SeaWorld and HSUS Condemn Attack on Flamingo at Busch Gardens Tampa

Pinky, at Busch Gardens Tampa

A 19-year-old dancing Chilean flamingo, named Pinky, at Busch Gardens Tampa, had to be euthanized Tuesday after an alleged attack by a 45-year-old Orlando man, which injured one of her feet, almost severing it.

SeaWorld, the owner of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, quickly issued the following response:

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SeaWorld Announces End of Orca Breeding and Changes to Current Conditions

This morning, SeaWorld Entertainment announced that the orcas (also known as killer whales) currently in the company’s care will be the last generation of orcas at SeaWorld. The company will end all orca breeding as of today.

SeaWorld - orcas

There will also be a shift from the current theatrical shows to more natural environments and encounters, focusing on orca enrichment, exercise, and overall health. The current population of orcas at SeaWorld – including one orca, Takara, that became pregnant last year – will live out their lives at the company’s park habitats, where they will continue to receive the highest-quality care.

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Wine Women & Shoes Event to Benefit Second Harvest Food Bank on April 12, 2014

Wine Women & Shoes

The Wine Women & Shoes charity event combines wine, food and fun to benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. It will be held April 12, 2014, at Ports of Call at SeaWorld.

The afternoon, from 2-6pm, will be filled with wine, hors d’oeuvres, a live auction, and shopping, with 100% of the proceeds going to the charity.

As of this post, only 35 general admission tickets at $75 remain to this event. Each ticket purchased will provide around 450 lbs of food to hungry neighbors in need.

For more information on Wine Women & Shoes, or to purchase tickets, visit winewomenandshoes.com/orlando.

Oceanic Preservation Society Responds to SeaWorld’s Open Letter

Last week, we posted an open letter from SeaWorld that discussed its care of animal, in the wake of recent controversy.

The Oceanic Preservation Society has chosen to respond with an open letter of their own, so in the interest of fairness, we are publishing it here:

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Marine Mammal Captivity: The Truth Is in the Facts
An Open Letter from the Informed American Public

Oceanic Preservation Society Inaccurate reports from SeaWorld recently placed in full-page advertisements in major newspapers included a series of mistruths about the quality of life of the animals in its care. The truth is in the facts about its parks and management, and it’s time to set the record straight.

The men and women that we represent are true animal advocates. We are the Oceanic Preservation Society, creators of the Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove, and we represent millions of American citizens including scientists, researchers, veterinarians, ex-trainers, marine biologists, educators, conservationists, mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, students, veterans, and many other compassionate and intelligent people. This growing sector of the public sees through the narrative that SeaWorld has crafted about its operations — they know that ultimately SeaWorld is a business with a bottom line.

Here are some important facts about SeaWorld and its work:

    • SeaWorld is afraid that the truth about captivity is spreading, especially since the release of the film Blackfish. The open letter advertisement placed by SeaWorld is in response to Blackfish, but steers clear of the title for fear of bringing the film further attention. Blackfish has already been seen by over 20 million people, has been shortlisted for an Oscar, and is negatively impacting SeaWorld’s public image and bottom line. Its stock price has dropped as much as 30% since the release of Blackfish, its CEO and institutional investors have dumped tens of millions of shares, eight internationally renowned musical acts have cancelled performances at the park, and the company has resorted to recruiting visitors with Groupon deals to boost failing attendance.

 

    • SeaWorld no longer captures killer whales in the wild — it now has other people capture animals for them. The genetic diversity of orcas in captivity is low, often resulting in inbreeding. Since the Marine Mammal Protection Act prevents SeaWorld from capturing wild animals directly without federal permits, which would be open to public review and highly controversial, it resorts to creative ways of introducing new animals and fresh DNA into the system. One recent example of this involves an orca named Morgan. Documents filed by SeaWorld in April 2013 establish that it claims ownership of Morgan, who was rescued as an emaciated young animal off the Netherlands in 2010. Morgan should have been returned to the wild after rehabilitation, but was instead sent to Loro Parque, a marine mammal park in the Canary Islands where SeaWorld holds several young animals in its corporate collection. Morgan is the subject of ongoing litigation to return her to her family.

      Earlier this year, SeaWorld helped orchestrate the capture of 18 Beluga whales in Russia from a population that its own research shows may be threatened with extinction — a permit the United States ultimately denied. SeaWorld is actively appealing the ruling.

      In 2009, SeaWorld made an unsuccessful attempt to buy a dolphin that was stranded from the infamous dolphin drive fishery in Taiji, Japan. The demand for captive dolphins is the driving force behind the largest slaughter of dolphins in the world in Taiji. The only reason SeaWorld hasn’t been importing dolphins from the Taiji dolphin drive is because conservation organizations have successfully prevented them — not because of the “groundbreaking success” of its breeding research.

 

    • SeaWorld routinely separates mothers, babies, sisters, brothers and all other forms of family bonds to accommodate its performances. There are many instances of orca babies and children being removed from their mothers at SeaWorld parks. These families are broken up purely for business purposes, despite the strong and enduring bonds shared by pod members. In nature, males may stay by their mother’s side for an entire lifetime. Orcas have deeply complex social structures—the part of their brain that processes emotions may be even more developed than in humans—that a manufactured “family” and can in no way reproduce.

 

    • No amount of money can recreate an orca’s natural environment. SeaWorld’s barren concrete tanks are an appalling substitute for nature. Orcas, one of the ocean’s fastest mammals, can travel 60 miles a day or more in a straight line. In a tank they are forced to swim in tight circles. The multimillion-gallon artificial habitats that SeaWorld boasts are less than one one-millionth of the animals’ potential daily range in the wild. In captivity, every male orca suffers dorsal fin collapse while only 1-5% of males display this deformity in the wild. As highly acoustic animals, orcas would normally rely on a complex array of clicks and whistles to build relationships with each other, communicate over vast distances, and hunt prey. No amount of human interaction and “restaurant-quality” fish can adequately reproduce an orcas natural interaction with their wild habitat. In fact, animals in captivity are often prescribed daily medications to treat or mask the symptoms of chronic stress associated with confinement, training, and performing for screaming crowds.

 

    • Orcas die prematurely at SeaWorld. More orcas have died under SeaWorld’s care than are currently alive in all at its parks. Its orcas live, on average, as little as a third of the life span of wild orcas. Despite the veterinary care provided at SeaWorld, it has not improved the animals’ 50% infant mortality rate. A growing body of scientific evidence shows that orcas die an early death in captivity, with an annual mortality rate at least three times higher than in the wild. Most orcas at SeaWorld have died in their teens and 20’s (if they survived infancy in the first place), compared with an average life expectancy of 30-50 years in the wild (and an estimated maximum life span of 60-90 years). The few animals in SeaWorld’s collection who have lived closer to their natural average life expectancy are highlighted as poster children for the captivity industry. Instead they should be seen as extraordinary survivors.

 

    • Orca captivity is not a prerequisite to conducting scientific research; in fact, the captive environment often yields artificial results. There are hundreds of scientists and research institutions that have contributed meaningful knowledge about whales in the wild — without confining them to captivity. As pointed out by Jacques Cousteau, there is as much educational benefit in studying dolphins and whales in captivity as there is in studying humans by observing prisoners in solitary confinement. SeaWorld has published very few scientific papers on the species and what it has contributed to our understanding of their biology was learned some time ago. SeaWorld contributes almost no information today that addresses the protection of wild orcas.

 

    • The exploitation of sentient, self-aware, highly intelligent creatures is not necessary for rescuing and rehabilitating sick wildlife. SeaWorld’s rescue and rehabilitation efforts have been struggling to keep up with the incredible efforts of dozens of highly qualified organizations across the country for many years. SeaWorld Entertainment claims $1.5 billion a year in revenue, yet they have spent only $9 million on conservation in the last decade. This translates to only 0.0006 of the company’s net revenue being funneled back into research and conservation annually. For every hundred dollars made by the park, less than 1 cent is given back to research benefiting wildlife. Furthermore, most of its rescue work is with animals that are not profitable as performers in its shows. SeaWorld has never released an orca back into the wild.

 

  • Captivity can drive orcas to behave violently, leading to unsafe working conditions for trainers. A lifetime of confinement routinely causes orcas to behave in an unnaturally violent manner toward each other and their trainers. There is not a single known instance of an orca killing a person in the wild. There are dozens of documented cases of orcas attacking humans in captive environments. One animal in particular, Tilikum, has killed three people. An orca on loan from SeaWorld at Loro Parque rammed trainer Alexis Martinez to death just two months before SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau was dismembered at its Orlando park. In both cases, the parks downplayed the cause of death, saying Martinez had merely drowned, and Brancheau, who was rag-dolled and dismembered by Tilikum, was responsible because she dangled her ponytail too close to him. OSHA ruled that SeaWorld could no longer place trainers in the water with orcas, and yet the company is fighting the decision, stating that putting animals and their trainers together is an important part of its business of putting on shows.

Baba Dioum was right when he said, “In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we have been taught.”

We have been taught that captivity gravely harms the animals that we love; we understand that SeaWorld has a vested interest in keeping the public uninformed; and we can best carry out orca
conservation by keeping them in the wild.

The truth about SeaWorld is in the facts. Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s Blackfish and our film The Cove give viewers a deep and meaningful connection with the remarkable animals in our oceans. But this is just the beginning of a growing shift in public awareness about the impoverished lives of animals at SeaWorld. As Cowperthwaite says, young people today are becoming the “I can’t believe we used to do that” generation. No amount of advertising will counter the Blackfish Effect. SeaWorld, your job is to now adapt to an informed public.

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What do you think of this counterpoint?

SeaWorld Unveils Float Design for 2013 Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade

SeaWorld has unveiled the design for their new float that will debut in he 87th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

SeaWorld, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade floatCelebrating SeaWorld’s 50th anniversary next year, the float will feature sea turtles, penguins, angel fish, sharks and more. The centerpiece of the display is the park’s iconic Shamu breaking through the waves.

“We are thrilled to debut our SeaWorld “A Sea of Surprises” float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as a tribute to SeaWorld’s 50th celebration,” said Jim Atchison, President and CEO of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. “Next year the parks will commemorate this milestone with a year-long celebration at the three SeaWorld parks in San Diego, Orlando and San Antonio. We hope this festive float represents the fun, inspiration and surprises that guests will find during a visit to SeaWorld.”

The 87th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade airs nationwide on NBC-TV, on Thursday, November 28th from 9am-12pm, in all time zones.

Aquatica Waterpark Teases New Attraction As Tallest of Its Type in Orlando

This weekend, Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark, sent out an email teaser about a new attraction for the park.

Aquatica OrlandoIt was accompanied by an image of a height-test balloon, which is used by theme parks to check sight lines for new attractions. It was tagged 105 feet.

According to the email, the new attraction, as yet unnamed, will be “the tallest water thrill ride of its type in Orlando.” No further information on what type of water thrill ride it will be.

It sounds like it might be one of those tall drop slides, similar to Summit Plummet at Disney World’s Blizzard Beach. though that one is said to be 120-feet-tall, so if Aquatica’s is the tallest of its type, it will have to be different in some way.

Any guesses as to what you think it might be?

SeaWorld to Launch New TV Series

If marine animals are your thing, then you’ll want to check out a new series that will be debuting on TV starting in April 2012.

“Sea Rescue” is a half-hour weekly series, produced in partnership with Litton Entertainment, that will be hosted by environmental journalist and “Good Morning America” anchor Sam Champion.

It will feature stories of the rescue, rehabilitation and return to the wild of marine animals by a team of dedicated veterinarians, animal care experts, animal science researchers and government authorities.

“Sea Rescue” will debut on April 7, 2012, and will be broadcast nationally on Saturday mornings during Litton’s Weekend Adventure, a three-hour block of six 1/2 hour series aimed at educating kids and anyone else who wants to learn more about the world around us. The show will follow “Good Morning America” in most markets.

Thanks to SeaWorld for the photo!

American Idol Winner Scotty McCreery Visits SeaWorld

Country singer Scotty McCreery, who won the last season of American Idol, closed out the Bands, Brew & BBQ concert series at SeaWorld last weekend.

While he was there, he got to check out some of the denizens of the theme park, including an anteater.

Thanks to SeaWorld Orlando for the photo!

SeaWorld’s Viva La Musica fest begins April 14 with a concert by Elvis Crespo.

2011 Fourth of July Celebrations Around Orlando

Travelocity recently named Orlando as the #1 destination for the upcoming Fourth of July weekend. If you’re going to be in town, here’s a list of some of the celebrations happening.

Altamonte Springs:

  • Red, Hot and Boom takes place Sunday, July 3, at Crane’s Roost Park. This annual fireworks show is enhanced by an all-day concert presented by WXXL-fm radio. This year’s musical line-up includes Paper Tongues, Mat Kearney, Shontelle, Cody Simpson, Hot Chelle Rae and All Star Weekend. The concert starts at 4pm and the fireworks at 9:30pm, but if you want a place to sit anywhere, you’d best get there in the early am because this free show is usually attended by over 100,000 people.

Celebration:

  • The city starts with a Fourth of July parade at 9am. The festivities resume at 5pm with Celebration Town Center’s “A Flashback 4th of July,” an 80’s-themed event featuring music from that decade played by Kattyshack and a live DJ, headlined at 8:30pm by A Flock of Seagulls. Fireworks are at 9:30pm, and the whole event is hosted by actor Justin Smith (“Vampire Diaries”; Meet the Spartans). It’s free to attend.

Downtown Orlando:

  • The City of Orlando is hosting the annual Fireworks at the Fountain from 4pm to 10pm on July 4. There will be food, live entertainment and fun for the whole family, around Lake Eola Park, culminating with fireworks at 9:30pm.

SeaWorld:

  • A special performance of the “Reflections” show featuring expanded fireworks set to patriotic music will start after dusk. Free with park admission.

St. Cloud:

  • The Fourth of July celebrations will start with a sunrise hot air balloon launch at the lakefront. It will resume at noon with live entertainment, games, kids events and more. The city of St. Cloud will then launch fireworks over the lake at 9:30pm, for this day-long free event.

Universal Studios:

  • On July 4, the Studios side of Universal Orlando will present the Universal360 show, starting at 9pm at the lagoon. Margaritaville’s Blue Stone Circle will also be performing from 5pm on at the Music Plaza Stage inside the park. Free with park admission.

Walt Disney World – Magic Kingdom:

  • The park will present a special showing of “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” fireworks at 9pm on July 3 and July 4. Free with park admission.

Walt Disney World – Disney’s Hollywood Studios:

  • DHS presents “Rockin’ 4th of July Celebration” with fireworks and a special light show set to live music performed by Mulch, Sweat, and Shears, starting at 9:45pm on July 4. Free with park admission.

Walt Disney World – Epcot:

  • The park’s regular “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” laser light and fireworks show will be extended with “The Heartbeat of Freedom,” a special overture of traditional Americana themes, July 4, starting at 10pm. Free with park admission.

Mid-Week Break: Orlando Around the Web for April 27, 2011

While I’m working hard to bring you news and reviews of things happening around Orlando and its surroundings, there are some other great blogs out there who are doing the same.

So here are some recent posts that you might enjoy reading:

The Daily City has a photo review of all the fun that happened during the Orlando Improv Festival’s production of A Night of Long Form #2 on Monday. Can’t wait until the full festival this fall!

The Disney Food Blog reviews the specialty hot dogs at The Lunching Pad at the Magic Kingdom. Not big winners according to them.

Central Florida Top 5 went to the see the new One Ocean show at SeaWorld Orlando and really liked it. By the way today is CFLT5 editor Bess’ birthday so send her your well wishes.

Eat Local Orlando gives the El Brazero Taco Truck in Apopka a whirl.

Still hungry? Food critic Scott Joseph reviews the new soul food restaurant Fish ‘N’ Loaves, which took over the space of the now-defunct soul food restaurant, Johnson’s Diner.

While we’re on the subject of soul food, Tasty Chomps heads over to Eatonville to check out Lowe’s Good Eaton Soul Food restaurant.

Finally, the Orlando Sentinel has a photo gallery up from last weekend’s sold-out Ke$ha shows at the House of Blues.

Have you written something about Orlando online, or have you read something worth sharing? Drop us a note with the link and we could share it here next week.

Mid-Week Break: Orlando Around the Web for March 23, 2011

While I’m working hard to bring you news and reviews of things happening around Orlando and its surroundings, there are some other great blogs out there who are doing the same.

So here are some recent posts that you might enjoy reading:

The Orlando Weekly has a cool write-up about the Geek Easy, a lounge by the folks who own A Comic Shop in Winter Park.

Shari Sushi Lounge in Thornton Park is the focus of a review by Pulse of Central Florida.

Scott Joseph reviews the Bull & Bear at the Waldorf Astoria.

The Daily City reviews the play Circle Mirror Transformation, currently playing at the Mad Cow Theater.  The Orlando Sentinel also reviews it.

Jim Abbott at the Orlando Sentinel reviews the Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings show at The Beacham.

Stay at the Orlando Sentinel to read Heather McPherson’s review of the food at SeaWorld’s Viva La Musica.

Have you written something about Orlando online, or have you read something worth sharing? Drop us a note with the link and we could share it here next week.

2010 New Year’s Eve Events in Orlando

Still don’t have plans for New Year’s Eve? Well here is a list of all the fun events happening next Friday around Orlando.

Whether you want to go nightclubbing or want something a little more family friendly, there are so many ways to ring in 2011:

Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort – $35 to $75
$35 gets you general admission, party favors and a champagne toast at midnight. A VIP ticket costs $75 and includes a private upstairs area with seating with limited viewing for Epcot fireworks with guaranteed seating and coffee, tea or hot chocolate with dessert bar and a premium bar. 21 and up to attend.

Beebs & Her Money Makers, Kaleigh Baker and Cadillac Recipe at The Social – $10 advance / $15 day of
Rock in 2011 with live music from the above bands, female body painting, free champagne toast at midnight. Must be 21 and up.

Blue Martini Orlando New Year’s Eve Celebration – $40 in advance / $50 day of
The evening includes select open bar from 8-11pm, complementary hors d’oeuvres and desserts, a balloon drop at midnight and live entertainment from C’Nergy.

Celebration Weekend at Celebration Town Center – Free
This family-friendly event features live music including a special reunion show from VonRay, and fireworks at midnight.

Classic Albums Live: Saturday Night Fever at Hard Rock Live – $27.50 Gen. Admission Floor / $50 Reserved Balcony
Dance to the soundtrack of the 70s at this NYE event, featuring a 70s costume contest with grand prize of VIP seats and dinner to Earth, Wind & Fire on May 3. Show is all ages.

DisneyQuest at Downtown Disney – $39 in advance/$45 day of
Includes access to all DisneyQuest attractions and video games, a DJ Dance Party with a New Year’s Eve countdown, party favors and a coupon for a personal pizza and soda at FoodQuest. Runs from 8pm to 1am. Tickets available online or at DisneyQuest box office.

Downtown Countdown New Year’s Eve Bash at Firestone Live in downtown Orlando – $20 regular / $40 VIP
Jam to the sounds of DJ Nasty and D-Strong. First 102 people 21 and over are free. 18 and over welcome.

Dragon Room NYE Party in downtown Orlando – $25 to $35
Open bar until midnight for first 100 tickets at $25 and until 2am for first 100 tickets sold at $35. VIP tables start at $250. All prices include party favors, champagne toast and a balloon drop. Click link above to get $5 off with code word DRAGON.

James Bond New Year’s Party: Dress To Kill at The Enzian Theater – $25 on up
Come dressed as your favorite James bond character and enjoy a DJ spinning until 2am. Bond classic Thunderball will be playing outside at Eden Bar.

Brantley Gilbert at The Plaza Theatre – $20
Georgia country artist Brantley Gilbert headlines The Plaza Theatre’s NYE bash, which starts at 9pm.

La Nouba New Year’s Eve at Downtown Disney – $67 to $133
New Year’s Eve performances of Cirque du Soliel’s La Nouba include a  limited edition commemorative La Nouba trading pin.

Bret Michaels at Universal CityWalk – $99 for annual passholders / $119.99 regular
Enjoy a live concert from Poison frontman and reality TV star Bret Michaels as you club hop and nosh on a gourmet buffet. The evening is capped off with midnight fireworks.

New Year’s Eve Party on Church Street in downtown Orlando – $39 to $99
Several of the popular bars and clubs on Church Street are banding together for this party. $39 cover includes entry to Antigua, Big Belly Brewery, Chiller’s and Latitudes. $59 cover also includes unlimited domestics, wells and frozen drinks. Upgrade to the $79 Gold Package for the addition of unlimited imports, calls and shots. The top line $99 Platinum Package has all the above plus unlimited premium, super premium and Red Bull drinks. The Platinum price also includes a $25 gift certificate to use in any of the clubs.

New Year’s Eve Party at VAiN Nightclub in downtown Orlando – $25 to $75
Hosted by Joey Fatone (Dancing With the Stars; N’Sync) the party features DJ Barry Carew, A-Rock and J. Moreno spinning. $25 gets you in, $50 gets you open premium bar until midnight and $75 gets you open premium bar all night. All packages include hor d’oeurves, champagne toast at midnight, commemorative photo and more.

Old Town New Year’s Eve in Kissimmee – Free
Ring in 2011 with the weekly car show, along with live music courtesy of Reunion. Fun for the family!

101.1 WJRR Presents Big Friggin Eve with The Supervillains at House of Blues – $10.11 in advance / $13.11 day of
Celebrate the new year with the reggae sounds of Orlando’s The Supervillians.

Orlando Brewing New Year’s Eve – Free
Enjoy live entertainment by John Q at this microbrewery/pub.

SeaWorld New Year’s Eve – Free with Park Admission
Enjoy the normal shows and attractions, along with a special fountain and fireworks show at midnight.

Tabu NYE Party with Power 95.3FM in downtown Orlando – $20 women / $30 men
DJs Richie Rich, Nailz and MC Lil’ Shawn will be spinning hip-hop, reggae and more. Prices include free party favors, drink specials and a champagne toast at midnight. Must be 18 and up.

Ultra Nate at The Parliament House – $20
The dance diva headlines the festivities at this gay resort and entertainment complex. Room specials are available, too.

Wall St Plaza New Year’s Eve in downtown Orlando – $20 in advance / $25 day of / $100 Resolution Package
Regular admission tickets get you into the block party with 9 venues, DJs, a light show and other surprises at midnight. The Resolution Package throws in a tented lounge, open bar from 10pm to 2am, champagne toast at midnight, a 2am breakfast bar and more. Must be 21 and up.

Walt Disney World New Year’s Eve Events – Free with Park Admission
Three of the parks have events to ring in 2011. Magic Kingdom has Fantasy in the Sky fireworks at 11:50pm and is open until 2am. Epcot has a special 11:40pm showing of “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” and is open until 1am. Disney Hollywood Studios has a 10pm showing of “Fantasmic!” followed by “Lights,Camera, Happy New Year fireworks” starring Mulch, Sweat and Shears at 11:55pm.

Whiskey Basin at The Barn in Sanford – $20
Enjoy live country music and all-you-can-drink specials from 9pm on.

Mid-Week Break: Orlando Around the Web for December 8, 2010

While I’m working hard to bring you news and reviews of things happening around Orlando and its surroundings, there are some other great blogs out there who are doing the same.

So here are some recent posts that you might enjoy reading.

If you’ve been outside at anytime this week, so far, you may have noticed it’s unusually cold in Central Florida. Like record (almost) cold. Well, according to WESH Channel 2, the “Cold Temps Affect Central Florida Theme Parks.” I kinda figured the water parks would close – after all, don’t want the guests turning into popsicles – but who knew that the cold could also affect the operation of coasters at the parks?

Thanks to a Twitter by Cole Nesmith, I discovered this FREE Christmas album download featuring in his words, “…lots of Orlando musicians (and some from far away).” He should know, as he’s one of them. Some great versions of Christmas classics – Nesmith’s version of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and The Oceanauts two tracks are my faves – plus the sound mix is well done. Go download “Hey, It’s Christmas!

Pulse of Central Florida has a few guest posts from Veronique Conus on “Central Florida Thrifting” that are definitely must reads if you like picking up vintage stuff on the cheap.

Bess at Central Florida Top 5 has a great review of SeaWorld Orlando’s Christmas Celebrations. The Disney Blog also gave it a huge thumbs up, saying it was “a great family value.” I haven’t been to see it yet, but it’s on my list.

The Daily City talks about the upcoming holiday-themed art show “The Most Wonderful Happy Glitter Time Show” that is being hosted by Pom Pom’s Teahouse and Sandwicheria (one of my fave eats in town) through Jan 2, 2011. Grand opening reception is Dec 12 from 8pm-10pm.

Finally, over at The Orlando Blog, they spotlight a new holiday amenity provided by the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotels: Elf Tuck-In Service. That and the life-sized sculpted chocolate Santa should put you in the mood for Christmas.

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