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.

 photo SuitcaseOverflowingGreatly.jpg

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.

 photo DisneyFamRida.jpg

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.

 photo IceBarMickey.jpg

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.

 photo Kings-Sign.jpg

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.

 photo Disney-Mine-Train.jpg

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.

Tips for Traveling to Central Florida

Don’t let the little things complicate your Orlando, Florida vacation. Start off on the right track to avoid family conflicts. Your well-deserved escape begins when you drive out of your driveway or board the planeto Central Florida. To make your trip more enjoyable, follow our tips on how to pack your car or prepare your luggage for a flight.

Road Trips are a great idea when traveling. Most of the time, you’ll spend less money than flying and you get to experience the open road. It is important that everyone in the automobile is comfortable and has enough room to stretch, especially after a two-hour, or in some cases, five-hour nap. Don’t clutter the seats with luggage, that’s what the trunk is for! Keep only in-car entertainment on hand, such as an interesting book or iPod. Avoid packing perishable food, as spoilage may occur if packed improperly, and could provide an unpleasant odor the rest of the trip. Kissimmee and the surrounding Orlando area have plenty of grocery stores. Buy your food locally on vacation.

Make use of all nooks and crannies when packing the car, but don’t stuff trunk space. Pillows, blankets, and linen are great, and they don’t take up much room. These things can easily fit into small spaces between luggage. Leave your windows free and clear and make sure you can see out into traffic.

Use common sense when packing your car. What do you really need to bring on vacation? If you find the back end of your sedan weighed-down and nearly touching the pavement, then you’ve packed too much. Grills, kitchen appliances, coolers, bikes, and other equipment are either provided with your Kissimmee Vacation Rental, or are offered for rent through area vendors. Remember to only pack the necessary clothes, bathroom supplies, and limited entertainment options. Guests always go back home with more than what they brought, due in part to the great local shopping.

 photo luggagesNEWER.jpg

You have to be even more efficient if you’re flying to the Orlando, Florida area. Checking bags can get pretty expensive these days. It’s not unusual to spend over $100 per bag to check. Try your best to pack everything in a suite case that will fit in an overhead compartment. Certain liquids and sharp objects can’t be taken onboard an airplane. Remember to bring entertainment as flights can get boring.

The more efficient you pack, the more money you will save. Lighter cars will save you more gas money, and carry-on bags are free on most flights. Don’t subject yourself to any avoidable conflicts on your trip to Kissimmee.

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.

 photo OTWNnewer.jpg

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

A Vacation Rental for the Summer

Vacations Rentals in Kissimmee have the best amenities for your summer vacation close to Walt Disney World. Magical Memories feature many different rental properties to choose from, whether it be condos, townhomes, or vacation homes. You may choose to be located in an all-inclusive resort or in a peaceful neighborhood with well-manicured lawns and single family homes.

There are several advantages to renting a property in an all-inclusive resort. Most resorts in Kissimmee feature plentiful outdoor activities. Large community swimming pools provide the perfect setting for summertime fun. There is often a jacuzzi close by to relax the muscles from a long day at the Disney parks. Walking and biking nature trails, sports facilities, and comfortable lounges in the clubhouses are also popular amenities in resorts.

Families enjoy the space, privacy, and value that comes from renting a house. Though most of our homes are located in neighborhoods, there are a handful that are located in an all-inclusive resort. Every one of our vacation rental homes feature private swimming pools to cool off from the summer heat. Pools are enclosed in screened patios for added comfort.

 photo PoHome.jpg

Need help finding the perfect summer accommodations for your family or group? Ask the staff at Magical Memories to help you find the right fit. We will keep you cool during these sizzling Central Florida days. No matter with rental you pick, you will be within a short walking distance to a refreshing swimming pool and fun summertime activities.

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.

Beautiful Beaches Just A Short Drive Away

When you vacation in Central Florida, you truly get the best of both worlds. Not only do we have the most popular theme parks, but we are within a short driving distance to beautiful beaches. In the midst of all the Disney excitement and adventure of Universal Studios Orlando, take a break and relax on the wide, sandy shores of our “local” beaches. There is a beach that’s perfect for everybody.

Both Cocoa Beach and Daytona Beach on the east coast are reachable in under an hour’s drive from the Orlando area. Cocoa Beach is popular with surfers and those that prefer a more family-friendly beach. Enjoy a wide strand with plenty of room to enjoy traditional beach sports. Watch cruise ships as they come and go out of Cape Canaveral. Rocket launches are also popular events at the Kennedy Space Center.

Daytona Beach provides a thriving scene for active young adults. Located just north of Cocoa Beach, Daytona is home to the Daytona 500 race of NASCAR. It is perfectly accepted for beachgoers to drive their cars onto the beach and park. Drive out onto the beach strand and set up camp for the day! Motorcycle rallies are held during the months of March and October.

 photo clearwater.jpg

To the west, the Gulf Coast of Florida has much calmer waters and promotes a more laid-back feel. Clearwater Beach can be reached within an hour and a half from the Orlando area. Experience crystal clear ocean water and a wide, white sandy shore that’s perfect for beachside games. Popular ocean sports include paddleboarding and parasailing. While here, make plans to visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium for fun family-friendly activities while learning about Florida’s ocean animals.

Which beach sounds right to you? On your next vacation to the Orlando area, don’t forget to make time for our beautiful beaches. The salt air and warm sand between your toes nicely compliments the active days spent inside the theme parks.

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.

 photo ChocKing.jpg

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.

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!

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.

Disney World Fun photo fatherdaughterdisney.jpg

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.