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Visit Orlando Blog

Welcome to the Visit Orlando Blog! We provide the latest information to help you plan your dream Orlando vacation. From ideas on things to do and insider tips to special events and seasonal deals, the Visit Orlando Blog explores all that Orlando has to offer. Browse categories like theme parks, places to stay, shopping and restaurants for ideas to help build your trip itinerary.


Orlando’s First Yard House Opens on International Drive

Yard House Orlando Grand Opening

The newest entertainment complex, currently under development, on International Drive kicks-off its line-up of planned eateries with the opening of Orlando's first Yard House. Earlier in the week, restaurant owners and Orange County Mayor Theresa Jacobs officially welcomed the Yard House to Orlando's I-Drive 360.

SEE ALSO: New Entertainment at I-Drive 360 Coming to Orlando in Spring 2015

Yard House Beer Sign

It's always "Beer:30" at this stylish bar and grill that boasts an extensive menu of American fusion cuisine paired with 131 different types of beer available on 140 taps. If there were ever a place to expand your list of beers to try, this is it!

Yard House Fried Chicken

Visit Orlando's food and beer enthusiasts got a sneak peek at the extensive list of beers and a sampling of their tastiest menu items.

Here are some of our tips for your visit:

    The diverse menu of beers on tap features a variety of seasonal domestic drafts with a focus on local craft brews from around the state of Florida.

      Yard House Bar Staff

        The staff is well trained to answer your questions and make a recommendation to perfectly pair your meal with a tasty beverage.

          Yard House Ahi Sashimi

          Some of our food favorites included the Ahi Sashimi, Shiitake Garlic Noodles and the classic Swiss burger. You're sure to enjoy the delicious options available on their regular menu.

          Cigar City Hopped on the High Seas IPA

            We were able to try full pours of some of their most popular craft beers. Some of our faves to recommend are the Cigar City Hopped on the High Seas IPA (Florida), Rogue Mom Hefeweizen (Oregon) and the Terrapin Recreation Ale (Georgia).

              Yard House Dining Room

              Look up! For optimal freshness the beers run strait from the keg room (chilled at 56 degrees) down to the taps via an intricate network of exposed, overhead pipes.

              Yard House Custom Art Work

              With a collection of original art, created by artist, Jerome Gastaldi, complimented with dark wood seating and industrial accents, the dining experience is as refreshing as its seasonal ales.

              See more in our video: 

              The Yard House is the first of many new restaurants, shops and attractions coming to Orlando’s I-Drive 360. Centrally located between Universal Orlando Resort and the Orange County Convention Center, I-Drive 360 is scheduled to fully open in spring 2015 and will be headlined by The Orlando Eye observation wheel, Madame Tussauds Orlando wax museum and Sea Life Orlando aquarium.

              Follow our posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more information and the latest updates on I-Drive 360 along with exciting attractions, shops and restaurants.

              Vacation dreams come true for the whole family at our theme parks, water parks and resorts.Let Visit Orlando make planning your vacation even more fun. Request a free Orlando Vacation Planning Kit.



              Enjoy New Blockbuster Attractions this Summer in Orlando

              Have an #awesummer vacation in Orlando

              Disney's Seven Dwarfs Mine Train 

              The theme park capital of the world is ushering in new attractions this summer to create even more awesome vacation memories. There are more daring thrill rides, more ways for imagination to take flight and more chances to drop into watery fun for an #awesummer vacation in Orlando!

              Theme Park Expansions

              DUPLO Valley at LEGOLAND Florida

              • The new DUPLO Valley, opening May 23 at LEGOLAND Florida, features new farm-themed attractions geared towards preschoolers, including a train, mini tractor ride and water play area.
              • A new nighttime Shamu show debuts at SeaWorld Orlando on June 21 in celebration of SeaWorld's 50th anniversary.

              Hogsmead Station at Universal Orlando Resort

              • Universal Orlando Resort expands The Wizarding World of Harry Potter across both of its theme parks with the addition of Diagon Alley. Guests are invited to hop aboard the Hogwarts Express to journey between Hogsmead and Kings Cross Station and experience a brand-new, multi-dimensional thrill ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.
              • Walt Disney World Resort completes a multiyear project that is doubling the size of Fantasyland with the debut of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, a family-friendly coaster which takes guests on a wild journey through the Seven Dwarfs' infamous diamond mine.

              Water Park Additions

              • Opening May 9, Ihu's Breakway Falls at Aquatica - SeaWorld's Waterpark is the only multi-drop tower slide of its kind in Orlando with slides nearly 80 feet (24 meters) tall.

              Aqua Drag Racer at Wet N Wild Orlando

              • The Aqua Drag Racer - a slide six stories tall at Wet ‘n Wild Orlando - propels guests through four lanes of head-to-head competition at 15 feet (4.5 meters) per second.


              Brand-New Resorts

              Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort Courtyard Pool
              • The recently opened, 1,800-room Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort is the fourth on-site hotel at Universal Orlando Resort, featuring a 10-lane bowling alley, fitness center and two massive pool areas.

              SEE ALSO:  Cabana Bay Beach Resort Opens at Universal Orlando

              Four Seasons Resort at Walt Disney World Resort

              There's no better place to have an #awesummer vacation than in Orlando!

              Follow #awesummer on our posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more information and the latest updates on all the awesome summer fun you can have in Orlando.

              Vacation dreams come true for the whole family at our theme parks, water parks and resorts. Let Visit Orlando make planning your vacation even more fun. Request a free Orlando Vacation Planning Kit.



              New Entertainment at I-Drive 360 Coming to Orlando in Spring 2015

               I-Drive 360 Rendering

              The newest entertainment complex to be added to Orlando's roster of exciting attractions along International Drive has officially unveiled the details of what's to come in spring 2015.

              The project, officially named I-Drive 360, will be headlined by The Orlando Eye observations wheel, Madame Tussauds Orlando wax museum and Sea Life Orlando aquarium.

              Yard House Orlando

              Additional shops and restaurants will complement the complex beginning with the opening of Orlando's first Yard House on April 24 - with seating for 300 people inside and 80 on the patio and 140 beers on tap.

              I-Drive 360 Press Announcement

              Details were recently announced at a media event attended by community leaders. Visit Orlando Chief Marketing Officer Danielle Courtenay spoke to the project's significance and benefits to Orlando visitors, particularly convention groups at the nearby Orange County Convention Center.

               I-Drive 360 Attractions Renderings

              Madame Tussauds Orlando, the world's most famous celebrity wax attraction will showcase incredibly detailed and lifelike wax figures that pay tribute to influential celebrity and historical figures.

              Sea Life Orlando will offer beautiful displays of colorful fish, sharks, jellyfish, sea horses and more through winding tunnels, floor-to-ceiling tanks and bubble aquariums. Additionally, the aquarium, known for its strong conservation efforts, will have unique educational components for young marine life enthusiasts.

              I-Drive 360 Panoramic

              The Orlando Eye, the cantilevered observation wheel will be the centerpiece of the complex. A sister icon to London's world-famous landmark, this attraction will provide views of Central Florida in all directions within fully enclosed, air-conditioned glass capsules with a 15 person capacity.

              Adrian Jones of Merlin Entertainments explained during a tour of the site that views of Walt Disney World Resort, SeaWorld, Universal Orlando and Downtown Orlando can be seen during the 20 minute ride. Jones also stated that Cape Canaveral may be spotted on a clear day.

              I-Drive 360 Aerial View

              We went eye to eye with The Orlando Eye during an aerial tour of the site courtesy of Air Force Fun Helicopter Tours.  Watch our video for a sample of the views that will be seen 400 feet up aboard the observation wheel.

              Follow our posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more information and the latest updates on I-Drive 360 along with exciting attractions, shops and restaurants.

              Vacation dreams come true for the whole family at our theme parks, water parks and resorts. Let Visit Orlando make planning your vacation even more fun. Request a free Orlando Vacation Planning Kit.



              Disney Celebrates 50 Years of It's A Small World

              It's A Small World 50th Anniversary Celebration 

              Do you remember your first ride on Walt Disney World's "It's A Small World?"

              The "Happiest cruise to ever set sail" made its maiden voyage at the 1964 World's Fair in New York. And on April 10, 2014, Disney's theme parks around the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of this classic attraction imagined by Walt Disney himself.

              It's A Small World Photos

              Check out our "It's A Small World" photo collection begining with the 1964 World's Fair:

              At the Magic Kingdom Park a group of international cast members and a children's choir kicked off the celebration with a rendition of the famous theme song in front of Cinderella Castle. Throughout the day in-park entertainment including the Dapper Dans and the Main Street Philharmonic also included the song in their performances.

              Anniversary Celebration Video

              Watch more of the anniversary events at the Magic Kingdom:

              Follow our posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more information and the latest updates.

              Visit Orlando is an official seller of Orlando attractions tickets. Find discounted tickets to Orlando theme parks, attractions, sporting events and dinner shows - we have it all! Save time and money on your visit to Orlando.



              Orlando Announces Record 59 Million Visitors in 2013

              Visit Orlando President and CEO George Aguel at IPW 2014 

              With seven of the top theme parks in the world, Orlando is never short on attracting visitors from all over the world who seek unforgettable vacation memories. And with the continuous expansion of our world-class attractions and resorts, even more visitors, 59 million to be exact, are coming to Orlando than ever before.

              During the announcement made today at the U.S. Travel Association's premier conference, Visit Orlando President and CEO George Aguel stated that "Orlando continues to lead the nation as its most visited destination."

              SEE ALSO: Top 10 Reasons to Visit Orlando in 2014

              Orlando is experiencing one of the most significant expansion periods in the destination's history. Universal Orlando Resort will open the world's first centrally themed, multi-park experience this summer by expanding The Wizarding World of Harry Potter across both of its theme parks.

              SeaWorld Orlando recently opened Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin - the biggest expansion in its company's history, while Walt Disney World Resort will complete a multiyear project that is doubling the size of Fantasyland when it debuts the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train coaster this summer.

              SEE ALSO: Cabana Bay Beach Resort Opens at Universal Orlando

              If that was not enough, a variety of additional attractions and enhancements to the popular retail, dining and entertainment districts are underway. By 2017, Orlando will be among the first destinations with on-airport intermodal facilities in the U.S. and the first airport in Florida to conveniently support air travel, ground transportation and rail.

              Follow our posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more information and the latest updates on Orlando's newest additions.

              Vacation dreams come true for the whole family at our theme parks, water parks and resorts. Let Visit Orlando make planning your vacation even more fun. Request a free Orlando Vacation Planning Kit.



              Cabana Bay Beach Resort Opens at Universal Orlando

              Cabana Bay Beach Resort Sign 

              Grab your hula hoop and pack up your capris, Universal Orlando Resort has officially opened its newest onsite hotel, Cabana Bay Beach Resort!  

              First Check In Family 

              You and your family are in for a trip at this retro-themed resort that throws back to the days of Sputnik, The Beatles and Thunderbird (both the car and the wine).

              Cabana Bay Beach Resort Thunderbird Building new

              Cabana Bay is the fourth hotel to be added to Universal Orlando Resort and is the first to be priced in the moderate to value category - opening first with 600 family suites.

              Cabana Bay Beach Resort Main Lobby

              From the kitschy period signage, the psychedelic colors, the starburst chandeliers to the hip retro-chic furniture, this resort is a full emersion into the 1950's and 60's that will leave you feeling totally groovy.

              Cabana Bay Girls

              Visit Orlando's Fab Facts 

              Here is a list of our top fab facts of amenities and activities:

              Guests enjoy early park admission to both of Universal's theme parks along with on property transportation and other onsite benefits.

              Cabana Bay Beach Resort Family Suite

              Each of the family suites sleep up to six and include a fold-out foam bed, kitchenette, a sliding partition for privacy, two flat-screen TVs, and an extra-large bathroom.

              Cabana Bay Family Sutie Bathroom

              Bonus Fact: The family suite bathrooms are brilliantly designed into three spaces so that there can be maximum privacy while a maximum number of people can be getting ready at once.

              Cabana Bay Family Suite Bedroom

              No retro-detail has been missed in the guest rooms with period colors, terrazzo floors, wood paneling and furniture built-ins, but with large built in flat screens just so you don't forget what century you're actually in.

              Cabana Bay Beach Resort Pool

              You and your family can hang loose around the main pool featuring a zero degree entry and a way-out slide that passes through a faux Triple Lindy (sorry 80's reference) dive tower.

              Cabana Bay Beach Resort Atomic Tonic

              The Atomic Tonic is the poolside bar and it's not to be missed.

              Atomic Tonic Drink 

              Parents will have a blast enjoying the bar's signature drink, also named The Atomic Tonic, which includes vodka mixed with pineapple juice and lemonade.

              Galaxy Bowl new

              The family fun continues at the Galaxy Bowl where guests can rack up the scores on one of 10 lanes of vintage, retro-style bowling.  

              Jack LaLane Fitness Studio

              Grab a workout in the official Jack Lalanne fitness center in honor of the first fitness superhero. 

              Cabana Bay Beach Resort Phase 2 Construction

              An additional 300 family suites, 900 standard guest rooms and a lazy river will be added later in 2014 to complete the full resort property.

              See more in our video:

              Follow our posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more information and the latest updates on Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort.

              Vacation dreams come true for the whole family at our theme parks, water parks and resorts. Let Visit Orlando make planning your vacation even more fun. Request a free Orlando Vacation Planning Kit.



              Why Taking the Kids to Orlando in May is Smart

              Ritz Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes 

              Ritz-Carlton Resort Orlando

              Written by Amie O'Shaughnessy

              Amie O'Shaughnessy

              Lucky you, taking the kids to Orlando in May.

              Maybe your kids aren't in school yet or you're homeschooling. Maybe you live in a part of the country where the school year ends early. Maybe your kids are young enough to miss a few days of school when the grandparents announce they want to gather the gang for a family reunion vacation.

              SEE ALSO: May is Made for Little Ones in Orlando

              Whatever your situation, you couldn't plan smarter than a trip to Orlando in May, which is considered low season. Here's why it's so smart.

              • Great weather! It's warm enough for those gorgeous hotel pools (typically in the 80s) but not as hot or humid as later in the summer when temperatures soar. In case you are wondering, July is the hottest month and June is the wettest month with afternoon thunderstorms.
              • Fewer crowds! By visiting after Spring Break and before summer - peak times in Orlando - you're guaranteed that the parks won't be as crowded. Reservations for those all-important character meals will be easier to get and lines will be shorter, de-stressing the experience for everyone. You'll be able to see and do more without planning as if you are on a military mission.
              • Great deals! You should be able to find cheaper flights and a good hotel deal whether you want to stay on-property at Walt Disney World, where your room key guarantees you extra hours in the park and free bus transport to and from the airport; Universal Orlando, where your room key guarantees you front-of-the-line access; or a fun resort like the Nickelodeon Suites with its kids' spa, water park and the chance to get slimed. You might be able to snare a deal at a luxe resort you couldn't otherwise afford like the 500-acre Grande Lakes Orlando that boasts a JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton, a terrific water park, golf, tennis, sand volleyball and even a ropes course.

              What are you waiting for?

              This story was written in cooperation from Eileen Ogintz. Eileen is the author of the syndicated column Taking the Kids and the Kid's Guide to Orlando, part of the Kid's Guide Series from Globe Pequot Press.



              There’s plenty in Orlando for even the smallest park goers and their parents

              Dumbo the Flying Elephant at the Magic Kingdom Park

              One of the two new Dumbo rides at Magic Kingdom

              By Eileen Ogintz

               Eileen Ogintz

              There's no need to wait until kids are in elementary school to bring them to Orlando-not when every park has plenty to wow the littlest park goers and their parents, including big, interactive play areas designed just for them.

              SEE ALSO: May is Made for Little Ones in Orlando

              At Walt Disney World Resort:

              -The Magic Kingdom has the classics like "It's a Small World", "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh", "The Country Bear Jamboree" and parades where the characters invite young park goers to dance. The New Fantasyland doubled the size of Fantasyland with everything from the iconic Dumbo ride, the chance to meet and greet the princesses at A Princess Fairytale Hall, the chance to walk through the Enchanted Mirror in Belle's cottage to the Beast's castle and act out the story of how Belle and the Beast met. Cool off at the Casey Jr. Splash ‘N' Soak station and ride the Barnstormer coaster that's the perfect size for a preschooler's first coaster ride.

              -Your little princesses will want to be transformed at Disney's Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.

              -The Boneyard at Dinoland U.S.A. at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park lets your little paleontologists dig for "fossils" in a gigantic sandbox, play on a xylophone that looks like dinosaur ribs and head down prehistoric slides. Take a walk down the trails at Camp Minnie-Mickey and meet the characters at the end; watch the "Festival of the Lion King" and "Finding Nemo-The Musical". Take the train to Rafiki's Planet Watch and bond with the resident goats.

              -Literally Turtle Talk with Crush, that loveable animated creature at Epcot's The Seas with Nemo & Friends. Bruce's Shark World at The Living Seas at Epcot is an interactive play area for kids with buttons to press, knobs to turn, and computers all offering some first lessons about conservation. Look for the Kidcot Fun Stops throughout the park.

              -Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure at Disney's Hollywood Studios recreates the set from the classic Disney movie as a huge playground with 30-foot high blades of grass, and LEGOS as big as houses. Kids can slide along a big piece of film or get squirted by a giant leaky hose. See "Muppet Vision 3D The Great Movie Ride" and "Beauty and the Beast-Live on Stage". Don't miss "Toy Story Mania".

              Aquatica at SeaWorld Orlando

              Aquatica at SeaWorld Orlando

              At SeaWorld Orlando:

              -Shamu's Happy Harbor at SeaWorld includes a four-story play area of climbing nets, tunnels, water slides and a water maze, a Sea Carousel , ‘Swishy Fishies" ride and more.

              -Don't miss the Shamu show, the sea lions Clyde and Seamore show and Pets Ahoy! Where dogs and cats take the stage.

              -"Antartica: Empire of the Penguin" starts as the animated Penguin Puck takes us on a tour of the South Pole and ends with a visit to a live Penguin colony.

              -Check to see if Elmo and Abby's Treasure Hunt is offered when you visit.

              -Visit the Dolphin Nursery.

              -Reach out and touch a Stingray at Stingray Lagoon.

              -Learn what it's like to be a turtle at Turtle Trek and then meet Franklin the turtle from the TV show Franklin and Friends across from Pelican Preserve.

              Universal Orlando's Superstar Parade

              Universal Orlando's new Superstar Parade

              At Universal Orlando Resort:

              -Parents as well as young kids love Seuss Landing at Universal's Islands of Adventure especially The Cat in the Hat attraction where you ride your couch through the pages of the famous book.

              -The Olive is three-story boat-themed play area where kids can run around and shoot water cannons.

              -Camp Jurassic is a gigantic shaded play area where kids can explore secret caves and wander through a mysterious amber mine. Dino lovers will love the Jurassic Park Discovery Center where you can see an animatronic raptor being hatched.

              -The Flight of the Hippogriff, in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, is a decidedly young-kid friendly coaster.

              -Fievel's Playland at Universal Studios Florida is a big hit with the preschool crowd with ordinary things reproduced on a giant scale so kids see the world as Fievel the mouse does.

              -Woody Woodpecker's KidZone is complete with Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster.

              -Curious George Goes to Town offers a water playground with pipes, spray guns, giant roof buckets that dump water on those below, a foam-ball playground with chutes, tubes and more.

              -A Day in the Park with Barney is not only a show and meet-and-great with everyone's favorite purple dinosaur but a great indoor play area.

              The Dragon Coaster at LEGOLAND Florida

              The Dragon Coaster at LEGOLAND Florida

              At LEGOLAND Florida, about 45 minutes from Orlando:

              -DUPLO Valley, scheduled to open this Spring, is designed so even toddlers can drive a tractor and help farmers plow a field. There's an adjacent splash area set among larger than life farm animals.

              -Fresh from Florida interactive is an attraction that shows kids how food goes from farm to table.

              -At LEGO Kingdoms, kids ride LEGO themed horses though medieval scenes.

              -LEGO City allows kids to explore a town scaled down just for them, even attending a junior driving school.

              -The LEGOLAND Water Park within the park where kids can build their own LEGO raft and float down a lazy river.

              Most important, leave when the kids have had enough. There's always tomorrow-or next year.

              Eileen is the author of the syndicated column Taking the Kids and the Kid's Guide to Orlando, part of the Kid's Guide Series from Globe Pequot Press.



              Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Blooms With Fun

              Sorcerer Mickey Topiary at Epcot

              The power of the flower has returned to Orlando!  If you're aching to break free of winter's cold grip and explore some fresh scenery, the annual Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is the guaranteed cure for your cabin fever.

              From now through May 18, 2014, Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort celebrates the great outdoors with towering topiaries, colorful flowers, backyard habitats and tasty treats that will inspire your hibernating family to awaken and jump for joy.

              Epcot Monorail and Flowering Gardens

              "Green Thumbs Up" Insider Tips

              Here are Visit Orlando's tips of things to do, see and taste at the festival that gets our green thumbs up:  

              Prince and Princess Topiary at Epcot

              Every year, the topiaries are the biggest draw of the festival. This year there are new elements along with your classic favorites. Each one is breathtaking and will leave you wondering, "How do they do that?"

              Epcot Main Entry Topiary Scene

              Tip: Giant Goofy, Donald and Daisy topiaries welcome visitors at the front entrance. The morning sun is more favorable for great photos that show the details and intricate work of this scene.

              Soccer Goofy Topiary at Epcot 

              Photo Op: Don't miss your chance to block Goofy from scoring a goal in this full size tribute to the upcoming World Cup Soccer Games in Brazil.

              Epcot Festival Center Spotlight Stage

              Tip: The Festival Center is where the most enthusiastic home gardeners and weekend warriors should go for helpful lectures and expert demonstrations. It's also the place to meet your favorite HGTV celebrity hosts (appearance schedule).

              Mater's Parts, Plants & Play Garden

              Tip: There are plenty of interactive play areas for the kids to get involved and burn off some extra energy.  Make a pit stop at Mater's play garden for some interactive gardening fun.  

              Mike & Sulley's Monstours Garden 

              And have a monstrous time on a playground straight from the campus of Monsters University.

              Tinker Bell's Butterfly House 1

              Tip: Tinker Bell's Butterfly House is a breathtaking respite not to be missed. This walkthrough environment is filled with colorful wild flowers and glass art, along with hundreds of butterflies fluttering about.

              Tinker Bell's Butterfly House 2

              Tip: Learn how to create your own backyard habitat in a new area presented by our friends at the National Wildlife Federation.

              National Wildlife Federation Backyard Habitat

              This is a great way to see firsthand what it takes to attract beneficial wildlife to your garden, no matter where you live.

              Backyard Play Garden

              Tip: The Backyard Play Garden is also a great stop for the kids but it's also a great place to discover some innovative urban gardening tips.

              Backyard Play Garden Urban Gardening

              Here, you can see examples of how the whole family can get involved with growing flowers and vegetables at home.

              Food Tastings Tips

              The food experience at Epcot has been turned up a notch with the fresh tastes of the Outdoor Kitchens around World Showcase. Enjoy tastings around several of the international pavilions, as well as springtime treats that are exclusive to this festival.

              Food from Urban Farm EATS

              Urban Farm Eats is new to the festival and offers a farm-to-table experience with their Land-Grown Eggplant "Scallop" and a Ghost Pepper dusted Tilapia. Wash it all down with a refreshing Cucumber Lemon Spa Water with fresh mint.

              Food from Florida Fresh

              Florida Fresh offers the best of Florida growers with a fresh Watermelon Salad, Shrimp and Stone Ground Grits with Andouille Sausage and Sweet Corn, and a sweet Florida Kumquat Pie for desert. The Watermelon Passion Fruit Slush is a perfect pairing.

              Piggylicious Cupcake from The Smokehouse

              The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews (American Adventure) features the festival's blue ribbon favorite - the "Piggylicious" Bacon Cupcake with maple frosting and topped with a pretzel crunch.

              Florida Fresh Beer Flight

              Bonus Tip: There are two beer flights at the Outdoor Kitchens not to be missed. Florida Fresh features a selection of crisp and refreshing beers that'll put an extra spring in your step while The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews offers a sample of amber beers perfect for paring with smoky meats.

              Food from Buttercup Cottage

              The Buttercup Cottage (UK Pavilion) has some of our favorite international flavors of the festival with a tasty Pork and Apple Sausage Roll and a delightful Baked Potato and Cheddar Cheese Biscuit topped with a smoked salmon tartare.

              Cronut at Epcot

              Bonus Tip: Even Epcot has joined the "Cronut" craze. These prized sweet treats from New York City can be found at the refreshment stand near the Canada pavilion. If you don't know what a cronut is, then we won't spoil it with a lengthy explanation. Just trust us and get two!

              Illuminations Dessert Party at Epcot

              New Tip: Epcot has recently added a new type of nightcap with an Illuminations Sparkling Dessert Party. Now, for an additional fee and on select nights of the festival, park guests can enjoy front row viewing of the Illuminations fireworks show while dining on desserts and beverages from pavilions around World Showcase.

              See more of photos from our visit in our Facebook album and watch our video highlights.

              Visit Orlando is an official seller of Orlando attractions tickets. Find discounted tickets to Orlando theme parks, attractions, sporting events and dinner shows - we have it all! Save time and money on your visit to Orlando.



              Disney Debuts New Festival of Fantasy Parade

              Royal Court Float - Disney's Festival of Fantasy Parade 

              All hail Disney's new Festival of Fantasy Parade! Walt Disney World has officially debuted its newest daily display of afternoon pageantry at the Magic Kingdom. And this new spectacle of Disney creativity and innovation does not disappoint.

              With so much to take in between the enormous floats, celebrity characters, colorful performers and a fire-breathing dragon, we've listed our top 5 festival features you don't want to miss.

              Frozen Princesses - Disney's Festival of Fantasy Parade

              The Royal Court

              The parade kicks off with an impressive display of pageantry and costuming with all your favorite royal characters from Disney's biggest hit films. And prominently featured on this float are the famed sisters from the Academy Award winning animated feature, "Frozen" - Anna and Elsa. It's the only place, for now, to see them outside of their meet and greets at the Norway pavilion at Epcot.

              SEE ALSO: Meet the ‘Frozen' Princesses at Epcot 

              Brave Dancers - Disney's Festival of Fantasy Parade 

              The Dancers

              The talented dancers accompanying each float deliver a Broadway quality performance. From the kilted dancers performing the Scottish jig leading the "Brave" float to the "Newsies"-inspired Lost Boys accompanying the "Peter Pan" float, the bright costumes and the well-executed choreography is inspiring as well as entertaining.

              The Lost Boys - Disney's Festival of Fantasy Parade

              Senior Show Director Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment Randy Wojcik, stated at the debut, "The performers and cast are the heart and soul of the Festival of Fantasy and will deliver the magical essence of this parade in a big way every day for Magic Kingdom guests."

              Fire-Breathing Dragon

              In anticipation for the May 30, 2014 release of Disney's feature film "Maleficent," an entire section of the parade is dedicated to the honor of iconic villain from the classic story of "Sleeping Beauty."

              Maleficent Dragon - Disney's Festival of Fantasy Parade

              The costumes feature an impressive steampunk design which offers a refreshing way to bring a Victorian-themed sci-fi aspect of this story to life. And it's all anchored by a giant, fire-breathing dragon that in itself is one of the major highlights of the parade. 

              Pinocchio Float - Disney's Festival of Fantasy Parade

              Colorful Floats and Costumes

              The floats are vibrant with color and come alive with kinetic elements that seemingly jump out at you along the parade route. Performers accompanying each float donning colorful costumes, that fuse fashion and fun, are memorable elements not to be missed.

              Cha Cha Girls - Disney's Festival of Fantasy Parade

              Wojcik says that "Combining modern technology with fresh creative design delivers a new twist on the Disney classics that brings these stories to life for a whole new generation to enjoy as well as our older fans who will always be kids at heart."

              SEE ALSO: Behind the Scenes: New Festival of Fantasy Parade

              Favorite Characters

              Even with all the original elements for this new parade, you can still expect to see all your favorite Disney characters including Mickey and Minnie flying high aboard the finale float which is another amazing show-stopper.

              Mickey and Minnie Mouse - Disney's Festival of Fantasy Parade

              From Beauty and Beast, Peter Pan and Wendy, Princess Ariel to Merida from "Brave" and the characters from "Tangled" are all represented in a classic meets new Disney fairytales that will enchant and entertain visitors every day at the Magic Kingdom.

              Visit Orlando is an official seller of Orlando attractions tickets. Find discounted tickets to Orlando theme parks, attractions, sporting events and dinner shows - we have it all! Save time and money on your visit to Orlando.

              Follow our Walt Disney World updates on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.



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