Feb 12 2016

SeaWorld Orlando’s Bands, Brew & BBQ 2016 Lineup

ORLANDO (Feb. 12, 2016) – SeaWorld Orlando’s Bands, Brew & BBQ Festival takes place over four sizzling weekends– starting this Saturday with Smash Mouth and Gladys Knight on Sunday.

On Saturday, February 20 hot country music star, Scotty McCreery will take the stage.  ACM and CMT Award winner McCreery has sold more than 2.5 million albums and received both Platinum and Gold album certifications. Then on Sunday, February 21, legendary and founding member of the rock group Styx, Dennis DeYoung will perform.

Scheduled performances now include:

  • Saturday, February 13: Smash Mouth
  • Sunday, February 14: Gladys Knight
  • Saturday, February 20: Scotty McCreery
  • Sunday, February 21: Dennis DeYoung
  • Saturday, February 27:  To be announced
  • Sunday, February 28: To be announced
  • Saturday, March 5: To be announced
  • Sunday, March 6:  To be announced

The event honors America’s Heroes and featuring live concerts from top classic rock and country bands and artists, tasty BBQ and thirst-quenching beer, and is included with regular park admission. Event festivities begin at 12 p.m. each weekend, with concerts at 4 p.m.*

In addition to the signature acts and festivities, the event also will feature a secondary stage to showcase local bands, and a DJ spinning music for guests to show off their line dancing and boot scootin’ skills.

Beyond the stage, guests can enjoy a Harley-Davidson Orlando display of motorcycles specifically for Bands, Brew and BBQ along with a collection of classic cars.

Returning this year, the patriotic-themed USO Family Garden will offer animal encounters, Explore Zones and a kid-friendly interactive host making this the perfect place to play for families with young guests. Kids of all ages are invited to enjoy this family-friendly area while they learn to line dance, meet animals and have fun all afternoon.

For discount SeaWorld tickets or discount Busch Gardens tickets, please call our office toll free at 1-877-406-4836 to buy your tickets today!

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Feb 09 2016

The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

This year, the Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival will be bigger than ever, expanding to 90 days, from March 2-May 30, 2016 at Walt Disney World® Resort. Enjoy fresh farm market flavors at the festival’s Outdoor Kitchens, new Disney character topiaries, interactive play gardens and live rockin’ music during this year’s annual event.

Come see incredible topiaries inspired by your favorite Disney characters! Nearly 100 topiary characters, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Lady and the Tramp, Simba and Peter Pan, will animate the Epcot landscape surrounded by sweeping garden beds and exhibits.

New this year, Donald Duck’s mischievous nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, will make their topiary debut with Donald and Daisy at the park’s front entrance garden. Ranger Mickey Mouse in topiary form will also appear for the first time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service launched in 1916 to conserve the country’s natural scenic treasures.

Fresh garden produce, savory bites and sweet treats will be abundant at the festival’s Outdoor Kitchens, returning for a fourth year with Guest favorites and new food and beverage offerings along the World Showcase promenade. Get your complimentary Garden Passports stamped as you taste garden- and spring-inspired culinary creations.

For an inside look at the festival and gardening tips you can try at home, visit the Festival Center where Disney gardeners will lead weekend how-to Gardening Seminars. Catch guest experts as they conduct complimentary seminars on a wide range of gardening and outdoor living topics. The Festival Center is also home to signature festival merchandise.

End the evening with pop musical performances spanning four decades during the Garden Rocks Concert Series at the outdoor America Gardens Theatre. Catch these acts on weekends (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays) at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. throughout the festival.

  • March 4-6: The Orchestra, starring former members of ELO “Evil Woman”
  • March 11-13: STARSHIP featuring Mickey Thomas, known for their song “We Built This City”
  • March 18-20: Little River Band, known for their song “Reminiscing”
  • March 25-27: Village People, famous for “YMCA”
  • April 1-3: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone, known for the song “I’m Henry VIII, I Am”
  • April 8-10: The Guess Who, famous for “American Woman”
  • April 15-17: Blood, Sweat & Tears featuring Bo Bice “Spinning Wheel”
  • April 22-24: NEW! Brian Howe, former lead singer of Bad Company “Can’t Get Enough”
  • April 29-May 1: NEW! Georgia Satellites, known for their song “Keep Your Hands to Yourself”
  • May 6-8: Gin Blossoms, famous for “Hey Jealousy”
  • May 13-15: NEW! Darlene Love “Wait ‘Til My Bobby Gets Home”
  • May 20-22: Night Ranger, known for the song “Sister Christian”
  • May 27-30: The Spinners, famous for “Working my Way Back To You” *This concert series will run through Monday

*Entertainment is subject to change without notice. Please check the daily times guide.

The fun continues after the sun sets! Illuminated topiary and play gardens will glow brightly for an after-dark festival experience.

For more information about the 23rd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, visit EpcotInSpring.com. The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.

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Feb 08 2016

Universal Studios Orlando Annual Events

It’s fun to plan a Universal Studios vacation to coincide with one of the park’s biggest annual events. While daily you can take in the Universal Superstar Parade or one the unforgettable shows, why not plan your visit to include a special annual event?

Spring: Mardi Gras

Celebrate Mardi Gras at Universal Studios with live entertainment that includes 14 different concerts and 1.7 million beads tossed into the air during the spectacular parade that features colorful floats, street performers and live music. In the French Quarter Courtyard indulge in some of Central Florida’s best Cajun and Creole food while listening to authentic zydeco bands. You won’t want to miss the delectable delights of classic jambalaya, Creole gumbo, fresh Andouille sausage, red beans and rice and the best beignets.

Summer: Rock the Universe

Only at Universal Studios Orlando, Rock the Universe is Florida’s largest Christian Music Festival. This summertime extravaganza features two nights of hot Christian rock plus guest speakers and a Candlelighting Ceremony.

Fall: Halloween Horror Nights

One of the biggest Halloween events in the country, Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights runs from mid-September through October 31. When the sun goes down, the ghouls come out. Venture into the Universal Studios theme park, only if you love to be scared. You’ll find creatures lurking in the scare zones, haunted houses to explore and spook-tacular live shows. The event is not recommended for children under the age of 13.

Winter: A Celebration of Harry Potter

It’s the ideal event for all Harry Potter fans, all ages. The three-day event includes meet-and-greet with various actors from the Harry Potter films as well as special discussions, demonstrations and more. Explore Diagon Alley, have a meal in the Leaky Cauldron and don’t forget to wear your wizard’s robes.

Holiday Events

The holidays are a very special time at Universal Studios and include exclusive events designed to delight guests of all ages. These include The Macy’s Holiday Parade with authentic floats direct from New York City’s The Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade also includes marching bands, live performers and of course, Santa Claus.

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Feb 08 2016

Dining at Universal Studios Orlando: Best Counter Service

Universal Studios Orlando offers a fun and exciting escape from reality within its theme park walls. In addition to the more than a dozen rides and attractions, the park is home to unforgettable live performances, character meet-and-greets plus some of the best counter service dining options in Central Florida.

Leaky Cauldron (Diagon Alley)

Step into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and enter Diagon Alley. On your left, you’ll find the Leaky Cauldron, a Counter/Quick Service restaurant serving a mix of American and British fare. Stop in for breakfast, lunch or dinner and be sure to order a Butterbeer—order it cold or hot. Go for the traditional bangers and mash or Toad in the Hole with Yorkshire pudding. The kids may enjoy the fish and chips as well as the sticky toffee pudding for dessert.

Mel’s Drive-In (Hollywood)

Located in the Universal Studios land known as “Hollywood” across from the Horror Make-up Show, this counter service restaurant is a step back in time. Mel’s Drive-In design comes from the classic movie American Graffiti. Adults and kids alike will love the nostalgic restaurant, complete with classic automobiles parked out front—perfect for a photo op. The menu is classic diner food and includes everything from burgers and fries to grilled sandwiches, onion rings and sweet treats like ice-cream floats.

Fast Food Boulevard (World Expo/Springfield area)

Located across from The Simpsons Ride, the Fast Food Boulevard offers a variety of tasty counter service options from some very familiar Simpsons’ characters. Choices include Krusty Burger, Flaming Moe’s, Luigi’s Pizza, Cletus’ Chicken Shack, the Frying Dutchman and Lisa’s Teahouse of Horror. There’s truly something for everyone along Fast Food Boulevard including savory burgers, wraps, salads, chicken, pulled pork, pizza and delicious seafood. Don’t forget to stop at the Lard Lad for a giant donut when you’re ready for dessert.

Louie’s Italian Restaurant (New York)

Step out of the Florida sun and into the air-conditioned comfort of Louie’s Italian Restaurant, located between Beetlejuice and Revenge of the Mummy. The large restaurant serves up traditional Italian specialties like spaghetti with meatballs, pizza and a creamy fettuccine Alfredo as well as succulent turkey legs and sweet gelato for dessert. The kids’ menu even has peanut butter and jelly if you’re dining with a picky eater.

Other must-try counter service restaurants in Universal Studies include the Beverly Hills Boulangerie, Café La Bamba and Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour.

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Feb 08 2016

Easy Ways to Save Money at Universal Studios Orlando

Budgeting for the perfect vacation can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, there are several ways to save money during your Universal Studios Orlando vacation. Whether you’re planning a one-day visit to the Universal Studios theme park or a week’s stay at the Universal Studios resort, you can save big in some of the most unexpected ways.

Book a Universal Studios Vacation Package

A Universal Studios vacation package can help save money by allowing you to bundle your theme park tickets with your resort hotel stay and even your flight, if traveling by air. A vacation package with reservations at an exclusive Universal Studios resort hotel provides free transportation to Universal Studios parks and even early admission hours so you can get in on the fun before guests staying off-site.

Opt for the Dining Plan

The Universal Orlando Dining Plan makes it fun, easy and affordable to enjoy the best restaurants throughout Universal Studios. There are different dining plan options including the full Universal Dining Plan with each person in your group receiving one full-service meal, one- quick-service meal, one snack and one non-alcoholic beverage per day. There are more than 100 dining locations that honor the plan throughout Universal Studios.

Staying Off-Site? Look for Coupon Deals

If you’re staying at an off-site hotel during your Orlando visit, look for great coupon deals before beginning your day at Universal Studios. Check with your hotel concierge for coupons good for percentages off merchandise purchased in the Universal Studios park (great for saving on souvenirs) and even for discounted dining vouchers. If you’re a AAA member, remember to bring your card with you to the park to receive a percentage off at various restaurants.

Pack Park Essentials Like Sunscreen

Save yourself money by buying park essentials like sunscreen (a must-have when spending the day in the Florida sun) before you arrive. Make a list the essentials you’ll need for the day before your vacation begins. These should include things like sunscreen, hats, autograph books for character signatures and any baby items needed like diapers and wipes. While many of these items are available throughout the Universal Studios park, it’s more affordable to purchase them before arrival.

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Feb 08 2016

6 Reasons to Stay at Universal Studios Orlando Resort Hotel

Make it a vacation to remember by staying on-site at Universal Studios. Staying at a Universal Studios Orlando resort hotel has multiple benefits plus it puts you in the heart of all the fun and excitement this unique theme park has to offer.

1. Themed Resorts with Character Appearances

Each Universal Studios resort hotel has its own theme. From the 50s and 60s retro themed Cabana Bay resort hotel to the iconic Hard Rock Hotel, there’s something for everyone. Themes are carried throughout each resort hotel, from the lobby to the rooms and pool areas. Plus every resort hotel has special character appearances, perfect for kids of all ages.

2. Early Park Admission into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

If you’re staying on-site at a Universal Studios resort hotel, you receive early park admission into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Early park admission is one hour before the theme park’s opening hour.

3. Complimentary Transportation

Guest staying at any Universal Studios resort hotel enjoy complimentary transportation to any of the Universal Studios theme parks. In addition, the on-site hotels feature paved walking paths that allow walking access into Universal Studios parks.

4. On-site Child Care

Families staying at a Universal Studios resort hotel may choose the on-site child care facilities. This is a great option for parents who’d like to enjoy a date night dinner during their vacation stay or an afternoon getaway to the spa. The Universal Studios highly-trained staff entertains your little ones with books, board games, arts-and-crafts, movies and more.

5. Complimentary Merchandise Delivery from Parks

It’s easy to find the perfect souvenir to commemorate your vacation when in the Universal Studios theme park. However, it’s often awkward to carry that souvenir around all day on rides. If you’re staying in a Universal Studios resort hotel, you can have that souvenir or any other purchased merchandise delivered back to your room, free of charge. So go ahead grab that adorable stuffed Minion doll, have it sent back to your room and never worry about leaving it behind on a ride.

6. Priority Seating at Select Restaurants

As a Universal Studios resort hotel guest you may be eligible for priority seating at select restaurants through Universal Studios. Check with you hotel concierge for details and to make a dining reservation.

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Feb 08 2016

Visiting Universal Studios with a Toddler

Planning a visit to Universal Studios Orlando with a toddler has its challenges. However, there are ways to help reduce the risk of a toddler melt-down during your day in the park.

Know the Ride Height Requirements

Certain rides have height requirements as a safety feature. Before visiting Universal Studios, check out online the height requirements for rides that may interest your toddler. Little ones need to be at least 36-inches tall to ride Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster and at least 34-inches tall to ride E.T. Adventure. Children standing 40-inches tall can ride Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, The Simpsons Ride and even TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D. There is no height restriction for Shrek 4-D.

Plan for Breaks

There is a lot to see and do in the Universal Studios theme park—more than a dozen rides and attractions, shows, a spectacular parade, great places to eat and even two play areas just for the littlest visitors. Help keep your toddler from becoming over-tired and cranky by planning breaks throughout your visit, especially if you plan to be in the park from open to close. Take a break and enjoy a frozen treat from Hollywood or Bust, a cold drink from Lagoon Lemonade, or visit the San Francisco Candy Company for a candied apple.

Be Flexible

Traveling with a toddler or children of any age means being flexible. You toddler may chatter continuously about how much he wants to meet a Minion but when the time comes and he suddenly changes his mind, it’s often easier to go with the flow. He may be overwhelmed be the sights and sounds of the park and need a break.

Stay Hydrated

Central Florida is hot. The average temperature in July and August is 92-degrees—often temperatures soar much higher. To keep your toddler and every member of your group healthy and happy, it’s essential to stay hydrated. While a carbonated beverage may taste great, opt for plain water to maximize hydration for your toddler as well as everyone else in your group.

Follow these easy tips for taking a toddler to Universal Studios and your visit may be happier and less stressful.

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Feb 08 2016

Non-stop fun at Universal Studios

Universal Studios in Orlando offers non-stop fun for visitors to this Florida vacation hot-spot. With more than a dozen rides and attractions, the Universal Studios theme park has something for everyone. To get the most out of your visit, consider these top tips for spending the day at Universal Studios.

Stay On-site at a Universal Studios Theme Hotel

When you stay on-site at one of the amazing theme hotels, you’re immersed in the whole Universal Studios vacation experience plus you can walk to the theme park. There are multiple benefits staying in a Universal Studios theme hotel including early admission into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, priority seating at restaurants within the Universal Studios theme park and more.

Don’t Miss the Superstar Parade

Universal’s Superstar Parade is a must-see! The daily, interactive parade features favorite spectacular floats, entertainers and characters like the cast of Despicable Me, SpongeBob SquarePants, and even a drum line led by E.B. from Hop. The parade makes regular stops at Mel’s Drive In and Battery Park so you can meet and greet your favorite characters.

Visit Diagon Alley After Lunch

Located at the far end of the park, Diagon Alley in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter between Disaster and Fear Factor Live, is one of the most popular attractions. Many visitors to Universal Studios head straight to this attraction when entering the park first in the morning. To avoid the morning rush, plan your visit to Diagon Alley after lunch, when the crowds often are lighter.

Plan to Enjoy Signature Snacks

Universal Studios teems with mouthwatering, unique treats that you can’t find at any other theme park. Plan on indulging in a few (or all of them) during your visit. Enjoy a butterbeer in Diagon Alley, a Krusty burger and Lard Lad giant donut in Springfield (home of the Simpsons), or the chocolate guava cake from Café La Bamba on Sunset Boulevard. Adults even can try a real Duff Beer in Springfield.

Other top tips for your Universal Studios visit include taking time for character meet-and-greets, catching the Horror Make-up Show and enjoying some people-watching while relaxing in Central Park.

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Feb 03 2016

The Ever Growing Universal Studios Orlando Resort

Lately things look a little bigger at Orlando’s Universal Studios Resort! Just driving by on I-4 and looking over at the park, you can tell something big is going on. Probably the biggest thing one will notice are all of the skyscraper cranes up in the sky and the skeletal frames of a new Loews Resort going up. Universal Orlando Resort in in construction mode and by the looks of it, there is no slowing up anytime soon. In the past few years Universal Studios Orlando has managed to add multiple new attractions as well as purchasing around 500 new acres to build more on.

Islands of adventure is their sister park that site right next to Universal Studios and was the first of their theme parks to build the now famous Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Building on this idea Universal Studios was the next to get into the Harry Potter hugely popular market by building their own Diagon Alley. Both parks now are connected by the new Hogswort Express, a train that took Harry and his friends to wizarding school every year in the movies. This would be Universal version to Disney’s Monorail. Now that the dust has settled on these two fantastic additions, Universal is back at it with big ideas and big pockets to do it with.

The latest is a fan favourite that used to be at Universal Studios and was deeply missed when he left back in September of 2002. That ride was Kongfrontation and was at the Studios since June of 1990. The people at Universal saw a great opportunity to bring the big guy back when Peter Jackson remade the old black and white movie a few back to audience’s amazement. This was the catalyst to make a new version of Kongfrontation and rename it Skull Island: Reign of Kong. This new ride in Islands of Adventure will be ready to ride in the summer of 2016. This will be in the area next to Jurassic Park and the Toon Lagoon area next to Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls.

Probably the coolest thing that is to come will be their third park addition, Volcano Bay. This will be Universal’s new water park that will have the look and feel of being in the south Pacific on a island made from the explosion of a volcano. Complete with a spewing cinder cone and wave pool, this will redefine the waterpark experience of old! This project is set for a grand opening in the summer of 2017 and will reside south of Universal’s Cabana Bay Resort and just off of I-4. If you are planning a trip to anyone of these famous theme parks and need help finding discounts on Universal Studios tickets or Islands of Adventure tickets, please call our office toll free at 1-877-406-4836 today and speak with one of our vacation planners today.

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Feb 03 2016

Staying Cool At A Orlando Theme Park Near You

Winter time in Florida is almost here and the temperatures are rising at the theme parks to prove it. The biggest issue a traveler has when visiting the parks during the hot and humid times is their stamina and sweating to death. There are many issues that will make or break a person during their vacation here and keeping cool is at the top of that list! So many times you hear of travelers coming to the Orlando area and visiting the parks wearing as little as possible. You would think that showing up to the Magic Kingdom or Universal Studios wearing almost nothing in order to stay cool would be the best idea but time and time again this proves to be a very bad idea!

First off I would like to tell you that I used to work at Disney World for 8 years and I have seen it all. The tourist that are there on their first day and hitting the parks in the morning and then showing up at the end of that day looking like a fried lobster. The look on their faces resembling a fresh fried piece of red  leather and heat waves rolling up their whole body! Not fun and surely not feeling good! I have seen people get physically ill from too much sun to the point of needing medical attention. This is not how to stay cool folks. People from Europe are the worst when visiting our theme parks and get burned up in the first few day.

Staying cool in Florida is not that hard and requires just a few simple things. The biggest thing one must do is lather up with the sun screen! Head to toe and applying throughout the day. No exceptions. Next wear a long sleeve shirt that you won’t mind getting wet in. Ladies might want to wear a undershirt for this! Throughout the day when you start getting hot, pour a cup of water all over your shirt! This will cool your body core down and make you feel like you just jumped in a nice cold pool. Next bring a big plastic water bottle that you can refill at the parks for free. Drinking water will also bring your core body temperature down considerably. This will also save you money rather than buying water in the parks.

The biggest and best way to cool down would have to be airconditioning! Get your shirt wet and go stand or sit on one of the many areas inside at the theme parks. If you can’t find on ask! A cast member will tell you the best areas to go take a break at. I try to always take two pairs of cloths with me when I go to the parks, one for getting wet at the parks in and one for the end of the evening. This will make your trip home not a funky one! Wear a big hat and wear cool towel to wear around your neck. There are many on the market that state they are a cooling towel and they do work. Remember to pace yourself and take those breaks! It’s a vacation, not a race.

For discounts on your favourite Orlando theme parks including discount Disney tickets and discount Universal Studios tickets, contact our office by calling toll free 1-877-406-4836 today to save!

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