Is This The New Harry Potter Ride?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Yeah Star Wars Land is a cool idea and everything but for me the new attraction I’m most excited about is the new Potter ride. Due to open this year at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, we’ve had little to no formal information about what we can expect from the new attraction not even a name.

Name Rumour

So we’re hearing that the icon for this new ride will be Hagrid and therefore the name will be based around the character played by Robbie Coltrane. Last week the strongest rumour was Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure which yep I agree is a bit of a mouthful but does tick boxes in terms of IP. We’ve already seen what we believe are the ride vehicles which look remarkably like Hagrid’s motorbike and side car (pictured below).

This week several sources on the internet have been suggesting that the name maybe shortened to Hagrid’s Magical Creatures which is perhaps catchier but doesn’t really tell a newbie anything about the attraction.

I’m not 100% in love with either of these suggestions to be honest and to remind you all these are just rumours.

What will it look like?

Well we might have more information on that, orlandoparkstop.com yesterday received what they claim is an artistic rendering of how the area will look.

From this leaked image I think it’s fair to say that this is going to be an extremely detailed and beautifully designed ride.

Image result for blast ended skrewt
Blast Ended Skrewt

Hagrid’s hut instantly stands out as to me it is the most recognisable part of this concept art (and is the main link between the ride theme and the name). Images taken by OrlandoParkStop show how the hut is coming along in real time. It looks as though in the Scene involving Hagrid’s Hut that riders will shoot out of a hole that has been burned in the ceiling of the hut – possibly caused by a mis-hap when Hagrid was showing off his Blast Ended Skrewt (which is said to be one of the scenes we will see)

Another cool part of the ride experience is the below ruins and the way the coaster will shoot through them. If you look closely at the photo on the left side of the rendering you can see how the track takes a sharp left turn as it travels down and out of the ruins.

The cave is an interesting one, as we are not too sure what this part of the ride could entail. However from the rendering and ariel view you can see that the track goes directly into the cave which looks as though is going to be a very dark section of the track.
There was also a rumour surrounding a ‘spike’ element, which if the rumours are true, could be part of the cave section. As you can see, the back of the cave is surrounded by dense foliage which could be covering the high point of the spike which was also rumoured to have a ‘fall back’ feature. This means riders will climb up several stories and then immediately fall back down. There are however no clear pointers to this element in the concept image which is the newest piece of information that we have.

There has also been some speculation regarding ‘Fluffy’ – Hagrid’s famous three-headed dog and we think he is going to feature during the ride, maybe in a hidden rocky building (circled in red is where we think Fluffy may be hiding)

Something else we have had a long chat about here at OAT today is what we think the queuing experience is going to involve.
Here’s an idea that we think would work best with the theme.. (remember we aren’t qualified coaster designers even if we like to think we are) ..a pre-show experience involving a lesson on magical creatures, maybe even being taught by the big hairy man himself. This would fit in so well with the rumoured name ‘Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure’ and i’d love to see Hagrid be the star of the show as he’s one of my favourite characters.
Another thing to think about is that when you’re queuing for Gringotts you know you’re in the bank and when you’re queuing for Forbidden Journey you know you’re in Hogwarts.. so surely when you’re queuing for this ride you should know and feel exactly where you are. And to us this would be the forbidden forest.. could we see the Weasleys car, unicorns, centaurs, pixies, Hippogriffs and spiders?.. there is so much that can be featured in the forbidden forest!!

What do you think the queuing experience will involve?
What bit of the ride that you can see from the leaked image are you most looking forward to?

I didn’t think it was possible but i’m more excited than ever about the new potter ride!
Remember the above is still just rumour as Universal haven’t confirmed (nor denied) and of the information or the name of the coaster but we will of course let you know as soon as they do!

Smiles Included,

Abby

Interview with Larry from Eat & Play card.

Hey Thrill Seekers,

It’s Tuesday again so that can only mean one thing.. Tuesday Talk is back can I get a HELL YEAH?!

This week we’re getting to know Larry who is the top dog at Eat & Play card – one of our most popular smile alerts! Let’s get down to business.

Hugh Grant hated filming the dance scene, with director Richard Curtis claiming the actor was

Name:  Larry Raubach

Company:  Eat and Play Card (Orlando/NYC)


Position: Director

Getting to know you..

How would you describe your job to a child?

I help people have better holidays when they visit Orlando, Florida.

What was the last thing you watched on TV and why did you watch it?

“Love Actually.” While it has admittedly become one of my favourite Christmas movies, this time my girlfriend made me watch it. There are so many great scenes, but, I particularly love the one where Hugh Grant dances around 10 Downing like nobody is watching.

If there was a movie produced about your life, who would play you and why?

Ryan Gosling and Ryan Reynolds would surely fight over the role. Can you blame them? They’d get to spend a lot of time filming in sunny Florida. Plus, we’re all originally from Canada so it would be easy for them to get into character. Oh yeah…and I look just like them. 😉

If you could choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I Gotta Feeling (that tonight’s gonna be a good night)

 

Work..

Describe your theme park / attraction using only 3 words.

Eat. Play. Save.

Favourite theme park / attraction of 2018?

Pandora! And I suspect it will continue to be until the new Star Wars Land opens up next year.

What is going to be BIG for your company in 2019?

That’s for me to know and you to find out…

Tell us a fact about your theme park / attraction that most people don’t know.

We’re not actually based in Orlando.

What is a must do for first time visitors to Orlando?

Walk the I-Drive strip. There is so much more to Orlando than just the Mouse.

Thanks Larry! Really appreciate you taking the time every year to do this for us!!

Check out previous interviews here:
Teresa – OAT
Paul – Boggy Creek
Suzie – LEGOLAND
Renee – Fun Spot
Philip – Kennedy

Don’t forget to tune in next week for another Tuesday Talk!

Smiles Included,

Abby

Everything we know about Universals Mardi Gras!

Hey Thrill Seekers!

Starting on Saturday 9th February this years Mardi Gras event looks awesome! For those of you who don’t know, Mardi Gras is a New Orleans style party held at Universal Studios where you can catch countless beads from vibrant parade floats, eat delicious and authentic food and listen to some of the biggest names in music.

Buckle in cos’ i’m going to tell you everything you need to know about this years Mardi Gras including the FOOD you can get during the event! YUM.

Parade

The 20 minute parade is one of my favourite parts of Mardi Gras! This years theme is Party Animals so is right up my street! There will be originan fan favourites as well as new floats themed to lively animals from around the world like the below:

Be prepared to catch tonnes of beads from the floats!!

The parade starts at 5:15 pm on Feb. 21, Mar. 4
It starts at 6:15 pm on Feb. 10-15, 18-20, 22, 24-28, Mar. 1, 5-8
It starts at 7:15 pm on Mar. 3
It starts at 7:30 pm on Mar. 11-15, 18-22, 25-29, Apr. 1-4
It starts at 7:45 pm on Feb. 9, 16, 17, 23, Mar. 2, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, 31

Food

Another one of my favourite things!!
During Mardi Gras you’ll be able to test out loads of dishes in the French Quarter Courtyard as all dishes can be bought in tasting sizes!

There is also a variety of speciality cocktails!
Mimosa Bar – a new bar dedicated to – you guessed it!- Mimosas! you can try unique flavours such as caramel apple, raspberry rosemary and mojito mint.
Signature Drink – (non alcoholic) ‘Bayou Bog Water’ don’t be put off by the name though it comes complete with gummy worms, fish and blueberry boba beads!
You can also get Carnival Cocktails and Ragin’ Rumbalayas  and then if you’re feeling brave you could go for the Viscous Voodoo which is a combo of the previous two!!

what one would you start your night with?

Live Entertainment and Performances

On select nights, you can watch some of the biggest names in music take to the Music Plaza stage. Here’s the line up:

  • February 9 – BUSH
  • February 16 – Gavin DeGraw
  • February 17 – Dan + Shay
  • February 23 – Macklemore
  • March 2 – Sabrina Carpenter
  • March 9 – Becky G
  • March 10 – Sean Paul
  • March 16 – Steve Miller Band
  • March 17 – Ziggy Marley
  • March 23 – NF
  • March 24 – Pitbull
  • March 30 – Bazzi
  • March 31 – To be announced

If you want to hang around the French Quarter you will be able to see the signature sounds of these authentic Big Easy bands.

  • February 9 – 17: Dirty Bourbon River Show
  • February 18 – 27: Naughty Professor Brass Band
  • February 28 – March 18: Free Agents Brass Band featuring Honey Bannister
  • March 19 – April 4: New Breed Brass Band

So there we have it. Are you visiting Universal Studios between the 9th Feb and 4th April? If not, you should cos’ it’s great time to visit Universal!!

Smiles included,

Abby

Interview with Teresa from OAT

Hey Thrill Seekers!

I know it’s late but apparently finding out if Goofy is a dog or a cow is more important than Tuesday Talk with our very own Teresa!.. go figure! 😉

Lets Get down to business.. but first here’s Teresa on Mako, reckon she’s loving it or hating it? We can’t tell..
Also here’s a fun game for you on hump day.. pause at random times during this video for a afternoon full of laughs 😉 (love ya Teresa!)

Name: Teresa

Company: Orlando Attraction Tickets

Position: Reservation’s Manager

Getting to know you..

How would you describe your job to a child?

We sell tickets to mummies and daddies who are surprising their kids and going to see Mickey & Minnie, and it’s the most “Magical” job in the world (see what I did there) 😊

What was the last thing you watched on TV and why did you watch it?

The Punisher on Netflix – cos there’s a little bit of eye candy!!

If there was a movie produced about your life, who would play you and why?

Reese Witherspoon, she is also mum with a very busy life style and some of her quotes are ones I would also use, such as…… “Being a Southern person and a blonde, it’s not a good combination. Immediately, when people meet you, they think of you as not being smart”.

If you could choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?

MC Hammer – Can’t touch this…. Do do do do, do do, do do.

Work..

Favourite theme park / attraction of 2018?

My Favourite theme park, has to be SeaWorld and my favourite ride has to also be one of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainments as well and this is Mako – however the Teresa VS Mako video on our Facebook page tells a completely different story.

What is going to be BIG for your company in 2019?

I’m not entirely sure we can get any better 😉 but watch this space.

What is a must do for first time visitors to Orlando?

Watching Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom is a must for everyone in the family.

Thank’s Teresa! We know you’re super busy so appreciate you taking the time to do this 🙂

You can see all of the other interviews so far here:
Suzie – LEGOLAND
Philip – Kennedy
Paul – Boggy Creek
Renee – Fun Spot

Don’t forget to catch us & Gavin on OAT Live tomorrow!

Smiles Included,

Abby

Quick Guide to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party & tickets!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

This year we’re happy to announce that we are offering Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) tickets (at real competitive pricing may i add)

As it’s a new product I thought I would give you all the information you need about the event and your tickets!

What is MNSSHP?

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is Disney’s yearly Halloween event with frightfully delightful treats, grim grinning ghosts, eerie entertainment and Disney Characters that go bump in the night. so get your favourite costume ready for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. On select nights and as the seasons change, new experiences come to life across the parks. Take in all the special lighting, music, theming effects and magical decorations as you look for many of your favourite Disney Characters and Disney Villains dressed up for the occasion. Discover world-class theatrical entertainment, enjoy special goodies and experience all the excitement of villainous entertainment!



Where is MNSSHP?

Magic Kingdom






When is MNSSHP?

It is running on the following select evenings from 7pm until midnight.

16, 20, 23, 27 and 30 August

2, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27 and 29 September

1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25, 27, 29 and 31 October

1 November

How do I purchase MNSSHP tickets?

Easy peasy! Simply visit our website and select your preferred date from the calendar and then all you need to so is go through the easy booking process and viola!

How do I use my MNSSHP tickets?

So, once you have paid in full for your tickets we will make them available inside your customer account online (which you will make during the booking process) and send you an email to advise when they are ready.
If you are booking the party tickets alongside, say, 14 day Disney tickets we will post the tickets to you with your Disney tickets as well as putting them in your online account.

Once you receive your email to advise that they are ready all you need to do is print them out and keep them in a safe place as the next time you will need them will be when you’re having them scanned at the turnstiles! No need to queue at Will Call or wait in ticket purchase queues!

Then all you need to do is have fun and collect as much candy as possible (that will fit in your suitcase on the way home!)

Smiles Included,

Abby

Interview with Suzie from LEGOLAND

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Please take a seat and get comfortable for this weeks Tuesday Talk! This week we chatted with Suzie who works for Merlin Entertainments and found out some more about both her and LEGOLAND Florida!


Name: Suzie Gildon

Company: Merlin Entertainments (LEGOLAND Florida)

Position: Senior Account Manager


Getting to know you..

How would you describe your job to a child?

I help arrange amazing and fun visits to LEGOLAND Florida

What was the last thing you watched on TV and why did you watch it?

I’m a Celebrity, Get me out of here and I watched it as I love all the different personalities working together as one.

If there was a movie produced about your life, who would play you and why?

Wonder Woman – I would play wonder woman as she is the epitome of Girl Power

If you could choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?

The Greatest Showman – A million Dreams

 

Work..

Describe your theme park / attraction using only 3 words.

Awesome / LEGO / Fun

Favourite theme park / attraction of 2018?

Coastersaurus – an amazing wooden coaster

What is going to be BIG for your company in 2019?

A brand new area “The LEGO Movie World”

Tell us a fact about your theme park / attraction that most people don’t know.

It is on the site of Cypress Gardens, Florida’s first theme park. Today, the gardens are preserved and can be visited as part of your day at LEGOLAND.

What is a must do for first time visitors to Orlando?

Include a stay at Beach Retreat when you visit LEGOLAND Florida

We can’t wait for LEGO Movie World to open either!

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions Suzie! You can see other instalments from Tuesday Talk here:
Paul – Boggy Creek
Renee – Fun Spot
Philip – Kennedy Space Center

Smiles Included,

Abby

SeaWorld’s Seven Seas Food Festival 2019

Hey Thrill Seekers,

The popular Seven Seas Food Festival is returning to SeaWorld in February! As guests sip and sample their way through the park, they will discover globally-inspired flavors while enjoying local craft beers and beverages from around the world. The fun goes beyond the food with live performances at Bayside Stadium featuring top artists.

The festival will run every weekend between the 9th February and 5th of May. Plus new for 2019 from 15th Feb guests will be able to enjoy the festival on Friday evenings from 4pm – 9pm.

You will be able to try loads of different cuisines and of course local craft beers. Here are some examples of the food you will be able to feast on from the various stalls. The full menu which can be found on SeaWorlds Website:

Buffalo Meatloaf Slider


All American Market – Buffalo meatloaf slider
Topped with Arugula, Smoked Bacon, and Pimento Cheese

Char Siu Bao


Asian Market Char Siu Bao
Steamed Pork Buns with Gingered Grilled Pineapple & Hoisin Sauce

Picanha Steak


Brazilian Market – Brazilian Picanha Steak
Served with Oven Roasted Potatoes and Tomato Chimichurri

Turkey Pretzel Slider

Coca-Cola Market – Turkey Pretzel Slider
Turkey Breast, Aged White Cheddar, and Cranberry Chutney infused with Coca-Cola on a Pretzel Roll

Sea Scallops Provençal

Mediterranean Market – Sea Scallops Provençal
With wild mushroom risotto

Donut Ice Cream Sandwiches

Sweets Market – Donut Ice Cream Sandwich
Cinnamon Dusted Donut Stuffed with Vanilla Ice Cream and Rolled in your Favorite Topping

There’s so many tempting cocktails and non alcoholic beverages on offer too to quench your thirst.

Every Saturday and Sunday during the festival there will be concerts at Bayside Stadium (included with your admission) SeaWorld have only announced the first 6 weeks of performers and we will update you as soon as we know any more!!

Check out the confirmed acts below:
9th Feb – The Fray
10th Feb – Sugar Ray
16th Feb – Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons
17th Feb – Little River Band
23rd Feb – Flo Rida
24th Feb – 98 Degrees
2nd March – Lifehouse
3rd March – Cole Swindell
9th March – Lee Brice with LOCASH
10th March – I Love the 90’s ft En Vogue, Kid n Play, Coolio, Tone Loc, Rob Base and Young MC
16th March – Bret Michaels
17th March – Gente De Zona

Stay tuned for more updated and performance announcements!

Smiles included,

Abby

Busch Gardens 60th Anniversary celebrations

Hey Thrill Seekers!

This year marks 60 years of one of our favourite parks here at OAT and they’re welcoming YOU to Celebrate Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s 60th Anniversary with #YearOfBeer and 52 weeks of events in 2019!

Lets see what they have in store..

7th January – 16th March – Real Music Real Masters
Watch and listen to incredible music spanning from the 1950s to today, plus all-new entertainment like “Ballroom with a Twist”! Grab a seat in the climate-controlled Stanleyville Theater and see these memorable acts live..

7th-12th Jan – Cirque Vertigo featuring the Wallenda duo
14th – 19th Jan – Arrival from Sweden: The Music of ABBA
21st – 26th Jan – Thomas Mcclary: The Commodores Experience
28th – 2nd Feb – Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
4th – 9th Feb – The Diamonds
11th – 16th Feb – Ballroom with a twist
18th – 23rd Feb – The 5th Dimension
25th Feb – 2nd March – Eaglemania: The worlds greatest eagles tribute band
4th – 9th March – Lorrie Morgan
11th – 16th March – Cirque Vertigo featuring the wallenda duo
Show times are at 11:30am and 1:30pm

29th January – conservation connections
If your visiting Busch Gardens next Tues then make sure you head on over to the Gwazi Pavilion at 2pm to see the presentation on Polar Bear Conservation carried out by Dr. Maria Spriggs.

2nd – 10th February – Sesame Street Pirate Party Weekends
During weekends between the 2nd and 10th of Feb at 11:30am – 4pm guests can join Elmo and friends for a fun pirate celebration! The celebrations will feature:

  • Pirate character dance parties with your favorite Sesame Street friends
  • Themed story times
  • A treasure scavenger hunt with beads
  • Exclusive photo opportunities
  • Color your own pirate bandana and more!

16th March – 28th April – Food and Wine Festival
This year marks the 5th annual Food and Wine festival, featuring signature dishes along with exciting new cuisine, including all-new dishes plus a large selection of wines, craft brews and cocktails. No further information such as performers has been released yet but we will keep you updated!

4th – 19th May – Sesame Street Kids Weekends
Join Elmo, Cookie Monster, Big Bird and all of your favourite Sesame Street friends for fun-filled weekends May 5- May 20.

You’re invited to a celebration of friendship and fun during Sesame Street Kids’ Weekends at Busch Gardens. With hands-on activities and a chance to be up close with Busch Gardens’ animal ambassadors, families can enjoy character parades and dance parties included in their daily admission.

11th – 12th May – Guy Harvey Weekend
Join Guy Harvey in person May 11 & 12, at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay for meet-and-greets, autographs & more at select times in Xcursions.

18th – 19th May – Jack Hanna Weekend
Join “Jungle Jack” Hanna for a weekend of wild animal shows, autograph signings and special meet-and-greets when he visits Busch Gardens. The internationally-known animal expert will share animal facts and his travel tales during animal shows.

31st May – 11th Aug – Summer Nights
Experience endless energy and thrilling rides from day into night at Summer Nights.
As the sun goes down, the party heats up at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay during Summer Nights. Explore the park after dark with extended park hours every night. Dance the night away at themed party zones throughout the park and take on Florida’s top thrill rides in the dark.  

4th July – Independence day fireworks
Families can celebrate the red, white and blue with a night of thrill rides, live entertainment, and incredible extended fireworks show at Busch Gardens. The whole family can experience Florida’s top thrill rides or by dancing into the night at one of the DJ party zones. Finish the day with an electrifying, extended fireworks show that will illuminate the sky with an all-new patriotic medley in honour of Independence Day!

17th August – 8th September – Bier Fest
On weekends from Aug. 17 – Sept. 8, explore beers from around the world at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s Bier Fest.
This festival blends the local Tampa bay craft scene with time-honoured traditions to create a unique food and beer celebration. Enjoy live entertainment and contemporary fare that pays homage to a traditional Oktoberfest with a modern spin.

Fall 2019 – Howl ‘o’ Scream
Take on terrifying haunted houses & roaming hordes.
For select nights in the fall, there is nowhere to hide at Howl-O-Scream. Designed to terrify, Busch Gardens’ haunted houses will return with a vengeance, but the scares don’t stop there. Unspeakable horror lives in every dark corner, including on Busch Gardens’ pulse-pounding thrill rides. Howl-O-Scream is bringing fear to the next level and once you’re in there’s nothing to fear but everything.
Howl-O-Scream is a separately ticketed event.

5th – 27th October – Sesame Street Kids Weekends
On Saturdays & Sundays celebrate Halloween with Elmo, Abby, Grover and all your favourite Sesame Street friends every Saturday and Sunday in October during Sesame Street Safari of Fun Kids’ Weekends. Show off your family costumes during each themed weekend while you trick-or-treat, enjoy exclusive crafts, explore through a hay bale maze and play fall-inspired activities and games in our festival field area. Then, join your favourite Sesame Street friends during a character dance party!

So there we have it.. If you’re visiting Busch Gardens this year you’re almost guaranteed to be able to take part in one of the above!!

Smile included,

Abby

Interview with Paul from Boggy Creek

Hey Thrill Seekers!

It’s Tuesday again which can only mean one thing.. Tuesday Talk time!! This week we’re getting to know the lovely Paul from Boggy Creek which is one of my personal favourite things to do in Orlando! Especially as the sun sets as you get views like this…

Name:             Paul Proly

Company:       Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures

Position:         Director of Sales

Getting to know you..

How would you describe your job to a child?

Fun!!!

What was the last thing you watched on TV and why did you watch it? 

 NCIS – I like the detective work needed to solve the crimes.

If there was a movie produced about your life, who would play you and why? 

Kevin Costner.  Because he seems like a nice normal guy.

If you could choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be? 

Growing Older But Not Up

Work..

Describe your theme park / attraction using only 3 words. 

Exciting, Educational, Memorable

Favourite theme park / attraction of 2018? 

Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures of course

What is going to be BIG for your company in 2019? 

Twenty fifth anniversary & Educational / student programs

Tell us a fact about your theme park / attraction that most people don’t know.

Oldest and biggest airboat company in Central Florida – 25 years old.

What is a must do for first time visitors to Orlando?  See natural Florida, what was here long before Disney, Universal & SeaWorld

I LOVE Boggy Creek, the Indian village is an awesome addition too and you will learn so much from the native Indian who lives there.. You can also make smores, mine for gems and see baby alligators!

Smiles Included,

Abby