Halloween 2019 at the Theme Parks

Autumn in Central Florida comes with plenty of Halloween excitement at the theme parks. From friendly boo’s to frightful scares, people of all ages can find something to enjoy from September to November. We conjured up a list of EVERY Halloween-filled theme park festivity you can attend this Halloween season, so hold on to your headless horseman as we dive into what’s in store for Halloween 2019!

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

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One of the most popular events you CANNOT miss has to be Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party hosted inside of Magic Kingdom® Park. On select nights from August 16 to November 1, 2019, get dressed up in your best costume as you trick-or-treat your way down Main Street U.S.A®. Perfect for children and adults alike, this spooktacular event features Halloween-ified attractions, a Halloween parade, spell-binding fireworks, and more! Set your sights on the friendliest frights with the little ones this year and learn more about this exciting evening in our previous blog here!

Universal Studios® Halloween Horror Nights

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With the hype around the 1980’s nostalgia, Universal Studios® Halloween Horror Nights is perfect for your classic 80’s scare. On select nights from September 6 to November 2, 2019, face your fears through Orlando’s most intense nighttime event. Experience 10 TERRIFYING haunted houses, 5 hair-raising scare zones, and thrilling entertainment throughout the night. This event is suited for those 13 and over as it may frighten the little ones. Ready to walk through the Upside Down, fight ghosts with the Ghostbusters, and take on some Killer Klowns from Outer Space? Then head over to #HHN29.

Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream 2019

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Inc.

Get ready for Tampa’s premier Halloween event at Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream! On select nights from September 20 to November 2, 2019, prepare yourself for the endless haunts and thrills throughout your visit. Make your way through 6 haunted houses and 9 chilling scare zones as you are faced with murderous mutants, haunted asylums, and your worst nightmares. It’s also the perfect time to hop on one of your favorite roller coaster attractions! This event is suitable for adults as it may be frightening for children. Put on your brave face for the most horrifying attraction in the Tampa-area as it celebrates 20 years in the scare industry.

SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular®

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc.

Get the kids ready for exciting dance parties, trick-or-treating, and more with their favorite friends from Sesame Street at SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular®. On weekends from September 21 to October 27, 2019, this kid-friendly Halloween daytime event will be sure to bring joy and plenty of candy to everyone! Enjoy the all-new Sesame Street Halloween Parade with Elmo, Big Bird, The Count, and others as they dress up for the Halloween festivities. There’s so much to do and even more to see. So, what are you waiting for? Experience the autumn fun today!

LEGOLAND® Florida Resort Brick-or-Treat

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On select nights from October 5 to 27, 2019, celebrate the spookiest time of the year with LEGOLAND® Florida Resort Brick-or-Treat! Collect piles of candy in your own Brick-or-Treat candy bag as you trail through the park. Take part in the exciting scavenger hunts, meet exclusive LEGO characters, and even watch the sky light up in fireworks at the end of the night with the tale of Pirate Cove. This event is ideal for children as they can dress up and enjoy all of the Halloween festivities, catered specifically to them.

There’s so much to do with so little time in Central Florida, so plan out your trip in advance to make the most of every Halloween festivity! Needing a place to stay while you prepare for scares? Check out some of our available Magical Vacation Homes to complete your ideal Halloween vacation.

 

Until next time, have a (frightfully) Magical day!

Where to Find Characters at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

BRIGHT SUNS! Welcome to blog three of our countdown to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, opening August 29th at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®! During our visit to the preview event on August 17th, we were lucky enough to find characters throughout our journey through Batuu.

Today, we’re going to show you WHO we saw and WHERE you may spot some of your favorite’s from the movies, here in real life!

(Haven’t read our last blog yet? Make sure you check that out here! Hint: Blue and Green Milk and a galactic bar, anyone?)

The Stormtroopers

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Credit: Magical Vacation Homes

Roaming around Batuu, you may bump into a Stormtrooper, or two, or five. During our visit, we noticed them throughout the land both walking and on rooftops. You have to make sure to look everywhere because they pop up from every nook and cranny.

And don’t be alarmed if they question you about your allegiance, just, make sure you have an answer for them.

Chewbacca

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Credit: Magical Vacation Homes

Well, it DEFINITELY wouldn’t be Batuu if you didn’t see Chewbacca around, and we saw a lot of him. Keep an eye out when you enter Batuu because you may find him most often at the entrance area. We noticed him around the Rebel Outpost interacting with travelers while checking on his landed ship.

Kylo Ren

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Credit: Magical Vacation Homes

Kylo Ren has arrived in Batuu in search of the Resistance. He’s entirely intimidating but we were in awe watching him walk with the Stormtroopers. When we spotted him, he was walking through the Black Spire Outpost just past Savi’s Workshop.

Rey

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Famous for being in Episodes VII through IX, Rey makes many appearances throughout Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. One of our Magical members noticed her roaming around just as you enter Batuu, probably planning her recruitment efforts for the Resistance.

Vi Moradi

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Credit: Polygon

Now we didn’t spot this character until the sun was set, but Vi Moradi is one you’ll want to keep an eye out for. A newer character to most, Vi Moradi was introduced to us in 2017 in the novel, Star Wars: Phasma, and can now be found in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

We were caught by surprise as she found us instead of the other way around. Usually, when wanting to meet characters you will go to them. This time around, we were unexpectedly approached, which was a one-of-a-kind experience.

When Vi Moradi found us, she was debating if we were those she could trust as she hid from the Stormtroopers, just before darting off. By the looks of it, you may bump into her just about anywhere as she keeps her guard up and presence hidden (or if you have our experience, she may just bump into you).

Til The Spire!

Ready to spot these characters? Get your Disney Theme Park tickets and get ready for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge! With exactly one week away until the grand opening, we’re thrilled for you all to experience what we witnessed in Batuu.

There’s still time to book your stay with Magical Vacation Homes. We have plenty of villas that are perfect for any party on your future galactic getaway.

We’ll be back tomorrow with our exciting experience on Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.

 

Until next time, Til the Spire, and have a Magical day!

 

 

*As to Disney artwork, logos, and properties: ©Disney*

Let’s Boo This! Get Ready for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 2019

 

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©Disney

It’s hard to believe that Halloween is less than 90 days away, but for those of you who CANNOT wait any longer, the Magic Kingdom® Park is here to help. On select nights from August 16 – November 1, 2019, get ready to boo your way through Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!

Set your sights on the friendliest frights this Halloween season with spells from the Sanderson Sisters, lurking pirates, and an all-new fireworks display from your favorite skeleton. The yearly tradition is bringing back its fan favorites, however, you will be in for some new boo’s around the park. Trick or treating is a must, and getting decorated in your favorite costume is essential. But, what other fun things will be happening on these all-hallows-nights?

Keep reading to find out what you’re in for at this exciting nighttime spectacular.

SPOOK-tacular Shows

Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular

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The Sanderson Sisters are BACK, and they are ready to put a spell on you at their Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular show! Meet the three witches and plenty of other villains, like Dr. Faciliar, Maleficent, and Oogie Boogie, just to name a few. Fall under the spell of the on-stage entertainment.

And we promise, you didn’t drink a potion, this show is just THAT alluring.

Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular

Get ready for the NEW fireworks spectacular, exclusive to the event! Watch the sky light up as your friendly skeleton, Jack Skellington, hosts the show.

Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy have been spirited away to a mysterious haunted house. What they may encounter is a mystery,  but expect a sinister gathering of familiar villains during the performance.

Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade

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There are spirits, villains, and other frightening spooks haunting Main Street U.S.A® at Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade. This spellbinding parade will include a visit from the spectral Bride, the haunting Hitchhiking Ghosts, and many other frightful friends. You do not want to miss this exclusive parade, we promise you that!

Halloween-Themed Rides

Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor®

Cackle your way into Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor® this year with the all-new attraction segment! Gather around and interact with your favorite monsters as they learn about the traditions of Halloween. It will surely be a ghoulish time.

Mad Tea Party

“We’re all mad here”, especially during Halloween! Hop into your teacup for the Mad Tea Party, and you’ll be in for exciting spin through special lighting and music effects, exclusively designed for the nighttime event.

Space Mountain®

Zoom through complete darkness as a new, “hard-rockin'” soundtrack blasts at this wild indoor coaster! Space Mountain® will also be themed for the select-night events, giving thrill-seekers an eerie adventure of a star-less galaxy.

Pirates of the Caribbean®

Beware of what may be lurking around the corner, you may bump into a pirate, or two. These live pirates will be searching for their treasure as you cruise through in your boat. Look out for some possible scares and some skeletons here and there, you’re in for quite the adventure!

 

Trick-Or-TREAT Your Tummy!

Of course, your night isn’t complete without a treat bucket full of your favorite goodies! Travel around the different lands throughout the park and build your own yummy collection.

However, if you’re ready to feast your fangs into more than just the candy, try out one of the exciting, themed dessert parties! There are two to choose from that offer stunning views of Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular (which can be found here and here).

If you’re looking to dine with a certain villain, the infamous Cruella De Vil has ghoulish dishes and mouth-watering desserts that will enhance your evening of scares and sweets! It’s a dinner party that will be a must-visit for guests!

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The Spooky Evenings Are Quickly Approaching…..

And we promise that they will be worth attending. Admission for this separately-ticketed event is available now, so get yours while you can! Space for each select night is limited, so we suggest planning out your trip in advance!

If you’re needing a place to stay for your next spooky visit, check out our Magical Vacation Homes and book your perfect vacation villa today!

Until next time, have a magical day (and a frightful night)!

 

 

*As to Disney artwork, logos, and properties: ©Disney*

Universal Orlando Reveals NEW “Universal’s Epic Universe” Theme Park Plans

The fourth gate is here, and it’s expected to be the most EPIC expansion in Universal Parks & Resorts HISTORY!

 

 

The news was announced this morning at Universal Orlando’s press conference, introducing Universal’s Epic Universe to the media. The new addition will include the theme park as well as shops, an entertainment district, and a hotel. According to Universal Orlando, it will be “the most immersive and innovative park we’ve ever created”.

What We Know So Far

Orlando has not seen a new full-fledged theme park since 1999 when Universal’s Island’s of Adventure made its debut. Theme parks take YEARS to create, and that is almost a given considering how long it takes to build a single ride. However, we may not have to wait as long as normal. Land for the expansion has already been cleared as of 2018, which means we are that much closer to construction.

We’re still unsure of land details, but we have our guesses for what may make the cut. Nintendo, Fantastic Beasts, and How to Train Your Dragon are all fan-favorite contenders. We have our hearts set on Nintendo and we have faith that the final lands will be fantastic.

Tom Williams, chairman, and CEO of Universal Parks & Resorts also noted that “a Universe is bigger than a World”, hinting toward competing parks. This leaves us with HIGH expectations for something grand.

We studied the map layout of the current parks and the new park plans. By the looks of it, the new area should be larger than all of the Universal Orlando® Resort.

In other words, this may actually live up to the “Universe” references just from size alone!

Location Details

The 750-acre site will be located just 12 minutes away from the current Universal Orlando theme parks and hotels. Traveling between the current theme parks to the new park area will be improved with the current Kirkman Road extension. There are also plans for train construction aimed to have train travel from the Orange County Convention Center-area to South Florida. This will offer an easier way to visit the park.

Due to the expansion, Orlando will be able to create 14 thousand new jobs in this central location. This is a great economy booster for the area and, once completed, will offer a base rate of $15 an hour to employees. It is aimed to also boost tourism in the “theme park capital of the world”.

The Best is Yet to Come…

We cannot wait to see what this expansion has in store and when it will open. We will keep you updated on all of the latest news from Universal Orlando® Resort! You can view this morning’s full press conference here.

Until then, if you’re looking to book a vacation for any of the area’s current theme parks, make sure to check out some of our Magical Vacation Homes!

We’ll see you in the next blog post. Have a MAGICAL day!

 

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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Area Attractions: Orlando Tree Trek

The Orlando area offers so many exciting attractions! While we’re best known for our major theme parks, there are many additional attractions around the area that provide just as much excitement, thrills and fun for the family. In this new series on the blog, we’re going to highlight local area attractions we think you should definitely check out to make your vacation even more magical!

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Photo courtesy of Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park.

Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park

Have you ever dreamed of soaring through the trees on giant zip lines? This is the place for you! Orlando Tree Trek features different high ropes courses suited for all members of the family ages 7 and up, with:

  • Four (4) Adult Courses (12+) which includes a giant (425ft) zip line
  • Three (3) Junior Courses (9-11) which includes a giant (425ft) zip line
  • Two (2) Kids Courses (7-8)

Not the biggest fan of heights? The park has plenty of walking trails near the courses to view your climbers as they work their way through challenging obstacle courses 10 to 50 feet in the air.

Safety

Safety is the number one most important factor at Orlando Tree Trek. Your experience begins with an immersive training session, with guides demonstrating the two step safety measures and making sure everyone feels confident before climbing up to adventure through the trees. There are some important requirements before climbing, including a signed waiver form, height requirements for adventurers and waist size requirements (not weight).

The Story

Both Magical Vacation Homes and Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park are family owned and operated businesses! Here’s the backstory behind this exciting adventure park:

“The Lemieux and Barbusci families set out to build the most fun and challenging Park possible while ensuring that guests’ safety and satisfaction would always be top priority. So they chose two of the most renowned names in the business, TreeGo and Outplay Adventures LLC, to design and build Tree Trek Adventure Park. The two companies have gained an excellent international reputation as builders of multiple parks throughout both North America and Europe.

From the materials and designs used to build the Park to the actual equipment used by  climbers, only the best has been chosen to ensure everyone will have a safe, carefree and exciting experience. It’s important to the Lemieux and Barbusci families as well as to our guests that everything used in the Park’s construction meet or exceed all established industry standards and that all our outdoor operating procedures, including game and equipment inspections, have been established based on a “best industry practice only” basis.”

Truly enjoy every minute at the Orlando Tree Trek without worry!

After a long day of zipping through the trees, retreat back to a vacation home that still feels like you’re in nature! The following rental homes border private nature conservations so you still feel the privacy of being in the woods.

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Relax in one of these comfortable sun loungers and dream of flying through the treetops again at the Magic Mansion. This beautiful infinity pool is bordering a nature conservation area so it is as private as it can get. See more information about this beautiful home HERE.

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Dine al fresco in your own private tropical tree paradise in this beautiful Reunion Resort home. Surround yourself with nature at this property, see more HERE!

Located close to all of our vacation properties, as well as the Disney parks, the Orlando Tree Trek is a great attraction to enjoy then retreat to your vacation home to relax. Advance reservations are highly recommended, as they limit the number of people on the courses for maximum enjoyment. Get a 15% Off coupon by signing up on their website!

Until the next blog post, we hope you 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!

Windsor Hills Splash Park

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Enjoy the brand new community splash park and water slides in Windsor Hills! Windsor Hills Resort is located only two miles away from Disney with all of the amenities of a luxury resort paired with the comfort, convenience, and privacy of a high-end vacation home, at just fraction of the cost! Be one of the first guests to enjoy the brand new pool enhancements when you stay in one of our Windsor Hills properties!

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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