Tag Archives: orange county convention center

Perfect Wedding Guide Expo at Orange County Convention Center

Brides- and grooms-to-be are cordially invited to the The Ultimate Wedding Planning Experience presented by the Perfect Wedding Guide today, Sunday, September 13, 2015 at the Orange County Convention Center from 12pm – 4pm.

On trend: Wedding cupcakes. Photo by Gigi's Cupcakes Orlando

On trend: Wedding cupcakes. Photo by Gigi’s Cupcakes Orlando

Over 100 of Orlando’s most experienced and respected wedding professionals, wedding planning specialists will be on hand to answer your toughest wedding questions. Guests will taste delicious culinary creations from seasoned wedding caterers. Cake and cupcake bakers will help you pick your dream confection from flavor to design. Don’t know what to serve? Vendors will provide ideas and plans to help you personalize a menu unique to your big day! Whether you’re newly engaged or are getting close to the big day, there will be something for you.

Attendees will also enjoy wedding fashion shows with the latest bridal attire and looks for the entire wedding party. Gorgeous gowns and stylish tuxes will help you say yes to THE right dress for your upcoming nuptials.

Organizers promise a “bouquet” of wonderful events and opportunities such as:

  • Meet 100+ of Orlando’s most experienced and respected wedding professionals
  • Fashion shows featuring the latest wedding trends in wedding attire
  • EVERY bride or groom will receive a complimentary tote-bag
  • The first 100 bags will be stuffed with goodies from our vendors
  • Grand prizes are worth $500+ and can include catering, DJ packages, all inclusive honeymoon packages, and more
  • Exclusive Pre-show giveaway entries for online tickets purchases
  • Get $1,000 in PWG Bucks to use toward participating Wedding Show vendors
  • Complimentary Hors d’oeuvres, cake samples, and desserts
  • Photo booths, flip books, and specialty services souvenirs
  • Wedding favors, gifts, and the greatest trends to inspire you.
  • Reception tables full of unique floral designs, name cards, and tablescape ideas.

Tickets are $15 at the door for General Admission. Visit the Perfect Wedding Guide’s website for more information.

Insider tip: Visit Perfect Wedding Guide preferred vendor’s
social media pages to score two free tickets!

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

#ORLPWGSHOW #HappyPlanning

Our trip to Florida Kids Family Expo

The Florida Kids & Family Expo did not disappoint. I was fortunate enough to cover this event with my wife and daughter, and they loved it! There was so much to see and do at this event, it was hard to put my finger on just one favorite. Since I couldn’t decide, I put together a Top 5 with help from my daughter, Olivia. So without further adieu, here we go with with our Top 5 in no particular order:

1. Fairytales & Heroes

This was one of the first booths we visited on our journey through the Expo, and Olivia loved it.  There were great photo opportunities for kids and adults alike.  While we were there, my wife and daughter took a pic with Tinkerbell. We also saw Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Cinderella during our visit. I have seen a number of “Superhero” companies pop up over the past few years here in Orlando, but the Fairytales & Heroes costumes and makeup are some of the best I have seen.  The Iron Man costume was on point, and the princesses looked like they were straight out of the storybooks. If you have young kids that are looking for Disney Princesses or Marvel Superheroes at their next birthday, this is the place to go, and taking some drones for kids to the trip would be a great idea!

2. Santa’s Christmas Tree Forest 

What is there to say about this place, other than it is fun and hands on. Now, my family and I have been out to Santa’s Christmas Tree Forest before, and my daughter loves it.  When she saw their booth at the Expo, she was happy to see all the animals they brought with them.  There were baby chicks, goats, rabbits, ducks, and piglets.  Olivia swears up and down she loves piggies, but when they are as up close and personal as they were here, she was happy watching from a distance.  I can tell you that based on my experience, there is so much more to do at Santa’s than just pet animals.  There is a pumpkin patch in October, hay rides, and so much more! If you have never made the trip to Santa’s Christmas Tree Forest, you are missing out and I would highly recommend it for you and your family.

3. Unlimited Bounce House Fun

There were so many bounce houses for Olivia to play in, we actually lost her at one point.  The wife and I were in full on panic mode, but Olivia didn’t have a care in the world.  She took off her shoes and just like that she was gone… From the giant inflatable slide, to the inflatable obstacle course, $10 got your kid unlimited access to all a dozen or so bounce houses. From the looks of it, this was one of the biggest hits for kids of all ages.  There was always a line to get in and never a sad face… well until the parents had to break the news it was time to go.

4. Orlando Aerial Arts 

With my daughter just starting her second season of ballet and tap, this was one of the exhibits that just pulled her in. Imagine the grace of ballet and the strength of gymnastics where the performer’s feet never touch the ground. We’ve been using gymnastics equipment at home. If you can close your eyes and imagine that, you have Orlando Aerial Arts. Olivia stayed and watch two performances without ever moving from her spot on the velvet rope.  It was a beautiful display elegance, with an unbelievable amount stamina. The artist that performed had an array of moves that brought oohs and aahs  from the crowd. This was a very fun live performance.  I mean, it kept a 3 year old engaged for 20 plus minutes!

5. Michaels Crafts

The Michaels booth was another big hit with not only Olivia, but my wife Maria as well.  Here they were able to create their own little pictures. Michaels provided everything from the construction paper, popsicle sticks, markers, glue, and puff foam shapes.  It was a nice hands on event for everyone to get the creative juices flowing! Olivia actually hit this booth twice during our visit.

So this is my Top 5 based on what my wife, my daughter, and I did. However, there was so much more to do at the Kids & Family Expo. For example, the zip-line, tower climb, and Medieval Times live stage show to name a few. I was able to tweet out some of the images during my visit. Give me a follow @djxb1977 and stay tuned to Central Florida Top 5 for future updates!

 

Florida Kids and Family Expo 2015 coming to OCCC August 29th

If you have not purchased your tickets to the Florida Kids & Family Expo, what are you waiting for?

This two day event runs from 10 am to 5 pm Saturday, August 29th and 11 am to 5 pm Sunday, August 30th at the Orange County Convention Center.

This is the can’t miss family fun event of the year! Over 200 interactive exhibits for parents and children including seminars, character meet & greets, carnival rides, exotic animals, live music, and much more! Also it includes some fun little activities like letting kids drive toy cars, very fun, and if you’re looking for one then check this john deere powered tractor, perfect for teaching your kid how to drive within our park and everywhere else!

Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for kids (3-17), free for kids (0-2) in advance, $15 for Adults, $10 for kids (3-17) at the door.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit My Central Florida Family by clicking HERE

Follow me, @djxb1977 live on Twitter Sunday, August 30th as I explore over 150,000 square feet of everything family and children Central Florida has to offer!

Top 5 | Reasons to Attend MegaCon 2015

Orlando recently received thousands of enthusiastic fans to the Orange County Convention Center for the annual event known as… MegaCon! MegaConvention is a Sci-Fi/Comic Convention that is held in Orlando, and is considered to be “The Southeast’s premier Comic book, Anime,Sci-fi/Fantsy and multimedia event.” This year’s three day event took place from April 10-12.

www.megaconvention.com

Welcome To MegaCon

 

MegaCon offers a variety of options for guest to enjoy which includes a main exhibition hall where guest can look and shop for merchandise, artwork, and more. There are also a variety of panels to take in, photo opportunities, and autographs with guest celebs.

This years guest celebrities included the likes of Marvel icon Stan Lee, The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus, Doctor Who’s Karen Gillan, The Princess Bride’s Cary Elwes, and many more.

Megacon Indie Film Expo

Alongside the main attractions, MegaCon also is host to the Indie Film Expo hosted by program chairman 3 Boys Productions. Each year the MegaCon Indie Film Expo showcases short independent films in fan favorite genres of: action, animation, anime, comedy, horror, romance, super-hero, science fiction, suspense, and zombie. This year’s selected films included:

500 Miles to Taco Bell directed by Lear Bunda
Alfred directed by Den of Wolves Productions
Fur Real directed by Nicole Machon
It Waits directed by Robert Massetti
M-Theory directed by TL Westgate
Memory directed by Steven Shea featuring Summer Day Rescue
Losers directed by Carlos del Rosario
The Sky Ship Chronicles directed by Christian Christian Cashmir
Stronger directed by Steven Shea featuring Prita Chhabra
Tech Squad directed by TL Westgate

Along with the Expo there was also a Film panel held the following day which featured invited guest filmmakers, actors, and entertainers including Prita Chhabra (Stronger), TL Westgate (M Theory, Tech Squad), HorrorDirector Robert J. Massetti (It Waits), Frankie Paul Morrell (comedian), Brian Pulido (the Graves), Todd Thompson (The Highwaymen, Woman in Motion), our own Jen Vargas (TechSquad, Women in Film & Television Florida) and other surprise industry guests.

Overall MegaCon is a grand experience for those who enjoy these kind of events. The only draw back is the large number of crowds that occupy the venue making it hard sometimes to navigate around. This aside, MegaCon is an event that I thoroughly enjoy participating in each year and will continue to attend in the future.

MegaCon 2015

My Top 5 reasons to attend MegaCon:
1) Meet and Greets with some of your Favorite TV stars (past and present)

2) Merchandise! MegaCon is one of the best places to find exclusive merchandise that is sure to please the most loyalist of Geekdom (I mean that in the most positive way possible!)

3) Films and panels! Tired of shopping?! Then have a seat and check out a few short films or listen to some of the Media Guest about life on the set of a popular show.

4) The After Parties! The fun doesn’t end when the exhibition hall closes for the day! MegaCon offers some fun After hours events as well!

5) Cosplay! Love dressing up or watching others dress up? Then MegaCon is the place for you, with its hordes of costumed fans you will have hours of people watching checking out how creative some of them can be!

A group of Star War cosplayers gather for a group shot.

A group of Star War cosplayers gather for a group shot.

If you happen to be in the Central Florida area in early Spring, take moment and check out what all the hype is about for yourself and let us know what you think!

Tussauds Orlando Welcomes Selena Gomez to Florida

by: @jenvargas

Wait a minute. Was that…? SELENA GOMEZ… at Lake Eola?!

Photo: Courtesy of Madame Tussauds Orlando

Photo: Courtesy of Madame Tussauds Orlando

(Don’t worry, everyone at Top 5 did a triple take too!)

Great news for all Florida Selenators and Beliebers! Selena Gomez… ‘s wax counterpart was indeed at Lake Eola last week! It’s not as hot outside, so wax-Selena decided to take a stroll around Lake Eola as well as take a walk around the Convention Center and down International Drive.

DID YOU SEE HER? C’mon, we know SOMEONE out there must have taken a selfie…

Actress and pop songstress Selena Gomez will be the first wax-lebrity to call Orlando home when Florida’s first ever Madame Tussauds attraction opens next Spring at the new I-Drive 360 entertainment complex.

Guests at Madame Tussauds Orlando will experience the essence of America with this brand new, immersive and interactive wax experience, bursting with family fun and world-class entertainment, as they move through themed areas meeting all of their favorite stars from award-winning film actors, to historical and modern world leaders, sports stars, music legends as well as figures important to Florida. Visitors can shake hands with president, get on stage with rock stars and pop princesses, or get up close and personal with a Hollywood heartthrob and take the ultimate selfie!

Which A-list personality would you like to see come to Orlando next? Of all the important and historical figures in Florida’s history, who do YOU think deserves a place in OUR wax history? Tweet us @CentralFLTop5 and let us know! Follow @TussaudsOrlando to see who the next big name coming to Orlando may be!

Orange County Convention Center Events Donate More Than $2.2 Million to Local Charities in 2013

While the Orange County Convention Center is known for providing an economic boost to the Central Florida community, it is also a major source of donations for several of the area’s charitable organizations. In 2013, it’s estimated more than $2.1 million in goods and services were donated to local organizations by visiting conventions and tradeshows and their exhibitors and attendees.

More than four dozen visiting shows made donations that included nearly 300,000 pounds of food to local food banks, more than $200,000 in educational supplies and grants and more than $100,000 in building supplies and products.

“We are so proud of the conventions and tradeshows that choose to make a donation to one of our local charities or go out in our community and assist with a social responsibility project,” said Kathie Canning, the convention center’s executive director. “It’s great to see our visitors are providing a positive economic impact to our community not only by spending locally, but also giving locally.”

 

Coca Cola Freestyle: Soda Machine of the FUTURE!

[Guest Post by Jen Vargas]

I love Coca Cola. I also love its tasty incarnations, Cherry Coke and Vanilla Coke. All of these flavors, swishing around together make for a Cocapalooza in my mouth – this make me VERY happy! Enter, Coca Cola Freestyle. We have history…

My first discovery of this smile dispensing soda machine happened during the IAAPA Expo at the Orange County Convention Center here in Orlando. My curiosity began in 2010. [I wanted to go back in 2011 but our Relay For Life in Hunter’s Creek was happening the same weekend and I couldn’t make it.] But I never forgot about ‘the Freestyle Machine.’ I walked into the exhibit hall, saw a HUGE line and wondered, “What’s that all about?”

I came back two hours later and the line had gotten LONGER! “Ok, I HAVE to find out what the fuss is all about here,” I thought. So I waited… and waited… and waited in the line. After an hour or more of looking at the backs of other people’s heads, I saw it. This standalone, shiny, red touchscreen of awesomeness. A gentleman demoing the machine handed me a small, paper Coca Cola cup and asked me what I wanted to try. Baffled by all the choices (and flashy lights!), I asked for recommendations based on what I knew already. He recommended two flavors; Raspberry Coca Cola and Orange Vanilla Coca Cola. The thought of both sounded gross, to be honest, but I tried them anyway. I figured the guy knew what he was talking about, him being a seasoned mixologist and all. 106 (at the time) flavors to choose from… I needed more time to taste!

To my surprise, the Raspberry Coke was pretty good! The Orange Vanilla Coke however… WOW! That was my favorite! I wanted to try some more flavors, I was so stoked!! Then I looked behind me. It’s like the line never moved! The Coke booth was the place to be at IAAPA 2010! At the time, I still had a few hours left to roam the floor and chat with vendors, so I did. About 30 minutes before the event closed, I took a chance and hopped back in the Freestyle line to sample more flavors. The line was shorter but not by much. Others in line behind me didn’t want to wait and left. The people running the booth were cleaning up while the end of event announcements played over the PA system. As they continued to close, they kept the line moving, allowing people to try samples. I was literally the LAST person that year to Freestyle! I had to try another Orange Vanilla Coke! This time I was recommended to try Grape, Vanilla and Strawberry Sprite. Strawberry Sprite was tasty. I wasn’t a fan of the Sprite Grape or Vanilla flavors but they were worth a shot. After closing, I grabbed a Vanilla Coke for the road, I left IAAPA wondering when I’d see one again (outside of Disney or the other theme parks).

In 2011 and 2012, Coca Cola Freestyle machines started showing up in Burger King, Firehouse Subs, Moe’s Southwest Grills, Hess Gas Stations, even my local Pei Wei Asian Diner! Convenience, thy name be Freestyle!!! Now, I can’t walk a mile or so without seeing one, or even two, in my favorite local restaurants. My next hope is that Sweet Tomatoes (Souplantation for you Left Coasters) gets a Freestyle machine. Perfection on top of perfection… all would be right with the world. More nerdiness? I also love the Push + Play app for my iPhone! You can find a Freestyle machine near you AND play Coke’s snazzy version of Simon!! (Just don’t PUSH!+Play and drive, please.)

 

 

 

If you get a chance, you should check out the Coca Cola Freestyle webpage and Facebook page. They are very active on Twitter too, if you are so inclined (and I know you are)! Maybe I’ll see you at a local watering hole soon?
OMG! #CCFreestyleTweetup! Can we Brian, can we!?

Indie Cinema Showcase Presents Star Wars Celebration VI 2012

We had a great time at this year’s Star Wars Celebration VI at the Orange County Convention Center! One group we kept seeing over and over was the local Orange TV/VISION television show, Indie Cinema Showcase. We couldn’t attend all four days of Celebration but judging by their tweets, Indie Cinema Showcase did and it looks like they had the most fun!

 

Orange County residents can catch Indie Cinema Showcase on VISION TV five times a week on Brighthouse Channel 198, Comcast Channel 98 or AT&T U-Verse Channel 99 (Sundays at 2am & 3pm, Tuesdays at 10am, Thursdays at 6pm and Fridays at 10pm). For those out of county/state, check them out on iTunes or via their website, www.indiecinemashowcase.com, where all three seasons are available to view. Also check out the website if you are a filmmaker interested in submitting a short film, no more than 10 minutes, to the show.

In case you weren’t aware, Indie Cinema Showcase is a Florida based television show for anyone who likes movies! They are in their third season and are local Emmy hopefuls — good luck guys! (Executive Producer, Gerald Godbout III, is already an Emmy and Telly Award Winner.) “ICS” spotlights our independent film community here in Central Florida as well as the talents of filmmakers, actors and crew from all over the state. The hosts are local as well; Christina CarmonaAllison Walter and Matt Doolittle, give you some great insight on some really talented, creative people and their productions!

Follow them on Twitter: @ICSTVSHOW, and Remember Star Wars Reads Day is coming!