Saturday, December 5, 2009

Holidays at Busch Gardens

Celebrate the spirit of the season with the return of holiday classics for the whole family. This year, make Busch Gardens Tampa bay your heartwarming home for the holidays. Christmas shows, holiday decor and a special visit from Santa. Join Santa and his merry elves for Breakfast at Desert Grill select mornings in December. Breakfast includes a commemorative family photo with Santa and a private performance of Christmas Celebration. Call Kissimmee Guest Services for more information.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Space Mountain® Returns!

Rising above the futuristic Tomorrowland® scenery, Space Mountain® at Magic Kingdom® Park, the thrilling roller coaster ride that takes Guests through the cosmos, has returned.

On Sunday, November 22, Space Mountain® will reopen with all new storyline elements, enhanced lighting and "darkening" effects, updated decor, fun interactive queue elements and a ride photo system to capture Guests memories on film.

Fun Facts about this classic attraction:
  • Opened January 15, 1975
  • The cone shaped peak is 183 feet above ground
  • The attraction measures 4,508,500 Cubic feet
  • When Space Mountain® officially opened, it joined the Country Bear Jamboree as the only two Disney theme park attractiosn to debut at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida.
  • When fully operating, there are two sides of Space Mountain® which have almost identical ride tracks
  • You must be 44" tall to ride
  • Remeber that Space Mountain® is a FASTPASS® attraction.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

Now through January 4th, 2010. Guests can now bask in the glow of one of the most popular holiday traditions at Disney's Hollywood Studios™. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights on the Streest of America is a breathtaking seasonal display featuring millions of glittering lights. Entire buildings are blanketed in sheets of multi-colored lights, and thousands more lights form twirling carousels, heavenly angels, and even Santa and his reindeer. Approximately every 10 minutes, the lights dim, and then dramatically spring to life - dynamically choreographed to traditional holiday music.

Guests can see the trees, spinning carousels, 3-D and motion based displays now through January 4, 2010. They'll delight in the flying angels, toy soldiers and giant Santa Claus light creations all strung along the high-rise backlot cityscape. Some nights, if they truly believe in holiday magic, the show is capped off with an enchanted flurry of snow.

This festival display of lights and sparkling holiday bulbs was designed by Arkansas businessman and philanthropist Jennings Osborne. This tradition began 20 years ago when Jennings strung 1,000 red lights as a Christmas gift to his daughter, Breezy. Soon their 22,000 sqare-foot home was covered in millions of lights. By 1995, the display found a new home at Disney's Hollywood Studios™ at the Walt Disney World® Resort.

*The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights will not be featured on November 22, 2009.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Holiday Cheer you can Only Hear Here

Experience a one-of-a-kind holiday celebration at Universal Orlando® Resort, December 5th through January 1st. Join in the fun of Grinchmas™ at Universal’s Islands of Adventure®, featuring a live version of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” with music recorded by Mannheim Steamroller. At Universal Studios®, the Macy’s Holiday Parade™ takes to the streets with new balloons and floats, marching bands, colorful performers and more. You’ll also find special holiday offerings including The Blues Brothers® Christmas Show and Barney’s Holiday Show; plus from December 26th through 31st be sure to end your day with a special edition of the Universal 360–A Cinesphere Spectacular® nighttime show. You won’t want to miss the new Holiday Concert Series in the Universal Music Plaza. On December 5th you can enjoy the unique sounds of Mannheim Steamroller, who have released some of the most popular albums of Christmas music of all time. The December 12th concert features guitarist Chris Isaak playing songs from his 2004 Christmas album. To cap off the concert series, on December 19th you can enjoy music legend Natalie Cole who’ll lend her unmistakable voice to an array of holiday classics. All the fun and festivities are included with your theme park admission! Florida Residents can experience it all with the 2-Park Holiday Pass, good for unlimited park-to-park admission with no blockout dates through January 31st, 2010. Plus, you can enjoy a variety of music-filled festivities throughout the entire resort, including special events at Universal CityWalk® and special celebrations and holiday meals at the on-site hotels. Nobody celebrates the holidays like Universal Orlando Resort!

Click here to purchase tickets to Universal Studios or any other Central Florida attraction.

Dates and entertainment subject to change without notice. Dr. Seuss properties TM & © 2009 Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. All rights reserved. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade & Related Characters: ©2009 Macy’s Inc. All rights reserved. Mannheim Steamroller is a registered trademark of Chip Davis. The Blues Brothers © 2009 D. Aykroyd and J. Belushi Pisano. A Day in the Park with Barney © 2009 Lyons Partnership L.P. All rights reserved. The names and characters Barney, Baby Bop, BJ and Super-Dee-Duper TM Lyons Partnership, L.P. Barney and BJ are Reg. U.S. Pat & Tm. Off. Universal elements and all related indicia TM & © 2009 Universal Studios. © 2009 Universal Orlando. All rights reserved. 244003/0909

Friday, October 9, 2009

SeaWorld's Halloween Spooktacular

October 3-4, 10-11, 17-18, 24-25, 30-31st

Halloween meets the sea this October during SeaWorld's Halloween Spooktacular. An underwater “Fantasea” comes alive as youngsters trick-or-treat among friendly sea witches, octopuses, mermaids, pumpkin fish and more. Children can dress-up in their favorite costume and play with sea fairies, learn from a ‘school’ of fish or dance with an ice witch.
Halloween Spooktacular is not a seperate ticket event and is included in your admission to SeaWorld.

Eat to the Beat! Concert Series

At the Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival, music pairs perfectly with tasty cuisine during nightly Eat to the Beat! Concerts. They feature a varied lineup of classic rock, soul, R&B, oldies, jazz and funk hit–makers. Concerts are performed 3 times each evening at the America Gardens Theatre along the World Showcase Lagoon.

America Gardens Theatre
World Showcase
Daily at 5:15 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.

9/25-27...............Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
9/28-29............................Richard Marx
10/4-6.....................................En Vogue
10/7-8.........................Better Than Ezra
10/9-11................................Sister Hazel
10/12-13.......................Kool & The Gang
10/14-16............................... Spyro Gyra
10/17-18................................Jon Secada
10/19-20............................Sister Sledge
10/21-22......................Vanessa Carlton
10/23-25..........................Taylor Dayne
10/26-28............................Boyz II Men
10/29-31..............................John Waite
11/1-2................................Taylor Hicks
11.3-5....................................Billy Ocean
11.6-8............... ......................Los Lobos

Please note that theme park admission is required and entertainment is subject to change without notice.

Epcot® International Food and Wine Festival

The 14th Annual Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival celebrates culinary adventures from September 25-November 8, 2009.

From trendy Cork, Ireland, to the melting pot of Cape Town, South Africa, Guests will discover blissful bites at the international and regional marketplaces throughout the World Showcase Promenade. Exotic flavors from countries on six continents are in plentiful supply, as are the comfort foods you know and love, all masterfully prepared.

Guests will delight in tantalizing new additions — from the robust and exotic flavors of Rio de Janeiro and Bangkok to world-class performers like Richard Marx, Billy Ocean and Vanessa Carlton...who will take the stage at the Festival for the very first time at the Eat to the Beat! Concerts.

Guests can explore specialty marketplaces featuring regional foods, wines and beers; learn from renowned chefs and winemakers at special programs and demonstrations; and sample the finest cuisine from around the globe at spectacular culinary events.

How can guests enjoy more than 25 international kiosks dishing up tapassized portions of regional specialties, along with recommended wines and beers and then unwind at night with a stellar lineup of celebrated musical acts at the Eat to the Beat! Concert Series? It’s easy when admission to this event is included with regular Disney Magic Your Way® Ticket admission!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Worlds of Discovery in July

Reflections comes to life in a spectacular celebration of soaring fountains and dazzling fireworks. Through the thrilling and inspirational music of their most popular shows, families and friends will experience a wondrous connection that lights the night like never before. Also, new this year is seating at Bayside Stadium that will allow audiences to watch the show in comfort.

Busch Gardens Serengeti Night Safari

This two-hour night-time experience will transport you into the heart of Africa and beyond your expectations. You'll satisfy your hunger as you enjoy savory appetizers and ice cold beverages before embarking on your exclusive guided expedition. After your amazing animal adventure, relax and hear colorful tales around a roaring bonfire. Then finish off the evening with a classic nightcap including coffee and desserts.

Aquatica Private Cabanas

Treat yourself to the luxury of a private cabana for the day, and you may be surprised how quickly your cares are washed away. Stay cool, relax and enjoy the many benefits and amenities from an Aquatica Cabana rental

Discovery Cove Tropical Reef
Lose yourself in the vibrant wonders that exist above and below the waters surrounding the coral reef. Enjoy a unique, up-close-and-personal opportunity to reach the exotic and mysterious air that surrounds these graceful, gentle, fascinating creatures.

To purchase any Worlds of Discovery tickets visit

Friday, May 22, 2009

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of mankind’s first steps on the moon.

On July 16, 2009, astronauts Buzz Aldrin (Apollo 11) Charlie Duke (Apollo 16) Al Worden (Apollo 15) Edgar Mitchell (Apollo 14) and Walt Cunningham (Apollo 7) will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and mark the opening of a new exhibit at the Apollo/Saturn V Center.

Rarely seen publicly before, the Apollo artifacts in the new exhibit include a rare collection of space suits and other gear used by the Apollo moonwalkers to explore the lunar surface during space walks, featuring Apollo 14 Commander Alan Shepard’s space suit.

You can also see See the 363-foot long rocket that took astronauts on this historic journey and relive the stories of this great achievement at the Apollo/Saturn V Center.

To purchase Kennedy Space Center tickets or other Central Florida attraction tickets click here!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Slip Slidin' Away to Blizzard Beach

Disney legend has it that after a freak winter storm blanketed the area with snow, a team of astute real estate developers decided they had the opportunity to open Florida's first (and only)ski resort. When temperatures returned to normal, the powdery snow turned to slippery slush. Not to be deterred, the developers (spying an alligator sliding down the slopes) turned lemons into lemonade and transformed their ski resort into Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park, the coolest water park anywhere! Slalom courses, bobsled and toboggan runs became downhill waterslides. The chairlift carried swimmers instead of skiers. The ski jump became the tallest, fastest water slide in the nation.


• Head to the top of Mount Gushmore to ride Summit Plummet — the 120-foot tall freefall slide and reach speeds up to 60 mph.
• Eight racers go side-by-side on Toboggan Racers
• Blizzard Beach has not one but 2 kids’ areas— Tike’s Peak, where little dippers will find a kid-size version of the park; and Ski Patrol Training Camp, an area designed specifically for preteens.

Disney water parks are a great way to cool off all year long, but especially during the summer months. And, Blizzard Beach has also been ranked as the one of the top extreme water parks in the country by the Travel Channel.

Friday, May 1, 2009

SeaWorld After Dark

Evenings this summer, join SeaWorld’s shining stars in a rock 'n' roll extravaganza. Shamu Rocks is driven by a beat that’s larger than life and stunning visual effects. A nighttime action-packed ski show jams on the lake and in the sky. DJs mix music for a rock show experience. There’s shopping, dining and all new just-at-night shows. It’s SeaWorld AfterDark - the best reason to stay up late in Orlando! SeaWorld After Dark runs from May 23 - September 7.

To purchase your SeaWorld and other attraction tickets, Click Here! Enter e-coupon code BLOG123 to save an addtional 4% off of your total price.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Escape to Typhoon Lagoon!

Disney legend says many years ago a furious typhoon hit a tiny resort, hurling surfboards into trees, blowing small boats through roofs and impaling the Miss Tilly, a shrimp boat originally from Safen Sound, FL, on the peak of the great volcanic mountain, Mount Mayday. The storm—plus an ensuing earthquake and volcanic eruption—left the village in ruins. Instead of bemoaning their bad luck, the townspeople turned their home into a world-class water park! Left in the typhoon’s wake are nine exciting waterslides and streams, roaring rapids, wonderful waterways and relaxing rivers—the perfect place for a day of escapism.


• Catch six-foot waves in the Surf Pool or snorkel at Shark Reef with real sharks!
• Little ones, under 48 inches tall, can go to Ketchakiddee Creek for fun water features and kidsized slides.
• Grab an inner tube and float around the park at Castaway Creek—a mild, relaxing ride.
• Thrilling big kids, teens and adults, Crush ‘n’ Gusher is a gravity-defying, multi-rider, coaster-like raft ride with gushing jets of water.

To purchase Typhoon Lagoon tickets or any other Attraction Tickets visit Use E-Coupon Code "blog123" to save an additional 4% off your total purchase.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Meet Sparky

  • Sparky, a nine-month-old red kangaroo, recently debuted in Critter Castaways at Busch Gardens.
  • Sparky’s diet consists of grass, grain and vegetation.
  • His favorite treat is romaine lettuce.
  • Sparky weights about 9 ½ lbs and will be bottle-fed until his first birthday.
  • The red kangaroo is the world’s largest marsupial.
  • Adult males can reach up to 6 feet and weigh 200 lbs.
  • The species is only found in Australia.
  • Critter Castaways shows run daily at the Bird Gardens Theater in Busch Gardens. Check park maps for show times.

To purchase Busch Gardens and other Orlando Theme Park Tickets, visit

Let the Music Move you at Glory At The Gardens

Busch Gardens always features top musical groups for our Concert Series, and this year we’re adding an event that puts the spotlight on the best contemporary Christian music, including Dove Award winners and nominees. Glory At The Gardens presents two uplifting shows; the May 9 event features Relient K, NEEDTOBREATHE, This Beautiful Republic, Worth Dying For and Sanctus Real. And on May 16, come let the spirit move you when Steven Curtis Chapman, Matthew West, Brandon Heath, Sara Groves and Joel AugĂ© take the stage. It’s just another way Busch Gardens lets your spirit soar!
To purchase Busch Gardens and other Orlando Theme Park tickets visit

Monday, March 23, 2009


Manta, SeaWorld Orlando's all-new flying coaster, soared recently on a round of test flights. The ride is set to open May 22.

An all-new breed of thrill ride + up-close animal encounters, Manta combines the best of the sea and sky, immersing you in the beautiful and mysterious world of rays and then taking you for the ride of your life aboard a manta-inspired flying roller coaster. You’ll fly, glide and soar headfirst like a ray aboard this unparalleled experienced that only SeaWorld could create.

Share the test flight with family and friends! See the video below for a glimpse of one of Orlando’s must-see attractions.

Purchase Discount SeaWorld and other Central Florida Attractions at

Friday, March 20, 2009

EPCOT(r) International Flower and Garden Festival March 18th - May 31st.

Celebrate Springtime at the 16th Annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, March 18 - May 31, 2009!! Enjoy the most character topiaries in almost a decade, plus a combination of new displays & returning favorites like:

NEW Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden

New Pirates Adventure Zone

Minnies Magnificent Butterfly Garden

Fragrance Garden by Guerlain and complimentary tour

Tips from expert guests every Friday, Saturday & Sunday during the festival!

Plus groove to some of your favorite tunes of the '60s and '70s from artists such as Davy Jones, Chubby Checker, Tony Orlando and more! The Flower Power Concert Series takes place every Friday through Sunday during the festival at 5:15, 6:30 and 7:45 p.m.

Tickets for EPCOT and other Walt Disney World Tickets can be purchase at

Friday, March 13, 2009

Dolphin Bubbles

ABC news recently featured an incredible story from SeaWorld Orlando.

Several dolphins at the Key West at SeaWorld attraction have learned not only tob low beautiful underwater bubble rings, but also how to manipulate and play with them.

It's one of the most fascinating things you'll ever see.

Tickets for SeaWorld Orlando can be purchased at

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


At Aquatica, the water is as warm as the South Seas themselves-actually, warmer! We have a state-of-the-art climate control system that adjusts the water temperature according to the weather so that it's always just right. The water can be heated up to 84 degrees.

Aquatica Operating Hours
March 1-3 9am-6pm
March 14-31 9am-8pm
*Operating hours vary and are subject to change due to inclement weather.

Tickets for Aquatica can be purchased at

Source: Aquatica
Posted by: Michael Crandell
Real Music Series

March 4-7, 11-14 and 18-21

You are sure to enjoy this year's line-up of bands at the Real Music Concert Series located at the Stanleyville Theatre. Concerts are Wednesdays-Saturdays at 11:30am, 1:00pm and 3:30pm.

Concert Schedule
March 4-7 - The Monkeys Lead Singer Mickey Dolenz
March 11-14 - Little River Band
March 18-21 - The 5th Dimension

Let's Dance! Featuring; BURN THE FLOOR!

Through April 19

Don't miss this hot, contemporary ballroom dancing show performing in the Desert Grill. It's a sizzling addition to the Real Music Concert Series!

Tickets for Busch Gardens can be purchased at

Source: Busch Gardens
Posted by: Michael Crandell

Viva La Musica!


March 7-8, 14-15, 21-22 & 28-29

Dance to the lively beats of latin artists, taste delicious food and feel the fiery flair of Hispanic traditions at SeaWorld and Busch Gardens. Concerts will take place at SeaWorld on
Saturday's and Sunday's at Busch Gardens.

Concert Schedules

SeaWorld Artists
El Gran Combo - March 7
Tito El Bambino - March 14
La India - March 21
Fonesca - March 28

Busch Gardens Artists
El Gran Combo - March 8
RKM & Ken Y - March 15
Groupomania - March 22
Guayacan - March 29

*Event times, dates and talent are subject to change.

Tickets for SeaWorld and Busch Gardens may be purchased at

Source: SeaWorld and Busch Gardens
Posted by: Michael Crandell

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Now you can host a variety of outdoor meetings or events at the brand new Music Plaza, located at the foot of the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit Roller Coaster inside Universal Studios Florida®. This incredible open space features a large, covered stage with two massive video displays to handle all your presentation or concert needs. Art deco architecture, stately palm trees and a wide expanse of comfortable synthetic grass make this a premier event venue.

Tickets for Universal Orlando are available at

Source: Universal Orlando
Posted by: Michael Crandell

Saturday, February 28, 2009

More news on HRRR at Universal Orlando!

Adrenaline pumping and music thumping, you head straight toward the sky. Suddenly, you’re doing 65 mph, 17 stories over the streets and buildings of Universal Studios®. Gasping with excitement, you rock out to the song YOU picked before strapping in. And, best of all, every scream-filled moment of your aerial adventure has been caught on video.

Get ready to put music into motion on Hollywood Rip Ride RockitSM, the world’s most technologically-advanced roller coaster. On this groundbreaking thrill ride, you pick the soundtrack while on-board cameras capture your pulse-pounding flight in, around, and over Universal Studios. Back on the ground, you can customize and purchase a music video of your ride. The “never been done before” elements extend to the track itself with several unique moves, including the world’s first non-inverting loop.

Scheduled to open in Spring 2009, Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit will be the most personalized and immersive roller coaster experience in the world!

Source: Universal Orlando

Posted by: Michael Crandell

Purchase your Universal Orlando tickets at

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Photos of Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit Coaster going up (fast!) at Universal Studios

Made the cycle yesterday at Universal Studios and was pleased to see visible, vertical progress on its Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit roller coaster, which is scheduled to open this spring. It's going to have impact on the landscape, for sure, with that reddish rail and bright yellow supports visible from the far side of Universal CityWalk. Here are a few pictures.

This looks to be bumpy ride so all you coaster enthusiasts get your rear ends ready because this is going to be one long summer!

Tickets for Universal Orlando can be purchased by calling Kissimmee Guest Services at: 877.273.5636 or going online at:

Posted by: Michael Crandell
Sources: Universal Orlando, The Orlando Sentinel

Universal Mardi Gras - 2009

Universal Orlando has announced its lineup of entertainers for this year's Mardi Gras celebration, which kicks off Feb. 7. There's a twist to the scheduling. Instead of the usual Saturdays-only routine, one Sunday (Feb. 14) and one Friday (March 27) has been added to the mix. The event runs through April 18 at the Universal Studios theme park.

UPDATE: Where will these concerts be held, you might ask. I did. After all, the usual "boneyard" location has spent a good deal of time behind construction walls for months. Here's the park's official stance: "Universal Orlando will debut a new, permanent live-performance venue during this year's Mardi Gras season. More details, along with the venue's opening date, will follow soon." So they have a plan, but won't give dates yet. Stay tuned.

Anyway, the diverse list of performers is includes an American Idol winner, country artists, back-in-the-day acts, rap and pop.

Feb. 7: KC and the Sunshine Band

Feb. 14: Frankie Valli & the Four Season

Feb. 15: The Village People

Feb. 21: Ne-Yo

Feb. 28: Pat Benatar (featuring Neil Giraldo)

March 7: Barenaked Ladies

March 14: Montgomery Gentry

March 21: Collective Soul

March 27: Boys Like Girls

March 28: Kelly Clarkson

April 4: MC Hammer

April 11: Trace Adkins

April 18: Nelly

As in the past, New Orleans bands will play in the theme park's French Quarter replica. They are:

Big Red and the Zydeco Playmakers (Feb. 7), Lil Malcolm and the House Rockers (Feb. 14-15), Daddy Mac Blues Band (Feb. 21), Chris Klein and the Boulevards (Feb. 28), Rockin Jake (March 7), Mem Shannon and the Membership (March 14), Honey Islands Swamp Band (March 21), Jumpin Johnny Sansone (March 27-28), Soul Project (April 4), Lil Nathan and the Zydeco Big Timers (April 11), Lil Brian and the Zydeco Travelers (April 18).

Multi-day tickets can be purchased in advance by calling Kissimmee Gust Services at 877.273.5636 or by going online at:

Friday, January 30, 2009

Bud and BBQ at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay!

Country music, classic rock and barbecue collide during four high-octane Saturday's at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida. Barbecue lovers bring your appetites as Bud and BBQ features the most bodacious barbecue menu in Florida and plenty of ice-cold Anheuser-Busch Products!

Concert Schedule for Busch Gardens:

February 8 - Phil Vassar and Josh Gracin
February 15 - Gretchen Wilson
February 22 - Miranda Lambert
March 1 - Gregg Allman and Friends
(concerts are included with regular admission)

Tickets for Busch Gardens can be purchased by calling 877.273.5636 or by visiting Kissimmee Guest Services on the web at:

Posted by: Michael Crandell
Source: Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay

Bud and BBQ at SeaWorld!

Country music, classic rock and barbecue collide during four high-octane Saturday's at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida. Barbecue lovers bring your appetites as Bud and BBQ features the most bodacious barbecue menu in Florida and plenty of ice-cold Anheuser-Busch Products!

Concert Schedule for SeaWorld:

February 7 - Blake Shelton
February 14 - Kenny Rogers
February 21 - Daryl Hall and John Oates
February 28 - Jason Aldean
(concerts are included with regular admission)

Tickets for SeaWorld can be purchased by calling 877.273.5636 or by visiting Kissimmee Guest Services on the web at:

Posted by: Michael Crandell
Source: SeaWorld Orlando

Walt Disney World loves a parade and asks you to celebrate!

The afternoon parade at Magic Kingdom has a new name and new elements that dovetail with Disney's marketing campaign What Will You Celebrate?

The Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade, which debuted last Friday, isn't a drastic departure from its predecessor, Disney Dreams Come True Parade. Some floats are redecorated a bit, some are completely unchanged in appearance but with different characters aboard.

Here's what's new:

*The parade makes three "show stops" along the route for performances. The first one is along the straight stretch of Frontierland. At the second stop, the performers reach from Cinderella Castle to midway down Main Street, and the third stop goes from the hub at the front of the park back up Main. (Stand in key spots along the Main drag and see the front of one stop plus the rear of the next one without moving.)

*The songs are now "Celebrate a Dream Come True" and "Celebrate You." The latter is used in Disney's current television spots, and a pop version was recorded by High School Musical actor Corbin Bleu and performed in the telecast of Disney's holiday parade last month.

*Snippets of Disney movie themes have been incorporated into the parade soundtrack. For instance, when Mary Poppins floats by, you hear bits of "Chim Chim Cheree" and with Peter Pan and Wendy, "You Can Fly! You Can Fly! You Can Fly!" is in the air.

"We think it makes it a little more Disney," says Reed Jones, director of creative development for Walt Disney World Entertainment, who led the creation of all show elements.

*There are 101 cast members in the production -- 60 of them are dancers. They display great stamina, and when they aren't hoofing it, they're interacting with children lining the parade route. Which brings up another difference from past parades: All costumed characters, from Mickey to Pooh to Snow White to Chip and Dale, are up on the floats, not at street level and not nearly as accessible. It may be practical, but you might ask, "When did a kid ever line up to get an autograph of a dancer?"

*The grand marshals of the parade are stationed at the beginning of the parade -- not several minutes beforehand as in previous incarnations. In the past, you would see them motoring along and think the parade had started. That false alarm had been a letdown.

"Because of the whole celebration theme, it was a natural fit" to move the grand marshals closer to the activity, Jones says.

*The next addition to the Magic Kingdom celebration: the Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It Street Party, which will promenade up Main Street three times a day, culminating with a party with "dance-along hits," Jones says. The soft opening is scheduled for Feb. 12.

Tickets can be purchased for Walt Disney World by calling 877.273.5636 or by going to

Posted by Michael Crandell
Sources: The Walt Disney Company, The Orlando Sentinel