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Showing posts from July, 2013

IAAPA Attractions Expo 2013

IAAPA Attractions Expo 2013, which takes place Nov. 18 – 22 at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, Fla., features a wide variety of networking opportunities and special events designed to connect peers, inspire minds, and spur innovation. Participants will get behind-the-scenes looks at area attractions and time to interact with more than 26,000 attractions industry professionals from 100 countries. IAAPA Attractions Expo 2013 is owned and produced by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) and it is the premier international business event for the global attractions industry.

Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Tours of Area Attractions
Guided behind-the-scenes tours offered at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2013 are specifically designed to allow registrants to experience area attractions as few others can. Facility tours include:“Disney at Dawn” at Epcot, featuring a pre-opening facility tour and remarks from Epcot’s Vice President, Erin YoungsFu…

Atlanta Artist Hense Does Mural for Purple, Rock, Scissors in Downtown Orlando

Purple, Rock, Scissors invited Atlanta artist Alex Brewer, better known as Hense, to paint one of the wall's of the ad agency's downtown office space. Above is the final product. Watch a video of the process and an interview with the artist. 

Orlando's DJ Baby Anne Headlines Techno-Centric Labor Day Celebration at Universal Orlando CityWalk

By Ken Storey

While Pleasure Island  is getting turned into Disney Springs, Universal Orlando CityWalk continues to grow its nightlife dominance with its annual techno-centric "Labor Day Celebration" on September 1, 2013 at The Groove. It's one of their largest events of the year.  Save Pleasure Island is reporting that this year, Orlando's very own 'Bass QueenDJ Baby Anne will headline.  She is one of the originators of Florida Breaks style, which made its way into the mainstream.  Baby Anne had a previous residency at CityWalk's Red Coconut Club.  

Cake Delivery By Remote Controlled Drone? Only in China

By Ken Storey

Update 7-31-13 The drone has been grounded

InCake Bakery, a Chinese cake factory across the Huangpu River from downtown Shanghai, retrofitted three four foot wide drones to deliver their cakes to customers. Each drone can reach a height of about 100 meters, can be controlled from several miles away and has two cameras on it. Drone pilots drive around the city controlling it. Delivery time is 45 minutes, far less than if the factory had to utilize the city's crowded streets. Story via Shanghai Daily,Shanghaiist

Urban Network of Commissioned Art Pieces Make Up the Urban Art Museum

There have been several exciting developments related to the Urban Art Museum concept since it was first announced on The Daily City® last month.

Recently, Process Architecture has teamed up with Jai Gallery located in downtown Orlando to help curate and manage the Urban Art Museum. Jai Gallery brings over twenty years of experience and will be an essential member of the Urban Art Museum team as the project continues to evolve.

The second, and equally exciting development is the launch of the Urban Art Museum Kickstarter project to help raise funds for the first Urban Art Museum installation.

The Urban Art Museum is a concept that developed through numerous design studios and the work of Process Architecture. The idea is simple - where do you put an art museum in a densely populated commercial district when no funds exist for a structure, let alone art? The answer is anywhere you can. The Urban Art Museum is not a building; it is an urban network of commissioned art pieces that will be …

Is EPCOT's Imagination Pavilion Leaving? EPCOT Expert R.A. Pedersen Reveals A Ton of Info In New Interview

By Ken Storey

R.A. Pedersen ( Twitter| facebook) is one of the leading voices in the EPCOT fan community.  His tweets have sometimes caused outrage from those holding differing views of The Walt Disney Company.  When his 2011 book, The Epcot Explorer's Encyclopedia, was first published, it quickly became one of the top go-to sources for any Disney historian or fan.  His extensive knowledge of EPCOT has gained a following even from within the Disney company itself.  This has led to him becoming one of the leading sources for those seeking to know what is next for the sixth busiest theme park in the world.

Recently, he lit up social media by revealing exclusive details about the Imagination pavilion.  According to Pedersen, the Imagination pavilion, including the ride, ImageWorks, and the Captain EO show, will be closing January 2, 2014.  What comes in its place is still unknown, but those who follow these types of things closely expect a new ride of some sort and the permanent closur…

Ice Cream Sandwich Food Truck Coming to Orlando: Midnight Sun

By Mark Baratelli
Staff Page

Orlando is getting a brand new ice cream sandwich food truck called Midnight Sun Ice Cream Sandwich Co. (Website | Twitter). The owners, Levi and Jocelyn, both come from restaurant backgrounds. Levi is responsible for the ice cream sandwich making, while Jocelyn handles front of house. Read our email interview with them below. 
How did Midnight Sun Ice Cream Sandwich Co. come about?
Levi: I met my wife and partner, Jocelyn, around ten years ago in Gainesville. We were both working in fine-dining restaurants at the time. We moved to Jacksonville Beach shortly afterward and both wound up working at Restaurant Medure in Ponte Vedra. I’d been sweating it out on the hot line as a grill and sauté cook, when one day the chef called me into his office and told me the pastry chef had quit the previous night. I had no professional experience with desserts, but he told me that he knew I’d be good at it. I was frankly unconvinced and not happy about being pull…

Universal Orlando Construction Update: Seven Little Duffs Arrive at Springfield USA

Recently we brought you a sneak peak at the Kang & Kodos ride opening soon at Universal Studios Florida's new Springfield U.S.A. area. Tonight, we have exclusive first photos of another element of the park's Simpsons-themed expansion.
The "Seven Little Duffs" are artificial topiaries that have been installed outside Duff Gardens, an outdoor eatery inspired by Homer's favorite brewery. As you can see, Tipsy, Queasy, Surly, Sleazy, Edgy, Dizzy and Remorseful are all represented in what is sure to be a popular phtoto-op among fans. You can also spot the statue of Jebadiah Springfield behind them; thankfully no one has stolen his head...yet.

Morocco Restaurant Spice Road Table (with photos)

By Ken Storey

Morocco at EPCOT is the latest pavilion to get a new restaurant.  Spice Road Table will offer tapas, small plates, and Mediterranean regional wines.  While it will be found in Morocco, the new restaurant will represent a more regional menu with items from a number of Mediterranean countries.

While the view for Illuminations will be a bit blocked by the islands in the lagoon, the new restaurant will still use the lake as one of its main selling points with two-thirds of its 180 seats on an outdoor terrace overlooking the lagoon.  

This will the third restaurant for Morocco.  Disney Parks Blog, who first announced the new restaurant, also mentioned that "other 'enhancements'" will be coming to the pavilion, though no details have yet to be shared. 

Spice Road Table should be open by the end of 2013. 

Sharknado in Orlando This Friday

By Ken Storey

One of the break out hits of Summer 2013 on social media and through word of mouth has been Sharknado, the made-for-TV movie on the SyFy Channel.

Described by Entertainment Weekly as “… an hour-and-a-half of ridiculous, slapstick, theatrical, scientifically-impossible fun,” the movie caught the attention of celebrities who themselves began endorsing the over the top nature of the film.  

The film, despite having a celebrity line-up including Ian Ziering, John Hard and Tara Reid, actually garnered less viewers than a typical SyFy channel premiere. But the publicity from the film, including over 318,000 tweets during the premiere alone, caused SyFy Channel to rebroadcast the film a week later with an increase of 38% over its initial airing.

They've now partnered with NCM Fathom Events, a company known for broadcasting live events in movie theaters, for a nationwide single midnight showing of Sharknado in theaters. The showing will include never before seen footage, a makin…

Orlando #1 For Job Growth According to Study

By Ken Storey

In 2011, Orlando was rated by Forbes as one of the top ten boom towns of this decade.  Back then, the publication said the state weathered the recession well, had more jobs now than in 2000 and the local demographics remained robust. has released a new study that puts Orlando as #1 for job growth.  The site points out that the unemployment rate is still high at 7.7%, but the city has reduced it significantly by 1.6% within the last year alone.  The study also points out that the city has added 47,000 new jobs over the past year.  

Orlando was the only Florida city in the Top 10. The study looked at the nation's 50 largest metropolitan areas.   Overall long-term growth, reduction in unemployment and company hiring plans were used in the rankings.  

Sweeto Burrito Coming to Orlando Area

By Ken Storey

Sweeto Burrito started as a mobile food trailer in Idaho.  The popular brand, known for its unique twist on American, Mexican, and Thai, recently announced that it was in the midst of a major expansion with 250 new stores in Arizona, Nevada, Texas, and Florida.  The expansion will begin with 30 by the end of 2014.  The new locations will be a mix of brick and mortar and mobile food vendors.  

Locally, at least two locations are planned.  Orlando resident Cory T. Jones has secured the rights for Florida and Texas.  He plans to open his first location on Hwy 192 near 535 in Kissimmee in Fall 2013.  That location will be about twice as large as a typical Sweeto Burrito.  It will seat 130 and employ around 25 people.  A second location is planned for early 2014 in an area near downtown Orlando.  Altogether, Jones plans over 120 locations. 

Sweeto Burrito is a bit different than other burrito chains, with its fast-casual order method, sit down format and eclectic menu.  

Jon Pier…