Out and About: Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Holds 4th of July Party All Weekend

One of the nice things about living in Orlando is there are so many ways to enjoy holidays like the 4th of July. But did you know some of the Disney resorts also participate?

Disney's Port Orleans - Riverside - 4th of July shirt

Out at Downtown Disney to see movies on July 3, my friend and I decided to take the water shuttle over to Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside resort and got there just as they were setting up for a 4th of July celebration in the lobby courtyard.

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Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill Abruptly Closes at Artegon Marketplace

Opened only six months, it appears Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill doesn’t love Orlando, as it has abruptly closed its location at Artegon Marketplace.

Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill at Artegon Marketplace in Orlando

The country western-themed restaurant and music hall pulled the plug on Thursday, July 2. The management of Toby Keith’s isn’t giving any indication as to the sudden closing either.

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The Orlando Eye Resumes Operations After Temporary Shut-Down

The Orlando Eye has reopened this afternoon, after a malfunction yesterday left 66 riders stuck on the attraction.

The Orlando Eye

Looking up at The Orlando Eye

The Eye opened again around noon today, with the following statement posted to the attraction’s Twitter feed:

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Day Trip to St. Augustine – Dinner at A1A Ale Works and a Bryan Adams Concert

This past Sunday, my friend Joan and I made a day trip up to St. Augustine. Our primary goal was to see one of our favorites, Bryan Adams, in concert at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, but we figured we’d go early and try out one of their restaurants.

St. Augustine Bridge of Lions

We left around 2pm and got up there just before 4pm, slowed slightly by a thunderstorm en route. But as we rolled into the Historic Downtown area, it was sunny skies.

My connection at the St. Augustine CVB recommended A1A Ale Works as a restaurant to try, citing their craft brews and water-side dining. The restaurant is actually upstairs in a converted building on the corner next to the historic Bridge of Lions, with a bar area downstairs.

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Walt Disney World to Live Stream 4th of July Fireworks from Magic Kingdom

Can’t make it out to the Magic Kingdom to see their awesome 4th of July fireworks…or just don’t want to brave the crowds? Not to worry – Walt Disney World will be live streaming them for you to watch at home.

Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert In The Sky

Starting at 9pm EDT, “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert In The Sky” will paint the sky red, white, and blue with fireworks as patriotic music fills the air. This special show features perimeter fireworks launched from around Magic Kingdom Park and an island in Seven Seas Lagoon.

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Celebrate the Fourth of Jul-Eye With $4 Kids Rides and More at The Orlando Eye

The Orlando Eye and I-Drive 360 are hosting their first annual Independence Day celebration with special free events on the courtyard of the new dining and entertainment complex July 3-5, 2015.

The Orlando Eye

Starting at 10am each day , enjoy live entertainment and family-friendly activities throughout the courtyard. Then at 9pm each evening, enjoy a 20-minute patriotic lighting show on The Orlando Eye, where more than 64,000 LEDs will be illuminated in red, white and blue.

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Winn-Dixie to Donate 4th of July Profits to The Wounded Warrior Project

If you need to shop for groceries this weekend, you’ll want to do it at Winn-Dixie on July 4, when the retailer is donating all profits from the day’s sales to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Winn-Dixie to Donate 4th of July Profits to The Wounded Warrior Project

That’s right…every cent of every dollar of profit Winn-Dixie makes this 4th of July, will be donated to Wounded Warrior Project to help support the Independence Program, which helps our most severely wounded service members find independence.

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Aquatica Orlando Heats Up Summer with Island Nights Starting July 3

Aquatica Orlando is a fun place to spend hot summer days, but starting July 3, the water park will be heating things up on the weekend with Island Nights presented by Coca-Cola.

Island Nights presented by Coca-Cola at Aquatica Orlando

This all-new beach party takes place every Friday and Saturday through August 8 from 5pm to 9pm in the evening.

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Runaway Country Announces Headliners for Inaugural Kissimmee 2016 Concert

In May it was announced that the Runaway Country music festival would be moving to Kissimmee, with the first concert in 2016. Last night, they announced the first of the headliners.

Runaway Country

Confirmed for the three-day music fest are Kenny Chesney, Jake Owen, and Old Dominion. More will be announced as we get closer to the date, but I think those artists are a great start, don’t you?

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Out and About: Previewing the New Crayola Experience at the Florida Mall in Orlando

Today (July 1), the new Crayola Experience opens at the Florida Mall in Orlando, to entertain families. Yesterday, my family and I had a chance to preview the Crayola Experience during a media event.

Crayola Experience opens at the Florida Mall - crayola crayons by Kirk Garreans

I was unsure what to expect as this is a new experience in Orlando. The original Crayola Experience, however, has been open for over 18 years in Easton, Pennsylvania, and this Orlando location marks their second location. So we went with an open mind, as well as a lot of excitement. Who doesn’t love Crayola, right?

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CitySurfing Orlando’s Picks for Celebrating the 4th of July in Central Florida

There are many ways to celebrate the Fourth of July here in Orlando, from theme park events to city-sponsored events, and everything in between.

CitySurfing Orlando's Picks for Celebrating the 4th of July in Central Florida

Most of the events are on July 4 itself, but the list goes from July 2 to July 5, in case you want to extend your holiday celebrations. Here are our picks for where to celebrate 2015’s Fourth of July holiday, in the Central Florida area, from Atlantic Coast to Gulf Coast:

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Walt Disney World Announces Closure of DisneyQuest at Downtown Disney

Hot on the heels of announcing the closing of Magic of Disney Animiation at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World announced this morning they will also be closing DisneyQuest at Downtown Disney.

DisneyQuest at Downtown Disney

As part of its Disney Springs renovations, Walt Disney World signed a contract to bring the NBA Experience to the resort. It appears the NBA Experience will be going in the building that now houses DisneyQuest.

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Walt Disney World to Close Magic of Disney Animation Attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

After weeks of rumors, Walt Disney World has confirmed it will be closing the Magic of Disney Animation attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in July.

Magic of Disney Animiation Attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios

It was one of the park’s original attractions, opening in 1989. In the beginning, it was a working production facility where visitors could watch Disney animators creating actual films. This studio in Florida included productions like Mulan, Brother Bear, and Lilo & Stitch before closing in 2004.

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Discovery Cove Celebrates 15 Years of Milestone Moments on July 1

This summer, Discovery Cove will celebrate 15 years of operation in Orlando, and it still continues to thrill guests.

Discovery Cove Orlando dolphin

When the park first opened on July 1, 2000, it was an anomaly in the world of Orlando theme parks: a reservation-only experience limited to approximately 1,000 guests per day.

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Out and About: Taking the Family to See Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s Production of The Frog and the Princess

Last Sunday the family and I attended a Father’s Day matinee performance of The Frog and the Princess by the Orlando Shakespeare Theater company. Not just a play, it required audience participation, which made it all the more fun.

The Frog and the Princess by the Orlando Shakespeare Theater

You know the Brothers Grimm story: Prince likes Princess but is turned into a frog, frog must win Princesses heart and be kissed to become human again… blah, blah bah. But this production of the classic fable has a twist. Since I am not into giving away spoilers, you must go see this show to see what happens, but it updates the tale nicely.

The Frog and the Princess by the Orlando Shakespeare Theater

My husband Kirk as one of the princes at The Frog and the Princess by the Orlando Shakespeare Theater

The show is only about an hour long, so it’s easy to sit through, even for our seven-year-old. It’s in a smaller more intimate theatre, which adds to the fun.

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