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Things to Do and Places to Visit in Orlando, FL

Welcome to Orlando, Florida: America's wetlands capital, a water-world of gators and airboats, space centers and sculpture gardens, theme dinners and thrill rides, and so much more... read more »

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  •   Do you remember your first ride on Walt Disney World's "It's A Small World?" The "Happiest cruise to ever set sail" made its maiden voyage at the 1964 World's Fair in New York. And on April 10, 2014, Disney's theme parks around the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of this classic attraction imagined by Walt Disney himself. It's A Small World Photos Check out our "It's A Small World" photo collection begining with the 1964 World's Fair: At the Magic Kingdom Park a group of international cast members and a children's choir kicked off the celebration with a rendition of the famous theme song in front of Cinderella Castle. Throughout the day in-park entertainment including the Dapper Dans and the Main Street Philharmonic also included the song in their performances. Anniversary Celebration Video Watch more of the anniversary events at the Magic Kingdom: Follow our posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more information and the latest updates. Visit Orlando is an official seller of Orlando attractions tickets. Find discounted tickets to Orlando theme parks, attractions, sporting events and dinner shows - we have it all! Save time and money on your visit to Orlando.

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    Disney Celebrates 50 Years of It's A Small World
  •   With seven of the top theme parks in the world, Orlando is never short on attracting visitors from all over the world who seek unforgettable vacation memories. And with the continuous expansion of our world-class attractions and resorts, even more visitors, 59 million to be exact, are coming to Orlando than ever before. During the announcement made today at the U.S. Travel Association's premier conference, Visit Orlando President and CEO George Aguel stated that "Orlando continues to lead the nation as its most visited destination." SEE ALSO: Top 10 Reasons to Visit Orlando in 2014 Orlando is experiencing one of the most significant expansion periods in the destination's history. Universal Orlando Resort will open the world's first centrally themed, multi-park experience this summer by expanding The Wizarding World of Harry Potter across both of its theme parks. SeaWorld Orlando recently opened Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin - the biggest expansion in its company's history, while Walt Disney World Resort will complete a multiyear project that is doubling the size of Fantasyland when it debuts the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train coaster this summer. SEE ALSO: Cabana Bay Beach Resort Opens at Universal Orlando If that was not enough, a variety of additional attractions and enhancements to the popular retail, dining and entertainment districts are underway. By 2017, Orlando will be among the first destinations with on-airport intermodal facilities in the U.S. and the first airport in Florida to conveniently support air travel, ground transportation and rail. Follow our posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more information and the latest updates on Orlando's newest additions. Vacation dreams come true for the whole family at our theme parks, water parks and resorts. Let Visit Orlando make planning your vacation even more fun. Request a free Orlando Vacation Planning Kit.

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    Orlando Announces Record 59 Million Visitors in 2013
  •   Grab your hula hoop and pack up your capris, Universal Orlando Resort has officially opened its newest onsite hotel, Cabana Bay Beach Resort!     You and your family are in for a trip at this retro-themed resort that throws back to the days of Sputnik, The Beatles and Thunderbird (both the car and the wine). Cabana Bay is the fourth hotel to be added to Universal Orlando Resort and is the first to be priced in the moderate to value category - opening first with 600 family suites. From the kitschy period signage, the psychedelic colors, the starburst chandeliers to the hip retro-chic furniture, this resort is a full emersion into the 1950's and 60's that will leave you feeling totally groovy. Visit Orlando's Fab Facts  Here is a list of our top fab facts of amenities and activities: Guests enjoy early park admission to both of Universal's theme parks along with on property transportation and other onsite benefits. Each of the family suites sleep up to six and include a fold-out foam bed, kitchenette, a sliding partition for privacy, two flat-screen TVs, and an extra-large bathroom. Bonus Fact: The family suite bathrooms are brilliantly designed into three spaces so that there can be maximum privacy while a maximum number of people can be getting ready at once. No retro-detail has been missed in the guest rooms with period colors, terrazzo floors, wood paneling and furniture built-ins, but with large built in flat screens just so you don't forget what century you're actually in. You and your family can hang loose around the main pool featuring a zero degree entry and a way-out slide that passes through a faux Triple Lindy (sorry 80's reference) dive tower. The Atomic Tonic is the poolside bar and it's not to be missed.   Parents will have a blast enjoying the bar's signature drink, also named The Atomic Tonic, which includes vodka mixed with pineapple juice and lemonade. The family fun continues at the Galaxy Bowl where guests can rack up the scores on one of 10 lanes of vintage, retro-style bowling.   Grab a workout in the official Jack Lalanne fitness center in honor of the first fitness superhero.  An additional 300 family suites, 900 standard guest rooms and a lazy river will be added later in 2014 to complete the full resort property. See more in our video: Follow our posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more information and the latest updates on Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort. Vacation dreams come true for the whole family at our theme parks, water parks and resorts. Let Visit Orlando make planning your vacation even more fun. Request a free Orlando Vacation Planning Kit.

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    Cabana Bay Beach Resort Opens at Universal Orlando
  •   Ritz-Carlton Resort Orlando Written by Amie O'Shaughnessy Lucky you, taking the kids to Orlando in May. Maybe your kids aren't in school yet or you're homeschooling. Maybe you live in a part of the country where the school year ends early. Maybe your kids are young enough to miss a few days of school when the grandparents announce they want to gather the gang for a family reunion vacation. SEE ALSO: May is Made for Little Ones in Orlando Whatever your situation, you couldn't plan smarter than a trip to Orlando in May, which is considered low season. Here's why it's so smart. Great weather! It's warm enough for those gorgeous hotel pools (typically in the 80s) but not as hot or humid as later in the summer when temperatures soar. In case you are wondering, July is the hottest month and June is the wettest month with afternoon thunderstorms. Fewer crowds! By visiting after Spring Break and before summer - peak times in Orlando - you're guaranteed that the parks won't be as crowded. Reservations for those all-important character meals will be easier to get and lines will be shorter, de-stressing the experience for everyone. You'll be able to see and do more without planning as if you are on a military mission. Great deals! You should be able to find cheaper flights and a good hotel deal whether you want to stay on-property at Walt Disney World, where your room key guarantees you extra hours in the park and free bus transport to and from the airport; Universal Orlando, where your room key guarantees you front-of-the-line access; or a fun resort like the Nickelodeon Suites with its kids' spa, water park and the chance to get slimed. You might be able to snare a deal at a luxe resort you couldn't otherwise afford like the 500-acre Grande Lakes Orlando that boasts a JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton, a terrific water park, golf, tennis, sand volleyball and even a ropes course. What are you waiting for? This story was written in cooperation from Eileen Ogintz. Eileen is the author of the syndicated column Taking the Kids and the Kid's Guide to Orlando, part of the Kid's Guide Series from Globe Pequot Press.

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    Why Taking the Kids to Orlando in May is Smart
  • One of the two new Dumbo rides at Magic Kingdom By Eileen Ogintz   There's no need to wait until kids are in elementary school to bring them to Orlando-not when every park has plenty to wow the littlest park goers and their parents, including big, interactive play areas designed just for them. SEE ALSO: May is Made for Little Ones in Orlando At Walt Disney World Resort: -The Magic Kingdom has the classics like "It's a Small World", "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh", "The Country Bear Jamboree" and parades where the characters invite young park goers to dance. The New Fantasyland doubled the size of Fantasyland with everything from the iconic Dumbo ride, the chance to meet and greet the princesses at A Princess Fairytale Hall, the chance to walk through the Enchanted Mirror in Belle's cottage to the Beast's castle and act out the story of how Belle and the Beast met. Cool off at the Casey Jr. Splash ‘N' Soak station and ride the Barnstormer coaster that's the perfect size for a preschooler's first coaster ride. -Your little princesses will want to be transformed at Disney's Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. -The Boneyard at Dinoland U.S.A. at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park lets your little paleontologists dig for "fossils" in a gigantic sandbox, play on a xylophone that looks like dinosaur ribs and head down prehistoric slides. Take a walk down the trails at Camp Minnie-Mickey and meet the characters at the end; watch the "Festival of the Lion King" and "Finding Nemo-The Musical". Take the train to Rafiki's Planet Watch and bond with the resident goats. -Literally Turtle Talk with Crush, that loveable animated creature at Epcot's The Seas with Nemo & Friends. Bruce's Shark World at The Living Seas at Epcot is an interactive play area for kids with buttons to press, knobs to turn, and computers all offering some first lessons about conservation. Look for the Kidcot Fun Stops throughout the park. -Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure at Disney's Hollywood Studios recreates the set from the classic Disney movie as a huge playground with 30-foot high blades of grass, and LEGOS as big as houses. Kids can slide along a big piece of film or get squirted by a giant leaky hose. See "Muppet Vision 3D The Great Movie Ride" and "Beauty and the Beast-Live on Stage". Don't miss "Toy Story Mania". Aquatica at SeaWorld Orlando At SeaWorld Orlando: -Shamu's Happy Harbor at SeaWorld includes a four-story play area of climbing nets, tunnels, water slides and a water maze, a Sea Carousel , ‘Swishy Fishies" ride and more. -Don't miss the Shamu show, the sea lions Clyde and Seamore show and Pets Ahoy! Where dogs and cats take the stage. -"Antartica: Empire of the Penguin" starts as the animated Penguin Puck takes us on a tour of the South Pole and ends with a visit to a live Penguin colony. -Check to see if Elmo and Abby's Treasure Hunt is offered when you visit. -Visit the Dolphin Nursery. -Reach out and touch a Stingray at Stingray Lagoon. -Learn what it's like to be a turtle at Turtle Trek and then meet Franklin the turtle from the TV show Franklin and Friends across from Pelican Preserve. Universal Orlando's new Superstar Parade At Universal Orlando Resort: -Parents as well as young kids love Seuss Landing at Universal's Islands of Adventure especially The Cat in the Hat attraction where you ride your couch through the pages of the famous book. -The Olive is three-story boat-themed play area where kids can run around and shoot water cannons. -Camp Jurassic is a gigantic shaded play area where kids can explore secret caves and wander through a mysterious amber mine. Dino lovers will love the Jurassic Park Discovery Center where you can see an animatronic raptor being hatched. -The Flight of the Hippogriff, in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, is a decidedly young-kid friendly coaster. -Fievel's Playland at Universal Studios Florida is a big hit with the preschool crowd with ordinary things reproduced on a giant scale so kids see the world as Fievel the mouse does. -Woody Woodpecker's KidZone is complete with Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster. -Curious George Goes to Town offers a water playground with pipes, spray guns, giant roof buckets that dump water on those below, a foam-ball playground with chutes, tubes and more. -A Day in the Park with Barney is not only a show and meet-and-great with everyone's favorite purple dinosaur but a great indoor play area. The Dragon Coaster at LEGOLAND Florida At LEGOLAND Florida, about 45 minutes from Orlando: -DUPLO Valley, scheduled to open this Spring, is designed so even toddlers can drive a tractor and help farmers plow a field. There's an adjacent splash area set among larger than life farm animals. -Fresh from Florida interactive is an attraction that shows kids how food goes from farm to table. -At LEGO Kingdoms, kids ride LEGO themed horses though medieval scenes. -LEGO City allows kids to explore a town scaled down just for them, even attending a junior driving school. -The LEGOLAND Water Park within the park where kids can build their own LEGO raft and float down a lazy river. Most important, leave when the kids have had enough. There's always tomorrow-or next year. Eileen is the author of the syndicated column Taking the Kids and the Kid's Guide to Orlando, part of the Kid's Guide Series from Globe Pequot Press.

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    There’s plenty in Orlando for even the smallest park goers and their parents

In and Around Orlando

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