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The Price Is Right at Festival of the Masters

As Downtown Disney’s outdoor art show enters its 35th year, there’s still no charge for admission and parking. By Jay Boyar

“Free” is not a word that you ordinarily associate with Walt Disney World, which is both “the happiest place on earth” and, it can sometimes seem, one of the more expensive ones.

But that word does apply to the Festival of the Masters, the Mouse’s annual outdoor art show, which enters its 35th year this month.

Of course, if you want to actually buy a work of art on display, that’ll cost you. And even at the Festival of the Masters, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

But viewing the art and associated presentations, engaging in other festival activities and even parking are all free of charge. That’s undoubtedly part of the reason why this event has always been popular: Last year, it attracted more than 280,000 people, many of them from Central Florida.

“We do feel that this is largely a local crowd,” says Keith Bradford, vice president of Downtown Disney. “It’s a great reason for the community to come back out and not only appreciate and see the art, but rediscover Downtown Disney as well.”

The festival and its offshoots will spread out across Downtown Disney (including the West Side, Pleasure Island and Marketplace), where 150 award-winning artists from around the country will display their paintings, photographs, sculpture, jewelry, pottery and whatever.

In addition, there will be performances by Cirque du Soleil entertainers; an associated folk art festival, presented by House of Blues; a giant Lego creation; a soap carving presentation; and a sidewalk display featuring 200 chalk artists (think Mary Poppins).

In addition, visitors (including children) will be able to attend drawing classes, try their hands at various forms of art and play the new Wii game, Epic Mickey.

“So there’s plenty to do, other than just browse art,” says Bradford. And, again, the price is right.

Nov. 12 & 13, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Nov. 14, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Show and parking are free. Downtown Disney.


NOVEMBER 3-30 At last you can see your favorite basketball team in a regular-season game in its new home. On Nov. 3, the Orlando Magic take on the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Amway Center. And there’s at-home action all month as the Magic play the New Jersey Nets (Nov. 5), the Atlanta Hawks (Nov. 8), the Utah Jazz (Nov. 10), the Toronto Raptors (Nov. 12), the Memphis Grizzlies (Nov. 15), the Phoenix Suns (Nov. 18), the Miami Heat (Nov. 24), the Cleveland Cavaliers (Nov. 26) and the Detroit Pistons (Nov. 30). Amway Center, 400 W. Church St. Call for ticket prices. 800-745-3000.,



The Sound of (Canned) Music

NOVEMBER 13-JANUARY 11, 2011 From music boxes to iPods, The World of Mechanical Music at the Orlando Science Center will offer a lively look at the history of music that isn’t quite live. The hands-on exhibit will invite visitors to compose music by punching holes into “player strips.” It also promises to illuminate the “difference between music and noise”—a very fine line, as anyone who has heard William Shatner’s version of “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” well knows. Sunday-Tuesday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Wednesday. Children 2 and under, free; ages 3-11, $12; adults, $17. 777 E. Princeton St. 407-514-2000.



It’s Alive!

NOVEMBER 30-DECEMBER 5 The Fairwinds Broadway Across America series kicks off its season with Young Frankenstein, a musical-comedy that, like The Producers, is based on a decades-old Mel Brooks movie. In this case, it’s the 1974 feature about the young Dr. Frankenstein and his cadaverous creature, a film that was itself a takeoff on the 1931 film classic Frankenstein (and, of course, something or other that Mary Shelley wrote back in the early 19th century). If you’ve never seen a misunderstood monster and his wild-eyed creator, dressed in top hats and tails, bucking and winging their way around an eccentric version of “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” this is your chance. Tuesday-Friday 8 p.m., Saturday 2 and 8 p.m., Sunday 1 and 6:30 p.m. $38-$73. Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, 401 W. Livingston St. 407-849-2577.,



Quick Hits

For more about these events and dozens of others turn to On the Town, page 78:

November 4 At Rollins College, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will carry on his family’s legacy of public service by speaking about creating a green economy.

November 5 What’s the deal with Jerry Seinfeld? He’s bringing his comedy act to Bob Carr, that’s what.

November 7 Does America have talent? Decide for yourself as Jerry Springer hosts a touring version of America’s Got Talent at Bob Carr.

November 11 Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, starring 1950s bombshells Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell, is this month’s Popcorn Flick at the band shell in Winter Park’s Central Park.

November 13-14 Check out the third annual Orlando Food & Wine Fest, featuring live music by WAR, Fourplay and Marc Antoine, at Lake Eola.

Categories: Art & Entertainment