Saturday, April 30, 2011

Orlando food truck bazaar is back, Sunday night 5/1

Orlando Food Truck Bazaar #2

Sunday May 1st, 2011
7pm - 12am
Dillards parking lot at Fashion Square Mall, Colonial Drive
Admission is free, the food is not.

Red Eye BBQ
Korean BBQ Taco Box
CK Jerk Shack Island BBQ
Firehouse BBQ
Big Wheel Provisions
The Yum Yum Cupcake Truck
The Taco Lady
Winter Park Fish Company
The Crooked Spoon
The Treehouse Truck
The Traveling Gourmet
The Wing Commander
Sunset Ice
Country Chuck Wagon

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Legoland presale annual passes still on sale until May 1

Only a couple of days remain to purchase annual passes (adult and child) for $99, which includes fall 2011 and all of 2012.  On May 1, prices go up to $129 (plus tax).  Passes and single-day tickets can be purchased at

Legoland has released a new video:

Master model builders, who have one of the coolest jobs on the planet, are beginning the painstaking task of creating and caring for the nearly 15,000 LEGO® models that will be on display in the new park.

From an exact-replica White House complete with “mini figs” of the First Family to pterodactyls, tigers and treasure-seeking pirates, the models are being built in Winter Haven as well as Germany, Denmark, Malaysia and California.  The models are made of thousands of LEGO® bricks and can weigh up to 2,000 pounds.

When the park opens in October of this year, more than 50 million LEGO® bricks will have been used in its construction.

Chick with Rescued Sandhill Crane: A Cute Story of Sandhill Surrogacy

From the SeaWorld Press department:

(Monday, April 25, 2011) Orlando, FL While caring for two rescued sandhill cranes – an injured adult and an orphaned chick – SeaWorld’s aviculture team put their problem-solving skills to work to create a successful surrogacy.
A few weeks ago, an adult sandhill crane was brought to SeaWorld with a rubber gasket around his bill. Not only was the crane incapable of eating, but the proper growth of its bill was also in jeopardy.
Once SeaWorld’s veterinarians removed the gasket, the aviculture team spent weeks giving the sandhill around-the-clock care. Thankfully, the adult sandhill crane has had a right-on-schedule recovery, and he just so happened to make a friend while doing so.
While caring for the adult crane, SeaWorld’s team rescued a newly hatched sandhill crane chick. Years of experience told the team that if a chick isn’t around other cranes during its early months, the possibility of imprinting on a human increases, making it difficult to return the chick to the wild when ready.    
The team came up with a unique solution:  Pair the two birds together. 
It is sometimes difficult for orphaned chicks to be tolerated by older cranes that are not familiar with them, but when the adult crane was placed with the orphaned chick, they took an instant liking to each other. The adult sandhill is currently acting as a surrogate, and the fuzzy chick is mimicking and learning crane behaviors, just like it would in the wild.
Eric Reece, SeaWorld’s Supervisor of Aviculture, adds, “The fact that the adult crane took to the chick bodes well for the development of the chick. It is now growing and doing well.”
So what does the future hold for these two pals? SeaWorld Orlando’s Aviculture Team plans to release the adult and chick together, once the chick learns to fly and the adult is fully recovered.
The Cuban sandhill and Mississippi sandhill are both subspecies of cranes that are listed as endangered and are protected under the Endangered Species Act.
SeaWorld's animal rescue team is on call 24/7 to save and care for injured, orphaned or ill animals.

If orphaned sandhill chicks aren’t around other sandhill cranes during their early months, they could imprint on humans. This dramatically decreases their chances of survival when they are released back into the wild. .
These two took an instant liking to each other, which means great things for the chick’s development.
This orphaned chick needed to be around other cranes in order to learn specific crane behaviors.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Universal Orlando to announce new attraction on May 19th

Today Universal Orlando Resort set the bait on a trap that will drop on May 19th. That's when they'll be announcing the details for a brand new major attraction at one of its theme parks. No further details than that, but already speculation is running wild?

Is this just a replacement for Jimmy Newtron or the rumored Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion? What's your best guess?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Highest gas prices in the USA here in Orlando

It made national news yesterday (saw it on - a Suncoast gas station near Orlando International Airport is $5.69 a gallon. I stopped by today to take a look (but not fill up).

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Orlando Thrill Park fails to pass first regulatory hurdle

Developers of a new theme park to be located across the freeway from Universal Orlando will have to regroup now that the Orlando Thrill Park failed to pass its first major regulatory hurdle. The Orlando Zoning board decided it just didn't have enough details on how much sound would drift over into a nearby neighborhood from the theme park's attractions. This means the Orlando Thrill Park will now have to hope that the city council will give them another chance.

While I love the idea of another theme park with an emphasis on the thrill ride aspect that teenagers often bemoan as missing from the current line up of parks in Orlando, I was never totally taken by the location. Sure, it had great visibility from the freeway but it lacked easy access via roads. I also worried that the park would quickly become boxed in by the very small 70 acres plot of land.

Even if this plot of land doesn't work out, I hope they're able to find a home somewhere... perhaps a bit further south on I-4... like say near the Gaylord Palms. I'm sure Osceola County would love the tax revenue if Orange County does not.

(via the Orlando Sentinel)

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Great American Pie Festival is this weekend in Celebration

Want free pie this weekend? The first person to comment on this story on (not twitter or facebook) will win a four-pack of tickets to the all-you-can-eat pie celebration discussed below, which takes place this weekend (obviously, only comment if you are able to be here and collect the tickets!)

ORLANDO (April 4, 2011) -- On April 9 and 10, 2011, pie lovers, tasters and bakers will gather in Celebration, Fla., for two very sweet days at the APC Great American Pie Festival sponsored by Crisco®. Now in its tenth year, this pie extravaganza dishes up luscious layers of fun for the young and the young at heart. Whether looking to enjoy some of the most delectable desserts in America or simply partake in one of the many entertainment and baking demonstrations staged along Main Street in one of America's most charming small towns, attendees are sure to enjoy pure pie perfection.

From top crust to two crust, juicy to sweet, chocolate to custard all matter of flavors and fillings will flow forth for two full days in April to the delight of an anticipated 28,000 pie lovers from around the world.

Presented by the American Pie Council® (APC) - an organization dedicated to preserving America's pie heritage - the popular festival returns to Celebration with all the activities that have made it a favorite event for families and remains free open to the public.

Whether bonafide pie lovers or casual nibblers looking for an afternoon of fun, Orlando residents and visitors are invited to stroll through the free-admission festival and enjoy two days of family fun, reminiscent of days gone by. The Crisco® Kids Creation Station will give aspiring young bakers an opportunity to create their own pies or enjoy some fun with pie decorating, pie-scaping, Piecasso tin art and many more activities! The Pietopia Demonstration Stage sponsored by Village Inn and Bakers Square Restaurants will feature entertainment and baking demonstrations with chefs from across the country. Of course, the Great American Pie Festival would not be complete without a Pie Eating Contest, sponsored by Private Selection. Attendees may opt to dig in and compete or simply sit back and enjoy the show. All festival events will be held both days.
As the festival favorite for the past nine years, the Never Ending Pie Buffet will once again feature an all you can eat smorgasbord of 83,000 award-winning pie slices - up from 70,000 in recent years -- as well as ice cream, toppings and beverages from local, regional and national commercial bakeries, restaurants and markets, including Bakers Square Restaurants and Pies, Bonert's Slice of Pie, California Raisin Marketing Board, J. Horner's Desserts, Kroger's Private Selection, Publix Super Markets, Inc., Rocky Mountain Pies, Smucker's Toppings, The Folger Coffee Company, Village Inn, Wick's Pies and Winn-Dixie. This is the only paid event at the festival. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors over 65 and children under 5 to enjoy all they care to eat and drink.

The 17th Annual American Pie Council/ Crisco® National Pie Championships return to Orlando April 8-10, 2011 expecting a record number of entries across all categories, to top last year's record entries: 417 commercial, 170 professional, 321 amateur and seven junior - totaling an astounding 907 pies!

New this year are three categories created to reflect the signs of the times. "Gluten-free" requiring a pie that is gluten-free in all aspects including crust, filling and toppings. "Innovation" sponsored by Crisco in honor of the brand's 100th Anniversary this year. The "Innovation" category requires a blend of classic and contemporary innovative pie making technique and pie flavor selections. Finally a "Royal Wedding" pie suitable for a soon-to-be-married Prince William and Kate Middleton is the third new category. The pie's the limit with all three of the new categories as well as familiar favorites.

It will take a record number of judges - 200 prequalified volunteer pie aficionados - to eat through almost 1,000 pieces to find the crème de la crème of North American pie bakers. It comes as no surprise that the largest number of entries for a single flavor goes to America's collective favorite - apple pie - with 39 entries in the amateur category.

Entry forms are available online for junior, amateur, professional and commercial divisions. Entry costs are free for juniors and $15 for amateurs. APC members receive discounts on entries.

Host hotel Caribe Royale Hotel is offering a special $129 per night room rate for those attending or participating in the Great American Pie Festival or National Pie Championships. To book this special rate, you must tell the hotel you are with the event. Call 800-823-8300 to book a room.

The festival will be held at Lakeside Park at 631 Sycamore St. in downtown Celebration, Florida 34747. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, April 9; noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, April 10. Admission to the festival is free. Costs for the Never Ending Pie Buffet are: $10 adults, $5 ages 65 and up; $5 ages 6-12.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Cheryl Hines visits Busch Gardens Tampa (Pic)

Friday, April 1, 2011 (Tampa, FL) – Cheryl Hines, best known for her role as Larry David's wife Cheryl on HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm, was unable to contain her enthusiasm when she and her daughter Catherine handfed a reticulated giraffe at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay this week.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Photo: Singer Ne-Yo at Universal Orlando

Grammy-award winning singer and songwriter Ne-Yo – who recently played a role in the action/sci-fi film, “Battle: Los Angeles” – met up with some fellow galaxy defenders at the Men In Black: Alien Attack attraction while at Universal Orlando Resort on April 2, 2011. Ne-Yo spent some time at Universal Studios theme park before his scheduled concert for Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras celebration. Mardi Gras at Universal Studios brings nationally renowned musical acts combine with an authentic Mardi Gras parade, Cajun cooking, and hand-picked New Orleans bands to capture the look, feel and fun of the Big Easy.

© 2011 Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved.

Photo Credit: Kevin Kolczynski, Universal Orlando Resort