Archive for December, 2008

SeaWorld Orlando to Increase Prices in 2009

SeaWorld Orlando will be raising ticket prices another $5 to $74.95 effective January 5th. In 2007 they raised prices in July and again in November. These prices held steady throughout the 2008 year. This price puts SeaWorld just 5 cents under a one-day one-park Disney or Universal Studios ticket who both raised their prices to $75 this past August.

For my family, the ability to convert your SeaWorld ticket into a year long pass for a little bit more still makes the price worthwhile for us, but we live here and can easily get the value out of that deal. I assume the bean counters at these organizations have run the numbers, but I would be curious to see how close the profit margin difference was for actually lowering prices to increase demand against this hike that may deter some locals. I think that’s where these price fluctuations have the biggest impact.

A family traveling here is not going to derail their plans for an extra $20 for the whole family. However, if you live here you may rethink that visit to the parks and go do something else more cost effective in the area. If you kid has a hankering to see sea life there’s a lot cheaper and even free ways to see a stingray, manatee or dolphin, that’s for sure. Add to that the hospitality house going the way of the do-do (I still think this is an unconfirmed rumor) and the “free beer” incentive is taken out of the value added column as well.

What do you think? Will these price increases keep you or any out of town relatives from checking out SeaWorld, or any other parks?

Happy Holidays From Orlando Metblogs!

Disney-MGM Studios - December 2005 - Osborne Lights 5 Merry Christmas! Happy Hannukah! Happy Kwanzaa! Merry Winter Solstice! (Did I forget anybody – if so, it’s not intentional.)

Regardless of how you are celebrating the holidays, we here at the Orlando Metblogs wish you and your loved ones a very happy time together.

It’s been a rough 2008 for many and even though we’re not out of the woods yet, there’s something about being able to take a quick time out with those you love that really recharges you and helps set things right.

Here’s hoping you and yours have a blessed day today and let’s make the last week of 2008 a proper send-off to the year!

Thanks for reading us here at Metblogs! We really do appreciate your support.

Florida Politicians and State Employees Rip Us Off

I have just read something that leaves me speechless. Okay, that’s not true because I’m about to launch into what will likely be a very wordy and spirited ripping, but it did leave me speechless for a moment. If you haven’t heard, thousands of Florida politicians are making use of loop holes to essentially “double-dip” and simultaneously pull a salary AND retirement check. Yeah, that’s right, BOTH. How do they do this? Well, apparently after getting re-elected they can turn in their resignation and start their retirement benefits. Because they are retiring from their current unfinished term, it does not affect their eligibility for the upcoming term for which they were just elected. I guess in the system it’s considered like two separate jobs. I still don’t see how that even works, it doesn’t work like that in the private sector.

The bottom line is the state currently is dishing out $300 million dollars in retirement benefits to people who are still employed by the state and pulling a paycheck. This includes 211 elected officials (they thank you for your votes), 203 senior managers and more than 7,763 state employees. 300 million dollars. That’s 300… Million… Dollars.

Here we are discussing cutting back jobs for teachers, nixing after school sports and field trips, paying for 911 service calls, and who knows what next. Families are losing their jobs, going into foreclosure, facing dire economic times. And these people are robbing the state coffers of $300 millions dollars annually? This is probably the most outrageous thing I have heard in a long long time. This makes the Illinois Governor trying to turn a buck on an empty Senate seat look like a minor infraction.

Every paper should publish the list of these names and we should be picketing these people’s houses. According to the article, it is legal. This does not mean we have to stand by and be silent about the blatant unethical nature of it all. This loop hole should be closed and those who took advantage of it should be outed.

Enjoy a Night of Swingerhead for Give Kids The World

Michael Andrew and Swingerhead at the House of Blues Orlando to benefit Give Kids the WorldWhether you enjoy great classic dance music (I’m talking swing, jazz and jump blues) or just like supporting locally-based charities, you’ll want to mark your calendars for December 21st, 2008.

That’s when the stage at the House of Blues will be taken over by Michael Andrew and Swingerhead for a night of great music to benefit Give Kids The World.

For only $17.50 a person, you can groove to Andrew & co. performing tributes to Bobby Darrin and Frank Sinatra and a healthy dose of their own originals, including tunes off their Christmas cd.

Each ticket purchased also enters you into a drawing to win to win a great door prize: a one-night stay in a harbor-view room at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club and EIGHT one-day Park Hopper Passes.

100% of the proceeds from ticket sales goes to Give Kids The World, a 70-acre, non-profit resort in Central Florida that creates magical memories for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. You can pick up yours at the House of Blues box office, or online at www.hob.com/orlando. Doors open at 6pm and the show starts at 7pm.

Jesus In the Sky

Spotted in the sky over Walt Disney World:

Now, while I appreciate the sentiment, I can’t help but think Jesus would have appreciated the money spent on the skywriting be used in more charitable ways…like a local food bank or homeless shelter.

But maybe that’s just me…

Wanna Go To Prom with Mel Taylor?

Orlando Frosty Ball with Mel Taylor Bad Girls ClubMost people know radio DJ Mel Taylor as one of the voices on WJRR, but she also spears a charitable organization called Mel’s Bad Girls Club (MBGC), that aims to raise money for other charities by having fun events and fundraising activities.

This Friday, December 5th, MBGC is holding an event called The Frosty Ball, which is being billed as a sort of Christmas prom. Originally, tickets were $25 a piece, with proceeds going to B.A.S.E. Camp Children’s Cancer Foundation. But in hopes of drawing a bigger audience and more money for the charity, Mel is now offering tickets to the event in exchange for any kind of donation. A portion of the bar sales will also benefit Base Camp.

The event is being held at the City Arts Factory (located at 29 S. Orange Ave; corner of Orange and Pine downtown), and in addition to partying with Mel and her gang, you can enjoy a silent auction, a raffle with some great prizes, a dj spinning some great tunes all night and take in an art show also put on by MBGC until 11pm, featuring over 29 different female artists and Base Camp patients.

Since this is a prom, they do request you wear some kind of semi-formal/business/cocktail attire (in other words, please make an effort and don’t just slip on a t-shirt and ripped jeans). Doors open at 8:30pm and the party will go on until they kick y’all out.

For more information, visit MBGC’s official website or MySpace page.

Happy Birthday to Us!

Hard to believe, but it was five years ago this week when the metblogs network was first started, with one lonely Los Angeles blog. Five years later, the network has bloggers in 56 cities worldwide (including some that will appeal to gamers), of which this Orlando site is one.

Over the years, our network has covered everything from pop culture to world events (we even had bloggers reporting from the recent violence in Mumbai and Karachi).

We thank you for reading us and hope you’ll continue to stop by as the network heads into its next five years.

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