Archives for January 2009

Disney World Orlando Vacation outlook for 2009

It looks like a friend of mine and his family are coming down for an Orlando vacation sometime in the late spring. Now this friend is not big on going anywhere, they’ve only been down here one other time. But they wanted to go one more time for their kids, who are around 16, 14 and 10. One of the main reasons they are going this year is because of the economy.

Now you might think wait a minute. If things are going so bad, and everyone is hurting for money, then why would they actually want to pick this time to spend their money and go on vacation? Well, not everyone is having a bad time with their jobs. This family happens to be doing okay and has money set aside and so on.

They also look for bargains and ways to save money with everything they do. That’s one of the reasons why they are doing okay! So it’s because this is a bad year that makes it appealing to them to take their last big Orlando vacation. They know prices for everything is low, and that not many will be in the theme parks. So, it makes sense to pick now to come down here. [Read more…]

Grocery store shopping on your Orlando Vacation

When your on an Orlando vacation, your going to spend a LOT on food and snacks. Eating just seems to be one of those things you do lots of while on vacation. Your walking around, seeing the sights and being more active than normal. Also because Orlando is hot you tend to drink a lot more fluids. Lucky for you there is a snack food store on every corner down here!

You also will eat at a lot of fast food joints and restaurants. But after a few days of all this junk food, you might want to do some real food shopping to eat at your hotel. Most hotels have a mini fridge and microwave, while suites can have full kitchens. If your not from around here, and most likely your not, your not familiar with the most common grocery stores here.

I’ve seen a lot of people buy lots of stuff at the 7-11’s down here. They are everywhere! But, anything you buy there is going to cost you a lot compared to a normal grocery store. I’ve seen poor tourist ring up 80 bucks worth of food that fit in one plastic bag at those 7-11’s. So where do you go to buy real food at a real grocery store? [Read more…]

Getting free theme park tickets to see timeshares not worth it

I’ve got a funny story to tell you regarding Orlando timeshares. It’s a true one, not making it up. Way back when I first moved to Orlando I had one of my sisters come down for a visit. We did not have much money, in fact both of us were broke. I wanted her to see at least one theme park while she was down here, so I checked out the deals at timeshares.

Well it turns out that one was advertising a pair of free tickets to Sea World just to come in and take a tour of the timeshares. I forget how, but somehow we passed ourselves off as husband and wife (no redneck jokes here please). They asked for your drivers license and stuff, I forget what you needed but it was not much.

So on the day of the tour we went in and they had a free breakfast waiting for us. Actually there was around 20 couples there, all doing the same thing. That’s how they do that, round up a bunch for a morning breakfast and sales pitch. A guy came out and told us he was our guide and salesperson. So after we ate he led us to a timeshare unit, all the while just bursting with energy and so happy to be with us! [Read more…]

Living with the Orlando Florida lizards and wildlife

Hi everyone, it’s time for another post about some common wildlife you might see on your Orlando Florida vacation. Actually of all the things you might see, the little lizards we have will be the most common. Many people call them many different names. Gecko, lizards, chameleons and so on. There actually are around a dozen different lizards in Florida.

But the most common one your going to find on your Orlando Vacation is the green Anole and brown Anole. They both are small, around 8 inches long. The green Anole is more common, and often called a chameleon because it changes its color to match the color of whatever it’s standing on. So it can be different shades of green, brown, gray and white.

They are very common, often crawling around every shrub, tree and fence around your hotel, theme parks and houses. Often as you walk on the sidewalk you can notice a quick movement in the shrubs and grass close to where you are; those are the lizards hiding from you. They are harmless and do not bite, they have no teeth. [Read more…]

Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum in Orlando Florida

Sometimes when you take an Orlando Florida vacation, too many only think of the big theme parks. There are actually a lot more attractions in the Orlando area, a lot! One of them is our own Ripley’s Believe it or not! museum in Orlando, Florida. It was built to look like it was sinking into the ground, it’s kind of cool when you go in.

Ripley’s Believe it or not! has 27 different museums around the country, all of them around 90% unique in what you see inside. You can see many weird, bizarre and just plain crazy exhibits, as well as some amazing and funny. The Orlando Florida Ripley’s Believe it or not! is open from 9:30 AM to midnight.
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The Simpson’s ride at Universal Studios Orlando Florida

I’m having a long day, but I wanted to quickly give you all a short youtube video of the new Simpson’s ride at Universal Studios Orlando Florida. I went to Universal with a friend of mine of Friday, which will most likely be the coldest day of this year! I was really cold most of the day with the wind blowing.

The crowds as I have been saying were very light. Most rides were only 10 to 20 minutes long, short by normal standards, which is 40 to 2 hours long! They had a lot of problems with some of the rides, not sure if it was because of the cold or not. Right now they have the water rides under maintenance.

They do that now because it’s a bit too cold for people to be going on water rides. So this is when they do the annual over haul of them. Anyway I went on the Simpson’s ride. It’s the new ride that replaced the back to the future ride. It’s very good, much better than the other ride that was there. Enjoy this quick video of the outside!

Alligator facts in Orlando Florida

Sometimes you hear so much on the news about alligators, snakes and bugs in Florida that it sounds like your going to a jungle on your Orlando Vacation! Well I can tell you to relax, as like all things the critter stories are mostly overblown. Yes, Florida is home to lots of exotic looking wildlife,,,, out in the woods and swamps.

But just like your not going to see a bear in NY city even though New York state does have bears, your not likely to see any alligators or snakes. For the sake of this post, let me talk about the Florida alligators. Now there are plenty of alligators in Florida, most of them small around 2 to 4 feet long. However they can grow up to 18 feet or more in the swamps.

Just about any place that has water will have an alligator. In fact it’s surprising how common they are in small ponds and streams. I jog along a lake each night, and I often see about 6 or so cruising the edges. Alligators main diet is fish, frogs, ducks and any type of small animal that gets too close. Yes that also means cats and dogs. [Read more…]

Tips on water rides at Universal Studios Orlando and others

Well with all the post I have made so far, I have not really gave out a whole lots of real tips huh? Silly me! Okay then, I’ll give you a real good one today, and you’ll be really glad if you take these tips! If you have kids, you know kids love water rides at the theme parks. Parents always make one classic mistake about them.

They look at the ride and think “well, maybe if we go on it we will get lucky and not get too wet”. HAHAHAHA!!! Trust me, you will lose on that bet! You ALWAYS get really wet on the water rides, that’s what they are designed to do. Maybe you think that surely they would not get you really, really wet on purpose, right?

WRONG! The people that make those rides don’t think that getting soaked is a really bad thing. Okay, so you go and get those overpriced raincoats they just happen to sell right outside the water rides. So now you’ll stay dry even if you do get a wall of water rushing over you. BUT, you forget the most important part of your body. [Read more…]

Going to Universal Studios Orlando with friends

I’ve been having a very busy week, so sorry if I’m not posting each day. This Friday I’m going to Universal Studios Orlando for a full day with a friend of mine. It’s been a little while since I’ve been there, so I’m going to take lots of pictures to share with you all. Of course I should be doing that a lot now that I have a website devoted to the theme parks and Orlando.

That’s one of the perks you have when you live in Orlando is going to the theme parks. They have Florida residence annual passes that are a good deal so it becomes affordable to go every week if you want. Not too many people can just decide to go to Universal Studios at the last minute! However many people that live in Orlando hardly ever go.

Why not you may ask? Well, it’s just like anything else. Most people work very hard and deal with what life always throws at you. Florida is not what some think, that you move down and spend your time lying in the sand and going to theme parks every other day! You still have to work, deal with the kids and life’s curve balls. [Read more…]

Dunkin donuts and Orlando vacations, great match!

You might think that talking about dunkin donuts in an Orlando vacation guide is a bit out of place. But, lots of people love them, and many tourist feel that getting their morning coffee from a dunkin donuts shop feels like home. Besides, it’s my site and I feel like talking about them, so there! I have very few bad habits (no really).

But one habit I do have, or maybe it’s addiction, is that dunkin donuts coffee! I started drinking it when I was in my teens and have never had more than a day or two without it ever since. I love it nice and sweet, in fact about 5 dunkin donuts shops around here know just what to give me when they see me; large coffee, 7 creams 7 sugars.

Yes that’s a lot of cream and sugar in a coffee, but that’s the way I want it. Sweet, like my disposition! I can’t stand that bitter, burned starbucks or any of those other places. The last time I counted there was around 3 dozen dunkin donuts shops around the major Orlando theme parks and attractions. So if you like them too, you’ll have one to go to. [Read more…]

Universal Studio Orlando Citywalk entertainment spot

Okay, today I’m going to talk about Universal Studio’s CityWalk. CityWalk is a big mixed entertainment type of place located right in between the two Universal parks and right at the entrance. It has nightclubs, a giant movie theater, a dozen or so dining and restaurant places, shops and fun things to do. The shops, movie theater and most restaurants are open all day, while the nightclubs only open at night.

CityWalk is Universal’s nightspot, a place to go to party the night away, have some drinks and dance to some good live music. They have some great dining establishments too, although I find the prices to be a bit high. But then again that’s what you find at any tourist area. They have plenty to choose from so you can find just the type of food your looking for.

Universal Cineplex – CityWalk Movie Theater is a state of the art, 20 room movie theater that features the latest movies. It has wall to wall screens, digital sound and stadium-style seating with high backed rocking chairs. In short, it’s really nice! Normally it’s open at 12:30 PM or so. I recommend trying it out and taking in a movie. [Read more…]

Disney World Expedition Everest roller coaster youtube video

Well everyone, I’ve had a long day today. So, I’m going to make this a quickie post! That means I’m going to show you a youtube video. This one is a cool one about Walt Disney Worlds animal kingdom roller coaster called Expedition Everest. It’s suppose to be themed that your going up mount Everest, and you get attacked by the Yeti, an ape-like creature.

At first the ride goes a bit slow, and you start to think “is that all”? But it has some surprises, and saves the high speed twist and turns for the last part of the ride. It goes into several dark tunnels, and even goes uphill backward in some spots! It’s at the Animal Kingdom at Disney World, and one of the best rides at that park. So enjoy this youtube video of Expedition Everest roller coaster at Animal Kingdom!