Tag Archives | Central Florida Attractions

Now Available: New Orlando Combo Attraction Tickets

Four of Orlando’s most popular smaller attractions, located along I-Drive, have teamed up to now offer new Orlando combo attraction tickets. For visitors staying near the convention center or residents of Orlando, this provides an easy way to experience four smaller attractions at a discount ticket price. Not only does it make visiting these four attractions less expensive, it takes the hassle out of getting these tickets.

The four attractions covered with this new attraction ticket include:

  • CSI: The Experience
  • Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition
  • Ripley’s Orlando Odditorium
  • WonderWorks

New attraction ticket for CSI, Titanic, Wonderworks and Ripley's Odditorium

To some, these smaller attractions require about a half day to experience. However, for other people, they could spend the better part of an entire day browsing the exhibits and participating in the interactive games and experiences. The best part is, you get to set your own pace for almost all of the attractions. Plus, they are all within a two-mile stretch of International Drive, so in theory, you could do them all in one day.

Crime Scene Investigator sceneWant to solve and catch a killer? Don’t miss CSI: The Experience. You play the role of a crime scene investigator. Collect clues and analyze the evidence in the labs. Report in to “Grissom” to see if you have what it takes to put the killer behind bars. This attraction is a great hands-on activity which helps promote science and analytic thinking. Your kids won’t even know they’re participating in something educational!

Editor’s Note: CSI: The Experience closed October 2015.

Titanic Exhibit in Orlando, FloridaThe most legendary ocean liner ever built has artifact on display at Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition. This attraction spans 25,000 square feet and contains many artifacts that were recovered from the Titanic’s wreck site 2.5 miles below the ocean’s surface. Hear more about the dramatic story and walk the decks. See what the cabins were like, as well as the passengers and crew! You never know who you might run into.

Ripley's OdditoriumAt Ripley’s Orlando Odditorium, you’ll never know whether to believe what you’re experiencing or not. This world-renowned attraction offers strange exhibits and artifacts including shrunken heads, an authentic vampire killing kit, a shooting gallery and a spinning vortex tunnel. With hundreds of oddities, a day spent at this Orlando attraction may be one of the strangest you’ll ever have in Orlando.

Wonderworks Earthquake ExperienceSpeaking of strange, have you ever explored a building turned upside-down? Enter Wonderworks and be prepared for your mind to be turning flips as it attempts to decipher more than 100 interactive exhibits. This Orlando attraction is great for all ages to experience. If you have a lot of energy, try the ropes course. Like rides? Check out the 4D motion theater ride. You’ll definitely “wonder” how it “works” at some point during your time spent at this attraction.

Combine these 4 Orlando attractions together and it sounds like a lot to do. The Price? Only $74.99 (plus tax) for adults. Purchasing this new combo attraction ticket will save adults more than $12. For children ages 12 and under, the combo ticket costs just $54.99, saving more than $6. Children under 3 are free.

To purchase your new combo attraction ticket, go to idrivefourpass.com. You may also purchase this special attraction ticket at any of the four locations. Tickets are good for one year from the date of purchase, so you can take your time experiencing the attractions, or go ahead and go for them all in one day!

Discovery Cove Does It Again!

Swim with dolphins at Discovery Cove

Congratulations to Discovery Cove for receiving the number 1 ranking of amusement parks on TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice competition! This Orlando theme park also won the award last year, making it a back-to-back recognition by travelers. Great job! There were several other Orlando attractions earning top spots as well.

TripAdvisor collects reviews for a year and uses a special algorithm based upon quantity and quality of guests experiences to determine the rankings. Orlando theme parks and water parks did very well in taking many of the top spots. Here are the local results of the top 25:

Attractions/Theme Parks:

1. Discovery Cove
2. Universal’s Islands of Adventure
3. Magic Kingdom
4. Disney’s Hollywood Studios
6. Animal Kingdom
7. SeaWorld Orlando
10. Busch Gardens
11. Epcot
15. Universal Studios

Water Parks:

1. Disney’s Blizzard Beach
2. Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon
3. Aquatica
9. Wet ‘n Wild
13. Adventure Island (Tampa)

It is no small feat in keeping as many travelers happy as what our local theme parks receive every day of the year. Since these rankings are based upon reviews written by actual travelers (and not based upon travel agents commissioned to book trips here), they provide a fairly honest system for ranking a guest’s experience. Those who work in the guest service industry know that there are some people who are never pleased, so to get this many people to be happy enough to write a positive review and rank an attraction a 5-star experience, is a wonderful acknowledgement.

Capone’s Dinner & Show has received a Certificate of Excellence four years in a row. We’re always happy when a guest enjoys themselves enough to take the time to write a positive review. Thank you to our guests for helping us achieve this honor once again this year!

Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence

Florida received 10 rankings within the top 25 best beaches. Siesta Key ranked 3rd, St. Pete ranked 9th and Clearwater ranked 21st. My personal local favorite, New Smyrna Beach, did not make the list, but that is fine with me (our secret is safe for now). Of the top 10 restaurants, only Victoria & Albert’s made the list from the Orlando area, ranking 3rd. With so many attractions making the list, I was a little surprised that Orlando didn’t rank higher as a top destination. Orlando came in 10th (Miami Beach came in 25th). New York held on to the top spot. Perhaps it was the void in ranking of the top hotels – Florida did not receive a single ranking in this category.

Regardless, there are many reasons to vacation in Orlando. Be sure to visit at least one of these top attractions or water parks when you get the chance. Also, save a night for Capone’s Dinner & Show, it’s a blast from the past and an award-winning dinner show!

Orlando Attractions Affected by the Government Shutdown

Canaveral National Seashore
If you are traveling to Orlando for a vacation, not much will change due to the government shutdown, yet there are some things to be aware of. Most of the theme parks will not see any differences. Air and rail traffic will continue as normal (as long as you already have your passport). There are a few attractions and fun things to do, however, that will be affected.

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex remains OPEN, however, because NASA is shut down, visitors cannot enter certain areas – Kennedy Space Center proper. The bus tours that take you through various areas, such as the launch pad and Vehicle Assembly Building, are not running. The bus tours will resume after the shutdown is over. The following tours are affected:

  • General Bus Tour
  • KSC Up-Close Mega Tour
  • KSC Up-Close Launch Pad Tour
  • KSC Up-Close Launch Control Center Tour
  • KSC Up-Close Vehicle Assembly Building Tour
  • KSC Up-Close Cape Canaveral: Then and Now Tour

Space Shuttle Atlantis

There are still plenty of fun things to do at KSC, and I would encourage you to keep your plans and go to this Central Florida attraction despite the lack of the bus tour. The space shuttle Atlantis has only been on display since June 29, 2013 and it is spectacular to see. The 150,000-pound spaceship is raised 30 feet into the air and tilted at a 43 degree angle as if it were in flight.  Other fun things to that are included with your admission that are not affected include:

  • Angry Birds™ Space Encounter
  • Rocket Garden with actual rockets
  • Twin 3-D IMAX® Theaters (featuring Space Station 3-D narrated by Tom Cruise and Hubble 3-D narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio)
  • Exploration Space
  • Astronaut Memorial
  • U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame (six miles west of the Visitors Complex)

If you have pre-purchased tickets for a KSC bus tour at Kennedy Space Center, many ticket outlets and discount attraction ticket resellers will not refund your purchase. Resellers purchase in bulk making these cheap attraction tickets for them and cannot be refunded themselves. Hopefully the government shutdown will not last long, and tourists will be able to use these discounted tickets during their vacation. Even KSC continues to sell bus tours online hoping the shutdown will not last long. Buyer beware. Tickets purchased through KSC will most likely be refunded if there are no dates when you can use them, but nothing has been made official to this fact.

Another Orlando-area attraction that will be affected by the government shutdown includes Canaveral National Seashore. All federal parks are closed, which includes 11 parks in Florida. The closest being Canaveral National Seashore on the east coast, and De Soto National Memorial in Bradenton (south of Tampa on the west coast). The Canaveral Seashore Plein Air Paint Out  scheduled for October 7th – 12th will take place despite the shutdown. If the park is not open, the daily and evening events will be moved entirely to the New Smyrna Beach Waterfront Loop area.

In general, the effect is expected to be minimal if the shutdown lasts only a few days. Tourists will not see much difference. The more than 7,000 workers in Central Florida that will be staying home, are not so lucky. It might be a good time for them to play “tourist” and enjoy our Orlando attractions and take advantage of the many Florida resident specials that are offered during this time.

This Central Florida Attraction Will Amaze You!

Central Florida has many attractions who’s founders based their theme park upon dreams and followed them up with a lot of hard work. Long & Scott Farms can be included in this list. A farm as an attraction? Well, this is no ordinary farm.

50 years ago, what started as a small farm located near Mount Dora (north of Orlando) was purchased, and dreams (and a few struggles, I’m sure) had begun. Today, the farm is not so small, and the dreams of a productive and successful farm can be experienced by hundreds of folks who are willing to make the drive. There is something for everyone to enjoy at this farm, including a market, cafe, and for the next few months, the Scott’s Maze Adventures. This is an Orlando attraction of another kind, and a great way to experience real Florida.

Scott’s Country Market is known for their Zellwood Triple-Sweet Gourmet Corn. If you’ve ever attended a Zellwood Corn Festival, you’ll know that this corn is delicious. Even when it is not in season, this market is known for a lot of other freshly harvested produce. Local growers and farmers sell their best potted plants, cage-free eggs, Amish cheese, butter and bacon, local honey, dressings, BBQ sauces, jams, candles, cider, and much, much more! If you are looking for a farmer’s market outside of the immediate Orlando area, this market is open Tuesday thru Saturday 8:00 am – 6:00 pm; Sunday 12:00 pm- 6:00 pm and closed on Mondays.

Check out the market early in the morning and eat breakfast at Scott’s Country Cafe. If you’re not an early riser, plan on shopping and having lunch, although you can’t be too late. While the market stays open later, the cafe closes at 2pm on weekdays and 4pm on the weekends. Enjoy a meal made fresh from the farm’s very own produce. Unlike a few Central Florida attractions, this meal will be affordable, not to mention delicious! Be sure to have a cup or bowl of the corn chowder.

Long & Scott Farms MazesWhat truly makes this a Central Florida attraction is Scott’s Maze Adventures. For the past ten years people have traveled from all over to get lost in a cornfield! Located at the southeast corner of County Road 448A and Jones/Duda Road, the farm is fairly easy to get to. They provide very good driving directions, so you’ll not get lost. You may, however, get lost once you get there! If you like a challenge, find all 23 stations within the maze and successfully complete the game sheet. It can take up to 2 hours, or as little as 45 minutes to cover the 6-acre mazes. Many people come to this attraction for all of the other fun things to do outside of the maze. Kids will enjoy playing on the playground, bouncing on a huge jumping pillow, zip lining, going for a hay ride ($4) or fishing from a stocked pond ($2).

This year’s mazes highlight the partnership that the farm has with Second Harvest Food Bank. With the holidays nearing, it is a great time to visit the farm. Purchase customized, one-of-a-kind gift boxes and baskets for everyone on your list. If you are in need of a pumpkin they are available now. If you want a Christmas tree, visit the farm after Thanksgiving. The mazes are open through December 15 – weekends for the general public and week days for reserved groups. Cost for this attraction is $9 for youth (3 – 16); $11 for adults (17 & up), and free for children under 3 years of age. Admission includes:

  • Large & small Corn Maze
  • Tree Maze
  • Rock Maze
  • Mist Maze
  • Super Slide
  • Jumping Pillow
  • Zip Line for Kids
  • Playground
  • Picnic Area
  • free parking
  • access to food vendors.

It may be a little bit of a drive to get to this attraction, but you’ll be glad you went. It’s affordabe fun that the entire family will enjoy. In fact, I’m betting you and your family will have an aMAZEing time!

Viva la Música Returns to Central Florida Theme Parks

Latin culture is celebrated at Viva la Musica

Beginning this weekend, visitors to Busch Gardens and SeaWorld will be treated to concerts featuring some of the biggest names in Latin music. Viva la Música returns to these Central Florida theme parks offering many extras. Latin cuisine, concerts, arts & crafts are all included in the theme park admission.

The concerts at SeaWorld are scheduled on Saturdays starting at 3:00 p.m. Locate the bayside walkway in the Orlando theme park, and starting at noon, you can enjoy Latin dishes prepared by SeaWorld’s executive chef, Hector Colon. He’ll be serving up savory dishes including lechón, arroz con gandules y yuca al mojo, arroz con pollo, habichuelas coloradas y maduros, carne frita con tostones, alcapurrias and ceviche.

Concert lineup for 2013 at SeaWorld:
April 13 – Daddy Yankee
April 20 – Willie Colón
April 27 – Grupománia
May 4 – El Gran Combo

Viva la Musica concert
Meanwhile at Busch Gardens, Viva la Música will be scheduled on Sundays on Gwazi Field. Their festivities start at noon as well with concerts at 3:00 p.m. Not only will you be able to enjoy Latin dishes including pork asado fajitas, quesadillas, empanadas, pinchos, arepas and frozen margaritas; Tampa’s favorite Taco Bus will also be there. Favorites include tacos, burritos, rice and beans, along with signature beverages, such as pineapple water and hibiscus lemonade.

Concert lineup for 2013 at Busch Gardens:
April 14 – Ednita Nazario
April 21 – Oscar D’Leon
April 28 – Milly Quezada
May 5 – El Gran Combo

Although events are included in admission, many will purchase a VIP package so that they can reserve floor-level seats (SeaWorld) or front of center-stage (Busch Gardens) at the concerts. You may also purchase a VIP package that includes VIP seating and a meal. This additional charge is sure to be worth it when enjoying the concert by a favorite musician.

While the weekends may be a little more crowded than weekdays at these Florida theme parks, the Viva la Música festivities are worth the additional wait in lines you might experience. Go early in the day to enjoy the park, then spend the afternoon soaking up the Latin culture. The entire family is sure to enjoy the food, drink, music and fun. Viva la Música!

If you are visiting Central Florida on vacation during Viva la Música, the gang at Capone’s Dinner & Show hopes you have a great time enjoying the Latin concerts and culture. We also want to invite you spend an evening at our Kissimmee dinner show. If you have a free evening and want to experience something you’ll not find anywhere else, check us out. Purchase half price tickets online and join our family for an evening of dinnertainment!