As many of you already know, Disney World is presenting Limited Time Magic in 2013.  The special promotion features 52 weeks of magical experiences including special character appearances. Earlier this year Disney presented Limited Time Magic special Disney ears as part of the “Year of the Ear.”  The new hats will be released each month and available for a limited time only.

The Limited Time Magic events are kept a secret for the most part, but we’ve found these upcoming events you can mark on your calendar. 

Long-Lost Friends Week:  January 21-27, 2013
Magic Kingdom
Classic Disney characters will be out at the Magic Kingdom! The list could include such favorites as Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar, Robin Hood, Friar Tuck, and maybe even The Three Little Pigs! Keep your eyes peeled, because you never know who could show up!

True Love Week:  February 11-17, 2013
Magic Kingdom
It’s Valentine’s at Disney! Cinderella Castle will “blush pink and red” while all the Prince and Princess pairs will be out for meet and greets around the park. Limited-edition Disney Valentine collectibles will be available for sale as well.

Independence Week:  July 1-7, 2013

Magic Kingdom
Celebrate the 4th of July all week with a Fireworks Party! You’ll be seeing red, white and blue all over the park, from Cinderella Castle to special-edition merchandise including U.S.A. shirts, ear hats and much more.

Unleash the Villains:  September 13, 2013
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
The villains are taking over Hollywood Studios for Friday the 13th all the way through the 13th hour (1:00am). The night of mischief will include villainous dance parties and more.

We’ll keep you posted on Limited Time Magic special promotions as details are released.

American Idol fans get their very own chance to experience the sensation of the popular television show at the American Idol Experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  The process works like this:

Guests register for an audition before a producer to perform at the theme park version of the show.
  • If chosen, you’ll be prepped with by a vocal coach and given the star hair and make-up treatment before performing in front of a live panel and audience.
  • Those with the most number of votes compete at the end of the day in the grand finale show.
  • The winner of this daily event gets a guaranteed reservation at a future American Idol stadium audition without having to wait in the crowded, long lines.
To make the experience even more fun, the American Idol attraction at Disney has added 13 new songs to the catalog of songs available for performers to sing.  The 13 new songs include:
  • “American Honey” by Lady Antebellum
  • “Animal” by Neon Trees
  • “Cowboy Casanova” by Carrie Underwood
  • “Dark Side” by Kelly Clarkson
  • “Give Your Heart a Break” by Demi Lovato
  • “Home” by Phillip Phillips
  • “One Thing” by One Direction
  • “Part of Me” by Katy Perry
  • “Please Remember Me” by Tim McGraw, covered by Scotty McCreery
  • “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele
  • “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson
  • “The One That Got Away” by Katy Perry
  • “Turn on the Radio” by Reba McEntire
  • “Undo It” by Carrie Underwood
Put your talents to the test at the American Idol Experience.  You might be the new star they’ve been searching for!

Epcot’s 20th Annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival features plenty of new things to see in 2013.  Throughout the 75-day festival, scheduled for March 6 through May 19, Epcot guests will be treated to new topiaries, garden displays, seminars by celebrity HGTV designers, a stellar line-up for the Flower Power Concert Series and a gorgeous butterfly house. 

Upon entrance to Epcot, guests will be greeted by topiaries featuring the Fab Five – Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto.  The scene is set to be barbeque/picnic inspired, with a 14-foot tall topiary of Goofy holding a cake and Donald and Daisy playing badminton two of the planned topiaries.    Behind Spaceship Earth, located in the iconic and symbolic structure of Epcot, visitors will find a Phineas and Ferb topiary photo-op. 
Illuminated Gardens, a new addition to the Disney World festival, takes place of the Future World Walkway every night.  Disney topiaries and gardens will light and up and twinkle, creating a whole new way to see these impressive designs.  Over on the Imagination Walkway the Land Of Oz Play area will be promoting the upcoming film “Oz: The Great and Powerful.”  Play systems decorated with giant flowers, midway-style games, red and white circus theme tents and the “Oz Movie Garden” create a fun, interactive play zone for kids.  Oz’s crashed hot-air balloon is a highlight of this area. 
“Monsters University” characters like Mike and Sully appear in topiary designs found throughout Future World and World Showcase, as do dozens of topiaries featured in every country including Disney princesses and storybook characters.  A variety of food items will be available at World Showcase, with the planned menu heavy of barbeque favorites.
The Butterfly House has been reimagined for the 20th Annual Epcot Flower & Garden Festival.  Named Fawn’s Butterfly House, eight topiaries of Pixie Hollow characters, like Tinker Bell and Fawn, will be on display as will hundreds of butterflies. 
Cars characters can be found over at the Test Track Walkway.  A “Radiator Springs” interactive paly area and topiaries of Lightning McQueen and Mater will impress the kiddos. 
HGTV celebrities host festival seminars every Friday through Sunday during Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival.  Some of the celebrities set to appear include Chris Lambton, Brandon Johnson and Meg Caswell. 
Performers for the Flower Power Concert Series, which takes place every weekend of the festival, include The Guess Who, The Village People and Herman’s Hermits.
Purchase Epcot tickets to enjoy all International Flower & Garden Festival has to offer.

Disney World’s Star Wars Weekends attracts legions of fans from across the nation.  Held at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the annual event celebrates all things Star Wars.  This year’s event will take place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 17 through June 9, 2013. 

Many details for the Disney World event are still being finalized but we can let you in on a few elements that are set in stone.  James Arnold Taylor and Ashley Eckstein are returning as celebrity hosts.  Taylor is the official celebrity host of the event and Eckstein will serve as the celebrity host of “Behind the Scenes,” a live show that gives guests an inside look at the Star Wars universe. 

Special events and activities planned for Star Wars Weekends include:
Celebrity Autographs:  Get your favorite Star Wars character to sign a memento during your visit to Star Wars Weekends.  One autograph per guest.  Grab a Fastpass for this event, as a Fastpass ticket ensures your place in line at the celebrity autograph kiosk outside the Front Gate entrance.
Jedi Training Academy:  Kids under 12 can hone their Lightsaber skills at the Jedi Training Academy.  They can test their wits before the Jedi Council in the Padawan Mind Challenge—and even prepare to battle Darth Vader himself.
Hyperspace Hoopla: At the end of each day, let loose with music, comedy and dancing at the Hyperspace Hoopla! With so many Ewoks, Wookiees, Stormtroopers, Jawas and otherworldly creatures, this is the ultimate party for Star Wars fans.
Star Tours – The Adventures Continue: This attraction takes Jedi from Tatooine to Coruscant and beyond, with destinations, characters and adventures presented in brilliant digital 3D! Board a Starspeeder 1000 for a thrilling journey where a galaxy of trouble awaits.
All events are included with Disney Hollywood Studios tickets.  However, availability is limited for some events.

2013 will be the “Year of the Ear” at Disney World with Limited Time Ear hats.  The promotion is part of Limited Time Magic, featuring 52 weeks of magical experiences including special character appearances.

The new hats will be released each month and available for a limited time only.  Holidays, cultures, life milestones and more will be fashioned on the hats, and range from elaborate to simplistic.  The first group of hats released is titled “Disney Couture.”   Available throughout stores at Disney World Orlando, the couture hats feature sequins, feathers and ribbon. 

Two examples of the Disney Couture Hats:

Photo Credit: Disney World
Photo Credit: Disney World
What style of hats would you like to see in the collection?  Personally, I’m looking forward to the ear hats themed specifically towards each park.  Rumor has it there will be hats designed for the Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom and Epcot.


Franklin and Friends is coming to SeaWorld Orlando.

The Nick Jr.  television series is a heartfelt show for preschool kids featuring Franklin and his friends such as Bear, Beaver, Rabbit, Goose, Aunt T and many, many more.  Franklin experiences milestones and adventures that all kids can relate to. Relationships, family values, and personal growth are at the heart of this beautiful show set in the community of Woodland. 

Now, at SeaWorld, guests can get up close and personal with Franklin and Friends through a new partnership lasting all of 2013. 

  • Guests will be able to meet, take photos with and get autographs from the famous turtle.
  • Franklin will make his first appearance at the Orlando theme park during the Just For Kids Festival
  • Franklin and Friends’ specialty merchandise, much of it exclusive to SeaWorld, will be available in the parks.
Franklin will make daily appearances across from Pelican Preserve.

Bands, Brew & BBQ returns to SeaWorld Orlando February 9 through March 17.  Featuring live concerts by some of the biggest names in music, this year’s festival will be bigger and better with two additional weekends of authentic sizzling BBQ and concerts.

The 2013 Bands, Brew & BBQ concert lineup includes:
  • Saturday, February 9:  Chris Young with Jerrod Niemann
  • Sunday, February 10:  Merle Haggard
  • Saturday, February 16:  The Beach Boys
  • Sunday, February 17:  Styx
  • Saturday, February 23:  Big & Rich
  • Sunday, February 24:  Third Eye Blind
  • Saturday, March 2:  Daryl Hall and John Oates
  • Sunday, March 3:  Darius Rucker
  • Saturday, March 9:  TBA
  • Sunday, March 10:  Josh Turner
  • Saturday, March 16:  TBA
  • Sunday, March 17:  TBA
SeaWorld Orlando’s Bands, Brew & BBQ is included with the purchase of SeaWorld tickets

February 1 – March 2:  Real Music Series at Busch Gardens
The Real Music Concert Series continues at Busch Gardens Tampa during February. Concerts are held Wednesdays-Saturdays and feature live music from a variety of artists including Paul Revere & The Raiders, Sha Na Na,and Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.

February 9 – March 17:  Bands, Brew & BBQ at SeaWorld
Saturdays and Sundays treat yourself to beer, barbecue, and live music at SeaWorld Orlando. Concerts include performances by Merle Haggard, The Beach Boys, Styx, Third Eye Blind, Sheryl Crow, and more.

February 9 – April 20:  Universal Studios Mardi Gras
Take part in one of the most spectacular Mardi Gras celebrations outside of New Orleans at Universal Orlando. On Saturdays and select nights during the spring, enjoy live concerts, parades, street performers, and authentic Cajun cuisine.

February 10 – March 3:  Bands, Brew & BBQ at Busch Gardens
Sample craft beers and tasty barbecue while enjoying live rock and classic rock concerts at Busch Gardens Tampa. Bands, Brews & BBQ takes place each Sunday with concerts beginning at 5pm. Lineup includes John Kay & Steppenwolf, Barenaked Ladies, The Doobie Brothers, and The Goo Goo Dolls.

February 22-24:  Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend
The half marathon weekend features fun and athletic competitions for the whole family. Events include Disney’s Princess Half Marathon, Disney Royal Family 5K, runDisney Royal Family Kids’ Races, Disney’s Fit for a Princess Expo, and Pasta in the Park Party.

SeaWorld’s 2nd Annual Just for Kids Festival begins January 12, 2013.  The event features concerts by the Imagination Movers and Choo-Choo Soul, the Sesame Street crew rocking it out and much more. SeaWorld’s Just For Kids Festival happens every Saturday, January 12 through February 2. 

The 2013 Just For Kids concert lineup includes:
  • January 12:  Imagination Movers
  • January 19: Laurie Berkner – Solo Performance
  • January 26: Choo-Choo Soul with Genevieve
  • February 2: Kratt Brothers Live featuring the stars of Wild Kratts
Concerts are included with park admission, with show times at 11am, 2pm and 4pm at the Nautilus Theater. Tickets will be distributed across from the theater starting at 9am each concert date on a first-come, first-served basis.
Other activities include:
  • Elmo Rocks!: Join Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Cookie Monster, Zoe, Bert and Ernie as they form their own rock n’ roll band and give a concert. Music, dancing and audience participation are what you’ll find when you come see the brand new show. Located at Seafire Inn.
  • Shamu’s Party Zone: This is the place to be for kid-size fun. Dance along to a family-friendly DJ, enjoy character appearances, and fun and games. Located near the Lakeside Patio.
  • Shamu’s Happy Harbor: Take a ride, spin, slide or climb on fun kid-size attractions. Be sure to catch a ride on the Seven Seas Railway.
  • Become a Junior Animal Ambassador: Experience our Ocean Adventure program and visit the four Sea Star locations in the park. Collect a stamp and a limited edition Just for Kids Explorer’s card at each location. If you collect all four cards and stamps, you will receive a prize.
  • Guests will be able to meet, take photos with and get autographs from the famous turtle, Franklin beginning with the “Just For Kids” event.
Purchase discount SeaWorld tickets to enjoy this festival that is Just for Kids!

Busch Gardens Tampa has a full line-up of festive events planned for 2013. Hot Latin performers will be showcased during Viva La Musica, rock takes center stage during Bands, Brew & BBQ, and classic acts are the stars during the Real Music Concert Series.

Take a look at what is happening at Busch Gardens in 2013:

Let’s Dance Featuring Burn the Floor: January 16 through April 7

  • Sixteen dancers from around the world will heat up the Desert Grill stage. Set against a fast-paced soundtrack of familiar favorites, the international dance troupe offers a new twist on the Foxtrot, Tango, Rumba, Cha Cha, Jive, Swing, Mambo and more.

The Real Music Concert Series: January 16 through March 2

  • January 16 through 19: The Terry Myers Orchestra with the Swing Sisters
  • January 23 through 26: The World-Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra
  • January 30 through February 2: Frank Sinatra Jr.
  • February 6 through 9: Paul Revere & The Raiders
  • February 13 through 16: Sha Na Na
  • February 20 through 23: Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.
  • February 27 through March 2: Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone

New for 2013 is the Real Music Early Entry Ticket. For $10, guests can purchase a ticket to enter the Stanleyville Theater 60 minutes prior to the show to choose their seats. The Real Music Early Entry Tickets are available in advance at or by calling 1-800-888-5447. Only a limited number of tickets will be available for each show.

Bands, Brew & BBQ: Sundays from February 10 through March 3
More than 80 crafts beers, tasty barbeque and exciting live performances are the signature of this Busch Gardens Event.

  • February 10 – John Kay and Steppenwolf
  • February 17 – Barenaked Ladies
  • February 24 – The Doobie Brothers
  • March 3 – The Goo Goo Dolls

Viva La Música: Sundays from April 15 through May 6
Join the fiesta featuring food, drink, music and fun for the entire family, bringing together the hottest Latin artists live, authentic arts and crafts, and regional Latin cuisine.

  • April 14 – Ednita Nazario
  • April 21 – Oscar D’Leon
  • April 28 – Milly Quesada
  • May 5 – El Gran Combo

Jack Hanna: May 18 & 19

  • Join “Jungle Jack” Hanna for two days of wild animal shows, autograph signings and special meet and greets when he visits Busch Gardens on May 18 and 19. The internationally-known animal expert will share animal facts and his travel tales during animal shows.

Summer Nights: June 8 through Aug. 11

  • Finale fireworks are back each night of Summer Nights, along with an end-of-night show with live musicians, singers, dancers and artists from around the world. Their performance – along with modern music and fire effects – will pump up the crowd every night in Gwazi Park.

All concerts and events are included with the purchase of Busch Gardens Tampa tickets.