UP! A Great Bird Adventure will debut on April 22nd!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Disney have just announced that UP! A Great Bird Adventure will debut in Animal Kingdom on the 22nd April 2018, in exactly 2 months time!

Back in December as part of their 12 days of Disney parks Christmas Disney announced that an all new show was coming to Animal Kingdom that will feature Russell and Dug from Disney•Pixar’s film ‘UP’ and will take place at the Caravan Theater in Anandapur village. At the time it didn’t have a name but we now know that it is going to be called ‘UP! A Great Bird Adventure’.

It will start just in time for Animal Kingdoms 20th anniversary and will be a family friendly experience where you will be able to see Russell and Dug discover species of birds from around the world in an adventure around Anandapur Village with ‘UP’ close encounter every day with lots of winged creatures!

Who’s looking forward (or up) to this?

Smiles Included

Abby

Walt Disney World’s Incredible Summer

Hey Thrill Seekers,

The summer of 2018 is set to be a big one at Walt Disney World. We’ll be seeing new attractions, entertainment, experiences and much more at Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom this summer and Disney have stated that it is going to be an ‘Incredible Summer’…

Lets take a look into what we can expect…

Magic Kingdom

The Incredibles Take Over Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom Park – Guests can party with Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, and Frozone from Disney•Pixar’s “The Incredibles” and the soon-to-be blockbuster “Incredibles 2.” Edna Mode, the greatest superhero costume designer, will also make her debut appearance. Each evening, guests can enjoy a “SUPER” dance party on the Rocket Tower Stage. 

EPCOT

The Guardians of the Galaxy Take the Stage at Epcot – StarLord, and Gamora from “The Guardians of the Galaxy” will join an alien band, taking guests on a journey through the cosmos. The party will feature hits from Awesome Mix Tapes 1 and 2 – fun and favorite tunes from the two movies’ soundtracks – building the anticipation for a new Epcot Guardians of the Galaxy attraction.

Animal Kingdom

“Adventurers Meet UP! A Great Bird Adventure” & A “Dino-Tastic” Celebration for Donald Duck Will Debut At Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Two new can’t-miss offerings will debut at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in time for the park’s 20th anniversary. First, guests can discover new bird species from around the world at the new show “Adventurers Meet UP! A Great Bird Adventure,” which will star Senior Wilderness Explorer Russell and his furry friend Dug. The park will also launch a “dino-tastic” celebration, in which Donald Duck takes over Dinoland, U.S.A., in a new character celebration.

Hollywood Studios

Toy Story Land Opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – One major highlight of “Incredible Summer” will be the grand opening of Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This new 11-acre land will shrink guests to the size of a toy and allow them go explore the fun and adventure of Andy’s backyard. There, guests can experience two new attractions: the family coaster Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers. Toy Story Land also will feature an existing guest-favourite attraction, Toy Story Mania!, which will expand to add a third track into the rotation. The land’s Woody’s Lunch Box will be a new quick-service restaurant that will offer up tasty meals and old-fashioned soda floats to Toy Story Land guests.

We are still anxiously awaiting an exact opening date for Toy Story Land though….

Who can’t wait to get to Walt Disney World this summer?!

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

Disney are Celebrating Mickey Mouse’s Birthday on November 18

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Now here’s one for your diaries.. The Big Cheese, Mickey Mouse will be celebrating his 89th birthday on Saturday the 18th November (doesn’t seem to age does he, wonder what skincare regime he uses) and wants as many people as possible to celebrate with him. You will be able to join in on the fun at all of the Disney parks around the world!

Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando will be celebrating with very special  “Happy Birthday, Mickey!” buttons, a Sorcerer Mickey Cake and lots more merchandise. Guests will also be able to sing and dance along with “Happy Birthday” during Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It!, Cosmic Dance Party in Tomorrowland and performances by the Dapper Dans. Also, no birthday party would be complete without photo props. These props will be available at all four of the parks for guests to capture this special occasion. Another birthday surprise is that everyone who collects their photos at the parks will receive a folder with a commemorative sticker, how lovely. 😀

Disneyland Resort will host a celebration procession for Mickey Mouse, featuring some of his special friends and the Disneyland Band. It will start at “it’s a small world” pausing for a special moment at Sleeping Beauty Castle before continuing down Main Street, U.S.A., to Town Square. There will be plenty of chances to sing “Happy Birthday” along the way.

Disneyland Paris will also hold celebrations in Main Street, U.S.A. Be prepared to celebrate Mickey’s birthday just before “Disney Magic on Parade,” as well as during the Lucky Nugget Saloon show at Disneyland park and in “Mickey and the Magician” at Walt Disney Studios park.

Visitors to Hong Kong Disneyland will be able to pick up a special Mickey Birthday pin and a special edition Times Guide in honour of everyone’s favourite mouse. At Shanghai Disney Resort  and Tokyo Disney Resort, guests will have the chance to sing “Happy Birthday” and join in lots of special photo opportunities.

Leading up to his big day, Mickey Mouse will take off to exciting destinations such as Japan, Canada, China, England, Chile and the United States. He will share magical moments along the way.  He will then bring a few more surprises when he visits the Good Morning America studios in New York City on November 15.

We’d love you see all of your favourite Mickey Mouse moments, photos and memories. Here’s my personal favourite when Mickey and Minnie surprised us at breakfast on my recent SuperFAM trip to Orlando!

Smiles Included

Abby

Abby’s Pre-Orlando Adventure

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Its nearly time…….

If you watch our bi-weekly Facebook Lives you’re bound to know that i’m due to go on a ‘Super Fam’ trip and in particular, how excited I am about it! Well it’s time and i’m finally leaving tomorrow to embark on what is sure to be the best trip EVER.

If you follow our Facebook or Instagram accounts you’ll be seeing loads of videos and photos from yours truly over the next week including all things Disney, Universal and SeaWorld. Before I start packing (yes I know I’ve left it very last minute) I thought I would give you guys a run-down of what my trip is going to involve.

Soooo.. I arrive in Orlando at 5pm -ish on Sunday and by 9.30pm i’ll be at Universals Halloween Horror Nights!! Nothing like throwing us in at the deep end aye?! I’m absolutely terrified but also mega, mega excited for this (I do feel sorry for the people who are going to have to keep picking me up off the floor in the houses though) The house i’m most excited for is SAW: The Games of Jigsaw, SAW hasn’t featured at HHN for 8 years now and i’m pretty eager to see what’s going to be involved this time around.

For the first few days i’m going to be staying at Universals Cabana Bay Beach Resort which I’ve heard is very nice indeed. 😛 On my first full day i’ll be visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley, Hogsmede Village and Universal Studios. I’m absolutely buzzing to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – I’ve heard so many amazing things about it and I just can’t wait to see it all for myself and i’m especially excited for  Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™.

On to the next day.. On this day I will be visiting Volcano Bay in the morning and Universals Islands of Adventure in the afternoon, woooo!!! I can’t wait to ride Krakatau™ Aqua Coaster and teeny bit scared to do Ko’okiri Body Plunge™ I feel like this is going to be a fantastic morning and I can’t wait to get loads of snaps of the Volcano! For Islands of Adventure I’ve been warned not to wear white tops or any denim and this is because i’m bound to get ABSOLUTELY SOAKED on the water rides.. Hopefully it’s a warm day (oh I forgot to mention, the weather forecast for next week is BEAUTIFUL.) Oh i’m also very eager to ride The Incredible Hulk Coaster We have a surprise evening with Universal on this day and i’m super excited to see what this is going to be, of course, i’ll keep you updated!

Day 4 is the day i’m most excited about… anyone who knows me will understand why. Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to swim with a dolphin and now i’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to do it YAY!!! If you haven’t guessed already, i’ll be visiting Discovery Cove in the morning. I’m not going to lie there will probably be some tears buy hey, who cares it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity! After Discovery Cove i’ll be travelling over to Busch Gardens where I cannot wait to ride all the big coasters and ALL of the pressure is on me to ride Falcons Fury.. i’ve got this!

On day 5 i’ll be visiting SeaWorld in the Morning , Aquatica in the afternoon and back to SeaWorld for the evening! 😉 Very excited to ride Manta and Mako at SeaWorld as everyone in the offices always raves about how good they are. Especially excited to be lucky enough to ride them in the dark also! Psyching myself up for Ihu’s breakaway falls at Aquatica!

I’ll be staying over night at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, ready for day 6.. On day 6 i’ll be visiting EPCOT in the morning and Animal Kingdom in the afternoon. Can’t wait to visit all of the different countries at EPCOT and i’m so buzzing for Pandora – The World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom, the reviews i’ve read about Avatar – Flight of Passage have all been great so I cannot wait to experience it for myself too.

On the 7th Day i’ll be off to Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom, I am really looking forward to seeing Cinderella’s Castle, meeting all of the characters and getting to experience the iconic rides and attractions such as The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. I also hope I get to watch Happily Ever After, could possibly shed a tear or two here as well!

On my last day I get to go SHOPPING at the Orlando International Premium Outlets and the Florida Mall, I’ve got all my pennies saved up for this I’m just hoping i’ll have enough room in my suitcase!! After that it’s home time 🙁 🙁

Only 1 more sleep to go and i’ll finally be off!! If you would like to follow my action packed week make sure you keep checking our Facebook and Instagram as i’ll be trying to post as much and as often as possible.

See you all soon!!

Smiles Included,

Abby

 

Food, Glorious Food.. New Disney and Universal Menus!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

So, Universal have released – intentionally or not – some big announcements regarding plans for a new hotel on the land that used to be home to Wet ‘n Wild, patents that point towards a new Harry Potter ride and now.. the menu for Volcano Bay!

Now we all know that Disney aren’t one to sit back and let anyone steal their thunder and are opening Pandora: World of Avatar on the 27th May – 2 days after Volcano Bays debut and they have recently released the extremely intriguing menu.

A couple of weeks ago we got an insight into the weird and wonderful foods that are going to be on offer in the Satu’li Canteen which is Pandora’s sole restaurant and even more interestingly the way in which you can customise and order your meals. There’s some pretty cool things in there such as Na’vi Blueberry Cheesecake – sounds lovely and looks even better! There are some cool takes on traditional dishes as well such as one from the childrens menu – ‘hot dog wrapped in dough’ this isn’t too different to a normal dish so it shouldn’t scare the kids away too much. 😉 You will also find a vast list of alcoholic beverages on the menu such as Avatar Sangria and Banshee Pinot Noir – Fancy :-p.

Take a look at the menu here:

In my previous blog I also took a look into the new system of how you can pre-order and pay for your meals via the app which I think will really help with the  queues. Thankfully, Disney have released the full menu with pricing so you can even start budgeting and deciding on what you want before you leave the country!

Guests to Disney have been able to begin making FastPass+ reservations for Na’vi River Journey and Flight of Passage from the 24th March.. These are expected to book up very quickly!

I’ve also been taking a look into Volcano Bays menu – we all know swimming makes you hungry so good food inside a water park is essential!

Looking at Universals blog, creating the menu has been a pretty large project in itself.

As a Research & Development Chef at Universal Orlando Resort, I’ve gotten to create some unique food dishes. But it was a whole other experience to help design an entire menu for our third park, Universal’s Volcano Bay.

Said Corporate Executive Chef Steven Jayson, who was very excited to elevate the food and beverage experience at Volcano Bay. ‘From the minute you arrive in the morning until well into the night, you’ll have more than 60 delicious options to choose from, from snacks to entrees to desserts.’

The dishes are all inspired by the islands of the South Pacific and there will be dishes such as Poke Poke Bowl, Mango BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich, Island Chicken Salad, Glazed Hawaiian Ribs, Coconut Curry Chicken as well as refreshing cocktails and beers.. Yummaaay!

The dishes will be available to grab a taste of at the following dining locations around Volcano Bay:

  • Kohola Reef Restaurant & Social Club
  • Whakawaiwai Eats
  • Bambu
  • The Feasting Frog

If you’re a fussy eater or a little less adventurous with your food (a bit like Kelly here at OAT) then don’t panic!! All of your favourites such as chicken fingers, hamburgers and pizza will also be available.

Both menu’s are weird and wonderful – which would do you prefer?

Smiles included,

Jess

 

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

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

Disney’s Retired Attractions

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Theme parks are constantly making improvements to their parks. Attractions are always coming and going; some we’re happy about and some we’re not. I’m going to take a look into some of the iconic Disney attractions that have been retired.

Disney’s Magic Kingdom is a great starting point with Extra TERRORestrial Alien Encounter which was a brilliant attraction that was replaced in 2003 with Stitch’s Great Escape! Rumour has it that even Stitch will be leaving us soon as the park has already scheduled Stitch’s Great Escape for seasonal closures! 🙁

Mr Toad’s Wild Ride is talked about on so many Disney forums so I can only imagine how amazing it was. Originally due to be a roller coaster, it ended up being a dark ride with the left and right tracks being 2 completely different experiences! Unfortunately, I’m too young to have seen this as it closed in 1998 to be replaced by The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

Snow White’s Scary Adventures opened way back in 1971 but was deemed a little too scary for some guests so closed for a refurbishment in 1994 before opening back up to the public until 2012. Princess Fairy-tale Hall is now in it’s place.

Let’s pop over to Disney’s Epcot and see what’s been changing here over the years shall we? One of my all time favourites that I remember from the first time I ever visited Orlando, Honey! I Shrunk The Audience! I’m not usually a fan of 4D attractions but how can you not love this?! I was gutted when this got taken away but it was temporarily replaced with Captain EO Tribute in 2010.

Maelstrom was an indoor log flume ride which would have it’s twists and turns before moving you backwards. Sadly, this ride closed in 2014 although I was so happy to finally see a Frozen ride, Frozen Ever After!

Horizons was a dark ride taking you through the ideas that could be used in the future to make the world even greater! Horizons was then replaced by Mission: SPACE, a motion simulator ride in 1994.

Over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Journey into the Jungle Book was a theatrical show filled with animals as well as costumed-humans which closed in 1999 and was replaced later on by Tarzan Rocks.

Tarzan Rocks was another theatrical show lasting about 30 minutes (perfect for the AC) which closed in 2006 before being replaced with Finding Nemo – The Musical.

Pocahontas and her Forest Friends opened with the park in 1998 and had an array of live animals as well as the lead character from the movie. The theatre seated 350 guests at a time but ended for good in 2008! Nothing major has replaced this show yet even today, but you can still have a meet and greet with Pocahontas herself!

Next stop, Disney’s Hollywood Studios where it used to be best known as the home to Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat which was inspired by the apprentice segment in Fantasia! Since 2015, his hat can no longer be found at Hollywood Studios, but instead, a view of The Great Movie Ride.

Journey into Narnia: Prince Caspian was a walk-through attraction, testing your knowledge on the movie and even includes a character meet and greet! This closed in 2011 being replaced with The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow before becoming Toy Story Land. Toy Story Land is currently under construction to become even larger in the near future.

Isn’t it amazing how much Walt Disney World has changed throughout the years?! Can you think of any other Disney attractions that we can no longer visit?

Smiles Included…

Louise

Disney Announce Rivers Of Light Will Debut on 17th February at Animal Kingdom

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Disney are just spoiling us with announcements this week!! Last night they announced a new nighttime experience at Animal Kingdom called ‘Rivers of Light‘ to add to the variety of nighttime experiences that are currently available at the park.

The new show is set to debut on the 17th February.

“Continuing the grand Disney tradition of innovative, after-dark entertainment, “Rivers of Light” combines live performance, floating set pieces, a soaring musical score, fountains and more in a celebration of animals and nature.”

disneylights

The story of the show will unfold on the Discovery River and will convey the spirit of an ‘ancient and timeless’ lantern ceremony. It will be ‘filled with symbolism, storytelling and plenty of heart.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is already home to amazing nighttime experiences such as Kilimanjaro Safaris after sunset, Harambe Wildlife Parti, Discovery Island Carnivale and of course when the Tree of Life literally comes to life with light and colour to showcase different stories. I’m very excited to see the new show, who doesn’t like pretty lights 😉

Animal Kingdom is a great place to visit in the evenings with so much to see and do and if you’re visiting from the 17th February onward then you’re in for a real treat! We would love to see some pictures if you go to watch the show!

Smiles Included

Jess

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