Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

Upcoming Create Chaos 08 Conference Offers Plenty for Local Creative and Tech Professionals

With the recent slate of tech conferences that have rolled into Orlando, such as IZEAFest and BlogOrlando, one would think O-Town has become the new Silicon Valley. Well, there’s even more just on the horizon as Create Chaos 08 comes to town next week.

create chaos 08 in orlando floridaThe event, which runs October 13th – 17th at the Orlando World Center Marriott, is actually a conglomeration of ten different events, including a web and design conference, a job fair, a track by FreshBooks on billing and invoicing clients, the Annual Create Awards, and the Motion Graphics Festival, aimed at “creative” types ranging from photographers and graphic artists to web designers and more techy types.

There will also be several keynote speeches, including one by Lee Cockerell, the former executive vice president of operations at the Walt Disney World Resort, who has just released a new book titled, Creating Magic, 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies From A Life At Disney. In it, he draws from his experience with the company to discuss how we all can become better leaders not just in business, but in our personal lives in general. If you want to know more about the book, visit Cockerell’s site and receive a free chapter when you sign up for his mailing list.

Tickets for Create Chaos 08 range from $45 to visit the expo hall, to full week passes for $995. Individual day passes range from $295 to $395.

There are also two free events during the week worth noting – “BarCampChaos,” a Monday-night session that invites participants to control the programming by preparing a 20 minute talk on any creative topic and presenting it to other conference attendees, and doterati’s “Juggling Creativity and Business,” on Wednesday night, where local business leaders Ted Murphy of IZEA, Sterling Raphael of NFi Studios, Scott Allen from and Chuck Southworth of the Southworth Group will all speak on starting creative businesses from the ground up. I highly recommend both of those events to anyone interesting in networking with locally-minded tech and creative minds. As a bonus, pre-register for either event via the above links and you’ll get a free pass to visit the expo hall on the day of the event.

I’ll definitely be there on Wednesday for the FreshBooks track, as I’ve been interested in learning more about their online invoicing and time tracking service (not to mention their Twitters mention something about candy…), and most likely both the BarCampChaos and the doterati sessions. I’m also told that using the codes FRESHBOOKS or BARCAMP when registering for Create Chaos 08 online will offer a hefty discount off passes.

Last Call for Disney’s Pleasure Island

For those who haven’t heard the news, tonight is the last night for the clubs at Walt Disney World’s Pleasure Island. Even though last ditch attempts have been made by fans of venues like the Adventurer’s Club, Disney says they have plans for the space currently occupied by the clubs which include more dining and shopping options.

The Rock’n’Roll Beach Club was closed in February, but tonight is the last hurrah for Mannequins, 8-Trax, BET Sound Stage, Motion, the Comedy Warehouse and the Adventurer’s Club. To celebrate, PI is bringing back Frankie and the West End Boys for one last night to play the waterfront stage (since the West End stage was replaced several months ago by the new pedestrian bridge to the West Side of Downtown Disney). They will play four 45-minute sets at 7:30pm, 8:45pm, 10pm, and 11:15pm.

The Adventurer’s Club will also open early at 6pm with additional Library shows, as will the Comedy Warehouse with shows at 6:55pm, 8pm, 9:10pm, 10:25pm, 11:35pm and 12:45am.

It’s free to be on PI, so you can enjoy the waterfront and DJ entertainment outside. Individual club admission is $10 (plus tax) with a multi-club pass costing $20 (plus tax). Annual PI passes will still be valid this last night, too, and holders can then request a pro-rated refund for the balance. Or you can use that pass and trade it in for a special Universal Orlando CityWalk party pass good until next March.

Even though I haven’t been to PI much in recent years, it’s still sad to see Disney close it all down. When I first moved to Orlando thirteen years ago, I knew nobody and many of the friends I have today are ones I made by going out to PI the first few years I lived here. I also have many good memories of celebrating birthdays and other special occasions with friends there.

So, I think I’m gonna head out to say goodbye and maybe take some photos. Will I see any of you out there?

Two Annual Theme Park Fests Start Today

For who look forward to those fall fests at the area theme parks, two of the biggies start today.

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A trio of champagnesEpcot’s Food & Wine Fest starts today. It’s the 13th year of the festival which offers up samples of food and drink from around the world, and this year’s focus is on “culinary cities,” along with the state of Louisiana. You do need to buy a park admission or have an annual pass of some kind for Walt Disney World, but once inside, you can stroll the World Showcase in the back of the park and try food and drink native to countries and cities from around the world. Average samples will set you back $2 to $5 per item, so it’s an inexpensive way to try something you’ve never had before.

There’s also free seminars daily, which usually offer up samples (though the lines can be very long to get in to one, especially on weekends), and free nightly entertainment from nationally-known entertainers. This year’s fest kicks off with the sounds of ska-swing band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy tonight and tomorrow (Saturday) and continues over the weekend with Sheena Easton on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

For more info, visit the official Walt Disney World Food & Wine website.

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Universal OrlandoFor those that would rather be scared than wined and dined, Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights also starts tonight. It’s the 18th incarnation of the annual event and this year’s theme is Urban Legends, Fairy Tales & Myths, epitomized by the legend of Bloody Mary, who comes to life if you chant her name into a mirror. Universal says over 300 new characters were created for this year’s event, which runs September 26-27, October 2-5, 9-12, 16-19, 22-26 and October 29-November 1.

Separate park admission is required for Halloween Horror Nights, even if you have a Universal Orlando annual pass, but special Florida-resident discounts and multi-night passes are available. The event’s official website has all the details.

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Are you planning to go to one or both? Do you prefer one over the other? Let us know in comments.

Copper Rocket to Host Beer Tasting Dinner

I’m one of those who views a good beer like a good wine, especially when paired with the right food dish. If you feel the same, you might be interested in Thursday’s Beer Tasting Dinner at the Copper Rocket.

The evening will be a 4-course dinner, consisting of shark bites & shrimp for the appetizer, a hearts of palm salad, an entree of glazed pork shank on a bed of gruyere spaetzle, ending with a chocolate milk stout cake covered in raspberry drizzle for dessert. Each course will be accompanied by a beer chosen by Florida Micro Beverage, which I’m guessing is co-sponsoring this event.

Tickets are $30 per person and, according to the flyer, they’re capping attendance at 30 guests.

The event takes place September 18th from 7pm to 9:30pm and you can find more information online at the Copper Rocket’s MySpace page.

Enzian 2 For 1 Special

Most people don’t need any additional incentives to go see a movie at the Enzian. Comfortable seats, great food and drinks, along with an eclectic list of films is usually enough.

But I’ve discovered there is a promotion running, in conjunction with the Orlando Visitor’s Bureau, called “Endless Summer” that will get you two movie tickets for the price of one at the Enzian. Yeah, you read that right. Two tickets for the price of one.

The deal runs through November 15th and you simply need to use the promotion code “08CVBESUM” when buying your tickets.

A list of current and upcoming films, along with a full dining and drink menu, can be found online at The Enzian website.

The Enzian is located at 1300 South Orlando Avenue in Maitland.

Ride Lynx For Free Today

lynx bus orlandoWith gas prices creeping over the $4 mark, we all need to look at alternate forms of transportation to save money. One way already in place is public transportation via the Lynx bus system.

Today, Lynx is joining a national program called Dump the Pump, a one-day effort to entice new readers by offering up coupons to ride for free all day.

If you want to give it a spin, simply cut out coupons available in several local publications like the Orlando Sentinel or Orlando Weekly, or you can head on over to and print out all the coupons you need for today. While there, you can also look up maps and schedules for all of the Lynx routes.

I’ll be the first to admit that Lynx isn’t perfect, especially to those who live or work on the outskirts of Orlando. And a few more buses along the tourist routes and out to Walt Disney World could boost ridership via visitors to the city (hint, hint Lynx).

But if you can make it work for you, a $44 monthly bus pass is a lot cheaper than filling up your tank several times a week for that amount.

Lakeridge Winery To Host Blues Festival

Lakeridge Winery ClermontLike your wine with a side of the blues? Then you’ll want to make a trip out to the Lakeridge Winery in Clermont this weekend for their annual blues festival.

The fest runs Saturday, April 26th, from 10am until 5pm, and Sunday, April 27th, from 11am until 5pm. The Teague Stefan Blues Band will play Saturday from 10am until 1:30pm and on Sunday from 11am until 1:30pm. Both days, “Beautiful Bobby” Blackmon B3 Blues Band takes over from 2pm until 5pm.

Besides the live music, Lakeridge Winery will offer tents selling food, beer and Lakeridge wines by the glass both days. And all of this takes place outside, with the vineyards as a backdrop. Be sure to take one of their free tours of the grounds, as well.

The Lakeridge Winery is located on U.S. Hwy. 27, 3 miles south of Florida’s Turnpike Exit 285 and 6 miles north of Clermont. Admission to the blues fest is $2 per person, with food and drink extra. Parking is free. For more information or driving directions, visit says highs in the 80s with almost no chance of rain for both days, so it should be a good weekend for the event. And while there, definitely try the Southern White wine – it’s my favorite.

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