Lunch at The Boathouse in Disney Springs

I recently had the opportunity to enjoy a luncheon and first look at the newest upscale waterfront dining option, The Boathouse, located at Disney Springs within Walt Disney World. The restaurant is part of a huge construction project that is transforming Downtown Disney to the new Disney Springs. The Landing was the first phase to open this past spring.

My lunch at the Boathouse included sampling their steak, chicken, and seafood plates complimented by roasted potatoes and grilled asparagus spears. The flavors are unique to the restaurant and atmosphere in that I have not tasted anything quite like this before. S’mores Baked Alaska for desert complimented this feast nicely. A combination of chocolate ice cream, marshmallows, and rich chocolate syrup secured my day-long smile. Reserve some time on your next Disney vacation to dine at the Boathouse.

There’s a lot more to experience than the exceptional food and upscale nautical atmosphere. Take an after-dinner ride on one of the featured vintage amphicars and tour the surrounding landmarks from the lake. Enjoy a stroll on the dock space at the attached marina that stretches out over 300 feet. The Boathouse hosts an ultra-rare display of classic wooden boats that are priceless wonders not found in a collection together anywhere else in the World.

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- Ride Amphicars at The Boathouse, Disney Springs.  Tour surrounding landmarks before dinner. -

 

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- Rare Classic Boats on Display at The Boathouse, Disney Springs. -

 

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- Alter Ego Classic Race Boat on Display at The Boathouse, Disney Springs. -

 

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- What You've Been Waiting For.  The S'mores Baked Alaska at The Boathouse, Disney Springs. -

Disney Springs is Quickly Becoming Reality

Progress is being made as Downtown Disney transforms into Disney Springs. Hints of this re-imagined destination can already be seen throughout. This transformation will significantly increase the entertainment options as well as the dining and shopping of Downtown Disney. Visitors can already notice the change in the wording of the guide maps and the appeal of the shops and other buildings.

The first phase of the massive project is near completion. The Landing within Disney Springs opened this past spring. It’s the area that surrounds the Paradiso 37 restaurant and also hosts the popular Raglan Road Irish Pub. Pleasure Island used to be located here. New shops and restaurants have already opened and you can get a taste of what Disney Springs will resemble. The Boathouse, which opened in the spring, has a nautical theme and three great bars within. You’ll want to take a ride on an amphicar, modeled after a classic car that will also ride out onto the lake beside The Boathouse.

One of two planned parking garages has already opened. The Orange garage features multiple levels of smart, automated parking. Before you pull into a row to search for a parking spot, you will be notified if a spot is available in that particular row by digital displays. Sensors signal how many spots are open before you turn into a row. This is a great feature that saves time and frustration during the peak tourist seasons. More conveniences are the charging stations for electric cars.

Major restaurants at Disney Springs are expected to open in the fall, including an upscale pan-Asian restaurant and the highly-anticipated Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar. The Hangar is a throwback to the Indiana Jones adventure series, as Jock Lindsey was Indiana’s pilot and traveling companion on certain missions. Watch for updates regarding this impressive aviation- themed restaurant.

Completion for all of Disney Springs will be in early, 2016. You don’t have to wait until then to experience the transformation. Sections of Disney Springs are being opened ever-so-frequently, and it’s exciting to see it change to an Old Florida waterfront village.

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.

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.

Wonderful Holiday Events in Orlando

Are you spending the Holidays away from home this year? You’ll want to check out the following popular events happening in Orlando. There is a lot of Holiday Cheer to go around for the whole family! All of the area theme parks host their own Christmas celebration- so don’t forget your merry spirit when you come for vacation this month.

Festival of the Seasons at Downtown Disney. This is the best time of the year to shop and dine at Downtown Disney! Experience a festive environment this holiday season with live entertainment, photo opportunities with Disney characters, and Santa Claus. Shop for that perfect Christmas gift in the midst of decorations and cheer.

SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration. On select nights through the holidays, guests will enjoy caroling, a seasonal ice show, Santa Claus, and Shamu. Beautiful decorations dress the whole park creating a special holiday experience for the whole family.

Candlelight Processional at Epcot. The Candlelight Processional at Epcot in an incredible experience not to be missed this holiday season! Embrace in the Christmas spirit in front of a 50-piece orchestra and choir. There will be a celebrity narrator telling the always-entertaining story of Christmas.

The Holidays at Universal Studios Orlando. As always, Universal Studios throws a huge party to welcome the changing seasons. The Holidays is nothing short of exceptional! Make sure you're here to catch our version of the Macy's Holiday Parade and another thrilling year of the Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular at Islands of Adventure. Live music from Manheim Steamroller fills the air on select weekend nights in December.

Santa makes an appearance at each one of these special events. Both adults and children alike are guaranteed to be entertained for hours. Remember to arrive early so you can get the perfect spot to experience all the Magic.

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.

Orlando Shopping

Shopping in Orlando can be considered as popular as visiting theme parks and the beaches of Central Florida. Area malls and factory outlets have become well known internationally and host millions of visitors each week. Guests are just a short drive away from name brand stores and specialty shops with Walt Disney World souvenirs.The biggest shopping venues are the Orlando Premium Outlets, the Mall at Millenia, the Florida Mall, and Downtown Disney in Lake Buena Vista.

The Mall at Millenia offers shoppers over 1 million square feet of upscale, luxury stores across two sprawling levels. Brands that call Millenia home are Louis Vuitton, Armani, Rolex, Godiva, and Neiman Marcus. Grab a bite to eat at The Cheesecake Factory, Brio Tuscan Bistro, or P.F. Chang’s after your shopping experience.

The Florida Mall holds the title of the largest mall in Central Florida, with nearly 2 million square feet of shopping space. Here, you’ll find over 250 retail and specialty shops under one roof. Enjoy the latest fashion trends, fine dining establishments, family fun, and lush landscaping within spectacular indoor and outdoor seating. Buca di Beppo is a popular Italian restaurant that hosts shoppers for lunch and dinner.

Outdoor shopping is extremely popular in Orlando. Visit one of the better venues at the Orlando Premium Outlets. There are two locations to choose from in Orlando. Enjoy over 150 brand name outlet shops while taking advantage of Florida’s warm weather. On many occasions, the Outlets have great discounts to help you save money while on vacation. Kiosks offer refreshments to keep you cool and energized throughout the day. Children can stay entertained at store-side attractions.

Downtown Disney is the perfect place to visit after a long day at Walt Disney World when the sun goes down. Not just for shopping, but there are lots of great restaurants and attractions within this venue. Catch live music at the House of Blues or watch an amazing show at La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil. Disney specialty shops with souvenirs are plentiful here.

It is easy to get lost in a day of shopping while in Orlando. Amusements, excellent dining options, and famous stores will keep the family entertained for many hours. Plan your time wisely to visit both the indoor and outdoor shopping centers in town.

 

The Florida Mall | 8001 S. Orange Blossom Trail- Orlando, Florida 32809

The Mall at Millenia | 4200 Conroy Road- Orlando, Florida 32839

The Orlando Premium Outlets | 8200 Vineland Avenue- Orlando, Florida 32821

Downtown Disney | 1780 E. Buena Vista Drive- Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830

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.

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.

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.

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