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Why Universal Orlando's Just-Announced Theme Park Is a Game Changer

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 08/01/2019, 10:30 AM

It's official. Universal Orlando is building a third Florida theme park. Universal's Epic Universe, officially confirmed Thursday morning, is being built on 750 acres about four miles south of UO's existing complex. An opening date has not been announced, but the land is clearly being prepared—a lone palm tree stands in the spot that Attractions magazine believes marks the center of the new park. ...

Now Streaming: A Social Media–Themed Water Park near Orlando

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/24/2019, 9:45 PM

A new water park with a social media theme has just opened next to Margaritaville Resort Orlando in central Florida. Dubbed Island H2O Live!, the park has eight water slides with names like Follow Me Falls, Hashtag Heights, and Reply Racers. You'll also find the Chat Creek lazy river, Megabytes snack bar, and adults-only Private Domain pool. Seems like there should also be a Data Mine slide wher...

Arthur Frommer: Universal Orlando Cuts Hotel Rates to Lure Visitors

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 06/22/2018, 11:30 PM

For at least twenty years, Universal Orlando Resort has been on a hotel building spree. One after another, giant lodging has been squeezed onto its grounds, supplying close-at-hand rooms to would-be visitors.   In hotels supplying thousands of rooms, Universal is approaching (though it obviously hasn’t yet reached) the number of hotels on the grounds of Disney’s parks, 15 minutes away by car.  ...

Florida's SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Will Give Away Free Beer Again This Summer

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/17/2018, 12:00 AM

This post, originally published May 1, has been updated below. When the all-American brewer Anhueser-Busch opened Busch Gardens amusement park in Tampa, Florida in 1959 (other locations preceded and followed it, but only the Tampa park and another in Williamsburg, Virginia remain), the main focus was, naturally, marketing the brand's products.  To that end, "hospitality houses" (Tampa's is pictu...

Disney World Now Charges for Parking at Hotels, Decreasing Their Value

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 03/14/2018, 4:00 PM

It used to be one of the great courtesies of staying in a Walt Disney World resort hotel: You got free parking, and then you could take Disney transportation for free. It was touted as one of the perks and a big incentive to choose a Disney hotel over a room located outside the resort property's gates. Since Disney hotels are two or three times as much as a room of comparable quality a mile away, ...

It's Here: Donald Trump Robot Unveiled at Disney's Hall of Presidents

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 12/19/2017, 1:15 AM

About six months behind its usual post-election refurbishment schedule, Walt Disney World has unveiled its Audio-Animatronic version of the current president of the United States, including a short recorded monologue by him about the American spirit. The attraction officially opens to the public on Tuesday, December 19.  The Hall of Presidents, running since 1971 when Richard M. Nixon was in the ...

Spectacular Holiday Show Added to Universal's Hogwarts Castle

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/22/2017, 5:45 PM

Harry Potter is getting into the holiday spirit at Universal theme parks in Orlando and Southern California for the first time this year.  In Central Florida, seasonal features at Potter-related attractions were unveiled on November 18 at both of Universal's Florida parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. In the latter, a yuletide spell has been cast on Hogwarts Castle, where, after da...

$5/Day One-Way Car Rentals to Florida Right Now

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/20/2017, 11:00 PM

It's time for the Great Florida Drive-In. Each autumn, the major rental car brands need to shift inventory to their parking lots in Florida to meet winter tourist demand.  Normally, it'll cost a hefty extra fee to drop off a rental car in a different location than where you picked it up. Not right now. For the next few weeks, renters in the northeastern United States will find deals that hover aro...

Eight Observations About Travel That May Be of Use for Your Next Vacation

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 07/21/2017, 12:00 AM

Quick thoughts on Airbnb, Disneyland, airlines, Cuba, Washington's National Museum of African American History and Culture, and other recent travel developments...

Optimism and Drive Will Help Tardy Travelers Find Late-Summer Vacation Vacancies

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 06/27/2017, 12:00 AM

Think it's too late to book a summer trip to one of the top destinations in the U.S.? Think again, says Arthur Frommer....

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