Know the city | Know the industry

Category: 5 Questions

5 Questions in 5 Minutes with Denise of

We recently were able to grab a few minutes with Denise of Mouse Steps. She gave us some insights into where she sees Orlando evolving and what the future of Disney World will be. If you’re unfamiliar Mouse Steps is a one stop shop for all things Disney related. From movie reviews to walking trails at the World Mouse Steps is the perfect site. They also feature the very latest in Disney World news; including ride closures and restaurant reviews.

OTR- What should the theme be for Universal Orlando’s next resort?

D@MS- I would personally like to see character themed suites for a full resort, like the higher end Minion Suites. For anyone who hasn’t seen them, there is one room that is elegant, and then a very nicely themed bedroom for kids (or kids at heart).

OTR- What do you see as being the likely next big construction project coming to Magic Kingdom? 

D@MS- I would be surprised to see any big construction coming to the Magic Kingdom anytime soon. Between Downtown Disney (Disney Springs), Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park and hopefully a makeover at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, I think Disney has a pretty full plate. I would rather see Epcot get a few new countries or attractions. The Magic Kingdom just went through several years of changing Fantasyland, so I just don’t see anything big happening now.

OTR- What will Future World be in 15 years?

D@MS- I don’t expect Future World to change that much in 15 years. It would be nice to have a makeover for Universe of Energy, and to have Wonders of Life open all year round with attractions. The Imagination pavilion could use a massive overhaul too.

OTR- What is the next step for Central Florida’s sports tourism industry

D@MS- I would like to see a major league baseball team for Orlando.

OTR- Short and sweet! I like that. And one last question here.What is one non-touristy thing that everyone who visits Orlando should see or do?

D@MS- We have a lot of semi-touristy things to do here. Lakeridge Winery in Clermont would be one. There are a ton of restaurants and some things to do in the Winter Park area. Kings Bowl on I-Drive is fun and has great food. There is always something to do here, in or out of the theme parks.

Continue Reading

5 Questions With Safari Mike

We’re excited to have Animal Kingdom expert Safari Mike from the Radio Harambe podcast and the Jambo Everyone website answer a few questions regarding his views on Orlando tourism. Mike has long been an advocate of Animal Kingdom and has supported numerous conservation efforts around the world. His weekly podcast has become the go-to place for the very latest news regarding Animal Kingdom and all of Walt Disney World.  Mike and his Radio Harambe co-host Dave McBride have both long been advocates of Animal Kingdom not being a half day park.

OTR- What makes Orlando unique when compared to other tourist centric destinations?

SM- This one is easy: Volume. The sheer number of theme parks and attractions is overwhelming. Like I said, I never set foot “off property” but I know I am missing another world. Back when I first started going to WDW, there was just the Magic Kingdom (yes I am that old). So we would go to Busch Gardens, Sea World, Silver Springs, Cypress Gardens. Then Epcot opened and we stopped doing a couple of those other attractions. Then Disney MGM Studios opened and it was game set and match. Other than checking out Universal Studios in its infancy we really never set foot off property. But there is sooooo much out there that people could spend a month on vacation in Central Florida and not see everything.

OTR- What is the most ‘Disney’ ride currently at Universal Orlando Resort?

SM- This one is a toughie since I usually don’t leave the World. But I am constantly looking at videos and whatnot of Universal. The easy answer would be something Potter due to the level of theming or perhaps Spider Man since that’s actually a Disney property. But I am going to pick Revenge of the Mummy. It just seems like a Disney type ride with the level of details in it. The queues, the effects, the façade, all are quite “Disney.” And if they ever put it into Hollywood Studios it would automatically be a Top 3 attraction, no?

OTR- What are your predictions/hopes on what the next big news item regarding Disney World resorts being?

SM- This would have to be what’s the next DVC. We all know its coming and they have pretty much maxed out the monorail resorts for vacation club expansion. Once the Poly is done, what will Disney do next for DVC? I have heard all sorts of things including even a large addition to the Caribbean Beach resort to allow for rooftop Illuminations viewing or something build right behind Epcot for the same advantageous views. I suppose only time will tell but with DVC being such a cash cow, you can bet they are not done with it.

As for hopes? I want them to build a train that runs from Kidani to Jambo to a dedicated DAK entrance at Harambe. How cool would that be?????

OTR- What is the one thing that would cause the biggest improvement to Orlando International Airport?

SM- I have three words for this – Earl. Of. Sandwich. That’s right, my home airport of Newark NJ has an Earl in one of its terminals. Let’s put one in the Orlando airport. Then I wouldn’t have to try to work my way down to that ridiculous Disney Springs area and its nightmarish construction to get a decent sub. And who wouldn’t feel better about going home munching on a holiday sandwich? I say no one. And what better way to enjoy the Magical Express ride to the Animal Kingdom Lodge than by chowing down on a Chipotle Chicken Avocado. Better WiFi? Sure that would be nice. Quicker baggage claims? OK, that helps. But both pale in comparison to adding an Earl.

OTR- What ride at Walt Disney World would you point to as best resembling what the future of the parks will be?

SM- I was going to say Triceratops Spin here, but I decided against that. Instead, I am going with Enchanted Tales with Belle. What’s that you say? Well, hear me out on this one. Yes, I know it’s an attraction that is basically for little kids and it doesn’t have a ride element. But the reality is the technology in here is pretty amazing. The mirror effect and the Luminere AA are wow factors. I see these types of things continuing; clearly the 7 dwarves at the mine train take a cue from the Luminere figure. The lighting effects are used so well (Avatarland anyone?). And, most importantly, an immersive experience, which is of course, a Disney hallmark. Yeah, this attraction is not necessarily a “big deal” but it does show to me where Disney is possibly going into the future.

Continue Reading