The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Orlando has announced their line-up for the Eat to the Beat Concert Series.  Enjoy performances by some of your favorite artists as you tour the world at Epcot. 

The following line-up of performers is scheduled for the 2013 Eat to the Beat Concert Series:
  • 09/27 – 09/29 – Starship (starring Mickey Thomas) 
  • 09/30 – 10/01 – Go-Go’s
  • 10/02 – 10/04 – Air Supply
  • 10/05 – 10/06 – Sister Hazel
  • 10/07 – 10/09 – Sugar Ray
  • 10/10 – 10/11 – Edwin McCain
  • 10/12 – 10/13 – Manhattan Transfer
  • 10/14 – 10/15 – Wilson Phillips
  • 10/16 – 10/17 – The Pointer Sisters
  • 10/18 – 10/20 – Night Ranger
  • 10/21 – 10/23 – Boyz II Men
  • 10/24 – 10/25 – Survivor
  • 10/26 – 10/27 – 38 Special
  • 10/28 – 10/30 – Smash Mouth
  • 10/31 – 11/01 – Spin Doctors
  • 11/02 – 11/03 – Christopher Cross
  • 11/04 – 11/05 – Hanson
  • 11/06 – 11/08 – Dennis DeYoung, original member of the group STYX
  • 11/09 – 11/11 – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Performances are at 5:45, 7:00 and 8:15 at the America Gardens Theater.   The Epcot Food and Wine Festival is scheduled for September 27-November 11, 2013. All concerts are included with the purchase of Disney World tickets.
 
Photo Credit: SeaWorld

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is honoring the men and women of the U.S. armed services through its Waves of Honor military salute program. The program provides free admission to the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Parks for members of U.S. armed forces and as many as three direct dependents through 2013. Waves of Honor follows Here’s to the Heroes. Created in 2001, the program has awarded more than 6.7 million theme park tickets to service members and their families.

Waves of Honor provides one complimentary admission per year to one of the SeaWorld or Busch Gardens and Adventure Island for the service member and as many as three of his or her direct dependents.
Any active duty military, activated or drilling reservists, or National Guardsman representing any of the five service branches is entitled to one complimentary admission to one of the participating parks under the program. He or she need only register, either online at www.wavesofhonor.com or in the entrance plaza of a participating park, and show a valid active military identification. All dependents 10 and older must present a valid military dependent identification for entry into the park. Dependents may take advantage of the offer without their service member, though an adult must accompany minor dependents.
“It has always been our honor to host members of the military and their families at our parks each year,” said Jim Atchison , President and CEO of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. “Waves of Honor is our way to say ‘thank you’ to these dedicated service men and women who sacrifice so much to preserve the freedom we share in this country.”
SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa operate year-round. The remaining parks are seasonal. Each park’s operating schedule is available online.

Inactive, standby and retired reserve members, military retirees, U.S. Merchant Marine and civilian Department of Defense workers are ineligible for the program. The program does not include Discovery Cove in Orlando or Aquatica Orlando. Rules of eligibility can be found at www.wavesofhonor.comand are subject to change. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment reserves the right to terminate the program.

Attention SeaWorld park goers!  This summer visitors who purchase a combo park ticket for SeaWorld will receive early admission to SeaWorld Orlando on select days.  SeaWorld is offering the extended hours as part of the opening of Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin.  The new attraction is highly anticipated and with the addition of extended park hours visitors will be able to explore even more for less!

When you purchase any Sea World combo ticket you’ll have access to early park admission on Mondays and Thursdays June 10 through September 2, 2013.  Eligible tickets include SeaWorld/Aquatica park combos, SeaWorld/Busch Gardens park combos and the SeaWorld/Aquatica/Busch Gardens three park combo.    Special savings are available on these combo tickets as well, and they allow unlimited admission during your vacation so you can come and go as you please, at no extra charge.

By having early park admission, you’ll have the opportunity to avoid long lines that are typically associated with attraction openings by entering Sea World Orlando an hour before regular opening hours. What better way to experience Antarctica: Empire of Penguin!

Reserve your SeaWorld combo tickets today to enjoy extended hours and unlimited fun this summer in Orlando!

Are you an avid runner?  Do you dream of running at the most magical place on Earth?  If so, take a look at the races planned at Walt Disney World Orlando during Marathon Weekend 2014.  All races take place January 8-12, 2014.

One of the most popular race events in the United States, Disney Marathon Weekend is an event you’ll want to register for in advance. The signature race of the weekend is the Walt Disney World Marathon.  The course for the race takes runners through all four Walt Disney World Theme Parks, starting at Epcot, continuing on to the Magic Kingdom Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios before an exhilarating finish back at Epcot.   When you finish the race, you’re rewarded with not only an exhilarating accomplishment by Mickey Mouse finisher medal. 
The full schedule of races during Disney Marathon Weekend:

Family 5K Fun Run Date: January 9 Location: Epcot

Walt Disney World 10K Date: January 10 Location: Epcot World Showcase

Walt Disney World Half Marathon Date: January 11 Location: Magic Kingdom and Epcot

Walt Disney World Marathon Date: January 12 Location: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios
New for 2014 is the Dopey Challenge.  Runners who sign up for this challenge compete in all four races, totaling 48.6 miles in one weekend.  You can also take on the Goofy Challenge, during which you run both the half and full marathon.  Think you’re up for it?  Sign up here!

Dates have been announced for the 18th Annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.   From September 27 – November 11, 2013, you can taste your way around the world at Disney World’s most cultural theme park. All you need is an Epcot ticket to gain access to all the offerings of this festival.

The culinary event is the highlight of the fall season at Disney World as visitors can explore nearly 30 international marketplaces, listen to some of their favorite tunes during the Eat to the Beat Concert Series and attend culinary programs with celebrity chefs and demonstrations. During the festival more than 300 international and national wines will be available, along with more than 76 kinds of international foods.  You can learn about wine and beer at over 300 seminars, and indulge in one of the more than 100,000 desserts served.   End each night with a performance at the Eat to the Beat Concert Series along with a viewing of “Illuminations: Reflections of Earth.”

New for the 2013 festival is the marketplace debut of Scotland.  Beers, meads and scotch will be highlights of the marketplace.  Brazil returns after being absent in 2012, while the vegetarian marketplace Terra returns as does Hawaii.  A few of the celebrity chefs set to attend include Warren Brown, Bryan Voltaggio, Rock Harper, Jamie Deen and Paula DaSilva, among others. 

Servings for the sumptuous appetizer sized portions served range from $4-$8; drinks are $3-$6.  Purchase Epcot Disney tickets to be a part of this international flavor-filled festival.

Get ready for a cool summer at SeaWorld Orlando.  The all-new Antarctica: Empire of the Penguinis set to open May 24, 2013.  Come explore the biggest and most expansive attraction in SeaWorld Orlando history, featuring a combination of animal encounters with a one-of-a-kind family ride. 

The perspective of the ride will be through the eyes of a penguin and be highlighted by state-of-the-art technologies for adventures that are different every time.  You’ll experience the epic landscape of the South Pole and discover insights into the wildlife that calls the South Pole home.  More than just a new ride, the new “realm” will be the coldest theme park attraction in the world and will include a variety of new experiences for guests.
Details about Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin have revealed the immersive attraction will put guests closer than ever – and out among – a colony of penguins including gentoos, rockhoppers, adelies and kings.  Designers consider the guests’ encounters with the penguins to be the first of their kind in any theme park or zoo in the world.  In all, the new Antarctica area will include a ride, penguin habitat, gift shop and restaurant.
Purchase SeaWorld Orlando tickets for a cool summer adventure in Orlando!

Busch Gardens is opening Madagascar Live! Operation: VacationMay 18, 2013, just in time for summer.  The all-new Busch Gardens show gives visitors the chance to party along with Alex the Lion and his posse of zoo friends as they vacation with guests at Busch Gardens.

Come celebrate Madagascar Live opening weekend at Busch Gardens Tampa.  Special entertainment will be found throughout the park, including dancers and DJs in Stanleyville, Gwazi and Cheetah Hunt plazas.  Plus, unique animal encounters will be available.  That includes Jack Hanna shows in Gwazi Park, 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. May 18 and 19.
Madagascar Live is an original live music show features singers, dancers and pop music performed by a live band.  Songs from the movie and party favorites will be performed as you join Madagascar characters for an excellent vacation adventure.  Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, King Julien, Mort, Skipper, Private, Kowalski, and Rico all create a party atmosphere guests of all ages enjoy.  Plus, after the show visitors have the chance to meet the characters and take photos with them.
As part of the new show, an exclusive experience is being created.  It will include reserved seating for the show, scheduled meet and greet with the characters and a character lunch.  Located at the Stanleyville Theater, the show will debut one the landmark theater has been refurbished.

Attention all Star Wars fans!  Star Wars Weekends will return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios from May 17 through June 9, 2013.  The park will be filled with Jedi’s, Wookiees and droids for the annual celebration of all things Star Wars. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday of each weekend, you can join celebrities and characters for special shows, panels, presentations and more!  Plus, all of the Star Wars Weekends events are included with Disney World tickets

Here’s a list of celebrities scheduled to appear during Disney’s Star Wars Weekends:

Weekend I (May 17–19) Ray Park (Darth Maul – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett – Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi)
Dee Bradley Baker (voice of Captain Rex – Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

Weekend II (May 24-26)
Ray Park (Darth Maul – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
Warwick Davis (Wicket the Ewok – Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi)
Jim Cummings (voice of Hondo Ohnaka – Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

Weekend III (May 31 – June 2)
Warwick Davis (Wicket the Ewok – Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi)
Tim Rose (Admiral Ackbar – Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi)
Sam Witwer (voice of Darth Maul – Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

Weekend IV (June 7-9)
Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian – Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Episode VIReturn of the Jedi)
Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca – Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back,Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
Tom Kane (voice of Yoda – Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

In addition, James Arnold Taylor, Ray Park and Warwick Davis will perform special one-man shows, including:

  • “Obi-Wan & Beyond” (each event day) with James Arnold Taylor.
  • “Visit to the Maul” (Weekends I and II) features Ray Park and a demonstration of martial arts skills.
  • “An Ewok’s Tale – my short story” (Weekends II and III) features Warwick Davis looking into the world of this Star Wars legend.
Disney Stars Wars Weekends features one of the galaxy’s largest gatherings of Star Wars characters all around the theme park, offering photo and autograph opportunities as well as special Star Wars parades, trivia challenges, a Jedi Training Academy, limited edition merchandise and memorabilia, behind the scenes presentations, star conversations and more.  This year’s event also features “Hyperspace Hoopla,” a high-energy show with music, comedy and dancing starring some of the famed Star Wars characters like Ewoks, Wookiees, stormtroopers and Jawas.

Feel the force this summer at Disney World during Star Wars Weekends 2013.

Get ready to rock at Universal Studios this summer.  On Saturday nights from June 1 – July 6 you can watch some of music’s biggest talents performing live during Universal Studios Summer Concert Series.   With the purchase of Universal Orlando tickets you can enjoy the live concerts as well as all of Universal’s thrilling rides and attractions. 

The full-lineup of performers includes:
  • June 1 – NE-YO
  • June 8 – Nickelodeon’s Big Time Rush
  • June 15 – Gavin DeGraw
  • June 22 – Earth, Wind and Fire
  • June 29 – Adam Lambert
  • July 6 – Kip Moore
All performances are held at the Music Plaza Stage.

Spend the day experiencing all of the thrilling attractions at Universal Studios like the new TRANSFORMERS: The Ride, The Simpsons and Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit.  Purchase Universal Orlando Park to Park Tickets to access both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure to add even more excitement to your day at the park.  Then, when the sun goes down take in one of the fabulous featured acts of the Summer Concert Series.  All of the entertainment is included with Universal Orlando tickets.

Diagon Alley

The adventure continues at Universal Orlando Resort!  The theme park has officially announced the expansion of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  The new area will be called “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley” and will bring new rides, a restaurant, and shops based on the Harry Potter Books.

Scheduled to open in 2014, Diagon Alley will expand beyond Islands of Adventure, where the current Wizarding World of Harry Potter is located, into Universal Studios.  The new multi-park experience will bring to life some of the experiences and places found in and around London in the Harry Potter books and films.  Construction is already underway, at the former location of the Jaws ride. 

When Diagon Alley opens guests will be able to travel between Hogsmeade Village aboard the Hogwarts Express to the new London-themed area.  The real, working train passing between the two parks creates a dynamic, multi-park experience.

Gringotts Bank is set to be the featured attraction of Diagon Alley.  A special effects indoor roller coaster is planned for the Bank, while streets surrounding it will be filled with shops, including a Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes.  Memorable elements from the Harry Potter books will be integrated into Diagon Alley, with the meticulous detail used to create the Original Wizarding World of Harry Potter showcased.  

More details regarding the Universal Orlando expansion will be coming soon!