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!




5 Restaurants to Try on I-Drive Orlando

Restaurants International Drive Orlando

Whether you are visiting Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando or Sea World, you can find lots of different and really, really good restaurants along I-Drive in Orlando to end your day with a great meal. Everyone should visit I-Drive at least once when they are in Orlando because after all, there’s more to Orlando than theme parks!

Restaurants I Drive Orlando
Photo Credit: InternationalDriveOrlando.com

International Drive, commonly known as I-Drive, is a major 11.1-mile roadway in Orlando, and is the city’s main tourist strip. The International Drive area is home to the Orange County Convention Center complex, the Pointe Orlando entertainment complex, major hotels, SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica (Sea World’s water park), Fun Spot America amusement park, the Orlando Eye Ferris wheel, the I-Drive 360 entertainment complex, museums, themed restaurants, bars, outlet malls, mini golf courses like Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf and other tourism-related properties and tourist attractions such as Air Florida Helicopter Inc, Wonder Works and The Magical Midway. The I-Ride trolley system provides bus transportation along the I-Drive district primarily for tourists and convention attendees. 

Cafe Tu Tu Tango

Located at 8625 International Drive, this spot has a great atmosphere that has artists paint as you eat. It’s a really funky tapas spot with live entertainment plus a patio and a bar. The cafe offers brunch on both Saturday and Sunday with bottomless bloody marys and mimosas. Monday thru Friday, 3:30 to 6:30 you can enjoy 2 for 1 drink specials. Cafe Tu Tu Tango offers an entirely small-plate menu that is extensive, eclectic and diverse with everything being prepared from scratch.

Brick House Tavern + Tap

Located at 8440 International Drive, offers Friday, Saturday and Sunday steak nights and offers brunch on Sunday. Brick House also hosts “Happiness Hour” Monday thru Friday with a dedicated drink and snack menu. Daily and seasonal specials make the Brick House Tavern & Tap a fun spot to visit more than once since the menu will be slightly different with each visit.

Copper Canyon Grill

Located at 9101 International Drive in Pointe Orlando, Copper Canyon Grill offers patio seating, private dining room and a chef’s table. It’s a perfect location for lunch or a glass of wine. You can expect an energetic atmosphere and welcoming staff. The menu features a selection of freshly prepared items daily. Copper Canyon has happy hour daily from 3 to 7 p.m. with a nice selection of appetizers and drinks. The restaurant also has a dedicated gluten free menu.

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House

Located at 9150 International Drive the restaurant offers two floors, two state-of-the-art bars, four private dining rooms and a picturesque patio. It’s the perrfect place to relax and celebrate. Featuring a diverse wine list of more than 1,200 labels, diners are sure to find their inner Sommelier while they dine. Del Frisco’s offers one of the best happy hours daily from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., except Wednesday when they’ll keep you happy from 4 p.m. until closing! Dinner is served Monday through Friday starting at 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday starting at 4 p.m. They also offer a dedicated bar menu with some great choices!

The Oceanaire Seafood Room

Located at 9101 International Drive, The Oceanaire Seafood Room offers fresh seafood and an outstanding happy hour and bar menu. Only fish from the world’s most reputable suppliers is served, and each dish is carefully crafted to ensure the restaurant’s high standards of quality and flavor are exceeded. The menu is based on market availability, therefore selections change each day. Happy hour is every day from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Monday through Thursday it starts up again at 9 p.m. to close in the bar only and on Sunday 8 p.m. to close.

Do you have a favorite I-Drive restaurant?




Taking a Large Group to Orlando on a Budget

My family loves to visit Orlando. During the year one or more of us visit at different times. Once a year I take on the task of planning a trip for the entire family to enjoy together. Four generations head to Orlando early each June for 8 days of family fun and togetherness. There is no doubt that Orlando can be an expensive destination. Over the years I have found ways to save on our yearly trips so that everyone can have the experience they want.

Large Group Trip Orlando Budget
Orlando-Train-Station Photo Credit: WBEEM via Flickr

Orlando is best known for Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando, but there’s so much more to the area. Vacationing in Orlando with 8, 10 or 12 people on a budget can be pretty easy with the right mind-set. As soon as I realized that hotels just won’t work, especially a Walt Disney World or Universal resort, my planning became so much easier. Having space for a large group can get expensive when you think about needing 2, 3 or 4 rooms to accommodate everyone in a hotel or resort.

Vacation Home Rental

Once I realized that renting at least 3 or 4 hotel rooms could easily explode my budget, I began looking at vacation home rentals in Orlando. Fortunately I found one that my family loves and we have now used many times.

The positive side of renting a vacation home is cost. Even the cheapest hotel room times four rooms can easily cost $500 or more per night. Times 7 nights, well, that’s lots of money. We can rent an entire home that sleeps up to 16 for much less. Each member of the family also has their own space with private areas so there is never a feeling of crowding each other. The home my family really loves, and has used many times, is Characters Corner Vacation Home. I will admit I was a little concerned going into our trip this year since we have added a new baby. Bringing a 5 month old along was definitely something I haven’t done in a long time. My mom, at 85, is also having a much harder time getting around. The home is set up so well and provides everything a family needs (2 cribs, high chair, ground floor bedrooms with bathrooms) that I was worried for nothing! Six bedrooms and two convertible sofa beds, 4 bathrooms, a movie theater and a pool/kiddie pool/hot tub! What more can a family want! Everything you need is in the home to make your family feel comfortable, relaxed and ready to have a great vacation. All dishes, linens, washer/dryer, Wi-Fi, pool towels, etc., are provided and the home is wheel chair accessible.

My new grandson was also able to experience his first pool time without worry that he would get splashed or afraid in a large resort pool with many other people around.

Cleanliness and customer satisfaction are the top priorities for the owners and there is a property manager nearby, just a phone call away in case of a problem. 

Location – Location – Location!

Location is an important factor for us. Characters Corner Vacation Home is ideal. The home is a short 10 minute drive onto Walt Disney World property (2.5 miles away) and a 15 minute drive to Universal Orlando, Sea World and all the restaurants, shopping and attractions on the heart of International Drive (I-Drive).  Multiple large name grocery stores are within a few minutes drive, as well as many restaurants, shops and attractions.

The home is located in a private, gated community so is a very safe and secure spot for a family.

Dining Out vs. Eating In

No one really wants to go on vacation and cook. When a large group also means a large cost to eat out, cooking easy meals is necessary for the budget. When we first arrive at the rental home, one of the first things I do is head to the grocery store. Not only do I buy a few easy fix meals for the week, I buy breakfast for each day as well as bottled water and snacks to take with us on our trips to local attractions. You’ll be surprised how much you can save by eating breakfast at the house and taking along your own snacks and water! Some evenings we may return to the house before dinner. There is a gas grill provided for easy meals like hamburgers and hot dogs. There are also several local restaurants that will deliver to the community. Pizza and a movie in the theater are a great way to spend a relaxing evening together!

Discount Attraction Tickets

Each member of my family likes to do something different. My granddaughter only wants to go to Walt Disney World. My daughter-in-law and son love Universal. I like Sea World. My daughter likes it all! Even though we travel together I am a firm believer in everyone getting to do what they like. Sometimes it’s necessary to split up and go our separate ways. We have a family meeting each year and everyone gets to say what they want to do and where they want to go. I then use discount sites to purchase the tickets and passes based on the list of things each family member wants to do. If only 2 want to visit Universal, I purchase tickets for those 2 only for one day. If all want to go to Walt Disney World, I purchase park passes for everyone making sure to not purchase tickets for every day of our trip. I try to build in days to see other things or to relax around the pool. My favorite site for saving on park and attraction passes is Undercover Tourist.

Free is Always Good on the Budget

There is so much more to Orlando than theme parks! There are many free and super cheap things to do in the area.

Disney Springs  is a great way to get a Disney experience without the cost of the theme parks. With shopping, dining, and diverse entertainment, you’ll be able to spend an entire day here. You can even pack a lunch, find a shady spot and enjoy a family picnic!

 Clearwater Beach Morse Museum of American Art offers free admission for children under 12, as well as free admission for everyone on Fridays from 4PM til 8PM (November through April). Morse Museum is technically in Winter Park but is less than 20 minutes from downtown Orlando.

Also located in Winter Park, the Albin Polask Museum and Sculpture Garden is home to exquisite art and serene sculpture gardens. Admission for children under 12 is free, admission for adults is $5.

A one-of-a-kind Holocaust Memorial has both permanent and traveling exhibits to communicate the history of the Holocaust. Admission is free.

For the adults in the group, Orlando Brewing Company offers free tours. Call ahead to find out hours and other information.

Several companies offer air boat rides, alligator tours, and more. While the prices aren’t too high, it could get expensive with a large family so be sure everyone wants to go before purchasing tickets.

What are your best tips when visiting Orlando with a group?




Exclusive Offer! SeaWorld San Diego 7 Day Pass for Less Than $9 a Day

 

seaworld

Here’s an exclusive deal to purchase SeaWorld San Diego 7 day pass for less than $9 a day!

Play big and save big at SeaWorld San Diego this summer! SeaWorld Summer Nights are heating up with exclusive nighttime shows, extended hours, fireworks over Mission Bay and so much more. You’ll love the new Explorer’s Reef interactive exhibit, Manta roller coaster and extra summer shows. Don’t miss any of it with our 7-day tickets for just $59.* That’s a $30 savings off the 1-day price AND means you can visit SeaWorld for less than $9 a day! Or, buy a combo ticket for both SeaWorld San Diego and Aquatica, SeaWorld’s nearby water park for just $89 per adult and $83 per child good for 7 days admission to both parks! You’ll have so much fun in San Diego this summer.exclusive ticket deal for SeaWorld San Diego for travel this summer only. It’s a 7-day ticket for just $59 – that’s less than $9 per day! 

*Ticket offer good for travel now through September 30, 2015 (All offers are subject to availability).

You can purchase this exclusive ticket deal HERE!

 




SeaWorld Orlando Introduces Express Dine Feature – #SeaWorld

SeaWorldOrlando_Logo_2014_250w

New addition to SeaWorld app allows guests to experience meal time on their own time

SeaWorld Orlando recently introduced Express Dine at its Seaport Pizza eatery to help cut wait times, especially during the busiest time of the year. An industry-pioneering feature, Express Dine is solely accessible from the SeaWorld Discovery Guide park app, furthering the app’s interactivity and maximizing its technology to allow guests to order lunch or dinner in advance.

By accessing the SeaWorld app from their smartphone, guests have the option to select from any of Seaport Pizza’s family-style pizzas, salads and soft drinks from anywhere in the park. Following the order, guests choose their preferred pick-up time and can then stop by to enjoy their meal at their convenience.

Express Dine is designed to maximize convenience for families by allowing them to plan their meals ahead of time in a fun, interactive and user-friendly way. With this new feature, families can expect shorter wait times so they can make the most of their day in the park.

Seaport Pizza

Seaport Pizza serves delicious pizza baked to perfection for rich taste and texture featuring only the freshest ingredients, including sun-ripened tomatoes, fresh herbs, pepperoni and sausage. This is a great one-stop-shop to satisfy every member of the family.

SeaWorld Discovery Guide Park App

The SeaWorld Discovery Guide mobile app saves guests time and increases their enjoyment through GPS-enabled interactive maps, real-time updates of show schedules and events, up-to-the-minute attraction wait times (with information on required heights), insider park tips, fun photo frames, and park notifications.

The SeaWorld Discovery Guide app can be downloaded for free from the Apple or Google Play app stores.

For more information, please visit SeaWorldOrlando.com.

If you will be planning a SeaWorld Orlando vacation in 2015 – I can help with all things Orlando – I am a certified SeaWorld Vacation planner – contact me at: janice@destinationstoexplore.com for a free-no-obligation quote! I am a graduate of: Disney’s College of Knowledge, The Orlando Travel Academy, Hyatt Hotels Travel Academy, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Specialist Program, SELL Family Travel Program.