Fantasy of Flight, the Orlando attraction specializing in aviation, will continue to feature its “Legends & Legacies: A Symposium Series” throughout 2011. The expanded series, which is focused on World War II, will begin in February.
The series will offer at least six gatherings featuring either aviators directly involved in World War II-era missions or their relatives. “Legends & Legacies” has been featured at Fantasy of Flight the last two years.
One of the speakers scheduled to appear during the 2011 series is Jonna Doolittle Hoppes, the granddaughter of General Jimmy Doolittle, who led a famed air raid on Japanese targets on April 18, 1942.
All of the series events include question and answer segments and opportunities to meet and get autographs from the participants.
The series’ first symposium will pay tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, black pilots who flew for the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. Several Tuskegee Airmen will be in attendance. Fantasy of Flight also has a permanent exhibit devoted to the Tuskegee Airmen.
In March, Fantasy of Flight will host a symposium titled “Breaking All Barriers: The Amazing Women of WWII.” The event will pay tribute to the Women Air Force Service Pilots or WASPS. WASPS were civilian female pilots that flew for the U.S. Army Air Forces during WWII.
In April, “Calculated Risk: The Extraordinary Life of Jimmy Doolittle” will take place. Scheduled for April 15 & 16, the event will be led by Jonna Doolittle Hoppes.
Veterans will gather to share their memories of invasions of Normandy’s D-Day on May 13 & 14. The June symposium will be “The Pacific War: Power and Pursuit.”
The final scheduled presentation is for October 14 & 15. Titled “The Great Escape: Heroes Underground,” this event focuses on American Prisoners of War.
Gaylord Palms in Orlando Florida is presenting the Best of Florida Christmas through January 2, 2011. The event features festive holiday fun like a winter wonderland made of real snow, visits with Santa Claus and ICE!
The whole family will enjoy 4.5 acres of glitter and gold, magic and cold, as well as a winter wonderland hand-carved from 2 million pounds of ice.
SNOW! At Gaylord Palms began November 20, 2010 and runs through January 2, 2011. As much as 40 tons of snow is created for the event, and it is the perfect place to chill with family after you witness ICE! There is a North Pole Carnival available, as well as a snow play area and games including “Frosty’s Ring Toss,” “Elf Bowling,” a snowball target range and Snow Tube Run. Plus the Snow Way Cage features snow canes and cotton candy. The SNOW! event is open at 11am every day. The snow experience lasts approximately 45 minutes.
The ICE! Experience at Gaylord Palms has a ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas theme this year. Orlando’s coolest holiday tradition features 18,000 square-feet of frosty 9-degree in wonderland of exciting carved ice sculptures. There are dual 30-foot slides to have fun on plus a dazzling, lighted 50-foot tree that is beautiful.
The award-winning attraction is carved by a team of 40 artisans from China. They spend more than a month creating this unique attraction.
IMPORTANT: ICE! is kept at a frigid 9° Fahrenheit (-13° Celsius). Be sure to dress appropriately: closed-toe shoes and long pants are required. Hooded winter coats are provided for your warmth and comfort inside the attraction and are available in a variety of sizes, including sizes for children. Hats and gloves are strongly recommended and may be purchased on site at the ICE! house gift shop.
has released details regarding its 18th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
, scheduled for March 2-May 15, 2011. This year’s event will showcase the characters from Toy Story 3
, including Woody, Buzz Lightyear and Lotso the Teddy Bear.
The popular Disney-Pixar Characters will be recreated as seven and eight-foot-tall topiaries at the Epcot front entrance, which will also feature a sand castle, strawberry-scented field and playground toys. This is the first time the Toy Story characters have been showcased at the festival. The event will feature more than 100 total topiaries, seminars and gardening demonstrations, gardens bursting with blooms, “flower power” concerts and more.
Another show-stopping topiary will be the brand-new Cars 2 display at the World Showcase Plaza. Large floral topiaries of Cars characters Mater and Lightning McQueen will be created beneath a black-and-white checkered arch. The scene will be completed with floral flag creations representing Japan, France, Italy and the United Kingdom, all of which are destination featured in the Cars sequel.
Other additions to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival include:
· Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and pals topiary among a Hundred Acre Wood wildflower display near Future World and World Showcase.
· A larger Bambi’s Butterfly House with more butterflies than ever before. Located along Imagination Walkway in Future World.
· Rapunzel will let down her hair at Rapunzels Tower in the Tangled Magical Garden inspired by the Disney animated film Tangled. This display will be located between the Germany and Italy pavilions.
· The Flower Power concert series will feature new acts, including Melissa Manchester (March 25-27), Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. (April 8-10), and Juice Newton (April 15-17).
The Orlando Theme Parks have upped the ante this year with their holiday extravaganzas. Families will marvel at the beautiful holiday decorations, festive events, exciting shows and firework displays.
is presenting a bigger-than-ever holiday event this year highlighted by the new Sea of Trees, a collection of 74 large Christmas trees, many
of which hover above the parks’ lagoon. At night they twinkle and change color to the beat of holiday music, creating a festive display for all. The Sea of Trees also serve as the backdrop to “Winter Wonderland on Ice,” a skating show at Bayside Stadium.
The Christmas Market at SeaWorld is also new this year. Festive food and drinks are available here, as are unique shopping opportunities. Plus, the area is beautifully lighted in marine tones like blues, greens and purples to really make the area seem like an ocean of holiday fun.
Shows featured during SeaWorld Christmas include “Shamu Christmas…Miracles,” the “Holiday Reflections” fireworks show, “Clyde & Seamore’s Countdown to Christmas” and several others.
Christmas at Sea World is presented Friday-Saturday November 26-December 12, and nightly December 17-January 2.
Universal Orlando Resort
begins its holiday celebration tomorrow, December 4. Mannheim Steamroller will perform in concert during opening day festivities, as well as on December 11 & 18. The group will perform after the park’s Macy’s Holiday Parade floats through the streets. The parade is featured nightly and is highlighted by a tree-lighting ceremony with Santa Claus.
At Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando Resort Seuss Landing is transformed into the wintry wonderland of Grinchmas. It features the popular live musical performance of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” which stars The Grinch and includes music recorded by Mannheim Steamroller. Guests are encouraged to stroll through the Whoville Wonky Tree Lot and take in the zany Wholiday decorations.
The Universal Orlando holiday events are included in the price of Universal tickets.
celebrates the holidays at all four of its theme parks. Highlights include the Candlelight Processional at Epcot, the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade at the Animal Kingdom and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom. Some events at Disney do cost extra, but many of the events are included with your Disney tickets
has announced plans to revitalize the Pleasure Island district of Downtown Disney. Construction will begin this month on the Downtown Disney entertainment area, which will be renamed Hyperion Wharf. Disney Tickets
do not have to be purchase to enjoy this area, but it is a great place to go after a day at the parks in Orlando
Along with the new name, there will be a new look and purpose to the area. Four of the clubs that were part of Pleasure Island will be demolished to make room for more eateries along the waterfront area. First to go will be the former Motion and Rock ‘n roll Beach Club.
An amphitheater style park on the lakeside will the first new area to open. The park will be located next to Paradiso 37 restaurant and will be open next summer. The entire Hyperion Wharf project is expected to be completed by 2013.
Hyperion Wharf will have a turn-of-the-century seaport theme. The architecture will have an early 20th century design.
The final phase of the project is the removal of the Adventurers Club and BET Soundstage, which will be replace by more restaurants.
Hyperion, the name, has Disney roots as it was the name of the street Walt Disney built his first major animation studio and it has been used with the company’s movie and publishing concerns. Hyperion Wharf continues the changes made at Downtown Disney over the past two years. Additions have included the Characters in Flight balloon ride, shops such as D-Street, Tren-D, and LittleMissMatched and the quick-service restaurant Pollo Camero, which recently opened on the Marketplace side.
Other changes to Downtown Disney include the AMC Theater opening a “concession stand of the future” that will feature gourmet popcorn, self-serve ice cream, specialty coffees and 106 flavors of Coca-Cola. The theaters will convert six screens into a “Fork & Screen” concept next year. They will have “seat side” service, which means food will be delivers to the tables inside the theater.
The Lego store at The Marketplace will expand 60 percent and change its building block icons into Disney characters.
Universal Orlando Resort earned four Thea Awards for its new Harry Potter Attraction during the gathering of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions in Orlando.
The Thea Awards recognized Universal Orlando for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
area and the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
ride that opened at the Islands of Adventure portion of the park. The Wizarding World area won the awards for outstanding achievement in the “new theme park land” and “thematic integration of retail, food and beverage experiences” categories. The Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride received awards for outstanding achievement for “featured attraction” and “technical achievement.”
The nominating committee stated the “grand overview of Hogsmeade Village and Hogwarts Castle” won them over, as did the level of detail found at the Forbidden Journey ride, specifically Dumbledore’s Office, the Portrait Gallery and the animatronic Sorting Hat.
Sea World in Orlando celebrates New Year’s Eve with a family-friendly party that includes live music and fireworks. A live DJ will also be on hand as the countdown to 2011 begins at The Waterfront. At the stroke of midnight, guests will witness the Orlando sky light up with brilliant fireworks.
While you’re at SeaWorld, enjoying their fabulous shows like “Shamu…Christmas Miracles” and exciting rides like “Manta,” it’s also a good time to take a trip to the North Pole on the Polar Express. To create the Polar Express Experience, SeaWorld transformed its Wild Arctic simulator into a multi-sensory experience that takes guests on a thrilling expedition to fabled Santa Town. It’s a great way to create a special holiday moment.
Through January 2, 2011, SeaWorld Orlando
will also be showcasing their holiday shows, which include “A Sesame Street Christmas,” and “Winter Wonderland on Ice.”
Disney World Theme Parks come alive to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2011 in Orlando. Elaborate light displays, live entertainment and extended park hours make Disney the place to be to ring in the New Year. Plus, all of the additional New Year’s Eve events are included with your Disney tickets purchase.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
celebrates New Year’s Eve with multiple presentations of “Fantasmic!,” a spectacular of Disney movies and music, as well as a special “Lights! Camera! Happy New Year!” fireworks spectacular and a DJ dance party around the Sorcerer Hat Stage. Disney’s Hollywood Studios will remain open until 12:00am.
The Magic Kingdom will feature special presentations of the “SpectroMagic” parade and multiple nighttime fireworks displays. “Holiday Wishes” will light up the sky early in the evening and guests who are at the Magic Kingdom for the midnight countdown will witness the “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks, a 360-degree countdown in the sky that begins around 11:50pm. The Magic Kingdom will be open until 1:00am.
Over at Epcot, guests will be able to celebrate New Year’s Eve around the world. DJ’s, dance parties and a special presentation of the “Illuminations: Reflections of Earth” lights lasers and fireworks display. Epcot will be open until 1:00am.
The Animal Kingdom
is open to 8pm only on December 31st. Disney visitors who visit during the day can see one the final presentations of “Mickey’s J
ingle Jungle Parade.”
Downtown Disney in Orlando is hosting their annual Festival of the Seasons this November & December. The entire area is trimmed with lights, seasonal décor and holiday-themed display windows. Plus, Downtown Disney is a great place to do your holiday shopping as there are many unique shops to explore.
The spirit of the season is also celebrated with carolers and holiday performances. Photo opportunities with Santa will also be available, as will street performers like toy soldier stilt walkers and reindeer.
Santa’s Chalet will be open November 19 –November 26 from 5pm to 9:30pm, and will be open from noon to 9:30pm November 27-December 24. Starting December 25, Santa Goofy will be at Santa’s Chalet through January 3, 2011. The hours for Santa Goofy are 3pm-9:30pm.
For even more holiday fun, purchase Disney Tickets
, where all four of the theme parks celebrate the season with holiday fun.
Universal Orlando Resort
is hosting one of the biggest and most entertaining New Year’s Eve Celebrations in Orlando
. The celebration takes place at Universal CityWalk and features live entertainment, CityWalk’s popular night clubs, delicious food and a rocking performance by Brett Michaels, the man who became famous as the lead singer of Poison.
Bret Michaels has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide. Some of his most popular hits include “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” “Talk Dirty to Me,” “Something to Believe In,” and “Nothing But a Good Time.”
Universal CityWalk’s New Year’s Eve Celebration will take place 8pm-2am. Tickets for the event are $119.99. This ticket price includes all-night admission to seven CityWalk clubs, all-you-can-eat gourmet cuisine which includes filet mignon and jumbo shrimp, the Bret Michael’s performance, and champagne toast at midnight. The price for the event increases December 28th to $139.99.