Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

Dani’s Best Week Ever March 31, 2016: Universal Orlando CityWalk

by on March 31, 2016

Spring has sprung! Orlando has welcomed Spring Breakers and Easter holidayers with open arms. Word on the street is that this past Saturday marked the most amount of passengers through Orlando International Airport in a single day! After a quick, less-than-24 hour trip to visit my parents in North Florida, I headed to Universal Orlando for an extensive stroll around CityWalk and a movie. It was evident that the Spring Break / Easter crowd had descended upon Universal Orlando, but I easily had an enjoyable time. I noticed a few details I hadn’t before and although I had the ability to go into the parks, the desire to do so gave way to enjoying CityWalk instead.

I journeyed to Universal property via exit 75A (West bound just after Kirkman), this ramp provides a great vantage point of Volcano Bay water park and Sapphire Falls resort construction. This side of Universal property has been under construction for a few years now with the building of Cabana Bay and now its expansion and the addition of Sapphire Falls and Volcano Bay.

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I arrived around 2:00 PM and of course there was a large amount of cars waiting at the parking plaza, and not all lanes were open; thankfully things moved relatively quickly. One tip I can offer for parking is to make sure you have your form of payment ready to go and know ahead of time whether or not you want to shell out the extra money for preferred parking. If, like me, you’re an annual passholder then have your pass and photo ID in hand ready to go.

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Dani’s Best Week Ever March 17, 2016: Disney Springs, The Ganachery, and Raglan Road

by on March 17, 2016

Top o’ the morning to ya! Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Just in time for the greenest of all holidays, I made a visit to Disney Springs to check out the Mighty Festival at Raglan Road, and made a few shopping diversions along the way. I visit Disney Springs about once a month it seems, if not more frequently, and I enjoy my visits much more than any visits I can remember at Downtown Disney (excluding any and all romps around Pleasure Island’s amazing night clubs). This particular trip I enjoyed a little bit of shopping and soaked up as much Irish fun as I could.

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Getting to Disney Springs has its struggles at times, however lots of improvements have been made, the greatest of which is the Orange Parking garage and the direct from Interstate 4 Westbound ramp leading straight to Disney Springs. On this visit I arrived on property via Lake Buena Vista and enjoyed using the exit ramp the splits of Lake Buena Vista Drive just after Typhoon Lagoon.  Within moments I found a parking spot thanks to the available space signage and lighting at each space. Above each parking space on all floors except the rooftop there is a light, green means “yay this spot is open” and red means “nothing to see here, move along.”

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Along the rooftop of the parking garage you can check out some cool views of Disney Springs. From this vantage point you can get a bird’s eye view of the remaining construction of Disney Springs. The most notable construction projects are the Town Center, which will be the Spanish architecture laden area in front of The Landing, the massive bus terminal, and Planet Hollywood’s extreme makeover.

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Disney Springs Update: The Ganachery, World of Coke, and more

by on February 3, 2016

It’s pretty clear that Disney Springs is slowly, but surely being accepted and welcomed by Disney fans. At first the concept of Downtown Disney being turned into a themed environment with a backstory and everything made many people skeptical. However now that The Landing is substantial enough to warrant a visit on its own and more business are open, it seems Disney Springs is sure to be a hit. Recently a few more establishments opened their doors and many more new buildings are in the midst of construction. It’s an exciting time to see the progress and I recently took a stroll through The Landing and The Marketplace to check out what’s new at Disney Springs.

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The Ganachery

There’s so much springing to life at The Landing that it is quickly becoming my favorite part of Disney Springs. In fact there are many times in which it is the only section that I spend any time in. Between The BOATHOUSE, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, and Morimoto Asia the dining is delectable. I am no big time shopper, but the retail locations here offer a fairly good variety and new discoveries, my personal favorite shop is Sanuk footwear.

The most recent business to open its doors is The Ganachery. Chocolate lovers rejoiced when Disney announced the arrival of this sweet shop specializing in only chocolate. However, it seems a bit repetitive that The Ganachery would open a mere five minute stroll away from Ghiradelli Chocolate.

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Think of The Ganachery as an upscale chocolate boutique. It is Disney owned and operated providing chocolate made with a supposed proprietary blend of cacao beans. The prices certainly reflect an air of exclusivity. While the prices kept my sweet tooth at bay, the décor and details are delectable. Before even setting foot inside, a sweet little detail made me smile. The door handles are large spoons, the kind used when hand mixing melted chocolate. Once inside, the décor is warm with rich brown and golden tones.

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Star Wars Galactic Outpost Now Open at Disney Springs

by on December 29, 2015

Star Wars Galactic Outpost

Move over D Street, the Star Wars Galactic Outpost has arrived at Disney Springs. (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

With over $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales in only 12 days, it’s safe to say that The Force Awakens has woken up consumer demand for Star Wars. We’ve already covered the wide array of Star Wars merchandise now available inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Watto’s Grotto and the Star Wars Lauch Bay Cargo store, but there’s now a new option for those without a theme park admission. The D Street store it Disney Springs‘ West Side, which had already given much of its shelf space over to the galactic franchise, is now gone entirely, and has become the Star Wars Galactic Outpost.

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Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever December 3, 2015: Black Friday at Universal Orlando

by on December 3, 2015

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The day after Thanksgiving has become one of America’s most important secular holidays, as young and old celebrate capitalism by camping out for dirt-cheap televisions. I was also out there shopping on the big day, but in true Best Week Ever fashion I spent my Black Friday at Universal Orlando among the vacationing throngs.

I started my Black Friday shopping with a major purchase by renewing my Universal Orlando annual pass. After disconts, my Premier pass costs just under $1 per day. That’s a lot more than it was when I first became a passholder 15 years ago, but still a great value considering how quickly the parks has been adding new attractions.

 

Once inside Islands of Adventure, I was greeted by the still-jarring sight of the Incredible Hulk Coaster…or rather the lack thereof.

 

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Universal Orlando Garage Sale Ends Saturday

by on November 20, 2015

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It’s a bargain hunter’s parade through Saturday at the Universal Orlando Garage Sale. (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

If you are in Orlando and have a theme park fan on your holiday shopping list, you’ll want to swing by the Universal Orlando garage sale before it ends on Saturday, and stock up on dirt-cheap stocking stuffers. Once every year or so, Universal unloads unsold merchandise to its employees, annual passholders, and the generous public at a ginormous discount, and 2015’s garage sale has arrived just in time for some pre-Thanksgiving bargain hunting.

 

The Universal Orlando Garage Sale takes place daily through Saturday, November 21, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily. The event is literally a garage sale, taking place inside the first floor of the employee parking garage at the corner Turkey Lake Road and Vineland Road. The first hours of the sale on Tuesday were reserved for Annual Passholders, but now the event is open to all; I was not asked to show ID to either enter the garage or make purchases. Enter the employee parking garage from Vineland Road via Production Plaza (just past The Bell at Universal Apartments) and park on the surface lot outside the garage, then follow the signs inside.

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Photos: New Disney Star Wars Merchandise at Watto’s Grotto and D Street

by on October 16, 2015

It won’t be a long, long time until we all return to a galaxy far, far away. So if you are looking to gear up for The Force Awakens, there are now some brand-new Star Wars merchandise opportunities to explore at Walt Disney World.

First up, the building at Disney’s Hollywood Studios that once held the AFI Showcase of film props, and more recently served as Wandering Oaken’s souvenir shop, has recently been reborn as Watto’s Grotto.

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Disney Store Website VS. Disney Parks App Smackdown

by on October 6, 2015

As Disney Info Goddess Rikki Nibblet mentioned a few weeks ago, Disney has a new shopping app, aptly titled Disney Parks Shop.

The premise of the app is that it’s a way to give guests better access to the merchandise available in the theme parks. Because I’m all about maximizing my access to Disney merchandise, I decided to put the app to the test and compare it with the previously available DisneyStore.com website to see which works best on a number of fronts. (note: I used the Disney Parks Shop app on my iPhone and iPad. It’s also available for Android devices.)

INTERFACE WHEN SEARCHING FOR A SPECIFIC ITEM

The app and the website both have fairly standard search bars. Find the little magnifying glass icon and type in your search terms. In my test, I looked for a Figment mug. That is, a drinking mug imprinted with the image of everyone’s favorite imagination dragon, Figment.

Inputting “Figment mug” into the search bar of the app, results in the output of a single item, which is indeed a Figment mug.

Figment mug!

Figment mug!

 

Ask and ye shall receive.

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Daisy Lauren’s Last Best Week Ever

by on May 21, 2015

1Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World. And sadly, yes, the title is true. This will be my last Best Week Ever article! :( Remember that day job that keeps me from posting photos of myself? Well, I’ve been given an incredible promotion that will involve much more travel. While I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity, it will make it impossible to keep up with my weekly updates.

I’m so thankful to all of you that have read over the last year. I’ll still be helping out on the Touring Plans instagram account, so if you miss me you can find me there. (I know I’ll miss you!) And they’ve told me I can still stop by and post when I have time. So it isn’t really goodbye. :) But that’s enough sad stuff, let’s get going with all the theme park goodness from last week!

As you can tell from the photo above, I started this week at Universal Orlando. We don’t make it out that way nearly enough, but we love the parks. Arriving just after opening meant there were no crowds! It was great! I think we enjoyed the quiet morning walk as much as the park itself.

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So where did we head to next? Why don’t you click to find out? :)

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Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: May 14, 2015

by on May 14, 2015

1Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World.  It feels so good to be home, so we’re starting with a little Orlando Pride this week! I know we normally just feature theme parks, but I couldn’t visit the Orlando Eye and not take you with me! Stay tuned, because we’re also stopping by the Magic Kingdom, Disney Springs, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. So what are we waiting for? Let’s go ya’ll! 😀

When construction started on the Orlando Eye there wasn’t much interest in our house. I mean, it’s just a big ferris wheel, right? Now that I’ve been lucky enough to ride I can tell you that is far from the truth. This thing is massive! Taking a complete trip around takes a full 20 minutes. Here’s the view from the base:

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Want to see more? Click to read on….

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