Fun Spot Orlando is adding coasters, thrill rides and a water park over the next few years in an effort to expand their fan base and give visitors even more things to do in Orlando.
The $20 million investment is focused on the Fun Spot Action Park location on International Drive.  The expansion will increase the Orlando park’s size from 5 acres to 15 acres, and will happen in three stages.
Fun Spot Action Park
A Screamin’ Swing thrill ride, wooden roller coaster and double-decker carousel will be added in the first stage, set to open February 2013.  The second stage will add a SkyCoaster thrill ride and a waterpark with four slides by May 2013.  Once the third stage is complete, in May 2014, visitors will see the addition of a suspended steel roller coaster and a Windseeker swing tower.
The wooden roller coaster is being designed by Great Coasters International and is expected to be 65-feet tall.  It will feature and out-and-back design, and will actually be a wooden-steel hybrid coaster.  The Screamin’ Swing will rocket riders 50 feet into the air at a 100-degree angle and the SkyCoaster will be designed to resemble the St. Louis Arch.  Further, the waterpark will be home to a SplashRally figure eight racing slide, a Double BowlsEye with two tubes feeding into a single bowl, a 360Rush with vertical drop capsules and a Twisted Racers mat racing slide.  A lazy river, water playground and in-water seating areas are also planned.
All of this sounds like great fun! Stay tuned to find out more details as they are released. 

During the 2012 holiday season in Orlando, there will be a whole new way to celebrate Christmas. Busch Gardens is bringing their Christmas Town event, featured at the Williamsburg theme park annually, to Tampa.

Christmas Town will transform Busch Gardens Tampa into a nighttime holiday winter wonderland. Seasonal sights, sounds and flavors add to the festivities and create a wonderful way to welcome the holidays with family and friends. The event is scheduled for every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night November 30 through December 23.

Highlights of Christmas Town included thousands of twinkling lights, special entertainment, live music, delicious holiday treats, and unique shopping opportunities.

Christmas Town is not included with Busch Gardens tickets. Separate admission will be required. More details about this new, special event will be released in the Fall.

Universal Orlando Resort invites high school seniors to their annual Grad Bash, a celebration highlighted by street entertainment, karaoke, DJs, dance parties and live performances by some of today’s hottest artists.  Attendees also get exclusive access to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.  Grad Bash will be held from 7pm to 2am on April 20, 21, 27, 28 and May 4.

The headlining performers for this year’s event are Pitbull and DJ Khaled.  Pitbull has had four Top 10 singles, including his latest hit “Give Me Everything.”  DJ Khaled is famous for his rap single “I’m On One.”  Both performers will take the stage at the Music Plaza.
The exclusive access to the park’s rides and attractions add to the excitement.  When else do you get the chance to ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Revenge of the Mummy and Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit at night, with all of your friends, celebrating graduation!?  It’s a memorable night for all and a great way to celebrate your accomplishments. 
Tickets for this event are on sale now.  Please contact group sales at 1-800-YOUTH-15.

Are you ready to splash into spring fun? Now you can as Busch Gardens’ water parkAdventure Island – officially opened on March 10. This year will be better than ever too, as the park is featuring extended hours all summer long.

At Adventure Island soaking, sunning and relaxing is key – Florida Keys inspired that is. A day at this water park will transport you to the Keys and have you immersed in 30 acres of water-soaked excitement. Whether you’re splashing in the wave pool, sliding down one of the corkscrew slides or relaxing at their white sand beach a day of fun in the sun is guaranteed.
Here’s a look at the rides you can look forward to at Busch Gardens’ water park:
  • Aruba Tuba: Twisted slide
  • Calypso Coaster: Open flume
  • Caribbean Corkscrew: 230-foot corkscrew slide
  • Everglides: 72-foot toboggan ride
  • Gulf Scream: 210-foot body slide
  • Key West Rapids: Six-story tube slide
  • Riptide: Four-lane mat slide
Island Nights returns to Adventure Island this summer – June 14 through August 11. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 5pm – 9pm enjoy music, delicious cuisine and beach activates in addition to all of the other fun attractions at the water park.
Purchase a Busch Gardens/Adventure Island Combo Ticket to enjoy the thrills available at both parks.
Jack Hanna

Jack Hanna returns to Sea World Orlando for a fun-filled weekend featuring all of his favorite animal friends March 24 and 25.

Jack Hanna is a popular celebrity animal expert who is recognized for his vast knowledge and enthusiasm for wild animals and wildlife conservation. 

In the past, some of the animal friends Hanna has brought to Sea World include clouded leopards, chatty kookaburra birds, and a variety of majestic eagles. 

Clouded Leopard
During the weekend of March 24 and 25, Hanna will host shows at 1:15pm and 3:15pm at the Nautilus Theater on both days.  The Jack Hanna show is included with the purchase of SeaWorld tickets

SeaWorld Orlando is also offering an Exclusive Pass Member Breakfast with Jack Hanna.  It will feature a delicious buffet, wild entertainment and includes special reserved seats at his first show.

Fishing in Orlando, Florida is great fun.  It’s even better when you have a fishing guide.  Here’s a quick list of Orlando Fishing Guides available for your next excursion.

100 S. Orange Ave
Orlando, FL 32801
1-800-707-5463
View map of A # 1 Bass Guide Service

1 North Orange Ave.
Orlando, FL 32801
407-856-7961
View map of A Gators Big Bass Guide Service

398 Grove Ct.
Winter Garden, FL 34787
407-877-9676
View map of A Pro Bass Guide Services

5156 Andrea Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32807
321-695-5042
1-866-881-1563
View map of Ace Bass Guide Service

Adventure Guide Service

3661 Victor Street
Gotha, FL 34734
407-296-6570
View map of Adventure Guide Service

3096 Stillwater Dr.
Kissimmee, FL 34743
407-348-8764
1-800-738-8144
View map of AJ’s Freelancer Bass Guide Service

2151 Underwood Ave.
St. Cloud, FL 34771
407-892-9582
View map of Bass Bustin Guide Services

217 Hays Dr.
Sanford, FL 32771
407-273-8045
1-800-241-5314
View map of Bass Challenger Guide Service, Inc.

1540 Natchez Trace Blvd
Orlando, FL 32818
1-800-509-3156
View map of Big Bass Guide Service

Captain David Rogers Fishing

674 Blenheim Loop
Winter Springs, FL 32708
407-405-0819
View map of Captain David Rogers Fishing

1880 Queens Ct.
Kissimmee, FL 34744
407-935-1559
1-888-937-6843
View map of First Strike Guide Service

2824 Conway Gardens Rd.
Orlando, FL 32806
407-856-7961
View map of Gators Big Bass Guide Services

5962 Dogwood Dr.
Orlando, FL 32807
407-242-4321
View map of Orlando Florida Bass Fishing Guide

606 Pinar Dr.
Orlando, FL 32825
407-249-1387
View map of Outdoor Adventures Ltd.

10142 Culpepper Ct.
Orlando, FL 32836
407-363-0009
View map of Peacock Bass South

10669 Mere Parkway
Orlando, FL 32832
352-603-5467
View map of The Orlando Bass Fishing Guide

100 Lakeshore Blvd.
Kissimmee, FL 34741
321-689-8918
View map of Tom & Jerrys Pro Guide Service

692 Gladwin Ave.
Fern Park, FL 32730
407-831-8512
View map of Trophy Bass Only Guide Services

SeaWorld Orlando is teeming with aquatic-themed fun. It’s the only theme park in Orlando where you can enjoy high-flying thrills, shows featuring talented sea life and have interactive encounters with aquatic animals. One of the most entertaining shows at SeaWorld is Clyde and Seamore Take Pirate Island. Lost loot, pirate plunder and zany antics bring a smile to faces, both young and old.

The pirate ship is the central stage for Clyde and Seamore Take Pirate Island.
Seamore loves showing off for the crowd.
Clyde is part of the dynamic duo entertaining fans at SeaWorld.
Look at me! Seamore belly slides into some laughs.
All together now! Sea lions and Clyde the Walrus dance for treats.
Good natured, tongue-in-cheek laughs at Shamu’s expense highlighted the animal’s skills.

The Orlando Clyde and Seamore Show at SeaWorld lasts approximately 25 minutes. Get to the outdoor theater early, located near the Shark Encounter, to enjoy a mime pre-show.

There’s always something going on in sunny Orlando. April has a wide range of events and festivals. Check out our list of upcoming events and start planning your next trip!

Below are upcoming events for April:

April 6-8: Ron Jon Easter Surfing Festival
Head to Cocoa Beach Pier and Shepard Park for three days of surfing competitionsfor men, women, and kids. Cocoa Beach is one hour from Orlando.
April 8: Easter Sunrise Service at Bok Tower Gardens
Hear music of the 60-bell Singing Tower carillon and the Lake Wales Chorale along with a bagpipe performance. Free admission from 6-8 am. Easter buffet available for an extra fee in the Blue Palmetto Café.
April 13-22: Florida Film Festival
The 21st annual Florida Film Festival will include over 160 films along with special guests and events. See event website for locations.
April 14: Brews Around the Zoo
Sample a variety of craft beers from around the world along with wine, regional cuisine, and music at the Central Florida Zoo from 6-10 pm.
April 14, 21, 28: Viva la Musica
SeaWorld Orlando is hosting a Latin festival featuring live music and authentic cuisine. Festival is included with normal SeaWorld admission.
April 18: Taste of Winter Park
Sample unlimited food and drink from some of the best restaurants and caterers at Winter Park Farmers’ Market. Tickets are $45. Must be 21 & up to attend.
April 27-29: The Festival of Chocolate
See demonstrations from pastry chefs, live competitions between chocolatiers, taste samples, visit the chocolate museum, and visit the vendor showcase. Voted one of the top 10 chocolate festivals in the US. Held at the UCF Arena. Tickets $15.
April 28-29: The 2012 Great American Pie Festival
Celebration, Florida will host thousands of pie-lovers and bakers during this two day festival featuring the Never-Ending Pie Buffet, pie decorating, pie art, and a pie eating contest.

The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is in full bloom at Walt Disney World Resort, a sure sign that spring is upon us. The festival began yesterday, March 7 and continues through May 20, 2012.  Featuring a colorful array of flowers, gardens, topiaries, live music, presentations and educational events, this festival is a highlight for all visitors, from gardening pros to novice naturists. 

Throughout the festival, guests will be able to explore topiaries and gardens, learn planting, style and design techniques and groove to the sounds of the Epcot Flower Power concerts.
Highlights of the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival include:
Topiaries – 2012 features several new displays, as well as some old favorites, with a total of more than 100.  Here are the topiaries you don’t want to miss:
  • Characters from Toy Story 3, including Woody, Buzz Lightyear and Lotso the Teddy Bear
  • Cars 2 characters include Lightning McQueen and Mater
  • Sorcerer Mickey from Fantasia
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Classic characters Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto and Goofy
Flower Power Concert Series – Groove to music from the 60s and 70s at the America Gardens Theatre.  Performances are at 5:15pm, 6:30pm and 7:45pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

 

The Guess Who
  • 3/09 – 3/11: Jose Feliciano
  • 3/16 – 3/18: Starship starring Mickey Thomas
  • 3/23 – 3/25: The Guess Who
  • 3/30 – 4/01: The Spinners
  • 4/06 – 4/08: Chubby Checkers and the Wildcats
  • 4/13 – 4/15: Paul Revere & The Raiders
  • 4/20 – 4/22: The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie
  • 4/27 – 4/29: Chuck Negron, formerly of Three Dog Night
  • 5/04 – 5/06: The Orchestra, starring Former Members of ELO
  • 5/11 – 5/13: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
  • 5/18 – 5/20: TBA
HGTV and DIY Stars Presentations – Get inspired by the stars of these networks.  Learn to build a better garden with fascinating tips, tricks and techniques from talented HGTV and DIY Network designers and personalities.  All presentations are at noon and 3pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Monday through Thursday other experts will present at these times.
Carter Oosterhouse
  • March 9 -11: John Gidding, (Curb Appeal: The Block)
  • March 16 -18: Sabrina Soto, (The High/Low Project)
  • March 23 – 25: Jason Cameron, (DIY Network’s Desperate Landscapes and Man Cave)
  • March 30 – April 1: Camille Styles, (HGTV.com Entertainment contributor)
  • April 6 – 8: Dan Faires, (HGTV.com’s DanMade, HGTV Design Star Season 5)
  • April 13 – 15: Brandon Johnson, (host of HGTV’s My Yard Goes Disney)
  • April 20 – 22: Meg Caswell Hollady, (HGTV’s Meg’s Great Rooms)
  • April 27 – 29: Monica Pedersen, (HGTV Dream Home Tour 2012 and Designed to Sell)
  • May 4 – 6: Antonio Ballatore, (HGTV’s The Antonio Treatment)
  • May 11 – 13: Carter Oosterhouse, (HGTV’s Million Dollar Rooms)
  • May 18 – 20: Genevieve Gorder, (HGTV’s Dear Genevieve and HGTV Design Star)
Don’t forget to make time for these special displays and programs:

  • Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden:  Explore the garden world of Pixie Hollow and find some of your favorite fairy characters presented in topiary. Interactive elements add to the fun.
  • Bambi’s Butterfly House: Experience hundreds of native butterflies and see some of your favorite characters from the Disney film Bambi.
  • The Festival Center – Guests can shop for festival merchandise, attend demonstrations and get ideas and tips from master gardeners and get gardening questions answered during Ask and Expert.  The Greenhouse Stage will welcome experts from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays at the Festival Center. You can also get planting pointers from experts from 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. on select days.
All of the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival events, concerts and programs are included with Disney World tickets.