Top 5 Orlando Holiday Reveals

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Now i’m definitely not a blubber but holiday reveal videos make me do that thing where  your eyes get wet when you’re happy? Weird I know..

Holidays to Orlando, the theme park capital of the world, are nothing less than a huge deal and seeing your kids faces when you tell them that this year they’re lucky enough to be  going to Orlando must be second to none. Recently, keeping the holiday a secret for as long as possible and then filming the reaction of your littleun’s when you tell them is becoming more and more popular and I love it (although it does make me pretty jealous 🙁 )

The creativity of some families is amazing so i’ve been scouring the internet to put together my top 5 Orlando holiday reveal videos. Personally, my favourite type of reveal videos are treasure hunt ones.

1.

As i’ve previously mentioned, my favourite reveal idea is to do a treasure hunt around the house and this one is Disney themed.. even better 😀

 

2.

This one is soooo cute and I love the idea of the t-shirts, how grateful the kids are is very sweet.

 

3.

‘BUT WE HAVEN’T PACKED!!!’

 

4.

The suitcase races at the beginning of this one made me laugh, also love the Universal props for a brill Universal reveal.

 

5.

The little girls reaction at the end of this one is just brilliant.

I couldn’t think of a better surprise to receive than being told that i’m going on holiday to Orlando (Gavin should have done a video of when I was told I would be going on the Super FAM trip this year 😉 )

If you’ve got any funny, adorable or emotional reveal videos or ideas send them in to us i’d love to see!!

Smiles Included

Abby

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

Universal Release More Information On TapuTapu

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Soooo.. Universal have just released some more, exciting news about TapuTapu!

As you probably know by now, Volcano Bay, the new 30 acre home of incredible rides, creative and immersive environments, relaxing scenery and best of all the new technology that ‘eliminates the fuss and maximises the fun’ is now opening on the 25th May (3 months, 16 days, 6 hours, 5mins….. not that i’m counting or anything!)

Universal have just released the first look at the design of the new virtual queuing system that is TapuTapu.. It looks as though the waterproof bracelets will come in a variety of colours – my favourite is the aqua colour ;-P

“It will transform the way guests experience water theme park entertainment at Volcano Bay”

The TapuTapu will give guests to Volcano Bay the freedom to join ‘virtual lines’ and as Jamie described in his last blog about TapuTapu all you will need to do is walk up to the totem in front of the attraction you are wanting to go on and simply waft your wrist (the one with the TapuTapu on it 😉 ) and then a ‘return time’ will let you know when you need to return. This means you can go off and enjoy Volcano Bays four themes area’s while still in the queue. The clever little TapuTapu will then alert you when it’s time to head over to the attraction. – I’m wondering if you can join more than one ‘virtual line’ at once? Hmmmm..

Universal have also let us in on some more information regarding TapuTapu Play experiences.. This is where you can use your TapuTapu wearable to control and play with many things  throughout the park. This will include things such as streams of water squirting from whales or being able to shoot water cannons and unsuspecting guests floating down Kopiko Wai Winding River. The coolest one in my opinion has got to be the lights that you can control within the hidden caves!

Universal's Volcano Bay grand opens on May 25, 2017.

Every guest entering the park will receive a TapuTapu Wearable to use for the day – there will be no extra charge for these and you will be required to return them at the end of your day.

“No Long Lines,

Endless Fun.”

I’m sooo excited about Volcano Bay opening and I really don’t enjoy queuing so i’m equally as excited to try out one of the TapuTapu’s and chill out at Waturi Beach while my TapuTapu does all the hard work and queues for Krakatau Aqua Coaster for me! 😀

Don’t forget to buy one of our Universal 3 park Explorer tickets if you’re wanting to visit Volcano Bay!!

Smiles Included,

Jess

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Do You Really Mean All The Parks?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

A lot of our customers ask for a ticket that includes ‘all of the parks’ without realising how many parks there actually are. Ticket purchasing can become quite complicated when you aren’t aware of all the parks and attractions, especially if you’re a first timer. We have ‘The Big Three’, Disney, Universal and SeaWorld but there is so much more!

Let’s take a look at the big three first.

Walt Disney World actually consists of 6 parks in total, 4 theme parks, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and 2 water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. All of our Disney tickets include all 6 of these parks, we do not offer single day or single park tickets.

Disney’s Magic Kingdom is the park to explore lands of endless enchantment, where your fantasy becomes a reality. 

Disney’s Epcot allows you to travel around the globe, under the sea, into outer space…and beyond!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom will amaze you, behold the magic of nature with rare animals and world-class entertainment.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios puts you smack bang in the middle of the action, take center stage in the world of movies, television, music and theater.

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon is a storm ravaged tropical bay while Disney’s Blizzard Beach is a melting ski resort.

Disney

Moving onto Universal now with their 2 theme parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. These 2 parks are joint together using The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the Hogwarts Express. You must have a hopper ticket to ride the Hogwarts Express, which is of course, what we offer! 🙂

Tip: Ride the Hogwarts Express both ways to encounter two completely different experiences. 😉

Universal Studios is where you can jump into the action of your favourite movies and TV shows’. At the back of the park you will find yourself in Diagon Alley.

Universal’s Islands of Adventure is where you can live the adventure. Towards the back of this park you will be in Hogsmeade.

Universal’s Volcano Bay is the newest park which is due to open on the 1st June 2017. Water is life. Life is joy. 

universal

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment have a total of 4 parks including SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Discovery Cove.

SeaWorld Orlando has a mixture of thrill rides, family rides and animal interactions. SeaWorld rescue a lot of animals from the wild to treat them and then release them back into the wild.

Aquatica is SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment’s water park which is themed to the Southern Pacific and features Australian and New Zealand mascots that you can spot relating to each attraction.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is about an hour out of Orlando but so worth the journey! The 19th century African themed park is also, like SeaWorld, a mixture of the thrill and family rides as well as the animal encounters. All of the SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is suitable for all the family.

Tip: We offer these parks at an amazing 3 parks for the price of 2 offer which entails free parking!

Discovery Cove is an amusement park where guests can completely relax with an all inclusive day and have the choice to ‘talk, touch, play and swim with bottlenose dolphins’.

There are 2 Discovery Cove packages available, 1 including 14 days into SeaWorld and Aquatica and our Ultimate package including 14 days into SeaWorld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens.

Tip: You can make the most of the free parking with our Ultimate Package as well. 😉

SW

LEGOLAND Florida & Merlin Attractions is next up. LEGOLAND Florida has their theme park and their water park – great fun for all the family. As well as Legoland, Merlin also have I-Drive 360 which is made up of The Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds and SEALIFE Orlando.

lego

We offer a number of different ticket options for these attractions, so if you don’t necessarily want to visit all of them, you can take your pick!

If you’re looking to visit some of Florida’s more alternative attractions, you won’t be at a loose end as there are so many options!

Kennedy Space Center

Fun Spot

Gatorland

Boggy Creek – 30 minute

Boggy Creek – 1 hour

WonderWorks

Orlando Magic

So if you were stuck for ideas, I hope you’re not anymore! All of these attractions are available on our website and any questions you have, you can contact us to find out more!

Smiles Included…

Louise

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Epcot’s Top Attractions 2016

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Flying high above the other attractions at Epcot and gliding into a steady 1st place is the extraordinary Soarin’.

Be prepared to embark on a journey of a lifetime visiting some of the worlds coolest places. You’ll literally soar over mountains, waterfalls and many more wonders of the world such as the Great Wall of China and Iguazu Falls. Soarin’ will make you feel as though you are actually hang gliding!

soarin-00

You’ll experience the flight from 40 feet in the air surrounded by beautiful panoramas and a 180 degree, 80 foot IMAX projection dome.

Soarin’ is a very lifelike but at the same time surreal experience at Epcot and as our thrill seekers have voted it as the top attraction you should make sure you don’t miss it on your visit!

Second Place: Test Track – The word ‘cool’ just doesn’t cover this attraction. You get to design your own concept car and then put it to the test. The track is almost a mile long and you’ll reach speeds of up to 65mph!

Third Place: Mission: SPACE – You will get to become part of a astronaut crew, dodging meteors and zooming around the moon in your very own vessel.

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Fourth Place: Mission: SPACE Advanced Training Lab – This will add to your astronaut training, take part in 4 different activities such as Mission: SPACE Race, Expedition Mars, Space Base and Postcards from Space.

Fifth Place: The Seas With Nemo And Friends – You’ll be joining Marlin and Dory on their search for Nemo. Jump on board your “clamobile” and along the way you will meet characters such as Mr.Ray, Bruce and Crush.

Smiles Included..

Jess
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Pandora – The World Of Avatar Opening Summer 2017!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

The highly anticipated addition to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Pandora – The World of Avatar has been confirmed to be opening this summer! Eeeekk!!

Check out this video update: 10/01/2017

Back in 2011 Disney had begun plans to build the first Avatar themed land at Walt Disney World – with its main emphasis being all about living in harmony with nature – Animal Kingdom was the perfect location. James Cameron, the filmmaker for the Avatar films has previously stated:

“I’m chomping at the bit to start work with Disney’s legendary Imagineers to bring our AVATAR universe to life. Our goal is to go beyond current boundaries of technical innovation and experiential storytelling, and give park goers the chance to see, hear, and touch the world of AVATAR with an unprecedented sense of reality.”

As well as recently learning that this land is opening in the summer of 2017 Disney have also released a few very intriguing images relating to the new land. My favourite being of the bridge that will connect Pandora – The World of Avatar with the rest of Animal Kingdom. The scaffolding has been removed from around the bridge!! (no i’m not crazy and i’m not excited over scaffolding) The chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Bob Chapek has actually released a photograph of the bridge in all its glory! Bam.

pandora

The storyline developed by Walt Disney Imagineering and Lightstorm Entertainment has given the idea that the bridge was built during the time when a ‘destructive company called the RDA’ entered Pandora and now that they’re long gone nature has begun to break down all evidence of their unwanted presence.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a park that “honours animals and natural environments real, ancient and imagined.” The story behind the bridge appears to be the first glimpse we have of how out of this world the new land is actually going to be. There will be loads of cool, realistic details throughout the whole adventure such as Na’vi artifacts that you should look out for during your visit.

Disney have also released images of what some of the restaurants, shops and attractions the land is looking to entail.

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Pandora – The World of Avatar is said to include a flight simulator based banshee attraction as well as a boat ride through the landscape of Pandora. Disney want guests to be able to experience two new excursions that will take ‘adventure’ to a whole new level.   Na’vi River Journey  is a family friendly ride which will enable visitors to travel down a sacred river which is hidden within a bioluminescent rainforest. The journey will end in an encounter with a Na’vi Shaman. The Avatar Flight of Passage excursion will allow guests to experience the incredible feeling of riding on a Banshee over the world of Pandora. Sound amazing doesn’t it?!

pandora3

At night the land will take on a whole new image with ‘bioluminescent flora and special nighttime immersive programming.’ (now if all of those long words went straight over your head like they did mine then just take a look at the picture below to see how unreal it is going to be) Basically the ground is set to literally glow beneath your feet!

pandora4

Imagineer Joe Rohde stated:

“We want the world of Pandora to be believable,” Jon said. “When visitors come to Pandora they’ll experience and they’ll believe — and they’ll look at the world a little bit differently.”

So if you’re like me and physically cannot wait for this magical land to open then the good news is there’s not long to wait now! Summer just can’t come quick enough. The whole land when it opens is set to ‘transport guests to a visually stunning world complete with floating mountains and bioluminescent plants.’  How unreal does that sound?!

Smiles Included..

Jess
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We’ve Just Hit 500 Posts On The Attraction Tickets Blog

Morning Thrill Seekers,

We’ve just hit another major milestone here on the blog! On Friday 500 we posted our 500th unique theme park article. Today’s offering will document the top 10 most read this year based purely on views. When we hit 400 posts I documented the all time top 10 so felt there was no need to go over that again.

The blog was started in 2010 and on initial launch covered theme parks across the globe. When we became part of Orlando Attraction Tickets and Theme Park Tickets Direct we switched our focus to Florida and mainly the Orlando parks. At present we’ve had 6 different writers producing work, of that myself, Rachel and Karl have turned over the most articles. Not to blow my own trumpet, but I’m going too…. I have posted over 400 of them. 😉 #justsayin

Top 10 post of 2014

  1. How to use the FREE shuttle bus service to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
  2. What Is Disney’s My Magic Plus And How Does It Work?
  3. How Much Does It Cost To Park At The Orlando Theme Parks
  4. How Do E-Tickets Work At SeaWorld Parks
  5. Here’s My 14 Day Orlando Theme Park Plan
  6. Checking Out The New RFID Disney Theme Park Tickets
  7. What Is Disney’s FASTPASS & Can I Use It?
  8. Discovery Cove 2014 Prices Are Now Available To Book
  9. 2012 Theme Park Attendance Results
  10. Universal Orlando Announce Details Of 2014 Mardi Gras Celebration

Not a Harry Potter or Furious Falcon insight, our most read articles tend to be the more practical posts. We recently recorded our busiest day ever, on April 1st (no joke) and we’ve got plans to expand the content size of the website and how its used.

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Orlando Attraction Tickets Blog Hits 400 Unique Posts

Morning Thrill Seekers,

Its just like the title states, Friday was our 400th Unique post on smiles includedattraction-tickets.info and we’re pretty proud of this. 2013 has been our most prolific writing year and the visits to the site support that content is king.

The rise of the blog has been pretty plain to see, since its inception in September 2010 before we became part of Orlando Attraction Tickets we were writing about anything theme park related, by the end of 2010 we had had only 1516 unique visits… In 2011 we began to refine our work to the U.S. and on a bad month we were hitting 1516 unique visitors, so by the end of the year we had blown the previous years visitors well out of the water.

2012 saw us double the traffic from 2011 and this was even though our output decreased. This year has again seen us double our visitors and this has definitely coincided with our increase in the amount of posts.

Although I have written the majority of the posts this year I’ve had help in the forms of Frank, Karl and Rachel. Its great to have a different perspective writing on the blog and some of my favourite posts have been from these guys.

Below is a list of our top 10 most visited posts of all time.

  1. How to use the FREE shuttle bus service to Busch Gardens
  2. SeaWorld San Diego To Launch Manta In 2012
  3. The Sorting Hat At Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  4. Shop Price’s At Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  5. Introducing The Orlando PassPort
  6. Orlando Thrill Theme Park Unveils 14 Ride Idea’s
  7. Here’s My 14 Day Orlando Theme Park Plan
  8. Ollivanders – In The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter 
  9. How Do E-Tickets Work At SeaWorld Parks
  10. What Is Disney’s FASTPASS & Can I Use It?

We’re looking forward to continuing to post in 2014 and hope we can break some more theme park stories in the future.

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Orlando To Gain Tallest Attraction In The USA With New Polercoaster

Morning Thrill Seekers,

A new attraction has been confirmed for Florida in 2016….Its called a Polercoaster, a play on the words “pole” and “roller coaster”!! This is polercoasterone of the latest attractions created by the company US Thrill Rides and will be the first of its kind in the U.S.!

So what is a ‘Polercoaster’?

A Polercoaster offers 2 attractions in 1. A vertical roller coaster which will be centred around a 520ft pole and an observation tower accessible via 2 glass elevators. The observation tower will offer 2 levels at the top for retail space and restaurants/bars.

The exciting part though is the full size coaster, capable of loops and rolls built on the outside of the tower, the 520ft structure would make this coaster the largest in the U.S. Designed to take advantage of as small an area as possible, the Polercoaster will also give the park the opportunity to include an impressive light display that can be seen for miles (or advertising space).

Here’s a video of the concept;

I anticipate that this design will create an extremely fast ride, the coaster will be fully powered which gives the potential for enormous energy. Gravity will then hurtle you down to the bottom with lots of twists and turns, not to mention an incredible view!

I am also extremely interested to see how the loops and rolls will be incorporated into the design. The Polarcoaster is completely unique which I think will make it an extremely popular ride.

The location of the new coaster is yet to be announced and has caused a bit of a debate in the office. Personally I think it will be built at Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park but others believe Disney might be its home and Jamie thinks it will be built at funspot.

What are your thoughts?

Smiles included…

Rachel

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Where Have All The New Coasters Gone?

Morning Thrill,

Yesterday Aquatica released a short video teaser for their new i love roller coastersattraction set to open in 2014 and today I’ve been working on gathering information for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley! Not the most interesting start to a post but what it did do was got me thinking about Roller Coasters…

The last proper Roller Coaster I can think of that was launched in Florida was Cheetah Hunt at Busch Gardens in 2011 and before that Manta at SeaWorld Orlando in 2009. Taking a look at 2014 releases I can’t find many confirmation of any new Coasters on the horizon. Although Disney have The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom scheduled for release it looks pretty tame as this video shows.

I’ve still got my fingers crossed that the new Harry Potter expansion will include a Gringotts Coaster in its truest sense but looking at the trends lately motion simulators seem to be the new norm.

So why aren’t Theme Parks building more Coasters?

People don’t want them!? Surely thats not the case, for me when I picture a Theme Park I picture a massive Roller Coaster like The Incredible Hulk Coaster not a 3D ride like The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man.

Roller Coasters are expensive to build! Well Cheetah Hunt cost $20 Million to build and Universal Studios Transformers the Ride 3D cost $100 Million even taking in to consideration inflation, you still get 4 or 5 Cheetah Hunts for the cost of one Transformers Ride.

Space!? This could definitely be a reason. Although some parks like Universal have spare land not all of them do. Using the example above Cheetah Hunt spans 4,429 ft. Transformers takes up just 2,000 ft. So for ever 1 Cheetah Hunt you could fit 2 Transformer Rides.

Technology! Its very true to say that theme park technology has come on leaps and bounds in the last decade especially in the 3D arena and parks like to show off how advanced they are. Coaster technology has had its issues as Rip Ride Rockit proved this month.

Lack of ideas? A lot of the new attractions are being based on movies or books. Transformers, Harry Potter, Avatar Land… Although this has helped bring a lot of attention to the parks is it stifling creation?  Being able to simply recreate well known moments from a film is more suited to 3D rides.

For me and a lot of customers I speak too, we go too Theme Park’s to ride coasters and I really hope that those who make the decisions remember this.

Why do you think theme parks aren’t making as many Coasters as before?

Smiles included…

Jamie

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