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Casie Shimansky

Casie {kay-cee; KC} Shimansky is an award-winning social media manager and recognized photographer. Originally from New Jersey, she grew up in the theme parks, moved to Orlando with her family in 1993, and met her now-husband at Universal Orlando while working at Men in Black: Alien Attack in 2005. Dog Mom to two German Shorthaired Pointers, she is also a lover of pizza and Halloween and is a fierce advocate for Children's Cancer Research, having gone BALD just two days after getting married. Casie raised over $26k in 2018 alone for the cause.

4 best times to go to Universal Orlando

The number-one question Orlando locals likely receive (outside of, “Hey, do you know how to get discounted tickets to the parks?”) might be, “When is the best time to come to Universal Orlando?” It’s a heavy question. It’s a deep question. It’s… well, complicated, at best. And it might be the number-one question we locals […]

Top 3 ways to enjoy Disney World without kids

In 35+ years of going to the Walt Disney World Resort parks, if anything is true, I can tell you it is this: Disney World is not just for kids. In fact, the resort as an adult kind of runs in my family; just a few years after Magic Kingdom opened, my parents honeymooned there […]

Remembering DisneyQuest

In 1965, when a mysterious land deal was reported near Orlando, Florida for (what would become) 25,000 acres, no one could imagine the (Disney) world that would unfold before their very eyes between 1971 and today. Even with all this space, however, there comes a time when everyone simply moves on; Walt Disney World Resort is […]

10 most intense rides at Universal Orlando

Growing up in Orlando, it was apparent to me from a very early age that Universal Studios Florida was a theme park you graduated into. It meant you had hit a certain height range and had acquired a certain level of bravado, and the thought of a great white shark lurking in Central Florida didn’t […]

How and when to tip in Orlando

When traveling, it’s always a good decision to research a few things prior to departure. What’s the weather like? What’s some native wildlife you might encounter? How should you dress? And, of course, do we tip, and, if so, how much? Tipping is customary here in the United States, and in Orlando, specifically, our hospitality […]

6 pizza spots you’ve GOT to try in Orlando

Being born and raised in New Jersey gives you a few inalienable rights. For me, those were the New York Yankees, wanting to grow up to become a Ghostbuster, and – well – pizza. Pizza, for many, is just a Friday night tradition. For others (myself included), it may as well be a lifestyle. To […]

The 10 best beaches near Orlando

When you think of Florida, you likely think of summer – palm trees, a scorching sun, and a life spent by the water with fun frozen drinks that magically appear out of thin (but humid) air. Summer in Florida isn’t just a season, it’s a lifestyle – and one we locals tend to live year-round, where […]

7 things to do at Universal Orlando that aren’t rides

Why would anyone go to Universal Orlando Resort and not do the rides? It’s a fair question, but, truth be told, this is how my husband and I typically experience the parks! After years of exploring (and practically growing up in) Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, we’ve got a whole new method for enjoying […]

Does Universal Studios Florida have a studio tour like Hollywood?

One of the age-old questions for theme parkers who are familiar with both coasts (or multiple global locations) is, “Does this park have what that park also has?” I have to admit, I’m guilty of the same question, and while I know the parks do their best to keep all locations just different enough to entice us on […]

8 rainy-day tips at Universal Orlando

It’s happened to the best of us. We plan a trip to the theme parks, take to counting down to the big day, and as the week approaches, our anticipation only grows – and then we see the weather report. There may be nothing that dampens (literally) your day more than the unpredictable weather of […]

15 hidden and weird spots at Walt Disney World

Did you know there’s more to Walt Disney World Resort than just the hidden Mickeys around the parks? The fun silhouettes of Mickey Mouse are fun to find, but they aren’t the only Easter eggs Imagineers have slipped in between the rides and restaurants.  What other tucked-away details does Disney World offer? Here’s a peek at […]

SeaWorld: Your questions answered

For Orlando locals, theme-park days are almost second nature. Park map? No, thanks – we know the layout like the back of our hand. For our guests and general visitors to Orlando, however, this is, frequently, their first experience with many of our attractions and sites. And, rest assured, there are days when even locals and […]

8 Magic Kingdom-resort-area secrets locals love

There are certain perks that come with being an Orlando local. For starters, Cinderella Castle and the Haunted Mansion have become our version of the famous titular bar from Cheers, with, of course, the likes of Mickey Mouse being our “Norm.” We know Walt Disney World Resort like the back of our hands, and, as […]

Orlando International Premium Outlets: Closest outlets to Universal Orlando

Universal Orlando Resort offers a variety of on-site shopping opportunities, but if you still feel the need to hunt for souvenirs beyond The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you don’t have to go far to find some fantastic deals – just head down the road to Orlando International Premium Outlets. Know before you go: there are […]

Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets: Closest outlet mall to Disney World

Orlando is best known for its world-class theme parks. But there is something else you can do here other than soak up the sun at the pool and aim to hit every ride Walt Disney World Resort has to offer: take your vacation shopping for the day! The City Beautiful is home to some of […]

Universal Orlando water taxis: This complimentary transportation is one of Universal’s best-kept secrets

When planning a trip to Universal Orlando, one of the main concerns is, “How do I get around?” Universal actually makes this a breeze by offering quite a few different methods to explore. One of our favorite ways to head out for the day is the resort’s water-taxi service that brings guests from its on-site […]

7 things to know about visiting theme parks during the slow season

That sound of jubilation you hear coming from Central Florida can only be one thing – Orlando residents rejoicing the arrival of their favorite season all year. Yep, slow season is upon us! The first two months of the year are some of the best times to enjoy Orlando’s theme parks with comparatively no crowds, […]

5 most terrifying tourists

In a typical day working at Men in Black: Alien Attack, it was never out of reach for me to assume that I would come in contact with hundreds – if not thousands – of people at any given, random time. This is, also, where my love affair with hand sanitizer began… but that’s a […]

8 pieces of bad advice you should NEVER follow

It happens to the best of us. We’re happily planning an upcoming vacation – we diligently do our research, read an overwhelming amount of reviews, and maybe even take to social media to ask our family and friends for their advice on what they’d recommend doing while in Orlando. While these recommendations are always well-intentioned, […]

Those who eat here vow to never go anywhere else

While visiting Universal’s theme parks, there’s definitely never a need to worry about finding incredible dining options; in fact, many times you might just be overwhelmed with all the delicious choices that are presented to you! Lately, my boyfriend Sean and I have been taking quick post-work trips to Universal Studios Florida in the evenings […]

Why you NEED to eat at Yard House

It was my sister, Stefanie, who first experienced Yard House at a South Florida location of theirs, as well as one in Los Angeles. When she caught wind that they were expanding into the Central Florida market, she was supremely excited and began sharing the details with me as we awaited their grand opening. The […]

Living Harry’s Story: “Sorcerer’s Stone”

Amidst the hustle and bustle that is the summer opening of Universal Studios Florida’s Diagon Alley, it’s easy to forget that an author with vibrant words and vivid imagery created this vast new world over 15 years ago. After visiting Diagon Alley for the first time, I was inspired to pick up my personal copy […]

3 adorable love stories from Orlando’s theme parks

If you had asked me at the age of 21 if I thought I’d find love in the theme parks, I’d say not likely; it was the last thing on my list as I was just happy to have a job. And yet, there I stood on my very first day in the last suit […]

“Let Your Heart Take Flight” as a Macy’s Holiday Parade balloon handler

In the spring of 2005, I needed a change in my life. I don’t particularly know how, at 22 years old, I knew this, or why I thought that change would be found while working at Universal Orlando. I just knew I needed something different, and that Universal was the answer. At the time I […]

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament: A grand feast in the age of knights and jousting

The first time I attended a Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament show, I was easily under the age of 10. I loved the magic, mystique, and – of course! – the knights and horses. Recently, my family and I were able to take part in another Medieval Times show (which was updated in 2012) close […]

Uber’s “shared driver service” is Orlando’s slick new transportation option for saving money

The background It’s been a few months since Uber first appeared on my radar, thanks to some of my friends who have been using it on business trips. They raved about the app’s sleek style, ease of use, and how much cheaper the service is than the average taxi. As a huge fan of new […]

As if you were there: The Tonight Show at Universal Orlando with special guest Jimmy Buffett

­­­My journey to see Jimmy Fallon started as most journeys begin these days – with a Facebook post. “Did you know Jimmy Fallon is coming to Orlando?” I did not. The second it was on my radar, however, I – along with most of Orlando – went into full social-media stalk mode. Somehow, by an intensely […]

Cinematic Spectacular Dining Experience: VIP treatment for Universal’s evening lagoon show

In all my years visiting Universal Studios Florida, I have never eaten at Lombard’s Seafood Grille in the San Francisco backlot of the park. We’ve frequently walked past it but thought it would be too expensive or that it would take much longer than we wanted it to when our priorities were the rides. Recently, […]

Cabana Bay Beach Resort: The thrills of staying at Universal’s newest on-site hotel

For over a year, I drove by Cabana Bay Beach Resort’s construction site, eagerly noting how much I couldn’t wait to experience it. Just based off of its concept art, I knew it was going to be a special addition to Orlando. And a few months ago, my boyfriend, Sean, made it even more special […]

Fogo de Chao on I-Drive: We sample the sizzling new bar menu & handcrafted cocktails

Fogo de Chao is best know for their continuous tableside service that includes 16 cuts of incredible meats in the main dining area. Guests control their service with small green- and red-sided chips that allow the servers to know whether to “stop” or “keeping coming!” It also keeps the tradition of “Churrasco” barbeques alive, which […]

Rocky Horror Picture Show at Universal CityWalk: Giving in to absolute pleasure and a great night out

My love affair with The Rocky Horror Picture Show came late in life, and by late I mean that I only just discovered it in its entirety at this past year’s Halloween Horror Nights. Honestly – and almost embarrassingly so – I never gave it the attention it deserved at previous Horror Nights. Then, while we were […]

Epcot’s Candlelight Processional: An enchanting holiday event that fills our spirit with classic Christmas cheer

I admit, I’m one of those potentially annoying people who loves Christmas. This isn’t to say that I don’t eagerly await July 4th or St. Patrick’s Day with equal enthusiasm (because I totally do!), but, ya know, there’s just something special about Christmas. I love how it rolls in with Kris Kringle and The Macy’s […]