Tag: Trip reports

Busch Gardens Tampa trip report – December 2014 (Christmas Town, Falcon’s Fury at night, and all-time high crowds)

Busch Gardens Tampa - December 2014.

I visited Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa by myself last year and had an amazing time. So, this year, my entire family was excited to head down to Tampa with me to experience the Christmas wonderland for themselves. Busch Gardens made some changes to Christmas Town this year, the biggest being that it is no longer a separately-ticketed event - it’s now included in regular admission to the park, which means it’s also included for Fun Card holders and Annual Pass Members. However, … [Read more...]

Islands of Adventure trip report – December 2014 (holiday cheer around the park, hot butterbeer is back, and King Kong’s ever-expanding home)

Islands of Adventure - December 2014.

My family and I visited Islands of Adventure this past Saturday and had a wonderful day at the park. The temperatures were somewhat chilly for Florida, with highs in the 60s, but we had beautiful, sunny skies. While walking around IOA, the crowd level seemed heavy, but the posted wait times for the popular attractions - like The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and the Hogwarts Express - were 45 minutes or less. The … [Read more...]

Universal Studios Florida trip report – December 2014 (gorgeous Christmas decorations, Macy’s Holiday Parade, and Mannheim Steamroller)

Universal Studios Florida - December 2014.

This past Saturday, my family and I visited Universal Studios Florida. It was a warm day, with temperatures in the low 80s. The crowd levels were moderate most of the day (wait times ranged from 30 to 60 minutes for the more popular attractions, like Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts and Transformers: The Ride 3D) but increased as the time approached for the first Macy’s Holiday Parade of the season. I was very excited to see the park decorated for the holidays. The entrance was … [Read more...]

SeaWorld Orlando trip report – November 2014 (Christmas Celebration, the Polar Express Experience, and Shamu Miracles)

SeaWorld Orlando - November 2014.

SeaWorld Orlando’s Christmas Celebration is always a favorite for my family, so we piled into the car for a trip to see the opening weekend events. We’d forgotten to check the weather forecast, though, and found ourselves touring SeaWorld on a rainy day again. So we ended up with the unexpected benefit of very low crowds throughout our visit. We oohed and aahed over the Christmas decorations as we entered the park. The Christmas tree at the entrance is just so large and beautiful that we … [Read more...]

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

Magic Kingdom November 2014 featured

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...]

Islands of Adventure trip report – November 2014 (welcoming the holidays, exploring Jurassic Park + Steve Harvey at CityWalk)

Islands of Adventure - November 2014.

Editor’s note: Continuing today and tomorrow only, Universal has launched an “epic sales event” offering its best vacation prices of the year. Enjoy our trip report from Maureen, and then we’ll tell you about the sale at the bottom of the post! I visited Islands of Adventure this past Sunday on a bright and sunny day with cooler temperatures in the mid 60s. First, however, I made my way through CityWalk, taking note of the latest developments in this seemingly ever-changing entertainment … [Read more...]

Universal Studios Florida trip report – November 2014 (HHN’s last day, new Christmas store, and Diagon Alley crowds)

Universal Studios Florida - November 2014.

Editor's note: Starting today, November 4, Universal has launched an "epic sales event" offering its best vacation prices of the year. Enjoy our trip report from Maureen, and then we'll tell you about the sale at the bottom of the post! My family and I visited Universal Studios Florida this past Saturday on a very cool and windy day. We were in a bit of a shock with the sudden change in Central Florida's weather (from highs in the upper 80s to highs in the upper 50s), but we bundled ourselves … [Read more...]

Disneyland Resort: The place that started it all still has a magic all its own

Disneyland Park - October 2014.

Orlando really is the world’s most exciting, family-friendly destination. But Orlando would not be the amazing vacation kingdom it is without the original theme park in Anaheim, California: Disneyland Park. Although I have all of Orlando’s theme parks in my backyard, I make an annual journey across the country to Southern California. I’d like to share with you why I do, and what makes the place that started it all so awe-inspiring.   Simply charming Let’s start off with Walt Disney … [Read more...]

Busch Gardens Tampa trip report – October 2014 (Cheetah Lure Run amazes, Howl-O-Scream tantalizes, and Falcon’s Fury gets even better)

Busch Gardens Tampa - October 2014.

With the beautiful weather on Sunday, October 19, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to visit Busch Gardens Tampa, even though we weren't sure how the Howl-O-Scream event that evening was going to affect crowd levels (it turns out it didn't!). As we entered the park, we were surprised to find construction. Several of the shops right at the entrance (including Village Snacks and Sahara Trading Company) have closed and are currently undergoing renovation. There are no signs announcing what's to … [Read more...]

Disney’s Animal Kingdom trip report – October 2014 (park-wide construction, new animal exhibits, and the reopened Lion King show)

Animal Kingdom - October 2014.

This past weekend, my family and I visited Disney's Animal Kingdom. The weather was wonderful, with highs in the mid-80s, and the crowd levels were moderate. It made for a beautiful and enjoyable day at the park. Arriving in the parking lot, we noticed parts of the Giraffe section were closed, which is due to the construction of a new parking lot rumored to be titled Yeti. We were directed to park our car in the RV/bus section, which advantageously placed us within walking distance of Animal … [Read more...]

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