Florida Hospital Foundation’s Gourmet Soiree

The Florida Hospital Foundation‘s Gourmet Soiree, Sunday, May 3, 2015, is one of Orlando’s top “foodie” events of the year. Featuring host Chef Robert Irvine (Restaurant Impossible) and local food celebs and co-chairpersons Emily Ellyn (Next Food Network Star contestant and recent winner of Cutthroat Kitchen) and Kendra Lott (editor, Edible Orlando), Gourmet Soiree is not your average fundraising gala. While some events are tuxes and gowns with food brought TO you, at Gourmet Soiree the guests actively participate in their table’s creations.

140518_Canon (134c)

Retro Rad Chef Emily Ellyn (from the Next Food Network Star and Cutthroat Kitchen winner) is co-chair of Gourmet Soiree 2015.

Last year I went to my first Gourmet Soiree at Rosen Shingle Creek. The magnificent ballroom was beautiful, adorned not in flowers and fluff, but food, glorious FOOD!

Whole Foods Market, one of the event’s biggest sponsors, provided mountains of vibrant vegetables and scores of spices among other delicious options for the chefs and their tables. From those delicious pantries guests gathered their grocery listed items to create wonderful, healthy, delicious meals. Who would win the Silver Fork? We were most interested in creating our own award-winning meal as judged by those who designed our table’s menu: Us.

foods for gourmet soiree

In addition to the fun of working with a top local chef and learning tips and techniques, there was a huge silent auction with offerings from exotic trips to luxury merchandise. In the midst of all of that, was the ever-inspiring Robert Irvine whose hosting got the whole room pumped up and excited about Florida Hospital for Mission fit Possible that goes into schools to teach them about healthy eating and healthy living.

140518_Canon (115b)This year’s Gourmet Soiree promises to be even more exciting, with chefs from all over Central Florida from the top restaurants including Kevin Fonzo of K Restaurant Wine Bar, John Rivers of 4 Rivers Smokehouse, Trina Gregory-Propst with Se7enbites, and Andres Mendoza with Norman’s to name but a very few.

The auction lineup is equally impressive:  LeVian Chocolate Diamonds, a SeaWorld dream package for 6 (which I would LOVE to win, LOL), tickets from Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, cupcakes for a year from Gigi’s Cupcakes Orlando, and an entire bookshelf of cookbooks, most signed by the authors. There are golf packages, amazing trips, and a personal favorite: stuffed animals and books from RugbyAndReme.com.

It’s not too late to support the work of Florida Hospital’s Mission fit to fight childhood obesity, and all their programs by participating in Gourmet Soiree. Visit their website to see how you can help, get involved, or buy a ticket so you can sit at the table next to mine as I help cook up something great that just “might” win the chef from our table that Silver Fork….

Gourmet Soiree 2014 Chefs

Chef Robert Irvine with the many talented chefs who made Gourmet Soiree 2014 at Rosen Shingle Creek a tremendous success.

 

Boxcar Children Birthday

boxcar birthday 2My son Daniel loves the Boxcar Children. Seriously LOVES them. We’re either reading them together, or he’s listening to them on audiobook format or through our Scribd subscription. We buy them in the bookstore, borrow them from the library, trade them with other kids and have even picked up a few at yard sales. It’s a serious obsession at our house to find out what mystery the Alden children will help solve next! Naturally, then, we just had to create our own for his birthday: They Mystery of the Missing 7-Year-Old. (Spoiler alert: The 7-year-old is missing, because now he’s EIGHT!)

Months before the big day, the birthday boy and I did a search on what foods are mentioned in Boxcar Children book titles. The Boxcar Children website gave us lots of options to get us thinking.

bed pieces photo for Boxcar Children post Kelly Greenkreg joint for Boxcar Children post photo by Kelly GreenNext we started the plan for building a boxcar in our back yard. Not being overly handy, I got the idea to transform a wooden bunk bed into a boxcar. Thanks to an online auction site, we found one for $30. It was a little worn, but hey… it would become an old box car, so a few nicks and dings would add to the character!

ladybug for Boxcar Children post photo by Kelly Green

This ladybug wanted in on the fun!

We assembled it as per the instructions, but to make it extra safe, we brought out my Kreg jig to secure each joint for added support, then had 2 x 4s cut to its length so we’d have a roof. The whole thing was painted with an exterior paint/primer in an antique red color. We chose one of those OKed by the historical society to make it look super authentic.

staple screen for Boxcar Children post photo by Kelly GreenFine mesh vinyl screening was then wrapped around it and secured with staples. I used the same paint to loosely sketch out the outline of board slats, and then accented them with black and brown for more depth and realism. The pièce de résistance was the four plastic lid tops we screwed onto each of the corners for the wheels. (My son insisted that four was the proper number for our boxcar since he once saw an illustration for one of the first original Gertrude Chandler Warner books, and IT had just 4 wheels from what we could see in the picture, so to be authentic….)completed boxcar for Boxcar Children post photo by Kelly Green

decoder for Boxcar Children post photo by Kelly GreenFor the party we began with a mystery! The kids had to go on a type of scavenger hunt. Clues included having to use a cipher to read a location, various code puzzles, and they were even required to use the metal detector Daniel’s grandparents sent him as a present to dig up yet another clue (like geocaching in The Box That Watch Found). It took about 45 minutessentence code for Boxcar Children post photo by Kelly Green for the gaggle of kids to traipse from one end of our neighborhood to the other on the hunt for all the clues and to unravel the code sentences (pictured at right). look at clues

The very last clue led to the food table, where everyone (who was now acting the part of Bennie—always hungry) got the prize of some fun snacks and treats.

boxcar food for Boxcar Children post photo by Kelly GreenI of course had to get a little creative with some of the foods, though we did have a great start on the list. We served chocolate alligators as an homage to The Mystery of the Alligator Swamp and had lemonade as mentioned in The Boardwalk Mystery. My “Boxcar Brie” was the hardest to fit into the Boxcar world! After much searching, however, I found a quote from the original Boxcar Children book where “Jessie… cut the loaf of bread into five big pieces. The cheese was cut into four pieces.” OK, so she wasn’t talking about brie and habanero pepper relish wrapped in croissant dough, but the grownups wanted some treats for them, too!

cake with Daniel for Boxcar Children post photo by Kelly Green Gigi's Cupcakes OrlandoThe star item was, of course, delicious desserts from Gigi’s Cupcakes, Orlando. Not only did we have adorable cupcakes with fondant books on them (in birthday-boy-approved flavors!), but an 8″ round with a scene that came right out of The Boxcar Children books! They even made gluten free cupcakes for those at our party with gluten sensitivities. Everyone enjoyed how cute AND delicious they were. For the record, the cupcakes were Double Stuff (with a cute little Oreo on top), Italian Cream, and Miss Princess, a white cake baked with fresh strawberries, topped with a cream cheese frosting. Italian Cream was my pick. I LOVE that one!

group pic party

Reading off the first clue for the kids. What isn’t pictured is the mad dash they made as soon as I said GO!

 

We had lots more activities… some of which we even had time to do! We printed out little fingerprint ID cards for little guests to check in with upon arrival (one never knows when a guest might turn into a suspect!), and printed out the great word find puzzle available from the Boxcar Children website.

Some of the kids were familiar with Boxcar Children before the party, but ALL learned about them through the course of the afternoon. Daniel was happy to share his passion about the world of the Aldens, and the mysteries they uncover. What we uncovered was fun, friendship, food and fiction… from a great series of children’s series we highly recommend.

 

Giveaway for Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores

If you know me at all, you know I am not a huge shopper. At the mall you have to park on THIS end while what you end up buying is at THAT end. I’m more of what you’d call a “hunter/gatherer.” I know I want a spring dress, size (redacted), “this” cost, “such and such” brand if possible, and OH I’d like to enjoy my shopping experience.

LBVFS ShoppersBecause I’m so picky (even when I’m shopping for either my son or husband), I enjoy the Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores when the hunt is on!

They have factory-direct premium quality merchandise at savings up to 75% off (and sometimes more). Plus, there’s easy store front parking, so getting in and out quickly is really easy!

April 10th-12th they’re having a big sidewalk sale. I went last year, and it was fun, not only to see all the great deals, but because they have special vendors all around, and activities for the kids, too.

The Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores were kind enough to give my readers a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to the mall.

Rafflecopter logo linkHere’s how to enter: Click the Rafflecopter image and follow the directions. Make sure you visit the Rafflecopter page and the “People can enter by…” section.

 Even if you don’t win, you can get in on the savings by downloading a coupon from the Center’s website, then bringing it to Travelpro at the Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores to receive a coupon booklet valued up to $400 in savings. Many stores offer additional savings from 20-40% off to “Friends & Family.”  Savvy discount shoppers can learn about these discounts, as well as specific stores and their hours by following the center on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, as well as visiting www.lbvfs.com. Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores is located just one mile from Walt Disney World at 15657 S. Apopka Vineland Road (State Road 535), Orlando, FL 32821-6316, and two miles south of I-4, Exit 68. Stores are open Monday-Saturday, 10am-9pm, and 10am-7pm on Sunday.

At the Lake Buena Vista Outlet Stores you can select merchandise at over 50 spacious outlet shops and get great deals at the area’s only Old Navy outlet store, plus other well-known outlets including U.S. Polo Assn., Lindt Chocolate, Nike, OshKosh B’Gosh, Tommy Hilfiger Stores, G by GUESS, Justice, Carter’s, Crocs, Calvin Klein, Levi’s®, Aeropostale, Converse, Famous Footwear Outlet, Fossil, Gap, Rack Room Shoes, and many more.

Join me on the hunt. Mama needs a new pair of shoes!

Video Tour of Hyatt Regency Orlando

Recently our family was invited* to take a tour of the Hyatt Regency Orlando. Spacious rooms, impeccable grounds, a beautiful spa, and delicious dining add up to a wonderful place to stay when in Orlando!

 

 

Some of our favorite moments:

The 24-Hour B Diner — My husband swears if I make broccoli rabe like they do he’ll eat it every night. Their meatloaf is amazing. Don’t forget to try the blackened fish sandwich and pretty much ANY dessert in the huge case!

Pool — There’s a slide, waterfalls, and a splash pad, plus ample lounge chairs and cabanas in which to sit while the excellent staff from Coconuts Poolside Bar & Grill serve you tastes of the tropics. Relax with a Lounge Chair Lizard if you’re so inclined.

Event Space — I’m often asked about venue event spaces, and the Hyatt Regency Orlando does not disappoint. They have meeting space for groups of all sizes and configurations. The Give Kids The World Black and White Gala, which I attended there last year, was over-the-top. The staff did an excellent job. GKTW will be having the event there again this year, it has been so successful. (Buy your tickets for this year’s May 9 event.)

Spa — Though I didn’t get a chance to get any treatments personally, I was impressed with their spa and salon offerings and peaceful decor. I watched the staff interact with customers, and they were really attentive (without being obtrusive, if you know what I mean). I’d definitely suggest a ladies’ event there! There’s an outdoor spa section, and I can just see a bride and her maids relaxing together before the “big day.” Fun!

Whether planning a visit to one of Central Florida’s great theme parks or arranging a company-wide retreat or trade show, the Hyatt Regency Orlando should be on your list. Don’t forget to check out their Spring dining specials including some unique wine pairing events with world-renowned winemakers.

The Hyatt Regency Orlando is located at 9801 International Drive, Orlando, Florida, USA, 32819. Book now or call for more information: 407-284-1234.

*Disclosure: I have stayed at this property as a “regular” guest, an event patron, and
as a hosted guest to film the footage for this video . On that particular day,
the hotel provided our family with meals and the opportunity to enjoy the facility
we know and enjoy so much in exchange for an honest review.

Downtown Food and Wine Fest: A Feast for the Senses

Downtown Food & Wine Fest 2015 1200 x 1200This weekend Orlando will be a food-lover’s dream-come-true when the 7th annual Downtown Food and Wine Fest comes to town Saturday, February 21 (noon to 9 p.m.) and Sunday, February 22, 2015 (noon to 7 p.m.). More than 30,000 foodies and wine lovers are expected to experience unique local cuisine paired with wines from around the globe. The Fest is held on E. Robinson Street at Lake Eola, in the heart of Orlando.

Dave Robbins, senior vice president and market manager, CBS RADIO Orlando (event presenter and producer) commented, “Through the power of radio and the strength of our FRLA restaurants, foodies and fans come together to celebrate an event that truly brings our community together to indulge in the sights, sounds, and tastes of Orlando.”

Over 30 of Orlando’s top restaurants will be on-hand serving up Tapas-style plates for anywhere from $2 to $6. Just a few of my favorites include Hard Rock who will have their Award Winning Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Marlow’s Tavern (serving up their shrimp and grits that I LOVE!), Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe (give their Pretzel w/ Obatzer Cheese Dip a try) and Cooper’s Hawk with Red Wine Braised Short Rib.

There’s a Wine Taster’s Club with a special wine sampling lanyard that will allow you to sample 2 oz. samples of 5 different fine wines, but there are over 50 types of wine on tap. Little Black Dress Wines are the official wine of the 2015 Downtown Food & Wine Fest. Check them out along with all the other amazing offerings.

Entertainment lineup includes musical entertainment and Lifehouse Saturday and Loverboy on Sunday. Plus there will be other acts throughout the weekend, including Osteen Florida native, CeCe Teneal.

A glimpse of my last meal at Siro at Orlando World Center Marriott.

A glimpse of my last meal at Siro at Orlando World Center Marriott.

As a highlight of this celebration of Orlando’s Culinary Scene, restaurants will compete for the 2015 Golden Fork awards. Judges for the 2015 Downtown Food & Wine Festival will include Kayla Becker the Host of Orlando My Way,  Kala Rama from WKMG- Local6 news, Bo Outlaw, Orlando Magic Community Ambassador, and Scott Fais,  News Journalist on News 13. Previous winners include:Smiling Bison – Pretzel Bread Pudding, 2014 Foodie AwardKasa Tapas & Raw Bar,2014 Best Overall Menu; Siro at Orlando World Center Marriott, 2014 Best of Show (winner in 2013 and 2014).

For the Ultimate experience, buy tickets for the Ultimate Fest Experience that includes the Wine Taster’s Club, $20 in food tickets, great viewing of the bands, plus VIP parking! Click here for all the ticket options.

See you this weekend for a fabulous foodie FEST!

 

Disclosure: I was given two admission tickets for the event in exchange for writing about this fun food event. I’ll be buying my own food and wine. And lots of it!

One Weekend Left for Wild Days At SeaWorld

Wild Days, presented by Coca-Cola rounds out this weekend, February 7 – 8, with animal expert Jungle Jack Hanna at SeaWorld, Orlando.

Wild Days jackhanna_780x438_01-07-2015Jack Hannah made his 95th appearance on Letterman last night with a groundhog, bush baby, a black leopard, cobra, caracal and a Harris’s hawk. While it’s always fun to watch him interact with the animals (and David Letterman!) on TV, how amazing is it to say you got to watch him in person?!

SeaWorld park guests get the opportunity to see Jack Hanna from the Columbus Zoo on the Wild Days stage in the Nautilus Stage. He’ll share stories from his travels around the world, and introduce guests to some of his favorite animal friends. Wild Days is included with park admission. Shows are at 11:00am and 3:00 pm.

For those wanting a more intimate up-close encounter, there are a few add on experiences available as well.

  • Breakfast with Jack Hanna (available Saturday and Sunday) at Dine with Shamu®. Package includes breakfast at Dine With Shamu, meet-and-greet with Jack Hanna, a complimentary family photo and special reserved seats during the 11 a.m. show.
  • Dinner with Jack Hanna (only available Saturday) at Dine with Shamu®. Package includes dinner at Dine With Shamu, meet-and-greet with Jack Hanna, a complimentary family photo and special reserved seats during the 3 p.m. show.

This is the third and final weekend of Wild Days. Animal Ambassador Julie Scardina kicked off the event with a Penguin Party, and last week Bindi Irwin, 16-year-old daughter of Terri Irwin and the late Steve Irwin (The Crocodile Hunter) thrilled “Generation Nature” with her passion for education and conservation.

Bindi at Wild Days

Insider tip: Buy your annual pass now! The incredible BOGO deal ends February 8, 2015. Special this weekend from Coca-Cola: Buy one souvenir drink cup ($11.99) and receive one for 50% off with free refills of Coca-Cola products on the day of purchase. 

All weekend, don’t miss the fun at SEA Garden Block Party featuring a high-energy DJ, whimsical Storyteller, animal encounters, and special character appearances. There are also chances to earn limited edition Wild Days trading cards around the park, plus opportunities for kids to play games that teach how they can help the environment.

You can also hear from SeaWorld trainers who will be on hand to introduce you to some of your favorite SeaWorld animal friends. Discover what goes into training, feeding and loving these animals every single day, plus ask questions of your own! See the in-park flyer for times and locations.

We love going to Wild Days. It’s a great opportunity to see world-renowned animal experts and hear how they’re making a difference every day. It’s great, too, to learn new ways we can be a part. If you’d like to be inspired to action (and have tons of fun doing it), visit SeaWorld during Wild Days, or any day.

Conservation begins with Inspiration. Be inspired. Go DO.

 

Monster Jam Rolls Into Orlando This Weekend

Monster Jam for blogHeart-pounding excitement awaits you at Monster Jam® at the Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium for a show at 7 p.m. this Saturday, January 24, 2015. Drivers compete in a timed qualifying round, the obstacle course, and the ever-wild freestyle event.

I’m not going to lie. I’m a “girly” girl. I like to get gussied up to go to the Orlando Philharmonic and could spend hours watching the dolphins swim gently by at SeaWorld. With the exception of attending a Magic game, or when my son is too far ahead of me on his bike, you’ll be hard-pressed to ever find me screaming at the top of my lungs…until you get me at a Monster Jam event, that is! Then “the voice” kicks in, and I don’t mean my singing pipes!

The first round is where drivers vie for the quickest qualifying time. Monster Jam events happen concurrently around the country, so there are drivers aiming for the shortest times and those all-important points. It’s kind of like compulsory figures in ice skating, that athletes have to do well to be in good standing. (Showing my “usual” interest and my *cough* age.) In the Tampa Monster Jam event we attended, Monster Energy “skated” through the course in 25.173 seconds with El Toro Loco “gliding” in at 25.492.

In between the events, young ATV drivers show their stuff as they race around the track. Color me impressed with the skill and determination of the young racers!

Monster Jam Obstacle Course was next where Monster Mutt won with Hooked right on his heels. In Freestyle, however, I did my most shouting. Some of it was willing the behemoth vehicles NOT to flip over (and if they did, to flip BACK to their wheels-on-the-ground position). At other times, it was “at” the judges (who did not—IMHO— give Madusa and  Monster Mutt their due after being the only two drivers to attempt the huge ramp backflips).

Suffice it to say, if you “think” Monster Jam isn’t your thing, give it a try. If you have kids who love racing excitement (and Hot Wheels!)… take them. And if you have a husband or partner who wants some loud racing, truck flipping, dirt flying excitement…. Well, you get the picture!

Trucks appearing in the all-new Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium are:

  • Grave Digger® driven by Chad Tingler
  • Scooby-Doo™ driven by Brianna Mahon
  • Max-D℠ driven by Tom Meents
  • Son-uva Digger® driven by Ryan Anderson
  • Monster Mutt® Rottweiler driven by Rod Schmidt

    Monster Mutt Rotty in air

    Monster Mutt® Rottweiler

  • Grave Digger the Legend® driven by Adam Anderson
  • Soldier Fortune driven by Chad Fortune
  • Gunslinger® driven by Scott Hartsock
  • Black Stallion® driven by Mike Vaters
  • Overkill Evolution driven by Mike Vaters Jr.
  • Higher Education driven by Jim Tracey
  • Iron Warrior® driven by Matt Cody
  • The Xtermigator driven by JR McNeal
  • Razin Kane driven by Buddy Thompkins
  • Ice Cream Man driven by Roy Pridgeon
  • Jester driven by Matt Pagliarulo
    Subject to change without notice.

Ticket Information
Tickets start at $15 and are on sale now at all Ticketmaster outlets, the Citrus Bowl Stadium Box Office, charge by phone at 800-745-3000, or online at www.ticketmaster.com. For more information visit www.monsterjam.com.

Party In The PitsSaturday 1:30 PM – 5:00 PM
ford dealersBefore the event is the ever-popular Party In The Pits. The Pit Party is a HUGE attraction for kids and families. You can score FREE Pit Passes at your Orlando area Southern Ford Dealers from 12/29/14 – 1/24/15! While supplies last.

Pit Passes are also available at the Orlando Citrus Bowl Box Office, online at http://www.ticketmaster.com or Charge by Phone at 800-745-3000.

Saturday, January 24 – 7:00 PM event ticket along with Pit Pass required for entry.

Can’t wait until the weekend?
Four of the Orlando show’s biggest stars will be on display in this week. Take pictures with the enormous trucks and meet the drivers, before the show in the newly renovated Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium on Saturday, January 24. Best part, it’s free to the public.

Trucks will be on display Thursday, January 22 and Friday, January 23 at these times and locations:

Overkill Evolution | Thursday, Jan. 22 |  3-7 p.m.
Circle K | 190 N. Hwy 27 | Clermont, FL 34711

Son Uva Digger | Thursday, Jan. 22 | 3-7 p.m.
Metro PCS | 1453 Sand Lake Road | Orlando, FL 32809

Max D | Thursday, Jan. 22 | 3-7 p.m.
Circle K | 700 S. Kirkman Road | Orlando, FL 32811

Grave Digger Legend | Friday, Jan. 23 | 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Universal Technical Institute | 2202 West Taft-Vineland Road | Orlando, FL 32837

*Trucks listed above are subject to change.

Monster Jam Orlando Trivia:


A crew of eight works 18-20 hours a day for three straight days to construct a monster truck course!

For the Orlando show, work begins tomorrow morning at 11 a.m.

The entire surface of turf at the Orlando Citrus Bowl will be covered with a wall-to-wall protective polyurethane product. Each sheet of product is 20’ long, 5’ wide and ¼”
thick, and weighs 130 pounds. The work team uses a carpet-pulling device to make a tight seal above the turf.

Dump trucks make more than 200 trips to deliver the dirt

Stadium officials and architects consulted Monster Jam in the development of the $3 million+ Orlando Citrus Bowl’s all-new South End tunnel, which provides Monster Jam with easier access in and out of the stadium.

Each year 700,000 cubic yards of dirt are used to put on Monster Jam events.

The Orlando Citrus Bowl track is approximately 230’ wide by 360’ long.

Once the event ends, the dirt move-out process starts immediately.  All dirt and field protection product is generally completely removed within 20 hours after the Monster Jam event concludes.

Disclosure: Our family received complimentary tickets to attend the
Tampa Monster Jam show in exchange for this honest review.

CIRCUS XTREME at the Amway Center, Jan 8–11

extreme circus photosThe Greatest Show On Earth returns to the Amway Center January 8–11, 2015 as Circus Xtreme! Ringmaster David Shipman guides audiences on aRigmaster quest around the world with the help of hilarious adventure seekers, Alex and Irina Emelin.

THIS circus promises to be unlike any you’ve seen before. Feld, creators of Nuclear Cowboyz, have integrated freestyle BMX riders and their over-the-top jumps into the more traditional circus features like clowns, and extraordinarily talented animals and high-flying trapeze artists to create Circus Xtreme!

Mongolian riders begin the show by sending arrows flying across the arena sky. This all-female troupe displays their skills in one of the most unique acts this year, performing a series of tricks and maneuvers atop elegant two-hump camels.

Audience members will be on a first name basis with these, and other magnificent animals, including glorious horses, and prancing pachyderms.
Xpect the unexpected at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Circus Xtreme!
Where:
Amway Center, 400 West Church Street – Suite 200, Orlando, Florida 32801
Show Times:
Thursday, January 8 — 7:30 p.m.
Friday, January 9 — 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 10 — 11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m.
and 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, January 11— 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Offers:
Buy your tickets through Dec. 24 for 40% off tickets using promo code PRESENT. Offer valid only for Friday 7:30 p.m., and Saturday 11:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. performances. Not valid on Front Row and Premium seats. Not valid day of show. Excludes opening night performance on Thursday, January 8.
Get Social:
Follow along on Twitter — @RinglingBros #BestGiftEver

Marvel Universe LIVE! Review

“Since the dawn of all time there have been those who are extraordinary. Some are called heroes, motivated by the desire to help the weak and so-called innocent…”

superheroes

“Is there a place more loathsome than this?” spats Loki, who despises his brother Thor’s affinity for planet Earth.

In the world of comic books you suspend disbelief, by the very nature of the stories they tell. Good versus evil is magnified and morphed, and characters have exaggerated features, and enhanced worlds. Marvel Universe Live! is an arena spectacle that takes those tenants of good comic book reading into LIVE audience viewing, where suspended, and otherwise empowered, superheroes will amaze.

With Feld Entertainment (of world-renowned Ringling fame) behind the production, it’s no wonder there is so much spectacle and showmanship from motorsports and pyrotechnics, to high-flying circus-worthy aerial stunts in the show. Skateboards, martial arts, even a character engulfed in fire, are part of this Universe.

“It’s the first time that any production has so seamlessly integrated story with live action movie-style stunts,” says Juliette Feld, Executive vice president, Feld Entertainment.

J. Vaught, vice president of Feld’s ice and stage productions, created the gigantic movie backdrop screen that digitally transforms the scene from Tony Stark’s laboratory, to Loki’s base in the Himalayas, to the top of the Statue of Liberty using projection-mapping technology. This movie magic makes Iron Man’s suit “fly” onto his body and comic book pages jump to life (among other things!).

The story begins with the Cosmic Cube being destroyed by Thor’s hammer. The thought is that since it’s the deadliest weapon known, it should be kept out of the wrong hands, namely Thor’s evil brother Loki. Bad news, though, Loki figures out a way to harness the Cube’s energy by siphoning mutant energy, even if he doesn’t possess all the pieces. More bad news: Other bad guys also have fragments of the Cosmic Cube, and aren’t afraid to use them. In true comic book fashion, though, the superheroes must band together to foil their foes, strengthen their power, and save their comrades, and (spoiler alert) save the world.

Capt AmericaAudience members will (forgive the pun) marvel at their favorite superheroes come to life, including Iron Man, Spider-Man and The Hulk, as well as those pesky villains Loki, Red Skull, Aldrich Killian and Green Goblin to name but a few. They’ll likewise be amazed to see Captain America and Black Widow duke it out motorcycle stunt-style with Red Skull, through ramps, flaming barrels, and at one point driving almost straight up a wall. (Remember Feld Entertainment also created the motorcycle stunt spectacular, Nuclear Cowboyz!) Hooray, in my humble opinion, that Avenger Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel is part of this universe, since it’s agreed that super heroines should get more top billing!

Purists may balk at the cross-franchise, hypothetical mixing of characters that cross the gamut of storylines and comic book pages, but Marvel Universe Live! doesn’t try to be a copy of what’s been done. The goal is to break the mold, and put aside preconceived notions for an arena-based show. Their talented stunt men and women, over-the-top production value, larger-than-life costuming, and just plain ol’ fun, deliver almost two hours of feasting for all the senses. Though the show is geared for the elementary to teen demographic, there’s enough humor, excitement, and wow to be had for all members of the family who come to witness Marvel Universe Live!

Note: Bring your purse (or your child’s piggy bank contents!) for the obligatory souvenir. Merchandise abounds, including Lectro Links wristbands that “help” Iron Man power his suit. (They can be purchased when buying tickets, or on site.) T-shirts, stuffed superheroes, die cast models, and more are available for purchase.

The tour will visit Nashville, TN, Atlanta, GA, Duluth, GA to round out 2014. To discover more about Marvel Universe LIVE! and to buy tickets, go to http://www.marveluniverselive.com, or visit them on Facebook, Twitter @MarvelOnTour or @JulietteFeld , YouTube, Instagram, and Google+.

Disclosure: SeaWorldMommy.com was provided 4 tickets to Marvel Universe LIVE! in exchange for this honest review.

 

Marvel Universe LIVE! Coming to Amway Center in December

Marvel Universe LIVE! will bring the world of Marvel Super Heroes to life at the Amway Center Dec 5-7, 2014 in an action-packed arena event! Spider-Man, and The Avengers (Iron Man, Black Widow, Hulk and more), plus some nasty villains, will delight audiences with cutting-edge special effects, pyrotechnics, aerial stunts, martial arts, motorcycles
and more.

MarvelLIVE1Produced by Feld Entertainment, Marvel Universe LIVE! showcases 25 Marvel icons together on one epic quest. The all-new story revolves around The Cosmic Cube. According to producers, “The Cosmic Cube is the source of ultimate power and one of the most feared and coveted treasures in the Marvel Universe, has been shattered into pieces by the Mighty Thor in order to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. With the pieces scattered across the globe, Thor’s villainous brother Loki devises a scheme to clone its powers, inciting a threat that could not only decimate Earth but also obliterate the Universe.”

MarvelLIVE2

Behind-the-scenes look at Marvel LIVE! at Amway Center.

Ticket prices are as follows*:
$40, $60 & $120. Price level depends on seating tier.

Deals and Offers:
25% off tickets with Discount Code: SAVE25   Valid on all price levels and all performances. Not valid on previously purchased tickets. No double discounts. Not valid day of show. Additional fees may apply.

Where: Amway Center, 400 West Church Street – Suite 200, Orlando, Florida 32801

Show Times:
Friday, Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 6 at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 7 at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

*Ticket pricing is subject to change based on market demand.

Buy tickets at amwaycenter.com, Chase Box Office at Amway Center, Ticketmaster retail locations, charge-by-phone at 800.745.3000 or at Ticketmaster.com. All dates, act(s) and ticket prices are subject to change without notice. All tickets are subject to applicable taxes, service, handling and facility fee charges.

To discover more about Marvel Universe LIVE!, go to http://www.marveluniverselive.com, or on Facebook, Twitter @MarvelOnTour or @JulietteFeld (show’s producer), YouTube, Instagram and Google+.

Disclosure: Our family will receive courtesy tickets to
Marvel Universe LIVE! in exchange for this post and my honest opinion.