Featured posts on the OI Blog

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.

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)

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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...]

Quiet moments at Universal Orlando Resort: 10 spots to catch your breath, kick back & relax

Lucy - A Tribute at Universal Studios Florida.

Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure provide guests with numerous attractions that can thrill you unexpectedly and take your breath away. That's why sometimes you just need a moment to catch your breath, rest your feet, and relax before that next thrilling ride on Incredible Hulk or intense mission to save the Transformers' Allspark. With this in mind, we are happy to present our best recommendations for quiet moments and experiences at Universal Orlando … [Read more...]

A very special Universal Studios Florida trip report – July 2014 (Diagon Alley is here!)

Universal Studios Florida - July 2014.

On Saturday I visited Universal Studios Florida, and what an awesome day it was! The crowds were surprisingly moderate for summer, but the weather was very warm. As I entered the park, I picked up a Diagon Alley Grand Opening commemorative park map (still available, although the actual Grand Opening was July 8) and decided to tour the rest of USF before enjoying this new addition. In Production Central, Despicable Me was shut down due to technical problems but reopened later with a posted … [Read more...]

THE BIG 5: Top five kid-friendly beverages at Universal Orlando

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We don’t call ourselves the Sunshine State without good reason – it’s hot here! Universal Orlando offers plenty of ways to cool off and beat the heat, but one of my favorites is to grab a frosty beverage. There are so many fun choices that are great for both kids and the young at heart. Now that summer is in full swing, let’s count down the best kid-friendly beverages.   #5 – The Simpsons specialty concoctions (Springfield USA) Springfield USA is home to a variety of specialty … [Read more...]

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