A is for Africa at Busch Gardens

A is for Africa is a musical performance that brings tales of imagination and adventure to life with Elmo and his friends, performing daily at the Sesame Street Safari of Fun’s Sunny Day Theater.

Show Schedule times – 11:30, 1:00, 3:45, 5:00

Review – This was so much fun, my kids loved it and if I’m being honest I actually really liked it too 🙂

Elephant Insider at Busch Gardens, Tampa

Elephant insider is a tour featured in Busch Gardens, Tampa, Florida.

Get an insider’s look at how Busch Gardens cares for one of the world’s largest land animals. Go behind the scenes to meet the keepers and observe how they train and work with these incredible animals in their state of the art facilities.

Price – $19.95 plux tax per person (ages 10 and up)

Duration – 45 minute experience

Jungala Insider at Busch Gardens, Tampa

Jungala is a 4-acre (16,000 m2) family attraction featured in Busch Gardens, Tampa, Florida featuring up-close animal encounters, rope bridges to explore three stories of jungle life, and a water-play area for children. Also located in this area are two family attractions: Jungle Flyers, a zip line that offers three different flight patterns above the treetops of the new area, and Wild Surge, a shot tower that launches guests above a waterfall. Another attraction is Tiger Trail, which is a walkthrough with tigers where there is also a glass turret where you can look out right in the middle of the tiger enclosure.

Get an insider’s look at Jungala and discover how the world-class attraction was designed to be immersive for guests and naturalistic for the animals. Go behind the scenes to meet the keepers and observe how they care for these endangered Bengal tigers and Bornean orangutans.

Price – $19.95 plus tax per person (ages 5 and up)

Duration – 45 minute walking tour

Attraction ticket review – This get’s very very busy so beware you won’t get much time to look at the tigers, however it is great when you do – you go up a ladder to a clear dome that looks into the tiger pen, its to the side I think it would be much better in the middle so you can get more of a chance to see the tigers real close other than that little moan the overall experience was fab.

Serengeti Safari – Busch Gardens, Tampa

Serengeti Safari featured at Busch Gardensm, Tampa, Florida. This opened in 1965 and was the first of its kind to offer animals in a free roaming environment.

Feel yourself being swept away to the African veldt on an open-truck tour that takes you up close to the wonders of our 65-acre Seregeti Plain, where you’ll meet some magnificent animals.

Get nose-to-nose with a giraffe. Learn a thing or two about zebras you never knew until you got this close. Understand exotic species like bongo, eland and ostrich as your guide helps bring you closer to the wildlife and wild places in this world we share.

Photo opportunities on the Serengeti Safari are unbelievable. Be sure to bring your camera so you can share your Serengeti adventure with everybody back home.

Price – $33.95 plus tax per person (ages 5 and up)

Duration – 30 minute open-truck tour

Attraction Ticket Review – This was great, you get so close to the animals, was just an amazing experience and would definately do it again.

Ollivanders – In The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Universal Islands of Adventure, Orlando

Visit Ollivander, Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C. Step into the small dusty shop and gaze up at countless wand boxes stacked to the ceiling. Here, in a unique interactive experience, a Wandkeeper can help the wand choose YOU. You can purchase the wand you tried out, or select from Ollivanders’ full array of wands including replicas of the Harry Potter film characters’ wands, Collectible wand sets and more.

Mr Ollivander, the pale-eyed, white-haired shopkeeper, makes and sells the magic wands to witches and wizards as they enter school or break their old wands. He remembers every wand he has ever sold. To determine the best wand for a witch or wizard, Mr Ollivander measures various body parts (including, in Harry’s case, between his nostrils) and then checks the reactions of various wands to the buyer, a process to which he refers as “the wand choosing the wizard.”

Why don’t you visit Ollivander and find the perfect wand for you.

Shops in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal’s Islands Of Adventure

Dervish and Banges – Be sure to stop at Dervish and Banges for such magical items as Sneakoscopes, Spectrespecs, Omnioculars, and The Monster Book of Monsters. Dervish and Banges carries all your Quidditch  needs including t-shirts, Quaffles, Golden Snitches  and brooms including the Nimbus 2001  and the Firebolt. You’ll find Hogwarts  school uniforms and clothing including robes, scarves, ties, t-shirts and sweatshirts. The store offers an assortment of other merchandise such as journals and stationery items.

Filchs Emporium of confiscated goods – Purchase souvenirs such as Hogwarts clothing including jackets, t-shirts, sweatshirts, shoulder bags, caps and scarves; plus house crest banners, stationery and other gifts. There are authentic movie prop replicas including character walking sticks, Death Eater masks and film-based chess sets; assorted Quidditch clothing; magical creature toys and clothing; plus a variety of assorted toys and other souvenirs. It is also here, at the attraction’s exit, that guests can purchase a photo of their ride experience on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

Honeydukes – A must-stop for visitors to Hogsmeade , at Honeydukes  the shelves are lined with all manner of colorful sweets, including Acid Pops, exploding bonbons, Cauldron Cakes, treacle fudge, Fizzing Whizzbees, and Chocolate Frogs, which contain a wizard trading card in each box. Inside the shop you can fill up a bag of Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans… who knows what tasty (or not so tasty) flavors you’ll discover! The shop also offers other classic favorites such as chocolates and fudge.

Zonko’s – Zonko’s  is your destination for novelty items, jokes and toys. At Zonko’s  Joke Shop you can take home such items as a Sneakoscope, Extendable Ears, Screaming Yo-yos, a Boxing Telescope, Fanged Flyer, Pygmy Puff, Shrunken Heads, and more. There are sweets including Fainting Fancies, Fever Fudge, Nosebleed Nougat, and U-No-Poo. The shop also offers Zonko’s t-shirts, mugs, and other assorted souvenirs.

Why not try all the above shops at The Wiazarding World of Harry Potter, you never know what you might find……..

The Three Broomsticks Restaurant at Universal Orlando

The Three Broomsticks Restaurant based on the inn and pub from the potter series, offers a variety of food and beverage items.

In this restaurant you can choose from such entrees as the “Great Feast Platter,” fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, Cornish pasty, turkey legs and fresh vegetables. Children’s menu items include chicken, macaroni and cheese, fish and chips, and chicken fingers, each served with grapes and applesauce. Dessert choices include apple pie, strawberry and peanut butter ice cream, and chocolate trifle.

Cuisine: Fish and chips, Shepherd’s pie, Cornish pasty, Turkey legs and Fresh vegetables

Children’s menu: Chicken, macaroni & cheese, fish & chips, and chicken fingers, each served with grapes and applesauce.

Service Type: Buffeteria

Dining Hours: Lunch and Dinner daily

And why not relax and unwind in The Hog’s head pub at the rear of the Three Broomsticks™ tavern is the Hog’s Head pub. On the wall behind the bar is a large stuffed hog’s head which periodically snarls at guests. The family can enjoy Butterbeer™, pumpkin juice and other beverages while adults trade stories and sample the pub’s selection of domestic and imported beers, specialty drinks, wine, spirits and mixed drinks.

Think some of the beveridge options sound weird, why not read the descriptions about them and maybe even give them a try, you never know you might like it.

Butterbeer – Butterbeer is the drink of choice for younger wizards. Butterbeer was a real drink, the earliest reference to Buttered Beere is from, ‘The Good Huswifes Handmaide for the Kitchin’ published in London in 1588 A.D. made from beer, sugar, eggs, nutmeg, cloves and butter back in Tudor times.  It has a sweet taste and is not an alcoholic beverage.

You can make your own Butterbeer from a recipe on the Harry Potter Fan-site MuggleNet.

Pumpkin Juice – Pumpkin Juice is a cold drink favoured by the Wizarding world, and among the students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It is drunk at any occasion, such as breakfast, lunch, at feasts or on other occasions.  It is a bit like a feisty apple cider with a little pumpkin thrown in.

Attraction tickets review – This is a great place to eat and chill out after a long day in The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter, this does make the experience more real and do try some of the food and beveridge options from the Harry Potter movies, how cool will it be to be able to tell your friends that you have tried it.

LEGOLAND Florida Offers Sneak Preview

LEGOLAND Florida gave us media types a sneak preview of Florida’s newest theme park, built in Winter Haven it replaces the now defunct Cypress Gardens.

Rumours state the theme park will have 50 rides, on top of shows, lego made models and other interactive attractions .

The press conference took place in the largest of the 3d cinemas which will show 4 films including Bob the Builder. The wooden coaster previously at Cypress Gardens will be rethemed as Coastersaurus.

.LEGOLAND confirmed that the new park will open in October 2011 and a standard annual pass to Legoland will be $99 in the pre-sale, available now. Lifetime pass for $2500.

Flight of the Hippogriff at Islands of Adventure Orlando

The Flight of Hippogriff is a roller coaster at the Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando, Florida. The ride is located in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter section of the park and is a mild alternative to the lands more extreme rides including Dragon Challenge and Harry Potters Forbidden Journey.

Pass by Hagrid’s hut and follow his instructions as you learn the proper way to approach a Hippogriff, which has the head of a giant eagle and the body of a horse.

Then it’s time to take a “training flight” aboard the Flight of the Hippogriff™, an enchanting family coaster woven from wicker and decorated with fluttering leaves representing feathers. Bow as you approach the ‘real’ Hippogriff, and then you’re spiraling and diving around the pumpkin patch, and swooping past Hagrid’s hut.

Height to ride – At least 3″6

Family friendly coaster

Attraction ticket review – This ride is ok, more for the children really but it was great to see my little boys face when he was riding this.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at Islands of Adventure Orlando

Harry Potter and the forbidden journey is an attraction at Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando, Florida. It is the signature ride at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter area of the theme park, and takes riders through scenes and environments in and around Hogwarts Castle from the various books and films of the Harry Potter series.

Make your way through the familiar classrooms and corridors of Hogwarts™ School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Then soar above the castle grounds as you join Harry Potter™ and his friends on an unforgettably thrilling adventure, coming face-to-face with magical creatures! This amazing new attraction uses groundbreaking technology (and a little magic) to create a one-of-a-kind ride experience.

Height to ride – At least 4″8

Ride duration – Approx 5:02

Best for – The family

Attraction tickets review – This is just amazing for any Harry Potter fan’s out there this will blow you away. I don’t know how its done but its so real.