Tag Archives | Orlando tourist tips

4 Mistakes People Make When Visiting Orlando

Article submitted by At Home Vacation Rentals

Avoid these 4 mistakes people make when visiting Orlando!

Orlando is one of the most amazing vacation destinations will you can choose. Specially if you have kids. It’s a dreamland of parks and adventures for kids and adults. But a lot of people don’t take full advantage of everything that this amazing trip has to offer. We hope that you have a great time in Orlando, so we have decided to point out the 4 most common mistakes people make when visiting Orlando.

1. Not planning

As silly as that may sound planning is everything when going to a city full of attractions like Orlando. People go to the theme parks and have idea where to begin or how to best use their time. They don’t know which rides are the best, the busiest, etc. It could take a lot of time to learn the maps, decide where to go and in what order. By not planning a lot of people end up not visiting as many attractions as they could and spend a lot of time waiting in line.

out of bed early - not making mistakes people make visiting Orlando

Despite how nice your accommodations are, skip sleeping in during your Orlando vacation!

2. Sleeping in

Who doesn’t like to sleep in? Specially when you go on vacation and want to relax in those beautiful vacation homes. But in a city like Orlando, if you want to take full advantage of your time here, you need to get to the parks early. Most of the parks open at 9am so if you plan on getting to the parks after 11am, you will find the best attractions/rides with lines over 1 hour of waiting time. But if you get there early, you get to go to those rides with shorter lines. Unless you are planning on going to the same park for two days. In that case you can go early one day to avoid lines, and later the other day to stay for the evening shows.

3. Going to big parks in a row

Many parks in Orlando are big and you need to spend all day there, specially if you want to watch the last shows. Going to those parks one after the other makes the trip extremely tiring. Ideally you want to alternate parks that take all day to visit (like Magic Kingdom or Epcot) with other parks that are not as big and will not take all day (like Animal Kingdom or Sea World). If you are planning a long trip, it’s always a good idea to leave some days for rest (pool, beach) or even going to an attraction that you didn’t know about.

4. Not using FastPass

A lot of people don’t think they really need to get a FastPass, or that they can get it on the same day as they go to the parks, but that’s a big mistake. They have a limited number of FastPasses that they sell for each attraction so it’s very likely that on the day you go they might be sold out for the best rides/attractions. And depending on the time of the year, you might have to wait in line for over 2 hours.

The FastPass is a free service that lets you reserve access to select attractions, entertainment and more. With the purchase of a ticket you can start making selections as early as 30 or up to 60 days before you arrive.

Cross #1 above off your list! Browse Orlando Tourist Tips web site and read up on all of the theme parks and attractions. Then start planning how you will spend your vacation in one of the top vacation destinations in the world! Avoid these mistakes people make when visiting Orlando.

5 Things to do in Orlando that are Not Theme Parks

There are many Orlando Tourist tips we could give if you are looking for things to do in Orlando that are not theme parks. We could go on and on, but our list would be exhausting! So, we’ve put together a few (we’ll post more later) that you may not have thought about, or are new to the area and haven’t done yet. Orlando offers so many things to do, however, we first must acknowledge what “put us on the map.”

Back in October of 1971, Disney World opened its gates to the public for the very first time, spurring an expansion in the Orlando area of tourist-friendly attractions that continues to this day. Suddenly, everyone knew where Orlando was! These attractions go beyond theme parks, and are (in most cases) much more affordable than a trip to Disney World, Universal Studios or SeaWorld. Here are 5 things to do in Orlando that go beyond the major theme park circuit.

Orlando Eye Sunset View

The Orlando Eye

Visiting the Orlando Eye offers guests a 360 view of Orlando, with an impressive mix of Florida landmarks and nature visible from the top. From the safety and comfort of an air-conditioned capsule, guests can see everything – from the Hogwarts castle at Universal Studios to Downtown Orlando on a clear day. If purchased online, tickets for adults start at $20, with tickets for kids between the ages of 3 and 12 starting at $15.

BucaEntranceFloridaMall

Shopping

The Orlando area has a surprising amount of shopping options available to visitors. The Florida Mall is home to a range of shopping and dining locations, including Best Buy, Banana Republic, Gotcha Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, and Asian Chao. The Crayola Experience was recently unveiled on site, offering a great outlet for kids to play and learn. The Crayola Experience consists of several kid-friendly attractions, ranging from an indoor playground for children to burn off energy to a “Crayola Factory” where kids can learn how crayons are made. When purchased online, tickets for the Crayola Experience cost $16.99. If you’re looking to make some high-end fashion purchases and to get some bang for your buck at the same time, head over to the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets, where you can shop at a range of high-end stores, including Coach, Armani, Hugo Boss, and Burberry.

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Phillips Center

For theater buffs or anyone looking to see a live performance, Dr. Phillips Center is a great venue in Downtown Orlando. For preforming arts enthusiasts, they run shows like Pippin, The Sound Of Music and Cinderella, but the performances are certainly not limited to musicals. While Musicals, Ballets, and Orchestras often occupy the stages, the Dr. Phillips Center also has some less conventional showings, like their Chefs at Dr. Phillips Center series, featuring Chefs like Ina Garten and Guy Fieri.

Water Parks

WetnWild_DiscoExteriorOne of the huge perks of visiting Orlando is the sunny and warm climate that is enjoyable year round. While most waterparks throughout the country have an off-season, that isn’t so in Orlando. Guests are just as welcome to enjoy state-of-the-art water parks in July as they are in October, or even February. There’s a wide range to choose from; Sea World’s Aquatica and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon offers a combination of family-friendly attractions and thrill rides, while Wet ‘n Wild offers a more traditional water park experience.

Air Boat Tours

airboatFor a unique experience that offers an up-close-and-personal look at Florida’s wildlife and environment, Marsh Land Adventures offers airboat tours. The tour takes guests through the Florida Everglades (Shingle Creek), where they have the chance to see alligators and other plant and wildlife that flourish in the swampy environment. While passengers are enjoying the ride and the view, airboat captains tell stories about the American Indians and early Florida settlers who were the first to make their homes in the swampy marshes of the sunshine state. Guests have the option to purchase tickets for a 60 minute, 90 minute, or 120 minute experience. They also offer a four-hour “photo adventure” in the Florida Everglades.

If you have favorite things to do in Orlando that are not theme parks, let us know! We can post it on our next list. Stay tuned.

 

 

Busch Gardens Christmas Town

Busch Gardens has been transformed with lights as far as you can see, and from now until December 23rd, you can purchase discounted evening tickets to experience Busch Gardens Christmas Town. From 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on select evenings, this Tampa-area theme park is transformed into a holiday wonderland of wintery surprises and all things Christmas.

Busch Gardens Lights

Seeing is believing, and there is plenty to see at Christmas Town. What you won’t believe is that kids’ tickets start at just $10! It’s an experience the entire family will enjoy.

Lights, Sights & Nights!

There are different sections you’ll want to experience. A nostalgic area (town) Holiday Hills will remind you of the good ol’ days. New areas such as Christmas Time Terrace and Mistletoe Memories will surprise you with new experiences. Christmas Time Terrace is located in Jungala where a 40-foot Christmas tree comes alive every fifteen minutes with spectacular dancing lights. If you’re at the park with your sweetheart, check out the Mistletoe Memories garden where romantic flowers and sparkling white twinkle lights fill the trees overhead and set the scene for sweet moments with loved ones.

Plenty of other lights are also on display throughout the Central Florida theme park, and the sights from atop many of the rides are spectacular (not all rides are open for this special event). Other sights include a life-size representation of the Holy Nativity, made from nothing but plants! ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: Want to step into a larger-than-life-sized greeting card? Head to Jingle Bell Junction, just one of the many perfect photo opportunities that exist for you and your family. Want to play in the snow? Yes! A real snow area is located within Christmas Town and includes eight slides and an area to practice your snow ball accuracy. Other sights not to be missed are the spectacular shows including:

  • Angels of Peace: A Christmas Journey on Ice
  • Carol of the Bells
  • Christmas Time Terrace Light Show
  • Elmo’s Christmas Wish
  • Hallelujah Showcase
  • Madagascar Live! Operation: Christmas Vacation

Of course a night like this just wouldn’t be complete without visiting the ol’ jolly man himself. Kids of all ages will appreciate visiting Santa Claus in his private study and having their photo taken by a professional photographer in this lovely Christmas setting. Mrs. Claus is there too, baking holiday treats for everyone. Where are the elves? Making presents of course! Gift purchases at Busch Gardens are sure to be a hit on everyone’s list. Christmas Town has everything from collectables to toys, apparel and more. If you are a pass member, you’ll save 10% when you shop at the park. Many gifts can be purchased online as well.

Christmas Town has plenty of places to eat at. From snacks to full holiday meals, feast on all of your family’s holiday favorites. Savor traditional holiday turkey and mashed potatoes or enjoy hand-carved ham on a warm pretzel bun and turkey pot pies. Start a new tradition with tasty treats including peppermint cotton candy, and handmade s’mores and Christmas Town’s signature Elf Munch.

An evening in Tampa at Busch Gardens Christmas Town is a great way to spend time with your family.

New Attractions Coming to Legoland Florida

Duplo Valley Legoland Florida

Families visiting the Legoland Florida theme park next year will have even more fun things to do with their toddlers. Duplo Valley will reopen next spring with significant enhancements. This Orlando-area theme park has always been a great place for families with children, especially 12 and under, but will now be even better for families with toddlers 2 to 5 years of age.

Legoland Florida plans to add three new attractions and refurbish an existing one to form an all-new Duplo Valley.  The new attractions will include:

  • A Duplo train traveling through farm scenes which kids and parents can ride
  • A mini-tractor ride where your toddler can help farmers play and look for farm animals.
  • A splash and play water area with more farm animals.

The feature that will tie the area together will be the Duplo Train. Toddlers can board the train with or without a parent. They’ll enjoy exploring the countryside-themed scenery with fishing holes, campgrounds and farms. What child doesn’t enjoy a fun train ride?!

After the train ride, your little one will be able take another ride! Hop on a tractor made just their size and help plow the cornfields. Be sure to look for the missing farm animals! This will surely be a lot of fun for the parents to watch.

During the warmer months, a new water play attraction will be a welcomed relief. This feature will shoot intermittent water spouts and have other water elements suitable for younger kids. Large farm animals will decorate the park with a soft deck for safety.

The current Duplo Barn will be enclosed creating an air-conditioned indoor play area. Additional farm-themed play areas will be enjoyed by parents who will use the opportunity to relax a little while their toddlers can play and build with Duplo bricks. The current Baby Care Center will remain open during construction and continue to offer rocking chairs, nursing stations, bottle warmers, high chairs and changing stations. ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: This area also offers Wi-Fi and cell phone charging stations for parents needing to stay in touch with the non-LegoLand.

There is plenty to do at LegoLand for the entire family already. After next spring, there will even be more for families with younger children. Be sure to watch for these new attractions opening next spring. Visit all there is to do at this theme park by visiting www.legoland.com/toddlers.

House of Blues: Concerts and Food with Closeness

If you’ve planned your vacation to Orlando and want to attend a concert, definitely check out what is going on at the famous “House of Blues.” The “House of Blues” is located in Pleasure Island, Downtown Disney, in Orlando, FL. If you are a concert enthusiast, this is a great Orlando attraction to experience.

This venue-type Orlando attraction is relatively small as far as concert venues go. ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: If you have a favorite band coming to concert here, get your tickets immediately. Due to the limited seating, ticket prices are all general admission and whichever seat you find yourself in will be great to see your favorite performer. Do try to arrive early if possible though, because it is known; even though all seats are great, the best ones are down below, closer to the stage.

This two-level building not only provides concerts, it is also a restaurant and bar. The prices range in the same amount as all the surrounding Disney attractions, yet many have reported the wait for food, or drink, is remarkably fast.

An Orlando attraction that, not only, has security guards for their guest’s safety but also uses metal detectors before any concert or event. This concept should be explored at all concert venues worldwide. Come prepared for the scan and leave questionable items at home or in your hotel room.

House of Blues - Gospel BrunchSome upcoming concerts include: Anthrax for the Metal Alliance Tour, Sister Hazel, and Hysteria: A Def Leppard Tribute. There are many more upcoming concerts so conducting a search for artists in concert at this Orlando attraction should be done.

Along with concerts there are also event nights that are held weekly. On Sunday night is “Service Industry Night”; entry with a valid service industry ID is required. Every Tuesday is the “Latin Service Industry” night. Shake it Tuesday’s music is provided by DJ Anthony. This Orlando attraction is featuring an upcoming “FX Orlando TEEN NIGHT”; admission is only available with a valid ID as proof of being of an age ending in “teen.”

Being able to experience a concert up close as this Orlando attraction concert and event venue allows a person to be is remarkable. Although the summer hours create the heat to rise inside, and one can become hot and stuffy, the closeness to the stage and artist make it worthwhile in the end.

Another great event to attend at the “House of Blues” is the Gospel Brunch. A buffet-style food line is served and visitors are seated in a “family style” seating environment. The closeness sets the mood to experience Gospel Singers serenading you while you eat your brunch. A moving experience one will not soon forget. A must attend for anyone that loves Gospel music, and food of course.

Many people return year after year to attend concerts and eat a good meal at this Orlando attraction. The “House of Blues” concerts are like no other. The closeness of artist to fan is extraordinary for everyone in the audience. Sometimes, if the timing is right, many have been known to be able to meet and mingle with the favorite starts before and after the concert due to the quaintness it provides. Arrive early and see the stars!