Celebrate the Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort

Celebrate the holidays at Universal Orlando® Resort December 6, 2014-January 3, 2015. At Universal Studios Florida®, the Macy’s Holiday Parade™ fills the streets with floats and more. The fun continues with Grinchmas™ at Universal’s Islands of Adventure®, featuring the Grinchmas … Continue reading

Orlando Digest September 1, 2014 Edition!

WOW!!! Summer 2014 has come and gone. It’s time to start thinking of Halloween and Christmas (EEK). If you are ready to travel to Central Orlando during this time I have some great deals for you.

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Disney Discounts

Walt Disney World® Resort

● Save up to 30% off Disney Resort Hotels: Planning a visit during the fall to Orlando? You still have time to save up to 30% off Disney Resort Hotels through November 25, 2014.
● Active/Retired Military Rates: For US active and retired military, save money on tickets and resort accommodations through October 2015.
● Florida Resident & Annual Passholder Rates: Florida Residents and Annual Passholders can take advantage of great rates on rooms at select Disney Resort Hotels up to 35% off.
● RunDisney Group Rates: Are you a runner? Do you want to run a race with Mickey Mouse? Join our VIP runners at Destinations in Florida for some of the favorite races including Tower of Terror, Disney Marathon, and Disney Princess Run. These exclusive rates are only with our agency.

Disneyland® Resort

● Save up to 20% off Disneyland® Resorts: For a limited time, you can save up to 20% off your hotel accommodations through September 27, 2014.
● Retired Military Rates: For US active and retired military, save money on tickets and resort accommodations through October 2015.
● Book a Package for as Little as $89 Per Person/Per Day: Stay right down the road from the Disney Magic at a Good Neighbor Hotel from now through November 21 for as little as $89 per person/per day.
● 3rd, 4th or 5th Night Free at Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotels: Visit Anaheim during select nights through December 2014. Stay at a select Disney Good Neighbor Hotels and enjoy a 3rd night, 4th night or 5th night free. Contact your favorite Destinations in Florida/Destinations to Explore agent for details.

Disney Cruise Line®

● Canadian Residents Save up to 20% Off: From November 2014-January 2015, Canadian Residents can save up to 20% off Disney Cruise prices on select cruises.
● Special Rates for Florida Residents and US Military: Take advantage of special deals for Florida Residents and active/retired United States Military.

Universal Orlando Resort Discounts

● Universal Hotel Discounts: Save up to 30% at Universal Orlando Onsite Resorts this holiday season through December 2014.
● A Celebration of Harry Potter: The 2nd Annual Event hosted by Warner Brothers and Universal Orlando takes place January 30-February 1, 2015. Exclusive Onsite Packages start at $219/person and include 3-Night Accommodations, 3-Day Park-to-Park tickets, Access to an exclusive evening event at Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Hogsmeade, Special Guest access to Harry Potter Expo, Reserved seating/viewing for select Celebration events, Breakfast at Three Broomsticks and more!
● Florida Resident Halloween Horror Nights Package: Are you ready to scream? You can now book a HHN Package at special savings, just for Florida Residents.
● Halloween Horror Nights Packages: For non-Florida Residents, you can still save money with a special HHN Package from $459 per adult at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort most Sun-Thurs September 19-November 1, 2014.
● Halloween Horror Nights Tickets: Pre-order your HHN tickets to save money and lock in your favorite date. These are now available as stand alone tickets or they can be added to any Universal Orlando package.
● Cabana Bay Beach Resort Florida Resident Deal: Florida Residents can experience this new hotel from just $79 per night plus tax.
● Universal 1-Day or 2-Day Pass with Shuttle Transportation for 2014: Take a day away from the Disney World Parks to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Book a 1-Day or 2-Day Pass to Universal Studios with shuttle transportation included in the ticket.
● “Take 2” Transfer: If you do not want to rent a car during your Orlando vacation, take advantage of the new “Take 2” Transfer ticket for only $39 per person. This transfer includes transportation from a Disney Resort hotel to Universal Orlando Resort for a Universal Studios vacation. After your Universal vacation, the transportation takes you back to the Orlando International Airport.

Sea World Discounts

● Eat for Free During Your Vacation: Book your Sea World package at one of the partner hotels and get the All Day Dining Deal for FREE!
● Kids Free at Sea World: Book your Sea World Package and kids play for free. You will receive one free child ticket (ages 3-9) for every paid adult.

Other Orlando Discounts

● Richard Petty Driving Experience: Are you ready to get really scared? How about a Rookie Experience at the Richard Petty Driving Experience at Disney World? Learn how to drive and then drive a real Nascar. If you book by September 30, you get a free ride-along (valued at $99).


Do any of these offers sound good to you? Contact me today for a FREE No Obligation quote jenniferg@destinationsinflorida.com or 443-424-0181

Minion Mayhem and more at Universal Orlando!

Universal Orlando Resort is home to many of our favorite movie characters, and most of them have an attraction based on the film. There will always be a place for ET The Ride on every visit, it’s just a throwback to my childhood and a simple little attraction. However Universal has come a long way since then with attractions!

My Top 3 Movie Based Rides

The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman, Islands of Adventure- this ride takes everything you love about the Spiderman movies and puts it all in one building. Get set to soar with your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man like never before! This groundbreaking attraction has raised the bar.

Transformers The Ride 3-D, Universal Studios- there really are no words to describe how awesome this ride is. You must go an see for yourself. It’s like no simulator I have ever experienced. Prepare for the greatest battle you’ll ever ride!

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Universal Studios- who doesn’t love Gru and his crazy Minions. Join Gru, his daughters, and the mischievous Minions on a heartwarming and hilarious 3-D ride. Start your adventure in Gru’s home, where you’re recruited for his latest scheme – one where you’ll become an actual Minion. After the ride join the Minions for a dance party!

I have a prize pack to giveaway that is an homage to my favorites at Universal Orlando! Just COMMENT on this blog post with your favorite attraction and you will be entered to win. Winner will be chosen via random.org. Contest ends 7/11/14

Prize pack includes: Transformers tin, Dave the Purple Minion, Spiderman Magnet and Marvel body sticker

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Central Orlando Vacation Deals and More

Central Florida is EXPLODING with Summer and Fall Travel Discounts and offers! Don’t miss out, plan your trip today.

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Disney Discounts

Walt Disney World® Resort
● New! Florida Resident & Annual Passholder Rates: Florida Residents and Annual Passholders can take advantage of great rates on rooms at select Disney Resort Hotels up to 35% off through September 24, 2014.
● Free Dining Package: Are you ready for free food? Book a Value Resort and get the Quick Service Dining for free. Book a Moderate or Deluxe Resort and get the Basic Dining for free from August-December 2014.
● RunDisney Group Rates: Are you a runner? Do you want to run a race with Mickey Mouse? Join our VIP runners at Destinations in Florida for some of the favorite races including Tower of Terror, Disney Marathon, and Disney Princess Run. These exclusive rates are only with our agency.
● Save up to 30% off Summer Rates: Do you want to bring the kids to Disney World for a summer weekend getaway? You still have time to save up to 30% off Disney Resort Hotels from June 15-August 28.
● Military Discount: Active duty and retired members of the US military can get specially discounted rooms at Disney Resort most nights through September 27, 2014. Thank you for serving our country.

Disneyland® Resort
● Book a Package for as Little as $91 Per Person/Per Day: Stay right down the road from the Disney Magic at a Good Neighbor Hotel from now through August 12. Book a package with tickets for as little as $91 per person/per day.
● 3rd, 4th or 5th Night Free at Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotels: Visit Anaheim during select nights through December 2014. Stay at a select Disney Good Neighbor Hotels and enjoy a 3rd night, 4th night or 5th night free. Contact your favorite Destinations in Florida/Destinations to Explore agent for details.

Disney Cruise Line®
● Disney Cruise Line® Summer Deals: During select cruises through July 24, you can take advantage of incredible savings! A Verandah Stateroom is running from $280 per person per day plus tax/port charges.
● Canadian Residents Save 20% on Select Cruises: If you are a Canadian Resident, you can save 20% off on the September 1 7-Night Alaska Cruise or the September 8 4-Night Repositioning Cruise to San Diego. This is a special deal, just for you!
● Special Rates for Florida Residents and US Military: Take advantage of special deals for Florida Residents and active/retired United States Military.

Universal Orlando Resort Discounts

● New! Florida Resident Harry Potter Package: Living in Florida has its privileges, including being one of the first people to see the new Diagon Alley (opening next week) at Universal Orlando. This package includes some amazing free perks including a welcome parcel (a welcome letter and owl plush) and so much more! This discount is available through December, but hurry you must book by July 31, 2014.
● Florida Resident Halloween Horror Nights Package: Are you ready to scream? You can now book a HHN Package at special savings, just for Florida Residents.
● Halloween Horror Nights Packages: For non-Florida Residents, you can still save money with a special HHN Package from $459 per adult at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort most Sun-Thurs September 19-November 1, 2014.
● Halloween Horror Nights Tickets: Pre-order your HHN tickets to save money and lock in your favorite date. These are now available as stand alone tickets or they can be added to any Universal Orlando package.
● Cabana Bay Beach Resort Florida Resident Deal: Florida Residents can be the first to experience this new hotel from just $99 per night plus tax. This deal is good from Sunday-Thursday through August 16, 2014.
● Universal 1-Day or 2-Day Pass with Shuttle Transportation for 2014: Take a day away from the Disney World Parks to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Book a 1-Day or 2-Day Pass to Universal Studios with shuttle transportation included in the ticket.
● “Take 2” Transfer: If you do not want to rent a car during your Orlando vacation, take advantage of the new “Take 2” Transfer ticket for only $39 per person. This transfer includes transportation from a Disney Resort hotel to Universal Orlando Resort for a Universal Studios vacation. After your Universal vacation, the transportation takes you back to the Orlando International Airport.

Sea World Discounts
● Eat for Free During Your Vacation: Book a Sea World Package at one of the partner hotels and get the All Day Dining Deal for FREE!
● Kids Free at Sea World: Book your Sea World Package and kids play for free. You will receive one free child ticket (ages 3-9) for every paid adult.

Other Orlando Discounts
● New! Hot Air Balloon Ride: If you are celebrating your honeymoon or an anniversary, you may want to take a romantic hot air balloon ride early in the morning over Orlando. These 3 hour sunrise balloon ride starts from $184.99.
● New! Meet Winter at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium: This amazing day will take you from Orlando to Clearwater to meet Winter from the “Dolphin Tale” movie. Your day at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and transportation is included for $78.99 per person.
● New! Race in a CARS Themed Car at the Walt Disney World Raceway: For any little CARS fan, the Richard Petty Driving Experience now has a ridealong. You child will ride along for 3 laps around the track for $62.79 per child.

Why you SHOULD use a Disney and Universal Vacation Planner

I know, you have been to Disney World Florida or Disneyland or on a Disney Cruise several times in the past. You know all the ins and outs of planning a Disney vacation. You have all your bases covered. You also have a job, family, and home to take care of, in addition to planning a vacation that could be the third largest expenditure in your life, behind your home and cars.   You’re sitting up until all hours of the night, booking dinner reservations, making sure you have tickets to Cirque du Soleil, getting up early to ensure you get booked for Cinderella’s Royal Table, and after all this, you forget to schedule a card from Mickey for your youngest child’s birthday.

Now imagine this identical situation, only you have never been to Disney World or only been once for a short trip.  Wouldn’t you want some assistance with planning this type of major event? Wouldn’t you be willing to pay for someone to walk you through the planning or even take care of these issues for you?

What if I said you could have all that for free?

As a travel agent focusing on Disney and Universal Studios vacations, I think of myself as a vacation planner, not really travel agent. I help guests book their vacation package and then the real work begins, all at no cost to the guest. I help guests with every aspect of the vacation planning including itinerary planning, restaurant suggestions, dining reservations, birthday celebrations and so much more. I even do the little extras, like calling your Resort Manager to request a specific room (not always guaranteed but never hurts), sending a  character card for your child, delivering your package to your resort (if you have a last minute trip) or getting that “hard to get” breakfast reservation with Cinderella.

Additionally, my agency Destinations in Florida is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. What that means is we get every discount the day it comes out! No need to search the internet for deals, I will always have that information and APPLY it to your reservation even if you are already booked when a discount comes out! How awesome is that.  This is a unique service, since most companies, including Disney direct, will not offer any discounts unless you tell them about it.

Here are some of my free services provided for guests:

  • ● Free Itinerary Planning (Valued at $149)
  • ● Free Dining Suggestions & Reservation Planning (Valued at $69)
  • ● Free MousePerks – Magic in your In Box!
  • ● Free Disney Theme Park Guide Maps
  • ● Free Orlando Magicard (Hundreds of dollars in additional Orlando travel savings)
  • ● Free Mickey Mouse autograph pictures for the kids in your family
  • ● Free Discount Watching (will watch for future discounts that may save you money, even after you booked your package)
  • ● Extra Surprises…you never know what other fun surprises you will get for your family vacation…just wait and see!

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It is in my best interest to ensure that you have the best possible Disney experience.  I will do all the work for you all you have to do is show up for your MAGICAL VACATION!

 So what are you waiting for? All it takes is a $200 deposit to book your vacation today! Contact me at 443-424-0181 or jenniferg@destinationsinflorida.com for your FREE quote request

Ready for more Harry Potter at Universal-Diagon Alley to open in 2014

Building on the global phenomenon that is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Orlando Resort and Warner Bros. Entertainment today announced an expansion of historic proportion with the entirely new themed environment, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.

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Scheduled to open in 2014, the world’s first centrally themed, multi-park experience expands The Wizarding World of Harry Potter across both Universal Orlando theme parks and allows Universal’s creative team to bring an unparalleled vision to this unique project.  The new area will bring to life some of the experiences and places found in and around London in the Harry Potter books and films, offering brand-new adventures for fans and theme park guests from around

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 within Universal Studios will be just as expansive, immersive and authentic as the existing themed environment.

And – just like in the books and films – guests will be able to travel between ‘London’ and Hogsmeade aboard the Hogwarts Expressin The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley.

Work on the new area is already underway.  When complete, it will feature shops, a restaurant and an innovative, marquee attraction based on Gringotts bank – all directly inspired by the fiction and films.

More details on The Wizarding World of Harry Potter –Diagon Alley will be released over time.

To bring Diagon Alley and ‘London’ to life, Universal’s creative team is working closely with Warner Bros. and the production design team from the Harry Potter films – just as it did for Hogwarts and Hogsmeade.

“I’m so pleased that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has proved so popular to date, and I’m sure that the attention to detail in creating the new Diagon Alley area will make this an even better experience,” said J.K. Rowling.

“We are continuing the journey and adding an entirely new level of adventure,” said Tom Williams, Chairman of Universal Parks & Resorts.  “And we are bringing the same drive, commitment, enthusiasm and innovation to this project as we did to the first.”

“We are thrilled to offer the legions of fans the opportunity to embark on this new journey and experience Diagon Alley as it was brought to life in the books and films,” said Brad Globe, president, Warner Bros. Consumer Products.

“Our vision is to create two amazing theme park experiences that combine into one, complete, magical journey,” said Alice Norsworthy, executive vice president, marketing and sales for Universal Orlando Resort.

 

Visitors to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter are swept into the adventures of Harry Potter.  They can tour Hogwarts castle, shop in Hogsmeade and dine at the Three Broomsticks.  They can soar above Hogwarts with Harry, be chosen by a wand at Ollivanders, sample Butterbeer and much more.

 

Jennifer is a Universal Parks & Resort Specialist with Destinations in Florida Travel. Contact her for a free quote for your next Magical Journey at jenniferg@destinationsinflorida.com or 443-424-0181

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

No visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure is complete without a ride on the Forbidden Journey.   Hogwarts is the center of all that encompasses Harry Potter. I imagine that all Harry Potter fans who enter these walls are filled with a joy they cannot describe. It is quite possibly the most amazing attraction I have ever seen.  There is not a single detail missing on this adventure from the moment you step inside Hogwarts to the moment you depart the building.

For those of you that may get a little queasy on car rides I would say take a dramamine and go on it! You will be sorry you missed out if you don’t. I do not want to go into a large amount of details about the ride because I think the Magic you experience for yourself should not be ruined.  But there is a short video that offers a sneak peek into the Forbidden Journey…

Jennifer is a Universal Specialist with Destinations in Florida Travel. Contact her for your FREE quote today and get started on your next adventure.

http://www.destinationsinflorida.com/jennifergreene

Shopping–Harry Potter Style

If you have a Harry Potter fan in your family then the Wizarding World at Universal Orlando is THE place to take them! Get ready to pull out your checkbook as there are some pretty pricey items in this section of the parks, $600 Broom anyone?? 

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Honeydukes:
A must-stop for visitors to Hogsmeade, at Honeydukes the shelves are lined with all manner of colorful sweets, including Acid Pops, exploding bonbons, Cauldron Cakes, treacle fudge, Fizzing Whizzbees, and Chocolate Frogs, which contain a wizard trading card in each box. Inside the shop you can fill up a bag of Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans… who knows what tasty (or not so tasty) flavors you’ll discover! The shop also offers other classic favorites such as chocolates and fudge.

Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods:
Here you can see confiscated items and purchase Hogwarts and Quidditch clothing, house crest banners, movie prop replicas, chess sets, magical creature toys and other assorted treasures.

Purchase souvenirs such as Hogwarts clothing including jackets, t-shirts, sweatshirts, shoulder bags, caps and scarves; plus house crest banners, stationery and other gifts. There are authentic movie prop replicas including character walking sticks, Death Eater masks and film-based chess sets; assorted Quidditch clothing; magical creature toys and clothing; plus a variety of assorted toys and other souvenirs. It is also here, at the attraction’s exit, that guests can purchase a photo of their ride experience on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

Zonko’s:
Zonko’s is your destination for novelty items, jokes and toys. At Zonko’s Joke Shop you can take home such items as a Sneakoscope, Extendable Ears, Screaming Yo-yos, a Boxing Telescope, Fanged Flyer, Pygmy Puff, Shrunken Heads, and more. There are sweets including Fainting Fancies, Fever Fudge, Nosebleed Nougat, and U-No-Poo. The shop also offers Zonko’s t-shirts, mugs, and other assorted souvenirs.

Dervish & Banges:
Be sure to stop at Dervish and Banges for such magical items as Sneakoscopes, Spectrespecs, Omnioculars, and The Monster Book of Monsters. Dervish and Banges carries all your Quidditch needs including t-shirts, Quaffles, Golden Snitches and brooms including the Nimbus 2001 and the Firebolt. You’ll find Hogwarts school uniforms and clothing including robes, scarves, ties, t-shirts and sweatshirts. The store offers an assortment of other merchandise such as journals and stationery items.

Be sure to stop at Dervish and Banges™ for such magical items as Sneakoscopes, Spectrespecs, Omnioculars, and The Monster Book of Monsters. Dervish and Banges carries all your Quidditch™ needs including t-shirts, Quaffles, Golden Snitches™ and brooms including the Nimbus 2001™ and the Firebolt. You’ll find Hogwarts™ school uniforms and clothing including robes, scarves, ties, t-shirts and sweatshirts. The store offers an assortment of other merchandise such as journals and stationery items.

Contact me to book your next Universal Orlando Vacation-I specialize in Wizarding World Packages!

http://www.destinationsinflorida.com/jennifergreene