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New features added to Orlando Informer: Enhanced commenting system, read & write reviews of Universal attractions


I have been working many hours to bring two new, powerful features to Orlando Informer. As a reader and fan of our site, not only will you benefit from these features because of how they enhance our site, but if you help me test them you can win a free OI t-shirt (update: testing is over, thanks to everyone who helped out!).

The details follow. Oh, and all the links on this page will open in a new window for your convenience — you’ll see why in a moment.


Livefyre commenting system

Used by many of the Internet’s most popular online communities, Livefyre replaces our old, outdated commenting system with a sleek new interface with many enhancements over what we used to have.


For the user, you will be able to see comments stream in real time, “like” comments, reply, tag friends across your social networks, “listen” to the conversation without participating, comment without errors on our mobile site, and more. You can sign up for a Livefyre account using your favorite social networks to enable all the features, or you can simply write comments with your name and email address if that’s more your speed.

If you’d like to learn about all the features, check out the Livefyre website.


(Update: testing is over, thanks to everyone who helped out!)

The system is installed on our blog and ready to go. Now I need your help to test it! All you have to do is visit any of our hundreds of blog posts and write a comment. Of course, I do ask that the comment is relevant to the article.

Each day until testing is done, I’ll randomly select one comment and the writer will win a free OI t-shirt. You can see our t-shirts by clicking here. Winners will be notified as a reply on their comment, and I’ll also update this post with the names.

Two things to keep in mind: You can enter as much as you want (each non-spammy comment counts as an entry), and remember that this system is just used on our blog posts, not the pages in the OI Universal Center (getting to those in a moment!).

Here’s a list of recent blog posts to get you started:

Rumor round-up for May 29, 2013: No Harry Potter in Diagon Alley, plenty of Duff Beer bottles in Springfield, Kentucky Fried Panda switcheroo

Food & drink theming: The Simpsons expansion is the final sign your meal is now at the center of your theme park experience

Icebar Orlando on I-Drive: Get your next drink served with 50 tons of ice

Transformers: The Ride opens for technical rehearsals at Universal Studios Florida – photos, initial reaction

THE BIG 5 – SPECIAL EDITION: Top five features of The Simpsons Springfield concept art you have to look at again

Walt Disney World kicks off a ‘Monstrous Summer’ with an all-nighter Friday; has a bursting lineup of new thrills & happenings all season

SeaWorld’s Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin – an immersive & chilling attraction like no other in Orlando

To see all of our blog posts, click here. Remember, Livefyre is just used on our blog. For the pages in the OI Universal Center covering all the stuff at Universal Orlando, I’ve got another new feature to introduce…


Readers can now write and share reviews

Even though the OI Universal Center is the world’s largest and most up-to-date guide to Universal Orlando, one thing has been missing since it was first created two years ago: input from our readers and fans about their experiences at the parks.

That changes today as I roll out the first phase of our new “user reviews” feature. Just like so many of us have done on sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp, you can now share your experiences at Universal Orlando with our tens of thousands of readers each week. It’s time to get serious about sharing what we really love at Universal Orlando — and what we may not like at all — with the rest of the world!


(Update: testing is over, thanks to everyone who helped out!)

Our new review system is ready to be used. The difference with our review system verses our Livefyre implementation is that the review system is not on every page in the OI Universal Center. Instead, I’ve chosen these pages to start out with (remember these links will open in a new window):


Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

E.T. Adventure

Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges

Mythos restaurant

The Universal Meal Deal


Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Horror Make-Up Show

MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack

The Blues Brothers Show

Revenge of The Mummy

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

To win a free t-shirt, just visit any one or all of those pages and write a thoughtful review (as usual, spammy stuff doesn’t count). Each day until testing ends I will randomly select one review and the writer will get one of our t-shirts for free. Winners will be notified via email, and I’ll also update this post with the names.

One quick thing to keep in mind: All reviews are subject to moderation, so when you hit the submit button you won’t see your review immediately published — but it’ll appear soon enough!


Thank you for helping me test these new features

Thanks for taking the time to read about these new features and do some testing. It is my hope that the new features will help us create an even stronger resource for Orlando vacation planning while at the same time let us have a little fun interacting and learning.

If you have any questions or comments about the new features or the giveaway, just use the Livefyre comment system below to write your message!

Dan Hatfield
Owner & Editor



These readers helped us test our new features yesterday and won a free OI-shirt:
Heather Bedor
April Coe
Debbie White

If that’s you, please contact us via the contact form here within 72 hours.


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June 4, 2013 5:38 pm

Awesome!! I Love reading all your posts! I was just there in April/May (4/29-5/6) and just missed the rough opening of the transformers and the simpsons area, But with reading all your blogs/posts i feel as if i were back there!! Keep it up and i’ll keep reading!! Best of Luck!! :))

June 4, 2013 5:41 pm
Reply to  LaurenChopak

LaurenChopak We have a ton of Simpsons coverage to add to the site to – and a lot more Transformers coverage, come to think of it. Great time to be a Universal fan. Thanks for supporting our site!

June 4, 2013 5:50 pm

keep up the good work Dan – your site is incredible.  I follow your posts on a daily basis.  We were in Orlando twice last year and got loads of great tips.  We’re hoping to be back next year and are following all the updates with interest.

June 4, 2013 6:55 pm
Reply to  lainieg

lainieg Appreciate the great feedback 🙂

Scott Layman
Scott Layman
June 4, 2013 6:50 pm

I found your site about two weeks ago and I can’t get enough!!!!!! I have been an annual passholder for several years and find out new and fun park info with each visit to your site. Keep up the great work.

June 4, 2013 6:54 pm
Reply to  Scott Layman

Scott Layman Thank you!

June 4, 2013 7:28 pm

I’m a new follower / viewer of this site but have been following on twitter for awhile and really like your site. Keep up the great work.

June 4, 2013 7:58 pm

Did someone say FREE t-shirt. Nice!

June 4, 2013 8:16 pm

We are coming to universal next week my little great nephew is so excited about the transformer ride, but disapointed it will not be open yet. We love reading this site

June 4, 2013 8:29 pm
Reply to  Helen

@Helen You know they’re running technical rehearsals, right? You have a very good chance of riding Transformers. Visit this page to learn more:

June 5, 2013 10:49 am

We planned our whole “girls spring break” trip in April of this year and we loved your site.  Two of our group had never been to Universal and they really enjoyed looking at all the information on your site and made us that much more excited to go!   The last time we went to Universal we did not plan and I can honestly say that this trip was so much better thanks to your site!  At one point, my daughter looked at me and said, “Wow, we missed so much last time!”

June 5, 2013 10:54 am

KayRowellWildman Thanks for the awesome feedback! So glad you found us and that we could help you plan your trip to Universal 🙂

June 5, 2013 12:51 pm

OrlandoInformer KayRowellWildman   I forgot to mention, thanks to your tips, my daughter was the first one in line at Ollivander’s and was chosen for the wand experience!   To make it more weird, the wand Ollivander chose for her was the same one she bought two years ago when we were there.

June 5, 2013 11:49 am

I found your site fore our recent trip to universal and I’m glad I did. Your information was invaluable. We were there when they started the soft openings for transformers, and we would have had no idea what was going on, much get to ride line we did if it were not for your “tweets”! Your enthusiasm is infectious. We even got to be in the first 10 people to eat at the new Simpsons food court! My husband and I are glib back in aug and we will be using your expertise again!–April

June 5, 2013 7:27 pm
Reply to  Scrappingapril

Scrappingapril You’re very welcome!

June 5, 2013 4:22 pm

I would love a T-Shirt to wear on my next trip to USO in January!!

Amy Files
Amy Files
June 4, 2013 5:47 pm

June 4, 2013 5:55 pm

Oh, by the way, the winning starts today even though this blog post didn’t make it up until almost 6pm EST 🙂

Regina Hickenbottom Campbell
Regina Hickenbottom Campbell
June 4, 2013 6:08 pm


Mark Hubing
Mark Hubing
June 4, 2013 6:34 pm

Great idea!
June 5, 2013 10:10 am

Oh, and we opened up several more attractions to review, including TRANSFORMERS: The Ride!

About Taylor Strickland

Taylor Strickland is the owner of Orlando Informer, the internationally awarded independent resource for guests visiting Orlando. In this position, he leads the website's overall direction and day-to-day operations, working with a team of writers, editors, developers, and producers.

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