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...]

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...]

Disney vs. Universal over Marvel: The best theme park attraction you won’t see in the parks

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Guardians of the Galaxy, the tenth - and latest - release in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, hit theaters this past August. Nearly a month before that, however, it stopped by Anaheim's Disneyland and Orlando's Hollywood Studios for a special "sneak peek." Why does this matter? Beyond being a cogent attempt by Disney to actually start integrating the Marvel brand into its theme parks (you'd think that, after five years and $4 billion, the company would be doing something more than just … [Read more...]

Special needs are Universal: Comparing the disability and “outside food” policies at Universal, Disney, SeaWorld, and Busch Gardens

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Welcome to the next edition of our Special Needs Are Universal column, featuring questions and answers to help those with disabilities plan their day at Orlando’s theme parks. Our goal here at Orlando Informer is to offer all guests the tricks and tools of touring Universal Orlando, and being able to help special-needs guests is no exception. Although our SNAU articles focus heavily on Universal Orlando, we also have been developing additional disabled information for other vacation … [Read more...]

The Christmas season at Disney World’s resorts: How to fill a day with a FREE holiday adventure

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Everyone knows that the Walt Disney World parks are decked out to the hilt for the Christmas season, but the hotels are quite a sight to behold, as well. It’s easy to fill a day touring the resorts, and, best of all, it’s a free way to enjoy Christmastime at Disney. One of my favorite holiday traditions is spending a day resort-hopping at Disney World, and I’ve managed to create a seamless plan to catch the best of the festive displays in one full, fun day!   Polynesian Village … [Read more...]

Orlando for beginners: Understanding Central Florida’s many districts and deciding where to stay

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When most travelers talk about "Orlando," they're really talking about a huge swath of Central Florida comprised of many cities and unofficial districts (for example, most of Walt Disney World is technically located in the city of Bay Lake). Taking everything into consideration, "Orlando" is one of the most spread-out vacation destinations in the world - and that's why you could potentially waste a lot of time and energy if your accommodations are not in the area of the attractions that interest … [Read more...]

THE BIG 5: Orlando’s top five theme park Christmas shops celebrating the holiday season year-round

It's a Wonderful Shop - Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Whether it’s the middle of the summer or deep in December, you can always find a group of dedicated stores at Orlando’s theme parks that feature holiday merchandise and Christmas ornaments. You’re never far from the season of giving while you’re taking a vacation in Central Florida! In this week’s BIG 5 blog post, join me as we count down the top five Orlando theme park shops that help us celebrate the magic of the holidays 365 days a year.   #5 – It’s a Wonderful Shop (Hollywood … [Read more...]

Magic Kingdom trip report – November 2014 (holiday decorations, Jingle Cruise, Memento Mori, and A Frozen Holiday Wish)

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I visited Disney's Magic Kingdom both Saturday and Sunday this past weekend and had an awesome time at the park. It was sunny, with temperatures in the 70s and 80s, and the crowds were moderate. During the ferryboat ride from the Transportation & Ticket Center to the park, I immediately noticed the construction area of the new waterfront bungalows at Polynesian Village Resort. Work appears to be moving along, and these new properties should be available for Disney Vacation Club members … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving 2014 in Orlando: Where to feast with your family while on vacation

Trattoria del Porto at Portofino Bay Hotel.

A Thanksgiving visit to Orlando doesn't mean you have to sacrifice the turkey or family time; with so many options and possibilities, there is a feast fit for just about everyone. So, this year, instead of cooking and baking all day, come to Orlando and find something new to be thankful for.   Around town Orlando has so much more to offer beyond the theme parks, and Thanksgiving is no exception. Throughout the area, many restaurants offer reasonably-priced holiday brunches and … [Read more...]

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground has all the pleasures of Disney World in one convenient spot

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As loyal staycationers, my family has been on a standing mission to experience all of the Walt Disney World resorts. The only one I wasn’t keen on also happened to be the one that my husband was most anticipating: the Campgrounds at Fort Wilderness Resort. I’ve never been a huge fan of camping - my idea of roughing it involves the whole family in an RV. Even that doesn’t seem to be an option, though, as we don’t own an RV, and I’m not completely sold on the idea of renting one. … [Read more...]

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