Archive | Holiday Specials

Shrek the Halls at Gaylord Palms ICE! Attraction

Several months ago the Gaylord Palms Resort announced the new partnership with Dreamworks animated films, such as Shrek and the penguins from “Madagascar.” Starting Wednesday, November 16, ICE! begins, but not as usual. This cool attraction will have you basking in the dazzling lights of the magnificent Christmas décor as well as ‘Shreking’ the halls.

This frigid Christmas tradition in Florida features over 20,000 square-feet of frosty 9-degree bliss played out in a winter wonderland of exciting hand-carved sculptures. This year, however, you’ll be joined by DreamWorks’ Animation TV classic Shrek the Halls™ as you slide down one of five 30-foot ice slides creating wonderful holiday memories.  Great family vacation programming and world class entertainment can be enjoyed by all. Prices range from $13.99 to $27.99 depending upon peak and non-peak times. When you order online, you can generally save $1-$2/adult ticket. Be sure to check the schedule as some time slots sell out. For more information, or to purchase your tickets by phone, call (407) 586-4423 or visit

The award-winning ICE! attraction is carved by a team of 40 artisans from Harbin, China. The talented artisans spend more than a month in Kissimmee/Orlando creating this one-of-a-kind attraction. The attraction is kept at 9° Fahrenheit. Be sure to dress appropriately: closed-toe shoes and long pants are required. Hooded winter coats are provided for your warmth and comfort inside the attraction and are available in a variety of sizes, including sizes for children. Hats and gloves are strongly recommended and may be purchased on site at the ICE! house gift shop.

With the addition of the “Dreamworks Experience” guests are now enjoying character breakfasts, parades, special activities during the summer and the holidays and, of course, merchandise, at Gaylord’s four resorts. These special vacation packages featuring the “DreamWorks Experience at Gaylord Hotels” went on sale in July 2011 and are still selling like “hot cakes.” Now that the partnership is in full gear, tourists will have another great reason to vacation in Central Florida. If you stay at the Gaylord Palms, you may not want to leave! Especially if you like being cold AND looking at beautiful palm trees (and of course, having Shrek around).

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

Now that we’re into September, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party has started. Halloween events have started at many of the Orlando theme parks. Even Disney has put out the Fall decorations.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween PartyAs early as September 2 children can attend Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom. Guests will notice right away that popular Disney characters are dressed a little different. They’ll be wearing Halloween costumes as they meet and greet visitors!

Unlike the adult Halloween events, children are encouraged to wear costumes. They’ll be treated with fireworks, a parade and candy too! The Not So Scary event happens on select nights from 7 p.m. to midnight. It requires a separate ticket in conjunction with a park ticket. Prices vary depending upon ages and dates. More information can be found on this other post on Al’s Blog or on Disney’s web site.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Features

This year’s party includes a repeat performance of the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular event. During which the 3 mischievous Sanderson Sisters use their magic to cast a spell on everyone at this Orlando theme park Halloween event. Appearances from Dr. Facilier, Oogie Boogie and Maleficent are joined with other villains, dancers and special effects for a not-to-be-missed Halloween treat!

Additionally, the fireworks show and parade will seem a little different during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. The Happy HallowWishes Fireworks Show and Boo-to-you Halloween Parade feature some “bad guys.” They get to play a bigger part in the festivities this time of the year. All of the other Disney characters appear to be dressed for Halloween too! This makes for a great photo op, especially if your child is dressed in their costume!

With the Summer season winding down, these Fall events are sure to bring some of the tourists back. Local residents should definitely be flocking to the parks now. The lines are shorter. The air is a bit cooler and dryer, and the discounts are great. Get out and enjoy Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party which lasts through October 31st! Even if it is a little scary!

Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream Details Announced

The Dark Side of the Gardens - Busch Gardens Hall-O-ScreamStarting September 29 through the month of October (select nights), Busch Gardens will feel a little creapy. Maybe a LOT creapy. The park will be overrun by zombies fulfilling “The Dark Side of the Gardens” theme for this year’s Hall-O-Scream event at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida.

Zombies appear to be the main disturbance, however, you can bet there will be a vampire or two. Especially in one of the new haunted houses – the Ultimate Gamble: Vampire Casino where bloodthirsty vampires will deal out “seductive games and high stakes thrills.” Other new haunted houses include Nevermore – full, I’m sure, of Edgar Allen Poe’s black ravens and beating hearts, and Zombie Mortuary – a funeral home with souls not ready to rest.

Haunted houses returning from last year include “Nightshade Toy Factory,” “Death Row Vengeance: Fear the Dead,” “Deconstruction: The Doctor is Out of Control” and “Alone” the house where you can purchase a small group one-on-one horrifying scare. Other than “Alone” all of the haunted houses are included in the admission price of $77.99 per person. Discounts are available for passholders, advance purchases and other promotions.

As if riding SheiKra, Montu, Cheetah Hunt, Gwazi and Kumba in the dark wasn’t scary enough, the haunted houses are joined by some pretty crazy shows. “Midnight Hour” is a musically themed show revolving around the Hellfire Club who’s sinister owner promises to make you a star. “Fiends” is another show/party thrown by Dr. Frankenstein and his naughty nurses (definitely not for children), as well as “Club Virus” – an adults-only dance party.

Tampa’s Busch Gardens theme park is about an hour’s drive from Orlando. Visitors may want to consider a weekend pass and local hotel accommodations. For a little more money, you can get in on a VIP package, front-of-line passes and the Fright Feast dinner package. Get ready to scream!

July 4th Celebrations Around Orlando

Independence Day, the Fourth of July, commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. As a federal holiday, people all over our nation will celebrate with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions and various other public and private events.

Banks and public offices will be closed, but theme parks and other businesses will be bustling with activity. Boston may have their Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular; Washington DC will hold its notorious event on the National Mall, however, there are plenty of places to celebrate July 4th right here in the Central Florida/Orlando area. Below is a listing of some of the area’s events:

  • Red, White and Zoo; July 02, 2011 – July 04, 2011 at the Central Florida Zoo: Celebrate the Fourth of July and the Central Florida Zoo’s 36th birthday with live music, games, food, children’s crafts, face painting, magic and animal encounters.
  • Fireworks at the Fountain;     July 04, 2011 at Lake Eola: Celebrate United States independence at this free fireworks display and laser show around Lake Eola in downtown Orlando. Pack your picnic baskets, bring a blanket and head out to Lake Eola for an old-fashioned summertime picnic. There will be live entertainment, food and a special play area for kids.
  • Fourth of July at Celebration Town Center; July 04, 2011 at Celebration Town Center: Celebration Town Center celebrates the 4th of July with a parade, live music and fireworks.
  • IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth; July 04, 2011 at Epcot Theme Park: IllumiNations is a 14-minute show of pyrotechnics, lasers, water and music, which are all used to tell the story about the past, present and future of our planet. On July 4, the show’s theme will be “The Heartbeat of Freedom”, an overture of traditional American themes.
  • Stars & Stripes Celebration; July 02, 2011 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort: The Walt Disney World wan and Dolphin Resort is serving up an old-fashioned cookout during Fourth of July weekend, featuring all-you-can eat BBQ, live music and carnival games with prizes. There will also be planty of activities for families throughout the day, including face painting, a pie-eating contest and water balloon toss.
  • Independence Day at SeaWorld Orlando; July 04, 2011 at SeaWorld Orlando:  As part of Summer Nights at SeaWorld, the 13th Army Band, Florida National Guard will perform at Bayside Stadium prior to the fireworks finale. This 40-piece band, known as the Governor’s Own Band, will entertain the audience with classic and current tunes, gearing them up for the special Fourth of July “Reflections show featuring additional fireworks timed to patriotic music. The performance begins at 9:45 p.m. and is included in park admission.
  • Independence Day at Universal Orlando Resort; July 04, 2011 at Universal Studios Florida: Guests can enjoy a special version of the popular Universal 360: A Cinesphere Spectacular, a cinematic adventure that combines cutting-edge projection technology with lasers and pyrotechnics to bring movies to life like you’ve never seen before.
  • Rockin’ Fourth of July Celebration; July 04, 2011 at Walt Disney World Resort’s® Hollywood Studios: The musical group Mulch, Sweat and Shears take guests on a musical road trip across America that highlights each region’s contribution to rock ‘n roll. The show is complete with fireworks, lighting and special effects.
  • Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky; July 03, 2011 – July 04, 2011 at Walt Disney World Resort’s® Magic Kingdom:  Walt Disney World Resort® presents a patriotic fireworks show paying homage to the hopes and dreams of America’s forefathers. Also at Disney is Voices of Liberty 4th of July Concert; July 04, 2011: A live concert and meet-and-greet with Benjamin Franklin, Betsy Ross and Disney characters adorned in patriotic dress.

What if you just don’t like loud fireworks, don’t want to fight the crowds, but still want to enjoy a great evening out in the Orlando area on the Fourth of July? Capone’s Dinner & Show offers a Fourth of July show at 8:00pm and on this national holiday, we are offering each paid guest a free gift! You could stay home and watch the masses celebrate America’s birthday like 7 million other people do, go out and fight the crowds at an area celebration or theme park; or you could treat yourself to a great dinner show. Celebrate your independence anyway you’d like. After all, this is a freedom we are celebrating on this day – the right to make our own choice.

Hang Ten This Holiday Weekend!

April 22 – 24 Ron Jon Surf Shop will host its 47th Annual Easter Surfing Festival. Enjoy the sun, surf and sand along beautiful Cocoa Beach, just one hour east of Orlando, as you watch championship surfers from ages 6 to 60 from around the world compete in this annual surfing competition. An Easter egg hunt and food court, as well as surf clinics and demonstrations are part of the fun.

The contest is held at Alan Shepard Park (directly behind Ron Jon’s) and Cocoa Beach Pier and admission is FREE. Activities will take place throughout the day, so visit their web site or call 321-799-8888 for more information. Spectators will have a chance to learn Surfing And Skim Boarding, participate in celebrity signings and enjoy evening entertainment with movies, bands, parties and more. There will even be a Sunrise Service offered at either site.

For over four decades the Ron Jon Easter Surfing Festival has continued to be a major force in the growth of surfing on the east coast of the United States. It is the second oldest most diverse and publicized event of its type, and is always staged over Easter weekend, during Spring Break in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

Hang ten this holiday weekend at the surfing contest, then drive back to Kissimmee for our 7:30pm show at Capone’s Dinner & Show. This Easter Sunday, we’ll be giving away FREE gangster hats to every guest (excluding infants). It’s a great time of the year to spend the day enjoying our beaches and the evenings enjoying our show!