Category Archives: Universal Orlando Resort

Caribbean Rum Cake Recipe from Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Caribbean Rum Cake Recipe from Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

Are you looking to spice up your Universal Orlando Resort vacation? At Caribbean Carnaval, you can take a journey through the Caribbean with an interactive dinner show filled with singing, dancing and music.

One of the things guests love about Caribbean Carnaval is the delectable flavors from the Caribbean islands in all the dishes. Chefs prepare an amazing all-you-can-eat feast with authentic recipes that transport your taste buds to paradise as singers and dancers put on an exciting live show.

One of the guests’ favorite items on the menu is the Caribbean Rum Cake. This dense vanilla cake is baked with Kahlua, spiced rum, pecans and brown sugar. The sugar crystalizes, creating a fantastic crunch that keeps you wanting more.

After the rum cake comes out of the oven, it’s topped with more rum, Kahlua and sweet delicate syrup. It then soaks for about three days and the result is absolutely delicious.

Reserve your spot at the next Caribbean Carnaval. Then, enjoy a piece of the islands at home with our Caribbean Rum Cake recipe.

Ingredients

For the Rum Cake:
    • 2 Cups Cake Flour
    • 1 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar
    • 4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
    • 1 Teaspoon Salt
    • 1/2 Cup Butter (Softened)
    • 3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
    • 3/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
    • 1-2 Cups Pecan Pieces
    • 1/4 Cup Myers’s Dark Rum
    • 1/4 Cup Kahlua Liquor
    • 3 1/2 Ounce Package Vanilla Instant Pudding
    • 1/2 Cup Milk
    • 4 Eggs
    • 1/4 Vegetable Oil
    • 1/4 Cup Pineapple Juice
For the Rum Soaking Syrup:
  • 1/2 Water
  • 1/2 Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Myers’s Dark Rum
  • 1/2 Kahlua Liquor

Directions

For the Rum Cake:
    1. Pre-heat over to 325 degrees.
    2. In a large mixing bowl or an electric mixer, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, softened butter, and oil together until crumbly like a streusel topping. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
    3. Prepare a 10- inch cake pan by lining it with a parchment paper circle. Sift ¾ cup of light brown sugar on the paper evenly around the cake pan. Top this off with 1-2 cups of pecan pieces (just enough to cover the bottom completely).
    4. Continuing on with the cake: On low speed with the paddle attachment, combine the remaining ingredients until the batter is very smooth.
    5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for approximately 45-55 minutes, or until fully golden and tester comes out clean and cake springs back when touched in the center.
To Make the Rum Soaking Syrup:
  1. Carefully bring the sugar and water to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the rum, and Kahlua.
  2. Once the cake is taken out of the oven, carefully cut the top of the cake with a serrated knife so that it is level with the rim of the cake pan.
  3. While cake is still warm, pour the hot syrup on top of the cake, allowing it time to soak in (this may take a few minutes as there will be a lot of syrup). Continue to add syrup until it is gone.
  4. Allow cake to cool completely in the pan before turning out onto your serving platter.

After indulging in the delights of Caribbean Carnaval, burn those extra calories while you dance the night away to the rhythmic sounds of the islands! Caribbean Carnaval takes place every Wednesday evening at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort.

Siera is a travel agent with Destinations in Florida, Universal Studios Travel Agency of the Year 2010, 2011, & 2012. She would love to help you plan your next Universal Orlando vacation at no cost to you. Contact Siera today at siera@destinationsinflorida.com or at 734-771-1290 for more information or your free, no obligation quote. 

Eight Unique Wizarding World of Harry Potter Souvenirs

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Half the fun of visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is immersing yourself in the stories and scenery you love. One thing that transports you is seeing happy witches and wizards wearing robes and scarves, carrying wands. But next time you’re ready to head to Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade, keep a lookout for these eight unique Wizarding World of Harry Potter souvenirs that are inspired by the Harry Potter films. They’re sure to delight every fan.

Quidditch Supplies

Ever wanted to play with a Quaffle? In search of a good set of Quidditch bats? Or maybe you’re looking for a top-of-the-line broom… They all exist here!

Available at: Quality Quidditch SuppliesDervish and Banges

Owls

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Every Hogwarts student needs a companion. Pick out your very own plush owl and start your inevitable adventures together.

Available at: Magical MenagerieFilch’s Emporium of Confiscated GoodsOwl Post

Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes Products

Calling all pranksters and mischief makers: this is your happy place. Extendable Ears, Decoy Detonators and shelves full of goodies will leave you ready to join the ranks of the best in the business. Read about individual products here.

Time-Turner Necklace

Whether you’re looking for a way to add a few courses to your schedule or hoping to travel back in time to save a friend, this necklace will do the trick.

Available at: Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods, Madam Malkin’s Robes for All OccasionsWiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, Dervish and Banges

The Marauder’s Map

We solemnly swear you’ll be up to no good after taking this one home. Just be sure to watch out for Filch while you wander the corridors at night.

Available at: Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods

Death Eater Masks

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

For those who favor the Dark Arts, Borgin and Burkes carries some truly amazing collectibles. These masks look great on any shelf.

Available at: Borgin and Burkes, Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods

Molly Weasley’s Famous Sweaters

Who doesn’t want a sweater lovingly crafted by the Weasley’s amiable matriarch? Happy Christmas, Harry.

Available at: Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods

Hermione’s Yule Ball Gown

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Prepare to turn heads when you have your turn in Hermione’s jaw-dropping gown. This one is sure to impress even the most famous of international Quidditch players.

Available at: Madam Malkin’s Robes for all Occasions

Keep in mind, if you forget to buy anything during our vacation, there is a great selection in our online merchandise store.

Now, which are your favorite Wizarding World of Harry Potter souvenirs?

Siera is a travel agent with Destinations in Florida, Universal Studios Travel Agency of the Year 2010, 2011, & 2012. She would love to help you plan your next Universal Orlando vacation at no cost to you. Contact Siera today at siera@destinationsinflorida.com or at 734-771-1290 for more information or your free, no obligation quote. 

Top Seven Things To Do in Marvel Super Hero Island at Islands of Adventure

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Straight from the pages of popular comic books, a land of thrills comes to life in Universal Orlando Resort’s Marvel Super Hero Island at Islands of Adventure. But before you head towards the fun, it’s time to plan. Here are the activities you can’t miss!

Get Hulkified on The Incredible Hulk Coaster

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Prepare to let out a Hulk-sized roar. With seven inversions and top speeds of 67 mph, you’ll want to buckle in for this one.

Meet Heroes and Villains From the Marvel Universe

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Keep your eyes peeled as you roam the streets for allies and enemies like Spider-Man, Captain America, Cyclops, Wolverine, Storm, Rogue, Dr. Doom and The Green Goblin.

Help Save the Statue of Liberty on The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Join the legendary web-slinger on a journey that will have you soaring above the streets of New York, scaling skyscrapers, and battling the Sinister Six.

Feel Like a Hero while Shopping for Merchandise

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

It’s time to declare your allegiance! From comic books and actions figures to t-shirts, costumes, and tumblers depicting characters like Iron Man and Spider-Man, you’ll have plenty of options.

Search High and Low for Easter Eggs

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

From facades with familiar Marvel names to queue lines containing nods to comic book scenes, there is no shortage of hidden gems here. Bonus: Adam Kubert, the artist of the land’s massive character cutouts, hid his first name in his designs all over Marvel Super Hero Island. See how many you can spot!

Take the Plunge on Doctor Doom’s Fearfall

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Dr. Doom is on a mission to extract your fear and he’s going to do it by blasting you 185 feet into the sky before hurling you back down to Earth.

Participate in interactive elements

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Marvel Super Hero Island is prone to coming to life around you – look out for photo opportunities and immersive details. For instance, pick up any of the phones you see while walking around for a nice surprise. You might get instructions on how to report crimes or hear communications between popular heroes and villains.

Keep this list handy next time you’re planning a visit – you won’t regret it! Tell us your favorite thing to do at Marvel Super Hero Island in the comments below.

Siera is a travel agent with Destinations in Florida, Universal Studios Travel Agency of the Year 2010, 2011, & 2012. She would love to help you plan your next Universal Orlando vacation at no cost to you. Contact Siera today at siera@destinationsinflorida.com or at 734-771-1290 for more information or your free, no obligation quote. 

Your Guide to Halloween Horror Nights 2018 at Universal Orlando Resort

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and ghouls, the time has once again come for Universal Studios Florida to transform into something out of your worst nightmares.

Halloween Horror Nights 2018 is just around the corner and we want to make sure you’re prepared to be scared. Keep reading for all the information you need to know to make this Halloween Horror Nights the best one yet.

EVENT TICKETS

First, you’re going to need to get into the event. There are different ticket options available for purchase. If your heart can only take one night of screams, go for the single-night ticket. By purchasing your ticket online, you can save up to $52 on select nights.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

However, for the truly brave, there is also the multi-night ticket. These petrifying passes cost less than a single night, purchased at the gate, when you buy online! Choose from these four options:

  • Rush of Fear Pass: Get the first 10 event nights for less than the price of a single night at the gate when you buy online.
  • Frequent Fear Pass: Get up to 21 nights for less than the price of a single night at the gate when you buy online—including EVERY Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday event night, PLUS the first weekend and last Friday.
  • Frequent Fear Plus Pass: Get up to 28 nights, including all Sunday through Friday event nights, plus the first and last Saturday nights.
  • Ultimate Frequent Fear Pass: Valid EVERY night for maximum fear. (Are you sure you can handle this!?)

You can also upgrade your experience by purchasing a Halloween Horror Nights Express Pass. This will allow you to skip the regular lines once per haunted house, plus participating rides and attractions. With 10 haunted houses (more than ever before), five terrifying scare zones, and one powerhouse show, this is the best way to make sure you’re getting your desired fill of fright.

SCARY GOOD UPGRADES

Do you spend every other season waiting for Fall to roll around?  Do you hit up Williams of Hollywood during every trip to Universal Studios Florida to get new Halloween decorations? Do you get joy out of watching your friends scream as they cling to you while walking through a haunted house? Then these VIP experiences are for you.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

R.I.P. Tour

Reserve a spot on one of our R.I.P. Tours to get an exclusive look at Halloween Horror Nights. You’ll skip the front gates and enter through the VIP entrance to Universal Studios Florida to receive your tour credentials and lanyard. Start your night with a complimentary buffet, Halloween-themed desserts, and a private cash bar in Cafe La Bamba.

Then, enjoy front-of-the-line entry to the haunted houses (one entry, per house), reserved seating at the epic Academy of Villains show, and Universal Express Unlimited ride access. You also get complimentary standard valet parking and access to exclusive cash bar locations (must be 21+ with valid ID).

Private R.I.P. Tour

Not into getting scared with strangers? No worries! You can book a Private R.I.P. Tour for up to 12 people and customize your own itinerary—making your scares extra special. This is truly the most exclusive way to experience Halloween Horror Nights.

You get everything I mentioned above. Plus you get unlimited V.I.P. entry to the event’s haunted houses and select regular park attractions. This also includes a My Universal Photos 3-Day Photo Package to capture the fear forever.

Behind-The-Screams: Unmasking the Horror Tour

Want to find out how Universal Orlando’s Art & Design Team transforms the biggest names in horror into haunted houses? Go on the Behind-The-Screams: Unmasking the Horror Tour.

Before the sun sets and our scareactors come out to play, enjoy a guided day-time walking tour of either three or six haunted houses with the lights on. You’ll also receive a commemorative R.I.P. Tour lanyard and get the chance to photograph select rooms in select haunted houses. This is an opportunity you won’t find anywhere else! Theme park admission is not required or included.

FEARSOME FEASTS

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

The monsters aren’t going to be the only thing growling throughout the night. Make sure to think about your stomach and book a spot for our Scareactor Dining Experience at Universal Studios’ Classic Monsters Cafe.

You get to chow down on an all-you-care-to-eat themed dinner buffet and get pics (if you’re brave enough) with scareactors. Take home the nightmare of your frightful feast with a digital download of one photo taken during your dining experience. If your friends and family aren’t brave enough to dine with the scary monsters like you are, grab dinner in Universal CityWalk before the event starts.

Also, be sure to keep an eye out in the park during the event for new food and beverage options exclusive to Halloween Horror Nights. From tantalizing to terrifying, you won’t believe these treats aren’t a trick.

MAKE IT A SCARECATION

You’re going to want to stay nearby after the event wraps up, so why not make it a vacay filled with nightmares?

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

If you’re a Florida resident, you can book either a 1-Night or 2-Night Hotel & Ticket Package.

The 1-Night package includes:

  • One night of hotel accommodations at one of Universal’s on-site or partner hotels
  • One night admission to Halloween Horror Nights
  • Book by August 22nd and save $25!

The 2-Night package includes:

  • Two nights of hotel accommodations at any of our on-site or partner hotels
  • 3-Park, 2-Day Park-to-Park Florida Resident Ticket
  • One night admission to Halloween Horror Nights
  • Early Park Admission to one Universal Orlando theme park one hour before the parks open
  • Access to select live entertainment values at Universal CityWalk
  • Book by August 22nd and save $50!

Even if you’re from out of state, we got you covered! Your Hotel & Ticket Package includes:

  • Four nights of hotel accommodations at any of our on-site or partner hotels
  • 3-Park 4-Day Park-to-Park Ticket
  • One night admission to Halloween Horror Nights
  • Early Park Admission one hour before the theme parks open
  • Access to select live entertainment venues at Universal CityWalk
  • Book by August 22nd and save $100!

Of course, Universal’s on-site resort hotels are also available for any and all guests at great prices.

ANNUAL & SEASONAL PASSHOLDERS

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

If there was ever a time to become a Universal Orlando Passholder, it’s now! Annual and Seasonal Passholders get special discounts on single and multi-night tickets to Halloween Horror Nights.Additionally, Annual Passholders receive discounts on both R.I.P. and Private R.I.P. Tours.

Premier Passholders even get one FREE Halloween Horror Nights ticket valid for select nights. And all Passholders can snatch up their very own exclusive UOAP event merchandise, including a pin and t-shirt. Supplies are limited, so don’t sleep on them.

For their hotel accommodations, Passholders get a discounted rate on a 1-Night Hotel & Ticket Package. This package includes 1-Night Admission to Halloween Horror Nights on Sundays through Thursdays and a commemorative Passholder Halloween Horror Nights 2018 pin. A valid Annual or Seasonal Pass is required at time of booking and travel. Additionally, Passholders can enjoy scary good savings when they stay at any of our on-site hotels. Plus, special Passholder events will be announced soon.

And that’s all you need to know to have a frightening good time at Halloween Horror Nights 2018!

WARNING: Event may be too intense for young children and is not recommended for children under the age of 13. No costumes or masks allowed.

Thanks Universal Orlando Resort Blog!

Top 5 Things to Do at Volcano Bay If You Don’t Like Waterslides and Rides

When Universal Orlando Resort opened Volcano Bay last year, it became the first water theme park of its kind. With the TapuTapu wearable, guests can reserve their return time for a slide with a simple tap and then lounge on the beach while they wait. This park offers so much and is definitely worthwhile for families of all ages and interests. Here are the top five things to do at Volcano Bay if you don’t like waterslides.

Relaxing

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

It’s tough to stop and relax with the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Taking the time to recharge is good for your over-all health. Volcano Bay offers many ways to relax and forget about reality.

Start by taking a trip down the Kopiko Wai Winding River. Flowing down this peaceful river on a giant inner tube really helps take stress away.  Just keep an eye out for those water launchers!

Volcano Bay also provides a tranquil surrounding for sunbathing. The Florida sun is ever-so-friendly in this beautiful oasis. Finding the perfect spot along Waturi Beach and watching the waterfall on the Krakatau volcano, while soaking in the sun, makes for the best relaxation.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

You can also up your relaxation game with a Private Cabana rental. These cabanas can hold up to 16 people and offer a comfortable way to enjoy time with friends and family.

There is also the option to add on Premium Seating. This includes a pair of padded loungers, canopy, and even storage for belongings. Not to mention, you can relax even more knowing an area attendant will be taking care of your food and drink orders.

Delicious Bites

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Spending all day in this paradise is only made better with their food choices. There are plenty of delicious options to enjoy ! You have options like tacos from The Feasting Frog, “longboard” pizzas and tons of burger options.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Cooling off is made easy, not only with the beautiful beaches, but also with ice cream flavors exclusive to Volcano Bay. The Waturi Fusion is a must during your day at Volcano Bay.

Refreshing Drinks

One of the reasons many adult guests are so excited about their visit is taking the time to enjoy the specialty drinks.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

The Volcano Blossom craft beer has been described as tasting “like a tropical island.” The Volcano Bay Rum Punch is another popular choice out of the many cocktails.

There are also plenty of non-alcoholic drinks available too. One of the best is the tropical POG, made up of a delicious blend passion fruit, orange and guava juices.

Friendly reminder! You must be 21 years or older to consume alcohol and be able to present a valid driver’s license.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Volcano Bay also offers an incredible deal with their refillable mug. Not only is this mug the perfect souvenir to take home, it can also be refilled all day with thanks to the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines found throughout the park.

Exploring

There is so much to explore at Volcano Bay. Between the beautiful beach, the landscape, and even the Volcano itself, there really is so much to see.

Having no shortage of beautiful views, Volcano Bay is filled with potential Instagram photos. Take aesthetic photos and get those likes!

There are many ways to unleash the power of the TapuTapu. Use your TapuTapu to light up the walls inside the Volcano to reveal beautiful pictures.

The TapuTapu can even launch water to those relaxing in the two rivers. Be on the lookout for ways to unleash the TapuTapu throughout Volcano Bay.

Shopping

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

The time you spend at Volcano Bay is something you will want to remember and tell others about.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

The shopping at Volcano Bay is filled with souvenirs and beach gear perfect for remembering your time.

 Though waterslides are a huge reason to visit Volcano Bay, this tranquil water theme park offers so much more. Escaping reality, relaxing in the Florida sun, and enjoying a day at the beach is made perfect with this incredible theme park.

Upgrade your Annual Pass to a 3-park pass or add a Volcano Bay day to your upcoming vacation if you haven’t already. You can also enjoy Early Park Admission to Volcano Bay one hour before the park opens if you stay on-site at a Universal Orlando hotel.

You won’t want to miss out on a necessary day of relaxation.

Siera is a travel agent with Destinations in Florida, Universal Studios Travel Agency of the Year 2010, 2011, & 2012. She would love to help you plan your next Universal Orlando vacation at no cost to you. Contact Siera today at siera@destinationsinflorida.com or at 734-771-1290 for more information or your free, no obligation quote. 

Sneak Peek at the Food and Drinks from Bar 17 Bistro at Universal’s Aventura Hotel

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Have you heard? There’s an incredible new restaurant coming with the opening of Universal’s Aventura Hotel on August 16th. Universal’s first-ever rooftop bar and grill – Bar 17 Bistro. And we have a special sneak peek of some of the food and drinks that will be available for you to enjoy!

Perched up on the 17th floor of this stylish and modern hotel, Bar 17 Bistro will be the place to see and be seen. This bright, open-air venue will be surrounded by glass panels, giving you stunning views of all three Universal Orlando theme parks. I highly recommend stopping up during sunset – the most gorgeous time of day to take in the view.

But the real showstopper at Bar 17 Bistro will be the delicious food and unique cocktails. Reminiscent of the small plates and craft cocktails found at trendy hotspots in cities across the globe, Bar 17 Bistro will offer all of this at Aventura Hotel’s Prime Value price point.

Here’s a sneak peek at some of what you’ll be able to find at Bar 17 Bistro when it opens in just a couple weeks!

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

First up, complex frozen drinks. These are freshly-made frozen drinks (no pre-made mixes are used) with unique flavor profiles like rum, matcha and lime or bourbon, maple and grapefruit. They’re a modern take on the traditional frozen drink and I’m sure you’re going to love them.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

There will also be an entire section of the menu that features bao buns, with fillings that range from braised pork belly to lamb satay to tempura baby vegetable. Some guest favorites are expected to be the braised pork belly and the firecracker shrimp bao buns. Why so many baos, you ask? They’re easy to share and will feature lots of textures and colors. They’ll be delicious and they’re pretty to look at, too.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Another favorite on the drink menu is the Firebird. The Firebird is made with tequila, jalapeno, strawberry and cilantro – a refreshing cocktail with just the right amount of kick. Since Aventura is more of a lifestyle hotel, Universal wanted to bring refreshing ideas to the food and drink offerings, while still keeping the stylish vibe of the hotel.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Speaking of refreshing, the salads will showcase some of the best Florida-grown produce from the region. They wanted to have something light, refreshing and citrus-inspired on the menu. These salads are pretty food that’s easy to eat and best of all – this is a guilt free indulgence!

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Not into alcoholic beverages? There are plenty of options for you, too. This pineapple turmeric lemonade will be a featured mocktail on the menu. The flavors come together for a thirst-quenching and revitalizing beverage that’s perfect for a rooftop bar in Orlando.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

The last sneak peek item is the Wagyu beef sliders. This is Universal’s take on burgers. They’re gourmet sliders that will be easy to share. You’ll love the locally-made brioche bun and French cheese. With horseradish mayo, gruyere cheese, roasted pepper chutney and watercress, served with a side of pomme frites, these burgers are something special, and just a little bit adventurous.

Don’t forget – Bar 17 Bistro will open daily at 4:00 pm. Be sure to book your room soon so you don’t miss out on a special limited time offer! If you book a four-night stay or longer, you’ll receive a free $50 hotel dining credit, which can be used at Bar 17 Bistro.

Let me know what you’ll be eating and drinking when you take in these epic views. See you at the top!

Must be 21 years and older with valid identification to purchase or drink alcoholic beverages.

Thanks Universal Orlando Resort Blog

 

Book Your 2019 Vacation at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort Now

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Get ready to kick back, relax and step into the free-spirited lifestyle of surf culture. You can now be among the first to book reservations and stay at Universal’s newest and most affordable hotel, Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites, opening August 2019.

With the addition of this all-new Value category hotel, Universal now offers a hotel for every style and budget. This means that at Surfside Inn and Suites you’ll experience a quality and seamless Universal Orlando vacation, all at a value that can’t be found anywhere else.

Studio Rendering, Inc. is an award winning Visual Communication studio specializing in 3D computer graphics for the design industry.
As artists, designers, film-makers and creative consultants, we partner with the world’s leading designers and creative thinkers on some 400 projects every year. These projects can be as small as a single rendering or as large as a full scale production of a film / animation.
Our work reflects an enduring commitment to photo-realism and the belief that a visual is one of the most powerful tools to communicating design.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

As Universal’s first Value category hotel, the bright and beach-themed rooms at Surfside Inn and Suites introduce their most affordable price point yet:

  • Standard Rooms start at $73 per night
  • 2 Bedroom Suites start at $111 per night

Speaking of 2 Bedroom Suites, Surfside Inn and Suites is the perfect home-base for the entire family because half the rooms at this hotel are spacious suites that sleep up to six people. These suites feel like a beach retreat and feature two bedrooms: one room with two queen beds and the other with a single queen bed. There will also be a kitchenette area, a cool picnic table for meals and hanging out, and a bathroom with separate shower and vanity areas, so the whole family can get ready at the same time.

Studio Rendering, Inc. is an award winning Visual Communication studio specializing in 3D computer graphics for the design industry.
As artists, designers, film-makers and creative consultants, we partner with the world’s leading designers and creative thinkers on some 400 projects every year. These projects can be as small as a single rendering or as large as a full scale production of a film / animation.
Our work reflects an enduring commitment to photo-realism and the belief that a visual is one of the most powerful tools to communicating design.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

You’ll also enjoy the exclusive benefits that only come with staying at a Universal Orlando Resort hotel. Make the most of your day with Early Park Admission—allowing you to enjoy the theme parks each morning an hour before park opening—as well as free shuttle transportation to and from our three incredible theme parks and Universal CityWalk.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

And when you aren’t out having a blast at the parks, you’ll be basking by the pool or lounging at the pool bar. You’ll also enjoy the hotel’s food court, fitness center, Universal Studios Store and a coffee bar. Just kick back and surrender to the calming rhythm of the tides at Surfside Inn and Suites where it’s flip-flops, sun-kissed hair, sparkling water and open blue skies, all year long!

SONNY+ASH is an award winning Visual Communication studio specializing in 3D computer graphics for the design industry.
As artists, designers, film-makers and creative consultants, we partner with the world’s leading designers and creative thinkers on some 400 projects every year. These projects can be as small as a single rendering or as large as a full scale production of a film / animation.
Our work reflects an enduring commitment to photo-realism and the belief that a visual is one of the most powerful tools to communicating design.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

If you’re just as excited as I am about staying at Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites make sure you book your room soon. At such a great price, rooms will fill up fast!

Thanks Universal Orlando Resort Blog!

Contact us today for your free, no obligation quote at siera@destinationsinflorida.com. Plus, receive our Guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter as our free gift to you when you book your Universal Orlando Resort vacation with us!

Top 5 Wizarding World of Harry Potter Shows You Have to See at Universal Orlando

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

When most people think of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort, they think rides, robes, and copious amounts of delicious Butterbeer. Those are, of course, some of my favorite things. But they’re far from all there is to experience.

One of my favorite things to do is to kick back for a bit and watch one of the five Wizarding World of Harry Potter shows in Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade. (Usually with Butterbeer in hand though, let’s be real.)

Here’s a quick look into each show that you won’t want to miss.

Hogwarts Frog Choir:

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

It’s just like your high school a capella choir, except with, ya know, several frogs filling in the bass section. This choir, performing at Hogsmeade in Universal’s Islands of Adventure, has a representative from each of the four Hogwarts houses and some soothing ribbits that will be sure to get stuck in your head all day. What more could you want?

Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees: 

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

You might know the sensational Celestina Warbeck as Molly Weasley’s favorite singer. But anybody who’s seen her live in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida knows she’s SO much more than that. I dare you to not dance along to her live show.

Triwizard Spirit Rally: 

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

We have spirit for the Triwizard Tournament at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade where students from Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang lead the excitement in celebrating their international magical cooperation. It’ll have you wishing your school was this cool.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard: The Tale of Three Brothers

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Ah, the theater! There’s nothing quite like relaxing in Diagon Alley as students from the Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts perform two storiesfrom The Tales of Beedle the Bard. You’re probably familiar with The Tale of Three Brothers from the Deathly Hallows, but you’ve never seen it quite like this. Watch as the story comes alive featuring props designed by Emmy-award-winning designer Michael Curry.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard: The Fountain of Fair Fortune

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

The second Beedle the Bard fable you can catch the Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts performing in Diagon Alley is The Fountain of Fair Fortune. Much like The Tale of Three Brothers, this show also features some seriously impressive puppets, and even more impressive performances by our local Diagon Alley theater troupe.

What’s your favorite show at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter? Tell us in the comments below. See you at a future show!

Siera is a travel agent with Destinations in Florida, Universal Studios Travel Agency of the Year 2010, 2011, & 2012. She would love to help you plan your next Universal Orlando vacation at no cost to you. Contact Siera today at siera@destinationsinflorida.com or at 734-771-1290 for more information or your free, no obligation quote. 

Enjoy Delicious Dining at Urban Pantry at Universal’s Aventura Hotel

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

I hope you’re hungry! Universal’s Aventura Hotel is about to introduce something new and different to Orlando’s theme park food scene.

Urban Pantry will be Aventura Hotel’s modern food hall. Here your taste buds will be hit with diverse flavors, fresh ingredients and globally inspired dishes. Best of all? This eclectic collection of amazing eats will all be available at Universal’s newest Prime Value hotel.

Inspired by world-famous food halls and markets found in major cities like San Francisco and London, Urban Pantry fits perfectly into the contemporary and stylish vibe at Aventura Hotel. While you may want to enjoy the rooftop bar and grill, Bar 17 Bistro at night, Urban Pantry will be the perfect gathering spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner. With plenty of seating and large floor-to-ceiling windows, you can take in the natural sunlight and enjoy a view of the pool while you eat.

Here’s a sneak peak of some of the delicious options you’ll find at Urban Pantry.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

The Roast Station will feature entrees like cuts of lamb and prime rib, plus chicken, salmon and paella. You can pair these dishes with sides like quinoa, couscous, roasted marble potatoes, spinach and seasonal veggies.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

At the Pizza Station you can watch chefs create mouthwatering pizzas topped with gourmet ingredients like prosciutto and smoked salmon. These are baked in high-temperature stone ovens with seating designed to let you watch your pie in the making. For dessert, indulge in a gelato sandwich, a pressed sweet bread bun filled with hazelnut chocolate and gelato.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

The Wok Station lets you customize a hearty, healthy bowl of fresh ingredients. Choose stir fry or ramen-style, then pick your protein like steak, chicken, shrimp or tofu and top it off with your choice of vegetables. This station will also offer a selection of sushi and appetizers like tuna poke, crab spring rolls and dumplings.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

The Burger Station serves delicious handhelds with your choice of grass-fed beef, Black Angus beef, turkey burger or vegetarian burger garnished with an assortment of cheeses and toppings like aged Gouda, bacon and fig jam, and roasted mushrooms. If you’re craving seafood, dive into the Florida Grouper sandwich. Don’t forget to add a pickle, French fries and savory dipping sauces.

You’ll also have the option of pairing your Urban Pantry dish with a perfectly paired drink. Each food station will serve wine and beer themed to the cuisine and designed to complement the flavors of your meal.  For example, you can get Asian beer and sake at the Wok Station.

Almost everything at Urban Pantry will be made from scratch, which means you’ll get the highest-quality, best-tasting food. Not only will the food taste delicious – with select organic and all-natural ingredients, it will be good for you, too! And if you have special dietary needs, you can talk directly to the chef cooking your meal, so it’s made just right.

I can’t wait for you to try all the amazing food and drink at Universal’s Aventura Hotel. Be sure to book your room soon so you don’t miss out on this limited time offer! If you book a four-night stay or longer, you’ll receive a free $50 hotel dining credit so you can try all of this mouthwatering food.

Check back soon for all-new details on the highly-anticipated Bar 17 Bistro. This rooftop experience featuring unique food and drinks will soon be a must do on my list and I’m sure, yours as well. And tell us in the comments below what your first stop will be when you visit the Urban Pantry.

Thanks Universal Orlando Resort Blog!

Six Things for Couples to Enjoy Without Kids at Universal Orlando Resort

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Universal Orlando Resort may be known as a family destination, but with a handful of top-notch hotels and a diverse dining and bar scene, it’s also a place primed for couples. Headed there for your a special occasion or just a fun time out together? Here are six things that we think couples will enjoy without kids at Universal Orlando Resort.

Stay at the Hard Rock Hotel

Universal Orlando has five unique hotels to choose from (and a sixth coming in August). But the sexiest of all – and, perhaps more importantly, the one that seems to attract fewer small children – is the Hard Rock Hotel. With its music memorabilia-lined interior and sophisticated boutique vibe, it’s a rock ‘n roll getaway like nothing else.

The 12,000-square-foot pool has regular live music and is equipped with an underwater sound system. The Palm is a great spot for dinner, and the Velvet Bar appeals to the late night crowd looking for a libation or midnight snack. Big fan of rock ‘n roll? Check out “The Sound of Your Stay” program, where the hotel will loan you an electric guitar or bass to jam out during your stay, or let you borrow a turntable with a selection of records.

In between exploring the theme parks and enjoying the pool, you can browse the hotel’s music memorabilia, all artfully woven into the interior design plan.

Pro Tip: Plan your visit to overlap with the last Thursday of the month from January through October, then book your ticket for a Velvet Session. The lobby of the hotel is transformed into an intimate live music venue where world-famous bands come to play.

Get an Exclusive Tour of the Parks

 Want to experience Universal Orlando  just the two of you with a private tour guide? Book a VIP Experience, and you’ll be assigned a personal guide to escort you through the parks. You’ll get exclusive perks like private entrances at attractions throughout Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, gain insider information and see parts of Universal that many park-goers never get to see.

Pool Hop Around the Resort

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

If you’re staying on-site at one of the Universal Orlando’s hotels, you can use the other hotels’ amenities, too. Take advantage of that and spend the day hopping from hotel to hotel. Check out Loews Sapphire Falls Resort‘s water slide, Cabana Bay Beach’s 50s retro poolside fun, Loews Royal Pacific Resort‘s sparkling lagoon and the private, adults-only pool at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel.

Get Your Pamper On

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

What better way to signal you’re on a real vacation than checking into Mandara Spaat Loews Portofino Bay Hotel for a couples’ treatment? The Italian-inspired property conceals a 13,000-square-foot spa that’s outfitted with 14 private treatment rooms, two couples’ rooms, a hydro-therapy pool and more.

Go Out on the Town

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

One of the many perks of staying on-property at Universal Orlando is the easy access to Universal CityWalk, which is a quick stroll from the Hard Rock Hotel.

There, you can sip margaritas at Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food, indulge in a feast for your taste buds at The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen, and finish the night taking the stage at Rising Star, where a full band backs your karaoke efforts.

Embrace Your Inner Child

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

So you don’t have children? That doesn’t mean you can’t be the kid yourself – at least for a short time. You’re on vacation now: Lower your inhibitions, order that Waturi Fusion ice cream at Universal’s Volcano Bay and let loose while you soak up hours, if not days, of theme park fun with your significant other in tow.

Have you enjoyed Universal Orlando Resort as a couple? Share with us what some of your favorite things to do together during your visit.

Siera is a travel agent with Destinations in Florida, Universal Studios Travel Agency of the Year 2010, 2011, & 2012. She would love to help you plan your next Universal Orlando vacation at no cost to you. Contact Siera today at siera@destinationsinflorida.com or at 734-771-1290 for more information or your free, no obligation quote.