Terror in the Jungle comes to Miami attraction this October‏

August 28, 2014 on 11:08 am | In Beachbooker, Florida, Miami, Theme Parks Zoos Aquariums | Comments Off



Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowJungle Island and Florida Event Productions Presents

Five-Acres of Spine-Chilling Terror at ‘Terror in the Jungle’

~ South Florida’s premier Halloween attraction

to take place on select nights from October 2 – November 1, 2014~

MIAMI -  For the most pulse-pounding haunted attraction and trail experience ever experienced, head to Jungle Island and endure the park’s first-ever Terror in the Jungle. This Halloween, two scary attractions starred by mutated animals and zombie-like Aztec Indians will take over South Florida’s favorite haunt to provide visitors with 20 nights of hair-raising events beginning Thursday, October 2 and concluding Saturday, November 1 on the Day of the Dead.

From the creator of Festival of Souls (Demon Mansion), voted Florida’s Scariest Haunted House by Hauntworld.com, Terror in the Jungle will feature a chilling 40 x 22-foot Toxic Zombie Jungle Entrance leading guests through five acres of terrorizing jungle paths and a 10,000 square-foot ancient Ruins Pyramid Haunted House. Carefully navigate a dark jungle filled with zombies, demons and military HAZMAT containment units all while being chased by wild mutated animals. Many more surprises wait inside the Ruins Pyramid including booby traps and scary creatures, which will give even the fearless the fright of their life. Those who wet their pants or don’t make it through Terror in the Jungle will be added to a Wall of Lost Souls.

“We’re excited that Brandon Kittendorf of Florida Event Productions chose Jungle Island to serve as the venue for his award-winning Halloween attractions over the next three years,” said John Dunlap, President & CEO of Iconic Attractions Group, which manages Jungle Island. “This attraction will heighten guests’ senses and be a true test of courage for those who dare to conquer it. We’re certain our visitors will experience a heart-pounding fear like never before at Terror in the Jungle.”

Kittendorf has brewed an incredibly chilling story line for Terror in the Jungle, which goes as follows: A plane carrying toxic bio-chemicals from a research lab in Mexico flew off course and crashed into the ruins of the Aztec city surrounded by a lush tropical jungle. The bio-chemicals mutated the jungle animals and local Indians into half dead creatures who feed on all the living creatures in the jungle. The Aztec Indians prayed to their gods for forgiveness and instead, the Gods unleashed their demon called the HUNTER, which devoured everything living in its path.

The Mexican government has been looking for the plane for over two years. Reports of the giant mutated animals and zombie-like Aztec Indians running wild in the jungle has forced the Mexican government to investigate. One of the chemicals carried by the plane was an experimental virus banned by the research lab because of the uncontrollable side effects. A Hazardous Material Containment unit has been dispatched to the region to clean up the mess, but they have no idea what they are about to encounter. Little do they know, they are entering into what the locals call, Terror in the Jungle.

“Every time you let your guard down, there will be something else to scare the living daylights out of you,” said Kittendorf. “We’re creating a gory Halloween attraction using nature’s natural darkness, fog, costumes and special effects, screams, animals and visual stimulation to play on peoples phobias and fears. The thought of walking around in a jungle in pitch-black darkness is already eerie, which is what makes Jungle Island the perfect setting for this event.”

Guests are encouraged to come in costume. Tickets to Terror in the Jungle cost $45 per person on non-peak days and $55 per person on peak days. Fast passes start at $20 per person. Tax is additional. Jungle Island also will offer childcare on a first-come, first-served basis for $5 per child, per night. Terror in the Jungle will take place every Thursday to Sunday from 7:30 p.m. to midnight, with one Wednesday over the following dates: Non-peak dates / October 2-5, 9-12, 16, 19, 23, 26, 29 and November 1. Peak dates / October 17, 18, 24, 25, 30 & 31.

Group rates, frequent fear pass, corporate party, event and sponsorship packages are available. For additional information, follow #terrorinthejungle on social media or visit www.terrorinthejungle.com.

About Jungle Island

Jungle Island, South Florida’s popular zoological attraction, is situated on Watson Island in the heart of Miami between downtown and South Beach. Building upon a rich tradition that began in 1936, Jungle Island enriches the lives of park visitors through immersive experiences centered on adventure, animals, discovery and play. From exciting adventures including the new aqua park to educational VIP tours, camps and unforgettable interactions with some of the world’s most fascinating animals, Jungle Island offers guests a plethora of real-life jungle experiences. With its Treetop Ballroom and picturesque outdoor spaces, the park also serves as Miami’s destination for extraordinary events. Discover the new Jungle Island today. Follow #JungleIsland on social media or visit www.jungleisland.com

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Disney plans drone-enabled theme park

August 26, 2014 on 10:49 am | In Florida, Orlando, Theme Parks Zoos Aquariums | Comments Off



Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowWalt Disney Co is mulling the use of drones for next generation theme park entertainment, after filing a patent application for ‘unmanned aerial vehicles.’

The application suggests that drones could operate larger-than-life puppet or projection screens for night time entertainment.

The patent goes on to explain: “The inventors recognized that presently there are no mechanisms for creating very large aerial displays such as a display that is reusable or repeatable, dynamic, and interactive.”

“This is a significant improvement over prior flying characters, which typically were provided in the form of parades or other blimps filled with hot air and that had little or awkward articulation of any movable parts,” it said.

Disney’s UAVs would be controlled from the ground and synchronized to prevent collisions, and could also be used to create a high-tech digital fireworks show, a safer and cheaper option than a typical pyrotechnic display.

Al Ducharme of Hoverfly Technologies, which designs and manufactures drones, said small quad-copter UAVs cost around $1,000, and can run to six figures for commercial custom specifications.

“I’m sure Disney will cordon off an area to fly drones over, as with any kind of technology, be it a roller coaster or a drone, you have to take safety into consideration,” Ducharme said.

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Orlando’s Best Kept Tips And Tricks For Budget Travelers‏

August 26, 2014 on 10:42 am | In Florida, Orlando, Theme Parks Zoos Aquariums | Comments Off



Goddess Swimwear from Today Show20 Attractions Under $20 To Visit This Fall

ORLANDO, Fla. – As the heat of summer mellows into the fall, so do the crowds and prices for a wide array of attractions, dining and more. In fact, Visit Orlando is offering 30 days of savings up to 50 percent off during Magical Deal Month in September. Savvy vacation planners can take advantage of the fall season deals by using VisitOrlando.com/September as a one-stop shop for more than 150 theme park offers, discounted hotel rates, dining deals and more.

While September offers some of the best deals available all year, visitors might be surprised to learn there are even more ways to save year-round with affordable options for the entire family. From visiting a museum with the largest collection of Tiffany glass in the world for less than $5 and viewing the biggest display of camellias outside of California for less than $10 to hands-on, interactive fun exploring the Orlando Science Center or Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Odditorium for less than $20, this list of 20 activities under $20 each* offers inexpensive options to explore while visiting Orlando:

$5 or less per person

1. Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens houses the works of Albin Polasek, one of America’s most prominent sculptors of the 20th century. $5 adults, $4 seniors, $3 students (age 12 through college), free for children age 12 and under.

2. The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art features the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, including his famed leaded-glass lamps. $5 adults, $4 seniors, $1 students, free for children under 12. Free admission 4-8 p.m. Fridays (November through April).

3. The Mennello Museum of American Art offers a diverse collection of sculptures and paintings, including contemporary American folk art and works by Earl Cunningham. $5 adults, $4 seniors, $1 students, $1 children age 6-18, free for children under 6.

$10 or less per person

4. Kings Bowl Orlando is the perfect place to eat, bowl, or lounge in a comfortable, fun and luxurious environment. $5 before 6 p.m., $6 after 6 p.m., $7 Fri & Sat after 6 p.m. All prices are per person, per game. Shoe and sock rentals are $3 each.

5. Enzian, Central Florida’s only full-time alternative cinema, presents independent and classic films as well as produces annual film festivals and a variety of community events. $10 general admission, $8 seniors/students, $8 matinee (before 6 p.m.).

6. Harry P. Leu Gardens hosts 3 miles of paved scenic walkways; a butterfly garden; bamboo and palm gardens; and 1880s house museum. $10 adults, $3 students ages 5-18. Free admission on first Monday of every month.

7. Orlando Museum of Art displays local, national and international art work. The museum also features two discovery centers for children, devoted to interactive activities and educational programs. $8 adults, $7 seniors/college students, $5 children ages 4-17.

8. West Orange Trail Bikes and Blades Co.offers hourly, daily and weekly road bike rentals for visitors to explore Central Florida’s scenic trails, including the 22-mile West Orange Trail. Rentals start at $6 per hour. Hotel delivery and group bike tours available at an additional cost.

$15 or less per person

9. Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf offers two 18-hole miniature golf experiences in a pirate-themed setting (locations in the Lake Buena Vista and International Drive areas). $10.45 adults, $9.45 children ages 4-12 (Lake Buena Vista). $12.50 adults, $11.50 children (International Drive). Admission available for the 36-hole adventure at an additional cost.

10. Bok Tower Gardens, a national historic landmark, is nestled among 50 acres of picturesque gardens and hosts a 205-foot art deco and neo-Gothic Singing Tower on its grounds. $12 adults, $3 children ages 5-12.

11. Orange County Regional History Center showcases a variety of exhibits and programs that explore Central Florida’s history dating back 12,000 years. $12 adults, $10 seniors, $9 children ages 5-12.

12. AMC Dine-In Theaters, located at Downtown Disney, allow movie-goers to combine dinner and a movie with seat-side service. Ticket prices range from $11-15. Menus items range from $6.99-$14.99. Under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

13. Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour provides a relaxing narrated cruise through the lakes and canals of historic Winter Park, showcasing natural wildlife and mansions that line the waterways. $12 adults, $6 children ages 2-11.

14. Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens includes hundreds of rare and endangered animals and 800 species of plants and flowers. $14.95 adults, $12.95 seniors, $10.95 children ages 3-12.

15. SAK Comedy Lab volleys roaring laughs and hilarious improv sketches on select nights as the players take suggestions from the audience and create show-stopping scenes and songs. General Admission tickets range from $5-$12.

$20 or less per person

16. CoCo Key Hotel and Water Resort offers day passes to its 54,000-square-foot water park that features 14 water slides and four pools. $17.95 weekday pass. Reservations are strongly recommended.

17. Orlando Repertory Theater, a professional theatre that caters to young audiences and families, presents performances based on classical and contemporary children’s literature. $18 adults, $16 seniors/students, $12 children 17 and under.

18. Orlando Science Center is a hands-on science museum with educational exhibits, programs, giant screen films and planetarium shows. $19 adults, $17 seniors/students, $13 children ages 3-11.

19. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Orlando Odditorium houses artifacts, art and interactive exhibits in 16 galleries of the odd and unusual from around the world. $16.99 for adults, $10.99 for children ages 4-12.

20. Showcase of Citrus, a 2,500-acre working citrus and cattle ranch, produces more than 50 seasonal varieties of citrus, ripe for the picking. Enjoy a Swamp Safari & Eco Tour with zebra, Ankole-Watusi, alligators, exotic native birds & more. $20 adults, $10 children 4-12, 3 and under free.


Universal Orlando Resort Celebrates Harry Potter in January 2015

August 25, 2014 on 11:49 am | In Florida, Orlando, Theme Parks Zoos Aquariums | Comments Off



Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowUniversal Orlando Resort and Warner Bros. have announced that they will host the second annual “A Celebration of Harry Potter” event – a special event for fans celebrating the global phenomenon that is Harry Potter.

Beginning Jan. 30, 2015, fans will enjoy three days of incredible experiences – including the “A Celebration of Harry Potter” Expo, Q&A sessions with Harry Potter film talent and more. Special vacation packages, including annual passholder packages, will go on sale August 21 and will include exclusive benefits such as access to an exclusive evening event in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade and the all-new The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.

All general admission park guests will have the opportunity to:

Attend Q&A sessions with Harry Potter film talent and other special guests (talent attendees will be announced at a later date)

Experience and participate in the interactive and unique exhibits of the “A Celebration of Harry Potter” Expo
Enjoy special discussions regarding various aspects of the Harry Potter franchise

Visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida. Plus, ride the Hogwarts Express between the two lands with a park-to-park ticket.
And much more!

All general admission park guests will have the opportunity to attend Q&A sessions with Harry Potter film talent and special guests, plus tour the exhibits of the “Celebration of Harry Potter” expo. And while most of the activities for “A Celebration of Harry Potter” will be open to all Universal Orlando park guests and annual passholders, only guests who purchase the exclusive event vacation package or annual passholder package will enjoy certain special benefits and reserved seating for select events. Packages are limited and will go on sale at noon EST on Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014. Package details are as follows:

On-Site Hotel Celebration Vacation Package: Starts at $219 per adult per night, tax inclusive

3-night on-site hotel accommodations at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Universal Orlando Resort’s all-new retro-themed moderate & value priced hotel
3-day park-to-park ticket to both Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure (includes access to the Hogwarts Express)
Exclusive Q&A session with select Harry Potter film talent
Access to an exclusive evening event in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, including light desserts and Butterbeer
Specially themed Welcome Parcel and complimentary commemorative merchandise item
Special Guest access to the “A Celebration of Harry Potter” Expo
Reserved seating or viewing area for select Celebration events
Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before the parks open
Breakfast at the Three Broomsticks in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, one per person
Complimentary on-site transportation to and from both theme parks and Universal CityWalk

Note: This package does not include complimentary Universal Express Unlimited ride access

On-Site Deluxe Hotel Celebration Vacation Package: Starts at $285 per adult per night, tax inclusive

3-night on-site hotel accommodations at one of Universal Orlando’s spectacular deluxe on-site hotels: Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel or Loews Royal Pacific Resort
3-day park-to-park ticket to both Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure (includes access to the Hogwarts Express)
Complimentary Universal Express Unlimited ride access to skip the regular lines in both theme parks for all three days – a FREE benefit worth up to $89 per person, per day
Exclusive Q&A session with select Harry Potter film talent
Access to an exclusive evening event in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, including light desserts and Butterbeer
Specially themed Welcome Parcel and complimentary commemorative merchandise item
Special Guest access to the “A Celebration of Harry Potter” Expo
Reserved seating or viewing area for select Celebration events
Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before the parks open
Breakfast at the Three Broomsticks in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, one per person
Complimentary on-site transportation to and from both theme parks and Universal CityWalk

Universal Partner Hotel Celebration Vacation Package: Starts at $185 per adult per night, tax inclusive

3-night accommodations at a Universal Partner Hotel near Universal Orlando
3-day park-to-park ticket to both Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure (includes access to the Hogwarts Express)
Exclusive Q&A session with select Harry Potter film talent
Access to an exclusive evening event in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, including light desserts and Butterbeer
Specially themed Welcome Parcel and complimentary commemorative merchandise item
Special Guest access to the “A Celebration of Harry Potter” Expo
Reserved seating or viewing area for select Celebration events
Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before the parks open
Breakfast at the Three Broomsticks in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, one per person
Free scheduled transportation between the hotel and Universal Orlando Resort

Note: This package does not include complimentary Universal Express Unlimited ride access.

Access to select events within “A Celebration of Harry Potter” is included in regular admission to Universal Orlando or with an annual pass. For more information about the event, tickets and vacation packages, visit www.universaltravelagents.com/HP.

Read more travel news at www.travelpulse.com


Disney Resort Area Hotels ‘Make Some Memories Rates’

August 20, 2014 on 12:21 pm | In Florida, Hotels, Orlando, Theme Parks Zoos Aquariums | Comments Off



Goddess Swimwear from Today Show. Special Rates at the Seven Hotels

Provide An Appealing Way to Take In Such Upcoming Events As

Night of Joy, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party,

The Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival,

and the Eat To The Beat Concert Series at Epcot®

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL  – There is still time to make plans to experience the special events being conducted at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Central Florida this summer and fall, such as Night of Joy, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, the Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival, and the Eat To The Beat Concert Series at Epcot®. A great way to experience these events, and/or to check out the recently expanded New FantasylandTM at Magic Kingdom® Park, is by taking advantage of the special “Make Some Memories Rates” that are being offered by the seven Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels through October 31, 2014.

In addition to their ideal location an easy walk to the shopping, dining and entertainment venues at the Downtown Disney® Area, these seven Official Walt Disney World® Hotels also provide complimentary shuttle transportation every 30 minutes to all four Walt Disney World® Theme Parks, two water parks, and to the Downtown Disney® area. As a bonus, guests at these hotels also receive the “2014 Downtown Disney Deals” booklet that features exclusive discounts and specials from over 30 merchants on Downtown Disney® area dining, entertainment and shopping.

Available for stays through October 31, 2014, the Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels’ “Make Some Memories Rates” are:

· B Resort & Spa – now open – rates from $89 per room, per night

· Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel – rates from $69 per room, per night

· Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa – rates from $75 per room, per night

· DoubleTree Suites by Hilton – rates from $99 per suite, per night

· Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista – rates from $79 per room, per night

· Holiday Inn Orlando – Lake Buena Vista – rates from $94 per room, per night

· Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort – rates from $69 per room, per night.

For more information on the “Make Some Memories Rates,” or to make a reservation, visit www.DowntownDisneyHotels.com , specifically http://downtowndisneyhotels.com/pr-make-some-memories (or http://bit.ly/prmsm ). Rates are based on availability and some blackout dates may apply. The rates do not include the Resort Services Fee or daily parking fee (if applicable), taxes or gratuities. The offer is not valid with any other special offers, promotions, existing reservations, or for groups.

Taking advantage of the special rates also will enable you to enjoy such other benefits of staying at one of the seven Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels as:

· Disney tickets available to purchase at each hotel

· Advance tee times and discounts at all Walt Disney World® golf courses

· Disney Merchandise store located in each hotel

· The ability to book advance dining and dinner show reservations for all restaurants across the Walt Disney World® Resort.

Special events at the Walt Disney World® Resort include:

· Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party – select nights September 1-October 31, 2014, at Magic Kingdom® Park

· Night of Joy – September 5-6, 2014, at Magic Kingdom® Park

· Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival Presented by Chase® — Sept. 19-November 10, 2014, at Epcot®.

· Eat To The Beat Concert Series – September 19-November 10, 2014, at Epcot®

· Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – now open at Magic Kingdom® Park.

In addition to these special events you also could take in the wonders of the recently expanded New Fantasyland, which is the largest expansion in the history of Magic Kingdom® Park. It offers more immersive enchantment and interactive experiences, and features two new themed areas: Enchanted Forest and Storybook Circus. Enchanted Forest attractions and experiences include Under The Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid; Be Our Guest Restaurant; Enchanted Tales with Belle; Ariel’s Grotto; Gaston’s Tavern; and the crowning jewel of New Fantasyland Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Storybook Circus attractions include: The Barnstormer; Dumbo The Flying Elephant; Casey Jr Splash ‘N’ Soak Station; Pete’s Silly Sideshow; and Fantasyland Station.

Among the many coupons featured in the “2014 Downtown Disney Deals” booklet are discounts at Rainforest Café, T-Rex, Wolfgang Puck Express, Steve Baker Caricatures, Lego Imagination Center, Planet Hollywood Downtown Disney®, House of Blues® Restaurant, La NoubaTM by Cirque du Soleil®, Bongo’s Cuban Café®, and Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop.

“This is a great time to visit the Walt Disney World® Resort,” said Steve Garner, chairperson of the Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels’ marketing committee. “The attendance at the theme parks is often lighter, and all of the special events at the Walt Disney World® Theme Parks are wonderful. Taking advantage of the special ‘Make Some Memories Rates’ is a great way to experience the many offerings of the Walt Disney World® Resort.”

Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels (www.DowntownDisneyHotels.com) is a consortium of seven hotels located in the Walt Disney World® Resort that includes: the stylish B Resort & Spa, opened in June 2014 with 394 newly renovated guest rooms and suites, the full-service B Indulged® by AVEDA spa (opening in September 2014), and a zero-entry pool; the 18-story Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel, surrounded by 12 acres of lush tropical landscaping, and offering 325 spacious rooms and suites, and complimentary WiFi; the newly renovated and sophisticated Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa, featuring 1,014 guest rooms and suites, a 10,000-square-foot spa, three pools, and five restaurants and lounges; the luxurious and spacious 229-suite Doubletree Suites by Hilton, the only all-suite resort hotel in the Downtown Disney® Resort Area; the deluxe 814-room, full-service Hilton Orlando Resort, featuring seven on-site restaurants and lounges and the new Hilton Fitness by Life Fitness® Center; the Holiday Inn Orlando – Lake Buena Vista, the only Holiday Inn located in the Walt Disney World® Resort Area and featuring elegant rooms with modern Florida décor; and Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort, featuring 626 guest rooms (which each feature a refrigerator), the Oasis Aquatic Playground with two pools and interactive water features, and six dining options.

With nearly 30 food and beverage outlets and restaurants, more than 3,600 rooms and scores of amenities, the Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels offer a rate, space and menu to please every guest. Located in the heart of the Downtown Disney® area, these properties are within walking distance of some of the area’s best shopping, dining and entertainment.

For reservations, or more information, visit www.DowntownDisneyHotels.com

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Florida: The Alfond Inn Celebrates Philanthropy & Art‏

August 19, 2014 on 10:56 am | In Florida, Orlando, Theme Parks Zoos Aquariums, Webbandstand | Comments Off



Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowGreater Orlando Boutique Hotel Celebrates Philanthropy & Art on its First Anniversary

There is reason for celebration this week, as The Alfond Inn marks the anniversary of its opening one year ago in Winter Park, the historic town outside of Orlando.

Since opening in August 2013, The Alfond Inn has redefined the concept of hotel philanthropy. It has established itself as a venue for The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art for Rollins College, an extension of the Cornell Fine Art Museum at Rollins College’s collection on display in the hotel’s public areas. The hotel earned a prestigious AAA Four Diamond status just eight months after opening and has become the hub for top-level CEO association meetings in the greater Orlando area. Weddings and fundraising events are also a specialized niche in Winter Park’s very social community. Hamilton’s Kitchen, The Alfond Inn’s restaurant, has quickly become a bright light in the dynamic restaurant scene in Winter Park and a dining destination for Greater Orlando.

Redefining Philanthropy

Owned by Rollins College, one of the country’s most lauded liberal arts colleges, and managed by The Olympia Companies, The Alfond Inn was funded in part with a $12.5-million grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation. The additional $20 million was financed by the school’s cash reserve. Philanthropist Harold Alfond, founder of Dexter Shoe Company, had long supported the college, and two of his children and two of his grandchildren attended Rollins.

The intention of the Harold Alfond Foundation was that the net operating income from The Alfond Inn would be directed to The Alfond Scholars program fund, the Rollins College premier scholarship fund, over the next 25 years or until the endowment principal reached $50 million, whichever came later.

In fact, The Alfond Inn has vastly exceeded its expectations. Projected to have net operating income of $1.9 million in 2014, that figure is now expected to top $4.3 million by the end of the year. Following a loan payment, The Alfond Inn expects to be able to give back $3.2 million to The Alfond Scholars program.

“This year, $157,000 will be used for three full scholarships,” says Jeffrey G. Eisenbarth,Vice President for Business and Finance and Treasurer at Rollins College. “It’s so much better than what we had projected.”

As The Alfond Inn’s business continues to grow, and the endowment grows with it, there are expectations that the Fund will be able to award more scholarships with each passing year. “The Alfond Scholars Fund has a 4.5% spending rate,” Eisenbarth says, “and we’re projecting that at this rate of growth and an investment return of 10%, we’ll be able to award 30 full four year merit-based scholarships every year within 10 years.”

A Leader in Showcasing Contemporary Art

The Alfond Inn is a showcase for The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art for Rollins College, a growing collection of more than 220 works of art purchased for the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College by alumni Barbara and Ted Alfond. The evolving collection, conceived as a “visual syllabus” for the college, includes paintings, photographs, sculptures and mixed-media works by established and emerging artists from around the world.

“These artworks are a new and important chapter of our collection,” says Ena Heller, the Bruce A. Beal director of the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College. “I can’t think of another museum that uses a hotel property as an extension of their exhibition space.”

The Alfonds are both avid and knowledgeable art collectors, and Barbara Alfond serves on the board of trustees at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Works by contemporary artists and photographers such as Tracey Emin, Joseph Kosuth, Trevor Paglen and Maya Lin can be found in The Alfond Collection. The hotel offers complimentary guided tours of the collection every Friday at 1pm and changes in the installation are made every few months, due to new acquisitions made by the Alfonds with the advice of independent curator Abigail Ross Goodman. This fall’s exhibition at The Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Fractured Narratives: a strategy to engage, is inspired by The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, with some art works on display at The Alfond Inn, which Heller refers to as “a continuation of the main exhibit.”

Culinary Achievements

In the spring, the hotel welcomed Executive Chef Marc Kusche to Hamilton’s Kitchen. A veteran of some of the finest kitchens in the world, including several Four Seasons properties as well as Silversea Cruises, Chef Kusche has become a familiar face at Winter Park’s weekly Farmers Market, where he meets with the more than 20 local suppliers and personally selects the best local produce, meat and citrus. Hamilton’s Kitchen, with its warm and inviting dining room, alfresco courtyard seating and private dining room, has quickly become an integral part of the vibrant Winter Park dining scene.

From now until December 15, 2014 the Alfond Inn is offering a One Year Anniversary Special, with a starting rate of $259 per night in a Classic Room based on double occupancy, including a full breakfast for two at Hamilton’s Kitchen or delivered by Room Service. *Rate does not include room tax or restaurant gratuity.

For reservations and information call 407-998-8090, or visit the website at www.thealfondinn.com

The Alfond Inn

The Alfond Inn, a Preferred Boutique Hotel, is located in Winter Park, Florida and managed by The Olympia Companies, an innovative leader in hospitality. Owned by Rollins College, a private coeducational liberal arts college, also in Winter Park, The Alfond Inn opened in August 2013 and was built with a $12.5-million grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation. Net operating income from the Inn is directed to The Alfond Scholars program fund, the College’s premier scholarship fund, over the next 25 years or until the endowment principal reaches $50 million, whichever comes later. The 112-room boutique hotel features rotating displays from The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art at Rollins College, as well as the popular Hamilton’s Kitchen restaurant under the direction of Executive Chef Marc Kusche, a pool and fitness center, and 10,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. It is 15 minutes from downtown Orlando and 30 minutes from Walt Disney World and Orlando International Airport. The Alfond Inn, 300 East New England Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789. 407-998-8090.

www.thealfondinn.com

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Twitter @TheAlfondInn

Webbandstand for Concerts and Performing Arts

Cruise Itineraries with Disney Frozen Characters

August 15, 2014 on 12:52 pm | In Adventure Travel, Cruise Boats, Theme Parks Zoos Aquariums | Comments Off



Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowCruise Voyant, an online cruise booking website, is excited to offer cruises featuring Disney Frozen characters Princess Anna and Queen Elsa. Both characters will be making their Royal Tour appearances on select 7 night and longer cruises on three of the four Disney ships: the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder and Disney Fantasy. Other Disney characters joining in on the fun include Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Captain Hook, Lilo, Stitch, Cinderella, Belle, Snow White, Princess Aurora, Princess Tiana, Ariel and more. As of now, specific cruise dates have not been released. Cruise itineraries the Disney Frozen characters have been featured on include Alaska and the Caribbean.

Guests are able to meet, talk to and take pictures with the Disney Frozen characters donned in full costume at various times on the cruises.

Definite meeting times as well as locations will be given onboard the ship. Guests can also enjoy onboard screenings of Frozen along with sing-alongs.

“Disney’s Frozen has proven to be a huge marketing success through merchandise such as costumes, dolls and other items,” said Brenda Sigurdson, Senior Marketing Director for Cruise Voyant. “We think that it’s great the characters will be on these cruises and we are excited to feature them. It’s a great way to get kids to look forward to family vacations.”

In addition, Disney Cruise Line will also be offering itineraries to Norway, the setting of the popular Disney film. These cruises will be offered in summer 2015 and are already displayed on the Cruise Voyant site. This is the first time Disney will be sailing to the Norway fjord region, which includes Scotland and Iceland.

Visit http://www.cruisevoyant.com / to stay updated on new itineraries and cruises.

About Cruise Voyant

Cruise Voyant is a Fort Lauderdale-based cruise agency that is revolutionizing the cruise booking process. Cruise Voyant solves many of today’s most difficult booking issues by allowing visitors to view a historic look at how pricing has changed on a particular ship and sail date. Cruise Voyant also offers interactive cruise itinerary maps, and it provides tens of thousands of photos of ships and destinations worldwide. Cruise Voyant helps consumers easily find their dream vacation by empowering them with online advice and insights that will help them easily book and manage their vacation plans.

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Experiencias Xcaret Park Riviera Maya Offers Unique Activities With Wild Animals

August 11, 2014 on 10:33 am | In Adventure Travel, Beachbooker, Cancun Cozumel Yucatan, Mexico, Theme Parks Zoos Aquariums | Comments Off



Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowCancun, Quintana Roo- In its eagerness to create unique Cancun and Riviera Maya activities that visitors will not forget, Xcaret Park has set into motion a novel and original way for tourists to share special moments with some of the most important wild life species that have made Xcaret their home.
Starting this month, visitors at the Eco Park will be able to witness a unique flamingo parade, observe how a jaguar is fed, help sea turtle caretakers during feeding time, aid newly born butterflies in their first flutters, and attend a flight practice with scarlet macaw specimens that turn the sky into a rainbow of colors with their beautiful feathers.

These activities in Cancun that were only enjoyed by the few privileged regional fauna staff are now open to the public so that those who wish can assist in the special care these animals receive. Because of the nature of the activity, there is limited capacity, thus, it is advised that those interested in participating sign up at their arrival to the Eco Park.

All the specimens visitors can observe in Xcaret Cancun are either born in the park, byproducts of reproduction programs to preserve endangered species or rescued animals. In the case of the flamingos, 111 births were registered between 2004 and 2013 and, as far as butterflies are concerned, there have been more than 180 thousand births between 1999 and 2013.

The Sea Turtle Program in the Riviera Maya coordinated by the Flora, Fauna y Cultura de México not-for-profit association has released more than 7 million sea turtles in the wild since its creation. The organization is the social and environmental branch of Experiencias Xcaret.

At the same time, the Red Macaw Reproduction Program has an average yearly birth rate of 120. In 2013, Xcaret Park began a program to reintroduce this species in the State of Chiapas, Mexico, where it became extinct more than 70 years ago. To this day, the program has had a 100 percent survival rate of specimens registered thanks to a strategic alliance with the Autonomous University of Mexico, the Aluxes Park in Palenque and the organization Acajungla A.C.

ABOUT XCARET PARK

Xcaret Cancun is a majestic Eco Park by the sea with unique activities in the heart of the jungle where visitors have fun while discovering the natural and cultural treasures of Mexico through its underground rivers, wild land and water fauna, cuisine and artistic expressions.

Visit: www.experienciasxcaret.com
Contact


Dreamworld Unveils New Ride & Slide for September Openings

August 9, 2014 on 10:58 am | In Australia, New South Wales, Sydney, Theme Parks Zoos Aquariums | Comments Off



Dreamworld and WhiteWater World are proud to reveal detail of their much-anticipated new ride and slide due for launch in September.

TAIL SPIN – Dreamworld’s BIG 9 THRILL RIDE: After much speculation, Dreamworld is pleased to unveil its newest ride called the TAIL SPIN as part of its new OCEAN PARADE development. With 12 rider-operated mini aeroplanes that reach 72 feet into the sky, the TAIL SPIN allows guests to enjoy as much [or as little] thrill as they please with controls that allow riders to spin at their own pace. As the newest addition of Dreamworld’s world-famous THRILL RIDE slate, the TAIL SPIN now officially transforms the Big 8 to Big 9 Thrill Rides alongside THE TOWER OF TERROR II, GIANT DROP, BUZZ SAW, CLAW, WIPEOUT, MOTOCOASTER, PANDAMONIUM AND THE CYCLONE ROLLER COASTER.
WIPEOUT RE-OPENS: After 20 years of service and 7 million riders, Dreamworld’s iconic Wipeout will re-open today after undergoing a major facelift. The WIPEOUT’s relaunch is the first installment to Dreamworld’s makeover of OCEAN PARADE, also home to THE CLAW, SHOCK WAVE, FLOWRIDER, CYCLONE and ZOMBIE EVILUTION.

TRIPLE VORTEX: A proud new addition to WhiteWater World will be its newest thrill slide called the TRIPLE VORTEX where guests will be rushed down a 145m tube slide on a 2-person raft, through three funnels.

QUEUE INNOVATIONS TO INCLUDE PARENT SWAP: As part of Dreamworld’s focus on ultimate guest experience, innovations to the current queue systems will be implemented starting with the TAIL SPIN and WIPEOUT including the introduction of a parent swap facility. In addition Dreamworld will be installing the trial of a DW TV system that aims to entertain guests while in the queue.
FOOD & BEVERAGE OUTLETS: Also soon to be revealed are Dreamworld’s plans to invigorate its in-house food offerings to reflect current gourmet and dining trends and further add to the guest experience.

UNLIMITED ENTRY UNTIL JUNE 2015: Dreamworld is currently offering unlimited entry to Dreamworld, WhiteWater World and SkyPoint Observation Deck until June 2015 for only $79.99 Child/Pensioner and $99.99 Adults. (*online only, limited time only). For only a little more than a 1 Day ticket, this offer is great value for families who can now experience all the exciting new developments at Australia’s Biggest Theme Park PLUS enjoy unlimited entry to 3 great attractions until June next year!


Fall into Vacation Fun and Value in Orlando‏

August 7, 2014 on 10:53 am | In Florida, Orlando, Theme Parks Zoos Aquariums | Comments Off




What’s New in Orlando’s Theme Parks

There’s even more vacation fun in Orlando with new attractions that span the destination, including Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, now open at the Magic Kingdom® Park at Walt Disney World® Resort and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Diagon Alley™, now open at Universal Orlando® Resort. And this fall, Orlando becomes the place to be for frightful family fun with spooky Halloween events at all of our world-famous theme parks.


Indulge in Orlando’s Luxury Experiences

For travelers seeking luxury experiences, Orlando offers a range of upscale accommodations, exclusive activities, fine-dining and upscale-shopping options. Enjoy a variety of special moments on a theme park VIP tour like the Wild Africa Trek at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park, bask in serenity at our newest luxury resort – Four Seasons Resort Orlando, now open, at Walt Disney World® Resort, savor truly indulgent flavors by Orlando’s world-renowned chefs or quench your desire for pampering with our personal shopping options at The Mall at Millenia. You’ll see why your clients should have their next luxury experience in Orlando.


Shopping In Orlando

Your clients will discover a shopper’s paradise like no other destination among Orlando’s outlet centers, expansive shopping malls and quaint boutiques. Retail therapy is never far from reach with incredible savings, designer fashions and unique treasures. One of the biggest shopping days of the year is coming up in late November – Black Friday – the annual post-Thanksgiving tradition of saving big in every retail store across the destination. Learn more.


Automated Passport Control Kiosks at MCO

Orlando International Airport (MCO) has become the first airport in the nation to use biometric self-service kiosks for overseas, Visa Waiver arrivals. Passengers meet eligibility requirements if they reside in one of the 37 visa waiver countries, have entered the United States at least once since 2008 and have prior Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval. Learn more.


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