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.

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

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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...]

Aquatica Orlando: Thrilling water rides and beautiful wildlife perfectly compliment Orlando’s fall weather

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I was recently able to use my super-savvy marine life trivia skills to win a couple of Aquatica Orlando tickets, just in time to celebrate SeaWorld’s 50th anniversary. (Didn't know SeaWorld owned Aquatica? Check out our special feature). What made the deal all the sweeter was the fact that Aquatica, which opened in 2008, was the only water park I had yet to experience in Orlando. Needless to say, I was really excited to get the opportunity to finally check out rides like Dolphin Plunge and the … [Read more...]

Orlando Informer Weekly Dispatch: October 12 – 18, 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: 10/17 – On this week’s Orlando Informer Minute: Universal relaunches its “buy two days get the third day free” promotion, Disney’s BoardWalk introduces Trattoria al Forno, nation’s second-largest comic book shop to open in … [Read more...]

Reader poll: Which Universal on-site hotel has the best views?

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Despite all of Universal Orlando’s on-site hotels possessing fairly comparable amenities and a similar proximity to the resort's two theme parks, there are still so many ways to contrast them: by theme, by price point, by transportation options - and whether Express Passes are offered as a benefit. And here's one more intriguing comparison that we sometimes forget to mention: which of the four properties has the best views? Sure, it’s not as crucial as budgetary concerns, and, at … [Read more...]

Dominate Halloween Horror Nights 2014 with the best merchandise, food, and drinks

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Now that Halloween Horror Nights is in full swing, entering the first of its five-night weeks, it seems like a good time to lay out what souvenirs, food, and drinks you can find at this year’s event. We'll fill you in on all the details - and all the highlights - of each category of indulgences to help make your excursion into horror land as complete and enjoyable as it can be. From zombie busts to loaded fries, read on for all there is to know (and devour!).   Proof you made it out … [Read more...]

THE BIG 5: Top five tips for saving money at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival made its annual debut a couple of weeks ago. The smells, the sights, and the many tastes of Epcot’s most popular event have us food goers and wine lovers experiencing Christmastime in October. The only issue we foodies may have is trying to figure out how to taste the world on a small budget. While preparing for this year’s international fiesta, I thought it would be great to give you all five quick, fun tips on how to save money and still … [Read more...]

Islands of Adventure trip report – October 2014 (Skull Island rises, the heat wave broils, and Marvel’s superheroes assemble)

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My family and I spent another beautiful Sunday this month at Universal Orlando, this time at Islands of Adventure. Knowing that Halloween Horror Nights was scheduled for that evening, we were fully prepared for the moderate crowd levels and wait times that we encountered at the park (unlike last time, when the annual Halloween event through us for a loop). After walking through the lively CityWalk area, we proceeded through the turnstiles of IOA and were immediately transitioned into the … [Read more...]

Gatorland: Orlando’s first true attraction is still bitin’ to be the best

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Gatorland made its debut in 1949 as the Florida Wildlife Institute, and many consider it to be Orlando’s first true “attraction.” Part wildlife preserve, part theme park, Gatorland looks deceptively small and inconspicuous, but, in fact, it covers 110 acres (roughly the same size as Magic Kingdom or either of Universal's theme parks).   Less is more There’s more to this unique roadside attraction than you’d expect. You won’t find roller coasters and ever-jolly strolling characters … [Read more...]

Orlando Informer Weekly Dispatch: October 5 – 11, 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: 10/11 - Universal has done it again! Just when we thought we'd had all our advice in place for this year's HHN early admission and touring, Universal made some big changes as of this week that forced us to rewrite our guide. … [Read more...]

How I learned to stop worrying and love Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights

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I remember standing there, feeling my heart race as I heard the crashes and screams from inside the building in front of me. I swallowed hard, fighting panic, promising myself that it was going to be okay. It was my first Halloween event – Halloween Horror Nights 2002 – and I was waiting to go into the Maximum Carnage haunted house. Behind me, my husband smiled broadly, looking over my head toward the entrance. He had been raised on scary movies and Halloween events and loved them all; I had … [Read more...]

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