OAT Live Episode 23

Hey Thrill Seekers,

In case you missed the live show last week here’s your chance to catch up with Abby and Gavin as they chat about all things Disney, Universal and SeaWorld.

There’s still time to enter the #GavsYellowJumper competition just head over to our Instagram page, find the SeaWorld pic and comment with the hashtag above.

Abby and Gavin are back on the 1st March for episode 24.

Smiles included…

Jamie

More Information on the Sesame Street land coming to SeaWorld Orlando

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Back in May we found out that in a few years we could be seeing a realistic version of Sesame Street. The new Sesame Street Land is set to replace Shamu’s Happy Harbour at SeaWorld.

In May SeaWorld said that the new land would be open by 2022 but that was about all we got specifics wise and now it seems as though work could start as early as this year. You will find Sesame Street lands at SeaWorld San Diego, San Antonio and at Busch Gardens but these mainly feature just the characters – the areas aren’t generally themed.

The Sesame Street land looks as though it is going to be a mix of new and existing attractions and structures. Most of the attractions along the outside of the area will remain and the interior of Shamu’s Happy Harbor will be almost completely renewed.

When announcing the new project it was stated that:

“We’d like to build the actual Sesame Street that kids can be on and walk down. We will have hopefully a Sesame parade, rides, show where they can see and meet the Sesame characters.”

It is bellieved that the new land will open in late 2020, with the full area opening roughly two years after that (2022). According to the documents uncovered by Touring Central Florida the majority of the current Shamu’s Happy Harbor flat rides will remain such as the Shamu Express, Flying Fiddler, Jazzy Jellies, Ocean Commotion, Sea Carousel, and the Swishie Fishies. It is highly likely that the rides will get  updated to be more Sesame Street themed.

It has been speculated that there is going to be a dark ride added to this section of the park, as a few large building have been noticed on some building plans. There has been rumours that SeaWorld have been in talks with The Goddard Group who have worked on projects like Spider-Man and T2 so maybe this could be a hint toward a dark, Sesame Street ride which will be unique for SeaWorld Orlando as there is certainly not a lot of indoor ‘show scene’ rides since the animatronics on Journey to Atlantis stopped.

The Sesame Street land will be one of the largest investments in the parks history and continues to move away from live animals, infact, from the plans it doesn’t look as though there is going to be any live animal habitats in the land.

Who’s excited for this?

Smiles Included

Abby (not Abby Cadabby 😉 )

Abby’s Annual Halloween Horror Night Predictions

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Yep its that time again where I try to guess what this years Halloween Horror Nights houses will have in store for us. Last year I got 3/6 correct which I was pretty happy about to be honest.

Last year I had the privilege of attending HHN for the first time and it was INCREDIBLE. I feel as though it has also given me an advantage for this blog.  This year I’m confident of beating my previous score and if I’m correct HHN28 is going to be awesome.

Stranger Things

We thought this might make an appearance at HHN27 after Universal big cheese, Mike Aiello, expressed his love for the show on twitter, however due to time constraints (they start working on the following years Halloween horror nights as soon the latest one starts) we feel this might make an appearance this year.

With 2 seasons under its belt and no sign of viewer fatigue we’re guessing that a Stranger Things house will cover the events on season 1 & 2, so expect Demogorgans and a girl with a nosebleed. 

Likelihood: 8/10

IT

One of 2017 most anticipated remakes and although it split audiences it still raked in $700 Million  on a budget of just $35 Million proving that there is definitely a strong fan base there.

IT feels like a very obvious choice for me, the theming is right up Universal’s alley and I can see the house moving from scene to scene easily. Also last year we didn’t see a house with a resident clown so maybe it’s time to step up the clown antics at HHN or could the recent uproar of working clowns vs scary clowns affect this?

Likelihood: 9/10

American Horror Story 

One of the highest rated houses from HHN27 and HHN26 (and my personal favourite) could well return, American Horror Story season 8 is rumoured to be hitting TV’s in the Autumn and will centred around either lust or violence (following the 9 circles of hell.) In 2016 the house featured Murder House, Freak Show and Hotel. Last year it featured Asylum, Coven and Roanoke with their biggest floor plan of the year (you can hear me screaming my way through the 4+ minute house here. ) I think it’s obvious that we would see Cult featured this year!

Universal obviously have a working relationship with FX and the creators of AMS and as Walking Dead’s popularity falls I think American Horror Story is in a good position to become a HHN regular.

Likelihood: 8/10

Five Nights at Freddy’s 

Now this one’s a bit of a hail Mary but bear (excuse the pun) with me. For those who don’t know Five Nights at Freddy’s is a computer game about a security guard looking after a Pizzeria at night, during the night the animatronics come to life and are hell bent on killing stuff.

Here’s the reason we think this could have a chance. Chris Columbus of Harry Potter, Home Alone  and The Goonies fame has signed on to direct a film based on the computer game. The Studio making the film? Friends of Universal, Blumhouse. Who you might remember had a house last year based solely on their horror franchise.

The only thing that makes us doubt ourselves is the timing, the announcement that a film was in the pipeline only happened a few days ago. So perhaps we’re looking at HHN29?

Likelihood: 3/10

Titans of Terror

In Hollywood last year they were blessed with the Titans of Terror, yep Jason, Freddy and Leatherface. We’re thinking that perhaps these classic horror icons might make the trip east to appear at HHN28.

Here’s what Hollywood said about the house;

Fall victim to the silver screen’s most deplorable killers, whose affinity for bladed weapons, redefined the horror movie genre as slasher films: Leatherface (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) wielding his iconic chainsaw, Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th) brandishing his relentless machete, and Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street) swiping his trademark glove armed with razor blades.
The new maze will be an assault on your sensibilities as you descend into the forbidden realms of these iconic horror monsters and discover the place where these depraved legacies were born.

Likelihood: 6/10

The Purge

Okay, bear with me on this one. I know that the Purge franchise is very popular and featured as a scare zone in 2014, a house in 2015, didn’t feature in 2016 and was back as a scare zone in 2017. It works extremely well in a scare zone  BUT there’s a new Purge film set to be released this year called ‘The First Purge’ (also known as Purge: The Island) which will be a prequel that will focus on the events that lead up to the very first Purge event. So with all loose ends tied up, a beginning, middle and end it could be upgraded to its own house again.. I hope so anyway!

The Purge was by far my favourite Scare Zone of HHN27 and I could imagine it to be a very adrenaline pumping, high energy house that can now also tell a story.

Likelihood: 6/10

Now this one is not included in my predictions as such, it’s more of a wish.. and that is the idea that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter could be incorporated in HHN. How? I hear you ask… Let me explain..

Death Eaters Attack Diagon Alley.

This has already happened at the Japan park, what’s to stop it coming to Orlando?! In Japan guests saw Death Eaters attack Hogsmeade so for Studios if this were to ever happen it would have to take place in Diagon Alley as HHN only features in Universal Studios.

In Japan, as night fell the cheerful world of magic transformed into a world of darkness as the Death Eaters appeared wearing black hoods and masks enabling guests to come fact to face with the followers of Lord Voldermort

This is a very far-fetched idea and I’m pretty sure JK Rowling wouldn’t allow for the Wizarding World to be part of HHN but I think it would be amazing!

Likelihood: 0/10

So there you go, my predictions for Halloween Horror Nights 2018 are out there.. none of these have been confirmed by Universal.

What would you like to see come to HHN this year?

Screams included…

Abby

Interview with Renee from Fun Spot

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Tell Me Tuesdays is BACK!! … Well it is Tuesday after all. 😉 This time we welcome back Renee from Fun Spot. Renee is A great lady and one of our faves here at OAT.

Lets get to know her even better! 😀

Name:   Renee Ambos
Company:  Fun Spot America Theme Parks
Position:  Director of Sales

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

What did you want to be when you grew up? Dr. Dolittle – who doesn’t wish they could talk to animals.  Plus I grew up on the farm, so that skill set really would have helped!

If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life what would it be and why? I would say stuffed cabbage, because I’d never have to cook a meal again!  Thanks to my partner!

What movie title best describes your life? Tarzan – I love the outdoors and getting away from the concrete jungle, but I clean up ok too!

If you were stranded on a Desert Island and could only take 3 items what would they be and why? String, Cup  with a lid and a Hatchet. I think the hatchet itself makes loads of sense.  The string would be to tie up any loose ends around the place.  The cup would ideal hold the rain water for me to drink.  With that said, hopefully I’d make it out alive!

Would you rather be able to time travel into the past or the future and why? Future,  Keep moving forward!!!!

How would you describe your theme park / attraction using only 3 words? Four story go-karts!

 

WORK

What was the highlight of 2017 for your company? In 2017 our Fun Spot Kissimmee location, next door to Old Town opened up Mine Blower!  It’s our newest Wooden hybrid Roller Coaster that drops you 80 ft and takes you straight into a barrel roll!  In case you missed that, YES this wooden roller coaster goes upside down!

What are you most looking forward to in 2018? 2018 is going to be an interesting year.  We are going to be focusing on our in park guest experiences.  We know that “you” have a choice when you are booking your Orlando Vacation.  What sets Fun Spot apart is our guest experience once you are in the park.  We treat you like family, not a customer.   Fun Spot may not have any characters or castles, but we do offer that perfect half day experience at a price that doesn’t break the bank.  If  you have not been to the park yet. I’m telling you, you won’t make that same mistake after the first time you’ve been.  I  promise you.

PLUS we just purchased our 3rd park location in Fayetteville, Georgia just 20 miles south of the Atlanta airport.  The park is currently under renovations, and is looking to open Spring 2018.

Favourite Theme Park ride/attraction of 2017? Mine Blower will knock your socks off. It’s high intensity, with a smooth ride. There is nothing better than dropping 80ft and going straight into a barrel roll. It really is a Roller Coaster for the adrenaline seeker.  With the dips and turns the ride is unexpectedly amazing.  This ride is a beauty that packs a punch.

Best Theme Park/attraction tip? I highly recommend visiting Fun Spot on your arrival or departure days.  The key here is you want to have fun, but still take it easy.  With virtually no queue and free admission for none riders.  Stay for as little or as long as you like. Did I mention that we are open until midnight 365 days a year.  If you are lucky enough to visit during non-peak season.  The major Theme Parks close earlier in the off season.  You can just pay for the children to go on the rides, and the adults can enter the park for free and enjoy themselves a pint.

Tell us something we don’t know about Florida… Over in the Cocoa Beach area, during the summer time. It is bioluminescence season.   If you don’t know what I’m talking about, think of putting your hand in water at night, and the water glows everywhere you move!  I have a stand up paddle board, and you can watch all the little and BIG fish swim under your boards and around you. Remember the water glows, so you can get an idea of how amazing mother nature really is. It’s spectacular to see, and remember no flash with your cameras!

A cracking interview from Renee and I’d like to take the opportunity to thank her for getting involved. Our own Teresa has visited Fun Spot this year and absolutely loved Mine Blower! You can purchase Fun Spot tickets directly from Orlando Attraction Tickets.

Smiles Included,

Abby

REAL Lightsabers at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge?!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

This is the first time we’re talking about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in 2018 and this is definitely an exciting one…

We pretty much know for sure that Galaxy’s Edge is going to be super immersive and interactive. For example, how you fly the Millennium Falcon can affect how you are treated within the land. Disney haven’t really confirmed any other ways that the land will make guests feel as though they are really in another Galaxy however, a new patent called ‘Audience Interaction Projection System’ may have just given us a pretty concrete idea of another way Disney are going to have guests ‘fully immersed’ in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

It looks as though Blooloop have discovered some patents that lead us to believe that Disney may be developing a system that will ‘allow guests to carry a physical hilt that can interact with an augmented reality apparatus of some type’ according to the patent the physical hilt will contain positioning and motion sensors – sort of like a Wii controller. The patent doesn’t specifically mention Star Wars however they do point to weapons that look like lightsabers and mentions ways in which users can use the technology to interact with the environment and fight enemies. It looks as though it will also include a speaker for audio feedback and the ‘lightsaber’ will vibrate when the blade is engaged and make noise when it’s waved. Maybe there will be a part of the Disney App or a new App altogether where guests will be able to see how well they are doing? Who knows!

The patent states the following:

 “An audience interaction projection system provides a lighting feature that provides a new way for an audience member to participate in an entertainment experience; e.g., theatrical performance, theme park feature, concert, sporting event, movie, etc. The audience member may actually feel as if they are launching powerful beams of laser-like light toward objects on the stage.”

The patent also appears to discuss Drones and how the lightsabers could be able to communicate with drones . The patent states “Multiple LEDs can be activated in sequence at various times to give the user the impression that the movement by the user of the faux lightsaber is deflecting multiple laser beams,”

Now the ‘blades’ of the lightsabers wouldn’t be physical and i’m not a very ‘techy’ girl so from what I understand and from an image provided with the patent which shows a person holding a lightsaber. There is a projector beaming light toward it. The projector technology would then be able to project visible light that is invisible until it hits the intended device — again, a lightsaber — and “rendering the visible light as a beam that appears to emanate from the object rather than from the light source.”

Obviously the interactive wands at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter were, and still are a huge hit with guests as you can use the wands to interact with various different types of physical props around. Surely it would be obvious that Disney would introduce lightsabers although there is always the costs, logistics, safety and time to take in to consideration. Oh and also the fact that Disney file patents all the time with some never seeing the light of day again but it would a very smart move in my opinion.

We still have no confirmation or way of knowing if this is really going to happen but as Walt Disney himself has said, if you can dream it, you can do it and Disney have clearly had some dreams about this… 😉

Smiles Included,

Abby

 

Interview with Tori from Grayline

Hey Thrill Seekers,

It’s that time of the week again.. it’s Tell Me Tuesday ;). I’m aware that it is just as bad, if not worse than Jamie’s ‘Interview Tuesdays’ but i’ve put it out there now so I have to roll with it.

This week it is the turn of Tori from Gray Line who are a trusted provider of traveller experiences and sightseeing tours. We haven’t worked with Gray Line for very long but we are really excited for the future and being able to offer lots of different tours and Tori’s responses to some of our more random questions are just lovely. 🙂

Name:  Tori Sullivan-Eaton
Company:  EVP
Position: Gray Line Orlando

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

What did you want to be when you grew up?  I always wanted to work overseas in travel!  I’m from South Wales so I guess that worked out 🙂

If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life what would it be and why? A Lamb Sunday Roast – reminds me of home

What movie title best describes your life? Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants

If you were stranded on a Desert Island and could only take 3 items what would they be and why? Family, iPod & Kindle (in my imaginary island they can be solar powered devices) :). With music and stories in my life, and my family close by I can be happy.

Would you rather be able to time travel into the past or the future and why?  Future to get a cure for Type 1 Diabetes and bring it back for my daughter 😉

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

 

WORK

What was the highlight of 2017 for your company? We became # 1 on TripAdvisor for Tours in Orlando from over 90 companies – this was a pretty sweet achievement!  Upgraded vehicles and knowledge fun tour guides helped us reach this goal. It was a whole team effort.  Whilst its a constant battle to hold our spot, staying consistently in the top spots of the charts is an awesome achievement.

What are you most looking forward to in 2018?  We can’t wait for Kennedy Space Center to open the new Astronaut Training Experience.  We have been lucky enough to have a hard hat tour of the facility and we know our guests are going to super enjoy training to be Astronauts – its a major upgrade on the old facility, simply out of this world!  We will for sure have some packages featuring this facility.

Favourite Theme Park ride/attraction of 2017? Whilst of course Pandora in Disney Animal Kingdom is awesome, and cannot be beat for special affects – personally my favorite attraction this year I experienced just last week, ICE at the Gaylord Palms.  This year the theme is ‘Holidays Around the World’ – I loved walking around in the freezing air looking at all the displays showing holidays traditions made out of ice carvings, and the huge ice flag baubles were really cool!  This is included on our Snow, Ice and Gingerbread Holiday tour and is something different to see here in Orlando.

What is going to be BIG for your company in 2018?  Rocket Launches!!  Whilst NASA are preparing for the return of launching humans to space 2018 is going to bring a lot of test flights of the Orion Rocket, and we are excited to help guests view them unclose in 2018.

Best Theme Park/attraction tip?  Whilst I LOVE the big theme parks, be sure to take some time away from them, otherwise you will need a holiday to recover from your holiday.  Join Gray Line on a day to Clearwater Beach to relax on the white sands, or on a trip up to historic St. Augustines where you can meander the day away in the cobblestone streets and sidewalk cafes.  Be sure to spend some days away from the lines and the rides, you will be thankful that you did- it will recharge your batteries during your holiday in Orlando.

Tell us something we don’t know about Florida….  Outside from the Orlando area, Florida is a small town laid back State just aching to explored.  We have the oldest permanent settlement in the USA (St. Augustines), world renowned blue flag beaches (don’t miss a trip to Clearwater Beach) and we have many underground rivers that bubble up to make some of the cleanest spring water in the world!!  Come and snorkel on the Crystal River with us that flows from the Three Sisters Springs.  There is so many things to do away from the Orlando region – be to leave town and visit some of the other wonders of our State.

Thank you Tori for taking the time to answer our questions!

Smiles Included,

Abby

NEW Nighttime Light Show at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

I’m sure Gavin and I jinxed this. 🙁 The minute we finished OAT Live Universal announced a new nighttime Light show at Hogwarts Castle!

Grab your wands and robes because an all new projection mapping experience called The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle is coming to Universal and will have guests celebrate all four houses in all their glory by transforming Hogwarts Castle with special effects, music, lights and much more.

Each of the four houses – Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and HufflePuff will ‘wrap itself around the castle’ as they showcase their pride in their own unique ways in time with the moving music from the films. This will definitely give me goosebumps (maybe even a tear 😉 )

The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle is set to debut on Wednesday 31st January through to Monday the 5th February as well as from Wednesday the 7th February through to Monday 12th February. Universal have said that additional dates will be announced later so don’t fear if your holiday date isn’t above. Guests to A Celebration of Harry Potter (27th and 28th Jan) will get to see a preview too! (lucky Gavin!)

The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Caste looked absolutely A-MA-ZING so if it is (and it will be) as fabulous as this then guests are in for a right treat! Just picture it now.. Hogwarts lit up in your house colour, wand in hand, soundtrack blaring, tear in your eye… Ahhh! 😀

Who’s going to Universal in Feb and will get to see this?!

Smiles Included

Abby

Interview with Larry from Eat & Play Card

Hey Thrill Seekers,

It’s that time of the year, where we get to know our suppliers a little better and ask all the important questions that everyone else is too afraid to ask.. 😉

Last year Jamie tried to make ‘Interview Tuesdays’ a thing, it’s not a thing and will never be a thing so here goes the launch of… Tell Me Tuesdays – creative huh?

First up is Larry Raubach from Eat & Play Card.. (this obviously isn’t Larry below but you’ll see why i’ve put this photo later 😉 )

Name:  Larry Raubach
Company:  Eat and Play Card (Orlando/NYC)
Position: Director

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

What did you want to be when you grew up? The co-founder of a destination pass.

If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life what would it be and why? Tacos. C’mon need I say more?

What movie title best describes your life? It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

If you were stranded on a Desert Island and could only take 3 items what would they be and why? Sunscreen, sunglasses and an “Eat and Play Card Desert Island.” My mom always says, “protect yourself from too much sun and paying more than you have to.”

Would you rather be able to time travel into the past or the future and why? The past most definitely. I’d like to spend more  time with the people who really matter.

How would you describe your theme park / attraction using only 3 words? Saves People Money!

WORK

What was the highlight of 2017 for your company? Welcoming some awesome power brands like Chili’s, Earls and Carrabba’s into the Orlando program.

What are you most looking forward to in 2018? That’s top secret.

Favourite Theme Park ride/attraction of 2017? Pandora! I’m a huge Avatar fan.

What is going to be BIG for your company in 2018? That’s top secret.

Best Theme Park/attraction tip? Eat offsite. The food’s better and so are the prices.

Tell us something we don’t know about Florida… His breakout single “Low” was #1 in the US for 10 weeks back in 2008. 😉

The last answer genuinely made me belly laugh, thanks Larry – some top answers there! Stay tuned for more Tell Me Tuesdays (bigger and better than Interview Tuesdays, I promise)…

Smiles included…

Abby

Orlando Attraction Tickets Christmas Opening Hours

Ho ho ho Thrill Seekers,

Its that time of year again when we welcome a man with a beard into our houses… nope not Gavin, NEVER LET HIM IN!!!… We obviously mean Santa!

So with that in mind our own little ticket elves need a bit of time off too so for confirmation our xmas opening hours are;

Saturday 23rd December – Closed (will have Facebook support though)

Sunday 24th December  – Closed (will have Facebook support though)

Monday 25th December – Closed

Tuesday 26th December – Closed (we will have Facebook support though)

Wednesday 27th December – We’re baaaacccckkkkk

Facebook support – If you need to contact us please feel free to message Jamie using FB messenger via our Facebook page

Have a Merry Christmas from every one here at Orlando Attraction Tickets.

Smiles included…

Jamie

What can we expect from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Star Wars – Galaxy’s Edge is one of the most anticipated new lands for a long time. Last Saturday fans attended Hollywood Studios to see some new images of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge which is coming in 2019.

Disney want Star Wars – Galaxy’s Edge to feel like a ‘real place’ in the Star Wars universe and they have also spoken about how they want to get the details ‘right’. Loads of details have been released already so we’re hoping that the stream of information will continue all the way up until it opens in 2019. We now also know that the planet is called Batuu.

The details include an image of the inside of the Millennium Falcon which is one of of the two rides coming to the MAHOOSIVE 14 acre expansion. You’ll be able to get behind the controls of the Millennium Falcon and fly it, the choices you make will have an impact on your Star Wars journey. Disney have released a image of what the inside of the Millennium Falcon will look like, you can see that they have recreated the hallway and the cockpit in which guests will be able to enter. It is said that this attraction is going to be built on multiple turntable rooms which may be a bit like Mission: Space at EPCOT. Each of the rooms is said to have Falcon interior and will increase the capacity of the ride.

Disney’s team have stated that the Millennium Falcon ride will have multiple missions for guests to complete meaning each ride will be different. Going back to what I said about how the choices you make will impact your journey, Scott Trowbridge has advised that visitors performances on the tasks will be tracked and may influence how characters throughout the land react to you. If you bring the ship back wrecked you may be on the list of a bounty hunter or even worse.. if you find yourself on Harkos’s list you may face some problems if you show up to the local Cantina. I’m guessing that this will be done through Magic Bands.

The other ride will see visitors in an attraction on a scale that has never been done before and they will feel as though they are on a Star Destroyer inside a Hangar Bay.

There is going to be more iconic spaceships in Galaxy’s Edge such as a fleet of full size X-wing fighters, see below.

Disney have also tested blue and green milk beverages which will be found in the Cantina with Rex as the DJ (you can see me attempt to make blue milk with Gavin here) and you will also be able to explore the exotic market places of Batuu to find in-universe toys and souvenirs which are said to be exclusive. Imagineers want this part to be ‘romantic and ancient’ and have visited various marketplaces in Instanbul and Morocco for inspiration! The stall in the image below is run by a “Toydarian”(who sells toys) which Trowbridge has said was introduces in Episode I: The Pantom Menace” on Tatooine.

The new land will see guests visit a remote trading port on the edge of space where characters such as BB-8, Chewbacca and members of the First Order come to life. Guests will find themselves in the middle of the action in a land so immersive you may just forget you’re in a theme park.

Who’s as excited as we are?

Smiles Included,

Abby