Everything You Need to Know About Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando Resort is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to visit in Orlando! For years I only visited those parks run by our favorite mouse, but in the last couple of years I’ve been making it a point to spend some of my time at Universal. The more I visit – the more I love it!

Universal Orlando Resort

All the Parts of Universal

  • Universal Studios Florida – Lots of rides and lots of adventure. Dodge evil villains. Defend the earth. Face a fire-breathing dragon. In this theme park, the movies come to life right before your eyes!
  • Universal’s Islands of Adventure – Super heroes and magical creates!
  • Universal’s Volcano Bay – This is the BEST water park in Orlando!
  • Universal CityWalk – Dining and entertainment at it’s best! 

Children Under Three Get In Free – Single or double strollers are available for rent upon entering Universal Studios Florida

Sit Out, Then Swap – If your children are too small or don’t want to go on a particular ride that you’d like to experience, you can take advantage of the “child swap” program. Each ride and attraction has a child swap area where one member of your party can wait with the little ones while the rest of your party rides.

Universal Rider Guide

All the Resorts of Universal

The resorts at Universal Orlando make it easy to get to the parks and CityWalk. You can enter the parks an hour before all other guests. When staying at some of the resorts, you can skip the regular lines at most popular attractions with FREE Universal Express Unlimited to Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, including The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

There’s a Universal hotel for every style and budget. 

  • Loews Portofino Bay Hotel – Celebrate the sweet life. Enjoy the beauty, charm and romance of a luxurious escape inspired by the famed seaside village of Portofino, Italy. Tasty outdoor cafes and a serene harbor invite you to explore the colorful piazza. Three amazing pools offer different ways to relax. Incredible restaurants let you savor a deliciously delightful culinary tour of Italy.
  • Hard Rock Hotel – The coolest hotel on the planet. Live like a rock star and savor the perks of rock and roll royalty with impeccable accommodations, laid-back luxurious style and show-stopping service. 
  • Loews Royal Pacific Resort – Experience a luxurious South Seas escape that perfectly combines tropical splendor and exceptional amenities. A sparkling lagoon-style pool surrounded by a white sand beach and swaying palms invites you to escape. Savor the culinary creations of a celebrity chef. Celebrate with a classic luau. Unwind with a one-of-a-kind dining adventure featuring locally brewed beers.
  • Loews Sapphire Falls Resort – Step into paradise in the heart of the tropics. Blue waterfalls cascade over lush grounds and in the distance, calming sounds of steel drums call you to take in the scenic views, ease into island time and let go. Amid the ruins, passageways and pools you’ll find numerous Caribbean-themed dining options. 
  • Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort – Vibrant, retro style rooms and suites brilliantly designed for fun and affordability. Relax with a splash, surrounded by amazing iconic architecture inspired by classic Florida beach resorts of the 1950’s and 60’s. Two massive pools, a winding lazy river, a bowling alley and more.
  • Universal’s Aventura Hotel – Opening August 2018, this will be the modern and stylish place to stay. Spacious open areas will invite conversation and engagement while the 600 rooms reflect a clean, contemporary style. 

Each of the on-site resort hotels at Universal Orlando Resort has a supervised children’s activity center where kids can be dropped off in a safe, monitored environment while Mom and Dad enjoy a few hours out. An activity center is open every evening and offers movies, games, arts and crafts, and more for children ages 4–14. Please note that this service is only available to on-site hotel guests. There is a fee and advance reservations are suggested.

All Universal Orlando on-site hotels comply with accessibility requirements to ensure specially equipped guest rooms are available. Restaurants are wheelchair accessible, and all accessible guest room entrances include room numbers in Braille. Trained service animals are welcome. 

All About Dining

There are approximately 125 restaurants so there is something for every sort of eater! Dining plans offer different options, including full service or quick service – character dining – fine dining. No one goes hungry at Universal Orlando!

Annual Universal Events

  • A Celebration of Harry Potter 
  • Mardi Gras (Universal Studios) Feb. 3 – April 7, 2018
  • Rock the Universe (Universal Studios) 
  • Halloween Horror Nights 28 (Universal Studios)
  • Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort
  • Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s (Universal Studios)
  • Mannheim Steamroller (Universal Studios) 
  • Grinchmas




Infinity Falls ~ SeaWorld Orlando’s Newest Attraction

SeaWorld Orlando was always a favorite when my kids were young. My son was always fascinated by the beautiful and graceful creatures and he would giggle uncontrollably at the antics all around him. I know there always seems to be some sort of controversy when it comes to SeaWorld but in reality SeaWorld does so much good that never makes the news. They do it every day. The number of rescued and rehabilitated creatures that SeaWorld cares for is large. The SeaWorld rescue team has helped more than 31,000 animals in need. The number of creatures successfully returned to the ocean is unbelievable. I personally can’t wait to see all the new things coming to SeaWorld Orlando in 2018.

Infinity Falls SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment believes in inspiring guests to protect animals and the wild wonders of our world. The company is one of the world’s foremost zoological organizations and a global leader in animal welfare, behavioral training, husbandry and veterinary care. The company collectively cares for what it believes is one of the largest zoological collections in the world and has helped lead advances in the care of animals.

Photo Credit: SeaWorld

SeaWorld Orlando revealed the custom rafts for its new Infinity Falls river rapids attraction due to open in the summer 2018. The 8-passenger raft features custom theming and décor resembling supplies found on real white-water rafting expeditions. The circular raft design puts riders face-to-face and allows friends and family to enjoy this exhilarating attraction together.

Aboard the raft, riders will embark on an adventure through a lush rainforest environment inspired by some of the world’s most incredible freshwater ecosystems. The new attraction will feature the world’s tallest drop on a river raft ride and allow visitors to experience the feel of exhilarating rapids. The ride will also feature an innovative elevator lift designed to transport the rafts to the top of the ride’s 40-foot drop.

Infinity Falls will be the first attraction at SeaWorld to tell a story beyond the ocean and share a message of water conservation through the adventure of a white-water river expedition. This is just one example of the park’s new “Park to Planet” initiative, a mission to help guests understand some of the challenges facing the planet and inspiring them to help.

The new attraction will be the centerpiece of a newly themed area designed to resemble the base-camp of explorers and scientists. After riding Infinity Falls, the entire family can explore the village and take part in interactive experiences that combine play with education to create a positive impact on freshwater ecosystems, reinforcing “Park to Planet” in real time. SeaWorld’s Animal Ambassadors will also provide up-close encounters with animals native to South America.

“Rush the rapids on SeaWorld’s all-new river ride Infinity Falls. Climb aboard your raft for a journey of discovery down this lost jungle river. Wind your way around soaking fountains and waterfalls as you pass the remains of an ancient civilization. Hang on as the roaring world class rapids send you flying through chutes before you plunge down the tallest drop of its kind into churning whitewater. Your adventure ends at Harmony Village with a greater connection to the world’s rivers, inspired to spread the message of conservation. Explorers are wanted for the next expedition through Infinity Falls, coming to SeaWorld Orlando.” Coming in 2018!

Get the latest Infinity Falls updates by following SeaWorld Orlando on FacebookTwitterInstagram and the SeaWorld Orlando Blog.

Photo Credit: SeaWorld

SeaWorld

At SeaWorld Orlando, the aquatic world comes alive. You can experience one-of-a-kind attractions, thrilling coasters and up-close animal interactions.

Aquatica

High-speed water slides and exhilarating wave pools, to tranquil beaches, Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark in Orlando, is a must visit spot for water lovers of all ages!

Discovery Cove

Discovery Cove in Orlando is an all-inclusive day resort where guests can enjoy a one-of-a-kind opportunity to swim with dolphins, rays and tropical fish and hand-feed exotic birds. It’s a day everyone will remember!




Family Friendly New Year’s Eve in Orlando

family friendly new years orlando

With the holidays right around the corner and many families planning to spend some time in Orlando at one of the theme parks, it’s time to start thinking about New Year’s Eve. There is so much to do in Orlando you can take your pick of fun and family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebrations at each of the theme parks.

Photo Credit: www.WDWNews.com

Walt Disney World Resort

Magic Kingdom: On both Dec. 30 and Dec. 31, witness the “Fantasy in the Sky” firework spectacular at 11:50 p.m. Go the night before for a special preview, or go on New Year’s Eve and receive party hats and noisemakers to make the party even better.

Epcot: Travel around the World Showcase with DJs, live music, dance stations and delicious food from all over the globe. You can even see two showings of the firework spectacular, “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,” at 6 p.m. and 11:40 p.m., prior to the holiday fireworks at midnight.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Here, you’ll be able to watch a brilliant fireworks display as the clock strikes midnight. Stick around afterward for a special presentation of “Star Wars: A Galactic  Spectacular” with the party continuing until 1 a.m.

Disney’s Contemporary Resort: This venue will host Pixar Party: A New Year’s Eve Celebration. Bring the whole family and ring in the New Year with your favorite Disney-Pixar characters. Indulge in a buffet dinner, dance the night away, enjoy games for the kids and be mesmerized by the fantastic fireworks.

Adults Only at WDW

Disney’s BoardWalk Resort: Held in the Atlantic Dance Hall, this New Year’s Eve party invites you to don your best hat and blow your horn as you witness Epcot’s fireworks at midnight. A complimentary glass of champagne is included with admission.

Disney’s Contemporary Resort: This venue will host two parties exclusively for adults.

  • Disney Countdown to Midnight: This bash features delicious dishes, live DJs, ample dance room and a breathtaking view of the Magic Kingdom’s fireworks display. The food and drinks come from some of Disney World’s best restaurants, including California GrillFlying FishCítricos and Narcoosee’s.
  • Down in New Orleans: This jazz-infused, fine-dining experience will make you feel just like you’re in The Princess and the Frog. As the clock strikes midnight, enjoy a champagne toast and a gorgeous view of the park’s fireworks.

Photo Credit: Universal Orlando

Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure: From 8 a.m. on Dec. 31 until 1 a.m. on Jan. 1, both parks will feature DJs and memorable character meet-and-greets. A majestic fireworks show will ring in 2018 at midnight.

Rock ‘Til The Drop New Year’s Eve Party: Held at the Hard Rock Cafe & Live Orlando at Universal CityWalk, this family-friendly event includes live music, an assortment of menu offerings and a champagne toast at midnight. Plus, each ticket includes unlimited soda, juice and water for the little ones.

Adults Only Universal Orlando

 Universal CityWalk: The massive EVE at Universal CityWalk celebration gives you access to the entertainment destination’s best clubs, as well as the resort’s midnight fireworks display. You’ll also have the opportunity to dine on delicious food, such as prime rib and fresh seafood. Finally, the event will feature unique party zones, each offering a different signature cocktail.

SeaWorld Orlando

New Year’s Eve at SeaWorld Orlando: Give 2018 an aquatic welcome while surrounded by your favorite underwater animals. The party will include interactive DJ stations, craft beers, delectable food, musical performances and a vibrant fireworks display at midnight.

Photo Credit: Legoland Florida

Legoland Florida Resort

Kid’s New Year’s Party: If your little ones can’t make it to midnight, they can still ring in the New Year — albeit at the kid-friendlier hour of 7 p.m. That’s when a giant Lego brick will drop with Lego-inspired fireworks as a backdrop, capping off the giant dance party.

Orlando offers all sorts of ways to ring in the new year with your family! 




It Will Be 5 O’Clock Everywhere When Margaritaville Resort Orlando Opens in 2018

Margaritaville Resort Orlando opens 2018
Photo Credit: Margaritaville Resort Orlando

It will be 5 o’clock everywhere when Margaritaville Resort Orlando opens! If you want to visit – you’re in luck! If you want to live there – you’re in luck too! The Margaritaville hotel, 200,000 square feet of shops and restaurants, vacation homes, and a water park – all in one spot! You’ll be able to live life as if you’re in a Jimmy Buffet song! I can’t wait!

Paradise is definitely starting to take shape! Check out this recent aeriel video:

 

Margaritaville Resort Orlando will be a new, one-of-a-kind vacation escape in the heart of Orlando. A resort community inspired by the laid-back Margaritaville lifestyle, masterfully designed to be your new happy place. A 187 room Margaritaville hotel, a massive lagoon-style pool, soft sand beaches, and best-in-class retail, dining, and entertainment, including a twelve-acre water park. With vacation homes, luxury condominiums, and timeshares, you can Escape to Your Paradise

Margaritaville Resort Orlando will be themed around the coastal, paradise vibes of the popular laid-backed Florida based singer, Jimmy Buffett. It will be constructed on the 305-acre parcel of land on U.S. Highway 192 (aka Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy) in Osceola County near the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks. Back in the day, the theme park Splendid China, sat on the site, which closed its doors in 2003. The hotel is expected to have luxurious rooms and a water park. In addition, a “lagoon-sized” pool is also planned. The development plans also include a “FinCity” arcade, a St. Somewhere Spa, a planetarium, a Son of a Sailor fishing school, paddle boarding and kayaking. Additionally, 200,000 square feet of retail space will be built, as well as approximately 1,000 homes to purchase. The resort is scheduled to open in phases.

Photo Credit: flickr.com

Bring Paradise to Your Timeline!
Follow Margaritaville Resort Orlando on Facebook for the latest news and updates about this unique, new, vacation location!

Island Themed Instances are on Instagram!
Video, views and news are all available to the faithful Margaritaville Resort Orlando Instagram followers!

Wasting Away, (Blogging Away) in Paradise!
The curious, intriguing and informative Margaritaville Resort Orlando Blog offers a bar side view of life from this special place in paradise!

As information becomes available, I’ll be sure to keep you all up to date!




The Newest Orlando Attraction – Andretti Indoor Karting & Games

Next time you’re in Orlando – start your engines – VROOOOOM! and head to Andretti Indoor Karting. Located across from the North end of the Orange County Convention Center, in walking distance of I-Drive, Andretti Indoor Karting offers free WiFi, great food, drink & fun.

Andretti Indoor Karting
The new 150,000+ square feet indoor climate controlled facility features High Speed Electric Superkarts on a two-level modular track, 12 lanes of Bowling, over 120+ Arcade Games & Prizes, an Extreme Ropes Course with a curved Zip Line, 6 CXC VR Racing Simulators, Multi-level Laser Tag, 7D HD Dark Ride Interactive Motion Theater and a Full Service Restaurant & Bar. At Andretti Grill you’ll find fresh American favorites and pizza made in a Brick Pizza Oven. Relax in the full service bar and lounge while taking in all the action.
Take a break from the local theme parks and the hustle and bustle of Orlando at Andretti Indoor Karting & Games for a guaranteed full day of fun!
ANDRETTI INDOOR KARTING & GAMES
ANNOUNCES SOFT OPENING DATE AND ORLANDO PREVIEW WEEKEND
10 Ways to Play Under One Roof
Andretti Indoor Karting & Games is the newest premier entertainment and event destination featuring heart-pounding attractions, delicious cuisine and unique event spaces under one roof.
 
The Orlando location, the first in Florida, announces the soft opening date of Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 10 a.m. with 150,000 square feet of excitement at every turn and complimentary, ample surface parking.

Orlando Preview Weekend

Orlando Preview Weekend will be held on Friday, September 29 through Sunday, October 1 during regular hours:
Sunday – Thursday10 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Friday – Saturday10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Andretti Grill opens at 11 a.m. daily
All Central Florida residents with a valid ID will be treated to a complimentary $10 Play Card to enjoy arcade and non-redemption prize games (additional restrictions may apply).
10 Ways to Play Under One Roof
Located within walking distance of the Orlando/Orange County Convention Center, the highly anticipated Andretti Indoor Karting & Games entertainment complex features
•    Multi-level indoor karting
•    Full-service restaurant and bar
•    12 lanes of boutique bowling
•    120+ arcade and prize games
•    Two-level laser tag
•    Six virtual reality (VR) CXC racing simulators
•    7D HD dark ride motion theater
•    Extreme ropes course and curved zip line
•    10,000 square feet of event space
•    100+ HD TVs for sports viewing 
Superkarts
Andretti Indoor Karting & Games features high-speed electric SODI RTX Superkarts. The professionally designed multi-level, banked turn, modular track was created exclusively for the Orlando location by Kart360 with the most elevation changes and banked turns in the world. When the three tracks are combined, the Super Track is the largest indoor karting track in the United States.
Dining
Andretti Grill is a scratch-kitchen, full-service restaurant and bar featuring favorites such as Big Green Egg® slow-smoked ribs and wood-fired brick oven pizzas. Guests can catch all the action of their favorite games on more than 100 HD TVs and projection screens while enjoying refreshing libations at the Main Bar or the unique Sky Bar, with a 180° view of the track and LED illuminated domed roof.
No General Admission – Pay as You Play
·  Single adult race is $21.95, Single junior race is $14.95
·  Arcade and prize games: $5, $10, $20*,$50*, $100* (*includes bonus credits)
·  VR CXC racing simulators: $12.95
·  Two-level laser tag: $9.95
·  Boutique Bowling: starting at $24.95 (shoes and socks extra)
·  7D HD dark ride motion theater: $9.95
·  Extreme ropes course: $11.95
VIP Membership
Memberships are $5.95 for a single guest and $14.95 for a family membership. Memberships are
valid for one year from date of purchase and are valid at any Andretti Indoor Karting & Games location. Members enjoy up to 20 percent off karting and attractions plus 15 percent off arcade play and 10 percent off bowling lane rental and meals in Andretti Grill.
About Andretti Indoor Karting & Games
Andretti Indoor Karting & Games is the premier entertainment and event destination featuring heart-pounding attractions, delicious cuisine and unique event spaces. The Orlando location, the first in Florida, offers 150,000 square feet of excitement at every turn. Andretti Indoor Karting & Games was established in 2001 and is headquartered in Georgia with two successful locations in Roswell and Marietta. The company also owns and operates the outdoor Andretti Thrill Park in Melbourne, Florida. Andretti Indoor Karting & Games is located at 9299 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, FL  32819 at the corner of Convention Way and Universal Boulevard; walking distance from the Orlando/Orange County Convention Center.
Get on the inside track for exclusive specials and promotions for the new Orlando location: https://andrettikarting.com/orlando/e-club/
Twitter:           https://twitter.com/andrettiorlando