Fun Facts About Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s

Fun Facts About Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s

Fun Facts About Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s

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If your perfect idea of a holiday parade includes a light snowfall, twinkling lights, joyful music and the mix of merry and mayhem, then you’re in luck. Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s has all of these – and more!

The parade made its debut last year and will return for our resort-wide Holidays celebration running Nov. 17 – Jan. 6. with a theme inspired by cherished childhood memories and brought to life by beloved characters.

As a member of the parade’s operations team, I’ve seen exactly what it takes to pull off this spectacular experience. It’s certainly no small feat, requiring countless Team Members working year-round. I recently rounded up some of my favorite facts:

  • The parade will travel a total of more than 26 miles as it makes its way down the streets of Universal Studios Florida each night.
  • Without a doubt, the highlight of this parade is its 15 intricately hand-crafted floats featuring characters from Despicable Me, Madagascar, Shrek and more. And these floats are big. Really big.
GIF Universal's Holiday Parade featuring Macy's Madagascar
  • Weighing in at about 30,000 pounds and measuring 35 feet long, the float featuring Shrek, Fiona and Dragon rivals the size of two large African elephants. Thanks to Dragon’s 16-foot wingspan, it’s also one of the widest.
GIF Universal's Holiday Parade featuring Macy's Shrek
  • It wouldn’t be a holiday parade without the classic Macy’s star balloons. These stars measure 24 feet wide or as wide as five taxi cars!

Universal's Holiday Parade featuring Macy's

  • Piloting floats and balloons of this size takes practice, which is why training starts each summer for a team of nearly 300, including float operators, balloon handlers and parade escorts. (For the best view of all the floats and balloons in this year’s parade, Annual Passholders should watch from the exclusive viewing spot in front of Mel’s Diner!)
GIF Universal's Holiday parade featuring Macy's Balloon Handlers
  • You’ll see more than 100 dancers and characters during the parade – all dressed to impress in their holiday finest.
GIF Universal's Holiday Parade featuring Macy's
  • Last year, more than 220 gallons of snow machine fluid were used to create a special Florida snow flurry during the parade’s finale.
GIF Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort

I promise you’ve never seen a parade like Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s!

Click here for details about all the festivities happening during the Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort, which you can experience with general theme park admission.

Don’t forget to share your excitement on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with #HolidayLikeThis.

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Fun Facts About Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s


3 Real Life Inspiring Kids Will Melt Your Heart in New Grow Bolder Documentary Series

3 Real Life Inspiring Kids Will Melt Your Heart in New Grow Bolder Documentary Series

We’re not crying… you’re crying!

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Earlier in 2018, Universal Parks & Resorts launched the Grow Bolder campaign to encourage kids to take a stand, to be bold and fearless. As the narrator states in the TV spot, “fearless kids aren’t born… they’re made.” We challenge your heart not to melt when reading about these three inspiring kids.  

Charlotte, 10, the entrepreneur and philanthropist

Three years ago, Charlotte created ‘Stitches by Charlotte’ where hand sewn dolls are donated to children needing comfort before facing scary medical procedures –something she knows all too well having experienced multiple procedures to repair a cleft palate early in her life.

Watch Charlotte’s inspiring story here:

Robbie, 11, the National Park activist

Last year, Robbie Bond learned that some of his favorite national parks and monuments were being threatened, so he took a bold stand. At 9 years old, Robbie founded a non-profit called Kids Speak for Parks to inspire others to speak up to save America’s parks and monuments for generations to come.

Watch Robbie’s full story:

Hannah, 17, the fearless cyclist

For the first ten years of her life, Hannah Jordan lived in hospitals, sleeping over 20 hours a day as she was living with a glucose deficiency disease, but that doesn’t stop her from achieving her dreams. Watch Hannah’s brave adventure as she’s known as “The Hannibal”, aspiring Olympic cyclist.  

Watch Hannah’s full story:

We don’t know about you, but we’re definitely inspired! Tell us about someone you know who is inspiring you to Grow Bolder in the comments below.

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3 Real Life Inspiring Kids Will Melt Your Heart in New Grow Bolder Documentary Series


Local Yogis Participate in a One-Time Yoga Event at Universal’s Volcano Bay

Local Yogis Participate in a One-Time Yoga Event at Universal’s Volcano Bay

Sunrise. Beach. Yoga.

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As a yogi myself, the perfect vacation revolves around zen relaxation. Just a few months ago we opened Universal’s Aventura Hotel. The vibes of our new resort hotel are the definition of relaxation. The pool is calming, the rooms are sleek… oh, and the rooftop bar has some of the BEST views of our parks.

One of the amazing benefits of this hotel is being able to walk just a few steps right into Universal’s Volcano Bay. Could you imagine, sunrise beach yoga before a full day in the park? Me too! That’s why we invited a group of yogis to stay at our newest resort hotel and experience a one-time yoga session right on Waturi Beach.

Here’s a recap of what our Universal Yogis experienced.

The group checked into Universal’s Aventura Hotel and received beach totes with surprises inside.

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They enjoyed food and amazing views at Bar 17 Bistro, Aventura Hotel’s rooftop bar.

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How amazing is this?

Each yogi spent the night at Aventura Hotel and prepared for an early morning.

The next morning, they took the walking path from Aventura Hotel to Universal’s Volcano Bay.

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Each yogi was equipped with a towel that they set up on Waturi Beach with a perfect view of Krakatau.

If this isn’t zen, we don’t know what is.

 

Everyone participated in a 60 minute yoga flow on the beach.

And of course, no Universal event is complete without breaking the rules a little… We gave our rebel yogis some delicious vegan VooDoo Doughnuts to enjoy during breakfast after their workout.

We’re so grateful for our Universal Yogis.

This was a one-time yoga event at Universal Orlando, but we do offer other unique events, so make sure to follow us on our social media channels and blog for your chance to attend a future social media event.

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Local Yogis Participate in a One-Time Yoga Event at Universal’s Volcano Bay


Embrace Your Inner Grinch This Christmas with New Merchandise

Embrace Your Inner Grinch This Christmas with New Merchandise

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When the holidays roll around, I think we all discover that we have a little bit of the mean, green one inside of us. What better way to show it off (in true Grinch style) than with Grinch and Max plushes, outerwear and everything else that will help you show off your resting Grinch face, inspired by Illumination’s new movie The Grinch.

New Max Plushes Available in Seuss Landing

Resting Grinch Face Beanie Available at Universal Orlando

Are you more of a Grinch or a Max? Grab one of these cute #TeamGrinch or #TeamMax designs. There is also holiday decor like ornaments and the perfect mug to enjoy eggnog. And with the Grinch, it’s perfectly acceptable to show off your naughty side with pins, lanyards and more.

Grinch Ornament Available at Universal Orlando Grinch Plush and Pins Available in Seuss Landing

Grinch and Max Mugs Available at Universal Orlando Resort

Where to Shop

You can find this merchandise throughout Seuss Landing in Universal’s Islands of Adventure and select Universal Studios Stores in CityWalk and Universal Studios Florida.

I know you want even more Grinchy-goodness. Head over to Universal Studios Florida for a new photo opp. in front of Animal Actors on Location!.

The Grinch Photo Op in Universal Studios Florida

And stop by Voodoo Doughnut in Universal CityWalk for a new Grinch inspired doughnut with sour apple bavarian cream filling.

Grinch Voodoo Doughnut at Universal CityWalk

And to top it all off, starting Saturday, Nov. 17 you can join in on the Who-liday cheer with Grinchmas in Seuss Landing. You can meet the mischievous one himself, and see The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular, a live retelling of the classic tale of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”.

Come out and join us for the holiday celebrations, grab some new merch and check out the new movie The Grinch – now playing!

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Embrace Your Inner Grinch This Christmas with New Merchandise


UOAP Guide to Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort

UOAP Guide to Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort

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As the holiday season approaches, it’s time to put a little mischief in your merry. You can be sure you’ve never had a holiday like this with special offers exclusively for UOAPs and fun experiences during Holidays at Universal Orlando (Nov. 17 – Jan. 6).

Here‘s what you need to know:

There’s a Must See Parade 

UOAP Viewing for Universal's Holiday Parade Featuring Macy's

As the saying goes, everyone loves a parade. We’re making your Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s watching even more memorable with a special UOAP Viewing Area in front of Mel’s Drive-In located in Universal Studios Florida.

  • Tip: Plan to arrive a little early since space is limited and is available first come, first served.

Decorate for the Holidays!

UOAP Holiday Ornament 2018

For your holiday decor this year, purchase an exclusive the Grinch-themed UOAP ornament for $10, plus tax at Port of Entry Christmas Shoppe in Universal’s Islands of Adventure or Park Plaza Holiday Shop in Universal Studios Florida starting Nov. 17th.

  • To note: The year-round Premier Passholder 15% discount and Preferred 10% discount does apply.

Two More UOAP Button Releases

UOAP Button - Room for One More   UOAP Button - Not Yet

The third and fourth in the series of exclusive UOAP buttons will be released in November and December. In November, single riders can show that there’s always room for one more, and in December, let everyone know you’re ready for the holidays with the “Not Yet” button. Remember—there are limited amounts and each is only available for a limited time.

Stay AND Play

Holidays at Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort

Kick off the holiday season by taking advantage of exclusive UOAP resort offers. Now through December 20, stay at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort for as low as $99 or Loews Sapphire Falls Resort for as low as $119 a night. Click here for all details and to book your stay.

Buy A Day At Volcano Bay, Get A 2nd Day Free

Universal's Volcano Bay Water Theme Park

Share the thrills and relaxation of Universal’s Volcano Bay with your friends and family. Buy up to six tickets and show off your favorite water paradise. All UOAPs can take advantage and buy a one-day ticket and get another day now through December 21 with no blockout dates when purchase at the front gate.

Ring In The New Year and Save

EVE 2018 at Universal CityWalk

Ring in 2019 at EVE, The Best Party This Year. And Next. Feast on unlimited gourmet cuisine. Enjoy signature drinks. Revel in six awesome CityWalk clubs with live bands and DJs. UOAPs save 10% on tickets to EVE, Universal CityWalk‘s New Year’s celebration. (21+ Only with valid Photo ID). Call (866) PASS-4-FUN for details and to purchase tickets.

Check out the UOAP page for more details. You’ll also want to be a part of the UOAP Facebook group, too, to share all of your holiday fun.

What part of Holidays at Universal Orlando are you most looking forward to?

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UOAP Guide to Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort


Holidays At Universal Orlando Resort

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Holidays At Universal Orlando Resort – Enjoy the holidays at Universal Orlando Resort where you can make some fun family memories this season.

Holidays At Universal Orlando Resort


What:

Put a little mischief in your merry when Universal Orlando unwraps a resort-wide celebration that will elevate your season.

Experience Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter as Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley are transformed with wondrous spirit. Treat yourself to Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s. Watch the live retelling of Dr. Seuss’s classic holiday tale starring The Grinch in the Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular. Come, stay, and celebrate the season at Universal Orlando Resort.

Where:

Universal Orlando

When:

November 17, 2018 – January 6, 2019

More Details:

Stay in the heart of the holidays at one of Universal’s on-site resort hotels. From Thanksgiving to Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s, all the traditional feasts and festivities are here, along with a few surprises.

You’ve never had a #HolidayLikeThis.

EVENT DETAILS:
Starts: Saturday, November 17
Ends: Sunday, January 6
Ticket(s): Starting at $115**

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA:
– Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley features festive décor, a special performance from Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees, and more.
– Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s
– Mannheim Steamroller (select dates)
– …and so much more!

ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE:
– Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade featuring festive décor, The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle, and more.
– Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular
– The Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast
– …and did we mention there’s more? So much more.

Get the latest event announcements and more from Universal Orlando Resort when you sign up for email updates.

*Event end times are subject to change on select nights

More Information:

Click here for more information.


Disclaimer: This event is subject to last minute cancellations and changes which might not be reflected in this MyCentralFloridaFamily.com post. Please always confirm with this family-friendly business by calling or clicking.

Check out additional holiday theme park events coming up below:

Fri 16

November 16

Fri 16

November 16 @ 11:00 am11:00 pm

Fri 16

November 16 @ 7:00 pm11:30 pm

Sat 17

November 17

Sat 17

November 17

Sat 17

November 17 @ 8:00 am8:00 pm

Sat 17

November 17 @ 11:00 am11:00 pm

Sun 18

November 18

Sun 18

November 18

Sun 18

November 18 @ 11:00 am11:00 pm

https://mycentralfloridafamily.com/holidays-at-universal-orlando-resort/


Exclusive UOAP Lounge Presented by Coca-Cola Now Open

Exclusive UOAP Lounge Presented by Coca-Cola Now Open

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A new lounge presented by Coca-Cola and exclusive to Universal Orlando Passholders is now open in Universal Studios Florida. With just a flash of your Annual or Seasonal Pass, you’ll find yourself kicking back and relaxing in the cool A/C with an ice-cold Coca-Cola.

Arctic Coke Cooler

Here, you can take a break from the excitement of the parks and cool off with refreshing soft drinks. My favorite part is the Arctic Coke Cooler, which crystalizes select 20 oz. Coca-Cola beverages for even cooler, crisper, ice-cold refreshment. Beverages are available for purchase, while supplies last for the Arctic Coke Cooler.

UOAP Lounge Presented by Coca-Cola - Arctic Coke Cooler

Charging Stations

If your phone battery is low from taking photos in the parks, you can swing by and power them up with the charging stations.

Lounge Details

  • Dates: Now – Jan. 31, 2019
  • Times: 11AM – 4PM Daily
  • Location: Universal Studios Florida on Hollywood Boulevard, near Schwab’s Pharmacy
  • The UOAP Lounge is open to Passholders only with limited capacity. *Passholder blockout dates and restrictions apply.

UOAP Lounge Presented by Coca-Cola

Share your lounge experience using #UOAP on social media, and share on Snapchat with our newest geofilter. If you haven’t already, join the UOAP Facebook Group to connect with other Passholders.

Not a Passholder but want to get in on this action? I’ve got great news – You can get up to 6 months free on any Annual Pass if you purchase one now. That’s half a year of exclusive benefits like discounts and events, theme park thrills and entertainment only Universal Orlando can offer, endless memories with your family, friends and fellow Passholders, and the cool refreshment available in the UOAP Coke Lounge.

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Exclusive UOAP Lounge Presented by Coca-Cola Now Open


FIRST LOOK: Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites Guest Rooms

FIRST LOOK: Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites Guest Rooms

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It feels like summer 2019 will be here in a blink and I’m so excited because that means Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites will welcome its first guests. What can you expect at our newest hotel? A fun surf theme, exclusive Universal Orlando theme park benefits and our most affordable price point ever. I seriously can’t wait!

Because I grew up near Florida’s premier beaches, I made sure that the details at Surfside Inn and Suites make you feel like you’re right in the ocean surf. As a Senior Manager for the Universal Creative team, I have worked on exciting projects that made magic and thrills come to life inside our theme parks. Now I’m bringing that same level of detail and authenticity our guests see in the parks to the design at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort.

Here’s a first look at the surf-inspired guest rooms at our newest hotel!

Universal's Endless Summer Resort - Surfside Inn and Suites Guest Room

As soon as you step into your room you’ll see the beach vibe everywhere. The vibrant design features remind me of being inside the barrel of a wave, surrounded by cool blue waters. Details like a full-sized surfboard, colorful artwork, bright pinstriped rug runners, and tie-dye curtains will make the perfect retreat for families.

Universal's Endless Summer Resort - Surfside Inn and Suites Guest Room

Something I’ve really loved designing are the 2 Bedroom Suites. Forget connecting rooms because here the whole family can stay in one suite. These rooms sleep up to six people with a separate bedroom so adults can have some privacy. There’s also a beachy picnic table and kitchenette area, which is the perfect space for the whole family to hang out and eat a yummy pizza. Something else I love about the suites are the spacious bathrooms – with two sinks and a separate shower area, the entire family can get ready quickly and hit the parks in time for Early Park Admission.

Speaking of the theme parks, when you stay at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort you’ll receive all of the exclusive benefits that come with staying at a Universal Orlando hotel: Early Park Admission, free transportation to CityWalk and the parks, and resort-wide charging privileges with your room key. All of these theme park benefits plus the quality of a Universal Orlando hotel at this price point? You won’t find a deal like this anywhere else in Orlando!

Universal's Endless Summer Resort - Surfside Inn and Suites Guest Room

I grew up living the surf lifestyle and I can’t wait to share that with you when you stay at Surfside Inn and Suites. Make sure you book your room now! Rates for a seven night stay start at just $73 per night for a standard room, and $111 for a 2 Bedroom Suite.

And stay tuned to the blog for more details about Surfside Inn and Suites and its sister property, Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites.

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FIRST LOOK: Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites Guest Rooms


SeaWorld Orlando Tour Gives Up-Close Look at Park’s Killer Whales

A new tour at SeaWorld Orlando invites guests to engage with the Park’s killer whales, including meeting trainers and participating in a unique interaction.

New Killer Whale Up-Close Tour at SeaWorld Orlando

Visitors to SeaWorld Orlando now have the opportunity to experience the park’s majestic killer whales in a brand-new way. The Killer Whale Up-Close Tour gives guests the opportunity to meet the park’s killer whales in ways never before offered at the park. The 45-minute tour includes learning from the park’s killer whale trainers, meeting the whales and understanding their unique personalities and even taking part in an interaction with one off the whales.

 A new tour at SeaWorld Orlando invites guests to engage with the Park’s killer whales, including meeting trainers and participating in a unique interaction.

During the tour, which takes place daily, SeaWorld’s trainers share stories and information about the killer whales, demonstrate how the whales take part in voluntary husbandry sessions and discuss their healthcare, feeding habits and more. The engaging and interactive tour also gives participants the chance to try their hand at a session with the whales alongside a trainer. Throughout the entire experience, guests can take photos to help forever preserve the memory of the one-of-a-kind experience.

 A new tour at SeaWorld Orlando invites guests to engage with the Park’s killer whales, including meeting trainers and participating in a unique interaction.

The Killer Whale Up-Close Tour is the latest in the SeaWorld’s collection of memorable, educational and inspirational tours. Popular guest experiences, including the Dolphin Up-Close Tour and Penguin Up-Close Tour provide hands-on interactions with some of the park’s most popular animals while encouraging guests to care about all of the animals found in the oceans. The Behind-the-Scenes Tour, a guest favorite, provides an inside look at the park’s amazing animal rescue operation and ends with the opportunity to touch a shark and meet a Magellanic penguin.

 A new tour at SeaWorld Orlando invites guests to engage with the Park’s killer whales, including meeting trainers and participating in a unique interaction.

The Killer Whale Up-Close Tour begins at 10:00 a.m. and lasts approximately 45 minutes. Space is limited, and guests are encouraged to make reservations online in advance. Prices start at $79 per person. For more information on SeaWorld’s tour programs, park hours and to purchase tickets, visitSeaWorldOrlando.com.

https://www.destinationsinflorida.com/blog/2017/07/12/seaworld-orlando-tour-killer-whales/


Ultimate Guide to My Universal Photos

Ultimate Guide to My Universal Photos

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There are two ways most people go about taking photos on vacation: having someone in your party not be in the photo or asking a stranger to take the photo for you. Here at Universal Orlando Resort, we have an ideal third option—My Universal Photos.

My Universal Photos takes the stress out of your vacation by helping you capture your unforgettable experiences here and share them with friends and family. With all of the awesome photo opportunities throughout the parks, we’ve got you covered—whether you’re screaming your face off on one of our high-speed coasters or coming face-to-face with spectacular, cinematic icons.

Here’s how it works:

1. Purchase Your Preferred Package

My Universal Photos at Raptor Encounter

My Universal Photos has three different packages to make sure you’re properly set up for your day (or days) of play:

  • 1-Day Photo Package: This package gives you one full day of photos at any of our three parks with exclusive pricing on park photo prints and unlimited digital downloads. It also includes a My Universal Photos themed lanyard and card, discounts on photo gift products, as well as one 4×6 and one 5×7 photo print at time of purchase.
  • 3-Day Photo Package: This option allows up to three consecutive days of photos in the parks beginning on the day you pick up your My Universal Photos lanyard and card. You also receive one free 5×7 print in a folder and one free 4×6 print valid in-park or online, plus a few other exclusive discounts.
  • 1-Day Photo Package at Volcano Bay: If you’re just looking for a slice of Waturi paradise, this package is for you. With your one day of photos at Universal’s Volcano Bay (as with all packages), you get unlimited digital downloads and the ability to view and share your photos forever.

2. Time to Have Some Fun!

Universal's Volcano Bay TapTu Snap

Once you’ve ordered your package, show your confirmation email at a merchandise location where Universal Express Pass is sold or at the My Universal Photos stores in the parks. A Team Member will give you your photo card and then you’re all set! There are three different ways to capture your vacation memories:

  • Have one of our professional photographers scan your card before taking a photo.
  • Scan it yourself at one of our selfie stations.
  • Scan it at a kiosk at the end of any participating rides.

The photos automatically show up on your My Universal Photos account, which you’ll be emailed a password and link to.

3. Photos at Your Fingertips

Make your friends jealous by sharing your adventures with the Amazing Pictures Mobile App. Download the app and log in with your email address and the password you were given. The photos you take during your day will be uploaded automatically. Once you see them, share them to your heart’s content. Click on a photo and send it via text, post it on social media, or even just download it to your camera roll. It’s super easy to share the fun.

4. Memories that Last a Lifetime

My Universal Photos at Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

Relive your fun-filled moments and choose which ones you want to keep forever. When you’re in the park, head to a standalone photo store or a ride photo location to get an individual print. You can also order prints of your favorite pics from home or print them on items like mugs, Christmas ornaments and more. There are tons of products to choose from.

It’s as simple as that. With over 30 locations to smile or scream, all you need to worry about is deciding which ride to go on next. Click here to get started. Say cheese!

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Ultimate Guide to My Universal Photos


Swim with Sharks at Discovery Cove in Orlando Florida

Find out how guests can swim with sharks at Discovery Cove in Orlando in one of several all-new experiences that give guests up-close looks at animals.

Swim with Sharks at Discovery Cove in Orlando

In celebration of Shark Awareness Day on July 14, guests at Discovery Cove can now take part in exclusive new animal experiences at the park. Discovery Cove has always been known for its memorable dolphin interactions, and now guests can enhance their visit with one of-a-kind, hands-on encounters with sharks and stingrays.

Find out how guests can swim with sharks at Discovery Cove in Orlando in one of several all-new experiences that give guests up-close looks at animals.

The awe-inspiring Shark Swim program provides closer-than-ever encounters with legendary predators. While guests have always been able to view park’s sharks, the new program takes them on a daring next step – swimming freely among five species: Pacific blacktip, reef whitetip, nurse shark, zebra shark, and a spotted wobbegong.

The immersive session is divided into two unique interactions and begins as guests meet with the park’s shark team and head into the water. Through hands-on interaction, guests learn about shark anatomy and the threats the animals face in the wild. Guests can also join the sharks in the deeper part of their habitat and embark on an exhilarating snorkel experience.

Find out how guests can swim with sharks at Discovery Cove in Orlando in one of several all-new experiences that give guests up-close looks at animals.

Discovery Cove works to dispel myths about sharks and to inspire guests to learn more about these mysterious creatures. As top predators, sharks play an essential role in maintaining the balance of ocean ecosystems worldwide by monitoring fish populations. Sadly, shark finning and overfishing threaten many shark species and disrupt that natural balance. Guests who take part in the new Shark Swim program will walk away with a deeper understanding and appreciation for these fascinating ocean ambassadors.

The Shark Swim experience is available to Discovery Cove guests ages 10 and older. The cost is $85 per person. For every shark swim package purchased, SeaWorld will donate 5% of the proceeds to the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF) in support of shark conservation and research.

Find out how guests can swim with sharks at Discovery Cove in Orlando in one of several all-new experiences that give guests up-close looks at animals.

In addition to the Shark Swim program, Discovery Cove has launched a new Ray Feeding experience. This exclusive opportunity gives guests the chance to feed the stingrays during a private tour of the Grand Reef. Guided by one of the park’s aquarists, guests ages 6 and older spend their session in the Grand Reef learning all about the species of rays as they hand-feed the incredible creatures. The Ray Feeding program is $50 per person.

The new interaction programs require a Dolphin Swim or Day Resort reservation at Discovery Cove to participate. Space for each program is limited and guests are encouraged to book in advance.

Beginning August 1, Florida residents who book a day at Discovery Cove will also receive unlimited admission to SeaWorld and Aquatica, SeaWorld’s water park, through January 2018 – including SeaWorld’s special holiday events.

http://www.destinationsinflorida.com/blog/2017/07/17/swim-sharks-discovery-cove-orlando-florida/


Top 9 Disney World Timesaver Hacks

Your vacation time is precious. Unfortunately it seems like our vacation days are too few and far between. When you choose a destination like Disney World for your vacation, with so many different things to see, do and experience, you want to make sure that you are able to maximize your time. Here are my top 9 timesaver hacks when visiting Disney World.

Top 9 Disney World Timesaver Hacks

Resorts

#9 Stay at a Disney Resort Hotel

You will save a ton of commuting time by simply staying onsite at one of Disney Resort. The transportation comes on a regular basis (average 15-25 minutes) and you are just closer to the parks than off-site options. You can even select a Disney Deluxe Resort (Disney’s Contemporary Resort) that allow you to walk right into Magic Kingdom. There a lot of advantages to staying on site, but the convenience of location is high on the list.

#8 Online Check-In

I don’t always recommend this, particularly if you have specific requests that you want honored by the resort, but it can save you a little time when you arrive. By checking in online everything is ready to go for you once you arrive at the resort. During the day, you may be greeted at the front entrance of the resort by a Disney Cast Member to just get your room number.  You will then go right to your room.

If it is after hours, there is a separate line for online check-ins that moves a little faster and everything should be set when you get to the counter.

Dining

disney world hacks

#7 Make Dining Reservations

You should always book your sit down reservations, before arriving to Disney World.  This will save you hours waiting for a table!  In addition, you want to make sure you pre-book your favorites.  You do not want to show up to Disney World to find out your favorite restaurant is booked up.  Book your dining reservations as far in advance as possible.

Another new dining tip is the advance ordering on your My Disney Experience app.  This is another great idea to save time for the counter service restaurants.

#6 Eat Breakfast in Your Room

This is a big time saver! While one person is in the shower, someone else can eat their Cheerios (or muffin, Danish, etc.) It maximizes time and minimizes waiting in line for a Disney breakfast. I highly recommend packing some breakfast items if you can or having a grocery delivery. You can also pick up cereal and other breakfast items in most resort food courts, but they are just a little more expensive than a “normal” grocery store.

#5 Ask for Your Check Early

If you are dining at an all-you-care-to-eat buffet or set-price table service restaurant, this is particularly convenient. When we attend a character buffet, I always ask for the check as we order our drinks. This way I can have that taken care of and as soon as we finish eating or see our last character we are ready to leave.

Theme Parks

disney world hack

#4 Minimize your Park Bags

There is a security bag check at the entry to every park. While they normally move fairly quickly, if you show up at a peak time at Epcot and the monorail and tram just let out a swarm of guests you may have to wait longer than you would like. There are a few things you can do here. If you can travel lightly, just don’t take a bag. If you only need a few things, try to put them in your pockets (and those of other family members) along with a folded up drawstring style backpack. Once you’re in the park you can unload their pockets into the bag. These two options allow you to bypass the bag check line. If you must carry a bag, have all of the compartments open as you approach the security guard and try to carry as few bags as possible.

#3 Drive or Walk

Although the Disney transportation system is more convenient than most, it can still be frustrating when you are in a hurry. If you drive to WDW or if you rent a car once you arrive, you can drive to Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The parking is convenient and you don’t have to wait on a bus to arrive. Magic Kingdom is easier to do on a bus, since the parking lot still requires a ferry or monorail ride to get over to the entrance.

If you are able to stay in a location where you can walk to a park that is even better. My family loves Epcot, so Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club top our list of resorts because it is so easy to walk over to Epcot and even Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Boardwalk and the Swan and Dolphin are in the same location. The Contemporary and Bay Lake Tower have a path to Magic Kingdom if you spend most of your time there. Of course, being on the monorail is super convenient when it is operating at full hours.

 #2 Arrive to the Parks at Opening

The amount of time you will save waiting in line from opening to 11 AM is amazing. That is the very best time to be in the park, before the lines start to form. There are some exceptions with the particularly popular rides where the queues build quickly, but just use #1 for that and arrive early for the other stuff.

#1 Use FastPass+

Everyone with tickets to Disney World, now has the privilege of FastPass+. It is free, and everyone should take advantage of it. Being able to skip some of the crazy standby lines at attractions like the new 7 Dwarfs Mine Train in the Magic Kingdom or Soarin at Epcot will save you a ton of time.

Planning a visit to Universal Orlando while you are in Orlando.  Check out some Universal Orlando hacks! What are your favorite time saving strategies for your Disney World vacation?

Top 9 Disney World Timesaver Hacks


Upcoming Events

  1. Miami/Brickell Festival of the Arts

    October 20, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - January 15, 2019 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  2. Comedian Gerry Dee World Comedy Tour in Naples, Florida

    November 21 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm UTC+0
  3. Ocala Balloon Glow

    November 23 @ 5:00 pm - November 25 @ 10:00 pm UTC+0
  4. 9th Annual Shopapalooza Festival, Part 2

    November 24 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm UTC+0
  5. Lake Helen Christmas Parade & Santa’s Village

    November 24 @ 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm UTC+0
  6. Christmas in the Country – Lights Display, Hay Ride & Festival

    November 24 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm UTC+0
  7. Soul Beach: The Outdoor R&b / Jazz Concert & Comedy Show on the Water

    November 24 @ 7:30 pm - November 25 @ 1:00 am UTC+0
  8. 15th Annual X-Country Marathon, 30K, Half-Marathon & 5K

    November 25 @ 7:30 am - 2:30 pm UTC+0
  9. FREE TICKETS! Tampa Improv 11/27 Stand Up Comedy Show

    November 27 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm UTC+0
  10. FL Orchestra Happy Hour Concert – Nov 28

    November 28 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm UTC+0

Upcoming Events

  1. Miami/Brickell Festival of the Arts

    October 20, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - January 15, 2019 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  2. Comedian Gerry Dee World Comedy Tour in Naples, Florida

    November 21 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm UTC+0
  3. Ocala Balloon Glow

    November 23 @ 5:00 pm - November 25 @ 10:00 pm UTC+0
  4. 9th Annual Shopapalooza Festival, Part 2

    November 24 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm UTC+0
  5. Lake Helen Christmas Parade & Santa’s Village

    November 24 @ 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm UTC+0
  6. Christmas in the Country – Lights Display, Hay Ride & Festival

    November 24 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm UTC+0
  7. Soul Beach: The Outdoor R&b / Jazz Concert & Comedy Show on the Water

    November 24 @ 7:30 pm - November 25 @ 1:00 am UTC+0
  8. 15th Annual X-Country Marathon, 30K, Half-Marathon & 5K

    November 25 @ 7:30 am - 2:30 pm UTC+0
  9. FREE TICKETS! Tampa Improv 11/27 Stand Up Comedy Show

    November 27 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm UTC+0
  10. FL Orchestra Happy Hour Concert – Nov 28

    November 28 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm UTC+0

Join our Fun Network

  1. Miami/Brickell Festival of the Arts

    October 20, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - January 15, 2019 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  2. Comedian Gerry Dee World Comedy Tour in Naples, Florida

    November 21 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm UTC+0
  3. Ocala Balloon Glow

    November 23 @ 5:00 pm - November 25 @ 10:00 pm UTC+0
  4. 9th Annual Shopapalooza Festival, Part 2

    November 24 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm UTC+0
  5. Lake Helen Christmas Parade & Santa’s Village

    November 24 @ 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm UTC+0
  6. Christmas in the Country – Lights Display, Hay Ride & Festival

    November 24 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm UTC+0
  7. Soul Beach: The Outdoor R&b / Jazz Concert & Comedy Show on the Water

    November 24 @ 7:30 pm - November 25 @ 1:00 am UTC+0
  8. 15th Annual X-Country Marathon, 30K, Half-Marathon & 5K

    November 25 @ 7:30 am - 2:30 pm UTC+0
  9. FREE TICKETS! Tampa Improv 11/27 Stand Up Comedy Show

    November 27 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm UTC+0
  10. FL Orchestra Happy Hour Concert – Nov 28

    November 28 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm UTC+0