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Disney Parks Blog

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Minutes from Outlet Shopping!

Outlet Shopping in Orlando

Premium Outlet Mall
A view of the Premium Outlet Mall in Orlando on Vineland Road.
Visitors to Orlando will be pleasantly surprised to find that they have access to not one, but two, major outlet malls–with hundreds of brand name stores and only a few miles between both locations. Both Orlando shopping centers are called the Premium Outlet Mall and have many of the same stores in common, so which mall should you pick?
Location, location, location
For travelers who are staying and playing on International Drive, shopping is just one of many activities available to them, and while the retail Festival Bay mall has been struggling for some time, the Premium Outlet Mall right up the road has been expanding and thriving.
On the north end of International Drive, the Premium Outlet Mall has outlet versions of Niemen Marcus and Saks 5th Avenue, as well as numerous clothing and shoe stores, such as Children’s Place, Gap, Stride Rite, Bass Shoes, Columbia, and the North Face, just to name a few.
Over the years, this Premium Outlets Mall has added train rides and bungee jumps to entice parents to spend a little extra money on their kids, and there is the ubiquitous food court offering all manner of fast food, including ethnic dishes like Chinese, Italian and Mexican fare.
Parking tips
Parking can be particularly grueling experience if you insist on parking closer to the actual stores, but if you don’t mind walking the extra distance–especially if you are planning on visiting the food court–park in the far lot by the Reebok outlet store. And if you don’t want to deal with parking at all, Premium Outlets does offer a valet service.
On the south end of International Drive are the Premium Outlets on Vineland Road. There are over 200 brand names at Premium Outlets, including American Eagle, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Fendi, and many more. Here the parking situation is slightly better, thanks to a multistory parking garage. Valet parking is also available, as well as I-Drive trolley service that is available up and down the length of International Drive.
With a playground area, food court, and plenty of name brand bargains, restaurants and Disney hotels are just a short drive away. Both of the outlet malls are popular with international tourists, especially around the holidays, when stores tend to run out of winter wear rather quickly.
No matter which outlet mall you choose, you will find plenty of upscale items at great prices at either Premium Outlet Mall–and you might even find a decent parking place.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Beat the Florida Heat at Orlando’s Cool Water Parks

With average daily temperatures in the high-80s (over 27 C), you may want to plan some time on your Orlando vacation to experience one of our refreshingly cool, amazingly fun water parks. With rides and attractions to appeal to everyone from your toddler to your teen - not to mention those of us who just want to feel like kids again – you’ll never have so much fun getting soaked!

Creative themes make a visit to either of the two water parks at the Walt Disney World Resort memorable. What happens when a freak snowstorm hits Central Florida? Well, you build a ski resort, of course! When the thaw comes, you’re left with Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, a 66-acre water park where the only chills you’ll experience come from the slides and rides. For thrill seekers, take the chair lift to the top of the 90-foot, snow-capped Mt. Gushmore. Once at the top, you can choose your way down – the 55 mph plunge straight down from the 120-foot heights of the aptly named Summit Plummet or the tall, but less steep, Slush Gusher speed slide with a couple of surprise “moguls” to spice up the ride. Looking for a more relaxing way to cool off? Soak your cares away in Melt-Away Bay, a 1-acre pool at the base of Mt. Gushmore or hop in an inner tube to explore the icy caves of Cross Country Creek, which circles the park. Little ones will want to spend the whole day at Tike’s Peak, a scaled-down version of the park built especially for water adventurers under 48 in.tall.

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon
Water Park was born in the aftermath of a mythical tropical typhoon. The centerpiece of the park is the Miss Tilly, a shrimp boat from Safen Sound, Fla., that was picked up by the strength of the typhoon and deposited precariously on the top of Mt. Mayday, 95 feet in the air. A nearby fruit packing plant, Tropical Amity, is the scene of frequent flash flooding which sends guests careening down the remains of the wash facility aboard inflatable rafts on Crush ‘n’ Gusher, a white-knuckle water coaster. In addition to thrilling slides and tube rides, you can come face-to-face with colorful underwater creatures during a snorkel adventure at Shark Reef, a 362,000-gallon saltwater pool, or body surf in the 2.25-million-gallon wave pool. Ketchakiddee Creek, complete with geysers, fountains, slides and a pint-sized white-water rafting adventure caters to the smallest members of your family.

Both parks are open year-round. You can add the water park option to your customized “Magic Your Way” vacation package or check ticket price.
A new edition from 2008 is Aquatica from SeaWorld, a combination of animal experiences, water rides and slides, high-speed thrills and relaxing sandy beaches and will appeal to all ages. The park is located on 59 acres of land, on the east side International Drive, south of Sea Harbor Drive near to the existing SeaWorld park. It is about one third the size of the original SeaWorld water theme park and about twice the size of Discovery Cove with visitor numbers expected to be limited to around 7,500 people.
Wet ‘n Wild Orlando, voted America’s most visited water park by Amusement Business magazine, offers plenty of fun for the whole family at its park, conveniently located along International Drive. No trip to Wet ‘n Wild would be complete without experiencing its three newest rides – Brain Wash, Disco H2O and The Blast. You'll be challenged to control your thoughts as you spin through the giant Brain Wash funnel, with lights and images flashing around you. Disco is alive and well and you can experience the sounds of the seventies as you are sent spinning through an enclosed aqua disco on Disco H2O. Or, get soaked to the bone as you travel down a ruptured pipeline on The Blast. A fun-filled kids’ zone will keep the little ones busy while a lazy river and 17,000-square-foot wave pool, complete with four-foot high waves will help you escape the heat. For your more adventurous family members, the Wake Zone offers kneeboarding, tubing and wakeboarding fun on a half-mile long lake. Wake Zone is open from May through September. A nominal fee applies to the “Wild One” tube ride. Wet ‘n Wild is open year-round with heated pools in the cooler months.

If your Orlando vacation takes you further afield, you will want to plan a stop at these nearby water parks. Adventure Island, located adjacent to Busch Gardens Africa in Tampa Bay, is a 30-acre water park that combines high-speed thrills with a soothing Key West-inspired atmosphere. With names like Everglides, Gulf Scream and Key West Rapids, this park’s water rides are truly Florida-inspired. The Spike Zone, an 11-court championship white-sand volleyball complex hosts both professional tournaments and friendly amateur matches that you can either join in or sit back and watch. Fabian’s Funport ensures that the kids can enjoy a wave pool all their own. Adventure Island is open seasonally from March through October.

Splash Island Water Park, at Cypress Gardens Adventure Park  in Winter Haven, is located just an hour from Orlando. Splash Island offers refreshing relaxation in the cool, slow-moving waters of Paradise River; the twisting-and-turning excitement of the Tonga Tubes; the white-knuckle white-water raft excitement of The Storm Surge or the sudden drops of the Voodoo Plunge. Kowabunga Bay, the 20,000-square-foot wave pool and the child-inspired gentle water fun of the Tikki Garden, offer a spot to sit back and soak up the warm Florida sunshine. Cypress Gardens is open seasonally from July through October. Admission to Splash Island is included in general admission to Cypress Gardens.

Take a break from the heat and soak up the fun at one of Orlando’s amazing water park experiences.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"The Bachelor" Casting Call Orlando

Are you ready to find true love?

ABC Television's smash hit show "The Bachelor" is holding a casting call in Orlando on Thursday, June 23rd at the Westin Grand Bohemian in downtown Orlando.

The show's producers are looking for women to audition to appear on Season 16 of "The Bachelor" and a chance to compete for love on the hugely popular reality TV series.

Cost Payment required - Free to Audition

Full information: Bachelor Casting Call Website

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Houston Astros Are In Town

Next week, the Houston Astros will begin its 27th season of Spring Training at the Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, with its opening game on March 1. There will be a total of a 17 home games this season, so lots of opportunities to come out to join in the fun!

If you are thinking about using the Spring Training opportunity for incentivizing your employees anytime throughout the Spring Training season, ticket prices are as follows:
· Dugout Box Seats, $24
· Outfield Box Seats, $22
· Upper Reserved Seats, $20
· Outfield Reserved Seats, $15

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Future Rides of Orlando

Orlando has always been known for its amazing theme parks and attractions. In order to continue its tradition nothing like innovation. Here are some of the newly rides and attractions that are already here or could be coming to Orlando anytime soon:

Fantasy Surf -- Indoor surfing attraction
Where: SR 535 and Hwy 192:
5151 Kyngs Heath Road
Kissimmee, FL 34746
Website: http://ultimateindoorwave.com/

Captain EO at Walt Disney World Epcot
Yes, you read right…the classic 3-D film experience 'Captain EO' is coming back to Walt Disney World Resort this summer just months after it reopened to rave reviews at Disneyland park. The 17-minute musical space-fantasy adventure film is now scheduled to begin at Epcot on July 2.

I remember enjoying “Captain EO” during its original run at Epcot from 1986 -1994. But for some of you, it’ll be a new experience. The film features Michael Jackson as “Captain EO” and a crew of Disney-created space characters. During their journey, the group uses the power of dance, light and music to turn a colorless planet into a world of color and happiness.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is the heart of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, an expansive new environment at Universal Orlando Resort that will bring the world of Harry Potter to life. This all new adventure combines a powerful storyline with spectacular new technology so effectively that guests will be completely immersed in the experience.

Proposed Orlando Thrill Park ride -- Sky high
Image of a typical ride envisioned for a proposed amusement park on International Drive.

Proposed Orlando Thrill Park ride -- Round and round
Rendering of a typical ride envisioned for the proposed amusement park on International Drive.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Festival of the Masters Begins This Week

In just days, Disney will kick off the 35th Festival of the Masters fine arts show at Downtown Disney. "And we’re thrilled to share some of the special touches you’ll be able to experience at this year’s event, including the chance to play Disney Epic Mickey and help create some LEGO art."
LEGO Master Builder at the 2009 Festival of the Masters
This year, LEGO will present a master builder inside their store on the Marketplace side of Downtown Disney who – with the help of our smaller guests – will create an 8-foot dinosaur. Then, you can visit the Pleasure Island area and help create a surprise mural made completely of LEGOs. Did you see our giant LEGO Buzz Lightyear and Woody mural?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Halloween at Disney: Plenty of boos and cheers

In Walt Disney World, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is in full swing in the Magic Kingdom and, quite frankly, the special-ticket event is more fun than a barrel of goblins.
HALLOW1.jpgMickey's Boo-to-You Halloween Parade makes its way down Main Street in the Magic Kingdom.
You get the idea things are a bit different as you walk up to the entrance of the Magic Kingdom and it’s decked out in all its Halloween finery, resplendent in pumpkins and straw.
Once inside, the familiar turn-of-the-century music that usually greets you in Town Square has been replaced by your eerily favorite Halloween tunes. Pumpkin-headed scarecrows abound in brightly colored displays.
As you stroll down Main Street, you notice all the light posts are decorated in their Halloween apointments, while twinkling jack-o-lanterns adorn terraces and windows and ghostly projections bounce off the buildings above.
There are trick-or-treat stations set up throughout the park, meet-and-greets with many costumed Disney characters, and the most popular attractions (including the Halloween-friendly Haunted Mansion) are open with little wait time.
But the highlights of the evening are Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade and the spectacular Happy HalloWishes fireworks spectacular.
The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow fame kicks off the parade by galloping down Main Street. Once the floats begin their methodical trek down Main Street, the folks lining the curb can't seem to contain themselves. Indeed, the parade just gets better each year, with more characters (including all of your favorite villains) decked out in their Halloween finery.
The WDW pyrotechnics team ramps up the excitement during HalloWishes. It’s such an elaborate show that World Drive, which runs outside the park near Space Mountain, is closed to traffic so that extra fireworks canisters can be placed outside the park.
HALLOW2.jpgMickey, Minnie and "friends" gather for some Halloween cheer in the Magic Kingdom.
If you can, stay close to Cinderella Castle; the Halloween-themed projections bounced off the regal structure are pure magic.
Party dates remaining this year are: Sept. 18, 21, 23, 25, 28 and 30; Oct. 1, 3, 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29, 31; and Nov. 1.
Ticket prices range from $59.95 (10 and up) and $53.95 (ages 3-9) for all dates except Oct. 29 and 31, when prices are an additional $5.
For more information, go to www.disneyworld.com/halloween

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