Archive for November, 2010

Athens Theatre in DeLand, FL

November 16, 2010

Historic Athens Theatre in DeLand is a Great Venue

No matter how long you explore Central Florida, you can still discover hidden treasure.

That’s what happened to us on Sunday.

We read in the paper that the Sands Theatre Company was doing a live performance of Sweeney Todd–Number One Daughter’s favorite movie. So Mrs. LanceAround, Number One Son and I piled into the van with Number One Daughter and drove to the Athens Theatre in downtown DeLand.

This Theatre is Majestic

The Athens Theatre opened in 1922 as a vaudeville and silent movie house. It has recently been restored to its 1920’s grandeur with the addition of state-of-the-art rigging, lighting and sound. It is a palatial theatre with a regal feel. The theatre’s name was derived from the vision of town founder, Henry DeLand, who sought to create a city that would be the “Athens of Florida.”

A visit to the Athens Theatre website shows a fascinating photo montage of how the theatre transformed from the 1920’s into a modern 60’s movie house, then into disrepair before being restored to its original grandeur. Another extensive slide show details the loving care that went into creating a modern venue of historic significance.

This place is very special.

In addition to enjoying the old-time theatre, the production of Sweeney Todd by the Sands Theatre Company was outstanding–as good a community theatre as I’ve ever seen.

I did several Google searches while researching this post and could not find many reviews of Sweeny Todd or much information about the Athens Theatre in DeLand. But for the lucky readers of my blog, it’s a great treasure waiting to be discovered by those travelers to Central Florida seeking “more than a mouse.”™

The Perfect Christmas Gift

November 13, 2010

Florida Film Festival Gift Certificates are Perfect for Your Film Lover

What a great idea!

When the Florida Film Festival unveiled its new icon for the 2011 festival, they presented new gift certificates that are available immediately. What a perfect Holiday Gift for the film lover in your family!

If the loved one to whom you’re giving a gift lives  in Central Florida, it makes it easy. Just click on this website to buy :

There are gift packages that come in all shapes and sizes for all the film lovers on your Holiday gift list.

For just $40, you can give a gift that includes 4 film vouchers, 2 Sneak Preview Party passes (no one does a party better than the Enzian Theatre!) and an official program voucher. That’s $130 value!

If you own a large company, consider the Platinum Holiday package. For only $2,000 this package includes two Platinum Passes, 100 film vouchers, 50 Sneak Preview Party passes and 100 Official program vouchers–An ideal way to reward your hard working employees during this Holiday season.

And, of course, there are several gift packages in between.

Another benefit of giving Florida Film Festival gift certificates is that it shows you appreciate them twice–the first time is when they receive their Holiday Gift, the second time occurs in April when they actually attend a Florida Film Festival movie or event.

If your gift receiving loved one lives outside Florida, be sure they will be in the Central Florida area sometime during April 8-17, 2011. Perhaps you could plan an entire Disney World vacation with your family during this time and include a side trip to the Florida Film Festival.

It will be one trip to Florida your loved ones will never forget!

The 2011 Florida Film Festival Icon

Orlando Japan Festival 2010 Taiko Drumming & Fan Dance Videos

November 11, 2010

This year’s Orlando Japan Festival was held last Sunday at the park in Hunter’s Creek Village located on the south side of Orlando just five minutes east of Disney World.

To enjoy an intimate look at this year’s festival, expand this 15 minute taiko drumming video to full screen and turn the volume up. Sit back and experience the thundering of over 100 Japanese drums. Enjoy:

Another popular festival event is captured in this four-minute video of two Japanese fan dances:

The Orlando Japan festival is held every autumn. It is free and open to the public. It’s a wonderful experience for the savvy traveler seeking “more than a mouse.”™ I hope to see you there next year!

The Enzian Swamp Walk of Terror

November 9, 2010

Welcome to the Enzian Swamp Walk of Terror

There’s no better place than Orlando to enjoy Halloween!

You could try out a different haunted venue every night and still not experience all the Halloween Orlando has to offer. Every street corner seemed to host a new “Halloween City” store. Haunted experiences ranged from the highly popular Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios to Mickey’s Not-so-Scary Halloween party at Magic Kingdom. There’s the “Screamline” zipline at Forever Florida, Halloween Eves at Kissimmee’s Pioneer Village, the “Haunted Hangar” at Fantasy of Flight, or even a gentle Pumpkin Harvest tractor drawn hayride at Green Meadows Farm.

The small Disney town of Celebration gets jammed on October 31 as busloads of children from all the resorts and local towns come to trick or treat in a place where the homes are conveniently located close to one another. The residence go all out for the festivities.  One of them even created a fake pirate ship completely covering the front of his home. He would put on a pirate show every couple of minutes. It was fantastic.

Halloween has come and gone for 2010–but if you enjoy this zany season as much as the LanceAround family, start making your plans to come to Orlando in 2011. Every year it just gets better and better.

This Halloween, the LanceAround family enjoyed the Haunted Swamp Walk of Terror at our favorite arthouse movie theater–the Enzian. Here is a video of the first few moments of this attraction. (Warning, may contain inappropriate language for young children.)