How Will Universal Manage The Crowds For Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure officially opens next week and we CANNOT wait!!!!! The hype for this new attraction is off the charts with the park expected to reach capacity, so how will Universal deal with the popularity?

942 Hagrids Magical Creatures and Motorbike Adventure 051019 Line Ride Vehicle Interiors Exteriors Scope Shots

Well they’ve actually put quite a bit of thought into this and today have confirmed that they will be using a virtual queue system. Here’s the deets;

Virtual Line: Beginning June 14, there may be times when Universal’s team members ask guests to join the Virtual Line on The Official Universal Orlando Resort App to experience Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. This will allow you to enjoy other attractions in the park until it’s your time to join the queue.

Step 1: Prior to your arrival, download The Official Universal Orlando Resort App

Step 2: Once you’re in Islands of Adventure, open the app and tap the icon for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. From there, select how many people are in your party, and then select a return time to join the queue. Please note that you have to be in the park in order to secure a return time.

Step 3: Enjoy the other amazing experiences across Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios until your return time arrives.

Step 4: Upon your return time, head to the designated attraction entrance, where you will wait for your ride. The remainder of your wait time will be posted at the entrance when you arrive. All you have to do is scan your Virtual Line pass on your mobile device, and then you’re ready to join the queue.

Simple hey! For those of you who have been to Volcano Bay you’ll recognise how this virtual queue works. Its a great idea to manage what will be a very busy day!

Smiles included…

Jamie

2018 Theme Park Attendances

Hey Thrill Seekers!

So the annual theme park attendance figures are in and there has been an increase in most regions and attraction types. Check this out…

Attendance at themed attractions at the major operators has exceeded half a billion visits for the first time in history. This is equivalent to almost 7% of the world population. And not only that, but this number keeps growing. Just five years ago, the market capture of the industry was only 5% of the global population.

In Orlando we saw the opening of Toy Story Land and to be honest it wasn’t really a massive year for new attractions in the ‘Theme Park Capital’ of the world but the increase we can see may be to do with people choosing to let the crowds die down a bit at the likes of Pandora: The World of Avatar and Volcano Bay.
Below it’s easy to see that Walt Disney World is still the largest theme park group in the World welcoming 157,311,000 visitors which is around 7 million more than the previous year! All of the other Theme Park Groups that feature in Orlando (see the green stars) are in the same position as last year but all have an increased attendance. The most impressive of all is definitely SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment with an 8.6% increase!

Top 25 Theme Parks Worldwide

As we can see the standings are pretty similar to the previous years with the exception of Universal Studios moving down one place from 10th in 2017 to 11th for 2018.
With the opening of Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios this year (2019) i’m confident the attendance will soar and it will move up at least one place – especially with Toy Story Land still being new too!
Hopefully we will see Islands of Adventure move up the charts too with the new potter coaster due to open next month – what do you think?

Water Park Attendance

Last year due to the opening of Volcano Bay having an impact i said ‘In my opinion, Volcano Bay has smashed it!! Considering they only opened on the 25th May 2017 they have come in at 6th in the standings – Go Universal!!’ Considering the above standings now include a full year i’m pretty shocked to see them still at 6th! Although they did have the biggest increase at 15%!
On the plus side, Blizzard Beach And Aquatica have both moved up a space!

Top Parks in North America

Both SeaWorld and Busch Gardens have moved up a space in these standings. We can see that Pandora is still having a massive impact on Animal Kingdom with a 10% increase and even better, SeaWorld is showing a 16% increase.

This year also showed strong and steady business volume through most regions and attraction types. In an unusual alignment, theme park attendance grew by roughly 4% in all major markets. Waterparks’ attendance rose at 2.5% globally, with North America at 5.8% and EMEA showing strong growth of 6.7%. We have observed a number of phenomena that have led to this and other strong years’ performance in the business. These include the addition of second gates, the continued leveraging of blockbuster IP’s, and the building of resort hotels adjacent to park properties.

Honorable mentions are in order this year for a number of players including: SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment which turned around from a 5% drop last year to an almost 9% increase this year.

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So with Galaxy’s Edge, new Potter coaster and many more new attractions such as Tigris, Mickey and Minnies runaway railway, Skyliners, Sesame Street, LEGO Movie World and many more opening in 2019 next years report may look a little different! :p

Smiles Included,

Abby

Halloween Horror Nights Reveals New House, Depths of Fear

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Do you have a fear of water…. do you hate it when you’re in the sea and something brushes against your leg… then Depths of Fear, Halloween Horror Nights new house could be the one that tips you over the edge.

What’s it about?

The workers of a deep-sea mining company have found themselves in a dire situation. They’ve delved too deep and encountered a parasitic race of creatures that turn out to be deadly. Panic ensues as you find yourself encountering infected miners and acidic creatures. The pressure builds as the self-destruct sequence counts down to the inevitable implosion of the facility.

The badies are?

As you venture further into the depths, you’ll encounter the creatures known only as the “Mouthbrooders.” Picture being trapped in a claustrophobic mining installation underwater with a countless number of these slithering monsters. Your worst nightmares will come to life as these fiends spew flesh-eating acidic eggs at human hosts, and you witness miners being driven mad by the infection.

Depth of Fear joins Stranger Things , Blood Pit and Universal Monsters for this years screamathon, you’d be crazy to miss it. You can buy HHN tickets directly from Orlando Attraction Tickets.

Screams included…

Jamie

What Can We Expect From Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

We less than a month away from the official opening of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at Universal’s Islands of Adventure I for one am SUPER excited!

Hagrids Magical Creatures and Motorbike Adventure 051019 Line Ride Vehicle Interiors Exteriors Scope Shots

Today Universal gave us a sneak peak and some additional about what we can expect from one of this years most anticipated rides!

From rich sets and an actual forest with 1,200 trees to ground-breaking coaster technology and a captivating storyline, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure will be the most highly-themed, immersive coaster experience yet – becoming the world’s first “story coaster.”  

Epic Thrills Await Within the Forbidden Forest…

Get ready to soar into one of the most mysterious places in the Wizarding World – the Forbidden Forest. Aboard magical motorbikes, guests will actually feel the freedom of flight as they journey to the edge of the forest – regardless of if they’re on the motorcycle or in the adjacent sidecar. They’ll ascend above the trees, rapidly accelerate through mysterious ruins, speed forward – and backward, and so much more as they search for the wizarding world’s rarest magical creatures.

Hagrids Magical Creatures and Motorbike Adventure 051019 Line Ride Vehicle Interiors Exteriors Scope Shots

The “story coaster” will feature innovative technology that is integrated so seamlessly into the surrounding environments, guests won’t know what to expect next. Along the way, they’ll experience thrills they’ve never felt on a coaster before, including:  

  • The most launches of any roller coaster in the world – with 7 total launches
  • Unexpectedly dropping nearly 17 feet on the first coaster in the U.S. to feature a free-fall vertical drop
  • Being catapulted 65 feet in the air at a more than 70 degree angle – and then immediately dropping backward in one movement

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure will also be the longest roller coaster in Florida, measuring nearly a mile in length (5,053 feet).

Your Adventure Begins When You Enter the Ruins…

Before taking off on an exciting journey through the Forbidden Forest, guests will enter ruins which appear to have been abandoned for centuries behind Hagrid’s hut. The ruins were imagined and brought to life by Universal’s award-winning Creative team in collaboration with the Harry Potter films’ Production Designer, Stuart Craig, and Art Director, Alan Gilmore. Hagrid now uses the ruins for groundskeeping at Hogwarts. And this is where guests’ Care of Magical Creatures class will begin.

As they make their way to their enchanted motorbikes, guests will see materials from the class, including dragon eggs on the verge of hatching and a makeshift nursery where Hagrid kept his Blast-Ended Skrewts – the creatures that are being brought to life for the first time ever for this epic new adventure. Guests will encounter beloved characters from the Harry Potter films including Arthur Weasley, Hagrid, and his loyal dog, Fang, through a pre-show experience brought to life with digital projection and special effects. During this interaction, guests learn about their impending trip to the Forbidden Forest as part of their lesson for the day. Islands of Adventure.

Abby and Gavin will be live from the official opening so keep your eyes peeled for additional news.

Smiles included…

Jamie

Free Beer is back all summer long at SeaWorld

Hey Thrill Seekers,

I bring good news! Free beer is back at SeaWorld Orlando for the summer! As well as Busch Gardens during their 60th anniversary celebrations!

SeaWorld Orlando visitors can claim a free beer sample at the park all summer long. Guests 21 years of age and older can pick up one complimentary USA domestic beer (398ml / 14 ounces) at Mama’s Pretzel Kitchen Patio Bar per day, from 10.30 am to one hour before the park closes from the 25th May to the 2nd September.

Park guests at SeaWorld Orlando are also invited to enjoy a weekday Happy Hour at 4pm all summer long from 10 May to 2 September. Happy Hour will feature buy one, get one free offers on beer, wine, cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages at Flamecraft Bar, Shark’s Underwater Grill Bar and Waterway Grill Bar.

CHEERS 🙂

Smiles included,

Abby

Is Abyss Coming To SeaWorld Orlando

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Mako, Kraken and Manta… the triple threat. 3 of the best coasters in Orlando but could they be about to become a quadruple quandary!

Rumour has it (and some plans submitted to local authorities) that SeaWorld Orlando are building a new coaster set to debut in 2020. The new coaster which is being built by coaster company Premier has similarities to Tigris and based on recent trademark filings could be called ABYSS.

Now some reports are describing the new attraction as a family coaster but don’t let that put you off, from what we’re hearing the coaster will have up to 4 launches with airtime and inversions that would reach a max speeds of up to 55 mph.

The image above provided by thecoasterkings.com, shows details of how we believe the new coaster will be positioned. It will be housed near Shamu Stadium and Mango Joe’s Restaurant which will lose part of its outside area to make way for the Abby’s queue.

The coaster itself, is rumoured to have 4 launches and will start by launching backwards up an incline that will have a curl to it, the coaster will then all forward (like Tigris) onto a second launch element with will propel it up a top hat element, a top hat or top cap consists of an ascent at a 90 degree angle immediately followed by a 90-degree descent. The top hat will be located near the Bayside Stadium, and will provide some great airtime (think Mako). The train will then hop over a guest pathway into a relatively undeveloped area near Ports of Call. There will probably be a few helixes and airtime hills, then the train will go back over the pathway and roll into the station.

SeaWorld haven’t confirmed any of this and it is thoroughly classed as a rumour but I like the sound of ABYSS, assuming that what it will be called.

We’ll keep you posted when we learn more.

Smiles included…

Jamie

Universal Monsters House Confirmed For HHN29

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Universal have confirmed that Dracula, Wolfman, Frankenstein and more will be making an appearance at Halloween Horror Nights 29. Yey!!!!

Here’s what Universal had to say;

In this all-new haunted house the world’s most terrifying monsters unleash havoc – thirsty for anything and everything in their paths. As you try to escape to safety, you’ll step into each monster’s domain – but beware – they refuse to let anyone get out alive…

Come face-to-face with Dracula in his gothic castle, the Wolfman in a dark Bavarian forest, and the man-made monster within Dr. Frankenstein’s lab. And if you survive them, you still may encounter the vicious Creature of the Black Lagoon, the ancient evil of the Mummy and more.

Universal Monsters joins Stranger Things  and Nightingales Blood Pit for this years HHN29 with 7 more houses yet to be announced.

Screams included…

Jamie

Disney Confirm New Fireworks Show For Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

Hey Thrill Seekers,

For the first time in 14 year Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party will be getting a new fireworks show.

The new show will feature state-of-the-art projection effects, lasers, lighting and dazzling fireworks that come together to tell a not-so-scary story about how anything can happen on Halloween night.

The show will take guests along on a trick-or-treating adventure, where four friends – Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy – find themselves drawn into a mysterious haunted house. The journey takes them from one room of the house to another, encountering dancing skeletons, waltzing ghosts and a whole series of troublemaking Disney villains.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party will also include the following “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular,” featuring the Sanderson Sisters and Disney villains the likes of Oogie Boogie, Dr. Facilier and Maleficent.

“Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade,” which happens twice nightly and features favorite Disney characters dressed in their Halloween best, along with the Disney villains and a cavalcade of fiendishly fun floats. Storybook Circus Disney Junior Jam in Fantasyland is the spot for all of the young partygoers to get their groove on with favorite Disney Junior characters like Doc McStuffins and Vampirina.

In Frontierland, prospector Cactus-Flower Cate rounds up youngsters for the “Frontierland Costume Promenade,” encouraging them to show off their costumes in a quest for the greatest treasure in the land – candy! The “Frontierland Costume Promenade” takes place just prior to each run of Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade and of course, Trick-or-treating throughout the park!

You can purchase Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Tickets from Orlando Attraction Tickets.

Smiles included…

Jamie

Disney Confirm Travel Times on Skyliner Gondola Transportation

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Not only have Disney been busy creating their largest ever land expansion with Star Wars: Galaxys Edge but they’ve also been working on a new transportation system called Skyliner Gondola’s, the cable car style people movers will be decorated to fit Disney’s look and feel.

Today Disney has confirmed the approximate journey times you can expect when riding a Skyliner.

From Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort to Disney’s Hollywood Studios – 5-6 minutes

From Disney’s Caribbean Beach resort to Disney’s Pop Century Resort or Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – under 6 minutes

From Disney’s Caribbean Beach resort to Disney’s Riviera Resort – 5 minutes

From Disney’s Caribbean Beach resort to International Gateway at Epcot – 15 minutes 

From Disney’s Riviera Resort to International Gateway at Epcot – 9 minutes 

I image the views from these bad boys will be spectacular and I for one cannot wait to try them out.

Do you think the additions will help with the traffic congestion?

Smiles included…

Jamie

Universal Orlando Confirm Holiday Dates

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Yep now Easter is over it means Christmas is just around the corner… kind of… so with that in mind Universal have confirmed their seasonal dates.

Visit from November 16, 2019, to January 5, 2020, to experience a one–of–a–kind holiday.

Don’t just get merry. Add a dash of mischief as you enjoy this resort-wide celebration. Enjoy the views, shows, and food during Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Experience Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s. 

 Watch the live retelling of Dr. Seuss’s classic holiday tale starring The Grinch in The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular.  

Check out this video for allllll the info (that we have so far) 😉

Smiles Included,

Abby