Category Archives: Florida

Top 12 Toys and Tricks to Find at Weasleys Wizard Wheezes

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort)

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley has many shops that long-time Harry Potter fans dream of visiting.

Most fans know the name of this infamous store; but for those who don’t, allow me to introduce you to Weasleys Wizard Wheezes: the joke shop founded by Fred and George Weasley. These unpredictable twins had a lifelong dream of opening a place to share their fun creations with all witches and wizards.

Some of the products are widely known, but there are many that the common Muggle may not be familiar with. Take a look at this list of 12 popular items you can find at this one-of-a-kind shop!

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort)

 1. Fever Fudge, Puking Pastilles, U-No-Poo, Fainting Fancies and Nosebleed Nougat

This range of sweets has been useful in getting students out of class for years at Hogwarts. Each sweet will give the user a different symptom such as fever, vomit, unconsciousness, or a nosebleed. You can pick the one you want to try or experience a variety of them with the Skiving Snackbox.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort)

2. Screaming Yo-yo

The name definitely shrieks for itself with this magical toy. Its distracting screams can be heard from across the room!

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort)

3. Decoy Detonator

This popular item is typically used to create a diversion in a time of need. You’ve actually seen it in action before in the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow: Part 1. Once dropped, there’s no way to catch it!

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort)

4. Love Potion

This powerful brew doesn’t need much of an explanation. Give it to the person you desire and see the magic happen yourself.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort)

5. Chattering Teeth

Wind it up and the conversation will never stop!

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort)

6. Extendable Ear

Looking to eavesdrop? Get an Extendable Ear to listen to any quiet conversation from up to 12 feet away. Make sure your cat doesn’t eat it though… Yes, we’re talking about you, Crookshanks.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort)

7. Boxing Telescope

I wouldn’t suggest taking a peek through this telescope. The Boxing Telescope is said to land a punch on whoever squeezes it, but we would never confirm or deny it.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort)

8. Pink Elephant

This may look easy, but it only took twenty tries. Keep you and your friends easily entertained by seeing how many attempts it takes to perfectly flip this toy to land on its feet.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort)

9. Duck on Bike

There’s an assortment of Muggle toys inside the shop as a tribute to the twins’ father, Arthur. He was fascinated with Muggle artifacts, so there are a few vintage toys you can get like the Duck on Bike, Elephant on Bike and Robot Lilliput.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort)

10. Pygmy Puff

These furry little creatures are one of the Weasleys’ most popular bestsellers. They come in different shades of pink and purple, can be found in three different sizes and you may even get one that purrs! There’s also a fun naming ceremony for each Pygmy Puff that gets adopted.  The giant bell in the store is rung to announce the adoption and the new owner gets to tell everyone the name they chose.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort)

11. Fanged Flyer

This type of Frisbee is just as fun as any other… as long as it is used with caution. The Fanged Flyer gets upset when you pet its teeth, which is why the handler’s glove is included with your purchase.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort)

12. Cycling Dolores Umbridge

Last, but certainly not least, is the toy everyone loves to hate. Turn it on and watch her go!

These items (and many more) can all be found in Weasleys Wizard Wheezes at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida.

Which item from Weasleys Wizard Wheezes is a must-have for you during your next visit? Let us know in the comments!

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. 

2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts to Offer 39 Days of Artful Fun

From the Disney Parks Blog:

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

You can kick off 2019 with the return of the 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts – a 39-day celebration of visual, culinary and performing arts from around the world. Beginning January 18 and running through February 25, 2019 the festival offers artful activities for the entire family, from special entertainment and interactive workshops to immersive art experiences and world-class cuisine.

New in 2019, guests can now sing along to their favorite Disney Broadway tunes seven days a week during the popular Disney on Broadway Concert Series, with daily showings at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Each week, different pairs of Disney on Broadway stars will take the America Gardens Theatre stage to sing favorite songs from award-winning Disney on Broadway productions. The lineup will rotate regularly, featuring music from shows such as “The Lion King,” “Frozen” and “Beauty and the Beast”:

  • Kerry Butler (“Beauty and the Beast”) and Kevin Massey (“Tarzan”)
  • Meredith Inglesby (“The Little Mermaid”) and Steve Blanchard (“Beauty and the Beast”)
  • Arielle Jacobs and Adam Jacobs (“Aladdin”)
  • Heidi Blickenstaff (“Freaky Friday”) and Gavin Lee (“Mary Poppins”)
  • Ashley Brown (“Mary Poppins”) and Josh Strickland (“Tarzan”)
  • Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White (“The Lion King”)

The concert series is included with park admission; reserved seating is available by booking a Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Package, which allows guests to make a breakfast, lunch or dinner reservation at a participating Epcot restaurant and later enjoy priority seating at a show. Dining package reservations open Nov. 8, and for more information, visit Disneyworld.com or call 407-939-3463.

Speaking of food … Epcot International Festival of the Arts will feature 13 Food Studios, plus other creative (and savory!) offerings around Epcot with an expanded menu of tastes and sips. Drop by The Artist’s Table for beef wellington with mushroom bordelaise, fennel cream and roasted baby vegetables, or enjoy smoked salmon and cream gâteau with egg yolk cream, paddlefish caviar and micro-herbs at The Painter’s Palate. Pop Eats! will serve up almond frangipane cake with raspberry and chocolate, while red wine-braised short rib with parsnip purée, broccolini, baby tomatoes and aged balsamic will be available at Cuisine Classique.

Guests will also find activities to the inspire artists of all ages. Here are a few fun highlights planned for the 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts:

  • Everyone’s invited to grab a paintbrush and help create a wall mural along World Showcase Plaza.
  • At the Artful Photo Opportunities, you can step inside masterworks of art and take photos with friends.
  • The Paint with a Disney Artist program invites guests to learn under the tutelage of a professional (offered select Fridays and Sundays, including continental breakfast, for an additional fee).
  • Performing artists are scheduled throughout the festival, demonstrating gravity-defying feats of strength, acrobatics and many other skills.
  • International musical and variety acts will share their talents with guests, including the return of Bodh’aktan to the Canada stage and Delta Q, a new group performing in Germany.
  • Guests can join in the fun of Figment’s Brush with the Masters Scavenger Hunt by purchasing a map at select merchandise locations.
  • A variety of workshops led by professionals will teach different artistic techniques, such as floral design, ink and paint, mixed-media art and more (offered Friday-Monday for an additional fee). As a memento of what they learn, guests will take their creations home with them. Details on workshop registration
    will be released soon.
  • Complimentary 30-minute seminars will give guests helpful instruction for producing their own artwork at home.

Now, more than ever is the time to start planning your visit to the 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts.

Disney After Hours Events Now Available at Three Parks

From the Disney Parks Blog:

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Disney After Hours events have been a huge hit with Walt Disney World Resort visitors. As a result of the success of Disney After Hours, more event nights are now set for Magic Kingdom Park, and for the first time ever, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom will join in on the fun!

Disney After Hours events are an opportunity to experience the magic of a Disney theme park for three hours after regular park hours, which means little-to-no wait for attractions, experiences and character greetings! You can even enter the park early – at 7 p.m. on your event night – before Disney After Hours begins. Ice cream, popcorn and select beverages are also included in your Disney After Hours admission, which is a separately priced ticket from daytime park admission.

Here’s what to expect at each park:

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Magic Kingdom Park
Enjoy classic favorite attractions from Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Space Mountain as well as newer favorites like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, plus many more. Event nights will run on: Dec. 3, 10, 2018; and Jan. 7, 17, 24 and 28, 2019; Feb. 7, 14, and 28, 2019; and March 7, 2019.

Tickets are currently available for Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom Park at DisneyWorld.com/DisneyAfterHours.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Imagine having little-to-no wait for newly opened Toy Story Land attractions, including Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Mania! Rockin’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror and other attractions will also be available. Select quick-service food & beverage locations will also stay open for purchases throughout the night. Event nights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be: Dec. 8, 15 and 22, 2018; and Jan. 5, 12 and 19, 2019; Feb. 2, 9 and 16, 2019; March 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, 2019; and April 6 and 13, 2019.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Enjoy the best Disney’s Animal Kingdom has to offer at night, including heart-tugging Tree of Life Awakenings, the adventures within Pandora – The World of Avatar and more. Select quick-service food & beverage locations will remain open throughout the night for purchases. Dates at Disney’s Animal Kingdom are: Dec. 4, 12 and 18, 2018; and Jan. 8, 16, 22 and 31, 2019; and Feb. 5, 6, 12, 13, 19 and 26, 2019; and March 5, 20 and 27, 2019; and April 3, 2019.

Tickets for Disney After Hours events at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom are now on-sale through the Disney Reservation Center by calling 407-939-7795.

All Disney After Hours event tickets cost $125 + tax for advance purchase and $129 + tax for day-of purchases. Disney Vacation Club members and Annual Passholders do receive a discounted price $95 + tax.

Top Five Best Desserts at Universal Orlando Resort

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

The Orlando theme parks are known to offer the latest dessert crazes and biggest, most Instagram-worthy treats. You know, the kind of desserts that are so outrageous you can’t help but pause to get a perfect picture no matter how deliciously tempting it looks. Even though it’s hard to choose just five, here are the best desserts at Universal Orlando Resort.

Pick a special occasion — a birthday, an anniversary, or just being on vacation — are get ready. These treats from Universal Orlando Resort are indulgent with a capital “I”, so invite your friends to dig in as these are made for sharing!

THE BIG CANNOLI

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Where To Find It: Vivo Italian Kitchen, Universal CityWalk

What Makes It Epic: The Big Cannoli is an Italian dessert of epic proportions — over a foot long cannoli shell filled with two pounds of cannoli cream! It’s topped with white and dark chocolate shavings and is best when shared with friends as it easily serves four or more.

JUMBO PINEAPPLE DOUGHNUT

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Where To Find It: Islands Dining Room, Loews Royal Pacific Resort

What Makes It Epic: Universal Orlando is known for giant donuts. This single homemade donut is easily large enough to feed four people and is filled with pineapple cream and coconut ice cream.

7-LAYER KITCHEN SINK CAKE

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Where To Find It: The Kitchen, Hard Rock Hotel

What Makes It Epic: Imagine all of your favorite desserts layered on top of one another, and that’s what you get with the Kitchen Sink Cake. Starting with chocolate walnut brownie on the bottom, then layered with peanut butter, chocolate chip cookie, pecan pie, New York cheesecake, chocolate mousse cake, and topped with vanilla cake. Then, the whole thing is covered in chocolate icing, chocolate cake crumbles, and chocolate chips. You’ll be challenged to fit all seven layers of dessert on one fork!

BUTTERBEER ICE-CREAM

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Where To Find It: Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour, Universal Studios Florida

What Makes It Epic: It tastes like the ultimate combination of vanilla and butterscotch swirled to perfection. Treat yourself to a fun spin on this beloved flavor with Butterbeer ice-cream in Diagon Alley.

RED VELVET MILKSHAKE

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Where To Find It: The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen, Universal CityWalk

What Makes It Epic: Have your cake and sip it too! This vanilla ice cream and raspberry milkshake has not one, but two red velvet cupcakes. One whole cupcake is blended inside like a sweet hidden surprise while the other proudly sits on top, making this one of the most Instagram-worthy milkshakes you’ll ever see.

What are you waiting for? Head to Universal Orlando Resort to try one of these amazing desserts.

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 Five Things to Do During the Holidays at Disney World

Believe it or not… the Walt Disney World Resort truly does become more magical during the holiday season. With special events throughout the parks, beautiful decorations throughout the parks and resorts, it is one of the best time of year to visit. 

Here are the top five things to do during the holidays at Disney World: 

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party: This separate ticket event is held on select nights in November and December from 7 pm to 12 am at Magic Kingdom Park. Although there is an added cost for this experience, you get to enjoy unlimited hot cocoa, apple juice, cookies, and apple sliced throughout the evening; Once Upon a Christmastime Parade; a Frozen Holiday Wish; the Jungle Cruise transforms into the Jingle Cruise; Holiday Wishes fireworks spectacular; two dance parties; rare character meet and greets and so much more!

Flurry of Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: The Hollywood Tower Hotel transforms with projections and even “snow” along Sunset Boulevard during Sunset Seasons Greetings where guests can enjoy four stories about some of our favorite Disney characters. Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam is a fun nighttime show projected onto the Chinese Theater. Wayne and Lanny from ABC’s Prep & Landing need our help to save Santa Claus and bring him back to the North Pole in time for Christmas Day!

Epcot International Festival of the Holidays: The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays includes holiday kitchens featuring seasonal recipes, Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree scavenger hunt around the World Showcase, Candlelight Processional, and more. Candlelight Processional is always a guest favorite, featuring a celebrity narrator reading the Christmas story and accompanied by a fifty piece orchestra and full choir. Even with three readings nightly, this event fills quickly so we do strongly recommend the Candlelight Processional dining packages to reserve your spot.

Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs: 2016 was the first year that Disney created the Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs and it has grown each year since! With twenty-five trees planned for 2018, all inspired by our favorite Disney movies and characters, this is a great place for photo opportunities or even a little inspiration for your Disney decorated trees at home.

Resort Decorations: All of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels decorate for the holiday season with Christmas trees, wreaths, and more. However, some have over the top decorations that you just have to see for yourself! The most incredible is probably the life size gingerbread house at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Although you won’t want to miss the life size gingerbread carousel at Disney’s Beach Club Resort or the gingerbread castle at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, either. There are even sleigh rides through Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground!

What are your favorite things to do during the holidays at Disney World? 

Call Siera today to book your Disney World vacation at 734-771-1290 or email her at siera@destinationsinflorida.com anytime with questions or a free, no obligation quote! 

Top 5 Holiday Experiences at Disney World to Book for your Vacation

From the Disney Parks Blog:

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

From glittering holiday decor to special entertainment to tasty seasonal treats, spending the holiday season at Walt Disney World Resort can’t be beat.

Here are five holiday experiences at Disney World you can book right now that can help you make the most of your holiday visit:

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park – Experience the holiday party of a lifetime at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Taking place on select nights in November and December, this guest-favorite annual holiday event includes a special “Once Upon a Christmastime Parade,” “Holiday Wishes” fireworks, snow on Main Street, U.S.A., and much more. Pick up tickets now before they’re gone. You can also plus up your party experience with special dining options that are only available on party nights, including the Holiday Wishes Fireworks Holiday Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace and Holiday Wishes Fireworks Holiday Dessert Party with Plaza Garden Viewing.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Tony’s Most Merriest Town Square Party – Reservations just opened for this brand-new F&B offering at Magic Kingdom Park. This experience begins at 9:30 p.m. on Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party nights, and includes a tasty hors d’oeuvres and a dessert buffet at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant. At 11 p.m., you’ll have access to a special reserved viewing area for the truly enchanting “Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade” as it makes its way down Main Street, U.S.A. Tony’s Most Merriest Town Square Party continues until 12:30 a.m., even longer than Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Both a Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party ticket and reservations for Tony’s Most Merriest Town Square Party are required to attend. More details and bookings here.

Presented in the America Gardens Theatre at Epcot, Candlelight Processional is one of the most beloved holiday traditions at Walt Disney World Resort. Featuring a joyous retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator, accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and a glorious mass choir, this festive performance takes place annually in November and December. Show times are at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. Epcot is one of four theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kent Phillips, photographer)

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

“The Candlelight Processional” Dining Packages at Epcot – “The Candlelight Processional” is a holiday tradition for many Disney guests and families. See the show with ease thanks to a “Candlelight Processional” dining package, which gives you breakfast, lunch or dinner at a tasty Epcot restaurant plus priority seating for the show. Each meal includes an appetizer, entrée and dessert or one full buffet or family-style dining (where applicable), along with a non-alcoholic beverage. Check out this year’s list of narrators – which includes newcomers Auli’i Cravalho and Alfonso Ribeiro, as well as returning favorites Neil Patrick Harris and Gary Sinise – here.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Dessert Party at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Not only does this delicious dessert party dish up mouth-watering sweets, but dessert party reservations give you priority viewing for not one, but two of Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ nighttime shows – “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” and “Disney Movie Magic,” as well as a greeting with a Disney character! Sneak a peek at the delicious menu and make your reservations here.

New Year’s Eve Celebration Reservations – Three unforgettable New Year’s Eve experiences – Pixar Party: A New Year’s Eve CelebrationDisney Countdown to Midnight: A New Year’s Eve Celebration, and Disney Ink & Paint Club – are already on sale. Don’t miss out!

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

And, last but not least … no trip to Walt Disney World Resort during the holiday season would be complete without picking up an adorable holiday Minnie Snowflake Ears Headband or Santa Mickey Mouse Ear Hat. Several new styles were just released this fall. Grab them now at ShopDisneyParks.com before they’re gone!

Top 8 Reasons Why You Need to Ride Hogwarts Express Both Directions

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Straight from the pages and silver screen, Universal Orlando Resort is the only place where you can actually ride the famous Hogwarts Express. From The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade to Diagon Alley and back again, traveling between Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida aboard Hogwarts Express is a must-see attraction unto itself.

There are hundreds of reasons to choose the Hogwarts Express as your mode of transportation, but we are sharing with you the top eight reasons today:

1. First and foremost, the aesthetics of the stations and attraction are true to the movies and books, so you’ll feel like you’ve actually been dropped into the story.

2. Each station offers unique opportunities for epic photos to share with your friends and family.

3. Not to mention, the architecture is totally stunning.

4. And remember, the Hogwarts Express is the best way to stay immersed in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter when traveling between the two lands.

5. At King’s Cross Station, you’ll find yourself at Platform 9 ¾. You can even walk through the iconic wall; but I’m leaving that bit out because it’s so much better when you experience it for yourself!

6. When traveling from London to Hogsmeade, be sure to look out for a number of cameos from your favorite characters, like this fly-by of Hagrid and his magical motorcycle.

7. And from Hogsmeade to London the story and cameos are completely different, so look out for moments like this one with Fred and George *casually* plugging their Weasleys’ Wizarding Wheezes store in Diagon Alley.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

8. Finally, riding the Hogwarts Express both ways allows you the opportunity to experience both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, which is a true one-of-a-kind experience that you can only get here.

Of course, there’s much more mind-blowing stuff to see and do on the Hogwarts Express. What’s your favorite part of riding!?

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Thanks Universal Orlando Resort Blog!

Complete Guide to the Best Food at Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando Resort

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Complete Guide to the Best Food at Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando Resort

Universal’s Volcano Bay—Universal Orlando’s third theme park, is home to the fabled Waturi tribe and their entire realm is centered around the colossal 200-foot-tall Krakatau volcano with cascading waterfalls. Here, travelers are transported to the idyllic South Pacific where adventures await at every corner – they can shoot down the epic aqua coaster through the insides of the breathtaking Krakatau volcano, or ride one of the many thrilling, wild water slides and rides.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Volcano Bay is also home to four dining spots: Kohola Reef Restaurant & Social ClubWhakawaiwai EatsBambu and The Feasting Frog, along with two full bars to quench your thirst – Dancing Dragons Boat Bar and the Kunuku Boat Bar.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Sure, there are the usual staples of family favorites here—burgers, corn dogs, nachos and chicken tenders (although even those often have a tropical twist). But the Food and Beverage team for Volcano Bay have amped up the notches on the foodie meter here. They’ve added distinctive touches to the menu of over 60 different island-inspired dishes and over 12 signature cocktails.

Here are some of the best dishes to eat and drinks to drink at Volcano Bay so far:

Coconut Crusted Fried Chicken

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Coconut Crusted Fried Chicken, served with french fries, sweet plantains and cucumber mango basil slaw. This lovely fried chicken has just a touch of sweetness from the coconut flavors, transporting your taste buds to an island in the South Pacific.

Hawaiian Ribs

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

If there’s one dish you must try at Volcano Bay, it’s these smoked Hawaiian ribs. Sticky and sweet, these are slow smoked honey glazed ribs served with french fries, sweet plantains and a cucumber mango basil slaw.

Burgers at Volcano Bay

There’s quite a few burgers here, all served on a King’s Hawaiian Roll bun for that island flavor and sweet kick. From bacon to Szechuan glazed pork belly, there’s something for everyone. One of the most popular burgers is the vegetarian friendly Quinoa Edamame Burger.

Quinoa Edamame Burger

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Volcano Bay should just call it the umami burger, because it is packed with umami flavors from the roasted shiitake mushrooms to the crispy, crunchy quinoa edamame “burger” patty.

Reka Burger

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

The Reka Burger has Pepper Jack cheese, bacon, caramelized onions, topped with bread and butter pickles and BBQ sauce, on a King’s Hawaiian Roll, served with fries

Belly Burger

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Belly Burger – Szechuan-glazed pork belly, caramelized onions, topped with fresh cucumber basil slaw, lettuce, and tomato, served with fries.

Bacon Cheeseburger

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Who doesn’t love a classic? Bacon Cheeseburger with two slices of crispy bacon, American cheese, lettuce and tomato, served with fries.

Jerk Mahi Sandwich

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

For those seafood lovers, the fresh and succulent jerk seasoned mahi mahi sandwich is the perfect choice, served with a cucumber mango basil slaw, lettuce, tomato and Sriracha mayo on coconut bread with a side of vegetable chips.

Hawaiian Longboard Pizza

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

The pizzas here aren’t your typical round pizzas found at the corner. The ones served on the island of Volcano Bay are “longboard” pizzas, served in the shape of an elliptical surfboard. Ride the flavor waves with the Hawaiian Longboard Pizza, topped with sweet caramelized pineapple, savory diced ham, and spicy pickled jalapeños.

Jerk Shrimp Mac & Cheese

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

This savory and satisfying Jerk Shrimp Mac and Cheese features Jamaican jerk-spiced, pan-seared shrimp tossed with pasta shells in a creamy, white cheddar cheese sauce. It’s so good, you might be tempted to just dive in and devour the whole thing yourself. It’s probably best to share.

Poke Poke Bowl

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Succulent, fresh Ahi Tuna, tossed in soy honey vinaigrette and served with plantain chips. With origins in Hawaii, the poke tuna is all the rage right now. The sweet and sour soy-honey vinaigrette sauce makes this tuna dish pop with flavor.

Loaded Nachos

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

A family favorite, these Loaded Nachos come topped with chili, melted cheese, jalapenos and a drizzle of sour cream. Don’t forget the napkins!

Round out this foodie adventure with some of the finest desserts to be found in all the seven seas.

Waturi Fusion Ice Cream Cone

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Made up of swirls of banana, blue raspberry, strawberry, and orange ice cream flavors, this colorful dessert is a treat for both your eyes and your taste buds.

Chocolate Pineapple Upside Down Cake

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

This delicious chocolate cake is topped with a sweet ring of pineapple.

Chocolate Lava Cake

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

With molten chocolate filling oozing out of its chocolate core at the very first bite, there is absolutely no better dessert to try at Volcano Bay than the Chocolate Lava Cake.

No trip to an island paradise is complete – for adults over the age of 21, of course – without a visit to the local Tiki Bar.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

Guests at Volcano Bay have the blessings of not one but two Boat Bars – Dancing Dragons and Kunuku. These island oases are shaped out of outrigger ships that let you sail away to distant shores with their festive rum and vodka cocktails and libations. Try one of Volcano Bay’s many creative concoctions to freshen up in between water rides.

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

The Guavaruma made with Mt. Gay rum, Passoa, Sprite, fresh guava juice, and fresh pineapple juice is a spritzy, sweet treat perfect.

For craft beer lovers, Volcano Bay’s very own specialty microbrew – the Volcano Blossom – is a light pilsner beer certain to please with tropical fruit flavors.

Don’t miss out on any of these dishes on your journey to the island paradise of Universal Orlando’s Volcano Bay. And as with any foodie locale, the menu shifts to feature new flavors and surprises to keep guests happy. Some dishes may change with the seasons, so keep an eye out for what’s new when you visit.

Until the next water ride adventure, grab an island dish, pull up a beach chair, sip on a cocktail with a tiki umbrella in it, and enjoy the island life on Volcano Bay.

Must be 21 years of age or older with valid identification to purchase or drink alcoholic beverages at Universal Orlando Resort.

What is your favorite food at Volcano Bay?

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 Universal Orlando Vacation Upgrades Worth Every Penny

(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog)

It can make such a difference in the lives of you and your loved ones to take a break, have some fun, and make memories. But we all know that going on vacation can also be expensive, so you want to do it right. Feeling good about the time, money, and effort you put in is important.

Before heading on your Universal Orlando Resort adventure, we’ve got some insider tips to help you choose which Universal Orlando vacation upgrades are the best value.

1. Park-to-Park Tickets: You might think you can do one park at a time, but upgrading your tickets will be the best thing you do all vacation. For $55 more per day, you can have the flexibility to roam all three Universal Orlando theme parks whenever you’d like, making planning so much easier. Not to mention, the only way to board the Hogwarts Express and journey between the two lands of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is with a Park-to-Park ticket.

2. Hotels that Offer Free Express Passes: For perhaps the most surprising value at Universal Orlando, turn to our Premier hotels. They might cost a bit more than the Preferred and Prime Value hotels, but Loews Portofino Bay HotelLoews Royal Pacific Resort, and Hard Rock Hotel all offer free Universal Express Unlimited. This benefit lets you skip the regular lines at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. You can save up to $129.99 per person and get more time to ride your favorite attractions.

3. My Universal Photos Package: My Universal Photos lets you focus on having fun—we’ll document the memories for you. A one-day pass is $69.99, but you get unlimited digital downloads of photos from your rides and character meet-and-greets. This is especially valuable if you have little ones and don’t want to deal with the hassle of digging out your phone and missing that special moment. And on-ride photos are normally $19.95, so if you plan to go home with more than a couple of those, this package will help.

4. Volcano Bay Premium Seating: If you don’t want to spring for an entire cabana at Volcano Bay, a great option is Premium Seating. Beach chairs can go fast and lockers cost money. But with this upgrade, you get a pair of reserved padded loungers with an adjustable shade canopy and a built-in storage lockbox for only $29.99. Plus, you can enjoy the services of an area attendant who’ll see to your food and drink orders, delivering them right to your seats. It is so worth it to make your chill day the chillest.

5. Refillable Cups and Buckets: Drink water or soda all day long when you purchase a refillable Coca-Cola freestyle cup. Machines are located throughout the parks, and for $14.99, you’ll never go thirsty in the Florida heat. You can also keep the snacking going when you purchase a $5.99 popcorn bucket with the option of $1.29 refills. Just ask for either at the nearest beverage counter, quick service restaurant, or full-service restaurant.

6. Shutterbutton’s DVD Photo Album: You should definitely consider the Shutterbutton’s experience in Diagon Alley if you’ve got fans of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in your party. You’ll be guided through 12 scenes taken from iconic locations, you’ll choose your outfits, and after a bit of acting, you’ll create a portrait of yourself that actually moves. DVD photo albums are an amazing keepsake! The whole afternoon will be memorable enough to warrant the cost.

7. Blue Man Group Tickets: When it comes to entertainment, you can’t get much better than this fusion of comedy, theater, rock concert, and dance party. It’s a Broadway-caliber production right here at Universal Orlando. With tickets starting at $60 for adults, you won’t regret spending a night taking in a show you won’t forget.

8. Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort Cabana Rentals: When it’s time to take a break from the parks, cabana rentals can be a great option for groups staying at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort. Up to six people can enjoy amenities like an LCD TV, an in-house telephone to order delivery pizza, an armoire, table, cushioned lounge chairs, and a refrigerator. You can spend a full day recharging with everything your family will need within arms reach. Prices may vary, but they start around $50/day.

Thanks Universal Orlando Resort Blog!

Storybook Dining at Artist Point Opens December 16, 2018

From the Disney Parks Blog:

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Magic mirror on the wall, who’s the hungriest of them all? If you’re looking to partake in a fanciful meal set in an immersive enchanted forest, then you might want to make a visit to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge this winter. Starting this December, Storybook Dining at Artist Point invites you to venture into a magical forest-like setting inspired by Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Brought to life through rustic décor and iconic music, we’ve brought this beloved fairytale to life. During this immersive character dining experience, you’ll be visited by Snow White and a few of her forest-dwelling friends. You might even have an evil encounter with the Queen!

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

In addition to fun characters, tempt your taste buds with a seasonal themed menu that combines classic dishes with playful presentation. You’ll begin your story with an array of delicious shared appetizers: Hunter’s Pie with chicken, black truffle, and stone fruit preserve; Winter Squash Bisque with caramel loli and granola served in an adorable black cauldron; Wicked Shrimp Cocktail with soy, miso, avocado, thai chili, and greens; and From the Garden, an array of fruits, vegetables, cheese, and create-your-own honey butter.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

For the main entrées, you’ll enjoy your choice of one of the many unique dishes such as the Royal Prime Rib Roast with horseradish mashed potato, hay-smoked carrots, popover, and jus as well as Magic Mirror Slow Braised Veal Shank with mashed celery root, wilted winter greens, and jus. Or if seafood is more your style, try the Seafood Stew with shrimp, bay scallops, mussels, tomato, and fennel.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Kids can enjoy Grumpy’s Grub. This includes the same appetizers and desserts as the main menu and their choice of entrée. Kid’s entrées include the Princess Pasta (with your choice of red sauce or cheese sauce), the Vegetarian Steam Bun (with crip shiitake, hoisin, pickles, and cilantro), Royal Prime Rib Roast, and Grilled Chicken (both served with roasted potatoes and broccolini).

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Give your story a sweet ending with an array of shared desserts for the table. Sing “Heigh Ho” as you discover The Miner’s Treasure made up of sponge cake, chocolate gems, and buttercream icing or enjoy the enchanted flavors of the Fairy Tale Gooseberry Pie with meringue. You can even try a “Poison” Apple made of white chocolate apple mousse with a sour center. But if you’re trying to impress, The Hunter’s Gift to the Queen is just the thing with crackled maple popcorn and ganache hearts.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

If you’re feeling a little thirsty while you’re eating, try some of the wickedly refreshing cocktails and non-alcoholic mocktails we’ve brewed up just for you! For the adults, sip on the Enchanted Apple with citrus vodka, sour apple, and white cranberry juice or summon The Smoking Mirror with scotch, wildberry, lime, and rosemary smoke. If you’re feeling particularly evil, you’ll love the Evil to the Core with silver tequila, habanero, blackberry and orange juice. A variety of beers are also available along with a selection of highly-rated wines from Oregon and Washington State.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Non-alcoholic options for the little miners out there include the Transformation Potion with sparkling lemonade and the Stone Fruit and Berry Breeze with herbal tea infusion.

Snow White has invited all of her new friends to this magical character dining experience, and she’s inviting you too! So make a journey to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge to experience Storybook Dining at Artist Point starting December 16, 2018. Pricing is $55 for adults and $33 for children ages 3-9 (tax and gratuity not included). Each guest will receive one of each appetizer, their choice of entrée, and one of each dessert as well as their choice of non-alcoholic fountain beverage (alcoholic and non-alcoholic specialty beverages are not included). All menu items are subject to change.

For a full menu and to make reservations, visit the Walt Disney World Resort website or call (407) WDW-DINE (407 939-3463).