Hello and thank you for visiting OrlandoTastic! What started out as a top Disney World blog, OrlandoTastic is now a wonderful source of information for couples, groups and families planning an upcoming Orlando vacation. Through a vast network of theme park and attraction contacts, we’re able to bring our visitors the latest news, rumors, and stories covering just about everything in Orlando. Whether it’s a new ride at Walt Disney World, a new attraction at Universal Studios, a new restaurant opening downtown or a music festival planning a weekend concert, OrlandoTastic is happy to get the word out. And, of course, we’re always trying to partner with companies able to offer discount tickets to all the excitement. We hope you all enjoy our Disney blog, and if you have any questions, please contact us. Happy vacationing!

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Disney World's EPCOT Spaceship Earth Has Been Turned Into The Deathstar

EPCOT becomes the Deathstar

After Disney bought the rights to Star Wars, everyone knew that the mega franchise would find a significant home somewhere in Disney World.  And, it soon will, at the upcoming Star Wars Land inside Disney's Hollywood Studios.  However, what almost no one expected was for EPCOT's famous Spaceship Earth to be transformed into the infamous Deathstar.  Now, this isn't a permanent transformation, but the evil Empire put on quite a show at the unveiling event.  Check it out below...

Monday, September 26, 2016

Disney World's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Is Now Curing Kidney Stones

Kidney Stones Healed at Disney World

It's one of the stranger anecdotes from a Disney World vacation that we've ever heard.  But, when a doctor heard the same story from several of his patients, he had to try and explain it.  The patients had told him that after riding the famous roller coaster Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, they were able to pass kidney stones immediately after.  One patient even claimed to pass three kidney stones after riding the coaster three times in a row, passing one after each ride.

To support these stories, doctors built a clear silicone anatomical model of a kidney, and headed down to Orlando.  They then placed stones inside of the model, put it in a backpack, and headed to Disney World's Magic Kingdom to ride the magical coaster.  Their findings, as reported in The Journal of American Osteopathic Association, lended support to their patients' experiences.

For more information, check out the LA Times article on the subject here.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

This Week at Universal Orlando: Hulk Coaster is BACK, plus Olympics Viewing Parties

New Hulk Statue at Universal Orlando

The dog days of Summer are always an great time to visit Universal Orlando, but this week is especially awesome.  Universal is generally known as having the best "thrill" rides of all the Orlando theme parks, and for years the Incredible Hulk Roller Coaster has been one of their crown jewels.  The ride has been closed recently, as it has undergone extensive renovations.  Well, the doors have been flung open, there's a new Hulk statue awaiting customers arrivals, digitally mastered sound has been created to elevate the experience for visitors from the queue to the coaster, and the latest technology has been implemented  to make this ride faster, smoother, and just more Hulk like!  Check out this video for a glimpse at the type of sound and technological enhancements we're talking about...

Also at Universal will be some very cool bleachers set up outside the NBC Sports Grille and Brew.  Now, since NBCUniversal owns both Universal Orlando and NBC, which owns the U.S. broadcast rights to the Olympics, it's the only Orlando park that will be able to offer an Olympic branded party.  The Olympics run from August 5th through the 21st, and the viewing party will begin each night at 5PM.  There will also be a bleacher themed menu available that will include fire grilled wings, large warm soft pretzels, crispy reuben rolls, southern fried sliders, Wisconsin cheese curds, deviled eggs, cuban meatloaf, char-grilled chicken, simple burgers, Wisconsin burgers, smoked beef brisket, chopped BBQ, grilled chicken caesar salads, chicken fingers, plus beer, wine, and soft drinks.  

Monday, July 18, 2016

Pokémon GO at Walt Disney World - Tips and Tricks

Pokemon Go game and app

The Pokémon GO invasion is in full force.  It has taken over sidewalks, parks, museums, restaurants, churches, and, now, the Walt Disney World Resort.  If you've noticed crowds of people that appear to be walking around aimlessly while staring into their cell phones, then the Pokémon GO invasion has affected you as well.  

So, what exactly is Pokémon GO?  It is an app for smart phones that uses "augmented reality".  This means that users will hold up their phone, and the app will use the phone's camera, allowing the user to see the same image as if they were taking a picture.  The difference is that the app then overlaps the picture with characters and game elements, immersing the player into a different reality.  Here is an example of what a user might see:

pokemon go game screen

Players follow a map around on their phone, which syncs with Google maps.  As an example, this is how Pokémon GO has taken over the city of Boston:

Pokemon GO invades Boston

So, the big question now is, how can Pokémon GO affect our experience within Walt Disney World.  Theme Park Tourist shared some great tips with us, such as where Pokémon characters might show up, that you need to accept that some game elements are in parts of the parks that aren't accessible, and more.  To read the full article, please click here.

Our major tip is to stay aware of your surroundings while playing Pokémon GO.  Don't go wandering into traffic, bumping into other Disney World guests, or, worst of all, lose track of time and miss your FastPass reservations.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Video of Skull Island : Reign of Kong Attraction - POV

The ride/attraction that almost everybody has been waiting for, at least those old and tall enough to check it out, will finally be opening up to the public this Summer.  Skull Island : Reign of Kong has been under construction for nearly 3 years now, and the anticipation has continued to grow, setting the bar very high for Universal Orlando.

What many people know is that the attraction, located at Universal's Islands of Adventure, has been sporadically open for "soft openings" over the last few weeks.  This has allowed some lucky fans to get in for a sneak peak.  What many people did not know, however, is that some of these lucky fans have take videos of their adventures, and shared them online.  Check out this very cool POV (point of view) fan video below...

Can't wait to check this ride out!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Finally Open: "Frozen Ever After" at Disney World's EPCOT

With one of the most anticipated openings for a new Disney World attraction in history, "Frozen Ever After" finally opened to the public on June 21st.  The attraction is located within the Norway Pavilion at EPCOT, which makes sense since Disney's blockbuster "Frozen" used the Country of Norway as a major theme in the movie.

There were a lot of negative nancy's chirping all of the Internet even before this attraction opened.  Many of them were hard supporters of the attraction that was previously located in this space, "Maelstrom", although I don't seem to remember such support for it in the past.  During the first week though, they may have been smiling a bit as many visitors were shocked as they were told how long the wait was.  Below is a picture snapped by a visitor, and, yes, those are actually minutes...

Frozen Ever After Wait Times

That being said, the ride itself has been getting tremendously positive reviews.  It must be pretty spectacular for visitors to speak so greatly about it, especially after waiting for a full 5 hours (reports are that even FastPass'ers had to wait up to 3 hours).  Disney's FastPass won't be much use for most visitors, since Disney limits FastPass access to new rides and attractions.

If any of our readers have the good fortune of having already visited this attractions, please share your experiences with us.  For the rest of us, this point of view video will have to do for now...

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Universal Orlando Pricing Updates

 Universal Pricing Updates
Universal Orlando will be updating their pricing model, and there will now be even more benefits for vacationers who plan and purchase ahead.  The new pricing is not reflected across the board, but only affecting visitors who show up and purchase 1-Day tickets at the resort.  Universal Orlando includes the theme parks Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.

This is a demand based pricing model, and is giving many Universal fans a quiver of concern after Disney World's updates earlier this year.  However, Disney changed their pricing so that they would charge a higher price during peak volume periods, no matter if the tickets were being purchased beforehand or at the park.  With this Universal update, if a customer purchases their tickets beforehand, such as online from our partner DW Tickets, then they will not be subject to these new higher prices. 

This new update only confirms what we have always told our readers - Plan ahead, buy ahead, and save!

For details on this price update, including the actual figures, please click here.

Happy theme parking!

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Disney World's Top 5 New Attractions This Summer

Disney World Summer 2016 Attractions

It has been a wonderful start to the year here at Disney World, but many of the resort's newest attractions are being revealed just in time for the Summer season.  The summer months of June, July, and August are the most exciting and action packed months of the year, as schools across the Country are all on break.  If you're planning a trip to the Walt Disney World Resort, make sure to check out the attractions below, since it's likely they won't be found in your guidebooks, unless they are very recent.

Frozen Ever After

Fronze at Epcot

Frozen Ever After will be located within Disney's EPCOT, at the Norway Pavilion.  The movie Frozen was a mega hit for Disney, and has created a legion of your female fans.  We've featured several great posts about what can be expected, so click here for more information.

Star Wars Land

Star Wars Land coming to Disney World

The Star Wars theme has already been a huge part of Disney World for a long time.  The annual Star Wars Weekends has been such a great event, and has attracted fans of the franchise for years.  After Disney purchased the rights to Star Wars, plans for a Star Wars Land went right into action at Disney's Hollywood Studios.  You can read more about it here.

New Restaurants

New Restaurants at Disney World 2016

The Disney World dining scene continues to improve, and continues to be one of the best dining destinations in the Country.  This Summer welcomes 3 new restaurants.
  • D-Luxe Burger at Disney Springs - This fun menu was just recently released, and I personally can't wait to try a Diablo burger.  Check it out here
  • STK Orlando at Disney Springs - A cool and innovative steak restaurants, serving both lunch and dinner, and includes a rooftop dining area.  More here
  • Tiffin's at Disney's Animal Kingdom - A cool new restaurant that was built around the concepts that themed Animal Kingdom, and features both waterfront indoor and waterfront outdoor dining.  The full menu has yet to be released, but you can find some insights here

Rivers of Light

Rivers of Light - Animal Kingdom

Rivers of Light is opening at Animal Kingdom, taking place on Discovery Lake.  It's an entertainment performance that aims to celebrate the "special nature" and beauty of the animals in the park.  This is something we can't wait to experience, since it really is unlike any other attraction in a Disney park.  Check out what Disney themselves have to say here.

Kilimanjaro Safaris... AT NIGHT!

Sunset Kilimanjaro Safaris at Animal Kingdom

The Kilimanjaro Safaris at the Animal Kingdom have been one of the park's must-do adventures for years.  The real-life exotic animals, the fun ride through their habitats, the learning and excitement, all make the safari's so much fun.  Now, with the new Sunset Kilimanjaro Safaris, visitors can experience it all past sunset, with special lighting features, and when many of the animals are acting much differently in their nocturnal state.  Click here for the Kilimanjaro Safaris homepage.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Orlando's Most Anticipated New Attractions for 2016 - Survey Results

Survey Results - 2016 Anticipated Orlando Attractions
A couple of weeks ago, OrlandoTastic presented a survey to over 500 people asking them what new attractions they were most excited about in 2016.  Although there was strong support for all the candidates, we do have some emerging winners.  To be fair, we shuffled the results before each participant received the survey.  Also, it should be noted that we limited the survey to Orlando theme park attractions, and we limited it, even more, to only include the big 3:

SeaWorld Orlando's "Mako" hypercoaster - A roller coaster that might just top them all at 200 feet in the air, speeds of over 70 MPH, and plenty of sharks.

Disney World's "Frozen Ever After" at Epcot's Noway Pavilion in the World showcase - Frozen is one of the biggest Disney films of all time, and I'm sure fans are going to come from all over the World to meet Elsa and company.

Universal Orlando's "Skull Island: Reign of Kong" - The next King Kong movie is already going to be one of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters for 2017, and having this incredible Land of Kong attraction open before its release will only add to the anticipation.

The first question was:
"What new attractions are you most excited to see and experience in 2016?"

And the results:
What new attractions are you most excited to see and experience in 2016
51.6% - Frozen Ever After
40.3% - Skull Island : Reign of Kong
8.1% - Mako

We then asked our surveyors to elaborate on why they made their selections.  Here are some of the responses:

  • My youngest loves Frozen
  • I miss the old King Kong ride !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • I liked the movie alot!
  • I enjoyed the movie now I would like to see what the attraction is like.
  • I have 3 granddaughters who love the movie and Olaf
  • I am a fan of King Kong.I did experience a virtual ride in LA and liked it.
  • Like Kong
  • Not into sharks or King Kong
  • Grand kids love frozen
  • My daughter is a frozen fanatic
  • Excited for a new extreme coaster at the park.
  • We have a trip planned to Uniiversal this summer and are hoping that this attraction will be open for our visit.
  • I would like to see how they reimagine the maelstrom ride.
  • king kong fan. I think Universal will do a great job with new attraction
  • I miss the old King Kong ride.
  • Thrill coaster :)
  • I think I would really enjoy that.
  • My daughter adores Frozen characters
  • Enjoyed the older Norway pavillion ride. love Frozen. When will it open as we are going to DW in March.
  • Miss the old Kongfrontation ride.
  • The old Kong ride is missed.
  • Love Frozen characters
  • I think it will be a wonderful experience.
  • I have always enjoyed adventure and things that keep you in suspense. I think that this will be something that my daughter and I will really enjoy seeing. I can't wait!!!!
  • My eight year old daughter with Down Dyndrome loves Anna and Elsa and she can't wait for this attraction to open!
  • We always do disney so it's something new.
  • Girls love Frozen. Had so much fun meeting Elsa & Anna and ice skating @ WDW 2 yrs. ago. Can't wait to return..
  • fast rides!
  • Makes me want to take my family somewhere besides WDW... But not really.
  • Granddaughter has Elsa dress to wear to Norway. She's so excited.
  • I think Norway in Epcot was great the way it was. Frozen is a phase that will die out!
  • I love Sea World already but add in the awesome coasters & it's heaven!
  • I love The Frozen Movie.
  • Want to see what they did with Norway.
  • It's DISNEY!!!!
  • My children love Frozen and Disney more than the others.
  • My 4 year old loves Frozen!!!
  • We don't go to the other parks yet.
  • My little niece LOVES anything Frozen :)
  • The movie is awesome!
  • My granddaughter just loves all the characters in frozen
  • Coaster fan!!!
  • Of these 3, As an adult female, only Mako even appeals to me a little. Frozen is for little girls, Kong is for men and boys. Mako is for everyone
  • This is what my daughter will enjoy most
  • Love roller coaster rides...However, we will visit all the new attractions
  • My great grand daughter is crazy for frozen she is 3
Lastly, for a bit of fun, we asked "...which 2017 attraction are you most excited to check out?".  And we gave them these three options:
  • Star Wars Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • Volcano Bay, replacing Wet 'n Wild water park
And the results:
which 2017 attraction are you most excited to check out?
 53% - Star Wars Land
39% - Toy Story Land
7.9% - Volcano Bay

Thanks again for everyone that participated.  We'll be running another survey next week.
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