theme park canuck

Big Red's Disney Bootcamp: The Myth and Truth's of Hidden Mickey's

I am sure that you have heard about the mysterious Hidden Mickey’s. I also bet you have probably wondered what they actually are. There has even been, in recent years, an almost cult like following to find new ones throughout Disney Parks.

I can even admit that I even given into the obsession to find them. I have even purchased a copy of the very popular book by Mr. Steven Barrett to familiarize myself with the crazy sweeping the population. Wikipedia has even dedicated a page to the entire subject. There’s even an app for that!
Hidden Mickey Book Now, I cannot find dates when they started to create them, but what I can say is there are Hidden Mickey’s in the Snow White Movie so they have been around since 1937 when the movie was released. This is big business and is pretty fun trying to locate them. Look on rocks, bridles for the horses on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, every Resort, motion pictures, TV series, cruise lines. You name it, there most likely will be a Hidden Mickey somewhere.

Now, cheating as I have in the past, the book is very helpful for the beginner to get you familiar with them but once you have located a few yourself, it is so much fun running around trying to find others not listed in the books. However, I can with all certainty tell you that this has been going on for a very long time and everyone knows all about them. If you’re lucky, you can even ask a Cast Member wherever you may be and see if they know of any in that particular location. At our Canadian Pavilion, we can even tell you that if you look up, WAAAAAAAY UP on one of our totem poles, you will even see a Hidden Mickey if you look closely. It was even a special task for us in Le Cellier, the amazing Canadian steakhouse to create Hidden Mickey’s for our guests.

There are deliberate ones, like I just mentioned, but thousands of ones that have been secretly placed in some pretty incredible places. Snow White movie…….you see it? Ummmmm can you imagine a GIANT one in Hollywood Studio’s that can only be seen from the skies? (Note, this was before the giant Sorcerer Hat was added.)

How about in WISHES the nighttime spectacular fireworks high above?

Animal Kingdom Lodge towering over you whilst you check-in?
Maelstrom, Norway’s boat ride in EPCOT, while you wait in line?

Hollywood Studio’s………from the manhole covers on the ground to the front of most of the cars in the afternoon parades to the outside the buildings down Hollywood Boulevard, they are everywhere.

Even the Water Parks are getting into the act with splash pools and if you look at the lifeguard stands, you might find one in the least expected places and those, those are the most coveted ones. No matter where you go, what you’re watching, be on the look out for these hidden gems. It is a fun little game you can join in, it’s a FREEBIE and gives you something extra to do whilst waiting in a queue line somewhere. Don’t be surprised i[warning][/warning]f you find others walking around the Parks with a little book to assist them in hunting down the elusive Hidden Mickey.  Good luck locating your own.

Now, I have to go, I have an exciting day at Blizzard Beach Water Park ahead of me and I hear that there is a Hidden Mickey at Mt.Gushmore I need to find.
Until next time:
TTF

Tracey

24 full hours of magic at Disney Parks

One more day of magic....yes please!

Disney Parks guests can get the most out of February 29 when Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California celebrate Leap Year by keeping a theme park on each coast open for 24 hours of nonstop memory-making fun.

For the first time ever, both the Magic Kingdom Park and Disneyland Park will stay open for 24 hours straight as part of a bi-coastal salute called “One More Disney Day.” From 6 a.m., February 29 to 6 a.m., March 1, 2012, local time, guests can fill the extra day of leap year with a marathon of Disney magic and fun.*
And for 60 days straight – from Jan. 1, 2012 to Feb. 29, 2012 – a daily winner will be chosen in the “Disney Parks One More Disney Day Sweepstakes” to receive a Disney Parks vacation.  One entrant each day will win a vacation for four to make memories at either Disneyland Resort in California or Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.**
For the past year, Disney Parks has invited guests to “let the memories begin,” noted Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
“We’re honored that so many guests have shared their Disney memories with us as part of ‘Let the Memories Begin’, and I’m pleased to announce that the campaign will continue throughout 2012,” Staggs said. “To celebrate, for the first time ever, the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Parks will remain open for 24 hours on Leap Day, so that our guests can take advantage of every minute of their extra day to make memories with friends and family.”
In addition to the extra time, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California will feature a special offer:

  • Guests get one more day and night of memory making, free when they buy a 3-night/3-day non-discounted Walt Disney Travel Co. room and ticket package at select Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort hotels.  The package offer is good for arrivals most nights Feb. 26 – March 10, 2012 and must be booked by Jan. 31, 2012. ***

In 2011, Disney Parks has encouraged families to “Let the Memories Begin,” with guests celebrating their only-at-Disney memories by sharing their vacation stories, photos and videos online at DisneyParks.com/memories.
Guests can find out more information about other Disneyland Resort offers and tickets at www.disneyland.com and other Walt Disney World Resort hotel and ticket offers at www.disneyworld.com. Guests can find out more information about “One More Disney Day” and get official rules for the “Disney Parks One More Disney Day Sweepstakes” atwww.OneMoreDisneyDay.com.

Big Red's Disney Bootcamp: 2011 Review and what's new for 2012

‘Tis the season to review what the last 12 months has offered and Theme Park Canuck is certainly not going to be left behind so I am going to take the opportunity to review what amazing and well……magical things Disney has certainly accomplished in 2011 and what exciting things are in store for us in 2012. In no particular order:

1. Star Tours Refurbishment

Star Tours 2.0

Both Disneyland and Walt Disney World provided their guests a long awaited referb and update.  Bringing all the magic and thrills of Star Wars back to the forefront. More than 50 stories themes are being offered in 3D.  New characters and worlds will offer the chance to fight alongside of some of our beloved characters.  I actually enjoyed my time in October with Darth Vader who joined me on my quest.
2. Aulani
Aulani
Nestled on the Island of Oahu, the brand new shiny Vacation Club Resort is a masterpiece of all that is Disney. 360 Hotel rooms & 481 Vacation Club suites collaborating the customs and cultures of the Island and the magic of Disney. Aulani is the newest destination offering incredible views, experiencing and a chance to explore the lands.   21 enchanting acres in fact,  filled with snorkeling lagoons, grand villas and an abundance of Pixie Dust.   You may even find Mickey & Minnie in grass skirts somewhere out on a beach as the sun sets if you really look closely.
3. Avatarland
Avatar Land
 James Cameron’s movie about a fantasy world will be joining the Disney family in 2013 but was announced earlier this year causing some major excitement.  Several acres of land  in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park will offer attractions, entertainment, the amazing animatronics Disney has been accustom to delighting us with.   With a reported $500 Million dollar budget, Pandora is going to give guests an incredible look inside this fantasyland.
4. The Disney Dream- Disney Cruise Line’s Newest addition
Aqua Duck on Disney Fantasy & Dream
Jan 26,2011 was the maiden voyage for this youngster in the Disney Cruise Lines fleet.  The Dream offers 4000 passengers the opportunity to sail on the state of the art masterpiece. and is, just some trivia for you, is the 10th largest ship in the world currently.  11 night clubs and lounge, kids and teens areas and the most impressive dining in the fleet thus far.  A plethora of sporting options, a basketball court, a mini-golf course and the glowing piece DE la resistance, the Aqua Duck. The 765 foot long water coaster is exhilarating to say the least and everyone will have to take a whirl.
6. Carsland
Cars Land
This brand new, super detailed land is scheduled to debut at Disney California Adventure this coming summer. Look for brand new attractions and ways to interact with the characters from Cars like never before. This is the biggest expansion in DCA’s history, all part of the 1 billion they are spending to fix the former retail & dining oriented park and turn it into a full day park worthy of the Disney name.
5. New Fantasyland
New Fantasyland
In a two stage process, Walt Disney World will offer some fantastic new attractions and restaurants that haven’t been seen in some time. Two new rides, Under the Sea- Journey of the Little Mermaid and The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train coaster.  A new castle which the Beast will inhabit and the second castle for the Park. The 550 seat “Be our Guest” sit down restaurant will also be a welcomed addition. Dumbo will just be moved slightly double in capacity, unofficially dubbed “Dueling Dumbos.”  The expansion has disturbed Fantastyland for much of the year but will be well worth the wait.
All in all, Disney Parks offered more than I could possibly include in this blog but that means that you have more exciting things to see and do at Disney Parks.  As a New Year is about to commence, I wish for prosperity and joy and a lifetime of happiness to all that read this blog.  2012 is proving to be an incredible year with so many things to explore at the Parks so get out there and find your own magic.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have a date with the Fairy Godmother and I don’t want to keep her waiting because my slippers are only good for……well, you know the story I’m sure. 😉

Happy New Year’s!!

So until next time, TTFN!!

Tracey

5 reasons to stay on property at Disney

Your on a budget, I get it. Hey, breaking the bank ain’t tops on my priority list when I think of my vacation either, but let me assure you staying on property is seriously worth all the money your about to fork out. Sure, now your saying to yourself, Tracey your always going to tell us to stay on property because, hey, it’s Disney and you LOVE Disney. Allow me to explain why I recommend staying on property rather than outside the Parks. Here are my 5 reasons you should stay on-site at Walt Disney World:

1. Free transportation

Yes, you certainly can get a budget friendly resort outside and rent a car to get around.  Yes, I agree, you got an AMAZING bargain at the Maingate Magic Castle Motel, a mere 20 minutes outside the Disney property. Here’s a dirty little secret about these off property places: while they claim that they are at the “main gate” of Walt Disney World, they fail to disclose is that they mean the pretty little entrance gates you drive through as you get onto Disney property. Walt Disney World itself does not have a gate, because that’s the name of the whole resort. The 4 parks and 2 water parks have gates.  Meaning while you may be across the highway from the “main gate” to Disney property, it can still take you 15 minutes to drive to the real main gate of the park. Now you have to keep in mind that you can take a cab from the airport to your said AMAZING bargain resort, which from Orlando International could cost you a small child’s college tuition.  Add to that the $14 a DAY for parking at each Park that your going to visit for the next 7 days. Or, you can hop onto Disney’s Magical Express bus service and be whisked away to your hotel. Then, a quick bus or monorail trip and you’re in the parks. You actually check your bags at the airport with the Magical Express, and they put them into your hotel room for you while your out enjoying your vacation. This service is FREE with a Disney Resort stay!
2. Free Dining
Depending upon the time of year you vacation, you could stay at a Disney Resort and be eating on Disney’s dime with the Disney Dining Plan. Simply choose a package that best suits you, we will review this later, and your meals will be included. However I cannot stress enough, just because your saving money by getting free meals, you still have to tip your servers at your restaurants. And while it’s free upfront, it’s really built into the cost of your vacation. But as food is a big expense when on vacation, it’s one less thing to worry about while you’re there.
3. Resort Options for every budget & taste
You probably you already know that Disney has so many choices when it comes to accommodations. The truth is, everybody has different tastes.  From the value conscious to luxury seekers. No matter where you stay, each resort is themed just as well as any of the parks. The details are everywhere, meaning the magic doesn’t end when you leave the parks at the end of the night.

Here’s a quick breakdown of your options for Disney Resorts:

All Star Movies

Pop Century Resort

Value Resorts
These are the ones that the majority of the children stay at. Think about it, if you have more than 1 child now a days, your added dollar signs in front of everything you do. So, the Value Resorts offer you the best value for your money. Please don’t expect to have tons of amenities. Obviously you will have a bed and a bathroom as you would expect, you also have a swimming pool or two, but don’t expect a Spa or fine dining.
Pop Century, All Star Movies, All Star Sports, All Star Music & the soon to open Disney’s Art of Animation Resort fall under these categories. These accommodations offer value, quick service dining and great service as all the Resorts offer just no frills. And yes, yes I have stayed at these locations.  I see no reason to not have just a bed when all I really want to do is head to the Parks. if that sounds appealing, then this is totally your option.
Port Orleans Riverside

Coronado Springs

Moderate Resorts
These just happen to be my favorite types of resorts. They have more amenities than the Value Resorts as previously mentioned and most locations have sit down restaurants or pubs to grab a snack and a beverage after a sweaty day of fun.
Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter are both what some of us like to call our home resorts, meaning it’s were we go to stay on property whenever we come down (which is quite often!) The two just happen to be separated by the Sassaguola River. One offering a Mardi Gras feel (French Quarter) and one offering a Mark Twain Bayou type Resort. Plantation style and French Quarter styled buildings overflow with charm and laid back paces. You could literally just stay here and never go the parks and call it a vacation. Be sure to stop at Boatwrights in Riverside for breakfast.  I can assure you it will fuel you up for a hard day of walking the Parks. There are several other Moderate Resorts to chose from, including Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs and the Cabins at Wilderness Lodge Resort. My favorite Resort pool from any type of Resort has got to be the Coronado Springs.  It is a feast for the senses.
disneys polynesian resort
Polynesian Resort

disney's animal kingdom lodge
Animal Kingdom Lodge

wdw-resorts-grandfloridian
Grand Floridian

Deluxe Resorts
Now, if you are going to spoil yourself rotten and have the means, then I recommend any of the Deluxe Resorts. They can certainly cater to your every whim. From award winning 5 star dining at Victoria & Albert’s Restaurant at the Grand Floridian Resort, to the grass skirts and gentle palm trees swaying at the Polynesian Resort, Walt Disney does luxury like no other.
The Deluxe category also applies to Animal Kingdom Lodge, Beach Club Resort, Boardwalk Resort, The Contemporary Resort, The Yacht Club and Wilderness Lodge Resorts. All have so many incredible things to chose from and you will find your piece of heaven wherever you chose to stay.  Concierge Levels offer unique services and each of these Resorts has the incomparable Disney service that they have famous for.
I am not in any way saying that the Deluxe Resorts offer the only top notch service either, but I am going to say that if your paying to stay at a Deluxe Resort, your expectations are different.
Fort Wilderness Campground
Wait a second, you think I’m done don’t you? I am certainly not, I have one more little surprise. Fort Wilderness is one of the original accommodation choices back in 1971 when Walt Disney World first opened and deserves it’s own category.It is hard to believe that it has stayed as popular as it has. You can pop a tent if that is what vacations mean to you, or you have an RV that you have decided to drive to see the countryside float by, then this is your spot.

4. Free activities & events around every corner

chip & dales campfire singalong dsney
Chip & Dale's Campfire Sing Along

Think nothing is free at Disney? Well, you’re wrong! Many of the resorts offer fun & free activities for kids, families & kids at heart. There are too many here to describe, but my favourite is Chip & Dale’s Campfire Sing Along. This gathering is held nightly and starts at 7:30. It’s a great way to get some quality time with characters, sing some great songs and enjoy a relaxed evening. The best part is they also offer a movie by the campfire as well. You can even purchase the ingredients to create smores and who wouldn’t want to have those sitting by a roaring fire?

5. Stress free vacation

Here are a few thing’s you won’t have to worry about if you stay on site, after all what’s a vacation if you’re stressed out?
Package Delivery: No more lugging around all the great souvenirs and presents you purchase, Disney will deliver these to your resort for free.
No Driving: Imagine not having to drive for a whole week! No parking fees, finding a spot, walking to the park, remembering where you parked. Parents, you can even both have a few beverages at EPCOT without having to worry about who will drive. Now that’s a vacation1
Magical Wake-Up Calls: How thrilled will your kids be when Mickey wakes them up in the morning with a friendly phone call? Try that at Super 8!
Extra Magic Hours: You actually get to spend more time in the parks than anyone else!
Plus many, many other options! All part of your Disney Resort stay! Trust me, it’s totally worth it to stay on property
All in all, I have given you a very brief overview, giraffe’s munching leaves from you room, armadillo’s sneaking around your tent, or breakfast on the Sassagoula River, all examples of different ways to enjoy Disney Resorts. There is something for every budget, taste and interest.  All you have to do is decide where and Disney will take care of the rest to have a truly magical vacation!

You will have to excuse me now, I am off to the Grand Floridian Spa for a quick facial and maybe Cinderella will be there so I will catch up with you again soon.

Until next time,
TTFN

Legoland Florida announces Water Park details

Just six weeks after its official grand opening, LEGOLAND® Florida today released details of its first expansion – LEGOLAND Water Park.

Scheduled to open in time for summer 2012, the water park will feature a wave pool, Build-A-Raft lazy river, tube slides, body slides and an interactive water-play structure -DUPLO Safari. “We’re very excited to share plans for this amazing new attraction,” said LEGOLAND Florida General Manager Adrian Jones. “True to our mission, the water park attraction has been designed for families with children ages 2 to 12 and will add hours of water play to an already full day and move LEGOLAND Florida into a multi-day experience for vacationers. The additional also adds another great value proposition for our Annual Pass members.” Admission to the water park attraction is included with an all-new LEGOLAND Premium Pass, which offers 12 months admission to LEGOLAND Florida and seasonal access to the LEGOLAND Water Park. Single-day LEGOLAND Florida guests may upgrade to a water park attraction ticket for an additional $12 per person (children under 3 are $3). The Premium Pass is now available for purchase at www.LEGOLAND.com or AAA Auto Club South branches.

Key areas of LEGOLAND Water Park attraction include:

LEGO Wave Pool – Families can catch a gentle wave or simply cool off in this perfectly sized wave pool where the waves are just big enough for all ages to enjoy
Twin Chasers – Friends ride tubes 375 feet down an intertwining pair of enclosed water slides before plunging into a refreshing pool below
Splash Out – The thrill seekers of the family can ascend to the tallest point of the water park attraction and choose from one of three unique slides, then speed down a 60-foot drop and “splash out” into the water below
Joker Soaker – A fun, interactive playground with various lengths, heights and types of slides that offer something different for every member of the family. Guests can wade in the surrounding pool and be surprised with a torrential spill from a 300-gallon bucket
Build-A-Raft River – Families can imagine, design and build a unique LEGO vessel and set afloat on a maiden voyage around the 1000-foot-long lazy river, set amongst playful LEGO Friends, flowering vegetation and palm trees
DUPLO® Splash Safari – Toddlers will rule at this water play area with shorter slides and interactive, larger-than-life DUPLO creatures
“This newest attraction is just one of many ways we will continue to evolve LEGOLAND Florida over the next several years,” said Jones. “Creating a multi-visit proposition for families adds another dimension to the LEGOLAND Florida offering. Adding the water park attraction will fulfill this criteria as well as offering a unique attraction in Central Florida. ”

Big Red's Disney Bootcamp: Holidays Disney Style

Is the thought of spending the Christmas Holidays in the sunshine appealing to you?  Flip-flops and shorts instead of boots, wool jackets and mittens attached to strings? Well keep those mittens, you might want to bring them just for show. Welcome to the possibilities of celebrating Christmas at Disney.

Despite my efforts, I have never been able to see everything Walt Disney World offers during the holidays. From the life-sized gingerbread houses at the Resorts to the over-sized Christmas Trees everywhere, Disney truly knows how to ring in a Holiday. Disney pulls out all the stops when it comes to Christmas, and if you’ve never been during this special time, I highly recommend it.

Walt was so enamored with Christmas because of his two daughters; Diane and Sharon, that he made sure it was over the top for all his guests coming into Disneyland. These days, all Disney Parks have taken on that special task of welcoming guests with the very best holiday experience possible. Here are a few of the offerings for this extra magical time, remember it’s just the tip of the Christmas Tree though:

Walt Disney World offers Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom on selected nights from Nov.8 through Dec.18. This is a special ticketed event which means a separate ticket is needed.

Take into consideration that Christmas is the busiest time of year for Walt Disney World, meaning a lot more guests than usual. I do highly recommend visiting at least once during the Christmas season because they put on a great party. Tip: Try to visit after American Thanksgiving and before the week of Christmas if you can. All the decorations and events are happening, with minimal crowds.

Here are a few highlights of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party:

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade is simply a wonderland of sites and sounds. Dancing gingerbread men to trumpet playing tin soldiers, there is something for everyone in this charming parade.  You might even see the BIG GUY alittle early to so make sure your letter to Santa is ready and you’ve been a really good girl or boy because he’s always watching.

Cinderella’s Enchanted Castle Dream Light’s is possibly my favorite thing to see.  Dusk is the very best time to see the magic happen.

My Fairy Godmother will make a wee appearance and so will a host of other charming characters and Cinderella invites everyone to her home to watch it sparkle and dance with thousands of beautiful lights.

And when your night is almost over, Holiday Wishes Fireworks will come alive in the Spirit of the Season.  A magical display of colour and sound. I really recommend watching this somewhere near the Partners Statue so you can take in the entire Castle area and I assure you, you will never be disappointed.   You will most likely have to save your viewing spot for at least an hour prior to the show so be prepared to wait a little. Oh, and while your waiting for the night skies to erupt with lights, why not have someone go and get some free hot cocoa and Christmas cookies for the wait? It’s all included in your price.

Character Meet & Greets

There are also many meet & greets with some of your favorite characters throughout the Park, decked out for the holidays. So get out your PhotoPass card and look on your special Park Map for locations.

These events truly do give Disney and their Cast Members the opportunity to show you exactly what they do best. From the hand decorated ornaments, of which there are hundreds of thousands of them, to the hand strung garlands that are everywhere. I can’t forget to mention the parade floats, the costumes, and to give away another secret…….Disney can even make it snow! Despite the fact you hopped on a plane and flew thousands of kilometres to escape it, you will see snow, and it will be glorious!

Take in the spirit of the season

I really suggest that you merely walk and take everything in and not really worry about riding any rides during the Party. If you have the time and the waits aren’t that long, then by all means, enjoy yourself.
However, I really suggest walking around. You will find the magic and charm of Christmas everywhere. Main Street Bakery will tempt your taste buds from the moment you walk onto Main Street USA.  I always recommend taking a step through all the shops along Main street, there are amazing artisans with some unique crafts and goodies. Families traveling from all over to come and witness a Disney Holiday is truly a sight to be seen. Take a break, watch the festivities and be transformed with the Spirit of Christmas.

Now, if you will excuse me, there is a HUGE piece of gingerbread calling my name and the cocoa is getting cold so I could use a refill.

Until next time,
TTFN

Tracey

5 reasons we love Universal Orlando

While Walt Disney World is the main attraction for many visitors to Orlando, and we agree that it’s a great place to visit, many people forget about the other awesome resort just up the road from the Mouse, Universal Orlando. With 2 parks, 3 resorts and tons of great dining and shopping experiences, we think Universal is pretty awesome. Here are 5 reasons why we love Universal Orlando Resort:

1. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

There is no experience on the planet that is better than this fantastic, magical, immersive themed environment. If you only visit one area of the entire Universal Orlando Resort, make this your stop. From the magic of Hogsmeade Village, to the delectable taste of Butterbeer, nothing is more exciting than actually experiencing the locations from the films. The star attraction, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Joruney, will leave you speechless. The lineup for this ride is just as good as the ride itself. I mean, you get to walk to halls of Hogwarts! Make sure to visit Ollivander’s to pick your want, or if you’re lucky it will pick you! And take a little treat home for your friends by grabbing a bottle of Pumpkin Juice for them to try. Sadly, Butterbeer is not sold in bottles, so they’ll have to visit to taste it themselves.

2. Margaritaville at Citywalk

Nothing sets me in a better mood than sitting on the patio listening to Jimmy Buffet and sipping a carefully concocted margarita. The food here is great and you never know what impromptu entertainment will be taking place both inside and out front. Make sure to visit the inside portion of the bar to experience the hurricanes that happen every once in a while. They also have a massive Margaritaville Store where you can buy almost anything with the famous brand stamped upon it. My favourite being the Margaritaville Blender that comes in many variations, or the shot chiller that’s sure to be a hit at any gathering hoping to get to paradise.

3. Rockin special events year round

From the magic of Grinchmas at Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Macy’s Holiday Parade, to the yearly Mardi Gras celebrations, there is always something exciting happening at the resort. Universal Orlando knows how to party, and they get great bands to play at their special events (such as Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Smash Mouth for New Years), plus most are included with park admission. Even Citywalk has awesome events all the time. The Ellen Degeneres Show tapes their once a year, and random dance parties break out at Citywalk. Pretty awesome!

4. Halloween Horror Nights

We know this is an event, but it’s so grand it deserves a mention for itself. This is the biggest and best Halloween event in North America. Each year during the Halloween season, they bring terrifying mazes, scare zones and shows to the resort. Each year has a brand new theme and new attractions. It’s not recommended for children, and personally we agree. If you’re looking for a legendary night out, or just need a little liquid courage to make it through the mazes, they have booze EVERYWHERE. In the lines, scattered through the park, and even shot girls dressed as nurses! The only place they don’t seem to have booze is in the bathrooms. Ok, so we like to party hard at this event. But even if you don’t drink, it’s our favourite event of the year because it’s just so cool to see the resort transform into such a different atmosphere.

5. It’s not Disney

Don’t get us wrong, we love Walt Disney World. It’s just sometimes, you can get tired of the magic and make belief of the place. I repeat, we still love Disney. Heck, some of us have worked for the Mouse. But Universal has a different atmosphere, it’s more adult oriented, which gives them license to be a bit more risque (Beetlejuice’s Rocking Roll Grave Yard Revue, for example.) and it’s just different than Disney. You can have a few drinks, hear some off colour humour and not worry about destroying the dreams of a 5-year-old by doing so. Universal is the place to visit if you’re looking for something that’s just as great as Walt Disney World, but isn’t a blatant wannabe.

So, what are your reasons for loving Universal Orlando? Leave a comment below and let us know!

 
 
 
 
 

Seaworld Orlando Christmas Celebrations kick off Black Friday


SeaWorld Orlando will introduce a holiday show based on the Christmas story and told through the eyes of animals during SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration events, which kick off Nov. 25, the day after Thanksgiving. The new “O Wondrous Night” includes puppet version of animals at the nativity scene and their live counterparts, such as a donkey and a camel. The production has all-original music and it will be produced in the Nautilus Theater, the usual home to “A’lure … The Call of the Ocean.”
Several holiday shows also are returning to the theme park, including “Winter Wonderland on Ice,” an ice-skating show; “Shamu Christmas … Miracles,” the killer-whale show; the comedic “Clyde and Seamore’s Countdown to Christmas”; and “A Sesame Street Christmas.” Guests again can ride the Polar Express Experience, a seasonal overlay of the Wild Arctic ride. Returning for a second year are the Sea of Trees, dozens of sparkling and choreographed trees glimmering above the park’s center lake, and the Christmas Market with food and shopping along the Bayside Pathway. SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration is capped with “Holiday Reflections: Fireworks and Fountains Finale.”
The event runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Nov. 25 through Dec. 11. It becomes nightly from Dec. 16-31.
SeaWorld has a couple of promotions going on that will continue during the holiday season. It has re-introduced the SeaWorld Fun Card, which includes unlimited visits to the theme park through all of 2012 for the price of a single day’s admission. Plus, a kids-free promotion gives entry to one child for each full-paid adult admission. That offer is good through Dec. 25, 2011. (Orlando Sentinal)

Here are more details of the holiday festivities at Seaworld this season:

Attractions

The Christmas Market

‘Tis the season for being together. Feel the warmth of family as you admire festive ice dancers gliding merrily across the ice, then visit the bustling Christmas Market. You’ll find something special for that special someone among unique artisans and culinary delights. There’s no cooler place at SeaWorld.

The Waterfront

Christmas brings out the child in all of us. That’s probably why everyone feels right at home at SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration, where kids can enjoy all the joy of the holidays along with favorites Clyde and Seamore, Sesame Street and more! Gather the entire family for dinner at Seafire Inn during Santa’s Fireside Feast, or enjoy a traditional holiday menu at Sharks Underwater Grill.

Wild Arctic Plaza

Find authentic THE POLAR EXPRESS items, stockings and holiday gift ideas for everyone on your list. Capture the perfect family photo in front of a life-sized Polar Express train car or with Santa in the North Pole (at Wild Arctic). Memories are made, and captured, at SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration.

THE POLAR EXPRESS Experience

Now boarding! It’s a wondrous journey to the North Pole aboard THE POLAR EXPRESS. The beloved holiday classic comes to life as you and your family are immersed in the heart-warming story of a young boy’s thrilling ride into an enchanted world. The sights, sounds, and scents of the season surround you. From the moment the conductor calls “all aboard” to your arrival at the North Pole (where you’ll meet Santa Claus himself), THE POLAR EXPRESS Experience promises to create an unforgettable holiday memory.

Village Square

Welcome to Seaworld’s Christmas Celebration, where towering, illuminated trees shine as brightly as our guests’ faces. Picuresque bakery and candy shops fill the air with scents of the season that tempt you with delicious holiday treats. This is your window into our wonderland.

Happy Harbor

Shamu and his crew invite kids of all ages to play the day away in a wintery wonderland of frosty fun. Whimsical holiday lights decorate the harbor in surprising ways sure to delight the young and young at heart, while snow flurries bring a touch of the North Pole to the games, rides, and experiences of Shamu’s Happy Harbor.  New this year is Holly Jolly Railway — Ho-Ho-Ho! Hop aboard the Holly Jolly Railway for a sea-inspired spin around Shamu’s Happy Harbor — it’s a ride that’s totally Santa-approved!
Shows

O Wondrous Night

Hear the greatest story never told with over 30 carols, live-size puppets and live animals in the brand new show that will charm, entertain and delight people from all walks of life. Lots of singing, special effects and incredible lighting enhance this production and holiday spirit.

Shamu Christmas – Miracles

SeaWorld invites you to experience the power and beauty of our Shamu family in our nighttime holiday show: Shamu Christmas- Miracles. Thrilling seasonal music rings out and killer whales soar through the air in a story of reflection and understanding… of peace and friendship… of the everyday miracles that surround us all year long. From the sweeping vocal majesty of our soundtrack to the heart-pounding excitement you’ve come to expect from our Shamu family, this performance will take you on a stirring voyage into the heart of the holidays.

A Sesame Street Christmas

Everybody’s Sesame Street® friends have come to SeaWorld for a festive and fun musical celebration! The holidays have arrived, but Abby Cadabby doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about… she’s never heard of Christmas. Through dance, laughter and interactive sing-a-longs, Elmo, Telly Monster and the rest of her Sesame Street friends teach Abby what Christmas means to them. Your little elves will be smiling all the way home.

Clyde and Seamore’s Countdown to Christmas

Santa’s helpers, Clyde and Seamore, are bringing their own brand of comedy to Christmas this year. Our loveable sea lions, along with a few mischievous otters, a comical elf, and a wintery walrus or two, invite you and yours to their fun-filled holiday celebration. It doesn’t get more holly or jolly than this.

Winter Wonderland on Ice

Christmas comes to life on a stage of ice, jewels and light as skaters dazzle and delight in this show-stopping, ice skating extravaganza. The other stars of the show are the towering fountains of water dancing on the lake and fireworks that light up the night sky after the last ice show of the evening. It’s a don’t-miss experience for the holidays that will take your breath away.

Sea of Trees

Take a walk through our wintery, watery wonderland and immerse yourself in a sea of holiday trees. Our glistening forest with over 100 trees sparkles to music and lights up the water… and, your eyes. As the lights literally dance to holiday classics, your heart will soar with wonder and delight at this truly awe-inspiring Christmas treat.
Holiday Reflections: Fireworks and Fountain Finale
SeaWorld celebrates the season with soaring fountains, dazzling lights, and festive fireworks, choreographed to joyous holiday musical favorites.  Experience a wondrous SeaWorld Christmas connection that lights the night.

Transformers Ride opening soon in Singapore

We’re so excited that Transformers: The Ride that is opening in less than a month at Universal Studios Singapore. It’s going to take the technology and concepts of the Spiderman ride from Islands of Adventure and inject it with steroids. The Grand Opening is slated for December 3, and while many details are still unclear, they keep posting teasers for us. We’ll be sure to post updates and pictures as soon as we recieve them. Until then, check out this preview of the pre-show that the Resorts World Sentosa blog has posted:

They also have a great blog to follow for the latest updates on the ride. Check it out at HERE
Sadly, we won’t be able to check out the overseas version of the ride, but Spring 2012 will bring the U.S. version of the Transformers ride to Universal Studios Hollywood, and we hope to make it there for a visit when it opens.