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Showing posts with label Beyond Orlando. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beyond Orlando. Show all posts

March 14, 2018

CALIFORNIA - The Mayumi Launches in Los Angeles Providing A Flexible, All-Inclusive Residential Stay Alternative and Creative Space to Long-Term Visitors

Los Angeles, CA (March 2018) - The Mayumi, a new residential concept by HQ Development is set to open April 2018 in Los Angeles. Located in the epicenter of Culver City, CA. This new space has been fashioned into a remarkable 35 unit flexible stay residence catering to long-term visitors looking for a monthly all-inclusive residential stay alternative and creative space.

Mayumi gives you the best of both worlds – a private haven and social hub. Created to provide an unparalleled living experience crafted on a foundation of design, flexibility, and community, Mayumi members can enjoy luxurious private rooms and common areas to connect with others.

MISSOURI - Time Traveler Opens at Silver Dollar City

World’s Fastest, Steepest and Tallest Spinning Coaster Debuts in Branson, Missouri

(Branson, MO  3/13/2018) - Never before in the history of Silver Dollar City theme park has there been such excitement, such enthusiasm over the opening of a new attraction.  With its March 14 debut, Time Traveler, the World’s Fastest, Steepest and Tallest Complete-Circuit Spinning Roller Coaster, marks a new era in coasters, delivering ride experiences unlike any before, with no two rides alike. A major difference is the spin, which is not a teacup-ride fast spin but a 360-degree controlled spin that delivers high dimension, sensations and perspectives that differ with every car, every ride, every time.

First riders climbed aboard in a preview event today, ahead of tomorrow’s full debut as Silver Dollar City opens for the season.

March 13, 2018


PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Monday, March 12, 2018)- With Dollywood’s emphasis on show-stopping entertainment in 2018, the park’s annual Festival of Nations kicks off the new season with a multi-cultural event featuring world-renowned talent. The celebration takes place March 16-April 9 and lets guests take a trip around the world without leaving the Smokies.

This colorful, interactive event marks the beginning of Dollywood’s “Season of Showstoppers” with cultural music, food, and crafts that immerse the entire family in festive fun.

Grammy award winners Ladysmith Black Mambazo have transcended musical barriers to produce awe-inspiring projects with artists such as Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, and even Dolly Parton herself. The group, which sings of peace, love and harmony, is in its sixth decade, and has produced more than 60 albums during its existence. They won their fifth Grammy in January, this time for Best World Music Album. The group gets its name from a combination of Ladysmith, South Africa (the group’s hometown), the color of oxen (one of the strongest farm animals), and the Zulu word for “chopping axe” (a symbol of the group’s vocal strength). Ladysmith Black Mambazo songs have been featured in multiple motion pictures, and the group even traveled to Norway with Nelson Mandela to perform when he received the Nobel Peace Prize. Guests can find this talented group at the Showstreet Palace Theater.

March 9, 2018

MISSOURI - Time Traveler Set for March 14 Opening

World’s Fastest, Steepest & Tallest Spinning Coaster Debuts in Branson, Missouri

               (Branson, MO  3/8/2018) - Never before in the history of Silver Dollar City has there been such excitement, such enthusiasm over the opening of a new attraction.  With its 2018 debut, Time Traveler, the World’s Fastest, Steepest and Tallest Complete-Circuit Spinning Roller Coaster, marks a new era in coasters, delivering ride experiences unlike any before, with no two rides alike. A major difference is the spin, which is not a teacup-ride fast spin but a 360-degree controlled spin that delivers high dimension, sensations and perspectives that differ with every car, every ride, every time.

The draw for coaster lovers seeking the newest, best, most exciting ride elements is global -- the experience will be available nowhere else on the planet except Branson, Missouri, the entertainment town that is home to Silver Dollar City, the 1880s style, internationally-awarded theme park, established by Herschend Family Entertainment, 1960.  
This custom-designed, custom-engineered ride that introduces a new generation of thrill coasters for families was more than two years in planning and construction, and is Silver Dollar City’s biggest attraction ever with an investment of $26 million. For concept, design and development, Silver Dollar City chose renowned coaster manufacturer Mack Rides of Waldkirch, Germany, founded in 1780 and family-owned for eight generations.

March 7, 2018

FLORIDA - Monster Energy Fort Rock Producers Danny Wimmer Presents & AEG Presents As Well As Music Artists Corey Taylor & Halestorm, And Rock ‘N’ Roll Veteran Michael Lang...

Support Initiatives For School Safety In Solidarity With
Stoneman Douglas High School Students And Others Across The Country

Festival Offers 50% Off Weekend Tickets Promotion To Those Who
Sign Student Petition

South Florida’s Biggest Rock Experience
To Feature Performances From
Ozzy Osbourne, Godsmack,
Five Finger Death Punch, Stone Sour, Shinedown, Breaking Benjamin & More

Saturday, April 28 & Sunday, April 29, 2018
At The Festival’s New Home In Greater Fort Lauderdale
At Markham Park In Sunrise, FL

Following the tragic February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida, Monster Energy Fort Rock festival producers Danny Wimmer Presents and AEG Presents--along with Corey Taylor, Halestorm and various other music artists performing at the April 28 & 29festival at Markham Park in Sunrise, FL--are showing their support for the students and advocating for school safety.

FLORIDA - PGA National Resort & Spa Offers Exceptional Spring Golf Getaways

Tackle The Bear Trap Like PGA TOUR Pros in the Honda Classic
(PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.) – PGA National Resort & Spa – South Florida’s world-class golf, vacation and spa destination – announces two exceptional golf packages for spring getaways following the wildly successful Honda Classic recently played on its Champion Course.
Propelled by the return of local resident Tiger Woods, and the drama of the world’s best players taking on The Champion Course’s famous three-hole Bear Trap (Nos. 15 – 17), the 2018 Honda Classic shattered its attendance record by attracting 224,642 spectators during a week of perfect South Florida weather. Additionally, CBS posted the highest viewership and ratings for the tournament in five years as Justin Thomas won the event in a dramatic playoff.


Visitors Receive Free Overnight Parking & Great Restaurant Gift Cards

PHILADELPHIA, March 6, 2018 - This spring, the popular Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package includes not only its signature feature-free onsite hotel parking, but a variety of other perks highlighting Philly's thriving food scene. Available at 47 participating hotels, the spring package offers coupons and gift cards for top dining establishments, as well as free hotel parking and $10 towards a Lyft ride, for a combined added value of $195. The package is bookable now at for stays beginning March 5 through June 15, 2018.

"Great food means great visits," said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO, VISIT PHILADELPHIA®. "With the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package Spring Getaway perks, visitors get an authentic taste of Philly's delicious and diverse dining scene."

March 6, 2018

TENNESSEE - Can You Tie a Knot Like a Pirate? Alcatraz East Crime Museum Adds a New Pirate Interactive, Along With Several Other New Artifacts and Exhibits

Alcatraz East Crime Museum’s offers new hands-on experiences and one-of-a-kind historical artifacts throughout

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (March 6, 2018) – Crime enthusiasts, news buffs, and history lovers will enjoy the new additions to Alcatraz East Crime Museum beginning this Spring. The area’s newest attraction intrigues visitors 365 days a year on what's considered America's favorite subject. In order to attract Pigeon Forge's repeat visitors, the museum rotates items from its collection annually. This year, Alcatraz East has added interactive exhibits as well as new artifacts. The additions give visitors a chance to share their stories and test their skills, while the new artifacts expand exhibits on Jesse James, Charles Manson, and kidnapping victim Jaycee Dugard.

“We have already experienced that visitors to this area come several times throughout the year, and we want to make sure they keep coming back to see us as well,” states Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer. “We are happy to offer a place where visitors not only learn, but also remember and feel touched and inspired to get involved in crime prevention. With some of our additions, our guests will have the opportunity to share some of their own stories."

FLORIDA - Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville Festival Experiences Announced

Florida’s Biggest Rock Experience Set For
April 27 – 29 At Metropolitan Park In Jacksonville, FL

With Ozzy Osbourne, Foo Fighters,
Avenged Sevenfold, Queens Of The Stone Age,
Along With Billy Idol, Five Finger Death Punch, Godsmack, Stone Sour & More

General Tickets, VIP Packages, Hotel & Camping Options On Sale Now

The lineup of festival experiences has been announced for the eighth annual Monster Energy Welcome To RockvilleFriday, April 27, Saturday, April 28 & Sunday, April 29, 2018 at Metropolitan Park in Jacksonville, FL.

Florida’s Biggest Rock Experience grows to three days in 2018 with Foo FightersOzzy Osbourne, Avenged SevenfoldQueens of the Stone Age, Billy Idol, Godsmack, Stone Sour, and Five Finger Death Punch leading an incredible talent lineup not seen at any other U.S. rock festival.


The Luxury Collection’s First Resort in The Baja California Peninsula
Will Deliver Immersive, Authentic Experiences in Los Cabos

Bethesda, MD – (March 5, 2018) – The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts today announced the brand’s first hotel in Baja California Sur with the opening of Solaz, a Luxury Collection Resort, Los Cabos in June 2018. Operated by Quinta del Golfo de Cortez (QGC), Solaz Resort is a beachfront oasis featuring a 128-room luxury hotel and 21 extravagant residences. Nestled on a coveted 34 acres overlooking the Sea of Cortez, Solaz Resort highlights The Luxury Collection’s impressive expansion in Mexico, where the brand now boasts a total portfolio of seven hotels throughout Baja California Sur, Campeche, Mexico City, and Yucatan. 

“The debut of Solaz Resort marks The Luxury Collection’s seventh hotel in Mexico; an important milestone for the brand as we showcase our commitment to expanding our footprint in this remarkable destination,” said Mitzi Gaskins, Global Brand Leader, The Luxury Collection. “Solaz Resort will offer global explorers a new gateway to the Baja California Peninsula and deliver unparalleled travel experiences signature to The Luxury Collection.”

FLORIDA - Fifth Annual 'Fish to Fork' Culinary Weekend Returns to Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort

Event at luxury Amelia Island resort features returning competitors from year's past for unique culinary competition

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla., March 6, 2018 - Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort presents the fifth annual "Fish to Fork" culinary weekend May 17-20, 2018. Executive Chef Daven Wardynski and the culinary staff at the resort will once again welcome visitors to their coastal oasis for this one of a kind "dock-to-dish" experience.

Alongside breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, guests will be treated to a premiere "foodie" experience that challenges chefs to showcase their unique skillsets. The Main Event on Saturday, May 19 from 6-10 p.m. includes an Individual and Group Challenge, where chefs will showcase the versatility of some of the island's native ingredients.

March 4, 2018


GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, WYOMING (March 2018) – The Peaks Restaurant at Signal Mountain Lodge—the only lodging on the shores of Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park—offers regionally inspired dishes that enhance visitors’ experience of the world-famous park. Prepared to showcase locally sourced meats, sustainable fish and produce, these dishes bring a taste of the Grand Tetons to life.

Erik Kimball, Food & Beverage Director for Signal Mountain Lodge, sources beef from Wyoming Ranches such as Lockhart Cattle Company and bread from Persephone Bakery, both located in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Cheese comes from regional suppliers including Manwaring Cheese in Rigby, Idaho, while he procures seasonal produce from Robinson Family Farm & Ranch in Star Valley, Wyoming.

February 27, 2018


The ideal venue for making spring break memories in 2018

Spring break is a time for fun, friends and exploring – and the perfect venue for a fun-filled vacation is within easy reach at the Magnuson Hotel Brownsville.

Not only is the Magnuson Hotel Brownsville fantastically situated in the heart of town, close to the Mexico border and the Gulf of Mexico - making it ideal for spring breakers eager to see the sights – but it’s also fantastic value, meaning guests will have more money to spend on making their stay extra memorable without worrying about blowing their budget on over-priced accommodation.

February 26, 2018

FLORIDA - KeysCaribbean Resorts Offer Special Discounts for a Spring Break Getaway to the Florida Keys

Indigo Reef Resort Villas & Marina in Marathon
KEY LARGO, Fla. (Feb. 26, 2018) – March in the Florida Keys features unique events to be found only in the beautiful tropical islands off Florida’s southern tip. KeysCaribbean Luxury Resort Villas & Marinas salutes four events by featuring special offers to enjoy an upscale resort vacation experience in the Florida Keys this March.

“We are very fortunate to have escaped the hurricane damage experienced in other parts of the United States and Caribbean. We want everyone to know that the Florida Keys are ready to host your island vacation in paradise in 2018,” said Sam Schorr, KeysCaribbean Managing Director.

February 25, 2018

REVIEW: Nikon School Photography Classes

Recently, I was lucky enough to experience Nikon's traveling photography school during its stop in Orlando. The class series runs over the course of four days, but each class is priced, scheduled, and themed individually - ranging from a few hours to all-day. I found the "Elements of Photography" course to be the most inclusive, and probably the best option for an amateur seeking a well-rounded foundation of skills to build on. This course is broken up into four topical sections (exposure, control, light, and creativity), presented over the span of seven hours with a lunch break. 

The class I attended was led cooperatively by Reed Hoffman and Michael Schwarz. Their decades of diverse experiences really combined to make for an intriguing blend of techniques, tips, and knowledge.The facts and suggestions that formed the course content were a balance of creative personal passion and fine-tuned technique - presented in a way that made sense and drew interest. I did get the distinct impression that many of my fellow students had at least a fair amount more experience than I did, and at first that was slightly intimidating. However, Michael and Reed were able to craft their delivery in a way that encompassed definition for the less-experienced while also including the trial and error methods for success that more seasoned photogs were sure to appreciate. Throughout their lectures, they shared examples of their own work that put the lessons into perspective. THIS was the specific approach that spoke to me, and it helped me to comprehend some basic terms and skills that I've struggled to grasp. They regularly referred to the balance of creativity and technicality that makes for good photography, and their presentation of the course was the most brilliant example of that perfect combination.

Nikon's official description of the course provides the following topical outline: 
  • Exposure—ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed—how to get a proper exposure and be more creative
  • Taking control of your camera—understanding what all of the modes and settings are used for in order to take photos and make them more unique
  • Managing autofocus to your advantage
  • Understand the quality of light—learning how to modify light and use a camera’s built-in flash or an accessory flash to take well-lit photos
  • Workflow basics—shooting JPEG vs. NEF, basic editing using Capture NX-D software
  • Sharing your images via built-in Wi-Fi or by using Nikon’s Wireless Mobile Adapters
  • Fundamentals of shooting video
  • Explore creative types of photographs—High Dynamic Range photos, Time-Lapse, Night Photography, Light Painting, Underwater pictures, Close Ups, Black & White and more.

...But that really is a very basic summary! I had a couple of concerns going into the class. For starters, I was worried that the quality of the information would be minimal. So many topics were covered in ultimately a short frame of time. That raises the concern that crucial details would be lost to the rush. Surprisingly, this wasn't the case. While I won't say that a total novice will walk out of here ready to sell a million dollar photo to National Geographic, a person with a reasonable understanding of photography and an eye for a good shot can certainly get a great foundation of knowledge that Google searches and discussion forums can subsidize! (Speaking of - there is an official Facebook group for Nikon School students - wonderful resource, and the instructors remain active here as well!) This course provides you a starting point to build from, and the motivation to practice. My second concern was that this would essentially be an extended Nikon infomercial with little value beyond a sales pitch. Well, if you think about it... Nikon is already a well-regarded name. Do they really need to waste effort on such an oddly-veiled tactic for no other purpose than a traveling commercial? Of course, Nikon products were the basis of the examples, and this makes good sense for many reasons, but the knowledge and tips that were shared applied to photography in general. There wasn't a blatant, cheesy pitch interwoven through the entire course, and the focus genuinely was on the skill of photography. Personally, I found this to be refreshingly endearing.

As far as my overall take-aways from the course... I have often been told that I have a good eye for photography. My skills are "okay", but I rely heavily on having a cooperative canvas. Toss a curve ball my way, and I'm likely to be sunk. I photograph a very diverse range of scenes - personally, for my "day job" as a marketer, and for this website. I can rarely afford to be stymied by a challenge, because I encounter far too many of those! Many situations I am tasked with photographing are one-time opportunities, and I am devastated when I can't get it right. I'm ashamed to admit that I've had a decent camera for a while, but I always set everything to auto and let it fly. This left a lot to chance, and many times, I found myself disappointed in the result. I'm anxious to explore camera settings a bit more, now that I have a grasp on what they mean. I am particularly interested in photographing sunrise and sunset scenes, so I've looked up the best places to find them locally, and a range of suggestions on settings to use (including those obtained in our class discussion). I'm creating a photo schedule to test out my newly-learned skills in these and other settings and situations... and I'll be trying it all out on a camera that Nikon is kindly loaning me. I see some very interesting pictorials in our future - and just in time for some stellar upcoming events! In the interim, I was out this weekend when I stumbled upon a small carnival. All I had with me was my mobile device, but it does allow for some ISO and aperture settings. So, I took just a quick moment to snap a picture of a very vibrant piece of one of the rides. First, I took one as I usually would - auto all the way:

Then, I spent two quick seconds making a simple adjustment or two based on what I learned in class, and I tried taking that very same shot again:

Not a flawlessly perfect image, but the difference is clear - and before this class, I never would have known how to do it! 

If you have the option to attend a Nikon School course, I highly suggest you do so. Regardless of where you are on the spectrum of experience, you have plenty to gain from these courses. The instructors have a vast array of knowledge they are only too happy to share. For personal or professional tweaking, this opportunity is every photog's dream.

February 18, 2018

LOUISIANA - Hard Rock International to Bring Legendary Vibe to the French Quarter with Hard Rock Hotel in Spring 2019

New Orleans' Property Will Also Offer Residences For Sale

ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 15, 2018 - With a presence in more than 75 countries across the globe, Hard Rock International is expanding its hotel portfolio into the historic French Quarter and New Orleans Theater District with plans to open Hard Rock Hotel New Orleans and the Residences at the Hard Rock Hotel New Orleans. Working in collaboration with local developer, Kailas Companies, Hard Rock will amplify The Big Easy with the addition of an 18-story building scheduled to open in the spring of 2019.

Located on a landmark corner in the heart of New Orleans, blocks from the sixth largest convention center in the country, the property will sit adjacent to two-street car lines, allowing guests easy access to all parts of the city. The new development melds together New Orleans' rich history of music and culture.

BAHAMAS - Princess Cruises Completes Renovations and Enhancements to Award-Winning Private Island Princess Cays

Exclusive Destination Offers Ultimate Day at the Beach with "Surfing" Redefined by MedallionNet Wi-Fi Service

SANTA CLARITA, Calif., Feb. 15, 2018 - Princess Cays, an exclusive island destination for Princess Cruises guests, now offers the ultimate fun-in-the-sun experience with program enhancements, renovated areas and newly defined "surfing" with MedallionNet™ Wi-Fi, the only cruise industry private island to offer connectivity ashore.

Princess Cays was ranked among the "Top Cruise Line Private Island Destinations" by Cruise Critic for 2017. Located on the southern tip of the island of Eleuthera in the outer Bahamas, Princess Cays has offered a beachside hideaway to guests since 1992. The beach is situated on approximately 40 acres, including more than a mile and a half of pristine, white-sand shoreline and is a featured call on Princess' Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries. 

"For more than 25 years, Princess guests have lauded Princess Cays as one of their favorite spots on their Caribbean cruise," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "With new and improved island offerings and the addition of MedallionNet Wi-Fi ashore, guests enjoy a memorable beach experience and can easily share their adventures with friends and family back home or stream their favorite show or sports event while relaxing beachside."

TENNESSEE - Topgolf Nashville Formally Establishes The Cowan Venue for Music Fans

Topgolf gives a nod to Nashville community by renaming its popular music venue after local street name

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 15, 2018 - Global sports entertainment leader Topgolf® today unveiled The Cowan as its new name for the two-story, 600-person live music and private events venue adjacent to Topgolf Nashville. With an open floor space and a private VIP area, the venue showcases established touring acts, as well as up-and-coming Nashville artists.

"We want to reinforce our commitment to Nashville's local culture and music scene," said Topgolf Entertainment Group Executive Chairman Erik Anderson. "The Cowan is a space for Nashville to gather with friends and enjoy incredible live musical acts featuring state-of-the-art sound quality."

NEW YORK - New York's Spy Museum Opens in Midtown Manhattan on Friday, February 16

Your mission, should you choose to accept it: See yourself and the world around you more clearly through the lens of spying

NEW YORK, Feb. 15, 2018 - Calling all spies: Announcing the opening of SPYSCAPE, a truly unique permanent destination that combines three distinct elements: a contemporary museum, an immersive experience, and a journey of personal discovery. SPYSCAPE opens at 10am ET on Friday, February 16.

Students (with valid student ID) can reserve free admission online for the opening weekend (February 16-19).

COLORADO - Spring Forward: Festivals, Fashion and Fun are the Season's Trends in Denver

Denver's cultural side blossoms in the Spring with blockbuster exhibitions, exciting festivals and unique activities

DENVER, Feb. 15, 2018 - This spring, Denver will host a number of internationally renowned exhibitions, creative cultural displays and exciting festivals. From the only United States appearance of Degas: A Passion for Perfection to the Grand Opening of the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art to an abundance of music, food and beer festivals that pair with our 300 days of sunshine, there are plenty of opportunities to make The Mile High City worth a visit.