We start off our IAAPA experience right by seeing some new announcements about new rides and coasters coming soon. And of course, we get the Dippin Dots. You gotta get the Dippin Dots.
Florida Theme Parks & Attractions
We learn what there is to do at this year’s Christmastown event at Busch Gardens Tampa, see a few shows, and make our own wax flamingo child!
Disclosure: Busch Gardens hosted us for this event, but these opinions are our own!
I’ve written before about the wonderful hotel options at the Hilton Bonnet Creek and Waldorf Astoria Orlando. We stayed there back in 2015 for their Race Weekends package, and I’d been there before with my friend Amanda, on a girls weekend getaway, full of fun, food, and sunburn in my case. Back then, I called these hotels the “best kept secret in Walt Disney World,“ and while I think that word has gotten out, there are still many people that don’t even know where these resorts are located. Food and Wine Weekends may just change that.
A great way to get introduced to these beautiful properties is one of the many event weekends they have going on throughout the year. The aforementioned Race Weekends are a great option for runDisney races; they really give you extra fun for your races, with all sorts of great amenities to enjoy. They also have Florida Resident rates, breakfast included packages, and more. Last night we were invited to experience a taste of their Food and Wine Weekends. These weekend menu options extend the “Magical Dining” menus that happen all over Orlando in September, with proceeds going to various charities, and are a perfect complement to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
Food And Wine Weekends Breakdown:
The Food and Wine Weekends offer special tasting menus at 3 of the restaurants throughout the Hilton Bonnet Creek and Waldorf Astoria. The best part (for me and many of my friends) is that they also offer full vegan menu options at each of these locations.
A couple of weeks ago, I enjoyed the vegan Magical Dining menu at Zeta Asia, and it was truly amazing. I was very happy Amanda made that reservation because I didn’t know it existed and I’m still thinking about the menu items we had (I am officially in love with the vegan Bao Buns and the Bibimbap)!
You can find ALL of the Food and Wine Weekends menu options, including Peacock Alley’s “Bar du Chocolat and Champagne tasting” and the Myth Bar’s “Pop Culture” with house made fresh fruit popsicles, organic ice pops, and “poptails” for the adults, in this guide from Hilton Bonnet Creek.
Last night, we were treated to the vegan Cauliflower Salad from La Luce, the Vegetable Fricassee from Bull & Bear, and the Impossible Bibimbap from Zeta Asia. These were all wonderful choices, and honestly, I was full after the first option, and absolutely stuffed by the 3rd. I somehow made room for the two vegan desserts we were offered, a dark chocolate and passion fruit dessert from Bull & Bear, and the special request dessert available in the hotels when you request a vegan dessert: fresh fruit sauce over a coconut tart, with fresh berries and whipped non-dairy cream. They were both SO wonderful, it definitely didn’t feel like a thrown-together vegan option, which is often the case with desserts. Check out photos in the gallery below from the evening and some of the hotel properties. Just click to enlarge any photo:
We were also treated to a vegan cocktail, since the one they were serving that night had sheep’s milk in it. We were given a modified “Bee’s Knees” with agave instead of honey. It was very floral and lovely. You can order this at Peacock Alley any time! You can watch the bartender create this drink for us, as well as chefs creating the amazing nitrogen-cooled chocolate pictured above, any time on my Food and Wine Weekends Instagram story highlight.
I hope I’ve tempted you a bit to head over to the Waldorf Astoria Orlando or Hilton Bonnet Creek and experience their Food and Wine Weekends for yourselves. It really is a wonderful experience, and such a nice, relaxing, crowd-and-line-free way to enjoy some culinary delights. I was hosted for our tasting experience, but I truly do love these properties and think they are such a nice getaway from the hustle and bustle of the nearby Disney hotels. Did I mention the lazy river?
If you’ve never been, enjoying a Food and Wine Weekends tasting menu is a great way to get over and explore the properties before staying the night (but staying the night is also a great way to end your Food and Wine Weekends evening!).
Have you stayed at either of these properties, or enjoyed their Food and Wine Weekends, or their stellar dining options?
Disclosure: As mentioned, I was hosted by Hilton for this tasting event, but my thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own.
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We got to see Sea World announce what sounds like the craziest new coaster in Florida, while Busch Gardens simultaneously announced the return of an old favorite! …And then we went to Sesame Street.
Disclaimer: Sea World provided us admission to this event, but these opinions are our own!
Today Christian and Gio are checking out the new ‘Lego Movie Days’ event at LEGOLAND Florida Resort! This event is happening on weekends in July and August.
For more info, including event dates and times, please visit: https://www.legoland.com/california/l…
Disclosure: LEGOLAND Florida hosted us for this event, but these opinions are our own!
Today was the grand opening of the brand new Island H2O Live! water park at Margaritaville Resort Orlando, and they invited me down to check it out, so let’s see what they have to offer!
For more info, and to book tickets, visit: https://www.islandh2olive.com/
This video was filmed on June 21st, at Island H2O Live!, for their grand opening. Check it out below!
Roving reviewer and videographer Christian recently visited SEA LIFE Aquarium Orlando to experience their newest sensation – Mermaids! Every Friday through Sunday starting May 31 through June 23, visitors can come face to fin with real-life mermaids as they dive into the ocean habitats alongside rays, sharks and all their fishy friends.
Mermaid dive times:
- 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
- 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
- 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
- 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
- 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
- 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Check out Christian’s video of the Mermaids at SEA LIFE Aquarium Orlando and get your tickets today!
Thanks to SEA LIFE Orlando for having us out to share the Mermaids with you!
SEA LIFE Orlando is celebrating the summer with a brand new event – there are mermaids at the aquarium! Join us as we check it out.
More info about the Mermaids event, including dates and times: https://www.visitsealife.com/orlando/…
This vlog was filmed on June 1st, 2019, at SEA LIFE Orlando, for the opening celebration of the new event, Mermaids at the Aquarium. Check it out below!
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s fabulous summer-long event, Summer Nights begins this weekend! This means extended park hours every night through August 11th and fireworks every Friday through Sunday. Be sure to take advantage of the limited-time Memorial Day Sale to get the best deals of the season.
Starting next Friday, May 31, the thrills go late and the fun lasts longer at Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay with the return of Summer Nights.
Music, entertainment and more create a vibrant nightlife atmosphere surrounding Florida’s best thrill rides. In addition to fan-favorite coasters, thrill seekers can now take on Tigris, Florida’s tallest launch coaster, in an exciting new way after dark. The triple-launch coaster takes thrills to new heights as riders face a 150’ upward surge, dramatic heartline roll and top speeds exceeding 60 miles per hour through the night sky.
Park guests can also enjoy special-edition menu items that feature a new twist on traditional summer fare.
Classic popcorn gets a makeover with an infusion of buffalo ranch and white cheddar flavors.
Summer tastes sweeter with a churro sundae or a fireworks ice cream slushy.
The grilled cheese of childhood memories is transformed as a mac and cheese melt, also available with lobster.
Grown-up indulgences include colorful handcrafted cocktails and pop-tails (new frozen treats with alcohol) in addition to the continued free beer offer as a part of the park’s 60th anniversary celebration.
Memorial Day Sale:
Now through June 2, guests can enjoy limited-time offers for the best value of the summer season.
Busch Gardens Single Day Ticket – SAVE UP TO 60%!
Price: $49, must visit by June 23
Add Adventure Island for only $10 more
Busch Gardens Fun Card – SAVE OVER 30%!
blockout dates apply
Busch Gardens, Adventure Island & 4-Park Annual Passes
5% off Bronze
10% off Silver
20% off Gold
For more details on limited-time offers, visit BuschGardensTampa.com; Restrictions apply. Be the first to know about new events, special deals and future announcements by following Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s blog and social media channels on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram.
The TODAY Show-inspired ‘Today Cafe’ is now open at Universal Orlando Resort! Join us as we check out some of the festivities including behind the scenes of filming the TODAY Show.
This vlog was filmed on May 16th, 2019, at the Universal Studios Orlando Resort, for the opening of the TODAY Cafe. Check it out below!