Orlandotastic!
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!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Wet 'n Wild To Close Its Doors For Good; Volcano Bay To Open

Volcano Bay - Universal Orlando
 (an artist's rendition of Universal Orlando's soon-to-be new water park, Volcano Bay)

In two completely unrelated stories, Wet 'n Wild will be shutting down permanently, and Volcano Bay will be opening its doors for the first time.  Well, maybe not totally unrelated, although Universal Orlando is not linking the two stories together.

Wet 'n Wild Orlando Florida

Wet 'n Wild first opened 43 years ago, back in 1977.   During the 43 hot and sticky summers since, the water park has been an absolute staple in Orlando, sitting smack dab in the middle of International Drive.  Multiple generations of the same families have fond memories of growing up with trips to the water park, and refreshing rides down their many water slides.  Universal Orlando, which owns Wet 'n Wild, will be shutting down the park at the end of next season, on December 31st, 2016.  Although they have not yet made a statement about what they plan to do with the 23 acres the park sits on, they have said that they plan to "absorb" as many of the 300+ Wet 'n Wild employees into other Universal Orlando parks.  

But, times change, and often for the better.  We're setting the bar pretty high for Volcano Bay.  There have been several incredible new water parks, water rides, and attractions that have opened in the past few years, such as, at SeaWorld and Disney World, and we're pretty sure that Universal is looking to compete.  Volcano Bay is scheduled to open at the beginning of the 2017 season.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Take the Epcot Survey: Eating and Drinking at the World Showcase

Epcot World Showcase


Epcot is one of the top tourist destination in the World.  Although it is the second most popular theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort, it still landed 6th on the World's list of the top 25 most visited theme parks in 2014, bringing in 11,454,000 fans.  The Magic Kingdom topped the list with 19,332,000 visitors.

Epcot has some of the top attractions in any of Disney World's four theme parks, and, actually, any of the theme parks in Orlando.  Some of the amazing attractions include taking a ride on Spaceship Earth in Epcot's iconic geodesic dome, grabbing a seat for a viewing of The American Adventure where the audience experience key moments in American history via an audio animatronic-driven "montage" stage show, or getting involved in designing your own roller coaster and testing it in a simulator at Sum of All Thrills.

However, many visitors are drawn to Epcot for their fantastic food and drink scene, and, specifically, in the World Showcase.  The World Showcase features 11 pavilions, each themed and representing its own Country.  They are, in the order you can walk through, travel the world, and experience them, Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, United States, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, and Canada.

There are a total of 31 restaurants, cafes, bars, and lounges in the World Showcase.  They are sprinkled amongst the different pavilions, each catering to the theme of the Country they reside in.  Whether you're looking to sit down for a nice meal, to drink your way around the World, or to simply grab a quick snack on the go, there is something for everyone.  But, which spot tops them all?  That's an impossible question to answer, since each spot is unique, and it also depends on the appetite in question.  Below is a brief survey we have put together.  With your help, we should get a good idea of which spots visitors tend to enjoy the most.


Friday, June 12, 2015

Freddy vs Jason at Halloween Horror Nights 25

Freddy vs Jason Halloween Horror Nights
Well, how about this for an update from Universal Orlando regarding Halloween Horror Nights!  Last month we brought you the first released details of HHN 25 "Chaos Reigns", and now we find out that one of the haunted mansions will actually be Freddy Krueger versus Jason Vorhees, or, more commonly known as, "Freddy vs Jason".  They are arguable the 2 scariest horror film characters of all time.  Couple that with the return of the scariest character of all time at Halloween Horror Nights, Jack the Clown, and we are likely facing the most thrilling, most horrifying, and most evil HHN yet.

Highlights of Freddy vs Jason include:
- Weave through Elm Street and straight into Freddy Krueger’s nightmares
- Visit Camp Crystal Lake and come face-to-face with the hockey-masked killer, Jason Voorhees
- Witness iconic kills – and become the next target
- Fight to survive the terrifying showdown between the two titans of terror

Check out the teaser video below...


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Elsa and Frozen Are Coming To Disney World's Epcot Theme Park

Elsa and Frozen Come to Disney World

Are you one of the millions of fans of Disney's "Frozen"?  Do you have children that dream of traveling to the Kingdom of Adrendelle and being a part of Princess Elsa's world?  It's easy to turn on the movie, and imagine yourself transported to this magical land.  Well, that imagining is going to get a whole lot easier, and a whole lot more real.  A Frozen attraction is coming to Disney World's Epcot Theme Park.

Last year the Maelstrom ride was removed from Epcot, and they are now building the Frozen attraction in its place.  Of course, this totally makes sense!  This area is part of the Norway Pavilion.  The aesthetics of the movie Frozen were inspired by Norway.  So, the new attraction, which is going to be named "Frozen Ever After", with scenes and locations inspired by the movie "Frozen", will certainly fit right in.

Elsa and Anna at Epcot


Starting next year, fans will be able to visit Princess Elsa and Anna, be a part of the Winter in Summer Celebration taking place, see Oaken's Trading Post, Troll Valley, Marshmallow the giant snowman, and, OF COURSE, hear Elsa singing her beautiful song "Let It Go".  If you're unfamiliar with the song, which can only mean that you've been living under a rock for the past 2 years, then we're pleased to give you your first experience...


Saturday, June 06, 2015

Disney World's Magic Kingdom Tops The List Of The 25 Most Visited Theme Parks In The World

Top 25 Theme Parks in the World
The Themed Entertainment Association has published their attendance data for 2014, and there are some staggering numbers in it.  The biggest of them all is 148,341,000, which represents the total number of visitors to attend theme parks globally last year.  Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom tops the list, a spot it has grown accustomed to, although there are several suitors not far behind vying for the thrown.  The biggest downfall belongs to SeaWorld Orlando, likely still feeling the bite from the 2013 documentary "Blackfish".

Check out the list below!

  1. Magic Kingdom (Disney World) - 19,332,000
  2. Tokyo Disneyland - 17,300,000
  3. Disneyland (Anaheim, California) - 16,769,000
  4. Tokyo Disney Sea - 14,100,000
  5. Universal Studios Japan - 11,800,000
  6. Epcot (Disney World) - 11,454,000
  7. Disney's Animal Kingdom (Disney World) - 10,402,000
  8. Disney Hollywood Studios (Disney World) - 10,312,000
  9. Disneyland Paris - 9,940,000
  10. Disneyland California Adventure Park - 8,769,000
  11. Universal Studios (Universal Orlando) - 8,263,000
  12. Islands of Adventure (Universal Orlando) - 8,141,000
  13. Ocean Park (Hong Kong) - 7,792,000
  14. Lotte World (Seoul, South Korea) - 7,606,000
  15. Hong Kong Disneyland - 7,500,000
  16. Everland (Gyeonggi-Do, South Korea) - 7,381,000
  17. Universal Studios Hollywood - 6,824,000
  18. Songcheng Park (Hangzhou, China) - 5,810,000
  19. Nagashima Spa Land (Kuwana, Japan) - 5,630,000
  20. Chimelong Ocean Kingdom (Hengqin, China) - 5,504,000
  21. Europa Park (Rust, Germany) - 5,000,000
  22. SeaWorld Orlando - 4,683,000
  23. Tivoli Gardens (Copenhagen, Denmark) - 4,478,000
  24. De Efteling (Kaatsheuvel, Netherlands)
  25. Walt Disney Studios Park (Disneyland Paris) -

Friday, June 05, 2015

Survey Results... Surge Pricing at Disney World?

Last Friday we posted a survey asking peoples' reactions to the idea of surge pricing at Disney World.  This was in response to Disney sending out their own survey to select ticket holders, posing the same hypothetical situation.  It should be noted that Disney often surveys fans, and some of those ideas come to fruition, and some of them are never heard from again.

So far, we have had over 800 people respond to our survey.  We would like to thank everyone for their participation.  Here are the results:

What is your initial reaction after reading this article?

 

I think it's a good idea     17     2.1%
I think it's a good idea, and will help regulate park volume     57     7.1%
I'm not happy about this idea     313     38.9%
I think it's just a way for Disney to make more money     405     50.4%
This reminds me of Uber     3     0.4%
I have no opinion     3     0.4%
Other     6     0.7%


If you were planning to visit Disney World, and then realized the dates fell on peak days, would you consider changing your travel dates?

 

No, it wouldn't change my plans     48     6%
Changing plans is too tough, so I'd have to pay the higher prices     41     5.1%
Yes, I would definitely change my plans     404     50.6%
I would look into it, but it would depend on my options     272     34.1%
I have no opinion     7     0.9%
Other     26     3.3%


Prefer to briefly voice your own opinion? Go right ahead...

(Below is only a sampling of the 200 opinions we received.  For the full list of responses, and a look at the live results, please click here.)  
 
 
There should be no difference in pricing. When its peak time people do less because of how busy it is. When its non peak the hours of the parks decrease. It really equals out

Many people are limited on travel times and that typically falls during peak season. Disney is a family focused business, correct??Raising prices and price gouging those blocked in to a specific time of year doesn't seem very family friendly to me. Not a wise decision, Disney.

I guess it would depend on how much the base price increased over time. If it would keep the annual increases to a lower percent of increase, then it might not be bad??

i would probably opt out of going to disney and spend time at other local attractions

Travelling from the uk with children of school age is very much restricted to the school holidays. Which seem to coincide with the peak times. It will put off a lot of uk customers. I have been to Disney many times and they are quickly pricing me out of visiting

Pure greed. As an annual pass holder, I have seen many cutbacks in stall and show schedules at Epcot and the other parks over the last few years, despite the fact that they are making huge profits. Will not be renewing our passes next year.

The cost of a Disney vacation is already very high...it is just not right for Disney - to fleece Disney fans this way. Shame on the Disney corporation for putting profits over people. How about Disney offer additional "perks" to encourage families to come at non peak times? How nice would that be?

I think that this idea is okay, if Disney World would bring back the option of purchasing tickets that were 1-10 days AND had park hopper option AND did not expire. Please bring back the non-expiration date tickets. If you decided to go to a tiered system, then this would allow guests to purchase tickets that could be used on all types of days (bronze, silver, and gold).

I already change my dates based on peak times (I try to avoid them). If Disney want's to smooth out the attendance peaks, I would recommend giving perks on low attendance dates. Giving something like a $5 snack coupon per person on low attendance dates would attract more people, smooth out the attendance and would create great PR. In a time of lower or stagnant wages, guest want more for their money, not less. Giving out a $5 voucher won't even cost the company $5, and it might end up generating more money in concessions in the long run.

They need to create an affordable option for working single parents who has kids! I have three and would love to take them to disney but I can't afford those amounts for that many people so I'll just take then to leggo land!

This is begging for exceptional amounts of confusion, and it feels very much like try to squeeze even more money out of guests. If I buy a 4 day ticket in advance - then find out I bought a silver ticket but need gold, I have to pay even more? What if I straddle gold and silver days? I hope this doesn't come to pass.

As a Disney stock holder I'm in favor of anything that will drive revenue for the company. As a park attendee I hate the possibility that I'm going to have to pay more on certain days. Mixed feelings indeed.

Many seniors in FL would like to go several times a year..and NOT at peak times when kids are out of school or holidays...price is getting too much! Retired Military Seniors

Our family used to visit Disney World every year, but they have kept raising the prices of everything so much (including tickets, food, resorts, etc.) that it has become unaffordable for us to do so any more. We enjoy our Disney family vacations and still go there, but now our trips are every few years rather than every year.

I have a family of 9 and have tried very hard to keep the Disney annual trip alive and well but it is now at a point where I have to reconsider. We switched to October last year for cheaper pricing which was very difficult to take the kids out of school. We ran into halloween shorter hours as we could not afford the trick or treat prices to stay longer in the park. Therefore, missed alot of evening fun. Needless to say, we can't go this year,especially in the summer. How sad for a family that has loved and supported Disney for as long as the opening of Disneyland!

As an Annual Pass holder and member of the Disney Vacation Club, we travel to Orlando from Ohio 3 to 4 times a year. We have seen enough to believe that families spend a lot of money to come to Disney World and if they have to paid a higher price to come when it fits their schedule, they will. Cost doesn't seem to matter when it comes to vacations these days. Who it will hurt are the middle-class families who can barely put aside the money to take a "dream" vacation. They might have to save money over a longer period or not come at all. As a Senior Citizen, we will come during the Bronze time frame anyway as many youngsters are back in school (January, May and September.) We avoid the weekends to miss the locals who travel for a quick get-away.

My husband and I both work full time, and I have a part-time job as well. With 3 children we saved for 2 years when we can to Disney for vacation about 4 years ago. We have been saving for the past 2 years with plans to come in 2015. We cannot afford staying on Disney property. Our last vacation was great and we all just loved Disney. So much to do and see and experience. From the World Pavilion in Epcot to the Magic Kingdom adventures, we had a blast!! Having children in school means we cannot come to Disney during non-peak times. With the cost of Disney vacations continually climbing, I don't think the sacrifice my family has to make in order to afford the trip is appreciated, respected by Disney Corp., nor do I think the chance to return to Disney is worthy of all that effort and planning and cutting corners and saving. Some families might not think the price increase is a big deal. We think the constant increases and changes over the past 4 years makes a Disney vacation far less desirable and worthy of spending our hard earned money for. No Thank You Disney. We will put our money into experiencing other adventures worthy of the sacrifice we have to make to even have a vacation.

I love Disney ! I don't like that Disney is making it harder and harder for the average family to live the dream of walking down Main Street for the first time. Those peak times are the only times some people in certain professions can go. It's not right to make it more expensive for them.

Although I think it is a great idea but eventulally the non[peak days will become peak days and you will be back in the same situations. We have always arranged out trips to Disney at the non-peak time because even with the fast pass system we hate crowds and the heat.

I could see charging this rate on 1 day-1park tickets, because it would help regulate people coming to the park and push people to less crowded parks, as an option. Also, this could be an option for those who do not stay on Disney property. But, I don't not like this option for families that stay on Disney property and purchase multi-day park hoppers.

I like the idea, but I think the prices are too high. Gold should start at 115 and then so on.

I would skip Disney, and go to Universal Studios. Or. skip Orlando for awhile. And just visit Ft Laulderdale and Key West. My friends and I visit all three places, two or three times a year. And all of us, have been going to Disney for more the 20 years. They just keep charging more and more money. From the parking, admission, food, & Hotels ( that we only stayed at a few times) because of their crazy prices. I hope more people would complain and do the same thing. Then the greedy board members at Disney would have to lower the prices, or at least not raise them as often. I think DW Tickets, or some news chanel said, 14 times in 9 years.

(Above is only a sampling of the 200 opinions we received.  For the full list of responses, and a look at the live results, please click here.) 

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Gay Days Orlando Begins Their 25th Year

Gay Days Disney World
 
Gay Days Orlando began earlier today with an official proclamation from Mayor Buddy Dyer.  The events will go from now through Sunday, at different venues across Orlando.  However, many of the most popular events take place in Disney World theme parks.

Gay Days also plans gatherings at other cities besides Orlando, including Fort Lauderdale and Las Vegas.  This year they are estimating 170,000 people traveling to Orlando for the events.  Below is the schedule of when they'll be attending which Disney World theme parks.

Animal Kingdom - Thursday May 4th
Hollywood Studios - Friday May 5th
Magic Kingdom - Saturday May 6th
Epcot - Sunday May 7th

For a full schedule of their events, click here.
Discount tickets for the theme parks can be purchased here.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Surge Pricing at Disney World? Take The Survey Now!

As Ben Franklin so famously said, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes... and an annual increase on ticket prices at Disney World."  For the loyal Disney fan, who returns year-after-year to the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and all the great attractions at the Walt Disney World Resort, they have come to expect that each year they'll be paying something more than they needed to pay the year before.  Although the increase is generally in the 5% to 10% range, the increase is consistent.  And, what has also remained consistent, is that they know they'll be paying the same daily rate, whether they're going on a Tuesday or Saturday, during the slow season or peak season.

Well, that may be changing!

In recent emails sent out to select fans, Disney has presented a survey asking if people would be willing to pay more for their admission tickets on peak days.  In the proposed hypothetical tiered pricing plan, a single 1-day admission ticket for the Magic Kingdom, currently sitting at $105, would remain the base, otherwise known as Bronze level.  Based on the expected volume in the parks, the price of the ticket could rise to Silver at $115, or even Gold at $125.

Here is the schedule demonstrating the breakdown of Bronze, Silver, and Gold days:

Disney Surge Pricing Calendar

And using the above calendar, here is the pricing chart:

Disney World Surge Pricing

Disney is collecting their own survey results, and we are all left to speculate on what they're receiving.  Here is your chance to voice your own opinion, and to compare it to what others are feeling about this tiered pricing program.



Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Free 1-Day Upgrades On Disney World Tickets

DW Tickets, our ticket partner, has released their summer season promotions on Disney World tickets.  Although their full catalog of tickets is discounted from regular gate prices, these particular tickets offer free 1-day upgrades.  Here is the graphic showcasing the promotions:

Free Upgrades on Disney Tickets

The promotion is pretty simple.  Purchase one of the included tickets, and Tickey (DW Tickets' mascot) will automatically upgrade the ticket with an extra day.  All of the specials can be found here.  What makes DW Tickets great, besides the pricing, is their full selection of ticket options.  These Disney tickets can be bought as e-tickets, or, if you prefer to have hard tickets in hand, you can choose to have them shipped to your home, delivered to your hotel, or you can pick them up at their Orlando Welcome Center.

Free upgrades on Disney World tickets.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Ordering Food At Disney World and SeaWorld With Apps

Ordering food at Orlando's theme parks can often times be a frustrating event.  Although most parks have used technology (think Disney's Fast Pass) to ease the long lines of the most popular rides and attractions, the food lines are still suffering.  Fortunately, that problem may soon be a problem of the past.  Disney World and SeaWorld have begun testing pre-ordering and paying with the use of apps.  At the moment, that testing is only limited to a few select restaurants, such as Disney World's Be Our Guest in Magic Kingdom, and SeaWorld's Seaport Pizza.  However, the results have been promising, and both parks will be extending the tests into additional venues.

SeaWorld apps for Food

Let's hope this takes off, since that will give us all more time to explore everything else in the parks!

For more information, click here.
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