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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.

Bice Ristorante at Portofino Bay Hotel: Indulge in elegance, warmth, and amazing Italian food

Bice Ristorante at Portofino Bay Hotel.

I love dining in and around theme parks. Part of it is a love of great food; part of it is the trauma of losing three hours of every childhood trip to Magic Kingdom as my family rode the ferry to the parking lot and ate sandwiches out of the back of the car. Over the years, I’ve come to love really good dining – the kind of food I always sighed over on Iron Chef – and there’s a good bit of it in Orlando. I’ve eaten at a lot of wonderful restaurants around Walt Disney World (Todd English’s … [Read more...]

Rumor SPOTLIGHT for September 10, 2014: Everything you want to know about Sapphire Falls Resort


In case you missed the surprise announcement yesterday morning of Universal’s fifth on-site hotel, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, don’t you worry – we’re going to be analyzing it in-depth right now. And even if you’ve consumed the (brief) press release already, there are still some hidden nuggets to be unearthed and implications to be considered for all the rest of Universal Orlando. Who would’ve thought that one simple (but huge!) hotel would tip so much of Universal’s hand over the next three … [Read more...]

THE BIG 5: Top five new snacks and sips at Walt Disney World theme parks

The Top five new snacks and sips at Walt Disney World.

Walt Disney World has really upped their gastronomic game this year, introducing a bounty of new food and beverages. In 2014 alone, the amount of new food and drinks across all of Disney World could make up multiple BIG 5 posts, but I’ve done the legwork to scope out the best. As we go through our list, it should be noted that we limited this BIG 5 just to the Disney theme parks and any new snack or drink that has been introduced this year.   #5 – Gourmet Cake Cups (Magic … [Read more...]

Empire state of mind: Tour the incredible treasures & history of USF’s New York backlot

Universal Studios Florida New York backlot.

I have always found it interesting that the New York City skyline can be seen from the entrance of an Orlando theme park based on a movie studio in California. However, as one of the last few remaining areas of Universal Studios Florida that is themed after a real city, the New York backlot is a criterion of the park. Join me as we take a fascinating look at the treasures that fill its streets... When Universal Studios Florida first opened in the last half of 1989, the art of making … [Read more...]

Eating dairy & gluten free at Universal Orlando – one family’s exquisite culinary adventure across the resort

Margaritaville Cafe Orlando at Universal CityWalk.

Editor's note: What you'll find below is the most comprehensive article I've ever read about dining with food allergies at Universal Orlando, including the parks, CityWalk, and the on-site hotels. Thank you to Kerri for sharing this with Orlando Informer, so we could share it with all our readers. Enjoy!   If you’ve ever heard that dining at Walt Disney World with food allergies is a delight, you’ve heard correctly. So it was with some trepidation that I planned a trip to Universal … [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...]

Halloween Horror Nights 2014: An international journey of terror (Hollywood, Singapore, and Japan)


There is little doubt that Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort is one of the biggest and best Halloween experiences to be had anywhere across the nation (it has been the recipient of Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Award for Best Halloween Event six years running now, after all)… but the truth is it’s just one aspect of a many-faceted (and magnificently scary) jewel that Universal proudly displays in several locations all across the globe. HHN has, over the past 23 years, … [Read more...]

Adventures in pool-hopping at Universal Orlando’s deluxe on-site hotels

The pool area at Portofino Bay Hotel.

One of the many perks of staying at a Universal Orlando deluxe on-site hotel is the chance to enjoy the amenities at all three deluxe hotels. Universal sometimes refers to staying on-site as staying at a "12-diamond" hotel, because guests have access to three "four-diamond" properties (the deluxe properties are Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel, and Royal Pacific Resort). With this benefit, you can take a break from the theme park craziness by strolling the immaculate resort grounds, feasting … [Read more...]

The American Idol Experience: A magical look behind the scenes and a heartfelt goodbye

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Walt Disney World recently announced that "The American Idol Experience" show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be closing at the start of 2015. This attraction has a special place in my heart, and, while I may no longer be a Disney Cast Member, I would like to take this moment to share some of my stories and some interesting moments right from the very beginning of "American Idol." For anyone who has not been to "The American Idol Experience," the basic premise is this: guests can … [Read more...]

THE BIG 5: Five more of the best adult beverages at Universal Orlando

Five more of Universal Orlando?s best adult beverages.

It’s no secret that Universal Orlando offers a plethora of experiences that are perfect for adults who want to get away for a while. One of the favorite ways for adults to kick back is to have a cold, refreshing adult beverage. There’s so many wonderful choices, the possibilities are almost staggering. That’s why we couldn’t have just one BIG 5 countdown for Universal’s best alcoholic offerings – we had to make it a double!   #5 – Frozen Slush Drinks with a shot (multiple locations) No … [Read more...]

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