2017 has nearly come to an end, we’ve had loads of cool new attractions / parks arrive in Orlando this year such as Volcano Bay and Pandora – The World of Avatar and lucky for us 2018 is not going to disappoint either with loads of new rides set to open in the coming year.
I’m going to start with Hollywood Studios as we are eagerly awaiting the opening of Toy Story Land here at OAT towers. Two new rides and a food spot have been officially named for Toy Story Land which is opening in the summer of next year; Slinky Dog Dash – a family coaster where you will find yourself zipping, dodging and dashing around a track that Andy has created to stretch Slinky to his limits. Alien Swirling Saucers where aliens will be flying around in their saucers trying to capture your rocket toy vehicle with ‘The Claw’ and Woodys Lunch Box which will be a quick service window to grab some of Andy’s fave food.
Next up is Universal Studios where Fast & Furious – Supercharged is set to open in Spring. Now this is one i’m personally super excited about as I LOVE the Fast & Furious films. Guests will be immersed in their own Fast and Furious story, escaping the enemy with familiar faces such as Dom, Letty and Hobbs. The new ride will also feature a Virtual Line just like in Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon.
SeaWorld is also opening a brand new ride in the summer called Infinity Falls. Infinity Falls is a river rapids ride with a twist. It will be a 4+ minute ride featuring a 40ft plunge down the tallest drop of its kind. Riders will get to experience the excitement and thrills of category 4 white water rapids and use a ‘unique elevator lift’ which will create the worlds tallest drop on a river raft ride.
Aquatica is also debuting a brand new ride; Ray Rush. This ride is set to open in Spring and will be the only water ride in Florida to offer a water jet propel system which will launch riders (4 at a time) at 33 feet per second. It will have a height requirement of 42”.
LEGOLAND are also in the mix of opening new rides in 2018 with The Great LEGO Race: Opening in Spring – a new virtual-reality roller coaster adventure. This new coaster will feature virtual reality technology, a cast of wacky LEGO minifigures and is replacing the current Project X coaster.
Take a look at myself and Gavins recent OAT Live where we discussed everything we are looking forward to in 2018 (as well as my rubbish attempt at playing a Kazuu) and also another cool video below to round up all the new things to look forward to next year;
Personally, the one i’m most looking forward to is Fast & Furious – Supercharged. Whats yours?
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.
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 😀
This one is soooo cute and I love the idea of the t-shirts, how grateful the kids are is very sweet.
‘BUT WE HAVEN’T PACKED!!!’
The suitcase races at the beginning of this one made me laugh, also love the Universal props for a brill Universal reveal.
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!!
If you don’t know, you should know… When you spend over £500.00 on a ticket order you can choose from one of our free smile alert cards to add on to your booking. One of these smile alert cards is the Dollar Off Drinks card.
Save $1 every time you order your favourite drink in over 60 Orlando locations. Soda…coffee…adult beverage…it doesn’t matter – the card covers them all!
Whether it’s the infamous “Just One” or making an evening of it with family and friends, it’s always great to pay less for your drink than the person next to you! Savings from the Dollar Off Drink Card makes your bank account a little happier.
We have recently been informed that Dollar off Drinks have signed a new bar Downtown that shows ever Premier League games live. It’s called The Harp & Celt Irish Pub. What’s better is that they even open up for the early games which can start as early as 7:30am. Beer and footy at 7am? Sounds great to me!
There’s also so much to do Downtown after the games such as Lake Eola, Farmers Market, special events and so on. The best way to get downtown is an Uber and it will roughly cost $15.00 from I-Drive. There also have around 5 more bars/restaurants where you can use your Dollar Off Drinks card.
Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho… it’s off to Magic Kingdom we go. The votes have been counted and verified and the winner is…
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train!
Magic kingdom is said to have hosted around 20.49 million guests last year alone making it the most visited theme park in the world for the tenth year running!! This means that the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train must be one hell of a ride ey?!
You’ll hop on board a rustic mine train and work your way up to the summit of the mountain. You can’t stay up there forever though.. you will race down the mountain twisting and turning until you reach the mine shaft where you’ll encounter the Seven Dwarfs who are hard at work doing their usual whistling and singing whilst collecting jewels.
You will also be able to visit Snow White along the way as well as enjoying the thrills of a fantastic roller coaster.
For our thrill seekers to vote this as the top attraction in the worlds most visited park then surely its a ride that you cannot miss when in Orlando!!
Second Place: Splash Mountain – This is a fantastic water ride and yes.. you will get wet!! The build up to the massive 5 story splashdown is also great as there are so many things to see and take in during your journey.
Third Place: Space Mountain – This attraction allows you to commence on a voyage through the cosmos and to the furthest imaginable points of the galaxy. You’ll ascend 180 foot!! This is a really futuristic and cool ride!
Fourth Place – Wishes Nighttime Spectacular – This is an absolutely incredible display. The voices of your favourite Disney characters will echo throughout the park as they tell a story. Magical and famous Disney songs are sure to give you goosebumps as you watch one of the most magical firework displays on the planet.
Fifth Place: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – Jump on a speeding train and weave in and out of caverns and roll through a haunted mine. This is a great ride for all of the family!
No surprise here with the top attraction at Islands of Adventure, it is of course Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey.
This magical attraction is really out of this world. Your journey will consist of visiting loads of iconic places throughout Hogwarts such as Dumbledore’s office, the Gryffindor common room, Defence against the Dark Arts classroom etc.
You will also soar above the grounds alongside Harry Potter and his friends, meeting amazing creatures along the way.
There is so much technology involved in this attraction that it really makes it a one of a kind ride that you 100% shouldn’t miss when visiting Islands of Adventure!!
Second Place: The Incredible Hulk Coaster – This coaster will enable you to actually experience the feeling of being the Hulk himself. This is a quick ride.. you will reach up to 67mph taking on zero gravity rolls, twists and turns.
Third Place: Skull Island; Reign Of Kong – Get involved in the 1930’s expedition which is caught in the middle of a battle, King Kong will beat his chest, roar and make it very, very clear that you are in his home.
Fourth Place: Dragon Challenge – Choose your dragon, will you go for a Chinese Fireball or a Hungarian Horntail? This is a amazing ride where two coasters will intertwine as they twist and loop, nearly colliding with each other. Three times throughout this ride the two dragons will come within 18 inches of eachother!!!
Fifth Place: Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges – Be prepared to get wet! As you set sail you will help Popeye rescue Olive from Bluto. You’ll encounter dangerous white water rapids and even a 18 foot tall octopus!
I don’t think that there was a doubt in anyone’s mind that the top attraction would somehow be linked to Harry Potter.. The top attraction at Universal Studios is of course..
Harry Potter And The Escape From Gringotts.
This really is a surreal experience. You’ll start your journey by entering Gringotts bank which is where you will encounter goblins working hard in the lobby and then get ready for the mind blowing 3D, multi-dimensional ride.
You will feel as though you are in the centre of the action whilst manoeuvring through dark passageways and underground vaults. You’ll even meet Harry, Ron and Hermione.. but look out for Voldemort, Bellatrix and all of the other bad creatures and trolls who are the only things standing between you and your safe return!
This attraction is not only absolutely amazing for all hardcore Harry Potter fans but I think even if you have never seen a Harry Potter film you will still enjoy this breathtaking attraction.
Second Place: Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit – Pick a song, climb onto the ride, strap in and then you’ll begin your ascent until you reach the top where you will be 17 stories above Universal Studios. The next thing you know you will be reaching 65mph on your decent. This is a really cool, high-tech ride.
Third Place: Revenge of The Mummy – This ride really throws you in at the deep end. You’ll start in complete darkness, the only things you can see will be lit up by huge fireballs and they won’t be pleasant. You’ll also come face to face with the Mummy himself, a really thrilling ride.
Fourth Place: TRANSFORMERS: The Ride 3D – You will become a N*E*S*T recruit, and find yourself in the middle of a intergalactic war between the Autobots and Decepticons. This 3D ride is so futuristic and great fun!
Fifth Place: The Simpsons Ride – You get to ride along with the Simpsons family encountering surprise after surprise as you travel through Krustyland. Fun Fact.. This is the first ever attraction based on the Simpsons show!
We have spotted some exciting news today, a brand new wooden roller coaster is coming to the Kissimmee Fun Spot in the summer of 2017!
The Gravity Group are the guys and girls who have designed this new coaster and it sound like this ride is going to be pretty cool and definitely a thrill seekers dream.
This new coaster is Fun Spot Americas second wooden roller coaster. The original one called White Lightning is situated at Fun Spots Orlando park.
Some specifications for the coaster have been released and it sounds amazing! There is going to be a 360 degree barrel roll, 11 different air times and a top speed of 48.5mph!
John Arie Jr who is Fun Spot America’s CEO has said:
“This is HUGE news not just for us but the city of Kissimmee as this will be the only wooden roller coaster in the southeast United States that will feature a 360 degree barrel roll. This roller coaster will be completely unique and thrilling, we have worked tirelessly with the Gravity Group to design a ride that will be a must ride coaster for any thrill seeker and coaster enthusiast, definitely bucket list worthy. We are still working through the theming, naming rights and sponsorship opportunities but with over two million visitors to our parks each year we do expect to move forward quickly on these opportunities.”
The coaster isn’t going to be the only positive impact.. this $6 Million investment will see to over 50 new jobs during construction and over 20 full time jobs when it opens next summer.
Check out this cool VR video:
The length of the track is going to be 2256 feet with a first drop of 80.5 feet and a 115 degree bank angle which points towards a famil friendly but also very thrilling new coaster.
As a name for this coaster has not yet been released what do you think they should call it?
The top attraction at Discovery Cove for 2016 was a no brainer. Of course it was Dolphin Lagoon. This may have something to do with the once in a life time opportunity to swim with dolphins!
If you opt for the swim package at Discovery Cove you get the incredible experience of meeting, interacting and swimming with a beautiful bottlenose dolphin in Dolphin Lagoon. This will definitely be the highlight of your day and maybe even your whole holiday!
From the feedback we have received by those of you who have visited Discovery Cove I can see why it has come out on top and put perfectly by one of our customers who recently visited:
” The most wonderful day. Can”t put into words how enjoyable the whole day was. Swimming with the dolphins is just an incredible experience.”
Second Place: Dolphin Swim Experience – Takes place within Dolphin Lagoon – a unforgettable experience!
Third Place: Grand Reef – Snorkel with thousands of fish, rays and sharks in this 2.5 acre tropical world.
Fourth Place: Wind AwayRiver – This is one of the most relaxing things to do when in Orlando – my tip is to grab one of the floats before embarking on your adventure for full relaxation!
Fifth Place: Explorers Aviary – A fantastic opportunity to feed beautiful birds right from the palm of your hands.
I am sooo jealous of anyone who had the chance to visit and swim with dolphins this year but in my opinion you voted a very respectable winner!
SeaWorld is renowned for its hugely thrilling coasters as well as its incredible shows so there’s a lot of competition within this park. Storming in at first place is the unique Manta.
Manta is a one of a kind coaster on which you will experience a impressive amount of G’s! You’ll glide like a Manta Ray experience inverted nosedives, loops, twists and turns all whilst laying flat on your back , parallel to the track. You will sometimes be above the track and sometimes below as you continue to switch orientation throughout the whole ride.
It’s known to be one of the smoothest tracks in the world and totally different to your every day coaster which is why I think it has been voted as the top attraction at SeaWorld this year!
Second Place: Mako – Its Orlando’s tallest, fastest and longest coaster and is named after one of the oceans fastest sharks, Mako is our offices favourite coaster at SeaWorld.
Third Place: Kraken – This is Orlando’s only floorless roller coaster and is based on a underwater mythological beast. Your feet will dangle as you speed your way around this enthralling track.
Fourth: One Ocean – Watch majestic killer whales tell a story and be careful if you opt to sit in the splash zone you will get VERY wet!!
Fifth: Dolphins Up-Close Tour – This hands on experience lasts around 60 minutes and allows you to interact with the beautiful bottlenose dolphins and even learn some of the hand signals used to communicate with them!
Every single day for around 30 minutes the streets of Universal Studios Orlando are transformed into ‘one of the largest interactive experiences ever.’
Universals Superstar parade is just like a massive street party with amazing floats, enthusiastic street performers, high energy music, aerial stunt performers, LED lighting and huge sound systems.
This December Universal have invited the stars of The Secret Life Of Pets. With two brand new floats and the chance to meet and talk to some of the hilarious characters from the film such as Norman the Guinea Pig. The two floats will be surrounded by amusing and upbeat musical performances that you definitely don’t want to miss!
The Secret Life Of Pets extravaganza gets underway with a friendly welcome from Max and Duke in a fall themed Central Park.
The Main float then rolls in and its theme is based on the apartments in the Big Apple itself. You will get the chance to be a fly on the wall as to what these cheeky pets do when their owners aren’t around. These brand new, never seen before performances and floats will generate a whole new energy for the parade. The parkour performers and dancers will be somersaulting, flipping, spinning and shimmying through the streets and my bet is that you will find it impossible to stand still! It will almost be like a flash mob in the middle of New York with the perfect addition of pets! What more could you ask for?!
Throughout the day the parade makes regular stops at Mel’s Drive In and Battery Park. This is where some of the stars of the film will come out to play! You will be able to meet characters such as Norman, Max, Duke, Leonard, Gidget, Chloe and many more. Don’t forget to take a photo as it is sure to be one of the images you will want to put in your holiday scrapbook!
So if you’re visiting Universal Studios this December, make sure you allow half an hour to experience the amazing Superstar Parade where you’ll be the first to come face to face and get involved in the spectacle that is The Secret Life Of Pets!