FL Travel Guide - Page 2

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What's Old is New Again at Disney's Epcot

September 15, 2014 at 11:21 AM | by | Comments (0)

Even if you’re not too familiar with the movies that Disney has been releasing into theatres there’s a pretty good chance you know about Frozen. That’s especially the case if you have turned on the radio at all this year, as that Let It Go tune has been pretty much everywhere.

Of course there’s plenty of money to be had in the marketing and promotion surround the movie, and now Disney is bringing its cash cow even further into the theme parks.

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One Florida City is Pinning Their Tourist Season on 'Winter's Tale 2'

September 12, 2014 at 12:58 PM | by | Comments (0)

After 2011's Dolphin Tale created an influx of tourism dollars for Clearwater, FL - where the movie's star lives - local hotels are betting the sequel can duplicate that success.

Both films were shot at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, the home of Winter the dolphin, and have helped make the facility one of the area's top tourist destinations.

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How Universal Orlando is Building Voluntourism into a Vacation Package

September 3, 2014 at 3:45 PM | by | Comments (0)

There are plenty of ways to give back while vacationing in Orlando, and now Universal is offering families an option as part of an easy package.

Universal Orlando Resort is offering guests the chance to volunteer at Give Kids The World Village, a cost-free storybook resort for children with life-threatening illnesses, in exchange for discounts on their own vacation.

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Last-Minute Labor Day Deals: There's Always Orlando

August 28, 2014 at 11:40 AM | by | Comments (0)

We hate to alarm you, but the summer is quickly coming to an end. Before you know it, the cooler weather will be trickling in, and those pumpkin-flavored lattes will be hitting the bar at your favorite coffee shop. That’s why it’s time to plan one last quick getaway, and Labor Day Weekend is the time to do it.

Time is clearly a factor, as we’re just days away from the long weekend; however, how about a trip down to Walt Disney World? Bringing the kids certainly is an option, but we won’t tell if you visit Mickey and friends without them. After all they’re probably starting school soon if they have not done so already.

The fall season kicks off as of September 1, so you can head over to the Magic Kingdom and celebrate Halloween like two months in advance. Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party runs through the end of October, and it’s basically an extra few hours—and some extra dollars—of fun at the park.

Special parades, even more fireworks, and everyone in costume—including the characters—can be yours starting at $62 per person per evening. Just note that the afterhours tickets are independent of regular admission, so it’s a slightly cheaper way to score some access to the park.

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Go Underwater in the Florida Keys with Google Street View

August 18, 2014 at 10:14 AM | by | Comments (0)

The folks and cameras over at Google Street View can’t stop exploring, and now they’re taking a page from The Little Mermaid—they’re going under the sea. There were some announcements earlier this summer, as the map mavens headed to check things out over in Belize and the Philippines in honor of UNESCO Marine World Heritage Sites; however, now there’s another option as well.

It’s not just Google behind things with the latest expansion, as it sounds like a few of Uncle Sam’s scientists are also leading the effort. Equipped with fisheye lenses—ha, of course—photographers and videographers are now busy mapping the underwater world that is the Florida Keys.

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A Peek at Hogsmeade Within The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Four Years Later

August 13, 2014 at 4:02 PM | by | Comments (0)

Magic is seriously in the air this summer, and we've been in Orlando for the first days of the newest addition to Universal Orlando: Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The original Hogsmeade park is still very much open, and very popular. Just how popular? Let's take a look.

According to an NPR report and Universal's numbers, "park profits have more than doubled and attendance has increased more than 30 percent" since the 2010 debut of Hogsmeade.

Now that Diagon Alley has debuted and is actively connecting the two parks via the Hogwarts Express train and asking $136 per adult for the privilege of visiting both halves, we're looking to see how the original has fared over four years.

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Universal Orlando's 'Hogwarts Express' is Totally Showing Up Actual Amtrak Trains

August 11, 2014 at 11:35 AM | by | Comment (1)

Already?!

That's the question being exclaimed by visitors to Universal Studios Orlando, as the theme park has announced that their newest ride—the Hogwarts Express within The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley—just surpassed 1 million riders.

This train, a ride experience we heralded as "the most attractive ride at Universal Orlando" and which became our favorite of all at the park, only opened to the public on July 8, 2014. On August 7, the Universal Orlando Facebook page announced they'd reached the million riders, conveniently one day short of the ride's one month anniversary.

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A Complete Survival Guide to Diagon Alley at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

July 16, 2014 at 4:10 PM | by | Comments (0)

Magic is seriously in the air this month, as we've been in Orlando for an early preview of the newest addition to Universal Orlando: Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Last week was the official Grand Opening, but here you'll find all the juiciest tips for enjoying the most exciting amusement park debut of the year.

Thinking of heading to the new Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter park at Universal Studios Orlando? You better be ready to sweat, wait in long lines, and yet enjoy it all along. But still, it's a good idea to do your homework for something like this, which will see record visitors for the next few months (at least!) and which will try your spending power to the max.

Jaunted's Quick and Dirty Survival Guide for Diagon Alley:

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75 Original Photos of Diagon Alley and the Hogwarts Express, at Universal Orlando

July 9, 2014 at 12:35 PM | by | Comments (0)

Magic is seriously in the air this month, as we've been in Orlando for an early preview of the newest addition to Universal Orlando: Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Yesterday was the official Grand Opening, but here you'll find all the juicy photos of the most exciting amusement park debut of the year.

Seven hours was the average wait time to experience all Universal Orlando's new park had to offer yesterday, during The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley's Grand Opening. That's actually not much of a surprise considering the wait was closer to 8 hours during the 2010 debut of the sister park, Hogsmeade, which now joins Diagon Alley to form a Potter powerhouse of experiences, shopping, rides, and refreshment at Universal Orlando and Islands of Adventure.

Don't let the 7 hours intimidate, however; that's just first day frenzy. Although what Universal has created with Diagon Alley is a stupefyingly tremendous world straight from the JK Rowling novels and resulting films which everyone should see, waits for the Gringotts ride and more should settle to a manageable 2 hours-ish as the summer progresses.

What you won't have to wait for are photos of the new park, as we've got full, original photo galleries of over 75 images from our own visit. Enjoy:

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How Universal Orlando's New Diagon Alley Gets It Very, Very Right

July 1, 2014 at 9:48 AM | by | Comments (0)

Magic is seriously in the air this month, as we've been in Orlando for an early preview of the newest addition to Universal Orlando: Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This weekend saw the soft-opening, but here you'll find all the juicy details of the most exciting amusement park debut of the year.

Diagon Alley has been described as 9 new shops and 1 new ride. While that's true in the most bare-bones sense, a visit to Diagon Alley reveals that it's an immersive world unto itself, where no detail is too small and from which no visitor will leave without some degree of awe.

In fact, we think Diagon Alley improves upon the original 2010 Hogsmeade portion of The Wizarding World, as one would hope after having four years to tweak and test. Here's why:

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The Six Awesomest Details of Universal Studios' Brand New Diagon Alley

June 23, 2014 at 5:51 PM | by | Comments (0)

Magic is seriously in the air this week, as we're in Orlando for an earlier preview of the newest addition to Universal Orlando: Diagon Alley at The WIzarding World of Harry Potter. Stay tuned as we get sunburned while slaking our thirst with Butterbeer, and all the juicy details of the most exciting amusement park debut of the year.

Perhaps you've heard rumors about interactive wands and a fire-breathing dragon. It's true—both of these wonders are found in Diagon Alley, but they're not what caused us to gasp in awe this week, during early previews of this new area of the theme park. Here's what did:

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Finally! Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando's Wizarding World of Harry Potter Announces Opening Date

June 18, 2014 at 10:47 AM | by | Comments (0)

Magic is seriously in the air this week, as we're in Orlando for an earlier preview of the newest addition to Universal Orlando: Diagon Alley at The WIzarding World of Harry Potter. Stay tuned as we get sunburned while slaking our thirst with Butterbeer, and all the juicy details of the most exciting amusement park debut of the year.

July 8. That's the date heard 'round Florida, nay the world, as Universal Studios Orlando announced it this morning as the public grand opening of the new Diagon Alley at The WIzarding World of Harry Potter, part of UO's Islands of Adventure theme park.

Four years ago when The Wizarding World first debuted the Hogsmeade portion, eager fans of the Harry Potter series happily waited in lines up to 8 hours long in order to be among the first inside Ollivander's Wand Shop, Honeyduke's Sweets, The Owl Post and, of course, first to experience rides like the Dragon Challenge roller coaster and the "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey" cinematic journey through Hogwarts.

Now, Diagon Alley promises to double the size of "Harry Potter-land" with new rides, new shops, new eateries, and a freaking Hogwarts Express train to traverse the distance between Hogsmeade (Scotland) and Diagon Alley (London).

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