All Star Vacation Homes Blog

Posts filed under 'New Attractions'

Move It, Move It to Busch Gardens® for “Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation”

There’s nothing more fun than partying during vacation and that’s just what your favorite characters from the “Madagascar” movies are gonna do! During “Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation,” debuting May 18 at Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay, Fla., Alex the lion, Gloria the hippo, King Julien the ring-tailed lemur, Mort the mouse lemur and the penguins, Skipper, Private, Kowalski and Rico join you for an unforgettable Busch Gardens® adventure. With these hilarious zoo animals vacationing alongside you and your family, silly antics and laughter will ensue.

“Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation” is a 20-minute musical show that features dancers, rock/pop music performed by a live band and both classic songs from the films and some new additions. Sing, clap and dance along with Alex and his friends to party favorites. Laugh at the clever wittiness of Alex and Gloria, come along on a special “mission” with the penguins and “move it, movie it” with King Julien and Mort. After the show, meet the stars and pose for pictures or purchase a souvenir.

“Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation,” featuring characters from DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc.’s “Madagascar” movies, premiers May 18 at Busch Gardens® Tampa and will be one of only two locations in the U.S. where you can see these characters live. Admission to the show is included in theme park admission; check a park map for show times. Busch Gardens® is located less than 70 miles from Kissimmee. Click here for more information.

Add comment April 3rd, 2013

Come Face-to-Face with Endangered Florida Panthers at Gatorland®

This April, two Florida panthers, among the most endangered animals in the world, will be calling Gatorland® in Orlando their new home! The new Panther Springs open-air exhibit will house Neiko and Lucy, a brother and sister pair that are a cross between the extremely endangered Florida panther and a Texas cougar. Panther Springs features an area of over 2,000 square feet complete with a waterfall, napping ledges near guest viewing areas and a state-of-the-art husbandry center.

According to, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s official website for the Florida panther, there are only about 100 adult panthers left in the wild that live on protected state and federal and private lands. The animals once ranged throughout Florida and much of the southeast from Louisiana north and east to Tennessee and the Atlantic. Due to hunting over the years and habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation, wild Florida panthers are confined to a small area in southwest Florida. At the Panther Springs exhibit, you and your family will enjoy a rare glimpse into the life of a Florida panther with opportunities to see the elusive big cats up close. Learn about Florida panthers, how they almost became extinct in the ‘90s and what you can do to help protect them.

Gatorland is a 110-acre theme park and wildlife preserve with exhibits and entertainment including thousands of alligators, crocodiles, birds and more. It is open daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. General admission will include the Panther Springs attraction once it opens, and is $24.99 for adults and $16.99 for children ages 3-12. Gatorland is located 15-20 minutes from Walt Disney World® Resort. Click here for more information.

Add comment March 29th, 2013

Brooms Up – Quidditch World Cup VI Takes Flight Next Month

If you’re a regular reader of the Orlando Vacation News Blog by All Star Vacation Homes, you’ll remember in July we announced that soon you’d be able to experience the wizardry of actual Quidditch Tournaments in Kissimmee, Fla. Quidditch World Cup VI is now just a month away! On April 13-14, 80 of the world’s best real-life Quidditch teams will make their descent for two days of competitions for the championship title.

Quidditch, made popular by the Harry Potter book series, is a sport in “witch” wizards race around on flying broomsticks to chase after a Quaffle and the notorious Golden Snitch while avoiding Bludgers. Muggle Quidditch, or Quidditch adapted to be played by people without magical abilities (or muggles), is played on the ground with athletes running around on broomsticks rather than flying. During Quidditch World Cup VI, hosted by the International Quidditch Association, see this exciting and unique co-ed sport played that combines elements of rugby, dodgeball and Olympic handball, with four balls (plus a human snitch) and seven players per team vying for control of an elliptical pitch.

In addition to the heart-pounding action of the Quidditch tournament, you can also enjoy the following activities:

  • Come dressed in Harry Potter-inspired attire and cheer with fans
  • Listen to live commentary from improvisational comedians and Quidditch experts
  • Shop for magical items and merchandise
  • Jam to live performances from bands, marching bands and musicians between games
  • Snack on food from local vendors
  • Celebrate your team’s victory during the After Party
  • Kids can participate in “kidditch” to learn how to play

Quidditch World Cup VI is a one-of-a-kind family friendly event. It will take place 7:30 a.m-11 p.m. on April 13, and 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. on April 14, at the Austin-Tindall Park in Kissimmee, Fla. The After Party is 7-11 p.m., Sunday, April 14. Tickets are $14.99 for adults, $7.99 for kids for day passes; $24.99 for adults, $11.99 for kids for weekend passes. Click here for more information.

Add comment March 11th, 2013

Embark on a Sweet Journey through the World of Chocolate at Chocolate Kingdom

During your next Orlando vacation, take your family on a brand-new interactive journey through the sweetly fascinating world of chocolate! At Chocolate Kingdom Factory Adventure Tour, discover chocolate history, health and science and how chocolate is made from a bean into a bar. With a Personal Chocolate Tour Guide as your host, enter the realm of chocolate and meet a handsome prince and his dragon sidekick for an entertaining trip through a cacao tree greenhouse, one-of-a-kind chocolate museum, mystical river of chocolate and an old-world bean-to-the-bar factory. Touch and taste chocolate, watch it being made and even participate in a chocolate catapult competition!

Chocolate Kingdom Factory Adventure Tour is located in Kissimmee and is open daily, noon-8 p.m. Chocolate factory tours take place every hour from 1-7 p.m. and cost $15 for adults; $12 for children (ages 4-12). The tour takes approximately one hour to complete. For a unique chocolate experience, make your own customized chocolate bar or melt the heart of a loved one with a delicious treat from the chocolate shop! Click here for more information.

1 comment January 4th, 2013

Plan Your Vacation Now & Be One of the First to Experience What’s Next at the Theme Parks

With the opening of New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom® Park and the theme parks dazzling guests with holiday events and decorations, it’s easy to see why Orlando is a top vacation destination. The theme parks are always planning new world-class attractions, encouraging you to visit again and again. If you like to experience the latest rides and experiences, you’ll be delighted to learn a variety of new additions are planned for your favorite theme parks. Are you considering an Orlando vacation? Use this selection of coming attractions to plan your next trip:

  • Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin – Planned for spring 2013
    SeaWorld® Orlando
    Walk in the footsteps of a penguin as you explore the icy world of Antarctica on a first-of-its-kind family ride.
  • TRANSFORMERS™: The Ride-3D – Planned for summer 2013
    Universal Studios Florida®
    Prepare for battle along with the Autobots® as you help save mankind from Megatron and his Decepticons®. There are also rumors of a future expansion for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ that have yet to be confirmed by Universal Orlando® Resort.
  • Princess Fairytale Hall – Planned for 2013
    New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom® Park
    Meet and greet your favorite Disney princesses at this elegant royal court.
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – Planned for 2014
    New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom® Park
    Join the Seven Dwarfs on a swerving, swaying train of mine cars for a musical adventure.
  • Avatar Land – Planned for 2017
    Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park
    Journey to the world of Pandora from the blockbuster film, “Avatar.” This attraction is still in the development phase and subject to change.

Don’t forget to reserve one of All Star’s more than 250 luxury vacation homes, town homes and condos for your vacation. All of our Orlando vacation homes are less than 7 miles from Walt Disney World® Resort and just minutes from SeaWorld® Orlando and Universal Orlando® Resort. You can also enjoy amenities like private pools and spas, multiple master bedrooms, themed bedrooms, home theaters, game rooms, full kitchens and more. Plan ahead to ensure you are among the first to experience these amazing new attractions. Click here to begin your search for the perfect vacation home with All Star Vacation Homes. Please note: opening dates and attraction details are subject to change.

Add comment December 13th, 2012

Splitsville – Experience this Magical Place to Bowl

Splitsville Luxury Lanes & Dinner Lounge officially opens at Downtown Disney® West Side on December 19! During your next Orlando vacation, challenge your friends and family to an exciting bowling match in this bowling alley unlike any you have ever seen. Splitsville combines traditional elements of a bowling alley with unexpected touches. With all the entertainment you’ll enjoy, you won’t want to leave!

The Downtown Disney® West Side location is the world’s largest Splitsville venue spanning 45,000 square feet and two levels. The bowling lanes are built in clusters throughout the facility and positioned at multiple angles encouraging you to put your skills on display or lounge in a relaxing nook for conversation. Splitsville features 30 bowling lanes with retro Florida-themed décor, pool tables and flat-screen TVs throughout and an expansive outdoor patio and bar area. When you’re ready for a bite to eat, the restaurant offers unique menu items far beyond “alley food” including gourmet pizza, sushi, filet sliders, pulled pork and a special kid’s menu. Don’t miss the merchandise area with souvenir t-shirts, water bottles, key chains, custom bowling balls and bags and more. Also try to spot the fun Disney references hidden in Splitsville’s décor.

Splitsville welcomes families during the day, however beginning at 10:30 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the second floor is transformed into a night life hotspot with live music for guests 21 and up. Splitsville is opening December 19; the hours will be 10 a.m.-2 a.m. Tip: to reserve a bowling or dining spot, you’ll need to visit a Splitsville greeter. Reservations are not yet available. Click here for more information.

Add comment December 11th, 2012

Discover the Magic of New Fantasyland Now Open at Magic Kingdom® Park

The curse has been broken! Yesterday, New Fantasyland was revealed during a magical grand opening at Magic Kingdom® Park at Walt Disney World® Resort. In addition to Storybook Circus, the attractions that are part of Fantasyland Forest are now open inviting you to step into the fairytale with your favorite Disney Characters from “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Dumbo” and more. What will you explore first at New Fantasyland?

  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid – Take a slow moving clamshell vehicle for an undersea adventure with Sebastian, Flounder and Ariel and sing along to songs from the classic film.
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle – Pass through a magical mirror doorway and be transported into Belle’s library for an interactive storytelling session with Belle and Lumiere.
  • Ariel’s Grotto – Enjoy a royal meet and greet with mermaid princess Ariel.
  • Be Our Guest Restaurant – Savor dishes like braised pork, thyme-scented pork rack chop and rotisserie rock hen as you put the “service to the test” in this restaurant inspired by the French setting of “Beauty and the Beast.”
  • Gaston’s Tavern and Bonjour! Village Gifts  – Explore Belle’s village and stop for a mug of LeFou’s Brew inside Gaston’s Tavern or shop in Bonjour! Village Gifts.
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant – Soar high into the air and control your own flight with Dumbo, the stupendous pachyderm circus performer.
  • The Barnstormer – Goofy is back with an all-new airplane adventure! Join circus pilot, “The Great Goofini,” in a spiraling roller coaster air show “stunt” of aerial acrobatics.
  • Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station – Cool off with circus animals in this themed water play area.

The next phase of New Fantasyland, Princess Fairytale Hall, is planned to open in 2013 and The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in 2014. Click here for more information.

Add comment December 7th, 2012

Take a Break from the Theme Parks and Discover the Rich History of Osceola County

You may think Kissimmee had little history before tourism came to the area, but did you know at one time Florida had more cattle than Texas? The state also had its own version of cowboys known as cow men or “cow hunters” who lived and roamed where Osceola County is today. At the brand-new Osceola County Welcome Center and History Museum, you and your family can explore the rich culture and history of Osceola County, learn about its early pioneers and discover the local flora and fauna that call this area home.

Located on U.S. Highway 192, the Osceola County Welcome Center and History Museum offers interactive exhibits, fun facts and a gift shop for the entire family to enjoy – both locals and tourists. Enter through a replica of the “Lady Osceola” steamboat to travel back to pioneer time. Once inside, visit a “swamp” where you can enjoy spotting the animals on display and learning the roles they play in the ecosystem. In addition, you can view exhibits that highlight the area’s first businesses, agricultural history and first settlements presented with fascinating artifacts. Kids can crawl through a gopher tortoise tunnel, try out a two-person “saw” and collect stamps from around the museum. 

The Osceola County Welcome Center and History Museum, presented by the Osceola County Historical Society, is open seven days a week, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free. For even more fun, visit the nearby Pioneer Village & Museum and take a stroll through authentic buildings, including the Lanier “Cracker House” and a general store, that once occupied different areas of the county. Also on Saturday, December 8, don’t miss the Cracker Christmas event and celebrate the holidays pioneer-style!

Add comment December 3rd, 2012

Start a Family Tradition at Christmas Town – A Busch Gardens Celebration

The holidays are here and on Friday, November 30, Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay, Fla. is transforming into a wonderland of wintery surprises and all things Christmas. Gather your family to make memories at Christmas Town, a new holiday tradition featuring special entertainment, live music, treats, shopping and thousands of Christmas lights.

Wander the frozen pathways, decked-out halls and cheery corridors to discover merry decorations, activities, attractions and more:

  • Celebration Village – See the rich, warm colors of the holidays and hear heartwarming songs as you enter Christmas Town.
  • Ice Wonder Way – Watch snowflakes dance down the front of the Moroccan Palace and enjoy a special performance of Angels of Peace: A Christmas Journey on Ice.
  • Jungle Jubilee – View exotic decorations and animal patterns that show the essence of Christmas found only in nature. 
  • Candy Cane Lane – Try not to lick these red and white lights with a peppermint twist!
  • Sesame Street A Very Furry Christmas at Busch Gardens – Hug your favorite Sesame Street pals and pose for pictures.
  • Enchanted Flamingo Valley – Encounter a festive flock of Florida flamingos created out of pink lights.
  • Poinsettia Parkway – Lose yourself among hundreds of poinsettia flowers and treat yourself to some holiday goodies.
  • Jingle Bell Junction – Board the pint-sized Christmas Town express for a holly-jolly train ride for kids.
  • Christmas Town Village – Find gifts for everyone on your Christmas list and sip a warm cup of coffee or cocoa.

Don’t forget to visit with Santa, play in real snow at SnowWorld® and enjoy special holiday musical performances in addition to festive and thrilling Busch Gardens® rides. Christmas Town happens every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 6-11 p.m., November 30-December 23. Busch Gardens® is located in Tampa, less than 70 miles from Kissimmee. Christmas Town is a separate ticketed event. Click here for more information and admission.

Add comment November 21st, 2012

Set Sail for the Swashbuckling World of Pirates this December

Grab your treasure map, hoist the main sail and cast off for an adventure on the high sea. December 6, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® Theme Park, embark on a voyage into the world of pirates and see if you have what it takes to become a scurvy buccaneer at Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow. At this brand new walk-through attraction, you’ll be greeted by a mysterious pirate skull that puts you and your family to the test to see if you can be a part of the legendary Captain Jack Sparrow’s crew. Face the perils of a pirate’s life, walk in the steps of Captain Jack Sparrow and experience some of your favorite moments from the four “Pirates of the Caribbean” films.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow is included with admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios® Theme Park. Tip: The attraction officially opens on December 6, however, “dress rehearsals” are set to begin later this month. If you are planning to visit before the attraction opens, you might be treated to a sneak peek. Check with a cast member for more information.

Add comment November 15th, 2012

Unwrap a Sleigh Full of Holiday Events Around Orlando

The holiday season is on its way! Soon it will be time to unpack ornaments, hang decorations, bake Christmas cookies, share meals and spend time with family. For 2012, Walt Disney World® Resort, Universal Orlando® Resort, SeaWorld® Orlando and LEGOLAND® Florida are spreading holiday cheer with the return of your favorite holiday events and some festive additions. Whether you are celebrating a child’s first Christmas, making new holiday memories, reconnecting with friends or simply want to enjoy at getaway to Orlando, you’ll find something for everyone on your list. Checking it twice is optional!  

SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration
SeaWorld® Orlando
Select nights, November 17-December 31
Waves of holiday spirit splash over you and your family during SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration. Walk through a sea of more than 100 trees that sparkle to music, watch a special holiday show starring Shamu, take an enchanted ride to the North Pole to meet Santa at The Polar Express Experience, learn about the meaning of Christmas with Sesame Street® friends and laugh along with Santa’s funny flippered helpers, Clyde and Seamore. Included in regular admission.

Holidays Around the World – Candlelight Processional
Epcot® at Walt Disney World® Resort
November 23-December 30
Attend international celebrations of Yuletide traditions at Holidays Around the World. As part of Holidays Around the World, enjoy a celebrity narrated retelling of the story of Christmas during the Candlelight Processional accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and mass choir. Included in regular admission. Tip: seating for the Candlelight Processional often fills quickly; arrive early or secure a seat by purchasing a dining package.

Grinchmas™ Wholiday Spectacular
Islands of Adventure® at Universal Orlando® Resort
December 1-January 1
Seuss Landing™ transforms into the whimsical world of Grinchmas! Settle into story time with a live retelling of “The Grinch” featuring music recorded by Mannheim Steamroller. Meet friendly Whos from Who-ville as they stroll through Seuss Landing. Get an unforgettable autograph or get your photo taken with the mean Mr. Grinch himself! Included in regular admission.

Macy’s Holiday Parade™
Universal Studios Florida® at Universal Orlando® Resort
December 1-January 1

See actual floats and balloons direct from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® in New York City. Dance and clap along with a parade featuring marching bands, clowns and even Santa. Afterward, treat yourself to gingerbread cookies and watch the tree lighting. Other entertainment throughout the theme park includes The Blues Brothers® Holiday Show, A Barney® Holiday show for young “elves” and performances from Mannheim Steamroller (on select nights.) Included in regular admission.

Christmas Bricktacular
Weekends in December

Have you ever seen a giant Christmas tree that was made of LEGO® bricks? Examine a more than 30-foot-tall tree built from a combination of 270,000 forest green LEGO® and DUPLO® bricks. As part of the Christmas Bricktacular, visit the historical botanical gardens decorated for the holidays, take pictures with Santa and attend the tree lighting ceremony. Included in regular admission. Tip: stay until dark to get a good nighttime view of the lighted LEGO tree.

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights
Disney’s Hollywood Studios® at Walt Disney World® Resort
Through January 6

This breathtaking display of millions of glittering lights, choreographed to holiday music, lines the Streets of America at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®. A holiday tradition started by the Osborne family’s annual display of lights, this exhibition of multicolored lights blankets entire buildings and will leave you awestruck. On select nights, the 10-minute light show features a finale of dancing snow. Included in regular admission.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Magic Kingdom® Park at Walt Disney World® Resort
Select nights through December 21
Holiday magic returns to the Magic Kingdom® Theme Park with special decorations and Castle Dream Lights on Cinderella Castle. Experience Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade, an exclusive fireworks show, snow fall on Main Street U.S.A., holiday shows and meet and greet opportunities with Disney Characters. Requires separate event admission ticket.

Visit the official websites for each theme park for more information on holiday events and activities, admission details, event dates and times. You’re sure to make a stocking full of memories at these famous holiday events!

1 comment November 12th, 2012

Strap into the Driver’s Seat of the Re-imagined Test Track Attraction

Up until it was put in “park” for refurbishment, Test Track at Epcot® floored theme park visitors by sending them on a ride through vehicle safety and performance testing procedures. Beginning December 6, strap in for an all-new interactive experience at the re-imagined Test Track® Presented by Chevrolet®. Join your family to learn how cars are created and experience automotive design firsthand! “Burn rubber” and speed off for an adventure around the Test Track circuit.

Start your engine for an exhilarating driving experience designed by YOU at Test Track Presented by Chevrolet. Step into the design studio to create your ideal virtual concept vehicle individually or with family and friends. Then board a six-passenger SimCar to test your design against the attraction’s SimCar. How will your car compare in capability, efficiency, responsiveness and power? Test your car at speeds up to 65 miles per hour, up and down hills, through hairpin turns and straightaways. After your test drive, see how your car performed in the post-show area and then race it over changing terrains and extreme conditions on a digital driving table. You can also produce and share a TV commercial for your concept vehicle and explore a Chevrolet showroom of the latest models on display.

Test Track Presented by Chevrolet is planned to open at Epcot®, December 6. The Test Track attraction is included in theme park admission. If you are planning a visit to Epcot® before December 6, be sure to stop by the Test Track Pavilion to see a sneak peek of the SimCar (pictured in this post.)

Add comment November 5th, 2012

The Force is Coming to LEGOLAND® Florida, November 9

It’s getting closer. The “Force” and its dark side are descending upon LEGOLAND® Florida on Friday, November 9 with the opening of the new LEGO® Star WarsTM Miniland Model Display. Whether the more than 1.5 million LEGO® bricks are used for good, or to depict an evil attempt to take over the galaxy, you can view displays from each of the six original Star Wars™ films and the animated series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars™.”

You’ll be amazed at what you’ll see made out of LEGO bricks. Constructed by some of the most skilled Master Model Builders, view 2,000 LEGO models – with some more than 6-feet-tall! Following a chronological path, experience the Star Wars™ universe and see your favorite characters, creatures, spaceships and vehicles like Stormtroopers, Jedi Knights, Darth Vader, Imperial Walkers, the Millennium Falcon, the Death Star and more in scenes built in 1:20 scale. For “bricktacular” fun, push one of the models’ interactive buttons to activate animations and watch the scenes come alive.

The LEGO Star WarsTM Miniland Model Display at LEGOLAND Florida will be included with theme park admission. LEGO Star WarsTM Miniland will be a permanent part of LEGOLAND Florida opening on Friday, November 9.

Add comment October 23rd, 2012

Catch the Ultimate Indoor Wave at Fantasy Surf

Surf’s up in Kissimmee, Fla.! Catching the perfect wave in landlocked Central Florida may sound like a surfing “pipe” dream unless you’ve experienced the thrill of Fantasy Surf. Located in a 14,000 square-foot facility, beginners and experts of all ages can grab a board to ride, slide and surf indoor waves. During your Orlando vacation, Fantasy Surf provides a fun and safe way to cool off for the entire family.

Using the patented FlowRider™ system, you can experience the ride of snowboarding, the tricks of skateboarding with the look and feel of surfing and skating. Fantasy Surf uses a FlowRider™ Double system that is 49 feet long, 32 feet wide and produces a three-inch thick surfable wave. If you’ve never experience surfing before, you can rest assured you can learn the proper techniques from Flowboarding experts in a safe and controlled environment featuring a cushioned surface designed for wipeouts. Sign-up for a clinic to learn the basics or take to the wave for a surfing safari. Tickets are sold in 30-minute or one-hour sessions.

If you aren’t a surfer or simply need a way to pass the time until your session begins, Fantasy Surf also has a café and a surf shop. Chow-down on some tubular chicken tenders, sandwiches, burgers, pizza and more in the Lull Café or shop for
t-shirts, beachwear, jewelry, sunglasses, shoes, swimsuits and flowboards in the Offshore surf shop. There are also plenty of opportunities to watch experienced shredders or other flowriders showoff their skills with amazing flips, jumps, spins and turns.

Fantasy Surf is open 3-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Sunday. For adults and children, 30-minute sessions are $15, $25 for one hour. Tip: sessions are slotted on a first-come, first-surf basis, so arrive early to secure your time. Click here for more information.

Add comment October 11th, 2012

Orlando Solar Bears Come Out of Ice Hockey Hibernation October 20

Formerly an International Hockey League team that won the Turner Cup in 2001, the Orlando Solar Bears have been in hibernation since the league folded. On October 20, 2012, the team will emerge for their inaugural season with the ECHL against the Florida Everblades at 7 p.m. Visit the Amway Center in downtown Orlando for the start of season and help welcome the team back to the ice!

The Orlando Solar Bears are the ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild and the AHL’s Houston Aeros. They will play 36 regular season home games with the first on October 20. In celebration of the Solar Bears return, the first 3,000 fans in attendance will receive a special commemorative opening night promotional item. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of Orlando ice hockey history. Will the Orlando Solar Bears have what it takes to defeat the Florida Everblades, the current ECHL Champions on opening night?

The regular season for the Orlando Solar Bears begins October 20 and tickets are $15-$60. If you can’t make it to opening night at the Amway Center, be sure to check the 2012-13 season schedule to for more opportunities to see the Solar Bears out on the ice.

1 comment October 4th, 2012

Discover a Frozen Tundra of Fun at the Coolest New Attraction Coming to SeaWorld®

Antarctica is home to 90 percent of the world’s ice. It is the coldest, driest and windiest place on earth. Whales, seals, sea birds and penguins all inhabit Antarctica, however, only the penguin remains on the continent during the bitter winter. Opening spring 2013 at SeaWorld® Orlando, Antarctica – Empire of the Penguin invites guests to discover Antarctica and walk with penguins in their world. The brand-new attraction is the largest expansion in SeaWorld® Orlando’s history and promises unique penguin encounters never before experienced in a theme park or zoo.

Antarctica – Empire of the Penguin will be Orlando’s coldest attraction – literally! You and your family can view models of giant icebergs and full-scale glaciers that encompass the icy South Pole and learn about this land of extremes. Board a ride vehicle for a state-of-the-art family experience that shares the beauty and wonder of life on the continent from a penguin’s point-of-view. Each ride offers a different adventure each time! After the ride, step into a massive colony of live penguins and get up-close looks at species of gentoo, rockhopper, adelie and king penguins. In the underwater viewing area, watch in awe as the birds perform graceful maneuvers as they swim and dart through chilly waters. 

Antarctica – Empire of the Penguin can only be found at SeaWorld® Orlando beginning spring 2013 and will be included in theme park admission. View Antarctica – Empire of the Penguin Webisode No. 1, an overview of the attraction, below or click here. Be sure to check the SeaWorld® attraction website or All Star Vacation Homes’ Facebook page often for new webisodes and more sneak peek information.

1 comment September 19th, 2012

Experience Your Favorite Orlando Theme Parks with Spooky Flair this Fall

Fall is almost here and theme parks across Orlando are already calling on the help of ghosts, monsters, pumpkins, zombies and other-worldly creatures to entertain, meet and spook guests this Halloween. Universal Orlando® Resort, SeaWorld® Orlando, LEGOLAND® Florida and Walt Disney World® Resort are celebrating the “spirit” of the season with activities and attractions, from the nightmarish to the not-so-scary. Popular frights and sights this year include:

  • Halloween Horror Nights®
    Universal Orlando® Resort
    Select nights, September 21-October 31

    In its 22nd year, experience all-new haunted houses, spine-chilling street experiences and live shows. Extra frightening highlights include encounters with “walkers” from AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” a haunted house brought to life from the “Silent Hill” video game and two alternate versions of reality-gone-awry inspired by Alice Cooper and Penn & Teller. Also, party on during Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure show. Note: Halloween Horror Nights is not recommended for children under the age of 13.
  • SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular
    SeaWorld® Orlando
    Select dates, October 6-28
    Journey under the sea for a nautical-themed Halloween Spooktacular. Children can come dressed in their Halloween costumes and trick-or-treat, dance with sea creatures in Penelope’s Party Zone and create sea-themed arts and crafts. Don’t miss Sesame Street’s Countdown to Halloween Live Musical Stage Show for the entire family.
  • Brick-or-Treat
    LEGOLAND® Florida
    Every Saturday and Sunday in October
    Join in LEGOLAND’s first kid-friendly Halloween celebration as Miniland USA is transformed into a scavenger hunt haunted by LEGO® Monster Fighters and their enemies. Kids can enjoy costume contests, a dance party, trick-or-treating along the brick-or-treat trail and a build-your-own LEGO pumpkin model activity station. Don’t miss the world’s largest LEGO Jack-O-Lantern made of 26,500 LEGO bricks, exclusive to LEGOLAND Florida.
  • Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
    Magic Kingdom® Park at Walt Disney World® Resort
    Select nights, September 11-November 2
    Kids of all ages can visit the Magic Kingdom® Park dressed in their costumes for a night of far-from-frightening fun and entertainment. Trick-or-treat, have your picture taken beside Disney Characters and Villains dressed in their Halloween costumes and watch Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade and Happy HalloWishes fireworks show.

Visit the official websites for each theme park for more information on Halloween events and activities, admission details, specific event dates and times. No matter what events you and your family decide to attend, you’re in for a hair-raising, goose bump-inducing and bone-chilling good time during your Orlando vacation!

1 comment September 6th, 2012

Get “Soaked” at Lake Eola with Extreme Water Sports and Family Fun this Weekend

This weekend, September 7-8, world-champion water skiers will be making waves in Downtown Orlando’s Lake Eola for the first ever Soaked extreme water sports festival. Located in Orlando, the water ski capital of the world, get ready for two days of water skiing, wakeboarding and other exhilarating water sports paired with live musical performances, carnival rides, food and more for the entire family.

During Soaked, watch in amazement as the world’s best competitors push themselves to the limits in extreme water sports for a chance to win $100,000. Athletes will compete in open slalom, jump and freestyle demonstrations. After the sun sets, the action ignites with nighttime ski jumps of 200+ feet under the lights of Lake Eola. See what it takes to jump the furthest and ski the fastest and be crowned the first-ever Soaked champion. In addition, enjoy a muscle car and motorcycle show, carnival rides, an Extreme Zone featuring DJs and a skate park, graffiti art, a special Kidz Zone, autograph signings with the pros and live music by 20+ bands. Musical performances include Breathe Carolina, Civil Twilight, A Silent Film and more! Click here for the current music lineup.

General admission to Soaked extreme water sports festival, September 7-8, is $10 for Friday, September 7 and $15 for Saturday, September 8. Tip: An early-bird weekend pass is available for $20. Soaked runs from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. each day. Click here for more information. Lake Eola is located in the heart of Downtown Orlando, less than 35 minutes from Kissimmee.

Add comment September 4th, 2012

Explore the World through Walt Disney’s Vision at Epcot®

The popular Walt Disney World® Resort Theme Park, Epcot® received its name from Walt Disney’s concept of the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow where new ideas and technology could be showcased and tested in a dynamic “community of the future.” Beginning September 17, you can see Walt’s ideas firsthand during the “Keep Moving Forward: See the World, Share the Dream Segway Tour” at Epcot®. Navigate your very own Segway through World Showcase to explore the theme park through Walt’s vision for a better tomorrow.

“Keep Moving Forward” lasts three hours and includes a Segway training lesson, breakfast at Sunshine Seasons, an in-depth tour along the 1.3-mile Epcot® World Showcase and an exclusive Disney pin. Admission is $99, plus tax, for guests ages 16 and older. Beginners are welcome. Epcot® Theme Park admission is required. Click here for more information.

Add comment August 31st, 2012

Phineas and Ferb & YOU Discover a Brand New Reality at Downtown Disney® West Side

If you’re a fan of the Disney Phineas and Ferb animated TV series, you know the hilarious hijinks never end with the siblings. Starting September 1, join the boys for an entertaining interaction starring YOU at “Phineas and Ferb & YOU: A Brand New Reality” located in Downtown Disney® West Side.

Step onto a platform to be transported into the world of Phineas and Ferb. Virtually interact with some of your favorite characters including Phineas, Ferb, Agent P. and Dr. Doofenshmirtz in one of 20 different adventures on a screen above. Dance “The Platypus Walk” or see if you can escape Dr. Doofenshmirtz’s latest scheme, the Freeze-inator. After your experience, you’ll receive a complimentary souvenir photo of your animated interaction. You can also shop for special Phineas and Ferb merchandise.

Visit “Phineas and Ferb & YOU: A Brand New Reality,” September 1-December 1, at Downtown Disney® West Side next to Bongos Cuban Café®. The experience is free and will be open daily from 2-9:30 p.m. Click here for more information.

Add comment August 20th, 2012

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