Posts Tagged ‘Theme Park News’

Orlando Theme Park Milestone

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Prohibition ended on December 5, 1933 with the ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment (which repealed the Eighteenth Amendment). Last week marked its 79th anniversary without so much as a beer mug toast. However, this week marked a milestone at Universal Orlando in which many a toast were made. They weren’t celebrating the end of prohibition; they celebrated the sale of 5 million butterbeers! The nonalcoholic beverage featuring hints of butterscotch and shortbread made its debut when the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened within the Orlando attraction in June of 2010.

Photo of children holding up butterbeer mugs at Universal Orlando

Photo from Universal Orlando

Even if you are not a fan of beer, sweet drinks, or even Harry Potter, this is a must-try element to experience when visiting this Orlando theme park. Universal Orlando made the announcement on Wednesday, then gave away 1,000 foam-topped beverages to Island of Adventure guests. That’s a lot of butterbeer mustaches!

Here at Capone’s Dinner & Show, we are celebrating a milestone of our own. We are in our twentieth year of entertaining guests with our prohibition era speak-easy! Our new show is being performed nightly and showcases a cast of talented performers. These zany characters will delight your gang of all ages. It’s no wonder our show has been so successful and going strong for 20 years! It’s a blast!

We’ve pulled out the big guns for the all-new gangster shoot out. It is quickly becoming a fan favorite. Guests win prizes and really get into the excitement! You’ll have to experience it yourself while tipping a few drinks back and enjoying the all-you-can-eat buffet at this Orlando attraction.

Butterbeer may be popular at the other Orlando theme park, but here at Capone’s Dinner & Show, the Shirley Temples and other kiddie cocktails are included with your ticket as well as a host of other beverages. Prohibition has been ratified; come thirsty when you come to Capone’s Dinner & Show. Let’s toast! Cheers!

Legoland Florida Update

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

So far so good at Legoland Florida. The new theme park has been widely accepted and enjoyed by thousands of locals and tourists. The park has introduced a couple of new features to help out their guests since opening.

  1. The Hero Access Pass: Want to go to the front of the line? Then this is the ticket for you! The Hero Access Pass gives front-of-line privileges at a cost of $150 ($130 for ages 3-12). That’s double the normal walk-up admission price at Legoland, but it includes admission to the park. Currently it is only available at the theme park’s front gate, and there are a limited number sold for each day. If you are an avid roller coaster rider, this could be your ticket to the front of the line to Dragon, Coastersaurus, Flying School, Lego Technic Test Track and the dark ride, Lost Kingdom Adventure.
  2. Legoland Florida App: Free and available at the iTunes App Store and the Android market, this app is loaded with information about rides, shows and eating options. Park tickets can be purchased through the app, along with tickets for the shuttle ride from an Orlando outlet mall to the Winter Haven theme park. This app also has directions, weather, a park map, “find my car” feature, Lego quizzes, trivia and more.

If you would like to share your experience at this new Florida theme park, please feel free to post a comment. We would love to hear about your day at Legoland.

Ring in the New Year, Orlando-style

Friday, December 24th, 2010

From shows, concerts, great food, dancing, and elaborate pyrotechnic displays, take your pick of all the ways you’ll ring in the New Year in O-town.  There are so many holiday celebrations going on and the area theme parks really know how to throw a New Years Eve party!

Holidays at Universal Orlando Resorts: Kick off 2011 with one of the prime New Year’s celebrations in Orlando! This party features live entertainment by rock star Bret Michaels, from the band Poison.  You’ll also get admission to seven unique clubs, each with live entertainment, and awesome food including jumbo shrimp and filet mignon.  Did I mention that was all-you-can-eat??  Party throughout CityWalk until 2am!  (Even without all that other great stuff, I’d go just to see Bret Michaels!)

Walt Disney World: Although the New Year’s Eve party at the Magic Kingdom is sold out, there are plenty of party hot spots at Walt Disney World Resort.  And, you still can get an up-close view of the dazzling Magic Kingdom fireworks at Tomorrowland Terrace. Another awesome place to catch Magic Kingdom pyrotechnics is the top of Disney’s Contemporary Resort at California Grill.  An open bar, food, DJ, dancing, even a casino-style game room!  Several of the Pavilions at Epcot are hosting New Years Eve Galas as well, AND a primo view of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.  You can also dance your way into 2011 at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort, where there will be party favors, lots of dancing, and a midnight champagne toast (VIP ticket available).  Check websites for additional costs.
Note: Magic Kingdom fireworks are at 8:30 p.m. and 11:50 p.m.

New Years Eve at SeaWorldSeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration, Where The Season Meets the Sea is still going on with lots of family fun.  The Polar Express Experience is where this holiday classic comes to life as you board the legendary train.  Don’t miss the special holiday shows such as Shamu Christmas-Miracles, A Sesame Street Christmas, and Clyde and Seamore’s Countdown to Christmas, and the dazzling ice skating extravaganza, Winter Wonderland on Ice.  Then, the countdown at midnight to the Fireworks and Fountains Finale.  (Special Tours available.)  Check the website for show times and additional information.  Celebration runs now thru 1/2/2011.

Some of our other area attractions have special events going on for the holidays as well, including Busch Gardens, with The Guess Who in concert and midnight fireworks show.  For a smaller, more intimate party without the huge theme park crowds, checkout Orlando’s best wise-guy dinner show.  Capone’s Dinner and Show is presenting a special New Years Eve Gala show, which includes their scrumptious dinner buffet and unlimited beverages.  If you’d like to catch the show and hit another spot to ring in the new year, attend the early show. For those of you who want to count down to midnight in this beautifully renovated theatre, the late show (New Years Eve Gala) will include DJ, dancing after the performance, a champagne toast at midnight, along with plenty of party favors and snack bar.

Note:  Be sure to check the individual websites for additional information including cost and show times.

New Year, new updates for Walt Disney World

Monday, December 20th, 2010

AquaDuck

As we ring in the New Year, we have highlights of some upcoming changes at Orlando’s Walt Disney World resort.  The popular Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend returns Jan. 6-9, 2011, with opportunities for runners of all ages and abilities.  This event drew a record-breaking crowd in 2010, with 55,000 registered runners from all 50 states and 50 countries.   This year, everyone who completes the Marathon will receive a new Mickey Mouse race medal, as well as complimentary admission to a Walt Disney World theme park the Monday after the race.  The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is a part of the new runDisney series.  To learn more about endurance events at Disney, or to sign up for any of the runDisney events, go to www.runDisney.com.

In February, the Magic Kingdom will be closing Mickey’s Toontown Fair to allow for the expansion of Fantasyland.  The Toontown characters will move to new locations and will continue to have meet-and-greet with guests.  The Fantasyland facelift will be the biggest overhaul in the theme park’s 38-year history.   The plans indicate they will be expanding the Dumbo attraction, as well as adding a lavish Little Mermaid ride.  They will also feature new interactive areas featuring some of the most popular princesses.  The new attractions will open in phases.

Launching January 16th at Animal Kingdom will be a new Wild Adventure.  This three hour adventure will immerse guests in the wildlife thrills of far-off Africa.  This unique experience lets you navigate a rickety bridge over menacing crocodiles, and get to step to the very edge of a cliff to get close to the hippos and crocs below, while attached to a lifeline.  (Additional purchase/reservations required 407-939-8687)

Also launching January 16th, will be the all-new, high-energy parade at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, “Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun”. This fun-filled procession down Hollywood Boulevard will feature stars from “The Incredibles,” “A Bug’s Life,” “Ratatouille,” “Monsters, Inc,” “Up” and “Toy Story.”  The final date for the “Block Party Bash” parade at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is scheduled for Jan. 1, 2011.

Some new dining options/renovations are in the works as well such as Fulton’s Crab House at Downtown Disney. They have done a complete makeover of the lobby area and the menu, and even a one-of-a-kind crab map so guests can identify where their dish originated.  Kouzzina by Cat Cora at Disney’s BoardWalk also will be getting a facelift, with a new Cat Cora presence in the lobby, and three video monitors showcasing the celebrity chef’s view on family, food, and her culinary journey.  Downtown Disney’s Pollo Campero will be the first out of 300 Pollo Campero restaurants to introduce a new Fresh A-Peel concept with great-tasting, healthy options.  The Disney bars and lounges will be introducing a new cocktail menu with more healthy ingredients, such as organic spirits and fresh fruits, and lower calorie fruit purees.

The Disney Cruise Line will set sail with the new Disney Dream ship on Jan. 26, 2011. Some of the new innovations on this ship will be the debut of the first-ever shipboard water coaster, AquaDuck, which will feature a 765-foot flume and a swing-out loop that goes beyond the side of the ship.    Each inside stateroom will contain a Magical Porthole that displays real-time video from ship-board cameras, as well as some Disney characters.  Throughout the ship, you’ll find Enchanted Art, which looks like traditional art, but is really a LCD screen that senses when a guest is present.  Young guests will enjoy the latest in gaming technology and storytelling activities in the Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab. There is so much to do, fun for all ages!

Ring in the New Year, Disney style!

Year End Review

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

As 2010 comes to an end, it’s time to look back at this year’s high points for Orlando tourism. It is also a good time to look ahead at what 2011 will bring. Despite a tough economy, people are still finding a way to make the most of their vacation dollar. Tourism in Central Florida is alive and well (but could be better).

The park that wins top spot this year would have to be Universal Studios with the opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Starting June 28, Universal’s attendance rose over 30% over the summer. Area businesses also saw an increase as tourists came from all over the world to experience this series of books and movies come to life in the form of a theme park. Universal will continue to benefit from this addition in 2011 and beyond.

Walt Disney World will forever be the main attraction in the Orlando area. It is hard to beat generations upon generations in love with ‘the mouse.’  It seemed to me that Disney spent most of 2010 following the ‘out with the old’ philosophy. Goodbye Power Rangers, High School Musical, Peter Pan & Captain Hook (in the Electrical Parade), and a few other features. Disney is in the midst of its largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history, but most of these new experiences will not be open until 2013. Look for more goodbyes as they make room next year. Another addition in 2012 includes a family-suites hotel – Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.

Sea World suffered tragedy this year with the loss of a trainer in their killer whale show. The show, having to be altered to not allow trainers in the water with the mammals, has diminished the excitement once generated by this feature. SeaWorld’s annual revenue is estimated to have shrunk from $1.4 billion a year ago to $1.2 billion this year. They are now eliminating jobs and restructuring for long-term growth.  Look for SeaWorld to revamp their killer whale show and be as entertaining as ever in 2011.

Busch Gardens has not suffered as greatly as its sister park and continues to work on Cheetah Run as well as a ‘cheetah-like’ coaster called Cheetah Hunt. This addition is scheduled for spring 2011 and should get the attention of roller coaster enthusiasts.

Legoland is coming to Central Florida! Redeveloping Cypress Gardens, this theme park will be a great addition to the family-oriented theme park corridor. It is scheduled to be open in October of 2011.

With OIA reporting that the number of airline passengers is up from previous years, our hope is that visitors will continue to come to the Orlando area to spend their vacation. Let’s ring in a new year with cash registers ringing! Let 2011 produce an even better year for Central Florida tourism!