Archive for June, 2010

Harry Potter Ride Now Open at Universal Studios

June 27, 2010

Orlando has been a-buzz this week with the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter–a new “land” inside Universal’s Islands of Adventures theme park.

The main attraction inside this land is the technologically advanced thrill ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.  For a non-spoiler peek at this ride, InsideTheMagic.net gave LanceAround permission to show this video of the ride’s queue line:

A surprise hit inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is Ollivander’s, Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC. The spoiler video below gives a glimpse into this delightful shop:

In addition you can buy Pumpkin Juice, Butterbeer, Chocolate Frogs and loads of other treats at Honeydukes, Zonko’s, The Three Broomsticks or Hog’s Head Pub.  You can also send a letter from the Owlery–the only place in the world that provides an authentic Hogsmeade postmark.

During the opening week of Harry Potter, Universal struggled with lines that stretched all throughout the themepark and past the entrance!  Some guests waited over eight hours, only to be told the ride was closing and they would not get to go on it.  Talk about a PR nightmare.

But those who have gotten inside Harry Potter universally give it a big thumbs up.  I recommend waiting a few months until the season is slower and Universal has worked out all the kinks.  Then make your plans to enjoy the newest addition to our world class array of theme parks and entertainment.

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Top Ten Posts ’09-’10

June 24, 2010

Infusion Tearoom is Wonderful and Just Missed Being On Our Top Ten List

In honor of Lance Around Orlando’s two year anniversary, here is the annual list of our Top Ten Favorite Posts from the past year:

1. National Champion to National Artist – This poignant, heartwarming and true story talks about the parallels between the accomplishments of two talented 19 year olds–30 years apart!

2. Turn the Tables on ‘Em – A whimsical romp through Disney World with an eye towards mischievous fun.

3. Disney World Handicap Access – Disney does it right when it comes to helping those less fortunate.

4. LanceAround Hits 100! – This post is a MUST READ if you really want to understand what this blog is all about.

The Hobbit Helped Crash This Party

5. Lessons From The Hobbit – The true story of how an old novel can lend an idea that helps resolve a current, real life dilemma. And it’s funny, too.

6. Philly Cheese Steak…In Orlando?!? – Combining childhood memories with educational information, this restaurant review gives conclusive proof that, well, we’re not sure it proves anything. But it’s fun.

7. FFF Best in Show Award Goes To… – Chosen to provide daily blog updates from the Enzian Theatre for this year’s Florida Film Festival, LanceAround goes deep into his psyche to reveal how he determines which movies to recommend.

8. DiVine at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – This post is a great example of this blog in action–a true insider’s guide to a wonderful experience that would be easy to miss without the help of LanceAround.

The Old Spanish Sugarmill Pancake House

9. Best Kept Secret IV-Pancake Breakfast – Another post about an off-the-beaten-path restaurant that is worth a special trip an hour north of Disney World.

10. Top Ten Vacation Movies – A list of our favorite, must-see movies, about vacations, and is perfect for anyone planning a vacation.

(Oh, and in case you’re interested, here’s the link to the Infusion Tearoom post! Did I just cheat and add an 11th to my top ten list?)

Michelangelo With Scissors

June 8, 2010

On Stage Frank Krzanik Showcases His Talent With His Model: #1 Daughter

Sue owns a vacation home in Central Florida and teaches cosmetology to high school students at a technology center in Illinois. My company manages her vacation home.  

Hairstyles of all Types Abound

She calls Mrs. LanceAround last week and explains that her fellow cosmetology teacher, Frank Krzanik, was selected to showcase the Bonika Shears at the Premier Orlando International Beauty Event held at the Orange County Convention Center. Frank needs some models so he can demonstrate how to cut hair. Would Mrs. LanceAround and Number One Daughter like to model?  

Packed Convention Center

With over 46,000 in attendance, the convention center is packed with eager attendees wanting to learn the latest trends in beauty and fashion. Number One Daughter sits in the chair while Frank’s hands, moving like a blur, wielding his Bonika Shears, cuts, styles and blow dries her hair. Meanwhile thousands of eager conference attendees stride by, stopping now and again to watch Frank’s techniques or examine the scissors for sale on display.  

In a short time, Number One Daughter is smiling broadly as she looks in the mirror at her new “do.”  Mrs. LanceAround, then Number One Son also take their turn in the chair. Once more Frank’s hands are a blur as he showcases his craft.  

As we are walking out of the convention center, Number One Daughter is beaming as she speaks about how wonderful a job Frank has done with all their hair. “He’s like Michelangelo with scissors,” she remarks. Then, with an inspired look in her eye, she proclaims, “Hey, that’s the title for your blog post!”  

And so it is.

Star Wars Weekends

June 5, 2010

Yikes! #1 Daughter is an Imperial Stormtrooper

Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios have become one of the most anticipated events of the year.  

During May and June every year, four weekends are devoted to Star Wars fans of all ages.  During this special event there are guest appearances from across the spectrum of Star Wars movies and TV series as well as multiple photo ops, parades and programs.  

Younglings can hone their lightsaber skills and, perhaps, have an unexpected encounter with Darth Vader. Trivia contests provide an opportunity for a special prize. Characters abound and autograph sessions are packed with fans.  There is no additional charge as all these activities are included with your admission into Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park. Of course, all the usual rides and attractions are up and running as well. 

Uh-oh Jabba the Hut Caught Up with Her

This year, the celebrity hosts for all four Star Wars weekends are Jeremy Bullock, who played Boba Fett, and Ashley Eckstein, who provided the voice of Ahsoka.  In addition, each weekend features special appearances by other guests, such as Jango Fett, the voice of Captain Rex, the chief model maker, Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian), a supervising director, Darth Maul, Chewbacca and more!  

For a special invitation to Star Wars Weekends (and a little smile) call 407.827.2799.  

Number One and Two Sons and Number One Daughter went to Hollywood Studios last weekend and reported that it was a lot of fun. They also did some excellent journalistic research to provide LanceAround fans the scoop that Star Tours is planning to change their voyage. Rumor has it, it will be 3-D.  

Click on this link for a video preview of the new Star Tours Attraction: http://www.wdwnews.com/viewvideo.aspx?videoid=113798&siteid=1  

This new remake is planning to come to your galaxy in 2011.  

On a far more serious note…  

One of Amber’s young Montessori School pals was diagnosed with a brain tumor last year. It’s been a real struggle for him and his family. Here’s a link to their blog where they talk about their trip to Star Wars Weekend last week. It will make you smile and cry at the same time:  Jedi Noah’s Blog.  

Please hold Jedi Noah in your thoughts. He’s a terrific kid from a terrific family. If you don’t have time to see his blog, here’s a video of Jedi Noah taking part in the parade at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: