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.
Admission to the series is included with regular Fantasy of Flight tickets.

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.
Disney World 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.

Sea World 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.

Disney World 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.