Visit Orlando Blog - Top Stories
Orlando has it all, family-friendly experiences, theme parks, outdoor adventures, attractions, awesome culinary and a rich cultural experience. In Orlando you will find live theatre, music, dance, art, film but most of all, time transporting and awe inspiring museums! Take a stroll through some of Orlando's museums:
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of America Art is a must-stop for the Winter Park visitors. The museum is home to the world's most comprehensive collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass, an all-new fountain pen gallery, windows, lamps, assorted objet d'arts and the chapel interior the artist designed for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago (pictured above). Admission cost is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $1 for students and free for children 12 and under. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday.
The Hannibal Square Heritage Center is another Winter Park gem. Visitors are invited to appreciate archival of photos and oral history of Winter Park's historic African-American community. Admission is free and open to the public Monday through Friday.
The Historic Waterhouse Residence & Carpentry Shop Museum, constructed in 1884, was home to pioneer settler William H. Waterhouse. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for seniors, $2 for children and free for members and children three years and younger.
The Orange County Regional History Center, located in Downtown Orlando, first opened in 1942 in the 1892 red brick Orange County Courthouse. Affiliated with the Smithsonian, the History Center (pictured above) uses art, artifacts and interactive exhibits to tell the story of how modern Orlando came to be. For hours and admission prices visit historycenter.org.
The Orlando Museum of Art is located in Loch Haven Park and is a nationally accredited facility with a permanent collection of African, American, Ancient American and contemporary American art and graphics. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, military, groups of 10 or more and college students, $5 for children 4 through 17 and free for members and ages 3 and under.
The Mennello Museum of American Art is located on the picturesque shore of Lake Formosa in Loch Haven Park and showcases changing exhibitions featuring American art of all genres and time periods, including originally curated and traveling shows. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $1 for students and children 6 through 18 and free for children under 6 and active military.
Wells' Built Museum of African-American History
The Wells' Built Museum of African-American History features exhibits, artifacts and memorabilia from the period in which Orlando's cultural fabric was defined by African-American artists and performers.
The Winter Park Historical Museum features exhibits that portray how the city of Winter Park grew from a seasonal resort to a year-round city recognized for education, arts and leisure. Admission is free.
The Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Art is located in Eatonville, the nation's oldest incorporated African-American community and celebrates the works of the local author and other artists of African descent. Admission is free. The museum is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
For more information about events and our museums click here.
Get excited, muggles!
The Harry Potter phenomenon is expanding at Universal Orlando Resort with the announcement of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter- Diagon Alley coming in 2014. This new expansion will allow guests to enjoy a multi-park experience as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter entertains guests both at Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure. Diagon Alley and ‘London' will be located within the Universal Studios Florida theme park, which is adjacent to Universal's Islands of Adventure theme park, where guests now experience Hogwarts and Hogsmeade. The new area, which guests can travel to from Hogsmeade aboard the Hogwarts Express, will be just as expansive, immersive and authentic as the existing themed environment.
When complete, the new area will feature shops, a restaurant and an innovative, marquee attraction based on Gringotts bank - all directly inspired by the fiction and films.
An Orlando vacation during May or June gives visitors Time For More and here's another good reason. As part of their Monstrous Summer, Magic Kingdom in Orlando will stay open from 6 a.m., May 24 to 6 a.m., May 25, 2013, local time. Now that's what we call a full day of Disney magic and Orlando fun.
Magic Kingdom will feature a Monsters University theme where Mike and Sulley will be the Grand Marshals of the "Celebrate a Dream Come True" day parade - complete with pomp and circumstance - and make appearances in Tomorrowland. Guests also will find extra entertainment throughout the day and night, including characters in their pajamas in Town Square during the late night and early morning, and late-night dance parties in and around the courtyard of Cinderella Castle.
The Celebration Exotic Car Festival took place on April 14th and we were there to witness the beauty of exotic cars and the upscale dining offerings from local restaurants and renowned celebrity chefs. The event started in the charming city of Celebration to then culminate in the annual Food & Wine party which took place harborside at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando. The event was beautifully complemented with live music and performance artists, among other thigs. Check out the photos from this year's remarkable event.
KINGS Bowl Orlando has opened in the "I-Drive Live" project on International Drive. The newest addition to International Drive's entertainment options offers 22 ten pin bowling lanes, four full size billiard tables, more than 60 giant HDTV's and HD projectors and amazing award-winning food. Families with children are welcome by day; at 6 p.m., general public admission moves to age 21 and older.
To know more about Kings Bowl Orlando visit kingsorlando.com
You won't have to go to the circus to see amazing air acrobatics! In Orlando, you can swing, fly and be part of one of the most thrilling experiences of your life with Trapeze Federation.
A standard class extends for 2 hours for a maximum of 10 students. Each has 4-6 turns to jump off the platform and the opportunity to get "caught" by another trapeze instructor.
A standard class (per person) is $60 but class packages are also available.
Here's the current class schedule:
- Monday & Tuesday: Closed
- Wednesday & Thursday: 4:15 p.m.
- Friday: 2:00 p.m. & 4:15 p.m.
- Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m. & 4:15 p.m.
More information: trapezefederation.com
It's a reality, Orlando hosts seven of the world's top theme parks, all bundled up for you to enjoy! According to USA Today, here are the 10 Best Theme Parks in Orlando:
- Aquatica - SeaWorld's Water Park
- Universal's Islands of Adventure
- LEGOLAND Florida
- Magic Kingdom
- Discovery Cove
- Universal Studios Florida
- Disney's Animal Kingdom
- SeaWorld Orlando
- Disney's Hollywood Studios
Read full story: 10 Best Theme Parks in Orlando
Angry Birds Space Encounter, the first interactive Angry Birds attraction in the United States opened March 22nd at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
Visitors encounter six interactive stations designed to engage and immerse guests in a new dimension of Angry Birds Space:
- Create Your Own Angry Bird
- Eggsteroids Slingshot
- Cold Cuts Tile Puzzle
- Danger Zone
- Red Planet Lazer Challenge
- Angry Birds Game Zone
Angry Birds Space Encounter is included in regular admission to the Visitor Complex. Photo opportunities and merchandise are also available. For more information about Angry Birds Space Encounter visit kennedyspacecenter.com/angrybirds.
With its fairy tale castles and towering palm trees, there really is something magical about Orlando. Maybe that's why couples from across the globe have chosen it as their favorite destination for honeymoons, anniversary trips, and romantic getaways. If you've come here to woo your boo, you've arrived in the right place.
Photo Credit: Kristen Manieri
1. Lake Eola Swan Boats
A couple of hours can easily drift away while strolling around Lake Eola Park and watching the white and black swans paddling across the lake, but the ideal vantage point of this 43-acre urban park and its iconic fountain is from your very own swan boat. For $15 per half hour, you can rent these paddleboats from the swan dock located across from Relax Grill until 7pm Sunday - Tuesdays, and until 10pm Wednesdays - Saturdays. Reservations are not required.
2. The Great Outdoors
With no lack of sunshine or green spaces, there's nothing stopping you from enjoying some quality time outdoors at Central Florida's city and state parks. Think about renting a canoe at Wekiwa Springs, a tranquil and untouched state park north of Orlando where a beautiful spring and river give couples the option for swimming and kayaking. Or perhaps rent some bikes and head for a ride along the West Orange Trail.
3. Leu Gardens
As one of Orlando's most underappreciated urban gems, it's a shame more Orlando visitors don't carve out a few hours to visit Harry P. Leu Gardens, the 50-acre botanical sanctuary situated just north of downtown Orlando. With its winding paths meandering through rose gardens, bamboo forests, and under towering live oaks mirrored in Lake Rowena, it is one of the prettiest places to visit in Central Florida. And besides being a place for strolling and picnicking, the garden also hosts an outdoor movie screening on the first Friday of most months.
Check out Central Florida's skies with a visit to the Planetarium at Seminole State College, featuring weekly interactive shows that bring thousands of stars and the stories behind them into clear view. Cost per person is typically $6. At the Crosby Observatory atop the Orlando Science Center, budding astronomers attend skywatching events scheduled on weekend evenings throughout the fall and winter months when the night's sky is at its clearest and distant clusters are most visible.
5. Ritz-Carlton Spa
At 40,000 square feet, the Ritz-Carlton Spa on the 500-acre Grande Lakes property is not only Orlando's largest spa, it's also the most popular. A self-proclaimed "oasis of pampering," the spa houses 40 treatment rooms, a co-ed conservatory, two VIP suites, a 6,000 square-foot wellness center and a full service beauty salon. Private locker room feature private Jacuzzis, saunas, and eucalyptus infused steam rooms but the prized perk for couples is the 4,000 square-foot heated outdoor lap pool and hot tub surrounded by cozy loungers that beckon them to order a smoothie and lounge the day away in the sun.
This special post was written by Kristen Manieri. To read more about the romantic side of Orlando and other tips from Kristen, visit GreatDatesOrlando.com.
Families can have an out-of-this-world Spring Break experience at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. They recently announced the top five things for kids to do during spring break.
Play Angry Birds Space - Angry BirdsTM Space Encounter
Opening March 22, is the first interactive Angry Birds attraction in the U.S. Angry Birds Space Encounter brings to life the space adventures of the Angry Birds as they follow their kidnapped eggs into an inter-galactic wormhole. Along the way, the birds gear up with heroic superpowers as they come face-to-face with Space Pigs. Definitely a can't miss for the fans of this popular game.
A Week Of Space
Spring Camp Kennedy Space Center (KSC) provides young people ages 8 to 14 with an inspiring week of fun and enriching space activities. The camp, themed "Out of This World Science," will be held March 25-29 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Go Behind The Scenes
KSC Up-Close Tours allow visitors to share mankind's greatest achievements and future of the space program with the entire family and receive rare behind-the-scenes access to areas of Kennedy Space Center that have been off limits to the public for decades.
Launch Like An Astronaut
Shuttle Launch Experience at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is an incredible journey of vertically launching into space and orbiting Earth aboard the space shuttle. The five minute experience in the one-of-a-kind, custom-designed crew cabin culminates with a breath-taking view of Earth from space.
Meet An Astronaut
Astronaut Encounter provides guests with the rare opportunity to meet veteran astronauts from NASA's famous Astronaut Corps. During spring break, Astronaut Encounter participants are space shuttle astronaut Winston Scott, March 23-24; space shuttle astronaut Bob Springer, March 25; and space shuttle astronaut Jerry Ross, March 26-31.
The Visitor Complex will also celebrate the grand opening of the new $100 million home of Space Shuttle Atlantis June 29. This is only one of the many exciting new things coming to Orlando this 2013.