Holiday Magic in Orlando

This year has flown by fast. Christmas is less than 2 months away! Although chances are high that we won’t get snow for the Holidays, we still get very excited for the upcoming Holidays. There is no better destination to spend the season than here in Orlando! Popular area theme parks all have special seasonal events that will compliment your Holiday memories.

Walt Disney World, University Studios Orlando, and SeaWorld decorate in bright colors and lights to gear up for the upcoming Holidays. Santa Claus will be making appearances at each one of the parks, as themed shows and events are also planned. Festive Holiday cheer, great live music from bands and orchestras, and your favorite characters all join in on the celebrations. Caroling is taking place everywhere you go!

Orlando weather adds to the Holiday magic. Daytime temperatures average in the 70s and 80s and cool down nicely through the evenings. Thanksgiving and Christmas take place during our dry season with very little rain and mostly sunny skies. While the rest of your friends are experiencing cold winter temperatures and snow, you can be relaxing by your own private pool or beachside singing Christmas carols with your family.

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Plan your memorable Holiday trip with Magical Memories, a leader in the Central Florida vacation rentals market. Take advantage of our lower off season rental rates and save. It’s now more affordable than ever to enjoy a Disney vacation. Surprise your family with a weekend getaway to visit Mickey Mouse and experience the beaches!

Essentials for Your Orlando Vacation

Plan ahead and be prepared for your next Disney area vacation. Chances are, you will be spending most of your time outdoors and walking the popular theme parks. Remember these five essentials when packing for your trip to Orlando.

You can’t go on vacation in Florida without remembering suntan lotion. The sun tends to have a stronger, more direct effect on the skin in our state. Most of your vacation will be spent outside. Make sure you apply lotion from head to toe to avoid uncomfortable sunburn. Aim for an SPF of 15 or higher.

Dress for the weather. We are grateful for warm summer-like temperatures through most of the year. Summer months can be scorching-hot, while our fall and spring months are pleasantly warm. Visitors will enjoy mild winter months with noticeably cooler nights, November-February. Pay close attention to the weather forecast in anticipation for your trip for the latest weather trends.

Sandals are part of the daily dress code in Florida. However, tennis shoes will make a world of difference in comfort when visiting the Orlando theme parks. Be prepared to spend a whole day on your feet at Walt Disney World. Painful feet will not create a memorable experience.

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Smartphones are extremely useful tools while on vacation. Popular theme parks have created great apps to help you plan daily itineraries. Guests can view ride times, theme shows at the parks, and even make their dinner reservations straight from their phones! The devices are also excellent for weather forecasts and driving directions by GPS. Take pictures or play games for entertainment while waiting in long lines or sunbathing on a beach in Central Florida.

One last piece of advice for your next Orlando vacation is to bring your hunger for thrilling adventure! New amusements are introduced every year in Orlando. There is something for everyone and every age! You will never grow tired of visiting because you will never be able to do it all.

Exciting Fall Events in Orlando

Did you miss your opportunity for a Disney vacation this past summer? It’s not too late to fit in the Magic still this fall. With the exciting seasonal events through November and lower rates this season, the timing couldn’t be any better than NOW to escape for a long weekend! Plan your trip around these popular fall events to make the most out of your visit.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party lasts until October 31st. The whole family can enjoy this celebration at the Magic Kingdom Park. Trick-or-Treat for sweets throughout the park. Many of the famous Disney characters will also be taking part in the seasonal festivities, dressed in unique costumes as well. Catch a special evening “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade and party alongside famous Villains from your favorite spooky movies.

Halloween Horror Nights, which is going on now through November 1st, is in its 24th horrific season at Universal Studios Orlando. This year brings 8 terrifying haunted houses, ridiculously scary street experiences, live shows, and new rides and attractions to compliment this thrilling mega-event. Experience the most well-done Halloween amusement in the country right here in Central Florida. This guarantees screams and thrills from the bravest person.

So many events and parties go on at Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. It is scheduled to run until November 10th. Travel around the world in the World Showcase and sample popular food, fine wine, and craft beer from many different cultures! Live, well-known bands and cooking demonstrations compliment this fall festival. Stay late on Thursday nights for more indulgences with the “Late Nights LIVE!” celebration of food and fun. It’s a perfect mixture of activity that flows well with a day at Epcot while experiencing your favorite theme park rides.

Don’t miss out on all the excitement this fall. Contact Magical Memories to see how affordable a weekend escape can be. Reservations can be made for a villa in an all-inclusive Kissimmee resort or a larger vacation rental home with private pool. See you soon in Central Florida!

A Fall Vacation in Orlando

If you missed an Orlando vacation this past summer, it’s not too late to enjoy magical memories this year. Take off for a long weekend and take advantage of the changing seasons in Central Florida. Fall is a wonderful season to visit the Disney area, with a pleasant change in the weather and less crowds at the attractions.

We are just coming out of the rainy season in Central Florida. During the summer months, it rains almost every day, with storms and downpours lasting for only a couple hours in the afternoons. Guests usually enjoy mostly sunny skies in the fall, beginning in late September. Along with the lower, more comfortable temperatures, this makes a perfect day spend inside the Disney parks.

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Outside of the holiday weekends, attraction waiting lines at the area theme parks and roadside amusements are shorter. It is more feasible to enjoy every ride at Disney and Universal Studios Orlando. Wait times dramatically decrease at popular restaurants and shopping malls as well, which gives visitors a more enjoyable experience.

Rates for vacation rentals are greatly reduced during the fall months. It is more affordable than ever to escape for a memorable weekend with family and friends. Guests can save over $100 per night from the peak summer rates on many of our popular vacation homes and villas close to the action at Disney! This leaves more fun money in your wallet for Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Orlando, or SeaWorld!

Don’t waste any more time daydreaming about a family vacation to Orlando. Now is the perfect time to escape for the weekend! Plan your visit with Magical Memories as your host and experience the tremendous value that you’ll gain from reserving a vacation rental.

Keep Your Cool at Orlando Theme Parks

We are well into our summer season in Orlando and one thing is for certain; it is HOT! 90 degree temperatures are normal in late July and into August. It is important to stay cool and hydrated while visiting the Walt Disney World parks, Universal Studios, SeaWorld, and other outdoor amusements. Keep in mind the following cooling tips so you can enjoy the theme parks and feel more comfortable through the hot Florida summer.

The most important advice to staying cool is to drink plenty of water throughout the day. You can lose a lot of water through perspiration by walking over 10 hours straight in the hot sun. Aim for drinking a gallon or more of water during your theme park excursion. Carry a water bottle with you and refill it with water when empty. Not only will you feel more awake and energized, but you will be properly hydrated and cool.

Snack stands feature delicious treats to suppress hunger, keep you active, and cool you down. There is no shortage of ice cream bars and delicious popsicles at Disney. Children love these fun snacks and they will be satisfied for hours! Buy some extra treats to enjoy while waiting in line at rides and your experience will be much more enjoyable.

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It is important to dress appropriately for the weather and hours of walking in the direct sunshine. Wear light colored clothing and materials that allow your body to “breath” and wicks away moisture. Athletic apparel and bathing suits are perfect for park hopping. Remember a high level of SPF protection if you’re wearing clothes that expose your skin directly to the sun. Sunburn would make your day at the park difficult.

Take frequent breaks under shelters and misting stations located throughout the parks. You will often find that misting stations are popular hangouts. Stop for a few moments inside a restroom, wet a paper towel with cold water, and wipe your head and arms. You will immediately feel revitalized and ready to conquer the next big ride on your list.

The heat and direct exposure of your skin to the sunlight can make you feel exhausted quickly. These cooling tips will greatly improve your theme park experience and will ensure lasting memories. Don’t get caught “under the weather” and ill-prepared.

The Best Venues for Live Entertainment in Orlando

The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Live entertainment is at its best in Orlando. Popular venues to catch your favorite musicians and bands include the Amway Center in downtown Orlando, House of Blues in downtown Disney, Hard Rock Live at Universal’s CityWalk, and BB King’s Blues Club at the Pointe on International Drive.

The Amway Center hosts many main stream musical acts and serves as host to our NBA Basketball team, the Orlando Magic. Big ticket events are booked here and are planned months ahead of time. Smaller venues such as the House of Blues, Hard Rock Live, and B.B. King’s Blue Club provide an intimate atmosphere where fans can get closer to the stage and their idols.

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Whether it’s Rock, Country, or Blues you can be sure to catch live music every night of the week in Orlando. Visit these venues online before your vacation to view their event calendars. Plan your upcoming vacation around some of today’s hottest stars!

 

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

House of Blues Orlando | 1490 East Buena Vista Drive- Lake Buena Vista, Florida  32830

Hard Rock Live at Universal Studios Orlando | 6050 Universal Boulevard- Orlando, Florida  32819

BB Kings Blues Club at The Pointe | 9101 International Drive- Orlando, Florida  32819

New Attractions This Summer

The excitement never gets old in Orlando. Walt Disney World and Universal Studios are constantly adding new attractions to keep the fun alive. Experience these new thrill rides on your next trip to the Orlando area.

Disney has added the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train to the ever-growing Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom. The family-friendly rollercoaster transports riders through the famous diamond mine from the movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It will seem like you’re part of the movie while twisting, turning, and rocking in unique mine train carts. Indeed, a ride not to miss on your next trip to the Magic Kingdom.

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Universal Studios has built a new land to their Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The much-anticipated Diagon Alley is set to open in early this month. Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts is the new, 3D multi-dimensional ride that anchors this new attraction. Fabulous eateries and shops compliment the ride! Dine on traditional British fare at the Leaky Cauldron and grab desert afterwards at the Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour. Diagon Alley is a must-do adventure in Orlando.

Orlando is ever-changing. The amazing attractions at Disney World and Universal Studios can easily take up most of your vacation time. Map out your activities and plan wisely to make sure you are able to visit these new rides.

Old Town Excitement

There is more to Kissimmee than the well-known theme parks. Visitors to the area can add more magic to their vacation with horse rides, helicopter tours, swamp excursions, and even rodeos. Small town charm surrounds Disney and can be found along Highway 192. One of these unique roadside attractions is Old Town.

Old Town provides affordable fun and excitement for the whole family! Rides, restaurants, and shops make up this popular attraction. There are thrill rides for the adults, gentler rides for small children, and classic carnival rides, such as a carousel and bumper cars. Enjoy friendly competition while racing the go-carts. Think of Old Town as a super-charged street fair.

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Classic car enthusiasts love to bring their cars to the nightly car shows that Old Town is known for. Vintage cars line up for show every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night. American muscle cars are shown every Friday night. You won’t want to miss the local bands performing on weekend nights while the cars cruise the streets.

Unlike the larger theme parks, Old Town is an attraction where you can experience everything in one day. The rides and restaurants are open late. After having so much fun, you may want to do it all a second time!

 

Old Town | 5770 West Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway (Highway 192) | Kissimmee, Florida

Capone's Dinner & Show

Enjoy an evening at Capone’s Dinner and Show in Kissimmee for a deliciously entertaining and hilarious trip back in time to 1930’s Chicago. Actors portraying mobsters and beautiful dames are in full character throughout the evening. Guests are treated to a fresh Italian feast before watching a brilliant stand-up comedy show with audience interaction.

A delicious traditional Italian buffet dinner and unlimited drinks will keep you satisfied throughout the performance. Create your own towering salad, load-up on different selections of pasta and meats at the carving station, and be treated to a seasonal desert from the house. Adult guests can take advantage of an optional cocktail hour before general admission. This is a unique dinner show that can’t be found anywhere else in the Orlando area.

There is never a dull experience during the 2 hour stage show. This is an attraction for the whole family! Contact Capone’s Dinner & Show while planning your vacation to make sure you get the best seats, as this attraction fills up fast.

The Chocolate Kingdom Chocolate Factory

Chocolate lovers of all ages will enjoy their visit to the Chocolate Kingdom, of Kissimmee. This popular attraction boasts a full-service chocolate factory and candy shop that features delicious treats made fresh daily. It will be hard to resist purchasing some of these fine sweets to indulge in while on vacation. These goodies are locally made with passion only at the Chocolate Kingdom.

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Guests are treated to an interactive factory tour that lasts less than an hour. Learn all about the bean-to-bar process of chocolate production. The tour is very family-friendly, as spectators follow a unique storyline which adds more excitement and adventure during their visit.  There are even chocolate tastings, where you will be able to sample chocolate at the different stages of production.  At the end of the tour, make your own fresh chocolate candy bar with a wide selection of toppings! Not only will you gain a new appreciation about chocolate, but you will take away sweeter vacation memories.

Chocolate Kingdom is located beside Old Town Kissimmee and Fun Spot on Highway 192 in Kissimmee.

Upcoming Events in Orlando - Spring and Summer 2014

Plan your upcoming vacation around these fun spring and summer events at the Orlando area theme parks. All of the listed events are family-friendly. Admission to most events is covered in the cost of your park ticket and will complement the excitement of thrilling rides and amusements. Check our blog often for more great ideas that will add to your Central Florida vacation experience.

The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (now through May 18th) is a wonderful kick off to our spring season in Kissimmee. Visitors enjoy bright flower displays, home improvement seminars, live music from legendary bands, and unique seasonal foods at the World Showcase. After one trip to the Flower & Garden Festival, you'll want to schedule future vacations around this event.

Epcot’s popular summer concert series, Sounds Like Summer, begins on June 8th and runs until July 26th. Listen to your favorite classic rock songs performed by tribute bands. Bands honor the Beach Boys, U2, the Eagles, Bee Gees, and other well-known acts. These concerts take place in the America Gardens Theatre in the World Showcase with a different band performing each week.

Fans of the popular Star Wars films will enjoy Star Wars Weekends at Hollywood Studios, May 16th - June 15th. Disney is the place to be for special thrilling entertainment paying tribute to the Star Wars franchise. Experience specialty rides, celebrity parades, fireworks shows, Jedi Training for younger children, and collect autographs from your favorite Star Wars characters. It's all taking place right here!

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Viva La Musica takes place at SeaWorld every Saturday, from April 26th - May 17th and pays homage to Latin culture. Experience tasty Latin cuisine and exciting concerts featuring internationally renowned Latin musicians. Come hungry, as there are lots of delicious dishes to sample. This event is free with a paid SeaWorld admission.

During SeaWorld’s Summer Nights Celebration, which takes place June 21st – August 10th, the excitement heats up as the day cools down. Thrilling light shows and fireworks displays light up the night skies and add an extra flair to the always popular marine show featuring Shamu. Clyde and Seamore put on a hilarious nighttime show as well, titled “Sea Lions Tonite.” Enjoy a thrilling experience on SeaWorld’s rollercoasters as the day winds down.

Universal Studios hosts its own Grand Celebration of the New Orleans original party, Mardi Gras. This party is ongoing until June 7th. Catch the same level of excitement as you would in New Orleans, only in Orlando and beside great Theme Park rides. Internationally known music superstars and bands from hip hop and rock and roll will be hosting free concerts. Extravagant floats, Cajun food, and Bayou-fused music surround Universal Studios to create a festive environment.

Plan Your SeaWorld Adventure

No family vacation in Kissimmee would be complete without a trip to SeaWorld of Orlando. The popular aquatic adventure park is one Theme Park where you can do everything in a single day. There is plenty to keep you busy here, including grand marine shows, wildlife exhibits, and even thrill rides.

SeaWorld has strategically scheduled their main shows so that it is possible to see each one throughout your visit. Make sure you plan your visit before you get to the park so you can make the most of your day. You’ll get to see breath-taking performances by dolphins, sea lions, cats and dogs, tropical birds, and of course…Shamu, with the One Ocean show. Fun and educational marine life exhibits are positioned around the park so you can easily stop by an exhibit on the way to the next feature show.

The exhibits let you get up close and personal to various marine life, such as sharks, dolphins, sting rays, sea lions, and sea turtles. Take a journey to the depths of the ocean to study sharks in the Shark Encounter. Get up close and personal to stingrays, in the Manta Aquarium and Stingray Lagoon – where you’ll get to safely touch the rays. A newer exhibit to SeaWorld is TurtleTrek, a fabulous 3D experience! Learn about these unique creatures in a 3-part exhibit that puts you face-to-face with sea turtles.

Thrill seekers will love the high-speed coasters at SeaWorld. Both the Kraken and Manta take you on a heart-pounding adventure through twists and turns. The Journey to Atlantis is a flume ride similar to Splash Mountain at Disney World. Explore the mysterious sights and sounds of Atlantis before being flung down a watery slope. A splash of water at the end of the ride refreshes you on a hot Florida day.

Special seasonal shows throughout the year and attractive pricing make SeaWorld a great place to keep coming back to multiple times throughout the year. Ask Magical Memories for help in planning your memorable trip to Orlando and SeaWorld. Our staff enjoys the local attractions as much as our guests!

A Visit With Boggy Creek Airboat Rides in Kissimmee, Florida

On a recent afternoon, I had the opportunity to visit Boggy Creek Airboat Rides, of Kissimmee, Florida. I have never gone on an airboat ride before, so this was a great treat. My half hour adventure was filled with high speed action, education about the natural wonders of Florida’s back country, and views of wildlife around every turn.

It goes without a doubt that you’ll see alligators when you tour with Boggy Creek Airboat Rides. I saw big alligators up close, but also deer, eagles, cattle grazing in the marsh, and some birds that are native to Florida’s marsh lands. There is plenty to see in this wild environment. Remember to bring a pair of binoculars and a small camera to capture those special moments.

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I thought that I would get soaked when riding on an airboat. Naturally, you may get a little spray from water getting kicked up from the fan on the back of the boat, but you won’t get soaking wet. Bring a backpack along to keep your camera and binoculars dry just in case. Passengers are provided with ear protection, as the airboat gets noisy. Remember to wear sunblock and adequate clothing for the season. These necessities will keep you comfortable during your adventure on the lake.

There are various airboat tours available, depending on the adventure you want to experience. Choose from a half hour or full hour scenic nature tour, to something more daring like the hour long nighttime tour or swamp excursion. Whichever tour you pick, you’re sure to have an exciting and memorable time out on the water. Magical Memories has brochures in the office for Boggy Creek Airboat Rides if you need more information on their services.

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Boggy Creek Airboat Rides has two convenient locations in Kissimmee, with the closest spot located just down the road from the Magical Memories’ office (south Poinciana Boulevard), and about 20 minutes from Disney World. There is a large outdoor area, perfect for picnics and family games after your airboat ride. On your next vacation to Orlando, remember to take a day off from the Disney parks to plan an authentic airboat ride for a memorable family-friendly experience.

Dealing With Long Lines at Area Attractions

One thing that all popular rides and attractions in Kissimmee share are long waiting lines. It’s not uncommon for guests to stand in lines for an hour before they get to enjoy the thrill of the ride. Special programs, such as the Fastpass at Disney World, allow visitors to bypass the long lines for a shorter wait time. Still, you may be waiting in line for more than twenty minutes to board a ride with Fastpass.

There are simple ways to make the wait a little more tolerable. By keeping yourself, or your children, occupied while standing in line, you’ll indirectly help the line move quicker. An hour will feel more like twenty minutes. Use these following tips next time you’re at Disney World, Universal Studios, or SeaWorld.

Don’t forget your favorite book or magazine when headed to Kissimmee Theme Parks. It is so easy to get lost in a great book. Your mind will focus on the exciting story in front of your eyes rather than what’s going on around you. It wouldn’t be an impossibility to completely read a book during a day standing in lines! Disney books and informational flyers on area attractions add to the theme of your memorable vacation. My Mom would actually bring a crosswords book and joke book with her every time we’d visit an attraction. A Nook, Tablet, or iPad are popular alternatives to a physical book.

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Music lovers are bound to bring their iPods on vacation. The handheld music and movie players are an extremely popular option for park visitors stuck in line for long waits. Download your favorite music before visiting the Theme Parks. Cell phones also work really well in keeping guests busy. Snap creative pictures,surf the internet and Facebook, and talk to friends while you wait for the most popular rides. People watch while walking through Disney World, and you’ll see hundreds of tourists using their cell phones or iPodsto keep entertained.

Snacks and soft drinks are always a great idea when you visit a Theme Park. Chips and candy are nearly always preferred by children. For the most part, it will keep your kids more satisfied than grumpy. By bringing your snacks into the Park, you’re also cutting back on the pricey cost of foods on-site. Be creative and prepare bite-sized sandwiches the night before your exciting adventure at Universal Studios.

Last, but not least, remember to bring the backpack. You can’t possibly haul all these items without a comfortable bag. Don’t pack too much, as you’re likely to be walking around for over 10 hours on a single day. As seen here, you don’t need a lot to keep you occupied during your visit. Ask the staff at Magical Memories for more ideas on what you can do to make long attraction lines more pleasant on your next Kissimmee vacation.