Category Archives: Orlando

The Other Orlando

Pandora–The World of Avatar at Walt Disney World

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I just returned from a media trip to Walt Disney World for the grand opening of Pandora–The World of Avatar. This 12-acre addition to Walt Disney’s World’s Animal Kingdom is the fulfillment of a multi-year project by both Disney and the film’s creator James Cameron.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Cameron and the main cast from the movie were on hand for the dedication prior to its opening to the public on May 27th. This amazing, colorful bioluminescent land with floating trees and waterfalls also offers two new rides:  Na’vi River Journey and the most realistic 3D ride I’ve ever been on–Avatar Flight of Passage (where you get to fly on the back of a banshee.)

Don’t miss Windtraders, a shop where  you can find Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits and more. The Satu’li Canteen is a great casual restaurant with great food, a bioluminescent frozen cocktail and indigenous beers.

When visiting Animal Kingdom after dark (which I highly recommend) be sure to see the Tree of Life with its animated imagery, the Rivers of Light show, sunset safaris and live-entertainment street parties.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you plan on visiting Walt Disney World this summer, a great place to stay close to all the action is Animal Kingdom Lodge where you can view animals such as giraffes and zebras right from your room’s balcony!

© Sandra Chambers

Photos by Sandra Chambers

 

More Disney Fun

Three Parks Offer New Adventures

Rivers of Light show at WDW Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s new Rivers of Light nighttime show.

Engage in intergalactic battles at the new Star Wars Launch Bay in Hollywood Studios, view the spectacular “Rivers of Light”nighttime show in Animal Kingdom, make an icy trek to Arendelle at Epcot’s “Frozen Ever After” attraction and become a globetrotter on “Soarin’ Around the World.”

This article appears in Allegiant’s in-flight magazine, Sunseeker (Dec. ’16-Feb. ’17). Click here to read entire article.  more-disney-fun

Happy Meals: Upscale Dining at Walt Disney World

skchambers140502-14 copy

Walt Disney World may be a kid’s paradise, but the dining options extend far beyond chicken fingers and fries. Grown-ups looking for a little culinary indulgence can choose from a variety of upscale restaurants. Here are a handful of our favorites.

Article appears in West Jet Air’s in-flight magazine. Read full article here: Disney Eats-up-Oct copy

 

Beyond Orlando’s Theme Parks

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 19:  Singer Ricky Martin (R) unveils his brand new figure at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas on November 19, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Figure will soon travel to Florida for the spring 2015 grand opening of Madame Tussauds Orlando.  (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for Madame Tussauds) *** Local Caption *** Ricky Martin

Singer Ricky Martin meets his double at Madame Tussauds in Orlando, FL

Take flight high above Orlando; dive deep into three oceans; or take a selfie with famous stars. Merlin Entertainments, the second largest attraction operator in the world, is bringing three of its best-known attractions to Orlando: The Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds and SEA LIFE Aquarium

Read the entire article in Allegiant Air’s in-flight magazine, Sunseeker. AllegiantOrlandoBeyondThemeParks copy

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Opens at Disney World

New Resort Offers Fun for Entire Family

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For those of you planning a visit to Disney World this Summer check out their newest resort–Disney’s Art of Animation Resortoffering family suites that sleep up to six and the largest pool in Walt Disney Resort measuring in at 11,859 square feet. The pool is surrounded by larger-than-life Disney characters,  including a 35-foot-tall King Triton and giant-sized Mr. Ray, Crush and Squirt. The pool also features an underwater sound system. Continue reading

Orlando Eats

Orlando offers some great eats outside the theme parks

Bahama Breeze 

Bahama Breeze Island Grille on Urbanspoon

You’ll find yourself surrounded by a Caribbean atmosphere both inside and outside in the tropical bar.  In addition–the food is great! Try the Coconut Shrimp appetizer (their most popular).  It’s also available as a dinner entree. The seafood chowder is also amazing, as are the other seafood dishes. For desert try their famous Rebecca’s Key Lime Pie. There are two restaurant locations in the Orlando area.

Bananas Modern American Diner
Bananas Modern American Diner on Urbanspoon

A great local’s favorite, Bananas is a fun place to go for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  It’s located downtown Orlando near the cluster of museums (See Florida-Orlando-What to do),  and is a great place for lunch instead of the fast food places at the museums. The kid’s will love the menu–especially the surprise treat at the end of their meal.  Bananas makes amazing milkshakes (try the Funky Monkey) and big juicy hamburgers– the Maui Wowie with grilled pinapple, applewood smoked bacon is my favorite.  As an appetizer I highly recommend the Funkey Monkey Fried Goat Cheese. Yum!

Orlando Golf | The Villas of Grand Cypress | Golf Academy

The Grand Cypress Academy of Golf  is a Jack Nicholas-designed 21-acre facility dedicated just to teaching the game of golf. It has been named a “Top 25 Golf School in America” by GOLF Magazine, and provides a comprehensive learning experience for players of all levels.

 I recently visited their golf school, had my swing analyzed by the most up-to-date technology and chatted with the academy’s director, Fred Griffin.  Here’s what he had to say:

Orlando Golf | The Villas of Grand Cypress | Golf Academy

You can also stay right on site at the The Villas of Grand Cypress. This Mediterranean-style complex offers a choice of luxury accommodations including Club suites and one-, two-, three-and-four bedroom Villas. The resort also has pet-friendly units.