Discovery Cove’s Top Attraction’s 2016

Hey Thrill Seekers,

The top attraction at Discovery Cove for 2016 was a no brainer. Of course it was Dolphin Lagoon. This may have something to do with the once in a life time opportunity to swim with dolphins!

If you opt for the swim package at Discovery Cove you get the incredible experience of meeting, interacting and swimming with a beautiful bottlenose dolphin in Dolphin Lagoon. This will definitely be the highlight of your day and maybe even your whole holiday!

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From the feedback we have received by those of you who have visited Discovery Cove I can see why it has come out on top and put perfectly by one of our customers who recently visited:

” The most wonderful day. Can”t put into words how enjoyable the whole day was. Swimming with the dolphins is just an incredible experience.”

Second Place: Dolphin Swim Experience - Takes place within Dolphin Lagoon – a unforgettable experience!

Third Place: Grand Reef – Snorkel with thousands of fish, rays and sharks in this 2.5 acre tropical world.

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Fourth Place: Wind Away River - This is one of the most relaxing things to do when in Orlando – my tip is to grab one of the floats before embarking on your adventure for full relaxation!

Fifth Place: Explorers Aviary – A fantastic opportunity to feed beautiful birds right from the palm of your hands.

I am sooo jealous of anyone who had the chance to visit and swim with dolphins this year but in my opinion you voted a very respectable winner!

Smiles Included..

Jess

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Top 10 Instagrammed Places of 2016

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Today I have been looking at the top 10 most Instagrammed places around the world. If you’re wondering why I’ve decided to write a blog about this then pay close attention to 1st and 2nd places. ;-)

1st Place – Disney Properties (Worldwide)

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2nd Place – Universal Properties (Worldwide)

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3rd Place – Central Park (New York, U.S.A)

4th Place – Times Square (New York, U.S.A)

5th Place – Eiffel Tower (Paris, France)

6th Place – The Louvre Museum (Paris, France)

7th Place – Las Vegas Strip (Nevada, U.S.A)

8th Place – Santa Monica Pier (California, U.S.A)

9th Place – Brooklyn Bridge  (New York, U.S.A)

10th Place – VDNKh – Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy and permanent general purpose trade show and amusement park. (Moscow, Russia)

So there you have it, the top 10 places where everyone has been posting snaps to Instagram. With Disney and Universal topping the charts it’s safe to say that they are 2 of, if not THE best places in the world to visit (and of course to take a selfie!)

What’s a blog about Instagram without me showing you my favourite photo from our Instagram page:-P

My new best mate

A photo posted by Karl (@orlandoattractiontickets) on

Smiles Included,

Jess

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Busch Garden’s Top Attraction’s 2016

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Without a shadow of a doubt Falcons Fury is your favourite attraction at Busch Gardens Tampa and why wouldn’t it be?

Falcons Fury is the first drop coaster of its kind in the whole world! It stands at 335 feet tall and riders will travel at speeds of up to 60mph whilst diving towards earth – exactly like a Falcon.

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When at the top of Falcons Fury, Busch Gardens have added a little extra surprise for you.. (if you haven’t been yet and don’t like spoilers skip the next three lines) You will pivot 90 degrees whilst in mid air resulting in you being face down – in a dive position. Then the next thing you know you’ll be hurtling towards the ground at crazy speeds – probably screaming all the way.

Second Place: Cheetah Hunt – This multiple launch coaster will push you back in to your seat many times with three accelerations and super quick twists and turns throughout the 3 and a half minute sprint.

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Third Place: SheiKra – An incredible dive coaster. You’ll head 200 feet upwards, have 4 seconds to take in the view and then plummet straight back down at 90 degrees reaching up to 70mph!

Fourth Place: Congo River Rapids – This is a white water rafting experience like no other. You’ll travel in and out of mysterious caves and just hope that your side of the raft doesn’t get soaked by the waterfalls!! (unless it’s a really hot day then you’ll be hoping for the opposite!)

Fifth Place: Montu – A wicked coaster for any thrill seeker. Seven inversions, a batwing inversion, vertical loop, weightless roll and a simultaneous loop and roll.. You are sure to be blown away by this extreme coaster!

Yet again it has been proved that OAT thrill seekers are by far the most brave and daring by choosing Falcons Fury as the favourite attraction at Busch Gardens. (waaaay more brave than our own Kelly who bottled Falcons Fury when she visited!)

Smiles Included..

Jess
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Disney unveil new Star Wars ‘Death Star’ at Epcot

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Spaceship Earth at Disney’s Epcot was transformed into the Death Star last night. This comes from a meetup with the film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story which will make it’s debut on the 16th December. Some announcements were made at the event with the help of Mads Mikkelsen, who plays Galen Erso in the film.

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So what exactly did Disney announce last night? Mainly based on the Star Wars inspired land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. More characters and scenes will appear in the parks everyday line up in addition to the land that is currently being built.

Also announced was that Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular that was debuted earlier this year, will be joining their new nighttime spectacular Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam from the 16th December through to the 31st by being projected onto the park’s Chinese Theater.

By the middle of the month, Star Tours – The Adventurers Continue will return for it’s first destination with Jakku to continue the promotion of last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Rogue One – A Star Wars Story will be promoted by Disney at Star Wars Launch Bay with new props and models from the film. Some troopers from the film will also be appearing in the daytime show, Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away.

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Last but not least, Disney announced plans for a Star Wars-themed Guided Tour of Disney’s Hollywood Studios including a spot of Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple show for the children. The tour will also include a ride on Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, a guided tour of the Launch Bay, lunch with Star Wars-themed eats and reserved viewing for the Galactic Spectacular show.

Seems to me like Disney are taking full advantage of Star Wars and I don’t blame them!

Smiles included…

Louise

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SeaWorld’s Top Attractions 2016

Hey Thrill Seekers,

SeaWorld is renowned for its hugely thrilling coasters as well as its incredible shows so there’s a lot of competition within this park. Storming in at first place is the unique Manta.

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Manta is a one of a kind coaster on which you will experience a impressive amount of G’s! You’ll glide like a Manta Ray experience inverted nosedives, loops, twists and turns all whilst laying flat on your back , parallel to the track. You will sometimes be above the track and sometimes below as you continue to switch orientation throughout the whole ride.

It’s known to be one of the smoothest tracks in the world and totally different to your every day coaster which is why I think it has been voted as the top attraction at SeaWorld this year!

Second Place: Mako – Its Orlando’s tallest, fastest and longest coaster and is named after one of the oceans fastest sharks, Mako is our offices favourite coaster at SeaWorld.

Third Place: Kraken – This is Orlando’s only floorless roller coaster and is based on a underwater mythological beast. Your feet will dangle as you speed your way around this enthralling track.

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Fourth: One Ocean – Watch majestic killer whales tell a story and be careful if you opt to sit in the splash zone you will get VERY wet!!

Fifth: Dolphins Up-Close Tour – This hands on experience lasts around 60 minutes and allows you to interact with the beautiful bottlenose dolphins and even learn some of the hand signals used to communicate with them!

Smiles Included,

Jess

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Aquatica’s Top Attractions 2016

Hey Thrill Seekers,

I’m going to be taking a look into what you guys have voted as your favourite attraction of 2016 for each individual park. Starting with Aquatica.

Drum roll please….

Its the worlds longest drop tower multi-slide.. Ihu’s Breakaway Falls! The 80 ft tall, vertical slide doesn’t seem to have phased any of you thrill seekers as it has been voted as the favourite attraction in Aquatica.

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This attraction boasts 4 different slides each with its own steep and very very high 360 degree spiral. You will need to prepare to be unprepared as once you step foot into of of the ‘breakaway boxes’ you have accepted your fate and will not know when you are going to drop vertically at a rate of 20 – 24 feet per second! If the fear of the unknown is too much for you to handle then you will always have to option to choose the fourth slide which will allow you to choose exactly when you drop – I think I would find it more difficult trying to force myself to push the button!

Second Place: Roa’s Rapids – four times faster than your average river rapids this definitely isn’t a ‘lazy’ river. Look out for the geysers and waterfalls!

Third Place: Dolphin Plunge – This 250 foot Slide consists of clear tubes immersed in a Commerson’s dolphin habitat where you can race with the dolphins as you whizz through the slide!

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Fourth Place: Hooroo Run & Walhalla Wave – This 6 storey triple drop water slide is 7 foot wide and 250 foot high! This slide is sure to be a thrilling experience.

Fifth Place: Walk About Waters – Absolutely perfect for the kiddies! With plenty of water cannons, slides and rides your kids will be entertained for hours.

I can see why Ihu’s Breakaway Falls would be the favourite slide at Aquatica due to the extremely high thrill factor and the sense of achievement you feel once your wobbly legs carry you out of the ‘landing area.’ Good choice guys!

Smiles Included..

Jess
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Making its return….A celebration of Harry Potter 2017

Hey Thrill Seeking Muggles,

So for all you Potterheads, if you haven’t heard already the 4th annual “A celebration of Harry Potter” dates for 2017 have been confirmed. The 3 day magical event will be starting on the 27th January 2017 and ending on the 29th January 2017. So gather round wizards and witches.

This weekend-long experience is full of fantastic events including a film talent Q&A, demonstrations, exhibits and more.

Universal hasn’t released a schedule or confirmed which movie personalities will show, but it looks like a packed line-up. You may even need a Time Turner to do it all.

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Entry into this amazing event is included within your Universal tickets purchased directly with Orlando Attraction Tickets, but activites are often on a first come first served basis.

If this isn’t enough to get your Potter fix, you can upgrade to one of the event vacation packages. This way you can attend even more activities throughout A Celebration of Harry Potter. Universal offer a range of packages which will have you all Pottered out.

Spells included

Kelly

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Disney’s New MagicBand 2

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Disney have recently announced they are releasing new Magic Bands. With a slight make over and a nip and tuck, the MagicBand 2 will have a removable icon. The technology is all included on this disc shaped icon which you can remove from the band. You may think that this will just pop in and out which means it can get lost easily, but all bands will come with a little screwdriver to undo the tiny screw on the back.

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The icon can be used in other accessories such as key chains, bracelets etc. to make the bands more fashionable.

The bands will still be used for FastPass, hotel admission, payments in restaurants and merchandise stores throughout Walt Disney World Resort in the exact same way, just a slightly new look.

Magic Bands can be used again if you visit more than once and they usually last between 3 – 5 years depending on the battery life. They have smart technology included so that they will turn themselves off once you leave the Walt Disney World Resort and turn themselves back on when you re-enter.

The fact that these bands are waterproof is also pretty cool. You don’t need to worry about it getting wet on any of the water rides or if it rains! Not forgetting that you can personalise your band to make it your own. When I ordered my band I was able to choose between pink, blue, green, red, orange, grey or a yellow band. (Obviously I chose pink!) I also had my name printed on the inside so if I ever took it off, I would be sure it was mine. Disney stores also sell different straps and band its.

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You can even personalise your band yourself by painting it, putting stickers on it, bedazzling it etc. The question is, will defacing your band stop it from working? No, it won’t. If you deface tickets, it can make them invalid however this is not the case with your bands.

If you still have one of the older style Magic Bands, do not worry about having to purchase a new one as they will still work at Disney. Rumours are going around that eventually Disney will be looking to roll these out completely but this won’t be for a while now so there’s no reason to panic.

Icons will be included on every band so you won’t be able to purchase a band on it’s own which may have made personalising the bands a bit cheaper, but we all love spending money anyway, don’t we?!

Once we have an official release date for these bands, we will be sure to update you!

Smiles Included…

Louise

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Battle Royal For Theme Park IP’s

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Yesterday’s Universal update has got people talking and its got me thinking… Are we watching an IP battle?

Whilst Orlando is still dominated by Disney (Magic Kingdom had 20 million visitors in 2015) Universal has made massive strides in decreasing the gap. The introduction of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios plus their continued investment in new hotels (Cabana Bay and Sapphire Falls) has transformed Universal from an afterthought to a full on resort and Florida is better for it.

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Bill Gates famously said “Content is King” and when it comes to theme parks he couldn’t be more right. Potter, Star Wars, Marvel and now Nintendo are just 4 of the massive IP’s that are helping Disney and Universal open up a massive gap in the Florida market.

You cannot underestimate the power of a good IP. Before the introduction of Mr Potter, Universals Islands of Adventure had an annual visitation of 4.63 Million, after Mr Potter Islands has risen to 8.7 million visitors per year and Universal Studios has jumped to almost 10 million.

At present Disney have some very impressive IP which they have either purchased or built in house, buying Marvel Comics and LucasFilms for Billions raised some eyebrows at the time… now they look like absolute bargains.

So what’s next?

For Disney its Avatar, based on the James Cameron movie, Pandora will be opening at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 2017 and although the film might be considered a distant memory episode 2 is set for release in 2018 and then 3 further movies set for release in 2020, 2022 & 2023. So Disney are definitely playing the long game with this IP and taking a bit of a risk.

On safer ground they also have Star Wars theming heading to Hollywood Studios and a Toy Story Land both extremely strong IP’s with perhaps Star Wars being the most recognisable franchises in the World.

For Universal, they’ve just opened Skull Island based around the iconic figure of King Kong and announced that they will be building a Nintendo World in the future.

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What could they do?

Disney have the Marvel problem, they own the company but Universal own the rights to use the character in Florida. I’d imagine Disney have a whole huddle of lawyers checking through the contracting seeing if there’s a way to add Marvel to their parks similar to the makeover happening to Tower of Terror at Disneyland.

Universal is definitely the go to place for the Wizarding World and we believe that they have the rights to JK Rowling’s latest movie success Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them…   we wouldn’t be surprised if we see some movement around this. The follow up movie is set for release in 2018 so Universal should probably get a move on!

Other IP’s?

With the battle for Orlando dominance firmly based around popular IP’s with great stories we’ve been thinking about which IP’s might be an option.

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • DC Comics
  • James Bond
  • Dr Who
  • Minecraft
  • War Craft
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • South Park/Family Guy
  • Ghostbusters

One things for sure, the IP battle can only be a good thing for visitors.

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Orlando Attraction Tickets Wins Bronze At The British Travel Awards

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Yey, yey and double yey! Yep we’re pretty happy here at Orlando Attraction Tickets Towers because last week at the prestigious British Travel Awards we managed to pick up the bronze award for Best Holiday attraction ticket/excursion provider!!!

The awards are voted for by members of the public which makes this acknowledgement even better. We’re also highly delighted because we only found out we were nominated a week before the vote lines closed. With a week to go we were bottom of our category by miles…

PrintSo we’d like to thank everyone who voted for us, you’ve made our year and we’re proudly displaying our award for all to see.

Smiles included…

Jamie

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