The spirit of New Orleans is brought to life during Universal Orlando Mardi Gras!  A combination of electrifying concerts, a dazzling parade, delicious Cajun cuisine and plenty of authentic New Orleans musicians creates one of the biggest parties in Orlando, Florida.   

Universal Orlando Resort Mardi Gras 2015

On select nights February 4 through March 25, 2017, Universal Orlando guests will be treated to a family-friendly version of Mardi Gras.  You know it’s Mardi Gras the minute you enter the park, with festive decorations, traditional Zydeco Music, street performers and stilt walkers creating quite the scene.  Of course, the biggest crowd pleasers are Universal Orlando Mardi Gras Concerts.  This year’s line-up features a variety of music with everything from rock to R&B, to country to pop sensations taking the stage. 

Concert_499673637The complete line-up of Universal Orlando Mardi Gras performers:
  • February 4: Trace Adkins
  • February 11: Ne-Yo
  • February 18: Collective Soul
  • February 19: X Ambassadors
  • February 25: Fifth Harmony
  • March 4: Yandel
  • March 5: Olivia Newton-John
  • March 11: UB40
  • March 12: Toby Keith
  • March 18: Jason DeRulo
  • March 19: Earth, Wind and Fire
  • March 25: The All-American Rejects

 

All concerts are included with the purchase of Universal Studio tickets.  Concerts are held at the Music Plaza stage.  Get ready for beads, bands and good times!

Before the concerts, be sure to take in the Mardi Gras Parade.  Winding its way through the streets of Universal Studios, the parade celebrates cultures from around the world  A lot of work, imagination, wood, glitter and paint went into making each float, all of which will take you around the globe to exotic locales.  The celebration continues at the French Quarter Courtyard, which is the central location of the Mardi Gras festivities.  Located near the Mummy and Twister attractions at Universal Studios, the French Quarter is where you’ll find food, spirits and music straight out of the Big Easy. 

The New Orleans Bands performing include:
February 4-14: Young Pinstripe Brass Band
February 15-21: New Breed Brass Band
February 22 – March 5: Free Agents Brass Band
March 6-15: Naughty Professor Brass Band
March 16-25: Dirty Bourbon River Show

 

After the concerts end, head to Pat O’Briens at Universal CityWalk.  It is a replica of the original bar in New Orleans.  Grab a hurricane and continue the festive fun you can find only at Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras Celebration.

Get Universal Orlando tickets for an authentic Mardi Gras Celebration unlike any other!

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.

Searching for a break from the winter blues? Head to the Sunshine State! It’s the perfect place to play this spring, as there are endless things to do. From character-filled daydreams at Disney World to adventure-themed thrills at Universal Orlando Resort, attractions cater to families with kids of all ages. Need a nudge to get your spring break started? Read on to find things to do during an Orlando Spring Break.

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Make a Splash at Orlando Water Parks

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Aquatica

Nothing breaks the winter blues better than a day splashing under the Orlando sun. Kick off your snow boots, slip into some flip flops, and bask in the refreshing excitement of Orlando water parks. The choice is yours really, with five aquatic attractions available.

Aquatica is the perfect choice for families seeking both wild and mild thrills, while Discovery Cove puts you thisclose with manta rays, exotic birds, dolphins, and even otters.

Want to learn how to surf? Try the ultimate indoor wave at Fantasy Surf.

Don’t forget about Disney’s Blizzard Beach either. With tickets starting at $58, it’s more affordable than you may think.

See What’s in Bloom at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

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Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

In the past, Epcot was thought to be the adult side of Walt Disney World. With a focus on global attractions and culinary delights, it’s easy to see why. However, Epcot appeals to kids too. This is especially true during the International Flower & Garden Festival this spring. Held March 2 through May 30, the event features elaborate topiary displays showcasing Disney characters in a splendor of greenery, flowers, and colors. In addition, there are pop-up outdoor kitchens to try and Garden Rocks Concert Series musicians to listen to like Gin Blossoms and The Guess Who.

Experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Harry Potter

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Kids and adults alike are fanatics for all things Harry Potter. At Universal Orlando Resort, immerse yourself in the worlds of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. Both bring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to life. At Hogsmeade you can explore the iconic Hogwarts Castle, surrounded by the village of Hogsmeade where you can eat at the Three Broomsticks and find your own magical wand at Ollivander’s. Plus, you can join Harry Potter and friends on The Forbidden Journey for a thrilling adventure filled with magical creatures, a quidditch match and more. Before you board the ride, you tour through Hogwarts Castle, making your way through the familiar classrooms and corridors of Hogwart School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Hop aboard the Hogwarts Express for a trip to Diagon Alley, the newest area withing the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Traipse through the streets of London, browse through shops for wizard robes and quidditch supplies, dine at the Leaky Cauldron, and then ride the heist-themed Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. Wash it all down with a frothy butter beer!

Catch Spring Training at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports

ESPN Wide World of Sports

ESPN Wide World of Sports

Are your and your kid’s diehard baseball fans? During your Orlando Spring Break, see the action up-close in a spring training game at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports. The Atlanta Braves call the field home for spring, and play some of the best teams in baseball. The St. Louis Cardinals, Baltimore Orioles, and New York Yankees are a few of the ball clubs on tap. See if your team is on the schedule, which runs through April 2, 2016. It’s great way to see your favorite players up close without having to pay Major League prices. Plus, you’ll get the inside, pre-season scoop on your favorite baseball team. Score!

Travel to the Space Coast

Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach

Need another Orlando Spring Break idea? One the great things about Orlando is its easy access to the coast. Travel to the Space Coast, and make a day of it by exploring beaches like Cocoa and Melbourne. Add a visit to nearby Kennedy Space Center to get an inside look at the NASA Space program. It’s an extensive attraction that lets parents sneak it a bit of education during their spring break. On top of that, it’s interesting too! Stop for lunch in Downtown Titusville, known for its shopping and dining, and if there’s time take a peek at the animals of Brevard Zoo.

Take to the Outdoors

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Blue Springs State Park: By Ebyabe/Wikimedia Commons

Florida is a known for its man-made theme parks, but there’s a whole lot of family fun found outside in Orlando. During your Orlando Spring Break, trek to Wekiva Island to go boating, canoeing, fishing and kayaking. If you just want to relax and soak up some Florida sunshine, reserve a cabana. It comes equipped with comfy places to lounge, a grill, and a fridge. At Blue Springs State Park you can hike, picnic, swim and even see majestic manatees. Of course, for a little more adventure outside you can opt for an Orlando airboat tour. These high-speed boats put the wind in your hair and place you right in the middle of Florida’s everglades. Be prepared to see an alligator up close! For even more outdoor adventures, head to Forever Florida. They have ziplines, horseback rides, safari tours and more.

Get Ready for the Best Orlando Spring Break Yet

These are some of the best things to do on your Orlando Spring Break. From theme park adventures to outdoor escapes, your family is sure to have an epic escape in the Sunny State. Reserve all of your vacation needs, including attraction tickets and hotel rooms, with Reserve Orlando for the guaranteed best rates and insider insight.


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.

Ring in 2017 with live entertainment, champagne toasts and top notch parties. Orlando New Year’s Eve celebrations for adults are festive, fun and located at some of the hottest venues in Central Florida. To find out more about Orlando New Year’s Eve parties, read on.

Orlando New Year's Eve Celebrations for Adults

Universal Orlando Resort
Both parks—Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure—are open from 8am to 1am on New Year’s Eve. Party zones will be set up throughout the parks, with DJs, character appearances and fireworks at midnight planed. A midnight coaster ride sounds like a thrilling way to welcome 2017.

NYE ThinkstockPhotos-493374134Eve at Universal CityWalk
CityWalk pulls out all the stops for its New Year’s Eve celebration. The jam-packed party feature six unique party zones with signature drinks, six popping night clubs with live music and unlimited gourmet cuisine, and access to Orlando’s biggest outdoor dance floor. DJ M-Squared is returning for a third New Year’s Eve at CityWalk, and will bring is genre-fusing mixes with him. Tickets start at $139.99.

Wall Street Plaza
This annual December 31st Block Party is downtown Orlando’s largest New Year’s Eve event. Rock in the New Year with live music and an outdoor lighted dance floor. Plus, DJ Draven is returning to keep the party going all night long. The Wall Street Plaza party kicks off at 8pm. Ticket are $30.

Blue Martini NYE 2017 Celebration: A Casino Royale Gala
Book a New Year’s Eve special table for your own party then dance the night away with live entertainment. An open bar (beer and wine only) will be available from 8-10pm. In addition, there will be a live band at 8pm, balloon drop at midnight at live DJ from 1-2am. Tickets start at $70, and reservations are required.

NYE Champagne ThinkstockPhotos-463795637Funky Monkey Bistro & Bar
Hosted by Danielle Hunter and featuring the talents of Chantal Reshae, David Freklz Hunter, and many more, this party includes a $75 prix-fix menu. A sushi bar with a live sushi roller and champagne bar with unlimited champagne are highlights. Reservations are required. Call 407-418-9463.

Church Street New Year’s Eve Block Party
Orlando’s biggest street party is one Church Street New Year’s Eve. Watch the world-famous “Orange Drop” 60-feet in the sky and spectacular fireworks, as well as DJs spinning tunes, a video wall, and a live simulcast of Times Square. The party starts at 8pm. Minimum age for entrance is 21.

New Year’s Eve Celebration starring Kristin Chenoweth
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts will be have Kristin Chenoweth, along with special guest Cheyenne Jackson, host an elegant New Year’s Eve Celebration. Doors open at 8pm, with the show starting at 10pm. An after party will be held until 2:00am in the lobbies of the art center. Tickets start at $110 and include show, two drink tickets, and champagne at intermission, party favors, after-party entertainment and after-party desserts. Call 844-513-2014 for tickets.

New Year ThinkstockPhotos-78820594Cuba Libra
Put a little spice in your New Year’s Eve plans! Cuba Libre will have an open bar from 10pm-12am, live entertainment, a balloon drop, champagne toast, and so much more. Reservations are suggested. Event is for ages 21 and over only. “¡Feliz Año Nuevo!”

Five Star New Year’s Eve

Party all night at this Brazilian dance party, featuring world-class DJs and fireworks. General admission offers a full-service open bar with beverages, beer, vodka, whiskey and Prosecco. Guests are asked to dress in white and gold, in keeping with the Brazilian theme. Bonus: Child card will be provided at the event. Ticket packages start at $290.

Howl at the Moon
The dueling piano bar on International Drive is offering a gourmet buffet, champagne toast and party favors on New Year’s Eve starting at $75 per person. For only $25, though, your’e guaranteed entry, a champagne toast at midnight and party favors. Other ticket options are available. Guest must be 21 and over for entry.

NYE ThinkstockPhotos-78818827Atlantic Dance Hall
Swing in the New Year at Atlantic Dance Hall with a live big band, fun and high spirits. Party hats and horns, a viewing of the Epcot fireworks at midnight, and champagne toast are included in the cost of admission ($42/per person). Doors open at 9:00 p.m. Guests must be 21 years or older with valid ID to enter. For reservations, call (407) WDW-DINE.

As you can see, there’s a lot of parties planned for December 31, 2016. Choose which New Year’s Eve celebration for adults you’d like to attend. Then, begin your own countdown to this special night. 2017 will be here soon!


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.

If you plan to be in Orlando on New Year’s Eve you’ll have plenty of entertainment options to choose from.  All of the Orlando theme parks are hosting special New Year’s Eve events, and even some of the local shows present New Year’s Eve productions.  Take note, though, that New Year’s Eve is one of the busiest days of the year for Orlando parks like Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort.

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New Year’s Eve celebrations in Orlando

Walt Disney World

Disney World Theme Parks feature something special
for the New Year’s Eve holiday, making them it even more magical.  For a detailed look at events happening at the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney Springs, click here.

Universal Orlando Resort

On December 31, Universal Orlando Resort guests can ring in 2017 at Universal CityWalk’s New Year’s Eve celebration. Partygoers will enjoy the music mixing talents of several DJs, dine on gourmet cuisine like filet mignon and jumbo shrimp and crab claws, and dance the night away at some of Orlando’s best nightclubs.

In addition to a high-energy live concert and dance party, guests can enjoy access to six of CityWalk’s hottest clubs, including Rising Star, the groove and Red Coconut Club as well as six distinct party zones. Guests can also raise their glass to 2017 with a midnight champagne toast, celebratory confetti burst and pyrotechnic display. Tickets start at $109.99 plus tax per person. Universal CityWalk’s New Year’s Eve celebration takes place from 8 p.m. through 2 a.m. Book your tickets in advance as this is one New Year’s Eve Celebrations in Orlando that sells out quickly! 

SeaWorld

SeaWorld hosts a New Year’s Eve party included with park admission.  Holiday entertainment including Shamu’s Christmas Miracle, A Sesame Street Christmas and Winter Wonderland on Ice will be featured followed by a special fireworks finale at midnight.

Busch Gardens

Purchase Busch Gardens tickets to countdown to 2017 with special musical entertainment, holiday themed shows and a special fireworks finale. The finale is visible from all around the park with the prime viewing location being Gwazi Park.

LEGOLAND Florida

The whole family can enjoy a family-friendly party with Kids’ New Year’s Eve on December 31. Kids get to rock out in Miniland USA with a live DJ Dance Party. After the live-action show and fireworks, everything will be in place for the enormous Brick Drop at just the right time for kids, midnight Kid Standard Time (KST) – otherwise known as 7pm.

Pirate’s Dinner Adventure New Year’s Eve Show

Ring in the New Year pirate-style at Pirates Dinner Adventure.  The New Year’s Eve show starts at 9:30pm and features complimentary appetizers in pre-show and a three-course port of call feast.  For this special occasion, complimentary draft beer and soda will be available before and during the show.  You ticket also includes a DJ spinning tunes, a countdown via live remote from Times Square, party favors, party hats and souvenir goblet, champagne toast and balloon drop at midnight.  New Year’s Eve show tickets start at $67.95 per adult.

Sleuth’s New Year’s Eve Party

Celebrate the New Year with Sleuths! Enjoy a fabulous party with a delicious dinner and unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks! You’ll be treated to a hilarious comedy-mystery and streamers, noisemakers, hats, horns, topped off with a champagne toast at midnight! If that’s not enough, the night also includes a delicious dinner and unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks. Plus, you can upgrade your night at the door, for an additional $35 per person, to include prime rib, upgraded hors d’oeuvres, champagne toast at midnight and specialty desserts. Tickets for the show, which starts at 9pm, are on sale for $53.95.


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.

Orlando is a magical place to visit during the holidays.  There are unique celebrations bringing festive cheer and merriment to Central Florida.  Experience the joy of Christmas in Orlando this season and plan your vacation today.

Christmas in Orlando: Holidays at the Theme Parks

Home to seven of the world’s top theme parks, Orlando celebrates the holiday season like nowhere else. From spectacular fireworks displays to festive live entertainment, Orlando’s theme parks offer something for every member of the family. Treat yourself to holiday events at Orlando Theme Parks for merriment and memories! 

Walt Disney World Resort
November through December 31, 2017
Disney World Theme Parks offer some of the most elaborate of seasonal festivities, with more than 1,300 decorated trees and 8.5 million lights strung throughout the property creating a unique Disney World Christmas experience. As a result, Disney World is a cornerstone of Christmas in Orlando. For several weeks around the holidays, guests celebrate the season with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park, Holidays Around the World at Epcot, and the dazzling Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Guests can also ring in the New Year with a variety of entertainment, including the Electrical Parade and special dining events across Disney.

Universal Orlando Resort
December 3 through January 1, 2017
Universal Orlando Resort celebrates the classic tale of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” with Grinchmas at Islands of Adventure, featuring live musical shows, meet and greets with the Whos of Who-ville and appearances by The Grinch himself. Guests can also visit Universal Studios to experience Macy’s Holiday Parade, presenting floats and balloons direct from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. On New Year’s Eve, CityWalk comes alive with performances by national acts, a gourmet buffet and nightclub entertainment.

SeaWorld Christmas Spectacular
November 25 through December 31, 2016
SeaWorld Orlando’s Christmas Celebration runs for six weeks, beginning November 25. SeaWorld offers special shows and attractions, including Shamu Christmas Miracles, Winter Wonderland on Ice and The Polar Express Experience. Guests can count down to New Year’s Day and enjoy live music and spectacular fireworks display.

Christmas Bricktacular at LEGOLAND
December 17-18, 24-30
LEGOLAND Florida will feature Christmas Bricktacular, a celebration with daily appearances by Santa Claus, a 270,000-LEGO-brick Christmas tree and other seasonal creations. Kids can also participate in their very own countdown to 2017 during a giant, LEGO brick drop at “Kids Standard Time,” otherwise known as 7 pm, during the park’s Kid’s New Year’s Eve. 

Busch Gardens Christmas Town
November 25 through December 31, 2016
Christmas Town returns to Busch Gardens Tampa is the Bay area’s largest Christmas celebration, and features live music, festive treats and thousands of dazzling holiday light displays. Best of all, Christmas Town is included with Busch Gardens tickets.

Festival of the Seasons at Disney Springs
November 11 through January 8, 2017
Embrace the spirit of the season at Disney Springs. Festival of the Seasons presents live entertainment, Santa photo opportunity, holiday carolers and grand holiday décor. Stroll through the delightful holiday wonderland, then browse in a unique shops for that gotta-have-it gift.

ICE! at Gaylord Palms
November 18 through January 1, 2017
Christmas in Orlando doesn’t get any better than this event! ICE! at Gaylord Palms, an award-winning attraction carved by a team of 40 skilled artisans, features more than two million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures, including scenes from A Charlie Brown Christmas, four ice slides and a live ice-carving station.  

Attractions Tickets & More
Reserve Orlando is an official seller of Orlando theme park tickets. To keep your vacation budget-friendly, take advantage of our discounts on Disney tickets and Orlando attractions.  We can also help you arrange a place to stay in Orlando, with options ranging from Disney World Resorts to hotels on International Drive.


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.

Universal Orlando® Resort is one of the most popular theme parks in Orlando, Florida. As such, ticket prices can be a bit pricey – especially during certain seasons throughout the year. Instead of paying top dollar for amusement park admission, check out the best ways to take advantage of Universal Orlando ticket discounts. After all, who doesn’t love to save money on theme park tickets?

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Understanding the New Ticket Prices

Universal Orlando® Resort has been experimenting with a seasonal pricing model for quite some time. Recently, the theme park implemented this brand new pricing strategy for 1-day park tickets. This strategy aims to regulate attendance in the theme parks and provide a better customer experience for all guests. Ticket prices for 1-day admission are now based on three different season categories — Peak, Regular, and Value.

As a result, peak dates cost more while value tickets offer great savings for guests. One day, park-to-park tickets for both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure are also subject to the new ticket pricing structure. Tickets must be used during their corresponding seasons:

  • Peak tickets are valid during any season.
  • Regular tickets are valid during regular and value season dates.
  • Value tickets are only valid during value season dates.

 

If you purchase one season and prefer to use it on a different season date, you can upgrade your tickets at the theme park entry gates. On the other hand, keep in mind that refunds for using a Peak ticket during a Regular or Valid season date are not possible.

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How to Save with New Universal Orlando Ticket Discounts

Now that you understand how Universal Orlando® Resort’s new ticket prices work, it’s time to learn how you can save.

Schedule Your Vacation Around Value or Regular Dates
With the new ticket prices in mind, you can plan your vacation around the season dates and prices that work for your budget. Leveraging these Universal Orlando ticket discounts can be the difference between an expensive and an affordable vacation.

On average, the seasonal ticket prices for 1-day at Universal Studios and/or Islands of Adventure are as follows:

Value Season:

  • 1-Day, 1-Park = $105 per adult, $100 per child
  • 1-Day, Park-to-Park = $155 per adult, $150 per child

 

Regular Season:

  • 1-Day, 1-Park = $110 per adult, $105 per child
  • 1-Day, Park-to-Park = $160 per adult, $155 per child

 

Peak Season:

  • 1-Day, 1-Park = $119 per adult, $114 per child
  • 1-Day, Park-to-Park = $169 per adult, $164 per child

 

To know when the Peak, Regular, and Value season dates are, use this calendar.

Purchase Multi-Day Tickets
Another way to save with Universal Orlando ticket discounts is to purchase a multi-day ticket. This ticket type permits entry into the parks for 2 to 4 days, depending on your selection. To maximize vacation time and still stay within budget, I’d recommend purchasing a multi-day pass.

For example:
During peak season, a 1-Day, 1-Park ticket is $119 per adult, $114 per child. A “One Park Per Day”, 2-day pass is $184.99 per adult and $174.99 per child. This allows you to visit Universal Studios one day and Islands of Adventure the next all while saving money. As a result, the more days you visit, the more savings you receive.

Do keep in mind that park-to-park passes are required to ride the Hogwarts Express between Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.

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Book Your Universal Orlando® Resort Tickets on Reserve Orlando

While still taking the new seasonal pricing model into consideration, Reserve Orlando offers unbeatable Universal Orlando ticket discounts. No matter if you purchase a single day ticket or multi-day, multi-park pass, you’ll enjoy exceptional savings. Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself and purchase your discounted Universal Orlando Resort tickets today.

Plus, Reserve Orlando customers receive additional benefits including:

  • Discounted nightly hotel prices when you bundle your purchase
  • Access to exclusive theme park packages and savings
  • Skip waiting in the ticket line thanks to your Reserve Orlando e-Ticket

 

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Take Advantage of Universal Orlando Ticket Discounts Today

As you can see, the new pricing model at Universal Orlando® Resort and exclusive offers from Reserve Orlando are a fantastic way to save on your Florida vacation. Start planning your theme park vacation today.

New year, new theme park thrills! Universal Orlando Resort continues its expansion with new rides, resorts and restaurants. In their quest to bring the biggest and best pop culture experiences to the masses, Universal has plenty lined up for not only this year but beyond. So, what are the new attractions at Universal Orlando for 2017? And what can you expect from one of the world’s best theme parks in the years to come? Read on to find out.

In early summer 2017, a first-of-its-kind water theme park will erupt at Universal Orlando Resort – Universal’s Volcano Bay. © 2016 Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved.

Universal’s Volcano Bay
Opening early 2017

Live the carefree island life at Universal’s Volcano Bay™. It’s an all-new water theme park like no other where thrills and relaxation flow in perfect harmony. With the power of the TapuTapu™ wearable there’s no standing in long lines, wrestling with tubes, or waiting for the fun to begin. It’s a tropical paradise just steps away from everything Universal Orlando Resort™ has to offer.

Race Through New York Jimmy Fallon

In 2017, Jimmy Fallon – host of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” – will be the star of a brand-new hilarious ride experience at Universal Studios Florida called, “Race through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon.” © 2016 Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved.

Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
Opening 2017

Jimmy Fallon is a pop culture sensation so it’s fitting he’s getting his very own attraction at Universal Studios. On “Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon” you’ll be competing against Fallon as you navigate the streets of one of the world’s greatest cities—New York City. Guests will first be welcomed at Fallon’s Studio 6B before embarking on an escapade through not only the streets but the skies on New York City. Encounter everything from iconic landmarks to the subway tunnels and whatever else pops into Jimmy’s wacky mind.

One of the most successful film franchises of all time will soon become one of Universal Studios Florida’s most action-packed ride experiences. Universal Orlando Resort announced today that Fast & Furious: Supercharged will join its incredible lineup of attractions in 2017 – continuing the unprecedented growth of the destination. Guests will experience a high-octane journey that fuses an original storyline and incredible ride technology with everything that fans love about the films—popular characters, exhilarating environments, nonstop action and, of course, high-speed cars.

Fast & Furious: Supercharged will join Universal’s incredible lineup of attractions in 2017 – continuing the unprecedented growth of the destination. © 2016 Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved.

Fast & Furious: Supercharged
Opening 2018

One of the most anticipated new attractions at Universal Orlando Resort is Fast & Furious: Supercharged. It’s set to take riders on a high-speed adventure into the world of underground racing. Riders will become a part of the Fast & Furious family as they race beside stars of the franchise. Specially designed ride vehicles ensure non-stop action and adrenaline-inducing, pedal-to-the-metal thrills.

This it the latest on new attractions at Universal Orlando for 2016 and beyond. Watch here for more updates on what this theme park has planned next!

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© 2016 Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved.

Universal’s Aventura Hotel
Opening 2018

Universal’s Aventura Hotel is all about a visionary spirit and contemporary surroundings. This hotel is a lifestyle, even if you only get to live it while on vacation. It’s blue skies, clear water, clean lines, open air, and stimulating environments. You’re a guest in a place quite unlike anywhere else. You’re en vogue the moment you walk through the door.


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.

While Orlando is known as a kid’s paradise, the resort town also provides plenty of activities for teenagers that will be fun, memorable, and even educational. There are so many attractions in Orlando that it’s not hard to find something teens can get excited about. Follow my guide to things to do in Orlando with teenagers to ensure your family stays entertained.

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1) SeaWorld
Teens can get up close to fascinating sea life at Sea World. As they make their way through an underwater tunnel that travels through a shark tank, they’ll see a variety of wild life; feel sting rays in a touch tank, and view killer whales from an underwater room.

2) Discovery Cove
Discovery Cove, the marine life park adjacent to Sea World gives teens the chance to swim with dolphins and snorkel in a pool of tropical fish while learning all about native wildlife.

3) Gatorland
Visit the 110-acre Gatorland, home to alligators, crocodiles, extremely rare “white” alligators, a petting zoo and a thrilling Zip Line adventure with breathtaking views at 1,200 feet. It’s just one of the things to do in Orlando with teenagers that’s guaranteed a two thumbs up approval rating!

4) Universal Orlando Resort
Plenty of teen-friendly thrill rides are on hand at Universal Orlando, which is divided into two separate parks adjacent to each other: Universal Studios is like visiting a movie studio complete with “character” sightings and high-tech simulators. It’s home to such movie-themed attractions as Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride, an indoor roller coaster; Men in Black: Alien Attack, a dark ride with laser tag-elements; and motion simulator rides based on “The Simpsons,” “Shrek” and “Despicable Me.”

Islands of Adventure, the resort’s other park, is one of Orlando’s best destinations for thrill-seeking teens. What teen doesn’t love Harry Potter? The whole family can enjoy an entire section dedicated to the “Harry Potter” franchise–The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The park also features Marvel Superhero Island with a Hulk themed roller coaster and a Spider Man 3-D ride.

Hollywood Rock n Roller Coaster RSZ

5) Disney World Theme Parks
For some high speed adventure Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom have rides that appeal to teenagers like the massive free-fall drops on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, the Rock ‘n Roller Coaster with Aerosmith, the revamped Star Tours ride, themed after the famous movie franchise, “Star Wars” and have fun on high-speed adventures on Big Thunder Mountain railroad, and Space Mountain in the Magic Kingdom.

6) K1 Speed
Teens take to the road at K1 Speed, an indoor go-kart race track with sharp turns. They can drive an adult kart that reaches speeds of up to 50 miles per hour if they are at least 56 inches tall. Parents or guardians must sign waivers before teens under 18 can drive a kart.

7) WhirlyBall
WhirlyBall is an unusual sport, often dubbed a mix between basketball, hockey and lacrosse, and played on an indoor court while driving a bumper car. The sport is open to visitors age 12 and over, or those measuring at least 4 feet and 6 inches.

8) Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf
Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf is a buccaneer-themed miniature golf course outfitted with waterfalls, dungeons and pirate ships. Watch out for the cannon that fires intermittently as you play on one of the two 18-hole courses.

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9) Disney World Water Parks
Cool off at Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, both of which are part of Walt Disney World. Teens can kick back on the 3,000-foot-long lazy river at Blizzard Beach as they float through lush forests and polar ice caves. Typhoon Lagoon offers such attractions as Humunga Kowabunga, three five-story racing slides, and the Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool, a wave pool with six-foot swells.

10) Wet ‘n Wild Orlando
Wet ‘n Wild Orlando is a large water park with rides such as Disco H20, a four-person raft waterslide where the interior comes alive with disco music, a disco ball and flashing lights.

11) Aquatica Orlando
Teens can take the Dolphin Plunge at Aquatica Orlando where they’ll fly through enclosed slides and a pool filled with dolphins, or ride with their friends through the dark on Walhalla Wave, a raft slide through enclosed flumes.

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12) Disney Springs
If teens really like things lively, they’ll discover that Disney World isn’t all kid stuff at the Disney Springs, an outdoor pedestrian-only thoroughfare dotted with unique shops, world-class restaurants, and dazzling entertainment. The Landing, West Side, Market Place and Town Center all add fun to the mix.  Your teens can shop in the world’s largest Disney store, dine amid prehistoric creatures, and even have some fun bowling a game at the 30-lane alley, Splitsville.

Things to do in Orlando with teenagers can also be chill. If your teens want to sit back and relax, they can catch a movie in the AMC Dine-In Theater. Reserve seats and a waiter will bring you everything from popcorn to burgers!

13) Shopping
Young adults can spend the afternoon feeling chic at the Mall at Millenia, an upscale, two-story indoor mall with more than 145 shops and restaurants, including clothing and jewelry stores geared toward teenagers. Teens can also recharge their cell phones at the complimentary charging station outside the food park.

You might not think of Orlando as a Thanksgiving destination but there’s a bounty of things to do in Central Florida. From bountiful feasts to discount shopping and engaging attractions, you’ll find a cornucopia of Turkey Day delights. Want to learn more about things to do in Orlando during Thanksgiving? Read on.

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Things to do in Orlando during Thanksgiving

Shopping

Shopping and Thanksgiving go hand in hand. With Black Friday sales at outlet malls like Orlando Premium Outlets and high-end stores, along with boutique and box stores, shopping in Orlando is a real treat. You can make the most of Black Friday and get all of your holiday shopping done Thanksgiving weekend. Check out our holiday shopping guide to get the scoop of where to shop ’til you drop!

Thanksgiving Dinner

Once of the best things to do in Orlando during Thanksgiving? Eat! Plus, sometimes it’s nice to relax, have the meal taken care of and be able to simply enjoy the holidays season. Let Orlando restaurants cater to your taste buds. From family-friendly to intimate and quaint, you can choose the type of Thanksgiving meal right for you.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant
Hours: 11:00am-10:00pm
Traditional Thanksgiving faire is complimented by the restaurant’s regular menu

Emeril’s Restaurant Orlando
Hours: Noon-9pm
Features a special Thanksgiving menu from Chef Doug

Emeril’s Tchoup Chop
Hours: Noon-9pm
Chef Ryan presents a special 3-course Thanksgiving menu. $49/person.

Islands’ Dining Room
Hours: 11:00am-9:00pm
Enjoy a Thanksgiving buffet while watching South Pacific entertainment and Universal Orlando Resort characters. $58/adults, $26/kids.

Landry’s Seafood House
Hours: 11:30am-9:00pm
A Thanksgiving dinner buffet is served along with the main menu. $22/adults, $10/kids.

Roy’s Orlando
Hours: 11:00am-8:00pm
3-course Thanksgiving meny is served with selections of Roy’s classic dishes available. $39.95/person.

The Kitchen at Hard Rock Hotel
Hours: 11:00am-4:00pm, 5:0opm-10:00pm
Thanksgiving menu featured along with entertainment and Universal Orlando Resort characters. $59/adults, $20/kids.

Tony Roma’s Orlando I-Drive
Hours: Noon-10:00pm
A special 3-course Thanksgiving menu, with ribs, is featured. $29/adults, $15/kids.

Thanksgiving Weekend Events

Thanksgiving is also the official kickoff to Christmas. You can start your holiday off right by visiting Orlando Theme Parks where the spirit of the season will already be in full swing. From Disney World to Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld to LEGOLAND, there are many ways to celebrate the magic of this special time of year.

Entertainment

You can also see an Orlando show over Thanksgiving vacation. Blue Man Group, Sleuths Mystery Dinner Show, Pirate’s Dinner Adventure and other productions are open on Thanksgiving Day and have show times throughout the weekend.

Plan your vacation in Orlando now to get a head start on the holiday season.


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.

Orlando is known for its amazing, world class theme parks such as Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort. These attractions come with a hefty price tag, though. So, what can you do in Orlando that’s not only a good time but also free? Especially after the sun goes down. This list covers the best free things to do in Orlando at night.

Orlando, Florida, USA skyline at dusk on Eola Lake.

The free fountain light show framed by the Orlando skyline at dusk on Lake Eola

1) Orlando Eye
It might cost money to ride the Orlando Eye Ferris Wheel. But, it’s totally free to watch the light show the wheel puts on each night a I-Drive 360.

2) Disney Springs
The atmosphere at Disney Springs is all-new, thanks to a serious redesign of the area formerly known as Downtown Disney. Visit here to get a dose of Disney without having to shell out cash for tickets. Plus, the area totally transforms at night so it’s totally different from daytime at the same complex.

3) Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards
If you’re a fan of wine, this one’s for you. Set on 80 gorgeous acres, Lakeridge Winery hosts free tasting tours and festivals year round.

4) Orlando Brewing Company
For those who prefer an ice cold beer to wine, visit Orlando Brewing Company. The brewery is one of only 10 organic breweries in America, and the only on in the Southeast. On weekends free tours and entertainment is available.

5) Popcorn Flicks in the Park
Winter Park presents Popcorn Flicks in the Park throughout the year. Classic films with families in mind provide the perfect night out under the stars. Films are typically shown on the second Thursday of each month in Central Park and they are free and open to the public.

6) Fred Stone Theater
The Second Stage Series at Fred Stone Theater offers free evening shows Thursday through Saturday. All shows are produced by Rollins Players, and completely directed, designed, marketed, and performed by students.

7) Chip ‘N Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long
One of the best free things to do in Orlando at night for families is this activity at Disney’s For Wilderness Resort. Even if you’re not a guest you can attend the campfire sing-along. Afterwards, enjoy a classic Disney film under the stars.

8) Lake Eola Park
Lake Eola Park is teeming with free things to do during the day. Similarly, the Park features free things to do in Orlando at night. Watch the twice-nightly light shows at the lake, movies in the park during summer, and free concerts at Walt Disney Amphitheater.

9) Magic Kingdom Fireworks
Catch the end-of-the-night fireworks at the Magic Kingdom—free of charge! Simply ride the free tram to the Ticket and Transportation Center for the best outside-the-park views.

10) Electrical Water Pageant
If you’re a Disney Resort guests, there are a lot of free parks. For guests of resorts surround the Seven Seas Resort, such as Grand Floridian Resort and Disney’s Polynesian Resort, the nightly Electrical Water Pageant is an added bonus.

11) Old Town
If you’re a classic car enthusiasts, drive to Old Town for free weekly car shows. All-American muscle cars are the highlight of Friday nights, while Saturday night features vintage cars.

12) Portofino Bay Hotel
This Universal Orlando Resort property hosts the nightly show “Musica della Notte” each night at sunset. Accordingly, The Harbor Piazza comes alive with an Italian musical celebration free to the public.

Put this list of free things to do in Orlando at night to use on your next vacation. Your wallet will thank you!


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.