From new attractions and restaurants to rumors of bigger-than-life additions, the strip is known by locals as I-Drive and it continues to amaze visitors to Orlando’s most exciting tourist district
People who have been visiting Orlando for decades know that International Drive can be considered as much of a must-see destination as any on the theme parks in our city. The strip is home to Universal Studios, SeaWorld, the Orange County Convention Center, and until recently—to the Wet’n Wild water park, which was dismantled to give way for a future project by Universal Studios. Over the years, we have seen a cyclical revival of I-Drive, which included the addition of the Aquatica water park, the expansion of the convention center and other local attractions.
Here are some of the most recent additions to the International Drive Area, which are now open for your enjoyment on your upcoming Orlando vacation:
I-Shops on I-Drive: While not so new, it is recent enough for you to know that I-Shops is located in the corner of International Drive and Sand Lake Road. The complex is home to Starbucks Coffee, Chuy’s Tex-Mex, BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse, Cooper's Hawk Winery, Red Robin, and Cold-Stone Creamery, as well as to souvenir shops and The Escape Game Orlando.
I-Drive 360: Since it was launched a few years ago, the complex that is also home to the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye (the iconic and massive Ferris Wheel) has been adding new dining and entertainment venues to keep tourists and business travelers visiting the complex. Recent additions include Kotai Sushi, Lisbon Portuguese Cuisine and the Istanbul Lounge.
Pointe Orlando: This is one of the “oldest” of the tourist centers on International Drive, home to many established restaurants. Recently, it has added the famous nightlife hotspot Blue Martini, Itta Bena Fine Southern Cuisine, RA Sushi Bar & Restaurant, and Lafayette’s Music, Food and Spirits. And do know many of its restaurants are Zagat-rated!
What else may be coming to International Drive? Keep reading our blog every month so that you can stay in-the-know and plan your vacation or business trip accordingly. Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is adjacent to the International Drive Area and thus, it is our backyard playground. Our guests enjoy the close proximity to the many restaurants and aforementioned entertainment complexes, making it the perfect resort property for you and your family.
Scheduled to have its grand opening in the late summer, this new electric kart attraction will open soon on Universal Blvd., just down the road from Vista Cay Resort by Millenium
Orlando’s theme parks have captured the hearts of tourists and business travelers for decades, making these the main reason for visiting Central Florida. Anyone who has visited our city before, knows that what you do in between theme park days is just as exciting as seeing Disney, Universal or SeaWorld. Water parks usually were a common reason to take a break from the Orlando theme parks, but there is a growing trend of spending half a day or longer at standalone attractions along the International Drive corridor. However, since Orlando’s theme parks continue to add new rides and in-park attractions, tourists are increasing the frequency of their visits to keep up with all the excitement our city has to offer.
Andretti Indoor Karting & Games is the latest addition to the nfaceon-theme park attractions in Orlando and it is scheduled to open sometime before the end of summer. Loosely based on a name synonymous with a racing sports champion, Andretti Indoor Karting & Games will feature a race track for electric karts that is expected to rival any others in the Orlando area. As its name suggests, a gaming arcade will also be a part of the ensemble of experiences and it will be complemented by virtual reality simulation games, as well as bowling, laser tag and a theater. In addition, the attraction will feature the Andretti Grill, allowing day-long guests to stay in-property for lunch or dinner, without having to take a break from the fun.
What is most exciting about the Andretti Indoor Karting & Games is that it will be located on Universal Blvd, a short distance from our Vista Cay Resort by Millenium property. This means that our guests will be excited to have an option to a day at the theme parks that is convenient and close enough to their “home base” while vacationing in Orlando. And if that is not enough, we are also just around the corner from the Orange County Convention Center, which also makes Andretti Indoor Karting & Games a great place to unwind after a day at a trade show or conference. Planning to visit Orlando soon? Then be sure to book your stay at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium since the summer is our busiest time of the year!
From theme parks to restaurants and great weather all year round, Orlando is the place to be this summer
Orlando has some tough contenders around the world. Paris and Rome are two of Europe’s most visited cities, each attracting millions of tourists every year, who come to see their historical buildings and enjoy their Old-World food and beverages. Then there’s iconic destinations like Machu Picchu in Peru or Spain’s Mediterranean coastline, and of course, Australia’s Outback. However, none of these locations have the edge to capture the largest number of families traveling together for some wholesome fun—that is, except Orlando, Florida.
So why is Orlando the world’s number one family tourism destination? Here are the top reasons why:
- We have four Disney theme parks (five if you count the new Disney Springs as a park), each offering a fantastic experience like no other around the world.
- We have two Universal Studios theme parks (possibly three when Nintendo World gets built), which includes the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
- We have four grand water parks—that includes Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon water parks, as well as Universal’s Volcano Bay and SeaWorld’s Aquatica.
- We have over a hundred restaurants in our International Drive tourist district, covering every cuisine style in the world—from fine dining to Brazilian all-you-can-eat buffet restaurants.
- We have a world-class international airport that can handle the flow of millions of tourists every month.
- We have a hospitality-oriented culture that revolves around our guests—and that always makes for a memorable family vacation.
There are many more reasons, but if you are on the fence about where to take your family on vacation, Orlando is still the best deal around. Not only there’s something for people of all ages, we have wonderful weather and amazing lodging properties like Vista Cay Resort by Millenium. Our property is located near all the theme parks and local attractions, as well as next to the Orange County Convention Center. So if you are ready to visit Orlando with your family, be sure to book your stay with us and get ready to join the millions who enjoy Central Florida on their yearly vacation!
From floating mountains to riding a Mountain Banshee, this is Orlando’s best new theme park addition—ever!
For years, guests to Disney’s Animal Kingdom had no option but to go home after sundown. Animals went to sleep when the sky went dark and there was not much to do other than walk back to the main entrance. All that changed in 2016, when the park announced a new nighttime light show. But little did unsuspecting guests realized that this was a dress rehearsal for the grand opening of this new theme park addition to what was known as the “least visited Disney park”. So after the wait and fanfare, Pandora: The World of Avatar is finally open and guests can now immerse themselves in a world of color, light and fantasy straight out of James Cameron’s creative mind.
The most amazing ride of the entire Pandora “land” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is “Avatar Flight of Passage”, which takes you on an immersive simulation where you can fly a Mountain Banshee—just like Jake Sully does in the movie. And if that’s not enough to wow your socks off, try navigating on the Na’vi River Journey, a dark ride that takes you deep into Pandora’s bioluminescent forest. Last, but not least, the Valley of Mo’ara is truly a masterpiece of theme park creativity as Disney recreates the floating mountains—along with Pandora’s unique wildlife and alien plants.
Pandora: The World of Avatar is truly a theme park within a theme park. Once you go in, you will find it hard to leave. And on that note, do know that you can enjoy Pandora’s exotic cuisine at Satu’li Canteer—especially the Pongu Pongu drink—along with Na’vi crafts at its Windtraders shop. Ready to come visit Pandora in Orlando, Florida? Book your stay at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium today if you are planning to come in the summer. This is Orlando’s busiest and most exciting season thanks to the long daylight hours, which means you can see more of Pandora than any other time of the year. See you soon—or as they say in the Na’vi language, Za’u pesu kawkrr!
Now open, Volcano Bay is an explosion of excitement in the heart of Orlando’s tourism wonderland
After a soft opening in late May, Volcano Bay has brought back the excitement of the old Wet’n Wild, but with a more exotic experience. The water park, located in the south end of the theme park complex, has gone head-to-head against SeaWorld’s Aquatica water park. Since Wet’n Wild shut down on New Year’s Eve of 2016, Aquatica has captured all Orlando water park enthusiasts for five months, while Volcano Bay was built. And now, Volcano Bay has stolen away the interest in Aquatica to become the number one water park in Orlando.
Featuring a centerpiece 200-foot volcano named Krakatau, it has a fantastic backstory showing us that during the day the volcano spews water, but at night, it spews fire. Volcano Bay also features four main areas for guest enjoyment: Krakatau, Wave Village, River Village, and Rainforest Village. All of them have different water-based attractions designed to fill-in the gaps of the backstory of Volcano Bay. Among them is Kopiko Wai Winding River, a lazy-river that guests of all ages can enjoy. There’s also Waturi Beach, a wave pool for adults and experienced swimmers who can keep up with the waves it produces. There are also various multi-passenger slides such as Maku, Honu and Puihi.
Thrill seekers can find their way to the Ko’okiri Body Plunge slide, which has a 70-degree drop that goes through Krakatau Volcano. And if that’s not enough, the Krakatau Water Coaster is a roller coaster slide that can propel riders uphill for added thrills. But not all Volcano Bay attractions are meant to thrill you with adrenaline—you will be thrilled into relaxation at the Puka Uli Lagoon, where your vacation slows down to pure water enjoyment without sliding or bumping into other guests.
And if that’s not enough, do know that Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is located just down the road from Universal’s Volcano Bay. So, get ready to plan your vacation this summer and come enjoy the newest water park in town. Now, do know that you want to book your vacation at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium as soon as you can, before the peak season hits. We know you will love staying with us and we are ready to become your base of operations during your upcoming vacation in Orlando.
Exciting Spring Updates at SeaWorld Orlando
SeaWorld continues to reinvent and revamp existing venues, with new additions to keep the crowds coming in
To modernize and keep up with the changing trends, SeaWorld Orlando’s staff has been working hard at reinvigorating this 45-year-old park with new and reimagined entertainment, exhibits and other surprises. During the Spring 2017 season, SeaWorld has rolled out new features that will enhance the visitor experience, including:
Easier Park Access: The old turnstile access stations have been removed and replaced with technology that helps get visitors into the park faster than ever. With the help of technology and a bit of reworking of the access flow points, SeaWorld Orlando staffers can check tickets and verify guest information quickly and without delays.
Security Checkpoint: To ensure the safety of its guests, everyone must go through a security checkpoint to have their bags checked prior to entering the park. SeaWorld Orlando knows that by getting you quickly through security checkpoints it can expedite guest access and ensure a memorable experience once you enter the park.
Better Wayfinding: Signage throughout the park is being replaced to provide a better wayfinding experience, along with better ways to navigate through the reworked exhibit pathways and traffic flow. The newer signs incorporate more vibrant colors aligned with SeaWorld’s adventure-theme branding.
SkyTower Reopens: In addition to these visible updates to the park, SeaWorld Orlando recently reopened its SkyTower and visitors can now ride it to get a seabird’s eye view of Central Florida. The ride was closed for remodeling and maintenance and since reopening it, guests are raving about the enhanced experience.
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is literally minutes away from SeaWorld Orlando and its Aquatica water park. This proximity to SeaWorld and other theme parks makes us the perfect place to spend the night during your Orlando vacation. Not only do we have great accommodations, we are close to Pointe Orlando, an entertainment and dining complex that can make your evenings more enjoyable after a day at the theme parks.
New Restaurants Now Open at Disney Springs
The former Downtown Disney entertainment, shopping and dining complex continues to expand with new epicurean venues
Since earning its new name, Disney Springs has continuously amazed locals and tourists with the creative approach to building a home-town feel throughout this complex. Not only do we enjoy the free parking and no-ticket access to a Disney “entertainment park” like Disney Springs, but the fact that it keeps adding venues is simply amazing. Here are the newest restaurants or cafes added in Spring 2017:
The Polite Pig: With a twist on BBQ that is both modern and trendy, The Polite Pig offers what it calls Florida-inspired specialties prepared and cooked in an open kitchen. The restaurant alos features a variety of microbrews on tap and an impressive bourbon bar that will take your breath away. This dining venue is moderately priced and has a casual-but-trendy ambiance.
Paddlefish: If you are a prior visitor to Orlando, you may remember the old Fulton’s Crab House, which was housed in a building resembling a steamboat ship. Well, after a brief decommissioning and reconstruction, the restaurant was renamed Paddlefish and it offers an exquisite menu of seafood, steaks and other delicacies. This dining venue is a at a higher price point but keeps a casual ambiance.
Amorette’s Patisserie: This French-style patisserie is the perfect place for those of you with a sweet tooth, preparing a diverse menu of pastries, many of which have been inspired by Disney characters—such as the Mickey Mousse. Amorette’s Patisserie is quickly gaining fans of specialty desserts like its 49th and Broadway NY Cheesecake or Amorette’s Signature Cake. The venue is moderately priced and it features high-top tables.
As always, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium keeps you informed of all the new and amazing things happening at Disney World and other theme parks. If you are planning on staying with us this Spring or Summer, then be sure to make reservations for The Polite Pig and Paddlefish since this is the busiest time of the year. And if you are planning a vacation with your family, keep in mind that Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is close to all the theme parks, water parks and entertainment venues that make Orlando the top family vacation destination in the world.
Spotlight: UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management
You may not know it, but Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is located across from one of the world’s leading hospitality management universities
The University of Central Florida—commonly known by its acronym of UCF—is the second largest university system in the United States, with over 50,000 active students. The university is known for its world-class business, technology, and medical colleges. But what most people visiting Orlando don’t know is that fact that their prized gem—the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management—is in the heart of Orlando’s tourism corridor. Better yet, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is located directly across from the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management and its beautiful Mediterranean-style architecture found throughout its campus.
The core studies for the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management’s undergraduate program focuses on four primary tracks: Theme Park & Attraction Management Track, Golf & Club Management Track (a popular track considering the vast number of golf courses in the US), Lodging Management Track (perhaps the most important to Orlando’s hospitality industry), and Professional Tennis Management Track. These tracks are designed to help students secure thriving careers in multiple aspects of the hospitality and tourism industry—not just in Orlando, but anywhere else in the world.
Event Management, Restaurant & Foodservice Management, and Entertainment Management are also important programs that complement the Hospitality Management program. These also have several Graduate and Doctoral level programs for students who seek to solidify their leadership and influence in these complements of the hospitality industry. Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is very proud of its neighbors and we invite any prospective students, their parents and visitors who are coming to CF Rosen College of Hospitality Management graduation or other events, to come stay with us and discover how conveniently located we are from the campus. We look forward to seeing you soon at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium.
SeaWorld Orlando’s Kraken Roller Coaster Becomes a Virtual Reality Ride
You will now be able to experience Kraken in a whole different perspective through this VR ride that employs the latest projection technologies
Virtual Reality allows theme parks to deliver a rich-yet-intense experience for its guests and SeaWorld is set to make waves with the release of Kraken VR—a new roller coaster experience using virtual reality technology that will immerse riders in the world if this legendary beast of the seas. Set to open in Summer 2017, the fully-immersive virtual ride will take riders through a deep-sea journey that will blend sound, video and motion into one of the most daring efforts by SeaWorld Orlando to date. Riders will have a headset that will help put them in the seat of a high-speed roller coaster experience where you will navigate through treacherous situations and sea creatures.
With virtual reality becoming so ubiquitous to the masses, the new SeaWorld ride is expected to reinvigorate attendance to the park, along with other new offerings to include Electric Ocean, Dolphin Nursery and the Seven Seas Festival. The original Kraken has been a favorite of guests since the year 2000 and it is considered by roller coaster fans as one of the best riding experiences in Orlando. SeaWorld is already known as a haven for roller coaster aficionados, thanks to their other rides—Manta and Mako—which offer a live-action roller coaster experience. The new Kraken VR will complement the ensemble and will keep SeaWorld fans enjoying the amazing experience of interacting with sea creatures and learning about the park’s conservation efforts.
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is located very close to the SeaWorld Orlando park and we are the perfect place for you to stay during your Orlando vacation. You will not only be close to the park, you will also be in the heart of Orlando’s hospitality industry corridor with plenty of entertainment, shopping and dining venues to enjoy during your stay. And if that’s not enough, we are also close to all the other theme parks so that you can have access to as much of the fun as you care to enjoy. Don’t delay, book your stay at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium early and we’ll see you in Orlando soon.
Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon Opens This Spring
Universal Studios Florida is adding a new attraction built around late-night talk celebrity Jimmy Fallon
Our craving for Jimmy Fallon’s late night blabber is about to become a ride at Universal Studios. Opening later this spring, Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon is the newest addition to the ride lineup for Universal, which is known for featuring TV and movie personalities as the focal point of their entertainment. And with a late-night star like Jimmy Fallon and his strong following, the new Race Through New York ride is almost finished in the same location as the former Twister… Ride it Out action ride. The location has been completely revamped to look like 30 Rockefeller Plaza and the Jimmy Fallon ride is located within this recreation of the Comcast building.
And if you are a regular follower of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, then you will be pleased to know that the new ride at Universal Studios Florida will also feature his loyal sidekick Steve Higgins and of course, the ensemble wouldn’t be complete without the talent of Fallon’s in-house band The Roots. What we know so far is that Fallon stars in a 3D motion ride like the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride at Universal Islands of Adventure. Along with his sidekick and band, riders will experience a performance of The Ragtime Gals, Hashtag the Panda, and a journey through the corridors of the NBC Studios facilities. Needless to say, humor and surprises will be part of the mix of experiences this new ride has to offer.
Don’t wait to remind yourself during The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to book your stay at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium. Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon is expected to open in early April so you should start checking dates now. Spring and Summer are Orlando’s busiest seasons and to see all the theme park action you should start planning your vacation now. Best of all, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is located within minutes of Universal Studios Florida and there are plenty of ways to get to this theme park, either via your own car or public transportation—including the I-Ride Trolley or Lynx bus service.
Citrix Synergy Convention Coming to Orlando
The enterprise technology solutions company will host its 2017 edition of Synergy from May 23rd through the 25th
As a leading provider of cloud technology, mobile networking and electronic document sharing, Citrix is as ubiquitous in Fortune 500 companies and other industry leaders as Microsoft, Dell or other business technology players. Citrix products like XenApp, XenMobile and its star product XenDesktop are used to increase collaboration, data sharing and mobile access to cloud storage. Such products increase the productivity of employees, while allowing business to be conducted virtually or on-the-go. Citrix clients come from every major industry and sector, including finance, banking, healthcare, education, and business organizations.
This year, Citrix Synergy 2017 will feature U.S. Army General (Ret.) Colin Powell and New York Times bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell as keynote speakers. Both command a massive following and are expected to be a highlight of this Citrix event. In addition to these speaking engagements, Citrix Synergy 2017 will feature over 250 breakout sessions covering a wide variety of topics on virtual, cloud and mobile computing. Throughout its interactive sessions and educational seminars, Citrix will share a message of transformation for the thousands of attendees participating in this annual event.
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium has also transformed the way people enjoy business travel in Orlando. And since Citrix Synergy 2017 is being hosted at the Orange County Convention Center, our resort property is uniquely positioned to let you stay close to all the convention action. Best of all, we are in the immediate vicinity of restaurants, bars, lounges, and plenty of shopping venues. So, if you like to mix business with leisure, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is ready to be your home-away-from-home during your visit to Orlando while attending Citrix Synergy 2017 this May.
Planet Hollywood Observatory Now Open
Disney Springs welcomes the re-launch of Planet Hollywood and it’s new dining and entertainment experience
Over two decades ago, Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger started the Planet Hollywood theme-restaurant concept, which went head-to-head against Hard Rock Café. Over the years, the concept spread around the world and thrived with people coming in to dine and see memorabilia and mementos from Hollywood’s top actors and actresses. But then, the concept started to dwindle and it was time to revitalize the Planet Hollywood brand—and that time is now. And so, Planet Hollywood Observatory is the next best thing to happen at Disney Springs since this entertainment, dining and shopping complex changed name from Downtown Disney.
Planet Hollywood Observatory is a reworking of the original concept, only that this time there is a four-story structure with a new bar concept—named Stargazers Lounge—and a signature new burger designed by celebrity chef Guy Fieri. The venue will also feature a 4,500-square foot video screen wall, where entertainment will be projected, and an enhanced version of the previous Planet Hollywood menu. The revamped location is quite fitting for the new outlook of Disney Springs, which has remodeled not just the original Downtown Disney and Pleasure Island structures—a remnant from the entertainment complex’s original architecture.
If you are planning on enjoying dinner at Planet Hollywood Observatory, make sure to find your way back to Vista Cay Resort by Millenium so you can enjoy a great night’s sleep under the Central Florida night sky. And do know we have our own stars at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium and they work very hard to ensure your Orlando stay is a wonderful experience. Best of all, we thrive on the compliments and great reviews that past and repeat guests have given us. So, don’t delay and book early for your Spring dates and we will see you soon in Orlando!
Why Winter is the Perfect Time to Visit Orlando
With almost two months left of Winter, Orlando is the perfect place to take a break from shoveling snow and wearing layered clothing
Let’s face it, we all enjoy winter and the snow—but only for the first few days. In fact, many residents of Florida come from the northern states. Some relocate to work in hospitality and tourism, while others were simply done with the cold and dark winters. How did many of them pick Orlando? Well, they came to Central Florida in the middle of Winter and saw what an awesome climate and temperatures we have down south.
While you may not be planning to move to Florida, the fact is that shoveling snow, weathering Noreaster blizzards and freezing your noses off has a limit. But there’s always Orlando, an amazing place where you can become a tourist for a few days or a week, forgetting about the frigid reasons why you live up north. That said, the only shoveling Floridians may ever do is digging a hole to plant a tree or building a sand castle at the beach.
So, what are some of the reasons why Winters are the best time to come to Orlando? Here they are:
- We don’t have snow but instead, we have plenty of Florida sunshine and pleasant weather, often in the 60s and 70s during the day
- Our winter streaks last 24 hours with temps only dipping into the 40s at night (that’s warm for some of you up north)
- It is considered somewhat of a low season after the holidays, so we don’t have crowds of people flocking to the city
- The lines at the theme parks are SHORT and FAST, so chances are you may see an entire theme park in a single day
- Vista Cay Resort by Millenium still has some rooms left, but they are going FAST because the secret about Winters in Florida is out!
Start planning your Orlando vacation now and even if you are not able to make it in the Winter months, there’s always Spring Break and later on in our “early Summer”. And Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is always ready to welcome you to our amazing city of Orlando. See you soon!
Happy New Year from Vista Cay Resort by Millenium
Central Florida’s premier resort property is ready for 2017 and all the amazing things that are coming to Orlando
The holidays are over; the relatives went back home and there is peace and quiet in the house. Do you know what that means? It means it’s time to start planning your Orlando vacation so you can be the envy of everyone who sat at your holiday dinner table.
Orlando is getting ready for an amazing year with new theme park expansions, a new water park and many more surprises. Best of all, we are excited about the fact that you can book your stay at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium and get ahead of the rush for Spring Break and Summer.
Without question, Orlando remains as the top family vacation destination in the world. Every year we welcome over 60 million visitors who come to enjoy Disney, Universal and SeaWorld—and they all want to stay somewhere safe, quiet and close to all the attraction action.
And so, the staff at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is more than excited to see you in 2017 when Universal Studios opens its new Volcano Bay water park later this year. We are also excited about the opening of Pandora – World of Avatar expansion at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
And by the way, do remember that SeaWorld Orlando will continue showing its killer whale shows, despite it being shut down in all other locations around the country. We are very supportive of our theme park community and love to see them grow and thrive in 2017 and beyond.
So, what are you waiting for? Go to the top of the page and look for the awesome deals that Vista Cay Resort by Millenium offers and be sure to brag about it on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!
Top 5 Attractions Coming to Orlando in 2017
Orlando is the Family Vacation Capital of the World and the New Year promises lots of new attractions, experiences and memories your loved ones will cherish for years
Every year, Orlando welcomes millions of tourists who flock to our theme parks, entertainment hotspots and shopping malls. After all, everything in Central Florida revolves around the tourism and hospitality industry—and we love being a part of it.
So what’s expected to change in the New Year 2017? Here are the Top 5 New Attractions coming to Orlando over the next twelve months:
1. Bye-bye Wet’n Wild… Hello Volcano Bay: The iconic “original” water park on International Drive is closing its doors on December 31st, 2016, as Universal Studios’ Volcano Bay continues to build its “replacement” water park. We will continue to report updates as they come in 2017.
2. Pandora—The World of Avatar: We are anxiously awaiting the grand opening of Disney’s Animal Kingdom extension based on James Cameron’s movie. Rumor has it that the new “land” will be opening sometime during Summer 2017… Fingers crossed!
3. Andretti Indoor Karting & Games: Mario Andretti is a legend of the motor racing world and Orlando will be next location for this thrill park which will feature a double-deck track and lots of other adrenaline-pumping attractions.
4. Disney Springs (Continued Expansion): The former Downtown Disney continues to undergo a major revamping as new sections of this expansive refresh continue to be unveiled. Expect many more unique shops, dining venues and street performances.
5. Circo Italian Restaurant: A new concept in upscale dining with Italian flair is coming to International Drive and it will be the tallest restaurant in this tourist strips at 120 feet high. The restaurant will feature a retractable roof and many more surprises once it opens in mid-2017.
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is ready for your visit to Orlando in 2017. Start planning your vacation now and book early to get the best price and ensure availability during your vacation dates. And be sure to keep reading our blog in the New Year so we can keep you updated with the latest and greatest developments in our city.
Get Ready to Soar on Orlando's Starflyer at I-Drive 360 in 2017
Just when you thought that you’ve seen it all on International Drive, a new adrenaline-pumping attraction will be launched in the heart of Orlando’s top tourist corridor
I-Drive 360 is known as the hottest entertainment hotspot on International Drive, Orlando’s iconic strip of attractions, restaurants and shopping venues. However, the developers behind I-Drive 360 are ready to begin construction on the Starflyer, a high-flying swing attraction towering 400 feet above the ground, next to the massive Coca-Cola Orlando Eye. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg since the developers also plan to build additional attractions within the I-Drive 360 complex, which already houses the Orlando Eye, Madame Tussaud’s wax museum, SEA LIFE Aquarium and other exhibits, stores and restaurants.
While it took a while to get approval for such a high-rise attraction, it seems that Orange County is finally OK with the addition of the Starflyer. This attraction is sure to give riders a 360-degree view of the entire International Drive tourist district, with sights all the way up to Disney, Universal and SeaWorld Orlando’s theme parks. The fact that it is being built on an already successful entertainment complex will give guests another choice to enjoy while visiting Orlando. And it should be known that I-Drive 360 is just as popular with locals as it is with tourists and business travelers.
Although the Starflyer will not be ready until later in 2017, you can always come to Orlando to enjoy everything we offer—and of course, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is the place where you want to stay when looking to be close to all the theme parks and attractions that have made us the “family vacation capital of the world”. We look forward to seeing you and your loved ones in Orlando in the New Year 2017!
Want to Move to Orlando? Then come stay with us at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium
Testing the waters before making a life-changing move to Central Florida can start by booking a home-like stay at our amazing property
Every year, thousands relocate to Orlando looking for our amazingly warm winters (if you can even call them that), the hundreds of family entertainment options, and the thousands of jobs available in Central Florida companies. However, most people don’t know where to start and Vista Cay Resort by Millenium offers you accommodations that your family can enjoy while you drive around town looking to learn more about the Greater Orlando area. In fact, Orlando has been called one of the best cities in the US to raise a family by countless magazines and newspapers.
While most people stick to the tourist areas near Disney, Universal and SeaWorld Orlando, venturing north on I-4 can take you to Downtown Orlando—home of the Amway Center and the Orange Bowl Stadium—and other suburbs of our vibrant city. We have hundreds of amazing residential districts throughout town and many of them are located near other vibrant entertainment, dining and shopping hotspots. And don’t forget, we have many colleges and universities to further your education or that of your loved ones: University of Central Florida, Rollins College, Valencia College, and more great academic institutions.
So if you are planning to come to Orlando with an interest in moving to our city, go ahead and book your stay at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium. We are located near major highways such as Interstate 4, SR 528 and the Florida Turnpike—all of which give you access to every corner of Central Florida and beyond. So, if you are planning on a life-changing relocation sometime in 2017, be sure to stay with us so we can be your relocation headquarters on your next trip to Florida.
Disney Turns Epcot’s Spaceship Earth into Star Wars’ Death Star
When the Dark Side takes over at dusk, be on the lookout for the ominous space station in place of Epcot’s best-known icon
The iconic super-massive space station from George Lucas’ creation became a reality for a single night at Disney’s Epcot theme park in celebration of the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story movie premiere. The event happened on December 5th, 2016 where using state-of-the-art projection technology, Disney made this daring conversion—although only visually—to the Spaceship Earth geodesic sphere, which towers near the main entrance of the theme park. The visual effects were simply amazing as they managed to project the green laser beam used to destroy planets in the intergalactic saga. But don’t worry, they are not planning to point it towards the moon anytime soon.
Disney bought Lucasfilm from George Lucas in 2012 for just over $4 billion dollars and that investment has already been paid back thanks to the 2015 release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which made well over $1 billion in the first few weeks since its release. And that’s not all, Disney saw the opportunity to build a whole new set of storylines on which new adventures can be built for the newer generations of Star Wars fans. From merchandising to costumes to licensed products, the Star Wars franchise dominates above all other movie franchises and is a driving force for inspiring new sci-fi adventures by filmmakers, comic book artists and others who believe in the Power of the Force.
Expect to see a lot more Star Wars action at Disney’s theme parks in 2017 as new exhibits, shows and additions are made in preparation for the upcoming breaking ground of the “Star Wars Land” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which is set to open sometime in 2018. Be sure to keep reading our Vista Cay Resort by Millenium blog regularly for updates about this and other Star Wars-themed attractions coming to Disney’s theme parks in Orlando. And may the Force be with you, always!
Universal Update: Super Nintendo World in Orlando
A recent announcement by Universal and Nintendo may give you the park you could only build in a computer console—right here in Orlando!
While it may still be too early to speculate, we can dream about the recent news from these two entertainment giants who inked a deal that deserves a massive “1up” for Orlando. Super Nintendo World is expected to become a reality both in Japan and the USA, where Universal Studios plans to create these fully-immersive “lands” nested within its theme parks. Initial reports state that this new theme park addition in Orlando will make Mario and his friends the focal point of the attractions—and we wouldn’t expect any less after the billions of dollars that these characters have generated for Nintendo over the past few decades.
Universal Studios Florida already enjoys a major draw of tourists thanks to not only its Harry Potter-themed lands, but also because it has been actively revamping, remodeling and re-imagining its theme park grounds—often replacing stagnant rides and attractions with newer concepts. This was recently the case with Skull Island: Reign of Kong which was added to Universal Islands of Adventures, right between Toon Lagoon and the Jurassic Park ride. We will keep you informed of new developments about Super Nintendo World on this blog, so keep checking back for updates.
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium enjoys a fantastic location right down the road from Universal Studios, so when Super Nintendo World finally becomes a reality you will have a great place to stay after a long day at Universal Studios. And without question, our proximity to the theme park is complemented by the amazing restaurants, shopping and entertainment venues located throughout the International Drive tourist district. Are you ready to come to Orlando?
Off the Beaten Path: Lakeridge Winery Wine & Chocolate Festival
Everyone loves chocolate and wine, but Lakeridge Winery adds the fun with live music and lots of local artists and craft artisans for your enjoyment
We know that most people come to Orlando for the enjoyment of our amazing theme parks. However, those visitors who can spare a day or two outside of Disney or Universal can find amazing reasons to stray away from the beaten path. And not for nothing, Lakeridge Winery is one of those places. So if you are looking for a great place to enjoy wine tours, Lakeridge Winery near Clermont (about 30 minutes west of Orlando) should be at the top of your list.
Now, a good experience can always be turned into a better experience and Lakeridge Winter’s Wine & Chocolate Festival on December 10th and 11th is where you need to be this holiday season. Starting with the fact that they are a winery growing grapes in Florida (how awesome is that?), they’ve added chocolate to the menu and topped it off with live music performances. But then it gets better since they invited a couple dozen vendors who bring their arts and crafts to the festival—just in time for the holidays’ gift-giving celebrations.
Lakeridge Winery may be a short drive from our Vista Cay Resort by Millenium, but it is an experience you’ll share with friends, family and coworkers once you return to your busy life after a well-deserved vacation. So make plans to spend an extra day in Orlando and be sure to visit Lakeridge Winery if you happen to be here in December—you won’t regret the amazing experience. And don’t forget to book early so you can be sure to lock in a great price and early availability!
Orlando Hot Spot: Restaurant Row on Sand Lake Road
If you are looking for a great dining experience with plenty of choice to pick from—then head over to Sand Lake Road’s Restaurant Row
When visiting Orlando, International Drive has plenty of places to pick from to enjoy a great lunch. However, when the sun goes down and the street lights come on, the best place to have drinks and dinner is a mile-long stretch adjacent to I-Drive known as Restaurant Row on Sand Lake Road. This “district” of Central Florida started out with a few restaurants a decade ago and since then it has grown into a culinary destination for both tourists and business travelers.
Sand Lake Road is familiar to anyone who visits Orlando on a shopping spree since heading East on this road takes you to The Florida Mall and Orlando International Airport. But when you head West, you will find over two dozen restaurants to satisfy the most discerning palate. Here are our Top Five picks on Restaurant Row—in no particular order:
- Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine – A top pick for business travelers celebrating new opportunities, it also has great ambiance for good conversation
- Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar – Our top pick for great food, awesome tequilas and nightlife entertainment—especially when proprietor Rocco is in “da house”
- Slate Wood Grilled Cuisine – This restaurant is one of the best-kept secrets in Orlando and its menu is filled with tasty organic selections
- Vines Grille & Wine Bar – Without question, a top pick for celebrating a birthday or anniversary plus a great selection of wines to pick from
- Roy's Pacific Rim Cuisine – Enjoy Hawaiian-inspired seasonal menu items such as fish or steak, along with exquisite gourmet sides
Now, if you want to cap off your evening with a truly unique experience you can't miss a visit to Corona Cigar Co. on Sand Lake Road. While it may not be for everyone, this tobacco store and lounge has the largest selection of cigars in the U.S. and a full liquor bar featuring whiskeys, bourbons and plenty of exotic spirits.
Whether you are visiting Orlando for a convention, trade show or a family vacation—Sand Lake Restaurant Row offers something for everyone. And of course, Vista Cay Resort by Millennium is located a short drive (or an Uber ride) from Restaurant Row. Best of all, you don’t have to go far so you can come back and get a good night’s sleep after a fun night out with friends, coworkers or family. See you soon and eat a light lunch so you can enjoy everything that Sand Lake Road’s Restaurant Row has to offer!
Show What Your Voice can do at the Artegon Marketplace
This holiday season, experience Open Stage at Orlando’s best everyday shopping venue on International Drive
The Artegon Marketplace on I-Drive is known as a hotspot for artsy, unique and sometimes strange goods, but during this holiday season you can do a lot more than shop-til-you-drop. During most of November through December 23rd patrons with a good singing voice can grab the microphone and take a shot at stardom—at least on a local level—to a crowd of shoppers who are eager to cheer the next talented singer.
Participating patrons just need to bring their music on a USB stick that can be plugged right into Artegon Marketplace’s sound system. From one-man-show acts to choruses, you can book your place and perform between 5 to 7 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Isn’t it time you stopped singing in the shower and moved on to a larger stage? Simply visit Artegon Marketplace’s Guest Services and sign up!
And after your jaw-dropping performance and subsequent shopping, head back to Vista Cay Resort by Millenium to get the well-deserved rest you need. But don’t delay booking your stay since holiday season rates are very attractive and we are likely to get booked faster than you can scream “Bravo!” Who knows... You're future music agent may be among those in the crowd ready to make you a rock star.
Visit Orlando's Mall at Millenia this December
The Mall at Millenia is Orlando's top luxury shopping experience for the 2017 holiday season
If you love to shop top brands, then you cannot miss the opportunity to visit the Mall at Millenia when you visit Orlando. But if you happen to visit Orlando during the holidays, then you can't miss a visit to the crown jewel of Central Florida's shopping experiences. Here are the top three things to experience at the Mall of Millenia between Black Friday and Christmas Day:
Santa Claus Photo Experience – Your children can't visit the Mall at Millenia without a Santa Claus photo opportunity. Santa will be waiting for them at the center area of the mall on its first floor. That said, we recommend you allow plenty of time to see Santa since the lines can be a bit long during peak times.
Salvation Army's Angel Tree – Remembering those whose holiday season may not be as special as yours can go a long way. This year the Mall at Millenia is showcasing the Salvation Army's Angel Tree where shoppers can adopt an angel to benefit children in our local community.
Shop, Shop and Shop – There are plenty of store-specific events at the Mall at Millenia. From anchor stores to the food court, come to experience the holidays with music, food, and holiday sales in select stores. And of course, there are several signature restaurants to enjoy during a break from your shopping spree.
And guess what… Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is a short drive away from the Mall at Millenia. We have exceptional accommodations to help you enjoy your holiday season vacation without stress. So be sure to check out our amazing rates and tell all your friends about it!
What to do in Central Florida during the 2017 Holiday Season
If you are planning to visit Orlando between now and the end of the year, you’re in for a treat
Orlando is already a cheery place thanks to all of our theme park action, entertainment venues and some of the best weather anywhere around the nation in the Fall and Winter. However, the holidays add an additional element of cheer to the family vacation capital of the world. Here’s what you can do during the holiday season in Orlando:
Disney World – Every theme park under the Disney flag will be decked from floor to the highest structures in holiday glitter and bling. However, the best attraction this holiday season will be experiencing the all-new Disney Springs, featuring amazing shops and restaurants throughout.
Universal Studios – Discover Grinchmas, experience the Macy’s Holiday Parade and enjoy the new Skull Island: Reign of Kong ride this holiday season at Universal Orlando. And don’t forget to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Diagon Alley attractions.
SeaWorld Orlando – This holiday season the SeaWorld Christmas Celebration is featuring a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer experience along with live entertainment, holiday shopping and food venues for the whole family to enjoy through the end of the year.
Kennedy Space Center – Holidays in Space is every future astronaut’s dream as NASA’s Kennedy Space Center transforms its Saturn V rocket experience into a canvas where images of future space missions—including Mars Mission—on its fuselage for everyone’s enjoyment.
And if you’re not into the whole theme park thing, there will be plenty more reasons to come to Orlando during the holidays as our shopping malls, International Drive and even the Orange County Convention Center welcome tourists and business travelers with our warmer version of this special season.
Of course, if you’re coming to Orlando you should remember to book your stay at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium so you can always retreat to the peace and comfort of our amazing property. We look forward to seeing you soon—during and after the holidays!
Discover the Seven Seas Food Festival at SeaWorld Orlando in 2017
February is known as a slightly cooler month for Central Florida, but this festival is poised to warm up the atmosphere with music and food from every continent
SeaWorld features marine life from every ocean and sea around the world and its new Seven Seas Food Festival promises to show guests what a good time they can have when you bring them all together in Orlando. Starting in February 2017, the Seven Seas Food Festival will be held at SeaWorld Orlando for 14 weekends during which guests will experience street food and other delicacies—all inspired by the spices, flavors, and music of the world.
The current plan is for SeaWorld Orlando to feature menus with items from the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Asia, and South America. These will also be paired with wines and other beverages to create a true epicurean experience. All in all, there will be more than 50 food items and over a hundred beer varieties for guests to enjoy. And in addition to the food, there will be music, art and other goods that guests can enjoy during the Seven Seas Food Festival. Also, keep in mind that the family-friendly nature of the event will be an amazing experience for people of all ages.
You may already know this, but Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is closest to SeaWorld Orland than any other Central Florida theme park or attraction. Our convenient location makes it the perfect place to spend the night and get some rest, without having a long drive or ride to the reason why you come to Orlando. And best of all, you can already book your stay at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium through our website, where you can get best rates for your stay. See you in February at the Seven Seas Food Festival at SeaWorld!
Get a Taste of Africa in Orlando at the Harambe Market
Disney’s Animal Kingdom recently revamped its Africa-themed land with a new quick-service dining venue featuring specialties from the African Continent
Africa is one of the most exotic and mysterious continents in the world and Disney has already done a fantastic job at recreating it at its Animal Kingdom theme park. The park, which features an African safari experience with live animals—including lions, giraffes, and elephants—also recreates the flavors of Africa in a number of dining venues. However, the latest expansion of Africa at Disney features spice-infused dishes from every corner of the continent.
The Harambe Market was originally inspired by the busy open markets of Africa, where people come to buy and sell everything from livestock to spices and of course—exquisite food and drinks unique to the continent. The setting looks like a time capsule where patrons have parked their bicycles outside the market, with crates piled up as if waiting for shopkeepers to load them with goods. But the most amazing part of Harambe Market is its restaurant with lunch and dinner items—some of which are hard to pronounce but very easy to finish in no time.
Harambe Market features curries and vegetable-based specialties, always reflecting the local taste. Grilled entrees such as sausage, ribs, and poultry are complemented with exotic sauces and followed by one-of-a-kind desserts. The fact is that Disney’s prowess in replicating the sights, sounds, and taste of Africa will be a memorable experience for your whole family. So the next time you plan to visit Orlando and stay at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium, be sure to get your tickets to Disney’s Animal Kingdom and plan your park lunch at the Harambe Market. And don’t forget to book your stay with us early!
Universal Orlando to Get Fast & Furious in 2018
The popular theme park will be shifting to high gear exhilaration with its new Fast & Furious: Supercharged attraction
Universal Orlando is reportedly planning a new ride that will place guests in the front seat of the Fast & Furious action. This movie franchise is known for its speeding action and automotive trickery, which continues to wow moviegoers with excitement, action and suspense. The full-immersion ride will feature large projection screens for a first-person perspective that will take riders on street racing and chases—all with the intent of recreating the fast-and-furious nature of this movie-themed ride.
The franchise took a hard hit a few years ago with the untimely passing of Paul Allen, one of its iconic stars, in an unfortunate off-screen high-speed accident. However, the Fast & Furious movie has overcome that sad chapter under the leadership of its original star—Vin Diesel—who keeps creating new storylines that give its fans more of what they love most: fast cars riding furiously through streets and alleys. The ride is expected to be completed in 2018 and it will take the place of Disaster: A Major Motion Picture Starring You!
Stay tuned to our blog for more news about this and other Universal Orlando attractions popping up in 2017 and 2018. And don’t forget to check out our amazing rates at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium. Our close proximity to Universal Studios, SeaWorld Orlando and even Disney will be a joy for you and your family. And don’t forget, we love business travelers too and you can enjoy mixing business and leisure when you stay at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium. Book your travel early to ensure availability and also let your friends and family know about it since it is more fun to come in groups!
Disney’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival is Back!
The 2016 edition of this annual culinary event brings lots of excitement for foodies from all over the world who come to Orlando for a one-of-a-kind experience
Do you like food? Do you like wine? Then pack your bags, reserve your flight and book your stay at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium this fall as the premier food and wine-related event in America is now in session at Disney’s Epcot theme park. From September 14th through November 14th, locals and tourists alike can enjoy an epicurean voyage through a world of cuisine styles—not just from countries represented in Epcot’s World Showcase, but also from many more ethnic and national origins.
A staple of Disney’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival is its culinary demonstration schedule, where famous chefs showcase their skills to a hungry audience and share secrets about their own kitchens. Also, there are cheese seminars where you can sample exotic cheese styles, accompanied by wine, cocktails or beer. And of course, there are plenty of educational opportunities where you can attend additional workshops to enlighten your epicurean creativity.
But remember, book your stay with Vista Cay Resort by Millenium first. Our resort is located a mere 15-minute drive from Epcot and the rest of Disney’s theme parks. Also, we want to remind you that admission to the theme park is required to attend Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival and that food and drinks are available at an additional charge once you enter the theme park. There is no better excuse to come to Orlando than to attend Epcot’s amazing celebration of food, drink, and plenty of exotic flavors to stimulate your taste buds.
World-Class Golf is a Way of Life in Central Florida
If you are visiting Orlando on vacation or during a convention and need to get away somewhere other than a theme park, then golf may be your best way to enjoy a “good walk spoiled”
As we enter the Fall Season, Florida’s warm sun is not as strong as it is during the summer months and the mornings are balmy-yet-fresh enough to warrant 18 holes of fun under the sun. And if you are looking for an incredible golf experience, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is located near several golf courses that are as challenging as they are pleasant to play.
Start with the MetroWest Golf Course in Southwest Orlando.Located about 15 minutes from our resort property, this semi-private golf course allows visitors and has an excellent restaurant that serves American-style cuisine.
Next, ChampionsGate Golf Club offers two premier 18-hole courses: one with a traditional American golf play experience and another one with an Australian flair inspired by the legendary Greg Norman. ChampionsGate is about 30 minutes south of International Drive.
Finally, Dubsdread Golf Course is located near Downtown Orlando, a bit off the beaten path for tourists, but worth an Uber ride to enjoy a course that is a favorite among locals. Dubsdread features a traditional 18-hole golf course near the historical town of Winter Park, Florida.
There are plenty more golf courses throughout Central Florida that may be of your interest. When you arrive at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium, be sure to inquire about golf courses in the area and start enjoying a different kind of Orlando attraction. And don't forget to book your stay at a great price this Fall!
Go Beyond Skin-Deep Anatomy at Skeletons: Animals Unveiled!
From the smallest animals to dinosaur skeletons, you can now see deep into the bodies of some of the most amazing animals roaming the earth
While most people would think that skeletons are more of a museum than a tourist attraction, the truth is that in a world of unconventional learning experiences you can now experience a different way to discover animal anatomy. Skeletons: Animals Unveiled is an attraction nested in the I-Drive 360 complex--known best for its gigantic Orlando Eye Ferris Wheel. The attraction is home to over 450 skeletons made up of real bones. In addition, this skeleton museum features a myriad of information such as history, oddities, and evolutionary science.
While you may think a skeleton museum may be a grim attraction, once you visit this amazing venue you'll tell all your friends and family. Without question, every time a person gazes at the reality of our existence through the bones of an animal, we become enlightened by the wonders of natural life. Children of all ages will be mesmerized to look at mammals, reptiles, marsupials, and even ancient creatures without skin or flesh to hide the complexity of their skeletal system.
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is a mere couple of miles away from I-Drive 360 and Skeletons: Animals Unveiled! We offer a convenient place to enjoy your Orlando vacation while keeping you close to all the theme parks and attractions. And if you are planning to visit the skeleton museum, do know that you will have a chance like no other to share with your family the wondrous nature of the animal world. We hope to see you soon!
5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Orlando in the Fall
Central Florida is not known for falling leaves or growing pumpkins, but we sure do know how to make the most out of the Fall season
Orlando is often associated as the perfect place to visit in the summer—and with good reason, since our city welcomes thousands of families who choose to spend their vacations with us. However, there are many reasons why you should consider coming to Orlando in the Fall, but we’ve picked the Top 5 reasons why you should be planning to visit us during this amazing season. And so, here they are:
1. Back to School – We love families on vacation, but we also know that while children are out of school, Orlando can become crowded during peak periods during our High Season. In the Fall, you may enjoy Orlando without having to fight for a parking spot at the theme parks or at local restaurants. And even if you haven’t rented or driven a car, you are likely to wait longer to be seated at area restaurants.
2. Park Lines are Shorter – Theme parks are the main reason why people come to Orlando during the summer, which often translates into 2-3 hour long lines (in the hot sun) before you can ride an attraction. In the Fall, Orlando is less crowded and you can see an entire park in one day if you arrive early in the morning and stay until it closes.
3. Temperatures Cool Down – Orlando is not known for chilly weather, except for a few days in our “winter” but after the scorching heat of the summer, we welcome slightly-less hot days in the Fall. During the early Fall you can expect temperatures in the mid-80s, but as you get closer to Thanksgiving Day it is possible to dip down to the mid-70s during the day and 60s at night. And believe us when we say this makes a big difference when visiting theme parks.
4. Magical Dining Month – This Fall event happens in the month of September, when fine restaurants throughout Orlando’s tourist district of International Drive and Lake Buena Vista offer exceptional three-course menus for about $33 per person. That alone makes the early Fall a time to enjoy some of our best restaurants without breaking the piggy-bank.
5. Halloween Horror Nights – This annual event draws thousands of visitors every week during the month of October at Universal Studios Florida. It has no other purpose than to scare the living daylights out of those who dare to stroll through the event’s haunted mazes, scare zones and freaky characters around every corner. Keep in mind that Halloween Horror Nights is not for the faint of heart nor for children and requires a special ticket to access it.
And while there isn’t a 6th reason in this blog post, you bet it could be visiting Vista Cay Resort by Millenium. Our exceptional location in the heart of Orlando’s tourist district of International Drive gives you quick access to all the theme parks, attractions, restaurants, and much more. So don’t delay and book your stay with us soon!
Star Wars Celebration Returning to Orlando in 2017
The Force is strong with Orlando once again as this massive fandom convention serves as a preamble to the next chapter in the Star Wars saga
From April 13th to the 16th, 2017 the Orange County Convention Center will become the center of the galaxy once again. Thousands of raving Star Wars fans are expected to attend the largest movie-inspired convention in the planet, many of them dressed as their favorite characters from this successful motion picture franchise. Whether you take sides with the Rebellion or the First Order, you can expect to be immersed in one of the most exciting sci-fi conventions of 2017, which comes right after the release of Star Wars Rogue One.
As fans prepare for Star Wars Episode VIII in December 2017, Star Wars Celebration in Orlando promises to serve as a pep rally-like gathering where vendors come to sell toys, collectibles, apparel, and many more products. In addition, the event is expected to bring a few dozen celebrities and artists from not only the Star Wars movies, but also from its "extended universe" of comic books, animated series and other multimedia productions. Fans will also be delighted by the parade of CosPlay attendees donning their elaborate--and often homemade--costumes and props.
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium may not be a spaceport, but it sure can serve as your base of operations while visiting Star Wars Celebration 2017 in Orlando next spring. With accommodations comfortable enough for a Wookie and all the amenities you would find in the majestic planet of Naboo, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium will be ready for you or the entire 501st Legion. And yes, we allow droids at our property--so bring your R2 unit or Protocol Droids with you.
When Shadows Fall Interactive Attraction Opens in Orlando
This live-experience takes its players into an interactive game where their decisions influence the outcome of this "game"
Orlando is known for its theme parks, shopping and restaurants. However, not every great attraction is a major theme park and this is being proven by the new "When Shadows Fall" interactive game experience, where guests are the players who must navigate through this massive set that is a mix between an escape game and theatrical role play. The game takes you into the world of Penumbra, a secret society that seeks utopian existence. Players are immersed in the interaction and get pulled into the story as characters will assign a role that you must fulfill to complete the game.
Lately, Orlando's International Drive Area has seen a number of "escape game" type attractions popping up, usually following the same pattern: a series of themed rooms with clues hidden throughout and all you have is an hour to find a way out. What makes When Shadows Fall different from other escape games is the secretive nature of this attraction. In fact, you will not know the location until you buy a ticket to When Shadows Fall. Once you arrive, the game begins and as you progress through it the outcome is dependent on the players' own ability to learn, adapt and apply that learning to unlock clues and overcome challenges.
Now that you know a bit more about When Shadows Fall, the question is: are you game? If you are, start by booking your stay at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium. No matter where When Shadows Fall is located, we will be in range for you to not only play, but also to enjoy everything that Central Florida has to offer. And after a day at the theme parks, if you still have the energy to meet a good challenge, book your tickets for When Shadow Falls and see if you got what it takes to get through Orlando's most interactive game experience.
Halloween Horror Nights XXVI Returns September 16th to October 31st
Universal Orlando Reveals American Horror Story Haunted House as one of its featured horror venues, promising to scare the daylights out of guests after dark
When night falls, darkness also descends upon Orlando and horror becomes reality from the moment you enter Universal Studios Florida. Now in its 26th edition, Halloween Horror Nights gives adults a reason to come to Orlando in the fall, after school starts and the summer season comes to an end. And no one does Halloween like Universal, which transforms its theme park into a walkable set of haunted houses, scare zones, and other heart-wrenching surprises--all in hopes of scaring the socks off you.
This year, Halloween Horror Nights will feature American Horror Story as one of its haunted houses, bringing to life episodes and characters from this popular TV series. Also, Krampus--the German Christmas monster--returns with more horrific holiday spirit to keep you on edge. You should also be on the lookout for haunted houses based on movies like The Exorcist, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween featuring Michael Myers, and Chance--Jack the Clown's sidekick from previous Halloween Horror Nights storylines.
As always, Universal reminds attendees about the intense nature of Halloween Horror Nights, so bear in mind that this is definitely not a children-friendly event. In fact, people with heart conditions should also refrain from attending this event. One thing is for sure, you don't have to worry about a good night sleep since you can come back to the safety of Vista Cay Resort by Millenium, where there are no monsters under the bed and you can rest in peace... At least until the sun rises.
Magical Dining Month in Orlando is Only a Month Away
Starting on August 29th, tourists and locals can benefit from multi-course dinners from fine area restaurants for only $33—a heavily discounted price during Orlando’s “low season”
Ask any local what they love most about the month of September and they will tell you it is Magical Dining Month, a unique yearly event where patrons can get an appetizer, entree, and dessert for one attractive price.
The event was created several years ago as a way to entice locals to visit Orlando’s top restaurants in the tourist areas. During the late Summer and Early Fall, Orlando’s tourism drops as children go back to school. While this used to be a dreaded time of the year for many restaurants, the idea of Magical Dining Month took root quickly with resident foodies and restaurant lovers.
But this fun is not reserved to the locals only. As word spreads about the Magical Dining Month, more people are visiting Orlando during the event to partake in the enjoyment of great food for a set price of $33 per person—plus gratuity. Here are some of the restaurants closest to Vista Cay Resort by Millenium that will be participating in this exciting event:
» Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine
» Copper Canyon Grill, located at Pointe Orlando
» Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar
» Eddie V's Prime Seafood
» Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse
» Funky Monkey Bistro & Bar
» Kobe Japanese Steakhouse
» RA Sushi Pointe Orlando
» The Capital Grille
» Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar
There are many more restaurants participating in the Magical Dining Month celebration, including restaurants at Disney Springs and Universal City Walk. And of course, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium will be ready to help you get a good night’s sleep after a night out at one of these fine restaurants. So come to Orlando this fall and enjoy what our area restaurants have to offer.
Animal Kingdom Lights Up at Night this Summer
Alive with Magic is the new “theme” for Disney’s youngest theme park, which opened its doors in 1998 but only kept “daytime hours” until 2016, when it added a new take on evening entertainment
For years, visitors to Disney’s Animal Kingdom only had the chance to experience the nature-themed park during daylight hours—that is until this summer when the park has finally come Alive with Magic after the sun goes down. And Disney has spared no detail since the effort to light up Animal Kingdom at night required careful consideration of how lighting could affect the animals in its nature sanctuary.
In the wild, sundown means many animals will retreat in the absence of light, seeking shelter from potential predators. Likewise, many predators come alive in the dark as it is a time when they can hunt without the challenge of heat exhaustion under the scorching sun. For many years the park’s management avoided using lights at night, mainly to prevent disturbing animals or producing unnecessary stress. However, technology has evolved and the new natural lighting throughout Animal Kingdom is creating the perfect setting for nighttime adventures with the whole family.
The most noticeable lighting in the park is in its centerpiece icon—the Tree of Life—which lights up with glowing lights that change color and give park visitors a completely different perspective than its natural look in daylight. Dubbed “Nighttime Awakenings” this show of lights is cyclical with shows starting every 10 minutes until the park shuts down for the evening. Also, the new Nocturnal Encounters is a new take on the Kilimanjaro Safaris, which lights up the African Savannah as its nocturnal creatures come out and rumble through the landscape.
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is not a wild place by any accounts, but we can provide exceptional accommodations for your family after an evening at the theme parks. So how about coming to Orlando for a well-deserved vacation? We promise to make your days and nights exceptionally exciting.
The Orange County Convention Center is an Orlando Attraction of its Own
Located in the heart of International Drive in Orlando, this convention center ranks second in size in the US and attracts over 10 million business travelers annually to the area
International Drive has been known for more than 30 years as a hotspot for tourists who flock to it seeking affordable and convenient alternatives to theme park lodging. However, this vibrant district is home to the second largest convention center in the United States with over 7 million square feet total, of which more than 2 million square feet are purely exhibiting space. And with access from two major highways—Interstate 4 and State Road 528—visitors can travel from the Orlando International Airport, Tampa or other corners of the state with convenience and ease.
The Orange County Convention Center originally opened in 1983 and a second expansion phase opened in 2003, which features a curious architectural style. This convention center is the first public venue for business in Central Florida and can hold a dozen trade shows and meetings, concurrently between its two buildings. The convention center features state of the art business meeting technologies, food courts and floor-based food vending stations. Major events have been held consistently over its lifetime—including the PGA Show, Star Wars Celebration, and the National Association of Home Builders, among countless many others.
The venue infuses the International Drive area with a constant flow of business travelers and its financial contribution to the Greater Orlando area produces close to $2 billion in measurable economic impact—from lodging and dining to theme parks and attractions. And of course, it is no secret that Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is a direct beneficiary thanks to our resort’s strategic location a short drive away from the Orange County Convention Center. So if you are planning to attend a trade show, convention or business meeting at this fantastic venue—be sure to book your stay with us!
Pointe Orlando—the FUN Continues After a Day at the Theme Parks
If you are looking for a great place to complement the excitement of the theme parks, then head over to Pointe Orlando, located a short drive from Vista Cay Resort by Millenium
We know that when coming to Orlando you want to relax and avoid being sucked into a roller coaster of theme park visits. It is a known fact that most visitors take breaks between their days at the parks or attraction. Some want to go shopping while others want to spend the day by the pool—but it is a generally-agreed fact that many do so to enjoy more of the exciting things to do around the Orlando area. No matter who you are, we know that you come to enjoy your vacation and relax as much as you can so that you can return refreshed to your home and work.
And so, Pointe Orlando has become a top choice for tourists and business travelers alike. Starting with its convenient location a short walk away from the Orange County Convention Center, Pointe Orlando is also a major dining destination that features restaurants such as Maggiano’s Little Italy, Cuba Libre Cuban Restaurant, Ra Sushi, The Pub, and Taverna Opa, among many others. Pointe Orlando also is home to Regal Pointe Orlando Stadium 20 & IMAX Movie theater where you can see the latest Hollywood blockbusters in digital screen and sound—including 3D movies!
Pointe Orlando also offers its patrons the opportunity to do some world-class shopping, including high fashion, jewelry, and many other specialty shops. And best of all, you can enjoy the best Orlando has to offer at this amazing shopping and entertainment venue without having to drive or walk too far. Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is located just around the corner off of Universal Blvd., so whether you drive, take a taxi or Uber—you don’t have to go far to enjoy everything Pointe Orlando has to offer.
What’s new at Orlando’s Theme Parks this Summer
Every theme park in Central Florida is packed this summer and here’s the reason why you should come to Orlando and avoid missing out on all the fun
Sun, fun, heat, and excitement—that’s what Orlando means to the millions of visitors who come to the heart of Florida’s hospitality industry every summer. And so, with good reason because when you see what Orlando has to offer, no other city on earth can fulfill… Not even by a longshot. So let’s go ahead and share what’s going on in our world-famous theme parks:
Disney World – Under the theme of “Awaken the Summer” all four Disney parks are showcasing a variety of shows, new attractions and venues—including more Star Wars-themed attractions, Frozen Ever After and of course, daily parades featuring characters from both classic and recent Disney movies. And after a day at the theme parks, be sure to head over to Disney Springs, a new entertainment, shopping and dining venue built as an expansion of the former Downtown Disney.
Universal Studios – The biggest opening of a new attraction is well under way at Universal Orlando with Skull Island: Reign of Kong—a new ride that takes on you on an expedition through a world reigned by none other than the king of all apes: King Kong. And although it isn’t open yet, visitors to Universal can also see the construction of its newest water park, Volcano Bay, which will replace Wet’n Wild in 2017.
SeaWorld Orlando – While some are sad to see killer whale shows go away, this adventure theme park still has plenty to offer. In fact, the park just opened Mako, the tallest and fastest roller coaster in Florida. So if you are into high-energy adrenaline-ridden experiences, then riding Mako should be on your bucket list—there’s nothing faster than Mako.
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is so close to the action that you can almost hear the screams of excitement from these and many more area attractions. And best of all, being so close to the theme parks and conveniently located near the International Drive entertainment district, we are your top choice for staying in Orlando during your next vacation. The summer awaits, so get going and book early before the deals are gone!
It’s Official: Bye Bye Downtown Disney, Hello Disney Springs
The long awaited transition from entertainment complex to shopping haven has finally run its course and Disney Springs is better than anything we could have expected
If you’ve visited Orlando before, you probably remember visiting Downtown Disney, the non-theme park alternative to family fun without the hefty park ticket price. Well, following its announcement a few years ago, Disney Springs is finally a reality as the former complex’s parking lots have been transformed into multilevel parking structures, shops, restaurants, and other unique experiences. In fact, most of the former Downtown Disney has remained undisturbed as Disney Springs was achieved by developing its former parking area.
So what can you expect at the newly-opened Disney Springs? For starters, you will see many signature retail stores that include Zara, Under Armor, Tommy Bahama, and other exclusive boutiques you can only find in locations like New York, London or Tokyo. Add to that new restaurants and eateries, such as the ever-popular Sprinkles Cupcakes. Also, you will find jewelry shops like Pandora or Na Hoku, as well as a wide variety of smaller retailers with unique and exclusive merchandise.
And as you can imagine, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is ready to be your affordable alternative to high-end resort properties near Disney Springs. We have consistently ranked a favorite in a variety of review websites and magazine articles. And why, you must wonder? Because at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium we are aware that with the vast lodging choices tourists have, the word has spread about the value, comfort and convenience of our strategically-located property in the middle of great dining and entertainment venues. So don’t delay and if you are wanting to check out the new Disney Springs, book your next stay with us!
The Largest Star Wars Celebration is Coming Back to Orlando in 2017
The Force has already awakened and Star Wars Celebration will be the convention that sets the stage for the sequel to The Force Awakens
Following the incredible success of the revived fandom around the events of a galaxy far far away, Star Wars Celebration’s next US-based installment is returning to Orlando in 2017, April 13-16. While 2016 will host Star Wars Celebration in Europe, the 2017 event has a special meaning to Star Wars fans who will be awaiting the sequel to the widely-acclaimed Star Wars The Force Awakens—set to hit theaters in December 2017. There is no bigger event in our planet dedicated to Star Wars movies, comics and of course, costume play or cosplay as it is known by fans.
While it is still a bit early to know specifics, we can certainly expect Star Wars Celebration 2017 to bring dozens of actors to sign autographs and get photo opportunities with fans. In addition, there will be many vendors showcasing collectibles, action figures, costumes, and other Star Wars-themed merchandise. Fans can also expect to see life-size dioramas depicting scenes from Star Wars movies—including vehicles, starships and denizens of the far reaches of the galaxy. Best of all, this will all be held at the Orange County Convention Center, a facility that is as large as an Imperial Star Destroyer.
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium loves Star Wars and we have been a favorite resort property for event attendees—largely thanks to our close proximity to the Orange County Convention Center. We are also located near a wide variety of entertainment options, including restaurants and shopping. The Force is strong with us, so we encourage you to plan ahead and book your stay ahead of time since Star Wars Celebration 2017 will be attracting tens of thousands of avid fans and we will sell out well before the event starts.
Wet'n Wild, Orlando’s Oldest Water Park, Set to Close December 31st, 2016
You can still get a “last splash” at one of Orlando’s original attractions from the 1970s until the end of the year
They say all good things must come to an end. Some say that the best go on to become legends. And in the case of Wet'n Wild Orlando the time has come for this water park to close its doors forever. Universal Studios has owned the water park for a number of years and while it is a bittersweet end for Wet'n Wild, a new water park will be opening just around the corner as soon as it shuts down for good. Over the next few months we will share more about the Volcano Bay water park at Universal Studios, currently under development in a tract of land adjacent to its theme parks.
Wet'n Wild originally opened in 1977, riding on Disney Magic Kingdom’s coattails, giving families the chance to spend a day away from the theme park and enjoying the warm Florida sun. Waterslides have evolved over the year as technology, engineering and entertainment progressed to make them more exciting, safer and without question—much more fun. At one point, Wet'n Wild’s “Der Stuka” was considered the tallest free-fall water slide, giving people the sensation of falling off in a dive bomb. Wet'n Wild’s wave pool was another favorite of guests, along with the Lazy River, which meanders around the entire property with a constant current that drags you in a gentle rip current.
If you are up for that “last splash” at Wet'n Wild, do know that Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is a short drive away from our property. While we don’t yet know what Universal Studios plans to do with the land after Wet'n Wild shuts down, we can speculate that they may use it to develop another amazing attraction or even a theme park. Wouldn’t that be cool? So stay tuned as we will be ready to share news on any developments on the location and its future plans.
The Whirlydome is Orlando’s Premier non-Theme Park Destination for Families
This hidden gem of an attraction is located in the north end of International Drive in Orlando We know that tourists come to Orlando to spend their hard-earned money in experiences ranging from theme parks to shopping malls.
Every year we have millions of visitors to the area who also try to take a break from the theme parks by enjoying some of the best non-theme park attractions Orlando has to offer—about 100-plus at last count. The Whirlydome is just the kind of place where you can take a break from Disney or Universal without breaking the piggy bank. And if that isn’t enough, it is located a short drive away from our Vista Cay Resort by Millenium.
The Whirlydome is a unique attraction that features a Whirlyball court, which consists of a mix of jai alai, a basketball and hockey while driving bump cars. The Whirlydome’s Whirlyball court is over 4,000 square feet in size, allowing two teams to play against each other with the objective of scoring against the other. And that’s not all—the Whirlydome features a laser tag attraction and video game arcade fit for the enjoyment of your entire family. But all of those fun and games are not good unless you have great food and a bar and this is where Bloodhound Brew Pub & Eatery comes into play with great beer, great food and great ambiance—and we promise you won’t be missing going to the theme parks.
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is a short drive away from the Whirlydome, which is located halfway between Kirkman Road and Sandlake Road on International Drive. We cannot stress how fun it is to spend an afternoon at Whirlydome—and we know your whole family will be thankful while you will save big bucks for the day. As the summer season nears, be sure to book early your stay with us since availability will decrease as June and July arrive.
Orlando’s “Little Brazil” on In-Drive Brings Exotic Flavors to Locals and Tourists Alike
The Brazilian diaspora in Central Florida has imported food, beverage and sounds into the heart of this tourist district
For a little over a decade, Orlando has been a major destination for Brazilians who came to the area to enjoy not just the theme parks, but also world-class shopping. If you’ve been here before, you would have noticed groups of people with same-colored shirts following a flag-wielding tour guide—a typical way of traveling for Brazilians. In more recent years, the migration of Brazilians into the U.S. made Orlando and Miami favorite destinations, largely because flights to Brazil are plentiful from most of Florida’s airports. And thus, before you knew it these Brazilian transplants grew into a community that made International Drive’s tourist district their new cultural home.
Let’s start with the food… If you are looking for casual dining “buffet style” you are in luck since International Drive has a number of them—Café Mineiro, Camilla’s Restaurant, and Vittorio’s Brazilian Restaurant. All of them are reasonably priced and feature traditional rice and black beans “feijoada” along with chicken, beef and sausage. For a more “fine dining” experience, you can go to Fogo de Chao or Texas de Brazil, both of which feature “Rodizio-style” meats, which are served directly from a sword or stake routed regularly from table to table by servers dressed in Gaucho clothing. Catering to the Brazilians who visit Orlando, Perfumeland is a Brazilian-owned specialty store featuring not just perfumes and cologne, but also electronics, clothing and luggage.
Even snacking on I-Drive can have a Brazilian flair with favorites such as Amor Em Pedaços or Pão Gostoso—two bakeries that are known for their sweet breads, caramel-filled pastries and pão de queijo, a Brazilian-style cheese bread. You will also find many stores carrying Brazilian products, including Romero Britto artwork, which can even be found in Disney-branded products and souvenirs. So what are you waiting for? Get the best Brazil has to offer right here in Central Florida.
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is always excited to provide great lodging for visitors from all corners of the planet. Whether you come from Brazil, Germany or China—we are the place to stay during your Orlando vacation. So if you are planning to fly into Orlando from the far reaches of the globe, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is ready to welcome you to the world’s leading family vacation destination. And do know that we are located a short drive away from Little Brazil and it’s amazing restaurants and shops.
Viva La Musica at SeaWorld Orlando to Bring Latin Salsa Legend Willie Colon
This iconic artist of Latin American fame will be performing live on Saturday, May 7th, 2016
If you've never attended Viva La Musica, you are missing out on the excitement of some of the Latin Music genre's top performers who come to SeaWorld Orlando for this yearly event. On May 7th, Willie Colon, a classic salsas composer and singer, will be performing at the event and on May 14th, reggaeton artist Wisin will hit the stage for a high-energy performance that promises to get everyone dancing--especially with his Top 40 hits Adrenalina and Que Viva la Vida.
Viva La Musica also brings to SeaWorld a wide variety of food from Latin America. Chorizo, sweet plantains, blood sausage, and many more delicacies will be prepared by Executive Chef Hector Colon, one of the most respected food experts in the country. The event is always held on Saturdays, a day that is convenient to both locals and tourists alike.
Families with children can also enjoy El Jardin (Spanish for "garden") where parents can enjoy the festivities in a more relaxed environment. Throughout the park you will also find many Mercados (markets) that add to the festive nature of Viva La Musica at SeaWorld Orlando. And keep your eye out for many more features throughout the park, which will keep you entertained from morning to evening.
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is excited to welcome Viva La Musica fans, who can find exceptional accommodations in a convenient location that is literally just around the corner from our resort property. Just be sure to book early and get the best deal possible by planning ahead. We look forward to seeing you soon.
World's Largest Entertainment McDonald's Reopens in the Heart of International Drive
Located near the intersection of International Drive and Sand Lake Road, this restaurant has been remodeled from the ground up for everyone's enjoyment
Fast food isn't often a news topic unless there's something wrong. However, the "World's Largest McDonald's" has been an iconic landmark in the International Drive Area and when it was teared down several months ago some wondered if it was gone for good. And to every McD fan's delight, the restaurant is now back with a brand-new building featuring stunning architecture. With two stories and almost 20,000 square feet in size, this McDonald's restaurant is very noticeable when driving on Sand Lake Road as you near the International Drive intersection.
So what makes this McDonald's so special? Beyond the fact that it is a humongous-sized restaurant with just under 350 seats, there is also an indoor "jungle gym" featuring tunnels, slides and other obstacles for kids to navigate and enjoy. Add to that a large arcade with over 50 games to further enhance the entertainment experience during your meal. The restaurant will be open 24 hours a day, 365 days and always ready to feed tourists and locals alike. With a menu that features not just McDonald's world-famous burgers, there are a total of eight kitchens preparing over 200 menu items to include pizza and pasta.
If you are planning to stay with us at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium on your next trip to Orlando, you'll be happy to know that the World's Largest Entertainment McDonald's is a short drive away from our location. That means that a "happy meal" is always ready for you, no matter when you arrive back from the theme parks or the airport. Since 1976 this McDonald's location as been feeding Orlando visitors and it looks like they plan to keep doing it for another 30 years and beyond.
A New Disney Restaurant at an Old-Favorite Attraction
Disney's Magic Kingdom is launching the Jungle Skipper Canteen next to its Jungle River Cruise attraction
The folks at Disney have been working hard to update existing attractions and themed areas to remain relevant and provide fresh experiences to the millions of guests who visit its theme parks every year. While in some cases they are scrapping legacy attractions due to poor attendance, in others they are investing in the opportunity of extending the magic of established venues. And this is how the Jungle River Cruise became the next great location for a new restaurant that features an adventure theme.
The menu at the Jungle Skipper Canteen offers a great variety of menu items inspired by exotic locations including Arepas, mojito-marinated grilled strip loin steak and even fried rice. And of course, since the restaurant is located at the Magic Kingdom's Adventureland themed section of the park, you can expect to find many more food and drink items inspired by far-off lands. The common denominator is "Tropical Food" and this is obvious to anyone who peruses their menu.
Big family traveling together? No worries, the Jungle Skipper Canteen can fit a lot of people since it boasts a 220-plus seating area. If traveling down the Amazon, Nile or Congo Rivers is your thing, then the Jungle Skipper Canteen is where you want to dine the next time you visit Disney's Magic Kingdom. Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is located a short drive away from the Magic Kingdom, so if you are thinking of visiting Orlando, we are ready to welcome you to our wonderful property. So don't think about it too much and start shopping for a great nightly rate at our resort!
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium Earns Mark of Distinction from Disney
We are officially a part of the Vacation Rental Home Connection, a property management program that recognizes our resort’s contribution to Disney’s success in the area
Given its influence in the hospitality industry of Central Florida, Disney has always set high standards for guest experiences while on vacation in Orlando. This is a guiding force in its Vacation Rental Home Connection program, which establishes quality standards across a number of rental properties, including vacation homes, condos and villas. In addition, the VRHC designation communicates value by way of creating an accessible point of contact to a ticket seller—one of the most important reasons for guests to get excited upon check-in.
Upon arrival to Vista Cay Resort by Millenium, guests can speak to an Authorized Walt Disney World Ticket Seller located at the lobby, always willing to help you figure out how to make the most out of your vacation. You can even secure your Disney theme park Fast Pass+ to ensure that you can make the most out of your day at the parks—especially during peak seasons, when attraction lines are long and winding. And with so many new attractions at Disney’s theme parks, it pays to plan ahead with their help.
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is located within a 15-minute drive from the Disney Area and all of the theme parks that have made Orlando famous. Furthermore, we are also a stone’s throw from the Orange County Convention Center and the International Drive tourist district where you will find a world of entertainment, dining, shopping, and night life options. With such a convenient location, it makes perfect sense to come stay with us and enjoy the benefits of being a Vacation Rental Home Connection resort. See you soon!
MegaCon 2016 in Orlando to Feature Spiderman Creator, Stan Lee
The world’s largest comics, sci-fi, horror, anime, and gaming convention will have appearances from movie and TV show stars—including Marvel and DC Comics’ characters
Sci-fi fans will be flocking to Orlando on May 26th through the 29th, 2016 to experience the most intense fan-based convention on the face of the earth as MegaCon rolls in with a star-studded cast of celebrities. Best of all, legendary superhero creator Stan Lee will be attending—even at his ripe young age of 93 years old. And if that isn’t enough reason to attend, the 4-day event will also have stars from TV shows like the Flash, Jessica Jones, and even the Power Rangers.
Every year MegaCon attracts the most die-hard fans from a variety of media genres to include horror movies, science fiction films, video gaming, and comic books. Over 20,000 fans will be attending MegaCon, which will be held at the Orange County Convention Center. Also, with all the buzz that Star Wars The Force Awakens has generated and the upcoming release of the Star Wars spinoff movie Rogue One, sci-fi fans will rejoice with special appearances by Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett) and Anthony Daniels (C-3PO).
Star Trek fans will also have a reason to attend MegaCon since two of its most memorable characters, William Shatner (Captain Kirk), Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura) and George Takei (Commander Sulu), will be attending and signing autographs. And since the name-dropping is never-ending, Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead), Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future) and Ralph Macchio (The Karate Kid). Who wouldn’t want to miss this awesome event!?
So if you are planning to attend MegaCon 2016, be sure to check out the great rates at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium. We are conveniently located just around the corner from the convention center and our accommodations are perfect for groups—just give us a call or book online.
Orlando City Lions Soccer Team Readies for Next Year’s Grand Opening
Every soccer fan in Orlando and beyond is anxiously waiting for the inauguration of the city’s newest Major League Soccer stadium, to be built near Downtown Orlando
It has been more than two years since the Orlando City Soccer Club was founded and during this time the team has been playing at the Citrus Bowl—a stadium known for hosting some games during the 1994 World Cup. However, the facilities at their current stadium have been limited and required accommodating to the needs of fans who want to live out their soccer match experience with access to amenities aligned with the current times. And so, the Orlando City Stadium idea was born and construction is now well under way with an expected completion in early 2017.
Orlando is a major tourism hub in the world, but the city has been wanting to diversify its offerings by promoting sports, festivals and other organized events. Given the large population of soccer fans in Orlando, the opportunity to bring an MLS team to the Central Florida region is synonymous with financial benefits to lodging venues, restaurants and even the theme parks since visiting fans would probably stay for several days to enjoy more of what Orlando has to offer.
The new Orlando City Stadium will have a total of 290,000 square feet of pure soccer fun, which will feature on-site bars, restaurants and other soccer-themed family entertainment. Vista Cay Resort by Millenium has been welcoming soccer fans since the inaugural Orlando City Lions game in March 2015. Our resort is located 15 minutes south of the Citrus Bowl and the site of the new Orlando City Stadium—and we are also located within 10 minutes of Universal Studios and 5 minutes from SeaWorld Orlando. So the next time you are planning to attend an Orlando City Lions soccer match, be sure to book your stay with us!
Disney is Introducing Seasonal Ticket Pricing to its Orlando Theme Parks
The tiered pricing will offer peak, regular and value ticket prices based on the demand of specific days or weeks when the parks experience higher attendance
The new pricing system is based on a demand-driven schedule where the parks will have peak, regular and value prices. Up until now, the pricing of tickets was a constant price that experienced periodical increases. The new pricing structure takes effect in early March 2016 and offers a tiered schedule:
» Peak Days: $114
» Regular Days: $102
» Value Days: $97
As a general rule, peak days would include holidays when the parks have a higher attendance, such as Thanksgiving Weekend, Christmas, Labor Day, Memorial Day, or even Independence Day. Regular days would be, for example, spring break season in April, but there's also value days, which are low-traffic days such as September, after kids go back to school.
If you are planning to come to Orlando anytime in 2016, be sure to book your stay at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium, where we have a staffed Expedia desk where you can buy theme park tickets, get theme park maps, and explore other Central Florida attractions. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Hulk Fans Rejoice as the Roller Coaster Gets Re-Assembled
While some Hulk fans were disappointed by finding their favorite roller coaster completely disassembled during the Fall of 2015, the new and improved version is finally coming together at Universal's Islands of Adventure
Theme park brands are as iconic as the attractions that draw their unique skylines and to see such a massive structure missing has made Hulk fans wonder if this is just Universal playing a prank on them. However, that is far from the truth as the Hulk was already scheduled for major maintenance to enhance not only the experience, but also provide a refreshed version that will attract fans looking for roller coaster excitement.
Word has it that the new Hulk will be faster and better than ever before and while we cannot confirm this yet, we can certainly expect to see new roller coaster carts, signage and even a new story to go along with the refresh. This roller coaster has been one of the major draws for Universal's Islands of Adventure since the park first opened in 1999. The expected re-opening is some time between the spring and summer season.
Now, Universal's Islands of Adventure guests can still get their roller coaster fix with the Dragon Challenge at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Formerly named Dueling Dragons, this twin-track roller coaster is fast and pushes G-forces like a fighter pilot does on a jet. So if you are planning to visit Universal Studios before the Hulk re-opens, know that you can still find that adrenaline rush in the Dragon Challenge.
And as always, you should book your stay with Vista Cay Resort by Millenium, which is located 5 minutes from Universal Studios and offers a convenient and affordable alternative to big-brand resorts where you are just a room number.
Universal Orlando's Mardi Gras starts TODAY and it's better than ever before
Starting on February 6, 2016, the Mardi Gras celebration runs through April 16 and features over a dozen concerts from top artists and bands.
The Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) event brings together locals and tourists alike in this Florida version of the popular New Orleans' street party. But unlike the Big Easy, our Orlando Mardi Gras celebration lasts a lot longer and every night is a party at Universal Orlando.
Be aware that there will be lots of bead necklaces thrown around at Universal Orlando's Mardi Gras as the crowd cheers and dances until the wee hours of the night. Do know that admission to the Mardi Gras celebration includes access to concerts, the parade and plenty of French Quarter music performances.
And these are the artists who will be performing at the 2016 Universal Orlando Mardi Gras concerts and their concert dates:
Hunter Hayes: February 6
Diana Ross: February 13
Bare naked Ladies: February 14
Nate Ruess: February 20
Fall Out Boy: February 27
Kool & The Gang: March 5
The Fray: March 12
Adam Lambert: March 13
Shawn Mendes: March 19
3 Doors Down: March 20
REO Speedwagon: March 26
T-Pain: April 2
Jesse J: April 9
Yandel: April 16
Now, children are admitted to most areas but this is definitely an adult party with street dancing and alcoholic beverages. We advise you to check with Universal Studios’ Guest Relations at the park to get more information about this event and look forward to welcoming you at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium.
And remember to book early as availability is limited during theme park celebrations and special events!
Sugar Factory Orlando Opens at I-Drive 360, Next to The Orlando Eye
A place where trendy decor and lively music mix up to create a night-time hotspot with South Beach flair, right here in Orlando, Florida
What do you get when you mix Miami-hip with bubble gum pop styling? Wonder no more as Sugar Factory Orlando, an American Brasserie, is now open to delight you with its impressive high-energy ambiance, exquisite food and the best mixed drinks in Central Florida—many of them served in Sugar Factory's signature goblets. The restaurant offers a full menu that includes appetizers, entrees and desserts—and of course, a craft drink menu second to none. Servers abound in this establishment and they are dressed in trendy attire to match the décor. And we can't forget about the countless sweets you will find throughout the restaurant, whicn includes ice cream, lollipops and plenty of chewy candy.
Now, a word of caution… If you don’t like flashing lights and loud music, Sugar Factory Orlando may not be the best place for you. From the moment you walk in you get the feeling that you are in a dance club as upbeat music plays loudly throughout the restaurant. The bar area is always busy, as it mimics the bar experience at Ultra Lounges or VIP establishments. But perhaps the most amazing part of Sugar Factory Orlando is its sugary treats available in the retail store, where you can get a hold of classic candy as well as some of the latest creations and tendencies in the sweets industry.
Sugar Factory Orlando opened at the I-Drive 360 complex, known for its gigantic Orlando Eye Ferris Wheel, and it joins a set of established restaurants that cater to the constant flow of tourists visiting this location. Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is located a short drive from Sugar Factory Orlando and taxi cabs are plentiful so that you can enjoy the evening and then simply get dropped off for a good night sleep. We look forward to your enjoyment of Sugar Factory Orlando and hope your stay with us is exceptional so you can tell all your friends and family about it.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Could Increase its Operating Hours in 2017
The popular zoo-like theme park may increase attendance with Rivers of Light—a grand-scale water and light effects spectacular
If you’ve been to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, then you are familiar with the fact that after 5 pm or so most of their resident animals retreat—as they would in the wild—to their dens or sleeping quarters. With the cost of a day at a theme park being just over $100 per person, many guests have clamored in the past for longer hours so that they enjoy the face value of their tickets. With this in mind, rumors floating around say that a new light show in a water setting may be in the works. The show, currently dubbed Rivers of Light, would be held after dark and thus, be enough reason to extend Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ operating hours well into the night.
Now, this would add to the already high expectations for the new Pandora—The World of Avatar, which is set to open sometime in 2017 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Additional evening shows, street performances and even new attractions are likely to start popping all over the theme park to ease both staff and guests into the evening opening hours. Without a reason for people to stay a few more hours, the theme park would continue to see decreasing attendance—especially during the winter months, when the days are shorter than during the summer.
We will continue to share updates about upcoming attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and throughout the rest of Orlando’s theme park landscape. Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is always excited to see new attractions because it gives our loyal guests a reason to come back and discover more in the Orlando they already know. So whether you are a child or an adult, we know that the upcoming additions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be the best way to enjoy your next Orlando vacation!
Come to Orlando in the Winter and Forget the Cold Weather
Orlando’s mild winters can bring a cold snap or two during the season, but you will love the short lines and refreshing breeze you can handle while wearing shorts and t-shirts
While everyone has been shoveling snow and spreading salt all over their driveways, we Floridians can’t help but watch the news and smirk every time a snow-blanketed town makes it to the evening news. Central Florida is too close to the tropics to develop long-lasting snow falls, although parts of North Florida and the Panhandle get occasional white-covered mornings. Nevertheless, the weather patterns in most of Florida is usually pleasant and uneventful—quite different from the blizzards and nor’easters that get a good share of our daily newscasts.
On average, January and February have traditionally had an average temperature of just above 70 degrees Fahrenheit, making it the most pleasant climate in the Eastern time zone. Rainy days are more of an exception than the rule, usually lasting a day or two before we return to clear skies or limited cloud coverage with lots of sunshine. In fact, even if the day starts out cold—say, somewhere in the 40s—you could very well end up with 85 degrees in the afternoon. That’s Florida weather for you.
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is the perfect place for you to spend a winter vacation in Orlando. Our close proximity to theme parks, attractions, dining, entertainment, and shopping makes our resort property a perfect place to spend a few days or a week enjoying Florida’s exceptional weather. So if you are ready to make plans for your next vacation, go ahead and book your stay at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium and when you are here, take lots of pictures so you can show your friends, family and coworkers how you do winters in Florida.
Another Year Comes to a Close but… We’ll be Waiting for you in 2016
As the year 2015 comes to a close, Orlando has been blessed with a wonderful year, starting and ending with amazing weather, but also with new attractions and entertainment
With all the holiday parties, family gatherings and New Year’s celebrations, we know you will be ready for a vacation in 2016. In fact, we are so sure that you will want to come to Orlando that we are excited to greet you on your next vacation. But don’t just take our word for it, we have had record-breaking visitors topping 60 million people, as well as a re-development of many areas of Orlando to include International Drive and the hard-to-miss Orlando Eye attraction. Add to that the numerous new attractions, shows and other features added across Disney, Universal, SeaWorld, and even The Fun Spot—all of them have been working hard to welcome you in 2016 and we know you can’t wait to get here.
Now, every year we share some kind advice that you should never take for granted: book your vacation early! While the New Year 2016 will start soon, the fact is that some key holidays and periods are more popular than others and this means we can be fully booked when you least expect it. We invite you to plan ahead and start looking at your potential vacation or getaway breaks to secure your place at our beautiful Vista Cay Resort by Millenium. Thanks to our close proximity to theme parks, attractions, entertainment, dining, and shopping—as well as the Orange County Convention Center—there is no better place to stay on your next Orlando vacation in 2016!
Can’t decide yet? That’s OK, we won’t hold it against you but we invite you to stay informed of everything 2016 will bring by reading our blog. Throughout 2016 we will continue to share news, updates and any new additions to our theme park playground, which consistently crowns Orlando as the Top Family Vacation Destination in the World.
We wish you a Happy Holiday Season and a Happy New Year 2016—cheers to all!
Corona Cigars in Sand Lake Road is the World’s Largest Cigar Store
If you enjoy lighting up a cigar while sipping from a single-malt scotch or bourbon, Corona will be the one place in Orlando you’ll never want to leave
Some said that the cigar craze of the late 1990s would never last. Others say it never ended—it just weeded out the occasional cigar aficionado to make way for avid followers known as Brothers of the Leaf. The fact is that cigar smoking has remained a popular trend with an ever-growing following that spans all social and economic classes, as well as education levels. And thanks to that following, Corona Cigars has thrived in Central Florida with three locations—starting with its original “first” store on Sand Lake Road, near Orlando's International Drive.
Corona Cigars is a cigar smoker’s haven where the entire store is a walk-in humidor. With a selection of more than 100,000 cigars, the store also features the Drew Estate Lounge—a full-service bar and café. Named after the Drew Estate cigar factory, which produces some of the world’s best cigars outside of Cuba, the lounge features wooden hi-tops with lots of elaborate ashtrays. The wide selection of liquors also includes Japanese whiskey, cognacs and other unique spirits imported from every corner of the globe.
Along with the sale of cigars, Corona Cigars also offers a wide selection of humidors, cigar cutters, lighters, and apparel. The southwest Orlando location for Corona Cigars is located within minutes of Vista Cay Resort by Millenium. In addition, Corona Cigars is the perfect place to sit back and relax after a great lunch or dinner in Sand Lake Restaurant Row. So the next time you book your stay at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium, be sure to visit Corona Cigars, which is an attraction of its own outside of the wonderful theme parks we have in Orlando.
Where to Celebrate the New Year 2016 in Orlando
Orlando is the family entertainment capital of the world, but that does not mean grown ups can’t have some fun welcoming the New Year
Orlando is known for great theme parks, amazing attractions and outlet shopping, but our city is also a great place to enjoy a good party for New Year’s Eve. Here are some of the best places to welcome the new year:
- Theme Parks: Of course, this is the obvious choice for most people and it also means it will be one of the most crowded places. Nevertheless, if you love theme parks and don’t mind being one of thousands more who gathered to enjoy the celebration—then be sure to get your tickets to Disney, Universal or SeaWorld. Best advice we can give is to avoid dressing up for the theme park celebration since most people will have been there all day already. Also, Florida evenings can get chilly, so even if it is a nice sunny day you could get temperatures dropping below 60 degrees after dark.
- Downtown Orlando: This is truly an off-the-beaten-path location for tourists, but it would give you a “local” experience rather than the touristy celebration with champagne and fireworks. The Church Street area in Downtown Orlando has numerous bars, lounges and restaurants that will be celebrating New Years—worth a try if you’ve already done the theme park thing. And don’t miss our own Times Square-style Orange Drop to countdown to the New Year 2016.
- Vista Cay Resort by Millenium: We know that not everyone is looking for a big party. If you and your friends or family want a more intimate celebration, why not just have your own? Plan to head out to a restaurant that evening, then get bottle of Champagne or Sparkling Wine and bring it back to your room. You can then kick back and celebrate without worries about having to drive or stay out too late. After all, going to Disney or Universal theme park on the first day of the year means you should get a good night sleep the night before—and what a great way to start 2016!
And be sure to not wait until the last minute to book your stay at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium. We are a perfect location for you to come back to rest away the excitement of the night. And if you choose to stay indoors for the celebration, we are a great place to enjoy it privately and with all the conveniences of your own home.
Orlando Holiday Shopping Guide—Where to Shop till you Drop
Central Florida offers locals and tourists one of the most amazing shopping experiences in the Southeast US
Theme parks are a big draw during the holidays, mostly because its season-specific décor, entertainment and programming which delights young and old alike. However, more and more people from all over the country and the rest of the world flock to Orlando’s world-class shopping experience. Here are some of the best places to get unique gifts and amazed friends and loved ones with a present they will always remember.
1. Orlando Premium Outlets: There are actually two of these in Orlando—one at the north end of International Drive and another on Vineland Avenue,near Lake Buena Vista. At the Orlando Premium Outlets you will find a mishmash of top brands from names like Coach, Prada or Michael Kors competing to earn your hard-earned dollars with the lowest prices in the premium retail industry. A little-known secret is that the outlets sell previous years’ fashion at pret-a-porter (ready to wear) prices, saving you hundreds and even thousands of dollars on a complete wardrobe.
2. The Mall at Millenia: If you are looking for premium brands but want the very latest fashion trends, you need to head over to the Mall at Millenia where you will find high-end anchor stores like Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s, but also highly-exclusive premium retailers like Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co. and Salvatore Ferragamo, among many other boutique and one-of-a-kind shopping experiences. And if you happen to get hungry from all the shopping, you can enjoy fine-dining experiences with great lunch prices at Brio’s Italian Grille, The Cheescake Factory, P.F. Changs, and The Capital Grille.
3. The Florida Mall: If you are looking for the traditional shopping mall experience, then plan to spend a whole day at The Florida Mall, located on Sand Lake Road and US 441, halfway between International Drive and the Orlando International Airport. You will find favorite anchor stores like Sears, JC Penney’s and Dillard’s, but also more than 200 brand-name retailers like Fossil, Oakley and GameStop. The Florida Mall’s food court was recently expanded in late 2015 and now you have even more dining options than ever before.
4. Pointe Orlando: Last but not least, Point Orlando is actually closest to Vista Cay Resort by Millenium. Located between International Drive and Universal Blvd., Pointe Orlando is an open-layout shopping venue that doubles as a nightlife hotspot after dark. It also offers some of Orlando’s top dining venues all in one place, including the Tommy Bahama themed restaurant, The Capital Grille, Taverna Opa, and the Blue Martini lounge. You can’t go wrong with spending an afternoon or evening at this amazing shopping venue located across from the Orange County Convention Center.
Ready to travel and start shopping? Explore the latest special rates on the Vista Cay Resort by Millenium website. We are always ready to welcome both new and past guests to the wonderful oasis we’ve got set up in the heart of Orlando’s best tourist district of International Drive. See you soon!
NASCAR I-Drive Indoor Kart Racing is the Fastest Attraction on International Drive
Experience the excitement of NASCAR racing in a smaller scale but with the same exhilarating feeling of racing a stock car at the Daytona 500
You don’t have to head out to Daytona Beach to experience NASCAR racing. Just a few miles down International Drive from Vista Cay Resort by Millenium you will find NASCAR I-Drive Indoor Kart Racing—an indoor go-kart experience like no other in Central Florida. Participants of the NASCAR I-Drive Indoor Kart Racing can race the superfast SODIKART RTX, a state-of-the-art vehicle designed for both safety and excitement without compromising the adrenaline rush of stock car racing.
The NASCAR I-Drive Indoor Kart Racing attraction features a kart track with 12 turns, three hairpins and one chicane, along with the "Senna S" maneuver paying homage to the late Ayrton Senna. Guests can purchase lap packages to keep the fun going for a long time. And if you get hungry during your racing adventure, this venue also has a restaurant—the Grandstand Bar & Grille—which features food you’d find at most NASCAR racetracks around the country. And if you love the racing experience, you can get NASCAR I-Drive Indoor Kart Racing to host your next birthday or special events.
How close is the NASCAR I-Drive Indoor Kart Racing to Vista Cay Resort by Millenium? Well, you could say it is only a short lap around International Drive. So whether you are taking a day trip to Daytona Beach to see NASCAR’s International Speedway or spending an afternoon at the NASCAR I-Drive Indoor Kart Racing experience, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is the place where you can rest and regain your strength after the excitement. Click on over to great rates and book your next stay in Orlando, Florida with us!
The Artegon Markeplace, a unique and enchanting shopping experience on I-Drive
Formerly known as he Festival Bay Mall, this landmark shopping mall on International Drive is now one of Orlando’s most enjoyable specialty shopping venues
The Artegon Marketplace opened in November 2014, following a redevelopment period during which the previous shopping venue (known as Festival Bay) was closed. After two years of construction, reconfiguring the mall layout and procuring new tenants, it remerged with its new name and unique style of shopping. Since then, the Artegon Marketplace has grown its tenants to complement its anchor stores of Ron Jon Surf Shop and Bass Pro Shop’s Outdoor World. The Artegon Marketplace also has a Cinemark movie theater where patrons can see the latest movies with state-of-the-art sound and digital video screens.
At the Artegon Marketplace, you can find anything from handcrafted souvenirs to artwork and much more. In fact, there are very unique shops with equally interesting products that you can’t find anywhere else—and thus, that is why people keep coming to shop at the Artegon Marketplace. One such shop is Gods & Monsters a pop culture and sci fi store that carries collectibles and rare toys from films like Star Wars and Star Trek to TV series like Dr. Who and The Walking Dead. You can’t beat the experience of walking into a store with so much to see and experience—just like the rest of the Artegon Marketplace.
Now that the Holiday Shopping Season has started, both tourists and locals love the opportunity to shop the most unique stores in Central Florida—all located at the Artegon Marketplace. And if you are planning to come to Orlando on vacation, do know that the Artegon Marketplace is a popular attraction on its own. This destination shopping venue is located a few miles from Vista Cay Resort by Millenium and you can ride the I-Ride trolley from our property in about 15 minutes. So now that you know, what are you waiting for? Book your stay early and save with our great rates.
How Cold does it Get in Central Florida in the Winter? Here’s how cold…
Florida has done a great job in branding itself as the Sunshine State, but we want to make sure you are not surprised when traveling in late fall and winter
When people think of Florida, they imagine Disney in a summer day or a sandy beach under the sun—that is for most of the year when temperatures stay above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if you are traveling to Central Florida specifically between November and February, do know that we are prone to getting hit by cold fronts and Artic waves that can be a nasty surprise when you are not prepared for it.
So how cold does it get in Central Florida during the winter? Orlando is known for dipping below freezing due to blasts of windchills that can push the mercury down to the upper 20s. However, that is a rare occurrence since some years the temperature stays above 35 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, temperatures in the 40s and 50s can be quite common—at least every other day—during the winter time. While this may not be considered “winter” by most northerners visiting the area at that time, the fact is that it can get too cold for comfort.
As a general rule, if you are traveling to Florida in the fall or winter you should also bring a light jacket and a sweater. Hoodies or vests will work well too, particularly in the evenings since Central Florida’s cold snaps have a way of sneaking up on unsuspecting tourists. Of course, if you call home anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line, you can simply bring a long sleeve shirt since the “chilly” temps may be nothing more than a nuisance to you.
But there’s no reason to have to sleep in the cold when you have an amazing place to come back to after an exciting day at the parks. So be sure to book your stay at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium early enough to secure a warm bed to rest your cold ears every night you are in Orlando.
See NASA’s Space Shuttle Atlantis in All its Glory
Dreaming of meeting a legend? Now you can, at the Kennedy Space Center’s Visitors Complex
For years, Central Florida residents were the privileged ones to enjoy multiple Space Shuttle launches every year. Sometimes as often as every few months, we could see the flaming exhaust of the rocket boosters carving a path of vapor as the massive spaceship zoomed into the darkness of space.
While its final destination was only earth’s low orbit, every launch of the Space Shuttle made us feel closer to the stars. Now that the Space Shuttle program has been retired by NASA in favor of a more affordable, reusable Orion capsule, Florida is graced to have the Atlantis back at its home spaceport—located a mere 45-minute drive from Orlando.
Space Shuttle Atlantis flew 33 missions into space, hauling everything from satellites to equipment for the International Space Station. After being retired from service in July 2011, Atlantis underwent a decommissioning process to prepare it for its biggest mission of all: to become a permanent display at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida’s Space Coast.
Today, thousands of people visit this “living” legend and are captivated not only by its size, but by the passion for spaceflight that it created for many generations to come. And if that’s not enough, any visit to Space Shuttle Atlantis should include watching the amazing IMAX films on display at the KSC Visitors Complex, where you can experience footage from many shuttle missions.
Once you are ready to return to earth after your trip to Kennedy Space Center and following the daydreaming of flying on the Space Shuttle Atlantis, you can fire up your reentry thrusters and dock at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium. While we don’t have zero gravity, we have everything you need to make your next stay in Central Florida an enjoyable experience.
So don’t forget to plan your visit to the Kennedy Space Center and don’t forget to book your stay with us!
Disney Springs Food Trucks are a Hit with Tourists and Locals Alike
It seems that Disney knows when to ride the wave of a good trend and their food truck park at the former Downtown Disney is satisfying the hunger of its guests
Now that the new Disney Springs name is official, there is another great reason to visit this free-access entertainment and dining complex. The Food Truck Park at Disney Springs has gathered a foursome of tasty food trucks that include:
- Fantasy Fare — Discover popular menu items from all Disney theme parks at this enchanting food truck featuring American-style cuisine.
- Namaste Cafe — This food truck offers a trip around Asia, inspired by the colorful and flavorful taste of menu items from Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
- Superstar Catering — Another American-inspired food truck with an adventurous flair that includes flatbreads and sandwiches, plus tasty house-made chips.
- World Showcase of Flavors — This food truck features food from Epcot’s World Showcase and includes delicacies from several of its exhibiting countries.
Remember that access to Disney Springs is free, making it the perfect place to spend an evening with your family and enjoy the sights and sounds without paying for a the park ticket. Parking is also free, so now you know where to go when you are looking for a great place with plenty of choice for dining!
And after you fill your belly with the good stuff from Disney Springs, you can come “home” to your bed at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium and rest to get refreshed before another exciting day at the theme parks!
Halloween is a popular time in Orlando and if you’ve already been to Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights, there’s still more scare left for you—that is, if you dare to explore The Shallow Grave
As the night falls and people retreat into the safety of their rooms, at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium we promise that you won’t find monsters under the bed nor find things that go bump-in-the night. However, we also know that many of you come to Orlando in October on a regular basis and you may already be a bit over the theme park Halloween events.
The Shallow Grave is located about an hour west of Orlando in Winter Haven (very close to Legoland) there is a dark and somber place where your worst dreams become a reality… The Shallow Grave is that place and while we can warn you about what you’ll experience, the reality is that it is far worst. And best of all, this is an annual event that offers fresh scares every year.
For sure The Shallow Grave can get away with things the theme park’s lawyers would frown upon but it you want to experience fear with full contact, this is the place to go to experience one of the most intense haunted house experiences in Central Florida. At The Shallow Grave you will see movie-quality sets with live-action characters who get up close and personal.
The theme of this year’s The Shallow Grave is “Haunted Hills: The Rage” and it is centered around the Van Buren family and Thaddeus, a dark character that looks like an executioner and caretaker. In fact, he is everywhere in this scare-fest, always delivering fear and agony when you least expect it.
If you are ready to see something completely different during the month of October, you should check into the safety of Vista Cay Resort by Millenium and make it your safehouse after visiting The Shallow Grave or other local haunted houses.
The Walking Dead Returns to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios
The dead rise once again at Universal’s premiere Halloween event in Orlando—and the walkers are more rotten and scarier than ever
AMC’s The Walking Dead and its spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead, are continuing to make headlines outside of their weekly network lineup. As the fall arrives, the days get shorter and things that go bump in the night start to come out as the sun goes down. Halloween Horror Nights has been scaring locals and tourists alike for more than two decades and Universal Studios knows how to keep track of what makes people scream. That is why in 2015 they are bringing back its dark maze to take you through the world of zombies and other scary things that will make your heart pop out of your chest.
As they do every year, Universal Orlando closes its gates as the day comes to an end, giving way for the darkness of its signature hayride-galore which features ghouls, monsters and other scary characters from movies and TV shows. The Walking Dead is already the most successful cable TV show ever and it has a special and very dark place at Halloween Horror Nights. Going on for four years, The Walking Dead continues to bring fear to those who dare to buy a special ticket to access the Halloween-themed event.
If you have followed The Walking Dead on TV, you can certainly expect to know that the name “Terminus” means and you can rest assured that some of its most tense and daunting moments will be recreated during this edition of the Halloween Horror Nights scare maze. The Terminus maze will also be making headlines because this will be the largest maze used in any Halloween Horror Nights event—ever. Halloween Horror Nights runs for 30 select nights between September 18th and November 1st, including Halloween night, although we recommend you attend before that night to avoid longer lines at the scare zones.
And as always, you can return safe and sound to Vista Cay Resort by Millenium, where you will always be protected from The Walking Dead.
Check Out Some of the Newest Restaurants at I-Drive 360
Orlando’s best dining spots can be found in the heart of International Drive’s newest attraction destination
Since it opened in early summer 2015, I-Drive 360 has become an icon to Orlando’s best-known tourist district—International Drive—and now it is also home to exquisite restaurants that have become the talk of town. If you like Spanish food—as in authentic cuisine from Spain—you should (or rather must) try Tapa Toro. This amazing new dining venue has been inspired by the flair of Flamenco dancers and the bravery of bullfighters, and it offers its patrons an impressive wine list and made-to-order paellas (like the one on the picture on the left).
Next on the list is The Yard House, a new and modern take on the sports bar with an infinite list of beers on their menu, along with a gourmet selection of bar favorites with added style. Whether you go there for lunch, dinner or drinks, you will love the ambiance and energy of this I-Drive 360 restaurant. But if you are looking for something exotic, Naru Restaurant and Sushi Bar is also a great place for Japanese-inspired delicacies, offering a full-service menu to delight you and yours with colorful and delicious entrees, appetizers and sushi.
Want to kick back and relax while enjoying all-American food? The Shake Shack will take you back in time to a more wholesome era where burgers, fries and shakes defied the healthy kick of today. They also serve their amazing Flat-Top Dogs, Frozen Custard and a full list of wine and beer for the grown ups' enjoyment. And if that is not enough, stay tuned for the upcoming grand opening of Sugar Factory but if you can’t wait and still want to try something fresh and out of the ordinary, head over to I-Drive 360’s Tin Roof for a dining and live music experience like no other.
So there you go folks, there’s plenty to be enjoyed at the new I-Drive 360 and as always, keep in mind that Vista Cay by Millenium is a stone’s throw away from this amazing hotspot on International Drive!
The 20th Edition of the International Food and Wine Festival at Epcot Starts on September 25th
Get ready to enjoy the world’s top food, wine, beer, and much more—all within one amazing Disney theme park in sunny Orlando
The 2015 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is one of Disney’s most attended special events throughout the year. Starting on September 25th through November 16th, this Disney theme park will welcome thousands of people every day who come to enjoy the most amazing delicacies ranging from the exotic to the rare.
In addition to the food and drink, park attendees can also enjoy colorful displays of national heritage in not only the World Showcase pavilions, but throughout the park since the event is being held with the participation of many more countries.
Another exciting benefit of attending Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival is the many side events throughout the park. For example, you can also attend premium demonstrations such as mixology, beverage and culinary seminars. Visiting chefs have also their place at the event and some of them hold celebrity status as their signature dishes and restaurants have been recognized throughout the culinary world. The event is open to every guest with a paid theme admission, but alcoholic beverages such as wine and beer are only available to people over 21 years of age.
All five continents are represented at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival. And while attending the event, be sure to look for the Cheese Studio, the Brewer’s Collection, Craft Beers, or the Farm Fresh experiences located throughout Epcot’s World Showcase. Can’t wait to come to Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival? Be sure to check out Vista Cay Resort by Millenium’s exceptional fall rates—and book early as the fall may be slow but great properties such as our resort book fast.
Orlando Becomes Top Meeting Destination in America for 2015
Cvent has named Orlando number one among all other meeting industry destination cities
The honor bestowed on Orlando is based on a thorough evaluation by Cvent—a leader in event management solutions—and was based on a broad range of qualifying factors, measured from July 2014 to 2015. The criteria focuses on everything from total number of proposals received and room nights booked, to the percentage of qualified venues for holding meetings. It is no secret that Orlando has been leading the race for domination in the business meetings and conventions arena, but traditionally this top spot was given to cities like Chicago or Las Vegas.
Every week Orlando hosts over a dozen medium to large-size conventions and trade shows. However, smaller meetings bring in thousands of people for a wide range of events to include seminars, specialized training and private corporate events. And not for nothing, Orlando is well-prepared to receive business travelers with an established infrastructure that was built for our 60-plus million annual tourist influx—all giving business visitors a place that is perfect for them to come enjoy not just business, but leisure and excitement like no other place.
A notable number from Cvent’s research was the number of hotels that can host meetings, which is over 450 as of July 2015. Vista Cay Resort by Millenium offers exceptional facilities for small meetings and can accommodate convention attendees with ease of access to the Orange County Convention Center, which is located next to the resort. No matter what meeting you are attending in Orlando, we are the top destination property for you and your associates. So check out our amazing rates and get ready to enjoy the top meeting destination in America with Vista Cay Resort by Millenium.
International Drive Gets Ready for iSquare Mall and it is Massive!
Just when you thought I-Drive in Orlando couldn’t top The Orlando Eye… A new shopping mall and entertainment experience is getting ready to break ground
Orlando is known for Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld by most people who come to our wonderful tourist destination. However, in the past few years International Drive—Orlando’s most vibrant tourist district—has become a major point of reference for those who visit on leisure or business. Not only has the iconic strip had a facelift, a new wave of redevelopment has hit with the addition of I-Drive 360, The Orlando Eye, Madame Tussaud’s Orlando, and SEA LIFE Orlando. Add to that a dozen new restaurants such as Tapa Toro or The Yard House and you know that the hottest spot in town is not in the theme parks any more.
The new iSquare Mall has been a rumored new attraction-turned-destination and this month its developers have made the announcement official. The new iSquare Mall will be located in the northeast corner of International Drive and Kirkman Road, very close to The Fun Spot—another popular non-theme park destination. The massive project will not only offer dining, shopping and entertainment, it will also have an ice skating rink and a helipad. Add to that an avant garde façade with state-of-the-art technology, energy efficient windows and even a green roof. Without question, this new project will add to I-Drive’s facelift and raise the bar for all future additions to the famous Orlando strip.
Construction will begin in 2016 and the project is expected to be completed by 2017. The iSquare Mall will likely reshape the area and revitalize the North End of International Drive like no other theme park or attraction could. New shopping venues means that more people will stay within the International Drive area during the high tourist season, allowing them to partake in everything this district has to offer. With its quick access to Universal Studios and Interstate 4, the iSquare Mall will be the best enhancement International Drive has seen in years.
We know that you love to come to Orlando and stay at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium—and we are happy to remind you of how close we are to the site of the iSquare Mall. In fact, we are a few minutes away from that location by traveling down Universal Blvd.—so start planning your trip to Orlando!
First the Force Awakens, Now Toy Story Comes to Life in Orlando
Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando Plans to Expand with Toy Story and Star Wars Themed Lands
Toy Story has been delighting children and adults alike for over a decade and Orlando now gets ready to welcome a new themed land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Disney already has a Toy Story themed land in operation at Disneyland Hong Kong, which means that it will be a proven concept on which Disney can build this new 11-acre expansion. Another important development for Disney's Hollywood Studios is the new Star Wars Land, which will cover a 14-acre expanded area. Both of these additions to the theme park will help increase attendance from a large fan base of sci-fi and animated film fans.
In recent years, Universal Studios has been leading the race to create new reasons to attract park goers who have to decide on which theme park to attend. While its Harry Potter themed attractions were a big deal while Disney theme parks remained quiet, the fact is that that expansion is no longer a novelty—and this paves the way for new Disney attractions at its theme parks. A Toy Story themed land will certainly use the charm of Woody and the courage of Buzz Lightyear to attract families who love Disney animation films.
Toy Story is one of Disney’s most famous movie franchises, originally developed by Pixar Studios. The movie led to a successful toy product line, among other merchandise such as apparel and DVD/Blu-Ray home video. The expansion of a theme park is not something that happens every year and with the addition of Star Wars and Toy Story themed lands, Disney is going to make sure to give other theme parks around the world much to wish for. And once Toy Story Land is built, be sure to plan your stay at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium!
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium loves Toy Story and Star Wars fans, so check out our great rates and book early for your convenience.
Mango’s Tropical Café is bringing Latin-style entertainment to International Drive Orlando
The popular South Beach hot spot is actively being constructed in the heart of Orlando’s I-Drive
Anyone who has been to Miami’s South Beach and walked along Ocean Drive knows that the hottest spot in South Florida is also the most colorful and lively—and its name is Mango’s Tropical Cafe. Now, Orlando is getting ready to receive the high-energy blend of restaurant and dance club where the salsa, merengue and cumbia beat keeps its patrons dancing till the wee hours of the night. And the fact that it will be located near the intersection of International Drive and Sand Lake Road—a popular dining district—means that Mango’s Orlando is ready to raise the bar in nightlife entertainment.
Mango’s Tropical Café in Orlando plans to open in late 2015 and its massive 55,000 square foot location is planning to attract not only tourists and locals, but also business travelers who attend conventions and trade shows. Recently, Orlando was ranked number one among the Top 20 U.S. Destinations for Meetings in the United States and entertaining and dining venues along I-Drive know the potential of this often-overlooked niche market. Currently, the Orlando/Orange County Convention Center receives more than a dozen major conventions or trade shows every week.
Why are we excited to have Mango’s Tropical Café coming to Orlando? This new venue is bringing the legacy of South Florida’s top Latin-themed destination into the vibrant entertainment district of International Drive—and Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is a proud member of this community of businesses, lodging venues and local attractions. So get your dancing shoes ready because Mango’s Orlando is going to make sure that you will shake, swing and twirl to the best Latin music in Central Florida.
Be sure to book your upcoming vacation at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium to take advantage of great seasonal rates.
SeaWorld Gets Ready for Mako, Central Florida’s First Hypercoaster
Rivaling all other roller coasters in Orlando, Mako will feature a 200-foot drop and reach speeds of up to 70 MPH
As Orlando theme parks continue to overhaul and renew the excitement of its rides and attractions, SeaWorld has upped the ante with an all-new attraction that will crown it as king of the roller coaster—or better yet, Central Florida’s first hypercoaster. The high-speed experience that SeaWorld plans to give its visitors is truly unmatched by any of Orlando’s theme parks and promises to deliver an adrenaline rush like no other. Currently, SeaWorld has two other roller coasters—Manta and Kraken—but Mako will dwarf them with its 200-foot drop and immense structure.
Hyper coasters have been around for just over two decades and have become staples of amusement parks such as Six Flags. The world of roller coasters has a strong following worldwide, to the extent that there are associations with organized members who travel around the world seeking the thrill of the drops and tight turns of these entertainment venues. SeaWorld hopes to attract crowds of loyal roller coaster fans, who spare no expense when it comes to enjoying them.
The last time SeaWorld Orlando added a roller coaster was in 2009, when it inaugurated Manta, and it has been a sheer success. The addition of Mako in 2016 will grow the SeaWorld coaster family to a total of three, making it the most roller coasters in one single Orlando theme park. And as you can expect, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is the place where you can come rest after a long day riding Mako.
So be sure to book your Orlando vacation with us early as we expect 2016 to be a year to remember!
Universal Islands of Adventure Awarded Top Spot in TripAdvisor
The adventure, wizardry and heroic themed amusement park topples the Magic Kingdom to take the lead in TripAdvisor’s coveted list
Ask anyone what the best theme park in Orlando is and chances are most people will say it is one of the four Disney parks. However, TripAdvisor has just released the results of its worldwide survey and the results have stunned Orlando theme park fans—and not without good reason. Every year, over 60 million visitors come to Central Florida seeking to experience our world-famous theme parks, exciting local attractions and a wide array of dining and shopping venues. And while we are on the subject, TripAdvisor has placed Orlando among the top 3 spots on their rankings for entertainment destinations.
Universal Islands of Adventure has been gaining popularity thanks to its Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which has been attracting park goers since its grand opening in 2010. Add to that a new extension of this themed attraction at its sister park, Universal Studios Florida, and now you have a super combo to sway thrill seekers away from its fierce competitors. In fact, Universal Studios has been experiencing a period of growth unmatched by Disney or SeaWorld. While the other parks have also kept busy building new attractions, Universal continues to wow visitors with not only new rides, but also a new water park currently under construction.
So what does this mean for future visitors? Simple, Universal Studios is not only growing, but also renewing itself by removing old rides and replacing them with new ones in an effort to keep the hunger for new rides alive and ready to feed thrill seekers. With the upcoming addition of the Reign of Kong at Universal Islands of Adventure and the construction of Volcano Bay Water Park, you can expect things to not just get better for Universal, but also for its competing theme parks which will undoubtedly seek to one-up them with bigger and better rides and attractions.
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is always excited to welcome theme park fans and we invite you to explore special rates on select dates, reminding you to book early to secure your place at our wonderful resort property. See you soon on your next Orlando vacation!
Disney Hollywood Studios Revamps its Flagship Attraction
The Great Movie Ride has pretty much remained the same since the then-named MGM Studios opened in 1989—but it just got a long-overdue refresh
Recent news about theme parks taking down and replacing existing attractions seems to be contagious, as Disney and Universal seek to redesign or replace them with newer, more engaging or interactive experiences. Disney’s Hollywood Studios has recently modernized The Great Movie Ride with new features building on the themes that made it famous.
The redevelopment of The Great Movie Ride has been done in partnership with TCM (Turner Classic Movies) and it has been a welcome sight at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Movie posters are now displayed in LCD screens, there is a new movie ending and branding for TCM can be seen throughout the ride. Rumors of more updates abound, but it seems that the revamping may be all we will see for now. That is, until new blockbuster movies are added periodically to keep the interest alive and the movie fans flowing through the ride.
The quarter-century old attraction had been showing its age and was obviously not taking advantage of the newest technologies in animatronics and interactivity. While we would have wanted to see more modernization, Disney seems to have big plans for this theme park, which is also rumored to be changing its name—possibly to cover a wider range of media formats without pigeon-holing it as “another movie theme park” in Orlando. That said, expect many more exciting announcements from Disney, which seems to be on a roll when it comes to renewing the faith of its loyal mouse-followers.
We know you love the movies and if you do, be sure to visit the new Great Movie Ride experience—but before you do, book your stay at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium and make us your base camp during your stay in Orlando.
The Orlando Premium Outlets Are Better Than Ever
Discover a shopping paradise where you can find top brands without burning a hole in your pocket and it is just down the road from Vista Cay Resort by Millenium
Orlando is one of the best destinations for not just vacationing, but also for doing some premium brand shopping. Located on the North End of International Drive, the Orlando Premium Outlets have become a tourist destination of its own, featuring discounted merchandise from some of the world’s most coveted brands. And if that is not enough, you can do your holiday shopping anytime since this venue stays open late every night—allowing you to shop till you know what.
The Orlando Premium Outlets offers tourists, locals and business travelers a world of bargains in brands like Tumi, Hugo Boss, Coach, and over a hundred stores featuring clothing, consumer goods, footwear, and jewelry. In addition, the Orlando Premium Outlets are the perfect place to pick up summer wear such as sunglasses, bathing suits and portable electronics to keep you connected and entertained. Without question, if theme parks are the number one attraction in Orlando, shopping is certain to be the second most popular attraction in town.
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is located just down the road from the Orlando Premium Outlets on International Drive. But wait, you also have another Orlando Premium Outlets location near Downtown Disney just south of our resort. So if you and your family want to take a day off from the theme park action and stay off the sun for a day or two, you can get lost at one of the two locations for the Orlando Premium Outlets. Be sure to check out our rates and get ready to shop and enjoy everything Orlando has to offer this summer!
What's Been Going on at Universal City Walk Orlando?
Universal Studios' gateway to its two theme parks is also an entertainment and nightlife hotspot that has recently undergone an amazing facelift
In recent years, Universal Studios has been on the limelight as it opened two different attractions themed after the uber-successful Harry Potter movie franchise. Recent developments however, have enhanced another important element of Universal City Walk Orlando, following a year-long facelift operation. The theme park business has become more competitive in the last decade and this expansion is part of the strategy to become one of the top destinations for vacationers in the world.
Among the most impressive changes at Universal City Walk Orlando is the removal of the small Starbucks to make way for another restaurant, which has resulted on an even larger Starbucks signature venue. In place of the old Starbucks you will now find The Cowfish, offering an ecclectic sushi and burger bar--hence it's curious name of Cowfish. And if that's not enough, a new Italian-themed restaurant by the name of VIVO Italian Kitchen will take you on a trip around Italy's best delicacies.
Casual dining also has a home in the new Universal City Walk Orlando expansion with Red Oven Pizza, a venue that has become an icon of its own as tourists and locals flock to its Napolitan-style pizzas. The expansion began in 2014 with the addition of Antojitos Mexican restaurant and the Hot Dog Hall of Fame, featuring America's best hot dogs inspired by baseball culture.
Over the past 18 months, Orlando has experienced a recent sprawl of new venues, entertainment complexes and new restaurants, all catering to the record-breaking 60 million-plus visitors who seek the joy and excitement of the family vacation capital of the world. And not for nothing, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is ready to welcome as many of you as you can bring on your next trip--see you soon in sunny Orlando!
Sand Lake Restaurant Row, a Fine Dining Paradise Near I-Drive
If you are an avid foodie or just an enthusiast of fine dining, you can't come to Orlando without trying a few or more of the exceptional dining venues located just around the corner from our resort
Sand Lake Road is mostly known as the street that crosses International Drive. Head east on Sand Lake and it takes you to The Florida Mall and Orlando International Airport, but when you head south, you enter a whole new area filled with restaurants, lounges and bars--that is, Sand Lake Restaurant Row.
This &dining district& got its name from two easily recognizable landmarks, one being it's main street name of Sand Lake Road and the other is the fact that you cannot miss the countless fine dining venues on each side of the road. And you will probably need a few visits to Orlando to experience them all, so take note of the ones we've selected for you.
Orlando is a city that appeals to people from all over the world, so the diversity in cuisine styles comes natural to a place that welcomes over 60 million visitors--both tourists and business travelers--every year. Here are our Top 5 picks for anytime dining on Sand Lake Restaurant Row:
- Saffron Indian Cuisine - This restaurant is known for its spice-infused meals that bring the best of India's cuisine to the heart of Orlando's tourist and business travel district.
- Rocco's Tacos - Part restaurant and part night club, this is the place to enjoy a great Mexican-inspired lunch or party at it's tequila bar packed with hundreds of premium and rare tequilas.
- Hot'n Juicy Crawfish - The perfect place for Cajun-style seafood and a place where you can't be afraid of eating with your hands the tastiest crawfish and shrimp &in a bag&.
- Vines Grille & Wine Bar - This is one of the locals and business travelers' favorite restaurants, featuring exceptional American fine dining specialties and an impressive wine list.
- BRAVO! Cucina Italiana - Italy's finest pasta dishes, salads and desserts have found a home in this traditional-yet-modern twist on classic favorites.
This is just a sample of the many restaurants you will find on Sand Lake Restaurant Row, located less than 10 minutes from Vista Cay Resort by Millenium. And as a final bonus, if you love sushi you can try either Amura or Dragonfly--both located on opposite sides of Sand Lake Road and each featuring a colorful and tasty array of sushi featuring fresh fish and a wide selection of fine sakes.
So remember, come hungry to Orlando and enjoy a night out with your loved ones in Sand Lake Restaurant Row!
Universal Studios New Waterpark, Volcano Bay, to Open in 2017
The newest addition to Universal Orlando does not involve any wizardry--just good ol' fun under the Florida sun
As Universal Orlando celebrates its 25th anniversary, they are also actively working on creating a brand new water park experience. The new Volcano Bay water park will be located near the cluster of Universal theme parks and entertainment areas, which include Universal Studios Florida, Universal Islands of Adventure and Universal City Walk. Although Universal Studios already owns the Wet’n Wild water park on International Drive, the new Volcano Bay is expected to be more of a theme park in its immersive nature, attractions and features.
Just like many other theme parks in Orlando, Volcano Bay will have a signature iconic element which will be a smoking volcano. The water park will also include a wave pool, plenty of slides, a lazy river, and other features not yet disclosed by Universal Studios. While Volcano Bay will have a theme of its own, it is possible that Universal brings into the water park elements from other attractions to bind the new theme park to its older siblings. Without question, this new water park in Orlando will become the “next big thing” to hit the Central Florida area.
Located on a 50-acre piece of land dedicated to the water park project, Volcano Bay will become the 6th water park in the Orlando area, which is considered the family vacation capital of the world. With Central Florida enjoying warm temperatures through most of the year—even in the state’s mild winters—the water park will draw the attention of Universal Studios fans and of thrill-seekers who want to see something new and refreshing in a city that welcomes over 50 million visitors every year.
And of course, you know that Vista Cay Resort by Millennium will become your vacation headquarters during your stay in Orlando. So be sure to keep coming back to our website to discover new promotions all year round!
The Amphicars have “Landed” at Disney Springs in Orlando!
Guests will enjoy boating around the Downtown Disney Area in their amphibious car accompanied by their own Amphicar Captain
The Downtown Disney Area, which is soon to be renamed Disney Springs, keeps amazing us and this time they have resurrected an automotive vestige of the 1960s with the addition of Amphicar rides out of the new BOATHOUSE restaurant and bar.
The Amphicar was a popular hybrid between a car and a boat, of which over 4,000 units were manufactured for sale in the USA. While the Amphicar did not become a staple of American family weekends, the curious vehicle has become a collectible sought after by its vintage collectors with an affinity for boating and rare vehicle.
The Amphicars at Disney Springs are truly the talk of town, giving guests the opportunity to experience a rare tour of the area with a knowledgeable Amphicar Captain in full nautical garb. Guests board the Amphicar on land and the Captain drives it into the lagoon where you will splashdown in comfort into the body of water. Once in the water, your Amphicar will be powered by propellers just as you would a conventional boat—how cool is that! Do know that the cars can only fit three adults plus a Captain, more than likely for safety reasons.
If you are planning to stay with us at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium during your next Orlando vacation, you should definitely plan to go on an Amphicar ride when visiting Downtown Disney. Not only will you enjoy it, you will have a chance to ride a historic vehicle that is no longer in production—but one that will mark the wholesome 1960s as one of the best times to enjoy the innovation of the automotive industry in America.
New Indiana Jones-inspired Themed Restaurant at Disney Springs in the Works
Named after Jock Lindsey, a memorable character from Raiders of the Lost Ark who flew Indiana Jones to far off locations such as the Peruvian Jungle, the Tibetan Himalayas, and Shanghai, China.
Just when you thought that Orlando couldn’t get better… A new movie-inspired restaurant named Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar is scheduled to open in the fall at Downtown Disney—the entertainment and shopping complex currently being renamed as Disney Springs. Now that Disney owns the Indiana Jones franchise, which it purchased from Paramount a few years back, it makes perfect sense to beef up the hype around future adventures—presumed to be played by Guardians of the Galaxy’s Chris Pratt—with new locations throughout Disney World.
Since the release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, no new attraction updates have been added to Disney until now. Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar will reportedly offer a mix between an adventurer’s bar and a casual diner, decorated with classic aviation décor such as propellers, travel posters and navigation maps—all creating a full-immersion ambiance in the world of the whip-cracking Dr. Jones. And if that is not enough, the menu will feature other adventure-inspired items such as the “Hovito Mojito” and the “Rolling Boulder Meatballs.”
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium also offers a great place for adventuring tourists and business travelers to enjoy their trip to Orlando. Since our resort is located in the heart of the entertainment, dining and trade show-hosting district of International Drive, you will not find a better place with such exceptional value for your stay in Orlando. Worthy of a stay by the worldliest of adventurers, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is always happy to welcome new guests—and returning ones—to its Orlando oasis of excitement.
Mario Bros. and Other Nintendo Game Characters May Soon come to Life at Universal Studios in Orlando
The theme park has reportedly made a deal with Nintendo to create attractions and entertainment venues based on its popular video game titles
If you ever wanted to run, jump and crawl thought the pipe world of Mario Bros. or perhaps climb Donkey Kong’s high-rise lair, a new deal between Universal Studios Florida and Nintendo may be bringing this live videogame-inspired experience. While the details are still fuzzy, collaboration between these two big names will likely draw great interest from crowds that grew up playing these videogames. From merchandising to themed restaurants, the Nintendo deal may “1Up” other Orlando theme parks, helping Universal Studios gain ground against its biggest competitor.
In recent years, the race between Orlando theme parks to outdo each other has led to great innovation by Universal Studios—as in the case of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter—and tourists can expect this trend to continue. As technology gets more sophisticated and the live-ride experience shifts to simulation rather than a stroll-on-tracks, Universal Studios is expected to continue raising the bar. Not for nothing, Nintendo game-themed attractions at the theme park can be expected to immerse guests into a fantasy world that the whole family will enjoy.
We can only wish and hope for an interactive live-action Mario Kart ride at Universal Studios. The video game series from Nintendo has been a winner in its Wii console, as well as in the Wii U portable video game system. Characters like Mario, his brother Luigi, Princess Toadstool, and Donkey Kong—along with hordes of Goomba and Koopa Troopa—would also give Universal Studios guests a chance to get their pictures taken with these video games icons.
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is impatiently waiting with the rest of Orlando’s hospitality industry to hear more news about what Universal Studios partnership with Nintendo will bring. And rest assured that we will share more updates about it on our Blog!
I-Drive 360 Opens with The Orlando Eye, Madame Tussaud’s Orlando and SEA LIFE Orlando
The newest attractions open today, May 4th, 2015, in the heart of International Drive and for the delight of locals and tourists alike
The day has finally come and I-Drive 360 has opened to the general public to offer a new way to look at the Orlando landscape from over 400 feet, but also by giving visitors a glimpse into the wonders of marine life and the glamour of celebrities and famous (and sometimes infamous) characters depicted as life-like wax statues. There is no better way to open the Summer Tourist Season than with these amazing attractions in a long-awaited new entertainment complex, one that is not a theme park.
That said, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is currently offering a special offer to entice you to come to Orlando and get to enjoy everything I-Drive 360 has to offer. Be sure to follow this link to learn more about the promotion while it lasts.
Since late 2013, the iconic International Drive has experienced a renaissance of sorts, as new restaurants and attractions have taken the place of older buildings and hotels. In many cases, existing structures were demolished and new ones have been erected in their place. The Mercado Mediterranean Market was one such structure, which was torn down to pave the way for I-Drive 360. During this renovation process, visitors and locals have seen progress take place and we are all excited to see Orlando take center stage in the Florida vacation scene.
Pretty soon we will see the grand opening of another promising destination: Mangos Orlando. The restaurant that lets you party like a nightclub with a distinct South Beach flair is currently being constructed less than a half mile from I-Drive 360. The venue will attract the beautiful and trendy to a place where music, food and dance join together for an evening of Miami-style fun. Without question, we will be showcasing Mangos Orlando in this blog as soon as it opens its doors.
We will see you in Orlando very soon and be sure to book your stay with Vista Cay Resort at Millenium before the busy season starts!
The Pub Orlando Brings Classic Old World Ambiance to International Drive’s Pointe Orlando
The British aren’t coming… They’re here already and have brought to Central Florida the ultimate UK pub experience
There’s a place in Orlando where any day or evening can become a Friday night by simply walking in and ordering a pint of your favorite beer, ale or stout—that place is The Pub Orlando, located at the iconic Pointe Orlando entertainment, dining and shopping complex.
From the moment you step foot into The Pub Orlando, you will be transported into the London ambiance where you can make friends easily by having an interesting conversation with a stranger. The fact is that The Pub Orlando is more than just a watering hole as it brings to Central Florida an array of British comfort food to include Fish and Chips, Shepherd’s Pie, and of course English Pot Roast.
But if you are not in the mood for just food and want to take a walk on the wild side like a Hooligan, step up to the bar and order one of its many exciting brews. The Pub Orlando features a variety of imported beers, ales, porters, and stouts from the United Kingdom, served on bottle or draft. And if you feel like you would want to make this place an extension of your home, be sure to buy a beer mug, which your bartender will keep hanging on the bar cabinets until your return—just remember the mug number and they will quickly retrieve it on your next visit.
If you are visiting Orlando for business or leisure, The Pub Orlando will be waiting for you to kick back British-style at the end of a long day at the Orange County Convention Center or at one of our world-famous Disney, Universal or SeaWorld theme parks. And not for nothing, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is so close to Pointe Orlando and The Pub Orlando that you can just take a taxi and not have to splurge big on transportation—allowing you to have the most fun at Orlando’s premier British pub experience!
The Newest Marine-Themed Attraction in Orlando is… The SEA LIFE Aquarium!
Get ready to experience the wonders of the sea and marine life at Orlando’s I-Drive 360 Entertainment Complex on International Drive
Where can you find more than 5,000 creatures from the seven seas in one place? That place is SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium, which is set to open on May 4th, 2015 at the all-new I-Drive 360 tourist attraction. This state-of-the-art man-made marine life preserve will be opening along with The Orlando Eye and Madame Tussaud’s Orlando wax museum—a trio of attractions that is the biggest thing to happen since Disney’s last theme park grand opening in Orlando.
SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium features a Rockpool experience that will be the delight of guests as they will be able to see and touch a wide variety of shelled sea creatures, starfish, crabs, sea anemone, and many more marine critters that are safe to touch. And in case you wonder if all of these creatures are real—they really are and are being preserved in natural habitats made specifically for them.
Another show-stopping feature at SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium is the 360-degree Ocean Tunnel and a second 180-degree tunnel that allows you to see underwater and experience marine life up-close. Along with entertaining guests, SEA LIFE is committed to the breeding, rescue and protection of marine life on a worldwide scale. This commitment ensures that SEA LIFE can reinvest in the future of our oceans and the marine life that thrives in them.
The trio of new attractions is all part of I-Drive 360, a $200 million entertainment complex built on the grounds of the old Mercado Mediterranean Shopping Village, which was a staple of International Drive shopping and dining in the 80s and 90s. And as you can imagine, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is just down the road from the new I-Drive 360 experience, ready to welcome you to Orlando and the excitement that these attractions offer tourists and business travelers alike.
Madame Tussaud’s Orlando is the place to meet and party among the world’s top celebrities and personalities
The new attraction, located at the amazing I-Drive 360 entertainment complex, is set to open on May 4th, 2015 in the heart of the tourist haven of International Drive in Orlando
Want to meet Selena Gomez, Jimmy Kimmel or Miley Cyrus? You don’t have to hop on a plane and try to get on the A-List at a Hollywood party now that Madame Tussadu’s Orlando will be opening at the most anticipated entertainment complex launch: I-Drive 360. Located next to The Orlando Eye—the massive Ferris wheel that you can see from afar on International Drive—and the upcoming SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium, Madame Tussaud’s newest edition brings A-Listers to the Central Florida area and they are ready to meet you!
Since the late 1800’s, the wax figures of Madame Tussaud have been drawing crowds to its original location in London and throughout the 20th century many more locations opened in cities to include New York, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, Berlin, and other select locations.
Once it opens its doors, the Orlando edition of Madame Tussaud’s wax museum will become another iconic tourist attraction in a city known for its enchanting theme parks and attractions—which draw over 60 million people every year.
If you are wondering what celebrities you may encounter at the new Madame Tussaud’s Orlando wax museum, here’s a brief look into their A-List of celerities from TV, music, film, sports, and historical figures:
- Will Smith
- Steve Jobs
- Taylor Swift
- Tiger Woods
- Ricky Martin
- Albert Einstein
- Jennifer Lopez
- President Obama
- Katy Perry
- Abraham Lincoln
Without question, there will be many more celebrities on display at Madame Tussaud’s Orlando and probably even a few surprises. This new Orlando attraction is not to be missed and Vista Cay Resort by Millenium will be here to help you sleep close to the stars. In fact, we are just less than three miles down the road from I-Drive 360, The Orlando Eye and Madame Tussaud’s Orlando.
Be sure to book your next vacation at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium and stay tuned for amazing offers to visit Madame Tussaud’s Orlando and other local attractions.
The Rolling Stones are coming to Orlando in June 2015
Orlando is one of a select number of U.S. cities in the Stones' Zip Code Tour—and you can't miss the chance to see them in concert
Band members Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Ronnie Wood are coming to Orlando on June 12 to delight locals and visitors with their sticky tunes and stage showmanship. Their Zip Code Tour will be bringing the Stones to the heart of Central Florida, performing at the Orlando Citrus Bowl, home to the Orlando City Lions soccer club.
Originally formed in the United Kingdom in the year 1962, the band is one of rock's longest living bands that has withstood the test of time and reinvented itself to the delight of multiple generations. In fact, Mick Jagger is one of the oldest rock stars still active and performing—and he still seems to have enough wind to break records.
The last time the Rolling Stones performed in Orlando was back in 1997, at the same location and with Carlos Santana, making their Central Florida visit even more special. Few international rock bands have amassed a following like the Rolling Stones and as they keep reinventing themselves, they also attract more fans that are stung by their contagious sound and style.
If you are planning to attend the Rolling Stones’ Zip Tour Concert in Orlando, then be sure to make it a complete vacation getaway and stay at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium. Our resort property is a short drive away from the Orlando Citrus Bowl and we will be waiting for you after the concert is over, ready to help you rest and enjoy the rest of your stay in Orlando.
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium has been recognized and awarded with the coveted "Best of VIP + Access Award" This exclusive award recognizes Vista Cay Resort by Millenium as one of 300 of Expedia's Global most highly rated +VIP Access Hotels & Resorts + Gold members in 2014.
Expedia + Gold Hotel Guests worldwide are surveyed on their satisfaction with the services received at + VIP Access Hotels. Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is one of only six hotels in Orlando recognized with this award for receiving high ratings in customer satisfaction.
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is managed by Millenium Management Corporation.
On the Image above, from left to right are: Manny Eagon, Expedia Market Manager, Michelle Tuozzo Global Area Manager, +VIP Access - North America – Lat Am – Caribbean, Laraine Frahm, President & CEO of Millenium Management Corp., Drew Frahm, Vice President Millenium Management, Charlie Williams Front Desk Manager, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium, Maurice Arbelaez, Corporate Director of Sales & Marketing Millenium Management, and Nestor Olazar, General Manager, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium.
The Arnold Palmer Invitational Golf Tournament is Coming to Orlando in March 2015
This annual golf event brings together Golf Pros and Amateurs who compete for the coveted trophy, handed over by the tournament's namesake himself: Arnold Palmer
As a signature PGA event, Arnold Palmer Invitational Golf Tournament is held at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge, a private golf resort located in Southwest Orlando--and only a 10-minute drive from Vista Cay Resort by Millenium. The event will be held from Thursday May 16th through Sunday, March 19th, 2015. And it is said that this event is where golf's royalty comes to play, mingle and network with like-minded individuals.
While it has only held the name of Arnold Palmer since 2007, the addition of his name has helped the event gain traction among all other PGA events in the U.S. Orlando's pleasant weather pattern during the Spring is another factor that benefits the event and makes it a big draw for spectators who will be spending days under the warm Central Florida sun. On that note, if you are planning on attending, do wear lots of sunblock since even on a cloudy day you can get sunburned.
It should be noted that the event benefits two charities: the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies. While participation is restricted to card-carrying PGA members, attendance is available by purchasing tickets in advance. That said, the event sells out every year as it enjoys exceptional popularity to the extent that some plan their Orlando vacation around the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
And of course, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is ready to become the place you can always come back to at the end of an enjoyable day at this golf tournament. Since this event is so popular, so is our resort so be sure to book early.
Rumor has it that a Star Wars-themed Land at a Disney park may be in the Works in Orlando
Code named "Orange Harvest," this ultra-secret project by Disney—who now own Lucasfilm—may be the biggest thing to happen to Orlando since the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971
The Force Awakens is more than a title for Star Wars Episode VII since it seems that the Force is indeed awakening in Orlando. Orange Harvest may be more than just a rumor at this time, but there have been "hints" revealed since 2013 that indicate the potential of either a theme park addition or even a standalone Star Wars theme park. And as the Star Wars franchise gets rebooted with J.J. Abrams, there have been plenty of such hints popping up at Disney events, including the crate featured in the picture.
It is no secret that Avatar Land is being developed as an addition to the Disney Hollywood Studios. The extension is expected to be completed by 2017, just in time for the long-awaited Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 sequels to the blockbuster movie franchise. Given the advances in animatronics used in theme parks, a new Star Wars themed “land” or park would probably incorporate some of the most innovative special effects ever found on a Disney theme park.
While we await a big reveal of this potential new expansion of Disney, the fact is that Orlando will continue to churn out new attractions to keep its constant waves of tourists coming back. Star Wars and Disney are likely to produce exceptional amounts of content to draw from—including new characters, worlds, droids, starships, and of course, villains. We will continue to keep an eye on this new Star Wars rumor and on any other developments at Orlando’s Disney theme parks.
And never forget that Vista Cay Resort at Millenium is always strong in the Force since our property is located in the heart of Orlando’s tourist district of International Drive, as well as just around the corner from the Orange County Convention Center for the convenience of tourists and business travelers alike.
The 2015 International Flower & Garden Festival is coming to Disney's Epcot Theme Park
Once again, Epcot's landscapes are covered in blooming flowers from all over the world, showcased for guests to see and enjoy
Every year, Epcot becomes the most visited “garden” in the world thanks to the amazing display of flowers and plants throughout Future World and the World Showcase areas of the theme park. From locally-grown topiaries to spring-influenced cuisine, the event draws the attention of people from all over the world. To access the International Flower & Garden Festival, all you need is a one-day ticket to Epcot and the fun is ensured for you and your family.
Every World Showcase pavilion offers Epcot guests a chance to discover the beauty of flowers from represented countries. Spring truly comes alive at Epcot when the flowers are in bloom and its assured that your entire family will find something of interest to them. That said, as soon as you go into the park be sure to gram a Festival Passport, which will serve as your guide throughout the park and its flower displays—along with food venue information and interesting facts about the flower origins.
All Epcot rides and attractions will be operational, allowing you to enjoy as much or as little as you want of the International Flower & Garden Festival. To see it all, you should arrive at the theme park early so that you can see more of the park before crowds slow down the lines at each attraction.
As always, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is ready to be your “home away from home” while visiting Orlando. If you are planning on attending Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival, we encourage you to reserve your stay as soon as possible since spring is a popular time in Orlando for both tourists and business travelers.
Disney Springs Development Progress Continues in 2015 as New Specialty Shops Pop Up
The village shopping concept is gaining traction as Disney keeps unveiling new features and store concepts in the former Downtown Disney/Pleasure Island entertainment and shopping complex
Sometime ago we covered the amazing concept of the new Disney Springs, but only now are we finally beginning to see the concept art become a reality. And we are loving it here in Orlando, where Disney has not opened a new theme park in Orlando for over 15 years now and anytime we see them developing a new concept we know it has to be world-class. That is how Disney Springs is shaping as we start the spring of 2015 in a non-theme park location that has dared to add food trucks, two Starbucks and countless street vendors.
But that’s old news—here’s what’s happening at Disney Springs… A new store completely devoted to hats has popped up in one of the village structures, offering patrons the chance to try and buy amazing headgear ranging from top hats to fantasy headdress. Also, NYC Bakery has sprung up at Disney Springs—the brainchild concept of Erin McKenna famed founder of the former BabyCakes at the Disney Village—with amazingly fresh bagels, cupcakes and gluten-free pastries.
We will continue to cover new developments, including the super-duper-exciting news about the redevelopment of the Planet Hollywood restaurant into the all-new Planet Hollywood Observatory experience, featuring a high-tech planetarium with stars, planets and galaxies covering its dome ceiling. And that’s not all, there are plenty of new restaurants, shops and attractions scheduled to be included into the Disney Springs development.
Best of all, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is only 15 minutes away from Disney Springs down the I-4 corridor. Be sure to check out our rates from the home page of our website. We are always excited to have families come stay with us and be a part of their Orlando vacation experience.
Come to Florida this spring and enjoy The Fun Spot's Freedom Flyer
Central Florida is blessed to not have to shovel anything other than sand in the beach during our not-so-cold end of the winter season
For the past few months all you hear about in the news is the winter storms and nor'easters that keep range aging through the northern states. However, that tends to overshadow the fact that Florida has had only a few "cold" days where the temperature dips to the 40s for a couple of nights before getting back to day temperatures in the 80s. In fact, as this is being written there are people sunbathing at our very own Vista Cay Resort by Millenium.
We are often asked about what to do in Orlando during the spring and we couldn't think of a better attraction than the Freedom Flyer roller coaster at The Fun Spot. While it opened in 2014, the Freedom Flyer has not received the same amount of publicity as the larger theme parks, but this is one is an attraction you cannot miss on your next trip to Orlando.
At Vista Cay Resort by Millenium we are super excited to see the spring quickly approaching with the ever-pleasant soft breezes that just makes us want to go out to a theme park. So before we forget, all you frozen Northeasterners and Midwesterners pay attention since here are some things to keep in mind when coming to Florida over the next few months:
- Orlando’s daytime temperatures for March, April and May stay within plus or minus 5 degrees from 80ºF, making it some of the nicest weather Central Florida enjoys
- Showers are sporadic during this time of the year, which helps you make the most of your day without having to buy a poncho or pull out your umbrella
- The lines at the theme parks are still relatively short since school is in session and that also means you can see more of a park in one single day
- Even in the spring, you could dehydrate from being outside too long since Florida gets a fair share of sunshine, even on cloudy days—so be sure to drink water often when you visit
Spring time in Orlando awaits as we shake off the winter for a warmer and more enjoyable season. Also, don't forget to add to your list of places to go the new Freedom Flyer roller coaster at The Fun Spot on International Drive. This new off-the-beaten-path attraction at the popular Fun Spot is a shiny yellow and blue tubular roller coaster designed for the enjoyment of people of all ages.
And the next time you plan to come to Orlando during the spring, please be sure to consider Vista Cay Resort by Millenium. We offer you exceptional rates and world-class accommodations near all of the theme parks and entertainment districts in Central Florida. And remember to bring your sunscreen because our sun is hot!
The Force Awakens in Orlando for Star Wars Weekends at Disney World on May 15th
This year's edition of star Wars Weekends at Disney World is expected to be one of the most exciting to date as Star Wars Episode 7 "The Force Awakens" is set to hit theaters in December 2015
We are just as excited as the rest of the world to know that we have less than a year before we get to see some of the most memorable Star Wars characters hit the big screen once again—over 30 years after the original Star Wars “A New Hope.” And as we get closer to the spring, we know that Star Wars Weekends could bring us hints of what’s to come later in the year now that Disney owns the successful movie and merchandising franchise.
During Star Wars Weekends, live action and voice over actors along with concept artists and production crew stars will be on hand to meet and greet visitors to the Disney Hollywood Studios theme park. While the full schedule of celebrities attending is yet to be released, many of the most memorable characters will be on hand for photo opportunities—including Chewbacca, Boba Fett, R2-D2, and even the Dark Lord of the Sith himself, Darth Vader, who will be escorted by his loyal 501st Stormtrooper Legion. If you are a die-hard Star Wars fan, you cannot miss the opportunity to attend Star Wars Weekends 2015.
Star Wars Weekends 2015 will be held from May 15 to June 14, 2015 during Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays within that date range. And if you are planning to visit Orlando and let the Force Awaken within you, then be sure to check out our great rates at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium. Not only do we offer spacious accommodations, we are also conveniently located near great entertainment and dining options within a short distance of our property. So come on down to Orlando and feel the Force at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium!
Central Florida gets ready for the Grand Opening of I-Drive 360 and its Orlando Eye on I-Drive
With all its capsules already locked in place and testing underway, the wait is almost over and the entertainment complex is almost ready to rock
As the centerpiece attraction of the new I-Drive 360 entertainment complex—built on top of the old Mercado Shopping Center, popular during the 80s and 90s—the Orland Eye is poised to become a point of reference for visitor in the International Drive Area. The 400 feet-tall structure will give its riders a bird’s eye view of the area. However, there is more at ground level than meets the eye from above.
Over the past decade, people who have visited Central Florida on vacation or business travels have seen an evolution of the International Drive area between Universal Studios and SeaWorld. The roads have been repaved, the sidewalks have been enhanced, new I-Ride trolley stops have been set up, and new and exciting restaurant and attraction concepts have sprung up. Still, nothing compares to building what is being dubbed as a mini-theme park in the heart of this busy tourist district.
I-Drive 360 is strategically located in the heart of International Drive, allowing easy access by pedestrians and cars. The complex has a multi-story parking garage that allows you to drive and park next to the I-Drive 360 attractions. In addition, the entire complex has been landscaped and developed to make it easy to walk around and enjoy the restaurants and bars that are already a part of the vibrant I-Drive night life—a favorite for both tourists and convention visitors alike.
Stay tuned for news about its upcoming Grand Opening and keep reading our Vista Cay Resort by Millenium blog, which will cover all major updates and news on the area's attractions and theme parks.
And of course, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is just down the road from the I-Drive 360 and Orlando Eye, always offering great rates when you book early—so be sure to book as soon as you can!
Spring is a Great Time to Visit Orlando and Enjoy the Theme Parks
If you are planning to visit Orlando and would like to enjoy Disney, Universal and SeaWorld with a bit more time, then springtime is the time to come
It is no secret that Orlando is the premier family vacation destination in the world, but that also means that we are graced with millions of visitors—about 60 million to be exact, according to 2014 stats—who flock to Central Florida looking for fun under the sun. With the bulk of these visitors coming between the months of May and August, if you can plan your Orlando vacation in the spring you could benefit from milder temperatures in the 80s with sunny days and lots of time to enjoy the rides at the theme parks—thanks to the lighter travel traffic.
Most families choose to vacation in Orlando during the summer for one specific reason: children have no school, allowing them to travel without compromising school work and grades. This means that you are likely to find longer lines and wait times at any of our theme parks—sometimes up to 2-3 hours—so it is hard to see more of the attractions in a day’s time. You can easily avoid these crowds traveling any time between early February and early May, which also translates into great rates at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium.
If you have no children it may be easier to travel to Orlando in the spring, but keep in mind that just because school is in session across the U.S., there are many more countries where their schedules may allow for breaks in the spring and you are still likely to find children frolicking around the park—an always welcomed sight since it makes us live vicariously through their excitement and innocence. After all, coming to see Disney, Universal or SeaWorld makes us go back to a time when play was the busiest thing we’d do all day—and that was a beautiful thing.
Spring is a great time for couples to visit Orlando, so come on over to Vista Cay Resort by Millenium this spring and enjoy everything we have to offer—including amazing rates for your stay!
Universal Studios Mardi Gras is Coming to Orlando, February 7th to April 18th, 2015
Known as "Florida's Biggest Party," this New Orleans import into Central Florida brings music and celebration together with Orlando flair
Every late Winter (or early Spring), Universal Studios Florida becomes the host of a series of concerts that include headliner bands and artists. Every genre of music is covered at Universal Mardi Gras and this year the lineup includes Olivia Newton-John, Barenaked Ladies, Heart, Yandel, and the B-52s, among many more great names from everything from pop, R&B, country, and Latin music.
The 2015 Mardi Gras celebration at Universal Studios is one of the most attended events in Central Florida, drawing tourists and locals into the street party celebration that pays homage to its New Orleans roots. That said, it should be noted that Universal Mardi Gras is a family-friendly event where everyone can join the fun and carouse until close in a safe environment.
The event also features a parade with performers who will throw beads at bystanders as everyone dances to lively music under a street-wide light show. Universal Mardi Gras 2015 will also have a food section, known as the French Quarter Courtyard, featuring delicacies such as beignets, gumbo and Jambalaya.
To enjoy Mardi Gras at Universal Studios Florida, you must purchase a part ticket or an annual pass since all festivities occur inside the park. However, after the park closes the party continues at Universal City Walk, where live music, drink, foods, and more excitement await. And with so many bands performing at the event, there is no place in the world that offers you such a great chance to party than Universal Studios’ Mardi Gras.
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is your Mardi Gras home base while attending the festivities—we are a mere couple of miles down the road from Universal Studios. This time of the year we are likely to sell out so be sure to check out our rates and book early!
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium in Orlando is Designated a AAA Approved Lodging Property
It is our honor to share this exciting update, which is testimony of our dedication to quality and service during your Orlando Vacation
On our blog, we normally cover news about attractions and events in the Orlando area, but this time we are super excited to be at main topic as we share with you this important accolade. In a city where lodging is a major industry catering to over 60 million travelers every year, it is important for visitors to have an unbiased point of reference when deciding where to stay during their Orlando vacation. But how do you figure out where to stay, with so many different hotels and resorts? That’s where the AAA Approved Lodging badge comes into play.
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is already known for its superb value to those who seek comfort, convenience and accessibility to Disney, Universal and SeaWorld Orlando’s theme parks. The resort is also popular with business travelers thanks to its close proximity to the Orange County Convention Center, which is located just around the corner from Vista Cay Resort by Millenium. And if you’ve ever stayed at our property, we know you are already a raving fan!
Earning the AAA Approved Lodging badge is a big accomplishment for Vista Cay Resort by Millenium since this designation adds a big boost of confidence for current and future guests. That said, the Diamond Rating system has been in used by AAA for decades and travelers have been relying on this important validator of quality in the lodging industry. AAA determines this rating by anonymously evaluating the properties to ensure that they are a match for its high-quality standards.
One thing is for sure: you will have to book early your next stay with us because as an AAA Approved Lodging property Vista Cay Resort by Millenium will be extremely popular among Orlando vacationers. See you soon at our AAA Approved Lodging resort!
What’s happening on International Drive in 2015? This Orlando tourist district is about to get even better
Prepare for awesomeness and tastefulness as I-Drive becomes the newest (and best) hotspot for entertainment, family fun and even business traveler enjoyment!
For years, International Drive has undergone waves of enhancements, changes and transition from just being a lodging haven—and now the iconic strip set between Universal Studios and SeaWorld Orlando is experience a renaissance of sorts. Behold, I-Drive 2.0 is here and it is simply amazing!
Let’s start with the most noticeable things first. The Orlando Eye is now fully built and has become an icon on its own, as well as a point of reference for figuring out where to eat or stay. Expected to open in the spring of 2015, the Orlando Eye will give tourists a bird’s eye view that will let them see as far as the Disney World Area. And this is just the beginning since there will the tallest roller coaster in the world is set to open right next to the Orlando Eye. Stay tuned to this blog for more news on that soon.
The intersection of International Drive and Sand Lake Road is also experiencing a change. The southeast corner of the intersection has been redeveloped with new landmarks to include Cooper’s Hawk and Chuy’s Mexican restaurants, along with a modern-looking Walgreens pharmacy and store in the corner.
The southwest corner is also having changes of its own as the iconic Mango’s restaurant and dance club is set to open this year. Mango’s is a popular destination for the rich, famous and affluent in Miami Beach and now it is coming to Orlando to add some Latin spice, flavor and rhythm to I-Drive. Do you have your dancing shoes ready?
Finally, between these two locations you can now experience a lot more dining options since the progress made on I-Drive has led to other redevelopment projects to modernize and in some cases tear down entire restaurants to be rebuilt with a newer and more exciting look. Everywhere you look on International Drive you can see plenty of work being done in buildings in preparation for what is expected to be the busiest tourist season ever in Orlando.
Well, the best part of it all is that Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is located just down the road from all of these amazing additions to the International Drive Area. Isn’t it time for you to start planning your next Orlando vacation—then be sure to search for dates and book early to ensure you have your spot!