Naturally Creepy at Bok Tower Gardens

One of my favourite holidays to be in Orlando for is Halloween – and it is only about 5-6 weeks away now.  I have seen advertised ‘Naturally Creepy’ at Bok Tower Gardens.  Described as having creepy crawlies, spiders webs and sneaky plants that come alive at night – all real of course – it is an evening of safe trick or treating.   You can explore torch lit pathways to find the candy stations and there will be activities through the Gardens.  Added bonus the Blue Palmetto Café will remain open until 9pm.

Only $1 per person in fancy dress (costume) or $10 without costume.

Friday October 25th 6-9pm.  boktower.org

New at Universal Studios – Despicable Me – Minion Mayhem

This is a simulator ride based on the 2010 animation.  The ride replaces the old Jimmy Neutron ride, so is positioned just opposite the Shrek show.  As with most of the rides at Universal it is really well themed even in the waiting area.  You enter through Gru’s home and go on to visit his lab where you are shrunk to take part in your Minion training.  As you may expect the scheme goes wrong and the cadets go on to suffer some exciting adventures that need Gru to save the day.  It is a happy ever after ending, finishing with a Minion dance party.  As with the previous Jimmy Neutron ride it is a motion-based seated action ride – it can get bumpy at times.    If you are not good with the movement you can request a static seat.

 

What’s new at Kennedy Space Center?

This year Kennedy Space Center has opened the Space Shuttle Plaza – built to showcase the Space Shuttle Atlantis

Atlantis offers the full 30 year history of the shuttle programme through a mix of interactive media.  Hands on and apparently immersive, the exhibit features Atlantis (which I  actually saw launch in back in 2009) 1 of only 3 remaining Shuttles.  The 6 storey building has 2 wings – 1 for the launch and 1 for the return.  Even the outside of the building has been themed – clad in orange and gold to symbolise the re-entry, the inside has glittery tiles to remind us of the tiled underside of the of the orbiter.

The immersive experience also shines a spotlight on the astounding achievements made over the course of the 30-year Space Shuttle Program, most notably, the building of the International Space Station and the launch and maintenance of the Hubble Space Telescope.

KSC also celebrates the thousands of people who took part in creating and maintaining NASA’s five space-flown shuttles – Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour – and how the shuttle program has paved the way for NASA’s next generation of manned spaceflight programs.

Vegetarian Dining in Florida

To be honest most restaurants in Florida specialise in meat or fish – which for me is great, for hubby as a vegetarian not so much!

There are some restaurants though where there are more vegetarian options than others –

Café Tu Tu Tango on International Drive has lots of tapas style dishes so provide a good selection of veggie dishes

Golden Corral and other similar all you can eat buffet restaurants are a good option for any ‘fussy’ eaters – hubby particularly likes breakfast as you can request freshly made omelettes in addition to all the other veggie breakkie options.

Cicis Pizza – another all you can eat buffet – good veggie pizza and often pasta options with salad available

Sweet Tomatoes – we go to the one at Rolling Oaks – is a great vegetarian option – freshly made soups, pizza, pasta, jacket potatoes, bread and of course all the salad – a fantastic and relatively healthy option.

Other favourites for hubby which I have blogged about separately include Café D’Antonios in Celebration, Bok Tower Gardens café, and Rainforest Café.

 

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

Select nights: Sept. 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, 27 & 29, Oct. 3, 4, 6, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 20, 22, 24, 25, 27, 29, & 31, Nov. 1

  • Admission: Starting at $59
  • Phone: 407-824-4321

Walt Disney World’s annual Halloween party is appropriate for all ages. Events include a “Boo-to-You Halloween Parade” featuring Disney characters, a fireworks show and more. Trick-or-treat around the park as special lighting, music and themed effects transform the Magic Kingdom into happy haunted hollows.

We recommend it – we love it and the best place to view the fireworks – from Thunder Mountain

Test Track

It’s no secret that Test Track at Epcot is probably my most favourite ride and in 2012 it was revamped.

Test Track is Disney’s longest, faster track and the ride lasts 5 and a half minutes.  In the 2012 refurbishment the queue was made more interactive.  You can now design your own car according to Capability, Efficiency, Responsiveness and Power.  This is all stored on a card which you can then ‘load’ as you board your prototype vehicle. 

The ride itself (I am glad to say) is much unchanged bar the addition of special effects and bright lights – it is still absolutely fabulous.  I love it.

 

Info before you go

A couple of websites that we were recommended and have found useful over the years are http://www.thedibb.co.uk and wwww.allears.com.  Both give info on Disney with a British flavour.

We also refer to http://www.orlandosentinel.com for online local info and signed up for the Orlando Attractions magazine at http://www.attractionsmagazine.com.

Finally – don’t forget to check www.undercovertourist.com for your busy park visitor guide – it categorises the parks red, amber, green for volume of visitors and also gives the days a score between 1-10 for how busy it will be.  Usually if you check nearer the time of your visit it will also tell you if there are any significant events such as a bank holiday or a key event e.g. Disney Marathon weekend.

Happy reading