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: December 14 – 20, 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: 12/20 - Now through January 3, both Universal parks are opening at 8:00am for general admission, 7:00am for Early Park Admission. The holiday crowds are here too, with all days between now and the end of the year marked as … [Read more...]

Reader poll: Winning the theme park wars – Disney vs. Universal on crowds and transportation

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The theme park wars rage ever on, and, this time, the battle front moves to what is arguably one of the most vital functions the two resorts perform: the ability to handle and move their many guests around from one point to another. How are crowds managed throughout the many theme parks that make up both Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando? And who has the best transportation for their on-site guests? (We’re not just talking about moving from point to point at each resort, but also their … [Read more...]

Gotham Island: What Batman’s gift shops, carnival games, and nightclub would’ve looked like at Islands of Adventure

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Back in 1992, when Universal first began to sketch out the expansion that would turn its single-park Universal Studios Florida into the full-resort Universal Orlando, the company went to great lengths to design Gotham Island, home to Batman (and the original version of what is Marvel Super Hero Island today). Featuring a great many interesting proposals, details, and hidden gems, we’re continuing our archeological dig into the theme park land that never was, guided once again by Jeff Tucker, … [Read more...]

THE BIG 5: Top five ways to celebrate the holidays at Orlando’s theme parks

Candlelight Processional at Epcot.

Orlando simply shines during the holiday season. There is so much celebration and revelry all throughout Central Florida, and nowhere is this truer than Orlando’s theme parks. There’s so much to see during this time of year, it can be overwhelming, but I’m here to count down the best ways to make your holidays merry inside Orlando’s theme parks.   #5 – The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Hollywood Studios When the lights come on, it’s awe-inspiring. There is something … [Read more...]

OI Share: A guide to the rides at Universal for larger guests

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit test seats.

Like many in the traveling public, I fall into the category of the obese. Despite the label I'm a very healthy guy (per my family's doctor) who absolutely loves the Orlando theme parks, including Universal Orlando Resort. Unfortunately, not all attractions are equally accessible to all body types. If you consider yourself a larger person, plus size, curvy, or even just big boned, there are some factors you'll want to consider as you plan the rides you're going to tackle at Universal. Keep in … [Read more...]

Rumor round-up: King Kong, Fast & Furious, Star Wars, and Men in Black

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King Kong's new opening date When the first of our sources contacted us a few weeks ago with information that Universal’s Skull Island (at Islands of Adventure) may be moving its opening date up from 2016 to ’15, we thought it might just be a reaction to the company's over-zealous pace of construction on the new theme park land. After all, look how the area has progressed in just two months: But now we've heard from more of our sources, and it turns out that there may indeed be … [Read more...]

Busch Gardens Tampa trip report – December 2014 (Christmas Town, Falcon’s Fury at night, and all-time high crowds)

Busch Gardens Tampa - December 2014.

I visited Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa by myself last year and had an amazing time. So, this year, my entire family was excited to head down to Tampa with me to experience the Christmas wonderland for themselves. Busch Gardens made some changes to Christmas Town this year, the biggest being that it is no longer a separately-ticketed event - it’s now included in regular admission to the park, which means it’s also included for Fun Card holders and Annual Pass Members. However, … [Read more...]

Islands of Adventure trip report – December 2014 (holiday cheer around the park, hot butterbeer is back, and King Kong’s ever-expanding home)

Islands of Adventure - December 2014.

My family and I visited Islands of Adventure this past Saturday and had a wonderful day at the park. The temperatures were somewhat chilly for Florida, with highs in the 60s, but we had beautiful, sunny skies. While walking around IOA, the crowd level seemed heavy, but the posted wait times for the popular attractions - like The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and the Hogwarts Express - were 45 minutes or less. The … [Read more...]

Orlando Informer Weekly Dispatch: December 7 – 13, 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: 12/13 - We visited Universal on Saturday for our weekly tour of the parks. You can now view our 119 new photos on our Flickr page (December 13 album), which includes another visit to Cabana Bay Beach Resort, continuing … [Read more...]

Orlando Food Tours: A flavorful experience in one of our city’s most fascinating neighborhoods

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Orlando is known for many things, but, until recently, it hasn’t always been known as a culinary destination. Which is a shame - Orlando has lots of unique cuisine to sample and colorful neighborhoods to visit. Thankfully, Orlando Food Tours makes it fun and easy to explore one of the city’s best neighborhoods and try some delicious food and drinks. No matter if you are a visitor or a resident, these tours should be added to your must-do list.   The neighborhood I love Winter Park, … [Read more...]

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