’s Emmy-nominated TV series, “iCarly.”  She launched her music career by recording songs for the hit show, including its theme song, “Leave It All To Me.”  In 2011, Cosgrove released her debut solo album, “Sparks Fly,” which reached the Top 10 on the Billboard 200 chart.

Miranda Cosgrove

Guests can also hear Cosgrove’s voice inside the newest attraction at Universal Studios Florida, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem – based on the blockbuster animated hit, “Despicable Me.”  She is the voice of Gru’s oldest daughter, Margo. The hilarious and heartwarming ride is now open and combines a new storyline, new animation, the latest 3-D technology – and the heart, outrageous humor and memorable characters of the hit animated film.

Sorry, I couldn’t resist putting this one up again…

Access to the Summer Concert Series is included in admission to Universal Studios Florida and gives guests the opportunity to add a major concert to a day of theme park thrills.  By day, guests can enjoy some of the most popular entertainment experiences in the world– including the all-new Universal’s Superstar Parade, a daily parade that features elaborately themed floats that tower above guests, hundreds of energetic street performers and spectacular music and dance performances. By night, park guests can rock out to a live performance by a multi-platinum artist at the Music Plaza, a venue illuminated by the colorful LED lights of Universal Studios’ mostrockin’ coaster, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit.

For more information, visit www.universalorlando.com.

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Minion Mayhem Premiers at Universal Studios Orlando And You Won’t Want To Miss It!

Fans of the hit movie Despicable Mewill want to run to Universal Studios Orlando to become a minion on Minion Mayhem!

Minion Mayhem is a motion simulator ride which allows you to join Gru, Agnes, Edith, Margo, Dr. Nefario, and of course the minions as they get ready to celebrate a big day! With the voice talent from Despicable Mebringing their characters to life on the ride, Steve Carrel, Miranda Cosgrove, Elsie Fisher, & Dana Gaier to name a few, this is the only opportunity to see these characters until the sequel hits the theaters in 2013!

Universal Orlando’s Creative team worked closely with producer Chris Meledandri, the founder of Illumination Entertainment, to create all-new animation for an all-new “Despicable Me” adventure that places guests right in the center of the action. This brand-new ride combines the humor and memorable characters of Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s blockbuster film Despicable Me, with an all-new storyline, incredible new animation and the latest 3-D technology to create a fun and unique theme park experience.

Families are transformed into minions, laugh together as they train to join Gru’s minion army and boogie down during the world’s-first minion-inspired dance party. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem is super fun and a really complete journey into the world of Despicable Me that you aren’t going to want to leave.

Riders must be over 40”to ride the motion simulator, 48” to ride unaccompanied, and there are stationary platforms available for smaller riders or those that prefer not to move. There is also no Express Pass for this attraction.

 

And this is where the spoilers begin…so don’t say I didn’t warn you!!!

 

Ready…Then let’s go!!!

 

Upon entering Gru’s house from the streets of Universal Studios Orlando, the fun begins as you pass the banana trees to enter into the main queue when you watch a 15 minute video that plays continuously on several monitors and prepares you for the ride…How you’ll become a minion.  The video is full of footage from the movie, and includes minion quizzes, and vital information about the various characters you will encounter (Gru, Agnes, Edith, Margo, and Dr. Nefario), and lots and lots and lots and lots of minions.  In this part of the queue you will also find fun posters and vignettes inspired by the movie that entertain you while you wait.

Then you get to enter the main, and most exciting part of the queue…you enter Gru’s house.  As soon as you walk through the door make sure you take a look at everything!  While this is the area where you will pick up your 3D glasses (the glasses are the same as they use at The Amazing Adventures of Spider Man and Star Tours), don’t let that be your main focus.  There are lots of fun details from the movie like the portrait of Dr. Nefario, the piranha over the fireplace, and the special minion entrance just to name a few.  Also, don’t forget to take a look up for a big bang.  In this room you will also be able to view another shorter video preparing you for what you will encounter ahead.

And now it’s time for the transformation to begin. You’ll be able to see what it’s like to be screened and become a minion in the Minionization Prep Room. It is definitely a fun experience! This is also where you find out that Agnes is trying to give Gru a present for the celebration of their adoption anniversary, but Gru is too busy making plans with Dr. Nefario and the minions to pay attention. Take a peek at the transformation video…minus the smell of bananas…

 

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYgOjGJ452Q

 

Once you have been Minionized, you enter the Minion Transformation Pods to watch another pre-pre-pre-pre ride video with instructions and warning for the rides before the lap bars are lowered and you put on your goggles to before you are minionized by Gru’s gun to begin the crazy minion journey!  I have to say that while the motion simulators are extremely smooth, there is a lot of “swinging” movements that can be a little disorienting and there is a lot of violence towards the minions which could be a little scary to younger minions.

At first you are put through various minion obstacles and tasks by the girls, including Edith taunting you with a banana, before you enter into Gru’s workshop by accident. But when you are in the workshop, Agnes loses her present for Gru which leads to a huge chase to recover the gift.

Once you’ve recovered the gift by working together with Gru, Edith, Margo, Agnes, and the minions you enter a HUGE party full of fun rides to celebrate the anniversary of their adoption! While you are enjoying the party, there is a mishap you are unfortunately turned back into humans and are quickly led out of the party and new minions are sent in to replace you.

Upon exiting the ride you get to enter into your own dance party with minions and human minions. Under the shiny disco ball, you’ll definitely catch “Boogie Fever” and get caught up in the fun for a few minutes. The lighting in here is difficult for pictures, but you are going to want to do your best since this is a great opportunity to catch some silly memories!

After the dance party, you’ll exit into the gift shop that is full of minion mementos and SO FLUFFY unicorns!!! The store is themed really well, and is a great way to adjust your eyes to the bright light since you have been in dark spaces for awhile by this point.

While the use of the motion simulator itself isn’t ground breaking, the projections are amazingly clear and the story line is well formed and extremely enjoyable. The dance party is a great way to extend the ride experience into the ‘real world’. It’s a great ride that was thoughtfully created for fans that I would ride again and again…and I have a feeling that is exactly what Zoe is going to make me do after she rides it for the first time!

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

“Let’s Stay Together” With R&B Legend Al Green, Performing Live This Saturday At Universal Orlando’s 2012 Summer Concert Series

“LET’S STAY TOGETHER” WITH R&B LEGEND AL GREEN, PERFORMING LIVE THIS SATURDAY AT UNIVERSAL ORLANDO’S 2012 SUMMER CONCERT SERIES

Summer Concert Series Runs Every Saturday Night Through July 14

 

Universal Orlando Resort guests can “boogie down” this weekend as R&B music legend Al Green performs live at Universal Studios Florida.

Since the late 1960s, soulful star Al Green has topped music charts with classic hits like “Let’s Stay Together,” “You Ought to Be with Me” and “L-O-V-E (Love),” producing more than 20 million albums sold worldwide during his career.  Green was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, and Rolling Stone magazine named him one of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time.” Green’s most recent album, “Lay It Down,” features collaborations with other popular artists, such as John Legend, Erykah Badu and the late Amy Winehouse.

Universal Orlando’s Summer Concert Series is included in admission to Universal Studios and gives guests the opportunity to add a major concert to a day of theme park thrills.  This year’s star-studded lineup features top-name talent that will appeal to fans of every music genre.  The full list of upcoming acts is below.

SUMMER CONCERT SERIES 2012 LINEUP

Date

Headliner

June 30 Al Green
July 7 Lupe Fiasco
July 14 Miranda Cosgrove

Guests can also experience Universal Studios’ brand-new entertainment experiences – Universal’s Superstar Parade and Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular – 100 Years of Movie Memories.   Before the concert, Universal’s Superstar Parade will roll through the streets and transform into a theme-park-wide performance stage as today’s most beloved stories and characters bring new adventure and excitement to guests.  After the concert, Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular – a nighttime show that takes guests on a journey filled with powerful movie moments – will unfold across the park’s central lagoon.

For more information, visit www.universalorlando.com.

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular

A few weeks ago, Universal Studios Orlando debuted a new nighttime show in celebration of 100 years of movies from Universal Studios.  This is one of the many new attractions that is part of Univeral’s “Year to Be Here” that are debuting in Orlando.

The new show is called Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular.  Spectacular is the right description for it.  Universal showcases several of its classic movies by featuring clips in segments of the show.  The segments vary from 100 Years of Heros to 100 Years of Horror to 100 Years of Laughter.  Some of the movies featured include such favorites as Back to the Future, Psycho, The Mummy, American Pie, and Gladiator.

The show is narrated by Morgan Freeman.  It has three water screens in the Universal Studios lagoon where the movie clips are projected.  The screens can be seen from multiple locations along the lagoon, with the most popular location being the decks near Mel’s Drive In.  In addition to the water screens, the show has water fountains, water fan screens and colorful lights between the larger water sceens.  To top it off the show includes fireworks to enhance the films and featured moments.

I was able to see the show at a preview in April and returned to see it during the opening week.  During the preview it appeared that they were testing the water screens that the movies are projected onto, however, once the attraction officially opened the preshow was full of surprises on the water screen.  I highly recommend getting there early enough to see these surprises.

A few viewing tips…

– find your spot at least a half hour before the show.  While both times that I’ve seen the show the crowds were low, I have no idea how the larger summer crowds will affect your ability to get a good view of the show.

– on windy nights, be aware of which way the wind is blowing.  The lagoon is narrow and you are close to the screens, water fountains and water fans and on windy days you will get wet.  The lagoon is surrounded by signs indicating the “splash zones.”

– be sure to have a view of the sky.  Don’t forget that the show includes fireworks around the lagoon!

If you’re not able to get to Universal soon, here is a video I took during the preview night.  I hope you enjoy the show!

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Rock the Universe at Universal Orlando Resort

From the Desk of Universal Orlando:

UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT’S ROCK THE UNIVERSE 2012 TICKETS NOW ON SALE

Experience All the Action of Florida’s Biggest Christian Music
Festival with the Rock Your Weekend Ticket

ORLANDO, Fla. (May 22, 2012) – Tickets are now available for Rock the Universe 2012 – Florida’s biggest Christian music festival – happening Sept. 7 and 8 at Universal Orlando Resort.

Guests can rock out the entire weekend with the “Rock Your Weekend” ticket, which includes admission to both nights of the event and three days admission to both Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. This ticket will only be available through Aug. 31, 2012 and will not be sold at the park entrance.

 

This year’s line-up features some of the most popular names in Christian rock. More than a dozen hit bands will take the stage, including Skillet – awarded a Billboard Music Award for “Top Christian Album” in 2011; four-time Grammy-nominated band Newsboys; rock group Switchfoot, which has sold millions of albums worldwide; and three-time Dove award winner Jeremy Camp. The full line-up is below.
Guests will also enjoy an exciting Fan Zone presented by Coca-Cola including live music by Everfound, Group 1 Crew, Jason Castro and We As Human, autograph sessions with the bands, karaoke and band merchandise. Guests will also experience a Saturday night candle lighting service featuring Tenth Avenue North.

Plus, guests will enjoy the thrilling attractions only found at Universal Studios Florida. They can rock out to their favorite Christian artists at 65 mph on Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, laugh along with America’s favorite animated family on The Simpsons Ride and speed through the darkness on the world’s first psychological thrill ride – Revenge of the Mummy.

For more details about Rock the Universe 2012, visit www.RocktheUniverse.com or call 1-866-RTU-INFO (1-866-788-4636).

Universal Orlando Resort
There are many ways to enjoy your Orlando vacation, but there is only one place where vacation becomes adventure: Universal Orlando Resort. It is a unique destination featuring two theme parks, three magnificently themed on-site hotels and a nighttime entertainment complex. It’s the only Orlando destination where you are not just entertained – you become part of the most exhilarating entertainment ever created. You can soar above Hogwarts with Harry Potter, swing above the streets with Spider-Man, battle aliens alongside Agent J, and help Shrek save Princess Fiona in Shrek 4-D. Coming this summer: Despicable Me Minion Mayhem.

 

 

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram