• Top Tips 22.06.2011 No Comments

    Kennedy Space Centre

     

    Kennedy Space Centre has many attractions and is easily holds a full day of exploration.  You may need to watch the time to get to see everything.

    It is possible to ‘Add On’ to your General Admission ticket but unless you have been before then there really is no need as your time will be limited getting to see everything that is available.

    Along with the main visitor centre there is a full tour included in your general admission ticket, as well as free entry to the Imax Films that are showing (usually 2 of them)

    Cape Canaveral

    KSC Tour – This includes an Air Conditioned Bus Ride out to Cape Canaveral.  You will get to visit the Apollo / Saturn V Centre where you can witness just what went on in mission control when the Saturn V was launched.  You will get to see the rocket itself as well as many other exhibits.  There is of course the obligatory gift shop and cafe. [The gift shop back at the main visitor centre is bigger and much better!]

     

    As part of the bus tour you will also get to visit the LC39 Observation Gantry.  This offers an amazing view of launch complex 39 and pads 39A and 39B where many many Shuttle Launches have taken place.  You will also get a brilliant view of the Vehicle Assembly Building otherwise known as the VAB [Did you know the stripes of the American Flag in the side of the building are wide enough to drive a bus down?] You will also get to see the road that the Crawler Transporters move along when transporting the Shuttle in an upright position out to complex 39. [Did you know just one o fhte links on the Crawler Transporter’s caterpillar tracks weight 1 tonne?]

    Imax Films

    So either before you leave for your tour or when you return don’t miss the Imax films at Kennedy Space Centre. At the time of writing they are both 3D Adventures lasting aproximately 45 minutes each.  One is titled Hubble 3D  narrated by Leonardo Di Caprio it focuses on Hubble’s legacy and the profound impact it has had on the way we view our universe and ourselves.  The other narrated by Tom Cruise is titled Space Station 3D it takes the audience on a journey from planet Earth to The brightest star the International Space Station.  It shows an onboard shuttle launch a space walk any many other exciting adventures in 3D.

    The Main Visitor Centre also offers a host of other attractions.  You can even experience a Shuttle Launch.  You will be briefed by veteran Space Shuttle Commander Charlie Bolden, you will then take your seats for launch.

    The Rocket Garden, The Astronaut Space Mirror Memorial, The Astronaut Hall of Fame, The Space Shuttle Plaza and Exploration Space should also keep you very busy if you happen to find yourself at a loose end!

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  • Top Tips 25.02.2011 No Comments

    Park Details

    The Beginning hosts park entry, ticket and pass sales, the Garden Restaurant and The Big Shop.

     

    • The Big Shop – One of the largest retail stores in the world where guests can a huge selection of LEGO and LEGOLAND merchandise 
    • The Market – Authentic imported Danishes and freshly baked pastries, espresso, milk, juice, fruit, a selection of yogurts and soft serve ice cream

     

    When guests enter Fun Town, they truly get a sense they’ve entered a LEGO village. 

    LEGOLAND Florida  will feature a variety of retail shops and delicious treats, most notably, Granny’s Apple Fries.

     

    • Factory Tour – A firsthand look at how LEGO bricks are made from factory to finish
    • Studio Store – Visit this store to pick-up all your favorite LEGO licensed products, like Clutch Powers, Bob the Builder™ , SpongeBob™, Indiana Jones™, Star Wars™ and Batman™ 
    • Granny’s Apple Fries – The home of our signature dessert item! This must-have snack is made with crisp Granny Smith apples, powdered with cinnamon and sugar and served with a deliciously sweet vanilla cream sauce
    • Fun Town Theater – Four different 4-D movies will show throughout the day at LEGOLAND’s largest 4-D theater with seats for 700!

     

    Miniland USA, the heart of every LEGOLAND Park, will be home to seven  specially themed areas – Washington, D.C., New York City, Las Vegas, Kennedy Space Center, Daytona and of course Florida.

     

    • Florida encompasses the entire state from Mallory Square in Key West to Bok Tower in Central Florida and antebellum mansions in the Panhandle.  Miniland Florida also includes an expanded area for Kennedy Space Center and an interactive Daytona racing experience where guests can race LEGO brick cars.
    • Las Vegas features the world-famous Strip including the Luxor Las Vegas, New York, New York Hotel and Casino, Excalibur, Mirage, Treasure Island, Tropicana, MGM Grand, Venetian, Stratosphere tower and two iconic structures of Paris Las Vegas:  the balloon sign and Eiffel Tower. “The Strip” at LEGOLAND also features a miniature wedding chapel, monorails and real life sounds recorded in Las Vegas. The architectural landmark is built out of more than two million bricks and represents more than sixteen-thousand hours of creative artistry.
    • Washington, D.C. sports faithful recreations of the White House, Capitol Building, Smithsonian, Washington and Jefferson monuments and parts of Georgetown. An animated marching band parades in front of the Capitol and tiny cherry trees blossom every spring.
    • New York City features the Freedom Tower years before its completion in the Big Apple. Tiny jets of water shoot up from the fountain in Rockefeller Plaza, while an army of animated yellow taxicabs prowls the streets of Times Square. The Statue of Liberty, a cutaway view of Grand Central Station, The Empire State Building, The Guggenheim Museum and the Bronx Zoo are just a few of the recognizable landmarks.
    • A Pirate themed section hosts a full-on swashbuckling pirate adventure as two opposing pirate ships and their “mates” battle it out upon the high seas.

     

    Castle Hill takes kids back to medieval times where spells are cast and many knights, damsels and dragons are found.

     

    • The Dragon – An indoor/outdoor steel roller coaster that features a spirited and humorous view of life behind the scenes within the enchanted LEGOLAND Castle
    • The Royal Joust – Kids ride LEGO themed horses through a number of medieval scenes where they encounter other riders in a simulated joust

     

    In Land of Adventure, adventurers of all ages explore hidden tombs and hunt for treasure.

     

    • CoastersaurusThis junior coaster reaches curves and dips in and around a prehistoric jungle of animated and life-sized LEGO brick dinosaurs
    • Lost Kingdom Adventure – LEGOLAND Florida’s spectacular dark ride invites guests to fire laser blasters at targets and brave the rugged Egyptian landscape in all-terrain roadsters, while attempting to unearth the vast treasures of a forgotten empire
    • Pharaoh’s Revenge – This outdoor attraction lets children and parents fire soft foam balls at enemies and explore the complex maze of the Pharaoh’s kingdom
    • Beetle Bounce – Launch 15-feet up toward intricate, brightly jeweled LEGO scarab beetles perched atop two monumental obelisks

     

    XTreme

    • LEGO TECHNIC® Test Track –Brave guests feel the power of acceleration, braking and maneuverability as they race a life-size LEGO TECHNIC vehicle along a wild roller coaster track.
    • AQUAZONE® Wave Racers –Riders zip in and out of waves as they dodge water blasters on this dual water carousel ride

     

    LEGO City, the perfect place where youngsters can live out their dreams in a scaled down town created just for them.

     

    • Fun Town Fire Academy Families race to put out a “blaze” by piling into a “fire truck” and power it by pumping levers across a paved straightaway. The first family to put out the fire and make it back wins! 
    • Driving School – A “real-life” driving experience for children ages 6 through 13, where kids receive their official LEGOLAND driver license
    • Junior Driving School – A scaled down version driving school course for children ages 3 through 5
    • Flight School – An inverted steel coaster that lets kids feel the thrill of flight
    • The Big Test – This interactive show uses acrobatics, music and playful fun to teach fire safety as the zany crew of Fun Town Fire Department attempts to conquer the “Big Test” to become official firefighters

     

    Imagination Zone emphasizes exploring and creation, while showcasing seven of the most visually exciting LEGO models in the world, including a replica of Albert Einstein’s head.

    • Game Space – Features thirteen game stations where guests can experience LEGO STAR WARSand other family-friendly games like LEGO INDIANA JONES, LEGO BATMANand Monsters vs. Aliens all year round
    • Build & Test – Build a LEGO car and test it against the competition on the digitally timed track
    • LEGO MINDSTORMS™ – Build and program cutting edge, computerized LEGO MINDSTORMS robots
    • LEGO Clubhouse – Kids and parents stock up on bulk LEGO brick and Make & Create kits while enjoying ice cream, popcorn, beverages and snacks
    • Kid Power Towers – Kids and parents alike hoist themselves up to the top of a tower  to get a great view of the entire Park and the lovely Lake Eloise, and then enjoy a fun “free-fall” to the bottom 

     

    Pirate’s Cove has been taken over by swashbuckling pirates along the shores of Lake Eloise at LEGOLAND Florida’s very own live-action water stunt show.

     

    DUPLO® Village is ideal for toddlers and their growing minds.  Youngsters can fly a plane, drive a car or explore a whole town – all designed with their height in mind

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  • Top Tips 24.05.2010 No Comments

    You may know this theme park as MGM Studios, in recent years the name has been changed.  It opened as Disney’s MGM

    Tower of Terror

    Studios in 1989 and has gone from strength to strength ever since.  Adding lots of rides along the way.The Water tower used to be the iconic landmark for this theme park but the Hollywood Tower Hotel seems almost as popular.

    Aerosmith Rock'n'Roller Coaster

    The building houses one of the parks thrill rides The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror , that offers amazing views right across the Disney property. Right next door you will find Aerosmith’s Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster  another great thrill ride.  Our top tip is to get into the park early and head straight for these 2 very popular rides.

    Of course for all you Star Wars fans out there don’t miss the chance to cruise on a Star Speeder for a once in a lifetime, unfogettable trip to Endor with C3PO as your navigator on Star Tours   For younger one’s they can get the chance to join the Jedi academy and show off their new Jedi skills for the rest of their holiday!
    Hollywood studio’s is also home to a whole host of other attractions including that musn’t be missed. Our particular favourite is The Muppet’s  in 3D. As big Fan’s of Sam Eagle and the Swedish Chef we just love this show.  But be warned strange things happen where, The Muppets are involved! 

    One for the boys and the petrol head’s out there is the ‘Lights Motor’s Action Extreme Stunt Show!  Some very clever stuff and 1 very famous little car gets a cameo.  This show uses car’s, truck’s, motorbike’s and even jet ski’s.  All the secret’s of the stun’t displayed are revealed.
    The Indiana Jones Stunt Show is also well worth scheduling into your day, showing how some of the film’s most memorable scenes were achieved.
    The Great Movie Ride, housed in a replica of Mann’s Chinese Theatre  on Hollywood Blvd in Los Angeles lets you get to re-live some great moments in movie history.  And is nicely airconditioned if you need a little time to cool off!

    Pirates of the Caribbean Props

    The Backlot tour is unmissable, the attention to detail is amazing on this tour.  Including items from various movies you might see while you wait in line.  You may even get to visit a ‘Hot Set’ where rehersal or even filming might even be taking place.

    You will need to plan your day a little by taking time out to check show times for some attractions. the Stunt shows will have set times, other’s such as the Little Mermaid live action show you will need to check at the entrance, as well as the Beauty and the Beast live action show and the Bloc Party Bash a street party with a difference featuring 20 of your favourites from the Disney Pixar  family.
    For the children – if they have any energy left then a visit to the ‘Honey I Shrunk the Kids’ Movie Set Adventure. should make sure they sleep well.  They can crawl climb and run through this adventure playground and see everything from a ‘Bug’s eye view’

    For something a little more sedate but nonetheless interesting make sure you pay a visit to the ‘Walt Disney One Man’s Dream’ attraction where you will come across lots’ of  one of a kind memorobilia and explote the Man, Myth and Magic behind the mouse that started it all!

    As always let us know what your favourites are and any tips you want to share let us know about them.  Oh and don’t forget to visit the American Idol Experience!

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  • Top Tips 21.05.2010 No Comments

    Tree of Life

    Expedition Everest

    The Tree of Life  pictured here (left) is to Animal Kingdom what Cinderella Castle is to The Magic Kingdom and what Spaceship Earth is to EPCOT Centre.  Far from being just a tree, it has been carved by artists from all over the world and is really worth closer inspection, stroll the discovery trails and take a look.  There is also alot going on inside the tree!  Flik, Princess Atta and the other star’s  of a Bug’s Life invite you to sit back and relax and learn about the world of bug’s in a 3D adventure and how important they are in our world.  Watch out for Hopper and the Stink Bug’s though!

    Away from this central focal point of Animal Kingdom there are several different areas of the park.  Africa includes a great safari ride with the chance to view many different types of animals including, impala, elephants, giraffes, hippo’s and rhinos.  Look out for the poachers and don’t forget to say ‘Jambo!’  To Wilson for us!

    Asia offers a leisurely stroll through the jungles, at the Mahraja Jungle Trek.  You will meet all kinds of birds, fruit bat’s and tigers and if you are very luck a dragon!  For the more adventurous try out the Kali River Rapids (you might need a change of clothes!)  or dry off by trying out Expedition Everest , look out for the Yeti!  (Picture above right)

    Join the dig at Dinoland USA where children can become palentologists and enjoy the Xylobone and maze.  The Dinosaur ride is great and is indoors so a little relief from the heat or shelter from a summer rain shower.  Or take a turn on the Triceratop Spin.

    These are our favouites but don’t miss Rafiki’s planet and the affection section. As well as Oasis and Camp Minnie-Mickey.
    Don’t forget to check the show times for ‘Festival of the Lion King ,’  you will discover ‘Finding Nemo’ the musical in Dinoland USA and Flights of Wonder (a birds of prey show) is set in the Asia section of the park, again check the daily schedules for show times. 
    Mickey’s Jammin Jungle Parade loops through the park at a set time each afternoon, you will need to check the schedule at the gate as times do change.
    Characters do also appear round the park for meet and greet sessions a good place to find them is in Camp Minnie-Mickey.

    Let us know what your favourite things are in this park.

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  • Top Tips 11.09.2009 No Comments

    EPCOT Centre

    First of all – do you know what EPCOT is an Acronym for?  There are a lot bandied about – my favourite being  Every Person Comes Out Tired!
    EPCOT stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.  This park was something Walt Disney had envisioned but sadly didn’t get to see before he died.

    Our Top Tips for visiting EPCOT Centre!
    On entering the park make sure that you grab a map, and a show schedule, remember to mark off any shows you want to see, and make a mental note of the time for the Fireworks and laser show.  The park is split into two distinct areas ‘Future world’ and ‘World Showcase.’    The World Showcase area  tends to open a little later than ‘Future World’
    The big iconic Globe is home to the slow moving journey of communication through time from the Stone Age, the Egyptians and Romans and on through to the creation of the Printing Press and modern technology.  If when you approach ‘Spaceship Earth’ the line is short ride it right away.

    Future World

    Usually best to head off towards the more white knuckle of the EPCOT Attractions Test Track and Mission Space and check the lines or get a Fast Pass.  Next head over to Universe of Energy – look out for the Dinosaurs! 
    Don’t forget to check out the Living Seas, where you can had a chat with Crush the Turtle from the Disney Movie – ‘Finding Nemo.’
     The Land Pavillion is home to ‘Listen to the Land’ a great little boat ride where you can find out about how NASA is working on growing food in Space as well as learn about hydroponics.  Within the Land pavillion you will find ‘Soarin’ even the line for this ride is a lot of fun.
    There are lots of places to eat in EPCOT but The Land, foodcourt is great as there is so much choice everyone can get what they like.
    You might want to make a reservation for Dinner later at the unique revolving restaurant.
    After Lunch head over to the big glass pyramid that houses ‘Imagination.’  On the way there look out for the Water ‘up’ and the jumping fountains.

    World Showcase

    Next head over to the World Showcase, start at Canada and work your way around. anti clockwise.  Each country funds its own showcase and is staffed by it’s nationals.  Great Britain features a pub and a Fish and Chip Restaurant.  Beware the price for a pint is far more than in your local! 
    You will find each country has some form of entertainment from 360 cinemas to street theatre and performers as well as Norway and Mexico having very different river rides.

    We reccommend that you get a spot ready for the firework and laser show about an hour before it is due to start.  Great viewing spots are opposite the American Pavillion on the Future World side of Seven Seas Lagoon, or on the bridge as you approach or leave Paris.  Depending on the size of your party, you might want to set up ‘base camp’ and take it in turns to revisit attractions in Future World or any you might have missed.

    Enjoy the Firework and Laser show it really is a fantastic spectacle.

    If you have anything to add or a comment to make we would really love to hear from you!

    Tips

    *Thirsty and hot?  Why not take a time out in the Coca Cola sponsored pavillion where you can try out soft drinks from all over the world.

    *It is possible to book a boat cruise in the evening to take you onto the water and watch the firework and laser spectacular.  The launches leave from Disney’s Yacht Club and must be booked well in advance.

    *Make sure you keep an eye on the display boards around the park for the latest wait times for rides, and attractions, as well as the scheduled times for the shows.

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  • Top Tips 11.09.2009 1 Comment

    The Magic Kingdom


    During busy periods be sure to arrive early at the park we advise having a good breakfast either at your villa or go all out at one of the many places that offer fantastic value ‘Buffet Breakfasts’ such as Sizzler or Ponderosa.

    Parking and Entry

    As you drive in to the car park make sure you ask the attendant what time the Parade is and what time the Fireworks are as times can vary. They will probably be able to give you a leaflet with a schedule of all the shows etc for the day you are visiting.

    Make sure that all the party remember where you are parked. This is easy to do as all the areas are named and all the rows numbered. So remembering a character name and number eg – Donald row 30 or Pluto 55
    You might want to write it down just in case.
    Once you know the times make a note to get a spot along the parade route about an hour (or at the very least 30 mins) before the parade begins.

    For the Fireworks you really need to make sure you get a spot about an hour before the display. (A great place we have found to be is on the bridge that you went over to get to ‘Adventureland,’ from the area in front of Cinderella Castle)

    At the main ‘Ticket and Transportation Centre’ you have the choice of taking the Ferry boat or the Monorail across to the Magic Kingdom main entrance. Both take the same amount of time to make the short journey to the main entrance. Our top tip is to head straight for the Ferry Boat and head as far forward as you can. (Avoid the temptation to go upstairs the view is just as good from downstairs)
    Have your camera ready to get great shots of one of the 3 mountains in the Magic Kingdom ‘Space Mountain’ and of course of Cinderella’s Castle.
    Once in the main gate if you do not need to rent a stroller (buggy) or wheelchair then proceed straight on and up ‘Main Street USA.’
    At the top of ‘Main Street USA’ in the Castle Terrace bear left and head on in to ‘Adventureland’ go straight to the most popular rides in this area ‘The Jungle Cruise’ and ‘Priates of the Carribbean’ – Johnny Depp fans keep an eagle eye out and see how many times you can spot ‘Captain Jack Sparrow.’
    Continue round the park in an anti clockwise direction. Head for all the major rides first.
    From Adventureland you will continue on to Frontierland. (NOTE where these 2 ‘lands’ meet you will notice ‘Pecos Bill’s Cafe’ – this comes highly recommended for a late lunch.


    Frontierland is home to the other 2 Mountains in the Magic Kingdom ‘Big Thunder Mountain Railroad’ and ‘Splash Mountain’ if the park is starting to busy up it might be an idea to grab a fast pass for these rides and head on to ‘The Haunted Mansion’ This is a continuous attraction and the queue tends to look big but move quickly.


    Fantasyland and is the next stop on your adventure through ‘The Magic Kingdom’ this area is generall suited to younger guests with ‘It’s a Small World’ ‘Peter Pan’s Flight’ ‘Dumbo’ and a wealth of other rides and shows including the fabulous centrepiece caroussel that under 10’s will love.
    Rides here can get busy but this is a good place for a snack and a rest as well as the best place in the park to soak up the atmosphere of ‘The Magic Kingdom’

    Tomorrowland follows with one of Disney’s first white knuckle thrill rides and the 3rd mountain in ‘The Magic Kingdom’ mountain range. ‘Space Mountain’ the ‘Astro Orbiters’ are another very popular attraction in this area. It is also worth taking a trip around ‘Tomorrowland’ on the ride below the ‘Astro Orbiters’ and taking in the rest of the area.

    Next head over to ‘Mickey’s Starland’ this area was constructed as part of celebrations for Mickey Mouse’s 60th Birthday. This area is ideal for younger guests with plenty for them to see and do. We think it is a great idea to take the Steam train from here back to Main Street USA Station and enjoy the sights and sounds along the way as well as giving your feet a well earned rest!

    On the way out of the park take the opportunity to use the Monorail. If you are fast / if you don’t mind waiting a while ask the attendant on duty if there is a chance you can ‘Ride up front’ Sitting up front with the driver is great fun and offers fabulous views.

    Our other tips would be – :
    *Hang on to any bottles of water and refill them at the plentiful water fountains throughout the park

    *Look out for the ‘Kodak Picture Spots’ throughout the park that should give wonderful shots of various areas.

    *Don’t forget sunscreen, even on a cloudy day the sun is very strong and you can burn quickly.

    *Make sure you arrange a place to meet should you get seperated from your party.

    *If you are a ‘Magic Kingdom Regular’ did you know that there some great behind the scenes tours available that let you in on the Disney Magic?

    *Keep an eye out for your favourite Disney Characters in various places and if you want to get a picture with them head over to them straight away and don’t be shy!

    Finally throughout the Disney Properties during construction the architects and imagineers ‘planted’ various Hidden Mickeys throughout the park – How many can you spot in the Magic Kingdom?
    Here’s one we found – Take a look at the scrollwork outside the ‘Mainstreet USA Train Station’

    We’ll be back with more Tips and Hints on the other parks soon.

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