The time-conscious White Rabbit, from Disney's animated "Alice in Wonderland" film, is known to be "late for an important date." Today, he's right on time to help Magic Kingdom cast member Ed Garbera change the giant clock on Main Street U.S.A. for tonight's move to Daylight Saving Time.
All but Florida's most western counties observe Daylight Saving Time.
Whether you live in Florida or are just visiting, if you don't want to be late for an important date tomorrow, SET YOUR CLOCKS AHEAD ONE HOUR before going to bed tonight!Photo © The Walt Disney Company
All of us budget travelers can appreciate a good deal and these discounts can actually make your vacation or getaway affordable:
- Busch Gardens Tampa Bay:
__ Visit Busch Gardens Tampa Bay for just $50 any weekday — that's a $42 saving over the regular admission price through May 5, 2014. Or...
__ Purchase an any day ticket online and save $10 over the regular gate admission. Or...
__ Purchase a regular-priced ticket in advance online and get all-day dining FREE — that's a $32.99 saving! Or...
__ For a limited time, pay for a day and play all year when you purchase a Busch Gardens Fun Card and get an Adventure Island Fun Card FREE saving $47! The Fun Card lets you enjoy unlimited general admission to Busch Gardens through December 31, 2014 and Adventure Island through October 12, 2014.
- SeaWorld Orlando:
__ Visit SeaWorld Orlando for just $50 any weekday — that's a $42 saving over the regular admission price through May 5, 2014. Or...
__ Purchase an any day ticket online and save $10 over the regular gate admission. Or... __ Visit both SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay for just $99! That's two parks for just one low price! Offer expires May 15, 2014.
- Disney World:
__ Visiting Disney World with 6 or more in your party? Buy 6 or more 4-day or longer Magic Your Way tickets before June 14, 2014 and get an extra day FREE! Tickets must be used within 14 days of first use. __ U.S. Military personnel can purchase 4-day Military Promotional Tickets for just $169 each, plus tax through September 24, 2014. Tickets include the 'Park Hopper' option and are valid through September 27, 2014, except April 13 to April 20, 2014 at any Disney theme park and July 4, 2014 at Disney's Magic Kingdom park.
- LEGOLAND Florida:
__ Know what day you're going to visit LEGOLAND Florida? Pick your date and purchase your ticket in advance online and save $20! Also, save $2 on parking by purchasing that in advance as well.
Photo © Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Going, going, gone will be the daily aerial demonstrations after April 6. The next few weeks is your last chance to visit Fantasy of Flight. The airplane-themed attraction and museum-quality collection of aircraft located off Interstate 4 between Disney World and Tampa will close its gates to the public and only be open for private events. The attraction has struggled over the years with its image and out-of-the-way location to compete with larger Central Florida attractions.
Fantasy of Flight's last public events will be the Sun 'n Fun Splash-In on Thursday, April 3 and the 17th Annual Mustangs and Mustangs on Saturday, April 5. The Sun 'n Fun Splash-In is being scheduled as part of the 40th Annual Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In being held April 1-6, and will feature a variety of seaplanes and amphibious aircraft perform water landings and takeoffs on the adjacent Lake Agnes. The Mustangs and Mustangs event is the only one of its kind in Florida that features both beautifully restored P-51 Mustang war birds from World War II and Ford and Mustang automobiles.
One of Florida's most popular events — the Florida Strawberry Festival — kicked off yesterday and continues through Sunday, March 9. There are many other marvelous March events happening in Florida, including...
- There are just two weekends left for Bands, Brew & BBQ at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and SeaWorld Orlando with the fun continuing on weekends through March 9.
- Mardi Gras 2014 continues every Saturday and three special Fridays (14, 21 & 28) in March at Universal Studios Orlando.
- One of Disney World's most popular events kicks off next Wednesday, March 5 with millions of blooms. The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival features garden workshops and free "Eat to the Beat!" concerts every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through May 18.
- Bike Week will roar into Daytona Beach on Friday, March 7 through March 16 as bike enthusiasts invade the area seeking fun and sun.
- Renninger's Antique Fair — March 15 & 16 — will feature over 400 dealers of antiques and collectibles.
- The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will race through the streets of downtown March 28-30.
- Check the Florida for Visitors Events Calendar for more marvelous March events.
Want to know what the weather is like in March, or whether your favorite theme park will be crowded? Check out these helpful guides:
Photo © The Walt Disney Company
The Florida Strawberry Festival will open its gates tomorrow — Thursday, February 27 at 10:00 a.m. Opening day is also Senior Citizens' Day, with those 60 years of age and older getting $2.00 off on the $10.00 gate admission. Of course, the Festival is all about the strawberry. While thousands of strawberry shortcake desserts are sold every year, like a past year's theme suggested, the Festival is "more than just shortcake" there are agricultural exhibits, contests, a thrilling midway... and the great concerts!
On the concert stage, Shoji Tabuchi will be appearing at 3:30 p.m. and STYX will perform at 7:30 p.m. In fact, the entire 2014 entertainment line-up is as amazing as ever with chart-topping names Little Big Town, Rascal Flatts, Boyz II Men and Lee Brice to name a few appearing in the daily evening concerts. Amazingly, there are still tickets available for some of these events!
Photo © Dawn Henthorn
It slipped up on me this time, but Disney World quietly raised admission prices yesterday — Sunday, February 23, 2014. It isn't surprising. They do it twice a year. Why? Because they can and because people keep coming. It seems, even in this economy, there are people willing to pay whatever it costs to go to Disney World. Over the holidays the parks were so crowded that some had to be closed for the remainder of the day. So, will they thin the crowds now that guests will pay $99 for one day at Disney's Magic Kingdom?
The increase includes a $4.00 hike for single-day tickets to $94.00 for entrance into any of the other three theme parks — Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios or Disney's Animal Kingdom. While it is still better to purchase multi-day tickets because the more days you buy the less per day you pay, those prices also increased $4 to $16. Want to park hop? That will now cost from $40 to $60 per ticket. Water Park Fun & More went up a dollar to $60; and, if you combine the Park Hopper and Water Park Fun & More it will add $86.00 per ticket, an additional $2 from just a week earlier. If you choose the 'no expiration' option, it will add from $5 to $30 to your individual ticket price. Additionally, Disney World theme park annual passes also saw an increase.
Of course, there are five ways that help offset these high prices:
- Buy multi-day base tickets -- the more days you buy, the cheaper the per day cost (7-day tickets are just $46.29 per day -- 10-day tickets are just $35.40 per day).
- Save the daily $15 parking fee by staying at a Disney on-property hotel and use the free transportation system.
- Include the Disney Dining Plan in your vacation package and try these three ways to make Disney dining more affordable.
- Purchase a refillable mug at your Disney resort hotel for one low price. Refills are available at your resort during regular hours at participating dining locations.
- Bring your own stroller (saving $15 per day) and a refillable water bottle for theme park visits (saving $3-$9 per day)
The devil are in the details and there are plenty of details to decide on before you purchase Disney World tickets. Find out what it means to 'park hop' and more in my Disney World ticket information guide and find a link here to purchase discounted tickets.
Photo © The Walt Disney Company
America's favorite pastime is in full swing here in Florida and baseball fans are getting in on the spring training action. Spring training camps are open across the state with Florida's Grapefruit League fielding 15 teams in 14 locations.
Photo: ESPN Wide World of Sports at Disney World
© The Walt Disney Company
This weekend will be a mixed bag weather wise in Florida. While forecasters are calling for partly cloudy conditions in South Florida, they are expecting thunderstorms in North and Central Florida beginning Friday evening with scattered showers continuing throughout the weekend. If you're visiting Orlando or Tampa Bay, you'll want to consider these things to do when it rains in Florida. Otherwise take along a poncho just in case and enjoy these weekend events:
- Lasso a heap of fun and stay dry in the climate-controlled arena! The Silver Spurs Rodeo gallops into Kissimmee this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
- Catch some beads at Universal Orlando's Mardi Gras where Robin Thicke will appear in concert Saturday evening.
- Bands, Brew & BBQ continues this weekend at SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. The Commodores will appear on stage Saturday afternoon and Justin Moore will perform Sunday afternoon, February 23 at SeaWorld Orlando. Justin Moore will entertain Saturday, February 22 and Bret Michaels on Sunday at Busch Gardens.
Photo © Universal Orlando
Paradise is not lost. It can be found in Southwest Florida's Paradise Coast! Naples, Marco Island and Everglades City offer visitors a wide variety of vacation and getaway choices from outstanding beaches and outdoor recreation to upscale resorts and shopping.
Plan a Paradise Coast vacation:
- The stylish and charming resort town of Naples boasts 100 art galleries and one of the most beautiful downtown's in Florida.
- Historic Marco Island is a popular destination for nature lovers.
- Step into the Florida of days gone by when you visit Everglades City
Photo © Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB
The sun will set on the Florida State Fair in Tampa Monday, so this is the last weekend to enjoy the exhibits, midway games, stomach-churning thrill rides, corn dogs, cotton candy and fried goodies. The sun will be shining in Tampa and temperatures are supposed to remain in the 60s... so, pack up the family and treat them to a day at the fair!
Also going on this weekend:
- Bands, Brew & BBQ
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay - Earth Wind & Fire on stage Saturday, February 15 and Sugar Ray & Gin Blossoms will perform Sunday, February 16
SeaWorld Orlando - Sister Hazel performing Saturday, February 15 & Larry the Cable Guy takes the stage Sunday, February 16
- Renninger's Antique Extravaganza - February 14, 15 & 16
- Universal Mardi Gras - Bare Naked Ladies will headline Saturday, February 15 and Thomas Rhett on Sunday, February 16
Photo © Dawn Henthorn, licensed to About.com