Memorial Day Weekend Round Up

Looking for things to do in Orlando this Memorial Day weekend? Read on!

🇺🇸 The Town of Celebration will host their annual Memorial Day Flag Ceremony on Saturday May 27th at 10:00 am at Founder’s Park in Celebration.

🎡 ICON Park will be honoring our troops throughout the long weekend.

-All active and retired military personnel can ride The Wheel for free and the family members joining them can receive 50 percent off tickets. Offer is valid May 26-May 29

-ICON Park is hosting an event with US Army Kissimmee Recruiting Station on May 26. Guests can get an up-close look at large military trucks and participate in fun activities

-The Wheel will light up in an American flag pattern throughout the long weekend, making a great, patriotic photo op

🖼️ The Lonely Dog Immersive Grand Opening is this weekend. Visit for fun check out the fun we had at a media preview here.

🧜🏻‍♀️ Disney’s live-action version of The Little Mermaid is now out, a new Princess Ariel has started greeting guests in the parks, and there is Little Mermaid themed merch and food to be enjoyed everywhere! Why not catch the film at Disney Springs, grab some fun merch, and then meet Princess Ariel in the parks? Learn more below!

And there is so much more happening! 

❤️🤍💙 Check out this helpful guide from Jen Dixon of Yellow Beads and Me for more ideas! Jen has put together a helpful run down of many Memorial Day happenings around town!

All aboard! Train attraction returns to the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens

Miniature streamliner now available for rides

It’s full steam ahead at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens for one of the most exciting announcements of the year. The Sanford nonprofit’s new train brings back a beloved guest experience.

The Zoo held a ribbon cutting Thursday for the train, which carries guests on a loop around the Zoo’s property through natural Florida landscaping, across realistic crossings and into the depot near the entrance to the Zoo.

Rides are now available for guests for $5 per person, or $4 for Zoo passholders. VyStar Credit Union members receive a $1 discount on train rides when they show a VyStar debit or credit card. 

The train will run approximately every 30 minutes from 10 a.m. through 3:30 p.m. daily. 

“It’s always exciting when we can bring something new to the Zoo,” said Richard E. Glover, Jr., the Zoo’s CEO. “We know the families and community members who love the Zoo will be excited to have this attraction back and will look forward to taking a ride on our new train.” 

The train, called The Champion, was built in 2021 and is a one-quarter scale model of a real Atlantic Coast Line Railroad streamliner. The real-life version of the train provided daily service from New York to Miami starting in 1939. The Zoo’s train was made possible by several sponsors, including VyStar, which sponsored the train’s engine. 

“This exciting partnership with the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens demonstrates our commitment to supporting communities throughout Central Florida and providing our members with unique opportunities to enjoy top local attractions,” said VyStar Credit Union SVP, Florida Market President, Lysa Barbano. “We are thrilled to be working together to create amazing experiences and look forward to seeing our members enjoy train rides, animals, and other attractions at the Zoo.” 

Wharton-Smith, Inc. is also a sponsor of the train station and donated construction services to prepare the attraction for opening.  

“The miniature train has been a fixture at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens since 2003. It was always a treat with every Zoo visit for myself and my children growing up,” said Tim Smith, President and CEO of Wharton-Smith. “Wharton-Smith has been a committed and proud partner to our hometown Zoo for 37 years. This was our first gift from the Wharton-Smith Foundation. We could not be happier with the impact of our donation and to have our name on the train station. Many thanks to our team that partnered with the Central Florida Zoo to make improvements to this historic attraction. We are thrilled to be a part of its future.” 

Finally, the train’s caboose is sponsored by D&A Building Services. D&A President and CEO, Albert Sarabasa Jr., is a longtime Zoo board member and supporter.  

“Families across Central Florida love coming to the Zoo and riding the train,” Sarabasa said. “We are as excited as everyone to have our family and yours enjoy the train once again.” 

To make way for the new attraction, the Zoo made updates to its tracks and crossings, working with state and other independent inspectors.  

“Cutting the ribbon on this attraction today is sure to be one of the highlights of our year here at the Zoo,” Glover said. “We look forward to seeing all of the smiling faces on the train in the weeks and months to come.”

For more information, visit

Celebrate National BBQ Day at Brother Jimmy’s

May is National Barbecue Month, National Barbecue Day on May 16

Celebrate with North Carolina Barbecue at Brother Jimmy’s ICON Park

When you combine slow-smoked, North Carolina-style BBQ, endless drinks and good ole’ Southern Hospitality, you have the perfect recipe for a party. And that’s exactly what Brother Jimmy’s ICON Park is serving up for National Barbecue Month this May.

There’s never been a better time to “put some South in yo’ mouth” at one of Orlando’s best Barbecue restaurants. To celebrate all things BBQ this May, Brother Jimmy’s will be hosting a raffle for a $100 gift card on May 16, National Barbecue Day.

Whether guests are in the mood for competition-winning brisket, jumbo ribs or “legendary” pulled pork, everything is fresh, full of flavor and smoked on-site in the restaurant’s vintage ole hickory smoker. And they don’t have to choose just one thanks to Brother Jimmy’s combo meals.

A good barbecue feast isn’t complete without sides. From fan favorites like macaroni and cheese, cornbread and hand-cut fries, to Southern classics like collard greens, fried okra and Carolina-style coleslaw, Brother Jimmy’s side dishes never disappoint. There are also delicious drinks including a variety of mason jar cocktails, Trashcan Punch or Swamp Water to complement guests’ meals.

In addition to the delicious eats and flowing drinks, Brother Jimmy’s keeps the party going with classic games like two Pop-o-Shot basketball machines, a retro skeeball machine, the World’s Biggest Pac-Man and more.

The legendary New York concept, owned by Mike Daquino and his wife, is the newest addition to ICON Park’s extensive lineup of restaurants and is the perfect option for families visiting the entertainment center because kids eat free all day, every day. For every adult entrée purchased, kids under 12 receive a free meal from the kids’ menu.

Brother Jimmy’s is located at ICON Park at the center of the Orlando Entertainment District. With free parking and conveniently located near I-4, Universal Boulevard and the Beachline, this premiere entertainment complex is easy to access for any Central Florida resident or Orlando tourist.

To learn more about Brother Jimmy’s at ICON Park, visit https:/

The Lonely Dog Immersive Experience now open in Orlando

The Lonely Dog Immersive ExperienceMakes Its World Debut In Orlando

Coming to you directly from the same country that gave us, “The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit, New Zealand artist Ivan Clarke’s artwork and novel that followed has transformed into The Lonely Dog Immersive Experience. The exhibition lets audiences jump into the world of the stray hound turned guitarist in a new immersive show that combines the art of storytelling with animated paintings, 3D imagery, and original music.

ORLANDO, Fla. (May 10, 2023) — Tails are wagging as the novel based on the Lonely Dog paintings by New Zealand artist Ivan Clarke is now an immersive storytelling exhibition centered around the guitar-playing outcast hound and his whimsical, albeit dark, world. The Lonely Dog Immersive Experience makes its international debut, opening to fans worldwide on Saturday, May 6 in Orlando, Florida. Tickets start at $34.57 per person and to celebrate the attraction’s opening, guests can enjoy a 40% discount on admission throughout the month of May.  

The exhibition transports audiences into a stunning visual adventure of the life of Lonely Dog, a misunderstood orphan who overcomes bullies to become a legend whose music heals a divided society of posh cats and working-class dogs in the fictional world of Alveridgea, as animated paintings, 3D imagery, and original music are projected throughout the digital theater for an immersive, 30-minute cinematic show.

The Lonely Dog Immersive Experience draws on international talent from Director and Producer Cliff Dew and Producer Rob Pearlman of Jumping Frog Entertainment USAExodo Animation Studios, an award-winning animation studio in Mexico, and Centrica in Italy, a leader in immersive art experiences that brought to life the famous Uffizi collection, including Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo. Geoff Pearlman, a seasoned music producer out of Los Angeles, created original music for the exhibition based on lyrics from the Lonely Dog novel.

Other highlights of The Lonely Dog Immersive Experience include:

  • Art Gallery: The gallery showcases nearly 40 pieces of artwork by Clarke that inspired the story, starring Lonely Dog, Celia Crème, and other hound and feline characters.
  • Virtual Reality Lounge: Wearing virtual reality goggles, guests fly alongside Lonely Dog on a journey that soars through the skies and dives into the depths of the sea.
  • Coco Kitz: Sit back, relax and enjoy live music from the incomparable Donovan Peterkin every Thursday through Sunday from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. in this hopping venue.
  • Selfie Salon: Snap a picture with your favorite Lonely Dog character and share it on social media with your pack of friends.
  • Art Studio: Aspiring artists complete some of Clarke’s most cherished dog and cat paintings, then can see their masterpiece projected on a giant Coloring Fun Art Wall.
  • CafeTerra: Stop by for snacks and refreshments, including coffee and smoothies, during business hours.

In addition, The Lonely Dog Immersive Experienceteamed up with a local charity, where $1 of every ticket benefits the Happy Trails Animal Rescue, a nonprofit animal rescue group serving the Central Florida area.

The Lonely Dog Immersive Experience is located at 4950 International Dr., adjacent to the Orlando International Premium Outlets. It is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. 

Ticket discounts are available to groups, seniors, military, and students.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call 844-566-3593. Follow Lonely Dog on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Watch to see the fun we had at the exhibit!

Central Florida Mother’s Day Happenings Around Town

Looking for something special to do this Mother’s Day? Read on for some family friendly places around Central Florida where you can celebrate mom this weekend!

💐 Leu Gardens ~ Leu Gardens is offering free admission for moms on Sunday, May 14th!

🐯 Central Florida Zoo ~ Moms and grandmas get in to the Zoo for free. Each free admission must be accompanied by a paid admission and the deal is only valid at the gate.

🎡 ICON Park ~ Moms can ride The Wheel for free with a paid family member. This promotion is available now through May 14. 

🧘🏼‍♀️ Mommy + Me Barre Class at Pure Barre ~ 10:00 am at the Dr. Phillips Studio, and 11:30 am at the Winter Garden studio. Call studio to reserve a spot in advance.

🥞 Mother’s Day Brunch at Villa de Flora at Gaylord Palms ~ Enjoy a stroll through the stunning atrium and fresh, seasonal dishes, including hand-carved prime rib and slow-roasted porchetta, chef-made omelets, and endless brunch favorites. $58++ per Adult (Ages 13+) $29++ per Child (Ages 4-12). Includes self-parking validation.

🎳 Airport Lanes, Aloma Bowl and Boardwalk Bowl ~ Moms can get two free bowling games and a shoe rental when accompanied by a paying child.

🌸 Epcot’s International  Flower & Garden Festival 

🌊 Jetty Park at Cocoa Beach 

🏎️ lev8 Fun ~Moms eat free at Pl8 with the purchase of a kid’s meal or regular entree.

🛻 Dezerland Action Park ~ Guests can take advantage of buy-one-get-one-free passes to the Orlando Auto Museum. Plus, moms will receive a free rose courtesy of Sou Luv flower truck parked inside Dezerland Action Park with the purchase of their auto museum pass. 

🧘🏽‍♂️Yoga at Mead Gardens ~ 5:00 pm for Moms and kids $12 per family

🛍️ Disney Springs ~ Stop by the springs for shopping, brunch, coffee, or a sweet treat from mom’s fave stores and restaurants! STK brunch followed by a stop at the Lilly Pulitzer store and Crave Cupcakes sounds good to us!

Leu Gardens

Mother’s Day at Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens

Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens to offer moms, grandmas free admission for Mother’s Day

Deal available at the gate Sunday, May 14

When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 14, 2023

Where: Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens | 3755 W Seminole Blvd, Sanford, FL 32771 

What: The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is always a great way for families to make memories together, but this Mother’s Day, the Zoo is making that even easier. 

All moms and grandmas will receive free admission to the Zoo on Sunday, May 14, 2023, in honor of Mother’s Day. Each free admission must be accompanied by a paid admission, so it’s the perfect opportunity for kids to treat the mother figures in their lives to some time together.

Tickets are not available online and must be purchased at the gate.

A nonprofit institution, the Zoo offers guests the chance to see more than 100 species of animals, as well as to enjoy lush botanical gardens, shaded boardwalks, a splash pad and more.

For more information about the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens, visit

About the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens 

The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is home to over 300 animals in Sanford, Florida. As a not-for-profit organization, it is a leader in conservation, creating connections that inspire people to take action for wildlife. More information is available at

Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens to celebrate summer with cultural series

Sunset at the Zoo offers more time for fun, monthly themes

SANFORD, Fla. (April 27, 2023) —The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens aims to create connections that inspire people to take action for wildlife. This summer, the Sanford favorite is doing just that while also forging connections with different cultures in our communities.

The Zoo is bringing back its popular all-ages summer event, Sunset at the Zoo, which allows friends and families to enjoy some extra-hours fun—but with an added twist. Each month’s event will celebrate a culture, complete with activities, food and educational opportunities. 

Sunset at the Zoo takes place on the fourth Friday of every month from May to September. The Zoo reopens at 5 p.m. and offers up fun until the sun goes down, including music, inflatable games and of course the chance to see some favorite animals after the heat of the day. 

Dates and themes for 2023 are as follows: 

  • May 26—Asian American & Pacific Islander heritage  
  • June 23—LGBTQ+ Pride  
  • July 28—Black heritage 
  • August 25—Native American/American Indian heritage 
  • September 22—Hispanic heritage 

Each event will include special entertainment, food trucks, Zoo Keeper chats and more.  

“The Zoo is a place for the community, and we want it to feel welcoming to all communities and cultures,” said Richard E. Glover, Jr., the Zoo’s CEO. “We’re very excited to roll out this newly imagined version of our favorite summer event and look forward to celebrating with our patrons.” 

Last admission for each event is 7:30 p.m.Tickets are $6 per person when purchased online and $8 per person at the gate. The event is separate from day admission and is not included for Annual Passholders. 

Families can also cash in on the $40 Family 4-Pack, which includes 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs and 4 sodas, online only. 

Tickets are available here

For more information, visit  

About the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens

The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is home to over 300 animals in Sanford, Florida. As a not-for-profit organization, it is a leader in conservation, creating connections that inspire people to take action for wildlife. More information is available at

Media Contact: William Wellons, Wellons Communications, 407-339-0879,

Dinosaurs at Leu Gardens

Dino lover? 🦕 You won’t want to miss Dinosaurs at Leu Gardens! We visited Sunday and it was Dino-mite fun!

Our prehistoric adventure took us on a delightful outdoor journey through the nearly 50-acre gardens to discover 20 dinosaurs amidst the plants! A clever scavenger hunt style map served as our guide, as we discovered both incredibly lifelike dinos and prehistoric plants. The incredible dinos we found ranged in size from 14 inches to a massive 33 ft, and took our breath away.

The boys were thrilled by the experience, and asked so many intelligent questions about the plants, fossils, and dinosaurs. The exhibit kept everyone from my two year old to my husband smiling and engaged, and we are already making plans to go back with my nephews.

Dinosaurs at Leu Gardens is happening now through July 9th! Visit the link below to learn more.

And spy our Instagram reels and highlights to see more of the fun we had.

The Great Florida Road Trip opens at ICON Park

(April 26, 2023) – Today launched the grand opening of the newest gaming experience in Orlando – one with a bird’s-eye view – as it’s played from up to 400 feet in the air while riding aboard The Wheel at ICON Park.
“The Great Florida Road Trip” is the first interactive game to take place while riding an observation wheel, adding an innovative secondary experience on top of the incredible views.

As their private wheel cabin rise up to 400 feet in the air, guests use a special retro-themed camera, outfitted with infrared technology, to aim markers on the rooftops below and compete for points to win a prize.

This experience’s art and game pieces are themed to a nostalgic road trip through Florida in the 50s and 60s, paying homage to the state’s original tourism attractions that were here even before the arrival of famous theme parks.

In the early-to-mid 1900s, Florida was a unique vacation spot with its natural sights, inventive attractions, unique architecture and sports like the Everglades, Silver Springs’ glass-bottom boats, Miami’s art deco style, Daytona car racing, and more. Now, old Florida charm meets exciting innovation with the launch of The Great Florida Road Trip at ICON Park.

“This new experience is inspired by the original features that put Florida on the map,” said Chris Jaskiewicz, ICON Park president and CEO. “The Great Florida Road Trip is the first interactive gaming experience that you can play on a 400-foot-high observation wheel. Weaving together new technology with nostalgia, this experience was designed for people of all ages to enjoy. Parents and grandparents will love the vintage appeal, and kids can put their gaming skills to the test.”

“We’re excited to offer our visitors an additional and entertaining way of learning about everything that Florida has to offer. Travelers have been choosing Florida for decades and this immersive experience will further their understanding of the history, nostalgia and the many reasons why Florida is still the No. 1 vacation destination,” said Visit Florida’s Dana Young, president and CEO Dana Young.

The Experience:

Upon boarding The Wheel, each player receives a special camera – resembling a vintage long- lens photographer’s camera from the 50s – that’s outfitted with infrared technology that reaches up to 1,000 feet to interact with game markers on the rooftops below. The 45 markers symbolize a nostalgic road trip through the Sunshine State including Florida oranges and giant vintage postcards promoting famous travel destinations of the era, with a 1940s-era radio voice describing fun facts about the sights.

Using the camera, players aim at the sensors at each marker and “snap” a photo to electronically register points. Every cabin has a winner, as the high scorer gets a prize – a $5 arcade card for In The Game ICON Park.
The game is designed to be played during the beginning and end ride segments, so mid-way players can relax and enjoy their view of the ultimate Florida travel destination: Orlando.

The Wheel reaches 400 feet high and has views for 26 miles across Central Florida of famous theme parks, beautiful resorts, the Orlando Entertainment District and more.

At the end of the experience, every party will receive a special memento of their vacation with the Flamingo Family. Guests will be provided with a retro-style postcard they can fill out after the experience and drop in a themed mailbox for ICON Park to mail out for them.

Along with this new experience aboard The Wheel, there’s a redesigned queue with a new 70-foot-long vintage Florida mural, a new 1960s Orlando map, a preshow and themed merchandise mix – All of which serves to transport guests back to what has been called the golden age of Florida tourism.

Orlando-based IDEAS, Knoxville-based Creative Amusements and Lafayette, Indiana-based Steradian Technologies all contributed to the theming, style and product development the experience required.

To learn more about ICON Park, visit:

Media Contact
Will Wellons
Wellons Communications 407-339-0879 will@wellonscommunications.

ClearClub Experience

Have you heard of ClearClub?

I recently had a chance to try out their services, and I am so impressed. Read on to learn more about ClearClub and my ClearClub Whitening experience!

Let’s start with the basics – who is ClearClub and what do they do?

ClearClub was founded with a clear objective: To offer professional quality custom dental nightguards at fair price. They provide custom dental night guards, sports mouth guards, whitening trays, and retainers at a fraction of the cost of what you’d pay in a dentist’s office. How? They engage directly with consumers to let you start the process from the comfort of your own home!

Who are their services for?

Anyone who wants to pay a lower fee for the aforementioned items! So if you grind your teeth, whiten your teeth, wear a retainer, or play contact sports, they are for you!

What did I use them for?

When ClearClub reached out to me to see if I wanted to try their products, I jumped at the chance to say yes. I was already in the market for new whitening trays and I was super curious to see if their process was as simple as it looked. Spoiler alert – it is!

How was the impression making experience?

Working with ClearClub was a breeze! They sent an impression kit directly to my home for me to make molds for my whitening trays. The kit including detailed instructions that were easy to follow, all items needed, and a shipping envelope to return my molds. Once I made the mold trays, the instructions said to take pictures of them to email to ClearClub. At this point in the process two things could have happened- ClearClub would either email back to say the molds look good to return, or to say I needed to try again with a new mold kit. If I needed another kit, they’d send it free of charge. Thankfully, my molds looked good, so I simply put them in the enclosed envelope to return to ClearClub.

What happened next?

After receiving my molds, ClearClub made my custom whitening trays and shipped them back to me! It happened so fast! They arrived in the mail along with a full whitening kit and directions. To my delight, the trays fit PERFECTLY and the whitening gel is providing beautiful results. I am so impressed.

Overall impression?

My ClearClub molds are as perfect as what I would receive in a dentists’s office for a fraction of the cost. I would absolutely recommend them to anyone suffering from grinding, looking to whiten, and everything in between.

Wearing my Clear Club whitening trays! To

Got questions? Feel free to ask!

Want to learn more? Visit the link below!