Welcome to the OI Blog

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.

Special needs are Universal: Diagon Alley tips, tricks, and details for special-needs riders

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Welcome to Special Needs Are Universal, an Orlando Informer column and forum dedicated to helping those with disabilities and their families plan for vacations or, even, just a day trip to Orlando’s theme parks! We have a lot to cover this month, so let's hop right into it, shall we?   Diagon Alley is open for special-needs riders The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley opened on July 8, and our special-needs readers have been so helpful with providing important … [Read more...]

Rumor round-up for July 29, 2014: Skull Island opening date, Cabana Bay’s price hike, and Disney’s paper FastPasses return

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Figuring out Skull Island’s opening date Over the years, the San Diego Comic Con has not only grown exponentially larger, it’s also taken on the air of a mega-event like the Electronic Entertainment Expo, where big press conferences are held and major bombshells are dropped and (fanboy) lives are irrevocably changed. Also like E3, however, all this built-up hype tends to have a certain level of blowback, as many – if not most – companies either can’t or won’t play into the expectation game. … [Read more...]

The American Idol Experience: A magical look behind the scenes and a heartfelt goodbye

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Walt Disney World recently announced that "The American Idol Experience" show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be closing at the start of 2015. This attraction has a special place in my heart, and, while I may no longer be a Disney Cast Member, I would like to take this moment to share some of my stories and some interesting moments right from the very beginning of "American Idol." For anyone who has not been to "The American Idol Experience," the basic premise is this: guests can … [Read more...]

THE BIG 5: Top five Universal Orlando attraction queues for beating the heat

King's Cross Station at Universal Studios Florida.

The weather in Orlando is a big reason why it’s such a popular destination for many - particularly sun-starved Europeans like myself. But sometimes the days with 94-degree heat and 70% humidity can get a bit much, even for the most hardy of sun-seeker. Because of this, you might be thinking that standing in an attraction queue for any period of time will just leave you hot and bothered. If you think that, then I'm happy to inform you there are some queues at Universal Studios Florida and … [Read more...]

Orlando Informer Weekly Dispatch: July 20 – 26, 2014

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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: 7/25 – We are in the process of overhauling many pages in the OI Universal Center now that Diagon Alley is open and we know more about how Universal is handling crowds and other related factors. In the first round, … [Read more...]

Reader poll: Let’s rank Diagon Alley’s many magical adventures

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Now that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley has been open for almost a month, it’s time to showcase what its best features are. Here’s how it works: you get three votes, one each for your top three destinations within the new Wizarding World. Once everyone’s had the chance to weigh in, we’ll tally up all the votes and announce the official reader ranking order, which will help all future guests shape their itineraries. Haven’t had the chance to visit Diagon Alley yet? No … [Read more...]

Disney’s 2014 fall season: Halloween & Christmas parties, food festivals, marathons, and more

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From Labor Day to Thanksgiving, there’s a bounty of festive offerings at Walt Disney World to satisfy all tastes. With an art show, sporting events, annual holiday parties, concerts, and international food fest, the Vacation Kingdom is the place to celebrate the golden days of the harvest season. The fall lineup kicks off on September 1 with the popular Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, offering three extra nights of happy haunts. Here’s more:   Mickey’s Not-So-Scary … [Read more...]

SeaWorld Orlando trip report – July 2014 (summer crowds, the park’s best show, and how NOT to tour)

SeaWorld Orlando - July 2014.

We thought we were so smart – in one of the busiest months for theme parks, we decided to visit SeaWorld on a Friday instead of a weekend. And instead of arriving in the morning, we figured that if we got there later in the afternoon, we would miss any crowds that might have already gone through. Oh, how wrong we were. It was the most crowded day I'd ever seen at SeaWorld. We started our tour by trying the Sky Tower, but it was a 40-minute wait. So we made for Antarctica… which was a … [Read more...]

Rumor round-up for July 22, 2014: Changing out CityWalk, filling out HHN, and figuring out Falcon’s Fury

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Welcome to CityWalk, phase three With Bread Box and the Hot Dog Hall of Fame now open, that leaves only one final venue – the eagerly-awaited Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar – before the biggest expansion in Universal CityWalk’s history is finally complete. What’s up next for one of Orlando's biggest entertainment hot spots? Why, another expansion, of course. Out of CityWalk’s 16 major venues, half of them – starting with Pastamore and ending with TCBY – have now been (or will shortly be) … [Read more...]

THE BIG 5: Five more of the best adult beverages at Universal Orlando

Five more of Universal Orlando?s best adult beverages.

It’s no secret that Universal Orlando offers a plethora of experiences that are perfect for adults who want to get away for a while. One of the favorite ways for adults to kick back is to have a cold, refreshing adult beverage. There’s so many wonderful choices, the possibilities are almost staggering. That’s why we couldn’t have just one BIG 5 countdown for Universal’s best alcoholic offerings – we had to make it a double!   #5 – Frozen Slush Drinks with a shot (multiple locations) No … [Read more...]

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