Oct 14 2009

Tomorrowland Transit Authority (Magic Kingdom)

Published by under Orlando Articles,Theme Parks



The Tomorrowland Transit Authority is probably not high on many people’s list of ‘must-do’s’ when they visit Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida. In fact, you may not even have noticed it, as there are a hundred and one other more exciting things to do, but it is a favourite of mine. Why should that be you may be asking? Well, its not a white knuckle ride, it is not thrilling or exciting, and it rarely has a queue, but after trekking round the parks in the heat I love to sit and relax for 10 minutes or so in reasonable comfort, and in the cool – and at least it allows me to take the weight off my poor old feet! It also gives me the chance to have a superb view of the park from high above the crowds, where I can take some great photos. Not only that, but you get to see inside Space Mountain, and if there aren’t many people waiting in the line they don’t make you get off, and you can sit still and go round again with no queuing – bliss!

The TTA or ‘WEDway People Mover,’ as it was originally called, began its life in Disneyland, California. Walt Disney thought of it as more than just a ride. He had a vision that the People Mover, sponsored by Goodyear, combined with a monorail, could help solve the problems of congestion in cities. In 1967 it was innovative, and included a unique queuing process in which guests boarded a speed-ramp – or what we would call an inclined conveyor belt, or moving walkway – which transported them up to a second boarding area level.  When guests got off the ramp they were deposited onto a stationary platform, but this was surrounded by a large rotating turntable which turned at the same speed as the cars. Because the inside of the disc moved more slowly than the outside ring it enabled guests to make an easy transition into the cars, which didn’t need to slow down significantly in order to be boarded. which werThe little cars were powered by small rubber tyres made by Goodyear which were embedded along the track. About every nine feet or so hundreds of electric motors power these tyres as they press against fibreglass epoxy plates which are positioned on the underside of the cars. Each train had four cars holding four passengers each, and their top speed was a mere 6 miles an hour. Astonishingly the PeopleMover had a capacity of 4.600 guests per hour.

The TTA at Magic Kingdom in Orlando was somewhat different, as it was powered by linear induction motors, not moving wheels embedded in the track. This made the ride much smoother. It was not included in the first stages of the park, and indeed, it was not until July 1975 that it opened, six months after Space Mountain.  The Disneyland People Mover had cars with individual roofs to protect them from the elements, but it was decided that, because of Florida’s weather, this would not be sufficient protection from inclement weather.  They added a fifth car to each train, and covered the entire track. Unlike the Californian ride, the Florida attraction travelled along the same elevation throughout its journey. The Carousel of Progress was dismantled at Disneyland ready to be shipped to Florida, but they decided that the large model of Progress City, the prototype of EPCOT, should be seen whilst riding the ‘WEDway People Mover’ in Florida. It was much too large to fit the available space so it had to be drastically reduced in size. In 1994 it reopened as the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, which is how it is now known.

Over the years little has changed, and the TTA has recently undergone a refit, with a new coat of paint and different coloured lights around the track. There is also a new audio track which has replaced the original narrative. Some people will miss the jokes, but the narrative points out the various sights along the way. Space Mountain has been closed for some time for a major refit, and as the TTA passed through it, it too, had to be closed. However, with Space Mountain nearing completion for a re-opening date of November, 2009, it was felt that it was sufficiently ready for the TTA to reopen. Whilst it will take you through several of the attractions such as Buzz Lightyears Space Ranger Spin, as yet, Space Mountain is still boarded up.

So next time your feet are aching and you feel like a sit down in the cool, take a ride on the TTA.

Submitted by “ellie” view her property here:
Orlando Vacation Villas

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Aug 04 2008

A – Z of Renting an Orlando Vacation Villa

Published by under Orlando Villa Rental

So you have decided to rent an Orlando Villa, so what comes next?

Well, first take a look at rental sites such as Orlando Villas by Perfect Florida Villas. Or Florida Villas, here you can browse or search for that perfect villa. Once you find one that you like, or several that you like, send out an enquiry to the owner listing your requirements, number in the party, dates of arrivial and departure. The owner(s) will get back to you confirming that they have your dates and the total price of your stay. You will see that it represents excellent value for money especially for larger families or groups as you only pay for the villa not per person.

Next, you pick out the villa that suits you and contact the owner directly, the owner may have asked for a deposit when the replied to you, if not they will do in the next email. this is normally a nominal fee to reserve the villa and confirm your booking.

The next time you have to make any payment is around 10 weeks prior to your arrival in Orlando. This is the final balance. You may also be asked for security deposit, this is refunded to you a short time after you vacate the villa. This is only around $300/£200 and is held as a damage bond. If there is no damage you will recieve the money back in full. Owners do not like having to deduct anything from this deposit and will only do so as a last resort and if the damage was wilful.

Shortly berofe your arrival you will be given details of how to get to the villa and how to gain access along with any other useful information such as management company phone numbers in case you have any problems.

That’s pretty much all there is to it, you have cut out the middle man and dealt directly with the owner of the property. You know exactly what it is like and where it is. Unlike booking with a tour operator where they allocate you a villa on arrival.

If you are interested in booking the villa at the top of the page visit Orlando Villas

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Aug 02 2008

A Day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (MGM) Orlando Florida

Published by under Orlando Articles,Theme Parks

They recently changed the name from Disney’s MGM studios to Disney Hollywood studios but that’s as far as it goes, everything else is just as much fun. I guess though I will always remember it as the former. It is probably not one of the top favourite parks but it still has lots to offer. When you arrive at the park it has an art nouveau style of buildings reminiscent of the 1950’s at the entrance. Some of the thrill rides here are quite close to the entrance down on Sunset Boulevard on the left. These are Rock & Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith which is a high speed indoor roller coaster where you go from 0 – 60 mph in 2.8 seconds with the same force as an F14 aircraft take off. All this done to the music of Aerosmith!

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Then there is The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. This is a ride taken from the TV series the Twilight Zone which is set in the Hollywood Towers Hotel. In the the pre show you go into a room, the library, and you watch a TV show from the original presenter of the twilight zone, this lasts about 2-3 minutes. After that you join the lines in the basement to board your elevator. Once inside you are then taken on a journey to the Twilight Zone culminating in several high speed drops before returning you to the basement. This version is totally random so you will never have the same experience with the drops. There are many TV and Film based attractions here including Star Tours (Star Wars based flight to the planet Endor). This is a simulator ride. There are shows from the Muppets, Indiana Jones and much more. One of the not to be missed attractions here is the night time show Fantasmic. This is a show involving fireworks and a Hydrotechnic display. This all takes place in the Hollywood Hills Amphitheatre. Another great show is Lights, Motors, Action – Extreme Stunt Show. Amazing display of stunts performed several times a day. This park is also home to the ride Hollywood studios back lot tour. This involves a bit of behind the scenes stuff and a ride through Catastrophe Canyon. All in all a great day out.

By Steve Sewell

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Jul 07 2008

FREE! Orlando & Florida Guide. Download the eBook

Published by under Florida Articles

You are welcome to download this free eBook containing around 80 pages of information on Orlando and Florida.
Here is the link. 

Orlando & Florida Guide Book.

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Jul 07 2008

New Roller Coaster for Sea World (Manta)

Published by under Orlando Articles,Theme Parks

From the Orlando Sentinel 29th May 2008

For its next big attraction, “Manta,” SeaWorld Orlando intends to mix 184,000 gallons of water, 3,000 sea animals and a roller coaster that puts riders in a prone position, then takes them through four inversions and as high as 140 feet and as fast as 56 mph.

“You say, ‘Hey, you’re putting as much emphasis on the animals as on the ride.’ Absolutely. That’s who we are. This is uniquely SeaWorld. We don’t want to just put in a ride,” said Joseph Couceiro, chief marketing officer for SeaWorld’s parent company, Busch Entertainment Corporation.

SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Entertainment officials today announced details today for the new Manta roller coaster, which they said will seamlessly take guests from the awe of encountering rays in underwater flight into the sensation of actually being one.

Swooping over water and sky, Manta will show riders underwater animal habitats, then soar them face-down aboard a manta-inspired flying coaster, donned in hues of dark purple, ultramarine blue and cobalt.

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Jul 07 2008

A New Type Of Ticket for UK Visitors

Published by under Theme Parks

There is a new ticket that has appeared on one of the ticket websites www.tickets4fun.com It covers all the main parks that you are likely to visit on your trip. It lasts for 14 days from first use. There are Two versions of it, the second version includes Busch Gardens in Tampa. Basically, it combines the Orlando Flex Ticket and The Disney Ultimate ticket. One thing to note it also includes Sea World’s new water park Aqutica. The parks included in the ticket price are: Note: For UK Guests only.

Freedom Ticket
Magic Kingdom Park
Disney-MGM Studios
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park*
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park*
Pleasure Island in the Downtown Disney area
DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Park***
Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex**.
Universal’s Islands of Adventure®
Universal Studios®
SeaWorld® Orlando
Wet’n Wild® Orlando

* Water Parks are subject to seasonal closure
** Valid only on event days, some events require an additional admission charge.
*** Excludes prize games.
Cost: £280 Adults £240 Child.
Freedom Ticket 2
As above but including Busch Gardens
Cost £302 Adult £259 Child.

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Jul 07 2008

Welcome to our Blog

I’ve been traveling to Florida regularly since 1990, staying up to 3 months some times. I have learnt a lot about it and have picked up many tips over those years. Where better to write about my experiences than right here.

In 2004, Dawn and I bought our own villa in Orlando in Calabay Parc a really nice community. We decided to do it after years of staying in hotels until the year before we bought and found that it is the perfect way to spend your vacation.

This blog is also for any villa owners out there as well anyone else who may find it useful and informative.

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