Orlando Informer

About OrlandoInformer.com

OrlandoInformer.com is the world’s leading independent resource for guests visiting the world’s most exciting entertainment destination: Universal Orlando Resort.

The OI Universal Center, home to our next-generation ENCYCLOPEDIA of Universal Orlando vacation planning information, contains over 200 pages covering Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, CityWalk, and Universal’s on-site hotels. In addition, we offer our readers six extraordinary advantages over traditional guidebooks and other websites:

  • Nearly same-day updates to our insider information as changes take place in the parks
  • Comprehensive analysis of all construction projects and anticipated resort developments
  • Immersive multimedia, including more than 10,000 full-screen photos and hours of HD video
  • Intense, first-hand coverage of annual events with advice written based on this year’s activities
  • Over a thousand “real guest reviews” of Universal’s theme park attractions & dining venues
  • In-park photo updates broadcast live from Universal Orlando each and every week

Last year over ONE MILLION FAMILIES used our website to plan the perfect vacation and gain complete confidence in their knowledge of the parks. As we now celebrate an even bigger and busier year, we are very proud to take our place as the premier independent resource for guests visiting Universal Orlando Resort.

Along with our online guide to Universal, we also produce the OI Blog. This section of our site provides even more coverage of Universal Orlando as well as Disney World, SeaWorld, and the many other amazing destinations and unique activities around Central Florida. Our team of contributing writers collectively hold a vast storehouse of theme park experience, insight, and passion. Whether it is breaking news about the latest attraction to open, or the inside scoop on a new way to save money at a favorite event, our goal is to provide accurate and entertaining content for our readers — and to do so in a dynamic, engaging online environment. With more than one thousand articles published to date (and more added every week), the OI Blog has become a treasure of entertainment and a keystone of vacation planning for guests traveling all over Central Florida.

We strive daily to produce one-of-a-kind content that sets us apart from other websites, while at the same time provide a level of service to guests planning Universal Orlando vacations that is truly remarkable. Our team invites you to join over 300,000 unique monthly visitors — generating more than a million monthly pageviews — and check out everything we have to offer at OrlandoInformer.com, or jump in the conversation on any of these social networks:

Google+ | Facebook | Twitter | Flickr | YouTube | Pinterest

OrlandoInformer.com is a Visitus Media LLC website, owned and edited by Dan Hatfield. Contact us

 

Orlando Informer testimonials

Here are just a few things our readers have said about our Universal Orlando vacation planning information:

“I would like to thank you for your incredible site. I have a weakness for needing to spend endless hours planning my vacations. I had searched high and low for a thorough source of information about Universal Orlando and your site is above and beyond anything out there, either in print or online. When I found Orlando Informer, it was like I found a best friend to give me all the details I could hope for. I visit your site every day to guide my planning.” – Matt

“We have had two amazing trips over the past two years thanks to your exceptional advice and info. Just wanted to say a huge thank you! Can’t wait to start planning our next visit! Congrats on the safe arrival of your second little girl, having two daughters is the best!” – Ruth (see her cool vacation photo)

“Just got back from a 3 day trip to Universal and thanks to OrlandoInformer we had the BEST trip! I read pretty much the entire website and used the touring plan. We had planned for 3 days but because of good planning we only needed 2 days to complete everything on our list!! The third day was a bonus and we got to go on all our favorite rides again, and again! We cannot say ‘thanks’ enough, we really had a great and relaxing trip, even at the end of July in the heat and a pretty packed park.” – Miriam

“Thanks for all of the Transformers updates. We listened to your heads up on Thursday and got in on the first night. Riding Transformers was the number one goal on our trip last week…mission accomplished thanks to you!” – Chuck

“I just came back from a family trip to Orlando during Christmas time and I really wanted to thank the OI team for all the amazing tips I found in this website. I never waited any more than 20min in line for anything, even though the parks were quite crowded! We even managed to do the Forbidden Journey twice in less than 40min. Thanks so much for helping us have the best possible experience in Universal parks. Your website is absolutely awesome!!” – BethaniaAm

“Your site made things come to life and very easy to understand and navigate. Love the videos and pictures! I REALLY love that you answer questions and leave other peoples questions posted. Love that there is a real person to help!” – Kim

“When I plan our annual trip to WDW, I pour over sites … there are so many dedicated to the planning of a ‘magical’ vacation … when we decided to incorporate time at Universal, I searched the internet for info on rides, attendance, tips, etc … I came up totally empty — until I found Orlandoinformer.com. I was thrilled to find calendars, live clips and photos from actual visits, giving me the ability to decide when to go and how best to navigate the parks. Kudos to all of you who took the time to put this info out there!” – Tammie

“As an obsessive planner, the OI Universal Center was exactly what I needed.” – Easi9

I firmly believe that our trip would not even have been half as enjoyable if not for your incredible site. It allowed us to maximize our time, see everything we wanted to do, and still have time for mid-day rests and sit-down meals.” – MamaSowers

“A year ago I got Cable TV hooked up after a 12 yr hiatus. Went from 3 channels to 400. I was like a kid in a candy store. Being new to the OI and having this much information at my fingertips is right up there with that!” – April

“I read ‘the’ guidebook for USF and IOA, but it doesn’t compare to your resourcefulness. This site has been INVALUABLE!!!” – JenG

 

2013 year in review

On December 31, 2012, we celebrated 1.9 million pageviews generated by 600,000 unique visitors for the year.

Today, for 2013, those numbers have experienced a nearly 190% increase. As 2013 wraps up, we’re proud to have served 5.5 million pageviews to over 1.7 million unique visitors. As WordPress (our site platform) kindly informed us earlier today, “about 1 million people visit the Seattle Space Needle every year. This site was viewed over 5 million times in 2013. If it were the Space Needle, it would take 5 years for that many people to see it.”

 

Facebook

Our social media exposure also grew tremendously in 2013. On January 1, we were very pleased to have about 7,000 ‘likes’ on our Facebook page. As of today, we just passed 45,000! That is a 400% increase.

Now let’s look at a few of our memorable Facebook moments:

Our most ‘liked’ post

Our most shared post (on a related note)

Our favorite post (runner-up #1 and runner-up #2)

Our funniest post

 

Twitter

We’ve also experienced significant growth on this social network. On January 1, we were delighted to have approximately 2,000 followers. As of today, that number has grown to just over 13,000 – a 550% increase!

We post so many updates to Twitter that it’s difficult to trace back and find our most memorable moments. However, we do know which two tweets have been retweeted the most:

 

Top five pages viewed on our site in 2013

Free 12-month Universal Orlando crowd calendar – 260,392 views (72% increase)

Harry Potter expansion / Diagon Alley – 254,592 views (new page)

Halloween Horror Nights 2013 overview – 189,386 views (76% increase over our 2012 HHN overview)

Transformers: The Ride 3D & archived construction coverage – 116,160 views (new page)

Guide to Universal Express Passes – 112,061 views (286% increase)

Springfield USA & archived construction coverage – 103,117 views (new page)

 

Top five new blog posts viewed on our site in 2013

Top blog post results may seem skewed because older posts have been published longer and therefore have more potential to be viewed.

Rumor SPOTLIGHT for November 27, 2013: How Disney lost the battle for 2017 by cancelling most of Star Wars Land

Celebrating your birthday or special occasion at Universal Orlando: Best tips for getting special attention & freebies

Rumor round-up for November 1, 2013: Gringotts Bank coaster video, Universal’s theme park dominance, HP flame effects & JP midway games

Despicable Me themed Kids Suites debut October 1 at Portofino Bay Hotel; reservations now available

Rumor round-up for August 30, 2013: Hogwarts Express detailed, Universal’s third park revealed, Jurassic Park expansion plotted, HHN houses exposed!

 

More about Dan Hatfield

Dan is an Orlando destination specialist, guest services advocate, former Universal Orlando Resort team member, and founder of Visitus Media LLC and OrlandoInformer.com. Originally from St. Paul, MN, Dan now lives in Ocoee, FL (on the edge of Orlando) with his wife Rosie and their daughters Noa and Isla.

Dan has had a lifelong passion for Orlando and theme parks — places where a family can “escape” to enjoy once-in-a-lifetime adventures together. With the dream of turning this passion into a new career, Dan and his wife relocated from the Midwest to Orlando in 2009. Initially he went looking for opportunities at the theme parks (along with pursuing a degree in Hospitality Management). By 2010 he had become the top Sales Counselor at Universal’s Guest Contact Center, and as a result he was invited by Universal’s Leadership to participate in several training projects. While his experience working with Universal’s Leadership was invaluable, as it created the basis for Orlando Informer’s extensive library of knowledge, Dan knew he wanted the opportunity do so something else — something that would allow him to spend time at the parks with his family, explore all of Orlando, and capitalize on his interest in website development, while at the same time allow him to continue offering incredible one-on-one service to guests visiting the area. So at the beginning of 2011 he left Universal, founded Visitus Media LLC, and began work on this site.

It has been a long road with several twists and turns, but with the unwavering support of the growing OI community, Dan was able to turn his dream job into a reality. Moving forward, he has a grand vision for this site and its unique services, and it’s exciting to know the ride has really just begun!

Connect with Dan on LinkedIn.

 

Current OI contributors

We are honored to have these select authors contribute their work to our blog:

Julie

Julie

Julie is an Orlando enthusiast who travels to the area as often as she can to enjoy the theme parks, restaurants, and regional attractions. Along with visiting all of the well known attractions, Julie loves to spend time with her friends who live in the area, and she calls Central Florida her second home. Julie has previously been featured on the Visit Kissimmee website as a guest blogger and now she brings her experiences and enthusiasm to our site.

Marc

Marc N. Kleinhenz’s first dream in life was to be an astronaut. His second was an Imagineer. While neither completely worked out, he now writes books, flash fiction, and articles for 26 sites and counting (including IGN, The Escapist, and The Huffington Post). He’s co-created two podcasts and has even taught English in Japan. Imagineering school won’t be too far behind.
Maureen

Maureen

Maureen is married with a teenage son who has autism. Since she and her family moved to Orlando in 2007, they have visited Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando or SeaWorld almost every weekend. Maureen recently created AutismAtTheParks.com to help vacationers who have a family member with a developmental disability to better navigate and enjoy the theme parks. You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
debi dame

debi

debi is a retired school support person, mother and grandmother who still loves riding roller coasters. Living on Florida's West Coast, she has been an Annual Passholder at Universal for 16 years along with her husband and disabled daughter. She is also a 31-year veteran of local craft shows, making and selling Christmas ornaments, polymer clay jewelry and quilts.

Dani

Born and raised in the land of sunshine and dreams come true, Dani has always had a passion for tourism and hospitality. With work experience in five of Orlando's theme parks, she is an uber-fan who loves sharing her hometown with others.
Ally Pfeiffer

Ally

Ally Pfeiffer is a college student from Connecticut who will be attending law school soon. She is an avid lover of Universal and the entire Orlando area. Her passion for Universal will provide a fun spark in her articles and she is eager to share her experiences. Eventually Ally hopes to live in the Orlando area and have year-round access to her favorite theme parks.
Salina Bristor

Salina

Salina is a Florida native that has gone to theme parks all of her life. Even with the busy schedule that comes with having children, Salina and her family make it a priority to visit the parks several times a month. Quality family time should always include a roller coaster or two!

Casie

Casie, a former Universal MIB Team Member and Disney Lifeguard, is currently spending her days as a Social Media Professional and Wedding Photographer in Orlando. She's a live-out-loud kind of girl that loves finding different angles and details to the theme parks she's been exploring since 1983. Be sure to follow Casie on Instagram and Twitter!
NikkyJ

NikkyJ

NikkyJ is a theme park super fan, a blogger at ThemeParkHipster.com, a wishful food critic, a clinical pharmacist, and a lover of life who currently resides in Tampa, Florida! She also enjoys frequent trips to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where she is found laughing it up with her Potter Gals in the Hogshead. You can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

If you are interested in contributing your own work, please click here.

 

Copyright & disclaimer

© Visitus Media LLC 2011 – 2014. Unless you have received prior written authorization from us, you may not copy, redistribute, publish, sell, or otherwise make the original contents of this website available to third parties.

Our site is not endorsed by, authorized by, or affiliated with Universal Orlando Resort or any theme park. The policies and procedures of other businesses may change at any time without notice. Therefore Visitus Media LLC makes no warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of any content contained herein.

To view our full Terms of Use and other legal information, please click here.

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