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Furloughed Orlando theme park designers come together to create ‘Picture Perfect Holidays’ walk-through

by Susan and Simon Veness

Nearly 80% of Florida’s theme park designers and builders are currently laid off or on furlough, but creative minds can’t sit idle for long. Together, a volunteer team of industry professionals got together to produce the free outdoor holiday self-guided walking tour, “Curry Ford Presents: Picture Perfect Holidays by Slice Creative Network.”

picture perfect holidays

As a long, challenging year winds down, Floridians are yearning for a joyful holiday season with family and friends. With that in mind, Melody Matheny, founder of Slice Creative Network—a group of freelance attractions-industry professionals—reached out to Curry Ford West Main Street nonprofit organization, and together they designed a series of “Picture Perfect Holidays” interactive seasonal vignettes.

With a vast array of talent available and looking for new projects, Matheny channeled their pent-up energy into an event that would benefit the community. “We have over forty Slice Creative Network creative volunteers, including scenic designers, creative writers, project managers, talent coordinators, graphic designers and more,” she says. “And, they’re all excited to create something that will bring joy to our community in these difficult times.”

picture perfect holidays

Each of the five interactive “Picture Perfect Holidays” tableaus is spaced along the “main street” area of Curry Ford Road so that visitors can comfortably walk from one to the next in a safe, outdoor setting. Watch for Cosmic Christmas, Christmas Song Stroll, Feliz Navidad, Hawaiian-inspired Mele Kalikimaka, and Winter Wonderland, all perfect backdrops for festive selfies and family photos.

As visitors make their way from one display to the next, they’ll also find plenty of opportunity to pause for a bit of holiday shopping or festive dining, helping to benefit the area’s smaller businesses.

Alexis Sammons, director of the Curry Ford West Main Street program, speaks to the event’s mission: “2020 has been such a deeply challenging year for so many people. This pandemic has impacted the theme parks, retail, services, restaurants, the arts, and more. The project delves into the soul of the Orlando community and will provide a chance for residents and visitors to feel connected to the local business sectors in a creative and Covid-safe atmosphere.”

“Picture Perfect Holidays” will be open and free to the public from Dec. 12-27. Those interested in donating towards this superb limited-budget project should visit Curry Ford West Picture Perfect Holidays or call Alexis Sammons on (407) 267-3021.

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