Tag Archives | orlando blogs

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.

Thinking of Buying a Time Share in Orlando? It’s a Great Time to Buy!

Typically in the past I have had a negative view about purchasing time shares but in the current recesionary times I have to say if you’ve ever thought about doing it but haven’t, now is the time to buy.

It’s all about buying smart in this market. If you have cash you can get a much better deal than if you are looking to finance. Because of the credit markets unless you have near perfect credit your going to pay a premium rate.

How to buy is probably the most important part of making your purchase of an Orlando time share a great vacation value. Don’t try to go to  fast take the time to research what’s available. Your best value is going to be in the resale market. Many units in new and older developments are being foreclosed upon, unit owners who want to sell or are forced to sell. You can purchase units being sold for less than half of what the developers are selling the same units for.Unless a Time Share Developer is willing to give you a big cash discount I definitly say buy second hand.

Think about vacations ten years from now and will you want to go to Orlando every year? That’s why you should also make sure the development you are buying in is in a strong trading alliance enabling you to trade locations.

Look at the annual maintenace fees because this is money you will have to pay every year. Don’t buy sight unseen be sure to see the development and also the unit you are purchasing.

If you think a time share is something you’d enjoy then act now it won’t be such a buyers market forever. Should you have any questions about purchasing a time share in Orlando I’d be happy to help.

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.

Where to Stay When Visiting the Orlando Area

Orlando having the second largest number of hotel rooms is only part of the story on places where you can stay while in the Orlando area. The Walt Disney World Resort alone offers a plethura of lodging options from one star to five star traditional hotels and motels. In addition to that Disney also has a large number of timeshare units, which you can rent as well as buy into their vacation club.

Osceola County (South Orlando/Kissimmee) has the most options not only can you choose from one to five star hotels and motels but you also have a huge number of vacation home rentals which are ideal for families. You can rent homes with up to 5 bedrooms and private pools. You can also save yourself some money with a kitchen of your own. Vacation home rentals are also a great option for couples and families traveling together.

The International Drive Resort area also has the one to five star hotel and motel options but rooms are costlier and there is not the vacation home rental option like in Orlando/South Kissimmee. It’s a great location to stay however if you are planning on visiting  Universal Orlando or Sea World parks because it’s so very close. 

So much depends upon what you plan to do while visiting Orlando in choosing lodging options but I will say staying on Disney property is the least convienent if you plan on doing anything besides the Disney parks. Orlando South/Kissimmee is a great choice for economy and location if you plan on visiting more than one operators theme parks. I hope you will consider spending a night with us at Capone’s Dinner & Show when in Orlando. Visit our web site www.alcapones.com to find out more. We also have lot’s of great trip planning tools on our site to help you decide.