Is a New Harry Potter Ride on the Cards?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Some cool information has emerged today regarding Universal and 2 new patents that have been granted.

One is ‘vehicle transportation room system and method’ and the other is ‘system and method for moving puzzle theatre.’ Both patents appear to be pointing towards bringing more elements for of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to life.. eeekkkk!

I’m going to start with the vehicle transportation system which is the most interesting to me, the patent talks about a retractable ‘launch room’ which would cover ride cars on multiple sided with ‘walls.’ It looks as though the launch room vehicles would include some cool elements like speakers, fog, strobe lights and displays and would move alongside the the car to ensure that guests are immersed in the experience throughout the whole journey.

One of the patent images, (see below) points at a animated figure of a ghost in front of a fireplace which makes me think of the Harry Potter Floo Network – for those of you who don’t know, the Floo Network is a ‘mode of magical transport’ that was used in the Harry Potter series which sees the characters casting a spell  to turn a fireplace in to a portal and then entering it to transport to their the preferred location. Sometimes the characters would get the spell wrong an end up somewhere they didn’t want to be!

Another image shows a retractable wall in a  fireplace leaving enough space for a ride car to propel forwards.

I like the idea of the launch room and the patent states that the launch room could possibly be used to hide upcoming drops / thrills and create more suspense and in turn a more exhilarating ride.

The moving puzzle theatre patent would cover theatres used for shows in parks and areas that include mass seating or performances. You’ve probably all been in the situation where you have been super excited to go watch a performance or show and when you finally get to a seat you’ve got something blocking part of the  stage – not cool!! This new style will allow the seating areas to be manoeuvrable and give people the feeling that the theatre is unified  when actually each section of seating is separate and can move in relation to the others.

Looking at the patent it seems as though Universal will create the movable theatres in a way in which guests will not even notice that the puzzle theatre system is enabled to move the seating areas. It looks like there would be an initial configuration that manoeuvrable seating areas will be connected to a single system so that they can separate and come back together.

Now for some technical stuff (if it wasn’t already confusing enough) The seating area’s appear as though they would be attached to actuator arms!

Yes I’ll admit that I had to google what actuator means..

An actuator is a component of a machine that is responsible for moving or controlling a mechanism or system. An actuator requires a control signal and a source of energy. The control signal is relatively low energy and may be electric voltage or current, pneumatic or hydraulic pressure, or even human power.’

There would be 6 degrees of freedom, for example: pitch, roll, yaw, surge, heave and sway and there could even be more than one centre platform that could allow for one to pass over the other or even pass over the show itself! Perhaps to simulate a Quiddtich match?

Even though not all patents lead to new attractions we can always have a guess, right?

My guess is that the rumours that Dragon Challenge will be making way for a brand new attraction could well be true and that these new patents will be incorporate. I believe it will be some kind of story based attraction, taking Harry through different stages i.e. the Floo system, a quidditch match. I think the ride itself will incorporate different types of ride including dark rides and 3D. An extension of what Universal did with Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.

What do you think?

Smiles Included,

Jess

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Universal Confirm Wet N’ Wild Site To Become A Hotel

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Now you know me, I’m not one to say I told you so but…back in 2015 I totally told you!

Here’s the article I’m referring to  scroll done to the bottom of the page and you’ll note my prediction in bold!

Yep its official Universal have filed documents with Orlando City confirming that they are looking to add 4000 rooms to the site formally known as Wet n’ Wild.

The Orlando Sentinel which makes a habit of breaking these types of stories has confirmed that within the filing Universal entered a master-plan framework for the area however Universal have revealed little else, no name, not theming. As reported widely a sketch was also provided with the filing which shows three parking structures and shows that Universal require a part of a street, Precision Drive, vacated.

Two things that immediately spring to mind upon looking at these plans, firstly are Universal actually building two hotels? Secondly, how will Universal get visitors from the new hotel(s) to the parks?

We’ll continue to update.

Smiles included…

Jamie

 

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Food Glorious Food… Avatar Style

Hey Thrill Seekers,

The opening of Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is edging closer and closer, the 27th  May to be precise and I for one, cannot wait!!! On top of the amazing theming and attractions Disney are also continuing the immersive feeling with their food options.

Here’s what Disney had to say;

Guests can enjoy creative, flavourful dishes based on the healthful bounty of Pandora, with wholesome grains, fresh vegetables and hearty proteins at Satu’li Canteen, where an on-stage grill is a prominent feature in the colourful dining room.

The Satu’li Canteen was once the main mess hall of the Resources Development Administration (RDA) base located in the Valley of Mo’ara. Now the canteen is owned and operated by Alpha Centauri Expeditions (ACE) tour company and has been redesigned into a beautiful museum-like dining room.

The interior has been transformed with colorful Na’vi items filling the walls and hanging from the ceiling — hand-woven tapestries, natural Pandoran elements and even cooking tools decorate the restaurant.

Look for familiar dishes with a twist in the fast-casual restaurant, with bowls that allow diners to customize their lunch or dinner. Diners start with a base of quinoa and vegetable salad; red and sweet potato hash; mixed whole-grain and rice or romaine and kale salad. Next is either with wood-grilled chicken, slow-roasted beef, sustainable fish or chili-spiced fried tofu. And the bowl is finished with charred onion chimichurri, black bean vinaigrette or creamy herb dressing.

The menu also offers steamed “pods” – bao buns with either cheeseburger or vegetable curry and served with root vegetable chips and crunchy vegetable slaw.

For little ones, there’s an option of grilled chicken or beef, fish or tofu with greens or rice; a hot dog wrapped in Parker House dough; cheese quesadilla, or a steamed “pod” (cheeseburger bao bun).

Disney will also be allowing orders to be made via their mobile app, here’s the details.

The fast-casual restaurant will also be the first to offer Mobile Order, a new convenient option to order and pay for meals on-the-go within the My Disney Experience app, allowing guests to bypass the queue to order when they arrive at the restaurant. Using the app, guests can select menu items, customize their order and pre-pay for their meal. When they arrive at the restaurant they will tap an “I’m here” button in the app, which will notify the kitchen to prepare the meal. When ready, guests will be alerted through the app to pick up their meal at a designated window. Additional fast-casual and quick-service restaurants will begin to offer Mobile Order later this year

The addition of Pandora really looks like a giant step forward for Disney in terms of an immersive environment and I’m excited to see the finished product. We’ll continue to keep you posted when we learn more.

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Miss Adventure Falls Has Opened And The Reviews Are In

Hey Thrill Seekers,

So as you may or may not know, Miss Adventure Falls finally opened at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon on the 12th March 2017, the first new attraction since Crush n’ Gusher in 2005,  but what are people’s thoughts on it so far?

We all know that a new attraction is like THE best thing to ever happen in the theme park world, but are we ever disappointed in them? By the sounds of things, Miss Adventure Falls is a massive hit!

Like no other ride at Typhoon Lagoon, Miss Adventure Falls is 2 minute’s long with a conveyor belt that takes you in your raft up to the top. Everyone has got to be happy about this, surely?! Not trecking up all the steps, raft in arm, in the scorching sun.

As it’s a 4 person raft, it is definitely a family ride and with no height limit it’s not going to be as thrilling as Crush ‘n’ Gusher.

From reviews we’ve been receiving although you could fit 4 people in, some people have said 3 was rather ‘snug’. Everyone is different shapes and sizes so who knows how many people you could squeeze in!

Disney always have a story behind every attraction and this one is so interesting! It brings to life, the story of Captain Mary Oceaneer who’s a treasure hunting heroine that got stranded at Typhoon Lagoon with her pet parrot, Duncan in a rogue storm years and years ago.

The raft you ride in, is your treasure raft that takes you on their adventure. You’ll go up past the Captains wrecked ship where she will be sitting with her parrot. This is the first of its kind at a Disney water park as the parrot is an animatronic animal so he will talk to you about how he is still hunting for treasure to this day!

Going through the queue and you will see the story briefly written on signs letting you know what you’re about to venture into! The conveyor belt is a high capacity system aiming to keep queue times shorter. So far the longest it’s been recorded at is 5 minutes!

Steven from Glasgow said;

It’s great fun, longer than expected, I loved the theming and although billed as a family ride, was still quite thrilling.

Scott from London said;

the ride was effortless – pure laziness is all that is required and what more could you ask for at a water park.

Janet from Cornwall said;

my daughter doesn’t usually like water parks as she’s not a strong swimmer so is always too scared to go on any of the rides but Miss Adventure Falls is perfect for her and now she wants to go on all of them!

Through the first couple of days, there were a few delays due to some of the rafts being abandoned at the bottom but this is all part of opening new attractions! You can see what works and what doesn’t and if it doesn’t, change it. I’m sure it won’t be long before Disney are up to full speed with this attraction and making sure everything runs smoothly.

Finally, there has been a lot of talk about Miss Adventure Falls replacing Shark Reef. This is not true guys!! Miss Adventure Falls is in a different spot to Shark Reef however Shark Reef has sadly closed! 🙁

If you haven’t already, take a look at Miss Adventure Falls here:

Have you experienced Miss Adventure Falls yet? What did you think?

Smiles Included…

Louise

 

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Disney Reveals Star Wars Construction Update

Hey Thrill Seekers,

When Disney reveals Star Wars information a siren goes off here at OAT towers similar to using the Bat Signal and we all rush head first to the nearest computer to bath in its glory… and today is one of those days.

Scheduled to open in 2019 Disney World have already broken ground on the much anticipated land.

Instead of using one of the known planets in the Star Wars galaxy guests will be transported to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port and one of the last stops before wild space where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life and where guests will find themselves in the middle of the action.

Disney are also creating two new signature attractions: one that lets guests take the controls of Millennium Falcon on a customised secret mission and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.

We’ve also heard that Disney are working on creating droids that guests can interact with, these droids will be built using new AI technology that also allow them to learn as they go!!

How amazing is Star Wars at Disney going to be?

Smiles included…

Jamie

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SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment’s Retired Attractions

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Of course, we have looked at Disney and Universal’s retired attractions so there is only one other place to look…SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment! Anheuser Busch (better known as Budweiser, Abby’s favourite drink) bought SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment in 1989.

During the ownership time’s of Anheuser Busch, there was a hospitality lounge where you would get free beer samples and be able to see Clydesdales whilst sipping your beer!

In 1992 they introduced their first simulator ride to SeaWorld Orlando, Mission: Bermuda Triangle, based on the real life Bermuda Triangle (Devil’s Triangle). This was then re-themed into Wild Arctic which was combined with the amazing animal exhibit when you exit the ride. Here you can view the gorgeous Beluga whales and walruses.

Wild Arctic is also known for having seasonal changes every so often including turning into The Polar Express at Christmas time! Although this wasn’t seen last year, you never know if it will return! I hope so because I love The Polar Express!

SeaWorld used to have a fairly large penguin habitat which was upgraded into Antarctica: The Empire of the Penguin a trackless dark ride in 2013. You’ll meet Puck the Penguin and be able to follow him on his adventures around the Antarctic. You can even choose whether you would like a ‘mild’ or ‘wild’ experience!

Once you disembark from the ride, you’ll enter into the breathtaking penguin exhibit. When I say breathtaking, it literally will take your breath away with the freezing cold as well as the beautiful penguins! Some might call this a ‘2 for 1’ attraction, with the ride and the animal exhibit. Another 2 for 2 attraction is Manta. It opened in 2009 and has one of, if not the smoothest tracks in the world and is a one-of-a-kind ride with riders taunted by a head-first, face-down inverted nose dive. At the end of the ride you have the Manta Aquarium and the Stingray Lagoon.

SeaWorld is also known for it’s many stunning shows. The most popular and well known show has got to be One Ocean where you can capture Orca’s performing the most amazing flips and somersaults. One Ocean opened in 2011 after Believe was there from 2006.

Over in Tampa Bay, you can visit Busch Gardens which is also part of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment!

Python was the park’s first roller coaster that opened in 1976 with corckscrew and U-turns. Python was demolished in 2006 to make way for Jungala.

Busch Gardens also had African Queen Boat Ride which closed in 1989 to make way for Tanganyika Tidal Wave which is still in the parks to date so you can get a soaking on a hot, sunny day!  Crazy Camel was a coaster that closed in 2003 to be replaced by Sand Serpent which is also still around today.

Sandstormer was an oribter ride that was running from 1980 all the way through to 2013 before they took it down to make way for Falcons Fury which opened in 2014. Not only that, but there was Rhino Rally that opened in 2001, another water boat ride but this one was closed down for Cheetah Hunt to open in 2011.

The one ride that most people know about closing down in 2015 has to be Gwazi. I think me and Gwazi had a love hate relationship like most people! At 90 feet tall it was the park’s only wooden roller coaster!

 

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment also own Aquatica and Discovery Cove however Aquatica being their newest park, nothing has yet been replaced and Discovery Cove is already perfect just the way it is! 🙂

What else can you think of that’s no longer at any of these parks that maybe you’re happy are no longer there, or that you’re sad to see them gone?

Smiles Included…

Louise

 

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Interview With Abby From Orlando Attraction Tickets

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Interview Tuesday is upon us once again and today we’ve turned the tables on one of our own.

Star of the hit Facebook live show, OAT Live, Abby has been chatting about Disney, Universal, SeaWorld and all things Orlando for a while now. If you haven’t watched her you’ve probably read one of her blog posts.

Lets get to know her…

Name: Abby
Company: Orlando Attraction Tickets
Position: Social Media Team

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get? Cheese, cheese and more cheese!
If you were an animal, what would you be and why? A Dolphin because they’re clever, entertaining and the best animal ever. 😉
If someone made a movie of your life would it be a drama, a comedy, a romantic-comedy, action film, or science fiction? Definitely a romance mixed with a horror.
Complete the sentence; I was once mistaken for . . . Chewbacca. 🙁
If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be? Jennifer Lawrence, Conor McGregor and Margot Robbie.

WORK

What was the highlight of 2016 for your company?: For me – Joining a great, successful team at Orlando Attraction Tickets.
What can we expect from your company in 2017?: Lots of new attractions and deals to be offered. We’re also looking to extend our social reach by taking advantage of live broadcasting.
Make a 2017 prediction…: I think that lots more rides will begin to have VR added to them.
Best Theme Park ride/attraction of 2016?: Mako at SeaWorld Orlando.
Best Theme Park/attraction food of 2016?: Mac and Cheese in Hard Rock Cafe.
Best Theme Park/attraction tip?: Take a bottle to fill up at water fountains around the park (you don’t need to do this at Discovery Cove as all food and drinks are included.)
Best kept secret in Florida?: Throw some coins into a fishes mouth in McElligot’s Pool at Islands of Adventure and then thank me later. 😉

Yey! Thanks Abby for taking the time to get involved with our interview series. You can catch Abby with her on screen husband Gavin, every other Thursday 4pm when OAT goes live. Make sure you visit our facebook page for all the latest news, tips and competitions.

You can read other interviews in the series here;

Here’s episode 3 of OAT Live;

Smiles included…

Jamie

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New Coaster at Fun Spot Kissimmee to be Called ‘Mine Blower’

Hey Thrill Seekers,

So the name for the new wooden roller-coaster at Fun Spots Kissimmee location has recently been revealed as ‘Mine Blower’ which gives us the impression that it is a ride that ‘blows minds’ and maybe themed around mine carts, what do you think?

The ride is due to open in summer 2017 and we do not yet know what the carts are going to look like but my guess is something like the Donkey Kong mine carts 😉

Here are some cool facts about the upcoming coaster..

  • Maximum bank angle is 115 degrees
  • It is going to be 2256 ft long
  • There are 11 different air times
  • Top speed is 48.5 mph
  • There is a 360 Barrel Roll ( You are going upside down, on a Wooden Roller Coaster!)
  • The first drop is 80.5 feet – that’s like 5 large giraffes stacked on top of each other..

It is the only wooden roller-coaster in Southeast United States that will feature a 360 degree barrel roll!

Mine Blower has been designed by the Ohio-based coaster design firm Gravity Group. Gravity Group built the first wooden coasters in China and the Voyage coaster at Holiday World in Indiana, which has been ranked as the best wooden coaster for 5 years in a row! This surely means that Mine Blower is going to be an amazing contribution to Fun Spot Kissimmee and one for true thrill seekers!

Don’t forget that admission into Fun Spot is FREE and you can purchase your unlimited armbands here.

Smiles Included,

Jess

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What Is UMA?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Big companies are constantly trademarking words and phrases, sometimes it means nothing at all…. however sometimes it gives us a glimpse at the future. We think Universal’s latest trademark filings might just be pointing towards its future…

The first trademark is Universal Pay (2 images);

Here’s what the trademark states –

i) Providing an internet website portal for the facilitation of financial transactions.

ii) Downloadable software to enable the user to make mobile payments; downloadable mobile device application software for managing, storing, and capturing credit card and debit card information; downloadable software for enabling processing of electronic funds transfers and payments; Interactive computer kiosks comprising of payment terminals for use in monetary transactions

Universal Messaging Assistant (4 images);

also know as;

UMA (4 images)

 

i) Providing a website featuring customised restaurant and hotel information and recommendations to users; Online restaurant and hotel reservation and booking services

ii) Providing a website featuring customised entertainment and theme park recommendations to users; Online ticket reservation and booking services for entertainment events and amusement park attractions

iii) On-line retail store services featuring tickets to theme parks, theme park attractions, and entertainment events; on-line retail gift shops

iiii) Downloadable computer and mobile application software for providing customised entertainment, restaurant, hotel, and travel information and recommendations to users; Downloadable computer and mobile application software for facilitating the purchase of theme park and entertainment tickets and merchandise; Downloadable computer and mobile application software for making restaurant and entertainment event reservations.

These trademark filings seem to suggest to me that instead of heading down the TapuTapu route for the rest of their parks that perhaps they’re looking to build an all-consuming app that incorporates the obvious ticket and fastpass option but also extends to restaurant/hotel bookings, merchandise purchases and interestingly, recommendations.

Could UMA be the future of Universal?

Smiles included…

Jamie

 

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Pandora: World of Avatar Ride Requirements

Hey Thrill Seekers,

So on our last Facebook Live we had a couple of questions about Pandora: The World of Avatar and in particular, will the rides be included in Fastpass+ and what d’ya know Disney released this exact information yesterday!

Lets start with Avatar Flight of Passage, Disney’s description of Avatar Flight of Passage is making me so impatient.

“Get a banshee’s-eye view of the beauty and grandeur of Pandora on a rite of passage you won’t soon forget! Deep in the heart of the Valley of Mo’ara, discover Avatar Flight of Passage—an all-new expedition that lets interstellar explorers like you climb atop a mountain banshee for a breathtaking, first-person flight over the moon’s incredible landscape. Bonding with a mountain banshee is a crucial step in the life of a Na’vi hunter—and flying on the back of one of these powerful winged creatures represents an important rite of passage.Now, as a visitor to Pandora, you’ll finally have the chance to test yourself in a similar way! “

The height requirement for this ride is 44 inches which is approximately 3.6 feet. The age interest is kids, tweens, teens and adults. Most importantly, can you use FastPass+ for Avatar Flight of Passage? The answer is yes. Wooo!

Next up is Navi River Journey, Disney’s description on their website gives me goosebumps..

 “Glide down a gentle, mysterious river and feel a sense of wonder as the full beauty of Pandora reveals itself. Located within the Valley of Mo’ara, Na’vi River Journey offers explorers an experience that has to be seen—and heard—to be believed! As your expedition begins, climb aboard a reed boat and drift downstream. After coasting through a series of caves, and passing by exotic glowing plants and amazing creatures of the rainforest, you’ll soon find yourself face-to-face with the Na’vi Shaman of Songs. The adventure comes to a conclusion as the Shaman demonstrates her deep connection to the life force of Pandora—and sends positive energy out into the forest through the power of her music!”

Sounds beautiful doesn’t it? What’s better is that there is no height requirement for this ride as well as the age interest being for everyone meaning the whole family can enjoy it together. You can also book your Fastpass+ on the Navi River Journey. 🙂

 

Next is Valley of Mo’ara, this isn’t something that I knew a lot about so looking on the Disney website has really got me excited to have a wander around the valley..

 “Walk about through the Valley of Mo’ara and get ready to discover a world like no other! There’s more to Pandora than expeditions like Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey… much more! All around its enormous floating mountains, you’ll quickly uncover the valley’s one-of-a-kind dining and shopping experiences—along with sights, sounds and experiences that include: Exotic plants that come to life with beautiful bioluminescence each night, A Na’vi-built drum circle containing instruments playable by all, Na’vi totems and other cultural items found throughout the land, Brand-new Wilderness Explorers challenges and badges to collect. You may even come across tour guides from Alpha Centauri Expeditions (ACE), scientists from the Pandora Conservation Initiative (PCI), or even an eclectic expat or two!”

There is no height requirement and the age interest is for everyone. There is no Fastpass+ available for the Valley of Mo’ara as there will be no queue lines.

With the opening of Pandora: World of Avatar on the 27th May getting closer and closer we are loving any information that Disney are releasing about it.

Welcome to Pandora—a world similar to Earth… but distinctly unique in so many ways!

I don’t know about you but I really can’t wait and i’ll definitely be booking my fast passes for the Navi River Journey and Avatar Flight of Passage!!

Smiles Included…

Jess

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