Events

Hi we’re Kyle and Stacey!  We’ve been friends for over 13 years and last fall we won a worldwide search to land the best social media job in the world: experiencing every attraction Orlando, Florida has to offer in 67 Days.  We had the time of our lives going to amusement parks, eating amazing food, shopping and SO much more.  Below you will find a blog we made documenting all of our smile filled adventures.  Enjoy!

Orlando is one of the top cities in the country for Halloween events and boy do we believe it! See some of our spooky adventures below along with food festivals, fundraisers and sporting events we attended during our 67 days in Orlando.

Check out Orlando’s Event Calendar to search throughout the year and find an event that would make every member of your family smile!

____________________________________________________

Calle Orange

IMG_3512

Festival Calle Orange shows what one family can do for a community. For eleven years Rene Plasencia and his family have been organizing, planning and running this enormous celebration of Latin American food, music and culture. They even store all of the fences that line the streets in their own backyard when they’re not being used! As we were walking down Orange Ave. through the thousands of people, four stages for live entertainment and countless vendors we couldn’t help but be inspired by how huge this festival was and knowing that it all came from the heart of one family. One thing is for certain, the Latin American culture is alive, well and celebrated in Orlando!

IMG_3505
IMG_3513

_________________________________________________

Dew Tour

The Dew Tour only makes five stops through-out the country every year; Orlando is the only city it has come to each year! We would definitely recommend checking it out next year when it comes around. There is entertainment for the whole family from meet and greets with professional skateboarders to rock band stations. You and your family or friends can enjoy an extreme day of entertainment for a descent price easily at the Dew Tour.

____________________________________________________

Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Our guest blogger for today is our friend Andy Senor:

I remember being a kid and visiting Epcot for the first time. Before I owned a passport, visiting the different lands at Epcot might have been one of my first introductions to foreign cultures. I was bit by the travel bug and have not stopped since. Fortunately, as a cast member of the Broadway musical RENT, I have traveled all over the world and eaten countless, delicious meals. On my recent tour, I have taken up writing a food blog called “La Vie Boh…mmm” that journals my culinary adventures. See, for me, what connects me to another culture or city, is its food.

I had the pleasure of joining Kyle and Stacey on a delicious expedition through the many countries of the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. The festival now in it’s 14th year features food and wine from around the world in booths set up in each country. Every “tasting size” dish is paired with a different wine at a very low price. Although none of the foods were new to me, it was very entertaining to run around using a prepaid card that made the tastings run smoothly. It was great to see people trying different kinds of foods from around the world that had a surprising authenticity to them. My favorite of the day was the “Paprika Beef Stew with Bacon Dumpling” from Austria and the “Snapper Escabeche” from Barcelona, Spain. The only drawback to the event was the heat. It made it hard to develop an appetite for some of the dishes. Fortunately, the very refreshing Bacardi Frozen Dragon Berry Colada from Puerto Rico cooled us off and set us in the right spirit to continue our hunt.

On a more extravagant note, Epcot’s “Party For The Senses” later that evening provided a gorgeous showcase of recipes for those foodies with a more refined palate. Hosted by Vanity Fair, this particular event celebrated comfort foods with a twist. For an additional $140.00 you can taste your way through beautiful arrays of food, wine, cheeses and desserts while listening to live music in an elegant, upscale atmosphere. This event truly expanded the way I thought about food and had me reflect upon my own approach to cooking. With their unique take on comfort foods, chefs were available at each station presenting their glorious dishes. One chef from my favorite station of the evening, Steve Chiappetti from Viand, Chicago, even offered to send me the recipe to his Stuffed Baked Spaghetti Bites. Absolutely Delicious! Our favorite wine of the evening was the “Chateau Frank Brut” from Dr. Konstantin Frank Wine Cellars. It seemed to compliment anything it was paired with. And it all came to an end with a grand exit as we walked into the Epcot fireworks display! Perfect!

One thing I love about writing a food blog is that people get to experience culinary adventures from around the world without having to go through customs. Similarly, I believe the magic of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is that it makes the world and its culinary treasures available to anyone. It bridges our world together in such close proximity at a very affordable price, for people of all ages, all in one days journey. Thank you Kyle, Stacey and Orlando for the invitation. My stomach has not stopped smiling!

-Andy Senor Jr.

____________________________________________________________________________________

I cant wait to come back for more Orlando food finds! Until then, I invite you to visit my blog at www.lavbm.com and see what’s cooking!

_____________________________________________________

Feast on the 50

IMG_2809

Now this is how you kick off college football season! Feast on the 50 takes place once a year in the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium right on the field (hence the 50). There are a bunch of tents lining the field with yummy food, drinks and entertainment. Many of those tents are from college football teams from across the country showing off their school pride (and giving away drinks and prizes at a lot of them). We of course had to stop by U of M’s tent and get some Michigan apples… and a jell-0 shot or two. Now obviously this event only happens once a year but there are always games/concerts/events going on at the Citrus Bowl right outside of downtown so it’s worth taking a peek there to see what’s going on!

IMG_2813

______________________________________________________

Gay Pride

IMG_1265

Gay Pride was born in the summer of 1969 in NYC following the Stonewall Riots. The LGBTQ community wanted to have a way to celebrate diversity and show their pride in who they are. And that is exactly what Gay Pride in Orlando is like…a celebration of the LGBTQ community.

IMG_1230We were invited by Funky Monkey (a local restaurant) to join their float through the parade route downtown. We had a great time throwing out candy from the float and dancing to ABBA (I mean who wouldn’t like that?). Following the parade we took a walk around Lake Eola were the party continued. Stuart Milk along with many others spoke at Disney’s Amphitheatre, booths sold cool merchandise, and there was a funnel cone place 🙂

IMG_1276At night we headed to the Parliament House which is the premier Gay resort in Orlando. This place is HUGE! People from all walks of life were there enjoying the multiple bars, pool, club, and outdoor patio. It was fun to see the variety of people and things to do at the P House.

Overall Gay Pride was a really fun and colorful experience!

__________________________________________________

Halloween Horror Nights

This was a night I had been waiting for since 8th grade when I first heard about Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios. Universal pulls out all the stops for this event. The haunted houses all look like movie sets they’re so detailed, and the costumes/makeup are at the same level. Universal takes what you’ve ever known about haunted attractions and magnifies it to incredible levels. If you get the chance to do this… DO IT!

We got to be a part of the fun as we were able to be made into “scareactors” and prowl the streets of Universal scaring the pants off of guests. Our favorite houses were Frankenstein, Wolfman and Chucky (animate dolls have always creeped both of us out). One thing we loved was that while waiting in line you can text a certain number and play a “choose your own adventure” game about that house you’re waiting in line for! That being said… get express passes if you can. Lines can be quite long.

___________________________________________________

Howl O’ Scream

IMG_1823Since day one of our 67 days we were hoping to make it to Busch Gardens. I’ve known about Gwazi, Kumba and Montu since they were first built and I was like a kid in a candy store when I finally got to see them in person! Gwazi was rough and fast, with lots of unexpected twists and turns… exactly what a wooden rollercoaster should be. Kumba was just beautiful. The way the ride intertwines with itself is an engineering marvel. Montu was INTENSE! It just never let up! Then came the big daddy of them all, our favorite ride at the park: Shiekra. Shiekra takes you to the top of its hill IMG_1845and then hangs you over the edge staring straight down… 90 degrees… before dropping you. It’s just so smooth and so thrilling at the same time. Go to the park just to ride this ride, you will not be dissapointed. It’s easily one of my favorite rides we’ve been on in our 67 days.

On top of all of the great coasters that Busch Gardens offers, we also got to experience Howl-O-Scream. I have to say we were so impressed with it. They may not have had the massive budget of Universal Studios, but they got really creative with their scares. For instance, in one of the scare zones they had guys dressed up as werewolves that were attached to bungees. As you walked by they would jump out from the trees at you only to get pulled back into the IMG_1833darkness again before you even realized what happened. Our favorite part of Howl-O-Scream were the unexpected scares. Normally for Halloween events, parks have designated “scare zones” with smoke, lights and signs to let you know people are going to scare you. Busch Gardens, however doesn’t always provide you with that convenience. Stacey and I were just casually walking through a dimly lit section of the park, admiring the ducks in a pond nearby, when a man dressed all in black came charging at us from behind the bushes. I screamed like a baby. It was THE best scare we had in all of the haunted attractions we’ve been to. Way to go Busch Gardens!

_______________________________________________________

Mount Dora

Driving into Mount Dora we were transported back home into the vacation town in Michigan where we grew up. With the smell of a fresh water lake, the quaint downtown, and the smiles on everyone walking by, it felt like we were on a vacation from our vacation. While in town we checked out the following places…and would definitely recommend them:

Segway Tour:

This is the way to see Mount Dora! We had a blast cruising around town on these motorized vehicles… and boy we saw a lot of town in a little bit of time. We even went off roading through trails and to the only working lighthouse on a fresh water lake in Florida. The tour is two hours long, scenic, and full of speed! We were really surprised at how easy it was to learn how to drive the Segways. It takes about five minutes of playing around on them, but after that you hardly even have to think about what you’re doing. Definitely a great way to tour the area.IMG_3425

Lake County Waterways Tour:

The waterways tour took us deep into the Mount Dora Canal for a couple of beautiful hours. The canal is lined with decorated motor homes and mammoth Cypress trees which was wonderful entertainment. On the return trip you get a beautiful view of Mount Dora and you can actually see why they named it MOUNT Dora… it’s a pretty hilly area! It was so nice to get to see the area from a new perspective. Overall it was very relaxing and a great way to spend an afternoon with friends for a low cost.

__________________________________________________

Orlando Magic

Tonight we had the privilege of attending the final pre-season game of the Orlando IMG_1774Magic (8-0 with tonight’s blowout win over the Atlanta Hawks!) where Kyle opened the game with a sweet rendition of the National Anthem. The experience was a delight from beginning to end. Travel to Amway Arena was an easy exit off I-4, parking was readily available, and the arena staff were courteous, professional and committed to making our experience something memorable for the entire family. I was particularly impressed with the fact that the evening was a creative blend of sports and entertainment (the IMG_1763entertainment experience is completely missed when watching NBA on ESPN). The entertainment included hilarious children’s contests, crowd involvement activities, even the taking of final citizenship vows during half-time for a large number of new Americans (a truly emotional celebration for all in attendance). So whether you are a great sports fan or just looking for some good entertainment for the entire family, you would do well to schedule an outing to an Orlando Magic game the next time you visit the area.

___________________________________________________

Third Thursday Art Walk

On the 3rd Thursday of every month downtown Orlando opens up various venues from art galleries to boutiques all to showcase new and emerging art. We had a really good time hanging out with friends we’ve made in Orlando while looking at the amazing art. Oh the art! From head dresses to performance art and street music we were blown away at the variety! It was a perfect night downtown!

IMG_2867

Performance Art

IMG_2834

IMG_2880

Puppets

There is nothing better to do after walking around downtown Orlando and enjoying good art then sitting down for a glass of wine at the Eola Wine Company. It’s a beautiful walk from Orange avenue past Lake Eola to the restaurant. IMG_2902

When choosing your wine go ahead and trust the staff…they had great suggestions for us! It was relaxing to sip our wine, talk about our favorite pieces from the night, and watch the people pass by. This was a great night!

_____________________________________________________

Hard Rock Hotel Pinktober

IMG_1870

What’s better than having a blast? Having a blast for a good cause! Today we headed over to Hard Rock Hotel for some great eats and great tunes to kick off Pinktober. Pinktober is an awesome campaign that Hard Rock is throwing to benefit breast cancer research. The entire month of October they are doing some great things to help, one really cool thing is that you can ask for pink sheets in your room and 25% of the room rate goes towards the fight against breast cancer.

IMG_1747

We started our night at The Kitchen, a tasty laid back restaurant right in the hotel (get the Ahi Tuna). Then it was off to the main event for the night: The Bangles in concert… right in the lobby! We had so much funIMG_1771 singing “Manic Monday” and “Walk Like an Egyptian” at the top of our lungs (Stacey is still hoarse)! Even the Bangles pitched in the help the cause, auctioning off signed memorabilia. Where else but Hard Rock can you eat, watch a concert, take a dip in the pool and then go right to your room all in the same place?! The best part is that while we were having a blast, we were helping out a great cause… and that makes a great night even better! So if you’re thinking about staying overnight in Orlando, do it at Hard Rock, and do it in October. Those pink sheets will make you feel all warm and cozy inside!

IMG_1851

_________________________________________________________

Red Chair Affair

Our Hosts for the evening won our Red Chair.  There are many red chairs which were decorated by local business in Orlando.  Many of the chairs came with extra prizes, for instance the couple that won our chair also won a day with us!

Our Hosts for the evening won our Red Chair. There were many red chairs which were decorated by local business and art programs in Orlando. Many of the chairs came with extra prizes, for instance the couple that won our chair also won a day with us!

Last night we attended The Red Chair Affair at the Bob Carr Theatre downtown to celebrate the kick-off of Orlando’s 2009-10 Art Season. The Red Chair Project put the evening together which included a silent auction to raise money for the arts and wonderful performances from many arts programs in the city. The show was a great way to get a sampling of what Orlando offers from ballet to quality theatre.

Some of the many ways to describe the arts in Orlando

Meeting the Cast

Meeting the Cast

We spent the morning of Day 24 getting a closer look at one of the arts programs in the city: The Orlando Repertory Theatre. The Orlando Rep focuses on producing professional family friendly theatre and from personal

The Stage

The Stage

experience we can say that they do! We caught the morning performance of Charolette’s Web which was filled with families. Everyone in the audience enjoyed the show, including us. Everything about the performance from the actors to the sets went above and beyond our expectations. The best part about the Orlando Rep is that they made the show a complete experience. Stop by and see one of their many shows with your family!

____________________________________________________________

Shaq’s Mama Said Knock You Out

Golf Tournament

Shaq's Mama Said Knock You Out Golf Tournament

Shaq's Mama Said Knock You Out Golf Tournament

On Day 23 we headed to Shaq’s ‘Mama Said Knock You Out Golf Tournament’ at Shingle Creek. I’m sure you’re wondering if we beat Shaq…well he was so intimated by how good we looked in our polo shirts and plaid shorts he asked us not to play…you know so we wouldn’t show him up :). Just kidding, we’re just not good enough golfers. So after we said hi to the man of the hour we headed to Brad Brewer’s Golf Academy. which was on site at Shingle Creek.Shaq and Us

IMG_1403IMG_1401IMG_1400IMG_1407

Brad was an amazing guy with a huge amount of patience for those who know very little about golf (like us). In just an hour he had us using good form and hitting the balls 150 yards plus…which we were shocked at. The best part is that Brad had us falling in love with golf in a way we didn’t see coming. Playing golf turned out to be really relaxing and enjoyable! Maybe next year we’ll be able to take on Shaq.

Brad Brewer Golf Academy
Brad Brewer Golf Academy
Brad Brewer

Brad Brewer

_____________________________________________________________

Links:

One Response

  1. Came to your site through Yahoo. I will be joining to your feed. Thnx.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: