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.

RRU Special Edition: Three ways Diagon Alley is lavishly improving on Hogsmeade’s wizarding formula

The Ministry of Magic's phone booth.

It isn’t just with park-connecting rides and compelling merchandising opportunities that Universal plans on expounding upon the Wizarding World of Harry Potter formula that it nearly perfected four years ago – there are a whole slew of other methods, both incredibly big and microscopically small, that will help transport you more fully into Harry’s wondrous world. When taken together, they create one of the most highly detailed and thoroughly immersive environments anywhere on the … [Read more...]

Attending a timeshare presentation: It could save you a ton of money (and it’s not as scary as you might think)

Wyndham Grand at Bonnet Creek

Editor's note: this article has been contributed by Joe, a timeshare insider and a fan of Orlando Informer. Everyone wants to save the most amount of money on hotels when vacationing so they can spend more money on entertainment! In this article, I will share how you can possibly save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on your hotel accommodations by doing a timeshare sales presentation. Now, I know what you might be thinking: "Why would I ever do a timeshare sales presentation? I … [Read more...]

Brits Guide: Why Sanford International Airport is our arrival point of choice

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When it comes to visiting Florida from another country, the two most popular airports tourists will arrive at will be Orlando International (MCO) or Sanford International (SFB). Orlando International is located in the southeast of Orlando, making it close to the attractions and main tourist areas -- around 25 minutes to Universal Orlando and Walt Disney World by car. Sanford International is located to the north of Orlando and is around 50 minutes to either theme park resort. One of … [Read more...]

Orlando Informer Weekly Dispatch: April 13 – 19, 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: 4/19 – We’re celebrating the Grand Opening of the new OI Forums! Although it has only officially been open for about two weeks, we already have more than 800 members who have exchanged over 12,500 tips, … [Read more...]

Rumor SPOTLIGHT for April 18, 2014: Interactive wands – the next generation of the Wizarding World

David Radcliffe, left, as Harry Potter and John Hurt as Ollivander in the Warner Bros. Pictures movie "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." photo by Peter Mountain.                                                             UPFRONT layout 2-3/ FOR WELKOS STORY SNEAKS NOV.11, 2001

Pulling its own version of a rumor round-up, Central Florida Top 5 has managed to combine all previously-leaked information with some insider intel of its own to give us our most tantalizing glimpse yet of the new RFID-equipped wands that will be flooding the Wizarding Worlds starting (possibly) this summer. The information is impressive, compelling, and – perhaps ironically – magical, so be sure to be sitting down when reading this, preferably with a cup of butterbeer (frozen, of course) … [Read more...]

THE BIG 5: Top five souvenirs deals for under $10 at Universal Orlando

Universal's best souvenirs for under $10.

Both Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure are wonderful vacation destinations and a trip that you’ll never want to forget. What's the best way to keep the memories fresh in your mind? There's always photos, of course, but souvenirs should never be overlooked – and although they can be on the pricy side, there are plenty of great ones under $10 that will keep the memory alive (while also keeping the kids, who want something to take home, very happy). These also make great gifts … [Read more...]

Disney’s Animal Kingdom trip report – April 2014 (FastPass+ progress, World of Avatar construction & best tips for touring)

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For this month's Walt Disney World trip report, I spent a “wild” day at Animal Kingdom this past weekend. The weather was beautiful, with temperatures in the low 80s, a calming breeze, and plenty of sunshine. Upon entering the park this visit, I noticed the FastPass+ kiosk lines were dramatically shorter than my visit in January. This is most likely because Annual Passholders and guests not staying at a Disney resort can now make FastPass+ reservations up to 30 days in advance. Also, … [Read more...]

How to save on SeaWorld dining: Refillable cups, popcorn buckets & the All Day Dining plan

Cup that cares - SeaWorld

After paying a large sum for admission tickets to SeaWorld, then handing over $15 more for parking, the last thing you want to do is spend a fortune to feed your family all day. The good news is that SeaWorld has many of ways to make eating at the park very affordable. In this post, I'm going to share 'em with you!   Refillable cups Let's start with the easiest option: SeaWorld's refillable souvenir cup, which can be purchased at any of the restaurants and most of the drink carts. … [Read more...]

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...]

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