Orlando Journals

Having A Magical Time in Orlando

Best of IgoUgo

A June 2011 trip to Orlando by Amber Autumn

Downtown Disney Photo, Orlando, Florida More Photos
Quote: New adventures await me on this trip to Orlando, and I plan on exploring and sightseeing my way around the city for the next six months.
Mickey Mouse - World of Disney  Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
Orlando, Florida is a very exciting place with many interesting things to see and do, but also pricy in these economy troubled times. Here are a few tips: Be sure to do some homework and print out coupons (or pick up some brochures at your hotel) for places you would like to go to. Even if it's under 2.00 USD off, it'll pay off for when you want to spend money on other things. Also, go onto the Orlando tourism website and sign up for a Magicard. It's free to do, and can save you a few dollars on some of your favorite attractions or dinner theaters. If you forget about signing up online, you can also go to the Visitors Bureau on International Drive and pick one up in person. The...Read More

Walt Disney World Resort Epcot Theme Park

Attraction | "Around the World in a Day! "

Walt Disney World Resort Epcot Theme Park Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
Epcot is one of my favorite parks at the Walt Disney World Resort because of its exciting activities in two lands: Future World and the World Showcase. Future World has had some improvements since the last time I came, but I loved the rides Soarin', The Seas with Nemo and Friends Attraction, the Universe of Energy, Captain Eo (with Micheal Jackson), and Journey Into Imagination with Figment! As for the World Showcase, I love the different glimpses of culture that can be found at each one of the pavillions. Watch out for the times because Future World closes at 7pm, and the World Showcase closes at 9pm after IllumiNations, the firework spectacular display that celebrates Earth. During the summ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 9, 2011

Walt Disney World Resort Epcot Theme Park

Orlando, Florida

Walt Disney World Resort Epcot Theme Park

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Exploring Future World at Epcot! "

Walt Disney World Resort Epcot Theme Park Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
Epcot is one of my favorite parks because it offers a way to see the world (for a much cheaper price than world-wide airfare). Each person at the country's pavillion is a living, breathing native of that country. Plus, there's also Future World, a spin on Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland with high-technological advances in science, agriculture, and rides! For me, it's difficult to explore Epcot in a half day setting, so I like to arrive at 11am (because that's the time the World Showcase opens/ Future World is already opened), and stay until 7pm for IllumiNations. In Future World, there are two pavillions called the Land and the Seas with Nemo and Friends that shows humanity's connection with t...Read More

Walt Disney World Resort Epcot Theme Park

Orlando, Florida

Epcot World Showcase

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "World Showcase - Mexico, Norway, China, Germany"

Epcot World Showcase Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
Open at 11am every morning, the World Showcase takes guests around the globe to different countries, and lets them experience the culture and food. Mexico has the giant marketplace and ride "Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros" inside its pyramid. Inside the small shops, you will also find La Princessa de Cristal, where you can find an in-house glass artisan who makes crowns, roses, slippers, and so much more. Norway was the next stop in the Showcase, and has the ride "The Maelstrom", where guests board a 16-passenger, dragon-headed boat to explore the country. In addition to the ride, you should also check out the Stave Church Gallery (since only 30 remain in exi...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 7, 2011

Epcot World Showcase
World Showcase Lagoon
Orlando 32830
(407) 939-8687

Walt Disney World Resort Epcot Theme Park

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "World Showcase - Italy, America, Japan, Morocco"

Walt Disney World Resort Epcot Theme Park Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
Continuing counter clockwise along the World Showcase, there are more countries waiting to be explored. Fall in amore with the Italian Pavillion near Germany as you browse through the quaint shops that offer wines, souvenirs, and fashion and accessories. The fountain of Poseidon is still there along with some new gardens and statues placed throughout the pavillion. Toward the back are the newest restaurants, Via Napoli and Tutto Italia. Via Napoli is the newest pizza place in Italy, and the most impressive on the inside. There's three brick pizza ovens named after the mountains of Italy from where delightful and tasty pizzas emerge. American Adventure is the center pavillio...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 3, 2011

Walt Disney World Resort Epcot Theme Park

Orlando, Florida

Walt Disney World Resort Epcot Theme Park

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "World Showcase - France, United Kingdom, Canada"

Walt Disney World Resort Epcot Theme Park Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
France invites visitors to be their guests at this pavillion that has the upscale restaurant where Chef Remy (from Rataouille) visits often, has fountains in the middle to accentuate the beauty in the shops and bakery where wonderful treasures can be found. Perfumes and fashion can also be found here too. Inside the pavillion is a short film about France and its countryside called "Impressions de France", where guests can soar above the Eiffel Tower, Versailles, Mont Sant Michel, the French Alps, and Cannes. France's neighbor is the United Kingdom, which has many shops and boutiques of its own. In the back of the pavillion, guests can be serenaded as British bands sing the Beatles to...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 3, 2011

Walt Disney World Resort Epcot Theme Park

Orlando, Florida

Walt Disney World Resort Magic Kingdom

Attraction | "The Most Magical Kingdom of Them All"

Walt Disney World Resort Magic Kingdom Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
Magic Kingdom was the next park I visited while in Lake Buena Vista. The park is open daily, but the times tend to differ. On Sunday, Monday, and Saturday, it opens from 9 to 11:00pm. Monday and Tuesday nights are great because they stay open until 1:00am. Finally, Wednesday and Fridays hours are until midnight. There's so much to see and do here that it's impossible to see every aspect of the park in a few hours, and plus the magic still continues at night with its "Wishes" fireworks show, the Disney's Electrical Parade, and "The Magic, Memories, and You" celebration where the Castle becomes a canvas with families' memories. Some quick tips are to find the Times Guide and New In...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 20, 2011

Walt Disney World Resort Magic Kingdom
Interstate 4 At U.S. Highway 192
Orlando, Florida
(407) 824-4321

Walt Disney World Resort Magic Kingdom

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Top 16 Things To See and Do at Magic Kingdom"

Walt Disney World Resort Magic Kingdom Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
The Magic Kingdom is full of adventures and activities, but no trip to this "happiest kingdom of them all" can be complete without seeing these favorite things. 1. Dance and sing on Main Street during the Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party where you can see all your favorite characters. 2. Catch "Wishes", a nighttime spectacular, at 10pm in Fronteirland, on Main Street, or in front of the Castle for this wonderful display of fireworks. If you can plan it right, there's an area in front of the castle where you can sit and enjoy the fireworks! 3. Disney's Electrical Parade brightly appears around the Castle and Main Street around 9pm and 11pm. In this pa...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 20, 2011

Walt Disney World Resort Magic Kingdom
Interstate 4 At U.S. Highway 192
Orlando, Florida
(407) 824-4321

Disney's Animal Kingdom

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Go Wild at the Animal Kingdom"

Disney's Animal Kingdom Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
After three years, the Animal Kingdom has added some new features and rides to their park. Since this is the largest park, it also closes closes early at night so you'll have to pay attention to closing hours. My friend and I did everything in the park except Camp Minnie-Mickey (but we'll be going back to fix that). Divided into five lands of the Oasis, Camp Minnie-Mickey, Africa, Asia, and Dinoland USA, this park is dedicated to nature and its conservation by having interesting exhibits and rides around every corner. You can go inside the Tree of Life - and experience "It's Tough to Be a Bug" with Flick from Pixar's "A Bug's Life". Also, Expedition Everest - Legend of the Forbidd...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 10, 2011

Disney's Animal Kingdom
Walt Disney World Resort
Orlando, Florida 32830
(407) 824-4321

Disney's Animal Kingdom

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Disney's Animal Kingdom Tips "

Disney's Animal Kingdom Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
If you're heading out to this park, be sure to bring some water and snacks with you so you won't get dehydrated. Although there are many trees and shady areas in the park, you'll more than likely be out in the sun most of the time. Here's some things you shouldn't miss out on: The Tree of Life is an impressive sight, but don't forget you can go underneath and around it. "It's Tough to Be a Bug" is a great show where you become "honorary bugs" and see a show. Yet, for those with small children, this ride might be a bit scary. It takes place in the dark, has water and stink bug scents squirt out at you, and then has a special surprise at the end for those seated. Before getting to t...Read More

Disney's Animal Kingdom
Walt Disney World Resort
Orlando, Florida 32830
(407) 824-4321

Downtown Disney

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Attraction | "Marketplace, Pleasure Island, and West Side"

Downtown Disney Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
Downtown Disney is a popular place in Orlando, and also offers a a cheaper alternative to experiencing the Disney Magic without paying theme park admission. This marketplace is located minutes away from exits 67 and 68 of Interstate 4, and divided into three sections. The first section is the marketplace with its amazing restaurants like the Rainforest Cafe and T-REX Adventure, and shops such as Goofy's Candy Company, and the World of Disney. One tip for AAA members is that the Earl of Sandwich Restaurant offers a discount when purchasing their meals. The Pleasure Island area has more shops, nighttime entertainment, restaurants, and is suitable for both children and adults. Also, a store once...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 4, 2011

Downtown Disney
Walt Disney World Resort
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32821
+1 407 828 3056

Downtown Disney

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Best 10 Shops in Downtown Disney's Marketplace "

Downtown Disney Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
Downtown Disney is full of many shops and boutiques, but these are the most exotic and interesting to check out for any guest. 1. The Art of Disney - this store has different artworks and sculptures of Disney and other artist's works of the various characters and places. For arsty-creative types, this shop is sure to please with its opportunities to study various artistic media like acryllic, pastel, photo, and oil; and to create your own work. 2. Basin - this bath and body boutique is full of wonderful aromas. Candles, soaps, and bath products are items that can be found here, and come with exotic names like Pirate's Soap and Tea Tree. The newest item is the Mickey soaps...Read More

Downtown Disney
Walt Disney World Resort
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32821
+1 407 828 3056

The Orlando Premium Outlets - I-Drive Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:

The Orlando Premium Outlets has two locations on Vineland Avenue and International Drive, but I was able to make it to the International Drive one. This outdoor mall was full of many amazing stores like Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Victoria's Secret, Polo Ralph Lauren, Ann Taylor, Nautica, Reebok, GAP Outlet, a Disney souvenir store, and Forever 21. Plus, there was also a couple of restaurants and bars. While there, pick up a Shopper's Guide because it has many useful coupons. The guides can be found all around the mall. Overall, this was one of the prettiest and spacious I've ever seen, and can't wait to see the one on Vineland.

M&M World Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:

The Florida Mall at 8001 S. Orange Avenue has over 260 diverse stores, but nothing stands out more than the M&M store. Past the Dylan's Candy Bar store and food court is when you'll find a large M&M in the doorway to a curious looking store. Devoted to this favorite chocolate candy, the store has everything a chocolate enthusiast would ever want from clothes, hats, souvenirs, and even many colors to sample! There's also a huge blue M&M that will come and take pictures with guests. The mall is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 9pm, then Sunday has hours from 12pm to 6pm.

Paradiso 37

Restaurant | "Waterside Eatery in Downtown"

Paradiso 37 Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
At Paradiso 37, my new roommates and I enjoyed this restaurant's atmosphere and food. It's a second story building that is past the T-REX Adventure and Portobello that has a Latin flare. This restaurant is also known for its impressive bar that can also be seen through its amazing glass windows, the waterside dining, and for its nightly entertainment. Hostesses stand outside and will be more than happy to let you look over the menu, or tell you why their restaurant is so special. Special dishes include fish tacos, nachos, soups, and salads. The prices are moderate, and I'd recommend this restaurant for both adults and children.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 7, 2011

Paradiso 37
1590 East Buena Vista Drive
Orlando, Florida 32830
(407) 934-3700

Rainforest Cafe Downtown Disney

Restaurant | "Must-See Restaurant and Gift Shop"

Rainforest Cafe Downtown Disney Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
The Rainforest Cafe offers dining inside one of the Amazonian rainforests where animals are on the prowl, and a "rainstorm" can be heard. Due to the special effects and decor, this restaurant is truly a must-see and eat. The bar is set under a large mushroom, and the dining rooms have gorillas and elephants that greet guests. Plus, there are aquariums with different colored fish that swim by. The menu has a variety of items such as pizzas, pastas, salads, and so much more. You can expect to spend about 15.00 USD to 36.00 USD here, but it's well worth it. If you're in the mood for dessert, they provide the "Volcano", which has ice cream and chocolate syrup. Reservations are recommended, but...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 5, 2011

Rainforest Cafe Downtown Disney
Disney Marketplace
Orlando, Florida
(407) WDW-DINE

Bahama Breeze

Restaurant | "A Tropical Getaway (With Two Locations)"

Bahama Breeze Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
This whimsical Orlando Bohemian-flare restaurant has two great locations: one on International Drive, and the other on Vineland Avenue off of 535. Although the first location is in the heart of the city, there's often a two hour wait, so we tried the location on Vineland Avenue. Being farther from Interational ( or I-Drive), the restaurant was able to seat us much more quickly. This restaurant has great food and desserts for anyone of any age, moderate prices (about 10-30 USD), and a great center attraction: a waterfall. No trip to Orlando can be complete without seeing or coming to this fascinating place.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 7, 2011

Bahama Breeze
8849 International Drive
Orlando, Florida 32819
(407) 248-2499

Panera Bread

Restaurant | "A Bakery and Cafe "

Quote:
"With the skill of an artisan, the heat of the oven and a few fine ingredients our bakers make bread that is simply delicious - and baked fresh right here every day" -- Panera Bread

This Orlando favorite restaurant has specialty breads, soups, baked goods, breakfast sandwiches, souffles, bagels and cream cheese, salads, paninis, coffees, and teas. Moderately priced, this restaurant caters to the budget-friendly. For those who want a lot and not pay a lot, choose the "You Pick" menu where you can get two items for under 7.00 USD. Located next to the Edy's Ice Cream and Sony Store on Vineland Avenue off of 535, this is sure not to miss.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 7, 2011

Panera Bread
8600 Vineland Avenue
Orlando, Florida 32821
(407) 842-1300