Terror in the dark awaits you in A Petrified Forest

A Petrified Forest

A Petrified Forest has been scaring Central Florida audiences for years.

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS – There’s a place in Altamonte Springs where people have been known to scream in terror. No, it’s not the fight for a parking space or the long lines at the Altamonte Mall, but an open field on State Road 436.

For those who think the Halloween season is about getting your blood pumping as you nervously walk into the darkness, then quite a few very scary folks are waiting for you to take the terrifying stroll down a “Haunted Scare Trail” known as A Petrified Forest.

Located just before the intersection of U.S. 17/92, this attraction has been scaring people every Halloween season for years now as a highly popular Halloween Community Event. The main attraction is the two Scare Trails, which are both quite long and feature uniquely themed rooms and scares lurking everywhere.

Not surprisingly, as A Petrified Forest has built up a loyal following of folks in love with a good scare, this attractions has grown over the years. This month, it features not just the ghouls waiting to jump out at you, but also an entire night of entertainment with live bands on stage, food concessions, and even Backstage tours (and the chance for you to do some of the scaring as well).

Freeline Media reached out to Sylvia Katherine Viles, the director of A Petrified Forest, for her thoughts on why folks love getting scared, what she does to motivate her performers to be their scariest, and why this is truly a must-see event this month. Continue reading

Can Florida tourism survive without Visit Florida?

State lawmakers have proposed cutting the budget for Florida’s leading tourism agency.

ORLANDO — Is Florida tourism strong enough that it can survive, and thrive, without taxpayer money in the budget of a state agency that sells the Sunshine State internationally?
That’s a thorny question being debated by Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican-led Florida House of Representatives, who are locked in a battle over the future of state funding for Visit Florida.
This week, the House Appropriations Committee voted to eliminate Enterprise Florida, the state agency that works to boost job creation, and significantly reduce state funding of Visit Florida, eliminating the agency’s budget by 67 percent. Criticism of the agency that works to promote tourism intensified last year when state lawmakers criticized Visit Florida’s former chief for secretly paying rapper Pitbull $1 million to record a new version of his “Sexy Beaches” song to include footage of Florida’s hotels and beaches. Continue reading

Top tips for staying cool in Orlando’s summer heat

Visiting an indoor attraction like WonderWorks is one way to beat the summer heat in Orlando.

Visiting an indoor attraction like WonderWorks is one way to beat the summer heat in Orlando.

ORLANDO – For a lot of Central Florida residents, the cry-out-loud words in the past few days has probably been, “Where’s the rain?”
Summer is the wet season in Central Florida, when the heat and humidity builds up throughout the morning, until massive downpours sweep across the region during the afternoon and late evening.
And while those downpours are no fun for anyone caught outdoors at a theme park, playing a round of golf at the local golf courses, or driving in heavy traffic on the interstate, one clear benefit is those storms drop the temperatures and provide some relief from the intense heat.
At the moment, though, Orlando is stuck in a different weather pattern, one where the temperatures have soared into the mid-to-high 90s, but it’s very dry and there’s no rain in sight. That means virtually no letup from the high heat index.
Anyone who loves the heat and hates the rain is probably thrilled this week. But for those who find the heat makes being outdoors an endurance test of sweat-soaked shirts and low energy levels, keep in mind that the Orlando region is well aware of the heat potential during the summer months, and has plenty of options for beating the heat. Continue reading

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