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!

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.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Universal Orlando Raises Prices, Disney World to Follow

Prices Raising at Universal Studios

Water is wet, fire is hot, the sky is blue, and Orlando theme parks will raise their prices at least once each year.  For regular visitors of the Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando, these are truths that they know all too well.  Albeit a nominal annual increase, when visitors purchase their ticket packages, they have become all too aware that each year those packages are a few dollars more expensive than the previous year. 

Universal Orlando Resort, home to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, executed their annual increase last Wednesday (10 News).  It's unfortunately timing since most of the Country is on school vacation this week, and the parks volumes start to increase in the next few weeks.  However, it should also be noted that Universal is reinvesting in their parks.  This summer a revamped Incredible Hulk roller coaster will be opening back up, as well as the much anticipated Skull Island : Resign of Kong.

Disney World, in a reversal of usual order, will be following up shortly with a raise in their own admission pricing (Inquisitr).  The actual figures have not yet been released, but we are expecting nominal figures.  The good news is that Disney World is also putting a lot of money back into their parks.  For example, the new Frozen Ever After will be opening soon at EPCOT's Norway Pavilion.

Ticket websites, such as DW Tickets, will also need to raise their pricing to match the theme parks' price increases.  This generally happens within a week or two, as inventory bought at the old pricing is depleted.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Survey: What New Attraction Are You Most Looking Forward To In 2016?

Survey 2016 Attractions

The next couple of years have some pretty incredible new rides and attractions hitting Orlando's theme parks.  Between Disney World, Universal Studios, SeaWorld, and Busch Gardens, it seems all the parks are reinvesting into their properties, making sure that they all have something new to brag about.  Well, that's just fine with all of us.  We couldn't be happier about the improved park experiences.

This year, 2016, will see the unveiling of a whole bunch of new attractions, but there are really 3 major ones that are topping everyone's lists.

SeaWorld Orlando gets involved with their "Mako" hypercoaster, which will be setting the new bar for roller coasters in Orlando.  The ride will be the anchor of a brand new shark themed area, 200 feet high, reach speeds of 73 MPH, and will be Orlando's most extreme coaster.  For more information, check out our previous post here.

Disney World's "Frozen Ever After" will be opening at Epcot's World showcase, and we can only begin to imagine how many young ladies are going to be running towards the Norway Pavilion to meet their favorite princess, Elsa.  For more information, check out our previous post here.

And then there's "Skull Island: Reign of Kong" at Universal Orlando, which will be opening a year ahead of the upcoming blockbuster movie.  King Kong is always a smash hit, and now visitors get to be immersed in his world.  For more information, check out our previous post here.

Which attraction are you most excited to see and experience?  Disney, Universal, and SeaWorld are all trying to be stirring up the most anticipation, but now it's your chance to weigh in on it.  So, tell us what you think...

Monday, January 25, 2016

Universal Orlando's Mardi Gras

Universal Orlano's Mardi Gras, labled "Florida's Biggest Party", will be kicking off in just a couple of weeks.  On 14 select nights, between February 6, 2016 and April 16, 2016, Universal Orlando will feature parades with some very cool themed floats highlighting different cultures from around the World.  Each night will have a concert by an amazing artist (concert lineup below), will have 1.7 million beads flying through the air, followed by French Quarter music, and great cajun food and fun.  After the parades and concerts, anyone that is 21+ can continue partying by moving into the bars and nightclubs at Universal.  As long as you have a Universal Orlando admission ticket (Universal Orlando Mardi Gras), then you're invited to the party!

Some of the food that will be at the party include Jambalaya, Creole Gumbo, Andouille Sausage, Red Beans & Rice, and Beignets.

So, "Laissez les bons temps rouler!", or "Let The Good Times Roll!"

  • Feb. 6 - Hunter Hayes
  • Feb. 13 - Diana Ross
  • Feb. 14 - Barenaked Ladies
  • Feb. 20 - Nate Ruess
  • Feb. 27 - Fall Out Boy
  • March 5 - Kool & the Gang
  • March 12 - The Fray
  • March 13 - Adam Lambert
  • March 19 - Shawn Mendes
  • March 20 - 3 Doors Down
  • March 26 - REO Speedwagon
  • April 2 - T-Pain
  • April 9 - Jessie J
  • April 16 - Yandel

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

The Coolest New Attractions Coming To Orlando In 2016

This year has been one to remember in Orlando.  There have been a bunch of great new restaurants that have opened, as well as some well needed market places.  2016, however, will be the first year of several in a row that will be delivering hot new attractions.  There's going to be new rides and venues opening at a bunch of different theme parks across Orlando, but I'm just going to talk about the 3 that are getting the most attention right now: "Skull Island: Reign of Kong" at the Universal Orlando Resort, "Frozen Ever After" at Disney World's Epcot, and "Mako" at SeaWorld Orlando.

Skull Island : Reign of Kong

Skull Island at Universal Orlando

It's Kong's world, and Universal is going to be taking fans there starting late Spring / early Summer in 2016.  What's pretty cool about this is that they're going to be opening before the mega blockbuster movie premieres in 2017.  For more information, check out our previous post here.

Frozen Ever After

Frozen Ever After at Disney World

This is going to be big!  The long defunct Maelstrom ride at the Norway Pavilion in Epcot is being turned into the kingdom of Arendelle.  Visitors will be walking into a Norwegian wonderland, being able to participate in the Winter in Summer Celebration, visit Elsa's Palace, and even have a meet and greet with Elsa, Anna, and other Frozen characters.  For more information, check out our previous post here.


Mako at SeaWorld Orlando

There are roller coasters, and then there's hypercoasters.  Mako will be opening in the early Summer of 2016, and will be SeaWorld's first new coaster since Manta opened in 2009.  The ride will be the anchor of a brand new shark themed area, 200 feet high, reach speeds of 73 MPH, and will be Orlando's most extreme coaster.  For more information, check out our previous post here.

So, that's some of the bigger stuff we can all expect in 2016.  But, what is on the horizon for 2017 you ask?  Even more awesome new attractions; Star Wars Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Land also at Hollywood Studios, and Volcano Bay, which will be taking the place of Wet 'n Wild, are all scheduled to open their doors for us in 2017.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Disney World's Star Wars Premiere Party Sells Out Fast

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Disney's Hollywood Studios put together a very cool "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" premiere event on December 17th.  Tickets for the event were put on sale between $94.99 and $99.99, and they sold out quick.  Lucky ticket holders will watch the movie at the AMC Disney Springs 24 theater, and then attend an after party at the Star Wars Launch Bay exhibit.  Although it's a pricey event, it's going to be a pretty cool night for Star Wars fans.  We would expect to see a lot of movie goers in full costume.  For the rest of us, we'll have to wait a few more days for the official release, on December 18th, 2015.

For fans excited to see and be a part of the new 14-acre Stars Wars Land that is coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios, there's no need to worry.  As it was first reported here, it isn't slated to open until next year.

May the force be with you...

Friday, October 23, 2015

MagicBand on Demand: Customize and Personalize Your MagicBands

Personalized MagicBands

For the last couple of years Disney World fans have been asking the same question: when will the purple MagicBand be available?  The MagicBand has been one of the biggest hits of Disney's new MyMagic+ program (details on MyMagic+ here).  With the MagicBand, guests are able to perform a bunch of cool actions, including opening their hotel room doors, making purchases through their Disney account, and accessing their FastPass+ reservations for park rides and attractions.  The one thing that has been missing though is the ability to customize and personalize the nifty bracelets that are strapped to guests' wrists throughout their vacations.

Well, not anymore...

Purple MagicBand

Inside the Magic Kingdom, head over to the Tomorrowland Power and Light Co., found right near the Space Mountain exit.  Walk up to the MagicBand on Demand station, and choose among the above 8 super cool colors, including purple!  After that, you'll have over 40 cool designs to add to your MagicBand, including Disney characters and park attractions.  Lastly, for an additional charge, you can personalize your bracelet by having your name printed on it.  Just a bit of caution here though, since sometimes the printing is done over the bracelet holes.  Pricing for a custom MagicBand is $21.95, and a personalized MagicBand is $29.95.

We're sure that a lot more customization is coming to the MyMagic+ program, and this is a great start!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Epcot's Candlelight Processional Announces This Year's Narrators

Candlelight Processional at Epcot

The Candlelight Processional is one of the most popular events at Epcot's Holidays Around the World Celebration.  What exactly is it?  Well, a host of celebrities help to retell the Christmas story, and are assisted by quite an ensemble.  If you're planning to visit the Walt Disney World Resort between November 27th, 2015 and December 30th, 2015, then you're in luck.  The event takes place every night at Epcot's America Gardens Theatre.  Each night, the show will kick off at 3 separate times; 5PM, 6:45PM, and 8:15PM.

New celebrity guests this year include Meredith Vieira, America Ferrera, Daniel Dae Kim, and Chandra Wilson.  Celebrities that are returning this year include Neil Patrick Harris, Whoopi Goldberg, Blair Underwood, Gary Sinise, Joe Morton, Ana Gasteyer, Amy Grant, and Edward Jones Olmos.

To join the Holidays Around the World Celebration at Epcot, all you'll need is a regular Disney World park admission (Epcot ticket options).  To check out when your favorite celebrity will be performing, check out the schedule below:

11/27 – 11/29 — Gary Sinise
11/30 – 12/3 — Neil Patrick Harris
12/4 – 12/5 — Whoopi Goldberg
12/6 – 12/8 — Joe Morton
12/9 – 12/11 — Ana Gasteyer
12/12 – 12/14 — Meredith Vieira – NEW
12/15 – 12/17— America Ferrera – NEW
12/18 – 12/20 — Chandra Wilson – NEW
12/21 – 12/23 — Daniel Dae Kim – NEW
12/24 – 12/26 — Edward James Olmos
12/27 – 12/28 – Blair Underwood
12/29 – 12/30 — Amy Grant

Monday, October 05, 2015

Buying Disney World Dining Reservations - Don't Do It

Disney World Dining

There's 351 restaurants found throughout the Walt Disney World Resort, and, of them, 115 accept reservations.  It seems like finding a nice spot for a fun dining experience at the end of a day shouldn't be too hard, right?  Well, as anyone who has tried in the past couple of years, it's getting quite a bit harder.  Securing a reservation at Disney World's most sought after restaurants is nothing new.  Although a bit frustrating, it wasn't much of a surprise if a last minute reservation wasn't available at Victoria and Albert's, 1900 Park Fare, or Cinderella's Royal Table.  But, with the introduction of MyMacic+, which includes online MDE (My Disney Experience) accounts, getting reservations has become a whole new ball game.  The issue is that non-Disney affiliated companies aren't playing by the rules.  They are securing dining reservations, and then turning around and selling them to vacationers that weren't able to get one on their own.  The good news?  Disney is starting to crack down on them.

MyMagic+ was recently introduced by Disney, offering a suite of technologies and services that are meant to improve and enhance a Disney vacation (click here for more info on MyMagic+).  One of those technologies is My Disney Experience, which, among other things, enables vacationers to make their dining reservations beforehand.  How far in advance?  Up to 30 days in advance, or, if you're going to be staying at a Disney property, up to 60 days in advance.  It sounds like a wonderful feature, and it can be.  But, there's always going to be people who take advantage of a good thing.

So, how are they doing this?  DiS Dining Agent was a site that was creating fake My Disney Experience accounts, booking reservations, and then selling those accounts for a price.  Or, they would create a reservation, and then give a customer the exact time when they will cancel that reservation, allowing the customer to quickly pick it up.  Fortunately, Disney has already started cracking down on these practices.  When we last checked, the website was telling its customers that they were in the process of changing their model, and that "all current customers will be receiving an email".

There are still other companies who provide services that may still fall in a gray area, but not so deep.  Disney Dining Scout and Disney Dining Buddy provide services where they won't make reservations for you, and don't have reservations to offer you, but they will monitor a restaurant where you want to dine, and notify you as soon as a reservation becomes available.

So, what do we think of all this, and what do we suggest?  Our best advice would be to plan ahead as much as you possibly can.  If you're able to start making your dining reservations 30 days out, then make sure to open your account a few days before that.  Planning your Disney World vacation, including which days you want to go to which parks, which shows you need to see, which characters you want to run into, etc., is almost just as fun an experience as the vacation itself.  And, all of this is made easier and more exciting with My Disney Experience. 
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