Universal’s Fantastic Worlds

Hey Thrill Seekers!

This is VERY interesting.. A photo of a particular slide from what appears to be an internal Universal presentation was leaked yesterday and basically reveals the name of Universal’s 4th gate.

Universal submitted a trademark for this name back in June and the internet has been awash with rumours about Universal’s 4th gate ever since. Universal also carried out guest surveys to see what names the people would prefer! The survey included names like Epic Universe, Legendary Worlds, Epic Worlds, Legendary Lands and Dream Park. ‘Epic Universe’ was also trademarked by Universal but i think if i had to choose out of Fantastic Worlds and Epic Universe i would have gone with Fantastic Worlds too.

When Jamie found out about the trademark for Fantastic Worlds back in July he started to take a look at what could be included in the new park ‘a nod to the Potter franchise Fantastic Beasts. Another suggestion was sighted as Universal’s Epic Universe as a nod to the kind of buzz words being used by Universal employee’s.’ The name definitely does nod towards Fantastic Beasts getting it’s own world and the image pretty much solidifies the fact that Nintendo Land will be a world within the new park and not at KidsZone in Studios as previously rumoured by some sources. Lets take a look at what other worlds we could be seeing in the future;

Star Trek – there was a lot of rumours about this one when the trademark for the name was filed and it is thought that it could be a way to combat Disney’s Galaxy’s Edge. What do you think of a Star Trek world?

Lord of the Rings – This was rumoured as a possible expansion for Islands of Adventure theme park a few years ago so now a new park is opening it could be perfect timing!

Jurassic World – now this one kind of speaks for itself.. a whole Jurassic World would be AWESOME and the possibilities of rides and attractions for this is endless.. especially thrill rides. 😉

Fortnite & other video games – even if you don’t play it, you would have heard of it.. Fortnite – it is the most hashtagged thing on instagram, has attracted over 125 million players in less than a year and was only released in 2017! It is without a doubt the most popular game amongst all ages at the moment which has got us thinking that a ‘video game’ world would be cool and stand out from the other parks. With Nintendo Land thought to be the ‘anchor’ of the new park, it could also include games like Angry Birds (which also has a movie so even more content there) and World of Warcraft.

Dreamworks and Illumination – Think Madagascar, Trolls, Kung Fu panda, Shrek, The Lorax, a whole minion world and even two more by DreamWorks / Paramount: Sonic and How to Train Your Dragon… imagine a ride similar to FOP for that :O 😉

Now it seems to be that the park will be anchored by Nintendo as it features on the leaked image and is of course hugely popular with people of all ages. It will also need it’s own world due to the amount of IP included.. Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, Pokemon and many more..

Where is the 4th gate? Now that we still don’t know, there are rumours that it’s around 2 and a half miles from the current resort so maybe it isn’t going to be where we first thought in this blog

What do you think of the name?

Smiles Included,

Abby.

 

52 weeks of events at SeaWorld Orlando in 2019!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

2019 is set to be BIG for SeaWorld parks and entertainment, with Sesame Street due to open at SeaWorld, Tigris to open at Busch Gardens, KareKareKurl to open at Aquatica plus much more and now SeaWorld have revealed 9 events that will cover the whole of 2019! There wont be a week next year that an event won’t be happening in SeaWorld!

Oh yeah and it’s ALL included with admission!! Check it out..

What? Three Kings Day Celebration When? Daily, 1 – 6 January

Families are invited to help commemorate the arrival of the Three Wise Men during SeaWorld’s Three Kings Day celebration. This festive event brings SeaWorld’s Christmas season to an incredible close with speciality cuisine and celebratory experiences that honour the cherished traditions of Latin cultures.

What? NEW – Inside Look  When? Weekends, 12 – 27 January and weekends, 11-19 May

Taking place twice in 2019, guests can go behind the scenes and visit areas never opened to the public during this new event. SeaWorld’s renowned veterinarians and animal experts will offer an intimate look at the day-to-day care they provide for animals large and small. Visitors will also get to meet the SeaWorld Rescue Team and learn more about their life-saving work.

What? NEW – Elmo’s Birthday Weekend When? 2-3 February

SeaWorld is the place to be for Elmo’s Birthday Celebration, featuring an interactive DJ dance party, fun party games and surprise visitors. Don’t miss this weekend-long party for Elmo as we prepare to welcome the brand-new Sesame Street at SeaWorld in spring 2019!

What? Seven Seas Food Festival When? Weekends, 9 February to 5 May

The popular Seven Seas Food Festival is returning to SeaWorld in the spring with more to love. As guests sip and sample their way through the park, they will discover globally-inspired flavors while enjoying local craft beers and beverages from around the world. The fun goes beyond the food with live performances at Bayside Stadium featuring top artists.

What? Electric Ocean When? Select evenings, 24 May – 1 September

As the sun goes down, the park comes alive with the glow of Electric Ocean at SeaWorld, returning next year for another summer of fun. With exciting nighttime shows and electrifying music, guests are immersed in a sea of wonder that ends in “Ignite”, a spectacular finale with fireworks, lasers and fountains.

What? Craft Beer Festival When? Weekends, 7-29 September

The SeaWorld Craft Beer Festival extends to four weekends in 2019, featuring 100+ brews on draft at locations around the park. Guests will enjoy unique food items designed to perfectly pair with the festival’s brew selection.

What? SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular When? Weekends, 21 September to 27 October

New surprises await at Orlando’s biggest family-friendly Halloween event. Guests of all ages can celebrate with the all-new Sesame Street Halloween Parade, featuring fantastic floats, crowd-pleasing performances and everyone’s favourite furry friends. Families will also enjoy a Halloween Dance Party, trick-or-treating around the park and the opportunity to meet whimsical characters inspired by the sea.

What? Praise Wave When? Weekends, 2-17 November

With the return of Praise Wave, guests can enjoy live concerts from the hottest names in Christian music, lighting up the stage at SeaWorld.

What? SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration When? 23 November to 31 December

The joys of the holiday season come to life at SeaWorld. More than 3 million lights blanket the park in holiday cheer as guests immerse themselves in the sight, sounds and tastes of the season. The event features stunning live shows, scrumptious festive treats and opportunities to visit Santa Claus and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration Returns With More Lights Than Ever Before

I think it’s fair to say that no matter what time of year you’re visiting SeaWorld in 2019, you’ll have a blast!!

Smiles Included,

Abby

 

Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy due to open early 2019!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

We all know next year is going to be HUGE for Hollywood Studios, especially with the opening of Galaxy’s Edge but lets not forget about all of the awesome other attractions due to open at HS next year too and today in particular, Lighting McQueen’s Racing Academy!

Disney have recently released some additional information to add to what we already know about this attraction.

The show will be performed daily in the Sunset Showcase Theatre and there will be a giant wraparound screen that is said to be nearly 2 stories tall and more than 200 feet from end to end!

This show is going to be a sequel to Cars 3 so will basically take place after the events that happened in the film and we will see McQueen looking back on some career highlights and demonstrates what he’s learned over the years plus he will test a new racing simulator. Guests will then take on the role of rookie racer and come face to face with Lighting McQueen as they cruise into the theatre to see him ‘live’ on stage to join his journey where something is bound to go wrong! Other favourite characters from Radiator Springs such as Cruz Ramierz and Tow Mater will feature in Lighting McQueens Racing Academy as Disney are working closely with Pixar to bring this to life and have it as close to the films as possible.

Even though a lot of the action will be carried out on the giant screens you will also be able to see a live Lighting McQueen jump into a giant racing simulator like what was used in the training in Cars 3 which is said to be a huge prop with moving parts and its own screen, again, just like the film!

 

It’s been a while since there was a Cars meet and greet at Hollywood studios and this attraction will open the door to bring them back. It looks as though there will be a post show meet and greet area to meet Cruz Ramirez.

We still don’t have an exact opening date for this show however Disney have confirmed that it will open ‘early in 2019’ which isn’t far away at all!

Who’s excited?

Smiles Included,

Abby

Rocket Launch at Kennedy Space Center!

Hey Thrill Seekers!

So today (5th December 2018) A SpaceX Falcon 9 CRS-16 rocket will launch into space to deliver a shipment of cargo and science investigations to the International Space station. It will be the 16th SpaceX mission under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract.

It is due to launch at 1.16pm EST (6.16pm GMT)

The most important thing to know is that there is no extra cost to visit Kennedy Space Center during a rocket launch – it is included with general admission but be aware… it gets VERY busy so if you are going to see a rocket launch be sure to leave with plenty of time to get there! The visitor complex opens at 9:00 AM daily, all three viewing locations and the available bleacher seating are first come, first served.

Kennedy offers not only the best view of rocket launches but also launch commentary, bleacher seating and access to the visitor complex exhibits and attractions.

According to Kennedy Space Center, the best viewing opportunities are:

Apollo/Saturn V Center – Approximately 6.2 miles/10 kilometers from launch pad

  • Included with daily admission.
  • Bleacher seating and launch commentary with access to restrooms.
  • Dining and souvenirs available for purchase.

 

Main visitor complex – Approximately 6.7 miles/10.8 kilometers from launch pad

  • Included with daily admission.
  • Bleacher seating and launch commentary with access to restrooms.
  • Dining and souvenirs available for purchase.

Check out these top tips from Kennedy about visiting on launch days!

LC-39 LTT holders and those wishing to view from the Apollo/Saturn V Center:

  • Arrive early to ensure you have plenty of time to board your bus by the designated time. Viewing at the Apollo/Saturn V Center does not require an extra ticket for this specific launch, so the location is first come, first served until capacity is reached.
  • Bus boarding for LC-39 Observation Gantry begins approximately three hours before the scheduled launch time.
  • Kennedy Space Center buses transport from the inside the main visitor complex to these special viewing areas beyond NASA’s gates. Security protocol requires that all guests must be transported by only visitor complex tour buses to these secure facilities.

Main visitor complex viewing/daily admission only:

  • Viewing from the main visitor complex does not require bus transportation.
  • Check the Daily Schedule regarding the Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour hours of operation on a launch day. If you wish to include the bus tour and the Apollo/ Saturn V Center in your day but do not want to remain there for the launch, be sure to take the tour either before or after the launch, depending on the scheduled launch time and visitor complex hours of operations/tours.

Anyone going to get the chance to see this?!

Smiles included,

Abby.

Tigris track update!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

I’m super eager for Tigris to open in Spring next year and Busch Gardens Tampa have shared some exciting photos of the first parts of the track 😍 lets have a look..

A few days ago they shared images of the track arriving and as you can see the colour orange is dominant throughout – as expected 🙈

Even the containers were orange!

These are the first track pieces of Tigris to be installed 👍

It was only September when Tigris was announced and parts of the track have already arrived at the site!

Seeing the bright orange track has got us a whole new level of excited for Florida’s tallest launch coaster. Tigris will catapult riders through an exhilarating array of looping twists with forward and backward motion, breath-taking drops, a 150-foot skyward surge, and an inverted heartline roll, all at more than 60 miles per hour. Tigris will race riders along more than 1,800 feet of steel track designed to mimic the awe-inspiring agility of the world’s largest and most powerful cat –the tiger.

I can’t wait to see more updates and see the track really start to take place! 😍

Smiles Included,

Abby

Orlando Attraction Tickets Grabs Silver at The British Travel Awards

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Generally we’re not ones to cheer a second place finish but on this occasion we’re quietly delighted… Why? you may ask and its a good question cos it lets me explain our reason!

The British Travel Awards are the equivalent of the Oscars in the Travel Industry and of course just to be nominated is awesome however to win the big one you really have to champion yourself and beg for votes, which hands up I’m totally prepared to do HOWEVER this year we totally forgot to do it.

So to walk away with the silver in Best Holiday Add-Ons is AMAZING and we’re so happy. Thank you to all those people who voted for us, you lot are AMAZEBALLS.

Next year, we’re going to try super hard to win the gold.

Oh and congratulations to the other winners blah blah blah. 😉

Smiles included…

Jamie

D23: Destination D – announcements!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Check out everything that was announced for Epcot and Hollywood Studios during D23 ‘Destination D’ over the past weekend!

Hollywood Studios

  • The names of the 2 rides coming to Star Wars: Galaxy’s edge have been announced!  Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run & Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Check out the videos Disney have released for these below:

  • New Nighttime experience ‘Wonderful World of Animation‘ will debut in May 2019 as part of Hollywood Studios 30th anniversary. It will use state of the art tech and take you through a journey through 90 years of Disney animation.

  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway – construction is expected to be finished by fall 2019. The attraction will feature an original story and theme song as it takes guests into the wacky world of the award winning “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts.

Epcot

  • Not one, but TWO nighttime shows were announced for Epcot! The new nighttime spectacular will open in 2020 and will celebrate how Disney music inspires people across the world. There will be floating set pieces, custom built LED panels, moving fountains, lights and lasers. Before this unnamed show debuts guests will have the opportunity to see a limited time experience ‘Epcot Forever‘ starting in fall 2019 featuring classic Epcot tunes beginning with a spark of imagination that ends in an epic spectacle of fireworks, music, lighting and special effects.

  • The name of the Ratatouille attraction was announced! ‘Remy’s Ratatouille Attraction’ set to open in the France pavilion as a dark ride in time for the 50th anniversary celebrations.
  • Also coming soon to the France pavilion, a new Beauty and the Beast sing along was announced created by Don Hahn who is the producer of the animated classic and live-action re-imagining. 

The Gondolas for Disney’s Skyliner were also revealed.

Which one of these are you most looking forward to?

Smiles included,

Abby

Is Disney’s new patent application for Lightsabers?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Lets talk LIGHTSABERS!!

We came across a patent at the beginning of this year which looked as though it was Disney’s door to having pretty much real life lightsabers in their park when Galaxy’s Edge opens HOWEVER a new patent has recently been filed which also points to lightsabers but using completely different and more realistic technology.

Let’s take a look at what we learned in Jan and what we’ve learned today..

January Patent

Back in January Disney filed a patent called ‘audience interaction projection system’ which looked like they were developing a system that will allow guests to ‘carry a physical hilt that can interact with an augmented reality apparatus of some type.

According to the patent the physical hilt would contain positioning and motion sensors – like a Wii controller. The patent didn’t specifically mention Star Wars however they do look like weapons in lightsaber shapes and it mentioned ways in which users can use the technology to interact with the environment and fight enemies.

The patent stated the following:

 “An audience interaction projection system provides a lighting feature that provides a new way for an audience member to participate in an entertainment experience; e.g., theatrical performance, theme park feature, concert, sporting event, movie, etc. The audience member may actually feel as if they are launching powerful beams of laser-like light toward objects on the stage.”

The patent also appeared to discuss drones and how the ‘lightsabers’ could communicate with drones.. It stated “Multiple LEDs can be activated in sequence at various times to give the user the impression that the movement by the user of the faux lightsaber is deflecting multiple laser beams,”

From what we understood from this patent back in January, there is a projector beaming light toward it. The projector technology would then be able to project visible light that is invisible until it hits the intended device — again, a lightsaber — and “rendering the visible light as a beam that appears to emanate from the object rather than from the light source.”

Newest Patent

Now this patent shows a completely different and in my opinion, more realistic way to bring lightsabers to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

Called ‘Sword Device with Retractable, Internally Illuminated Blade’ shows a lightsaber style design which allows the ‘beam’ to shoot out of the hilt and retract in a way that is more realistic than the current replica’s and toys you can purchase which are either triangle shaped or you end up having to screw the blade in.

The patent application states:

“Briefly, the inventors recognised that there was a need for a new special effects device that can be used as a theatrical prop, toy, or collector’s item that effectively simulates fictional energy swords including the lightsabers found in many popular films. Particularly, the special effects device (or energy sword, lightsaber prop, or the like) is specially configured to provide an extendable and retractable energy blade that appears to emanate from a handheld hilt due to a lighting effect that appears to provide bright hilt-based lighting.”

In a post by wdwinfo.com they break down the idea of this patent to a simpler explanation.. “The idea behind how it works is genius, because it is based in an action many of us nerds performed in our youth (or last Tuesday). Have you ever extended a tape measure and retracted it, pretending it was a lightsaber? I have, and I had no idea that what I was doing would be used by Disney inventors years later. Imagine two tape measures, both with half-circle cross sections, placed together to create a tube. Disney’s lightsaber hilt would include two spools, one for each half of a cylinder; when extended by a motor the spools would shoot out the two halves, joining them together and producing a lightsaber-blade shape. The opening of the hilt is shaped to overlap the sides or “zip” them together, making for one solid blade. A lightsaber’s gotta light, so LEDs or other lighting elements could be affixed to the “tape” to create the effect, evened out by an anisotropic diffuser to give the appearance of one long, solid light.”

This technology could be used for lightsabers to be purchased in the parks and hotel, for shows that will take place in Galaxy’s Edge and of course for collectors to add to their stashes. 😉

Now I think what we’ve seen in the second patent will be what Disney go with, do you? Obviously Disney file patents all the time with some never coming to life but I think this really goes to show that they are working real hard towards having light sabers in the parks for Galaxy’s Edge.

Smiles Included,

Abby

 

What we know so far from IAAPA 2018

Hey Thrill Seekers,

So the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (more commonly known as IAAPA) which is an annual trade show and conference for theme parks, water parks, zoos, aquariums, museums and more is currently going on at the Orange County Convention Center and i’ve done a quick recap of what we know so far.

Disney

Chairman Bob Chapek revealed some new information regarding the Skyliner, GOTG coaster and Star Wars: Galaxy’s edge.

Disney Skyliner – We now know that this is due to open in the fall of 2019 and that the last tower has been installed and cable is now being added.

Guardians of the Galaxy coaster vehicle – We know that the GOTG coaster is going to be one of the largest enclosed coaster in the world – the show building is large enough to fit 4 spaceship earths inside! The ride cars will be programmed to rotate at certain moments which will point riders in the direction of elements along the track. Construction crews finished pouring concrete for the rides foundations and it is the largest concrete pour in Disney’s history!

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Animatronics – The A-1000 model will ‘come to life’ in a new way and they will be electric which will allow for more expressions and a greater range of motion. On top of this they will last longer with ‘no performance loss over time.’ Bob Chapek also said that they are working on ‘stuntronics’ which are said to be able to fly and flip in the air however no details were shared on how it will be used in the parks.

SeaWorld

SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment are keeping with their strategy of opening new attractions at their parks every year.

KareKare Curl water slide  – opening in Aquatica in Spring 2019 – Holding two passengers per raft, this new slide delivers a high-adrenaline, weightless adventure.

Tigris Roller Coaster – opening in Busch Gardens in Spring 2019 –  It will be Florida’s tallest launch coaster and will feature a TRIPLE LAUNCH with both forward and backward motions. You will be catapulted through twists and drops, a 150ft skyward surge and not to mention a heartline roll!

Sesame Street themed land – opening in SeaWorld in Spring 2019 Guests will be able to take a walk down Sesame Street for the very first time, connecting families to all of the fun, laughter and learning of the world-famous street.

LEGOLAND

The LEGO Movie World – Set to open early Spring 2019. They revealed a miniature model of the upcoming ‘The LEGO Movie World’ of course, all made out of LEGO. This new addition to LEGOLAND will feature 3 new rides, character meet and greets and a giant themed playscape.

One of the new rides – Masters of Flight is going to be a rotating flying theatre ride which will include multiple simulator movements and sensory effects (such as scent) It is a M-Ride being made by ‘Brogent Technologies’ and after having a look on their site at mride characteristics it sounds like an awesome concept!

  • Swing, pitch and yaw make you fly!
  • The turn around reveal
  • Immersive 4D Effects
  • Panoramic views from every seat
  • Multiple flight voyages
  • Modular design
  • High capacity

New Hotel – LEGOLAND also confirmed that they are building another hotel which will be 5 stories, have 150 rooms and will open in 2020.

Madame Tussauds

Aquaman Wax Figure – Coming to Madame Tussauds early next month. It will be added to the Justice League  exhibit alongside Superman, Batman and WonderWoman and will also be interactive as visitors will be able to trigger special effects and ‘summon forces’ by grabbing a trident.

Dynamic Attractions also revealed a ‘Dual Power Coaster.’ The design will allow a coaster to do a variety of things that typical coasters can’t. Using a combination of a motion platform and hidden drive system and the coaster can simulate airtime, is capable of inversions and drifting in racing situations. Dynamic Attractions President ‘Hao Wang’ said that the dual power coaster is the ‘worlds most advanced coaster vehicle’.

Now the first one is set to debut in Malaysia next year but we’re hoping that it will make its way over to an Orlando Park soon!

Smiles Included

Abby

Disney confirm what the GOTG ride cars will look like!

Hey Thrill Seekers.

I think it’s safe to say (for now) that we were pretty spot on with our thoughts on the ride system being used for the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy coaster at Epcot set to open in 2021.

Today at IAAPA Disney showed an image of what the ride cars will look like along with a short video of one in use which will ‘direct your eye to the story’. Bob Chapek also gave us an insight into the sheer size of this attraction by informing us that you can fit 4 Spaceship Earths inside the show building. Yep that’s right.. 4!!

The coaster still doesn’t have a name but will be the first ‘storytelling’ coaster as riders will be fully immersed in the story due to the revolutionary ride system allowing riders to see all of the props and theming without missing half of the story because its on the other side of the tracks.

The new cars will be the first ever to be fully motion-controlled and will feature a 360-degree spinning motion so that the ride can control where guests are looking.

Smiles Included,

Abby