Beaches Near Orlando – Hit the Beach! Don’t Get Hit!

If you are here on vacation, you may want to check out the beaches near Orlando – Cocoa Beach, Daytona Beach or New Smyrna Beach. They are all about the same distance driving time – about an hour. If you don’t mind an extra half hour or mileage on your rental car, the beaches in Tampa/St. Petersburg are very nice. While they all provide like-amenities, the east coast beaches allow driving directly on the beach in many areas.

Beaches near Orlando

Driving on the beach is nice, because you don’t have to find parking, or tote all of your umbrellas, towels, chairs, coolers, etc. for blocks just to drag it through the sand and back at the end of the day. It allows you to play your tunes, or seek shade inside your vehicle throughout the day. Driving on the beaches near Orlando is a nice convenience, however, it also presents a danger you don’t often expect to encounter at the beach. Note: Most beaches now charge to drive on the beach.

Driving Safety When Visiting Beaches Near Orlando

Over the years several accidents on our east coast beaches have caused quite a concern with beach-goers. Deaths have included a 4-year-old who was killed by a driver on Daytona’s beach as she darted in front of a vehicle. A 23-year-old woman was ran over while lying on the beach between two parked cars. Although it is a violation of county code to layout between cars, Volusia County Beach Patrol officers only cited the driver who rolled over the woman.

Bottom line is, even though you’re at the beach, you still need to pay attention and use some common sense. Don’t lie down between your car and another vehicle. Go closer to the water, or layout behind the row of parked cars where no one will be driving or parking. Look both ways before crossing the “road.” Explain to your children that the strip of sand between the cars and water is the road and depending upon the tide, the location of the “road” can be different throughout the day.

Other required laws when driving on the beaches near Orlando include:

  • at least one window must be rolled down
  • low volume on your radio
  • obey the speed limit (zero tolerance)
  • lights must be turned on
  • no texting

For more information on beach safety, visit Volusia County’s website.

Other Safety Factors

If you have young children or are not a strong swimmer, find a spot near a lifeguard. Read all warning signs. The booth attendant (at the street entry) or lifeguard will have warnings posted. These warnings often include rip currents, jelly fish and strong winds. While these warnings can present problems, they don’t have to ruin your trip to the beaches near Orlando. Be aware, use good sense, and have a great time.

Other advice is to arrive early if you want a good spot. Bring plenty of sun screen and water. If you want to pack light, there are vendors on the beach; bring cash. Plan to stay an entire day. Because the waters are still cool, the breeze off the ocean provides hours of enjoyment without feeling as if you’ve been in the sun all day. You’ll most likely want to make an entire day of it.

The beaches near Orlando are quite a “hit” with our visitors, let’s keep it that way and be safe.

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Bike Week in Central Florida Revving Up

Bike Week in Central Florida is revving up! Many tourists may not have realized they planned their vacation at the same time as Bike Week. Years ago they probably wouldn’t have even noticed, but as the event has grown and the activity area has spread throughout Central Florida, it’s hard NOT to notice. Even though the cold weather and tough economy have kept the numbers of bikers lower than in past years, there are still motorcycles everywhere.

Bike Week in Central Florida

If you are attending theme parks, your vacation will most likely be “business as usual.” Bikers primarily attend events created for them elsewhere. While the Daytona area attracts most of the crowd, DeLand, Orlando and other areas are luring the bikers away with great events. This also allows bikers to get in some great seat time (longer rides).

Events are not for bikers only, so feel free to drive your “cage” to any event. I recommend riding the loop, the roads to & from Mt. Dora and around Lake County. Places to check out are Willie’s Tropical Tattoo Old School Chopper Show, the many events and concerts at Destination Daytona, the concerts and events at Orlando HD, or the legendary David Allen Coe at the Ironhorse Saloon. If you want to see something a little on the wild side, there is coleslaw wrestling at the Cabbage Patch. Roads nearer to the events tend to become highly congested, so plan accordingly and PLEASE drive with safety in mind.

Safe Driving during Bike Week in Central Florida, Please!

Once Bike Week in Central Florida is throttled down, a transformation from bikers to spring breakers begins. Hotels will empty out, then fill back up, but one thing is for sure – the roads will be very busy. When learning to drive, I taught my kids to LOOK for the motorcycle. You’ll see the car. You’ll see the truck. You’ll see ALL of the other vehicles on the road, as long as you are LOOKING for the motorcycles (and bicycles).

Yes, I know a lot of motorcycle riders drive recklessly – so do cars! Please give bikers the same respect that you give any other vehicle. Don’t follow too closely, don’t cut them off, don’t stop suddenly in front of them, etc. This applies to the vehicles towing the bike trailers as well. The roads will be filled for the next two weeks with both, riders and trailers.

As always, Capone’s Dinner & Show welcomes bikers and all groups that want to have a great evening out at an Orlando dinner show. Whether you ride 2-up or come with a big ol’ biker gang, the wise guys and beautiful dancing girls will entertain and show you a great time. In fact, some motorcycle clubs make Capone’s Dinner & Show an annual event. Meet up as a group and ride on in. Parking is free for everyone. You only need 15 adults to get a group rate. Ride safe and enjoy Bike Week and all that is offered here in Central Florida!

Bikers Welcomed in Central Florida

For many businesses, Bike Week in Central Florida is welcomed with extra staff on hand, extended hours and additional inventory. Tourists are a huge part of our economy and bikers tend to spend a lot of money. Please be safe. Allow ALL of our tourists a return visit to these yearly events. Look twice, save a life!

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Epcot Flower and Garden Festival – What’s New This Year

The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival began March 1 and continues through May 29, 2017. Last year’s International Flower & Garden Festival was 90 days. This year’s is about the same at 89 days.

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Donald and Daisy at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. ©Disney.

During this Orlando theme park special event, guests get to experience the topiaries that are on display and participate in several free activities. There are also free concerts, presentations and kids activities. The outdoor kitchens which were introduced a couple of years ago will dot the beautiful landscape at Epcot and serve up a wide variety of cuisine (food and beverages are an additional cost). To get a taste of everything, it can run hundreds of dollars, so be sure to check out your choices, then narrow it down to a few dishes you feel you have to try. Remember, you can fill up later with your dinner show tickets at Capone’s Dinner & Show, which is just down the road from Epcot.

Epcot Gardens

Anna and Elsa Topiaries at the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Anna and Elsa will remain very popular at this year’s festival. ©Disney

One of the new topiaries for this year’s Epcot Flower and Garden Festival features Phineas and Ferb located near the Odyssey Bridge. Another new favorite is The Three Caballeros topiary located where else, but at the Mexico Pavilion. You can find Figment, another new topiary behind Spaceship Earth.

Still in the list for most popular attractions are the Anna and Elsa topiaries. They return again with nearly 100 other topiaries spread out through the exhibits. These make for great photo ops! Have fun looking for them all. You may even be tempted to taste one at the newer edible garden near The Land Pavilion! You may also want to check out the Cactus Road Rally area. This garden is “sharp” as well as interesting. Too bad you won’t find a topiary of Al or any of the Wise Guys! To see them, you’ll just have to drive east on Hwy. 192 to Capone’s and have dinner and enjoy the show.

Outdoor Kitchens at The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

Over a dozen outdoor kitchens feature food and drink items that are difficult to find at any Orlando restaurant. It is an excellent opportunity to test out some dishes you’ve been meaning to try. The new outdoor kitchens this year are Northern Bloom and The Berry Basket. The first representing Canadian foods and the other offering plenty of berry-licious dishes. Other Outdoor Kitchens include:

  • Bauernmarkt: Farmer’s Market
  • Cider House
  • Fleur de Lys
  • Florida Fresh
  • Hanami
  • Jardin de Fiestas
  • La Isla Fresca
  • Lotus House
  • Northern Bloom
  • Pineapple Promenade
  • Primavera Kitchen (Mamma Capone’s favorite because it features Italian cuisine – try the meatball parmigiana)
  • Taste of Marrakesh
  • The Berry Basket
  • THE SMOKEHOUSE: Barbecue and Brews
  • Urban Farm Eats
  • Specialty Coffee Carts Hosted by Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company®

If you have kids, be sure to check out last year’s new play area themed around the “Fab Five” – Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Pluto. You also won’t want to miss the Urban Farm Eats kitchen. It is a garden where your children can learn about many of the items we eat and how they are grown and raised. How can swimming fish help growing vegetables?

Garden Rocks Concert Series

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival performance

After dining and doing, relax at a free concert during your weekend visit to this Orlando theme park at the Garden Rocks concert series. All concerts take place at America Gardens Theatre, with show times at 5:30 PM, 6:45 PM and 8:00 PM every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Currently the concert schedule features these popular acts:

  • March 3 & 4, 2017 – Jon Secada
  • March 5 & 6, 2017 – Dennis DeYoung featuring the music of STYX
  • March 10 to 13, 2017 – The Pointer Sisters
  • March 17 & 18, 2017 – Simple Plan – NEW!
  • March 19 & 20, 2017 – Plain White T’s
  • March 24 to 27, 2017 – Night Ranger
  • March 31 to April 3, 2017 – Little River Band
  • April 7 to 10, 2017 – Blood, Sweat and Tears featuring Bo Bice
  • April 14 to 17, 2017 – Gin Blossoms
  • April 21 to 24, 2017 – The Orchestra starring former members of ELO
  • April 28 & 29, 2017 – Exposé – NEW!
  • April 30 & May 1, 2017 – Berlin featuring Terri Nunn – NEW!
  • May 5 to 8, 2017 – STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas
  • May 12 to 15, 2017 – The Guess Who
  • May 19 to 22, 2017 – Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
  • May 26 to 29, 2017 – The Spinners
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Tickets

While most Epcot Flower and Garden Festival events are included with your theme park ticket, some experiences require a separate purchase or a separate admission fee. The easiest way to know before you go is to visit Epcot’s web site or call 407-824-4321. Currently a one-day pass to Epcot ranges from $99 to $119.

If you’d like to enjoy a buffet dinner, some dancing and a spectacular show after visiting the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, save a night for Capone’s. While there will not be any colorful topiaries growing at this Kissimmee attraction, there will be some colorful characters! Between the guests and the gangsters, you’ll be exposed to an entire garden of comedy variety. It’s a blast!

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February’s Grand Prize Winner at Capone’s Dinner & Show

Al and the gang wish to congratulate James Whelan for being February’s Grand Prize winner at Capone’s Dinner & Show last Saturday. During our “25 Years of Memories” anniversary celebration we’ll be giving some lucky stiff a grand prize on the 25th day of each month. Next month it could be you! The next grand prize will be awarded on Saturday, March 25, 2017.

Make Reservations

James, a.k.a. Bad Boy Jim (now that he is a ‘made’ man) came all the way from Thorntown, Indiana just to see the show! Imagine that. If you don’t know much about Thorntown, well it’s a small establishment out in the boonies – Boone County anyway. About 1,000 miles from our dinner show in Kissimmee. What a dedicated family member!

February’s Grand Prize Winner at Capone's Dinner & Show

February’s Grand Prize Winner – “Bad Boy Jim” celebrates winning the grand prize with the cast from Capone’s.

February’s Grand Prize Winner Experience

Bad Boy Jim’s favorites during the show include the songs. The tunes sure can get stuck in your head, huh, Jim? They are ‘toe-tapping jingles that really can mingle.’ Of course the audience participation isn’t anything to snub. Bad Boy Jim likes that too. The more the crowd gets into the act, the better our gang seems to play their part. You never know who might end up on stage. What a riot!

Speaking of riots, we want our guests to know that the weapons displayed in the show, which Bad Boy Jim isn’t keen on, are never rarely used. Al runs a tight speakeasy and knows how to keep everyone in line. Secretly, we think Bad Boy Jim was checking out the Tommy Guns in the gift shop. There’s all kinds of hotsy-totsy items for sell. From coffee mugs, T-shirts and key rings to posters of big Al himself. Be sure to pick out something to help you remember your evening with the wise guys and doll faces. After all, we’re all about special memories this year!

During the gangster shoot out, Bad Boy Jim was probably hiding out in the Four Deuces Lounge or other ‘private’ location. Why else would he turn down the grand prize of tickets to Universal Studios as well as free dinner show tickets (& and T-shirt) to return and become a repeat offender?! Something hinky was going on. The wise guys have insider information that Bad Boy Jim needed some cabbage for gas to make it home to Indiana. Our February winner left with a pair of Cs. Way to go!

The Rumble (News)

Be sure to spread the news about our anniversary show to all your friends. Bad Boy Jim found an ad for Capone’s Dinner & Show in some visitor information he picked up while on vacation here. Let’s hope that’s all he picked up! It’s said, “What goes on in Florida, stays in Florida.” We know that isn’t true in Jim’s case. He’s gonna tell all his pals about being a grand prize winner! Go ahead and sing like a canary!

Again, we’d like to congratulate February’s grand prize winner, James Whelan. Capone’s Dinner & Show hopes that the evening’s experience was the cat’s meow and will be a great memory for years to come.

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Spring Training in Central Florida

NOTE TO OUR READERS: To follow Al’s writing about Spring Training in Central Florida, you might want to refer to our slang dictionary. We’ve underlined the words you might need to look up. Enjoy his article!

Illustration of Al Capone ready to swing a bat during Spring Training in Central Florida.

Al is ready to swing! Illustration © Capone’s Dinner & Show. All rights reserved.

Big Al here. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a chance to do any peaching here on my blog. Things are really hoppin’ at my joint over at Capone’s Dinner & Show. Word is gettin’ out ‘bout my specials and the 25th anniversary party! Prohibition ain’t gonna stop the nightly party at my speakeasy!

This is one of my favorite times of the year. Spring Training in Central Florida is when me and the mob are gonna get to use our bats for another game – not just for inspiration. Savvy?

If you’re a Braves cat, it’s easier to gun for a game in Central Florida. The Braves train jus’ up the road at Disney’s Wild World of Sports. West of Orlando, the Tigers training home is in Lakeland; Yankees in Tampa; Phillies in Clearwater and Blue Jays in Dunedin. There are other teams doin’ their Spring Training in Central & South Florida if you want to check them out on this really keen web site at www.floridagrapefruitleague.com.

Spring Training in Central Florida Schedules & Ticket Prices

Spring Training in Central Florida started February 25th this year and ends April 1st. The teams play every day, so there is plenty of Chicago lightning. There are “away games” and “home games” so be sures to check your team’s schedule an’ show up at the correct stadium. Some days they even play a double header! That’s ‘bout as much action as watchin’ bangtails!

Individual game tickets range from $15 to $60 depending upon the stadium and where you want to sit. You can buy a multi-ticket plan and see more than one game. Those are the bees knees. Some of the stadiums and teams even offer a meal plan including hot dogs, popcorn, nachos, soft drinks and bottled water. Keep in mind, most stadiums also charge for parking – somethin’ we never do at my Kissimmee attraction.

Astros Spring Training in Central Florida

After the Game, Join the Gang!

Capone's wise guy swings a mean bat!Speakin’ of meals, I know that afternoon baseball game snack ain’t gonna fill any of yous up, so that is why I want to personally invite yous to my Kissimmee dinner show. Every evening Mama Capone puts out a spread unlike any other dinner show in Orlando. This ain’t no hash house either, it’s an Italian/American buffet fit for a high pillow. All-you-can-eat dinner and drinks (giggle juice too) is hard to beat! Plus, if you order your tickets online, I’ll make it right and let yous glaum them at half off the ticket price! That ends up – with the government’s cabbage (tax) – being only $35.46 for adults and $22.56 kids 4-12. Add a little extra an’ be treated like a big boss with a VIP upgrade.

March Specials at Capones Dinner & Show

Now for some serious matters… It’s well-known that Buggs Moran has been tryin’ to take over my joint for quite some time. It bein’ March and all, those Irish are startin’ to come ’round. Things are a bit hinky. To encourage support for me an’ my gang, I’m gonna offer 2 shows per night on March 11 – one early show at 5:00pm and a late show at 8:30pm.  Then on March 22nd we’ll have two shows – one a matinee at 1:00pm and the evening show at 7:30pm. Experience a little friendly competition here at Capone’s Dinner & Show, especially durin’ the Gangster Shootout! You won’t want to miss the action as my gang puts all this spring training to use!

Enjoy Spring Training in Central Florida and be sure to stop by my speakeasy and tip a few. Everyone on your team will have a good time at Capones Dinner & Show!