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You purchased your tickets, set your course for the Sunshine State, and are finally stepping through the entrance gates to the Orlando theme parks. Unfortunately, it seems as if everyone else also had the same idea. An Orlando spring break is excellent but it is also one of the busiest times at the theme parks. If you are in Orlando for spring break or summer holiday try these tips for navigating a crowded theme park.

Before You Arrive

Plan Your Day

Before you even arrive in Orlando, take time to plan out your theme park adventure. What attractions are must-sees? Which ones can you skip? Make sure to check out height requirements and other advisories so you avoid standing in line for rides that won’t work for your party.

Reserve Ride Passes

Once you know which rides you want to do, it’s time to consider your ride pass options.

If you are visiting Disney, you’ll receive three complimentary FastPasses for rides throughout the park per day. It’s important to know your ride schedule because once you reserve your passes, you’re committed to riding at a certain time. You can use the My Disney Experience App to keep track of your plans.

At Universal Orlando Resort, you’ll have the option of purchasing add-ons for your base ticket. A Universal Express Pass allows you to skip the regular line once at participating attractions throughout the park. The Universal Express Unlimited Pass allows unlimited use at participating attractions, which include Harry Potter and the Escape from GringottsTM as well as Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls®, and many others.

Bring the Right Gear

The only thing worse than waiting in long lines is being hot and uncomfortable while doing so. Pack cool, comfortable clothing and shoes for the parks. Once in Orlando, purchase water, sunscreen, a poncho, and snacks to keep you energized and protected against the elements throughout your day at the park.

At the Parks

Arrive Early

You might be tempted to sleep in while on vacation but the benefits for theme park early birds are many. Ride lines get longer as the day goes on so save the sleeping in for days you won’t be at the parks.

Stagger Mealtimes

During high season, you’ll be greeted with lines not only at attractions but also at restaurants. Having meals at untraditional times means you’ll be seated quickly and enjoy a more relaxing dining experience.

Get Creative in Line

Even if you have an airtight plan, you are bound to run into lines at some point during your day at the park. Get creative on ways to stay entertained. Save your phone battery and enjoy some tech-free games such as two truths and a lie, 20 questions, and I-Spy.

Take a Break

Not every moment at the parks should be spent racing towards the next great attraction. Take a break during peak hours when crowds are the largest and the heat is most intense. Snap some photos for social media, shop for souvenirs, or cool down with a Dole Whip or Butterbeer ice cream.

 

At Rosen Inn International you are just minutes away from Orlando’s best theme parks. Our location on International Drive is near several popular restaurants and shops, as well as the ramp for interstate 4, making it easy to enjoy all Orlando has to offer. Book your stay now by calling 407-996-1600.

Avid readers and history buffs visiting Orlando in the winter are in for a treat. Since 1990, Central Floridians have proudly honored author Zora Neale Hurston’s legacy with an annual festival known as the Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities. The multi-day event held in historic Eatonville and throughout Orange County celebrates the arts, culture, and education of rural southern African-American life.

Who is Zora Neale Hurston?

 Born January 7, 1891 in Notasulga, Alabama, Hurston moved to Eatonville, Florida when she was a young child. At sixteen, Hurston joined a traveling theatrical company, which landed her in New York City during the Harlem Renaissance. While in New York City she received her B.A. at Barnard College, where she conducted research with noted anthropologists. After college, Hurston traveled throughout the Caribbean and the American South, conducting anthropological research as well as gathering inspiration for her literary works. Though a primary voice of the Harlem Renaissance era, her life in Eatonville influenced her writing the most.

 Event Details

 Thousands of individuals in Central Florida will come together for the special celebration recognizing one of the finest twentieth-century American novelists.

The 30th Annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival

Saturday, January 26 – Sunday, February 3, 2019

Outdoor Festival of the Arts in Historic Eatonville

Friday, February 1 – Sunday, February 3, 2019

Hours: Friday & Saturday, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

            Sunday, 10 am. – 6 p.m.

 Celebrate Zora Neale Hurston’s life and literary works in historic Eatonville along with the cultural contributions that African ancestors made both in the United States and worldwide.

The main festival will include cultural arts, heritage booths, merchandise, and more, and will take place in the Community Park next to the library and along E. Kennedy Blvd.

Stay with Us

 Whether you are coming for the Zora! Festival or to enjoy many of the attractions Orlando has to offer, for deluxe amenities and the perfect location, Rosen Inn International is the ideal choice hotel. Reserve your room today online or by calling 407-996-1600.

Kindness is encouraged all year long but during the International Random Acts of Kindness Week we get an extra reminder to be kind. From February 9 to 15 make it a point to show kindness to yourself, others, and the planet. Check out our list for some great ideas on how to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Week while on vacation in Orlando. Share your kind deeds on social media with #ROSENRAK2019.

 

1.      Offset your carbon footprint

Did you know airplanes produce an average 53 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile? Help offset your travel carbon footprint when you arrive by using public transportation, being mindful of energy and water use, and recycling. Our theme park shuttles offer an excellent way to reduce pollution when visiting Orlando attractions.

2.      Send a postcard to a friend with a positive message

Receiving snail mail is a rare and an exciting occurrence. Pick up a postcard at your favorite Orlando attraction and send a positive note to your friend. They’ll be happy to know you thought of them.

3.      Leave a big tip for your server or barista

Orlando’s servers and baristas work hard every day serving the 72 million tourists that visit every year, plus locals. Show your appreciation by surprising someone with an extra tip and a positive note on the receipt.

4.      Eat local

Eating locally ensures fresher flavors than you’ll find at chain restaurants, plus you’ll also help support the local community. For some ideas on delicious dining options in Orlando, check out our blog on Orlando’s best farm-to-fork restaurants.

5.      Put your phone away

We’re all guilty of a little too much screen time. In fact, studies say the average adult spends nearly 2.5 hours a day on their phone. Take a minute while on vacation to put your phone away and spend quality time enjoying family, friends, and new surroundings.

6.      Offer to take a photo for someone

Whether at the theme parks or at the shops, Orlando is full of picture perfect places. Offer to take a photo for someone so they can have the memory of their Orlando trip for years to come.

7.      Drink water

Be kind to your body and hydrate! This is especially important when out in the Florida heat. Purchase a reusable water bottle and make sure to bring it with you on your Orlando adventures.

8.      Take a walk in nature

Make time to appreciate and learn about the natural beauty of your vacation destination. A stroll through nature also helps lower stress. To get started, check out some of Orlando’s best gardens in our previous blog post.

9.      Help someone place their luggage in the overhead bin

Opportunities for random acts of kindness abound not only during your vacation but while you are traveling. If you spot someone struggling to store their luggage in the overhead bin on the plane, offer to lend a hand.

10.  Make a new friend

Strike up a conversation with the party ahead of you while standing in line at Disney, compliment your housekeeper, or chitchat with your Uber driver. There are plenty of opportunities for making a new friends during your travels.

 

When you choose Rosen Inn International as you Orlando hotel, you’re supporting a local, independently-owned business. Not only will you receive exemplary customer service, you’ll also enjoy amenities such as on-site dining, a kids eat free program, and outdoor swimming pools. Book your stay today by calling 407-996-1600.

Florida has a unique ecosystem that includes rare and beautiful wildlife specimens most of us never get to see in their natural habitat. The next best way to get up close and personal with Florida’s fauna is to visit a local theme park such as Gatorland near Orlando. Here, fun and education are intertwined for groups of all ages.

Most Popular Attractions

The self-proclaimed Alligator Capital of the World, Gatorland’s gator exhibits are a draw for visitors from all over the world. The collection includes American, albino, and baby alligators, as well as Nile, Cuban, and Saltwater crocodiles. Guests can safely watch gators and crocs in specially designed environments such as the Breeding Marsh, with regular showings for feeding time, jumping, wrestling, and up close encounters. There’s even a Trainer for a Day program for gator nerds who just can’t keep their distance.

Big Cats and Giant Tortoises

Gators aren’t the only draw at Gatorland. The park is home to several types of large wild cat, such as the Florida panther and the Florida bobcat. Rarely encountered giant tortoises have been part of the park experience since founder Owen Godwin first adopted a 400-pound giant tortoise named Albert back in the 1950s. Today three of the largest tortoise species – Galapagos, Aldabra Giant, and the Sulcata African Spurred – call Gatorland home.

Zipline and Off-road Adventures

In addition to learning about Florida’s natural environment, kids of all ages can have a roaring good time at Gatorland adventure attractions like the Screamin’ Gator Zipline, which features 1,200 feet of line suspended from seven-story towers over gator habitats. Or, pile into one of three 12-foot high custom-built monster vehicles for a Stompin’ Gator Off-Road Adventure. These are just a couple of the unique experiences waiting for you and your family at Gatorland. Be sure to ask about the Gator Night Shine and Rookie Wrestling programs as well.

Next time you’re in Florida with the family or friends, make the Rosen Inn International your base camp for all the Orlando-area has to offer, including the naturally toothy wonders of Gatorland. Our friendly team can book your visit and advise which of the park’s many features not to miss. Then, after a long day adventuring with gators and crocs, refresh and relax with the Rosen Inn International’s many world-class amenities. Call 407-996-1600 to learn more.

Each year, the best of the best in the NFL get together for the Pro Bowl, a battle of the titans to see which conference comes out on top. If you’re looking for great professional football action, it doesn’t get any better than the NFL Pro Bowl in Orlando.

What’s on Tap

The Pro Bowl consists of two teams: the AFC team and the NFC team. Each team is made up of the best players of their respective conferences as selected by the coaches, players, and fans. These teams battle it out to see whose top-tier players can make a better super team. The result is often a fast-paced, high-scoring battle.

Friendly Competition

One unique aspect of watching the Pro Bowl in Orlando is that players understand the stakes aren’t as high as they are in a regular season or postseason game. Because of this, watching the Pro Bowl gives you a unique opportunity to see players from different teams—and even different conferences—play alongside one another and have a friendly competition.

What’s particularly unique about this year’s Pro Bowl, however, is that the games have been heating up a bit in recent years. While there was a time when hard hits and competitive play were less than expected in the Pro Bowl, some of the competitions in recent years have been pretty fierce. If you like seeing top players go head to head, this year’s Pro Bowl in Orlando is a good place to be.

A New Chapter

Another thing to watch out for in this year’s Pro Bowl are the up-and-coming younger players. Pro Bowls have recently been dominated by established players, but a changing of the guards could bring quite a few fresh faces into the fold this year.

Making the Trip

If you’re planning on visiting Orlando to watch the Pro Bowl—or visiting Orlando in general—you need to find a good hotel. The Rosen Inn International is a great spot to stay in either case. Give us a call at (407) 996-1600 to make a reservation today.

You’ve already gifted your partner a romantic getaway in Orlando. Now take it a step further and treat them to a swoon-worthy date night. Whether your idea of romance is an elegant dinner or a unique activity you experience together, Orlando has plenty of options. To get you started check out these eight romantic date ideas in Orlando.

Jazz at V Lounge at Eddie V’s Prime Seafood

Keep it classy this Valentine’s Day with cocktails and jazz at the V Lounge. Located on Restaurant Row, Eddie V’s serves delectable seafood and steaks for a luxurious evening out in Orlando. Let local and national jazz musicians entertain you as you enjoy after dinner drinks in the lounge.

Austin’s Coffee Thursday

Enjoy a laid-back coffee date at Austin’s Coffee in Winter Park. Jazz Jams happen every Thursday night at 9:30 p.m. as well as open mic comedy and music events throughout the month. Sip on organic fair trade coffee or wine and share a vegan chocolate cake.

Morning Hot Air Balloon Ride

Float above the sunrise with your sweetheart during an early morning hot air balloon ride. Bob’s Hot Air Balloon Rides offers rides at over 100 takeoff and landing sites in Central Florida, perfect for enjoying sweeping views of the area’s many lakes, cities, and attractions.

Pilars in Winter Garden

Set the stage for an evening of laughter and fun together at Pilars. Tucked away in quaint downtown Winter Garden, Pilars blends 1930s deco décor and artsy entertainment. Try their hand mixed drinks and martinis then sing your heart out alongside a live piano player at open mic night on Thursday at 7 p.m.

Champagne Flight at Icon Orlando

Share a bird’s eye view of Orlando as you ride ICON Orlando together. Make it extra special with a glass of champagne as you gaze across the Orlando skyline. On a clear morning you can see the theme parks and downtown Orlando, while evening riders may catch sight of the theme park fireworks.

Disney’s Boardwalk

Stroll arm-in-arm along the promenade at Disney’s Boardwalk. Reminiscent of Coney Island and Atlantic City, the BoardWalk offers plenty of dining and entertainment without an entry fee. Rent a bicycle for two or watch as street musicians dazzle with sleight of hand tricks.

Mini Golf at Hollywood Drive-In GolfTM

If your date is an avid golfer, a mini golf date night is the way to their heart. The Hollywood Drive-In GolfTM at Universal CityWalkTM is retro-themed mini golf featuring mid-century kitsch and sci-fi fun. The two 18-hole courses offer haunted and alien themes and include special effects for a mini golf experience like no other.

Movie Night at Leu Gardens

Cozy up under the stars as you watch a movie in the beautiful Leu Gardens. Located in downtown Orlando, Leu Gardens has 50 acres of roses and tropical plants to stroll through before the movie begins. Bring a picnic dinner and drinks for the perfect dinner and a movie date.

 

When you choose Rosen Inn International as your Orlando hotel, you’ll enjoy deluxe amenities including heated outdoor swimming pools, on-site dining, and free Wi-Fi. Plus, our location on International Drive is just minutes away from some of Orlando’s best attractions, perfect for a romantic date night. Book your room by calling 407-996-1600.

Trying to keep your New Year’s resolutions while on vacation can be difficult, especially if you’ve committed to improving your health and fitness. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to stay healthy while on vacation in Orlando. Continue on your path to a healthier you with a visit to one of Orlando’s most popular outdoor spaces – Lake Eola. Located in downtown Orlando, Lake Eola has one of Orlando’s best farmers markets as well as plenty of fun options for all levels of fitness. Check out these three fun fitness options the whole family can enjoy.

Outdoor Yoga

Do something healthy for your body, mind, and soul, and attend an outdoor yoga class at Lake Eola. Whether it is your first time trying yoga or you practice regularly, you’ll enjoy this multi-level yoga class. The class takes place on Sundays at 11 a.m. and is only $5 per class. Make sure to bring your own mat, as well as water, and dress in clothes that allow you to move freely.

Swan Paddle Boats

Rent an iconic swan paddle boat and disguise a light workout as a fun outing on the lake. The boat features two paddle seats and can accommodate up to five passengers. If you are feeling ambitious you can try paddling one on your own. Your legs will work up a light sweat as you enjoy the beautiful sights and float by the many real swans on the lake.

Running Trail

This 1.1 mile trail loops around the lake, providing you with scenic views of downtown Orlando during your entire route. Leashed dogs are welcome to accompany you throughout this well-trafficked trail and park. You can also walk the trail or ride your bike. After your workout, treat yourself to fresh juice at the many juice bars nearby or enjoy fresh eats during the Sunday farmers market.

 

If you’d like to try an indoor workout in Orlando, check out the fitness center at Rosen Inn International. As a guest, you’ll have access to our fitness center as well as other amenities including two swimming pools, a healthy buffet restaurant, and gift shop. Pets are welcome as well, so if you are planning on bringing your puppy to Lake Eola with you, Rosen Inn International is the perfect choice for your Orlando hotel. To reserve your room, please call 407-996-1600.

You’ve likely been to Disney or Universal once before on an Orlando vacation, but there are many new attractions that the city has for visitors and residents alike. Skip the theme parks next vacation, and instead spend some time on International Drive at the new ICON Orlando 360™. It is a new entertainment district filled with exciting attractions, activities, and exhibits including the SEA LIFE Aquarium, the only one in Orlando.

Watch Sea Creatures Like Never Before

SEA LIFE Aquarium houses over 200 species and 4000 animals for you to interact with and learn about in several exhibits. Walk through the ocean as sharks, fish, eels, and more glide past you on all sides in the only 360 degree tunnel in Florida!

Travel around the different oceans in the world in just one day at SEA LIFE Aquarium. Enter the world of the coral reef as clownfish and pufferfish swim by. Be brave enough to touch starfish, anemones, and sea cucumbers in the Pacific Northwest Rockpool. For a short time observe the mysterious axolotl from Mexico. You will also find countless sharks, jellyfish, seahorses, and sea turtles scattered throughout the aquarium.

True Interactive Experiences

If you desire a more in depth aquarium experience, there are a couple different options for you.

Take a Behind the Scenes Tour where you can learn more about what it takes to care for all the sea creatures. You discover how the SEA LIFE team prepares food for the different types of animals, how they care for the sick and injured ones, and get a look at the laboratory. The tour takes 25 minutes and is offered several times a day.

Dive even deeper into the world of the aquarium by booking the Discovery Experience. This is an even more interactive tour where you will have the chance to meet with and learn from the divers. And, even better, you will be able to feed some of the animals yourself.

Orlando Hotel

If you are looking to take in all Orlando has to offer, Rosen Inn International places you near the exciting attractions and theme parks. Our hotel is just a mile away from the SEA LIFE Aquarium and countless other amazing experiences on International Dr. We offer you and your family the best value on International drive with our great prices, comfortable rooms, and excellent customer service. To make a reservation, please call us at 407-996-1600.

Millions of people flock to Orlando every year to visit the most popular theme parks in the world. Among them are first time vacationers who have their hearts set on seeing their favorite characters or riding the thrill rides they’ve been dreaming of since they started planning their trip. While these people are coming in masses, we don’t for a moment forget our frequent flyers.

If you’re a regular visitor of Orlando then you know that the theme parks don’t add new rides or shows that often so after a while it can be hard to find reasons to keep going back. However, we’ve stumbled across a trend that some theme parks have started to catch wind of: scavenger hunts.

A quick search and you can find dozens of sites that list scavenger hunts for the City of Orlando, theme parks, and other locations. We’ve even previously written about some of the popular scavenger hunts we’ve found for Orlando previously (see: https://bit.ly/2O7T4Ca). Today, we’re going to talk about some fan favorite theme park scavenger hunts.

Disney World Scavenger Hunts – Disney has put together some cute scavenger hunts at a few of their parks to keep kids entertained as you make your way between attractions. The best part? These are FREE.

  • A Pirate’s Adventure (Magic Kingdom) – Adventure Land has added the experience A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas. Choose from five different maps and search for lost treasure. You can earn free fast passes for Pirates of the Caribbean and as an added bonus, the maps are yours to keep.
  • Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure (Epcot) – If your little ones are fans of Phineas and Ferb, they will certainly want to participate in this high-tech scavenger hunt. Get briefed by Agent P at the Intern Recruitment center before you start your mission to stop Dr. Doofenshmirtz. This is a great way to keep the kids engaged in Epcot considering that this park is a bit limited in the rides department (although this is changing with the addition of the new Guardians of the Galaxy coaster and Ratatouille dark ride expected next year).
  • Wilderness Explorers (Animal Kingdom) – Join the Wilderness Explorers Club with Russel and Dug from the Disney-Pixar animated film Up to earn explorer badges all around the park. The official handbook is free and can be picked up at the park entrance. There are hands on activities to complete at various locations around the parks. There are 32 badges and one special badge for those who complete the entire challenge. This is a super cute way to entertain children that might be a little too small to get on rides like Everest or Avatar Flight of Passage.
  • Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom (Magic Kingdom) – Battle Disney’s villains by unlocking magical spells throughout the park with your collectible trading cards. Once you enter the hidden portal, you’ll get to view the park in a whole new light with characters interactions in the most unexpected places. These cards make for unique souvenirs that you can’t purchase and the experience makes magical memories for the whole family.

 

Disney World Scavenger Hunts Made by Fans – there’s no shortage of fan-made scavenger hunts for any given Disney park. You can find so many of these on Pinterest that it might be hard to find a good place to start. Here are a few places you can find some fun ones.

  • MouseQuest Podcasthttps://bit.ly/2Dqtc07 – These are built for competing with other members of your group. Perfect for larger groups or families looking to get some great photo memories of your Disney trips. They have one per park and the printable lists have sections where you can tally up your points.
  • Sand and Snowhttps://bit.ly/2ObFhdA – This is a 100+ item scavenger hunt perfect for anyone spending multiple days at the parks. It’s a Magic Kingdom photo scavenger hunt so be prepared to take a lot of great photos. This one lists characters, attractions signs, and some challenging photo ops.
  • Elite Dailyhttp://elitedai.ly/2NB0w9m – If you haven’t heard about the walls at Disney, you’re in for a treat. This list is a list of the 9 Best Instagram walls at Disney. They are all in various parks so get ready to join the millions of Instagramers who have helped make these walls famous. Which is the most popular? The Purple Wall in Tomorrowland (Magic Kingdom).

 

Universal Orlando – Disney fans aren’t the only ones on the hunt. Universal has its own pretty cool scavenger hunts. If you’re an avid fan of Harry Potter or other films showcased at these parks, you won’t be left wanting. Here are some of the best scavenger hunts we’ve found.

  • We 3 Travel “Harry Potter Scavenger Hunt Challenge” – https://bit.ly/2OOjc1YAs the name suggests, this is a great Harry Potter themed photo scavenger hunt. If you solemnly swear that you’re up to no good, don’t pass this one up. You’ll have to decipher the clues, find the locations and take your photos.
  • Walls of Universalhttps://bit.ly/2NDOax4 – Return of the Instagramable walls, this time at Universal Orlando and Islands of Adventure. If you enjoyed the Disney walls, these will really make your Instagram feed pop.
  • I-Spy Universal Studios Floridahttps://bit.ly/2O9ImuP – Found on A Mom’s Take, this photo hunt is also a BINGO game that spans the two parks. Some of these locations are harder to find than others, but if you’re a frequent visitor of these parks you’ll have no problem finding most of these.

 

You can find dozens more scavenger hunts across many fan sites, forums, and Pinterest. Don’t forget to add us to your scavenger hunt adventures and tag us in a photo of yourself checking in at our hotel using the hashtag #RosenInnUniversal.

Just like decorating gingerbread houses and hanging twinkling lights, attending The Nutcracker is a treasured holiday tradition. The whimsical story, enchanting score, and relatively short length make it the perfect ballet for families to enjoy together. While on vacation in Orlando, you can enjoy several performances of The Nutcracker along with special events that will make your holiday experience even more memorable.

Orlando Ballet

Catch Orlando Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker at the Walt Disney Theater at the Dr. Phillips Center. With performances December 7 – 16, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to enjoy this holiday show in Orlando. There is also a family show, ideal for those with young children, on December 15 at 11 a.m. To make your trip to the ballet extra special, purchase tickets for the nutcracker tea on Saturday December 15. The tea lasts from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. so you can either attend after family show or before the 3 p.m. performance. At the tea you’ll enjoy holiday eats and treats, gift shopping, as well as a chance to meet and great several dancers and characters from the show.

Central Florida Ballet

For a Nutcracker performance shimmering with holiday magic, attend Central Florida Ballet’s performance at the Orange County Convention Center on December 15 – 16. This production of The Nutcracker fully embraces Central Florida’s love of theme parks and uses a variety of dazzling effects and aerial arts throughout the show, earning it the nickname “pyrotechnic Nutcracker.” Before the show, enter the nutcracker raffle and silent auction in the lobby where you can win special gifts donated by local business and organizations, including Walt Disney World, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, and many more.

Rosen Inn International’s I-Drive location makes it easy to explore Orlando’s many holiday events. With both the I-4 ramp to downtown Orlando and the Orange County Convention Center just minutes away, you’ll be at The Nutcracker in no time. Our on-site buffet with a Kids Eat Free program, heated swimming pools, and playground are just a few of the family-friendly amenities you’ll enjoy this holiday season. To reserve your Orlando family holiday call 407-996-1600.

Rosen Inn International

Universal Orlando

6000 Universal Blvd
Orlando, FL 32819

SeaWorld Orlando

7007 Sea World Dr
Orlando, FL 32821

Rosen Inn International

Toll Free: 1-800-825-7600

Local: 407-996-1600

7600 International Drive
Orlando, FL 32819

Free Parking and Wi-Fi. No Resort Fees
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