Friday, November 30, 2007


Why I Like SeaWorld

From a press release:
More than 125 soldiers and their family members celebrate their recent return home after deployment in Iraq with a special day at SeaWorld. The soldiers are enjoying a variety of events at the park including recognition during the Clyde and Seamore Take Pirate Island show and a family picnic. The soldiers are members of Company A, Third Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Florida Army National Guard and hail from throughout Florida.

Anheuser-Busch has a long history of honoring the men and women of the U.S. armed forces with tribute programs like Here’s to the Heroes. Here’s to the Heroes provides a single day’s free admission to any one SeaWorld or Busch Gardens park, Sesame Place, Adventure Island or Water Country USA for the service member and as many as three of his or her direct dependents. In addition, Anheuser-Busch was recently recognized as one of the “Top 50 Military-Friendly Employers” by G.I. Jobs Magazine.

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Monday, November 26, 2007


IAAPA Post-Mortem

The IAAPA convention that recently jammed Orlando's cavernous Orange County Convention Center was far too large for any single mortal to fully explore. I published some of my impressions in the most recent Orlando Weekly...

...and in the coming weeks, I'll try to excavate some more goodies from the mountians of swag that I snagged.


The Mayor of Orange Avenue

Canadian journalist Bruce Deachman writes about his recent Orlando visit in the Ottowa Citizen. He's got the usual rants & raves about the Mouse, but also managed to make it downtown, and met one of my favorite folks: Barbara Solomon, proprietor of "Oldies But Goodies Antiques" on Orange Ave. Check out the article, and say Hi to Barb next time you're in town:


DISASTER is coming!

The former Earthquake attraction at Universal Studios Orlando is undergoing a substatial rehab, soon to re-emerge as DISASTER! Not much is known about the details (beyond unsubstantiated rumors) but some faux movie posters on display outside the attraction may hint at the new experience's tounge-in-cheek tone:

(Thanks to "Glassman" at the IOACentral forum for the pics!)


New Blog In Town

I was introduced to a new (at least to me) blog covering Orlando's wacky and wonderful tourism scene.

But while I try to be (ahem) discriminating, TackyFabulous revels in the sort of excess of which only a tourist mecca like Orlando is capable. As the site's creator says, "Prior to 1964, things were either tacky or fabulous. But all that changed when a man named Walt Disney bought up swamp land in Orlando and created a home for quirky, cheesy and offbeat. Now the only thing missing is the world's largest ball of twine."

The blog features Orlando exotica like BuckedUp Shirts (that's not a typo!) and the "redneck fun" of Santa's Christmas Tree Farm in Eustis.

Give a look.

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Monday, November 19, 2007


Dudley Rides To The Rescue December 3

For those bummed out by the fact that the Dudley Do-Right ride at Islands of Adventure has been down for maintenance, the good news is that the ride is scheduled to reopen December 3.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007


Harry Potter Videos from The Sentinel. Wizard!

The Orlando Sentinel has a neat series of videos about Harry Potter on the screen and coming soon to Islands of Adventure.



Cinderella Castle's Chilly Welcome

(Photo credit: Walt Disney World Resort)

Starting November 12, Magic Kingdom's Cinderella Castle will have an icy new look as part of "Cinderella's Holiday Wish." According to the press release . . .
To transform Cinderella’s fairytale castle into a magical ice palace it took...

• Five weeks and 65 elves
• Two cranes
• 15 miles of cables, cut and dyed castle colors, supporting...
• 32,000 square feet of fishing nets, supporting...
• 200,000 energy-efficient LEDs, interspersed with...
• 500 strobes
• One Fairy Godmother working some very special magic...

The show that precedes the nightly lighting will feature Mickey and the gang, Cinderella, and Prince Charming who, with a little help from that Fairy Godmother, transform the castle into a glittering ice spectacle.

If you're heading there, be sure to pick up a copy of Steve Barrett's 2008 edition of The Hassle-Free Walt Disney World Vacation.

For the rest of us there's always Revenge of the Mummy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


New Pricing Menu at Busch Parks in Florida

Busch has announced a new "menu" of pricing options for its "Worlds of Discovery" parks in Florida.
With the opening of Aquatica, SeaWorld’s waterpark, in March 2008, guests will be able to create customized vacations with five parks in Florida – and interact with five natural worlds.

The more parks a guest adds, the greater the value. For example, a two-park ticket that combines both SeaWorld and Aquatica will be available for $89.95 – a savings of $16.95 per person compared to when purchased separately. A three-park ticket that includes SeaWorld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens is $134.95 – a savings of $36.90 per person.

Here's the full menu:

Retail Pricing
SeaWorld -- $67.95
Aquatica -- $38.95
Adventure Island -- $36.95
Discovery Cove -- $289 ($269 off-peak)
Busch Gardens Tampa -- $64.95

Package Pricing
SeaWorld / Aquatica -- $89.95
SeaWorld / Busch Gardens -- $99.95
Busch Gardens / Adventure Island -- $79.95
SeaWorld / Busch Gardens / Aquatica -- $134.95
Discovery Cove Ultimate (Discovery Cove, SeaWorld. Aquatica, Busch Gardens) -- $339.00
Orlando FlexTicket (w/ Aquatica) -- $234.95
Orlando FlexTicket (add Busch Gardens) -- $279.95

Florida Residents Special
Florida residents get a special offer:
For Florida residents who want a value unmatched by any other theme park, the “Pay for a Day” offer allows residents a calendar year of unlimited admission to either SeaWorld or Busch Gardens for the price of a single-day ticket. The “Pay for a Day” offer will be available starting November 26, and will be the same as a single-day admission of $67.95 at SeaWorld and $64.95 at Busch Gardens.


Welcome "Worlds of Discovery"

Busch Entertainment is making an attempt to rebrand its family of theme parks as "Worlds of Discovery."
When Aquatica - the waterpark that only SeaWorld could create - joins the Worlds of Discovery parks in spring 2008, it will complement the SeaWorld experience. Along with Discovery Cove, these three parks in Orlando offer unique ways to connect with the world of the sea. The Worlds of Discovery parks also include SeaWorld parks in California and Texas, Busch Gardens parks in Tampa, Fla. and Williamsburg, Va., their adjoining water parks, Adventure Island and Water Country U.S.A., and Sesame Place near Philadelphia.

I assume the parks will also retain their "traditional" names, so I'm not sure how much difference this is going to make in public perception. We shall see.

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