Disney’s Hollywood Studios To Get New Show, Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy Opens

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Yey new stuff! Disney aren’t resting on their laurels, fresh from the opening of Toy Story Land they’ve just announced a new show is coming to Hollywood Studios and it’s one for you racing fans.

Here’s what Disney said,

Calling aspiring racers of all ages! I feel a big ol’ Ka-Chow coming on, because beginning in early 2019, there’s going to be another exciting reason to get revved up about a visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It’s Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy, a high-octane first-of-its-kind new show that’ll put you right in the middle of the world of Disney•Pixar’s “Cars.

At Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy, located near Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, you’ll come face-to-face with racing legend Lightning McQueen, who is excited to showcase what he’s learned over the years with you – the next generation of rookie racers. Of course, as Lightning McQueen has discovered throughout his career, things don’t always go according to plan, and he has to think fast to get back on course. With friends Tow Mater, Cruz Ramirez and the gang from Radiator Springs on his side, Lightning gears up for the challenge.

What will happen? You’ll have to speed on over to find out when Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy opens early next year!

Smiles included

Jamie

OAT

Minnie Vans For All!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Last year we let you know about our very favourite theme park pun, Disney’s Minnie Vans the service powered by car sharing service Lyft. Back then it was only available to guests staying at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort and Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts however now anyone at Walt Disney World Resort can use them through the Lyft app.

The service offers a comfy and convenient way for guests to travel to and from our theme parks, to dining reservations at our resort hotels, family gatherings, shopping sprees at Disney Springs and much more in a jiffy.

Disney have said that the private vans are roomy and comfortable and are usually just minutes away from you. The Minnie Vans are driven by a Disney cast member who is specially trained to transport you to where you need to be with a smile. Awwwww 😉

If you want to take advantage of this, all you need to do is download the Lyft app on your phone, open it up, select the Minnie Van Service option and follow these simple steps:

  • Confirm your current pickup location.
  • Enter your Walt Disney World Resort destination and tap “Request.”
  • The app will display a map tracking the vehicle en route and give you an identifying vehicle number to help you spot your car.

The service is currently available from 6.30am – 12.30am and $25.00 per trip, per vehicle and you can pay through the app – easy peasy!

I cant wait to ride in one of these next time i’m at Disney! Can you?

Smiles Included

Abby

2017 Theme Park Attendances

Hey Thrill Seekers,

2017’s theme park attendance figures have been announced a lot earlier this year and we have seen a big growth from 2016 to 2017 – 2016 was a bit of a flat year where the top 10 theme park groups worldwide attendance was 438.3m but 2017 saw a bigger attendance of 475.8m.

In Orlando we saw the opening of some major attractions and parks such as Pandora – The World of Avatar in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Universals Volcano Bay which is bound to have driven more guests to the ‘theme park capital of the world’ Below we can see that Walt Disney World is still the largest theme park group in the World welcoming 150,014,000 visitors which is just under 10 million more than 2016!! All of the other Theme Park Groups that feature in Orlando (see the green love hearts) are in the same position as last year but all have an increased attendance.

Top 25 Theme Parks Worldwide

As you can see Disney really do dominate the standings, there are also 6 Orlando parks featured, 5 of which are in the top 10!! This is actually one less than last year as SeaWorld doesn’t feature in this list like it did last year.

I thought it might be a good idea to take a look at the Worldwide Water Park attendance this time around too. Below is the top 10 which features 4 Orlando Water Parks.

In my opinion, Volcano Bay has smashed it!! Considering they only opened on the 25th May 2017 they have come in at 6th in the standings – Go Universal!!

Top Theme Parks in North America

Both Disney and Universal have had a very good 2017. Disney parks grew 3.0% – this is mainly thanks to Pandora — the World of Avatar. The renovation of Disney Springs has also been received very well. “Disney remains king of the industry with the top five parks in North America.” “There are six Disney parks among the Top 20 theme parks in North America and those six parks account for 55% of total attendance. Disney is leveraging the power of compelling intellectual property (IP) with Pandora — and new Star Wars-themed lands on the horizon — as did Universal with the Harry Potter attractions, and both set a leading example for the industry.” 

Above is the top 20 theme parks in North America, as we can see, Disney dominate this chart again. Animal Kingdom has moved from 4th to 3rd, and had a staggering 2 million more visitors, probably due to the opening of Pandora – World of Avatar. Islands of Adventure has dropped from 7th to 8th and SeaWorld and Busch Gardens have also drop 1 place each.

I can’t wait to see how figures change in the future. 2018’s figures will be impacted by the opening of Toy Story Land, Universal’s 2 new hotels. My bet is that we will see the biggest difference with 2019 figures as Star Wars: Galaxy’s edge and a new Potter coaster are due to open.

Smiles Included,

Abby

 

Universal Confirm Trick ‘r Treat For HHN28

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Yep we’ve got another confirmed house for Halloween Horror Nights 28 along with Stranger Things and the Universal Original house Dead Exposure we can now look forward to Trick ‘r Treat !!!

Trick R Treat made an appearance last year as a scare zone but as HHN fans loved it so much in 2017 Universal have decided to upgrade it to a house. Here’s what Universal had to say about it;

We’re throwing you head first into the world of this cult Halloween film, and putting you in the middle of all the grisly scenes and demented characters. These guardians of Halloween will teach you the traditions of the holiday as you find out first hand the consequences of breaking those rules. With monsters around every turn, you need to pay attention…or suffer the ultimate fate.

The mysterious Sam who is the keeper of the rules and the ‘spirit of Halloween’ will be keeping an eye over all of the scares. I was at HHN last year and the scare zone was one of my favourites so I cannot wait to see what is in store for the house!

We’ve still got 6 more house reveals and all of the scare zones to come, are you happy about this house and what do you think is going to be the next reveal?

Screams included!

Abby

 

 

Second HHN28 House Revealed!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

YES! The second HHN28 House has been revealed…

Dead Exposure: Patient Zero is coming to Halloween Horror Nights this year. Get ready to be infected with fear in a BRAND NEW house that ‘lives within a world of a fan-favourite from our past.’ This house is a prequel to Dead Exposure which was featured at HHN in 2008 and according to Universal was ‘easily one of the most terrifying houses we’ve ever had’ where guests entered complete and utter darkness with only flashing bright lights to guide them through the hoards of zombies that surrounded them.

This year Universal are bringing back all of the same scares and terror of 2008 but are instead dropping guests in the middle of Paris 1982. Chaos has spread throughout the city as flesh eating, vicious zombies make their way through the streets looking for prey. The only people on your side are the military who are giving vaccinations to anyone not already infected however this is at your own risk as there are BIG side effects…

Blindness.

Universal are really bringing a whole new meaning to the word darkness. While you will be trying to escape the zombies clutches you just need to remember one thing.. they will find you.

This house is the first original house that has been announced so far and only the 2nd of the 9 to be released this year.

Remember Halloween Horror Nights 2018 is taking place from 14th September – 3rd November and you can get 2 nights for the price of 1 here.

Stay tuned for more announcements to add to the already mazing line up:

  • Stranger Things
  • Dead Exposure: Patient Zero

Scares Included

Abby

NEW Justice League experience at Madame Tussauds Orlando Launches May 25th

Hey Thrill Seekers,

‘Justice will be served this summer’ as Madame Tussauds Orlando announced that Madame Tussauds Orlando’s Justice League: A Call for Heroes will be launched on May 25th 2018.

There are Madame Tussauds’ all over Europe, Asia and of course, North America but this week our very own Orlando got its own announcement as the world famous attraction revealed its plans to ‘unite an all-star cast of DC Super Heroes in a epic new experience’  This will be the first time EVER that fans of DC’s Justice League will get to come face to face with their fave heroes!

HEROES UNITE! The Justice League™ have swooped into Madame Tussauds Orlando and they need YOUR help to save the world (Yeah, YOU!). Bring your bravery and join the ultimate battle. Be transported to the streets of Metropolis and Gotham City for an experience that will BLOW. YOUR. MIND! Think you’ve got what it takes to wield the power of Wonder Woman’s wrist gauntlets? Can you muster the strength to help Superman™ lift a REAL helicopter? Will you act fast enough to summon Batman™ into battle? Reveal your inner Super Hero this summer! Justice League: A Call for Heroes – the battle begins May 25th, only at Madame Tussauds Orlando. Will you answer the call?

Guests will have the opportunity to ‘star alongside Justice League’s Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Henry Cavill as Superman and Ben Affleck as Batman’ (YES to a waxwork Ben Affleck) “Fans have never come this close to the action,” said James Paulding, General Manager.

Wonder Woman:

You have been recruited to help to destroy LexCorp’s dangerous technology that has disabled the city. By using your inner super powers, you will will be able to emit a powerful blast from Wonder Woman’s gauntlets which should weaken LexCorp’s control over the city.

Superman:

LexCorp’s experiment has also caused havoc in the sky, you will need to help Superman lift a real helicopter that is hurtling toward the ground to send it back in to the sky to save the passengers and onlookers.

Batman:

Guests will also need to call Batman using the Bat-Signal. Billowing smoke and wind reveal Batman as he’s called into battle on the rooftop, ready to save the world.

This looks awesome as it is but what’s better is that Madame Tussauds Orlando are also running a competition! They want the bravest of Justice League fans to step forward and bring Mother Boxes to Madame Tussauds Orlando which have surfaces in 5 cities across the globe. Those of you who find the Mother Boxes will be rewarded with;  a once-in-a-lifetime VIP experience including a five-day, four-night trip for the winner and one guest to Orlando, plus two tickets to be among the first to help save the planet in Justice League: A Call for Heroes. Winners will also receive two tickets to MegaCon Orlando® and SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium. 

 

Don’t forget, you can get your tickets to Madame Tussauds Orlando here!

Smiles Included

Abby

 

Halloween Horror Nights tickets now on sale!!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

YES! Its still March and we have Halloween Horror Nights tickets on sale can I get a WOOOHOOO!

This year there’s been a change to the ticket offered for HHN so drum-roll please…

NEW FOR 2018:  Halloween Horror Nights Flex Ticket

This ticket will allow you entry into 2 HHN28 dates that fall on and between 14th September 2018 – 2nd November 2018 (Saturdays are excluded).  This ticket will allow you into Universal Studios on select HHN event nights from 6.30pm until park close. If you’re a true thrill seeker and would prefer to make a day of it, to enter the park before 6.30pm you will still need your Universal 3 Park Explorer ticket  .

Having had the opportunity to visit Halloween Horror Nights for the first time last September I really cannot recommend it enough. I have never laughed so much whilst being terrified at the same time! Universal Studios will be transformed into a nightmarish labyrinth of haunted houses, outrageous live shows, and electrifying scare zones while an army of mutants, monsters and maniacs roam the darkened studio streets.

Things you should know…
  • Halloween Horror Nights™ are scary! We do not recommend this ticket for children under 13.
  • Please do not wear masks or costumes as you will not be refused entry.
  • The Halloween Horror Nights™ Event begins at 6:30 pm and closing times vary.

The Halloween Horror Nights Flex Ticket will be sold between March 29, 2018 and June 6, 2018. The Halloween Horror Nights event begins at 6:30 pm and closing times vary.

Screams Included,

Abby

* please note that this ticket is a special offer ticket and is not included in any other special offers or promotions.

Interview with Kevin from KEF & Shop and Dine 4Less card

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Guess what? It’s Tuesday which can only mean one thing… Tell me Tuesdays is back!! (let me hear you say woop woop)

We’ve saved the best until last, this week it is the turn of Kevin who is the managing director of  Kids Eat Free Card / VIP Shop & Dine 4Less Card… and now i’m craving crispy parsnips 🙁

Name:  Kevin Brett
Company: 
Kids Eat Free Card / VIP Shop & Dine 4Less Card
Position: 
Managing Director

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Doctor – until I discovered I was scared of the sight of blood whilst I was in sixth form!

If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life what would it be and why?

Sunday roast with Yorkshire Puds and crispy parsnips as a “must have”!

What movie title best describes your life?

The Bucket List – life is a wish list of things to do

If you were stranded on a Desert Island and could only take 3 items what would they be and why?

Hat for my bald head, my iPod (still have one!) and of course my VIP Shop & Dine 4Less Card.

Would you rather be able to time travel into the past or the future and why?

Future – so many things to look forward to, and I’m impatient to know their outcomes

How would you describe your theme park / attraction using only 3 words?

Best savings value

 

WORK

What was the highlight of 2017 for your company?

Record breaking sales for our savings cards – thank you UK market!

What are you most looking forward to in 2018?

Even more UK customers benefitting from the savings they can make on eating out, shopping and attractions in Orlando, New York and Las Vegas

Favourite Theme Park ride/attraction of 2017?

Too many to mention, but the “real Florida attractions” outside of the major theme parks really are a “must do for everyone” – Gatorland, Boggy Creek Airboat Rides, WonderWorks, Old Town, Mucky Ducks, Orlando Magic……..to name a few

What is going to be BIG for your company in 2018?

The addition of our newly launched SIM card to our Kids Eat Free Card and VIP Shop & Dine 4Less Card offering 5 days of FREE data, international texting and domestic US calls.

Best Theme Park/attraction tip?

Get to see the “real Florida attractions” beyond the major theme parks, and eat off site for best value.

Tell us something we don’t know about Florida…

Whilst Texas is usually recognised as the No.1 state for cowboys, cattle were first introduced to North America in Florida in 1521 by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon.

Don’t forget that when you spend over £500.00 you can select a Kids Eat Free or VIP Shop and Dine 4Less card to add on to your order for FREE!

PLUS new to Kids Eat Free and VIP Shop and Dine 4Less cards… you will receive a free Smart Sim USA when adding one of the above cards on to your order. 🙂

Smiles Included,

Abby

Interview With Teresa from Orlando Attraction Tickets

Hey Thrill Seekers,

This weeks ‘Tell Me Tuesday’ is all about our own Teresa who works (very hard) here at OAT towers. Now I must add a formal warning here… skip the second question if you want to avoid shouting EWWWW at your screen. 😉

Name: Teresa
Company:  Orlando Attraction Tickets
Position: Reservations Agent

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

What did you want to be when you grew up? A Secret Agent

If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life what would it be and why? Mash potato, tinned Macaroni cheese and egg all mixed together. The only reason I have as to why is that it is YUMMY and it contains all 3 of my favourite foods.

What movie title best describes your life? Super Mom

If you were stranded on a Desert Island and could only take 3 items what would they be and why? A Bikini (if I’m stranded I can at least get a tan), a pop up bed and a boat to get me off 😊

Would you rather be able to time travel into the past or future and why? I think I would like to travel back in time to the 60’s/70’s when big hair, flares and flower power was all the rave. I think I could rock the big hair 😉

How would you describe your theme park / attraction using only 3 words? Now this is a tough one I would have to say… Thrilling, Fun & Variety.

WORK

What was the highlight of 2017 for your company? Winning two awards. We have worked so hard as we do every year and things like this makes it all worth while.

What are you most looking forward to in 2018? Winning Gold at the British Travel Awards.

Favourite Theme Park ride/attraction of 2017? My favourite theme park ride would have to be Mako (I was lucky enough to ride up front on my very first go).

What is going to be BIG for your company in 2018? Everything we do here at Orlando Attraction Tickets is BIG, we are very passionate about everything we do – so I guess time will tell… 😉

Best Theme Park/attraction tip? Top up your sun lotion before waiting in line for rides, even when it doesn’t feel that warm as it is very deceiving.

Tell us something we don’t know about Florida… The Florida Everglades are the only place on the planet where crocodiles and alligators live together.

I’d love to see Teresa rocking the 60’s / 70’s look 😉

Smiles Included…

Abby

Interview with Nohemi from WonderWorks

Hey Thrill Seekers,

It’s Tell Me Tuesdays Time! ‘YAY’ I hear you shout. 😉 (still aware that this isn’t catching on but i’m gunna continue to roll with it anyway) This week it’s the turn of WonderWorks very own Nohemi Romero who is an absolute blast and extremely fun to be around. 🙂 Lets get to know her better..

Name:  Nohemi Romero
Company:  WonderWorks Orlando
Position: Sales Manager

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

What did you want to be when you grew up? A corner store owner, so I could eat all the candy and junk food I wanted. 😊

If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life what would it be and why? White rice, beans, and chicken; It’s what I ate almost every day growing up.

What movie title best describes your life? Madea Family Reunion; My family is always together, crazy, but in the end we all love each other.

If you were stranded on a Desert Island and could only take 3 items what would they be and why? Soap, I like to smell good. Blanket, for comfort. Rubbing Alcohol; for wounds, which I am pretty sure I will have tons of.

Would you rather be able to time travel into the past or the future and why? I would rather time travel to the past. I would like to go back to a time where there were no phones or Facebook.

How would you describe your theme park / attraction using only 3 words? Interactive, Educational, & Fun

 

WORK

What was the highlight of 2017 for your company? 2017 was the year of WonderWorks getting revamped. We changed all of our trivia stations, added three elements to the ropes course, added multiple movies to the 4D theatre, and added awesome arcade games.

What are you most looking forward to in 2018? A lot of new exhibits are coming; including Google Mars & Google Moon.

Favourite Theme Park ride/attraction of 2017? The 4D Motion Ride- The Great Wall of China Movie; This 4D experience takes you through the great wall on a pedi-cab where you will see cherry blossoms, a dragon, and fireworks all while having a bumpy ride.

What is going to be BIG for your company in 2018? WonderWorks is having its 20th year anniversary. Lots of new things are in the works.

Best Theme Park/attraction tip? Bring a jacket; the air con is really cold.

Tell us something we don’t know about Florida… Florida has some great springs that you can tube, kayak, and swim in.

I would like to thank Nohemi for taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer our questions and I cannot wait to see what’s in store for WonderWorks 20th Anniversary! Don’t forget you can purchase your WonderWorks admission and Comedy Dinner Show  tickets or both from Orlando Attraction Tickets.

Smiles included,

Abby