OrlandoInformer

About the Author

Dan is a former Universal Orlando team member, entrepreneur, guest service advocate, and the OI guy who has one simple career goal: helping families plan the most amazing Universal Orlando vacations possible! 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.

Spring Break 2014 survival guide: Lessons learned from visiting Universal Orlando at its busiest

Spring Break at Universal Orlando.

There is a Universal Orlando vacation, then there is a Universal Orlando vacation during Spring Break. While the rising temperatures and festive spirit of the holiday create an energy all its own, you definitely need to know what you're doing to harness that energy and turn it into a positive memory. The peak period of Spring Break sets up Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure for some of their highest wait times and longest lines (until Diagon Alley opens!). Let's take a look at … [Read more...]

Orlando Informer Weekly Dispatch: April 7 – April 12, 2014

orlando informer weekly dispatch new square

OI Universal Center updates Greetings, vacation planners! Prepare to UPGRADE YOUR ADVENTURE to Universal Orlando with our Weekly Dispatch. This is a summary of all the latest Universal news and activity on our site. Please note that these updates are listed from newest to oldest: 4/11 – Orlando Informer is officially kicking off our watch for Diagon Alley soft openings – we’ve heard from our sources and our friends, and we are now ready to establish an expected timeline for these … [Read more...]

Doing good never looked so good: Help us raise awareness during Autism Awareness month by shopping Stella & Dot

I support Autism Awareness.

April is Autism Awareness month, and Orlando Informer is partnering with Autism At The Parks and Stella & Dot to raise awareness and money all month long. Both of these organizations have close connections to us: Maureen Deal, with Autism At The Parks, has been an active contributor of ours for nearly two years; and Mama Informer (aka my wife, Rosie Hatfield) is a Star Stylist with Stella & Dot. The organization that my wife proudly represents, Stella & Dot, is a San Francisco … [Read more...]

Orlando Informer Weekly Dispatch: March 31 – April 6, 2014

orlando informer weekly dispatch new square

OI Universal Center updates Greetings, vacation planners! Prepare to UPGRADE YOUR ADVENTURE to Universal Orlando with our Weekly Dispatch. This is a summary of all the latest Universal news and activity on our site. Please note that these updates are listed from newest to oldest: 4/4 – Today is the grand opening of the brand-new Orlando Informer Community Forums! We’ve put countless hours into getting the discussion boards ready so we can provide our readers with even more vacation … [Read more...]

Orlando Informer Weekly Dispatch: March 24 – 30, 2014

orlando informer weekly dispatch new square

OI Universal Center updates Greetings, vacation planners! Prepare to UPGRADE YOUR ADVENTURE to Universal Orlando with our Weekly Dispatch. This is a summary of all the latest Universal news and activity on our site. Please note that these updates are listed from newest to oldest: 3/30 - Phase one of Universal's new Cabana Bay Beach Resort (North Courtyard) is opening to guests for the very first time on March 31, 2014, and Orlando Informer will be there to share our first impressions and … [Read more...]

Orlando Informer Weekly Dispatch: March 16 – 23, 2014

orlando informer weekly dispatch new square

OI Universal Center updates Greetings, vacation planners! Prepare to UPGRADE YOUR ADVENTURE to Universal Orlando with our Weekly Dispatch. This is a summary of all the latest Universal news and activity on our site. Please note that these updates are listed from newest to oldest: 3/23 - We're happy to announce that our Weekly Dispatch blog post (which you're reading right now!) and email newsletter are starting up again after a two-month hiatus. Each provides a summary of the Universal … [Read more...]

Disney’s all-new Festival of Fantasy parade pours on the whimsy at Magic Kingdom

Disney Festival of Fantasy parade.

A fire-breathing dragon… a pirate ship with smoking cannon… a music box that’s a seashell… sassy Bubble Girls with cotton-candy hair… a mega-sized bagpipe. Classic Disney fantasies soar to new heights with the all-new Disney Festival of Fantasy parade, which hit the streets of Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World on Sunday, March 9. The tribute to Fantasyland highlights several new classic Disney and Pixar stories on a grand scale with nearly 100 performers and larger-than-life … [Read more...]

OI Share: How the question I answered in front of Hulk started the greatest adventure of my life

Frances & Don's engagement at Universal Orlando.

My boyfriend Don and I have annual passes to Universal Orlando, and we go to the parks often when we’re celebrating or just want to get away and play. Last year, Don planned the most amazing surprise for my Valentine's Day birthday, which included my own Hogwarts letter and a wand customized to my Pottermore.com specifications. Everyone joked that there was no way he could possibly compete with the high bar he’d set that first birthday weekend. Oh, how wrong they were! This year, Don … [Read more...]

Walt Disney World for lovers: Best ideas for romance on Valentine’s Day or any other day

The Love Boat in front of Magic Kingdom.

Couples who’ve been bitten by the love bug don’t need a fairy godmother to find romance at Walt Disney World. This is, after all, home to some of the world’s most famous romances: Cinderella and Prince Charming, Lady and the Tramp, Beauty and the Beast – and don’t forget America’s sweethearts, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. Throughout the 40-square-mile playground, love is in the air at the Vacation Kingdom. During a couples spa experience. In the middle of a romantic … [Read more...]

Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food opens at Universal CityWalk: First impressions, photo tour & tips for your visit

Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food.

Editor's note: the grand opening of Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food, which replaced Latin Quarter, was February 5, but our super-fan Chuck was able to dine there on the night of February 1, during its soft opening phase. He was able to gather a considerable amount of info while enjoying the food, and in the first part of our article, he happily passes everything along to us. In the second part of the article, Dan, our site's editor, will share a few additional thoughts. The facade of … [Read more...]

Print This Post