Category Archives: Florida

Giveaways from West Palm Beach, Florida Offers Free Night Stays at Hotels in The Palm Beaches, FL Enter the Sun & Fun Giveaway for a Chance to Win a Summer Escape

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (May 4, 2015)Discover The Palm Beaches’ annual summer travel promotion returned Friday, May 1 with the launch of its all new online deal hub at Source and book summer travel for less at leading accommodations from across The Palm Beaches, with tailored packages offering seasonal savings and free night stays.

New in 2015, the Sun & Fun Giveaway provides a chance to win a getaway to The Palm Beaches. The prize package features a three-night stay at Delray Sands Resort, rental car provided by Sixt, a $100 restaurant gift certificate, a $100 Macy’s gift card, $500 AMEX gift card and a catamaran cruise with Palm Breeze Charters.

“Summer is the perfect time to enjoy an affordable escape to The Palm Beaches to take advantage of free night stays at many of our hotels and discounted rates at local attractions and restaurants,” said Jorge Pesquera, President and CEO of Discover The Palm Beaches. “ provides access to The Palm Beaches’ best summer travel discounts in one convenient place. The site eliminates the lengthy research phase to book a vacation, ensuring a ‘stress-free’ start to a summer vacation in The Palm Beaches.”

With a lively assortment of accommodations, activities and events, The Palm Beaches offer an ideal place for a summer getaway. Experience eco-tourism adventures at Loggerhead Marinelife Center and Loxahatchee Everglades Tours, paddle the calm waters of Jupiter Beach, tee off at the oceanfront Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course, or just relax on the destination’s 47 miles of Florida beaches. After hours of fun in the sun, cool off at Rapids Water Park, shop at the new Palm Beach Outlets or rejuvenate the mind, body and soul at Eau Spa.

Several of the destination’s award-winning hotels and resorts have created “free nights” packages, only available at A sampling includes:

Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa – American Express Cardholders Receive 4th Night FREE American Express cardholders who book four nights at Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, May 1 – September 30, 2015, will receive the fourth night free.

Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa – Jupiter Jaunt Stay two nights and receive the third night free at Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa. Promotion is valid May 1 – December 31, 2015, and is subject to availability.

The Seagate Hotel & Spa – Receive the 4th Night FREE When You Stay for Three Book three nights at The Seagate Hotel & Spa and receive the fourth night free. To book this offer, use the promo code STAY4. Valid on hotel stays June 1 – September 30, 2015.

Wyndham Grand Jupiter at Harbourside Place – Book Three Nights & Receive the 4th Night FREE Use the promo code DISPCVB to get the fourth night free on bookings made for three nights at the Wyndham Grand Jupiter at Harbourside Place. Valid May 1 – December 23, 2015.

A sample of more great offers available at, includes:

Best Western Palm Beach Lakes Inn – Get Paid $50 to Shop Book a two-night stay at Best Western Palm Beach Lakes Inn and receive a $50 AMEX gift card for shopping at the Palm Beach Outlets. Reservations must be made by calling the hotel directly at (561) 683-8810. Valid May 1 – September 30, 2015. Rates from $109 per night.

Boca Raton Resort & Club – Kids Eat Free Kids eat free with the purchase of a parent’s entrée at select Boca Raton Resort & Club restaurants, including Palm Court and SeaGrille for breakfast, as well as 501 East Kitchen Bar for lunch and dinner. This promotion is valid June 1 – August 8, 2015 for up to three children, ages 12 and under, per reservation.

The Breakers Palm Beach – Stay Two Nights or Longer Book The Breakers direct and receive a $50 Nightly Resort Credit when you stay two nights or longer. Credit applies to endless activities including dining, spa services, golf, tennis, valet parking and more. Plus, enjoy complimentary Everyday Summer Benefits. No Resort Fee.

Crane’s BeachHouse Boutique Hotel & Luxury Villas – Stay Longer & Save More Stay two nights at Crane’s BeachHouse Boutique Hotel & Luxury Villas and receive 20% off, or stay three nights and receive 25% off each night. Restrictions apply to this offer, which is valid May 1 – October 1, 2015 and subject to availability.

Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa – Beach Bum Water Sports OfferUse the promo code EWA when booking three or more nights at Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa and receive:

  • All-day Beach Cabana access per night stay, which includes one beach set up, two chairs, one umbrella and one table.
  • Unlimited use of water activities, including ocean kayaks, snorkel gear rental (mask, snorkel, vest and fins), surfboard, stand-up paddle board, boogie boards and inner tubes.

Rates for this offer begin at $329 per night. Valid May 1 – June 27, 2015.

Tideline Ocean Resort & Spa – Summer Save and Stay Package Offers Up to 30% Off Tideline Ocean Resort & Spa is offering up to 30% off reservations made May 1 – October 31, 2015. Guests will receive 20% off 3-4 night stays, 25% off 5-6 night stays and 30% off stays of seven or more nights. The resort is also offering complimentary valet and 20% off spa services.

Waterstone Resort & Marina – Summer Escape Package Book a minimum of two nights at Waterstone Resort & Marina and receive a $25 daily food and beverage credit, free overnight parking, 10% off watersport rentals and a free upgrade to premium Wi-Fi. Reservations must be made May 1 – October 31, 2015 using the promo code PK3. Rates are from $184 per night.

Find a packed event schedule in The Palm Beaches this summer. Signature events include:

Summer in Paradise – June 4 – August 28, 2015 Enjoy internationally renowned and interactive art, exciting community events, and Intracoastal watersports, along with dazzling light shows and glowing games and activities on the Downtown West Palm Beach Waterfront. A full schedule of events and a breakdown of admission rates for each activity can be found on the City of West Palm Beach website.

Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest – July 25, 2015 Attend South Florida’s only indoor craft beer festival. Located inside the air-conditioned South Florida Expo Center, this annual Beer Fest features 150+ craft and local beers combined with an entire day of tunes.Advanced general admission tickets are available online from $35 per person. General admission the day of the event is $55 per person.

Flavor Palm Beach – September 1 – 30, 2015 Experience cuisine that defines the art of dining in South Florida. Choose from The Palm Beaches’ best restaurants and enjoy a three-course lunch for $20 or dinner from $30 per person. Discover new restaurants and savor a taste for the local culinary scene from Jupiter to Boca Raton.

For more information and a complete listing of special offers and events, visit or visit Discover The Palm Beaches’ website, Blackout dates and special restrictions may apply. See individual offers for complete details.

About Discover The Palm Beaches

Discover The Palm Beaches, formerly the Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau, is the official tourism marketing corporation that promotes the collection of 38 cities and towns and 15 tourism districts, commonly referred to as The Palm Beaches, Florida. Tourism is among Palm Beach County’s major industries generating an annual economic impact of nearly $7 billion in the local economy, producing $42 million in bed-tax revenue, lodging sales of approximately $623 million and supporting more than 60,000 jobs.

Social Posts:


@PalmBeachesFL jump-starts summer on May 1 with the launch of, the one-stop-shop for travel savings this season!

Don’t forget to enter the Sun & Fun Giveaway for a chance to win a free summer getaway to The Palm Beaches! #summer #savings #PalmBeachesFL


@PalmBeachesFL jump-starts summer with new, seasonal savings website, #summer #savings #PalmBeachesFL

Visit for amazing travel deals and enter for a chance to win a free summer getaway to @PalmBeachesFL #summer #SunFunGiveaway

Need new ideas while traveling to U.S.A.? Spring 2015 News

Some ideas for travellers to U.S.A.

California: Dream big in the Golden State. California provides the backdrop for dreamers like chefs, shopkeepers and wellness experts to follow their passion to find success. The new launched January 2015, inspiring Canadians to dream big when planning their vacation in the Golden State. For those that enjoy the finer things in life, superlative indulgences await in California for the ultimate bespoke vacation – from private vineyard experiences in Napa and cycle tours around Santa Barbara to chef dinners in San Francisco and glamping in A-framed huts in the San Jacinto Woods.
San Diego’s Balboa Park, the largest cultural urban park in the world, celebrates 100 years since the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, which lay the foundation to the park’s inception. To explore this legacy of pioneering inventions and ideas, visitors can purchase the Balboa Park Explorer pass and receive unlimited general admission to 17 of its attractions for one year. Dream Big

Carlsbad, Calif.: Founded as a mineral spring in 1882, Carlsbad offers an unmatched standard of personal pampering for both women and men. Conveniently located between Los Angeles and San Diego, luxury resorts such as Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort & Spa, Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Sheraton Carlsbad Resort and Spa and West Inn & Suites offer exquisite dining, service and world-class spas. Men looking for adventure can take advantage of Carlsbad’s sunny weather on its eleven kilometres of pristine beaches with a surf lesson, or tee up at four golf courses, including the recently renovated Omni La Costa Legends Course. Golf enthusiasts can also brush up their skills at the PGA Tour Academy and receive custom clubs as well as discounted gear straight from the source at Callaway, Cobra-Puma and TaylorMade. In May 2015, Carlsbad’s wellness month promotion returns with an expanded focus with special deals and packages at area resorts. Where to go for fun.

Chattanooga, Tenn.: Discover the “Scenic City,” a riverfront escape that’s big on arts and adventure. Chattanooga’s burgeoning music scene continues to develop as a new entertainment district is set to open in 2015 as part of an $8 million renovation to the iconic Chattanooga Choo Choo campus. Local artists go back to basics with glassblowing, letterpresses, calligraphy and more for visitors to experience firsthand. The Tennessee Aquarium, ranked the 2014 fourth best aquarium in the world by TripAdvisor, is set to expand in 2015 with a new freshwater conservation institute. Whether an avid rock climber or new to the sport, either can perfect their technique at High Point Climbing, Chattanooga’s newly-opened downtown indoor/outdoor rock climbing and fitness center. Uncommon lodging exists in many forms, from the carriages of the Chattanooga Choo Choo, to the LEED Platinum Certified Crash Pad Hostel and the de-commissioned Delta Queen riverboat. Also, the development of a new five-story, 90-room upscale boutique hotel has been announced, planned for the arts district near the Walnut Street Bridge. All this, plus year-round outdoor adventures such as biking, caving, paddling, rock climbing, trail running and hang gliding await! Take me there!

Cincinnati, Ohio: The Queen City welcomes visitors with a magnitude of identities. The river town is home to professional sports teams, a ballet and symphony, a host of museums and cultural institutions, and a burgeoning culinary and libation scene. All eyes will be on Cincy this summer when the Cincinnati Reds host Major League Baseball’s 2015 All-Star Game and the 86th Midsummer Classic at Great American Ball Park. The city pays homage to its German roots with the annual Goetta Fest this August 6-9, 2015 – a celebration of the much-loved German breakfast sausage unique to Cincinnati in all culinary shapes and forms, from goetta balls and goetta nachos to the more traditional goetta sliders.

CityPASS: Save up to 50 per cent on attraction admissions in top North American destinations with CityPASS. Spring Break travel is a breeze with CityPASS, ticket booklet holders can bypass most main-entrance ticket lines – an extra-special perk with excited children in tow. CityPASS delivers deeply-discounted tickets to top attractions in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Southern California, Tampa Bay and Toronto. All CityPASS products are available online and can also be purchased at any of the participating attractions, providing a foolproof city escape this spring and summer season. CityPASS: Save Money. Have Fun.

Finger Lakes Wine Country, NY: Upstate New York’s Finger Lakes Wine Country offers four seasons of visitor experiences. Throughout the spring and summer, visitors can enjoy world-class wines from a selection of more than 100 area wineries situated along picturesque lakes in upstate New York. Summer is also a great time to explore the great outdoors, from hiking the trails of Watkins Glen State Park to sailing at Seneca Lake. In the Finger Lakes, not even the sky is the limit, with hang-gliding, ballooning, and glider planes in the soaring capital of America. The internationally-renowned Corning Museum of Glass
See the Beauty. Feel the History. Taste the Wine.

Huntington Beach, Calif.: Enjoy the experience of a classic California beach town in Huntington Beach, Surf City USA. From the International Surfing Museum to the annual U.S. Open of Surfing, visitors can explore the destination’s surf heritage, or just immerse in Huntington Beach’s laid-back surfing attitude. Alongside the free spirit of Huntington Beach’s coastal lifestyle is a playful imagination highlighted through new cultural and tourism developments. Pacific City debuts in 2015 with 11 acres of shops and dining, including a public market called LOT 579 which will serve as an incubator for local artisans. The new Pasea Hotel and Spa is also slated to open doors in early 2016. Year-round stunning weather and ten miles of broad sand beaches make Huntington Beach an active, energetic town where life is lived outdoors. Owing to its outdoor recreational opportunities and a vibrant downtown, Huntington Beach is a perfect family getaway – from parents to pooches! Surf City USA.

Long Beach, Calif.: Located in the heart of Southern California, Long Beach blends the urban sophistication of a big city with the relaxed atmosphere of a beach resort. Bordered by the Pacific Ocean, with 9 kilometres of sandy beach front, plus kilometres of inland bays and waterways, Long Beach basks in the warm glow from our year-round California sun. Visitors will also discover world-class attractions and cutting-edge museums, including the legendary Queen Mary ocean liner and WWII troopship; the Aquarium of the Pacific, boasting more than 11,000 animals; and the Long Beach Museum of Art, now featuring a pavilion with two new floor of gallery space. Long Beach Airport provides nonstop service to 13 destinations, and Los Angeles International Airport and Orange County’s John Wayne Airport are only 25 minutes from Long Beach, making a SoCal getaway just a short flight away!

The Palm Beaches, Fla.: Located two hours south of Orlando and one hour north of Miami, The Palm Beaches offers visitors the best way to experience Florida®. Find an eclectic collection of 38 distinct cities and towns from the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean to the shores of Lake Okeechobee, from Boca Raton to Jupiter. Known as Florida’s Golf Capital, beyond its famous resort fairways discover acclaimed four dozen public courses. Play golf on the ocean at Palm Beaches’ Dick Johnson designed Par 3 or for a different kind of “birdie” at the Audubon International certified Osprey Point Golf Course. For shoppers, the destination’s affluent community keeps The Palm Beaches’ consignment stores filled with the latest designer and couture fashions for less. At Wellington’s International Polo Club Palm Beach the winter 2015 polo season crescendo’s with the US Open Polo Championships Sunday, April 19. Take this majestic game in over the weekly Sunday brunch or join the fun of International Gay Polo Week April 9 – 11. The Best Way to Experience Florida®

Greater Palm Springs, Calif.: Nestled in Southern California’s Coachella Valley, Greater Palm Springs is located two hours east of Los Angeles and comprised of nine unique cities – Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio and Coachella.
Outdoor adventures await visitors during the winter and spring travel seasons. Trails around the Coachella Valley are waiting to be explored by foot, bike, ATV, horse or even hummer; which includes those in both Joshua Tree and Death Valley National Parks – a favourite for adventure junkies. The region continues to thrive with hotel openings and enhancements. Arrive, a 32-room boutique and restaurant, will open in Palm Springs’ Uptown Design District later in 2015. By the end of the year, Two Bunch Palms Spa Resort will add 26 rooms as a part of its ongoing multi-million renovation. The iconic Horizon Hotel, a prime example of midcentury modern architecture built by renowned architect William F. Cody 1952, is also currently undergoing enhancements. The new SilverRock Resort has been approved to be built in
La Quinta. This CA$520 million US project will include a 140-room, luxury hotel and spa with lobby and pool bars, fitness center and a restaurant, a 200-room “lifestyle” hotel with a spa, fitness center, lobby and pool bar. Go behind the scenes at the Coachella Valley’s windmill farms with new tours now available. A Brand New Day.

Santa Barbara, Calif.: Part of California’s Central Coast region, Santa Barbara spans 100 miles of pristine coastline, with dramatic mountain views, sparkling seas, lush gardens and white-washed buildings which have earned its distinction as “The American Riviera.” The destination has always been a haven for artists, artisans, wine makers and chefs. Many have located themselves into The Funk Zone. This inner city neighborhood has exploded with artisan shops, art galleries, award-winning microbreweries and even a craft distillery. Be Immersed in Santa Barbara’s art scene staying within the sophisticated design of the Hotel Indigo, or check out the affordable accommodations at new hostel The Wayfarer – a haven for art and wine enthusiasts and beach adventurers. Wine lovers will appreciate the region’s Urban Wine Trail, featuring the best of Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Valley. Santa Barbara’s year-round signature events also delight. This includes Old Spanish Days Fiesta, Summer Solstice Parade, Harbor & Seafood Festival, Vintners’ Festival and Earth Day Festival The American Riviera.

Sunny Isles Beach, Fla.: Sunny Isles Beach is nestled between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, located on a three-kilometre expanse of white sand and glittering ocean. With beautiful weather year-round, Florida’s Riviera is the ultimate winter escape. The destination is home to some of South Florida’s most luxurious accommodations including Acqualina Resort & Spa, Trump International Beach Resort and Turnberry Isle Miami. This compact destination also provides the ultimate luxury pre- or post-cruise stay with mega ships such as the Carnival Breeze, Disney Oceania Cruises and Regent 7 Seas home ported in Miami. Visitors will enjoy festivals such as the 8th Annual Sunny Isles Beach Jazz Fest, returning in November, outdoor adventure at Oleta River State Park and the finest shopping opportunities. Discover a getaway beyond your expectations.

Greater Williamsburg, VA: Greater Williamsburg is ready to shatter their history-only reputation with a slew of new openings and cultural experiences. The first exhibition devoted to Leonardo da Vinci’s fascination with the beautiful and the ugly comes to Williamsburg’s Muscarelle Museum of Art Feb. 21-April 5 – making Williamsburg one of only two North American cities to host the exclusive exhibit. Williamsburg Distillery prepares to open this spring and will craft vodka, rum and bourbon using 18th-century recipes and techniques. Alewerks Brewing Company unveils a recreated 17th-century beer that can be tasted during tours or sold exclusively to Chowning’s Tavern when the restaurant re-opens in March 2015. The new Virginia Capital Trail currently offers 12 kilometres of historic hiking traversing 400 years of North American history. The trail will soon be a part of the larger 85 kilometre trail. Yorktown Victory Center’s brand new 7400 metre-squared facility opens spring 2015, featuring vibrant gallery exhibits and enhanced outdoor interpretive programming.

New Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa News!!!

Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa

New-Fashioned Palm Beach Luxury!AAA Five Diamond resort has recently been named a Top 10 Resort in Florida and now has newly re-envisioned rooms by Jonathan Adler.

For more information about how you can experience New-Fashioned Luxury this winter, Spring Break and Easter, visit us online or call
877-741-6861 GDS Code: PH

Valentine’s Day with COMO Hotels

Como Hotels and Resorts

Valentine’s Day – COMO Style

Como Hotels

COMO Hotels and Resorts Plays Cupid With Romantic Packages

January 17, 2014 (Toronto, ON) – It’s the time of the season where love is in the air. Whether you are roaming the stylish streets of London, or lounging on the beautiful beaches of Miami or Parrot Cay, COMO has romantic packages to help you be the Casanova your partner has always dreamt of.

Let COMO’s experienced staff and their attention to detail help create the romantic experience of a lifetime.

The Halkin Michelin Star Experience
Enjoy a stellar dining experience at two of London’s leading Michelin-starred restaurants when you stay at The Halkin by COMO.
This two-night gourmet experience begins with a glass of Champagne in The Halkin bar, before enjoying the eight-course tasting menu at Ametsa with Arzak Instruction – the ‘New Basque’ cuisine restaurant at the heart of The Halkin. The following evening you’ll enjoy another tasting menu, this time at ‘nobu’, the world-renowned Japanese-Peruvian restaurant at our nearby sister hotel, Metropolitan by COMO, London.

You’ll stay overnight in a Deluxe Room and enjoy a full English breakfast on both mornings, plus you’ll receive a £20 voucher to spend at COMO Shambhala Urban Escape at the Metropolitan.

For more information, please visit

Love The One You’re With at Metropolitan London
Treat your Valentine to an unforgettable stay at Metropolitan London. Love The One You’re With Includes:

• Overnight accommodation in a Metropolitan Room
• Champagne and flowers on arrival
• Couples COMO Shambhala Massage and massage masterclass with body oil gift set
• Complimentary mini cocktail masterclass in the Met Bar and martini glass gift set
• Gift voucher and personal shopping appointment
• Breakfast in bed
• 4pm checkout

For more information, please visit

Romantic Escape in Parrot Cay
We offer different lengths of stay for our Turks and Caicos honeymoon packages, with the romance tailored to how you want to spend your time together. The packages can be enjoyed from a minimum of three nights in a variety of accommodations, starting with our Terrace Rooms.

• Accommodation (minimum three nights and maximum seven nights in a Terrace Room)
• Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner (three courses excluding beverages)
• Daily afternoon tea served in the Library
• Half-day (four-hour) use of our Spa Cottage, including a one-hour couple’s massage and candle lit dinner
• Daily schedule of activities (yoga, Pilates, non-motorised watersports)

For more information, please visit

Valentine’s Day at the Traymore
Valentine’s Day 2014 will be the first big event at the Traymore – the new destination restaurant at Metropolitan by COMO, Miami Beach. At the Paola Navone-designed hotspot in the city’s Art Deco neighborhood, you will be able to get a first taste of the cuisine for which COMO Hotels and Resorts is already known, from the two Michelin-starred restaurants at the group’s hotels in London, to its award-winning healthy cuisine at COMO Shambhala Estate on Bali.

At the Traymore, two five-course ‘His and Hers’ set menus have been created by Executive Chef Jonathan Lane and Executive Pastry Chef Emanuel Alves. The night will include wines paired with each dish selected by sommelier Sergio Caceres. Featuring on the menu is a chilled lobster ceviche, coffee-crusted beef tenderloin with porcini mushrooms and polenta, and heart-shaped pink macaroons with raspberry and rose cremeaux, fresh berries and berries coulis.

For more information, please visit

About the COMO Group and COMO Hotels and Resorts
COMO Hotels and Resorts creates personalised luxury travel experiences in its Urban Hotels, Island Resorts, Adventure Retreats and Wellness Resorts – highlighting wellness, cuisine, adventure and culture, service and design – while always trying to uphold a strong, sustainable approach towards the people and places where we operate.

Founded by Christina Ong, COMO Hotels and Resorts develops and manages handpicked, individually curated properties: The Halkin by COMO in London, two Metropolitan by COMO hotels in London and Bangkok, Parrot Cay by COMO in the Turks and Caicos, Cocoa Island by COMO in the Maldives, and three Uma by COMO experience resorts in Bali and Bhutan. Point Yamu by COMO is a new property in Phuket, Thailand, which opened in 2013. The company also manages COMO Shambhala Estate in Bali in partnership with its sister brand in wellness, COMO Shambhala, which promotes health, relaxation and learning through its products, services, cuisine, treatments and spa facilities within each COMO property.


Headlines from VISIT FLORIDA…2013/14 News

Headlines from VISIT FLORIDA

Win a trip to Florida’s Space Coast

Florida’s Space Coast has it all: the closest beaches to Orlando; the unique Kennedy Space Centre experience with its new $100-million Atlantis space shuttle exhibit and more than 60 other interactive exhibits; plus vibrant Port Canaveral, which is more than just a cruise port, featuring brand new retail, restaurants, and entertainment area. Florida’s Space Coast Office of Tourism and its partners want you discover what all the fuss is about by offering the chance for one lucky travel (and companion) to visit. The winner will receive rround-trip tickets for two on Delta Airlines from Toronto or Montreal to Melbourne, Fla., compliments of Melbourne Orlando International Airport; seven days/six nights at a Space Coast beachfront hotel; two KSCVC Space Passes (incl. entrance, lunch with an astronaut, and more); two passes to Brevard Zoo and Tree Top Trek Zipline (named one of top 10 small zoos in the US by TripAdvisor); Victory Casino Lines complimentary boarding and buffet for two; plus a surf lesson for two from Ron Jon Surf School. Some blackout dates may apply and taxes and fees extra.


Simply answer the following question – What is the closest beach area to Orlando? at: or fax this ballot to 416-968-2377.
Deadline to enter is Dec. 20, 2013.

This Month’s Headlines

VISIT FLORIDA re-energizes state’s premier travel trade show
November 7, 2013 – Florida’sworld-renowned theme parks in Orlando will return in 2014 to the state’s premier travel trade show, Florida Huddle, now owned and operated by VISIT FLORIDA.

The expanded, redesigned show, set for Jan. 14-16, 2014, in Palm Beach County, is gaining new and former participants enthused about revised platforms allowing buyers and suppliers to schedule their meetings earlier and more effectively than ever before — a popular improvement implemented by VISIT FLORIDA.

Will Seccombe, VISIT FLORIDA President and CEO, announced recently that Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando will all be participating in Florida Huddle for the first time in several years. “With our reinvention of Florida Huddle, we’re proud to welcome back these three Strategic Alliance Partners to help showcase Florida to the world,” Seccombe said.

Since acquiring the trade show last year, VISIT FLORIDA has been assembling new functionality to better serve the needs of buyers, suppliers and travel media.
Key points about VISIT FLORIDA’s Florida Huddle:

  • Expanded opportunities for appointments, allowing two full days of one-on-one meetings between buyers and suppliers
  • Scheduling of appointments to begin weeks earlier than in years past, for more effective planning
  • New platform for media to schedule appointments with buyers and suppliers
  • Increased attention to niche buyers, such as destination weddings and incentive travel
  • State-of-the-art conference site at the Palm Beach County Convention Center
  • Full range of digital and support services provided by VISIT FLORIDA

Opening night festivities at The Breakers Palm Beach, a Florida icon built by tycoon Henry Flagler, father of Florida tourism For more information about Florida Huddle 2014, visit: 
Visit Orlando campaigns in Canada
Visit Orlando will launch an integrated marketing campaign in Ontario and Quebec this fall. The multifaceted campaign will include television, digital, radio and print advertising, promotions, publicity and partnerships with tourism operators. Historically, Visit Orlando campaigns have focused on the Ontario market, where a high percentage of Orlando’s Canadian visitors reside. Recognizing the growth potential and interest from Quebec consumers, Visit Orlando will expand its efforts in 2013 with a targeted advertising campaign in Quebec. For the first time ever, Visit Orlando will run French Canadian advertising on Quebec television, radio and online. The expanded efforts in Quebec are in addition to longstanding programs and partnerships with travel trade partners and publicity efforts. “The new campaign will reinforce the appeal of Orlando as a travel destination for all Canadians and assist our trade partners with generating more business from our No. 1 international market,” said Visit Orlando president George Aguel. The Ontario campaign, beginning Nov. 4 and running through Dec. 31, will drive consumers to Orlando’s web site offers detailed information for itinerary planning, links to tour operator partners and the latest travel offers. The Quebec campaign, kicking off Oct. 14 and concluding Dec. 8, will drive to a refreshed French Canadian site, offering tailored information for Quebec travellers. In addition to the campaign, travel agents in Canada have a new and improved resource to boost their knowledge of the destination. Orlando Travel Academy ( is an online education tool designed to increase travel agents’ knowledge of Orlando and help them provide value to their clients. Upon completion of the program, Orlando Travel Academy graduates receive the designation of “Orlando Travel Expert,” as well as earn two credits from the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies. (
Holiday fun in SeaWorld
Waves of holiday spirit splash over SeaWorld during SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration. In a “wintery, watery wonderland, guests of all ages will enjoy loads of frosty fun as they watch stunning live shows inspired by the natural world, journey to the North Pole on The Polar Express Experience, then share a smile with a playful penguin at the South Pole while visiting the park’s newest attraction, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin!” Christmas carols can be heard as guests encounter a sparkling Sea Of Trees and skaters dancing on ice. With everything from Santa to Shamu, presents to penguins, and elves to Elmo, SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration is “where the season meets the sea.” Events take place on select dates Nov. 23 through December and are included with park admission. The best way for families to experience all the shows, lights and fun this season is with a SeaWorld Getaway. Those who visit can choose from a variety of getaway values, including a “Buy 2 Nights, Get 1 Free” package. Each paid ticket with this package includes a Quick-Queue-Unlimited wristband good for “front-of-the-line” access to SeaWorld’s newest attraction, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, and a meal voucher valid at participating SeaWorld restaurants. Plus, those who stay two nights at one of SeaWorld Parks & Resorts’ official hotels get the third night free. (
Bringing Keys’ underwater world to light
Visitors to Key West can experience the Florida Keys’ undersea wonders at night during “Nightboarding” excursions by stand-up paddleboard or two-person clear-bottom kayak. Launched by Ibis Bay Beach Resort in Key West, Nightboarding uses waterproof LED light bars to light up the water. During each excursion, participants paddle through areas including mangrove island rookeries that are home to ibis, herons, pelicans and their fledglings. Those interested are encouraged to book in advance. (

The Insider

Jodi Mailander Farrell

Eight places to make you dance

So you think you can dance?
You’ll never truly know until you’ve tried salsa in Miami, shagged in Tampa Bay and waltzed in West Palm Beach. One of the best ways to explore Florida’s diverse places is to boogie woogie with their people. Dance is a universal language that conveys more about a place’s culture in a single hip thrust than a traveller’s guide can deliver in 100 pages. Florida dance schools and clubs welcome short-term visitors. They’re eager to teach you their moves. Here’s where to hustle with the best of them.

Salsa clubs are a fun way to explore Florida’s most Latin city, and Salsa Kings Dance Studios has multiple locations to help you find your eight-count rhythm in Cuban. One-hour classes spend part of the time divided into levels (beginner, intermediate and advanced), so you never have to feel overwhelmed or bored. Instructors are certified by the World Salsa Federation; group and private lessons are available. One group lesson is $10. Classes are offered at Florida International University, 1600 SW 107 Ave., in Miami, and IronFlower Fitness gym at 7300 Biscayne Blvd., also in Miami, with two new locations in South Miami and Florida City opening soon. Info: 888.40.SALSA,

Bachata is an Afro-Latino genre of music and dance that originated in the Dominican Republic in the early 20th Century with African descendants in rural areas. Simple yet sensuous, it’s an eight-beat dance, similar to salsa. Orlando, which has seen its Hispanic population grow from just 4 percent in 1980 to more than 25 percent in 2010, now has one of the largest Dominican communities in the state, along with Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Bahhari Dance Center, 8865 Commodity Circle, in Orlando, is the hot spot to learn how, with classes averaging 35 to 50 students at a time, led by two teachers. No need to bring a partner; students rotate around the room so everyone gets the opportunity to dance together. A single class is $10. Info: 321-396-2399,

Cowboy town. That’s Davie, where the rodeo is the center of life, the mayor is a former barrel racer and it’s not unusual to see residents riding around on their horses. If you want to dance with the locals, get in line. Learn how at Round Up, one of the area’s best dance clubs and country bars at 9020 W. State Road 84, where there are free line dancing lessons for urban cowboys Wednesday through Sunday. (There’s a $5 cover charge at the door for ages 21 and older). Boot Scootin’ Boogie beginners are welcome. Info: 954-423-1990,

American Smooth, International Standard, the Viennese Waltz and Quickstep – all the elegant moves can be found in classic Palm Beach County, home to the Annual Palm Beach Dance Challenge, held every October. You can practice your own moves for “Dancing With the Stars” at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio. The school, at 4603 Okeechobee Blvd., in West Palm Beach offers private lessons, group sessions and “practice parties.” Two sessions are $20. Info: 561-478-1400,

Swing dance came at us out of the jazz age in the 1920s, with African-American communities delivering the Lindy Hop, which fuses jazz, tap and Charleston, and white communities bringing us the Foxtrot and the Balboa. Every major city has its own style. Discover Tampa’s West Coast Swing at Gulfport Casino Swing Night. The retro-era, waterfront ballroom, at 5500 Shore Blvd. South, in Gulfport, near St. Petersburg, offers one-hour swing dance lessons at 6 p.m. before the party starts at 7 p.m. most Wednesdays. Admission is $7; no partner needed. Info: 813-840-3715,

Beach Bop is a laid-back, southern adaptation of the old Jitterbug that they call Shag in the Carolinas, Lindy in the North and Whip or Push in the Mid-West. All of the dances have similar eight-count steps to six beats of music. In Jacksonville, the music of choice is “Beach Music” or R&B, the kind produced by black musicians and found in jukeboxes at the beach in the 1950s. The 300-member Florida Boppers dance club here has been bopping together since 1989. The club hosts parties on the second Saturday of every month at Club Savoy, 6354 Arlington Rd., from 8 p.m. to midnight. You can also find them dancing there most Thursday and Friday nights. Door fee is $10 for non-members. Info: 904-215-1613,

Allemande left and do-si-do on your way to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, and meet up with the Space Trackers Square Dance Club, which meets most Thursdays at the Merritt Island Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 155 Cone Road. The group offers square dance lessons at 6:30 p.m. prior to its 8 p.m. dance. Info: 321-427-7950,

More than 45 percent of the people in this South Florida city are Hispanic. You can find evidence of Hollywood’s Argentina community at local bakeries, restaurants, markets – and at the International Club of Argentine Tango of South Florida, which hosts one-hour dance lessons followed by a tango party, “Buenos Aires Milonga,” every Sunday night. The lessons and party, along with a dinner buffet, are held at 7 p.m. at the Italian-American Club, 700 S. Dixie Hwy. Admission is $15. Men and women of all ages, nationalities and ethnicities pour into the banquet hall to learn and practice their Argentine tango, which has a different rhythmic pattern from American tango, with couples dancing cheek-to-cheek and chest-to-chest. Info: 305-345-3662,

According to preliminary numbers released by VISIT FLORIDA, 23.4 million visitors came to Florida in the second quarter of 2013 (April-June), an increase of 2.6% over the same period in 2012, making Q2 2013 the largest second quarter for visitation in the state’s history. Through the first half of 2013, Florida welcomed 49.6 million visitors – an increase of 4.2%. Visitor spending in Florida for January-May 2013 (last reported month) was $33.2 billion, representing a year-over-year increase of 5.5% from the same period in 2012. An estimated 19.7 million domestic visitors came to Florida during the second quarter of 2013, representing a 1.6% increase from the same period in 2012. Florida welcomed 2.7 million overseas visitors in Q2 2013 representing a 9.3% increase over Q2 2012, and one million Canadian visitors during the same period represent a 4.9% increase.  As a public/private partnership, VISIT FLORIDA serves nearly 12,000 tourism industry businesses, including 2,700 invested Partners, 8,900 web affiliates and major strategic alliance partnerships with Disney Destinations, Dollar Rent A Car, The Hertz Corporation, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and Universal Orlando. To learn more about VISIT FLORIDA, please go to or or follow our corporate blog at

Orlando Offers a Flurry of Festive Events This Holiday Season

For Immediate Release   Media Contact:
November 5, 2013
  Daina Astwood-George, APEX Public Relations
416-934-2104 /

Denise Spiegel
407-354-5586 /

  Orlando Offers a Flurry of Festive Events This Holiday Season

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando is offering visitors the gift that keeps on giving with 59 days of unique winter holiday celebrations throughout the entire destination. From Nov. 8 to Jan. 5, families can experience all the joy of the season while basking in Orlando’s year-round sunshine.  
To help visitors get the most fun out of their holiday vacation, Visit Orlando will be sharing ideas and tips at
Holidays at the Theme Parks
Home to seven of the world’s top theme parks, Orlando celebrates the holiday season like nowhere else. From spectacular fireworks displays to festive live entertainment, Orlando’s theme parks offer something for every member of the family.

  • Walt Disney World Resort offers some of the most elaborate of seasonal festivities, with more than 1,300 decorated trees and 8.5 million lights strung throughout the property. For several weeks around the holidays, guests celebrate the season with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park, Holidays Around the World at Epcot, and the dazzling Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Guests can also ring in the New Year with a variety of entertainment, including the Electrical Parade and special dining events across Disney.
  • Universal Orlando Resort celebrates the classic tale of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” with Grinchmas at Islands of Adventure, featuring live musical shows, meet and greets with the Whos of Who-ville and appearances by The Grinch himself. Guests can also visit Universal Studios to experience Macy’s Holiday Parade, presenting floats and balloons direct from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. On New Year’s Eve, CityWalk comes alive with performances by national acts, a gourmet buffet and nightclub entertainment.
  • SeaWorld Orlando’s annual Christmas Celebration runs for six weeks, beginning Nov. 23. SeaWorld offers special shows and attractions, including Shamu Christmas Miracles, Winter Wonderland on Ice and The Polar Express Experience. Guests can count down to New Year’s Day and enjoy live music and spectacular fireworks display. 
  • LEGOLAND Florida will feature Christmas Bricktacular, a celebration with daily appearances by Santa Claus, a 270,000-LEGO-brick Christmas tree and other seasonal creations. Kids can also participate in their very own countdown to 2014 during a giant, LEGO brick drop at “Kids Standard Time,” otherwise known as 7 p.m.  

Celebrations Outside the Theme Parks
From giant gingerbread creations to two million pounds of ice, Orlando’s seasonal celebrations extend beyond the theme parks. Visitors looking for unique ways to celebrate are sure to find new favorites in local traditions.
  • Leu’s Holiday House, part of Orlando’s downtown botanical garden Leu Gardens, gives visitors a unique look at the historic estate and gardens trimmed and decorated for the holidays.
  • The Festival of Trees at the Orlando Museum of Art showcases “All That Glitters,” featuring dozens of adorned trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses on display, as well as for purchase.
  • ICE! At Gaylord Palms, an award-winning attraction carved by a team of 40 skilled artisans, features more than two million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures, including Frosty the Snowman, four ice slides and a live ice-carving station.
  • The 15th Anniversary Gingerbread House, located in the lobby of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, is a life-sized, 16-foot-high Victorian creation crafted by Disney pastry chefs.


For more information about vacation experiences in Orlando, to order a complimentary vacation planning kit that includes a comprehensive Official Visitors Guide and Orlando Magicard® or to purchase discount attraction tickets, visitors can log onto Orlando’s official website at For real-time updates, follow us at and

FLORIDA: New Boutique Hotel, The Alfond Inn, Opens in Winter Park

The Alfond Inn Opens in Winter Park, Florida

New Boutique Hotel with a Philanthropic Mission

Winter Park, Florida-August 26, 2013 — The Alfond Inn, a new boutique hotel in Winter Park, Florida with a philanthropic mission, is now welcoming guests. A Preferred Boutique Hotel, The Alfond Inn is a dramatic addition to the city of Winter Park and was designed to serve both visitors and residents.

Owned by Rollins College, a private coeducational liberal arts college in Winter Park, The Alfond Inn was built with a $12.5-million grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation. Net operating income from the Inn will endow The Alfond Scholars program, which offers full scholarships and provides additional financial aid to deserving students. Income will be directed to the fund over the next 25 years or until the endowment principal reaches $50 million, whichever comes later.

“We’re proud to begin welcoming guests to a special Floridian experience that uniquely combines hospitality and philanthropy,” says Deanne Gabel, General Manager of The Alfond Inn. “We’re just as delighted to unveil a hotel that is smart and design-forward on the inside, while embracing the elegant sensibility of the Winter Park neighborhood that surrounds us.”

Baker Barrios Architects of Orlando were responsible for the Inn‘s architecture, interior design and landscape architecture. Built in the Spanish Mediterranean revival style, The Alfond Inn echoes the classic look of Rollins College and of Winter Park homes designed by noted 20th century architect James Gamble Rogers II. The use of arches, columns, decorative wrought iron, overhanging trellises covered with flowering vegetation and formal courtyards are the essence of the elegant Winter Park design vernacular.

The interior, with 112-guest rooms range from comfortable Classic Kings to a majestic Luxury Suite, features striking contemporary design. Headboards and armoires have an Arts & Crafts feel, while other furnishings recall modernist classics. All guest rooms come equipped with complimentary High Speed Wireless Internet Access, iPod docking stations and flat screen televisions, as well as oversized workstations. Guests of The Alfond Inn will have access to the hotel’s fitness center and elevated pool. The Alfond Inn is also pet friendly, welcoming dogs in designated pet-friendly rooms and suites.

The Inn offers an oasis of outdoor gathering spaces, from a lushly planted courtyard with intimate nooks and private seating. The grand interior public spaces are both dramatic and welcoming, from the glass domed Conservatory at the heart of the hotel to the Lobby with its fanciful yet comfortable furnishings. The Library, with its wall of books and fireplace, is ideal for casual meet ups, as is the spacious Bar, which serves small bites and is destined to become a new gathering spot in Winter Park.

Hamilton‘s Kitchen, the Inn‘s restaurant, is overseen by Chef J. Christopher Windus, a Winter Park native and fresh from his tenure as executive chef of Todd English’s bluezoo at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel. Chef Windus has created a Floridian-inspired menu that’s being served at breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. The restaurant boasts exposed beams, a farmer’s table, and Dutch oak floors, with a private dining room offering a quiet retreat for 12 to 36 guests. There is also alfresco dining in the courtyard.

Throughout the hotel are artworks from The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art for Rollins College, established by longtime donors and alumni Barbara and Ted Alfond (both ’68). The Alfond Inn has created a beautiful and welcoming backdrop for weddings and social affairs, with a 5,000 square foot Ballroom and 10,000 square feet of dedicated divisible meeting space, including a 1,000 square foot Board Room.

Introductory “Welcome Rates” at The Alfond Inn start at $99 per night, based on double occupancy, and are good through September 30, 2013. Rates from October 1, 2013 begin at $159 per night.

About The Alfond Inn

The Alfond Inn, a Preferred Boutique Hotel, is located in Winter Park, Florida. Owned by RollinsCollege, a private coeducational liberal arts college in Winter Park, The Alfond Inn was built with a $12.5-million grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation. Net operating income from the Inn will be directed to The Alfond Scholars program fund, the College’s premier scholarship fund, for the next 25 years or until the endowment principal reaches $50 million, whichever comes later. The 112-room boutique hotel features Hamilton’s Kitchen restaurant, a pool and fitness center, and 10,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. The Alfond Inn is poised to become the new hub of dynamic Winter Park, which The New York Times recently called “a sophisticated alternative to Disney.” The Alfond Inn is 15 minutes from downtown Orlando and 30 minutes from Walt Disney World and OrlandoInternationalAirport. The Alfond Inn, 300 East New England Avenue, Winter Park, FL32789. 407-998-8090

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Twitter @TheAlfondInn

Florida: New Hotel Opening in Winter Park



The Alfond Inn Set to Debut in

Winter Park, Florida

Winter Park, Florida May 2, 2013 —  The Alfond Inn, currently under construction in Winter Park, Florida, will open its doors for guests in August 2013. The new boutique hotel is designed specifically for the affluent Winter Park community and aimed at leisure travelers, weddings and meetings.

The New York Times recently called Winter Park “a sophisticated alternative to Disney.” With its design-centric shops and pedestrian-friendly tree-lined streets, Winter Park exudes the feeling of an intimate European-style village. Developed in the 19th century, Winter Park is known for its bountiful Saturday Farmers market and for the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, which has the world’s largest collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany.


The hallmark of The Alfond Inn is the property’s spacious and welcoming environment, with expansive indoor and outdoor gathering spaces designed to make it the new social hub of Winter Park. The Inn will have a lushly planted courtyard as well as intimate nooks and private garden seating where informal and impromptu meetings can take place.  

The Alfond Inn will offer 112-guest rooms in a variety of layouts to suit the needs of all guests, from comfortable Classic Kings to a majestic Presidential Suite. All guest rooms come equipped with complimentary High Speed Wireless Internet Access, iPod Docking Stations and Flat Screen Televisions, as well as oversized workstations. Guests of the Alfond Inn will have access to the hotel’s fitness center and pool. The Alfond Inn is also pet friendly, welcoming dogs in designated pet-friendly rooms and suites. Pets can expect water bowls, a doggy gift basket, and signature treats at turndown.

The Alfond Inn’s restaurant and lounge, Hamilton’s Kitchen, is named in honor of Hamilton Holt, the innovative 8th President of Rollins College. The restaurant will feature exposed beams, a farmer’s table, and Dutch oak floors as the backdrop for traditional Southern cooking at breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. From Seafood & Conch Chowder to Pan Roasted Dorado and a Grilled Natural Beef Burger, Hamilton’s Kitchen will embrace locally sourced ingredients, celebrating the rich history of local agriculture, including citrus, strawberries, corn, tomatoes, beef and gulf seafood. A private dining room, accommodating from 12 to 36 guests, will also be available.

The Alfond Inn has created one of the most beautiful and welcoming backdrops for weddings and social affairs in Central Florida, starting with the glass-domed Conservatory, the heart of the Inn and the ideal location for ceremonies, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Outside is 10,000 square feet of lushly landscaped space in the garden, perfect for alfresco weddings and events. Inside The Alfond inn, the elegant 5,000 square foot Ballroom will be able to accommodate up to 350 guests for a plated dinner. Because the spaces are divisible, intimate weddings and smaller social events can be easily handled.

There is an additional 10,000 square feet of dedicated meeting space in The Alfond Inn that can be divided as needed for break-out rooms and to accommodate smaller conferences and meetings. That includes a 1,000 square foot Board Room with state-of-the-art AV equipment and board-style seating, a room that can also function as a private dining room for intimate dinners.

Owned by Rollins College, a private coeducational liberal arts college in Winter Park, The Alfond Inn is being built with a $12.5-million grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation. The Alfond Inn also has an unusual philanthropic and sustainable business model: net operating income from the Inn will endow The Alfond Scholars program. This is Rollins College’s premier scholarship fund, and it offers full scholarships and provides additional financial aid to deserving students. Income will be directed to the fund over the next 25 years or until the endowment principal reaches $50 million, whichever comes later.

Opening in August 2013, The Alfond Inn is poised to become the new hub of dynamic Winter Park. The Alfond Inn is 15 minutes from downtown Orlando and 30 minutes from Walt Disney World and Orlando International Airport.

About The Alfond Inn

The Alfond Inn is located in Winter Park, Florida. Owned by Rollins College, a private coeducational liberal arts college in Winter Park, The Alfond Inn is being built with a $12.5-million grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation and will open in August 2013.

Net operating income from the Inn will be 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 will have a pool and fitness center and will offer 10,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. The Alfond Inn, 300 East New England Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789. 407-998-8090 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 407-998-8090 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Busch Gardens Welcomes Hornbill Babies

Busch Gardens® Welcomes Hornbill Babies

Tampa, Fla. (March 13, 2013) –
Busch Gardens® Tampa has two new residents: baby Southern Ground Hornbills, which were hatched on Feb. 15 and Feb. 19. Southern Ground Hornbills are the largest of all hornbills, and the two new males are growing rapidly.

Starting today, guests can see the babies at Jambo Junction, located in the Nairobi area of the park. Guests can also visit their older brother Tufts and uncle Baraka, both of which are Busch Gardens animal ambassadors and located at Jambo Junction.

The Southern ground hornbill is listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature because the entire population is mainly confined to national parks and reserves. The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund has helped support the Mabula Ground Hornbill Conservation & Research Project, which replenishes the declining ground hornbill population through a successful captive breeding, rearing and release program.

Stay tuned to Busch Gardens’ Facebook and Blog to learn more about the more than 12,000 animals that call Busch Gardens Tampa home. For further details, visit Media contact is Travis Claytor, Busch Gardens public relations, at 813-987-5401 or

“Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation” at California and Florida SeaWorld Parks

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Launches

“Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation”

at California and Florida Parks


— New Live Show Debuts at Busch Gardens Tampa and SeaWorld San Diego in 2013 —


Orlando, Fla. (February 12, 2013)SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment today announced it will premiere “Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation,” an original live musical show featuring the characters from DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc.’s (Nasdaq: DWA) beloved Madagascar franchise, at two of the company’s parks this summer.


Celebrating the box office success of Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, which has grossed more than $740 million at the worldwide box office, Alex the Lion and friends will party while on vacation with guests at Busch Gardens® and SeaWorld® throughout 2013.


The 20-minute musical show follows the antics of Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, King Julien, Mort and the Penguins during a vacation adventure. The show will feature rock/pop music performed by a live band and include both classic and original songs. The characters also will conduct meet and greets with park guests. Additionally, special co-branded merchandise exclusive to the parks, will be available.


These two locations will be the only theme parks in the U.S. where fans can see the characters of Madagascar live. The new show Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation” premieres in the following locations:

·        Busch Gardens Tampa May 18, 2013.

·        SeaWorld San Diego June 15, 2013.


The company also has the opportunity to expand the show to other parks in the SeaWorld family in the future.


“Audiences around the world have embraced the characters of Madagascar, and SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks are the ideal places for families to enjoy this immersive live entertainment experience,” said DreamWorks Animation’s Head of Worldwide Licensing & Consumer Products, Kerry Phelan.  “The entire creative team behind this uniquely original version of “Madagascar Live!” has done an impressive job of translating the beloved world from screen to stage, bringing it to life for young park guests and family audiences alike.”


“Our parks both entertain and inspire guests to care about animals,” said Scott Helmstedter, Chief Creative Officer of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. “Likewise, the Madagascar movies also inspire animal lovers, but in a different way with their inimitable charm and humor. We welcome these characters to our family with open arms and look forward to working with DreamWorks Animation on this incredibly funny and engaging new show.”


Madagascar is one of the most successful CG animated movie franchises of all time, grossing more than $1.8 billion at the worldwide box office. In 2012 “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,” grossed over $740 million at the global box office, becoming the highest grossing film of the series.



About SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment inspires millions, through the power of entertainment, to celebrate, connect with and care for the natural world. The company has been creating innovative entertainment experiences that blend imagination with nature for more than 50 years and is best known for its 11 U.S. theme parks, attractions that hosted more than 24 million guests in 2012 and include the beloved SeaWorld®, Busch Gardens® and Sesame Place® brands.  The parks offer guests a variety of up-close experiences, from animal encounters that invite exploration and appreciation of the natural world, to thrilling rides and spectacular shows.  In 2011, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment began expanding its popular brands into media and entertainment platforms to connect people to nature and animals through movies, television, and digital media; plus began developing new lines of licensed consumer products. 


SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is one of the world’s foremost zoological organizations and a global leader in animal welfare, training, husbandry and veterinary care.  The company collectively cares for one of the largest animal collections in North America and has helped lead advances in the care of animals. The company also rescues and rehabilitates ocean marine animals that are ill, injured and orphaned, with the goal of returning them to the wild. The SeaWorld rescue team has helped more than 22,000 animals in need over the last four decades.  SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment employs more than 21,000 people nationwide.