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…



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…



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…


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Universal Orlando To Open One New Attraction Per Year

Afternoon Thrill Seekers,

Probably the most anticipated reveal of 2014 will be when Universaltransformers 3d Orlando announce the exact date that the new Harry Potter Expansion will welcome its first guests but Universal isn’t happy to just sit back and rest on J.K Rowling’s creation.

At a conference in California on Wednesday, Universal’s President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Burke told delegates that they aren’t going to accept their role as number 2 in Orlando with grace and have plans in place to perhaps up hotel room occupancy from 4200 (once Cabana Bay Beach Resort officially opens) to around 10 – 15k rooms!

“We’ve done a study that says we could have 10,000 or 15,000 hotel rooms and still have occupancy that makes those rooms profitable”

“And all of those people staying in those hotel rooms would be more likely to go to our theme parks, So I think, strategically, we need to get those hotel rooms open and build out the resort.”

So as Universal begins to mold itself into a real threat to Disney’s dominance you’d be forgiven for thinking that it all centred around hotels…

However whilst Disney focus on RFID technology, Universal are fully committed to spending within the parks, Burke stated NBCUniversal has elevated its capital spending in its theme parks to approximately $500 million this year, and this amount is set to become its new bench mark.

The company’s goal is to open one new attraction every year both at Universal Orlando and at Universal Studios Hollywood in Southern California.

This spending ideology has already had positive effects in Orlando where the slightly overlooked Universal Studios has seen footfall rise by 20% since the June opening of Transformers the Ride.

So its exciting times at Universal, once the next section of Potter is up and running it will be interesting to see what’s next, Jurassic World perhaps?

You can purchase Universal Theme Park Tickets from Orlando Attraction Tickets for as little as £8.00 per day based on 14 consecutive days.

Smiles included…


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Which Orlando Parks Took Home A Golden Ticket?

Afternoon Thrill Seekers,

If you were an actor you’d want an Oscar… in the World of theme GTA 2013Parks the Oscar equivalent is a Golden Ticket. On the 7th September the great and good of the Theme Park industry gathered for the 15th annual awards ceremony with some of our favourite friends rightfully up for awards.

The Golden Ticket Awards (GTA) relies on a panel of voters from all over the world consisting of experienced park enthusiasts. The U.S. ballots are divided into four geographical regions, with approximately the same number of voters in each region. In addition to the American voters, Amusement Today invites a number of international voters to participate.

Voters are asked to submit one choice in each of the categories (except best coaster). The results are tallied and the park or attraction with the most votes is awarded the Golden Ticket for that category. For roller coasters, we ask that each voter submit a list of their top ten coasters — wood and steel — in order from one to ten, taking into consideration the overall experience including capacity, operations, reliability and re-rideability.

So without anymore delay the winners are;

Best Amusement Park Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio
Best Waterpark Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, New Braunfels, Texas
Best Children’s Park Idlewild and SoakZone, Ligonier, Pa.
Best Marine Life Park SeaWorld Orlando, Orlando, Fla.
Best Seaside Park Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz, Calif.
Best Wooden Coaster Boulder Dash at Lake Compounce, Bristol, Conn.
Best Steel Coaster Millennium Force at Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio
Best Kids’ Area Kings Island, Kings Mills, Ohio
Friendliest Park Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Cleanest Park Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Ind.
Best Halloween Event Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando, Orlando, Fla.
Best Landscaping Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Va.
Best Christmas Event Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Best Food TIE!  Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, Pa.
Best Shows Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Best Outdoor Night Show Production IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth at Walt Disney World’s Epcot, Orlando, Fla.
Best Water Ride Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Orlando, Fla.
Best Waterpark Ride Wildebeest at Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Ind.
Best Dark Ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Orlando, Fla.
Best New Ride of 2013 – Amusement Park Outlaw Run at Silver Dollar City, Branson, Mo.
Best New Ride of 2013 – Waterpark River Rush at Dollywood’s Splash Country, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Best Carousel Grand Carousel at Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, Pa.
Best Indoor Roller Coaster Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios Orlando, Orlando, Fla.
Best Indoor Waterpark Schlitterbahn Galveston Island, Galveston, Texas
Best Funhouse/Walk-Through Attraction Noah’s Ark at Kennywood, West Mifflin, Pa.

Orlando based winners were

  • SeaWorld Orlando, best marine-life park.
  • Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando, best Halloween event.
  • IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth at Epcot, best outdoor night show production.
  • Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls at Islands of Adventure, best water ride.
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at Islands of Adventure, best dark ride.
  • Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios Orlando, best indoor roller coaster.

Congratulations to all the winners.

Smiles included…


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What Should My Orlando Attraction Tickets Look Like?

Afternoon Thrill Seekers,

It’s absolutely scorching today at OAT towers, we’ve got the air-con on full blast and we’re all dressed as if we’re off to Aquatica, not a pretty sight :-).

Today’s post centers around the tickets we offer and what you should expect to see in your envelope. Each supplier be it SeaWorld, Universal  or Disney all offer slightly different options regarding ticket fulfillment, this can be pretty confusing, we hope after todays post it may become a little clearer.

Disney Tickets

With Disney we offer 3 Ticket types;

All of these tickets pretty much look the same, the main difference is on the back of the ticket, which details the type of ticket and the terms of use.

The front of the ticket depicts one of Disney’s icon characters, Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck etc and are set on a blue background.

disney tickets 1

Universal Tickets

Within our Universal Tickets we also offer the FlexTicket and FlexTicket Plus which is a cooperative ticket between Universal and SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, for the purposes of this post we will include the Flex Ticket within this Universal summary.

The 2 park and 3 park ticket pretty much look the same on the front, they display the large Universal logo on a dark blue background again the devil is in the detail which is shown on the back of the ticket.

The FlexTicket and FlexTicket Plus look different and are pretty easy to distinguish.

The Halloween Horror Tickets are similar to the 2 park and 3 park in the sense they look the same but the details on the back are the key.

universal tickets

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

SeaWorld P & E covers SeaWorld, Aquatica, Busch Gardens and Discovery Cove. They are leading the way in new line technology and are currently distributing gate ready tickets via email and print outs.

The tickets offered by SeaWorld are individually to each customer and clearly display all the inclusions, the best bit about this tickets is the ability to create multiple copies incase of loss.

SeaWorld EZTicket

So there you are, our guide to what your ticket will look like, we believe very shortly the Disney tickets may be altering slightly but we’ll keep you up to date on these developments.

Smiles included…


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The Orlando Attraction Tickets Top 10 Tips For Saving Money

Morning Thrill Seekers,

A good theme park holiday can be pretty expensive so every little smiles includedhelps. We’ve put together our top 10 tips for saving money at Orlando Theme Parks.

Before you depart the UK

Buy you tickets in the UK

Purchasing your tickets in the UK saves you at least 40% on your Orlando Attraction Tickets. Also the theme parks offer exclusive UK only tickets which you can’t buy in the U.S.

Look to buy combo tickets

Here at Orlando Attraction Tickets you can save yourself money by purchasing our combo tickets before you depart, our most popular ticket the Orlando Passport which is made up of 3 separate gate ready tickets generally saves you around £5 per ticket when compared to purchasing the 3 tickets separately.

Disney Fastpass

Remember all the Disney Tickets we offer come with the Disney Fastpass built in this will save you a small fortune based on purchasing it at the park.

#ShareThe Love

When in Orlando

Don’t skip breakfast

I know all the top tips for theme parks tell you to get to the parks early but what they never mention is don’t skip breakfast! If you’re staying in a hotel where you breakfast is included then take advantage of it, food at the parks can be expensive.

Take your own bottled water

It’s Orlando! It’s going to be hot! It’s very important to keep yourself hydrated by taking your own water purchased outside of the park you will save yourself money.

Take a packed lunch

Same for lunch, the park restaurants although great, can be expensive if you’re working off a tight budget. Taking a packed lunch with you can not only save you money but also gives you the flexibility to eat when you want too.

Share a lunch

U.S. portion sizes are legendary, you could quite easily share a meal with a friend and both of you feel quite full 🙂

Purchasing Souvenirs 

Souvenir purchasing at the park can prove to be quite expensive, you can find some of the same items online at a lower cost so its worthing shopping around.


Although Florida Car Hire gives you the freedom to come and go as you please you are still liable for the car parking, some of your tickets include free transportation; for example our Busch Gardens Tickets all offer a free bus to and from the Tampa based theme park.

These are just a few ways of saving yourself money, for more hints and tips get yourself over to our facebook page where Orlando enthusiasts are waiting to help 🙂

Smiles included…


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Introducing The New Look Orlando Attraction Tickets

Morning Thrill Seekers,

In October 2012 our CTO, Karl Hendrie set about rethinking and redesigning Orlando Attraction Tickets. Karl had overseen the past 3 incarnations of OAT and was keen not to repeat past mistakes.

Here at Orlando Attraction Tickets, we pride ourselves on offering something different. In a industry dominated by boring shopping cart sites I previously disappointed myself by towing the line. With the new OAT site I promised I wouldn’t make this mistake again.

The first thing Karl did was ditch the old logo and tagline, he wanted something that incorporated the fun of theme park tickets, not just the fun of riding a roller coaster but all aspects of the experience from browsing to buying.

On the 30th October 2012 we launched the new look logo and introduced our tagline “Smiles included”. Karl used the new positive, smiley attitude within his redesign.

We are happy to finally show you the new look orlandoattractiontickets.co.uk site. Today I will introduce you to some of the main features.

 OAT new

The main alteration has been the way we display our tickets, we have categorised them via supplier (Universal, Disney, SeaWorld etc) we have hopefully made them more visually appealing and made them a lot easier to share across your social networks.

social OAT

You will also notice the green love heart scattered around the site, this is directly linked to our new “Wish List” feature, which allows users to create lists of tickets that they can use to share with companions, make notes of parts of the park they’d be interested in seeing and hopefully ways we haven’t even considered.

A few lists already created by myself include

User’s Wish Lists can also been viewed if the creator has given permission, these can be viewed here.

Another major redesign has been the ticket pages themselves, we’ve revamped the terminology to make it as easy to understand as possible, we’ve also added rich imagery and video media to help you get even more excited about your holiday! (not that you probably need it)

ticket pages OAT

The website has loads of new features and over the next few weeks I’ll write about them in more depth here, for the time being have a look around the site and let us know what you think about it.

Smiles included…


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Senate Approves Bill To Increase Penalty For Fraudulent Theme Park Ticket Sales

Morning Thrill Seekers,

Representatives of Disney, Universal and SeaWorld were present on resellerMonday to see the U.S. senate approve a bill to further penalise the selling of fraudulent Orlando Attraction Tickets.

Under the new bill (SB 394), people or vendors who are caught selling multipark or multi-day tickets after they have already been used (regardless of the amount of time), will face a fine ranging from no more than $500 to a maximum of $10,000.

The bill also altered the law so that repeated violations will be treated as a felony instead of a misdemeanor.

All the major theme park owners have been very vocal when it comes to illegal re-sellers and have consistently stated that penalties have not been severe enough to deter fraud.

The new bill also extends the term “theme park tickets” to include new technologies such as Disney’s MyMagic+ project.

Alan Hays,  Umatilla Republican Senator said

Right now, it’s protecting the consumers, those unsuspecting visitors who think they’re buying a legitimate ticket only to find when they get to the gate that the ticket is expired or is non transferrable or some other horrible thing

Possibly the most interesting part of the bill was the amendment to the ownership of a theme park ticket which has altered from “personal property” to being “licenses” restricted by the original seller.

Remember pre-purchasing your Orlando Attraction Tickets before you go can not only save you money but is also the safest way.



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How Much Does It Cost To Park At The Orlando Theme Parks

Morning Thrill Seekers,

Orlando is huge, so to get around we suggest Florida car hire, we car parking theme parkbelieve that the freedom a car offers is the best way to get the most out of you Orlando Attraction Tickets. Not having to wait for shuttle buses or plan your day around their time tables leads to a much more relaxing holiday… and relaxing is the point, right?

When you drive to a theme park you will be expected to pay for parking, your tickets do not offer free parking.

How much does it cost to park at Disney World?

To park at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom the following charges will apply. (please note these prices were correct at the time of publication)

  • Car or Motorcycle – $25
  • Shuttle, Limo, Camper, Trailer, RV or Bus – $30
  • Preferred Parking Car or Motorcycle – $50

The parking fee only applies once per day, so therefore you can visit multiple parks on one car parking ticket.

Note: amend parking prices 16/10/18

Parking at other Disney areas

Parking is free at the following Disney locations;

  • Blizzard Beach
  • Typhoon Lagoon
  • Winter-Summerland Mini-Golf
  • Fantasia Gardens Mini-Golf
  • Fort Wilderness,
  • ESPN Wide World of Sports
  • Self-parking at Downtown Disney

How much does it cost to park at Universal Orlando?

The cost to park at Universal Orlando to gain access to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and Universal CityWalk are;

  • Regular Parking $26.00
  • Prime Parking $40.00
  • RV/Bus Parking $32.00
  • After 6 pm  Free *Does not apply to HHN

Note: amend parking prices 16/07/19.

How much does it cost to park at SeaWorld?

The costs to park at SeaWorld Orlando are;

  • Spaces are available to cars and motorcycles for $18.00
  • recreational vehicles for $21.00.
  • Preferred parking available for $21.00

Note: amended parking prices 06/11/15.

How much does it cost to park at LEGOLAND Florida? 

The costs to park at LEGOLAND Florida are;

  • Cars: $17 ($15 if pre-booked online)
  • Campers/RVs: $18
  • Motorcycles: $10
  • Preferred Parking: $22

Note: amended parking prices 01/11/16

Re-entry available with valid parking stub during same day of visit.

So there we have it a complete breakdown of all the car parking prices for the Orlando Theme Parks. Always good to have a little information before you get to Florida.



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