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’s Magical Dining Month: Another reason to love September (especially if you’re visiting Universal)

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Over the years, Orlando has transformed into a bustling city with exceptionally chic and varied dining. The city offers thousands of restaurants with all kinds of fare, from traditional diners and buffets to hip culinary hot-spots featuring cuisine from all over the world. I have often heard visitors say that they want to plan an entire trip to Orlando simply to come back and try those restaurants they didn’t get a chance to on previous vacations! For those traveling to Orlando during the … [Read more...]

Magic Kingdom trip report – August 2014 (Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, LeFou’s Brew vs. Butterbeer, Hub construction)

Magic Kingdom - August 2014.

My Walt Disney World trip this month was to Magic Kingdom last Sunday, on a very sunny, very hot day. Although we did not spend a long day at the park, by pre-planning our FastPass+ attractions, my family and I were able to enjoy ourselves and not have to wait for a lengthy period of time for our preferred rides. When we arrived at the park, the summer version of the entertaining Main Street trolley show was occurring. Talented performers usually ride the horse-drawn trolley and stop at … [Read more...]

Orlando Informer Weekly Dispatch: August 10 – 16, 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: 8/15 - Today we're launching an experiment: our very first venture into covering theme park news on video. You can watch our first edition below, then please share any feedback you have by clicking here. … [Read more...]

SeaWorld announces Blue World Project as it fights to define its future

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SeaWorld may have been around for the past 50 years, but it’s never faced a more challenging environment than the one it currently finds itself in. Of course, with great adversity comes great potential for redemption and newfound success – which is precisely what SeaWorld Entertainment is banking on. The company has today announced a slew of new initiatives designed not only to turn around the (currently sinking) ship, but also to genuinely increase the guest’s experiences at its parks … [Read more...]

Diagon Alley and “The Sorcerer’s Stone”: A visual companion for Harry Potter fans

Diagon Alley and The Sorcerer's Stone: A visual companion.

Amidst the hustle and bustle that is the summer opening of Universal Studios Florida’s Diagon Alley, it’s easy to forget that an author with vibrant words and vivid imagery created this vast new world over 15 years ago. After visiting Diagon Alley for the first time, I was inspired to pick up my personal copy of J.K. Rowling’s introductory installment of the seven-book Potter series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (also known to many readers as Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone … [Read more...]

Rumor round-up for August 13, 2014: Half of USF being replaced, Fast and the Furious, and more Potter

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Riding out Twister (and KidZone and San Fran)… for good Remember our recent conversation about just what might be Universal’s big new attraction for 2015? Orlando Theme Park News has a report out this week that just might help us solve the riddle – or, at the least, hone in our search for further clues. According to information purportedly leaked to the site from an Universal Team Member, it looks like Twister… Ride It Out is (finally!) on the chopping block: the employees stationed there … [Read more...]

Busch Gardens Tampa trip report – August 2014 (World Lion Day, Falcon’s Fury testing, Howl-O-Scream construction, and more)

Busch Gardens Tampa - August 2014.

Last Sunday, we arrived at Busch Gardens Tampa around 10:30 in the morning and found the crowds to be much lower than we had anticipated. The summer travelers are finally starting to thin out, and it’s a welcome sight, indeed. We came specifically that day for the World Lion Day celebration. Add in that it also happened to be the celebration of the two adult females' birthdays (Iris and Rose turned eight on August 15), and this was a great party put on by Busch Gardens. The park set out all … [Read more...]

Orlando for beginners: How to protect yourself, your stuff, and your family from scams

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Orlando is a very magical, exciting destination. Priceless memories to last a lifetime are made here each day. But there are people out there that don’t always have the best intentions. So, while having fun with your family in Orlando can be a dream come true, you have to work to protect that dream. With that in mind, we’d like to share with you our best tips on how to keep your stuff safe and avoid any unexpected difficulties.   Lock it up When you walk into your hotel room for the … [Read more...]

Hooray for Hollywood: A fascinating exploration of the theme and facades of USF’s Hollywood backlot

Universal Studios Florida Hollywood backlot.

Universal Studios Florida, to put it simply, is a celebration of Hollywood that offers plenty of movie-based, action-packed thrills to draw thousands of guests daily.  However for me, a non-thrill seeker, there is something else that attracts me. It’s the details and theming; it’s the main reason I am a theme park fan. One of my favorite examples of detailed theming is at the very front of Universal Studios Florida. If you take the time to take in all the details of the entrance and Hollywood … [Read more...]

Islands of Adventure trip report – August 2014 (scoping out Skull Island, riding out Ripsaw Falls + trying out CityWalk’s Bread Box)

Islands of Adventure - August 2014.

This past Saturday, I spent an enjoyable day at Islands of Adventure. But first, I ate lunch in CityWalk and explored the progress of the area's ongoing construction.   Universal CityWalk Since I arrived at Universal Orlando around noon, I decided to try the recently-opened Bread Box sandwich shop. The employees I met were very friendly. I ordered bottled water, a roast beef sandwich, and, based on the recommendation of the order taker, the homemade potato chips. Including my Annual … [Read more...]

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