Thursday, June 11, 2009

Universal Orlando Starts Summer Concert Series This Weekend

Universal Studios couldn't have picked a better weekend to start the Summer Concert Series in Orlando, with Orlando in the NBA Finals the city is a buzz with activity and visitors looking for great entertinment.

Here is the Universal's Summer Concert Series Line Up

Jordin Sparks - June 13th
The former American Idol is back to sing her hits, Tattoo, One Step at a Time and maybe No Air and her newest release - Battlefield.

LL Cool J - June 20th
He has electrified audiences for over 15 years with hits like “I Need Love,” “Goin’ Back To Cali,” “Mama Said Knock You Out,” and “All I Have”. LL Cool J is now at the top of his game, knocking out singles with the likes of J-Lo, Juelz Santana, Teairra Mari, and Freeway. An ingenious rapper who has re-invented himself several times over.

Natasha Bedingfield - June 27th
The United Kingdom's biggest female pop star, Natasha Bedingfield has taken the United States by storm with the first British chart-topping hit by a female in almost 20 years. Hits include These Words, Unwritten, Pocket Full of Sunshine and Love like This.

The O Jays - July 4th
One of Philadelphia soul's most popular and long-lived outfits, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group The O’Jays began their rise to worldwide fame as one of soul's greatest vocal group of the '70s.

Have fun and enjoy these great shows.
For more on Orlando visit

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Muppet's Creator - Jim Henson's Fantastic World Worth the Trip to Downtown Orlando

There is something special happening at Orlando's History Center that has locals and visitors buzzing this Spring.

Jim Henson's Fantastic World is on display at The History Center in downtown Orlando. This Exhibit showcases the world of Jim Henson and the colorful world he built. it also includes weekend movies, storytelling or more.

If you love the Muppet's and Sesame Street, you will enjoy this show. In fact I am hearing positive feed back from young kids and adults.

I often tell visitors Downtown Orlando is not really a daytime destination but great for evening fun, however this type of event is worth driving downtown and skipping the theme parks for a day.

You need to know that the exibition runs until May 3rd at The History Center, but as word spreads I expect that the last weekend might be a mob scene so go early relax, laugh and enjoy.

For more on Orlando visit

Friday, February 20, 2009

Ne-Yo Performing Saturday at Universal Studios Mardi Gras

This Saturday, February 21st:
Ne-Yo the Pop and R&B singer songwriter will be performing this weekend at Universal Studios Mardi Gras in Orlando.

Ne-Yo has had 5 Top Ten songs on the Billboard charts and Two number-one albums. So if you listen to pop and music you are going to know some of his songs.

In 2006, Ne-Yo release In My Own Words which included the No. 1 hit – So Sick and 2 other top 20 hits – When Your Mad and Sexy Love.

His second album, Because of You was released on 2007 and the single Because of You became a smash but other tracks from the album did not crack the top 20.

Ne-Yo’s third album, Year of the Gentleman was released last September and included the hits Closer and Miss Independent.

Expect a fun concert and plenty of songs you will recognize at this Saturdays Madri Gras at Universal Studios.

Enjoy Your Best Orlando Vacation

Walt Disney World Florida Residents $99 Promotion - Should You Buy It?

Disney World has started promoting the Florida Resident Special Offer: 2 Days at any of the 4 Walt Disney World Theme Parks; Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, for just $99 plus tax.

If you like going to the parks or have friends coming to visit, this sounds like a great deal. However let’s look a little deeper and investigate.

The offer runs now through May 21, 2009.

The Good News
Adults pay $99 and children age 3 – 9 pay $83 plus tax.
This includes 2 theme park tickets for one park each day.

Facts You Need to Know:
1. Black out dates April 4th – April 18th, ouch that is almost 14% of the time.
2. You have to use the second ticket within 14 days of the 1st ticket.
- So don’t use your 1st ticket on April 3 or it is a waste of money.

When this is Walt Disney World promotion a good deal?
When you are coming for a weekend getaway and you want to go to one park 1 day and another the next.

Or you know you have friends coming down and you know that you want to spend time with them but the idea of buying two full price tickets is driving you crazy. Then this can easy your pain and give you what you want for less.

Pass on this offer if…
You are planning to visit once in March and once in May.
If you don’t have set plans to come back and visit again within two weeks, most likely you won’t return. So while this Disney Florida resident deal is good for some, make sure you understand the promotion before laying out the cash.

Keep up with other Walt Disney World Information at

American Idol Experience Premiere was an Amazing Event

On February 12th, American Idol was in Orlando, Florida and not in Hollywood!

Walt Disney World's - Disney Hollywood Studios was home to the Grand Opening of the American Idol Experience and all I can say is the star power was in the house!

Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jordin Sparks, Fantasia Barrino, David Cook, Ruben Studdard, Taylor Hicks, Ryan Seacrest, Paula Abdul and many more were here to kick off the American Idol Experience.

The event opened to a packed house and former American Idol winners and contestants were on hand to inspire others to follow their dreams and listen to future American Idol hopefuls.

Just so you know the winner of the American Idol Experience gets a Golden Ticket to perform for the American Idol judges next fall without having to wait in line for hours! So it possible that the next American Idol could come from the American Idol Experience. Learn more about the American Idol Experience.

Photos from the Opening Night!
While Simon was not always a fan of Carrie Underwood's country performances on American Idol, Carrie has gone on to become one of the Top Musical Acts since she left Idol.

And she looks lovely in this red dress with Mickey Mouse by her side.

David Cook and Carrie did a duet on stage - Fleetwood Mac's - You Can Go Your Own Way, check it out below!

I love Paula but her style is well her own and it's hard to decide who is the biggest character in this photo.
Mickey, Paula or Minnie!

Reports are that Paula had a wonderful visit and we would love her to come visit more often.

Well it wasn't just American Idol winners attending the premiere but also many fan favorites like Jason Castro, who always reminds me of Jar Jar Binks from Star Wars, Sajay and his ever changing hair and many more.

Disney has done a wonderful job in creating the American Idol Experience and making it a very exciting attraction that really could influence the next American Idol.

But there is something you won't find at the American Idol Experience, BAD singers or people just trying to get tv time. Unless someone pulls a fast one, expect good and above average talent to entertain you at the American Idol Experience only at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Learn how you can be a contestant on the American Idol Experience.

Learn more at Orlando-Vacation.US

Friday, February 13, 2009

Universal Studios 2 Park Pass for $99.99 for Florida Residents - The Review

Universal Studios is prmotiing their 2 Park Pass for $99.99 for Florida Residents, but in these tough times is this a good deal?

First what does this Universal Studios 2-Park Pass for $99.99 include:
For Florida residents what is great about this 2-Park Pass
1. Enjoy All Mardi Gras Concerts
2. You get to enjoy Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure now through December 19th. But there are Black Out Dates.
3. You won't need to pay again to go ride the New - Roller Coaster - Rip, Ride, Rocket
4. Basically come and go as you please spend 2 hours or all day!

What is not so good about this 2-Park Pass
1. You have to pay parking each time you go.
2. Blackout dates include April 5 - 12 and June 28 - July 31st (42 days)
3. It does not include Halloween Horror Nights

Note: It says to get discount you need the UPC Code from any Coca Cola Product.

The Final Value Tally

If you enjoy Mardi Gras and Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. This is an exceptional deal, as long as you go to the parks.

Seriously, if you live in Orlando do you want to go to the parks in July. I didn't think so. Plus this pass pays for itself if you just want to go to 3 of the Mardi Gras events.

Learn more about Universal Studios.
Best Orlando Vacation

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Universal Studios Mardi Gras - 2 Nights This Weekend

That's Right! Universal Studios Mardi Gras is 2 Nights this Weekend!

On Saturday, February 14th
Motown Sensation - Frankie Valle and the Four Seasons will be performing after the Madri gras parade!

Then Universal Studios added a Sunday performance!
Get ready for the return of Disco with the Village People

Get silly, have fun, catch beads - All at Universal Studios Mardi Gras!

Learn more at Best Orlando Vacation!

Universal Studios New Roller Coaster Just Month's Away

Universal Studios new Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit Roller Coast is quickly taking shape and is now visable from City Walk.

According to Universal Studios, the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit will stake its claim as the most technologically advanced roller coaster in the world when it is completed in Spring of 2009.

Key Facts for Roller Coaster Enthusiasts
1. Coaster towers 17 stories above Universal Studios
2. Peak speed 65 mph
3. 6 Near miss moments - Just to keep you on your toes!

Like most Orlando theme park rides, the Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit has a theme based around an area called Production Central where Hollywood meets Orlando. Other details will be forthcoming as the opening gets closer.

We are very excited about this opening, as there never seem to be enough roller coasters in Central Florida!

Orlando Vacation Guy

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Downtown Disney's Characters in Flight is Taking Shape

It has been just over 4 and a half months since Pleasure Island clubs closed it's doors in Downtown Disney and except for the opening of the T-Rex cafe and the Hanes T-Shirt shop which are outside the Pleasure Island area nothing has been going on.

Until now as Downtown Disney's Characters in Flight Balloon ride is starting to take shape. Right now it is just a few wood beams, but the sign notes Coming Spring 2009.

This up up and away ride should prove to be a fun family ride and be popular at sunset and just when the fire works shows launch. However, the location of the ride is a surprise since most thought it would be located off of Pleasure Island rather than on Disney's West Side.

The look of the ride has a 1940's feel and kind of clashes with the modern and funky West Side decor. However, we are sure it will mesh into the Disney landscape with ease.

This is the only project started since the Pleasure Island clubs were closed on September 27th and while we were expecting some news on the direction on what we believe could be Downtown Disney Central, no news about it's future has been stated.

Orlando Vacation Guy
Best Orlando Vacation

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Magic Kingdom's Space Mountain to Close in April

Magic Kingdom's Space Mountain is set to close on April 19th and is projected to reopen November 21st.

During the closing of Space Mountain the ride will be updated to make it a little more exciting and modern. While the track path will not change, the experience will and that should be a nice change.

Other recent changes, like the Haunted House update has been greeted with positive results. We expect that this will be a change for the positive as well.

Note: Past history shows that the completion date is likely to be shifted, but based on what I reading they should be done by the end 2009.

Best Orlando Vacation Guy

Friday, February 6, 2009

SeaWorld Orlando Manta Roller Coaster Opening Moved Up!

The opening of the new Manta roller coaster at SeaWorld is may 22nd.
Yes, May 22nd! It was announced this morning.

For years, every project seemed to be delayed but now it looks like SeaWorld will complete their new gliding and nature inspired coaster just in time for the busy tourist season. But the opening of the new Manta roller coaster has been moved up from July - August completion date to May 2009!

This will give Universal Studios and it's new coaster a run for it's money during the summer season.

Since I live in Orlando this is sure to be a win - win for roller coaster fans visiting Central Florida.
Based on what I am hearing a soft opening could occur by mid May, this means that it may be open for a ride and then closed for hours. If they do a soft opening the schedule will be very unpredictable.

Here is the latest video on Manta from SeaWorld Orlando.

For those who had booked vacations in June or July not expecting to enjoy this thrill ride, well consider this a sweet bonus.

We expect the experience to be original and exciting.

Orlando Vacation Guy

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Universal Orlando Closes Fear Factor

Orlando, Florida
Universal Studios

Fear Factor the tv show turned Universal Studios attraction is closing today after a 3 1/2 year run at the Orlando theme park.

While Fear Factor may be down it is not out. According to Universal Orlando execs the temporary closing of Fear Factor is based on a drop in park traffic and the Live show will re-open later in the Spring and during the busy summer season.

Other shows at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure may see changes as well. Word is that several shows will have fewer offering each day. So a show that was running 3 times a day may decrease to 2 times a day.

Universal execs noted that park visitors may not notice the change since this chagce is based around attendance projections. So as attendance increases over holidays shows will be added back.

Orlando Vacation Guy

American Idol Experience in Soft Opening, Official Opening February 14th

Fans of American Idol get ready for a new experience and your opportunity to audition for the real American Idol tv show!

The American Idol Experience currently is in soft opening at Disney's Hollywood Studios and is preparing for it's official launch February 14th. For aspiring singing this may just be your ticket to audition for the show in person!

Right now the show is running daily but the schedule is unpredictable as they are working out the kinks so that when they launch on the 14th it will be smooth sailing.

So here is what future American Idols want to know, How can I be on the American Idol Experience? Well, there is no guarantee but here are the steps involved.

American Idol Experience and Guidelines:
1. You must be at least 14 years old or older.
2. You’ll have to sing a cappella in front of a casting director.
3. If you pass that test then you can select on of 113 songs to sing.
4. Then a final producer will select who sings for the audience.

Right now they plan to run 7 preliminary shows during the day with three singers each. So 21 singers will be able to strut their stuff each day.
Note: If you can't sing this Idol Audition is not for you, they plan to showcase talent and are not targeting humor. (Keep in mind this is a Disney Park)

The winners of each of the preliminary shows will advance to the daily finale. The finale winner earns a Dream Ticket to audition for American Idol without having to wait in the massive lines for next year's American Idol competition.

Please note Disney could change how this is run at any time, but overall it is exciting that you could be on vacation in Florida and maybe next year on on American Idol!

This sounds like an exciting event and if you have the voice then the American Idol Experience many turn out to be your ticket to stardom!

We can't wait for February 14th.

Best Orlando Vacation Guy

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

SeaWorld Bud and BBQ Festival

SeaWorld's Bud and BBQ event is a celebration of live music, great food and cold beer. What is best about this event is that it is included with your SeaWorld park admission!

Here is the SeaWorld Bud & BBQ Line up for 2009.

There is something new every Saturday of February
February 7th - Blake Shelton
February 14th - Kenny Rogers
February 21st - Daryl Hall & Jones Oates
February 28th - Jason Aldean

Best Orlando Vacation

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Disney's Kim Possible Adventure Opens at Epcot

Epcot a favorite among adults may soon become the favorite Orlando theme park among the tweeners as Kim Possible is now there.

Kim Possible's Interactive Adventure has guest going through the world showcase to find clues and fight bad guys. I'll admit the more I read the more I want to go to Epcot and take the challenge.

Disney's Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure turns you into secret agents using your high tech Kimmunicators that you carry with you.

As you travel around the World Showcase you receive messages and are challenged to solve 1 of 7 mysteries. Basically you can do one or you can do them all while enjoying Epcot.

If you do complete all the Kim Possible tasks, you will get to experience a secret finale event. But keep it a secret so the rest of us can enjoy the fun of Disney's Newest Adventure.

Best Orlando Vacation Guy

Monday, February 2, 2009

Universal Studios Gets the party Started with Mardi Gras Line Up!

It's February and in Orlando that means it's time for Universal Studios Mardi Gras!

This years line up is a diverse mix of talent ranging from KC and the Sunshine Band a Mardi Gras regular to Frankie Valli to Nelly to Kelly Clarkson and just about everyone in between.

Here is the Mardi Gras line up:

February 2009
Feb. 7: KC and the Sunshine Band
Feb. 14: Frankie Valli & the Four Season
Feb. 15: The Village People
Feb. 21: Ne-Yo
Feb. 28: Pat Benatar (featuring Neil Giraldo)

March 2009
March 7: Barenaked Ladies
March 14: Montgomery Gentry
March 21: Collective Soul
March 27: Boys Like Girls
March 28: Kelly Clarkson

April 2009
April 4: MC Hammer
April 11: Trace Adkins
April 18: Nelly

A few quick notes:
Mardi Gras has been expanded this year to include Sunday Feb. 15th and Friday March 27th so now there are more reasons to celebrate.

Universal Studios parking is No Longer Free after 6 pm!
As of Jan. 1, 2009, it is $3 to park after 6 pm. :(

Will Kelly Clarkson keep the date?
With her new chart topping single, Kelly is back. Is she now to big for Universal or will she give her fans are really special performance that is sure to pack in the crowds.

Let the party begin at Universal Studios!

Best Orlando Vacation Guy

Universal Studios Gave Away 300,000 Tickets During Super Bowl

Wow, everyone in Orlando is buzzing about Universal Studios giving away 300,000 7 day passes to both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.

Wow it is quite a promotion, but just like Disney's - What will You Celebrate promotion it's profitability is based on the fact that you rarely come alone to a theme park.

Unless it is part of your job, like mine.

Looking at the promotion today, I can only hope that the redemption rate is high. I say this because Orlando like many areas is struggling and it will be disappointing to know that some people who signed up yesterday will never show up to use the prize.

I thought about entering my name in the contest and held back on the submit button. To me it is more important that someone come and visit Orlando then me getting a freebie.

Anyways, I hope that most of the 300,000 winners come and visit Central Florida and I hope that most of the winners lived more than 5 hours away. This way they will stay a few days.

Best Orlando Vacation Guy