Happy New Year!

Filed under: Orlando News |

Happy New Year  to you all!

For the first time ever, we took a break from our blog over the Christmas and New Year holiday period. It’s nice to be able to sit back, relax and watch what’s going on around you. It’s also nice to take some time to plan the year ahead and to see what’s happening in the early days of the New Year.

This week is extremely busy as The Surf Expo opens, the circus come to town, the RunDisney marathon weekend is here , SeaWorld’s Wild Days opens and there’s an extreme makeover at Give Kids The World! We’ll be covering it all and bringing you the story of some of things that go on in Orlando that you normally wouldn’t think about!

The Surf Expo opens on Thursday and is only open to the trade. It’s the show everyone looks forward to and we look ahead to the Summer and see some of the new trends that will be with us. the show features around 2,600 booths of apparel and hard goods as well as a full line up of special events that include fashion shows, annual award ceremonies and demonstrations. We covered the show extensively in the past and you can find more details here.

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus opens at the Amway Center on 9th January and continues through the 12th January.  The American based circus company was formed as a merger between the circus company formed by James Anthony and Barnum and Circus also known as Ringling Brothers Circus. After this merger, one of the Ringling brothers decided that instead of organizing the circus in portable tents, it should be organized in places like sports stadiums that already have sitting capacity and thus can provide better sitting arrangements to spectators.

The history of the circus links back to Dan Castello who was eager to set up his own circus company for which he wanted Barnum to lend not only his name but also financial backing so that the circus could begin without further delay. Barnum agreed with Castello and as a result, P.T. Barnum’s “Greatest Show on Earth” was organized. On the other side, Bailey along with James. E. Cooper joined hands to set up a circus business which soon became one of the top rivals of Barnum. This competition was the result of Columbia’s birth which was said to be the first birth of an elephant in the United States. This baby elephant was born to Babe and Mandarin and several people were eager to see Columbia and as a result of this, Bailey’s sales went up. Barnum, after all this, decided to buy Columbia and eventually agreed to arrange a combined show in the late 1880s. Barnum & Bailey Circus shows, as it was named at that time, turned out to be successful as people liked the idea.

Jumbo was introduced to the World as the world’s largest elephant and continued giving life to the shows of the circus. Unfortunately, Barnum didn’t last long and passed away after which Bailey purchased the circus from Barnum’s widow. Afterward, the operations of both circuses were merged into one. After this merger, the circus extended itself beyond the boundaries of the United States and entered into Europe. Five out of the seven Ringling brothers had been in the circus business from the 1880s and at the time when Barnum and Bailey were organizing shows in Europe, Ringling brothers were arranging circuses in various towns by moving in the form of animal drawn caravans. These humble caravans were soon able to move by train which became the source to raise the Ringling Brothers name as the largest amusement enterprise of this era.

When Barnum & Bailey entered Europe, it propelled the Ringling Brothers to expand themselves to the eastern seaboard. Realizing the fierce competition, Bailey went to the Rockies for the first time to organize a “Super Grand Show.” However, Bailey didn’t have the chance to manage circus’s operation any more as he got expired after which company was purchased by Rivaling Brothers. The circus had to pass through several trying times especially in the Great Depression when the economy was quite cruel for every company in the business. John Nicholas who was nephew of the Ringling Brothers proved to be great talent at that time as he successfully managed the company in difficult times as a result of which Ringling Bros. stayed in business. President Roosevelt also provided the Circus special favors to help it out of depression.

The train has become the identity of the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus and they currently possess and maintain two circus trains each of which represents two shows of different themes. One is called the Blue Tour Train and other is called the Red Tour Train and both of them are fixed to visit major cities of the world. According to the management of the circus, it’s of utmost importance to give the audience exposure to captive animals because it enables them to make public awareness of animal needs.

This weekend also sees the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. The Walt Disney World marathon weekend is the big event in the runDisney series and has grown over the years since the first marathon was run in 1994. Runners who complete the half marathon receive a Donald Duck medal, those who complete the full marathon receive a Mickey Mouse medal, and those who sign up in a special third category to do both events on consecutive days receive a Goofy medal. Both races begin and finish in the Epcot parking lot, and both pass through the Magic Kingdom and Cinderella Castle. The full marathon runners also run through Animal Kingdom, Disney Hollywood Studios, the Beach Club/Boardwalk area, and around the World Showcase. There’s also a series of other fun events such as the Disney Family Fun Run 5K, runDisney kids races and the Pasta in the Park party.

Over at SeaWorld Orlando there’s a chance to connect even deeper to the animals and wonderful world we share during Wild Days, an all new event happening on weekends 11 January through 26 January. Familes can enjoy three weekends of interactive shows and up-close animal encounters as well as meet the leaders in the world of animal rescue and rehabilitation.

Wild Days includes:

January 11-12:  Jack Hanna Weekend

Join “Jungle Jack” for a wild weekend of furry and feathered fun. Recognized around the world for his boundless enthusiasm for animals and conservation, Jack Hanna helps us share in his wondrous connection to wildlife and the world we share.

January 18-19: Sea Rescue Weekend

Meet the leaders in the world of animal rescue and rehabilitation as they share incredible stories that have been featured on the national show, Sea Rescue.  SeaWorld’s Animal Rescue team is on call 24/7, 365 days a year to help ill or injured animals, and for nearly 40 years the team has rescued more than 23,000 animals.  Featured animal rescue stories will include: turtles, flamingos, manatees, pilot whales and dolphins.

January 25-26: Penguin Lovers’ Weekend with Julie Scardina

Penguin Lovers of the world unite! Don’t miss this refreshingly fun and educational weekend centered around penguins. Join SeaWorld Animal Ambassador Julie Scardina as she shares her lifelong love of animals and the parks’ commitment to wildlife conservation and as well as tell stories of her trips around the globe from continent to continent.

At Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, to celebrate the weekend, penguin lovers will have the special chance to virtually dance like a penguin, walk side by side with a penguin colony, and star in shareable Antarctica photo opportunities at the coolest  “ice” block party.

And every day at SeaWorld Orlando, guests can get up close to penguins at Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, SeaWorld Orlando’s newest attraction that transports guests into the icy world of the penguin like never before. Experience the mysterious land through the penguins’ eyes on a first-of-its-kind family ride, and then, connect with a colony above and below the water and be inspired to make a difference. 

All Wild Days shows are included with park admission with show times at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at SeaWorld’s Nautilus Theater. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Shows and times are subject to change without notice.

Wild Days Highlights:

New! Shamu Up Close

Celebrate the beauty and wonder of killer whales at the never-before-seen Shamu Up Close experience. It’s an intimate and moving look at the whales, SeaWorld’s trainers and the awe-inspiring bond between them. In this unparalleled experience, SeaWorld invites you behind the scenes into a fascinating world, with walkthrough killer whale viewing all day, complimented by even more enhanced encounters. Shamu Up Close is the living story of SeaWorld and our passionate commitment to the care of these extraordinary animals and their ocean world. This is your opportunity to be a part of SeaWorld like you never have before.

New! Trainer Talks

Learn from the SeaWorld Animal Training team what it takes to care for whales, sea lions, walruses and other animals that call SeaWorld home, and how caring for them has helped with the rescue and rehabilitation of other injured animals.  Trainer Talks will take place at key locations in the park. Check park maps for times and locations.

At Give Kids The World an Extreme Village Makeover is scheduled to take place January 12-25, 2014.  The makeover 100 of the 140 villas at Give Kids The World Village, updating the whimsical accommodations for families visiting for a week-long, cost-free fantasy vacation to upgraded hospitality standards. Construction will last two weeks with crews on-site 24 hours a day.  The scope of work will include cosmetic and structural upgrades including: wood replacement, stucco and drywall repair, tile work, installation of new countertops, fixtures and crown molding, exterior and interior painting and electrical updates, just to name a few.

As you can see… it promises to be an extremely week ahead! Revisit often as we’ll be bring you all of these stories and more!

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