Rock and Roll Down to Rock and Brew

Businesses are slowly opening back up and we encourage you go out with caution. When you feel safe going out for a great meal and live music, definitely go to Rock and Brews Restaurant in Kissimmee. Part of Sunset Walk near Margaritaville Resort, this restaurant offers a variety of comfort food and beverages for your whole party. The scenery itself is a treat for fans of music, including some screens playing music videos throughout your stay. As we fight the virus and make our world cleaner and safer, join in Fridays and Saturdays for evenings of live music performances!

Our recent visit was very accommodating for the pandemic this year. All the servers wore gloves and masks while socially distancing where guests sat. Not even the music could drown out their questions and suggestions for us. As you look over the menu, get a good look around the place. Many murals dedicated to musicians surround you; you could make a game with your party on guessing who you can spot. Some paintings, like one of silhouettes on a beach, were made by students from the University of Central Florida (go Knights!). It’s so warm and vibrant in there, so you can even bring the kids.

If you’re there for the brews, there are plenty to choose from. I don’t drink, but I love the theming of the ones offered at Rock and Brews, like Ginny Hendrix and Smoke on the Water. But the food was to die for. There’s something for everyone, from seafood to burgers to pasta and more. I myself had one of their Front Row Pizzas, Margherita at 16 inches. Ten inch pizzas are also available, but I wanted to have some for home. Alex got spicy chicken breasts and fries with bacon mashed potatoes and gravy. Our waitress mentioned how much people like sausage gravy and just added the love of bacon to it. Very successful. You definitely get your fill of food, so you’ll need to slow down if you want to try their desserts.

If you’re ready to try Rock and Brews but are still confined to your house, no need to worry! Rock and Brews delivers through Uber Eats. Catering through EZ Cater is also available when you’re ready for office meetings or parties at home. There are many Rock and Brews locations across the country, but here in Florida you can find them in Kissimmee, Orlando, and Oviedo. I look forward to returning as the live music makes their way back to their stage!

Instagram 101 – Using Social Media for Entrepreneurship

Webinars are a saving grace during quarantine this year. While you can’t go out as much as before, many people have come together to share valuable information live from the internet, many of which are free. You can go to EventBrite and look up any topic you want to develop or improve your skills. I myself want to promote my art or voice over work, so finding Instagram 101 by Empowered Women International was very helpful. The platform can be more than just sharing pretty photos. Here’s an overview of what I learned from this webinar.

If you want to promote your business, social media is the way to go these days. Instagram is very image based, so you have to make sure you have eye catching photos or graphics in your posts. You still need to write to get an audience’s attention; it’s how they get to know you as a person and what you’re offering. You don’t want to complicate your writing with jargon; just write like you talk. Hashtags still matter because it’s how people find you. Finding the right hashtags can be a challenge; you can’t be too vague or else your post will be lost among a million posts with the same tag. Look for niche tags, usually with under 100,000 posts, to guarantee you’ll be seen. When you’re ready to post, make sure it’s the top quality you want to showcase. It may seem like you have to post every day to get noticed, but quality will always dominate quantity. But you still have to post consistently enough to find your audience.

The webinar made sure that you’re able to master the Instagram algorithm to let people see what you have to offer, but burning out is going to be a risk. Luckily they provided some extra sources to help make posting content easier. Planoly and Facebook Creator Studio are platforms that help you schedule your content, so you can be consistent in uploads without worrying about deadlines. If you need help making appealing graphics for your post, you can use Canva and their templates. If you have a team working on the same page but don’t want to share your passwords, LastPass makes it easier to manage accounts while keeping everyone’s passwords secure. If you know any other tools that make posting content easier, leave a comment below.

Another key element in using Instagram for your business is how to talk to your audience, customers, etc. When you have a special offer, be persistent in letting everyone know about it. Get people wanting you over that other person with more followers. Don’t compare yourself to those other guys though. There’s only one you and people will come if you’re honest about who you are and what you do. You need to understand that talking about your sales is vital to getting your business to work. Make sure you are putting your customer’s benefits above your own; what do you have that they want? Feedback and reviews are important as well to get others to want you. If you got something negative, learn from it and try something new. The more positive reviews you get, the bigger your business will grow.

Empowered Women International focuses on helping “immigrant, refugee & low-income women” become entrepreneurs of their passions. You can follow them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. I greatly enjoyed their webinar Instagram 101 and find how a lot of their advice can be used for other social media platforms. No matter what you use to promote your business, you have to be seen in your market and honest with your customers. I hope this overview has been helpful for you and inspires you to step up your game to put you and your work out there.

Learn from a Pro – Steve Blum and Blumvox Studios

This quarantine isn’t easy for anyone. But some people are taking this time to learn some new skills, for fun or for life. As an aspiring voice actor, I’m looking into any resource I can find for lessons or advice. Thankfully some actors themselves are offering their services. Steve Blum, known for Cowboy Bebop and the animated X-Men series, developed Blumvox Studios to make the study of voice over easier for those wanting to join. The real meat of the lessons come with a monthly or yearly price, but he does offer free content as well. You can join a free webinar to get a taste of what’s in store, which I did this week. It’s a wonderful introduction, even if I can’t afford the teaching series. The Blumvox Blog and the Team Blog contain excerpts of his teaching series, further insights, and more. Take a look at Steve’s Recommendations for studio equipment, vocal care items, even some merchandise. Blumvox Studios is a fantastic and valuable resource for anyone who wants to become a voice over artist.

Lunar New Year with Uniqlo

Happy New Year, readers! Even as January comes to a close, you can still find ways to celebrate 2020. Uniqlo is a popular clothing store that sells Japanese casual fashion worldwide. For the last week, they have been celebrating Lunar New Year with many activities in Disney Springs. Taiko drum performances were held on January 24-25, featuring members of Epcot’s Matsuriza. You can win prizes by spinning Gara Gara wheel or pulling paper from Kuji wall; I got a paper fan and candy when I tried. Calligraphy is offered on first floor where you can get your name written in Japanese. I asked them to write Alex’s name as a gift for him. These in store events like these are available January 24-February 2, so come in soon for new year fun!

Storytelling Resort to Bring Families Unique Memories

Infinite Kingdoms, one of the most thematic businesses for entertainment, made their grand IAAPA announcement. They’re teaming up with Ancient Lore Village to create the first storytelling resort. Personalization and interactive play are the key elements in bringing families together to solve puzzles and explore wondrous lands. No two families will have the same journey, which will guarantee memories that will last a lifetime. The resort is expecting to open in Tennessee in 2022, but you can join their mailing list for updates and potential booking.

In addition to Ancient Lore Village, Infinite Kingdoms is developing a water park using wind, play, hydro, and solar power to keep it running year round. They call it solar hydro wind play. It will greatly reduce energy costs. There are no determined locations for this water park, but it’s sure to revolutionize the future of water parks. No surprise that this is coming from the company responsible for the dumping buckets.

 

Hyperdeck Makes Sweet Union with Hersheypark

 

MajorMega and Hersheypark announced and debuted their immersive VR attraction Hyperdeck. It will join Hershey’s Chocolatetown this coming summer and is already receiving praise. The main components of the experience are the motion floor, intense wind, instant heat, controllers that make boarding easy, and spectator play. The wind, heat, and motion make the experience feel more real for the players. Up to four players can participate at a time. Spectator play allows outsiders to interact with the players by adding bombs or crystals to the game. Hersheypark met MajorMega at IAAPA 2018 and loved the system they showed, which evolved into the Hyperdeck. It goes to show what can happen when you mingle with the right people in the right place.

Maiya and Kumar Present Katmandu Park

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At IAAPA this year, Katmandu and Falcon’s Creative Group announced their merger to create the first theme park in the Dominican Republic. Katmandu is very popular out in Spain, rated among the top three parks there. They wanted to make a new brand of theme park and succeeded with their focus on wonder, myth, and adventure. The new park will be using custom content and ride delivery systems with help from Falcon’s Creative Group. This includes Falcon’s suspended theater, which raises guests into the air during a spectacular show/ride.

Katmandu is thrilled to use the lore of their original park in their new attractions. They’re expecting more to open in multiple regions if this one is successful. Helping announce the park were two of their mascots, yeti siblings Maiya and Kumar. They’re very cuddly and children will love them. Press were given bags of promotional items, including headbands with yeti ears. I hope to visit Katmandu’s parks, wherever they spring up.