Author Archive | Carla Sinclair

Disney’s Animal Kingdom – A Favorite

Disney has created the Animal Kingdom theme park with something for everyone to enjoy. Personally the main attraction for me is the Serengeti tour where you get to see numerous breeds of exotic breeds of animals in open spaces and not in cages. A new baby Rhino was born recently the seventh birth of Rhinos at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It will be a few weeks before the new born joins all the other animals in the public view. I have to give kudos to Disney for not only caging the animals but also its breeding program which helps keep breeds from extinction.

Because it’s Disney you know they have some fabulous live shows (not involving the animals) these fantastic shows and superb talent are my second reason I enjoy Disney’s Animal Kingdom so much. Thrilling stunts, acrobatics and great musical productions sure do make their shows a hit!

I’m really not a ride person for the most part but Disney’s Animal Kingdom offers a nice variety of attractions from lame to tame. It’s nice that wide variety of rides that will please young and old.

I guess because I love animals so much my three favorite theme parks in Orlando are Disney’s Animal kingdom, Sea World and my absolute favorite Discovery Cove. If you found this article useful I hope you will registering with us and get updated on every new story on our blog.

Spotlight: Wet ‘n Wild

EDITOR’S NOTE: In 1998 Universal purchased Wet ‘n Wild, then in 2013, the land where Wet ‘n Wild sits was purchased by Universal. Owning the park and land opened the way for Universal to consider updating this water park or building an all-new one – Volcano Bay. This new Universal water park is expected to open in 2017 at which time Wet ‘n Wild will close (at the end of 2016). Enjoy it while you can!

Wet and Wild is Orlando’s oldest water park, however it has consistently added new water thrill rides. If your main attraction to a water park is thrill rides then Wet and Wild is without a doubt your best choice in Orlando water parks.

Many discounts are available for Wet and Wild, but with a gate price of $56 it’s still a good deal. My suggestion is to save some cash. Ticket resellers will offer Wet and Wild Tickets under gate price. They also have discount coupons in many of Orlando tourist magazines. Florida and Orlando residents may be well served to pay gate price, because towards the latter part of the year, you may get the rest of the year for FREE (excludes special events).

Wet and Wild also offers a tamer side with a beach and poolside areas to enjoy the sun plus a HUGE wave pool. There are also areas devoted to younger children with much milder water fun.

Wet and Wild is a great daytime event!

Spotlight: Discovery Cove

Although many visitors to Central Florida first think of Disney, Universal or Sea World as the first stop of their vacation, there just might be an option you’ve never even heard of – Discovery Cove. Yes, it is a part of Sea World, but this park is a stand-alone experience, and could be that unforgettable experience you’ve always wanted to have while on vacation but never thought of.

Discovery Cove offers two types of packages, a dolphin package and a non-dolphin package. Not that there aren’t several reasons to come to this park, but personally, I feel the dolphins MAKE this an experience unlike any other theme park. If you have the slightest interest in these spectacular creatures, you owe it to yourself to participate in the dolphin-swim.  If you’re really into dolphins, book their ‘trainer for the day’ experience. Otherwise you can still feed the birds, snorkel, wade with rays and see beautiful fish.

The package (starting at $199) includes everything for a full day – parking, gear, towels, lockers, breakfast, lunch, snacks and beverages. When you add up what you’d pay at other theme parks throughout an entire day, the cost doesn’t seem so extravagant. The dolphin swim is only a part of your day, and you’ll have plenty of time to explore the rest of the park – the Tropical Reef, Wind-Away River, Explorer’s Aviary and Serenity Bay.

The reason to start your vacation at Discovery Cove? When you make your reservation ask about passes to Sea World, Busch Gardens and Aquatica – their sister parks. You just might get to visit them for free! Who knew that the most memorable day of your vacation could be the start to so many other memorable experiences?! Another hint: Spend the extra money and purchase the video/photo package. Although this day will “live in your heart for years to come,” the video of you and your new best dolphin friend (or your child’s) is a way to re-live the first day of your best vacation over and over again.

Spotlight: Aquatica

Although the recent temperatures are a little lower than normal for us Floridians, visitors are still finding our Sunshine State a great place to vacation and be outdoors. The lines and crowds at water parks shorten which make a great opportunity to visit them. If you can brave the cooler air, join Aquatica’s dolphins, turtles, brightly colored fish and other exotic animals for a day of fun. They are sure to give you a warm welcome.

From serene rides to extreme rides, there is something for every water-lover at this park. Since opening in March of 2008 the dolphin plunge has become a top pick, but many visitors during the summer months refuse to stand in line for such a long time to experience it. With shorter lines, this tube slide ride will have the dolphins racing along side any willing guest.

There are two wave pools (Cutback Cove & Big Surf Shores), a floating ride (Loggerhead Lane), a kid zone (Kata’s Kookaburra Cove), a rapids ride, a beach area, lots of animals to see and many, many water slides of all types. You’ll have plenty to do (since you’re not wasting time standing in line). However, they do have shorter hours during this time of the year – generally 10am to 5pm – so get there early.

Ihu Breakaway FallsThe newest attraction at Aquatica is Ihu’s Breakaway Falls. This ride is not for the faint at heart. ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: Be sure to view the height requirement prior to standing in line. If tall enough, your children are sure to remember this slide for a long while!

Brave those goosebumps and test out the warm waters! They pools are heated. Aquatica is a perfect way to spend a Florida Winter day. It is also a great way to cool off during the summer when it gets here.

Spotlight: Magic Kingdom

The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World drastically changed Orlando forever. The great Walt Disney was the visionary that made it happen, what a shame he didn’t live long enough to see his dream. The second park at Walt Disney World EPCOT was in the early planning when he died. Although it didn’t match his exact early ideas the basic principal and many aspects of the park were his.

In recent years and always moving forward the imagineers at Disney have been continuously working to make the Magic Kingdom the Grand Dame of Orlando theme parks as relevant and enjoyable as when it first opened. Countless older attractions at the park have been updated with the newest technology and innovation meeting the desires of the ever more tech savvy kids of today.

Another nice thing about the Magic Kingdom is that it offers something for everyone. So if you have teens and younger children you can let the teens go do their own thing for a while, if you are comfortable with this. The Magic Kingdom has always provided a safe enviorment. Your kids are more likely to get hurt on a ride (that rarely happens) then be the object of foul play.

The Magic Kingdom holds the throne for the most visitors annually in the United States and has done so for many, many years. So if you go, here are some tips for maximizing your visit. Orlando Tourist Tip: If you go to the park in the morning be sure and use the monorail for the fastest access from the ticketing to the park. Depending upon what time you leave the park and how large the crowds are leaving at the same time you might want to take the ferry from the park to ticketing center and parking.  It can be faster if crowds are heavy as the monorails will be jammed after fireworks. It’s also a nice way to end your day riding a period reproduction of a very large ferry boat on a gorgeous lake. Even if it’s not busy when you are leaving; it’s a relaxing way to end your day at the parks.