Fried Chicken at the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue

October 2nd, 2015

hoopdedoorevueSo where is the best fried chicken in Disney World? While not everyone will agree on this, a large majority will send you to the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort.

Not only is the fried chicken here some of the best in the park it is all you can eat! Diners love this fried chicken, the pieces are very meaty, juicy on the inside yet crisp on the outside and packed full of flavor.

The Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue is a fun frontier-style dining experience where families enjoy a two hour show along with buckets full of fried chicken, BBQ pork ribs, salad, baked beans, mashed potatoes, cornbread and strawberry shortcake. For guests over 21 the meal includes unlimited draft beer, wine and sangria or for those under 21 soda drinks are included.

The show is filled with Wild West dancing, singing and zany vaudeville comedy that does encourage guest involvement. There is plenty of stomping, hand clapping and singing along for a memorable evening for everyone.


Orlando Airports: Which is the Best Option for Travelers?

October 2nd, 2015

There are two main airports in the Orlando area: Orlando International Airport (MCO) and Sanford International Airport (SFB). As you’re looking for the best prices on plane tickets you’ll likely have reason to wonder if there’s a significant difference flying into one versus the other. Check out our simple guide to help you decide which one is right for you.

If it’s all about price then you’ll be all about Sanford

If your only concern is the price of your flight, then you’re likely to want to go to Sanford. Though it does vary based on where you’re flying from, most flights are cheaper into Sanford than they are into Orlando. Be sure to read on to make sure that affordability truly is the only consideration, but at the end of the day if your pocket book is driving your final decision, you’ll want to stick to Sanford.


If it’s all about convenience then you’ll be all about MCO

While Sanford isn’t prohibitively far to drive, it is about 20 minutes further from the Disney and Universal theme parks compared to MCO. As a result, those who want to be as close as possible will choose MCO. This can be especially important for those who want to arrive or leave early in the morning or late at night, as they find it much easier to arrive and depart at a closer airport. It’s typically the case that SFB has many fewer direct flights than MCO, so those who don’t want the inconvenience of a layover should take this into consideration as well.

If flexibility is key head to MCO

Sanford may be cheaper in most cases, but MCO offers hundreds more flights. If you want to travel after you get off work in the late afternoon, or first thing in the morning, or mid-day – really if you have any specific requirements for when you want to fly – then you’ll find tons more options flying out of MCO than SFB. On the other hand, if you’re totally flexible then you may choose to save money and fly whenever you can through SFB.


The cost may be more than what your plane ticket tells you

As you compare the pros and cons of both airports, remember that the cost of your plane ticket isn’t the only thing to consider. Many hotels and even vacation home rentals offer free shuttles from MCO. We aren’t aware of a single hotel that offers free shuttles to and from SFB. This leaves you to either pay for your own ride to your hotel or vacation home, or to rent a car. In some cases flights into SFB can be so much cheaper that it’s worth the extra cost, but you’ll need to do the math.

Jurassic Park River Adventure – Universal Studios Orlando

October 1st, 2015

Ever wonder what it feels like to be right in the heart of the world of Jurassic Park? One of the more popular rides at Universal Studios in Orlando will take you there. On this ride prepare to get a little wet and get a little scared!

This family friendly adventure (not for real small children though) takes you on a river ride through Jurassic Park. You will begin by taking a gentle ride in a “raft” down the river where you will encounter relatively tame dinosaurs. But something does go wrong and your raft gets bumped off course where you enter the restricted Raptor Contain Area.

Eventually you find your raft in the Environmental Systems Building where the lights are out and raptors are all around. The only way out is a steep 85 foot plunge in the dark! A real hit with thrill seekers and fans of the movie take a sneak peak with this HD POV video.

Say It’s Not So: Jedi Training Academy is Closing in Hollywood Studios?

October 1st, 2015

Parents of young kids got a shock this week when Disney announced the closure of Jedi Training Academy. This has long been one of the most popular experiences in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and in fact is an experience families have lined up hours early for to ensure their kid’s spot. The good news is that there is something coming in its place. Read on to learn everything we know!

The bad news: The closure begins on October 4th

One of the reasons some Disney fanatics are upset is because the closure date is so soon – October 4th. Guests who’ve had trips planned for months may find that their trip is disrupted. This is especially hard for dads who’ve been telling their youngins about the exciting things in store as they battle Darth Vader. Others have pre-rope drop reservations at breakfast spots in Hollywood Studios specifically to make it to Jedi Training Academy signup before it fills up. These folks are likely to be disappointed.


Good news: It is being replaced

If your trip with the little ones isn’t coming up for several months then you have no need to worry – there is a replacement on its way! The newest Star Wars-inspired show will be called Jedi Training – Trials of the Temple. It will be located in the same place – right next to Star Tours – and will include the same audience participation element as the current one.

There are some differences though. The new show will have brand new sets, and will center on the Star Wars Rebels – so new villains should be expected. Young padawans will be excited, as they’ve likely been tuned into the Rebels TV series, but older dads may not yet be familiar with these newer characters. Better make some time to brush up! There is no word yet on specifically when the new show will open, though Disney says it will be by the end of the year.

More good news: There may be many breakfast reservations available in the near future

Spots in Jedi Training Academy can fill up within ten minutes of the park opening. As a result, dads have had to get creative to find ways for their kids to make the list. One way they’ve done so is by booking what’s known as pre-rope drop reservations. Basically, it means they have reservations at a breakfast spot within Hollywood Studios before the park opens. They can eat, meet characters, and get to Jedi Training Academy right when sign up begins – well before people who have to travel through the turnstiles at the gate.

Many of the parents who booked pre-rope drop reservations for this purpose will be canceling. Check regularly and you may be able to scoop up some great breakfast reservations and be first in line for your favorite Hollywood Studios attractions!


A New Spot to Take Clients in Disney World: The Hangar Bar

September 30th, 2015

Disney fans have been waiting for the latest offering in Disney World and it’s finally here: The Hangar Bar. This is the perfect spot to meet a client for a drink. The theming is amazing, the drinks are fantastic, and because it’s the newest spot in the World, you’ll show off your total dominance of the Disney market.

Full meals aren’t available but small plates may do the trick

This isn’t the spot you want to visit if you’re looking for a full meal. It’s primarily a place to enjoy a delicious handcrafted specialty drink. However, it does have almost a dozen appetizers on the menu. The plates here are pretty amazing: spicy meatball sliders, “she-deviled eggs,” fried calamari flatbread pizza, and soft pizzas with beer cheese, to name a few. As you can see, it’s a great spot for a quick bite and drink and there are plenty of options for tastes of all sorts.


You can’t make reservations

Disney created this spot to be a drop-in watering hole – not a formal dining spot. As a result, they don’t accept reservations. You can expect the bar to be full for its first few months after opening, but you can access a “virtual queue.” It assigns you a place in line and provides an estimated wait time. You can then enjoy Disney Springs and come back when you get the text saying your spot is open. There’s enough to see in Disney Springs that you should be able to keep your client’s occupied!

It’s bigger than it looks from outside

If you just wanted by the Hangar Bar you may think it’s pretty small. In fact, it’s actually rather large! There’s a plenty spacious dining room, a huge bar, and tons of booths. There’s even an outdoor dining spot, for perfect-weather days, and it has its own bar. The interior is two stories high, which allows for even more seating.


This spot is family friendly

Business travelers looking for an adults-only spot to take their clients should keep looking. While there’s plenty of adult beverages, remember that basically everything on Disney property is going to be family-friendly – and this spot is no exception. Most of the appetizers are more adult-oriented, but the theming is 100% Indiana Jones. As newer movies come out, expect more and more kids to want to check in to see the theming on its own.

There are plenty of spots for dinner in Disney Springs, but Hagar Bar brings a unique take on a meeting spot for shorter, app-based meals and a few drinks with a client. The central location makes it easy for them to take a few minutes out of their day to meet with you. It’s a win-win for everyone involved!


Celebrate Fall!

September 29th, 2015


Saving Money at EPCOT’s Food and Wine Festival

September 29th, 2015

If you’re a foodie on a budget, EPCOT’s Food and Wine Festival will be like a dream come true for you. You’ll have access to dozens and dozens of foods – some of which you’ve probably near heard of, let alone tried. Because they’re all sampler size, the price point is much less than you’d pay for a full entrée at any of the EPCOT restaurants. As a result, you can potentially sample several dishes without breaking your bank. Check out this guide to saving money and making the most of EPCOT’s Food and Wine Festival.


Don’t get overwhelmed: have a plan!

If you simply show up at EPCOT, start at either side of the World Showcase, and pick up everything that looks tasty, you’ll end up spending all your cash before seeing half of what’s on offer. The reality is that tons of things will look good – but you can only get a few if you want to stay within budget. The simple solution? Have a plan!

Take a look at this comprehensive guide to the food booths at the Food and Wine Festival. There are more than thirty booths, most of which have three to five different foods available. That’s up to 150 choices! Make a list of the ones you don’t want to miss and then plan your route accordingly.

Start with a single taste

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to assume that everyone needs their own order of your most anticipated foods. While they are not entrée size, almost all of the foods available include enough for several people to get a taste. If you find one that’s incredibly delicious, remember that everyone can go back and get a second helping if they’re so inclined. Always start with a single taste and adjust accordingly as needed.


The buddy system has its place

If you’re traveling with other folks who want to take part in the Food and Wine festival, take a look at your must-try booths to see if they’re interested in them as well. If you match up on many options then it may be worth it to visit together and share dishes. On the other hand, if they’re only interested in a few that you’re interested in, or vice versa, you may not come out ahead. For example, if you get 15 dishes and they try them all, yet they only get 4 dishes, you’ll have given away quite a bit of food and not gotten much in return.

Keep the alcohol to a minimum

There will be many exciting, new drinks at Food and Wine, and you may be tempted to try them all, but you want to limit your alcohol purchases for two reasons: the alcoholic drinks will cost much more than the food items, and the more you drink, the more likely you are to loosen your purse strings.

If you follow these simple tips, you’ll be able to try plenty of delicious bites and your pocketbook won’t be much lighter when it’s over.

Bread Service at Sanaa in the Animal Kingdom

September 25th, 2015

For the foodie one of the best parts about Walt Disney World is the amazing variety that can be found within the parks, so it makes a great opportunity to try new things all in one place. One restaurant that is well worth the visit is Sanaa located in the at the Animal Kingdom Resort.


Featuring African cooking with Indian flavors the food is truly noteworthy, but of course for many the appeal is the amazing view of the Sunset Savannah offered by the restaurant. Diners get to view the magnificent animals who roam the savannah while they dine giving the Sanaa a true African experience.


One menu item at the Sanaa that is not to be missed is the Indian-style Bread Service appetizer. Diners get to choose between three breads, Traditional Naan, Garlic-Ginger Naan, Spiced Naan, Onion Kucha, or Paneer Paratha. Then there is the choice of dipping sauces from sweet to savory to mild to spicy. Red Chile Sambal, Cucumber Raita, Coriander Chutney, Mango Chutney, Tomato-Date Jam, Garlic Pickle, Spicy Jalapeño-Lime Pickle, Roasted Red Bell Pepper Hummus, or Tamarind Chutney.


The bread service is not to be missed; it is the perfect way to start a meal at the Sanaa. At lunchtime diners can also have the choice of dining with an animal expert. This includes a four course meal with the bread service while a expert teaches you about the animals outside roaming the savannah.

Expedition Everest — Legend of the Forbidden Mountain

September 24th, 2015

Built around the idea of a yeti hiding on Mount Everest this roller coaster at the Animal Kingdom in Orlando was listed in 2011 as the most expensive roller coaster in the world. All that expense went into creating a set and extras that really makes the riders feel like they have been transported to the Himalayas.

The ride is built on the tallest artificial mountain in the Walt Disney Parks so the ride begins with a long climb to the “top of the world” where riders encounter broken track that sends them hurtling backward down a different track where the Yeti is encountered and the train turns and takes a 80 foot drop into a 250 degree turn.

With its twist and turns, sometimes in the dark, this coaster is not recommended for small children but is a huge hit with teens and other thrill seekers visiting the park.

To Choose Your Own Vacation Home or Let them Choose: The Pros and Cons

September 23rd, 2015

There are literally hundreds of vacation homes for rent in the Orlando area. As you consider which one to rent you’ll run across two main options: picking the specific home you want, or setting the parameters and letting the company you rent from choose the specific home you’ll be in. Both options have their pros and their cons. Let’s explore both.

Letting your property management company pick is probably cheaper

The biggest advantage to letting your property management company choose your house for you is that it will almost always be cheaper to do it this way. Remember that you’re not going into it blind. You’ll be able to choose the number of bedrooms, whether or not it has a pool, etc. You can also work with a company like that will guarantee it’s within a certain number of miles from the Disney parks.


Choosing your own home assures you get exactly what you want

If you have very specific requirements then you’ll want to pick your own home. You’ll have the peace of mind of choosing the exact location, the exact size of the pool – exactly what you want! Often people choose their own home if they plan to cook large meals and want to ensure they get a large kitchen, if or they are looking for the most luxurious of the luxury homes for rent.

Getting as close as possible requires choosing the home you want to rent

While any reputable Orlando vacation home rental company will guarantee their homes are within a certain distance from the parks, if you want your home to be as close as possible then you’ll want to choose your own home. Generally you can get a guarantee that your home is within 12 or 15 minutes from the parks, and for many families this is good enough. However, if you want to be just a 5 minute drive away, it may be worth paying more to choose a home that’s as close as you can be.


You can’t go wrong if you choose the right company

As long as you rent your vacation home from a company with a long history of satisfied customers, a company who takes good care of their properties, and a company that delivers what they promise, then you can’t go wrong no matter if you choose to pick your own home or you let them pick for you. If you want more control over the home you vacation in, then choose the one you want. If you’re looking for the best value, then let the company choose for you. The choice is yours, but either way – you’re in for a magical vacation.