Thursday, December 12, 2013

Top 5 reasons Why NOT to Buy Attraction Tickets at a Road Side Shack in Orlando


As you drive up and down Hwy 192 in Kissimmee and International Drive in Orlando, it is common to see many roadside shacks offering deals on tickets and/or to purchase back any unused days on your tickets.  They usually are marked with balloon billboards, people holding signs, or other marketing gimmicks.  Here are 5 reasons why not to do business with these companies….
  1.  Not an Authorized reseller ~ Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld do not allow just anyone to sell their tickets.  You must have a legitimate contract with each attraction to legally sell tickets.  Legitimate companies will have the Authorized Ticket Seller logo (displayed to right) somewhere very prominent.  Note:  Look for this logo.  Just because they say they are “Authorized” doesn’t mean they really are.
  2. Buy Back Tickets ~ A company that offers to buy back unused tickets is selling them too.  Chances are you will be purchasing a ticket that someone else has already used multiple days on the tickets.  Many guests have purchased these tickets, arrived at the gate, only to be turned away because the tickets do not have any days left on them.  Please Note:  Just because the sales person says there are 2 days left on the ticket, doesn’t make it true.  The only place that can actually tell you how many days remain on the tickets are the theme parks themselves.           
  3. Its Illegal ~ Buying and reselling partially used tickets is a misdemeanor in Florida and you could go to jail.  Most of the time, the police will arrest the person selling the tickets, but it is not uncommon for the purchaser to be at the very least escorted out of the park and trespassed.  See Florida Statute 817.36 for more information.
  4. Tickets may be fraudulent ~ Just like concert tickets and sporting events, some tickets can be created at home and/or duplicated.  The Parks have done many things to prevent this from happening, but to the unsuspecting guest , tickets can look legitimate.
  5. Timeshare ~ Discounted (or free) tickets are often given in exchange for touring a Timeshare location.  While Timeshare presentations are totally above board and very popular in the Orlando area, they take valuable time away from your vacation.  The Tour bookers are very crafty in how they offer the tours and will often stretch the truth on how long it actually takes for the sales presentation.  They do give you a free breakfast, but after that be prepared to spend at least 2-3 hours listening to a high pressure sales pitch before you are given your tickets.  Time is money and your vacation time is extremely valuable, protect it.
Purchasing discounted tickets prior to arriving at the parks is highly recommended (saves not only money but time in line at the gate), just make sure it is a legitimate company.  Look for the Authorized Ticket Seller logos and ask to make sure the tickets you are purchasing are brand new tickets.  Remember:  If the offer sounds to good to be true, it usually is!


Monday, October 28, 2013

LEGOLAND Florida ~ November Military Veteran Appreciation Days



LEGOLAND Florida Salutes Military Veterans With Free Admission and More 
Nov. 1-17, 2013
Military Veterans Receive Free Admission Plus Family Member Discounts

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – LEGOLAND Florida salutes the military veterans of the United States Armed Forces with appreciation days Nov. 1-17, 2013. In gratitude for their service, all military veterans are entitled to free admission to LEGOLAND Florida everyday during the 17-day period. Veterans are also entitled to discounted tickets for up to six accompanying guests at $40 plus tax each to experience the park’s more than 50 rides and attractions designed for families with children ages 2 to 12.

To redeem the free admission ticket, military veterans should present their military ID to LEGOLAND Florida’s ticket window the day they plan to visit; military verterans may also purchase tickets for up to six accompanying guests at a discounted rate of $40 each ticket.

Adding to the celebration, Washington D.C. in Miniland U.S.A will be adorned in patriotic flair from Nov. 1-17, and guests may enjoy special offerings throughout the park on Veterans day.
Activities on Veterans Day, Nov. 11:
  • Veterans will be invited to help ‘open’ the park at the beginning of the day with a small celebration
  • Veterans and guests will help build an oversized American flag made out of LEGO bricks
  • Veterans will receive a 20% discount on select retail and food and beverage items

Friday, September 6, 2013

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’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.


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.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Coca-Cola Swelter Stopper at SeaWorld for limited time...



The Coca-Cola Swelter Stopper will cool down guests and let them enjoy experiences they can share with friends and family right inside SeaWorld Orlando.

The Swelter Stopper will be in front of Nautilus theater today through Monday, September 2.  SeaWorld guests will get to go inside the truck and dance in their “Energy Dance Floor”, participate in interactive gaming, create videos, take pictures and share everything they do socially.     Both Coke and SeaWorld will be posting on social media sites to let their fans know of this appearance at SeaWorld.


They will also hand out small samples of Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero and Cherry Coke.


Schedule:
Thur/Fri: 11:00 – 6:00
Sat/Sun/Mon 12:00 – 8:00

The Coca-Cola Swelter Stopper is a live experience that brings uplifting refreshment to life.  SeaWorld Orlando is thrilled that through their partnership, The Coca-Cola Company can make these types of experiences available to their guests!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

First C-Section Performed On a Shark in SeaWorld History

For the first time in SeaWorld’s history, a Cesarean section has been performed on a shark. Our team of shark experts and veterinarians performed the groundbreaking procedure on a whitetip reef shark at Discovery Cove in Orlando on July 18. With innovative technology and the outstanding efforts of our animal care staff, four healthy pups were born.
Discovery Cove’s animal team determined the shark was pregnant last January after noticing breeding marks on the fins, followed by an enlarged abdomen. Due to the shark’s large litter size -- sharks usually give birth to 2 pups-- the team was able to confirm her pregnancy earlier than most.
Six months into the shark’s gestation, our animal team noticed a complication with her pregnancy and determined an emergency C-section was necessary.
The pups each weighed less than three pounds at birth (1.04 kg-1.25 kg) and were about two feet long (58 cm-62 cm.). These pups have some more growing to do before they reach their full size, but were born with a full mouth of teeth and are self-sufficient. Mom and pups are doing well, eating and behaving normally, and our animal experts are continuing to monitor them.
While these sharks are currently behind the scenes at Discovery Cove, you can see other whitetip reef sharks through glass while snorkeling in The Grand Reef or when participating in SeaVenture, an underwater walking tour where guests -- wearing dive helmets – are able to explore life under the sea.
This C-section shark birth is just one example of some of the amazing ways our company works to connect with and care for the natural world we share.

Story first appeared at http://www.insideconservation.com/first-c-section-performed-shark-seaworld-history

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Unleashing the Power of Chi



LEGOLAND® Florida's newest expansion World of Chima presented by Cartoon Network is opening July 3, 2013Throughout the history of LEGO® and Merlin Entertainments Group, this is the first time a new attraction at a LEGOLAND park has been built the same year as a LEGO toy product launch.
Inside the World of Chima
The Quest for Chi (pictured) is the centerpiece of the new World of Chima presented by Cartoon Network. Guests will enter a temple to board an interactive family water ride and battle with water cannons in a quest for the energy source, CHI.
The battle for CHI continues in the SpeedorzTM Arena where players compete to win the precious supply of CHI by racing their Speedorz through a series of obstacles.

The LEGO Chima 4D Movie Xperience, will further immerse families into The World of Chima by bringing the characters to life on the big screen.

Friday, June 21, 2013

New SeaWorld-Themed Aircraft: Penguin One

SeaWorld and Southwest Celebrate Partnership with the
Unveiling of a New SeaWorld-Themed Aircraft: Penguin One

Yesterday SeaWorld and Southwest Airlines celebrated 25 years of partnership with the unveiling of the airline’s newest specialty aircraft, Penguin One – a Boeing 737-700 co-branded with images of one of our iconic animals, the penguin.


 
The aircraft was revealed at a ceremony yesterday morning at Orlando International Airport with their animal ambassadors Pete and Penny Penguin, SeaWorld and Southwest team members, community members and executives. SeaWorld's President and CEO Jim Atchison and Southwest Airlines Chairman, President and CEO Gary Kelly christened the aircraft.
  
The plane, filled with SeaWorld and Southwest team members, then departed for celebrations with our team members in San Antonio and San Diego.
 
SeaWorld is very proud of our partnership with Southwest which dates back to 1988 when SeaWorld opened in San Antonio. Even then they launched the partnership in a high-flying way—with the introduction of a new Boeing 737, Shamu One.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

FALCON’S FURY RISES AT BUSCH GARDENS TAMPA IN 2014



New Attraction will be the First Drop Tower of its Kind in the World





Tampa, Fla. (June 11, 2013) – For more than five decades Busch Gardens® Tampa has delivered some of the world’s most exciting thrills.  Rides like Cheetah Hunt®, SheiKra®, Montu® and Kumba® have set the stage, and Busch Gardens is ready to drop big news. 

In spring 2014 Busch Gardens Tampa is taking guests’ experiences to new heights with Falcon’s FuryTM, the first drop tower of its kind in the world.  Additionally, with no connecting structures, it will be the tallest freestanding drop tower in North America. 

Falcon’s Fury
No bird can match the speed of a falcon in its hunting dive. The falcon is the fastest animal on Earth, reaching speeds of 200 mph. Designers were inspired by this bird of prey during the development of the new attraction.

Falcon’s Fury will stand at 335 feet and take riders soaring 60 mph straight down. Located in the Timbuktu™ area, Falcon’s Fury will be visible from any location in the park and even across the Tampa Bay area. 

At the ride’s highest point Busch Gardens has added an element of surprise.  Like its bird of prey namesake, riders will pivot 90 degrees in midair to a face-down dive position. An instant later they'll plunge 60 mph at 3.5 Gs straight down with speed and power like they’ve likely never experienced before.

Construction in the Timbuktu area of the park has already begun, and Falcon’s Fury is scheduled for completion in spring 2014. 

SEAWORLD’S 50TH CELEBRATION WILL BE A SEA OF SURPRISES


Eighteen-month celebration kicks off on March 21, 2014 at all three SeaWorld parks

Orlando, Fla. (June 11, 2013) – SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™ announces a multi-park celebration to commemorate a key event in the company’s history. The original SeaWorld® park opened its gates for the first time in March 1964 on Mission Bay in San Diego.

SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration will feature a Sea of Surprises™ starting March 21, 2014. SeaWorld parks in San Diego, Orlando and San Antonio will share the excitement throughout an 18-month celebration that highlights some of the most memorable SeaWorld experiences. 

For nearly five decades, SeaWorld has surprised and amazed guests with unique entertainment, thrilling rides and up-close encounters with marine animals. During SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration visitors will be invited to take part in the celebration through new interactive experiences, shows and pathway performances, even more up-close animal encounters throughout the park and the SeaWorld “Surprise Squad” treating guests with prizes every day.

Just a few weeks ago, SeaWorld Orlando opened Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin™, an all-new realm that combines 30-degree temperatures, upclose encounters with more than 250 penguins and an all-family adventure ride to create the coldest theme park attraction in Orlando and a thrilling, chilling experience of a lifetime.   

SeaWorld Orlando will continue to make news later this year when the park announces what’s new for 2014.  Details will be shared this fall.

SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration Sea of Surprises Highlights

·         SeaWorld San Diego will celebrate 50 years with a new interactive entrance plaza. The area will be called Explorer’s Reef and will open in March for the celebration kick-off. The 16-month construction project will transform the existing front gate area through sculptural and design elements inspired by waves crashing over a reef, as well as up-close encounters with marine life. The new front gate concept will replace existing ticket booths with a beach-themed, concierge-style ticketing area that will provide guests with a single location to purchase admission, as well as sign up for tours, animal interactions and dining experiences.

From the moment they enter the park, guests can connect with the sea through multiple touch pools featuring shark pups, stingrays and cleaner fish. Explorer’s Reef encompasses more than three acres, including new and innovative retail and culinary opportunities for guests. The multi-million dollar renovation effort will not only make entering the park faster and more efficient, but will significantly enhance the arrival experience.
·         As part of SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration, there will be more surprise encounters with animal ambassadors throughout the day. A pair of Magellanic penguins, a lemur, or even a parade of flamingos could surprise guests at any moment at all three SeaWorld locations.

·         What’s a celebration without surprises? The SeaWorld “Surprise Squad” will roam the SeaWorld parks giving away prizes and special gifts. Guests could receive exclusive access to rides or behind-the-scenes experiences, celebration t-shirts or Shamu-themed merchandise, reserved show seating and more.
·         SeaWorld is known for amazing animal shows and each park will have something new for the 50th celebration. Even park pathways will come to life with spontaneous entertainment at unexpected moments, including performers with sea-inspired costumes and props, a bubble brigade and splash mob.
·         To underscore SeaWorld’s commitment to the environment and passion for protecting the ocean, a series of giant sea life sculptures will be displayed throughout the parks. SeaWorld commissioned environmental art group Washed Ashore for the large-scale art created from ocean debris. The works serve as a reminder that our animal friends need healthy environments. 
·         As part of its continuing commitment to new technology that enhances the guest experience, SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration will include new ways for fans to connect to the parks and each other though digital devices. The parks will be launching a variety of enhancements, from interactive apps that provide fun new ways to experience the park to new games and video content. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Simpson's Hometown "Springfield" Comes to Life!




Enter the World of Springfield Like Never Before – Only at Universal Orlando Resort!

Woo Hoo! Springfield, hometown to America’s favorite animated family, The Simpsons, comes to life at Universal Orlando Resort launching this summer.

The expansive, new area within Universal Studios will be anchored by the mega-attraction, The Simpsons Ride, and will allow guests to enter the world of The Simpsons like never before.  It will be the only place in the world where guests can walk the streets of Springfield. It will include a brand-new outdoor attraction, places and foods pulled right from the show and two new Simpsons characters who will make their debut with the new area – Krusty the Clown and Sideshow Bob.

And yes – there will be Duff Beer, brewed exclusively for Universal Orlando.

For the first time ever – anywhere – fans will be able to walk down Fast Food Boulevard and visit the places that helped Springfield stake its claim as “Shelbyville by the Sea.”  They will be able to grab a Krusty-certified meat sandwich at Krusty Burger, snatch the catch of the day at the Frying Dutchman, get a slice at Luigi’s Pizza, go nuts for donuts at Lard Lad, enjoy a “Taco Fresho” with Bumblebee Man and imbibe at Moe’s Tavern.

The new attraction – called Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl – will take “foolish humans” on an intergalactic spin designed to send them into orbit.

“This will be a must-see experience for Simpsons fans all over the world,” said Mark Woodbury, President of Universal Creative. “For the first time ever, they’re going to be able to enter a world that they’ve only seen on television – and we’re really excited to bring that world to life.”

“This new expansion will broaden and deepen the already incredible experience at Universal, by bringing to life the iconic landmarks of Springfield that fans have grown to love,” said Jeffrey Godsick, President, Fox Consumer Products. “Fans will literally be able to live and breathe Springfield as they visit the statue of Jebediah, enjoy a Krusty Burger, and have a seat at Moe’s Tavern, which are just a few of the great experiences awaiting at Universal.”

"It has been an honor to bring the world of the Simpsons to life in such a letter-perfect way,” said Denise Sirkot, President, Worldwide Brand, Gracie Films. “Truly this is the Krustyest place on earth."

Saturday, May 4, 2013

May the 4th Be with You!


A short time from now, in a galaxy not so far away… Walt Disney World Resort is throwing a party for the greatest saga ever told!

In honor of Star Wars day, Disney's Hollywood Studios will be hosting "May the 4th Be with You!"—a one-of-a-kind Star Wars-themed celebration for both parents and kids alike.

From meeting classic characters to collecting limited-edition merchandise, it's sure to be an unforgettable extravaganza! Only a Sith would miss this magic event.
Entertainment and character experiences are subject to change.
Meet Iconic Characters
Kick the party off in style—experience a close encounter with some of the most popular characters from across the entire Star Wars saga.
Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Boba Fett and many more will be making appearances and posing for pictures, including a few faces you might not expect. Don't let this amazing meet 'n' greet moment pass you by!
Join Your Kids as a Jedi
Finally, all you parents can team up alongside your younglings and become fellow Padawans in a special edition of the Jedi Training Academy.
Get ready to throw on a Jedi robe and flip the switch on that lightsaber, because it's up to you and your kids to thwart the Sith and defeat Darth Vader, Darth Maul and the Dark Side of the Force once and for all!
Collect Cosmic Merchandise
A cargo hold of magic merchandise awaits collectors of all kinds, including limited-edition pins and special tees made just for the occasion!
With messages like "May the Fourth Be with You" and "Revenge of the Fifth", you can literally wear the hyperspace hilarity on your sleeve. Collect these celebratory pins and tees at Superstar Shop in Disney's Hollywood Studios while supplies last.
Dance the Dark Side Away
Get into the galactic groove, bounce to the Bespin beat and boogie your way over to a Star Wars-themed Dance Party!
Join DJ Lobot as he spins familiar tunes from the Star Wars saga, and then bust a move on the dance floor alongside some fellow fans and a few favorite characters too!
See a Symphony in the Stars
Cap off "May the 4th Be with You" under a sea of stars as a cosmic series of colorful explosions lights up the summer sky.
Come evening time, take a seat on Hollywood Boulevard and settle in for "Symphony in the Stars," a spectacular fireworks display set to close the celebration. Catch all the amazing sights and sounds, the likes of which haven't been seen since the fall of the Empire!

Post originated at http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/let-the-memories-begin/limited-time-magic/star-wars-4th-be-with-you-hollywood-studios/

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Decepticons Have Arrived in Orlando. The Battle Begins June 20!


Universal Orlando Resort Reveals Grand Opening Date for Blockbuster Attraction, TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D

Megatron and the Decepticons are closing in on Orlando…we must prepare for battle…

The highly anticipated blockbuster attraction TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D will officially open on Thursday, June 20, 2013, Universal Orlando announced today.

Universal also launched an all-new “Join the Resistance” Facebook experience to prepare fans for the battle they’ll experience on the mega-attraction.  “Recruits” can create their very own NEST IDs, train for battle, access exclusive photos and video and win prizes* – including a trip to the attraction’s grand opening celebration on June 20.  

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D is a mind-blowing, action-packed ride experience that pushes the limits of technology to place guests in the middle of a larger-than-life battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons. The ride was created under license from Hasbro, Inc. and is based on its iconic TRANSFORMERS brand.

The battle begins when guests enter the NEST facility – the headquarters for the government operation that partners with the Autobots to protect Earth from the Decepticons.  While inside, they are recruited to help protect the AllSpark – a powerful energy source that would allow the Decepticons to destroy the planet. Guests board EVAC – an Autobot created exclusively for the attraction – to transport the AllSpark to safety.  But beware…the Decepticons are in close pursuit…

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Festival of Fantasy Parade Coming to Magic Kingdom Park in 2014


In honor of the completion of New Fantasyland™ in 2014, the characters and settings of New Fantasyland will burst forth onto the streets of the Magic Kingdom® Park in the new Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade will feature fantastical floats, vibrantly-colored costumes and energetic performances. Featuring a cavalcade of beloved Disney characters interacting with Guests, the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade includes characters from classic Disney animated films such as
 The Little Mermaid,Sleeping Beauty, Dumbo, Pinocchio and Tangled, along with the new Disney●Pixar favorite Brave
.

An original score is being created for the parade – full of beloved Disney classic songs along with a specially-created parade theme.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Legends and Legacies at Fantasy of Flight






   
Listen to the riveting experiences of the brave men and women who made history on June 6, 1944, how they faced unfathomable fear, and their commitment of service to our country. You will forever be touched by these heroes. 

The panelists for the symposium are:
  • LT. Hope Kirkendall 
  • SGT. Harold Heil 
  • SGT. Teddy Fisk 
Panelists are scheduled to appear and subject to change.
  
  

Fourth in our 2013 Symposium Series, this event will bring to life the true-life experiences of these courageous heroes through exhibits and the collection of legendary aircraft on display at Fantasy of Flight.


Dates: May 3 & 4, 2013 

Times: 10:30 am & 2:30 pm
  
Symposium Included with General Admission


Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
  
For more information on our upcoming Legends & Legacies Symposium Series, visitwww.fantasyofflight.com/livinghistory