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Arts & Entertainment

A “teachable moment” book for those curious about both Miami and South Africa

November 17, 2019

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As fewer Americans travel to South Africa because of level two travel advisories, and we become less familiar with the culture, a new fictional book by a chief scientist explores South Africa’s challenges with poaching and illustrates how meaningful the country is today along the path to safety for its wildlife.

“Deadly Game: The Horns of the Rhino,” takes us around the globe to show us how poaching affects all who are involved, in the US, China, and South Africa, but from a unique perspective. It is written by one of the chiefs of surgery at the University of Miami, Dr. Robert Marx, and will be available on November 21. He chronicles, through fiction, his experience with African wildlife and has developed complex, relevant characters who join the illegal game of poaching, as well as the heroes who seek to put a stop to the deadly practice.  The experiences of a couple challenged by the dangers of South Africa, the racism, and the stories of the poachers, who often see no way out of these crimes, are explored.  The book tells the story through the eyes of a surgeon deeply touched by his experiences in South Africa.

“Many people understand the effort to stop rhino and elephant poaching, but I don’t think we understand completely how poachers come to the practice or what we need to do to stop it,” says author Dr. Robert Marx.  “I wrote Deadly Game for all of us, to celebrate the heroes who prevent the very violence we see in poaching and other violent crime in general.

Surgeons and physicians often see societal woes from a unique perspective, and this is exemplified in Deadly Game’s story.  How the problem is broken down, culture to culture is addressed in the book, from the demand for rhino horn as an aphrodisiac in Asia to the desperate populations of South Africa who are drawn to poaching, to the lack of awareness of the culture of poaching around the globe. The book also highlights beautiful areas and amenities in South Africa and how they fit into the culture.  Americans, from Miami, are featured as visitors, as lovers, and as researchers, including a chief surgeon, who finds himself entangled in a web of deceit by pharmaceutical executives.

“We should all know South Africa,” says Bill Youmans, former professional baseball catcher.  The country provides so much beauty, so much adventure and cultural lessons for all of us, as taught by Dr. Marx’s new book.

The publisher offers Deadly Game:  The Horns of the Rhino as the newest book in a trilogy that portrays the life of a chief surgeon and his co-workers and family, claiming that it continuously touches on  “teachable moments” between our two cultures. Marx means to show us that only close guidance and the attention of those who have been left out will heal the problem.

“If you want to hear a deep, genuine story, read Dr. Marx, says Dr. David Frost, past president, The American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.  “This is his best novel yet, because it defines a land he loves.”

This October marks one year since the U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 2 travel advisory for South Africa, which recommends that visitors exercise increased caution. Specifically, the advisory warns about the prevalence of violent crime, especially in major cities after dark. Travel advice from the British government has also issued similar warnings.

South Africa is often portrayed by international media as a dangerous place to visit, with a high rate of violent crime, but thousands of visitors travel to South Africa every year without incident, describing the most beautiful scenery on Earth, with abounding oceans, clean beaches, rugged mountains, and game-filled reserves.

The New York Times and other publications have reported that researchers in South Africa are turning to genetic fingerprinting and sophisticated sensors to track down poachers for prosecution.

The book, now available to the public through Amazon and independent bookstores is available nationwide.

 

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H&M Launches Giambattista Valli x H&M collection

November 7, 2019

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On Wednesday, November 6th H&M hosted a pre-shop event in Miami to celebrate the limited-edition Giambattista Valli x H&M collection before the worldwide launch on Thursday, November 7th

Lina Polania | Image courtesy of H&M
Lina Polania | Image courtesy of H&M

Select members of the local Miami community, VIP’s and H&M loyalty members were invited to pre-shop the highly anticipated collection at H&M’s Lincoln Road store hosted by Jenny Lopez and Carolina Lindo. H&M. Guests enjoyed dance performances and customized new H&M pieces at an embroidery station all while listening to beats by DJ PeeWee.

Jenny Lopez | Image courtesy of H&M
Jenny Lopez | Image courtesy of H&M
The Giambattista Valli x H&M collection – including womenswear, and his first foray into menswear and accessories – will launch in select H&M stores worldwide, as well as on hm.com, November 7th, 2019.
DJ PEEWEE | Image courtesy of H&M
DJ PEEWEE | Image courtesy of H&M
@hm
@giambattistavalli
@giambattistavalliparis

Beauty

Endeavor Miami Celebrates its Annual Gala

October 27, 2019

Endeavor Miami honored Cesar Conde, chairman of NBCUniversal International Group and NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises with the “Endeavor Miami Impact Award,” as well as the founders of two Endeavor Miami companies: EcoSystems and Nearpod, with “Endeavor Entrepreneur of the Year” awards, during its Annual Gala. The organization celebrated its sixth year in Miami hosting a special night at the Faena Forum for Endeavor Miami Board members and entrepreneurs, mentors and high-impact business leaders from the entrepreneurial ecosystem in South Florida.

Cesar Conde was recognized for his extraordinary professional trajectory that exemplifies high-impact leadership. He spearheaded Telemundo’s current rating dominance in the Hispanic media landscape by engaging and empowering audiences with relevant content. As one of the initial proponents of bringing Endeavor’s first U.S. affiliate to Miami, Cesar’s impact can be attributed to his growth mindset. In his thank-you speech, Cesar emphasized the importance of corporations such as NBCUniversal fostering an entrepreneurial spirit and promoting ecosystem growth.

Belief in the power of entrepreneurship and enterprising leadership united all the gala goers. “Entrepreneurship is the driving force of economic development in our community. It takes leaders in the public and private sectors, universities and other municipal networks to come together with entrepreneurs to transform societies. Endeavor is the great connector between all of these individuals,” said Claudia Durán, Endeavor Miami’s managing director.

This year, Endeavor Miami wanted to honor those Endeavor entrepreneurs who have had the biggest economic impact in South Florida. After only one year of becoming Endeavor Miami entrepreneurs, and doing an outstanding job scaling their companies, Emiliano Abramzon and Felipe Sommer from Nearpod, as well as brothers Richard and Lawrence Lamondin from EcoSystems, each received an “Entrepreneur of the Year” award. These founders have distinguished themselves for their rapid revenue growth over the past year as well as for the number of jobs created over the same period.

These Miami-based companies have quickly and successfully scaled their businesses across the United States. EcoSystems has become a nationwide leader in water and energy conservation, saving over two billion gallons of freshwater by focusing on eco-friendly bathroom upgrades. Nearpod has reached almost 70% of school districts across the country through their ed-tech platform that allows teachers to create, download and teach interactive lesson plans while engaging students in real-time across all devices in a classroom.

“We are extremely proud to see how these companies in our portfolio, that we have seen scale over the past few years, are fueling the engine of South Florida’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and the local economy. Endeavor Miami will keep working to support all of our entrepreneurs in their efforts to generate impact,” said Ernest Bachrach, Endeavor Miami co-chair.

As Miami Mayor Francis Suarez reminded attendees, Miami was recently named the No. 1 spot for starting a small business in the U.S., but organizations like Endeavor Miami are crucial to ensure that those businesses continue to grow and achieve scale. All the proceeds from the event are directed to supporting Endeavor Miami’s mission of selecting and servicing high-impact entrepreneurs.

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Coconut Grove Pumpkin Patch Festival is back this Weekend

October 25, 2019

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Recently lauded as one of the top 20 Best Fall Harvest Festivals & Events by O, The Oprah Magazine, and #2 among the top 29 Best Fall Festivals & Fairs in the U.S. by Country Living, the 8th Annual Coconut Grove Pumpkin Patch Festival returns to Miami on Saturday, October 26 and Sunday, October 27 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Peacock Park, 2820 McFarlane Road.

 

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Photo property of Lissy de la Rosa

With a move back to its original location at picturesque Peacock Park, the Coconut Grove Pumpkin Patch Festival will feature a variety of fun activities for the whole family, including a giant pumpkin patch in the center of all the action with more than 2,500 pumpkins and a carnival for all ages.

 

Admission is $20 per person for those two years and up, and includes unlimited carnival rides, a kiddie cornstalk maze, multiple fall photo vignettes, a scarecrow dress-up village, pumpkin decorating, face painting and sponsor giveaways. Admission is free for children under 24 months old (does not include access to carnival rides).

 

For an additional cost, attendees can also enjoy picking the perfect pumpkin in the patch (prices vary based on size) and yummy offerings in the Pumpkin Food Court featuring savory & sweet pumpkin delights, as well as delicious fair food.  Plus, adults can also enjoy a pumpkin-inspired craft cocktail or a cold brew at the Pumpkin Beer Bars.

 

Event sponsors are Florida Dairy Farmers, Holtz Children’s Hospital, Florida Panthers, Miami Marlins, Boston Beer Company, Angry Orchard Hard Cider, Samuel Adams Octoberfest, Truly Spiked & Sparkling, Homestead Miami Speedway, GameTime, Miami Kids Magazine, Miami Church, and the Miami Herald.

 

For more information visit www.coconutgrovepumpkinpatch.com

Arts & Entertainment

Carnival Panorama Debuts Two New Playlist Productions Onboard

September 24, 2019

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Inspired by talented directors and choreographers from Los Angeles, Broadway, and The West End, two new Playlist Productions shows will debut on Carnival Panorama on December 11, 2019, the line’s first new ship on the West Coast in 20 years.

For the first time, Carnival will employ “dancing drones” that interact with the shows’ music and 12 talented performers to create entertaining high-flying moments that add an exciting, never-before-seen visual element to the ship’s overall show experience.

Photo Courtesy of Carnival
Photo Courtesy of Carnival

Combining this new technology with special effects and iconic songs from the Woodstock era and musical theater, respectively, the new high-energy shows – Rock Revolution and Broadway Beats™ – complement other audience favorites for an array of entertainment options. Rock Revolution was previewed at Carnival Studios earlier this week.

“When planning Carnival Panorama’s Playlist Productions shows, we challenged ourselves to think more creatively than ever before to find ways to ‘wow’ both our longtime guests and those sailing with us for the first time,” said Kerry Stables, creative director of Carnival Productions who leads an in-house team of accomplished entertainment professionals both onboard and ashore. “From performing drones to new music genres and keen attention to costuming, décor and theme details, these shows prove how innovative our productions have become and raise the bar on our offerings in a fun, creative and unique way.”

The two new only-on-Carnival Panorama shows are:

  • Rock Revolution, a modernized concert-style show inspired by the legendary Woodstock music festival that pays tribute to the music from the ‘Summer of ‘69’’ and fashion styles reminiscent of icons like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Brought to life by top Los Angeles production talent, including acclaimed artistic director Jonathan Tessero, and accomplished choreographer Rudy Abreu whose credits include So You Think You Can Dance and World of Dance, the show features a horn trio and a three-person rock band playing illuminated LED-interactive drum sets while “dancing drones” fly throughout the theater to deliver a unique multi-sensory experience. Creative costume designs, classic rock songs, contemporary choreography, and high octane vocals transform the stage into a reimagined tribute concert with a modern twist.
  • Broadway Beats, which follows a band of entertainers as they immerse themselves in the city’s most dynamic neighborhoods that come to life with hyper-realistic LED screens of signature NYC elements – the towering skyline, subway cars, bold street art and more. Directed by award-winning Broadway Director Peter Flynn and choreographed by Broadway veteran Marcos Santana, who together have staged some of the most successful musicals around the country, the show playfully mixes city rhythms and electronic dance music and takes an imaginative, exhilarating trip through the city with brand new interpretations of some of Broadway’s greatest hits.

Additional Onboard Entertainment Options

The two new shows will join other guest favorites including Soulbound, a gothic-inspired show with dazzling special effects and R&B classics, and Celestial Strings, a journey that transitions through the seasons with imagery set to a rock and pop soundtrack merged with classical musicians playing live electric strings.

In addition to the four shows, Carnival Panorama will host a number of entertaining activities day and night including the South Beach-inspired Serenity Nights party at the ship’s outdoor adults-only retreat, and a shipboard production of the hit Paramount TV series ‘Lip Sync Battle.’

Carnival Panorama Itineraries and Additional Information

Following its inaugural three-day voyage departing Dec. 11, 2019, Carnival Panorama will launch year-round seven-day cruises Dec. 14, 2019 departing every Saturday to stunning seaside destinations along the Mexican Riviera, including Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta. To learn more about Carnival Cruise Line, visit Carnival.com. For reservations, contact any travel agent or call 1-800-CARNIVAL. Carnival can also be found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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It’s the Last Week to Enjoy Miami Spice

September 24, 2019

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You have a few days left to get your act together and enjoy Miami Spice’s pre-fixed menu at participating restaurants. If you’re new to Miami it’s when restaurants within Greater Miami and the Beaches, offer three-course meals reasonably priced at $23 for lunch and $39 for dinner. The swanky list of restaurants can be overwhelming. We’ve rounded up our favorites to help you navigate quicker. 

Bal Harbour

Our pick: ATLANTIKÓS – THE ST. REGIS BAL HARBOUR

What to order: 

Start with the Stuffed Phyllo as an appetizer. It’s a mint stuffed phyllo with honey, feat, and pear. If you go as a party of two have the other person order the Mezze Station as a second appetizer. You’ll get a spread sampler with warm pita. As an entree, go for the lamb chops, comes with their signature steak sauce. Close the night off with their Cherry Almond Tsoureki which is sweet bread, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, sprinkled with almonds.

  Atlantikós is offering its lunch and dinner every day through the end of Miami Spice.  Coconut Grove Our pick: Isabelle’s Grill Room and Garden What to order: On the brunch menu, you can’t go wrong with the Challah French Toast with Nutella and banana. We had you at Nutella, didn’t we?  From the lunch menu, order the steam mussels with Thai coconut, chile, and cilantro.  For dinner, start with the Salmon Tartare with smoked mascarpone, onion, capers and topped with a small round everything bagel chip to give it an added extra crisp. As your entree, opt for the 10 oz steak with chimichurri and fries. If you save room for dessert, try the chocolate mousse cake chocolate ganache with chocolate mousse filling.    

View the three menus here. http://ldvhospitality.com/menus/ISABELLE’S/MIAMI%20SPICE%20-%20Isabelle’s.pdf

Coral Gables Our pick: Bulla Gastropub What to order: For lunch and dinner, choose the croquetas de Jamon. On the lunch menu, choose the “bulla” burger with caramelized onions topped with peppers. If you visit for Dinner try the oxtail or grilled steak. Don’t leave without tasting the churros de chocolate for dessert. 

Miami Beach Our pick: STK  What to order: Every dish at STK comes perfectly plated for your presentation. All the starters are great, just roll the dice. If you’re a meat lover, choose the 8-ounce rib eye as your main entree. For dessert, choose the creamy and sweet guava coconut rum cake!

Our pick: RWSB Miami What to order: Start with the Cobia Nikkei prepared with aji Amarillo and avocado. As the main dish, try the spaghetti with clams and tomatoes. If you’re a chocoholic, get the chocolate peanut crunch with vanilla chantilly, yuzu, and raspberry sorbet.

 

 

 

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The countdown for #miamispice has begun! #cobia #avocado #ajiamarillo #miamibeach #dinner A post shared by RWSB (@rwsbmia) on

Key Biscayne:

Our Pick: Rusty Pelican

What to order: the grilled marinated octopus as the starter, it comes with lightly salted crispy sunchoke chips. As the main entree, the pan-seared salmon is a no brainer, it’s cooked with a butter sauce and is served with a side of mash potatoes.

Cocktails are not part of the pre-fixed menu. If you stir off the menu, there’s a new cocktail called the Bay Blossom.

Miami Spice through September 30, 2019. You can view the full list of participating restaurants here.

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POLLO TROPICAL® Partners with World Central Kitchen to Supply Free Meals for Victims in the Bahamas

September 16, 2019

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Today, Pollo Tropical® launched a partnership with Chef José Andres’ charitable organization, World Central Kitchen, to benefit the organization’s hurricane relief efforts in the Bahamas. Pollo Tropical is pledging a dollar donation for every Pollo Tropical Original Family Meal purchased at any of the brand’s 140 company-owned locations from September 15 through October 6 to the recovery effort

“Florida was spared from the devastation of Hurricane Dorian, but our friends in the Bahamas were not. Our Pollo Tropical family is committed to helping those affected by providing Chef José Andres with funds needed to help feed the families affected by the storm,” said Richard Stockinger, Chief Executive Officer and President of Fiesta Restaurant Group, the parent company of Pollo Tropical. 

World Central Kitchen (WCK) is a not-for-profit non-governmental organization devoted to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters. Founded in 2010 by chef José Andrés, the organization’s method of operations is to be a first responder and then to collaborate and galvanize solutions with local chefs to solve the problem of hunger, immediately following a disaster.

Arts & Entertainment

Tanqueray Sevilla Orange Launches in Miami with a Colorful Mural

August 27, 2019

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Tanqueray, widely-known as the world’s most celebrated gin, has released Tanqueray Sevilla Orange. Launching in select Florida markets this summer, the new flavor epitomizes sunshine in a glass with its bittersweet orange taste and warm hints of spice.

Tanqueray Sevilla Orange is created by infusing the brand’s four-times distilled classic London Dry gin with the essence of orange. Tanqueray has been making a world-class gin for over 185 years. Founder Charles Tanqueray had a pioneering spirit and an obsession with creating the world’s finest gin. In this pursuit, he sourced botanicals from all around the world and created over 300 recipes. Charles Tanqueray once captured the sun-soaked taste of Seville orange groves in a recipe during the nineteenth century. His archival recipe inspired the creation of this new liquid. Tanqueray Sevilla Orange is an ideal complement for bright, fresh cocktails like Negronis, Sevilla Orange Spritz, Sevilla Orange & Tonic and more.

“We are thrilled to introduce Tanqueray Sevilla Orange into the U.S. market just in time for summer. This vibrant flavor innovation is perfectly crafted for bartenders and consumers to enjoy at sundown and anytime in between,” said Christina Choi, Senior Vice President of Gin at DIAGEO North America.  “We encourage them to enjoy and serve Sevilla Orange responsibly as we remind spirits drinkers that gin is officially in.”

To celebrate the launch and bring Tanqueray Sevilla Orange to life, the brand has unveiled a mural in Miami’s Wynwood art district located at the corner of NW 5th Ave + NW 27th (2701 NW 5th Ave), encouraging consumers to take snapshots of the artwork and try Florida’s new orange. If you’re planning to check out Wynwood’s latest exhibit, Tanqueray invites you to stop by the local restaurants currently serving Tanqueray Sevilla Orange in the Wynwood neighborhood: Beaker & Gray and ThreeTanqueray Sevilla Orange can also be enjoyed in Orlando at local bars Celine and Mathers.

Mural artist and Miami local Nicole Salgar said, “Working with Tanqueray Sevilla Orange was an exciting experience. Their team did a great job of capturing the Miami feel with this mural, and it was a very fun challenge for me to execute. The Wynwood Arts District is a perfect setting for this mural, as it is a Miami landmark of public art and culture!”

First introduced in Europe on September 2018Tanqueray Sevilla Orange is now available in one Liter bottles at select accounts in Orlando and Miami. 750ml bottles will also be available this October 2019.

To learn more about Tanqueray Sevilla Orange, please visit www.tanqueray.com and follow @TanquerayUSA on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter as well as the hashtag #GINISIN.

Arts & Entertainment

Exclusive Q & A with Stephanie Hernandez

August 25, 2019

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Stephanie Hernandez is part of a new supernatural horror film based on a group of science students who have discovered how to explain the paranormal and prove the existence scientifically. We asked Stephanie questions surrounding her latest role in Investigation 13. Here’s what she had to say.

What made you pursue acting?

One day, my modeling agency urged me to go to a casting for a TV pilot. I arrived at the casting without knowing anything about the acting industry or the process and man did I fail in that experience. I remember being so nervous that my voice was unsteady, hands were shaking, and I don’t believe that I looked up once from my script throughout the audition. I walked away from that experience knowing that I wanted to take on the challenge and hone the craft of acting. I’ve been in love with the art ever since.

What can you tell us about your latest involvement with this movie?

Just when we thought that we would never enter the asylum again, we were called in for reshoots about a year or two after our original shoot. I put my goth pants back on, suited up, and back in we all went to finish the film we dedicated our sweat, fake blood, and real tears into. It was really good to be back with the cast and crew.

You play the character Melanie Gates…do you see yourself in her at all?

Melanie Gates, what a character to embody. Bringing her to life was about curiously tapping into her characteristics that already existed deep within my own self. We all have the potential to be whomever we wish to be, it’s just about bringing it to the surface.

I remember the moment that I viewed the casting notice sent from my agency which read, “Melanie Gates: Caucasian; Gothic; Short dyed hair (preferably purple); Fair-skinned.” I laughed to myself and thought, “I’m Hispanic, long-haired brunette, tan skin, far from gothic. There’s no way I’ll get this role.” The casting alone was over an hour and a half away from where I lived at the time and I didn’t want to waste my own time either. Somehow, I woke up the very next day and thought, “Well, let’s go out there and change their minds on this character.” I dressed the part to help my case as much as possible opting for fishnet black tights, shorts, black combat boots, a black top, threw a hoop nose ring on, threw my hair into high two buns, heavy eyeliner, dark nail polish, prepared lines, and I was out the door. During the drive down, I knew that I had to own it and that’s exactly what I did. I remained authentic in my performance and allowed my inner goth chick to reign. I was later called in for a callback audition and a week later during a camping trip, I received an email that I booked the role.

What advice would you give your younger self to prepare you for the acting world?

Hands down, I would tell myself to look at acting as a business and a brand. Yes, one could whole-heartedly love the craft, but it will remain a hobby if it isn’t treated as a profitable business.

What do you love about this character?

I was initially intrigued by the challenge of such a contrasting personality, style, and lifestyle altogether. I was curious and excited to dive into a character so vastly different than the person that I was at the time.

We’ve only seen a few clips but since this was filmed in South Florida what was your favorite location?

My favorite location was where we shot the ADR footage after we wrapped on location. It was the home of a team member, Chris, and it was completely spirit-free. (laughing) Otherwise, we were filming in a real, abandoned insane asylum. It was the least favorite place that I have ever endured to this day. It was brutally hot, filled with intensely low energies, and a lot of strange occurrences happened during and after filming. We were all relieved the moment we knew we never had to enter that place again.

Anything you want the viewers to take away from this movie?

That spirits are real.

Favorite food spot in Miami?

Versailles.

Investigation 13 is available September 10th on iTunes and Amazon.

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All Aboard THE POLAR EXPRESS!

August 22, 2019

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Brightline, soon to be Virgin Trains, and Rail Events Productions is announcing that tickets to THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride are now on sale. Based on popular demand, Brightline has opened a second departure location to the North Pole from South Florida with train offerings from Virgin MiamiCentral in Downtown Miami on select weekdays beginning Nov. 19. Departures from the Fort Lauderdale Brightline Station will return weekends and select holiday dates beginning Nov. 16. Tickets are on sale now and available at www.miamithepolarexpressride.com and www.ftlthepolarexpresride.com. Guests are encouraged to book early as popular dates and times will sell out!

In partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, the magical story comes to life when the train departs South Florida for a round-trip journey led by a cast of professional actors.

Photo by Guy Rhodes
Photo by Guy Rhodes

Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, passengers will relive the magic of the classic story as they are whisked away on THE POLAR EXPRESS™ for a magical one-hour trip to meet Santa. Once onboard, car hosts will work their way through the coach and punch golden tickets before hot chocolate and a delicious cookie are served by dancing chefs. Passengers then read along with the classic children’s book, The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg. Santa and his helpers board the train to greet passengers and each guest is given the first gift of Christmas. During the trip, characters on each car lead fantastic onboard entertainment – just like in the film! Each guest will take home a keepsake sleigh bell and souvenir golden ticket in addition to the wonderful memories made on this magical trip. Families are encouraged to wear their pajamas for the ride!

The journey begins Nov. 16 and runs through Dec. 29, on select dates from Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Exact dates, fares, and times are available by visiting www.miamithepolarexpressride.com and www.ftlthepolarexpressride.com. Ticket prices range from $50 to $75, depending on the date, time, and location.

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