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February 2013 Archives

February 8, 2013

Animal Kingdom Walk Around

AK-entrance.jpg

Yes, I admit, I love Animal Kingdom. Give me a choice of parks to roam on my own and that's where you'll find me. I am fascinated with the wildlife and love to photograph. And then, of course, there is that menu thing we do here at AllEars :) ( If you believe I have mislabeled any of the wildlife in this blog, please let me know!)

A few days ago I spent 2 consecutive mornings at Animal Kingdom. Both days were cool, 50s and 60s. The air was crisp and the park beautifully lit by the sunshine!

I like to stop by the Lemur area in Discovery Island Trails. This section is between the Cotton Top Tamarins and It's Tough to be a Bug. Parts of the view area right behind Doug and Russell's meet and greet area.

It is common to see the Ring-Tailed-Lemurs out (think King Julien from Madagascar) but very unusual to see the Collared Lemurs. In fact, I can probably count on one hand how many times I have seen the collared lemurs.

Always talk to the Cast Members in the viewing areas, even those on clean-up patrol. They can be very informative and helpful! On this day, the Cast Member at the Tamarins told me all the lemurs were out and that they were fed between 11-12 right now.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I found both collared lemurs awake and roaming around.

RINGED-TAILED-LEMURS

Animal Kingdom Ringed-Tailed Lemurs

Animal Kingdom Ringed-Tailed Lemurs

COLLARED LEMURS

Animal Kingdom Collared Lemurs

Animal Kingdom Collared Lemurs

Animal Kingdom Collared Lemurs

Animal Kingdom Collared Lemurs

I decided to walk the park counter-clockwise and headed to DinoLand USA. I'm not sure how long the Abdim Stork exhibit has been there, but I don't recall seeing it before.

Animal Kingdom Abdim Stork

Animal Kingdom Abdim Stork

Deeper into Asia, the Siamangs were out enjoying the sunshine! They were having a great time in their habitat and also walking the "tight rope" from station to station.

Animal Kingdom Siamang

Animal Kingdom Siamang

Animal Kingdom Siamang

Animal Kingdom Siamang

Next up Maharajah Jungle Trek!

The Komodo Dragon was out the 2nd morning I was there.. too chilly the first morning. I believe it needs to be 65 degrees or warmer for the Komodo to be out.

Animal Kingdom Komodo Dragon

Animal Kingdom Komodo Dragon

The Saurus Cranes - largest crane in the world.

Animal Kingdom Saurus Cranes

The Banteng was enjoying the warmth from the sun.

Animal Kingdom Banteng

I bypassed the bat house and went into the Aviary.

So many birds were out - walking on the ground, flying above, chirping loudly! Remember to talk with the Cast Members! They will point out where the birds are and share interesting facts!

Nicobar Pigeon

Animal Kingdom Nicobar Pigeon

Pied Imperial Pigeon

Animal Kingdom Pied Imperial Pigeon

White Headed Buffalo Weaver

Animal Kingdom White Headed Buffalo Weaver

Zebra Finches

Animal Kingdom Zebra Finches

Golden Pheasant

Animal Kingdom Golden Pheasant

Animal Kingdom Golden Pheasant

As I left the Aviary and the Maharajah Jungle Trek I heard music and as I got closer, there was a crowd. The Bhangra DJ Dance Party was in full swing!

Animal Kingdom Bhangra DJ Dance Party

It was great fun and all guests, young and old got into the celebration. What a great idea for this part of Animal Kingdom.

Animal Kingdom Bhangra DJ Dance Party

Animal Kingdom Bhangra DJ Dance Party

Animal Kingdom Bhangra DJ Dance Party

On my way out of Asia into Africa I saw Divine. Just LOVE to watch her.


Animal Kingdom Divine

Animal Kingdom Divine

Wandered into Pangani Forest Exploration Trail Aviary!

Golden Weavers - you'll see them fliting about really fast as they build their upside down nests.

Animal Kingdom Golden Weavers

Blue Bellied Roller

Animal Kingdom Blue Bellied Roller

Wattled Starling

Animal Kingdom

Great Blue Turaco

Animal Kingdom Great Blue Turaco

I hope you enjoyed walking through Animal Kingdom with me. What is your favorite thing to do in Animal Kingdom?

February 12, 2013

SeaWorld Orlando Bands, Brew & BBQ

SeaWorld_Bands_Brew_BBQ_logo.jpg

Just what is Bands Brew and BBQ? SeaWorld partners with local restaurants for great BBQ, an array of beers and tops it off with a classic rock and country music concert.

SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ


Saturday, February 9th, I attended my first SeaWorld Orlando Bands, Brew and BBQ Event (full disclosure at the end of this blog). It was a beautiful day with clear blue skies and temps in the low 70s.

This year's event is held Saturdays and Sundays now through March 17th, 2013. The event area opens at 11:30am and closes at 7pm. Concerts begin at 4:00pm. Bands, Brew & BBQ is included with your park admission.

BOTTOM LINE: I had a great time and hope to get back to see another concert and chow down on more BBQ before the festival ends!

THE DETAILS....

THE BBQ

SeaWorld partners with local restaurants such as Tony Roma's, Cecil's Texas Style Bar B Q and Sonny's Bar-B-Q. In addition, SeaWorld has their own Sweet, Smokin BBQ setup! There is BBQ "row" and the vendors sell their finest BBQ!

SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ

SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ

SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ

SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ

SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ

Food prices ranged from $8.50 for a BBQ sandwich and side to $15 for a plate loaded with meats and sides. Believe me, there was PLENTY of food to be had and it was really good! Hot dogs and burgers were also available at some of the booths.

SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ

SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ

SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ

SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ


SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ

New this year was an extended area of tables in the Ports of Call Garden to enjoy the BBQ.

SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ

SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ

SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ

This area also had a few animal encounters during the traditional "lunch time" -- later in the day the animal encounters moved to a different location.

SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ

HARLEY DAVIDSON

Harley Davidson is also an event sponsor and there was a shaded area with several 2013 Harleys to check out. Photos welcome! For all the Harley lovers, when you ride your Harley to Bands, Brew & BBQ parking is free! The Harleys will be on display thru March 3rd!


SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ

THE BREWS

The Craft Brew Sampler, for $21, allowed you to have 10 samples (7 ounce pours) from the 25 domestic and imported craft beefs available. Not being much of a beer drinker I passed on the sampler, but the folks I spoke with certainly got their money's worth of beer. In fact, several of them were sharing their sampler card with those in the group that didn't purchase one.

The beers included: Florida Beer Florida Lager, Vermont Hard Cider Granny Smith, Magic Hat #9, Sweetwater 420, Green Flash Hop Head Red, Point 2012 Black Ale, Stella Artois, Bass, Hoegaarden, Victory Brewing Company, and Widmer Brothers.

I was interested in trying one or two of the craft beers however individual purchases of these beers is not allowed If you wanted a single beer, visit one of the regular beer carts.


SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ


SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ


SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ


SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ


THE BANDS


There is a Festival Stage with live local bands or a DJ playing non-stop until just about 4pm. Dancers were on hand to teach you steps or simply to entertain. When the dancers took a break, SeaWorld notables such as Shamu, make that Country Shamu, Penny the Penguin and Dolly the Dolphin were on the dance floor cuttin' it up with anyone who cared to join in the fun!


SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ


SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ


SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ


SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ


SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ

Concerts are held at Bayside Stadium (and also simulcast in the Ports of Call Garden).

SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ

SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ

The Stadium also gives you a great view of MANTA!

SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ

I'm not much of a Country Music fan. So when I read that I would be seeing Chris Young with Jerrod Niemann, I was clueless. However, live music is always fun and entertaining! This turned out to be a "double" concert as Jerrod Niemann was up first and played for over 45 minutes.

SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ

SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ

SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ

There was an intermission and then Chris Young gave a great concert. Lots of his fans were in the audience with a wide variety of Chris Young Tshirts!

SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ

SeaWorld Bands Brew BBQ


Here's the list of concerts of upcoming concerts!

Saturday, February 16 The Beach Boys
Sunday, February 17 Styx
Saturday, February 23 Big & Rich
Sunday, February 24 Third Eye Blind
Saturday, March 2 Daryl Hall & John Oates
Sunday, March 3 Darius Rucker
Saturday, March 9 Michael McDonald
Sunday, March 10 Josh Turner
Saturday, March 16 Rodney Atkins with Uncle Kracker
Sunday, March 17 Sheryl Crow

PACKAGES AND DISCOUNTS

Bands, Brew & BBQ VIP Package $38 - Have the ultimate Bands, Brew & BBQ experience with reserved seating for the concert and a meal! Meal voucher includes any entrée (including its accompanying side) and any one item from a selection of side salads, side dishes or desserts and a regular sized non-alcoholic beverage.

Pass Members, book your Bands, Brew & BBQ VIP Package or Craft Beer Sampler through the Pass Member website and save 10%.

TIPS

If you want to make a full day of SeaWorld's attractions and Bands, Brew and BBQ you will certainly get your moneys worth! Arrive at park opening and enjoy some attractions before the event area opens.

OR arrive around 11:30am, and wander to the events area (guide maps have locations marked). Enjoy a nice relaxing lunch and perhaps some brews. Check out the Festival Stage with local music or experience some attractions. By 3pm (earlier if it is a very popular group), go to Bayside Stadium and for concert seating.

To make sure you are up front for the concert, purchase the VIP package.

Enjoy Beer? -- get the The Craft Brew Sampler, for $21!

A one day ticket to SeaWorld is $89 at the Gate, but if you purchase online at their website, you can save $10. For $89 a Florida resident can purchase a Fun Card good for the entire year. Sea World offers you the opportunity to upgrade your one-day ticket prior to leaving - don't miss this great deal!

In researching the event I found it began in the year 2000 and was called Bud and BBQ. Now that SeaWorld and Busch Gardens aren't associated with Budweiser anymore the event name was changed in 2010 to Bands, Brew & BBQ.

DISCLOSURE: I was invited media at SeaWorld's Bands, Brew and BBQ. I received free priority parking, park admission, and a voucher good for a platter at SeaWorld's BBQ booth. I was also given priority seating for the concert. This was my second visit to the park (both media events) and I found I really enjoy it. Before I left I purchased my first Annual Passport to SeaWorld.

February 14, 2013

Port Orleans Resort Annual Mardi Gras Parade

Deb's Digest Blog

Happy Mardi Gras!

The annual Mardi Gras Parade at the Port Orleans Resort features floats designed by the Cast Members. Each team, housekeeping, front desk, etc, decorates a float for the parade. It's held annual on Fat Tuesday!

This year's theme was 75 Years of Disney Animated Films

Port Orleans Resort Annual Mardi Gras Parade

Port Orleans Resort Annual Mardi Gras Parade

Port Orleans Resort Annual Mardi Gras Parade

Port Orleans Resort Annual Mardi Gras Parade

Port Orleans Resort Annual Mardi Gras Parade


February 22, 2013

Welcome to the Bottom of the World - SeaWorld's Antarctica: Empire of the Penguins

SeaWorld-Antarctica1a.jpg
SeaWorld's Antarctica: Empire of the Penguins Behind the Scenes Tour!

On Monday I, along with other local media, were invited by SeaWorld for the first Behind-the-Scenes Tour of their exciting new attraction, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguins.

SeaWorld Antarctica

I arrived early and took a few photos from outside the walls; what you would see in the park itself. This is on the Journey to Atlantis side of the construction site.

SeaWorld Antarctica

SeaWorld Antarctica

As we entered the construction area, this was my first glimpe of Antarctica, a la SeaWorld.

SeaWorld Antarctica

Our tour began inside the "creative model room" where 2 scale working models of the project are set up to ensure the accuracy and the scale and the detail of all the ice work inside and outside the attraction.

SeaWorld Antarctica

SeaWorld Antarctica

SeaWorld Antarctica

SeaWorld Antarctica

SeaWorld Antarctica

SeaWorld Antarctica

SeaWorld Antarctica

Creative Director Brian Morrow explains....

From here we went into the actual construction site and an official announcement was made of the opening date for Antarctica: Empire of the Penguins - May 24, 2013!

SeaWorld Antarctica

After the announcement we were able to walk around and explore the space. We were "inside" the realm of Antartica but "outside" the actual indoor attraction.

SeaWorld Antarctica

SeaWorld Antarctica

SeaWorld Antarctica

SeaWorld Antarctica

Brian Morrow explains more about the exterior features of the attraction and additional details and has some fun with me at the end.


SeaWorld Antarctica

SeaWorld Antarctica

SeaWorld Antarctica

SeaWorld Antarctica


The Penguin Wall is a very important component of the educational aspect of the attraction. Penguins live all over the planet and all the species are represented in the attraction. Guests will be able to come right up to the penguin wall and touch the sculptures. This is a also great for someone who may be vision impaired to feel the shape of the penguins.

SeaWorld Antarctica

SeaWorld Antarctica

SeaWorld Antarctica

SeaWorld Antarctica

SeaWorld Antarctica

SeaWorld Antarctica

SeaWorld Antarctica

SeaWorld Antarctica


SeaWorld Antarctica

If you want to explore even more of SeaWorld's new adventure download the free Antarctica app, available now for iPhones, iPads and Android devices. The app can be downloaded at SeaWorldOrlando.com/Antarctica.

SeaWorld Antarctica

The app is full of create-and-share videos and photos, swim, march and dance with penguins. Put your face onto an Antarctic explorer. And the best part? All of videos and photos can easily be shared with family and friends through social media channels -- Facebook, Twitter and You Tube - and can be emailed, too.

Antarctica-app.gif

The app is also the place to get the facts about penguins and Antarctica, watch behind-the-scenes teaser videos about the "making of" SeaWorld Orlando's newest attraction, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. Fans can even enter the Family Voyage Sweepstakes to win a trip to Orlando!

I'll keep you updated as we get closer to May 24th, the official opening date of what looks to be a first rate attraction!

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About February 2013

This page contains all entries posted to Deb's Digest in February 2013. They are listed from oldest to newest.

January 2013 is the previous archive.

March 2013 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.