WonderGround Gallery Expansion Holds Grand Opening at Downtown Disney Marketplace March 6-7, 2015

If you’ve ever visited the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace, you’ve seen a small fixture called the WonderGround Gallery that features Disney-themed artwork by different artists.

Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace

It proved to be so popular that it’s now getting it’s own space at the Co-Op. It will be moving into the space that formerly held Beautifully Disney, and to celebrate the move, the shop will hold a grand opening the weekend of March 6 and 7.

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Dickey’s Barbeque Pit Opens Newest Orlando Area Restaurant With 3-Day Blowout Starting March 5

Dickey's Barbeque PitDickey’s Barbeque Pit will open their second Central Florida location on Thursday, March 5, with a three-day celebration that will last through Saturday.

The Dallas-based family-run barbecue franchise offers a quality selection of signature meats, home style sides, tangy barbecue sauce and free kids’ meals every Sunday.

To kick off the opening celebration on Thursday, the barbecue joint will offer gift cards worth up to $50 to the first 50 guests. Friday, guests can grab t-shirts, sunglasses and more, with all day merchandise giveaways.

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Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Offers Flora, Food, and Fun through May 17, 2015

Today is the start of the 22nd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, an annual event that brings together horticulture, food, and Disney to celebrate spring in Florida.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival - Anna and Elsa Topiary

Those with a green thumb (or wannabe green thumb) will enjoy all of the specially designed topiaries that celebrate Disney characters and films. The highlight this year are Disney’s first Anna and Elsa topiaries, appearing in a vignette from the Oscar-winning film, Frozen.

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Emily Kopp Returns to Orlando for a Show at BackBooth March 6, 2015

Orlando’s own Emily Kopp returns to Orlando on her current tour of the Southeast U.S. with a show at BackBooth on March 6.

Emily Kopp

Kopp is an engaging singer-songwriter whose sound marries bluesy soulful vocals with indie-pop melodies. She moved to Orlando to study at UCF, and also worked for a local music venue where she learned about the business side of the music. She honed her own sound in the meantime and soon was sharing the stage with artists like Marc Cohn, Brandi Carlisle, and Michelle Branch.

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Toby Keith and Lynyrd Skynyrd Headline First Weekend of Bands, Brew & BBQ at SeaWorld Orlando March 7-8, 2015

For the first weekend of this year’s Bands, Brew & BBQ event, SeaWorld Orlando is bringing in country superstar Toby Keith on March 7, and southern rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd on March 8 to entertain.

SeaWorld Orlando Bands, Brew & BBQ - Toby Keith and Lynyrd Skynyrd

Bands, Brew & BBQ features live concerts from top classic rock and country bands and artists, the tastiest BBQ from Central Florida’s top local smokehouses, plus SeaWorld’s own Sweet & Smokin’ Barbecue. This event is presented in partnership with USO of Central Florida, an organization that has been lifting the spirits of America’s troops and their families over 70 years.

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Ruth’s Chris Steak House Hosts Veuve Clicquot Champagne Dinner March 19, 2015

Ruth's Chris Steak HouseRuth’s Chris Steak House will launch the first in a series of Golden Anniversary pairing dinners with the “Veuve Clicquot Champagne Dinner” on Thursday, March 19.

The five-course dinner will be hosted by champagne experts at each location to interact with guests and provide them with the history behind the featured selections and their pairings.

The featured menu includes:

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Blues Artist Ray Bonneville to Play Free Show at House of Blues Orlando March 7, 2015

Ray Bonneville has been called a blues-influenced, New Orleans-inspired song and dance man, and he will be bringing his blues groove to the Blues Kitchen at House of Blues Orlando on Saturday, May 7.

Ray Bonneville

Born in Quebec, Canada, and currently based in Austin, TX, Bonneville didn’t write his first son until his early 40’s, about 20 years after he started performing. Since then, he’s earned many accolades, including a Juno Award (the Canadian equivalent of the Grammys), the International Folk Alliance’s 2009 Song of the Year Award, and in 2012, Bonneville won the solo/duet category in the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge.

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Kevin Hart Adds Second Show to Orlando and Tampa Tour Dates

Comedian Kevin Hart has added a second 10:30pm show to both his Orlando and Tampa tour dates.

Kevin Hart The WHAT NOW? Tour

He is scheduled to play the Amway Center on April 24, and the Amalie Arena in Tampa on May 8. On both dates, he will play a 7pm show and a 10:30pm show.

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Planet Hollywood Orlando to Undergo Disney Springs Transformation

As Downtown Disney undergoes a transformation to become Disney Springs, word comes that the centerpiece Planet Hollywood will also be undergoing a transformation.

Planet Hollywood will revamp its Orlando flagship location into a four-story building called Planet Hollywood Observatory.

Planet Hollywood Observatory artist rendering. [image courtesy Planet Hollywood]

Planet Hollywood will revamp its Orlando flagship location into a four-story building called Planet Hollywood Observatory.

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Downtown Disney Food Trucks to Offer New Menu Items

Word comes from Disney that several of their Downtown Disney food trucks will be getting new menu items for guests to enjoy.

Superstar Catering new items: pork shank with a side of Gruyere mac & cheese, a sausage and carmalized onion flatbread.

Superstar Catering new items: pork shank w/ a side of Gruyere mac & cheese; a sausage & carmalized onion flatbread.

Superstar Catering, inspired by the food at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, will be getting a whole new trio of items. There will be a pork shank with a side of Gruyere mac & cheese, a sausage and carmalized onion flatbread, and the “Taste of Hollywood Studios” sampler featuring the BLT Soup from Sci-Fi Dine-In Restaurant and the Famous Cobb Salad and mini grapefruit cake from The Hollywood Brown Derby.

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Out and About: Silver Spurs Rodeo at Silver Spurs Arena

Silver Spurs Rodeo - photo by Kirk Garreans

My family and I attended the last day of the Silver Spurs Rodeo on Sunday afternoon. It had an afternoon starting time, but the arena was packed with families ready to enjoy some good rodeo action.

Silver Spurs Rodeo - photo by Kirk Garreans

 

This was our first time to go to a rodeo, though we had been to a bull riding event before. The bull riding at this rodeo was similar, and a bit scary to watch as the animal is big and doing everything in its power to get the rider off.

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Toca Boca Orlando to Bring Authentic Spanish Cuisine to I-Drive 360 This Spring

I-Drive 360 will soon be home to an authentic Spanish cuisine experience provided by new restaurant Toca Boca Orlando. It will pay tribute to classic and contemporary Spanish cuisine with a robust tapas menu and “paella pit,” which will act as a focal point of the restaurant.

Toca Boca Orlando interior by Tina Marie Interior Design

Toca Boca Orlando interior by Tina Marie Interior Design

The concept comes from the husband-and-wife duo Katerina and Vassilis Coumbaros, the force behind popular Greek eatery Taverna Opa Orlando at Pointe Orlando. They were inspired by Spanish dedication to food and wine, and developed a menu full of indigenous ingredients, such as jamón, chorizo, olives, wines and cheeses.

Among the delights on said menu will be:

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Jim Breuer Brings the Laughs to Plaza Live Orlando March 5, 2015

Jim Breuer - photo by Gregory Pallante

[photo by Gregory Pallante]

Get ready for a night of fun as comedian Jim Breuer returns to Orlando for a show at Plaza Live Orlando on Thursday, March 5.

Breuer first rose to fame as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” in the 90s. His impressions were so good, and who can forget his original character of “Goat Boy”?

He then went on to appear in movies like “Half Baked,” as well as TV shows like “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” He is also a frequent guest on the Howard Stern Show. He’s so funny, Comedy Central named him one of the “100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time.”

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American Q Introduces Breakfast Cocktails to Menu

If you like cocktails with your breakfast, American Q will oblige with their new menu of Breakfast Cocktails.

American Q Breakfast Cocktails

There are six cocktails to enjoy:

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Universal Orlando Next Park to Raise Ticket Prices Again

Universal Orlando park globe

Less than a week after Walt Disney World raised their ticket prices, another Orlando theme park has announced their rates have gone up, too.

Universal Orlando‘s one-day/one-park tickets for adults are now $102, up $6 from the previous price. Meanwhile a one-day/two-park ticket (needed if you want to ride Hogwart’s Express) is now $147.

There are discounts for multi-day passes. A two-day/two-park pass is $194.99 (with a bonus 3rd day for a limited time), a three-day/two-park pass is $204.99, and so on.

Florida residents get better deals on multi-day passes. A two-day/two-park pass is $150.99, and a three-day/two-park pass is $160.99.

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