The AMC Theater Downtown Disney has recently opened a Dine In Theater. This 24 screen theater conveniently housed at Disney’s Downtown Disney attraction is a site to be seen.
The way it works is you purchase your ticket in advance which will reserve your seat, which runs about $2 more than a regular ticket. Once you arrive you get to sit at nice comfy rocking seats with a table directly in front of you.
Before the movie begins you order your appetizer, or you can even place your entire order if you’d like. The wide variety of food comes out really quick and it is delicious. I ordered the Queso Dip and Chips for my appetizer and then the Fire Grilled Vegetable Quesadilla for dinner. My husband had a burger and my kids had pizza and chicken tenders. Everyone was happy, which is rare.
If at any point you need your server, just push a button located in front of you and they’ll get to you quite quickly. You can order up until the movie is over so you know they won’t rush you out the minute the credits role.
They do serve alcohol so be prepared with a photo I.D. as they card every person who orders! If you would like to turn this into an overnight stay here are two hotels I’d highly recommend which are both centrally located. The Disney Old Key West Resort has a quiet residential feel and the Disney Coronado Springs Resort has a really great cafeteria style restaurant that I always look forward to!
You’ve always loved dinner and a show, now you only need to visit one attraction to do so!
-Lee Allport of MySentimentExactLee.com
Sea Of Trees at SeaWorld, Orlando
If you’ll be in Orlando this hoilday season, I can recommend two wonderful holiday events to check out, both at theme parks. Both “SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration” and “Holidays at Universal Studios” have numerous attractions that are special for the season. There are two that I particularly enjoyed, that I believe are can’t miss experiences.
Universal Studios Orlando has an extra special treat in store this year. Mannheim Steamroller are the masters of Christmas music. Their music is powerful and compelling. On December 11th and 18th they will be performing your instrumental favorites and also providing the music for a The Grinch Who Stole Christmas reading. Actual actors from the Grinchmas show (currently on stage at Universal Islands of Adventure) provide their voices (out of costume) for a heartwarming show that people of all ages are sure to love. Read More »
Sea World Orlando's Halloween Spooktacular
Sea World’s Halloween Spooktacular is a fun Halloween event geared towards young children. Special candy stands are set up throughout the park, and children are given a map to help find all of the Treasure Stations, each offering a different type of goody. Read More »
Zombie Gras scare zone at Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights
It’s the 20th anniversary of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Orlando this year, and to celebrate, the park is making the event bigger and better, with eight haunted houses, six scare zones and the always eventful Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure.
I’ve been attending HHN almost every year since I was about 14, and I’ve always found the haunted houses to the biggest draw. Universal goes out of their way to make sure everything looks and feels just as real as it does see in the movies. This year I highly recommend The Hallow’d Past, which celebrates the past 20 years’ worth of houses. It’s located inside a props studio, and the props from scary movies and past Halloween Horror Nights are displayed. Each room reflects a popular house from a previous year.
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Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World
Living in Orlando, we are always ready to attend family-friendly events at the theme parks. This year Walt Disney World’s Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, which takes September through November, did not disappoint. Taking place at The Magic Kingdom, this special event begins at 7 p.m. (the park is closed early to guests without a special ticket) and goes until well after the usual closing hours.
We enjoyed the Halloween decorations and the cast members carrying the Happy Haunts Start Here signs. The mood is obviously a little spooky — it is a Halloween event, after all — but as the name of the event promises, there’s no need to fear your little ones getting too scared. Throughout the park all your favorite Disney characters are waiting to greet you in their own special Halloween costumes. We stood in line for at least 30 minutes to take pictures with Donald and Daisy. But that was the only line we stood in all night: One huge perk of purchasing a Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party ticket is that you can basically walk right onto all the rides. Once in a while you might have a 5-10 minute wait, but that never happened to us. We even walked right onto Tomorrowland Speedway, which usually has a minimum wait of one hour.
But what makes MNSSHP even more special is the candy stops! Throughout the park you can stop at designated Goofy’s Candy Company stops to receive a handful of scrumptious treats. Last year we visited the park near the end of Halloween, and the candy choices were disappointing, but this year we arrived earlier in the season and the candy was great!
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Central Florida Zoo
While in Orlando your children may want to visit a zoo. You can always stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge but if you’d like a bit more “up close and personal” time with a greater array of animals, The Central Florida Zoo is a great inexpensive bet for some family entertainment.
The Central Florida Zoo is located in Sanford, FL, about 35 minutes away from the theme park attractions. It boasts more than 400 animals and includes a children’s petting zoo, a Herpetarium (reptiles and amphibians), and the Tropical Splash Ground to cool off at the end of a long day. Offering free parking and an entrance ticket of only $11.95 for adults and $9.95 for children 2 and over, the zoo provides a fun-packed day.
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Dr. Phillips Community Park is a cheap way to keep kids cool in the summer.
The Orlando area is almost always hot. Local splash pads are a great way to allow your kids to run around and get wet, without spending a fortune — and sometimes, without spending anything at all.
The Magical Water Fountain: The first splash pad on my list is in the middle of all the Disney action at Downtown Disney Marketplace. The Magical Water Fountain, located near Once Upon A Toy, sends water jumping in the air for children to race after and try to catch. You never know which spout will shoot the water next. Best of all, it’s completely free. If this splash pad is too crowded for your taste, there is another smaller version near The Days of Christmas. There are bathrooms nearby if you’d like to change the kids into dry clothes before leaving. If your family is in the Disney area and enjoys water fun, I recommend you stay at the Nickelodeon Suites Resort, located just moments from the Disney entrance.
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Monkey Joe's at the Festival Bay mall
You’ll notice a lot of shopping malls as you drive around Orlando. One of the more recent additions in the International Drive area is Festival Bay located near Universal Studios. The mall has the usual suspects (clothing stores, restaurants), but there are also three attractions that children big and small will absolutely love.
1) Monkey Joe’s is an indoor bounce house pumped full of fun (and, well, air). For less than $10 per child, children (only those 12 and under) can bounce all day long. Parents are unfortunately not invited to jump, but can accompany children 3 and under into the bounce houses. The large room where everything resides is a mecca of large slides, climbing walls, and inflated bridges and tunnels. And for parents? There’s an arcade where parents can sit in massage chairs, watch the big screen TV, or surf the net on the free Wi-Fi connection.
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Harry P. Leu Gardens is a beautiful 50-acre escape, miles away from the intensity of the theme parks. If you’re looking for something relaxing yet entertaining to do while in Orlando, Leu Gardens is a great choice. You’ll have to travel a little further from your hotel if you’re staying in the center of Orlando, but these gardens are worth the drive. Here are three don’t-miss spots to explore inside the gardens.
1) Rose Garden
Take a stroll through the different types of flora and fauna and you won’t miss the Rose Garden. It is the biggest formal rose garden in Florida, boasting over 1,000 blooms a year. Have a seat on one of the iron benches and let your senses take over as you listen to the beautiful Italian fountain and breathe in the sweet scent of roses.
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