Author Archive | Carla Sinclair

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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It’s Mardi Gras Time in Orlando

With Fat Tuesday on February 28th this year, Mardi Gras events at Universal Studios are in full swing now through March 25, 2017. You can “catch the beads, catch the music, catch the spirit” without going to New Orleans! It’s a party the entire family will enjoy.

New this year: The event will happen every night for 50 days in a row. Over 4 million beads will be thrown out! Six new floats join the parade, including the Phoenix float that is topped with real flames.

Previously the Orlando theme park celebrated this event only on the weekends. This year the celebration happens every night. You can catch beads and doubloons by the handful as the spectacular parade winds its way through the park with dazzling floats, colorful costumes, towering stilt walkers, entertaining street performers and dancers. Many of the floats are professionally built by Blaine Kern Studios, who have been creating Mardi Gras floats in New Orleans for over 60 years.

Mardi Gras Parade

Mardi Gras Parade

The parade happens at Universal Studios every night in which the Mardi Gras event is held. The parade starts about an hour before the headline concert. Usually around 7:45 p.m. However, if you want a good spot for the parade, it is not unlikely for people to line the parade route a couple hours prior to the start. Concert lines can start as early as the morning of the event!

Since adults will be adults, if you are attending this event with small children, you may want to stay close to the Little Jester’s Parade viewing area which is located in front of the Brown Derby Hat Shop (near the Terminator 2: 3-D attraction). Avoid the Music Plaza area as this is where people line up for the concert and can get a little crazy. Fun if you’re an adult. Not so fun if you are a parent with an inquisitive child.

Mardi Gras Entertainment

Some big names in music will be performing live at the Universal Music Plaza stage. There is also live music in the French Quarter section of the theme park, as well as authentic Cajun cuisine. I can hear the Zydeco music and taste the Jambalaya already!

2017 Concerts include: 

  • Feb. 4: Trace Adkins
  • Feb. 11: Ne-Yo
  • Feb. 18: Collective Soul
  • Feb. 19: X Ambassadors
  • Feb. 25: Fifth Harmony
  • March 4: Yandel
  • March 5: Olivia Newton-John
  • March 11: UB40
  • March 12: Toby Keith
  • March 18: Jason Derulo
  • March 19: Earth, Wind & Fire
  • March 25: The All-American Rejects

After you’ve caught all the beads and listened to some great live music, continue the party at Universal CityWalk on Mardi Gras event nights. Your Universal Studios theme park ticket or Annual Pass gets you FREE admission to several unique clubs and bars (provided you’re at least 21 years of age). CityWalk is open every night until 2:00 am.

Mardi Gras is included with your Universal Studios admission or annual pass. They have on-site hotel deals as well as Florida resident tickets and specials. Check their website for more information www.universalorlando.com.

Other Mardi Gras – Fat Tuesday Options

If you are not the type to attend a major theme park on Fat Tuesday, but still want to get out and do something fun, there are other options. Downtown Orlando will have its share of parties as well as many other bars around town. If you feel like taking a drive, go to New Smyrna Beach. Spend a day at the beautiful beach and stay for the Mardi Gras parade (mentioned here in another post). It really is a fun time. Of course, in Kissimmee, you can’t go wrong by attending a dinner show like Capone’s.

When you’re not at Universal Studios enjoying Mardi Gras, Capone’s Dinner & Show would like to invite you to the most enjoyable dinner theatre in Central Florida. Read our reviews and comments. Our live stage production is enjoyed by all ages and will have you dancing and singing and having a great time before you enter the theater. Tickets are half price when you purchase them online. Save a night for Capone’s Dinner & Show. It’s a blast!

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Celebrate Valentine’s at Capone’s Dinner Show

Celebrate Valentine’s at Capone’s Dinner & Show. Reservations at some Orlando restaurants are difficult to get on this sweetheart holiday. Movie theaters are packed on any evening, but Valentine’s can be even busier. For these reasons, and many more, you’d best have your plans in order, and your plans should definitely include Capone’s!
Valentine's at Capone's

Tuesday, February 14th – 2 shows – 5:00 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.

hearts

Capone’s Dinner & Show makes it easy for their guests this year offering 2 shows. Surely one of the shows will work into your busy weekday schedule! The early show (5pm) offers everything the late show (8:30pm) offers which includes:

  • free parking
  • a secret password to enter the speakeasy (general admission)
  • dinner – all you can eat buffet including the salad bar and meat carving station
  • yummy dessert
  • show filled with singing, dancing and stand-up comedy
  • gangster shoot out – with an opportunity to win prizes!  

Capone’s has been celebrating Valentine’s Day for 25 years, entertaining guests of all ages. The ability to appeal to such a wide range of ages is one of the reasons for this Orlando dinner show’s success. Another reason is the entertainment value. The show is funny, action-packed and has just enough romance to top off your Valentine’s experience. The food quality has dramatically improved over the years and the menu now features many homemade dishes, including fresh homemade pasta! A new meat carving station and fresh salad bar ensure there is something for everyone, even the kids. Add to this the unlimited beverage selection, which includes over 15 choices; beer and wine too!

Valentine’s VIP

Want to treat your date like a V.I.P.? VIP Upgrades* are offered on a limited basis for each show. For an additional charge of only $12/adult and $9/kid (4-12), your upgrade will include (in addition to the above):

  • early admission into Al’s Four Deuces Lounge
  • casino chips for table games
  • one free drink in a take-home souvenir glass
  • center section seating or choice private tables
  • first-in-line privileges (entrance, seating and buffet)

Discounted Rates for Valentine’s at Capone’s

Regular rates for this Orlando dinner show are $65.99 for adults and $41.99 for children (ages 4-12) and free for children 3 and under. However, you can mention the internet special when calling in your reservation and receive 50% off or purchase your tickets online and get them at half price. Your ticket purchase covers everything except gratuity! Where else can you go on Valentine’s Day weekend and only spend $32.99/adult and $20.99/child and get all of this?

Black feathered boaCapone’s Dinner & Show also offers costume accessories to help get into the era and spirit. Purchase a boa for the lady and a fedora for the gent, and you have instant participation without a lot of hassle! Be sure to order your dress-the-part costumes at the time you make your reservations and save 10% by entering the promotional code “Outfit” when checking out.

If you still need to make last minute Valentine’s plans, just go to AlCapones.com and make reservations or order VIP tickets and relax. You’re going to have a great time. Your special someone is really going to enjoy the show, and you’ll come away smelling like…well, a dozen roses! Please Note: The roses are YOUR responsibility…Al don’t want nothin’ to do wit’ dat.

*There are a few restrictions concerning young children in the VIP section, so please call if you need clarification.

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