Join Disney World for Night of Joy September 5 and 6, 2014. The contemporary Christian music festival is located at the Magic Kingdom and features live performances by Christian music superstars in rock, pop, and gospel. Night of Joy artists will perform on various stages throughout Magic Kingdom.
The 2014 headliners include:
September 5:
Hillsong United
Chris Tomlin
Matthew West
For King & Country
Mandisa
Building 429
Matt Maher
The Neverclam
September 6:

MercyMe

Skillet
Casting Crowns
Israel Houghton & New Breed
Britt Nicole
Colton Dixon
Rhett Walker
We As Human
One Girl Nation
During Night of Joy, Magic Kingdom rides and attractions are also open so you can enjoy Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Splash Mountain and the Pirates of the Caribbean all while rockin’ out to your favorite Christian bands.

Night of Joy is an after hours event, scheduled for 7:30pm-1:00am that requires a special tickets. It is not included with your regular Disney tickets purchase.

Find out more about visiting the Magic Kingdom.
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Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Orlando to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know. Before you pack your bags, get the latest scoop on Orlando vacations from Ashley.

Have you ever wanted to try sky diving?  Then, iFly is the place for you as it offers a realistic sky diving experience without having to actually jump out of a perfectly good airplane.  You achieve the thrill and adrenaline rush of sky diving, but in a safe environment that even kids can try.  Curious about what indoor skydiving is really like? Read on to find out about my experience at iFly Orlando.

At iFly guests experience indoor sky diving in a vertical wind tunnel, which moves air up in a vertical column, creating the indoor skydiving experience. Flyers do not need any previous experience to fly, either. At iFly, you will learn how to fly your body in a controlled manner with the assistance of your instructor. Their professional flight instructors will provide you with all of your flight gear, along with the fundamental skills for body flight through a classroom training session. All you have to do is bring your sense of adventure!  Plus, kids and adults can both participate in this Orlando activity.

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I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived at iFly Indoor Skydiving.  I was surprised (and relieved) the process turned out to be an easy one: Once you check-in you head to the iFly tower where you can watch other fliers test their skills. Soon enough, the training portion of the activity starts. An iFly Orlando indoor skydiving instructor – mine was named Stryker – showed my group how to control our bodies in the flight chamber and outfitted us with flight gear such as a flight suit, helmet, and glasses. Safety first, people! Then, we headed to the flight deck to start our experience. Even though I still had no idea what was in store (boy, did I not!) I was excited to fly and ready to go!

My group, which had about 10 or so people, filed into the waiting area and watched as Stryker showed off some high-flying moves in the flight chamber. He was like Spider Man in there, hopping from wall to wall and flipping like a gymnast through the air. Purely for show, we were instructed to not try these moves during our turn. Each member of the group gets two flight times, lasting one minute each. This might not sound like a long time, but a minute lasts a lot longer when you’re flying through the air. Your instructor is inside the air tunnel with you, helping you control your body and guiding you as needed.

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No worries if you have trouble controlling your body. I didn’t have the moves down perfectly but Stryker made the experience of flying a fun one, especially when he guided me towards the top of the tunnel and spun me around and around at varying heights before we glided back towards earth. (Earth in this case means the base of the tunnel but still – that’s how it felt.) It had to be my favorite part of the iFly Orlando experience! I couldn’t help but have a silly grin plastered on my face and the subsequent photos and video captured it all. That’s right – iFly is shooting your entire session and I highly recommend purchasing the multimedia package available. It’s the only way to see yourself in all your indoor skydiving glory.
Experience the exhilaration of free falling at iFly Indoor Sky Diving!  It’s a unique activity you won’t soon forget! 

Find out more about my experience at iFly Orlando.
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Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Orlando to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know. Before you pack your bags, get the latest scoop on Orlando vacations from Ashley.

 

Are you a water ride thrill seeker? Then, Wet ‘n Wild has fantastic news for you! A high-speed race awaits you at the Orlando waterpark this summer. It will be the tallest and fastest of its kind in Florida. The Aqua Drag Racer will be six stories tall and propel guests through four lanes of head-to-head competition at fifteen feet per-second before splashing them across the finish line.

When you ride you’ll take your mark, get set and go full throttle towards an adrenaline rush. Then power through enclosed braided, twisting tunnels as they accelerate into four parallel racing lanes. They will gain even more speed before rushing toward the finish line. The Aqua Drag Racer is designed to be the wettest and wildest high-speed drag race ever.“The new Aqua Drag Racer will pull guests into a high-speed thrill ride unlike any other around,” said Michael Black, Sr. Vice President & GM of Wet ‘n Wild. “This ride combines friendly competition along with the excitement of sharing the rush with family and friends.”

I can’t wait to race this summer at Wet ‘n Wild Orlando! Will you be one of the first in line?
Wet ‘n Wild sets the standard for thrills and over-the-top excitement – offering world-class attractions to thrill-seekers of all ages. Families can share a wide variety of waterpark adventure, with more than fifteen themed rides and attractions and more multi-person rides than any other waterpark in Central Florida.

Find out more about ways to cool off in Orlando this summer.
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Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Orlando to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know. Before you pack your bags, get the latest scoop on Orlando vacations from Ashley.

When you visit Walt Disney World you want to capture every magical memory.  Of course, you’ll bring your own camera and snap plenty of candid shots.  However, Disney’s professional photographers can also capture many of the moments you’ll want to remember for a lifetime. 

Traditionally, when visitors have their photos taken by one of Disney’s photographers, they’re issued a PhotoPass which has a web address and a 16 digit ID number imprinted on it.  You can use this pass to access all of your photos once you get home.  However, Disney World Orlando has a new, entirely digital system for guests to use in 2014.  (Don’t worry – you can still use the traditional Photopass process if you’d prefer.)

Walt Disney World Resort has officially integrated Disney’s Photopass with Memory Maker.  Memory Maker has replaced Photopass+.  With Memory Maker, your whole family can be in the picture at Disney PhotoPass locations—plus select attraction and dining locations—throughout Walt Disney World Resort. All of the photos you take are magically yours forever, like memories of your family posing together in front of Cinderella Castle, screaming down Splash Mountain, hugging Mickey Mouse and so much more. Forget about having to purchase each photo individually.  With Memory Maker you’ll get unlimited digital access to all your photos.  Plus, they’re available online the same day they were taken so you can share your photos in real time, and download them as many times as you’d like during your stay and for 45 days after. 

Normally, the purchase price is $199.00 to for the complete collection.  If you purchase in advance of your vacation you can get the package for only $169.00.  The price includes all the photos taken of you and your friends and family throughout the park, including at locations such as the Magic Kingdom’s Cinderella’s Castle, Epcot’s World Showcase locations, Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ Sorcerer Hat and the Tree of Life at the Animal Kingdom, as well as a variety of stock images of the theme park. In the past, Memory Maker had to purchase on-site or in advance. Now, you have the opportunity to purchase after your trip, as long as you have a MagicBand. It will automatically sync your photos to My Disney Experience, so when you’ve returned home you can browse the photos and make purchase.
Curious as to how this revolutionary digital system works?  It’s easy!  While you’re getting your photograph taken by a Disney PhotoPass photographer, you will simply touch your MagicBand or Memory Maker card to a device the photographer uses.  Instantly, your photos are linked to your digital account.  In addition, you can link your on-ride attraction photos and the counter where they can be viewed after the ride experience. For a new perk, guests will be able to download photos in My Disney Experience that their friends and family have taken as long as they are “connected” through My Disney Experience. 

Find out more about Disney World’s Photopass system.
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Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Orlando to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know. Before you pack your bags, get the latest scoop on Orlando vacations from Ashley.

Eight Disney World Resorts have been selected as the “Best Hotels in Orlando,” as well as Silver Badge winners by U.S. News & World Report. The distinction is based on an unbiased analysis of awards, expert recommendations and user ratings. Eager to find out which Disney hotels were selected? Read on.

Disney’s Beach Club Resort

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

 

If you travel to Hawaii or Anaheim, California for your Disney experience you’re in luck. Two more Disney properties were named to the “best of” list. At Disneyland, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel made the list and was named one of the “Best Hotels in Anaheim.” Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii was named one of the “Best Hotels in Honolulu – Oahu.”

Learn about the advantages of staying at a Disney World Resort.
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Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Orlando to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know. Before you pack your bags, get the latest scoop on Orlando vacations from Ashley.

Check out these Orlando events happening this March:

March 1-9:  Bands, Brew & BBQ at SeaWorld Orlando
This annual SeaWorld
 festival continues during March with plenty of barbeque, beer, and bands.  Bands, Brew & BBQ is included with park admission.

March 1 – May 31:  Universal Orlando Resort’s Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando combines electrifying concerts, a dazzling parade, delicious Cajun cuisine and plenty of authentic New Orleans musicians to create one of the biggest parties in Orlando, Florida.

March 1-9: Florida Strawberry Festival
The strawberry is at the center of this festival, served up in a variety of desserts and dishes.  Celebrate American traditions through fun contests and top-notch entertainment.  Enjoy exhibits of agriculture, commerce, industry, livestock, fine arts, horticulture and crafts.

March 5 – May 18:  Annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
Epcot guests will be treated to topiaries, garden displays, seminars by celebrity HGTV designers, a stellar line-up for the Flower Power Concert Seriesand a gorgeous butterfly house during the annual International Flower & Garden Festival at Walt Disney World.

March 7-17:  Bike Week Orlando 2014

More than 100,000 Harley-Davidson enthusiasts from across the globe turn out for this annual event, headquartered at the Orlando Harley-Davidson Historic Factory Dealership, a detailed re-creation of the 1910 factory and the 1903 “shack” in which the Harley legend was born.  Festivities include live music, games and shows.
March 22 – April 12: SeaWorld Just for Kids Festival
Bring your little ones to sing, dance and play the day away at SeaWorld’s Just for Kids festival. Experience live shows featuring the hottest kid-friendly favorite entertainment, try out our kid-sized rides, and meet adorable animals. Soak up all the fun, music, treats and more.  Included with SeaWorld admission.

Starting this weekend you can live it up at Busch Gardens Tampa during the Bands, Brew & BBQ Festival.  Set for weekends February 8 through March 9, 2014, the theme park event is an excellent way to add more fun to your visit.  More than 100 beers, tasty barbeque and exciting live performances are the signature of this Busch Gardens event.

Headliners for this weekend include:

  • February 8: Jason Derulo
  • February 9: Dickey Betts & Great Southern and The Marshall Tucker Band

Future headliners will be announced soon.  Concerts are included with Busch Gardens tickets

During your day at the park, there is a bevy of beverages and barbeque to wet your palate.  Each weekend different chefs and award-winning restaurants will be cooking up their specialties.  A selection of restaurants, along with menu sample, is listed below:

Outback Steakhouse
Bloomin’ Onion
BBQ Wood- Fire Grilled Wings
Moonshine BBQ Ribs
Moonshine Pulled Pork
Jalapeno – Bacon Mac & Cheese
Kojak’s House of Ribs
Hot Smoked Georgia Sausage
Ribs
Chicken
Pulled Pork

Smoky Bones Bar and Fire Grill
Smoked Wings
Hand Pulled Pork Sandwich
Ribs
Chopped Chicken Salad

Smokin’ Busch Gardens BBQ
BBQ Beef Brisket Sandwiches
Pulled Pork
Chicken and Waffles with Red Pepper Flake Syrup
Grilled Hot Dogs and Bratwurst
BBQ Chicken Skewers

Interested in a refreshing beverage to go along with your barbeque?  The beer line-up at this Busch Gardens Festival offers the best in domestic, imported and craft beers.  Select brews are available at each of the tents along the Bands, Brew & BBQ pathway, as well as in Gwazi Park. For those looking to sample several of the specialty brews, unlimited sampling is available from noon to 5:30 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday with a beer sampling wristband. Wristbands are $30 per person.

Make the most of your weekends this spring at Busch Gardens Tampa!

Currently in Orlando? The Real Music Concert Series is happening at Busch Gardens now!
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Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Orlando to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know. Before you pack your bags, get the latest scoop on Orlando vacations from Ashley.

LEGOLAND Florida has announced a full line-up of exciting events geared specifically towards kids in 2014. Ranging from LEGO Friends Weekend to the all-new LEGO Star Wars Days, a trip to this Orlando theme park builds special events you won’t want to miss. Plus, all events (except the Citrus Classic 5K) are included with discount LEGOLAND Florida tickets.

The LEGO Movie Weekend
February 8-9, 2014
Enjoy fun for all with activities to celebrate “The LEGO Movie”, the first-ever, full-length theatrical LEGO adventure featuring an all-star cast and set to open in theaters February 7.  Guests will enjoy a special movie-themed building activity, movie-themed scavenger hunt in Miniland USA and meet and greet sessions with costume characters Emmet and Wyldstyle, who play leading roles in this epic movie.

LEGO Friends Weekend
February 15-16, 2014
LEGO Friends Weekend is a daytime party for girls that includes a LEGO Friends building event, entertainment, games, activities and much more.

Winter Haven Hospital Foundation Citrus Classic 5K
April 12, 2014
Runners and walkers can play – or run – their part during the Winter Haven Hospital Foundation Citrus Classic 5K. This community-wide health event is designed for participants of all ages. To learn more or register, click here.

Red, Brick & Boom
July 4 – 7, 2014
Celebrate the 4th of July with a bang at LEGOLAND Florida’s first Independence Day event – Red, Brick & Boom. With special 3D glasses that turn ordinary fireworks into millions of exploding bricks, this July 4th celebration is sure to dazzle and delight.

Brick-or-Treat
October 2014
Brick-or-Treat comes to LEGOLAND Florida every Saturday and Sunday in October. This spooky, kooky event features themed treat stations with candy, snacks and a few surprises along the way.

Christmas Bricktacular
Select dates in December
‘Tis the season for Christmas Bricktacular at LEGOLAND Florida with a 270,000 brick Christmas tree and festive decorations. Santa Claus makes daily appearances in the park.

Countdown to Kid’s New Year’s Eve
December 26-30, 2014
Countdown to Kids’ New Year’s Eve features nightly fireworks over Lake Eloise. Watch the spectacular fireworks explode into millions of tiny LEGO bricks with special 3D viewing glasses.

Kid’s New Year’s Eve
December 31, 2014
5, 4, 3, 2, 1! Happy Kids’ New Year’s Eve at LEGOLAND Florida where the giant LEGO brick drops at a very kid-friendly midnight KST (Kid Standard Time) – otherwise known as 6 p.m. EST. Other event elements include fireworks and a dance party DJ.

Learn about my experience at LEGOLAND Florida.
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Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Orlando to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know. Before you pack your bags, get the latest scoop on Orlando vacations from Ashley.