NEW Stompin’ Gator Off Road Adventure now open at Gatorland!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

On the 13th December The Alligator capital of the world celebrated the official opening of the Stompin’ Gator Off-Road Adventure ride and Gator Joe’s Adventure Outpost as part of their $2.2 million park expansion.

Visitors to Gatorland can now hop on one of three 12 foot tall off road monstor vehicles which are custom made just for Gatorland (i’m now realising it may be pretty difficult to ‘hop’ on one) to embark on a ’15 minute rugged and hilarious adventure like no other theme park ride anywhere. Gatorland have said that “this exciting ride is chocked full of wacky new Gatorland characters, singing tour guides, swampy adventure, and, of course, lots of alligators. Each vehicle is specially branded and named after iconic real alligators and crocodiles at Gatorland, including Bone crusher, Cannibal Jake, and Swamp Ghost. (My fave is definitely Bone crusher)” 

With every great ride comes a story line. The story line for Stompin’ Gator Off-Road Adventure is a journey in to the world of ‘gator gardens’ which is a fictional rival park that has taken over a swamp buggy business from a new Gatorland character called ‘Swampy Sal’ who you’ll be attempting to find. Guests will be taken on an adventure like no other through unexpected twists and turns, through a alligator graveyard and a pond of hungry gators (probably a good thing you’ll be 12 feet in the air at this point) . Gatorland are confident that guests will be laughing the whole way through with a comedic plot, monser vehicle drivers and on board personal guides. The cost for a child/adult ticket will be $10.00 and guests will need to be a minimum of 36 inches to ride. You can purchase tickets from the parks admission gate or from Gator Joes Adventure Outpost.

The vehicles for the Stompin’ Gator Off Road Adventure will depart from Gatorlands brand new ‘Gator Joe’s Adventure Outpost’ which is now the home for all Gatorlands add-on’s such as the Screamin’ Gator Zip Line, Adventure Hour, Trainer for the Day and Gator Night Shine.

Gator Joe’s Adventure Outpost is named after Ernest “Gator Joe”Brown, who was hired by Owen Godwin Sr. – Gatorland’s founder, to work at the park. Brown was known all over Central Florida, especially throughout Kissimmee and Osceola County, as Gator Joe because of his great love and expertise with alligators. Gator Joe raised thousands and thousands of baby gators at Gatorland. He had a special knack for getting them to eat and grown quickly. When he hollered “GATOR! GATOR BOY!” across the lakes, every gator would swim as fast as they could to meet him. Gator Joe worked at Gatorland from 1958 until shortly before he passed away in 2013.For lmost 60 years, Gator Joe and his family’s influence on Gatorland has run long and deep, with some of his family still working at Gatorland today.

This looks like an absolute BLAST and I would love to do this, it’s definitely on my list of things to do on my next trip to Orlando! Don’t forget, you’ll need your Gatorland admission ticket too!

What do you think.. Would you give it a go?

Smiles included,

Abby

 

Universal Confirm Natalia Tena For A Celebration of Harry Potter

Hey Thrill Seekers,

The latest and final film star to be joining A Celebration of Harry Potter is Natalia Tena who played Nymphadora Tonks, you’ll most likely remember for her bright pink hair throughout the films.

This is Natalia’s first time attending the event and she will be alongside previously announced guests – Stanislav Yanevski (Viktor Krum), Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley), James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley).


There will also be interactive booths at the Harry Potter Expo this year, one of which  is a Harry Potter and the Cursed Child themed. Guests will have the opportunity to get a ‘never seen before look at imagery, designs and costumes from the Broadway production.’  Guests will also be able to get a up close look into the much loved stories during live panels and demonstrations. One in particular is called “The Magic of Costumes in Harry Potter” and will feature the award winning costume designer Jany Temime who will be discussing all things wardrobe related.

A Celebration of Harry Potter is taking place from the 26th Jan – 28th Jan 2018.

Who’s going?! (can you take me with you pleeeeeeease)

Smiles Included,

Abby

 

 

Construction of Ray Rush is in Full Swing

Hey Thrill Seekers,

I’m extremely excited about Ray Rush which is opening in the Spring of 2018 and yesterday Aquatica uploaded some construction pics, lets take a look..

As we can all see, the primary colours of the slide are blues and greens – sticking with the ocean animal theme of rays.

Lots of parts ready and waiting to become a piece of Ray Rush!

I can see parts that look like pizza slices in the right side of this photo, I wonder what part of the slide they will be home too…     I’m  not sure if the guy on the right is taking the photo or scratching his head as to say ‘I’ve left the instructions at home Dave’

Here we can see that Hooroo Run is no more so that we can make way for Ray Rush which will now be next to Walhalla Wave on the left hand side of the photo and is closed until Ray Rush opens in Spring.

Who’s excited for this to open?! If you can’t remember what Ray Rush is going to look like then see below..

Triple your fun with the three-in-one thrills of Ray Rush, new at Aquatica Orlando. Ray Rush is the fully-loaded water adventure with three ways to slide, splash and soar like never before. First, water jets launch your raft from zero to awesome in just seconds. Your adventure takes a twisting turn as you spin inside a colossal water sphere. Finally, dive into the giant manta wings, swooping up and down a different path each time. Fill your raft with family and friends for three times the thrills on the exciting Ray Rush at Aquatica, SeaWorld’s waterpark.

It looks and sounds awesome!

Smiles Included,

Abby

More Clues Lead to the Guardians of the Galaxy Coaster

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Back in October it was confirmed that the Guardians of the Galaxy ride will be a coaster – the first in EPCOT‘s history. WOOHOOOO! ( if you didn’t know, we love a coaster here at OAT) There was rumours back in October of the coaster being a ‘first of its kind’ ride system and will launch guests through a tunnel into a 10-story tall show building but today we have more rumours…

Over the last few days there has been a few rumours flying around regarding who is going to be making the coaster which will give us more clues and room to speculate on what type of coaster it will be. There is 2 manufacturer names that have been floating around the GOTG coaster – Mack Rides and Vekoma.

I’m going to start with what we DO know about the GOTG coaster.. We know that there will be a very cool queuing experience, guests will enter through a doorway that will take them into the Welcome Gallery consisting of ramps leading up through the line – it appears to be on multiple levels and will see guests climbing upwards as the queue progresses to reach the elevated load platform, the second queue room is Xander Gallery which then leads to a ‘merge point’ and the first pre-show. The second pre-show (see image below) will see guests undergo some sort of transformation with projections of Rocket, Groot and the Milano Ship. From there the guests will make way to the load area, the coaster will feature a dual – load and unload meaning 2 trains at a time (less waiting woohoo!) Each train can hold 20 guests. The train will then head to the launch tunnel where they will be shot straight into the building behind the old Universal of Energy which is 133ft tall.

The track looks as though it will consist of many tight turns and long straights with projection effects along the way. It does appear to be family friendly and there will be no inversions (boooo) There isn’t a huge amount of information about the story-line so I guess we will just have to patiently wait for that..

So from what we know (or think we know), it looks as though it will be a launch coaster experience and there has recently been some rumours that it would be a Mack Spinning Coaster. (like Cobras Curse at Busch Gardens which is a Mack ride) Disney chose Mack for Slinky Dog Dash so it kind of made sense to opt for them to make the GOTG coaster too however some sources have revealed that it is apparently going to actually be a new Vekoma coaster.

There has been no confirmation on what style of ride it will be but from my research (well, a browse on Wikipedia) Vekoma have never built a spinning coaster. Some of the Vekoma coasters built in Orlando are; Rock ‘n Roller Coaster in Hollywood Studios which is a LSM Coaster (launched coaster) Barnstormer in Magic Kingdom, Flight of the Hippogriff in IOA, Flying School in LEGOLAND (suspended family coaster) Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom and Freedom Flyer in Funspot which is also a suspended family coaster, 7 Dwarfs Mine Train in Magic Kingdom and they are making Tron which is coming to Magic Kingdom in 2021. This has led me to thinking what type of coaster we could be getting for GOTG…

Vekoma manufacture a lot of Boomerang coasters which we have not seen in a Disney park as of yet. A Boomerang coaster uses the same track multiple times. For example, the coaster may start by travelling backwards up a slope, it will then hurtle forwards, maybe do a few twists and turns and then you could find yourself travelling backwards again, maybe this time down a slope. Now it looks as though the GOTG coaster is going to be family orientated and family or ‘junior’ boomerang coasters look pretty awesome! Take a look at this family boomerang coaster in Paultons Park which was manufactured by Vekoma:

Vekoma have also made many ‘motorbike roller coasters’ which are.. well the title kind of speaks for itself. 😉 Now I don’t think it the GOTG coaster will be a motorbike style coaster due to TRON: Lightcycle Power Run coming to Magic Kingdom in 2021 (which is also manufactured by Vekoma) as the one in Shanghai is already a motorbike style coaster we can assume that the Magic Kingdom one will be too.

As it appears that the GOTG coaster is going to be a family coaster, the only other Vekoma coaster style I can think of is a Suspended Family Coaster like the Flight of the Hippogriff at Islands of Adventure or Flying School at LEGOLAND Florida:

There is loads of different models of coaster that GOTG could be and it has not yet been confirmed if Vekoma are going to be the ones manufacturing it but I’ve got a hunch and sometimes, just sometimes they’re right. :p

There is still no exact date for when the Guardians of the Galaxy attraction will open but Disney have promised that it will be open in time for the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World which is in 2021.

What style of coaster would you like to see?

Smiles included,

Abby

New Show at Animal Kingdom featuring Disney•Pixar’s ‘UP’ Spring 2018

Hey Thrill Seekers,

This afternoon Disney have announced – as part of their 12 days of Disney parks Christmas – an all new show which is coming to Animal Kingdom in Spring 2018. It will feature Russell and Dug from Disney•Pixar’s film ‘UP’ and will take place at the Caravan Theater in Anandapur village.

The show will start in time for Animal Kingdoms 20th anniversary next year and will give guests the opportunity to see Senior Wilderness Explorer Russell and his pet dog Dug as they explore and discover species of birds from all over the world. ‘There will be “UP” close encounters each day with amazing winged creatures!’

To make way for the new show which is yet to have a name, Flights of Wonder will take its final bow on the 31st December 2017 so if you are visiting Animal Kingdom this month be sure to go and experience Flights of Wonder at the park before it ends!

This is all the information we have regarding the new show but will be sure to keep you updated as soon as we get any more information.. it sounds very cool! ..What do you think it’s going to be called?

Smiles included,

Abby

Are Universal Planning Two New Theme Parks?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

On Friday GrowthSpotter reported on the proposed foreclosure of various pockets of land located between International Drive and John Young Parkway owed by Georgia-based developer Stan Thomas. These pockets are located very close to land purchased by Universal since December 2015.

Depending on how proceedings develop Universal could be entitled to bid for these pockets of land that would help secure its presence and ability to build in Orlando.

This isn’t the exciting bit…

But this could be…

Universal have obtained permission from Orange County for theme park use on the property northeast of Universal Boulevard although they do require further permissions from the master declarant however according to GrowthSpotter;

Universal representatives have told Orange County staff of a vision for two new theme parks on the land, but the company has not announced specific plans.

TWO PARKS (imagine fireworks and the like) yep Universal could be looking to become a 5 theme park destination adding to the already popular Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay…

Now you may need to curb your enthusiasm a tiny bit as building an entire park takes along time…. so two parks may take a tiny bit longer! But it does seem to suggest that competition for Orlando theme park dominance is only just getting started.

Smiles included…

Jamie

New Images of the Disney Skyliner Transportation System

Hey Thrill Seekers,

In October Disney announced that they would be introducing a new transportation system called Disney’s Skyliner, the new system will give resort guests an unforgettable journey and a picturesque view of Walt Disney World Resort as they take to the sky to travel from select Disney resorts to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Today Disney have released further news that should have Disney fanatics smiling from ear to ear.

Skyliner Cabin Design

Select Disney Skyliner cabins will have iconic Disney characters incorporated into their exterior design to give the appearance that a Disney pal is riding along with guests, such as characters from the ‘Fab Five,’ figures from Disney attractions, fan favourites from movies and more.

Disney Epcot Skyliner Station Design

The design of the Disney Skyliner station at International Gateway at Epcot will be inspired by the park’s nearby European Pavilions. The station will be covered with metal and glass canopies, hand-painted murals and ornamental steel structures that harken back to the early 18th century Art Nouveau style. Guests traveling to Epcot via the Disney Skyliner will be welcomed to the park with a rare birds-eye view of World Showcase.

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort Station

The Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort station will be the hub of activity for Disney Skyliner. This station is inspired by the open air village marketplaces of the Caribbean and will showcase the nearby resort’s architectural detailing and colour schemes. At this station, passengers will be able to transfer gondola routes to reach their destination, or are invited to sit and admire the waterfront resort setting.

Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s Station

The design style of the station at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will fit with that of the park’s main entrance and bus stations. Passengers traveling here from the Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort station can expect a new aerial perspective of the park’s iconic attractions, like The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

Disney’s Pop Century & Disney’s Art of Animation Stations

Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will share a Disney Skyliner station that feels whimsical and contextual with both resorts. Upon departing the gondola station, Skyliner passengers will ascend over Hourglass Lake and enjoy a panoramic view of these two colorful resorts.
Finally, cabins will slow down at the Disney Skyliner turn-station along Buena Vista Drive, where guests can see the mechanical and aerial components that make up the Disney Skyliner.

An opening date hasn’t been confirmed yet but Disney have confirmed that they will be updating us soon.

Smiles included…

Jamie

 

New Attractions to Look Forward to in 2018

Hey Thrill Seekers,

2017 has nearly come to an end, we’ve had loads of cool new attractions / parks arrive in Orlando this year such as Volcano Bay and Pandora – The World of Avatar and lucky for us 2018 is not going to disappoint either with loads of new rides set to open in the coming year.

I’m going to start with Hollywood Studios as we are eagerly awaiting the opening of Toy Story Land here at OAT towers. Two new rides and a food spot have been officially named for Toy Story Land which is opening in the summer of next year; Slinky Dog Dash – a family coaster where you will find  yourself zipping, dodging and dashing around a track that Andy has created to stretch Slinky to his limits. Alien Swirling Saucers where aliens will be flying around in their saucers trying to capture your rocket toy vehicle with ‘The Claw’ and Woodys Lunch Box which will be a quick service window to grab some of Andy’s fave food.

Next up is Universal Studios where Fast & Furious – Supercharged is set to open in Spring. Now this is one i’m personally super excited about as I LOVE  the Fast & Furious films. Guests will be immersed in their own Fast and Furious story, escaping the enemy with familiar faces such as Dom, Letty and Hobbs. The new ride will also feature a Virtual Line just like in Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon.

SeaWorld is also opening a brand new ride in the summer called Infinity Falls. Infinity Falls is a river rapids ride with a twist. It will be a 4+ minute ride featuring a 40ft plunge down the tallest drop of its kind. Riders will get to experience the excitement and thrills of category 4 white water rapids and use a ‘unique elevator lift’ which will create the worlds tallest drop on a river raft ride.

Aquatica is also debuting a brand new ride; Ray Rush. This ride is set to open in Spring and will be the only water ride in Florida to offer a water jet propel system which will launch riders (4 at a time) at 33 feet per second. It will have a height requirement of 42”.

LEGOLAND are also in the mix of opening new rides in 2018 with The Great LEGO Race: Opening in Spring – a new virtual-reality roller coaster adventure. This new coaster will feature virtual reality technology, a cast of wacky LEGO minifigures and is replacing the current Project X coaster.

Take a look at myself and Gavins recent OAT Live where we discussed everything we are looking forward to in 2018 (as well as my rubbish attempt at playing a Kazuu) and also another cool video below to round up all the new things to look forward to next year;

Personally, the one i’m most looking forward to is Fast & Furious – Supercharged. Whats yours?

Smiles Included

Abby

 

Universal Confirm New Dine With A Super Hero At Islands of Adventure

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Being a super hero is pretty cool…. you know what else is cool…. eating with one (maybe).

Today Universal have confirmed that starting from December 7th you can enjoy a dinner buffet with your favourite heroes at the all-new Marvel Character Dinner.

Where: Located in Cafe 4 in Marvel Super Hero Island at Universal’s Islands of Adventure,

Food: Dinner buffet. Enjoy fresh salads like orzo and mozzarella and tomato. We’ll also be serving up roasted rosemary lemon chicken, shrimp scampi and chicken scallopini (just to name a few). Penne Bolognese, stuffed jumbo shells and specialty pizzas are the perfect option for any superhero. And of course – we didn’t forget the desserts. A heroic portion of assorted desserts will end your meal on the sweetest of notes.
Who:  Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm and Rogue.

What: Each character comes to your table to sign autographs and take photos, so start practicing your superhero pose! And what better way to share this epic experience with your friends (bragging rights!) than with one digital photo from My Universal Photos – included in the experience.

When: Marvel Character Dinner will be available Thursday – Sunday, from 5p.m. – 7p.m.

How: Reservations are recommended and can be made online or by calling (407) 224-FOOD (3663).

Cost:  ADULT PRICE (AGES 10+) – $49 .99 PER ADULT, PLUS TAX,  CHILD PRICE (AGES 3-9) $24 .99 PER CHILD, PLUS TAX. Can only be booked directly with Universal Orlando.

This experience is one that any Marvel fan will not want to miss and we’d definitely recommend booking in advance. Entry in to the park isn’t included how you can purchase a Universal 3 Park Explorer Ticket directly from us.

Smiles included…

Jamie

Orlando Attraction Tickets Wins Silver At The British Travel Awards

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Hot off our TravelMole win I’m delighted to announce that yesterday Orlando Attraction Tickets picked up a Silver at the prestigious British Travel Awards for best Holiday Add On’s… YEY!!!!!

What is the BTA’s?

The British Travel Awards is the largest and most influential poll of consumer opinion on the performance of enterprises operating in the leisure travel and visitor attractions sector

How many people voted?

According to data provided by The British Travel Awards, over 700k votes were cast making it the largest consumer voted travel awards.

Why is it important?

The British Travel Awards is a proudly independent organisation. Unlike other travel awards, they have no stakeholder ties or affiliations to any travel companies or trade publications – where public perception believes the results are all too often influenced by panels of travel industry pundits and the winners determined by the leverage of their advertising budget.

What OAT thinks?

“We’re delighted” said Karl Hendrie CTO & Founder of Orlando Attraction Tickets, “this is the 4th time we’ve been nominated for a BTA in row and the first time we’ve won a silver (OAT have previously won two bronze awards) it tell us that the hard work we put in to creating a positive brand is paying off and although I’d love to take credit the real credit goes to the staff of OAT who are an extremely creative and hard working team. I’d also like to thank everyone who voted for us, it means a lot.”

Here’s to next year when hopefully we can go one further…

Smiles included…

Jamie