Universal Confirms Cinematic Celebration Nighttime Lagoon Show Will Beginning This Summer

Hey Thrill Seekers,

When our mate Mike Aiello speaks we listen, even if we did break this news last week…

Today Mike wrote a piece on the Universal blog confirming that the Cinematic Celebration” Nighttime Lagoon Show beginning this Summer.

What can we expect?

Located in the heart of the lagoon, “Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration” will bring thrilling and fun moments to life inspired by characters from popular Universal Orlando experiences and blockbuster films.

Mike stated;

You’ll witness moments from the Harry Potter series conjured to life by way of spells, ear-shattering roars from dinosaurs in Jurassic World, the adrenaline rush of speed from The Fast & the Furious, mischief by the Minions from Illumination’s Despicable Me and so much more…

And, it’s all seamlessly projected on full panoramic water screens, accented by pyrotechnics and – for the first time ever – more than 120 dancing fountains with projection mapping. The entire waterfront of the Universal Studios lagoon and surrounding buildings will transform into a vivid celebration of epic movie moments and beloved characters.

Mike also confirmed that Universal are also building a permanent, dedicated viewing area for the show in the Central Park area of Universal Studios where you’ll be able to watch the lagoon come to life.

I can’t wait to see this…

Smiles included…

Jamie

OAT Live Episode 31

Hey Thrill Seekers,

OAT Live episode 31 took place last week. Abby and Gavin talked all things Disney, Universal and SeaWorld plus they introduced a new game, Themesuarus.

Watch it here;

Remember this show is recorded Live and takes place every other Thursday at 4pm, make sure you like us on Facebook and follow us to get notification of when we’re live.

Smiles included…

Jamie

Halloween Horror Nights 28 Will Be Bigger Than Ever

Hey Thrill Seekers,

It’s becoming a bit of a thing now! Every time we sit down and do an episode of OAT Live Universal announce something while we’re on and today is no exception.

But we’ll forgive them this time cos its EXCITING! HHN28 is set to be the biggest Halloween Horror Nights of all and will feature

  • 10 Houses!!! That the most ever
  • 5 Scare Zones
  • One powerhouse show. The Academy of Villains.

Houses

The overall theme seems to suggest an 80’s vibe with the inclusion of Netflix’s hugely popular show “Stranger Things” and Halloween classic “Trick ‘r Treat” plus Dead Exposure other houses will be announced in the upcoming months.

Scare Zones

When it comes to Scare Zones its been quiet until now… Universal today confirmed 3 original IP’s, here’s what you can expect.

The Harvest

An old barn is the setting of every kind of horror. Its walls are decorated with ominous objects and images from each house, hinting at the horrors to come. This barn is not as abandoned as it initially seems, and by the time you realize what lies within, it will be too late. Foul creatures lurk within, ready for a harvest of flesh and screams. Will you survive the reaping?

Vamp 85: New Year’s Eve

Before the countdown to midnight has started, it’s clear this party has already been crashed, and the streets are running red with blood. You’ll enter what looks to be your typical New Year’s Eve bash until it’s too late. As the ball drops, fanged punks and big-haired vamps will start their feeding frenzy.

Twisted Tradition

Travel through the forest of Central Park where an ancient evil has been awakened. Halloween has been transformed into an abomination with rotting pumpkins fused with decaying human flesh. Try and escape the grasps of these fetid beings, with nothing but the light from rotting jack o’ lanterns to guide you.

Powerhouse Dance Crew

Academy of Villains, is returning for their third consecutive year. This year’s performance will be taken to the next level with an all-new show jam packed with mind-bending entertainment.

With more to be announced make sure you stay tuned to this blog and our facebook page

You can purchase a frequent fear pass directly from Orlando Attraction Tickets if you’re brave enough…

Screams included…

Jamie

Minnie Vans For All!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Last year we let you know about our very favourite theme park pun, Disney’s Minnie Vans the service powered by car sharing service Lyft. Back then it was only available to guests staying at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort and Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts however now anyone at Walt Disney World Resort can use them through the Lyft app.

The service offers a comfy and convenient way for guests to travel to and from our theme parks, to dining reservations at our resort hotels, family gatherings, shopping sprees at Disney Springs and much more in a jiffy.

Disney have said that the private vans are roomy and comfortable and are usually just minutes away from you. The Minnie Vans are driven by a Disney cast member who is specially trained to transport you to where you need to be with a smile. Awwwww 😉

If you want to take advantage of this, all you need to do is download the Lyft app on your phone, open it up, select the Minnie Van Service option and follow these simple steps:

  • Confirm your current pickup location.
  • Enter your Walt Disney World Resort destination and tap “Request.”
  • The app will display a map tracking the vehicle en route and give you an identifying vehicle number to help you spot your car.

The service is currently available from 6.30am – 12.30am and $25.00 per trip, per vehicle and you can pay through the app – easy peasy!

I cant wait to ride in one of these next time i’m at Disney! Can you?

Smiles Included

Abby

Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey Gets 4K-HD

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Hooray for those of us who don’t get motion sickness, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey has received a visual upgrade.

The award-winning attraction has been enhanced to feature 4K-HD and state-of-the-art imagery projection. This means the attraction projects higher-quality imagery that is even more realistic and offers superior clarity, and the sharper images will further submerge you into the storyline.

For those of us who do suffer… (me) you’ll probably never even notice the difference cos your eyes will be tightly shut or you’ll be holding the bags 🙂

Smiles included…

Jamie

Universal’s Cinematic Celebration™ – Epic Cinema Under the Stars

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Accident or not? It looks like Universal may have given us a look at their new night time show without the usual fanfare that such an announcement deserves.

Eagle eyed fans have noticed that Universal’s Cinematic Celebration™ – Epic Cinema Under the Stars has appeared on their website with the following description;

Starting this summer, nights at Universal Studios Florida™ will be brighter and bolder than ever as music from the world’s biggest films fills the air and scores of dancing fountains erupt. Massive walls of water blaze with epic movie moments and powerful projections bring the entire waterfront into the movies. You’ll see and hear roaring dinosaurs from Jurassic World, feel the adrenaline rush of high-speed cars from Fast & Furious, watch the mischievous antics of the Minions from Despicable Me, and so much more. Don’t miss the amazing new show that’s lighting up select nights all year long. Universal’s Cinematic Celebration™ – Epic Cinema Under the Stars

This show sounds amazing and I can’t wait to see it… Summer can’t come quick enough.

Smiles included…

Jamie

Could Universal Be Boldly Going Where No One Has Gone Before

Hey Thrill Seekers

Regular readers of this blog and viewers of our bi-weekly show OAT Live will know we love a good rumour and this one can truly be filed under good rumour.

Now we all know that Universal has plans for a 4th gate, they already have Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and water theme park Volcano Bay but with the recent purchase of a whole lot of land its probably the industries worst kept secret that they’re looking to build a new theme park.

Most of the rumours around the new 4th park are rightfully concentrating on the Universal Nintendo tie up that will definitely see the introduction of Nintendo IP like Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong etc however recently the internet has been rife with a new 4th park rumour…. STAR TREK!

So here’s what I’m hearing (imagine Spock ears);

Universal are considering two possible ways of introducing Star Trek. Firstly; they might be interested in replacing the vacant Terminator 3D ride with a Star Trek show, this one seems a little flimsy as Universal have already announced that this attraction will make way for an all-new live action experience based on a high-energy Universal franchise. Although Star Trek can be high-energy at times it’s definitely not a Universal Franchise… so at the time of writing this I’m still sticking with my original thought that we’ll see a Jason Bourne attraction.

The second and perhaps more likely scenario is that Star Trek will appear as a land of its own, perhaps to battle directly with Disney’s soon to be opened (Autumn 2019) Star Wars Land. Fan’s have been discussing the idea of a sci-fi area for a long time so this option could tick two boxes.

Alain Littaye, writer for the blog Disney and more states in his latest post that his Universal source believes that;

a Star Trek Sci-Fi area is being highly considered to hit back WDW DHS Star Wars land

What would a Star Trek land involve?

Well some are pointing at a Las Vegas project that unfortunately never made it to production that involved a full scale USS Enterprise that visitors would enter and would house a few attractions! We’re also hearing strong calls for a Starfleet Academy live show or interactive experience.

Whatever happens we believe Universal will start breaking ground for the 4th park soon in an attempt to launch in 2022. Remember though this is all rumours and until Universal confirm anything it should be treated as such.

Is a Star Trek land something you’d be interested in?

Smiles included…

Jamie

Disney have revealed the name of the Village in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Over the bank holiday weekend Disney announced the name of the village within Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge which is coming to Hollywood Studios in the fall of 2019.

Black Spire Outpost.

We already know that the planet is called Batuu and guests who attended a panel discussion on the 27th May at Star Wars: Galatic Nights were among the first to hear the breaking news. Disney’s Story Editor Margaret Kerrison shared the news during the discussion and also told guests the story behind the name and how it is associated with the geological formations that surround it.

Here’s Disney’s official description.

The largest settlement on the planet Batuu, Black Spire Outpost is an infamous stop for traders, adventurers, and smugglers traveling around the Outer Rim and Wild Space. Off the beaten path, this outpost has become a haven for the galaxy’s most colorful — and notorious — characters. Widely known for the petrified remains of its once towering ancient trees, the spires now stand guard across the river valleys and plains and have long captured the imagination of travelers to this planet. To the first settlers, these petrified spires became more than just landmarks; they became the heart of the outpost itself.

There is set to be more news in the coming months and of course, we will keep you updated. Not in the know about Star Wars: Galaxy’s edge then check out this blog. (plus where have you been?!)

Smiles Included,

Abby

2017 Theme Park Attendances

Hey Thrill Seekers,

2017’s theme park attendance figures have been announced a lot earlier this year and we have seen a big growth from 2016 to 2017 – 2016 was a bit of a flat year where the top 10 theme park groups worldwide attendance was 438.3m but 2017 saw a bigger attendance of 475.8m.

In Orlando we saw the opening of some major attractions and parks such as Pandora – The World of Avatar in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Universals Volcano Bay which is bound to have driven more guests to the ‘theme park capital of the world’ Below we can see that Walt Disney World is still the largest theme park group in the World welcoming 150,014,000 visitors which is just under 10 million more than 2016!! All of the other Theme Park Groups that feature in Orlando (see the green love hearts) are in the same position as last year but all have an increased attendance.

Top 25 Theme Parks Worldwide

As you can see Disney really do dominate the standings, there are also 6 Orlando parks featured, 5 of which are in the top 10!! This is actually one less than last year as SeaWorld doesn’t feature in this list like it did last year.

I thought it might be a good idea to take a look at the Worldwide Water Park attendance this time around too. Below is the top 10 which features 4 Orlando Water Parks.

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!!

Top Theme Parks in North America

Both Disney and Universal have had a very good 2017. Disney parks grew 3.0% – this is mainly thanks to Pandora — the World of Avatar. The renovation of Disney Springs has also been received very well. “Disney remains king of the industry with the top five parks in North America.” “There are six Disney parks among the Top 20 theme parks in North America and those six parks account for 55% of total attendance. Disney is leveraging the power of compelling intellectual property (IP) with Pandora — and new Star Wars-themed lands on the horizon — as did Universal with the Harry Potter attractions, and both set a leading example for the industry.” 

Above is the top 20 theme parks in North America, as we can see, Disney dominate this chart again. Animal Kingdom has moved from 4th to 3rd, and had a staggering 2 million more visitors, probably due to the opening of Pandora – World of Avatar. Islands of Adventure has dropped from 7th to 8th and SeaWorld and Busch Gardens have also drop 1 place each.

I can’t wait to see how figures change in the future. 2018’s figures will be impacted by the opening of Toy Story Land, Universal’s 2 new hotels. My bet is that we will see the biggest difference with 2019 figures as Star Wars: Galaxy’s edge and a new Potter coaster are due to open.

Smiles Included,

Abby

 

Universal Confirm Trick ‘r Treat For HHN28

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Yep we’ve got another confirmed house for Halloween Horror Nights 28 along with Stranger Things and the Universal Original house Dead Exposure we can now look forward to Trick ‘r Treat !!!

Trick R Treat made an appearance last year as a scare zone but as HHN fans loved it so much in 2017 Universal have decided to upgrade it to a house. Here’s what Universal had to say about it;

We’re throwing you head first into the world of this cult Halloween film, and putting you in the middle of all the grisly scenes and demented characters. These guardians of Halloween will teach you the traditions of the holiday as you find out first hand the consequences of breaking those rules. With monsters around every turn, you need to pay attention…or suffer the ultimate fate.

The mysterious Sam who is the keeper of the rules and the ‘spirit of Halloween’ will be keeping an eye over all of the scares. I was at HHN last year and the scare zone was one of my favourites so I cannot wait to see what is in store for the house!

We’ve still got 6 more house reveals and all of the scare zones to come, are you happy about this house and what do you think is going to be the next reveal?

Screams included!

Abby