Top 10 Orlando Attractions 2016

Hey Thrill Seekers,

We’ve seen the top 5 attractions in each park and now it’s the big one, the top 10 attractions in Orlando overall.

1st Place: Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts – Universal Studios.

2nd Place: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – Islands of Adventure.

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3rd Place: Expedition Everest – Animal Kingdom.

4th Place: Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster – Hollywood Studios.

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5th Place: Soarin’ – Epcot.

6th Place: Crush ‘n’ Gusher – Typhoon Lagoon.

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7th Place (joint): Summit Plummet – Blizzard Beach & Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – Magic Kingdom.

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8th Place: Hard Rock Cafe – Universal City Walk.

9th Place: Manta – SeaWorld

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10th Place: Falcons Fury – Busch Gardens

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So it is clear to see that the Harry Potter attractions are extremely popular amongst our thrill seekers and why wouldn’t they be, they really are incredible.

With the opening of Volcano Bay next year I wonder how different this list will look at the end of 2017?! If you’re heading out to visit the parks don’t forget to leave your feedback and vote for your fave attractions!!

Smiles Included,

Jess
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Magic Kingdoms Top Attraction’s 2016

Hey Thrill Seekers,

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.

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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.

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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!

Smiles Included,

Jess

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Disney’s New MagicBand 2

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Disney have recently announced they are releasing new Magic Bands. With a slight make over and a nip and tuck, the MagicBand 2 will have a removable icon. The technology is all included on this disc shaped icon which you can remove from the band. You may think that this will just pop in and out which means it can get lost easily, but all bands will come with a little screwdriver to undo the tiny screw on the back.

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The icon can be used in other accessories such as key chains, bracelets etc. to make the bands more fashionable.

The bands will still be used for FastPass, hotel admission, payments in restaurants and merchandise stores throughout Walt Disney World Resort in the exact same way, just a slightly new look.

Magic Bands can be used again if you visit more than once and they usually last between 3 – 5 years depending on the battery life. They have smart technology included so that they will turn themselves off once you leave the Walt Disney World Resort and turn themselves back on when you re-enter.

The fact that these bands are waterproof is also pretty cool. You don’t need to worry about it getting wet on any of the water rides or if it rains! Not forgetting that you can personalise your band to make it your own. When I ordered my band I was able to choose between pink, blue, green, red, orange, grey or a yellow band. (Obviously I chose pink!) I also had my name printed on the inside so if I ever took it off, I would be sure it was mine. Disney stores also sell different straps and band its.

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You can even personalise your band yourself by painting it, putting stickers on it, bedazzling it etc. The question is, will defacing your band stop it from working? No, it won’t. If you deface tickets, it can make them invalid however this is not the case with your bands.

If you still have one of the older style Magic Bands, do not worry about having to purchase a new one as they will still work at Disney. Rumours are going around that eventually Disney will be looking to roll these out completely but this won’t be for a while now so there’s no reason to panic.

Icons will be included on every band so you won’t be able to purchase a band on it’s own which may have made personalising the bands a bit cheaper, but we all love spending money anyway, don’t we?!

Once we have an official release date for these bands, we will be sure to update you!

Smiles Included…

Louise

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Patent Suggests New Disney Ride

Hey Thrill Seekers,

There have been many rumours ‘flying’ around about how Disney are planning to patent a ‘vertical load and launch roller coaster’.

Disney have always been quick to patent loads of idea’s that their clever ‘imagineers’ create. Lots of people have been keeping an eye on what Disney are planning for its next patent which was filed a few years back for a vertical load and launch coaster. Since the U.S Patent and Trademark Office published it back in September it has got everyone’s ears pricked and we are all watching Disney’s every move.

Basically, from what we know, the patent will allow for improvement on existing flying coaster technologies which will be done by adding multi-level loading bays for visitors to enter the ride from different levels. The cart will be stationed vertically making it heaps easier to position yourself ready for the ride.

“The flying roller coaster is a relatively new ride for amusement parks, and ride designers have faced several challenges including how to load and unload the vehicles and then place the passengers/riders in a prone or flying position.”

There are quite a few flying coasters around a great example being Manta at SeaWorld – guests board this coaster by sitting down in a seat, restraint harnesses come down and then the seat is pulled up resulting with it being parallel to the track.

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Some issues that have been raised in a snippet from the patent:

First, the loading and unloading positions can be quite uncomfortable as some existing designs require the passengers to lie down in the vehicle. Second, many flying roller coasters have vehicles with complex actuator assemblies that are used to position the vehicles or seats in a flying position after passenger loading is completed. This increases manufacturing and maintenance costs for these rides. Third, all of the passengers load the vehicles or cars of the coaster train from a single station (or single horizontal platform) — such an arrangement fails to provide any privacy for the vehicle passengers during loading and unloading. For example, each passenger has to share the pre-ride experience with a large number of people (i.e., the entire capacity of the train rather than just those in your family or group that may be entering a car or vehicle to experience a ride).

The patent hints at the coaster being launched vertically from the get go. Instead of having to lay down to get in position for a flying coaster ride Disney seem to be re-designing the whole experience. Riders would be required to just sit down in the seat and lean back against the (hopefully a padded) back of the seat. Sounds a lot more comfortable to me than sitting down, being flung forwards or backwards to get in position.

The patent documents also stated that

“Also, the loading can be much more private or intimate for those entering each vehicle as each vehicle is provided its own loading platform,”

There has also been lots of speculation around this new patent such as does this mean a new attraction? Are they going to incorporate it into a existing attraction? Who knows! Unfortunately we are just as much in the dark as you are until Disney officially announces anything.

Disney have not yet announced anything to support the rumours regarding this particular patent and a lot of Disney patents are never acted upon but this idea seems to good to just chuck in a pile don’t you think?

Smiles Included…

Jess

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My top 5 places to eat at the parks

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Visiting Orlando can be overwhelming at the best of times. How much money you need, where to go, what to see, what to eat..

Here at OAT towers we try to make it as easy as possible to help you prepare for your holiday of a lifetime so here I am putting our experience to good use. I’ve gone round a few of the minions in our offices to find their favourite restaurants around the parks to give you your top 5.

My favourite restaurant has got to be the Sharks Underwater Grill at SeaWorld. It’s not often you get to enjoy your meal while gazing at the sharks swimming past you. Not only that, but you can go downstairs and walk through the aquarium with the sharks swimming above you. It truly is amazing!

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Karl our CTO says his favourite restaurant is The Bubba Gump Shrimp Co at Universal’s CityWalk which I hear nothing but good things about. If you’re a fan of Forrest Gump, you’re a fan of Bubba Shrimp! It’s a family friendly, worldwide restaurant with a great atmosphere, like any restaurant on CityWalk.

Jess can’t get enough of the Rainforest Cafe located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park and Disney Springs. If you’re looking for something ‘different’ the Rainforest cafe is definitely a place to try. Enjoy your meal while surrounded by tropical animals and wait for your surprises throughout the evening. I can guarantee you won’t be bored!

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The Leaky Cauldron in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Diagon Alley at Universal Studios is our CEO, Gavin’s favourite restaurant. I think this may be something to do with his beard…he thinks he’s a wizard! I guess there really is no place like home seeing as the Leaky Cauldron serves traditional British meals. Yum!

Kelly is always competing with Lauren about who’s the biggest Disney fan (although I think it’s definitely Lauren) so she has chosen the Be Our Guest restaurant in FantasyLand at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. If you want to feel like royalty, this is where you want to go for your meal. It is absolutely stunning and the attention to detail is unreal.

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So there’s a few ideas of where to go to eat. Don’t forget there are so many restaurants that you will never get to visit all of them in one trip so make sure you pick carefully!

Smiles Included…

Louise

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Disney’s Magic Kingdom reveals new, nightly projection show

Hey Thrill Seekers,

With a Bibbidy, bobbidy, boo, Disney brings you…. a new, nightly projection show at the Magic Kingdom and guess what, its debut is in just 3 days time.

Once Upon a Time will begin on November 4th, the show will be presented at 9:45 pm and last for around 14 magical minutes. Performance times will vary based on park closing times so do check times before you go as this is not something you are going to want to miss.

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The show will involve Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast telling bedtime stories to her son Chip (and of course all watching). The stories will take the form of projections on Cinderella’s Castle and will include characters from many of our favorite Disney movies including Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

I find the projection shows amazing so I am super excited they are adding a new one to the mix, its safe to say that I will be starting my saving immediatelty so I can get out there to watch it.

If you’re lucky enough to be there now, or heading there shortly go and check it out. Its suitable for all ages, so the little ones can enjoy the magic too.

Smiles Included

Kelly

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What improvements are Disney making at their parks?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Although it’s not very often you see Disney’s Magic Kingdom opening up a new attraction, they are always putting in the work to keep their current attractions up to date. Recently they’ve been making a few little nips and tucks around the park that you may have noticed if you’ve been lucky enough to visit them in the last couple of months. Not forgetting all of the new attractions coming up in the next couple of years that I’m sure you will have seen advertised.

Tomorrowlands rockwork has had a colour scheme make over. From a rusty, orange colour to a metallic blue, the rockwork brightens up the look across the bridge.

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Also in Tomorrowland, Stitch’s Great Escape has been closed and is only being operated seasonally. For the duration of its temporary closure, the opening of the queue is now being used for parking buggies. There is a a rumour that this attraction could be closing for good next year, but I guess we will just have to watch this space…

You may have also noticed that Big Thunder Mountain in Frontierland has been closed since August for a major refurbishment and isn’t scheduled to reopen until November 18th! Hopefully we will get to see some interesting new features in the future.

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Disney’s main focus is going on their new attractions across their parks including Pandora: The World of Avatar and Toy Story Land.

Pandora is to be opened at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 2017 with at least 2 of the main attractions being Rivers of Light and AVATAR Flight of Passage. Rivers of Light is a show using floating lanterns, live performers, water screens and swirling animal imagery. The Flight of Passage is a simulator flight with banshees. Sounds like it will be similar in style to Epcot’s Soarin’ except bigger and better.

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Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s have also spoken about expanding with a Toy Story Land but they haven’t given us a time frame. They have confirmed that there will be at least 2 more attractions added to Toy Story. The idea of Toy Story Land is to shrink guests as they walk in so they are like a toy! Jump on the Slinky Dog’s back and ride their rollercoaster or be on an alien saucer with the green 3 eyed aliens.

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You can never keep up with Disney’s updates as it is a constant flow of new arrivals. I’m sure it won’t be long until we are shouting about some new attractions.

Smiles Included…

Louise

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All New Muppet Show Heading To Disney World

Hey Thrill Seekers,

It’s time to play the music
It’s time to light the lights
It’s time to meet the Muppets at Disney World this Autumn…

Granted its not as catchy as the original but it has an air of truth to it.

Coming to Disney’s Magic Kingdom this Autumn, the Muppets will be taking part in an all-new live show called “The Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History.”

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Here’s what Disney said;

Sam Eagle, the fiercely patriotic American eagle who is forever trying to set a high moral standard for the Muppets, will join Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, The Great Gonzo and James Jefferson, town crier of Liberty Square, as they gather outside The Hall of Presidents to present historical tales in hysterical fashion as only they can. From the midnight ride of Paul Revere to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Muppets appear throughout the day to share with Guests, their own unique take on the founding fathers and the birth of the United States of America.

Featuring an original song and plenty of wacky Muppets humor, “The Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History” will make its debut in October 2016

Yes! The Muppets are officially awesome I can’t wait to see Kermit and his crew rip it up at Magic Kingdom…

Am I man or muppet?

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Disney Announce Opening Dates

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Today Disney treated us to a few dates for our diaries. So lets get stuck in.

Frozen

Possibly the most exciting being confirmation that the Disney Frozen attraction at Epcot will officially open on the 21st June.

Frozen ever after, is a boat ride around Arendelle, guests will see the Summer Snow Day celebration, Troll Valley, North Mountain, Elsa’s Ice Palace and other sights.

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Soarin’

I like this one, Disney will be bringing Soarin’ back for a limited time to give it a proper send off. From May 27th until June 26th visitors at Epcot will be able to ride the original version before its updated to Soarin’ Around the World.

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Star Wars

Disney also confirmed that the new fireworks show ‘Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular’  will debut on June 17 at Hollywood Studios. This night time spectacular will be the most elaborate fireworks display in the park’s history.

Disney state that the show will combine fireworks, pyrotechnics, special effects and video projections upon various building in the park. Proposed scenes include the twin suns of Tatooine, a field of battle droids, the trench of the Death Star, Starkiller Base and other Star Wars destinations.

The show which will be put to music from the film franchise will feature a tower of fire and spotlight beams which will create the image of a lightsaber in the sky.

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Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire

Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire is a stage show at Cinderella Castle, it will debut at Magic Kingdom on June 17th!

In “Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire,” Mickey and his troupe of Merry Makers have been preparing to host a joyous festival and have ventured far and wide to invite friends from other lands to join their celebration. From the Land of the Bewitching Bayous, Goofy has invited Tiana, Naveen and Louis to add a little spice of New Orleans jazz to the party. From the Land of the Enchanted Woods, Donald Duck brings some new friends he met at the Snuggly Duckling, and Daisy introduces us to her special guests, Rapunzel and Flynn Rider. Finally, Mickey shares a surprise with Minnie, as he has traveled to the Land of the Mystic Mountains to invite Olaf, Anna and Elsa, who contributes a blast of her icy magic. It all culminates in a grand dance, as the Merry Makers invite all their special guests to join in the fun on this special day in Magic Kingdom Park!

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Which of these are you most excited about visiting? The Star Wars fireworks displays looks amazing, I can’t wait to see this.

You can purchase Disney Passes from Orlando Attraction Tickets from as little as £154.00 (2 Day Child ticket).

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Top Attractions At Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Hey Thrill Seekers,

A Florida holiday is amazing, its a once (actually more) in a lifetime trip that Millions of people take every year. The theme parks are amazing, the water parks are amazing and the attractions are … yep you guessed it…amazing.

When our customers return from Orlando we like to pick their brains about which attractions they liked the best. We compile this data to product a top 10 of the best attractions at each of the parks.

Here are the top 10 attractions as voted for by Orlando Attraction Tickets customers.

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As you can see Space Mountain is in the lead, with an impressive 60 votes. The interesting thing about this park is how spread out the voting is. The top 5 attractions all have 30 votes or more!

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You can view all our customers votes plus their reviews of each park by checking out our Discover page. We’ll take a look at Disney’s Animal Kingdom tomorrow.

Smiles included…

Jamie

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