If you’re looking for a unique vacation experience that puts you just minutes from Orlando attractions yet encompasses you in an amenity-filled resort, choose Star Island Resort Orlando. A Mediterranean design, along with spacious villas and a private setting create one of the best places to stay in Orlando. The prices at Star Island Resort are also appealingly affordable too.

Star_Island_Resort___Club_(031) Upon arriving at Star Island Resort Orlando you immediately know you’re in for a treat. A private, palm-tree lined drive leads you to the registration and club house building – a place you’ll want to spend a lot of time while you stay at the resort. The Club House is home to the full service Celebrity Spa, the Star Island Hair Salon, a massive and well equipped fitness center and Chillie Hillie’s gift shop and snack shop (open from 8am-9pm). Of course, the star of the club house is the pool deck which is one of the finest in Orlando. Featuring two expansive outdoor pools, indoor/outdoor whirlpools and a kids splash fountains as well as plenty of lounge space, it’s easy to soak up some Florida sun and enjoy your vacation time while staying at Star Island Resort. The poolside snack bar, which opens at 11am, was a convenient amenity that made my day at the pool even better. An upstairs bar – The Star Bar – opens at 4pm daily and is a fantastic place to take in the vistas of the resort.

Star_Island_Resort___Club_(043)During my visit, I also enjoyed the numerous activities available at the resort. Nine tennis courts, a large game room, golf driving range and putting green, child’s playground, miniature golf course, nature trail and walking paths, basketball and volleyball court provided plenty of things to do. Star Island Resort also offers water activities on beautiful Lake Cecile. Wave runners, paddle boats, kayaks and fishing boats and pole rentals are all at your ready when you stay at this full-service resort. Supervised children’s activities like noodle races, hula hoop contests and arts and crafts are also scheduled daily. The location of the resort, which is only four miles from Disney World, is certainly a bonus as well.

Star_Island_Resort___Club_(64473)The spacious, luxurious villas at Star Island impressed me from the minute I walked into my room. Every detail, from décor to comfort, was covered. Villa options range from mini-suites to three bedroom deluxe villas and each villa has a private patio or balcony with fan perfect for enjoying those balmy Orlando days. Units surround the pool and wrap around the resorts beautiful, landscaped grounds with ponds and water features, creating a relaxing and inviting atmosphere. All villas except the Mini-Suites are equipped with a full kitchen and dining area, washer/dryer, queen sofa sleeper and flat screen televisions. (Note: The Mini-Suites do feature a kitchenette). Designed for the ultimate in comfort, the furnishings were light in color and modern in concept and the spaciousness of each unit was an added bonus. The luxury suites at Star Island have just what you need for to enjoy a vacation in Orlando.


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.

Geared towards children 12 and under, LEGOLAND Florida is an Orlando attraction where families can visit to build memories and enjoy a day of LEGO-filled fun. From the moment you arrive at the park you are immersed in a world of giant and colorful LEGO creations. From interactive shows to engaging attractions, the park is a wonderland of imagination kids absolutely love. Learn all you need to know with this LEGOLAND Florida Review.

Orlando November 2012 102_RSZ LEGOLAND Florida Review

One of the highlights of LEGOLAND Theme Park is the fantastic show “Battle for Brickbeard’s Bounty” at Pirate’s Cove Ski Stadium. Hosted at 12:30pm, 2:00pm, 3:30pm and 5:00pm, the show is a water-ski live-action performance during which guests are asked to help defeat Captain Brickbeard and his pirate gang. Around 20 minutes in length, the Pirate’s Cove Ski Show keeps the attention of little ones. If you sit in the first row you can also use water cannons to shoot at the pirate gang, so try and grab a seat early if you can. Stay after the show to get your photo taken with one of the LEGO imperial guards, too!

Orlando November 2012 296_RSZ

After the Pirate Show, I suggest quickly touring through the botanical gardens LEGOLAND preserved from its predecessor – Cypress Gardens . A sprawling banyan tree over 70 years old, a tranquil gazebo and lush, vibrant plants and flowers create a horticultural masterpiece worth your time. It’s also a nice place to take a rest with kids if they start to tire or get fussy.

Orlando November 2012 437_RSZ

There’s a lot to see at LEGOLAND Orlando, what with the numerous displays built entirely of LEGO bricks and the exciting attractions built just for kids.  Plus, there are even LEGO factories where you can design your own LEGO creation. Attractions at LEGOLAND put kids in the driver’s seat – literally. One of the most popular attractions is the Ford Driving School at LEGO City, where kids earn an official LEGO license after they maneuver through the test track. Kids can also get their flying and boating license at LEGO City.

Orlando November 2012 564_RSZ

With ten different lands to explore, LEGOLAND brings to life not only scenes from across these United States but also faraway lands. Two of the most popular lands include LEGO Kingdoms and Land of Adventure.  At LEGO Kingdoms, kids grin ear to ear while they ride the Dragon Coaster and Royal Joust. The smiles get even bigger at Land of Adventure where kids can go on a Safari Trek or brave the Egyptian desert during a Lost Kingdom Adventure. Of course, no trip to LEGOLAND Orlando is complete without a trip to Imagination Station. Build, test, explore and create while you let your imagination run wild! Don’t miss the Factory Tour at Fun Town, either, as you can see how LEGO bricks are made – a must for any LEGO enthusiast!

After reading this LEGOLAND Florida review, I hope you have a better understanding of all LEGOLAND has to offer. A day at LEGOLAND truly is pure entertainment for those young and young at heart. Visit the Orlando theme park today to build memories with your family.


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.

Blue Man Group 1When one vacations in Orlando, Florida feeling blue is out of the question.  The sunny skies, palm trees and laid back atmosphere simply leave no room for the blues.  The Universal Orlando Resort, however, knows a little blue is just the ticket when it comes to entertaining the masses. Famous for their thrilling rides at Islands of Adventure and behind-the-scenes fun at Universal Studios, this Orlando theme park excels at providing quality amusement. CityWalk, their outdoor entertainment complex featuring restaurants, clubs, movies, music, shops and dancing, also offers plenty of ways to entertain, including the Blue Man Group, who perform at the Blue Man Theater.  They provide all the blue one needs while vacationing in Orlando.

Blue Man Group_UO_1Attending a Blue Man Group show is an amazing experience for a number of reasons.  When I arrived at the massive Universal Orlando Resort complex, I quickly headed towards CityWalk and thoroughly enjoyed the sights and sounds that surrounded me.  Because CityWalk has so many things to do, I decided to take part in some pre-show festivities at the Hard Rock Café, which is located very near to the Sharp Aquos Theater.  I’ve been to several Hard Rock Cafes, and this one is definitely one of my favorites.  The rock ‘n roll memorabilia, rotating pink Cadillac and attention to good music created an atmosphere perfect for relaxing and enjoying the company of good friends.

Blue Man Group_UO_4As my 7pm show time drew near, I made my way to the theater and easily found my seats, which were close enough to see all the action and nuances, but not close enough to have to wear a poncho. The first couple of rows of seats require patrons to wear ponchos as things can get pretty messy, pretty quickly when paint, food and blue men are on the stage.  Before the show began, my fellow audience members and I took part in what I can only call “Mass Simon Says,” as phrases are scrolled on a digital screen and the audience is prompted to repeat them.  The hilarity ensues when the phrases become pointed at certain audience members, and moreover, signals the high amount of interactivity this show requires from guests. Throughout every segment, I felt a part of the show as opposed to feeling likeI was watching a show.

Blue Man Group_UOThe energetic mix of music, comedy and multimedia theatrics during the Blue Man Group Orlando show create a unique production that leaves an undeniable impression, and yet, it also leaves you at a loss for words as to how to explain the show to others.  How do you explain how simple nuanced facial expressions can make an entire audience howl with laughter?  Or how a girl plucked from the audience to dine on stage with the Blue Men could make a simple scenario one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen?  Furthermore, how can one possibly put into words how gleefully fun it is to have rolls of toilet paper  move over your head as you get covered in mounds of tissue?  And to describe the musical elements of the show, especially the Cyber Café segment, would be bordering on the absurd, as there are simply no words to express what my eyes witnessed.

The truly amazing thing about the Blue Man Group Show at Universal Orlando Resort is that afterwards you feel like you just watched something special.  You can’t quite put it into words, but you know you liked what you saw and even more, you can’t wipe the silly grin from your face that’s been plastered there for the past two hours.


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.