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Here at Orlando Informer we love to blog about Universal Orlando, Disney World, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, and all the other exciting tourist destinations and local activities around Central Florida. While we occasionally cover breaking news, the focus of our blog is more on helping you plan amazing vacations with the latest insider tips and expert advice.

Halloween 2014 in Orlando: A list of our favorite family events in the parks and around town

Brick-or-Treat at LEGOLAND Florida.

Note from the editor: this article was originally posted on September 24, 2014, but we're re-posting it one more time this week since Halloween is on all of our minds! Just be sure to note that some of the events listed below have past (but will very likely be back next year for those already starting their 2015 planning). Nowadays, Halloween is essentially a two-month-long affair in Orlando. We have more spooky events than you can shake a broom at! From toddlers to teens, from hayrides to … [Read more...]

Orlando for beginners: Don’t let these common hotel policies surprise you

Couple checking in at hotel reception

You’ve made the decision: you’re headed to Orlando! Congratulations - you’re going to have a great time. You’ve done some research and booked your hotel. Now what? It’s time to make sure you’re aware of some important hotel policies and procedures so you can rest easy and have the terrific stay you deserve.   Resort fees I don’t know a single hotel guest who actually likes paying resort fees. However, they're here to stay and are pretty standard for any property. They are also a … [Read more...]

Disneyland Resort: The place that started it all still has a magic all its own

Disneyland Park - October 2014.

Orlando really is the world’s most exciting, family-friendly destination. But Orlando would not be the amazing vacation kingdom it is without the original theme park in Anaheim, California: Disneyland Park. Although I have all of Orlando’s theme parks in my backyard, I make an annual journey across the country to Southern California. I’d like to share with you why I do, and what makes the place that started it all so awe-inspiring.   Simply charming Let’s start off with Walt Disney … [Read more...]

I-Drive’s “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition” takes you back in time with sight, sound, and touch

Top five I-Drive experiences.

On April 10, 1912, the RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton, United Kingdom, bound for New York. Five days later, she sank to the bottom of the ocean. Today, more than 100 years after that fateful voyage, you can experience the “Ship of Dreams” here in Orlando. Indeed, for most of us, Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition is as close as we’ll ever come to experiencing the Titanic. We've already listed Titanic as one of the best attractions on International Drive. Now it's time to get down … [Read more...]

Busch Gardens Tampa trip report – October 2014 (Cheetah Lure Run amazes, Howl-O-Scream tantalizes, and Falcon’s Fury gets even better)

Busch Gardens Tampa - October 2014.

With the beautiful weather on Sunday, October 19, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to visit Busch Gardens Tampa, even though we weren't sure how the Howl-O-Scream event that evening was going to affect crowd levels (it turns out it didn't!). As we entered the park, we were surprised to find construction. Several of the shops right at the entrance (including Village Snacks and Sahara Trading Company) have closed and are currently undergoing renovation. There are no signs announcing what's to … [Read more...]

Orlando Informer Weekly Dispatch: October 19 – 25, 2014

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OI Daily 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: 10/22 – This week Halloween Horror Nights runs Wednesday through Sunday. This will be another one of busiest weekends of season, so please read through our HHN early admission page, print out our free HHN 2014 touring plan, … [Read more...]

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 2014: Costumes, parades, shows, and lots of villains await your family

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Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) is, as the name suggests, a party thrown for the entire family at Magic Kingdom between the hours of 7:00pm and midnight on select nights in September and October. It is here where the likes of the Haunted Mansion, Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Nightmare before Christmas, and Disney villains reign supreme, and where children of all ages can dress up in their Halloween costumes and trick-or-treat for candy alongside Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto (who also … [Read more...]

THE BIG 5: Top five I-Drive attractions worth leaving the theme parks for

Top five I-Drive featured 2

It may be the fantasy and thrills of the major theme parks that lure so many vacationers to Orlando, but if that’s as far as your vacation goes, you’re missing out on some of our truly novel amusements. Just outside of Universal and SeaWorld, International Drive (commonly referred to as I-Drive) serves as a playground worthy of discovery. Among the sea of hotels, shops, and restaurants, I-Drive offers a vast array of original entertainment options. Many of us locals appreciate these for a … [Read more...]

Limo Cycle in Downtown Sanford: One of the most unique ways to party in Central Florida

The Limo Cycle in Downtown Sanford.

Looking for a unique way to celebrate a special occasion with family or friends? Are you ready to explore one of Central Florida’s best historic towns? Then let the good times roll on board the Limo Cycle. Come with me and get ready to peddle through Downtown Sanford to enjoy this new and creative way to party. The Limo Cycle is essentially a bar on a stretch-limo bicycle. It can seat up to 15 people on each of its sides while the driver steers and a friendly on-board bartender keeps your … [Read more...]

Disney’s Animal Kingdom trip report – October 2014 (park-wide construction, new animal exhibits, and the reopened Lion King show)

Animal Kingdom - October 2014.

This past weekend, my family and I visited Disney's Animal Kingdom. The weather was wonderful, with highs in the mid-80s, and the crowd levels were moderate. It made for a beautiful and enjoyable day at the park. Arriving in the parking lot, we noticed parts of the Giraffe section were closed, which is due to the construction of a new parking lot rumored to be titled Yeti. We were directed to park our car in the RV/bus section, which advantageously placed us within walking distance of Animal … [Read more...]

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