Viva La Musica Returns to SeaWorld Orlando Starting April 26, 2014

Celebrating Latin music, culture and cuisine, Viva La Musica returns to SeaWorld Orlando beginning April 26.

seaworld-vivalamusicalogoEnjoy savory Latin cuisine prepared by SeaWorld Orlando’s Executive Chef, Hector Colon. With more than 20 years experience – and a lifetime enjoying countless Caribbean and Latin dishes – Chef Colon has added his touch to the traditional Latin favorites such as empanadas, arroz con pollo, carne frita and bacalaítos.

The event also features musical performances by:

  • April 26: Chino y Nacho (reggaeton)
  • May 3: La India (salsa)
  • May 10: Victor Manuelle (salsa)
  • May 17: Olga Tanon (merengue)

Performances are included in regular SeaWorld admission, and take place at 3pm in Bayside Stadium. VIP seating can be purchased for $19-$39, and includes a meal and reserved seating.

For details and reservations, go to SeaWorldOrlando.com.

The Plaza ‘LIVE’ Presents the 9th Annual Spring Jambando on April 26, 2014

Spring JambandoThe 9th annual Spring Jambando, a day-long jam band showcase, will return to The Plaza ‘LIVE’ in Orlando on Saturday, April 26.

This indoor/outdoor all-ages event will feature Shak Nasti, funkUs, RocketFish, Paddington Ambush, Eugene Snowden, The Dropa Stone, Ancient Sun, Buster Keaton, The Groove Orient, Drew Yardis, Holey Miss Moley, The Violent 5, Lauren Lester, Justin Kangrga, and Meiuuswe, on three stages, starting at 5pm.

In addition to the music, Jambando will also offer a selection of food trucks, local artists and a vibrant vending scene outside from 5 – 9:30pm and inside from 6pm – 12:30am.

Only $10 at the gate gets you admission to all of this. For more information, visit Jambando.com.

Great American Pie Festival Returns to Celebration April 26-27, 2014

Great American Pie FestivalThe town of Celebration, Florida will become the Pie Capital of the World on Saturday, April 26 and Sunday, April 27, 2014, when thousands of pie lovers, tasters and bakers gather together for the 13th Annual American Pie Council’s Great American Pie Festival.

Help preserve America’s pie heritage by taking part in the pie eating contests, pie baking activities, cooking demonstrations, PieCasso art, the Baker’s Square Pietopia stage with live music and entertainment, games and much more.

The highlight, as always, will be the Never-Ending Pie Buffet, featuring award-winning pie, ice cream, toppings, and beverages. Tickets to the buffet are only $10/adults and $5 for seniors 65+ and children ages 6-12, at the door.

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Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s Free Movie Night in the Park Features Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing April 26, 2014

Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About NothingCelebrate Shakespeare’s 450th birthday with a free screening of Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing, courtesy of Orlando Shakespeare Theater on Saturday, April 26.

The event will start at 8pm in Loch Haven Park, at the corner of Mills Ave and Princeton St. Bring your own picnic supplies and blankets or something to sit on.

This version of the film is a black & white modern day telling of the story about two pairs of lovers with different takes on romance and a clever way with words. In fact, it uses the bard’s original words. It is rated PG-13 for some sexuality and brief drug use.

Here is a trailer for the lovely film:

Trader Joe’s Sets Opening Date for Winter Park Store

Trader Joe's Winter Park

Trader Joe’s will make its first foray into the Orlando area when it opens its Winter Park location at 8am on June 27, 2014.

For those not familiar with Trader Joe’s, it sells an extensive array of domestic and imported foods and beverages, such as artisan breads, Arabica bean coffees, international frozen entrées, 100% juices, fresh crop nuts, deli items, vitamins, and more, including organics, at lower prices than similar stores like Whole Foods. This is because it carries a lot of its own private label brands.

I have to say that I’ve shopped at Trader Joe’s when visiting the west coast, and I will love being able to grab items like cookie butter when the mood strikes.

Yes, I said cookie butter.

The store will be located in the Lakeside Winter Park development at 131 N. Orlando Ave. A second store is planned for Dr. Phillips on Sand Lake Rd, possibly opening later this year.

For more information, visit TraderJoes.com.

Meet Jersey Boys Cast Members at The Orlando Repertory Theatre on April 24, 2014

Jersey BoysJersey Boys is currently playing Orlando at the Bob Carr P.A.C., and you can meet members of the cast at The Orlando Repertory Theatre on Thursday, April 24.

Cast members will sign autographs, take photos, and talk about the show and life on the road during this event.

It will take place from 5pm to 6pm, and it is free to attend.

The Orlando Repertory Theatre is located at 1001 E. Princeton St in Orlando’s Loch Haven Park.

Free Kid’s Meal at Olive Garden April 24 For ‘Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day’

Olive GardenOlive Garden is offering one free children’s menu item (children under 12) for every adult entree purchased on “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day” on Thursday, April 24.

The “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day” free kid’s meal coupon will be available at OliveGarden.com. The coupon is valid for lunch and dinner with the purchase of any adult entree.

Olive Garden recently completed the most comprehensive update in the restaurant’s history, adding more than 20 new menu items.

Olive Garden is a division of Darden Restaurants, Inc., which is headquartered here in Orlando.

Florida Music Festival Takes Over Downtown Orlando April 24-26, 2014 @2014FMF

The 14th Annual Florida Music Festival will feature more than 150 bands on 10 stages over 3 nights in downtown Orlando from April 24-26, 2014.

Florida Music FestivalIf you’re a music lover, this fest is for you, as you’ll hear everything from regional and local lesser-knowns to nationally recognized acts…and at a really wallet-friendly price.

Admission is only $10 per night, or $30 for the whole weekend. I mean, who offers 150 bands for only $30 anymore? This is a wonderful opportunity to check out a bunch of bands live.

The event is spread out over several venues – Backbooth, Bullitt Bar, Cafe Annie’s, Elixir, Firestone Live, Magnolia, The Social, Tanqueray’s, and two stages at Wall St. Plaza – all within a several block walking radius of each other.

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Berlin Featuring Terri Nunn to Rock Velvet Sessions at Hard Rock Hotel Orlando Hotel on April 24, 2014

Berlin featuring Terri NunnEvery month, except November and December, the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando hosts a live concert called Velvet Sessions. It’s a 21 and over event that features classic rock and pop artists performing in an intimate club-like atmosphere.

This month, 80s new wave band Berlin featuring Terri Nunn will play on April 24, 2014.

Their biggest hit was “Take My Breath Away,” the theme song from the hit 80s movie Top Gun, but they had numerous other hits with songs like “Masquerade,” “The Metro,” and “No More Words.” Terri Nunn continues to lead the band which recently released the album, Animal.

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I-Drive 360 to Open Spring 2015 with The Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds, and Sea Life Aquarium

The Orlando Eye

Merlin Entertainment has announced the opening of its newly renamed I-Drive 360 will happen in Spring 2015.

Anchoring the new entertainment complex will be The Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds, and Sea Life Aquarium, and the company has released new concept art for the projects.

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The Orlando Eye

The Orlando Eye is a cantilevered observation wheel that will offer views of Central Florida in all directions within fully enclosed, air-conditioned glass capsules. It is a little sister to the world-famous London Eye.

The Orlando Eye

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Free National Park Entry This Weekend In Honor of National Park Week

As part of its annual National Parks Week, the US Park Service is waiving entry fees to all national parks, including those in Florida, April 19 and 20, 2014.

Canavaral National Seashore and Wildlife RefugeAmong those within a day trip of the Orlando area are:

Fee waiver includes: entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise

For a list of the national parks waiving their fees, visit nps.gov.

Amazon to Start Collecting Sales Tax on Florida Purchases Starting May 1, 2014

Internet retailer Amazon.com announced they will begin collecting sales tax on purchases made by Florida residents beginning May 1.

Amazon.comThe reason for this is Amazon is building a pair of fulfilment centers along Interstate 4 in Polk and Hillborough counties, and having a physical location in state will mean they are required by the Florida Department of Revenue to start collecting Florida sales tax on purchases.

So start figuring in that sales tax when you make online purchases from Amazon.

On the bright side, while these new centers mean new taxes, they also mean new jobs for Central Florida, as Amazon will need to staff these centers. Expect a hiring event in the next few months, so they can be ready for the holiday shipping season.

Will this change how much you order from Amazon online versus picking up products in regular retail stores?