Test Track is officially open at Epcot.  The redesigned Disney World attraction is a multisensory virtual experience in automotive design. 

You begin the experience at Test Track by walking through an interactive queue with concept vehicles such as the EN-V and Miray on display. Once inside the automotive design lab, advanced computer technology powers the guest design process.  Guests can choose from a number of vehicle options and styles and once they have designed the automotive they’d like to test, the design is saved to card swiped at the beginning of the design process.  Disney and Chevrolet worked hand in hand on the attraction, and the end result shows high tech, authentic design process. 

After your car is designed the test drive portion of the attraction arrives.  With the help of innovative technology, you’ll have the chance to test drive your vehicle, through the ride, on tacks surfaces that similar the actual vehicle validation process Chevrolet engineers use.  Each design is evaluated and scored based on their performance.  Many of the elements of the ride seem futuristic, with sharp neon lights bringing a “Tron”-like feel to the inside portion of the attraction.
The race begins as the car accelerates over the roller-coaster style track.  The track features a series of hills, bumpy roads, sharp turns, and more, as well as the 65 mph boost at the end that loops around the outside of the building.
At the end of the experience guests can see their car’s score, make a TV commercial and email it to family and friends, race their vehicle at a digital driving table and pose for a photo with their vehicle.

Splitsville is opening December 19, 2012, at Downtown Disney.

The new addition to Downtown Disney’s West Side brings bowling to a whole new level.  The 45,000 square-foot attraction, located in the old Virgin Megastore building, features 30 lanes spread over two floors.  Billiards, music and live entertainment round out the scene. 
Retro-themed, Splitsville adds a swanky touch to an evening of bowling and fun with friends.  Plus, there are delicious dining options available, with the menu featuring items such as hand-tossed pizza, fresh-rolled sushi and juicy burgers.  Full bar selections and a variety of menu items you can eat while you bowl make Splitsville a fun, active place to spend time in Orlando
On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the second floor of Splitsville will be reserved for guests ages 21 and over who arrive after 10:30 pm. 

Take an inside look at Splitsville:

Ready to experience the “tale as old as time?”  At Enchanted Tales with Belle, located in the new Fantasyland section of the Magic Kingdom, park goers can step into the world of Belle and the magic of Beauty and The Beast.

The Walt Disney World attraction is a combination walk-through experience and sit-down show.  Visitors make their way to the Enchanted Tales with Belle by walking through Fantasyland Forest to Maurice’s (the father of Belle) cottage. Upon entering the cottage, numerous trinkets and inventions can be seen, including a gold framed mirror prominently on display in the middle of the room. 
The mirror is an important element of the attraction as it magically transforms into a door through which guests are transported to the Beast’s castle.  Once the second room has been entered, a merry greeting from Madame Wardrobe begins the next phase of your experience.  Animatronic yet incredibly realistic, Madame Wardrobe sets the stage for the playacting that is about to unfold. With the help of cast members, she assigns roles, such as the Beast and Mrs. Potts the teapot, to volunteers from the audience.  Each volunteer is given a prop and is prepped to meet Belle and “surprise” her by helping her tell the story of when she and the Beast met.
Lumiere begins the third phase of Enchanted Tales with Belle.  He, too, is animatronic, and is perhaps even more astonishing to behold than Madame Wardrobe.  Lumiere summons guests to Beasts Library and the volunteers from before gather at the front of the room, while the rest of the audience sits on benches to watch the proceedings.  After everyone is in their places, Lumiere the Candelabra calls in Belle.  Coached by Belle, Lumiere, and cast members, the volunteers perform their roles and bring the story of Beauty and The Beast to life. 
Interactive and engaging, Enchanted Tales with Belle is a treat for kids and adults.  Plus, the volunteers who participate in the show receive a bookmark and a photo op with Belle. Purchase Disney tickets to see all that is new at Fantasyland.

January 1-6:  The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights
Disney’s Hollywood Studios become aglow in light during the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights. Presented at the Disney Park every holiday season since 1995, this stunning light show adds an extra dose of festive fun to any Disney World Christmas vacation.

January 10-13:  Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
Registration is now open for the WDW Marathon Weekend. Events include the Walt Disney World Marathon, Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, Family Fun Run 5K, runDisney Kids Races, Disney’s Health & Fitness Expo, Pasta in the Park Party, and the Cool Down Party. For more information and to sign up, visit their website.

January 12 – February 2:  Just for Kids Festival at SeaWorld
Saturdays and Sundays in January, SeaWorld Orlando will host a Just for Kids Festival that will feature concerts, dance parties, and special stage shows. All concerts are included with regular admission, but must be picked up for a show in advance.

January 16 – March 2:  Real Music Concert Series at Busch Gardens
This longest running concert series returns Wednesdays through Saturdays beginning in January. Listen to live music that will span the decades from the 1930s-1970s. Concerts are held each day at 11:30am, 1pm, and 3:30pm. Concerts are included with regular admission, but reservation tickets are required to guarantee a seat.

Kids have a treat to look forward to in 2013 with SeaWorld Orlando hosting a Just For Kids festival in January and February.

Hosted on Saturdays and Sundays from January 12 through February 2, Just For Kids will feature concerts, dance parties and special stage shows. 

Concerts during the festival include:
Imagination Movers
January 12
Laurie Birkner
January 19
Choo-Choo Soul with Genevieve
January 26
Kratt Brothers Live featuring the stars of Wild Kratts
February 2
All shows are held at the Nautilus Theater.  Concerts are at 11am, 2pm and 4pm.  Concerts are include with SeaWorld ticketsbut tickets must be picked up for the show in advance and are on a first come, first serve basis.
Come out to the “Just For Kids” festival at SeaWorld Orlando for to have breakfast with everyone’s favorite furry friends from Sesame Street and experience live shows, kid-sized rides, and meet adorable animals.  It’s fun for kids of all ages.

Ready to make a splash at SeaWorld this holiday season?  With SeaWorld tickets you’ll gain access to their spectacular Christmas Celebration, which includes special shows like Shamu Christmas Miracles, dazzling light displays such as the Sea of Trees and The Polar Express (a holiday simulator ride.) 

Photo Credit: SeaWorld

In addition to the regular holiday festivities, SeaWorld is also hosting Santa’s Fireside Feast where guests can meet Santa and Mrs. Claus.  On select Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Christmas Eve, guests can add this extra dose of yuletide cheer to their SeaWorld itinerary.  The dinner is $29.99 for adults and $19.99 for children ages 2-9.  The dinner is buffet-style and the ticket purchase includes the dinner plus storytelling by Santa, Mrs. Clause and the elves and reserved seating for A Sesame Street Christmas Show.

The buffet will serve:
  • Salads
  • Roasted Turkey with Gravy
  • Ham
  • Cornbread Stuffing
  • Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Glazed Honey Carrots
  • Cake
  • Cobblers
  • Cheesecakes
  • And Much More
At the end of the meal, families can take a complimentary family photo with a holiday backdrop.  Children will also get to meet Santa and tell him their holiday wishes.  The evening ends with sugar cookies with Mrs. Claus. 
For a festive way to celebrate the Christmas, add reservations to Santa’s Fireside Feast at SeaWorld Orlando.

Are you ready to experience The Legend of Jack Sparrow?  Opening December 6, 2012, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this new attraction immerses guests in an interactive experience where guests can join forces with other pirates to bathe Davy Jones, the Kraken and even mermaids. 

Photo Credit: Disney World
During the show visitors will be taken on a journey with Jack Sparrow, in which you’ll be able to relive his greatest moments form the “Pirates of the Caribbean” film series.  The walk-through attraction begins in a small room that features a talking skull.  The skull dares visitors to enter and see if they are ready for a pirate adventure.  After saying yes, you enter a grotto area full of treasure when you are surrounded by pirates, sirens and well-known characters from the “Pirates” films.  A giant pirate skull continues to guide you throughout the eight-minute adventure, giving you the instructions you need to be a pirate too.  Captain Jack Sparrow is featured in the climax of the show, as he leads you into battle against Davy Jones and the Flying Dutchman. 
The 360-degree environment creates an engaging show, with the sights and sounds of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise coming to life right before your eyes.
Purchase Disney World tickets to experience this attraction and so much more!

If you’re planning on spending the holidays in Orlando, now is a good time to start thinking about your holiday dining plans. While you’re at one of Orlando’s Theme Parks it’s easy to stop in at a quick service restaurant for a quick bite. However, if you want to experience one of the nicer dining options available reservations fill up quickly.

Here are some tips to consider when dining at Orlando theme parks:

Walt Disney World: Disney World reservations fill up faster than any other park. The new Be Our Guest Restaurant is already sold out for the holiday season, but other options remain available. Our best advice is to be flexible with your plans and continue to check back with Disney’s reservation system for cancellations. You never know when a spot might open up. Also, you might feel the need to eat inside the park but there are plenty of fantastic dining options available the Disney resorts. The Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort, Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Citrico’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort all have available for holiday reservations. For an elegant evening without the kids, try Victoria & Albert’s at the Grand Floridian Resort. Reservations for all restaurants can be made online or by calling 407-939-3463.

SeaWorld: SeaWorld offers one of the best holiday events in Orlando when it comes to value. All of the SeaWorld celebrations and activities are included with the purchase of SeaWorld tickets. Plus, the park offers not only delicious holiday treats at various vendors but the on-site dining experiences create holiday menu items special for this time of year. Our top choices for dining at SeaWorld include Santa’s Fireside Feast, Dine with Shamu and Sharks Underwater Grill. Reservations are recommended for all options. The best budget friendly option is Dine with Shamu, as children eat free with the purchase of an adult reservation now through December 24. Reservations can be made online (excluding Sharks Underwater Grill) or by calling 888-800-5447.

Universal Orlando Resort: Universal Orlando greets the holidays with Grinchmas, a Macy’s Holiday Parade and performances by Mannheim Steamroller, all included with the purchase of Universal Orlando tickets. The dining options are Universal are best in their CityWalk quarter, all of which feature a reservation option on OpenTable.com. If you’re seeking in-ark reservations, the two experiences I recommend are Universal’s Superstar Character Breakfast, which features characters from Nickelodeon’s Spongebob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer, Hop, and the hit comedy Despicable Me, as well as the Cinematic Spectacular Dining Experience, during which features delicious meal at Lombard’s Seafood Grille and dessert restaurant’s waterfront boardwalk, where the entire family will share a spectacular view of Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular. Reservations for CityWalk restaurants can be made by calling 407-224-3663; Universal Studios reservation lines are 407-224-7554 and 407-224-3613; and Universal Islands of Adventure dining reservations can be made at 407-224-4012.

Busch Gardens: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is hosting Christmas Town for the first time ever. Along with this yuletide celebration, they are offering Mrs. Claus’ Family Feast. Families will enjoy a delicious holiday buffet with Mrs. Claus and her favorite elves, plus a rendition of the classic story The Night Before Christmas, special holiday treats, exclusive elf-provided entertainment, plus front of the line access to “Santa’s House” and “Let it Snow. Reservations can be made online only.

December 1-21:  Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
This special Magic Kingdom festival is filled with fireworks, a holiday parade, cookies and cocoa, snow fall on Main Street USA, and more. Held 7pm-midnight on select nights. Special ticket rates apply.
December 1-23:  Christmas Town: A Busch Gardens Celebration
Fridays-Sundays guests can experience special entertainment, festive treats, holiday shopping, and beautiful Christmas decorations during Christmas Town. A separate ticket is required.
December 1-27:  Festival of the Seasons
Downtown Disney will have live entertainment, festive decorations, and Santa Claus during the holiday season.
December 1-30:  Holidays Around the World – Candlelight Processional
Candlelight Processional is held nightly at the America Gardens Theatre in Epcot. Special guests narrate the event, including Geena Davis, Neil Patrick Harris, Whoopi Goldberg, Andy Garcia, and more.
December 1-30:  Christmas Bricktacular
The second annual Christmas Bricktacular at Legoland Florida takes place every weekend in December. View the 30’ tall Lego Christmas tree, do some holiday shopping, and enjoy the holiday decorations and music.
December 1-31:  SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration
Experience SeaWorld’s winter wonderland with a Sea of Trees, carols, ice skaters, and a journey to the North Pole on The Polar Express Experience.
December 1-31:  Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort
Celebrate the holidays at Universal Orlando Resort including great events like Grinchmas, Macy’s Holiday Parade, and holiday concerts by Mannheim Steamroller.
December 1 – January 6:  The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights
Disney’s Hollywood Studios is home to one of the most amazing Christmas light shows in the country. The lights display is included with regular admission to the theme park.
December 31:  New Year’s Eve at SeaWorld
A musical celebration and fireworks show will ring in the new year at SeaWorld Orlando.
December 31:  New Year’s Eve Party at DisneyQuest
Downtown Disney will have its own NYE celebration at DisneyQuest Interactive Theme Park. Get access to all the attractions and video games, plus there will be a DJ dance party, countdown, confetti, and food at FoodQuest.

Get ready for an all-new adventure at Universal Orlando Resort in summer 2013.  The Orlando theme park has just announced its next blockbuster attraction will be TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D.  The groundbreaking ride will bring the intergalactic battle between Autobots and Decepticons to Universal Studios for an action-packed, immersive experience.

During the ride, you will come face to face with Megatron, dodge explosions and attacks by the Decepticons and fight to save mankind alongside Optimus Prime and the Autobots.  Universal Orlando Resort worked closely with Michael Bay, the director of the Transformers film series, to create an authentic experience that brings one of the most popular film franchises of the last decade to life.  Amazing special effects, state-of-the-art 3D technology and life-like HD CGI media put riders right in the middle of the battle between good and evil.
The ride will be a clone of the popular Transformer attractions that opened earlier this year at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Singapore.
TRANSFORMERS: The Ride will be the highlight of Universal Studios in 2013.  Purchase Universal Orlando tickets now to start planning your adventure!