Brand New I-Drive Experience: Tapas Before Take Off

Tapas Before Take Off - next to the Orlando EyeTapa Toro Tapas Bar & Paella Pit is inspired by the culture and tradition of authentic Spanish cuisine. It promises a dining experience unlike any other. Husband-and-wife duo, Vassilis and Katerina Coumbaros, are thrilled to announce Tapas Before Take-Off, an exciting combination of a three course prix fixe meal at their restaurant followed by a ride on one of Orlando’s most popular tourist attractions, The Orlando Eye. Tapa Toro Tapas Bar & Paella Pit is located at I-Drive 360 under the shining lights of the Orlando Eye and is literally just steps away from the attraction. Come for a one-of-a-kind dining experience and stay for an aerial view of all of Orlando. It is a must-do for tourists and residents alike!

Tapas Before Take Off

Tapas Before Take-Off is just $49.95/person including tax & gratuity. The price includes a three-course prix fixe menu, house drink, and a ticket to ride the Orlando Eye. Please make a reservation so that the restaurant knows that you’re coming and your spot is reserved.

Tapas Interior photo


View the menu here for Tapas Before Take Off.

Make a reservation for Tapas Before Take Off.

ORLANDO TOURIST TIP:
Arrive just before dusk to have dinner and ride the Orlando Eye as the sunsets and see International Drive lit up from above!


Tapa Toro Tapas Restaurant & Paella Pit

Located at I-Drive 360, Tapa Toro features tapas-style dining, a full-service bar and Flamenco dancing. The restaurant leads with a 12-seat paella pit serving up family-style paella, a traditional Spanish dish made of rice, vegetables, and meat or seafood. At Tapa Toro you can experience a night in Spain without ever having to leave Central Florida.

Executive Chef Wendy Lopez

Tappas cuisineExecutive Chef Wendy Lopez, a native of Michoacan, Mexico, began cooking at a young age while working in her family’s restaurant. After formal training at Le Cordon Bleu College in Orlando, she began her professional career at the Isleworth Golf and Country Club in Windermere. She went on to become sous chef under Certified Master Chef Russell Scott.

She has aided in the development of a unique menu featuring a robust selection of hot and cold tapas, paella variations and desserts. Using only the freshest imported ingredients, Chef Lopez combines traditional Spanish elements to create an authentic taste experience for people in Orlando.

NIGHTLIFE & ENTERTAINMENT

Just in case the communal seating in the bar or family-style paella pit don’t provide enough entertainment for your dining experience, every evening at Tapa Toro features flamenco dancing, bringing the sights and sounds of Spain right to your table. Take your meal to the next level by reserving the 12-seat paella pit for an up-close-and-personal experience with our Chef Lopez. Whether you are coming in for a private family dinner or a celebration with friends, a night at Tapa Toro is sure to ignite your senses.

Tapas Before Take Off is happening for a limited time so make your reservation today and experience the most flavorful and festive combination of dining and entertainment on International Drive.

Wekiva Island Paint Out – Annual Festival

11th Annual Wekiva Island Paint Out

Wekiva Island Paint Out

Artist paints ‘plein air’ during festival. Photo by Brion Price.

The 11th Annual Wekiva Paint Out is Central Florida’s most popular “plein air” arts festival. During the festival 30 world-renowned artists will create works inspired by Wekiwa Springs’ natural beauty. The event will be located at Wekiva Island at 1014 Miami Springs Drive in Longwood. The town of Longwood is just a short drive from the Kissimmee/Orlando tourist attractions.

There will be an open art gallery and live music beginning on February 27th from 5 until 9 pm and occurring nightly with additional events beginning on Wednesday, March 1st. During the week-long event, guests can participate in a live auction, enjoy complimentary beer and wine tastings, and participate in a “quick draw” workshop, led by artist Hai-Ou Hou. All of this in addition to enjoying the beautiful natural scenery and talented artists.

Most of the week’s events are free unless otherwise noted. Come out and support local non-profits while helping to preserve Orlando nature. All proceeds from art sales will benefit Keep Seminole Beautiful and the Wekiva Wilderness Trust.

Wekiva Paint Out artist

Beautiful scenery is painted during event. Photo by Brion Price.

Wekiva Island Paint Out Schedule of Events

February 26 – March 4

  • Sunday – February 26th
    Artists arrive & get settled for their week long stay at Wekiwa Springs State Park
    Artist Welcome Dinner with Artists, Patrons and Sponsors
  • Monday – February 27th
    All Day: Artists painting all day around the Island
    5-9P: Open gallery & live music
  • Tuesday – February 28th
    All Day: Artists painting all day around the Island
    5-9P: Open gallery & live music
  • Wednesday – March 1st
    All Day: Artists painting all day around the Island
    12-10p: Open gallery & live music
    6-7p: Preview event with complimentary beer and wine + craft beer tasting
    7-8P: Live Auction
    To register for Live Auction, simply email Wekiva Island with your name and number of guests. The first 25 people to register will receive a free beer or wine ticket to be used anytime.
  • Thursday – March 2nd
    All Day: Artists “paint in” around the bar
    12-10p: Open gallery & live music
    10-3p: How to Finish a Quick Draw Workshop with Hai-Ou Hou
  • Friday – March 3rd
    All Day: Artists painting all day around the Island
    12-11p: Open gallery & live music
    10-3p: How to Finish a Quick Draw Workshop with Hai-Ou Hou
    Evening Nocturne Painting at the Bar
    5-9p: Pasta Bar, $10.95/person
  • Saturday – March 4th
    10a-4p: Open gallery of work created throughout the week
    12-2p: Quick Draw open event
    6-7p: Private patron reception at Wekiva Island Wet Room/Gallery
    7-11p: All inclusive GALA dinner with live music, beer/wine and wine tasting event.
    Register to participate in Quick Draw, $25/person
    Purchase your Gala tickets, $40/person or $70/couple
Art festival at Wekiva Island

Art can be purchased during the festival. Photo by Brion Price.

If you are a collector or interested buyer, do not miss this opportunity to get a fantastic piece of art and support local non-profits. Art will continue to be sold on Sunday, March 5th, so stop by and get it before it’s gone!

Orlando Tourist Tip: The 11th Annual Wekiva Island Paint Out Gala is the main event of the weeklong festival held on Saturday, March 4th from 7 until 11 pm. During the gala, you can view and purchase works of art done throughout the week while enjoying live local music. For $40 a person, or $70 per couple guests can enjoy a special meal and carving station from Without a Paddle Cafe, as well as wine, beer, and a bonfire on the window. You will not want to miss this event! Purchase your tickets here.

History of the Wekiva Island Paint Out

A philanthropist and nature lover, William “Big Bill” Tippi started the Wekiva Invitational Plein Air Paint Out. Big Bill had an idea to produce this art event to increase awareness of one of our area’s greatest natural resources, the Wekiva River and Wekiwa Springs. Big Bill approached The Friends of Wekiva River (FOWR) and together they hosted the very first Wekiva Paint Out in March 2007 as part of the FOWR’s Riverfest celebration. Bill transferred the event over to the FOWR the following year. While no longer the host, Bill Tippit continues to be a big supporter of the event. He regularly socializes at the events.

In 2009, FOWR decided to cancel the Paint Out portion of their Riverfest event. Fortunately, William Weinaug Jr. stepped in and agreed to sponsor and host the Paint Out at Wekiva Island that year! Like Big Bill Tippit, Bill Weinaug believed the event would be important to increase awareness of the Wekiva River and Wekiwa Springs State Park’s preservation. Seven years later, he continues to host the event annually and support Florida wildlife conservation year-round!

Come be a part of one of Florida’s most renowned art festivals and experience the great outdoors at Wekiva Island.

 

25th Anniversary at Capone’s Dinner Show

The 25th anniversary at Capone’s Dinner Show will be celebrated throughout the year. The theater is located on Highway 192 in Kissimmee, near Orlando’s attractions and theme parks. “25 Years of Memories” will transport guests back in time, not only to the prohibition era, but through 25 years of local show business. Everyone is invited to participate, and there will be multiple ways to get in on the ‘take.’

25th Anniversary at Capone’s Dinner Show

“We are one of Orlando’s original dinner theaters.”

Capone’s dinner theater opened in 1992. “We are one of Orlando’s original dinner theaters,” states John Kucik, owner of Capone’s Dinner & Show. “My original desire was to bring a different type of dinner show to the area, unlike the ‘chain’ theaters. We’ve accomplished that and more. Throughout our 25-year history, many changes have been made to our show and menu. Each transformation successfully freshened the guest experience and improved upon it.”  He and the cast, some of whom have been with the speakeasy since its opening, are looking forward to the celebration.

ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: Pre-order costume accessories, such as a boa or fedora. Pick them up when you arrive for the show and pick up your tickets. It is so much fun to ‘dress the part’ and get into the theme. Save 10% by entering the promotional code “Outfit” when checking out.

Throughout the 25th Anniversary at Capone’s Dinner Show, guests will have unique opportunities to create new memories or share their own. In addition to the nightly gangster shoot out prizes, monthly grand prizes will be awarded on the 25th day of each month. If your business is celebrating an anniversary milestone (25 years & up), a special group discount is available for your mob. Having a 25th birthday this year? The wise guys and gals will make it extra special. Just be sure you’re not the shy type!

Boss Orders Gang to Make 25th Anniversary at Capone’s Dinner Show the Cat’s Meow

A new show, opening this spring, will be preceded by 25 days of special contests, discounts and rewards. Capisce? With loads of comedy, action and audience participation, the stage will be set for plenty of swell memories to be made. If you’ve attend the speakeasy before, become a repeat offender, and check out the new show this spring. It is sure to be the cat’s meow – pleasing all ages.

The only stipulation that the Boss has ordered is you must be ‘made’ to win some of the prizes (purchase a ticket or be present). Once inside the joint, get ready for a blast from the past! Be sure to follow Al & ‘the family’ on Facebook (@Caponesdinnershow), or sign up for our newsletter (http://eepurl.com/WJ2Bv) to receive specific details.

About Capone’s Dinner & Show

Capone’s Dinner & Show is located at 4740 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway (Hwy. 192), Kissimmee, FL 34746. The dinner theater is open year-round (with the exception of Sun., Feb. 5, 2017). Reservations for nightly shows can be made online and are deeply discounted. Tickets include parking, unlimited dinner buffet, unlimited drinks (including alcoholic beverages), the hilarious show and a chance to win prizes. A limited number of VIP tickets are also offered nightly. Ask about our on-site hotel, Seasons Florida Resort for overnight accommodations. For information and reservations, phone 407-397-2378 or go on-line to www.alcapones.com. Email info@alcapones.com.

Fun for Less at Fun Spot’s Birthday

Fun Spot’s Birthday Blast will be on June 11th. It will be their 18th one! Finally “legal.” On this day you can purchase tickets for only $18. Nothing like someone else having the birthday, but you get the gift!

Fun Spot’s Birthday Tickets

Fun Spot’s Birthday single-day passes will be available online starting at midnight through 2:00 p.m. EST. If you are at the park, they will be sold from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. These passes will not expire for an entire year, so you can have fun for less whenever you want!

Fun Spot’s Birthday Blast

For $18 you will receive a single day pass that includes all of the rides and Gator Spot (only at the Orlando’s location). The SkyCoaster ride and arcade will require additional expenses, but hey, you’re already saving money. ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: If you have another $18 to spend, check out the photo deal while you’re at the Orlando attraction. The Fun Spot’s Birthday photo deal includes a 4” x 6” photo and 4 wallet-sized photos. Key chains with your photo can be made for an additional $1.99 each. These make excellent souvenirs and help preserve your Orlando vacation.

If you will be attending Fun Spot’s Birthday Blast on June 11th, enjoy the party. There will be entertainment, music, giveaways and more. This Orlando attraction can easily fill the better part of an entire day. Children really love it.

Fun Spot Orlando is located at 5700 Fun Spot Way, Orlando, FL 32819; phone: 407-363-3867. The Kissimmee Fun Spot is located at 2850 Florida Plaza Blvd., Kissimmee FL 34746; phone: 407-397-2509. Both locations offer a lot of fun, however, the Orlando location is still our recommendation (if you have the option of either attraction).

ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: If lodging near or on International Drive, be sure to check out the I-drive trolley as a way to get to Fun Spot. The trolley is one of the best ways to get around this busy tourist area. For just a few dollars, it is a great way to have fun for less – money and hassle!

Spring Training in Florida

Though baseball season isn’t quite here just yet, we have arrived at the next best thing: Spring Training in Florida. Our state is a huge hub for baseball during Spring Training, with fans coming out in droves for the opportunity to see their favorite players warm up for the season— and for the chance to see some of the up-and-coming rookies before they hit the majors. According to flasports.com, in 2015, over 1.5 million baseball fans headed down to Florida to see their favorite players get ready for the season. That’s a record-breaking amount of people!

Spring Training in Florida featured team logos

Of course, with 15 different major league teams from all over the country spread out over Florida, its no surprise that so many people are flocking down state come March! With Florida’s fair climate year round, March is the perfect time to take a break from the unending northern winter and head down to get some sun during your favorite team’s pre-season games! Here’s a list of the MLB teams that spend Spring Training in Florida and of where you can find them.

  • The Atlanta Braves (Lake Buena Vista)
  • The Baltimore Orioles (Sarasota)
  • The Boston Red Sox (Fort Meyers)
  • The Detroit Tigers (Lakeland)
  • The Houston Astros (Kissimmee)
  • The Miami Marlins (Jupiter)
  • The Minnesota Twins (Fort Myers)
  • The New York Mets (Port St. Lucie)
  • The New York Yankees (Tampa)
  • The Philadelphia Phillies (Clearwater)
  • The Pittsburg Pirates (Bradenton)
  • The St. Louis Cardinals (Jupiter)
  • The Tampa Bay Rays (Port Charlotte)
  • The Toronto Blue Jays (Dunedin)
  • The Washington Nationals (Viera)

Clearly there is a widespread variety of teams and locations, which offers each individual sports fan the opportunity of an experience that is unique to their desires for a Florida vacation. ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: Take advantage of your time in Florida and the location of the teams you decide to watch play! If you are traveling with kids who are itching to see Disney World, consider seeing the Braves in Lake Buena Vista, or the Astros in Kissimmee! If you are aching to get some time in the sand and surf during your trip to Florida, there is a huge variety of teams you can consider who are playing near the coast, with the Red Sox and the Twins both stationed in the same city!

Spring Training in Florida is Highly Recommended

Whether you are a casual baseball fan or a diehard, we definitely recommend Spring Training in Florida. The tickets are typically much, much cheaper than regulation games, and it is a great opportunity to get up close and personal with your favorite players! With the pressure of regulation games off their shoulders and the season only just beginning, the players tend to be a lot more relaxed. Who knows, if you find yourself in the right place at the right time you might end up with an autograph or a photo with your favorite player! Not an easy task during regulation games!

ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: Bring a ball, hat or other souvenir (or a program if available) and a permanent marker, such as a Sharpie. Come early or stay late, because many of the players will gladly autograph your item, especially if your children ask!

Whether you decide to come down purely for the love of the game or more for the weather, we highly recommend at least spending one afternoon at a pre-season game. The combination of the game, the music, and the new and old players, it’s bound to be a good time for every different type of baseball fan you can imagine.

Now, let’s play ball!