Holiday Festivites The Whole Family Will Enjoy!

November 27, 2013–
This year, experience the only holiday celebrations where your whole family can be themselves—naughty, nice and everything in-between. December 7, 2013 – January 4, 2014, you can see breathtaking balloons and floats, sing along with everyone’s favorite green meanie, and top it all off with live music by one of the world’s most beloved holiday artists.

At Universal Orlando® Resort, we want you to enjoy the warm, caring side of the season—while still smirking at some mischievous moments, too!
At Universal Studios Florida, the Macy’s Holiday Parade™ takes to the streets with colorful balloons and floats coming to us straight from the world famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. There are also marching bands, clowns, and an appearance by the one and only Santa Claus!
No holiday party is complete without music! With over 27 million albums sold, Mannheim Steamroller, is the biggest selling Christmas artist of all time, and Universal Studios is proud to welcome them back. Catch them performing live on the Music Plaza stage December 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22, 2013.

Right next door you can catch the music and festivities of Grinchmas™, as Seuss Landing™ in Universal’s Islands of Adventure is transformed into a wintry wonderland. You won’t want to miss the heartwarming live show starring The Grinch™, strolling Whos, and a chance to get your picture taken with the mean green one himself.
By Deborah Fitts


Make the Holidays Even Brighter, Go All In !!!

ye_header_2November 27, 2013–
Dear Friends,
Meet Luci Newton, the Honorary Marshall of our upcoming Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Parade. As an infant in China, she suffered burns above her eyebrows and across the entire top of her head.

Ever since she was adopted and moved to Georgia, Luci received multiple treatments at Children’s – including eye surgery and scalp transplants. She has gone “All In” as a survivor.

We’re All In for Luci

This holiday season, more than 1,200 kids will be at Children’s. We’ll be working hard to treat these sick and injured boys and girls — children like Luci. Be All In for Luci!
Are you All In? Please join us by making your tax deductible gift during our Year-End campaign.

You may know that we’re a not-for-profit organization, and we depend on donations from caring and compassionate people like you.

Please Give the Gift of All Better.

Thank you, and happy holidays to you and your family from our family at Children’s.

Scott Hodoval

Scott Hodoval
Vice President, Annual Giving
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

By Deborah Fitts

New Details About Harry Potter Celebration Event!

November 22, 2013–
Join Harry Potter™ fans from around the world for A Celebration of Harry Potter™ at Universal Orlando Resort. Enjoy three days of unforgettable fun for all ages at both Universal’s Islands of Adventure® and Universal Studios Florida® theme parks, January 24 – 26, 2014.

Come and celebrate all of Harry Potter’s adventures with interactive experiences, exciting demonstrations, and more. The celebration kicks off with a Harry Potter™ Tribute on Friday – a special evening event featuring select cast members and award-winning artist, Kazu Kibuishi, who recently reimagined the Harry Potter book covers.

Other special activities over the weekend include:

A wand masterclass hosted by Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, featuring Wand Combat choreographer Paul Harris and a special guest

Q&A sessions with members of the Harry Potter cast

Panel discussions that cannot be missed with MinaLima – creators of the graphics seen in the movies

Pottermore – an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at – the free interactive website from J.K. Rowling (Saturday & Sunday)

Plus, guests can explore the one-of-a-kind Harry Potter Expo with interactive activities for fans including a vignette of movie props from Harry Potter: The Exhibition and The Sorting Hat™ experience.

And More…!!!!

By Deborah Fitts

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas at Snow Mountain Park!!!

events-ss-christmas-logo20132November 21, 2013–
Atlanta’s Most Heartwarming Christmas Celebration
November 9 – January 1 (Select Dates),
Have a Holly Jolly Christmas at Stone Mountain Park, where the true magic of the season is in the air. Enjoy the glow of more than two million lights, festive music and visits from some your favorite holiday characters. Start a new tradition and create memories that will last a lifetime for your kids…and you.

New for 2013, Stone Mountain Christmas is excited to welcome two iconic North Pole favorites, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer® and Bumble™ the Abominable Snow Monster. Kids of all ages can meet these two heartwarming characters or catch them in the nightly Christmas parade!
•Take a journey into the Christmas songs of yesterday and today with the uplifting show Forever Christmas. Enjoy other great live performances that are sure to get you in the Christmas spirit, including Holly Jolly Cabaret, Toyrific!, and A Crossroads Christmas Carol.
•All aboard the Singalong Train to hear your favorite Christmas tunes as well as the heartwarming story of the first Christmas in The Gift. And enjoy The Polar Express 4-D Experience, a state-of-the-art movie tradition only at Stone Mountain Park.
•Wander through the Wonderland Walkway, a dazzling tunnel of lights guiding you to the Snow Angel® Palace, where you can have your picture taken with the beautiful Snow Angel and her Toy Soldiers.
•Take in the sights and sounds of the season with a nightly Christmas Parade including whimsical floats and the arrival of Santa Claus. Be sure to stay for the magical Snow Angel® Snowfall and Fireworks Finale to wrap up the evening.
•Bring your Christmas wishes and visit with Santa Claus — Named by USA Today as one of the ten best places in the country to catch Santa Claus. Gather ’round at the Gingerbread House for Mistletales and hear Mrs. Claus spin heartwarming tales that are entertaining for children of all ages.
•Spend a Homespun Christmas at the Antebellum Plantation featuring décor, crafts and stories reflecting the holidays in the Antebellum period.
•Enjoy great holiday shopping that includes hand blown glass ornaments, homemade fudge, unique toys and seasonal apparel.
Additionally, enjoy Stone Mountain Park’s fun attractions that will be open during the daytime – included in your Christmas admission ticket:
•Summit Skyride
•Discovering Stone Mountain Museum
•Antebellum Plantation & Farmyard
The Polar Express 4-D Experience
Go on an extraordinary adventure this holiday season with THE POLAR EXPRESS 4-D EXPERIENCE!
When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.
THE POLAR EXPRESS 4-D EXPERIENCE is a 20 minute show based on the inspiring and beloved Caldecott Medal children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg.
THE POLAR EXPRESS and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and ©Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s13
Stone Mountain Christmas is included in the Snow Mountain & Christmas Family Value Pass, Snow Mountain & Christmas Combo Pass, Family Value Pass, Adventure Pass, Mountain Membership PLUS and Mountain Membership.
shows-ss-christmastrain-trainSave Over 30%. Play in the snow and experience Atlanta’s most heartwarming Christmas celebration at a special value.

Enjoy both events on the same day, or you have the option to do Snow Mountain on one day, and Christmas on another.
•Snow Mountain Pass – Includes two-hour tubing session plus all-day access to the Snow Play area.
•Christmas Adventure Pass – Includes access to all Stone Mountain Christmas attractions and entertainment. Also includes daytime admission to Summit Skyride, Antebellum Plantation and Discovering Stone Mountain Museum.
•Hot chocolate – Treat yourself during your Christmas visit to this warm, rich and deeply satisfying gourmet delight.
•Meal ticket redeemable at select Stone Mountain Park restaurants. Meal choices include:
Hamburger*, Hot Dog*, Pizza Slice (Cheese or Pepperoni)*, Chicken Sandwich*
Chef Salad, Chicken Strips Basket with french fries, BBQ Pulled Pork or Chicken served with chips (seasonal), BBQ Pulled Nachos (seasonal)
All of these great meal choices available at Marketplace. Base Camp BBQ and Big Rock Café open seasonally.
*Visit Marketplace and choose a side of French fries, chips, or whole fruit. Sides may vary at other restaurant locations.
•Unlimited refills of Coca-Cola beverages throughout the entire day of your visit. Includes soft drinks and Powerade, Arctic Blast products not included.
$49.75 (plus tax) – min. 2
Capacity is limited. Advance reservations required to guarantee your space.
*$10 parking permit or $35 annual parking permit required for Park entry.
This is an exclusive online offer and cannot be purchased at the park.
By Deborah Fitts

2014 SeaWorld Orlando Fun Card Available Now, Bands Brew & BBQ Line Up Confirmed!

Bands Brew & BBQ Festival Line-Up Confirmed!!
November 21, 2013–
Orlando, Fla. The popular SeaWorld Fun Card is back. Florida residents pay for a day and come back again and again for the rest of 2013 AND all of 2014 to enjoy SeaWorld’s amazing shows, thrilling rides and attractions like Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, and special events all year long, with no blackout dates.

Buying a Fun Card NOW is the best value; Pay for a day and get the rest of 2013, including SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration, and all of the great events and concerts throughout 2014. From Santa to Shamu, SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration inspires lifelong family memories and traditions as waves of holiday spirit splash over the park in a watery, wintery wonderland.

Also just released is the line-up for Bands, Brew & BBQ Festival where guests can enjoy a cornucopia of all things BBQ featuring SeaWorld’s signature mouth-watering BBQ, along with from local restaurant favorites, who will be on hand serving BBQ foods tendered to perfection. The exciting concert lineup features the following (event dates, times and artists are subject to change):
Saturday, February 1 Willie Nelson
Sunday, February 2 TBD
Saturday, February 8 Cheap Trick
Sunday, February 9 TBD
Saturday, February 15 Barenaked Ladies
Sunday, February 16 REO Speedwagon
Saturday, February 22 TBD
Sunday, February 23 Justin Moore
Saturday, March 1 Scotty McCreery
Sunday, March 2 TBD
Saturday, March 8 Martina McBride
Sunday, March 9 38 Special

Through SeaWorld Orlando’s array of events, families will have the opportunity to see live performances, enjoy authentic Latin food and dance with sea fairies, as well as enjoy the signature experiences SeaWorld is known for.

NEW! Wild Days – Weekends January 11 through January 26, 2014.Connect even deeper to animals and the wonderful world we share during Wild Days, an all-new event at SeaWorld® this January. Families can enjoy three weekends of interactive shows and up-close animal encounters. You’ll meet the leaders in the world of animal rescue and rehabilitation, celebrate penguins and immerse yourself in what you love about SeaWorld® – our animals!
January 11-12 – Jack Hanna Weekend
January 18-19 – Sea Rescue Weekend
January 25-26 – Penguin Lovers’ Weekend with Julie Scardina

Just For Kids! – Saturdays from March 22 through April 12, 2014
Bring your little ones to sing, dance and play the day away at SeaWorld’s Just for Kids festival. Experience live shows featuring the hottest kid-friendly favorite entertainment, try out our kid-sized rides, and meet adorable animals. Soak up all the fun, music, treats and more. It’s a festival that’s Just for Kids, and only at SeaWorld.

Viva la Musica® – Saturdays from April 26 through May 17, 2014
Celebrate the food, fun, sights and sounds of Latin culture at this annual Hispanic festival for the entire family, featuring live concerts by internationally renowned Latin musical artists and savory Latin cuisine prepared by SeaWorld Orlando’s own Executive Chef, Héctor Colón.

And there is no better time than in 2014 to visit SeaWorld as all three parks celebrate SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration! – a celebration marked by a whole new “Sea of Surprises.” Starting March 21, 2014, guests are invited to join as SeaWorld celebrates with new interactive experiences, new shows and daily entertainment, more up-close animal encounters throughout the park, and a Surprise Squad treating guests with prizes every day.
The best way for Florida residents to hit every concert, experience all the unique shows and savor every bite is with a 2014 SeaWorld Fun Card that is valid from the date of purchase through Dec. 31, 2014. With a Fun Card families can enjoy all of the special events throughout the year, plus the unforgettable animal encounters, world-class thrill rides and family fun found only at SeaWorld with no blackout dates.
Fun Cards are available at the park’s front gate, online at or by calling
(888) 800-5447.
Visit for more information.

— SeaWorld —

By Deborah Fitts

Get Ready To Roar!!

Story_Land_Art-300x248November 21, 2013–
Get Ready to Roar!
Glen, New Hampshire.
A dinosaur is going to roar into Story Land in Glen, New Hampshire in the spring of 2014. Dubbed Roar-O-Saurus, this smaller wooden coaster twists and turns at a frenetic pace over its 1242ft (379m) long track. Dropping 38.5 ft (12m) passengers will experience 12 unique airtime moments in the ride’s state-of-the-art Timberliner trains as well as fly through a curving tunnel.

By Deborah Fitts

Prestigious Thea Award For Oceaneering Entertainment Systems’ Revolution Tru-Trackless Ride System

November 21, 2013–
The Themed Entertainment Association (T.E.A., awarded its prestigious Thea Award to Oceaneering Entertainment Systems (OES) for their Revolution™ Tru-Trackless™ ride system, recognizing the development and introduction of this amazing new technological leap in theme park ride systems.

The announcement was made at the IAAPA EXPO in Orlando, the largest theme park attractions and amusement trade show in the world.

Using a blend of several cutting-edge technologies and multiple patent-pending innovations, Tru-Trackless™ ride vehicles are able to move through a show space in any direction, stop and turn at will, while providing a full motion-base experience to the audience. Vehicles are able to follow multiple independent ride paths, perform multiple motion profiles, and enter and leave from the load and unload stations in first-available order, not the traditional “follow-the-leader” style.
“Helping Storytellers Move Your Audience is our mantra”, according to Bill Bunting, Manager of Business Development at OES. “We subscribe fervently to Arthur Clark’s third law: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. Too often in our industry, the technology overpowers the experience. It bleeds into the show to the distraction of the story. We think the story should dominate, and the technology should be used only to support the storytelling. It should disappear into the magic created by the experience. We think there are only two prime goals on each project: 1) support the story through the guest experience, and 2) make it reliable and safe. It really all boils down to that.”

Oceaneering Entertainment Systems (OES) contributes to the cutting-edge development of theme park technologies, including dark ride vehicles and show systems, and an array of other custom solutions. “Being a part of a large global organization with roots in deep-water, robotics, mechanical systems, space exploration, and naval technology development gives us access to talent, knowledge and expertise that others in our industry simply can’t match,” says Dave Mauck, VP of Oceaneering Entertainment Systems. “We can leverage our vast resource pool around the world, tap into expertise and innovative engineering that sometimes amazes even us”.

And a look at the Oceaneering website ( highlights those comments. With offices in 22 countries, and over 10,000 employees worldwide, Oceaneering has a reach into all corners of the world, and a rich legacy of technology and innovation dating back to its founding in 1964.

This Thea Award win marks the 12th for OES, and follows up its dual 2012 wins for the ride systems for both Transformers: The Ride-3D at Universal Studios Hollywood, and Transformers The Ride: The Ultimate 3D Battle at Universal Studios Singapore.

The Revolution™ ride vehicle can be seen in action on the IAAPA trade show floor at OES’ booth #1054 during this week’s IAAPA EXPO 2013 at the Orange County Convention Center
By Deborah Fitts