Archive for the ‘Amusement Parks’ Category


Trip of the Week: Summer Holiday 2010

Congratulations to Nick from Lancashire, England, our third winner of Trip of the Week and recipient of a Frommer’s day by day guide to Italy.

Nick built this family-friendly trip to Orlando, Fla., on TravelMuse to enjoy with his spouse and two sons. It definitely looks like fun!

Why are you taking this trip?
We have two sons, ages 15 and 10, who are pretty active and aren’t the types to laze by the pool for two weeks baking under the sun. After doing the Disney bit back in 2007, we realized that this style of holiday provided just the right mix of relaxation and excitement that would give the whole family the kind of break that we all needed, so we returned in 2009, this time focusing more on the non-Disney side of Orlando.

When considering the cost to take our family of four from England to the usual hotspots of Europe, a trip to Orlando, when planned right, can be more cost effective and we get to stay in a top class accommodation too. It was pretty much a no-brainer where we would end up in 2010. Add to the mix the new Harry Potter attraction and we’re sure to have a great time

What are you most excited about seeing/doing on your trip?

I’ve always loved Sea World and the great conservation work that they do there, plus the kids are quite looking forward to the new Harry Potter attraction at Universal. We have some friends staying a short drive away when we are there and we intend on taking a drive down to their villa to spend some time with them before they set off home.

Some new slides in Aquatica should help keep us entertained, and we can’t wait to get back on the Rip Ride Rocket at Universal, as it had only just opened last time we were there and we only got one ride.

Any other interesting facts you care to share?
Plan, plan, plan.

I’ve learned through plenty of research that you can have a great holiday at the Orlando theme parks without a great deal of waiting in line. The secret is to go on the right days because some parks are busier on certain days than others. The time of day is also important, so plan carefully.

Though it may sound ridiculous, many of the top restaurants like the fabulous California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Mama Melrose at Disney’s Hollywood Studios book up well in advance, so we phone ahead months before traveling to reserve our place.

Have fun in Orlando with your family, Nick! Sounds like you are quite the Orlando expert. Great tips!


Tell us about your Trips and you could be featured in Trip of the Week–win one of the new Frommer’s Day by Day Guide Books and be entered to win a FREE, luxury Trip for 2 to Waikiki!


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Harry Potter enthusiasts have been waiting (patiently?) for the Orlando-based Islands of Adventure theme park to release the newest batch of details on The Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction—including the anticipated opening day.

Hogwarts_LR  Hogwarts Castle. Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando.

Hogwarts_LR Hogwarts Castle. Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando.

The attraction is set to open of June 18, 2010. Fans will be able to tour Hogwarts castle, including Dumbledore’s office, the Gryffindor common room, the Defence Against the Dark Arts Classroom, the Room of Requirement and more.

In addition to the grand opening date, Universal Orlando also released the first-ever details of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Take a look at the exclusive film that was shot specifically for the ride, which condenses the “chaos of Harry’s life” into a ride.

Read our previous Wizarding World of Harry Potter blog post for more details on the attraction.

Plan your trip to Orlando, Fla., on TravelMuse.

For up-to-date information, visit

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The Harry Potter books and movies transported the imaginations of children and adults alike to an enchanting world of adventure and wizardry. Soon, you’ll be able to physically transport your brood to the magical world of Harry Potter—no broomsticks required.

Yesterday, Universal Orlando Resort, along with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, disclosed the first-ever details on the Harry Potter-inspired attraction, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Set to open in spring 2010 at Islands of Adventure in Orlando, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will bring J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series to life for fans to experience first hand.


Hogwarts Castle. Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando

As you enter through the front archway at Hogsmeade, the characters, locations and magic of Harry Potter will materialize right before your eyes. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will include the following attractions:

  • Hogsmeade station, where the Hogwarts Express will arrive amidst billowing steam
  • Zonko’s joke shop, where you can buy Extendable Ears and Sneakoscopes
  • Honeydukes, which sells candy and treats like Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans
  • Three Broomsticks and Hog’s Head, where you can sample British fare and sip drinks like Butterbeer and pumpkin juice
  • The Owl Post, where you can send letters to loved ones with a certified Hogsmeade postmark
  • Ollivanders wand shop, an interactive experience where the wand chooses its wizard
  • The magical instruments and equipment shop, Dervish and Banges, that sells Quidditch equipment and Triwizard apparel
  • Dragon Challenge, a twin high-speed roller coaster featuring many elements of the Triwizard Tournament
  • Flight of the Hippogriff, a family ride that simulates a Hippogriff training flight
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, a state-of-the-art attraction using brand new technology to bring the stories of Harry Potter to life in a new and innovative way
  • Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods, which sells Harry Potter-inspired souvenirs


Flight of the Hippogriff. Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando.

For up-to-date information, visit

Read more about Orlando theme parks in our “Orlando: Theme Parks and Beyond” article.

Plan a trip to Orlando, Fla., on TravelMuse.

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