Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! Street Party Debuts Late Fall at Magic Kingdom

Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party

One of the most fun daily events at the Magic Kingdom is the “Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It!” procession, and this fall it’s being revamped into the “Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It!” party procession.

What’s new? For starters, Stitch and Phineas & Ferb will be part of the fun. Perched on top of the giant gift boxes, they will join hosts Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy in a processional up Main Street U.S.A. to the castle to the sound of remixed classic party songs.

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LEGOLAND Florida Offers First Responder Days in September

The LEGO Movie

Giving thanks to those who help others, Legoland Florida again is offering a free day’s admission to First Responders during September.

All U.S. current police officers, firefighters and EMS employees working in the United States, along with retired personnel, are eligible. Simply present an employee ID or professional-organization card at the ticket window on the day of visit to receive the free ticket.

First Responders can also purchase four additional tickets for $40 apiece. An upgrade that includes the water park is $15 per guest.

This offer is available from September 1 until September 30.

For more information, visit legoland.com.

Rock the Universe Returns to Universal Orlando September 5-6, 2014

Rock the Universe

Rock the Universe Christian music festival returns to Universal Orlando the weekend of September 5 and 6.

Musical acts on Friday include Third Day, Newsboys, and Jeremy Camp. On Saturday, bands include Switchfoot, Lecrae, and TobyMac. In addition to the music, there will be inspiring guest speakers, a candlelighting ceremony, and more.

The event takes place inside Universal Studios. During the event, many of the attractions will also be open, including the newly opened The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.

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Mitchell’s Fish Market Hosts “Italy Uncorked” Wine Dinner September 10, 2014

Take a journey through Italy when Mitchell’s Fish Market in Winter Park hosts its “Italy Uncorked” Wine Dinner on Wednesday, September 10, at 7pm.

The four-course dinner, paired with Italian wines, will be inspired by distinct Italian towns, from Tuscany to the coast, and be offered at $49.99 per person, plus sales tax and gratuity.

Mitchell's Fish Market Italy UncorkedHere is the menu to tantalize your taste buds:

Appetizer: Trio of Crostini with Olive Tapenade, Fresh Tomato and Lobster paired with La Marca Prosecco, DOC Veneto, Italy

Salad: Butternut Squash Tortellaci with Maine Lobster, Brown Butter, Sage and Smoked Bacon paired with Da Vinci Pinot Grigio, delle Venezie, Italy

Entrée: Pan Roasted Sea Bass with Cannellini Beans, Spinach, Tomato and Basil Aioli paired with Brancaia “Tre” Red Blend, Tuscany, Italy

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Night of Joy Will Light Up Magic Kingdom September 5-6, 2014

Night of Joy

Night of Joy returns to Walt Disney World for its 32nd year with a two-night roster of the hottest Christian and Gospel artists September 5 and 6.

Stages will be spread out throughout the Magic Kingdom where you can catch the following acts:

  • Friday – Hillsong United, Chris Tomlin, Matthew West, For King & Country, and more.
  • Saturday – Skillet, Casting Crowns, MercyMe, Rhett Walker, and more.

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Party Safe with AAA & Bud Light’s Tow to Go Program in Orlando Labor Day Weekend 2014

AAA and Bud Light plan to offer their Tow to Go program in Orlando for this upcoming Labor Day weekend, Friday, August 29 through Sunday, September 2 at 6am.

Tow to GoDuring this time period, free confidential rides will be offered within a 10-mile radius to a safe location for both AAA members and nonmembers alike. The program is designed to help discourage intoxicated drivers from getting behind the wheel.

Since its inception in 1998, Tow to Go has safely removed more than 23,000 intoxicated drivers from the roads. The service is designed to be used as a last resort. It is offered based on availability of AAA Service Technicians and tow trucks during times of high call volume.

To use the program, drivers can call (855) 286-9246. Enjoy the holiday weekend, but please don’t drink and drive.

Disney Announces Major Changes to Musical Entertainment Options at Epcot

Epcot - Off Kilter, Mo’Rockin’Are you a fan, like us, of Epcot‘s current musical entertainment, including Off Kilter and Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps? Then we have some bad news from you.

Walt Disney World announced today that as of next month, Off Kilter, Mo’Rockin’, Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps, and World Showcase Players will no longer perform at Epcot.

Disney says replacements will include a traditional Berber music and dance troupe in Morocco, a corps of dynamic flag-waving performers in Italy, a lumberjack-inspired show in Canada, and a Celtic folk music ensemble at the United Kingdom. More acts may be announced at a later date.

What do you think of these changes at Epcot? For me, seeing Off Kilter was one my highlights in visiting the park, and it’s sad to see so many hardworking people lose their jobs.

There is still a little time to see them before they’re gone. World Showcase Players will have their last performance September 25. Mo’Rockin’, Off Kilter and Spirit of America will be giving their final performances September 27.

DoubleTree by Hilton Opens New Orlando Location Near UCF

DoubleTree by Hilton UCFThe DoubleTree by Hilton lodging brand announced it has opened a new Orlando location near the University of Central Florida main campus on August 13.

Located at 12125 High Tech Ave, this hotel underwent an multi-million dollar eight-month conversion process from the former Holiday Inn that occupied the spot. The six-story building features 246 renovated rooms with an updated exterior and lobby as well.

The guest rooms and suites are equipped with an ergonomic desk, Serta Perfect Sleeper beds and contemporary electronic door locks, along with DoubleTree by Hilton brand exclusives, including an assortment of gourmet in-room tea and coffee choices from The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and CITRON body care products by Crabtree & Evelyn.

Guests can enjoy a complimentary 24-hour fitness center, a large outdoor swimming pool, a complimentary 24-hour business center, and complimentary WiFi throughout the hotel.

It is also home to the upscale Mingos Restaurant & Lounge in the Orlando area. Executive chef Luis J. Negron, originally from the downtown location, is shaping the menu, which will offer popular steak and seafood dishes prepared with a creative flair and using locally-sourced ingredients, including fresh seafood brought in daily by local day boats.

For more information, or to make a reservation, visit orlandoeastucfarea.doubletree.com or call 407-275-9000.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Offers Free Admission to Florida Educators This Fall

Educator Appreciation Days returns to Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, offering free admission to Florida K-12 School Employees from September 2 to October 19.

Ripley's Believe It or Not!Teachers, administrators, counselors, and support staff are eligible for free admission by showing a current pay stub and photo ID when they visit the attraction.  Additionally, up to five guests can get 50% off their admission, as long as they are accompanied by the educator.

This offer is available at all Ripley attractions in Orlando, Panama City Beach, St. Augustine and Key West.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Orlando is located at 8201 International Drive, and is open daily from 9am to midnight (last entry nightly at 11pm). Tickets are regularly $19.99 per adult, though they are discounted if purchased online. There is also free parking.

For more information, please visit ripleys.com/orlando or call 407-345-0501.

Shake Shack Offers Labor Day Weekend Specials August 29 – September 1, 2014

If you’ve been thinking about enjoying some Shake Shack for the upcoming Labor Day weekend, these special offerings may convince you to go.

Shake Shack Labor Day Menu ItemsFrom Friday, August 29 to Monday, September 1, customers can enjoy the following deliciousness:

  • Shack Corn Dogs – A Vienna all-beef hot dog dipped in Shack-made corn batter, cooked golden brown and served with Rick’s Picks sweet corn relish for $4.50
  • Peach Pie Oh My Concrete – A vanilla frozen custard blended with a slice of delicious Shack-made peach pie. Single: $4.25/Double: $6.50

The Labor Day Weekend also marks your last chance to enjoy a pint of Shack X IPA, a special edition collaborative beer brewed by longtime partner Brooklyn Brewery. $5.25 will get you a 16oz glass.

Shake Shack is located at 119 N. Orlando Ave in Winter Park. For more information, visit shakeshack.com or read our review.

Monster Jam Returns to Orlando’s Citrus Bowl January 24, 2015

Do you love Monster Trucks? Then you’ll want to get tickets to the 2015 Monster Jam when it returns to the newly rebuilt Citrus Bowl in Orlando on Saturday, January 24.

Monster Jam Grave DiggerHeadlining the bill for this event are four-time World Champion, Grave Digger, and 12-time World Champion, Maximum Destruction, among several others competing for this year’s title.

Monster Jam is one of Orlando’s most popular and largest, annual single-day stadium events, attracting capacity crowds of over 60,000 fans, so I highly recomment you get your tickets as soon as possible to avoid a sell-out.

Tickets are $15. $20 (Endzone seating), $25 (Corners seating), $35 (Gold Sideline seating), and $45 (Platinum seating), and go on sale August 27 at 10am. Buy tickets at Chase Box Office at Amway Center, Ticketmaster retail locations, charge-by-phone at 800.745.3000 or at Ticketmaster.com.

For more information, visit MonsterJam.com.

Walt Disney World Cancels Festival of the Masters for 2014

One of my favorite annual events at Walt Disney World is the Festival of the Masters, held in the fall, so I’m sad to report that the event will not be held this year.

Festival of the MastersThe reasoning given by the theme park is that with all the construction going on coverting Downtown Disney, where the festival is held, to Disney Springs, much of the area that hosts the arts festival will be unavailable.

While I can understand this, surely Disney could’ve accommodated the event elsewhere, such as the Epcot resort area, with the Boardwalk, Yacht and Beach Club stepping in for Downtown Disney.

Disney Springs construction is set to continue until 2016, so there’s a possibility the Festivals of the Masters won’t take place again until then. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for cool art festivals in the Orlando area this fall, The 41st Annual Winter Park Autumn Art Festival will take place October 11-12 at Central Park in downtown Winter Park.