Tag Archives | Central Florida Attractions

Reserve Your Florida Vacation for Next Year

If you like to plan ahead, you can reserve your Florida vacation for next year now. You can even make a reservation to stay in a hotel that isn’t completely built and will be brand new! Add in the fact that this new resort hotel is located at one of the major theme parks in Central Florida, and your vacation planning is really starting to shape up!

Legoland Florida is a very popular theme park for families with children 12 & under. The new hotel resort will give families the opportunity to extend their stay and have more fun together. Young children may not even notice the difference between the theme park and the hotel due to the Lego theme being used throughout the entire resort.

Legoland hotel being built

ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: Our experience at this theme park seems perfect for a two-day visit, especially in the summer months. The water park is open during the summer and can entertain children for several hours. By staying at this new resort hotel, you can visit the primary theme park for an entire day, or split up two days with some water park time. Depending upon the length of your vacation, or other vacation plans, one night at the resort may be enough, but why end the fun? Nightly entertainment will offer a great reason for at least two nights at this sure-to-be fun experience.

The groundbreaking for this new resort started nearly a year ago, however, the hotel has recently reached a milestone with the major concrete work complete. The main entrance will include a pool and beautiful landscaping. On the property will also be a restaurant catering to not only the adults, but offering a kid-size buffet as well. Children will have plenty of interactive play areas so that leaving the theme park to come back to a hotel will not put an end to their fun.

So far Legoland has provided the names of three room themes: Pirate, Kingdom and Adventure. One more theme is expected to be announced. Which will you choose for your family? All rooms are set up much like a suite with two separate sleeping areas. The grown-up area includes a king-sized bed, and the kids sleeping area (up to 3 little ones) offer a bunk bed and a pull-out trundle bed. The kids even have their own television! If 4 adults and 3 children want to plan their vacation together, reserve a suite which will accommodate all guests in your party.

Room rates start at $249 and vary per season. This rate does not include park admission. If you want to include the water park, be sure to opt in for that ticket. If you want to reserve your vacation now, the earliest date begins June 15, 2015 at which time the water park is open every day. A grand opening date has not been set at this time. To make your reservation, visit Florida.Legoland.com.

Planning now for next year’s vacation can take a lot of the stress out of the planning. It can help you budget for the trip. Most of all, it allows plenty of time to get excited about the fun you are going to have.

The Cost of a Warm Vacation in Central Florida

beachIf it has been awhile since you’ve vacationed in the Central Florida area, you may be in for sticker shock when you see the prices of the Orlando theme park tickets. Over a week ago Disney raised their ticket prices which prompted a rise in some of the Universal Studio tickets. While Disney has increased nearly all of their tickets, only gate prices at Universal have gone up in price. ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: Because of this increase in gate price, it is almost always better to purchase your tickets online ahead of time. Be sure to research various theme park discounts that are available, including military specials, Florida resident specials and others.

It would not be a surprise to see more Orlando theme park tickets go up in price. Gatorland raised their ticket prices last December and general admission is now $26.99, $18.99 for ages 3 to 12. Other smaller attractions are sure to follow this lead and also increase their theme park tickets.

On the contrary, SeaWorld has brought back one of their more popular promotions with a return of their $50 weekday ticket. SeaWorld tickets normally are $92 for a one-day ticket; $84 for ages 3-9, so this is a significant savings. Busch Gardens will also honor a similar special. What makes this so great is that it continues through May 5, 2014, which covers spring break and the beginning of SeaWorld’s 50th anniversary celebration later this month (begins March 21). It also will cover a few days of the new attraction opening in Busch Gardens, Pantopia.

There are almost always some freebies or discounts to be found. Currently a nice one from Disney includes a free Memory Maker package for guests booking their vacation with a qualifying WDW vacation. If you are already planning to book a Central Florida vacation through their site, be sure to ask if it qualifies for this freebie. There are quite a few exceptions.

Dispite the rise in ticket prices, vacationing in Central Florida is a great way to escape, especially after the brutal weather the northern states have experienced this Winter. It is hard to put a price tag on warm weather and sunshine. Orlando theme parks are offering plenty of that right now.

Universal Studios Florida to Close Jaws Ride

Jaws Ride

Universal Studios Florida will be permanently closing the “Jaws!” There are a few more weeks left to experience the ride at Universal Orlando Resort, and with the holidays upon us, it is a good time to visit this Orlando theme park. The ride and Amity area of Universal Studios Florida will be closing for good on Monday, January 2. The ride is one of the longest running attractions in Central Florida, opening in 1991, and will be missed by many park goers.

“Jaws” is one of the last standing original rides from when the theme park opened. Guests fill up tour boats which wind around the attraction, then are suddenly “attacked” by a robotic great white shark! The ride was based upon the 1975 movie directed by Steven Spielberg. Once it closes, “E.T. Adventure” will be the last original ride open in this Orlando area theme park.

While there is much speculation as to what will replace this attraction, I have no doubt it will be tied to the overwhelmingly popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter which has increased the Orlando theme park’s status immensely. There are a lot of possibilities, so we’ll have to wait for further announcements from Universal.

In the next few weeks, while you’re enjoying the “Jaws” ride one last time, you’ll also enjoy Universal’s holiday events. There is a lot going on at the theme park. You can get all of the details by visiting their web site, but make sure you check out these holiday happenings:

  • Grinchmas at Islands of Adventure
  • the Macy’s Holiday Parade at Universal (every evening)
  • Mannheim Steamroller Concerts (next weekend – Dec. 17 & 18)
  • Holiday themed version of the Blues Brothers show

Say goodbye to “Jaws,” and enjoy one last bite!

Zipping over the crocs!

Hold on to your shoes!  Don’t dangle your feet!  Soon, you will be able to get your thrills by zipping over jumping crocodiles and alligators at the unique Gatorland attraction in Orlando.  Known as the alligator capital of the world, Gatorland is home to thousands of gators, including the rare Albino gator.   Plans for the new Screamin’ Gator Zip Line have made a few jaws drop when they mentioned they would be zipping directly over the alligator breeding marsh, jumping crocs, and through the parks’ bird rookery.  The zip line tower tops out at 75 feet high, and park officials are excited that this new addition will allow people to really see some diverse animal habitats.  (That is if you can keep your eyes open!)

This 110-acre theme park and conservatory has been here since 1949 and is also home to many birds, bears, crocodiles and more!  Some of the exciting attractions here are the live shows such as the Gator Jumparoo and live Gator Wrestling.  Park admission is not expected to change, but there will be an additional cost for the zip line experience.  The Screamin’ Gator Zip Line should be open by June.  Happy zipping!

Spotlight: Silver Springs

Explore the natural beauty of Ocala at Silver Springs, a natural spring that pumps out 550 million gallons of natural water daily.  Surrounding the springs are animals and foliage unique to the area.  There are several river cruises you can check out, including the Lost River Voyage, Fort King River Cruise, and Glass Bottom Boats.  The Lost River Voyage takes you back to ‘untouched’ Florida, the way it was thousands of years ago.  See wildlife such as osprey, turtles, and alligators in their natural habitat.  The Fort King River Cruise is a historical journey that includes displays and interactive exhibits such as a late 1880s train depot and riverboat dock, 1830s Fort King Army stockade, a Seminole Indian village, and more.  The glass bottom boat tours give you a view only scuba divers could have – clear views of underwater life such as crawfish, shrimp, snails, clams, turtles, and 70 million year old shells.

There are several wildlife exhibits including the World of Bears, the largest bear exhibit of its kind in the world.  You can also check out Big Gator Lagoon, a swamp habitat featuring some of Florida’s largest gators.  Ross Allen Island showcases many other animals native to Florida, such as turtles, otters, snakes, and spiders.  Don’t forget to visit the Panther Prowl and the Kritter Korral petting zoo.

There are also rides, shows, shopping and dining.  You can witness the alligator and crocodile feedings, a non-venemous snake show, and reptiles of the world.  The lighthouse ride takes you up 80 feet above the springs for a panoramic view of this natural spring area.  Other activities include Kids Ahoy Playland, where you’ll find mini motorboats, a ferris wheel, slides and crawl tubes, and more.

Exotic and native plants are featured at the beautiful Botanical Gardens, where you can see more than 138 varieties in floral sculptures and flower beds along the river.

While you’re there, cool off at the Wild Waters water park. You can soak up the sun and cool off in the 450,000 gallon wave pool or on the many water slides.  (Seasonal – check website to make sure they’re open.)

Orlando Tourist Tip: Like music concerts? Check Silver Springs’ web site before planning a day there. They have a great concert series and many performances begin in the middle of the afternoon. Go early to the park and enjoy a relaxing concert in the afternoon. Tickets are additional, but a great way to spend an entire day!

For more information about Silver Springs, visit their website, or type inSilver Springsin our search (top right) to read more articles about this attraction. Feel free to leave a response below about your visit to Silver Springs and share your tips and experience!