Tag Archives | orlando attractions advice

Disney’s Blizzard Beach – The Water Park to Be

Disney's Blizzard Beach Summit Plummet

© Walt Disney World

Your Orlando attraction planning definitely needs to include Disney’s Blizzard Beach. A blizzard you say? Well, it’s been rumored a bad snow storm hit Orlando and, upon melting, left a beautiful mountainous area with coves built in. This area was the only place snow remained after the melt, but let’s be real. We know it has to be a rumor, but why ruin the fun for the kids that go there and are allowed to swim and play in pools with snow all around them? Now that is something not many people can say they’ve done. A must visit if only for this reason.

Disney World Resort includes five major theme parks and two famous water parks. Blizzard Beach is one of those water parks. This area usually is at the top of most vacationers’ lists to visit. Thrilling rides and water-based attractions, which include twenty-two water slides, make it possible for the whole family to find one to become their favorite.

Some of the fun, thrilling water rides found at this Orlando attraction is the Runoff Rapids, Downhill Double Dipper, Summit Plummet Free-Fall Slide, Snow Stormers Racing Slides, Cross Country Creek River Ride, Teamboat Springs, Melt-Away Bay Wave Pool, Springs Raft Ride, Ski Patrol Training Camp, and Mount Gush More Chair Lift. Okay, what other water park can you go to that provides ski patrols and chair lifts? This is a must-experience family vacation spot. There is also a children’s play area called Tike’s Peak for their enjoyment.

The Summit Plummet plunges you down 12 stories, straight down, while lying on your back on the water slide, or maybe you are adventurous enough to go head first. This is the fastest free-falling slide, at a dizzying 55 mph and also one of the world’s tallest. This needs to be experienced by every water park slide-lover ever born.

What is so nice about the Orlando attraction Blizzard Beach is being able to reserve a hut on the shaded private beach area. A small hut, with a front deck and chairs, can be your private hideaway from the crowd, relaxing with the love of your life. This special area includes your own personal attendant. Now that’s the kind of blizzard to be in!

While deciding a water park for your Orlando attraction to visit, Blizzard Beach is hard to beat; even its brother water park Typhoon Lagoon is rated by some visitors as a second choice. Make sure to visit on your vacation and take the 12 story plunge in the snow. It will bring you plenty of chills and thrills!

Disney’s Renovation of Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom Orlando

A major renovation of Fantasyland has been in the planing stages for some time now, but now Disney has begun hiring contractors for the massive renovation. Starting in early 2012 Disney plans on opening it’s new Little Mermaid attraction and Pixie Hollow a new meet and greet area for Disney’s various fairies and princeses to interact with guests.

While Universal Orlando prepares to open it’s newest theme park within a theme park, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in the coming weeks. The appeal at Universal Orlando’s expansion will be mainly aimed at boys.

Disney’s revamp of Fantasyland will be going after the girls. It should be interesting for families with boys and girls begining in 2012 with options for both girls and boys at Orlando’s two premier attractions. Start saving now or plan a trip this year to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and then plan on early 2012 to visit or revist the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Electrical Light Parade Coming Back to Orlando

Several years back the Electrical Light Parade was moved to Anaheim California but this summer it is coming back to Orlando. The night will again be lit at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World by multitudes of lighted floats. Billed as the summer of Nighttastic a rejuvenated parade returns to Orlando updated with all new LED lights. Many Disney fans are going to be delighted to see it’s return.

Disney is making a strategical move to help it’s key summer season business and my belief is it’s part of Disney’s plans to try and keep their key childrens market. They will be facing a huge new player when The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens inside Islands of Adventure Universal Orlando this spring.

Speaking of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter have you seen Universal Orlandos new commercial that debuted during the first half of the Super Bowl? I have seen it one other time on TNT since then and the commercial almost makes it seem that it’s open but at the end of the commercial it says coming this spring. An official opening date has yet to be announced.

I will keep you posted and as soon as I hear the official opening date I will be sure and get it on the blog fast.

Attraction Spotlight Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the newest of Disney’s Orlando theme parks

Tree of Life

Disney created the Animal Kingdom theme park with something for everyone to enjoy. One of the main attractions is the Wild Africa Trek where you get to see numerous breeds of exotic animals in open spaces – not in cages. This is a separately ticketed safari and last 3 hours. Well worth it if you have older children that love wild animals.

Animal Kingdom is home to more than 1,700 animals within 250 species! Baby Rhinos and other rare animals are born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom nearly every year. Kudos to Disney for not caging the animals and for their breeding program, which helps keep animals from extinction. The Orlando theme park is broken up into 6 “lands:” Oasis, Discovery Island, Africa, Rafiki’s Planet Watch, Asia and DinoLand, USA.

Because it’s Disney you know they have some fabulous live shows (not involving the animals). These fantastic shows and superb talent are enjoyed by a wide age group of guests visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Thrilling stunts, acrobatics and great musical productions make their shows hits!

If you like rides, Disney’s Animal Kingdom offers a nice variety of ride attractions – from lame to not-quite-tame. Rides fall into categories such as big drops, small drops, thrill rides, slow rides, water rides, spinning, dark, loud and scary. Some of the more popular attractions include:

  • Kilimanjaro Safari
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek
  • Dinosaur
  • Tree of Life
  • Wildlife Express Train
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug

If you are an animal lover, Disney’s Animal Kingdom could very well end up being your favorite theme park in Orlando. You may also want to check out Sea World, Discovery Cove or one of the many other animal attractions in Orlando.

Planet Hollywood, Hard Rock and Rain Forest Café, To Do or Not To Do?

First off I must say if you do not like loud restaurants then you probably will not enjoy any of these themed restaurants. If noisy restaurants do not bother you then there’s a good chance you will enjoy the experience because all three have themes with broad based appeal.

Hard Rock Café is the forerunner of themed restaurants and in my opinion it is the best of the breed. Featuring classic rock music and memorabilia these huge restaurants are really an entertainment option. I have found the food to be hit or miss at the Hard Rock Café’s that I have visited in Orlando and other tourist destinations. Quite honestly the food is average and priced well above average but everyone should go at least once.

Planet Hollywood has star appeal because that’s what the concept is all about. The music is very loud at Planet Hollywood I think noise is an element in most themed restaurants. The memorabilia is the star attraction of Planet Hollywood and Orlando has one of the best collections in the chain. The entertainment aspect is reflected in the prices at Planet Hollywood. Unfortunately the food is not the star attraction but their food is as good as any of the themed restaurants.

My least favorite of the bunch is Rain Forest Café’ for many reasons beginning with the quality and prices. If you are expecting anything other than a silk forest I hate to break it to you but there’s not a live plant in the place. There is a lot of activity going on and is quite stimulating for young children so prepare yourself for it if you have children or not. I have been twice and both times I left disappointed. My most recent visit with my family I had my three year old nephew and my infant great nephew. Their reactions were very different my three year old nephew had a fun time (although the mechanical gator did scare him) while my great nephew was not a happy camper. We all took turns either chasing my nephew or comforting my great nephew. They are VERY busy so many people don’t agree with my opinion. Honestly I would not have picked this restaurant but we went for the kids. One more thing the service has been horrible on both my visits.