Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin
Penguins acclimate to their new habitat at the "Antarctica: Empire of the Penguins" attraction, during an Orlando Sentinel exclusive first-look preview, Wednesday, May 15, 2013. The attraction is scheduled to open Friday, May 24. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel) (Joe Burbank / Joe Burbank /May 15, 2013)
Looks like the slow season has quickly faded at our theme parks and attractions. Two major multi-week festivals open this weekend, plus some new arrivals and activities are available. Here's a brief look.
+ Bands, Brew & BBQ begins Saturday at SeaWorld Orlando
. The event features a new beer garden with 60 varieties from 21 breweries plus barbecue, including fare from local favorites such as 4Rivers and Smokey Bones. This musical guest this week is Huey Lewis and the News
. Showtime is 4:30 p.m. It's all included in regular park admission. Click here for more information about SeaWorld's Band, Brew & BBQ
. (Looking ahead: next Saturday's musical guest is Willie Nelson
+ Universal's Mardi Gras
starts its 11-weekend run this Saturday. The first concert will be Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
The parade starts at 8 p.m., followed by Valli at 8:30 p.m. The Universal Studios event also incorporates Cajun cuisine and music from New Orleans-based bands. Mardi Gras is included in regular park admission. Click here for a preview of Universal's Mardi Gras parade and other event details
. (Looking ahead: Musical guests next weekend are the B-52s on Saturday, then KC & the Sunshine Band on Sunday.)
+ Orlando Science Center
welcomes two animal-based attractions on Saturday. The exhibit "Curious George
: Let's Get Curious," designed to develop math, science and engineering skills is based on the fictional monkey. Meanwhile, "Jane Goodall
's Wild Chimpanzees" debuts on the big screen of the Dr. Phillips CineDome. Both are included in regular science center admission. Click here for more information about the Orlando Science Center exhibits
+ Tuskegee Airmen
will be making appearances this weekend at Polk County
's Fantasy of Flight attraction. Click here for more details about the Legends and Legacies Symposium Series at Fantasy of Flight
+ Also newish: "Florida in the Civil War" at the Orange County Regional History Center
. Included in the display is a 150-year-old doll that was used to smuggle supplies to Conferate forces. Click here for more details about "Florida in the Civil War" at Orange County Regional History Center
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