Orlando Travel Guide
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Although there's still no official opening date, the summer 2014 debut of the addition to Universal Orlando's Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park is heating up with tantalizing new previews.
First off, let's discuss the Hogwarts Express, which is simply a stationary attraction in the first version of the park. Come this summer, however, when version 2 opens, it will be a fully functioning train, connecting the wizarding and muggle worlds through a detailed recreation of London's King's Cross station. Yes, you'll need to look for Platform 9 3/4, but the most important thing to know is that riding the Hogwarts Express will require guests to have a park-to-park ticket, as the train travels from Universal Studios into the Island of Adventure.
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Well that didn’t take too long. Earlier in the week we were chatting about how prices were increasing at Walt Disney World, and now it looks like the other theme parks just down the interstate are doing the same. We kind of figured this was going to happen, but we guess we just did not expect it to take place so soon after.
Looking to pay for all the new entertainment options and additional Harry Potter stuff, Universal Studios is upping the price of admission at their two theme parks in the Orlando area. It looks like a one-day ticket is now $96 for the big kids and $90 for the little kids, and if you’re looking to hop between the parks on the same day it will be $136 for adults and $90 for children. The prices do not include tax, so expect things to jump right over that $100 level when it’s all said and done.
There's been a lot of buzz, from both kids and adults, about The Lego Movie which opens nationwide today.
Legoland is taking full advantage of the excitement surrounding the first-ever Lego-themed film by hosting The Lego Movie Weekend in Orlando on Feb. 8 and 9, 2014.
Here's a look at some of the activities planned for this weekend:
The Simpson's Ride at Universal Studios in Orlando first opened back in 2008 but only recently (last June), did the Florida theme park unveil Springfield, USA, the fictional hometown of Bart, Homer, Lisa, Marge and Maggie (and hundreds more.)
We strolled through Springfield a few months ago and snapped 20 Things Simpsons Fans Will Love. They sure beat singing princesses.
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Yup, that's it folks.
On a recent visit to Universal Studios in Orlando, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was as bustling as ever (even during a low-season week, too). But while the Butterbeer and other Hogwarts merchandise galore kept distracting us, we tried to keep our eyes on the construction rising beyond the Dragon Challenge roller coaster ride.
Remember, this is where a Diagon Alley will be built along with a real deal Hogwarts Express train, able to take visitors from the Islands of Adventure park (where WWoHP is located) over to the front of Universal Studios and vice versa. It will also feature the city of London as well as a Gringotts Bank, which will no doubt mirror the movies and books by featuring a thrilling ride around the vaults.
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We are about to see how much good stuff $1 billion gets you, as the airport in Orlando just scored that kind of funding to upgrade and improve its offerings within the terminals and concourses.
All the theme park traffic and other tourist attractions in the area made Orlando the 13th busiest airport in the country last year based on passenger numbers. Airport officials only imagine the place getting even busier in the future as, after the renovations are complete they expect as many as 45 million passengers to come and go through the place each year.
At this point there’s more than a few rental car companies offering up electric cars to get you and your crew from here to there, but now there’s an entire city that’s going all in with the electric movement. The theme capital of the world—AKA the greater Orlando area—is looking to link visitors with some of these voltage vehicles, and they just announced a whole new program to do so.
Drive Electric Orlando is a friendship between the area’s rental car companies and the city, as both look to make utilizing an electric vehicle just another slice of vacation fun. Those who choose to skip the pumps will enjoy all kinds of perks like free valet parking at the hotel, preferred parking in the area, and plenty of places to conveniently charge your car—even at the theme parks.
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The Simpsons—in ride form—have been a presence at Universal Studios Orlando for quite some time, but just recently the rest of the Simpson gang finished moving into the amusement park.
It might not be as overwhelming in theme when compared to Harry Potter’s place, but Homer, Bart, Marge, and Lisa have some pretty respectable new digs. Familiar music welcomes visitors into their town, and soon enough park-goers run into retail and restaurants all developed with Springfield in mind.
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If you're a Harry Potter fan even in the slightest, you might want to sit down for this news.
Not only has Universal Studios Orlando today revealed the first image of planned additions to come at The WIzarding World of Harry Potter, but they've announced that the new zone will be connected to the original Wizarding World by a recreation of the Hogwarts Express train.
Here's the full details:
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As if Universal Studios wasn't already double-downing on brand new Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme parks coming to their Hollywood and Japan locations, they've even announced a "significant expansion" going on at the Orlando original WWoHP.
That's about all we know for sure, but it's enough to get the rumor mills whirring.
Here's what's being said about the Orlando Wizarding World expansion right now:
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Once again it’s time to break out the bulldozers and construction gear down at Walt Disney World; however, they’re not exactly building a new theme park. What they are doing is revamping and redoing the Downtown Disney area into something a little bit more than just shops and stores. They’re giving it a makeover, so that tourists everywhere will be even more interested in exchanging those hard earned dollars for Disney souvenirs.
They’re calling it Disney Springs, as it looks like they’re going for a kind of retro style with the renovation. The official Disney Parks Blog goes into some detail about how Downtown Disney has been kicking around for 30 years or so, but now it’s time to do something a little better. They even mention that they’ve scrapped existing ideas a couple times; as things the ideas just didn't come together in the right sort of way.
It's that time of year again when all of our friends with kids start planning (and in some cases dreading) their annual trips to Disney. Amusement parks are fun for kids, but it's easy to get burnt out after a few days of non-stop characters, candy, and rides. So why not take a break and do some good at the same time?
Give Kids The World Village in Kissimmee, Florida is a 70-acre resort with over 140 Villa accommodations, entertainment attractions, and fun specifically designed for children with special needs. Give Kids The World has welcomed more than 115,000 families for a once-in-a-lifetime, cost-free vacation.