FL Travel Guide
Theme Park Travel / Amusement Park Travel / Harry Potter / Universal Studios / Islands of Adventure / The Wizarding World of Harry Potter / Travel News / Orlando Travel / → All Tags
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.
Universal Studios / Universal Orlando / Orlando Travel / Florida Travel / Theme Parks / Amusement Parks / → All Tags
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.
Mickey Mouse must have a boat payment due or something, as he’s looking to raise a little more cash at his theme parks down in Florida. Walt Disney World just announced that they’re upping the admission cost to its theme parks, and the price increase is effective pretty much immediately. So if you’re been saving up for that trip to visit the Magic Kingdom—you might need to save a little bit more.
It’s pretty much an annual expectation at this point, but it always seems to sneak up on those with Disney plans on the horizon. This time all four parks are going up in cost by $4 per day, and it’s the Magic Kingdom leading them all. It will now set back one visitor $99 to check things out for the day, and when tax is added onto things that’s $105.44. Of course Disney wants you to stay longer than one-day, and the tickets for multi-day visits work out to be a better value. However, it’s a little scary that the cost of doing business with Mickey has now gone over that $100 mark.
Throwback Thursday / Airlines / Pan Am / Florida Travel / Miami Travel / Seaplanes / Historical Travel / Architecture Travel / → All Tags
Sure, we love all the speed and comfort of modern travel, but it didn't that way overnight. Every Thursday, we're going to take a look back at travel the way it used to be, whether that's decades or centuries ago. This is Throwback Thursday, travel edition.
Some call it the "Gateway to the Americas," but most just know it as Miami City Hall.
This small, art deco building in the south Miami neighborhood of Coconut Grove houses the offices of city officials and one stately meeting room, complete with wood dais and original Pan Am winged clock. Why a Pan Am winged clock? Well, this meeting room was once a departures area for flights, and the building the airline's very first terminal.
Acting mostly on rumor and the results of a few Google searches, we made the 15-minute drive from downtown Miami. Venturing inside, we were thrilled to discover that the general public is welcome to meander around after a brief security screening and during city business hours, but note that the second floor restaurant has closed.
Visitors expecting a full airport will quickly notice the lack of runways; Pan Am placed this terminal here to utilize the neighboring calm waters of Dinner Key Marina on Biscayne Bay for the operation of their flying boat services, with routes stretching as near as Cuba and as far as Buenos Aires, covering most South American and Caribbean capitals in between.
Pack your bags and get some tickets, as there’s a new airline taking to the skies high above the Sunshine State. This one kind of snuck up on is, but apparently Florida Express Jet is doing its thing as soon as next month. The plan is to fly in and around Florida—no crossing state lines here—with things taking off on March 20.
Nonstop flights are already for sale, and that includes options between Orlando and spots like Fort Lauderdale and Tallahassee. Fares can be had for as little as $69, as the airline questions why you would drive when you could fly.
Nothing says Spring Break shenanigans like a trip to court, and that’s why one spot in Florida is getting ready for a special kind of justice in time for the holiday. As you probably can guess things can get a little wild, as college kids from around the nation gather to let off some steam. That’s why Key West is ready for their visitors, and that includes those that may or may not follow all of the rules.
In Key West they’re cracking down on drinking—we’re thinking especially underage drinking—in and around public beaches, and there’s even an initiative to bring something back they call Spring Break Court. Unfortunately this isn’t a reality show of any kind. Although we call the rights to it right now.
Miami is known for a lot of things - beautiful beaches, the nightlife, shopping, and huge frozen cocktails.
On a recent trip to Miami Beach we were bombarded by hostesses offering 2-for-1 drink specials, 60 oz strawberry daiquiris, and martinis the size of our heads. We resisted falling into the giant drink tourist trap, but it did get us wondering: if you wanted to drown yourself in a mammoth Miami frozen margarita, where's the best place to go?
Here's a look at three Miami joints doing frozen drinks right:
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:
When it comes to the offerings at theme parks we’re usually most interested in the big, bad roller coasters. A ride that goes up in the air and drops you back to the ground usually isn't our thing, but we’ve got to say the thing Busch Gardens has planned kind of has us intrigued.
Falcon's Fury is part of the 2014 plans for the theme park down in Tampa, and what makes it unique when compared to other drop tower type rides is its seating configuration. Sure the thing rises to well over 300-feet—like 335-feet to be exact—but when the seating contraption reaches the top is when the fun begins.
Airport News / Tampa Travel / TPA / Airports / → All Tags
When it comes to airport news you know that we can’t get enough, so when we heard that Tampa was planning a revamp and reno at its facilities we just had to share.
The Tampa International Airport is famous for connecting chilly passengers with some fun in the sun, and now the place is going to exude a little bit more warmth. It’s all about a more modern and open feel, as even some of the shops and restaurants will be moved from the middle to make some more space.
Airline News / Airlines / New Routes / Eastern / Easter Air Lines / MIA / → All Tags
Every once in a while there’s a former airline that tries to make a go of it once again, and this year it looks like it's Eastern Air Lines. Technically they have nothing to do with the former carrier that folded in the early 1990s, but a new group has the rights to the name, intellectual property, and they’re even moving into part of the former headquarters down in Miami.
They have a website, they have some pictures, and they’re even eager to promote that they have an Airbus A319—we guess at least one of them—on order for delivery as soon of this year. So far the only real news out of the airline is their latest press release, as they revealed that they’ve gone ahead and filed some necessary paperwork with the Department of Transportation.
Next up is starting the needed certification and scoring the other credentials from the Federal Aviation Administration.
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.