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

 

Disney Hollywood Studios To Get A New Name?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

A couple of years ago now we reported that Bob Iger, Disney’s CEO had told share holders that a name change for Disney’s Hollywood Studios was on the way.

Since then all has been pretty quiet…. until last weekend when Disney sent out a survey to select people. Now the survey hand a few interesting bits in it including suggested names changes for Disney’s Hollywood Studios;

When Hollywood Studios opened in 1989 Michael Eisner stated;

The World you have entered was created by The Walt Disney Company and is dedicated to Hollywood not a place on a map, but a state of mind that exists wherever people dream and wonder and imagine, a place where illusion and reality are fused by technological magic. We welcome you to a Hollywood that never was and always will be.

Many people believe that this ethos has gone slightly array and that a new name is needed to represent how the park has evolved…

Which of these names do you think is the best?

Disney Kaleidoscope Park
Disney Storyverse Park
Disney Hyperia Park
Disney Beyond Park
Disney Cinemagic Park
Disney Legends Park
Disney XL Park
Disney Cinemagine Park

I know which one I think is the best worst…. Disney XL Park…

Smiles included…

Jamie

Grand Avenue – The Third New Land Coming to Hollywood Studios this Autumn!

Hey Thrill Seekers!

There is so much going on in regards to new Disney attractions and lands that I can’t keep up! Today i’m focused on Hollywood Studios. Two of the main additions heading to Hollywood Studios are going to be Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land but today Disney have announced some information on another part of the park which is going to be transformed.

Muppets Courtyard and part of the former Streets of America, is being re-imagined by the Walt Disney Imagineers to become a new area called Grand Avenue.

Grand Avenue will be inspired by the unique culture of downtown Los Angeles,  where vintage office buildings and warehouses are being converted to exciting new uses. Guests will get to see “merchants” appear in the area, such as music shops, loft apartments, a tailor and more. Disney say that each window on the street will feature ‘charming displays’. It seems as though these will be fake storefronts that guests won’t be able to enter but will add loads of atmosphere and ‘feels’ to the area.

The current Muppets Courtyard is set to become Grand Park ‘an urban square off Grand Avenue surrounded by shops and restaurants like PizzeRizzo and Mana Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano.’  If you are visiting Hollywood Studios in the near future you will already be able to see some changes such as the Muppets Theatre being renamed to the ‘Grand Arts Theatre.’  Don’t worry though – All the favourites such as Kermit and Miss Piggy continue to be stars in the Muppet*Vision 3D show!

More Details On Grand Avenue, Coming Soon To Disney’s Hollywood Studios More Details On Grand Avenue, Coming Soon To Disney’s Hollywood Studios

“California craft ales, lagers and cider are the stars of the drink menu. California wines on tap along with specialty cocktails are not to be missed either. A gourmet non-alcoholic lemonade and soda on tap round out the drink selection. If you’re feeling peckish, try one of the small bites, including a Bavarian pretzel with mustard and beer-cheese fondue, spiced almonds or a charcuterie board featuring California cheeses.”

BaseLine Tap House is something me and Teresa spoke about a few weeks ago on our all girl Facebook Live. The new corner pub will feature Californian beers and wines along with a selection of small bites (and lots of cheese!!) The pictures above are making me seriously hungry!

Grand Avenue will be opening to guests this Autumn, not too far away at all! I for one cannot wait as it sounds right up my street (or avenue should I say 😉 )

Smiles Included,

Abby

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Model To Be Displayed At Hollywood Studios

Hey  Thrill Seekers,

Well the title kind of says it all, what we have left out is that Toy Story Land will also be included… Here’s what Disney had to say;

Today, we wanted to share another park update that will very soon give you a thrilling, up-close look at what’s to come at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The One Man’s Dream attraction is currently being reimagined into Walt Disney Presents, which like its predecessor, will continue showcasing historic items from Walt Disney’s history, such as sketches, photos and storyboards. But wait – Walt Disney Presents will also act as a preview centre where guests explore what’s next for the park.

Starting in mid-September, you’ll be able to view concept art, ride vehicle Marquette’s and a never-before-seen model for Toy Story Land. A portion of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge model also will be on display, as well as concept art for the new Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction.

The attraction will also continue to host greetings with characters like Star-Lord and baby Groot, plus special sneak previews of upcoming Disney films.

Smiles included…

Jamie

Disney Gives Us A Glimpse Of Star Wars Land

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Disney’s awesome D23 expo begins this weekend and we’re all expecting big news from their yearly conference. So we were all a bit taken back when last night Disney gave us a glimpse at what we can expect from Star Wars Land!

Star Wars-inspired lands will transport guests to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port and one of the last stops before Wild Space, where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life

Here, guests will find themselves in the middle of the action at two signature attractions: one that lets guests take the controls of Millennium Falcon on a customized secret mission, and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.

I don’t think I’ve been as excited for a new land to open as I am with Star Wars Land the attention to detail looks like its going to be next level theming.

Check out this video to give you a proper look;

 

Smiles included…

Jamie

Disney Reveal More Star Wars Land Details

Hey Thrill Seekers,

So just before the Easter break Universal and SeaWorld both revealed massive news regarding their parks. SeaWorld Orlando announced a new ride and confirmed the opening date of Kraken Unleashed not to be outdone Universal gave us an early Christmas present in the form of Harry Potter and hinted at more Potter news to come! But all was quiet on the Disney front… until now.

Disney Imagineers got together at this weekends Celebration of Star Wars event to tell us a little more about the land set to open in 2019.

They confirmed that the Planet the land will be based does not feature in any of the movies but can be found on the edge of the Unknown Regions. They also gave us a little back story confirming that the remote village was once a busy crossroads along the old sub-lightspeed trade routes, but the prominence of the outpost has been bypassed with the rise of hyperspace travel. Now home to those who prefer less attention, it has become a thriving port for smugglers, rogue traders and adventurers traveling between the frontier and uncharted space. It’s also a convenient safe-haven for others intent on avoiding the expanding reach of the First Order.

Disney weren’t finished with a video and a back story they had more to share. Scott Trowbridge, Creative Director stated that visitors would be able to take control of the Millennium Falcon and interestingly the choices they make during this could effect the way characters in the Land react to them, almost like the old pick your adventure style books.

It sounds like we’re going to get an immersive story unique to guests that follows them around the Land, you’ll be part of the Star Wars Universe and each attraction will just add to your overall continuous experience.

Disney Imagineer Asa Kalama added;

There are going to be a ton of opportunities to help out and support the Resistance, lots of smugglers and bounty hunters who are looking for a little bit of help and might be willing to offer you up a side job, and for those of you who are interested in supporting The First Order, that will absolutely be an opportunity as well

Its was also mentioned that the Land would have its own unique sensory experience including smells and tastes including “Blue Milk”  (Bantha Milk).

We’re so excited for more information and we’re expecting more this July at Disney’s D23 Expo.

Smiles included…

Jamie

 

Disney Reveals Star Wars Construction Update

Hey Thrill Seekers,

When Disney reveals Star Wars information a siren goes off here at OAT towers similar to using the Bat Signal and we all rush head first to the nearest computer to bath in its glory… and today is one of those days.

Scheduled to open in 2019 Disney World have already broken ground on the much anticipated land.

Instead of using one of the known planets in the Star Wars galaxy guests will be transported to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port and one of the last stops before wild space where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life and where guests will find themselves in the middle of the action.

Disney are also creating two new signature attractions: one that lets guests take the controls of Millennium Falcon on a customised secret mission and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.

We’ve also heard that Disney are working on creating droids that guests can interact with, these droids will be built using new AI technology that also allow them to learn as they go!!

How amazing is Star Wars at Disney going to be?

Smiles included…

Jamie

Yes! BB-8 Will Make His Character Greating Debut This Spring

Hey Thrill Seekers,

The second most popular droid in the entire Galaxy (far, far away) will be making his debut this Spring at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. BB-8 the standout Droid  from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, begins character greetings at the park’s  Star Wars Launch Bay.

Visitors are already able to meet Star War’s characters like Kylo Ren and Chewbacca and the rolling droid will be a welcomed addition. Star Wars Launch Bay not only offers character greetings but also offers guests the chance to explore galleries full of treasured memorabilia and authentic replicas of large-scale Star Wars artifacts, including some from the latest film in the franchise, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Here’s what Disney say about Star Wars Launch Bay;

Star Wars Launch Bay is just one experience that has debuted at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to the delight of Star Wars fans over the past two years: “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away” daytime show features characters from around the Star Wars galaxy; while the guest-favorite “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” nighttime spectacular lights up the park each night. Guests age 4-12 can also become Jedi recruits and put their skills to the test in an unforgettable battle against villains like Darth Vader or the Seventh Sister Inquisitor. And just a few months ago, the park’s Star Tours – The Adventures Continue attraction began offering guests randomized destinations, making different planetary destinations possible for every galactic journey.

The addition of additional Star Wars IP to the Disney parks is just another step to cementing their position as market leader in Florida. My kids would lose their minds if they got to meet BB-8… and probably me too!

Smiles included…

Jamie

New Skyway Gondola Transportation System at Disney Rumoured.

Hey Thrill Seekers,

There is currently a rumour ‘floating’ around about a new, wacky transportation system between Disney’s Epcot and Hollywood Studios parks that’s all well and good if you aren’t afraid of heights ;-)..

According to permits filed by Walt Disney World it appears that a ‘Skyway-type Gondola system’ might be put in to place to transport guests between Epcot, Hollywood Studios and some resort hotels. Looking at the permits, the cable car type carriages will stop at Epcot’s International Gateway, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, shared station at Pop Century and Art of Animation Resorts as well as Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

There was once a Skyway attraction that operated at Magic Kingdom between the years of 1971 – 1999 that took guests between tomorrow land and fantasy land. The new system would probably be a lot bigger and it would be lovely to have a Skyway back at Walt Disney World working as a real transportation system and not an attraction.

It is well known that Disney aren’t going to be building a monorail expansion any time soon due to cost and efficiency issues but personally I would think that this system would be even more expensive don’t you?

Personally, I love this idea and think it would add to the whole Disney experience as well as being a mega cool way to get between the two parks / hotels and just imagine the views!!

What do you think of this rumour?

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