Best Orlando Theme Park Halloween Parties

Halloween may be October 31 for the rest of the country, but in Orlando, the Halloween season kicks off in September. The theme parks at Universal Orlando, Sea World and Disney’s Magic Kingdom each offer special Halloween party events throughout the months of September and October. While the parties are very diverse, they share some of the same qualities.

Halloween parties at Universal and Disney require a separate ticket for admission. Buying a park pass isn’t enough; you’ll need to spend a little extra to attend one of these private events. Some parties offer after-hours access to select rides and attractions; all parties offer characters, sights and shows you won’t see at any other time. The parties are vastly different in terms of their overall feeling and the age groups they are intended for. Choosing the best Halloween party for your group is a matter of evaluating each event and selecting the one that suits the ages and interests of your family the best.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party:

One of the most popular events of the year at the Magic Kingdom, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is aimed at families traveling with children. While the Disney villains are out in force, strolling the park, hosting dance parties and signing autographs, the scares here are minor—or nonexistent.

Guests attending the party can don costumes, trick or treat or get extra time on some of the park’s most popular rides. It is not unusual to see entire families dressed in costume, trick or treating and having fun. The Haunted Mansion takes center stage for this event, with live characters, extra spooky décor and a spooky but fun ambience. If you enjoy the Magic Kingdom during a “regular” day, then the Halloween party is well worth a visit; many guests make this party a yearly event.

Sea World’s Halloween Spooktacular:

Sea World’s Halloween event is aimed at families with small children; the under-10 crowd will get the most from the offerings here. From cookie decorating to trick or treating and character greetings, this gentle and not scary party is a must-do for the preschool crowd.

The Halloween Spooktacular begins at noon on select days, allowing even the youngest preschoolers a chance to enjoy the fun before bedtime.  Visit Abby Cadabby’s interactive Halloween Adventure, or trick or treat at designated stations throughout the park. Look for friendly fish, mermaids and other sea creatures when you head to this kid-friendly shindig. The Halloween Spooktacular is free with your park admission.

Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando:

This event features special effects and costuming that is truly movie worthy. Halloween Horror Nights is one of the most intricate and well planned Halloween events in Florida—or anywhere else. This event is designed for teens and adults; it is extremely scary, and children under the age of 13 will not be admitted. Parents are strongly urged to leave the kids at home and come out for a scary good time.

The special effects and costumes are gory and scary at Halloween Horror Nights; this event is a “don’t miss” if you enjoy a good scare or a frightening movie. Hundreds of performers take to the streets with one mission—to scare park guests. The 21st annual Halloween Horror Nights season opens in September, and features themeing surrounding the idea of “luck”. You can be sure that all the luck with be bad on these dismal but thrilling evenings at Universal Orlando.

Remember if you are planning on visiting any of these theme parks in October, it is highly recommended that you make an Orlando hotel reservation prior to heading out on your vacation. While October is considered the off season for tourist, a lot of guests still flock to Orlando on the weekends.

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African Cats Film Successful in Raising Money for African Savanna Conservation

Disneynature is teaming up with directors Keith Scholey and Alastair Fothergill to create an epic journey through the African Savanna focusing on a few key figures including Mara the lion cub, a lion father named Fang, and Sita the cheetah, single mother of five high strung cubs. The film is a real life documentary of animals in their habitats living amongst other animals which play out into an interesting story about family, determination, and love. This made for families movie is the perfect catalyst for providing knowledge about a very important matter in the African Savanna which is home to all of the amazing animals in this feature. As a matter of fact, there is a campaign set up in conjunction with the film called “See ‘African Cats’ Save the Savanna” which used proceeds from the opening week of the film in late April 2011 to fuel a conservation project of epic proportions. The project is set up by the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) with its main objective being the conservation of a 50,000 acre parcel of land called the Amboseli Wildlife Corridor between the Tsavo West and Chyulu Hills National Parks in Kenya which serves an ancient passageway navigated by animals in the region. Keeping the passage free and preserved would benefit the animals greatly due to being a very important migration route.

The film is narrated by Samuel L. Jackson and takes the audience on a journey following Mara as she attempts to gain the strength and courage to be like her mother. The story also follows Fang and his job of keeping his family safe when a rival band of lions makes their way onto his territory. These and other sub plots make up a great story for the whole family to enjoy while witnessing the beauty and majesty of the African savanna.

The AWF has been partnered up with Disneynature for 50 years trying to establish the corridor for the use of these amazing animals and creatures. Other proceeds from various charitable events, sales of movie merchandise and even the sale of Jordin Sparks’ single “The World I Knew” will add to the conservation effort.

Hertz Car Rental Goes Green in the UK

Hertz Car Rental has always been evolving. They have brought amazing campaigns to life which have aided in usability and availability of rental cars for many facets of society in countries all over the world. The news breaks today stating that Hertz will be adding two new vehicles to the fleet in London. That doesn’t do much for us here in Florida; however, for those traveling to the UK who are into “green” innovations. The new vehicle in the fleet, the Misubishi i-Miev, is a fully electric vehicle that has a range of 90 miles on a single charge and fills to 80% of its capacity in about 30 minutes. Two of these cars will be added to the Hertz fleet in London. Included with the addition are charging stations, 16 in total, which will be installed throughout London. With fuel prices at a new high these vehicles will be greeted with open arms. They will also be joining the Hertz family of green vehicles in the United States which have been in operation for some time now.

The two Mitsubishi i-Mievs that are being added to the fleet in London will be the first of many. The number of electric vehicles will surely increase as the demand throughout Europe for these vehicles increases. The mayor of London wants to make the city the electric vehicle capital of Europe in light of the next generation of green and renewable energies as well as the dawn of a time when petrol and other fuels will not be depended on.

To see if Hertz has electric vehicles in your area, check out these great Hertz Car Rental discounts. Maybe you can be part of the new generation.

Simon Property Group Goes Green in their Mall Parking Lots

The Simon Property Group is stepping into the future of what very well could be retail establishments all over the country. The innovative group is beginning a trial period at two of many properties in California and Florida. The group plans on setting up electric car recharging stations in the parking lots of the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, California as well as the Florida Mall in Orlando, Floirda. These recharge stations will have the ability of charging your vehicle while you go inside for a great shopping experience or even a bite to eat. The charging cycle will have the ability to completely or partially charge vehicles that run solely on electric power which can take anywhere from one to a couple of hours depending on the amount of energy needed. The charging stations will be available for those who need it for no charge during this trial period. After the trial period, the stations will be offering charges for a small fee which will be paid primarily on credit cards.

These charging stations come at a time when fuel prices are skyrocketing and people are becoming more aware of the benefits of kicking the dependency on oil for fueling their vehicles. The thing about electric powered vehicles is that they will not replace the fuel driven vehicle in all facets of our lives, not in our lifetime anyhow. The need for fuel driven vehicles will remain at the forefront of transportation for quite some time due to the airplanes, tractor trailer trucks, and other delivery vehicles or even construction vehicles that require the energy and torque of quick and high heat burning fuels respectively. They will also prevail on longer journeys of 100’s of miles or more due to the lack of progress in the technology which makes electric cars required longer charge periods for shorter distances traveled per charge (roughly 30 to 40 miles).

While in the forefront of wide-spread green, cleaner energy promotion, Simon Property Group has a long way to go before they see a full recharging station on any of their properties. They would also do a bit better on the “greener” side of the fence if they were to come off the grid and become self sufficient in energy consumption by lining the roofs of their malls with solar panels.

Lady Gaga and The Monster Ball Tour Hit Amway Center

Lady Gaga comes to Orlando’s Amway Center on April 15th for an amazing show on her 2011 Monster Ball Tour where she takes to the stage in all her interesting costume, appealing attitude, and tons of talent. This leg of the tour is the final one and she plans on going out with a bang. Described by Lady Gaga herself as the “first ever pop electro opera”, the Monster Ball Tour was first introduced to the public in October of 2009 and started hitting the road on November 27th, 2009. The tour covers songs from her debut album The Fame as well as her second EP titled The Fame Monster, in which the tour was set up to promote.

Guest talent on the tour included the likes of Kid Cudi, Jason Derülo, and Alphabeat, Semi Precious Weapons, Far East Movement, and Scissor Sisters. The stage setups for the show are out of this world and have included electric light mazes, dancing guns (made up of people in large gun costumes), head pieces that emulated an Egyptian vibe as well as some influence from fairytales including Rapunzel; this was only the first rendition of the tour. The show was freshened up for the second leg of the tour and included a New York theme. Within this story, Lady Gaga and her companions get lost in New York and are trying to find their way to the Monster Ball.

Come out and enjoy the show when it comes to the Orlando Amway Center on April 15th. You can find some great deals on hard to find Lady Gaga tickets at

Florida Film Festival is Upon Us

The Florida Film Festival kicks off this evening, April 8, 2011. The film festival is an annual event that has happened for the last 20 years. It combines a rich collection of indie films and great food into a ten day Central Florida event. Guests of the film festival will have the pleasure of seeing some interesting new titles from independent film makers as well as the ability to culminate with those who enjoy film and strike up some amazing conversation and debate or just learn something new from everyone there. There are some subdivisions of the Florida Film Festival which helps intensify the experience that much more with the addition of amazing food as well as other key perks and bonuses. Flavors of Florida for example combines food and wine with fine independent film to create an interesting atmosphere for guests. Those who indulge in Flavors of Florida will be greeted by celebrity chefs as they enjoy amazing food as well as film about food; yum! Florida Perspectives allows guests of the festival to come together to give insight into Florida and makes for a great social outlet for fellow film fans to express themselves with opinionative conversation.

There is plenty to do at the Florida Film Festival and there is plenty of time to get involved in it. With ten days of Florida Film Festival goodness upon us there is no excuse as to why you couldn’t attend. Come out and enjoy the Sunshine State as well as great food and wonderful film.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Increase in Size Eventually

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is an enchanting place filled with all of the wonders that attract fans from all over the world. Since its inception, the theme park within the theme park has brought an impressive number of visitors, 1,000,000 in three months to be exact. With numbers like these, hour long lines into shops and rides, and impressive ticket, food, and merchandise sales it is no surprise that Universal Studios officials are looking to increase the size of the park. They are looking to add another 20 acres to the already 20 acre lot doubling the size of the attraction and thus increasing the profits and numbers relatively. The increase to the park would definitely benefit the Wizarding World, but something would have to be lost.

The potential plan would be to remove the rest of The Lost Continent and replace the rides and attractions there with the more popular Harry Potter rides and attractions. In the place of the “Eighth Voyage of Sinbad” would be a Harry Potter based live action show. In the place of Poseidon’s Fury would be an indoor roller coaster or action ride that would also focus on the Harry Potter theme. In place of The Lost Continent Market would be Diagon Alley which would host its very own Leaky Cauldron restaurant.

All of the people that visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter today find themselves in plenty of company as they are shoulder to shoulder with other guests that share their love for the movie and this amazing world. The addition of 20 more acres and a plethora of new attractions would definitely increase the buzz around the attraction while also increasing the breathing room everyone would have. If you have not had the pleasure of seeing the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, come on out today and save money on your Universal Studios discount tickets.

Medieval Times or Pirates Dinner Adventure?

When you’re visiting the Orlando, Florida area and you’re in need of something different to do, meaning you’ve done the theme parks already or just need a break from them, make your way over to one of the great dinner shows in town. There are several shows in operation which should not be mistaken and or considered to be similar to each other at all. The different shows all pack their own form of interaction excitement and story line. They are all amazing shows which can be enjoyed by the entire family and they are all very local. With all that said, which one should you pick? Are you going to make the wrong decision? The truth is, there is really no way to mess this one up. Each show is so different and unique, and you know your family so well that you could figure out which show would be best just based on a brief description of each highlighting key features of the show. Where would you find a well versed description of each dinner show in the Orlando area? I’m glad you asked. We happen to have great information on Medieval Times and Pirates Dinner Adventure right here.

Medieval Times

Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament is probably one of the most notable dinner shows which is popular nationwide. If you have not had the opportunity to experience this great show, you must at least once in your life; true story. Medieval Times pits groups of guests against one another through the use of knights which are all color coded. The guests are arranged in large color coded sections of the arena surrounding an equestrian style “battle ground”. It is here that the knights partake in exciting games and battles to win the hearts of their group. Guests are given paper crowns in the color of their group and are seated to a grand feast while they watch the games. There are no utensils at these medieval tables because “there were no utensils IN medieval times so there are no utensils AT Medieval Times…”, but I digress. Save money with Medieval Times ticket discounts and start getting into the fun today!

Pirates Dinner Adventure

Pirates Dinner Adventure takes guests on a journey of Epic proportions on the quest for pirate glory. Guests are seated around an arena which is separated by colored sections which coincide with a pirate, paired up with the colored section. The show is like Medieval Times in that sense; however, there is a major difference. Where there is an equestrian field at Medieval Times is a giant pirate ship rigged with cannons, masts, sails, and the works at Pirates Dinner Adventure. The pirates simulate an epic battle in which they compete to be the last pirate standing. Packed with swords, pistols and the like these pirates get down and dirty on the open seas! You can save money with discount Pirates tickets so start saving and have a blast!

Mania Hits Disney World Resort’s Dophin Resort for G.I. JoeCon

Thursday, March 31st marked the beginning of the 2011 International G.I. Joe Convention. The convention is being held at Disney World Resort’s Dolphin Resort which is very close to Epcot Center. As a matter of fact, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, located in Hollywood Studios, can be seen from the road where the Dolphin sits. This amazing convention brings together G.I. Joe fans from all age groups together to share in the glory of the Hasbro product lines from decades ago to their current lines which are still as popular as the G.I. Joe figures of the past. Being a G.I. Joe fan myself, this is some awesome news for Orlando area fans. It’s not to say that fans have come from far and wide to be here, it’s just great that it is so close to us here in Central Florida.

Hasbro has set up a great convention this season with film fests, a 200 table shop room packed with all sorts of G.I. Joe merch, a seminar packed with Hasbro G.I. Joe professionals and speakers, as well as a huge diorama set upon a beach scene where fans can bring out their vehicles, figures, and other cool accessories and actually get down and dirty with their prized possessions. This convention has been going strong for 18 seasons with this one being just as awesome as the rest. Collectors come together and express their excitement for these great past times that span generations. Vintage collections meet new collections in an equally exciting manner with everyone together for the same thing, all things G.I. Joe. There was even a parachute drop of over 300 special edition figures, exclusive to the convention, which were let go off the rooftop of the resort thanks to the help of Hasbro employees as well as fellow G.I. Joe collectors.

Have A Blast in Central Florida, Even in the Rain

When visiting Orlando, Florida while on vacation one must be aware that the rain prevails from time to time turning it from “sunny Florida” into more of “wet and cloudy” Florida. The rain normally doesn’t care where you came from or how long you’re staying. It also doesn’t care what your plans were prior to getting rained out of Islands of Adventure because the roller coasters are shut down. Since the rain season is inevitable in Central Florida one must be prepared to change the plans and do something indoors.

Luckily there is plenty to do in Central Florida that does not include waiting in a long line outside or even under a canopy where you’re still getting rained on indirectly. As a matter of fact, International Drive, Downtown Disney, and Universal’s Citywalk as well as that general area have quite a few spots to play in that are covered up.

Downtown Disney is home to Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba which is a great attraction to visit when in Orlando. This critically acclaimed show features acrobatics, jugglers, bmx stunt cyclists, tightrope walkers, and even clowns all blended together to form an amazing performance. Find some great La Nouba ticket discounts and check out the next show on that rainy evening. While you’re in the area, grab a bite to eat at one of Downtown Disney’s great eateries. While in the area, and maybe even before the show, stop in at Disney Quest and play all of thee amazing and highly interactive video games that are big on new technology and Disney themed to the max.

International Drive packs a great deal of rainy day entertainment that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum is a good example of a great rainy day attraction. This awesome museum featuring some of the most interesting oddities on the planet is a cool place to take the family. It is packed with Guinness Book of World Records style attractions which lend themselves to be an interesting conversational piece for a better part of your trip. Another great location situated just south of Ripley’s is Wonderworks, an upside down fun and educational museum of sorts.

Wonderworks is an amazing place packed with interesting simulators and highly interactive attractions including a build-your-own virtual roller coaster, a piano you can walk on, a hurricane simulator, and even laser tag as well as so many other attractions. Bring the family out to one of these great staples in Central Florida tourist entertainment and have a blast, even in the rain!

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