9th Annual Downtown Food & Wine Fest (Orlando) Feb. 25 & 26

Ninth Annual Downtown Food & Wine Fest at Lake Eola Set for February 25 and 26, 2017

Lake Eola Food Wine Fest Orlando

The Ninth Annual Downtown Food & Wine Fest is set for Saturday, February 25 and Sunday, February 26, 2017 for more than 30,000 foodies and wine lovers to experience unique local cuisine paired with wines from around the globe. 

Located in the heart of downtown Orlando at Lake Eola on Robinson Street, the two-day Fest features mouth-watering dishes from 30 of Orlando’s premier restaurants, 50 domestic and international wines and live entertainment.  A portion of the proceeds benefit UCF Foundation, Inc. and Valencia Foundation.

Headline entertainers include Gavin DeGraw and KC and The Sunshine Band. Additional live music artists to be announced on www.downtownfoodandwinefest.com.

Date / Time: Saturday, February 25 (noon to 9 p.m.) and Sunday, February 26, 2017 (noon to 7 p.m.)

Location: Located in the heart of downtown Orlando at Lake Eola along Robinson Street

Fest Admission: 

One-Day General Admission

Admission is $20 per person, per day with advance online purchase. Admission at the door is $25 per person, per day.

Two-Day General Admission

For all-weekend Fest fans, a two-day ticket is available for $35 per person with advance online purchase.

Wine Tasters Club

A limited number of Wine Tasters Club passes will be available for purchase for $20 per person at the Fest.  Club members will enjoy up to five 2 oz. pours of their choice throughout the Fest and a souvenir lanyard.

Ultimate Fest Experience

A limited number of Ultimate Fest Experience packages are available for $115 per person, per day and includes a VIP parking pass, general admission, Wine Tasters Club, $20 value in food and beverage tickets, access to the private stage-side VIP tent, private wine/beer bar with premium wines (food and beverage tickets required) and access to private bathrooms reserved for VIP guests.

Food & Beverage Tickets:

Food and beverage tickets are available at the Fest for $2 each; food and beverage offerings range from one to four tickets.

“One of my favorite things about Downtown Orlando is the variety of restaurants and event options,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “The Downtown Food & Wine Fest combines both by adding to the array of event options residents and visitors can attend, as well as, helping to enhance the vibrancy of the area all the while increasing awareness of our local businesses and strengthening economic growth in the area.”

Steve Carver, senior vice president and market manager, CBS RADIO Orlando commented, “Through the power of radio and the strength of our partnerships with the Orlando Downtown Development Board (DDB), restaurateurs, foodies and fans will come together to celebrate the sights, sounds and tastes of Orlando.”

Top restaurants are scheduled to present culinary tastings to complete in the Golden Fork Awards as honored by a panel of Orlando elected officials, food writers and reporters and celebrity chefs.

2016 Foodie AwardBaoery’s Asian Tacos

2016 Sweet Treat Award: Siro Urban Kitchen’s Black Cherry Liquid Nitro Gelato with Balsamic Drizzle

2016 Best of ShowPrimo by Chef Melissa Kelly

Stay Connected

For more information on the Downtown Food & Wine Fest:

About Event Producer: CBS RADIO

CBS RADIO is one of the largest major-market broadcast media operators in the United States and the undisputed leader in news and sports radio.  CBS RADIO produces original audio and video content, live events and exclusive programming broadcast via on-air, online and mobile platforms.  A division of CBS Corporation, CBS RADIO owns 117 radio stations in 26 markets – including all of the top 10 radio markets as ranked by Nielsen Audio – as well as an extensive array of digital assets. CBS RADIO distributes its programming via AM, FM and HD Radio stations, Radio.com and CBS Local Digital Media apps, making engaging with audiences easier than ever before. For more information on CBS RADIO, please visit www.cbsradio.com




London Based “Ace Cafe” Coming to Orlando!

Ace Cafe OrlandoI just learned about a new family friendly spot coming to Orlando this Spring! If you live in the area and are looking for a job or looking for a new spot to try – Ace Cafe it is! This exciting new downtown outpost will be family and kid-friendly with a children’s menu, children’s coloring books, free WiFi and an amazing display of moto-gear for the cars, bikes and rock and roll fans in your family. Also a great spot for “mommy and daddy’s night out” for food, music and fun.

First Ace Cafe in the U.S. Scheduled to Open in Downtown Orlando Spring 2017

What is Ace Cafe?

In the late 50’s and early 60’s, the British motorcycle industry was at its peak, muscle cars started to make their presence known, and along came rock ‘n roll. Not played on radio stations, initially the only place rock ’n roll could be heard was on jukeboxes at cafes. From this powerful fusion of motorbikes, cars, and rock ’n roll came the legend of the Ace and a significance for motorcycle and car lovers all over the world.

The Ace is a shared identity and a vital point in a culture that, as the decades pass, continues to thrive and evolve. Ace Cafe celebrates the spirit, history and culture of motor-enthusiasts, where guests can have a great meal, meet friends, see some amazing motorcycles and cars, and leave feeling like they’ve just been part something bigger. 

Ace Cafe’s iconic, stylish and distinctive emblem is instantly recognizable and has come to represent an authentic, simple, hardworking and straightforward speed-inspired culture.

About Ace Cafe North America / Ace Cafe Orlando

Ace Cafe is the most famous motor-diner on the planet. Ace Cafe North America holds the exclusive licensee rights in North America and South America for this world-famous brand. Born in London in 1938, the Ace celebrates the spirit, history and culture of motorcycling, cars and rock ‘n roll, and continues to influence almost everything that has a rebel attitude — generations of kids on motorbikes, cool cars, an entire genre and style of motorcycling, the thrill of speed, the beginning of rock ‘n roll, movies and television, Rockers, Mods, leather jackets and renegade fashion.

Ace Cafe Orlando is the first North American venue for Ace Cafe, and is a full-service restaurant and bar, a cafe, a live music and special event venue, a motor-inspired art gallery and a number of retail shops, covering three acres in downtown Orlando at the corner of West Livingston Street and Garland Avenue. Ace Cafe welcomes all who share the passion and traditions of motorcycles, cars and rock ‘n roll. For more information, visit www.acecafeusa.com, and connect on Facebook and Twitter @AceCafeUSA, Instagram @acecafeorlando_official


Ace Cafe Orlando
Photo via Instagram: @acecafeorlando_official

ACE CAFE ORLANDO ANNOUNCES JOB FAIR TO HIRE 175

Looking for a gig? Ace Cafe Orlando, the first outpost of the iconic London, England-based motor-diner, is bringing 175 new jobs to Central Florida and will host a job fair later this month. A beacon to English motorcyclists for decades, the Ace Cafe has become a global cultural phenomenon, and is about to bring that same love of speed and adrenaline to downtown Orlando in the form of Ace Cafe Orlando. Currently under construction inside three historic buildings on a three acre parcel located at the corner of West Livingston Street and Garland Avenue, Ace Cafe Orlando is on track for a scheduled opening this spring.

The Ace will host a job fair on Friday through Monday, January 27-30, 2017, between 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the Courtyard Orlando Downtown, at 730 N. Magnolia Ave., Orlando, FL 32803. Talented bartenders, baristas, servers, retail sales associates and other food service industry professionals with outgoing and creative personalities are invited to apply in person or send an email to jobs@acecafeusa.com. Visit acecafeusa.com or call 858.729.3400 for details.

The Ace offers competitive benefits and professional advancement opportunities for proven restaurant professionals that possess the ability to maintain its high standards of quality and guest satisfaction. The Ace offers health/dental/vision benefits and unmatched opportunities for growth in a friendly and exhilarating work environment.

More than a restaurant, Ace Cafe Orlando will connect great food and dining with a passion for motoring and rock ‘n roll, providing a totally unique guest experience found nowhere else in the world. The menu is an American roadside diner concept with made-from-scratch home style comfort food, with some British favorites like Bangers & Mash, Fish & Chips, and Chicken Curry, but with a twist that captures the authentic spirit and flavors of some of the best backroad joints and specialty fare, with a nod to locally-sourced and green options, all at an affordable price point. Ace Cafe Orlando also has a big backyard area for patio dining, making it a great place for an outdoor event and live music in the middle of the city. 

“Our talented, diverse team and the quality of our service, combined with the unique ‘only at the Ace’ experience, will differentiate our venue from all others in Central Florida and beyond,” said Mark McKee, chief gear head of Ace Cafe North America. “From affable artisans to top-notch bartenders, we encourage the best in the business to apply, especially those who share our passion for motoring, music, great food and community.”




Look What’s Coming to Orlando in 2017

Orlando Travel Attractions 2017

Orlando is one of my favorite destinations. Since I live in South Carolina I can pop down to Orlando for a long weekend, for special events and to visit friends. There is so much more to Orlando than theme parks and 2017 will bring lots of new things for visitors to the area to see. New theme park attractions, a new water park, new entertainment and unforgettable sporting events – 2017 is going to be a great year for family fun and travel to Orlando.

The NFL Pro Bowl game returns to the traditional NFC – AFC conference match up with the inaugural game scheduled at the Camping World Stadium in downtown Orlando on Sunday January 29, 2017. Along with the game the NFL is also introducing a brand new Pro Bowl Week, which will include accessible team practices at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World, along with a variety of youth football and family fun activities across Orlando.

The highly anticipated new addition to Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the recreation of the mythical world Pandora, which is the largest expansion in the history of Animal Kingdom. This AVATAR-inspired land is a visual experience of floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests, and soaring Banshees for guests to see, hear, and touch. In addition, Pandora includes a family-friendly attraction called Na’vi River Journey. Take an adventure and set out in a canoe to explore a mysterious, sacred river hidden within the bioluminescent rainforest. Gaze your eyes upon the exotic glowing plans, amazing creatures, and even experience an encounter with a Na’vi shaman!

universalUniversal Orlando Resort is well underway with building a new water park opening in 2017, called Volcano Bay. This new breathtaking water park will offer innovative, thrilling attractions, peaceful moments of relaxation, and an entirely new guest experience. A highly themed, completely immersive environment is planned, inspired by postcard-perfect tropical islands. The new park will be located within Universal Orlando Resort, just south of the Cabana Bay Beach Resort.

Universal Orlando Resort announced a new ride set to open in 2017: “Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon”. The ride will invite guests to join the Tonight Show’s studio audience on the ultimate race through the streets-and skies-of New York City, from the deepest subway tunnels to the tallest skyscrapers with colorful characters, famous landmarks and more from the mind of Jimmy Fallon.

As virtual reality continues to grow in popularity, SeaWorld Orlando will be the first in Florida to apply the technology to a roller coaster ride experience. Beginning next summer, guests can have the option to wear specially designed headsets and take part in an digitally immersive deep sea mission and encounter mythical sea creatures, including the Kraken itself. The ride vehicle itself will also be getting a facelift with the debut of the new experience in the summer of 2017. Better get Kraken!

Enhancing the way that guests can see the park’s youngest dolphins, SeaWorld’s Dolphin Nursery will also get new enhancements next year. Guests will be able enjoy above water and under water viewing of the baby dolphins and nursing mothers through newly installed acrylic windows designed for young children to get up close and personal encounters. Included in the expansions will be all new educational and conservation elements.

One of the most exciting restaurants at Disney Springs is nearly ready to open! The Edison is currently under construction inspired by The Edison venue in Los Angeles, which has a lavish “Industrial Gothic” style restaurant and bar. The Disney Springs location will replicate the themed 1920s-period power plant for a nighttime destination recreating era of invention and imagination. In addition, it will have classic American food, crafty cocktails, and live entertainment such as cabaret and musical acts.

Orlando’s newest family-friendly raft attraction will be located at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, which is set to be among one of the longest in duration at any Disney water park. This new high seas adventure is called Miss Fortune Falls. Once aboard their treasure rafts at the entry point, guests will take an adventure through Captain Oceaneer’s past right before they plunge into a white-water rafting voyage! Guests will see rare artifacts that Miss Fortune collected on her many worldwide treasure hunts!

legoland-florida

Coming to LEGOLAND Florida early next year is a new immersive land and dark ride. LEGO NINJAGO World is where guests can live their ninja LEGO adventures. The interactive ride will include opportunities for gests to blast fire, lightning and ice with their hands.

New over-night accommodations are coming to LEGOLAND Florida. Opening spring 2017, LEGOLAND Beach Retreat will feature 83 single-story duplexes. The property will include a themed pool, sandy play area and new restaurant.

Attention all American soccer, football if you prefer, fans! One of the leading teams in Major League Soccer will be getting their very own multipurpose Soccer Stadium right before the 2017 Major League Soccer season. It will be located in downtown Orlando around the corner from the Amway Center, which is quickly becoming an epic entertainment center! The new soccer stadium will seat 19,500 fans and serve as home to the Orlando City Lions soccer team.

Orlando’s continued expansion of leisure resorts welcomes the Margaritaville Resort Orlando with much enthusiasm! This massive waterfront destination resort is a welcomed addition to Central Florida’s thriving attraction and tourism scene. This resort is unique in that it not only boasts a 187-room hotel but also 1,000 Margaritaville-themed vacation homes, 550 condominiums, 300 timeshare units, 30,000 square-feet of function space, 170,000 square feet of festive retail space, a dining and entertainment district, a 12-acre water park, a wellness center, miles of fitness trails and a destination water taxi system. The resort will also host destination weddings. Once you arrive you will never want to leave.

The new openings continue even after 2017. Get a sneak peek at what’s coming to Orlando in 2018!

A new entertainment complex on I-Drive, is set to break world records by bringing the world’s tallest roller coaster to Orlando in in 2018. The 570-foot-tall (174 meter) structure will be the tallest in Central Florida, and feature the first Polercoaster, a vertical ride dubbed the Skyscraper, weaving in and around the whole tower on coaster-length tracks. The SKYPLEX tower will also offer views of the city via an observation deck, restaurant and lounge at the top. Additionally, a second ride, called Skyfall, will be the world’s tallest drop ride once it opens, rising up to 460 feet (140.2 meters) and then dropping riders at 90 miles (144.8 km) an hour.

Universal Orlando Resorts reeves up the thrills with the new action-packed ride experiences inspired by one of the most successful film franchises of all time, The Fast & Furious! The official name is “Fast & Furious: Supercharged” and will join its remarkable lineup of attractions in 2018, adding to the unprecedented growth of the destination.




Westgate Resorts to Give Away 1,000 FREE Orlando Vacations to Military Families on Veteran’s Day

Westgate Free Vacations Military Families

Westgate Resorts will dedicate an exclusive weekend in May at Westgate Town Center in Central Florida to honor U.S. military who have recently served in combat and Gold Star families

For the sixth year, Westgate Resorts and CEO David Siegel are continuing the company tradition of honoring our U.S. military personnel and their families by giving away 1,000 free vacations on Veteran’s Day. For the first time, the complimentary vacations will be part of an exclusive weekend-long celebration at Westgate Town Center in Central Florida from May 5-7, 2017. The free vacations are specifically for current active duty military personnel who have served in combat and their families, as well as Gold Star families. Eligible candidates can register at www.WestgateSalutes.com starting at 9 a.m. EST on Nov. 11.  

All eligible military personnel and families will receive complimentary accommodations in a spacious villa, access to special activities and events including live entertainment, a pair of passes to Westgate Town Center’s Shipwreck Island, the resort’s exclusive on-site waterpark, as well as access to resources that support veterans, all free of charge.

“We owe so much to our U.S. military and their families. Our desire is to give those active military personnel who have served in combat a chance to spend some quality time with their loved ones,” said Siegel. “Dedicating a special weekend to these men and women who have served on the front lines allows us to really go all out and give them and their families the special attention and recognition they deserve.”

Beginning November 11 at 9 a.m. EST, the first 1,000 eligible service members who complete the online military appreciation form at www.WestgateSalutes.com and place a fully refundable $75 deposit will receive a complimentary three-day, two-night vacation for up to four people at Westgate Town Center May 5-7, 2017.

With the addition of this year’s families, Westgate has honored our nation’s heroes with more than 23,000 free room nights for military families over the past six years.

In addition to the 1,000 complimentary vacations, Westgate Resorts will offer a special 25 percent savings on Veteran’s Day for rooms across their entire portfolio of 28 properties for all U.S. military veterans. For more information, visit www.WestgateSalutes.com.

About Westgate Resorts

Founded in 1982 by David A. Siegel, Westgate Resorts is one of the largest resort developers in the United States. Westgate features 28 themed destination resorts with over 13,000 luxury villas in premier locations throughout the United States such as Orlando, Florida; Park City, Utah; Las Vegas, Nevada; Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Williamsburg, Virginia; Miami and Cocoa Beach, Florida; Branson, Missouri; Mesa, Arizona; and Tunica, Mississippi. Most Westgate Resorts locations feature a variety of unique restaurant, retail and spa concepts, including Drafts Sports Bar & Grill, Westgate Smokehouse Grill, Edge Steakhouse, Westgate Marketplace & Deli and Serenity Spa by Westgate. For more information about Westgate Resorts, visit www.westgateresorts.com.

* Offer valid as of November 11, 2016, at 9 a.m. EST. Offer available by going online and filling out an availability form at www.WestgateSalutes.com. Based upon availability. Valid military I.D. required upon check-in. A credit card and $75 refundable deposit is required to book the reservation. Deposit is refundable if vacation is canceled at least seven (7) days prior to stay. Only ONE reservation per family. Complimentary vacation limited to four guests. Additional guests may be added as an upgrade. Offer valid for the first 1,000 reservations. No resort fee will be charged. No Resort Preview Required. Not valid for Westgate employees. Upgrades and additional nights available at discounted rate. Two Water Park Passes provided complimentary with offer.




How to Get a 7.3K Disney Vacation for Less Than Half

This post was originally published on PlanningTheMagic.net by Krystel. All photos courtesy of Planning The Magic.

Disney Vacation Half OffDisney on a Budget – How I got a 7.3K Disney Vacation For Less Than Half

I am a huge Disney World Fan. I love everything about Disney World except the price.  We all have heard that planning a Disney Vacation is an investment in family, bonding, emotion even.  With time, and a limited budget, I’ve learned how to get the most bang for my buck.  It’s not about being cheap or missing out on anything, more about getting the most value for your dollar. I know you want to make your Disney vacation affordable and figure out a way to create the perfect Disney vacation budget. I am going to show you how to get more than 50% off your Disney Vacation while not sacrificing anything.

Saving on Disney Hotels

You want to stay at a Deluxe or Deluxe Villa resort, like Grand Floridian, but Disney quotes you $5500 for a room for 7 nights.  Now what?  Rent Disney Vacation Club points.  Disney Vacation Club is Disney’s timeshare program.  Sometimes people don’t go to Disney for a year or two and decide to rent their points.  You can use a service like David’s Vacation Club Rentals to avoid any risk of being scammed. You can get virtually the same accommodations for $1900.  Here is a screen shot right off David’s:Disney Vacation Half Off

Saving on Tickets

There isn’t a lot of money that can be saved when purchasing theme park tickets.  Military discounts are the best discounts out there but a lot of people do not qualify for those.  AAA also has discounts they provide to their members.  My favorite and most efficient to save a few dollars on theme park tickets is UnderCover Tourist.  It is not a huge discount but anything helps and they sometimes have great deals.   You can usually save $10-$20 off the gate price. Please be careful when purchasing theme park tickets.  There are  A LOT of scams out there.  Here is an example of a buy 4-day Disney ticket, get one free:

Disney Vacation Half Off

Saving on Food

Disney does have some dining gems, and luckily with these tips you won’t have to miss out on them. When I go to WDW I like to have breakfast either in the room or on the go.  Breakfast is easily substituted with groceries.  Lunch and snacks you can pack and bring with you.  Also easy with groceries.  I once went to Disney World and didn’t buy groceries, expensive mistake.  Disney allows you to bring food and drinks into the park so I suggest packing water, various snacks, and a lunch item for everyone in the group.  If you aren’t the biggest fan of water you can always get those Crystal Light Lemonade To Go packets.   

You might be wondering how you would get groceries to your resort room.  For starters, every Disney room comes with a mini-fridge at the minimum.  DVC rooms also come with a coffeemaker, toaster, etc.  There are many ways you can make sure you have groceries.  Garden Grocer is a service that will deliver groceries to your Disney Resort. When using this service you do not have to be in your room to receive the groceries.  There is a $40 minimum and $14 delivery fee.  If Garden Grocer is for you make sure to book a date early, they fill up quickly.

How to bring groceries to WDW could be a post all in itself.  You can bring groceries with you whether that is in your trunk or inside a checked piece of luggage.  You can use Amazon and have them deliver groceries to your resort.  You do not have to be around for this either, you would just pick up at the front desk.   Most resort stores will have the basics as well but it will be a lot more expensive.  

Save your food budget for places you can’t miss.  Maybe a character dinner or you want to try out Be Or Guest Restuarant.  If you go to WDW often I am sure you have a favorite snack…..or two.

Here is what the savings we found looks like:

Disney Vacation Half Off

Cost without Savings – Approximately $7300

Cost with Savings – $2700

Total Saved:  $4670

I just showed you how to save more than 50% off your Disney Vacation.  Well… what are you waiting for?  Go plan that vacation!!

I hope I provided a lot of value for you here.  For more you can check out my eBook – Disney World on a Budget.  Let me know what you think in the comments below!


krystelMy name is Krystel, and I am here to share the joy Disney gives me. If you want to learn more about planning the perfect Walt Disney World Vacation visit Planning The Magic. I’ve spent a lot of time creating the perfect Disney On A Budget eBook because I really want everyone to have a magical vacation within reach.