My boyfriend Don and I have annual passes to Universal Orlando, and we go to the parks often when we’re celebrating or just want to get away and play. Last year, Don planned the most amazing surprise for my Valentine's Day birthday, which included my own Hogwarts letter and a wand customized to my Pottermore.com specifications. Everyone joked that there was no way he could possibly compete with the high bar he’d set that first birthday weekend. Oh, how wrong they were! This year, Don … [Read more...]
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You have reached the very best blog posts published on Orlando Informer covering Universal Orlando as well as Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, and all the amazing destinations in Central Florida.
For children, buying theme park souvenirs can be one of the very best parts of their Universal Orlando vacation. But for parents, the constant barrage of merchandise at the end of every ride and around every corner can mean there’s no escape from the pleading eyes and “Can I have this?” requests. In an effort at preserving family sanity -- and also to give our kids some meaningful real-life decision making experiences -- we have opted to require our kids to manage their own spending … [Read more...]
Rumor SPOTLIGHT for February 22, 2014: Will Diagon Alley & Hogsmeade Station be delayed until August?
Note from the editor: it's the 100th installment(!) of our popular series, Rumor Round-Up, and, to celebrate, we've got some very special news regarding the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley to go over with you all. So sit back, relax, and prepare to take in the culmination of nearly two years' worth of rumor reporting and fan speculation. We've enjoyed the ride so far, and we hope you have, too. Here's to the next 100 columns! Harry Potter and the Escape from … [Read more...]
Remembering the history of Universal Orlando through memorabilia & merchandise (plus, how to find the best stuff)
Universal Orlando is making changes and upgrades on a daily basis. With Transformers: The Ride, Springfield USA, and Diagon Alley additions just to name a few, the opportunities for new guest enjoyment seem to be endless. While all of these new additions are surely amazing, many fans are looking back to the past to remember where it all started. Today I'm going to let you know about my Universal memorabilia that keeps the memories alive and how you can get your own. Blast from … [Read more...]
One of the many joys of visiting theme parks is indulging in sweet treats you might otherwise resist. In this edition of THE BIG 5, I take your sweet tooth on a journey through Universal Orlando’s best desserts. And please note: for this countdown, I stuck with desserts that can be found in the two theme parks and CityWalk. #5 – Chocolate trifle & ice cream at Three Broomsticks The trifle is a traditional, layered dessert hailing from the UK. The chocolate trifle found at … [Read more...]
Exponentially increasing construction? Eh – business as usual Last month, word broke on Orlando United that a fifth hotel would start construction later this year; once all the work finishes up on the impending Cabana Bay Beach Resort – which has its soft opening in just a few weeks’ time – all the construction crews would essentially move over to the plot of land that sits in between Royal Pacific Resort and Cabana to break ground. On the one hand, this is pretty much standard … [Read more...]
When thinking about Universal Orlando and its theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, one might not think of much in the way of romance. But the resort does have quite the romantic side (don't we all?). With Valentine's Day upon us again this Friday, we thought we'd take this opportunity to present our list of the most romantic things to do on-site: #5 - Visit the water's edge at CityWalk Universal CityWalk, Orlando's dining and entertainment capital, might … [Read more...]
We knew, the moment we became Annual Passholders, that we would make the most of last year’s Mardi Gras events at Universal Orlando. Starting off with a bang, we signed up to be float riders! Thanks to Orlando Informer we knew just how to sign up -- more on that at the bottom of the post. It should be noted that when you sign up, it is for a chance to be a float rider, as participation is not guaranteed. We signed up nine days prior to the actual event date we selected. Two days later, we … [Read more...]
This past weekend I enthusiastically participated in "A Celebration of Harry Potter" at Universal Orlando. To understand my perspective on this weekend, I think I must explain how big of a Harry Potter fan I am. With 10 being extremely obsessed with the Harry Potter franchise, I consider myself an 8. I started reading the Harry Potter books soon after the third book was published, and I became hooked immediately. I eagerly awaited the next four installments and usually purchased them on the … [Read more...]
Celebrating your birthday or special occasion at Universal Orlando: Best tips for getting special attention & freebies
Editor's note: Universal has two buttons they give out to guests, one for birthdays and a second "I'm celebrating" button that is used for all other occasions (photo at the bottom of the post). Alexandra's article focuses on her experience with the birthday button, but you can expect much the same if you're wearing the "I'm celebrating" version. I’ve always considered my birthday one of the best days of the year, and I’m sure the majority of you reading this think the same way. … [Read more...]