Archive | Holiday Essentials RSS feed for this section

Universal reveals new app

22 Jun

Hey guys,

I’ve got some good news for you – Universal Orlando has revealed its mobile app designed for theme park guests to use in Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and City Walk.

The Universal Orlando app is free to download from today for both iPhone and android users. It uses GPS to guide tourists around the parks and features an interactive map, details about attractions, check-in functionality for both Facebook and Twitter. It also cleverly features the ability to book any of the restaurants at Universal Orlando resort.

At the moment the app is featuring a check-in game which gives app users a chance to win a savings guide worth up to $150.

Enjoy playing with the app guys – it’s pretty good and will certainly make your trip easier to plan!

x E x





2 Mar

Hey everyone,

For those of you that have an Apple iPhone there are lots of useful planning apps that you can download to help you plan your upcoming trip to Orlando.

Disney World Park Hours (By VersaEdge Software)

Walt Disney World Hours is an app which gives access to park hours. Extra magic hours are also displayed on the app. The most useful thing about this app is that you can also find out the times of parades and fireworks and sometimes times of the parks shows. This can be extremely useful in planning your day.

Disney World Wait Times (by Ombros Brands Inc.)

The Disney World Wait Times app gives you real-time wait times for all four Disney World parks. It allows you to use GPS to check wait times for attractions that are near you but also by park. You can also add favourites to your app so that you can find the ride you want quickly and easily.

Disney World Dining (By VersaEdge Software)

The Disney World Dining app gives you restaurant and menu information for over 150 restaurants in Disney World covering the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney and all Disney Resort Hotels. It allows you to search for a restaurant by location so you can find restaurants via GPS near your location.

Mouse Memo (By C.Y.borg’s Neural Net)

Mouse memo allows you to keep details regarding your upcoming trip in one place. The app allows you to keep track of Advanced Dinner Reservations and all those important reservation numbers. Mouse Memo also includes a WDW Restaurant Guide.

Walt Disney World Guide (By Notescaste)
WDW Guide is a guidebook in app form for WDW. Information on the app includes everything from how to find characters, special events, hidden Mickey’s, information on tours. Included in the app is also full descriptions of attractions in WDW.

Universal Orlando Maps (By VersaEdge Software)

This app gives you interactive maps with wait times. GPS, zoom, search and photos make it easy to navigate through the parks and find restaurants, bathrooms and attractions. This app covers both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.

That’s all from me folks! If you have any other apps to add to this feel free to share!


x E x

When to go?

23 Feb

Sometimes it can be difficult to decide when is the best time to book your holiday to Orlando.  There are many things that you need to take into consideration including the weather.

Below is a chart to show you how the weather changes throughout the year:

Orlando can sometimes be under threat from hurricanes and the hurricane season tends to run from June to October. Major hurricanes usually form in the Gulf of Mexico during July, August and September. However, as Orlando is further away from the coast it tends to escape most of the hurricane effects.

The other thing that you will need to consider is when the parks are at their busiest. The most crowed times of the year are the Christmas and New Year period and Easter half-term.

Spring break in America is from the first week in March till Mid-April and this time of the year also tends to be crowded as well as Summer break which starts in June till the second week in August.

January and September tend to be the quietest time of the year. End of April, May, October and November tend to have medium crowd levels.

I have added a list of National Bank Holidays in America. Bank holidays are always hectic so it is best to avoid the parks:


New Years Day
Martin Luther King Day (third Monday of the month)


Washington’s Birthday (third Monday of the month)

March or April

Good Friday


Memorial Day (last Monday of the month)


4th – Independence Day


Labour Day (first Monday of the month)


Columbus Day (second Monday of the month)


11th – Veterans Day
Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday of the month)


25th – Christmas Day

Note: Boxing Day is not a public holiday in America

I hope that helps – as always any questions give me a shout.

x E x

Where to stay?

15 Feb

One of the main considerations when planning your holiday to Orlando is where is the best place to stay. Orlando has so many choices of places to stay that it can be quite overwhelming – I know it was for me first time around anyway!

Basically there are three main choices – a villa, on a theme park site or a hotel nearby. Before you make your decision you should consider your budget, how many people are you taking with you and whether or not you want to hire a car.


I shall start by highlighting the advantages of staying in a villa. Obviously the main advantage is the privacy that it offers you and your family/friends. Staying in a villa is far easier when travelling in large groups and you will also benefit (most of the time) by having your own private pool.

Another advantage of staying in a villa is that you can shop at your local supermarket and stock your cupboards and fridge full of food – saving you money on eating out.

Although it may sound perfect, there are some disadvantages. You will most definitely need a car, so you will need to be confident driving on the other side of the road. Some villas tend to be further away from the attractions which may make your travel time a little longer.

The main disadvantage is the expense. If your party is small it can be quite expensive to rent a villa for 2 weeks – although look out for offers from villa owners, quite often they will do an early booking discount or a late booking discount if you are brave enough to leave it to the last minute!

At a Disney Hotel

Staying at a Disney hotel comes with many advantages – the main one being that you and your family are absorbed in the Disney Magic 24 hours a day! Perfect! The quality or service is always excellent and Disney has a huge range of mouth-watering restaurants for you to try out.

Staying at a hotel gives you unlimited use of the WDW transportation system which means you can travel all of WDW without a worry.

The obvious disadvantage is that you are contained to that small area – and unless you hire a car you won’t get to see any of the other attractions. In addition, dining on the whole is more expensive at Disney which you must bear in mind when booking for your budget.

Nearby hotel

This gives you a much great choice of accommodation and standard and usually at a lower cost. Choosing to stay in a nearby hotel makes it much easier for you to find accommodation that best suits your budget. Try to find a hotel that includes free breakfast as this will also save you money in the long run.

One of the main advantages is that a lot of hotels provide free shuttle buses to the big attractions, meaning that you would not need to hire a car.

The main disadvantage with this option is of course the quality and standard of service that may receive. As with planning any holiday it can be difficult to choose a hotel. Best bet is to have a good read of the reviews on Tripadvisor before you make your decision.

Anyway, that concludes my advice on where to stay! I hope that helps you in making a decision – and as always you know where I am if you have any questions.

x E x

Some useful planning tools

11 Feb

There is a lot to consider once booking your holiday to Orlando – there is so much to do when you are over there it is definitely worth taking the time to plan.  Here are a few tools that can help you to plan:

Planning DVDs

Some of the parks offer you the opportunity to sign up to receive a planning DVD which is free of charge. These give you a great feel for what there is to do at each park and can help you to plan who long you will need to spend there. Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld, Aquatica, Discovery Cove & Busch Gardens all offer this service. Just go to their website to find out more.

Free Vacation Planning Kit

Visit Orlando offer a free vacation planning kit – which will help you to design the perfect Orlando getaway. The kit includes an Official Vacation Guide, with information on where to stay, what to do and a calendar of events not to miss. It also includes a free Orlando Magicard which offers you some great savings.

To sign up click here:

Hope that helps

x E x