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Thursday, August 9, 2007 to Sunday, August 12, 2007
For the fourth time we gather, this year in the heart of the “Sunshine State” - Orlando, Florida, USA. You are but one of the untold thousands upon thousands of visitors that inundate this city every day to visit Florida's beaches, its theme parks and to enjoy the state's iconic weather. So let me, a resident of this fantastic state, and one of the thousand thousands that live here, be the first to welcome you to my home and playground.
We chose Orlando as the location of this years' event due to its designation as a world-class destination, for its world-renown theme parks (especially Walt Disney World,) its warm weather, and because it's the only place you can find Cirque du Soleil's only other resident show (at present) outside of Las Vegas -- La Nouba. We felt that by merging the playful atmosphere of a world-class theme park and our passions for Cirque du Soleil, everyone could have a Zippity-du-Soleil time.
The Walt Disney World Resort is a wonderful location in which to host a CirqueCon event. Here exists the available synergy between Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba coupled with the playful excitement of Disney World. Thus, we give you CirqueCon 2007: Orlando - where families and passionates alike can come together as one!
OUR MEMBERS - This year 39 full paid memberships were purchased representing just over 50 passionates with us on-site. While these membership numbers may not sound as impressive as the 190+ folks who joined us in Las Vegas; despite the contrast, we found the group in attendance this year was great, fantastic and enthusiastic! It really was a wonderful, intimate gathering of friends!
EPCOT DESSERT PARTY - One of the first scheduled events of our weekend was a scrumptious Dessert Party at EPCOT, Walt Disney World's Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow, on the evening of Friday, August 10th. Prior to the event we tantalized our members with the following possibility:
If you're a regular Disney Park visitor, you've seen privaledged groups having special VIP parties behind closed doors with delicious looking foods to eat and impeccable service from Disney castmembers catering to their every whim. Well, how would YOU like to be a Disney VIP too?
Doesn't having a "group only" area at Epcot just for us, desserts and drinks to sample as we mingle with our fellow Passionates in our very own exclusive spot to watch Illuminations: Reflections of Earth (Epcot's night-time fireworks extravaganza) sound like great fun?
35 passionates thought so too and joined us at Epcot for sweets and fireworks at the Lower Terrace within the United Kingdom Pavilion in EPCOT World Showcase. And there we ate: A Variety of Miniature Stemware Glassed to include Classic Tiramisu, English Trifle, Fresh Fruit and Berries; Pastry Selections in Miniature to include: Fresh Fruit Tartlet, Vanilla Cream Filled Pastry Horns, Chocolate Éclairs, Chocolate and Pistachio Cannoli; Beverages: Coffee, Decaffeinated Coffee, Hot Tea and Fruit Punch
It was fabulous!
SPECIAL CIRQUE ACTIVITIES - Our second event was held the following afternoon at the Cirque du Soleil theater. We gathered Saturday morning by the Box Office for a Q&A with the Theater Manager (Richard Dennison) and Production Manager (Robert Shuck). But before our festivities could begin inside the theater, Cirque opened the doors to La Nouba's boutique early just for us. And boy did our passionates spend a fortune! (Aye, our credit cards!)
Once our wallets were lightened and our arms full of sourviners, we filed into the La Nouba theater to speak with our hosts. Both Dennison and Shuck were very gracious to us, spending over three hours talking and taking us on tour of the facility. I don't think there was an inch of the building spared by our tour - our group (split into two) visited the light booth, walked behind the background on the third level, went downtstairs to see the basement and the lifts and up into the grid to see the inner workings of the automation equipment, the costume department, makeup area, and the dressing rooms. And, of course, at the end of the tour the groups came together on stage for a group photo with some of the cast and crew!
It was excellent!
GROUP MEAL - Our third event was our Group Meal. The House of Blues out-did themselves here with this wonderful plated meal event. 33 attendees came to the Group Meal and no one left hungry - how could you with a three course meal! Check out our menu!
* FIRST COURSE * House of Blues Salad Traditional Salad with Iceberg Lettuce, Red Cabbage, Red Onions, Diced Tomatoes, Croutons and Ranch Dressing -AND- Rosemary Corn Muffins (2 Per Person) With Maple Butter * SECOND COURSE * Creole Jambalaya With Shrimp, Chicken, Andouille Sausage, Tasso Ham and Roasted Green Onions -OR- Cajun Meatloaf Wild Mushroom Gravy, Mashed Potatoes and Sautéed Vegetables -OR- Grilled Marinated Rosemary Chicken Breast With a Savory Andouille-Corn Bread Pudding, Pinot Noir Reduction and Sautéed Vegetables (Vegetarian option available upon request) * THIRD COURSE * Sinful Triple Layer Chocolate Cake Served with Chocolate Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream
And, of course, the show itself, which is always a real treat to watch!
OUR HOTEL - Disney's Port Orleans: French Quarter is one of the World's "moderate" resorts, New-Orleans-inspired with the magical Touch of Mardi Gras, sitting on the banks of Disney's own Themed river: the Sassagoula. The resort is described as "an enchanting combination of amenities and value," that features "charming facilities, delectable dining and lively locales to enchant and enterain your entire family."What made this resort our best option is that it's not far from Downtown Disney (where La Nouba is performing,) it has a wonderful selection of amenities (below,) and access to Disney's legendary transportation alternatives, including direct access to Downtown Disney via Water Launch (just get on a water launch and go straight to La Nouba!!)
Want a peek at the resort? Visit Walt Disney World's website on Port Orleans: French Quarter to acquaint yourself with this fabulous hotel!