When my boyfriend and I visited the International Flower and Garden Festival, we were left a little bewildered. We couldn't figure out what was different than usual - as Disney is always so beautifully landscaped. We did find a fun butterfly tent, but beyond that we did not know what we were suppose..d to be looking for but I suppose it was still a nice visit.
In addition to "playing" with the dolphins, you can watch them take part in cognitive research. From naming an item using their specific signature whistle to matching sample objects to it's correct item, it is so much fun. I could spend all day with Dolphins in Depth!
Well, almost. During SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration, you can definitely feel the chill you would find in the North Pole at their main Christmas attraction - home base with the belugas! They set up a giant Christmas tree and it is chilly as can be. Plus, you get to see some awesome animals! In addi..tion to the belugas, they have a walrus and lots of adorable harbor seals. It's a lot of fun!
I had mixed feelings on the Spooktacular - mainly because I am a little scared of mascots. I don't think the marine animals look much like the animals they are supposed to portray. With that said, it was fun and I think children will enjoy it.
I stayed in this hotel many, many, years ago but I remember I had a great time! It was clean, the staff were nice, and it was near many attractions. If you like Hilton's, you'll definitely be comfortable here.
One Ocean is one of the best SeaWorld shows - it's educational, inspiring, and theatrical. I felt it really led to a significant connection between SeaWorld visitors and the animals. Sadly, the organization has chosen to get rid of this show. I hope you had a chance to see it before they discontinue..d it.
My favorite part of Arcade City was the air hockey table - which is my favorite part of any arcade. It was set up like plunko, where the disc comes out randomly, so that made it a unique feature. I was actually surprised by how quaint the arcade is. I was expecting it to be larger, but it fits a goo..d amount of games. Also, it smells divine in there - like candy!
We ate here during the day - around 3 pm. They have a new menu and I was very eager to try it. The food was okay - not the best but not the worst. I was a little disappointed in the chicken and waffles. It was put in a waffle cone and I think they only used the size of half an eggo and two chicken s..trips in the dish. It really was not large enough to share with another person. In addition, both my significant other and I got a taco and they didn't have much flavor to them at all and you only get one for $3 or $4. I was really excited about the new menu as I have seen it hyped up online, but it did not live up to my expectations. Also, we were there between 3 and 7 and the waitress never mentioned it was Happy Hour which kind of stunk. Happy Hour is my favorite time of the day!
This is made for all the Dr. Seuss fantatics. You can find so many awesome rhyming books that you loved from your youth. If you have a child or a friend with kids you can for sure find something fun and silly here!
I love Betty Boop, so I thought this store would be super cool. It was basically what you would think it is, lots of t-shirts. I wish it had more glamorous clothing and accessories.
Not only does this store have lots of cool comic goodies, but you get to meet Spiderman here too! He had a green screen behind him but the staff there were awesome and let us take a photo with our phones. Plus, Spiderman was super cool and spoke to us for about 10 minutes. So cool!
My boyfriend and dad found the store to be pretty cool, but I didn't really feel like it was my kind of thing. The staff weren't as friendly as staff usually are at Disney stores and I couldn't imagine buying anything in there for myself.
This store had some cool gear for music lovers, but like everything else at a theme park it is very expensive! I found a few awesome things that both myself and my bad would love - but I couldn't afford them. If you're really into this kind of stuff, check out the t-shirts and accessories for an ite..m or two that are pretty nifty in the world of Disney.
This store is at the end of the MIB ride, so obviously it highlights the galaxy defenders. While I absolutely LOVE Men in Black, this is just a store like any other store. There are a few odds and ends that are unique, but for the most part it's the same kind of gift shop you'd find anywhere else at.. Universal.
If you love having Disney Princesses and characters around your home - this is the place to shop. Many of my friends absolutely love this place. I will say that this isn't my cup of tea, but the staff were nice and the photos were pretty.
There are so many unique things to look at and purchase at La Plaza de los Amigos. A lot of it is breakable, so be careful with your kids and be sure to take some time to look at all the gorgeous things there are to see!
I was really surprised that this aquarium was so heavy on conservation. It was great to read the stories of the animals and see that the organization is very involved in animal rescue and release - and in educating the public about the animals. I learned a lot!
On a funner note, there w..as so many great places to take photos. There are many little bubbles where you can poke your head in and see the animals closer.
My favorite exhibit was the sting rays. Although you cannot touch them if you go behind the habitat, there are little peep holes where you can sit and watch them under the water. I saw two different species of sting ray, horse shoe crabs, and lots of fish. I felt like a mermaid and could have stayed there all day!
The food was REALLY good - especially their cheese curds. You haven't tried cheese curds until you've tried them at Yard House. Additionally, the food is really well priced. I got a small pizza and side salad for $10! The service was excellent and our waitress was so nice. She stayed and talked to u..s as much as we needed despite how busy it was. My fiance loved that they had over 100 beers and that you could get beer in a goblet!
The only criticisms I have are: 1) When the hostess sat us, I asked if we could be near the game. She did not ask what game, but as my fiance was wearing a Patriots hat and jersey, I would assume someone could put two and two together. She did not and sat us a table near a television not showing any of the games. 2) Each television is tuned to a channel for a reason and the staff there will not change the channel to something else. When I asked if the waitress could change the TV to the appropriate channel she said she couldn't and said we should have told the hostess we wanted to sit near the game. I told her we did and then the waitress said the hostess should have asked which game. Although this did occur, the waitress did happily re-seat us where we wanted to be sat so all was fine in the end. But for those of you football fans, make sure you ask to be near your game.
My fiance and I went here to watch the games on a Saturday and it was a very interesting experience. The menu was pretty small and not what I would associate with football eating. Also, there was a DJ playing music through the entire experience, even though it was noon. The food was decent, but the ..atmosphere kind of confused me.
Make sue you stop by the underwater viewing for Dolphin Cove at SeaWorld. It is the happiest place in the world! You can watch them swim underwater and they often come over. Sometimes you'll even see them blow air bubbles and play with them. It's incredible, beautiful, and you'll want to stay there ..all day! If there is an Educator there ask them when they plan to do enrichment so you can watch the dolphins play (and sometimes participate!) if they're in the mood.
Fair warning though, it does smell a bit dingy in there and I have seen a roach or two.
This attraction is rarely busy, has a short wait time, and has the best thing of all: air conditioning! Plus, it's super fun. Make sure you visit at least once and if you need a break from the heat go again!
I love Universal City Walk, but I will say it can be a bit expensive. To park during the day alone is around $20. Then, there's a lot of places to purchase gifts and food which are all a bit overpriced. For a tourist, I get it, but for Florida residents it can be a bit much.
Also, make ..sure you do not purchase a drink prior to going through security to City Walk. You will either have to throw it out or chug it since they will not allow it onto City Walk - which means you HAVE to purchase beverages from them at a upcharge.
Besides the expensiveness, it is still fun. Try the pizza place on the bottom floor. It is to die for!
I've been to three or four different Ripley's and they all seem about the same. It's fun and you learn/do some interesting things. If you've enjoyed a Ripley's in the past, you'd probably enjoy it again.
When I visited, a lot of the rides were not working so that may be why I am only giving it a regular rating. I wish I could have tried more experience, but overall it was a typical Disney attraction.
I don't think that Disney has done the work needed to upkeep their hotels and the Swan hotel is definitely proof of that. Walking into the lobby you get the feeling that they're a bit dingy. Again, I was willing to look past that but sadly their customer service was as bad as their old school decor... My mother was attending a conference and they completely messed up the reservations. Her parking was supposed to be free and they charged her. When she brought it up to the front desk they told her that they couldn't fix it because it wasn't on the reservation. Turns out the event coordinator had not passed the message along that several people in the group had free parking. In addition to that, they did not offer a national conference any water for the eight to ten hour long meetings, had limited food, and everything was ridiculously up-charged. I understand that it's Disney but when a group of over 100 people are showing up and bringing in hundreds of others you should actually care about your clients.
I won't be going back there again!
I'll give you a laugh by saying how excited I was to stay at a dolphin hotel. Unfortunately, it is dolphin in the sense of mahi mahi or dorada, not the marine mammal. Yes, my heart was a little sad after that.
I can put that behind me though. Unfortunately, the rest of the hotel seemed ..very run down. I don't think that Disney has kept up their hotels and this is definitely proof of that. Walking into the lobby you get the feeling that they're a bit dingy. Again, I was willing to look past that but sadly their customer service was as bad as their old school decor. My mother was attending a conference and they completely messed up the reservations. Her parking was supposed to be free and they charged her. When she brought it up to the front desk they told her that they couldn't fix it because it wasn't on the reservation. Turns out the event coordinator had not passed the message along that several people in the group had free parking. In addition to that, they did not offer a national conference any water for the eight to ten hour long meetings, had limited food, and everything was ridiculously up-charged. I understand that it's Disney but when a group of over 100 people are showing up and bringing in hundreds of others you should actually care about your clients.
I won't be going back there again!
First off, I know refer to my fiance as a "Florida cracker" since I learned that that's their term for the lucky kids that were born and raised in Florida. It was made even more hilarious by the fact that he was the only one in the stands that raised his hand when asked. I guess he's quite special.<..br />
This show is pee your pants funny. I can't tell if the show is scripted to be this funny or if the entertainers wing it from day to day but it's great. A must see for sure!
When walking through Epcot, if you're lucky you'll hear some familiar songs being sung by some gorgeous voices. Think of it as Pitch Perfect of the colonial age. A must see!
Even though I am personally terrified by mascots, I did find this to be fun. I squealed when I saw Rafiki and Chip and Dale. There's usually no line at Conservation Corner so definitely take a ride over there and meet some Disney characters!
This show is adorable and it makes your heart happy that these are all rescued animals from shelters. They do a fantastic job and you can really see the relationships between the trainers and their animals. Definitely, a must see!
This is the same show I was 20 years ago when I visited Disney, and that I saw on Step by Step as a tween, but it's still enjoyable. They do a really good job of getting the audience involved and it is tons of fun!
Obviously, you can see mom and baby dolphins which is AMAZING! But it is a little hard to see them. This used to be the touch tank and was changed to the nursery so there is no way to look underneath to see the dolphins. Also, you can't get too close to them for the animals' well being which is fine...
I've heard they are redoing this habitat to allow for underwater viewing which will make it even better!
I have been to two Halloween Horror Nights and both times I decided not to use a fast pass - worst decision ever! Each line is literally hours and hours of waiting. The houses are pretty cool, but it's so boring to have to wait so long for literally one minute of scare.
I do recommend g..etting the reusable cups that they sell during the nights. You'll save a ton of money!
Also, I wish the Walking Dead houses were cooler. I've been a little disappointed since it's my favorite show. The other ones are really cool though.
The ride looks beautiful but the actual experience is pretty lacking. The teacup doesn't spin that fast, regardless of how fast you spin the wheel. Also, the ride doesn't last very long - a recurring theme at Disney.
I rode this several times because I was in such awe that the makers of the ride could make this so detailed and perfect. The dinosaurs look real! It's really incredible.
As for the actual ride, it's really laid back and fun - as though you're going on a nice, calm, cruise, of jurassic p..ark. That is until you take the plunge!
GoPros are not allowed on this ride, but there are some people who brought them on with them. The ride attendants will call you out on them and pause the ride until you put them away.
I loved this ride! It was so cool and so much fun. You really felt like you were in the Transformers movies!
Side note: If you have a person in your party that may easily be injured by sudden stopping and starting, or a jerking mechanism, I would think twice about this ride.
Before riding on Test Track, riders have the option to customize the "car" they will be driving while they're on the track. Unfortunately, I never got to see this for myself. After waiting in a very, very, long line, my boyfriend and I were split up because we were two rider and there was a family o..f four that had two and two in the first and second seat. I'm naturally terrified of most rides (you'll find me on a carousal any day, but not so much the fast, topsy-turvy, or adrenaline packed rides) so I told him that I would not go on the ride unless I was sitting next to him. When I told this to the ride attendant they wouldn't move us to sit next together because of the party of four. I understand that we were technically in the same car (I would be in the front and my boyfriend in the back) but there's no way to hold onto someone. I freaked out and had to jump off the ride before it started because I was so scared.
My boyfriend said it was a cool ride where you around a track. Unfortunately, I did not get to experience the ride (although I had to put up with the wait) due to the staff.
I had no idea how cool Skeletons was by just looking at it from the outside. It really is truly fascinating! A must-stop for educational minded individuals, homeschoolers, and just anyone who is curious about anything.
The skeletons are posed as the animals would be naturally found out.. in the wild (except for the humans - I definitely can't do a yoga pose like their skeleton!) and it's just so interesting. This coupled with the fact that you can the majority of these are REAL skeletons is just incredible. If you're in Orlando, you really should make a detour to Skeletons!
You can't stop but stare at the castle - it's beautiful! But if you want to get close for a show, make sure you get there super early. I'm pretty sure people camp out.
Also, if you're with your love, make sure you get a few kissing photos or selfies at different angles. There are so man..y ways to get beautiful photos with the castle behind you!
I am obsessed with all things medieval so obviously I love Medieval Times! They do a great job at re-enacting the speak, costumes, and all those things that make you feel like you're really back in the medieval times. With all that said, I have obviously visited several Medieval Times attractions in.. the United States.
Definitely get there early and visit the village before the show. Also, opt for one of the drinks and a gift. It's so worth it!
The only criticism I have is that I wish the seating was circular. When I visited, we were all the way to the left side and it felt as though we were a bit distanced from the show. Additionally, I would suggest a more timely manner of getting the food in and out without obstructing views. There were a few things we missed as the wait staff and photographers were running back and forth. I will definitely do it again though!
I hate to give away this secret, but Aquatica is one of the best water parks in Orlando because it is not that crowded. As they are associated with SeaWorld, there are quite a few people who do not want to support that brand which makes it heaven-sent in such a congested area like Orlando. If you're.. looking for a quieter waterpark, definitely choose this one. Also, they have commerson's dolphins that are adorable!
I didn't know very much about Gatorland prior to visiting but I left with a love for the place. I honestly thought it was all about gators, but there are so many animals there - birds, raccoons, deer, emus, panthers, bobcats, snakes, and everything in between. It was really cool!
Make s..ure you feed the budgies - it is a truly magical experience! And take a trip on the train to see the deer close up.
Ziplining is on my bucket list too - if I ever get the guts to do it!
As an avid animal lover, I figured this would be my favorite Disney park but I was left disappointed. There aren't many animals out on display. I assume this is so people will see them on the safari ride. However, as I couldn't wait three hours for the ride I do not know if this is true. Instead of ..waiting in multiple lines, we chose to pick my favorite ride (the white water rapids one) and spend our time waiting for that one. Well, after three and a half hours we got on it and it lasted a whole 45 seconds. We didn't even get wet! It put a damper on the entire day for us.
If you really want to get your time's worth of Animal Kingdom, I highly recommend checking out the Conservation Corner that you can get to via a tram ride. You are able to pet farm animals, see a few live performances, take photos with Rafiki, and watch some interesting educational presentations. The one I watched was on turtle cognition - which I found fascinating.
I visited Knott's Berry Farm a few times - both during the day and during halloween nights and I loved it! It was by far better than Halloween Horror Nights or any of the other big production places that do month-long Halloween programs. It was so cool!
This is my favorite water-type park in Orlando! It is the perfect way to spend a day - and well worth the money. You can opt to go in without a dolphin or add on program and just enjoy the beach, or you can add on one of their interactive programs. Either way, your entrance is all day long and you r..eceive free wetsuits, food, drinks, and can spend the day snorkeling, playing with birds, stingrays, and just having a relaxing, happy day. I'd rather go here than travel an hour to the beach!
I visited Disney's Hollywood Studios when I was a child and couldn't remember much beyond the Honey I Shrunk the Kids area and Indiana Jones. After visiting last year, I realized why - that's all they have that actually interests me. I was surprised to find that Hollywood Studios was almost identica..l to what it was 20 years ago. I look forward to the new renovations and additions.
As an adult, I was really surprised to find that Magic Kingdom wasn't my thing. I figured that the nostalgia of old Disney movies - The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, etc. - would make this place AMAZING and was a bit disappointed. However, I truly think it because I didn't have a child to experience it.. with.
Also, Tomorrow Land needs to be redone. It seems more like 1950s tomorrow land rather than what the world of tomorrow would actually be.
I'm not huge on going on rides, so it doesn't really upset me that SeaWorld doesn't have many of them. However, I do love the animals there. My biggest issue is that it is really hard to hear many of the educational narrations. I can't ever hear anything at the sting ray lagoon or pinniped habitat, ..and the mic in the underwater dolphin area is always broken (However, it is absolutely stunning so definitely stop by there!!) Definitely make time for the penguins and harbor seals - they are so fun and genuinely curious about people.
I walked out of SeaWorld feeling like I knew nothing about the animals personally. I tend to prefer animal facilities where the staff refer to the animals as who they are (that dolphin's name is ____, that killer whale is _____). I felt like there was a large disconnect between the people who are educating the public about the animals and the animals themselves. I understand that some people prefer to think of them as just a member of their species, but as someone with an invested interest in forming connections with animals I was a little let down.
I have visited all the main attractions in Orlando. Islands of Adventure is by far my favorite. I love Jurassic Park. I love the Marvel Universe. But most of all, I love Who-Ville! I could spend all day there. It's so colorful and happy - it brought me right back to my childhood. When it comes to ac..tually stepping into the world of the movies and shows you love - Universal, especially Islands of Adventure, hits the mark!
As an adult with no children, it's no surprise that Epcot is my FAVORITE place to visit at Disney! It tends to be less crowded and, of course, you can eat and drink around the world - which is the best thing to do. By far, the best drink is in Italy. It's a peach champagne that is absolutely delicio..us. My fiance and I buy a bottle of it every time we go.
I also use the different countries as a way to scope out things prior to going on vacation. A man from Rome was very helpful and gave me lots of pointers that helped me on my trip to Europe. I am forever grateful to him! Definitely take in the ambiance of the different countries but take some time to speak to the workers there. They are very insightful (he even told us that the peach champagne that I love so much isn't actually from Italy - sad, but good to know) and they seem to like having the opportunity to speak to guests who are genuinely interested in their culture.
I went on this ride twice in one day. It was really cool and quite interesting. Plus, it's air conditioned and you don't have to walk! That alone makes it a hit.
Sometimes, the lines are really long and other times it's really short. If you see it short, definitely jump on the ride!
I love this ride! It's so much fun and at the end of it are - animals! Manatees, dolphins, turtles, so many cool educational things to go through! I love how they incorporated the Finding Nemo ride with educational components about conserving the oceans.
I have been a HUGE Simpsons fan all my life - so when I came across this ride I was so excited to go on it! Leading up the actual ride was great. You felt like you were actually in Springfield. Once you make your way through the line, that is showing Simpsons clips BTW, before you actually go into t..he ride they put you in a teeny tiny room. In this room, my gut told me that I should leave the ride but I wanted to go through with it. Boy, was that a bad decision!
Apparently, this used to be the Back to the Future ride so it has a lot of the same motions and unfortunately, these motions are not synced correctly with what you're seeing on the screen. This, coupled with the fact that it's old school 3d (I had no issues with Transformers and other 3D rides) made it unbearable. The ride turned into the longest few moments of my life trying not to hurl. I had to close my eyes and dry heaved throughout the whole thing. The few seconds I opened them, it made me even sicker. I lost it. After the ride I spent several hours throwing up and had to cut my visit short because I was so sick.
I have been to Madame Tussauds in Las Vegas, New York City, and Washington DC - so I've walked among the stars on many occasions. The one in Orlando has a lot of the same celebrities, but it is much smaller than the others - that doesn't mean that it's less fun though. In fact, this one was the firs..t one I went to with Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parson) and I was beyond thrilled. Oh, and their Grease tribute is so much fun! Make sure you bring someone with you to capture the poses you're sure to strike next to your fave celebs.
I really enjoyed my ride on the eye. It was really cool to see Orlando from those points of views and it wasn't scary at all (I'm slightly terrified of heights). I don't know if it's changed since they re-branded to Coca Cola Eye, but my only suggestion would be to have a way to turn down the music ..in there. I believe you can change stations but I don't think you were able to turn it down completely. Besides that, I loved it! I definitely want to go back during sunset or night to see Orlando lit up.
I cannot tell you how much I enjoy my visits to I-Drive 360! I first came for their main attraction, the Coca-Cola Eye, and learned that they had so much more to offer. I had fun going through Madame Tussaud's and am waiting to go back to the aquarium. However, I was shocked by how much I enjoyed th..e Skeleton Museum! It was truly fascinating. I could have spent all day there learning about all the different species of animals. In terms of food, my fiance loves the Buffalo Wild Wings and I love the french cafe! Oh, and there's free parking in the garage - which a lot of people don't know!