Spend A Day In Downtown Orlando

Downtown Orlando is the perfect destination to check out while on your next Disney vacation. It compliments days spent at the local theme parks and adds something special for the whole family. The downtown area is a short drive from any of our Kissimmee vacation rentals. Experience local entertainment, specialty shops, and otherwise- hidden dining options.

Fun before the Evening Excitement

Downtown Orlando has plentiful green space. Lake Eola Park provides a beautiful setting for an afternoon picnic within the city. With this spot being the most central and iconic point downtown, festivals and live entertainment can often be found here. The Orlando Farmers Market is hosted at Lake Eola every Sunday afternoon. Shop fresh fruits and vegetables, home-made breads and local cuisine, artwork and crafts, and watch live entertainment.

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 - Shopping at the Orlando Farmers Market, in Downtown Orlando, Florida -

Many of the restaurants around Lake Eola are frequented by the locals. It’s hard to pick a bad place to eat. Discover a new, unique spot to dine at and stick around Lake Eola, Thornton Park, and Church Street in Downtown Orlando. A few of my favorites include SOCO (Southern Contemporary Cuisine), which offers an unique twist to classic American dishes and an awesome Brunch menu; Anthony’s, an excellent pick for Italian favorites and to-die-for pizza; and the Kres Chophouse for steak and a perfect intimate atmosphere.

To the Show

The new Dr. Phillips Center is the perfect performing arts venue to catch Broadway level musicals and other theatrical productions. Its size encompasses over two city blocks and includes five different venues within. Big name musicians and professional sporting events frequent the Amway Center nearby. Both destinations are easily reached from the main highway slicing through Downtown Orlando, Interstate 4.

You clearly cannot go wrong with a visit to Downtown Orlando. There is so much to do and see. It makes for the perfect day off from all the Disney excitement on vacation. Make sure this is a stop on your next visit to the Orlando area.

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 - A view from Lake Eola Park during the Orlando Farmers Market, in Downtown Orlando, Florida -

 

Lake Eola Park | 512 East Washington Street - Orlando, Florida  32801

SOCO | 629 East Central Boulevard - Orlando, Florida  32801

Anthony's | 100 North Summerlin Avenue - Orlando, Florida  32801

Kres Chophouse | 17 West Church Street - Orlando, Florida  32801

Dr. Phillips Center | 445 South Magnolia Avenue - Orlando, Florida  32801

The Amway Center | 400 West Church Street - Orlando, Florida  32801

Festival of Fantasy at Magic Kingdom

There is always a celebration at the Magic Kingdom of Walt Disney World. No wonder it’s the happiest place to vacation in the world! The imagination runs wild here. Daily parades throughout the theme park bring this Magic alive every day.

The Festival of Fantasy parade is my favorite and has been a stand out through the past year. This parade features a huge mechanical fire- breathing dragon and a gorgeous float of a hot air balloon carrying Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. Floats for this parade pay homage to Disney movie history and the colorful characters that starred in those movies. Acrobatic performers who swing and dance to the festive music are an added bonus to the excitement.

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Festival of Fantasy winds through Adventureland, Liberty Square, and Main Street U.S.A. each afternoon. Lasting only about 15 minutes, it provides for a nice break from the high-speed rush of the Magic Kingdom attractions. Plan ahead to grab a spot along the parade route early, before the show begins. Parade times are posted on Disney’s website and mobile apps used on smart phones and other portable electronic devices.

Upcoming Orlando Events- Summer, 2015

Summer is sizzling right now in Orlando! From unique experiences at Walt Disney World, to high energy concerts at the Amway Center in Downtown Orlando, these events provide that extra spark to your summertime vacation. Use this schedule to plan your upcoming vacation celebration at Magical Memories.

Sounds Like Summer Concert Series at Epcot World Showcase (through July 25, 2015). Rock and dance to live tributes of your favorite classic rock bands. The concerts take place at the America Gardens Theatre and feature 3 different performances late into the afternoon after you have ridden most of the rides and experienced several shows. Even better, Epcot has included this special bonus in your paid admission to the park!

Summer Nights at SeaWorld (through August 9, 2015). Visit SeaWorld for an entire day and stay late into the evening. The excitement gets turned up a notch when the sun sets. Experience weekend concerts, a special Shamu celebration with spectacular visual effects, and ride your favorite roller coasters under the night sky! It’s well worth skipping your bed time.

Night of Joy at Magic Kingdom (September 11- September 12, 2015). Popular Christian music bands and musicians converge on the Magic Kingdom for two rockin’ nights of music and fellowship. From soul and inspirational singers to hard-rocking bands, there is live excitement for every taste in music. The entertainment kicks off at 7:30pm and continues until 1:00am. Shift your vacation into overdrive, and be prepared to rock ‘n roll the nights away this September at the Magical Kingdom.

Rock the Universe at Universal Studios Orlando (September 11 - September 12, 2015). An impressive line-up of popular Christian bands rock together during this popular Christian music festival at Universal Studios. Surrounding the excitement are heart-pounding rides and attractions. After partying with new friends, visit both theme parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, for an unforgettable experience.

The Amway Center in downtown Orlando is hosting two huge concerts in September! Ed Sheeran will be performing on September 8, 2015, and Janet Jackson is bringing her high energy show to us on September 23, 2015. Buy tickets now to add that extra spark to your summer vacation. Both of these concerts are happening mid-week, so make your stay last a whole week to take advantage of everything the Orlando area has to offer!

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (September 25 - November 16, 2015). You'll want to be at Epcot this fall to enjoy their food and wine festival. Billed as a "food and wine lover's paradise," this event will feature cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs, mixology classes, and live musical performances! Sample some of the best international food and amazing wines.

Summer Fun at Orlando Water Parks

The summer season in Orlando is off to a steaming start! Temperatures have been trending in the upper 90’s since the beginning of June. We have yet to reach our hottest month. How do we keep our cool in the hot summer sun? For starters, we are the best destination for water park excitement.

Walt Disney World features two great water parks to cool down at this summer. Both Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach are wonderful family attractions that rest on Disney property close to their other theme parks. Typhoon Lagoon is reminiscent of a tropical paradise and features a wave pool favored by surfers and an exciting shark reef. Blizzard Beach is unique in that it is themed after a winter blizzard wonderland giving way to some great thrill rides.

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The fun and excitement of the Universal Studios theme parks flows over to their Wet ‘n Wild water park, which is located along International Drive in Orlando. Their thrilling water slides have been a favorite amongst vacationing families since the 1970’s. Wet ‘n Wild, by far, has the most thrilling and high-action slides out of the water parks we list here. Families can still enjoy several rides together throughout the park, with numerous tube rides available. Save some time afterwards to enjoy shopping at the popular stores nearby along International Drive.

Aquatica is the water park attraction from SeaWorld. It’s unique in that guests experience sea life while riding some of the water slides. Get up close and personal to Commerson’s Dolphins, African Spurred Tortoises, and many different species of tropical fish! The rides mix with nature seamlessly to make this an enjoyable day on the water.

Make sure you save room during your Disney vacation this summer to visit one of these thrilling water parks. Don’t forget comfortable sandals and suntan lotion. We’ll see you soon out on the water! Stay tuned to our blog for more vacation tips and updates throughout the year.

 

Orlando Water Parks Information

Typhoon Lagoon | 1145 East Buena Vista Boulevard- Orlando, Florida 32830

Blizzard Beach | 1534 Blizzard Beach Drive- Orlando, Florida 32830

Wet 'n Wild | 6200 International Drive- Orlando, Florida  32819

Aquatica | 5800 Water Play Way- Orlando, Florida  32821

Stay Comfortable and Healthy On Your Orlando Vacation

Central Florida and the Orlando area is, with no doubt, an outdoor-focused vacation destination. The warm year-round weather is perfect for a day at the Disney parks, one of the many nearby beaches, or hours spent shopping from store-to-store at the outlets. Extended periods outdoors, however, means that you have to take extra precautions to protect your health and remain comfortable for the remainder of your vacation.

Sunscreen is a necessity when enjoying outdoor activities in Florida. Prolonged exposure to the sun can be damaging to your skin . Remember to apply sunscreen frequently while visiting our popular outdoor attractions. Sunburn can be a painful experience and could make for an unpleasant vacation. Look for a higher number of SPF with a broad range of benefits.

Prepare a backpack with water and light snacks prior to visiting outdoor attractions. These refreshments will serve as a key source of energy while staying active. You will burn plenty of calories walking for over 8 hours in a single day at the Magical Kingdom or splashing in the surf at Cocoa Beach the whole day. Dehydration due to a lack of fluids is common in the hot summer sun.

Seek shade and shelter to take time and rest while visiting the attractions and nearby beaches. A small break makes all the difference! Wear lightly- colored clothing that is also lightweight and loose so your body has room to breathe. Heavy and dark clothing will make you feel sluggish in the Florida heat.

As we quickly approach the summer season, keep “cool” in mind. It is not fun to feel uncomfortable and out-of-place during your visit. These comfort tips will make your next vacation experience much more enjoyable.

The Orlando Eye Set To Debut in May 2015

Excitement is brewing about Orlando’s newest attraction coming to International Drive. The Orlando Eye is scheduled to celebrate its opening day on May 4th. It will become the anchor attraction to I-Drive 360, a new entertainment complex also housing a Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and SEA LIFE Aquarium Orlando, with delicious restaurants and other road-side amusements just steps away! The International Drive amusement area will be complimented nicely with these wonderful additions.

The Orlando Eye will be the tallest observation wheel of its kind on the east coast of the United States, towering 400 feet over International Drive. Spacious, air-conditioned capsules are enclosed with glass walls which will give guests breathtaking panoramic views of Orlando and beyond! It has been said, that on the clearest of days, you will be able to see all the way to Cape Canaveral. That is pretty impressive! Complimentary Wi-Fi will allow guests to take pictures of their high-flying adventure and share immediately with friends and family.

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Tickets are available right now on the Orlando Eye website. The first offering of tickets is reasonably-priced, with many different package options to choose from. Expect time slots to fill up fast, especially for summer and holiday visits. Make sure you leave room in your vacation schedule for a flight on the Orlando Eye. This experience will surely create a lasting memory to your Orlando vacation.

 

The Orlando Eye at I-Drive 360 | 8401 International Drive, Suite 100 | Orlando, Florida  32819

https://www.officialorlandoeye.com

 

Book Early in 2015 to Secure the Best Accommodations in Orlando

Christmas is a time spent enjoying food and laughter with family and friends. A lot of family groups are currently staying with Magical Memories for the Holidays and enjoying the local attractions, seasonal events, and popular theme parks in Orlando. We appreciate all our guests that we met this past year and hope to see everyone back in 2015!

A Disney vacation should be on your list of priorities as we cross into the New Year. The sooner you plan your vacation, the better your chances are of securing your dream vacation rental property. All vacation homes at Magical Memories feature private swimming pools and screened patios. Resort Villas are also an attractive option, with great resort amenities and large, heated community pools.

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Rental properties will book up fast months ahead of time, so make your plans soon! Magical Memories offers competitive rates on accommodations. You’ll find that reserving a vacation rental provides much more value than staying in a higher priced hotel room. Discover the advantages to booking early, and let our staff help you secure your trip in 2015 and discover the advantages to booking early.

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