Tag Archives | orlando theme parks

Count Down to LegoLand Opening Day

LegoLand has started their count down to opening day! Recently, they invited the media to a ‘hard hat tour’ to show their progress. Those that attended were allowed in many of the park’s construction zones, as well as areas that are ready for business. With only a couple of months until opening day, things are really shaping up!

At the entrance 4-feet tall letters spelling out “WELCOME” – made of Lego blocks of course. Here the ticket windows and information booth will welcome visitors to the biggest LegoLand Park ever. More than 50 rides, shows and attractions will be featured for families to enjoy together. Most rides are aimed at the 2-to-12-year-0lds, but there will be plenty to see and do for the entire family.

Rides are begining to take form including the Royal Joust where young riders will mount a horse on rails moving around a track, rocking and whinnying. Castle Hill, standing 47 feet 8 inches high, will feature “The Dragon” – a roller coaster that travels in and out of the castle. “Merlin’s Challenge” is also within the castle walls and will thrill the little ones taking them up and down while the “Princess Castle” will allow dress-up opportunities for all of the young princesses.

While most rides are designed for younger guests, Island in the Sky, a refurbished attraction from the Cypress Gardens days, will carry passengers up to 150 feet above the park, rotating for a spectacular view. Adults and guests of all ages are sure to enjoy the scenery. From up above, guests will be able to see Miniland USA with scenes from New York City, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Florida and more; all made out of Legos. Also in view are roller coasters. The old wooden coaster, now called “Coastersaurus,” the new “Lego Technic Test Track” and a suspended coaster towards the back of the park.

Perhaps one of the more interesting features within the park will be the various Lego citizens. The bird man and pigeon woman were visible at the hard hat tour – adorned with birds, a net and a pair of binoculars. The restroom man was holding a toilet made of Legos. Amazing!

With 2 shifts of workers on the job six days a week, LegoLand is getting ready for what is sure to be a large crowd in their opening days. New annual passes for over 60 guests are being offered, as well as a discount on their daily passes. Mark your calendars and plan to be there to enjoy this world made of Legos!

Spotlight: Fantasy of Flight

About 35 miles from the Orlando area, located in Polk City is “an attraction of a higher plane.”  Fantasy of Flight is a tribute to aviation that the entire family can enjoy.  What makes this different than some aviation museums is that there are over 40 rare and vintage air crafts, and most of them are restored to the point that they can actually fly.  The interactive Fun with Flight area has a variety of unique experiences such as a state-of-the-art hang gliding simulator.  You can also climb aboard an authentic B-17 Flying Fortress and check out P51 Mustangs, a B-24 Liberator, B-26 Marauder and more!   There is also an inspiring multi-media exhibit based on the courage of the Tuskegee Airmen, African American pilots who fought during World War II.  Another multi-media tribute honors Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP); these courageous women left their homes and families at the height of World War II to serve as the first women to fly for the U.S. military.  Another unique feature is the real restoration tour, where you can get an insider’s view of what it takes to restore these priceless air crafts.

The passionate founder of this attraction, Kermit Weeks, is an expert pilot.  He actually learned to fly as a teenager and started building his first aircraft at 17.  He earned his aeronautical engineering degree and built his own aerobatic airplane and qualified for the U.S. Aerobatics team.  He has won many flying competitions and has earned 20 medals in World Aerobatics Championship competitions.  He has always been fascinated by flight and wants to share his love of aviation with the entire world.  You may even be lucky enough to see this world-renowned pilot fly during your visit!  There are aerial demonstrations (when weather permits) and Kermit often performs these demonstrations himself.

Check the website for the many events that are held at Fantasy of Flight.  Just to mention a few, there’s the annual Roar N’ Soar, which showcases the world’s best classic air, land and sea racing machines ever built.  Also held here are the World Cup Paintball Tournament, aviation camps, and Triumph over Tragedy, Airmen in Captivity: The POW Experience.  And, you can explore the unexplained on the nightFlight, an active, professional paranormal investigation led by Apollo Paranormal Investigations.  There is something interesting for everyone, and if you’re not an aviation enthusiast before visiting Fantasy of Flight, you may just be one once you’ve visited!

For more information about Fantasy of Flight, visit their web site, or type inFantasy of Flight’ in our search (top right) to read more articles about this attraction. Feel free to leave a response below about your visit to the Fantasy of Flight and share your tips and experience!

Spotlight: Universal’s Islands of Adventure

The name says it all…if you are looking for adventure, Universal’s Islands of Adventure is THE place to go!  Your favorite stories come to life with interactive attractions, shows and over 25 state-of- the-art rides.  The latest, much anticipated Wizarding World of Harry Potter is like a mini theme park inside the theme park.  You are entertained right from the beginning, even before you get to the ride and ‘fly’ off on your adventure with Harry Potter.  Some of the other well-known rides include the roller coasters The Incredible Hulk, the Dragon Challenge (formerly Dueling Dragons), and the newer Flight of the Hippogriff.  This latest coaster, woven from wicker and decorated with fluttering ‘feathers’ takes you to a ‘real’ Hippogriff which has the head of a giant eagle and the body of a horse. If you follow Hagrid’s instructions, even you will know the proper way to approach a Hippogriff!

Some of the other great rides include the thrilling 3-D simulator ride The Amazing Adventures of Spider Man.   This highly acclaimed ride combines live special effects like flame and water, 3-D effects, as well as a virtual 400 foot freefall experience.   Then, try your hand in a mission as an agent in MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack.  You can travel through Krustyland in The Simpsons Ride and become a part of the action of the Mummy movies in the Revenge of the Mummy roller coaster.  Among the many rides within this park, there are also a few that will help you cool off on a hot Florida day.  These include Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls, Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges, and the Jurassic Park River Adventure, where you narrowly escape the Jaws of a T-Rex by taking an 85-foot plunge!

Some of the many great kid’s rides include The Cat In the Hat, Jimmy Neutron’s Nicktoon Blast, Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster, and E.T. Adventure. At some point, take a break from the adventure and catch one of the entertaining shows like the Eighth Voyage of Sinbad Stunt Show, Poseidon’s Fury special effects spectacular, or Oh! The Stories You Will Hear!, where Dr. Seuss tales come to life.  There are also several play areas to let the kids run around, as well as plenty of dining and shopping options.

There are 3 World-Class hotels on site, the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, and the Hard Rock Hotel. They are pricy, but do provide some benefits such as Universal Express ride access, where you get to skip the regular lines.  They also have a complimentary water taxis to both Universal theme parks and CitiWalk.  And, they have a pet friendly policy.  (Restrictions apply, reserve pet friendly room in advance.)  If you don’t stay at one of these hotels, you can still purchase an express pass for the most popular rides: Doctor Doom’s Fearfall, Flight of the Hippogriff, Incredible Hulk Coaster, Jurassic Park River Adventure, Storm Force Accelatron, and more!

Since there IS so much to see and do, Universal is suggesting you purchase a 2-day ticket with park-to-park access if you plan to see both parks.  As we mentioned in our previous Inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter blog, the lines to get on the Harry Potter ride, or even purchase merchandise, were extremely long.  Orlando Tourist Tips: We recommend you avoid going on a holiday weekend or wait until fall, January, or May to visit to avoid such long lines.    Also, always try to buy your tickets online- they’re usually cheaper and save you the headache you’ll get waiting to purchase at the gate.  And, don’t forget to drink plenty of water and apply sunscreen throughout the day.

For more information about Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure, visit their web site, or type in ‘Islands of Adventure’ in our search (top right) to read more articles about this attraction. Feel free to leave a response below about your visit to Islands of Adventure and share your tips and experience!

Spotlight: Universal Studios

Step inside your favorite movies and TV shows at Universal Studios Orlando.  This theme park boasts award-winning rides and attractions – rides for the adventurous, as well as fun for children under 10 – something for the whole family! One of the newest attractions is the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit.  This multi-sensory coaster lets you pick your own music and on-board cameras capture your entire experience!

The Revenge of the Mummy ride plunges you into the dark for an action-packed adventure based on the hit movie. The Simpsons Ride sends you soaring and smashing your way thru Krustyland. The JAWS ride brings you face-to-face with the famous great white shark. There are many other great rides including, Men in Black, Jimmy Neutron’s Nicktoon Blast, and E.T. Adventure, which are great fun for all ages. Also fun for all is Shrek 4-D, an interactive fairy tale that lets you feel the action from your seat.

Don’t forget to take a break from all the action and catch a show. Some of the entertaining shows include Animal Actors on Location, which mixes live animal performances, video and audience participation. The little ones will enjoy A Day in the Park with Barney, a sing-along show. The Horror Makeup Show will give you the inside scoop into the make-up and special effects used to create Hollywood’s strangest creatures. The Blues Brothers show will bring back some memories and have you singing and dancing along. One of my favorites is the Beetlejuice Graveyard Revue, a live Rock n’ Roll show. There is also the Lucy Tribute to Lucille Ball, and many more great shows to enjoy.

Of course, there are also many dining and shopping options, too many to name here.  Since there IS so much to see and do, Universal is suggesting you purchase a 2-day ticket with park-to-park access if you plan to see both parks.  (Due to the popularity of the Harry Potter ride at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.)  Another tip is if you stay at an on-site hotel (within walking distance to both Universal parks), you get an Express pass to skip the regular lines (at participating attractions).  But, if you don’t do that, you can still purchase an express pass for the most popular rides: E.T. Adventure, The Simpsons Ride, Jaws, Shrek 4-D, Men in black: Alien Attack and Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit.

Another Orlando Tourist Tip… Always try to buy your tickets online. They’re usually cheaper and save you the headache you’ll get waiting to purchase at the gate.  Don’t forget to drink plenty of water and even if it doesn’t appear sunny, apply sunscreen throughout the day.

For more information about Universal Studios, visit their web site, or type in ‘Universal Studios’ in our search (top right) to read more articles about this theme park. Feel free to leave a response below about your visit to Universal Studios and share your tips and experience!

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.