Enjoy Thanksgiving Day 2017 in Orlando, Florida
Orlando offers plenty of family-friendly Thanksgiving Day dining options to fit any budget—and all within the vicinity of Vista Cay Resort by Millenium
Mixing vacation time with Thanksgiving Day can make your Orlando stay a memorable event for your entire family. Luckily, our hospitality-oriented city offers many dining options near Vista Cay Resort by Millenium.
While turkey may be served (check with the restaurant before making a reservation), these restaurants are known for amazing cuisine that stands above the rest. Here are some of our favorite restaurants that will be open during Thanksgiving Day for lunch and dinner:
• Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant – This is one of our favorite restaurants, featuring fresh American fine-dining fare. Located in the intersection of Sand Lake Road and International Drive.
• Fogo de Chao – Another favorite of ours, featuring a wide selection of Brazilian-style meats, salads and side dishes. Located on International Drive.
• Hard Rock Cafe – Orlando – This is a great location to not only dine, but also enjoy drinks and other nightlife entertainment in the Universal City Walk Orlando entertainment complex.
• Maggiano's Little Italy – Experience Italian food like never before in a restaurant that offers the glamour of New York’s classic “Little Italy” feel.
• Roy's Orlando – This Hawaiian-inspired restaurant offers a wide selection of fish and its signature Chocolate Molten Soufflé—a delicious lava cake like no other dessert.
There will be many more restaurants open for Thanksgiving Day dinner all along International Drive, Universal City Walk Orlando, Disney Springs, and other tourist hotspots around Central Florida. However, be sure to book your stay at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium as soon as you can since Thanksgiving weekend is when we start getting really busy for the holiday season.
Head to Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay... If You Dare
Venture away from Orlando to find the horrors of one of Central Florida's premier Halloween events in Tampa Bay
Are you afraid of the dark? Then it may just be time for you to conquer your fears--your darkest fears--at Howl-O-Scream. Howl-O-Scream is a full-immersion haunted house, ghoul-infested event held in selected evenings during October. This year, Howl-O-Scream featured 7 haunted houses with the following names: Demented Dimensions, Undead Arena, The Black Spot, Zombie Containment Unit 15, Death Water Bayou, Unearthed, and Motel Hell.
Needless to say, this is NOT an event for children and even adults should be cautious about the nature of such a Halloween-themed event, which pushes the boundaries of what a normal human being can expect. In fact, the crude nature of the enactments and recreation of horror movie scenes is more than many people can handle—so proceed with caution.
Howl-O-Scream also features scare zones where you will find ghoulish creatures—or rather, they'll find you--and plenty of reasons to scream to the top of your lungs. The names of these scare zones include Class Deceased, Carnie Camp, Meat Market, Wasteland, and Playground. Each of these scare zones will expose you to some of the most bone-chilling sights ever encountered in a Halloween event.
But don't worry, after attending Howl-O-Scream you can head back to the safety of Vista Cay Resort by Millennium in Orlando. We certify our rooms to be monster-free, which is a great relief after experiencing the macabre sights, sounds and smells of Howl-O-Scream. But don’t wait until it gets dark to book your stay with us—go ahead and check our great rates!
Get Ready for Universal Orlando's Fast & Furious Ride
After years of toying with the idea of a Fast & Furious attraction, Orlando will finally get a franchise-themed ride.
According to Universal Studios Florida, the upcoming "Supercharged" Fast & Furious ride will be everything you can expect from a movie-inspired attraction. The ride will bring back the vehicles that have made this movie franchise famous, including a virtual appearance from our Fast & Furious heroes—Dom, Letty, and Hobbs. A version of this ride is already open at the park's counterpart in Hollywood, CA, and it has been a great success.
Currently, the ride is expected to open in Spring 2018, just before the busy summer season. Although we can expect Fast & Furious Supercharged at Universal Studios Florida to have its own dynamics, the fast-paced nature of the film will be a central point in the design of this new ride in Orlando. The story will follow the latter movies in the sequence, making a connection between the film and a new adventure that will be created, specifically for the Fast & Furious Supercharged ride.
And if you are coming to Orlando to visit Universal Studios Florida, you may want to know that both Universal theme parks are located in Vista Cay Resort by Millenium’s neighborhood. In fact, our resort property is located off Universal Blvd. and we are a short bus or Uber ride from not just Universal Studios Florida, but also SeaWorld Orlando and plenty of other local attractions.
The World of Toy Story is Coming to Life in 2018
Visitors to this new movie-inspired land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park will feel as if they’ve shrunk to the ground to mingle with iconic toys sets and characters
The 11-acre tract of land currently being developed will feature a number of attractions, a restaurant, and shopping venues. Toy Story is one of the most successful animated movie franchises in the Disney universe, so getting its own full “land” was to be expected. The park already is home to Toy Story Mania, which will be absorbed into the larger Toy Story Land once the construction site opens to park guests. In recent years, Orlando’s theme parks have found great success in creating movie-themed attractions, finding inspiration on successful epic films and franchises.
The Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is likely to share some common elements with the existing Toy Story Playland, at Hong Kong Disneyland. What we do know thus far is that the land will feature the Slinky Dog Dash, a roller coaster with this toy favorite as the wagons riding the coaster’s track. Also, the Alien Swirling Saucers will let guests spin around in a timed-ride that features a number of interactive surprises. Best of all, there will be plenty of Toy Story characters throughout the land, always willing to share a selfie with you. And according to the latest updates, Toy Story Land is set to open in Orlando during the late Summer or early Fall of 2018.
At Vista Cay Resort by Millenium, we are always ready to welcome our past and new guests during their stay in Orlando. Since our resort is so close to all of Disney’s theme parks, we know that you will love to lodge in a place so close to all the tourist action. And remember, you don’t have to wait until Toy Story Land opens. We are ready to welcome you on your fall vacation getaway or during the holidays, so start planning your Orlando vacation and make Vista Cay Resort by Millenium your home away from home.
Enjoy World-Class Comedy in Orlando
The Orlando Improv & Fat Fish Blue at Pointe Orlando is a great place to enjoy a few laughs and drinks
Whether you visit Orlando as a tourist or as a convention attendee, you are likely to want to kick back and relax after a long day at a theme park or the convention center. And if you are looking for humor as the cure for all vacation or business stress, then the Orlando Improv & Fat Fish Blue – Orlando should be added to your schedule. Located at the Pointe Orlando entertainment and shopping complex, the Orlando Improv & Fat Fish Blue – Orlando offers more than just a comedy club. This location features a dinner theater that features a full menu of American-style cuisine.
The Orlando Improv & Fat Fish Blue – Orlando also features popular names in stand-up comedy from all over the nation—including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. The venue is located within walking distance of the Orange County Convention Center, making it a perfect evening getaway destination. Over the years, Pointe Orlando has grown from a sideshow shopping venue to a thriving dining destination with many exceptional restaurants to enjoy. However, the Orlando Improv & Fat Fish Blue – Orlando gives you something different to do that doubles as a fun adult entertainment complex.
And keep in mind that lodging in Orlando is no laughing matter and at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium you can get some serious rest after attending the Orlando Improv & Fat Fish Blue – Orlando. In addition to being close to a number of theme parks and local attractions, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium offers great value for families and business travelers who want to stay in a nice and quiet resort without the overwhelming ambiance of large chain hotels and resorts. And not for nothing, the fall is a great time to visit Orlando since the theme park lines are short and you can enjoy our city’s attractions without large crowds.
Orlando’s Changing Vacation Landscape is Getting Better
With the addition of new local attractions, theme park extensions and more restaurants—our vacation wonderland is evolving to meet the expectations of future guests
As the city with the largest concentration of major theme parks in one geographic area in the world, Orlando has earned its place as one of the most memorable vacation destinations around the globe. However, over time our loyal visitors expect more and different experiences, based on new generations, perceptions and preferences. As a result, Disney, Universal, SeaWorld, and even smaller amusement parks like the Fun Spot, have been cognizant about what people expect from an Orlando Area attraction. In fact, in the last decade there have been more changes in the theme park scene than in the previous 30 years combined.
So, what can you expect from Orlando over the next three to five years? While the theme park companies try their best in keeping a tight lid over any new developments, they release information in brief snippets that the hospitality industry dissects in hopes of getting a hint of what’s to come. Here are some well-known “rumors” about Orlando’s evolving landscape:
• Disney – Without question, the four Disney theme parks have seen much change over the past few years with the addition of Pandora – The World of Avatar and even an extension of the Magic Kingdom. However, we are all anxiously waiting for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios sometime in 2019.
• Universal Studios – This theme park complex hit gold with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and subsequent additions based on the fame wizard. However, more can be expected from this franchise, along with a Nintendo-themed land dubbed “Super Nintendo World” patterned after its sister property in Japan. We will keep our eyes open on this one since it will be a huge addition to its property.
• SeaWorld Orlando – The smaller of Orlando’s theme parks keeps on evolving as it looks to add a new “river rapids” ride in 2018. Dubbed “Infinity Falls”, this new ride will feature a “Class 4” river rapids experience unlike any other in an Orlando theme park.
At Vista Cay Resort by Millenium, we will continue to keep our eyes and ears open for any new developments in our area theme parks. We love our city and we love to see it evolve, improve and enhance its current attractions to keep you coming back for more fun. And needless to say, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium will be here to welcome you back every time.
Experience a Cuban Tropicana Club Experience—in Orlando, Florida
Mango’s Orlando brings back the excitement and glory of pre-revolution Cuba, when the rich and famous would fly to Havana and party the night away at the Tropicana Club
There was a time when everyone—from US Presidents and Mafia Bosses to Hollywood Actors and Millionaires—would jump on a quick flight from Miami to Cuba to experience one of the most amazing nightclub shows of the 40s and 50s. That is, until the Cuban Revolution came and then took the Tropicana Club from capitalist-fun to a to a tourist propaganda show with revolutionary undertones. However, a good nightclub concept never dies—it simply evolves and respawns somewhere else, as in the case of Mango’s Orlando, which is patterned after the Tropicana Club experience of vintage Cuba—which in turn is the child of its “original” sibling of Mango’s Miami in South Beach.
When you first approach the building on International Drive, you can’t miss the grand nature of this entertainment complex. To see it during daylight does not do justice to the intense neon lights that you will see when the sun goes down.
Upon entering Mango’s Orlando, you will come into its grand room and stage, where you will want to first make a stop by one of the bars to grab your first drink. Once you have your Cuba Libre or Daiquiri in-hand, the fun begins as the live performances of celebrity impersonators, Cuban dancers and other show programs begin to delight you with Latin beats, flashing lights and glitter all over. And then you realize that this is truly the reincarnation of Tropicana Club, right here in Central Florida.
Planning on dancing the night away at Mango’s Orlando? Before you get here, you will need a reservation at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium. We are located near the International Drive strip, near restaurants, shopping and entertainment hotspots like Mango’s Orlando. Our friendly staff is ready to welcome you at our property, located near all the theme parks and attractions that have made Orlando the top family vacation destination in the world.
More Fun to Enjoy in Orlando During the Fall
Central Florida has a lot to offer for visitors and locals alike during the Fall—from Halloween-themed entertainment to festivals and other celebrations
In contrast to northern states, Florida is well removed from the annual signs that fall is arriving. Our trees remain green longer, our temperatures stay on the warmer side and except for Pumpkin Spice coffee being served in coffee shops, we may not really know that Fall has arrived in Central Florida. That is, unless you start exploring what the Orlando Area has to offer for both local residents and visiting tourists seeking to enjoy Central Florida during our “slow season”. And if that’s not all, you can expect to see some of our own Fall-like creations by way of special events at our theme parks and attractions.
Last month, we covered some of the better-known reasons to visit Orlando in the fall—such as Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights and Disney’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival. However, here are some more things you can do when visiting Orlando during the Fall Season:
• End-of-Summer Sales – Well, once the Summer comes to an end, all that warm weather inventory must go and our local malls and outlets hold epic sales to entice shoppers to take it all away. Be sure to visit The Florida Mall and any of the Orlando Premium Outlet malls to reap the benefits of these sale events. Expect these sales to run from September through mid-November, just before the holiday season starts.
• Celebration Fall Event – The town of Celebration, Florida is located just east of the Disney Area and its Town Center will be decorated with fall-like charm on September 20th and 21st, 2017. The event features live music played outdoors, along with food and drink vendors and many events for the whole family to enjoy. Given its charm and vintage Americana style, Celebration is a great place to walk its streets, peruse its shops and enjoy outdoor fun throughout the Fall.
• Orlando’s Fiesta in the Park – This event is already on its 47th edition and it is held at Orlando’s iconic Lake Eola in Downtown Orlando. This outdoor event features one of the largest arts and crafts festivals in Central Florida with over 600 exhibitors from all over the nation, along with a large number of food vendors, children’s area, and live music. If you want to know what the locals look forward to, then make it a point to attend on November 4th and 5th, 2017.
Planning to visit Orlando in the Fall? There’s still so much more to see, so stay tuned to our blog and be sure to book your stay at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium. Not only are we located close to everything Orlando has to offer, we also have great rates during the Fall, so you can take advantage of our slowest season of the year—which translates into shorter lines and less crowds at theme parks and local attractions.
Old Town in Kissimmee—a Welcomed Break from Big Attractions
Need a break from the big theme parks? Head over to Old Town in Kissimmee and enjoy a different kind of vacation attraction.
It’s no secret that the big theme parks overshadow some of the off-the-beaten-path and sideline attractions in Central Florida. After all, the theme park experience is what brought you to Orlando in the first place. However, your stay in our amazing city would not be complete unless you ventured beyond Disney, Universal and SeaWorld to explore some of the older and more wholesome attractions. And so, Old Town is probably one of the Orlando Area’s best kept secrets, along with the Citrus Tower and a few other “vintage” entertainment hot spots.
Old Town is located in Kissimmee, Florida, just east of Interstate 4 and the Disney Area. To get there from Vista Cay Resort by Millenium, you would take I-4 West (towards Tampa) and then get off on the US 192 and head East for a few miles. Once you get there, you can’t miss it as you will get a glimpse of a yesteryear-style amusement park, complete with an 86-foot tall Ferris Wheel.
Playing off its Americana architectural style and ambience, on Fridays and Saturdays the Old Town amusement park welcomes a variety of classic and muscle car displays. And best of all, there is no cover charge or a ticket to pay—unless you are riding the Ferris Wheel or other amusement ride-style experiences. Depending on the season, Old Town may have special events and street performers during holidays and special events.
Throughout the Old Town complex, you will find over 70 shops and restaurants, along with a few other surprises. The entire park is built around a family-friendly theme that will be a welcomed breath of air in between the hectic theme park schedule most tourists endure during their Orlando vacation. And as always, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium will be waiting for you at the end of a fun-filled vacation day. We are located a short drive from Old Town and Kissimmee, where you will find many more sideline attractions that won’t break your pocket, but will create memories you’ll cherish for years to come.
Downtown Orlando – Explore Beyond the Tourist Areas
The city of Orlando has much more to offer than just theme parks and shopping malls—and the Downtown Orlando area is worth exploring during your next trip
Orlando is best known as the home of Disney World and Universal Studios, among many more attractions. It is also known as a shopping destination thanks to the Mall at Millenia, The Florida Mall and the Orlando Premium Outlets. However, most people visiting on vacation or business travel stay well away of the real Orlando—the place where over two million locals work, commute and live while everyone else enjoys our hospitality throughout the tourist areas. And if you decide to venture north of the International Drive or Lake Buena Vista areas, you will come in contact with a very different side to our city.
Taking I-4 north, Downtown Orlando is about 10 minutes north of the major tourist district of International Drive. The area is easily recognizable for having the tallest buildings in Central Florida, visible for several miles in plain sight. But what should you do once you get there? Here’s a brief list of places to see in Downtown Orlando during your next visit:
• Church Street Station – If Orlando had a birthplace, Church Street would be it. The area is a well-known nightlife hot spot, but it is also home to Orlando’s financial district. You can walk the streets, enjoy its restaurants, and get a glimpse of some of our city’s oldest buildings and its train station.
• Lake Eola Park – This is another well-known spot for jogging, walking and enjoying Central Florida’s awesome weather. If visiting during the weekend, be sure to shop at its weekend Farmers Market. And if you’ve got strong legs, you can paddle around Lake Eola in an iconic Swan Boat around the lake’s centerpiece water fountain. That said, keep your eyes open for the beautiful swans that live in and around Lake Eola.
• Winter Park – Although not located in Downtown Orlando, this town is just north of it and it has an amazing charm unlike any tourist areas. There are many shops, restaurants and a beautiful park on Park Avenue, where locals walk their dogs and live life without worry. And if you’re adventurous, visit the Rollins College campus on the same street.
Once again, Orlando has so much to offer and sometimes visitors miss out on our unique Central Florida lifestyle. So, if you are coming to stay with us at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium, you owe it to yourself to venture off the beaten path and explore more of what Orlando has to offer. We look forward to seeing you here!
What to do in Orlando in the Fall
Orlando—and the rest of Central Florida—are a great place to visit in the fall, after school starts and the theme parks take a break from the high season
Every season has its charm. And in Orlando, the fall is a great season to visit our city for leisure or business. Most people outside of Central Florida don’t know this, but the high season is defined by a simple fact: when school is over, vacation season begins—and when school starts, vacation season ends. Sure, we get busy again between Thanksgiving Day and the celebration of Christmas, but that’s why it is so awesome to have a fall season in between.
Here are some reasons for visiting Orlando in the fall or right at the end of summer:
• Magical Dining Month – This once-a-year event entices both locals and off-season visitors to enjoy Orlando’s finest restaurants for a package price. Most of the restaurants participating are considered “fine dining” venues and since tourism drops in the late summer, it is the perfect way to entice the “epicurious” to try the many restaurants located on International Drive and adjacent dining districts. Magical Dining Month runs from August 25th to October 1st, 2017.
• Halloween Horror Nights – This is another favorite of those who crave an adrenaline rush. During the month of October, Universal Orlando’s theme parks transform into ghoulish lands when the sun goes down. Halloween Horror Nights will strike terror among the guests with horror movie inspired scare zones and haunted house. Definitely not for the faint of heart, but it is truly a must-do in Orlando during the fall. Halloween Horror Nights runs on select nights from September 15th to November 4th, 2017.
• Disney’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival – If you are a foodie that loves exotic food, fine wine and sweet desserts, then you can’t miss this annual event at Epcot. The event gives guests the chance to walk around Epcot—particularly its World Showcase—and enjoy a taste of not just the countries represented at the Pavilions, but also additional nations showcased in the event during its duration. Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival runs from August 31st to November 13th, 2017.
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is ready to welcome you to Orlando this fall. We look forward to your visit and hope you are ready for a pleasant stay with us. Not only will the lines be shorter at the theme parks, the temperatures will remain in the mid 80s with the occasional drop to the 70s during the evening. What’s not to like in Orlando this fall!
Beating the Lines at Orlando's Theme Parks
There is nothing more disappointing than to arrive at a theme park and want to ride an attraction--only to find out the lines are 120+ minutes long (or longer)
Luckily, the age of technology has finally met the demand of tourists and Orlando's theme parks enjoy some of the best ways to help you get to your favorite attractions fast and easy. That said, the secret starts with being proactive and not waiting until the last moment to secure your place in a ride. Here's how the different theme parks let you get ahead of the line:
Disney FastPass - If you sign up for Disney's MyMagic+ system before arriving to Orlando, you can book a FastPass easily by tying it to your theme park tickets. This will also allow you to use the Disney app on your smartphone to find available times and secure a FastPass for up to three different attractions within a theme park. However, if you don't have MyMagic+ you can still use a Kiosk at the theme park, but be sure to arrive early because FastPass times can go fast.
Universal Express Pass - Similar to the FastPass at Disney, the Universal Express Pass allows guests to skip the lines with a designated time. However, do know that there is a cost associated with upgrading your Universal theme park ticket. In our opinion, it is an upgrade worth getting if you plan to spend a day at Universal Islands of Adventure or Universal Studios Florida. And yes, you want to arrive early to ensure the availability of the Universal Express Pass or Express Pass Unlimited.
If you are planning to stay with us a Vista Cay Resort by Millenium, we want you to be aware of ways to make the most of your vacation. Sometimes it pays to be aware well in advance, so you can make the best decisions as soon as you get to Orlando. So, enjoy your stay in Central Florida!
Tacos Legendarios Claims its Reign on International Drive
Affordable and authentic Mexican street food that won’t bore a hole in your pocket
Tacos Legendarios. Legendary tacos in Spanish. The name should say it all—but there’s still much more to it than its epic name. Located at Pointe Orlando, in the heart of International Drive in Orlando, Tacos Legendarios may look like your average taco food truck, but inside its bowels there’s some serious Mexican cuisine skills that will make your mouth water at the sight and smell of their delicious menu. And yes, tacos are the main course.
When you first approach Tacos Legendarios, you realize that it is located in an odd place. Not odd in nature, but perhaps out of place. Tacos Legendarios is located on the ground floor of Pointe Orlando, in the main square of this centrally-located entertainment and shopping center. And there’s no way you’ll miss it since you will smell the amazing scent of their fare, which makes you hungry—even if you already ate.
What to order at Tacos Legendarios, you may ask? Without a doubt, their most popular dish is the Dos Tacos Combo. But what makes them really special is Tacos al Pastor. And if that’s not enough, their Hawaiian Beef Tacos and Achiote Chicken Tacos can make you fight yourself trying to figure out which one can win your heart. Yet, we haven’t yet mentioned the best part. Tacos Legendarios is super affordable, making it the perfect meal after a day at the theme parks, particularly because they open until midnight.
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is located a stone’s throw away from Pointe Orlando and Tacos Legendarios. We’d tell you to walk there, but it is a bit far despite being so close. Your best bet is an Uber or Lyft ride to Pointe Orlando. You can also catch the I-Drive Trolley or a taxi ride. No matter how you get there, Tacos Legendarios will be waiting for you to ensure you never go to bed hungry. Viva Tacos Legendarios. Viva Mexico. Viva Orlando. And for that matter, Viva Vista Cay Resort by Millenium.
We know that you want a chance to kick back and enjoy a good adult beverage while in Orlando—and here is a great way to get started after a long day at a theme park or convention
Orlando is a vacation and business travel haven—we get it. But that also means that either you are spending your vacation mingling among other families, with children reveling and screaming with joy. And then there are some of you who are visiting Orlando for business, walking around countless convention center booths or perhaps even sitting in day-long seminars or workshops. So, what can you do after a long in vacation or business mode? Well, if you are staying with us at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium, we have a quick-start guide to your nightlife entertainment.
Here are some of the locations you can hit for some adult fun such as fine dining, alcoholic drinks and even some dancing:
Pointe Orlando (about 5 minutes from our property) – This location offers several great restaurants with lounges, which can be the most convenient nightlife hotspot after a convention. Pointe Orlando is home to Taverna Opa, BB King’s Blues Club, Blue Martini, Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, Maggiano’s Little Italy, and many more restaurants. The location also featured the Fat Fish Blue Improv & Comedy Club, Main Event Entertainment, and the Funky Monkey Bistro & Bar. There is also a movie theater, so you can catch up on an R-rated movie without having to make excuses for your kids. And if you want to dance, be sure to enjoy Cuba Libre’s nightly Latin dancing!
Universal City Walk Orlando (about 10 minutes from our property) – City Walk is a great place to spend the evening with plenty of options ranging from restaurants to a multi-cinema movie theater. Among its restaurants and lounge areas are Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food, The Cowfish, Vivo Italian Kitchen, Emeril’s Restaurant Orlando Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Hard Rock Café, among much more. Looking for great places to get an adult drink? Try Pat O’Brien’s or Bob Marley – A Tribute to Freedom, both of which feature live music nightly. And then, there’s our favorite: The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen—a Steampunk-themed restaurant that incorporates chocolate in everything from food to its alcoholic beverages!
Disney Springs (about 15 minutes from our property) – Formerly Downtown Disney, this is a great nightlife hotspot that features great shopping (stores open until late), but also caters to adults looking to disconnect from the theme park or convention action. Restaurant-and-lounge combos abound, including Bongo’s Cuban Café, The Boathouse, Frontera Cocina (Mexican), Morimoto Asia, Paddlefish, and many more. Among those, one of our favorites is House of Blues, since it features live music but you may also be able to catch a world-known artist in their concert hall. Just want drinks and good ambiance? We recommend Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar or Ragland Road Irish Pub & Restaurant. And if that’s not enough, catch a Hollywood flick at Disney Springs’ AMC multiplex!
And do know that after a night out, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium will be ready to welcome you back so you can get a good night’s sleep—so you can do it all over again the next day, until the end of your time in Orlando.
The space-themed immersive attraction is currently under construction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and set to open in 2019
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a young farm boy embarked on the journey of a lifetime to discover his true self as the Last Jedi Knight. And now that the Star Wars movie franchise takes us to the final chapters of Luke Skywalker’s path through the Light Side of the Force, Disney is ready to bring the story to its culmination with the launch of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge—an immersive multi-acre “land” that will be opening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the latter part of 2019. The fact that Disney has finally named this expansion project shows us that we should be getting ready to discover what it feels like to be a denizen of the Star Wars galaxy.
What we know now is that Disney is planning to convert part of its movie-themed park into an extension of the Star Wars Galaxy—complete with a full-size Millennium Falcon—along with restaurants, lounges, shops, and a number of themed attractions. Covering different sub-themes based on a wide range of periods during the Star Wars era, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will also aim at hinting visitors about the future of the Star Wars franchise, including movies, TV series and animated cartoons. There is also talk about a space-travel simulator that can take riders in a light-speed adventure through the galaxy.
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is getting ready to become your spaceport in your future intergalactic journey. Our resort is located within 15 minutes of Disney property and we know that when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens, you will want to book your Orlando vacation right away. After all, if you don’t want anyone to share spoilers from the upcoming Star Wars movies, you just won’t want anyone to tell you what they find when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens in 2019. We ask you now: can you feel the Force flowing through you? The Force is always strong here in Orlando—and we can’t wait for you to experience it.
Whether you are visiting Orlando as a tourist or business traveler, chances are you are always going to forget something back home—but Orlando has plenty of shopping options
Shopping in Orlando is not just something you do. In fact, countless visitors from outside of the US know that we are a premier shopping destination in the nation. With several shopping malls in the area—particularly during a time when shopping malls are considered to be on the decline—Central Florida has continued at the forefront of retail sales nationwide.
Whether you’ve spilled your food on your shirt or simply want to get a good deal on designer brands, Orlando’s shopping options cater to both budget and luxury shoppers alike. With this in mind, take a look at your retail shopping options in Orlando:
• The Mall at Millenia – This is the epitome of luxury shopping in Orlando, with anchor stores such as Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales and Macy’s. This posh covered mall is also home to Tiffany & Co. and brands such as Jimmy Choo, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Salvatore Ferragamo. Need we say more?
• The Florida Mall – The classic mall experience remains an attraction of its own at the most visited mall in the Southeastern US. At The Florida Mall you will find traditional anchor stores like Sears, JC Penney and Dillards, but you will also find prêt-a-porter fashion houses like Zara, H&M, Forever 21, and plenty of electronics, jewelry and accessory brand stores.
• Orlando Premium Outlets – If you want to save on world-known brands while saving money, the Orlando Premium Outlets offers you two locations in Central Florida—one on International Drive and another one on Vineland Road, near Lake Buena Vista (Disney Area). Both locations carry discounted merchandise from names like Polo, Timberland, Victoria’s Secret and many more.
• Pointe Orlando – You don’t have to go far from Vista Cay Resort by Millenium to shop for last-minute gifts or souvenirs. Pointe Orlando is an entertainment, shopping and dining venue where you can spend an afternoon or evening after a day at the theme parks or the convention center. And best of all, you also have a movie theater on premises to catch up on the latest Hollywood film releases.
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium knows that convenience is everything when you are away from home and all of these shopping venues are located within a 15-minute drive (or Uber ride) from our resort property. We look forward to your visit at our resort and hope you enjoy our city to the max—even if you forget your blazer, belt or shoes during the packing rush. And who can blame you? Visiting Orlando is a highlight of most people’s lifetime!
Enjoy Karaoke DJ Parties on Fridays and Pool & DJ Dance Parties on Saturdays
Frosty drinks at the bar? Party music at the pool? DJ rocking it like there’s no tomorrow? You may think this is the poolside scene at a beach or even a cruise ship—but the fact is that this is what’s going on at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium through the end of summer. With the long summer days starting to recede, we want you to make the most out of your evenings when staying with us on vacation.
And we know that while you want the kiddos to enjoy themselves, you also want to enjoy some adult beverages while watching them splash away the warm nights in the pool. Here’s what you should look forward when staying with us at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium:
• Fridays: Karaoke DJ Party from 7 pm to 10 pm
Do you have what it takes to carry a tune like a rockstar? Then head on over to our poolside karaoke bash and grab the mic to earn bragging rights at our resort property.
• Saturdays: Pool Party & DJ Dance Party from 7 pm to 10 pm
Come poolside and enjoy yourself with a frosty drink at the bar. And don’t forget to bring the whole family since there are interactive games for the kids too.
Remember, the summer celebration won’t last forever and Vista Cay by Millenium is ready to rock it until the end of summer. So, don’t delay and book your stay with us so you can enjoy Orlando’s theme parks, our local attractions and the exciting weekends at our resort—located in the heart of Central Florida’s busiest tourism corridor.
Golf aficionados and driving range amateurs rejoice as Topgolf readies for its newest location in Orlando, Florida
A new 65,000 square foot attraction by the name of Topgolf Orlando will give you the opportunity to sidetrack from the usual day-long theme park experience—allowing you to immerse yourself in the sport of golf. And the best part is that Orlando is already known for its countless golf courses, but none of them compare to Topgolf, which will be located on Universal Blvd—just a couple of miles down the road from Vista Cay Resort by Millenium. In fact, the new Topgolf location in Orlando is expected to attract more business travelers who don’t usually have the time to spend a day at a Disney or Universal theme park, but will make time to stray away from the Orange County Convention Center for an afternoon or evening golf experience.
Topgolf Orlando will feature not just golf attractions, but also drinks, music and much more. The new Orlando location will feature membership packages, as well as establish player leagues and a KidZone for the youngest golfers. In addition, golf lessons and classes will be available, along with hosted events for groups and corporate events. Topgolf Orlando will also feature a full restaurant and bar menu that will ensure you will want to stay on-site the whole day. And if this is not enough, Topgolf will be located a stone’s throw from Vista Cay Resort by Millenium, just down the road from our resort property.
Are you ready to visit Orlando on a “golf trip”? Once Topgolf Orlando opens, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium can be your base of operations during your vacation or convention trip. Our resort is located in the immediacy of countless restaurants, bars, lounges, and shopping venues. We are also located around the corner from the Orange County Convention Center, which makes it the perfect place to end a long day of fun and business. So stay tuned for news about the grand opening of Topgolf Orlando and start planning your vacation getaway at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium.
October is only a few months away, which means that Universal Studios is already gearing up for their darkest time of the year with Halloween Horror Nights
A brand-new Halloween Horror Nights theme has been released by Universal Studios Florida, which alludes to a darker theme than ever before with a simple invitation: Your Soul is Requested. And so, the next generation in horror will descend upon Orlando from September 14th through November 4th, 2017—and it will be one for the books. HHN 2017 will feature a new ensemble of horror houses, macabre acts and an occasional dismemberment for crowds to cheer as they flock to Universal Studios after the Florida sun goes down.
By asking park guests to become Soul Collectors and “sacrifice their souls” Universal Studios is taking Halloween Horror Nights beyond its limits—and this may just become a new standard in immersive horror entertainment. During previous years, HHN has introduced us to ghouls and ghosts, deviant clowns and insane movie directors, and now… A new breed of dark characters that will make you scream like a child being eaten by the monster under the bed. So far, we know that there will be a haunted house based on Stanley Kubrick’s horror classic The Shining and we also expect a return of American Horror Story, which has become an HHN favorite.
If you are planning on coming to Orlando to experience Halloween Horror Nights 2017, then you should know that you can stay in the safety of Vista Cay Resort by Millenium, which is located a few miles down the road from Universal Studios Florida. That said, do know that we check for monsters under our beds and our staff can’t wait to welcome you to our exciting property—located close to not just theme parks, but also near restaurants, shopping venues and other local attraction. And since October is also known for shorter lines at the theme parks, you can make the most of a fall vacation getaway at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium.
Vista Cay Resort by Millenium is within an hour’s drive Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf coastlines
We get it, you came to Florida and wanted to enjoy the beach during your hard-earned vacation. Well, you can have you cake and eat it too when you stay in Orlando. Florida’s beaches are as famous as they are long. So with hundreds of miles of sandy beaches along the East and West coast of the Florida peninsula, you have plenty of options to pick from.
Here are some options and some pointers for making the most of a “Beach Day” while staying at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium:
• Daytona Beach – Only a one hour drive East on Interstate 4 (I-4), Daytona Beach is famous for its NASCAR racing events and the Daytona International Speedway. The beach is several miles long and spans a few towns, with multiple access points in Daytona Beach, but also to the north via Ormond Beach and to the south via Ponce Inlet. The waves are a bit more intense than in the West Coast of Florida, mainly due to the Atlantic currents and tropical weather patterns.
• Cocoa Beach – Also about an hour East via I-4, Cocoa Beach is not only famous because of its renowned Ron Jon Surf Shop, but because it is a gateway to many iconic locations reminiscent of the Golden Age of NASA’s space program and the Kennedy Space Center. When visiting Cocoa Beach, be on the lookout for Space X and other private space program launches, which can be seen clearly from any location along the beach. This is also why the area is known by locals as the Space Coast.
• Clearwater Beach – Just under an hour-and-a-half via I-4 West, Clearwater is known for its calmer waters and strong breezes. As you would expect, the Gulf of Mexico produces swirling wind currents but allow the waters to remain tame and as its namesake states, clear enough to see the bottom. If you visit the area, be sure to check out Dunedin Beach, just north of Clearwater. Also, Clearwater is known for its Clearwater Marine Aquarium and Caladesi Island State Park, both of which you can enjoy during your day trip to the Florida Sun Coast.
So now, you have a reason to venture outside of Orlando and enjoy one of Florida’s best-known geographic benefits as a peninsula. Best of all, you get to come back at the end of the day and retreat at Vista Cay Resort by Millenium. And before we forget, when you go to the beach—please use sunscreen! We love our Florida sun, but it can be treacherous if you are not used to strong sun on your skin and the last thing we want to see is you hurting from a bad sunburn. See you soon!
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!