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.

Orlando Informer Weekly Dispatch: November 16 – 22, 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: 11/22 - Hot butterbeer is back at Universal Orlando! Starting Friday, November 21, the warm beverage can be purchased along side its regular, frozen, and ice cream varieties throughout the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. To … [Read more...]

THE BIG 5: Top five outdoor bars at Universal Orlando

Duff Brewery at Universal Studios Florida.

One of the defining characteristics of Universal Orlando is that it offers many more adult-oriented distractions than the Mouse House. The atmosphere of both Universal theme parks - and the nighttime entertainment magnet known as CityWalk - is exciting and energetic. Seen as both a pro and a con depending on who you ask, Universal has no qualms placing their bars and adult beverages out in the open and all around their resort. With the recent additions of The Cowfish, The Hopping Pot, and … [Read more...]

Diagon Alley revisited: The wonderful, the awful, and everything in between

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogmeade & Diagon Alley.

When the world first heard the roar of the Gringotts dragon and gazed upon the stunning scenery of Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley, it was difficult for each of us to not be awestruck. However, now that the grand opening confetti been swept away from the streets and our own perceptions, it’s time to examine this ground-breaking experience a little more closely. Let’s take a look at the aspects of this land that have earned a special place in our hearts and discuss … [Read more...]

Busch Gardens Tampa insider tips: Tour, drink, and cool off like you never have before

Busch Gardens Tampa.

Busch Gardens Tampa is one of my favorite theme parks, and having been there so many times over the years, I've managed to scrape together a lot of tips through simple trial and error. Now I want to pass them on to you. I think that everyone, from brand-new visitors to hardened veterans, will find something to make their day at the park at least a little more enjoyable.   #1 - Use the lockers, but use them smartly Busch Gardens is serious about their policy regarding loose items on … [Read more...]

Magic Kingdom trip report – November 2014 (holiday decorations, Jingle Cruise, Memento Mori, and A Frozen Holiday Wish)

Magic Kingdom November 2014 featured

I visited Disney's Magic Kingdom both Saturday and Sunday this past weekend and had an awesome time at the park. It was sunny, with temperatures in the 70s and 80s, and the crowds were moderate. During the ferryboat ride from the Transportation & Ticket Center to the park, I immediately noticed the construction area of the new waterfront bungalows at Polynesian Village Resort. Work appears to be moving along, and these new properties should be available for Disney Vacation Club members … [Read more...]

Universal Orlando’s sixth on-site hotel could be its most luxurious yet

Universal's on-site hotels.

The why of the new resort "We've done a study that says we could have 10,000 or 15,000 hotel rooms and still have occupancy that makes those rooms profitable," Steve Burke informed investment analysts a little over two years ago. Burke, who is the chief executive officer of NBCUniversal, has proven he’s serious about the idea; since making that bold claim, Universal has taken their 2,400 hotel rooms and rapidly expanded them to 4,200, thanks to the speedy development of Cabana Bay Beach … [Read more...]

Orlando Informer Weekly Dispatch: November 9 – 15, 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: 11/14 – On this week’s Orlando Informer Minute: Every Witch Way Weekend coming to Universal in December, holiday deals & details for Busch Gardens and LEGOLAND, EyeCapsules arrive at the Orlando Eye, and more. You can view … [Read more...]

Reader poll: Let’s review CityWalk 2.0 and design its next expansion

CityWalk - June 2014.

Now that The Cowfish is at long last open, what has been labelled CityWalk 2.0 is now complete. This is considered the second iteration of Universal’s popular entertainment complex because, within the space of just one single year, the company has ripped out eight older, less successful venues and replaced them with eight brand-new properties, half of which are exclusive to Universal Orlando (and another quarter of which are only on their second or third locations nationwide). But … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving 2014 in Orlando: Where to feast with your family while on vacation

Trattoria del Porto at Portofino Bay Hotel.

A Thanksgiving visit to Orlando doesn't mean you have to sacrifice the turkey or family time; with so many options and possibilities, there is a feast fit for just about everyone. So, this year, instead of cooking and baking all day, come to Orlando and find something new to be thankful for.   Around town Orlando has so much more to offer beyond the theme parks, and Thanksgiving is no exception. Throughout the area, many restaurants offer reasonably-priced holiday brunches and … [Read more...]

THE BIG 5: Top five ways to start AND end your day at Universal Orlando

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With all the excitement, adventure, and thrills to be had at Universal Orlando, it's hard to find a better place to spend your vacation day. But an important part of making that day all it possibly can be is ensuring that it starts off the right way - with all your ducks in a row and avoiding all the common pitfalls that trip up so many unsuspecting guests. And then, of course, it's important to send the day off in an equally memorable fashion, allowing you to decompress and preserve all the … [Read more...]

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