Christmas time at the parks

Hey Thrill Seekers,

In case you didn’t already know, I’m the biggest fan of Christmas in the office, to everyone else’s annoyance! So I was so happy when the big cheese gave me the OK to write the first Christmas blog of the year by finding out what the parks have got planned for Christmas 2016.

Let’s kick things off with Disney’s Hollywood Studios from the 14th November – 31st December, Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! It’s their amazing fireworks display including special effects and of course, holiday music. Watch as the buildings and rooftops come alive with scenes from Bambi, Cinderella and more.

Disney’s Epcot have their own ‘Winter Wonderland’ with their Candlelight Procession which is held here every year. Enjoy the Christmas Story being told to you by a 50 piece live orchestra along with a choir and a celebrity narrator. Don’t miss out on your BBQ dinner with this Christmas tour and finish off your evening by watching the stunning IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth across the World Showcase Lagoon.

Everyone knows that Disney’s Magic Kingdom has it’s spectacular events that are displayed at Christmas including Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Nothing can beat, in my opinion, the projection show shown on Cinderella’s castle. This brings everything to life with a dash of Tinkerbell’s pixie dust.


If you’re heading over to Universal Studios this Christmas you will see The Macy’s Holiday Parade. Their parade is full of balloons, floats, marching bands, Santa and seasonal sing-alongs for the little ones too. There will be so much to look at you won’t know what to do with yourself! It’s a great event for all the family.

Next door at Universal’s Islands of Adventure they have The Grinchmas where there is a live retelling of Dr. Seuss’s classic ‘The Grinch’. The characters will come to life spreading the Christmas cheer!


SeaWorld Orlando begin their festivities on the 25th November all the way through to the 31st including Winter Wonderland on Ice, Santas Fireside Feast, O Wondrous Night and Shamu’s Christmas Miracles.

Over at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay they have their Christmas Town festivities with singers, dancers, Santa and a traditional Christmas extravaganza inside Dragon-Fire Grill.

Ho Ho Hos Included…


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LEGOLAND Florida to open all new Ninjago World

Hey Thrill Seekers,

LEGOLAND Florida are opening an immersive 4-D Ninjago World January 12, 2017 which will allow children to let themselves go, in their own little adventure. Ninjago World will spread across 3 acres of the park. As they’ve called it a ‘world’ you can probably tell that it’s not just going to be a ride; there’s going to be several outdoor activities as well.


The activities are to enhance your ‘ninja skills’ before you get to LEGO Ninjago The Ride to make sure you’re ready to take it on!

Zane’s Temple Build is a giant LEGO building experience which allows children to contribute to a mountaintop of Ninjago monastery.

Kai’s Spinners lets you master the the ancient art of Spinjitzu on the spinning platforms so be prepared to get spinning!

Cole’s Rock Climb is an outdoor climbing wall that will test children’s balance,endurance and patience skills.

Jay’s Lightning Drill measures your reflexes with super-fast light up targets.

LEGO Ninjago the Ride will use high-tech sensors so that riders can use hand movements in a striking movements to act as ninjas and score points. Slightly different to your average interactive ride where you would have a lever or gun etc. It makes you feel more in the game!


Ninjago World will also have regular meet and greet opportunities throughout the day with Kai and Nya the siblings.

Sounds pretty awesome to me!

Smiles included…


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Halloween Horror Nights 26

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Universal’s Halloween Horror Night’s 26 has nearly come to an end now. Year after year Universal put on an amazing event at Universal Studio’s and it never fails to disappoint. This year there are 9 houses so let’s take a look at what people are saying about them!

The American Horror Story

This house has been described as the most elaborate house with 3 seasons being included: throughout: Murder House, Freak Show and Hotel. First you will face horrors  in the Harmon residence, then encounter a deformed clown on the roadside freak show before checking into the Hotel Cortez and unlock the domain of The Countess, as she ensures your stay is anything but pleasant. Universal have worked with the series creator on this house to ensure that this is as realistic to the series as possible.

The Exorcist

This house is being described as the most disturbing and I can definitely see why! As the biggest baby going when it comes to horror films, I haven’t seen many of them; now I’m starting remember why! Universal have tried to make you feel like you’re in the bedroom in this house and take you through each of the iconic scenes, including the vomit covered bed!


It’s been said that Krampus is the most fun house out all 9. A lot of horrifying moments from the film have been added into each room like the gingerbread man, jack-in-the-box, elves the teddy bear and Krampus himself. Universal have collaborated with the filmmaker to make each encounter as close the to the film as they could.


Halloween: Hell Comes To Haddonfield

This house has also been described as one of the most elaborate houses. Walking through the homes of Haddonfield, you will be chased by Freddie the whole through before getting to the Haddonfield Memorial Hospital.  It’s a cold, stark setting and there’s no surprise that they have collaborated with the producer of the Halloween film instalments.


The Walking Dead

Now this house is being described as the most heart-quickening house which seems totally legit! All 6 seasons of The Walking Dead have been added into the 1 house to make it even more terrifying. You’ll be trying to escape from Hershel’s barn and racing through Terminus before end up in the sewers of Alexandria. Not forgetting the battle against the wolves which you will be in at the end of the maze.


The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Without much surprise, this house has been described as the most spooky one. Imagine watching the film and thinking ‘I would not want to be those 5 people being chased by a crazy man with a chainsaw’, then next thing you know, you are those people being chased by a crazy man with a chainsaw!

Lunatics Playground 3D – You Won’t Stand A Chance

Based on Jack’s girlfriend, Chance, you get to witness her thought’s while Jack’s away hence this house being described as the most imaginative house. Taking you through the horrors of her imagination it’s all carnage until she gets thrown into her incarceration! Brutal!

Ghost Town: The Curse Of Lightning Gulch

This house is being described as the most original house which I can only presume is down the fact Universal haven’t based it on a film and it is completely their own for HHN. All of the scenes are based on the lightning strikes that continuously strike at random before leaving you in the pitch black again to find your own way out!

Tomb Of The Ancients

The most creative house must have come from the fact of the ancient evil surfacing. The whole world is going to pay with the immortal beings returning to man kind and causing hell to all man-kind.

There we have it, all 9 houses. Are you still brave enough to enter all of them?

Screams Included…


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Hurricane Matthew Update

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Over the next couple of days there may be disruption in the Orlando area due to Hurricane Matthew. In the interests of visitor safety some of the park opening times are likely to be affected.

Please see the following advice from the parks as of 06th October;

Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Resort is currently operating under normal conditions as we continue to monitor Hurricane Matthew. Recent forecasts indicate that there could be rain and wind in the Central Florida area as early as Thursday evening, October 6, 2016. Please continue to monitor news outlets for the latest weather information.

Please check updates here:


Based on the most recent forecasts for Hurricane Matthew, Walt Disney World theme parks, water parks, Disney Springs, miniature golf courses and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will be closed through Friday, Oct. 7.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom Theme Park is also canceled for tonight and tomorrow.

Please check updates here:


Universal Orlando Resort

Operational Alert: Parks and CityWalk Close at 5pm Today Through Tomorrow, HHN Cancelled Tonight and Tomorrow – MORE DETAILS

Out of concern for the safety of our Team Members and our guests, Universal Orlando has made the following operational changes due to Hurricane Matthew:

Wet ‘n Wild will close today (Thursday, October 6) at 2pm and remain closed on Friday, October 7

Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Universal CityWalk will close today at 5pm and remain closed tomorrow (Friday, October 7)

Halloween Horror Nights is cancelled tonight 06/10/2016 and Friday night

Our plan is to resume normal operations across our destination Saturday morning.

Guests should visit or our official social channels for updates.



Out of concern for the safety of our Team Members and our guests, Universal Orlando has made the following operational changes due to Hurricane Matthew:


  • Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Universal CityWalk will close today at 5pm and remain closed tomorrow (Friday, October 7)
  • Wet ‘n Wild will close today (Thursday, October 6) at 2pm and remain closed on Friday, October 7
  • Halloween Horror Nights is cancelled tonight and Friday night

Our plan is to resume normal operations across our destination Saturday morning.

Guests should visit or our official social channels for updates.


SeaWorld Parks

SeaWorld will be closing at 2pm today Thursday 6th October and will remain closed on Friday 7th October. Aquatica will be closed today and tomorrow.

Discovery Cove will be closed tomorrow – Friday 7th October.

At this time if your customers are due to visit Discovery Cove on Friday 7th October we ask that they call DC direct on 877-557-7404 the teams will aim to rebook the guests for another day of their holidays.

At present Busch Gardens Tampa plans to remain open but this may change as we take the safety of our animals, colleagues and guests very seriously.


As you can see the major park operators are acting in the interests of the safety of their guests, staff and animals. We are keeping an eye on the situation as it unfolds and will update us accordingly.


Any customers in doubt please call us on 0845 226 8523 or email


Best regards



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Mardi Gras 2017 Is Going To Be Bigger

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Universal Orlando announced yesterday that their Mardi Gras spectacular will be retuning in 2017. The popular New Orleans themed event usually includes beads, bands and food for a few weekends.


Next year Mardi Gras will run for 49 consecutive nights from February 4 to March 24!!!

In Universal’s own words that’s…

49 nights to interact with Mardi Gras characters and hear live music from bands straight from The Big Easy…


49 nights to enjoy the delicious authentic Cajun cuisine in the French Quarter Courtyard, like jambalaya, gumbo and more…


Also as part of the Mardi Gras party Universal will host some of the biggest names in music! On 12 separate days, yet to be announced, Universal will be rocking!


Entry in to Mardi Gras is included in your Universal tickets purchased from Orlando Attraction Tickets. We’ll also update you when Universal confirm the full line up.

Smiles included…


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Kraken Set To Be The First VR Coaster In Florida

Hey Thrill Seekers,

We’re not one’s for burying the lead, so the headline pretty much says it all! Today SeaWorld Orlando will announce that their awesome coaster Kraken will become the first coaster in Florida to have a permanent virtual reality experience.

kraken VR

Scheduled for the summer of 2017 Kraken will be fitted with headsets that will plunge the rider into the depths of the sea where they will encounter mythical (obviously a Kraken) and prehistoric beasts.

Brian Morrow, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment Vice President of theme park experience design told the Orlando Sentinel;

We’re developing sort of our own technology on how we’re going to pull this off, It’s nothing that you’ve seen from other parks.

Riders will be given the option of using the headset or not, which will cover not only the visitors eyes but also their ears.  Music specially composed for the ride will accompany riders and SeaWorld hope this along with the VR experience will offer a new ride perspective. SeaWorld wouldn’t comment yet on whether the images will be 3-D.

SeaWorld will also be revealing a new night time show called Electric Ocean, which will play at the Bayside Theatre. The show will feature music, fountains, bioluminescent lighting and fireworks. They will also confirm that their Dolphin Nursery will also receive a makeover. All these changes are expected for the summer of 2107.

We’ll keep you updated if SeaWorld release anything further.

Smiles included…


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I’m Off On The Visit Orlando Super Fam Tomorrow

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Eeeeekk!!!! I have been the lucky one this year to be selected for the Visit Orlando SUPER FAM! I have been chosen to go over to Orlando and experience the parks next week for the whole week! We will be squeezing in everything you could possibly think of, which most people struggle to squeeze into their 2 week holiday! So here’s a quick overview of my itinerary and what I’m looking forward to the most.

I’ll be taking over the Orlando Attraction Tickets Instagram account so you’ll be able to follow my adventures.

We arrive on Monday evening (19/09/16) and will be taken to our first hotel, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort where we will be staying for the first 3 nights of our trip.

Our first full day in Orlando will begin at Disney’s Magic Kingdom park where we will get to experience all of the sights and attractions that the park has to offer including Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, before enjoying lunch in the heart of the magic, right by Cinderella’s castle. As a self proclaimed Disney fanatic, I cannot wait!!!

Walt Disney World

Once lunch is over with it’s time to head over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the home of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith. These two rides  have got to be 2 of my favourite attractions in Orlando. .

Day 3 and it’s over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom to check out their attractions, landscapes and animals. My favourite attraction here is Expedition Everest so I can’t wait to experience this.

The evening of day 3 will be spent at Disney’s Epcot where we will dine watching the Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. Illuminations is a breathtaking firework show with laser lighting effects across the World Showcase Lagoon!


Now that we’ve had our Disney fix, it’s time to head over to our next resort where we will be staying for the next 4 nights the brand new Universal’s Loews Sapphire Falls Resort.

Thursday is going to be a busy day, in the morning we’re heading to Discovery Cove first to experience a once in a life time opportunity, swimming with dolphins. Discovery Cove is all inclusive remember, so make the most of the buffet all day!

Quickly dashing away, we will begin our journey over to Busch Gardens Tampa where we will be able to experience the thrills of Falcons Fury, SheiKra, Cheetah Hunt and the all new Cobra’s Curse. No one in our office has been to Orlando since Cobra’s Curse has opened, so I can’t wait to come back and brag about it to everyone!

cheetah hunt

Friday will be day 5 of our trip and we will be making our way over to the home of Shamu to watch One Ocean as well as jumping on the thrill rides like Manta, Kraken and the new one-of-a-kind, hyper-coaster Mako. Believe it or not, I’ll be the first person in our office to ride Mako too! ;)


Afterwards we will be popping next door to Aquatica where I can finally experience Ihu’s Breakaway Falls. I wanted to do this last year but the weather wasn’t great on the day we planned to go so I missed out! :( Ihu’s is the newest slide at Aquatica with the world’s longest drop tower of it’s kind. I’m not a very strong swimmer but the slides here at Aquatica are too good to miss.

Later on, our SeaWorld host is taking us back to SeaWorld to enjoy the the park in the evening for a special, SeaWorld hosted event. I can’t wait to find out what this is going to be!

The following morning we’ll be off to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, with the Hogwarts Express, Escape from Gringott’s, Dragon Challenge and the Forbidden Journey. In Universal Studios, the 3D rides are insane including Transformers: The Ride 3D, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and The Simpsons Ride. Although not a 3D ride, my favourite is Revenge of the Mummy!


Next is spending the evening at I-Drive 360 on International Drive to experience the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye and hop on stage with some of the pop icons at Madame Tussauds.

For our final day in Orlando, we’ll be spending it at Universal’s Islands of Adventure where the newly refurbished Incredible Hulk Coaster is ready and waiting. I’m also pretty excited about getting soaked on Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges as this is one of the attractions that I’ve never had the chance to experience. Not forgetting Skull Island: Reign of Kong as this will be another of the new rides that no one here in our office has experienced yet!

Universal are treating us to the Blue Man Group which is a unique show combining music and outrageous comedy, before making our way to the world’s largest Hard Rock Cafe for tonight’s final dinner of the trip together.

I think it’s safe to say I’m going to need another holiday by the time I get back but I cannot wait!!

Smiles Included…


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Golden Ticket Award Winners 2016

Hey Thrill Seekers,

It’s that time of year again when the whole world votes for the ‘Best of the Best’ in the amusement industry. ‘Amusement Today’ select the winners of each category via their panel of voters and the theme park equivalent of the Oscars.



Each voter will be able to select one choice from each category. These choices are then tallied up and the most votes in each category will be the winner.

This years winners are:

Best Amusement Park Europa-Park, Rust, Germany
Best Water Park Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, New Braunfels, Texas
Best Children’s Park Idlewild & SoakZone
Best Marine Life Park SeaWorld Orlando, Orlando, Fla
Best Seaside Life Park Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz, Calif
Best Wooden Coaster Boulder Dash, Lake Compounce, Bristol, Conn
Best Steel Coaster Fury 325, Carowinds, Charlotte, N.C.
Best Kids’ Area Kings Island, Kings Mills, Ohio
Friendliest Park Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Cleanest Park Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Ind
Best Halloween Event Halloween Horror Nights, Universal Studios Orlando, Fla.
Best Landscaping Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Va.
Best Christmas Event Smoky Mountain Christmas, Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Best Food Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, Pa.
Best Shows Dollywood, Piegon Forge, Tenn.
Best Water Ride Valhalla, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool, England
Best Water Park Ride Wildebeest, Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Ind.
Best Dark Ride Twilight Zone Tower Of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Orlando, Fla.
Best New Attraction of 2016 – Amusement Park Lightning Rod, Dollywood, Piegon Forge, Tenn.
Best New Attraction of 2016 – Water Park Massiv, Schlitterbahn Galveston Island, Texas
Best Carousel Grand Carousel, Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, Pa.
Best Indoor Coaster Revenge of the Mummy, Universal Studios Orlando, Fla.
Best Funhouse/Walkthrough Attraction Noah’s Ark, Kennywood, West Mifflin, Pa.

The Orlando winners were:

SeaWorld Orlando – Best Marine Life Park

Halloween Horror Nights, Universal Studios – Best Halloween Event

Twilight Zone Tower Of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Best Dark Ride

Revenge of The Mummy, Universal Studios – Best Indoor Coaster


Smiles Included…


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I-Drive 360 To Receive Further Investment

Hey Thrill Seekers,

The introduction of Merlin attractions on I-Drive 360 has helped Orlando’s international drive service over 5 million people this year and has convinced owners Unicorp to continue investing heavily.


Unicorp President Chuck Whittall told Orlando Business Journal;

We noticed I-Drive 360 has been so successful and popular that we started looking at how to bring more opportunities out here, The area is so nice and it draws people all the time, so why not give people more things to do.

The rumoured update is said to include 500 apartments on an existing parking lot behind the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye, plus a new zip-line ride, another tower thrill ride attraction, a rope obstacle course and an indoor flight simulator at a cost of a staggering $100 million.

Here’s what we know so far:

  • The apartment complex will have between 400 to 500 units, each with up to 1,200 square feet of space, that will rent for an average of $1,500 per month. The building will be five stories tall and have various amenities like a rooftop pool that gives a view of the Orlando Eye.
  • A zip-line attraction that will run from the existing parking garage to I-Drive 360’s courtyard area
  • A rope obstacle course near Sea Life Aquarium that will allow guests to traverse tricky lines while several feet in the air above some of the I-Drive 360 rooftops.
  • A tower ride that will bring new thrills to the complex.

Details of the tower ride haven’t been made public but we understand Unicorp have a team looking at the possibilities.

More investment into Orlando can only be a good thing and these additions look to be perfect for I-Drive 360. We’ll keep you up to date when we hear more…

Smiles included…


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Check Out This HHN26 TV Spot

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Are you heading to Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights this year? If so check out this creepy video spot advertising this years event…

Screams included…


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