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!

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. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Star Wars and Toy Story Lands Coming To Disney World

Star Wars Land Hollywood Studios

D23 is the official fan club for the Walt Disney World Company.  Every other year they have a huge event called the D23 Expo, and often it entails the announcement of new lands, attractions, and rides soon to be hitting Disney parks.  The D23 Expo 2015 event was held just a few weeks ago, and it looks like Orlando's Disney World came away the winner. 

The largest single themed land expansion in Disney history was announced, and Star Wars fans couldn't be more excited.  Star Wars Land will encompass 14 acres at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and include such attractions as putting guests in the captain's chair of the Millennium Falcon.  Perhaps best of all, Star Wars Launch Bay will open by the end of this year.

Toy Story Land will also be coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios, turning 11 acres into, what else, but Andy's backyard.  Guests will be shrunk down to the size of a toy to help explore this new world, take part in games and adventures, and even ride the family-friendly Slinky Dog roller coaster.

Below is a video of the D23 announcement.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Incredible Photo of Disney Castle: Can You Guess Which Park?

Disney Fireworks
Above is a spectacular photo that was submitted last night to Reddit Pics (Credit Reddit user Nvr2Much for the great photo).  Disney parks are known for a lot of things, and one of them being having some of the most extravagant and incredible fireworks shows in the World.  This picture exemplifies that statement.

The question is though, which Disney Park was this photo taken in.  Do you think you recognize that castle?  (higher res photo) If so, submit your guess:

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Busted: Disney World Tickets Fraud Ring

Disney World Tickets Fraud Alert
The Secret Service has busted a fraud ring involving Disney World tickets. Allegedly, the perpetrators were using stolen credit card information to purchase large orders of Disney tickets. How big were the orders? There was over $360,000 in fraudulent charges. What good are that many tickets to just a few people you might ask. Well, there is a re-sale industry for attraction tickets, especially Disney World theme park tickets, which are on the more expensive end of the market. So, not only were people being ripped off on the front end of this scam with their credit cards, other people were then being ripped off on the back end. Once the tickets are linked to the fraudulent charges, those tickets will be immediately voided out. (Story at Orlando's WESH.com)

This story is just another example of why you should never purchase your Disney World tickets from a private person. If the tickets were purchased legitimately, and have never been used, then that's the only scenario where you would be safe. But, is it ever worth the risk? We don't think it is. Purchase your tickets directly from the theme park, or from a 3rd party company that is established in the Orlando area, has a brick and mortar location, and has a positive and long-standing reputation with the Better Business Bureau.

A popular question we often get is why can't used tickets be bought at a discount. At first glance, it seems like a good idea. For example, say someone bought a 7 Day Park Hopper ticket, and only used 3 days. They are willing to sell you the ticket for less than half the original price. The problem is that Disney does not allow tickets to be transferred from one individual to another. To ensure people aren't doing this, they have a finger print scanning system. The first time a ticket is used the system will record the fingerprint of the individual using it. After that, only that individual will be able to use that ticket for admission.

If you're planning a Disney World vacation, then we hope we've given you some good advice. If you have any questions, please let us know!
# # # # # # # # # #