4th of July in Orlando

According to AAA Travel, Orlando is the #1 destination for travel this 4th of July! It’s easy to see why, especially when we have theme parks known for their awe-inspiring fireworks spectaculars happening nightly! If you’re planning to be at the theme parks or in the Orlando area for Independence Day celebrations this July 4th, we’ve put together a guide for you!

Our first Magical tip: the theme parks fill up very fast on the 4th of July, so be sure to keep that in mind when you are planning your day! There will be heavy crowds, so plan for long wait times for rides and characters and make sure to scope out your fireworks spot early!

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EPCOT

Epcot is the #1 spot for Independence Day celebrations! Here’s an inside look at the special offerings:

  • Special Fireworks: “The Heartbeat of Freedom” What would a 4th of July celebration be without fireworks? And Epcot has the best show around! It starts at 9 p.m. with a performance of “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,” which concludes with the addition of a heart-pounding, all-American grand finale. This one-night-only fireworks extravaganza unites music from great American composers with more pyrotechnics than Guests can imagine!
  • Voices of Liberty – An Epcot tradition for more than 35 years, this legendary a cappella group will perform a series of special evening concerts of great American songs in the America Gardens Theatre at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. Joining the Voices of Liberty on stage will be Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy, dressed for the occasion in their special “Spirit of ‘76” attire. Guests can also catch Voices of Liberty performing special patriotic songs in the rotunda of The American Adventure at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Disney Characters – During the day, Guests will have the opportunity to get a special photo with Mickey, Goofy, Pluto and Chip ‘n’ Dale, all wearing their patriotic best, right outside The American Adventure pavilion.
  • Specialty Foods – Guests can add some flavor to their celebration with all-American foods throughout the park. There will be decadent red, white and blue cupcakes available at Fountain View and Sunshine Seasons, where they can also nosh on their yummy BBQ pork sandwich. Refreshment Port will have specially decorated croissant doughnuts (Who can resist those?!) and Liberty Inn has got Guests covered with the all-American burger, southern fried chicken sandwich, apple pie cheesecake and –just for the 4th – a slice of watermelon!
  • The American Adventure – This epic attraction, another Epcot original, has recently been updated with an all-digital projection system, a new screen, new speakers and an all-new recording of the iconic “Golden Dream” anthem. And look for new faces added to the show’s finale including composer John Williams, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and noted ballerina Misty Copeland.

Magic Kingdom

Enjoy Disney’s Celebrate America – A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky on July 3rd and 4th at 9:15 pm! See beautiful fireworks in the sky and special effects on Cinderella’s Castle.

Also around the Magic Kingdom will be DJ Hosted dance parties from 7 pm to midnight on both the 3rd and the 4th in Frontierland and Tomorrowland. Dance the night away with both contemporary songs as well as tunes themed to the lands.

Universal Studios Orlando

Starting at 5 pm on July 4th, Universal Studios Orlando will host special entertainment to celebrate, including a live performance from the band Raydio, award-winning DJ M-Squared spinning hits and a special dance party with Universal’s beloved characters.

Fireworks begin at 9 pm, and the park will stay open until 10 pm to keep the Independence Day fun going until late!

Outside of the Theme Parks

Trying to avoid the busy theme park crowds? This website has compiled all of the events happening in the Central Florida area for the 4th!

Thinking about planning your Orlando vacation and need some assistance with where to stay? Contact us today, our dedicated reservations team is here 7 days a week to help you plan the vacation of your dreams today!

Until the next blog post, have a magical day!

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Orlando Water Parks

Soak up some famous Florida sunshine this summer in Orlando! Enjoy the beautiful sunny weather and keep cool at the same time at some of the area’s best water parks – conveniently located near our magical rental homes. Keep reading for useful info on the best water parks around.

Walt Disney World is home to two award-winning water parks – Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. Both offer a unique theme and exciting experiences the whole family can enjoy.

Blizzard Beach

As legend has it, one year a freak snow storm came to Florida. A ski resort popped up for all of the tourists to enjoy the slopes, but when all of the snow melted, Blizzard Beach water park made its debut! This ski-resort themed water park is home to the thrilling Summit Plummet – a 12 story free-fall body slide. If sliding down one of the highest and fastest water slides on Earth isn’t your thing – no worries! A leisurely lazy river winds through the park for total relaxation, as well as a whole kiddie section named Tike’s Peak, full of fun for the little ones.

Typhoon Lagoon

The other Disney water park is Typhoon Lagoon, themed as a tropical paradise after a crazy typhoon-storm. The centerpiece of this park is one of the largest wave pools in the world. This park also features plenty of places to relax along artificial white sandy beaches, and family attractions like the Crush ‘n’ Gusher water coaster and Mayday Falls raft ride. This summer, the park is debuting H2O Glow Nights, staying open at night, for the first time in the 29 years since opening, for a nighttime party with the Toy Story characters.

Volcano Bay

Universal Studios Orlando debuted its new park in 2017 with the opening of Volcano Bay. The water park is themed around a 200 foot tall volcano named “Krakatau” and features a technology driven experience with a wearable wristband called TapuTapu. The TapuTapu wristband holds your place in line so you can relax and enjoy the park instead of waiting in long lines for popular attractions. There’s a great balance for relaxation and thrills at this gorgeous Polynesian themed park.

Aquatica

SeaWorld Orlando’s water park continues SeaWorld’s themes of animal education and conservation. The most popular slide in the park takes a plunge through the dolphin pool, and the new Ray Rush family slide promises a thrilling slide, splash and soar with the whole family.

LEGOLAND Water Park

Slide, splash and build all day at the LEGOLAND Water Park! There’s some fun for everyone with attractions and slides to the all-new Creative Cove, where you can build and race your own LEGO boat! Beat the heat and still spend some quality time with the whole family at the LEGOLAND Water Park!

Reunion Resort Water Park

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You don’t even have to go far from your gorgeous vacation rental home to experience a great Florida water park experience! The Reunion Resort Water Park is 5 acres of tropical Florida fun, with three water slides, a lazy river and a kids play park. In order to spend time at this park, please be sure to register in advance as a Reunion Resort House Guest if the option is available for your rental home – if you have any questions about this, please be sure to reach out to our Care Team and they will happily answer any questions you may have to ensure your vacation is magical!

Your Magical Vacation Home

Sometimes, you don’t even have to leave your backyard to stay cool and have fun in the sun with your whole family! Relax in privacy with your own backyard pool, soak up some Florida sunshine and spend quality time with your loved ones.

This beautiful Reunion home, Designed for Vacations, even has a waterslide in this infinity pool with a spillover spa. Get details and check availability HERE

Looking for some privacy and relaxation? Stay at The White House at Reunion to enjoy the LARGEST infinity pool in Reunion. To add to the ultimate relaxation, the property is bordering a nature conservation which adds to the feeling of privacy, and has a private sauna  Learn more about this beautiful villa HERE

Hope you’re ready to splash your way through the summer at some of Orlando’s finest waterparks! If you’re looking for tickets to these exciting experiences, check out this website for some great deals!

Book your dream vacation with confidence now at MagicalVacationHomes.com!

Until the next blog post, we hope you have a magical day!

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Summer 2018 at the Theme Parks

It’s going to be another exciting summer for theme parks here in Orlando! Earlier this month, Visit Orlando announced a record setting 72 million visitors to Orlando, who came to see all of the new attractions and events. Here’s an inside look at new happenings this summer:

Walt Disney World

Toy Story Land opens June 30th, 2018 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Check out our blog post for more details on the new land!

Typhoon Lagoon Water Park will be open for select nights for H2O Glow Nights, inviting guests to join the Toy Story crew for an electric glow party celebration with character meet and greets and exclusive dining offerings. Get your tickets for this special nighttime event by calling (407) 939-1872.

Universal Studios 

The world of underground racing made its debut at Universal Studios earlier this month with the opening of Fast & Furious – Supercharged. Guests tour through the Fast & Furious headquarters, past vehicles and artifacts that were used in the films, before ending up in a high-speed race themselves.

A long-awaited new nighttime show is set to premiere this summer to replace Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular. While very little has been revealed about the show, it will feature animated characters, a new storyline, lighting and special effects.

Sea World

Sea World Orlando is home to both exciting thrill rides as well as educational experiences. This summer, the all-new family attraction Infinity Falls seeks to combine both experiences with the world’s tallest drop on a river raft ride while spreading the message of conservation and connection to the world’s rivers.

Over at Aquatica, SeaWorld’s water park, Ray Rush opened in mid-May to excited reviews. This 60-foot tall family raft ride promises multiple ways to slide, splash and soar like never before.

It’s not too late to book your Orlando summer vacation! Contact us to book your dream vacation with confidence today.

Until the next blog post, we hope you have a Magical day!

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Countdown to Toy Story Land

Walt Disney World’s highly anticipated Toy Story Land is opening up this summer at Hollywood Studios. Beginning June 30th, 2018, guests are invited to shrink down to toys and play in Andy’s backyard with two new attractions, Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers, in addition to Woody’s Lunch Box, a delicious new dining location.

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Toy Story Land, Opening June 30th, 2018 at Hollywood Studios

The Slinky Dog Dash is a family-friendly coaster that will take you up, down and twisting all around the new land. Alien Swirling Saucers promises an out-of-this-world interstellar spin in a toy rocket with the little green aliens. These new attractions join the fan-favorite Midway Mania ride, a 4D “Ride ‘n’ Blast” shootin’ game.

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Toy Story Midway Mania. Photographer: Cynthia Perez

After all of these exciting rides, have a bite to eat at Woody’s Lunch Box, a quick-service dining location serving Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. The menu features classic comfort food with a twist, including S’mores French Toast, “Totchos” (Chili Cheese Tater Tot Nachos), Soda Floats and Lunch Box Tarts for dessert.

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A themed kids room featuring a slide and ball pit in Windsor Hills Resort

Keep the fun going all vacation by staying in one of our custom built themed rooms, like this one in a beautiful 5 bedroom Windsor Hills Resort home, with a ball pit, slide and TVs in the bunk beds!

If you’re thinking of booking your Orlando vacation and have some questions, please contact our team today. We also have our concierge team ready to help with additional assistance.

Until the next blog post, we hope you have a Magical Day!

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Traveling on a Budget

Traveling as a family on a budget? When traveling with family, expenses can reach ultimate high prices. According to Forbes, Orlando is the most affordable destination in the U.S. The warm weather, theme parks, water parks, and resorts make Orlando a perfect vacation destination for a family getaway.

When traveling on a budget, we have a few tips to help you stay on track. First, we recommend planning your travels ahead of time. Typically, during the summer season, you can expect the flight prices to be high. If you can travel during the off-season, spring or fall, you can see instant savings. Secondly, decide which attractions is most important for your family to visit. If traveling with children, it is likely Walt Disney World will be first on the list. Many attractions offer special offers for Canadian guests. Walt Disney World is offering a Special Ticket Pricing from now through May 20th, 2017 for Canadian Residents. There are more attractions that offer discounts just for Canadians, such as, SeaWorld, Universal Studios, The Coca-Cola Orlando Eye, and more! We also recommend Kissimmee Guest Services to our guests looking for discounted park tickets.

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When looking for accommodations, private vacation rentals offer the most for families on a budget. Vacation homes offer extra amenities, a full kitchen allowing you to prepare meals, and provides more space and privacy that you just can’t get while staying in hotels. With all of these key features, your family will save money enjoying the amenities in the home, the full kitchen allows you to prepare meals in the home so you can avoid eating out, and there is no need to reserve multiple hotel rooms to accommodate the whole family.

Here at Magical Vacation Homes, we specialize in 2 to 14 vacation rentals with hotel style amenities located just minutes away from major theme parks. Our newest villa located in Reunion Resort can accommodate up to 14 guests and was created with guest feedback in mind. Designed for Vacation is a 3,330-sq. ft. pool villa full of fun for all with theme bedrooms, a retro games room, movie room, extended deck with fire pit, and more.

Save up to 40% on a last minute getaway now through the end of May! Let us help you plan your next vacation with our reservations team available 7 days a week or check out our website with live calendars.

Remember, Orlando is one of the most family-friendly destinations in the world and has something for everyone to enjoy.

Until the next blog post, have a magical day!

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Flower and Garden Festival

Enter a world full of spring wonder, fresh flavors, incredible topiaries, and fun interactive activities for the whole family!  Take part in the annual International Flower and Garden running from March 1 to May 29, 2017 in Walt Disney World’s Epcot.

Eat tasty treats from the outdoor kitchens offering farm-to-table plates. Wander the World Showcase and sample dishes and drinks from around the world.

Dance the night away to the Garden Rocks Concert Series that runs on weekends with different artists each weekend. Be sure to check the artist schedule to see which artist is performing each week!

Food And Wine Festival

Offering over 70 topiaries throughout all of Epcot. Highlights include topiaries of Anna and Elsa, Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Enjoy special exhibits and gardens including Butterflies on the Go, Floating Mini-Gardens, and  the Illuminated Gardens.

While visiting the theme park capital of the world, stay in one of our new luxury villas. The whole family will truly unwind in a fully equipped villa with a private pool, theater room and themed bedroom for the little ones!

Until the next blog post, have a magical day!

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Festival of the Arts

Epcot is debuting a brand new festival and showcases three artistic areas including visual, culinary and performing arts. The International Festival of the Arts runs Friday through Monday from now until February 20, 2017! This event is perfect for all ages with tasty dishes, captivating performances, and incredible artwork.

Culinary Arts

You can visit Food Studios throughout the World Showcase. Tasty highlights from the Food Studios include the Deconstructed Purple Sweet Potato Pie, Trio of Savory Croissant Doughnuts, BLT with Crispy Pork Belly, and the Classic Reuben.

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Each different food station offers food in different artistic styles including Pop Art, Deconstructionism, Modernism, and Renaissance just to name a few.

Performing Arts

Be wowed by a variety of live performances! Your family can enjoy the Disney on Broadway Concert Series including Beauty and the Beast, Frozen, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Tarzan, The Lion King and more! Be sure to view the schedules of concerts before visiting the park.

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There are other shows to choose from including the Community Arts Showcase, Art in Performance, and The Show Must Go On!. All of these shows are held at select times on select days, so be sure to check out the times schedule!

Visual Arts

Immerse yourself in Disney art with seminars, must see exhibits, workshops, photo ops, and portraits. View exhibits from all over the world and even purchase some of your favorite pieces. Learn the basics of pieces from the artists themselves and even be the student in professional workshops.

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Be sure to visit Epcot for this new festival before it ends February 20!

Call our reservationists today for help finding your perfect vacation rental! Check out this 9 bedroom villa with tons of upgrades, private theater, games room and private pool!

Until the next blog post, have a magical day!

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