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

 

SeaWorld Orlando Confirm Sesame Street Land Coming In 2022

Hey Thrill Seeker,

Today SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, announced the extension of their 37-year partnership with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street®.

SeaWorld we’re excited to announce that with the new deal they have agreed to open a second Sesame Place®!The nation’s second Sesame Place® is scheduled to open no later than 2021 in a location yet to be determined.

Jeffrey D. Dunn, Chief Executive Officer of Sesame Workshop said;

We know that the magic of theme parks gives families a unique and powerful way to experience and delight in the Sesame Street characters, building more Sesame Place theme parks will enable us to connect with even more families and provide funding that supports our nonprofit mission.

However for Orlando fans the next piece of news was far more interesting.  In addition to a new Sesame Place theme park location, a brand new Sesame Street land will be built in SeaWorld Orlando by fall 2022. The agreement also extends SeaWorld’s status as the exclusive theme park partner of Sesame Street in the United States.

Joel Manby, President and Chief Executive Officer of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc stated;

We share Sesame’s goal of educating and entertaining generations of children, and the extension of our partnership furthers SeaWorld’s mission to provide guests with experiences that matter, we are thrilled to be able to grow the presence of Sesame Place theme parks in the U.S. and help our company diversify its brand portfolio and expand into new areas.

Sesame Place® features a variety of exciting family rides, water slides, live character shows, a daily parade, and seasonal events that help bring the educational world of Sesame Street to life beyond the show.

Smiles included…

Jamie

SeaWorld Confirm Kraken Unleashed VR Opening Date

Hey Thrill Seekers,

SeaWorld are really spoiling us today!

Another big thing for SeaWorld is the re-naming of their roller coaster ‘Kraken‘ to ‘Kraken Unleashed‘ which will debut on June 16th 2017 we already know that the new addition to the ride will include virtual reality headseats or in this case helmets. For those of you who don’t know much about virtual reality on coasters (really, where have you been?!) then here’s a fun fact for ya! The VR helmets will synchronize a video with the twists, turns and loops of the ride to enhance the experience.

Kraken originally opened on June 1st 2000 and whopping 17 years later (thank you, thank you I know my maths is great) guests will finally get to see the mighty Kraken.

These images show what kind of sea creatures and surroundings riders will find when they are immersed in the lost City of Atlantis during the ride. One of the creatures is called a Liopluredon. SeaWorld say that the unique creature was “an apex predator of the Middle to Late Jurassic seas.”

Born from tales that struck terror in sailors for centuries, SeaWorld Orlando’s mighty Kraken is a monster coaster like no other.

With the element of virtual reality, creatures such as the 21-foot Liopluredon will come to life. The already brilliant Kraken roller coaster includes a 149 foot dive, top speeds of 65 mph and 7 different times that see riders upside down. I think that the use of VR will completely change the whole experience of Kraken for the better and guests will really feel as though they are in the moment.

Kraken is a floorless coaster that see’s riders feet dangle as they are seated in open sided seats on a pedestal above the track. I think a spray of water during the ride would enhance the experience of being underwater even more. 😉

Kraken will feature custom digital overlay with uniquely designed virtual reality headsets, fully integrated both mechanically and electronically into the coaster train delivers a new one-of-a-kind adventure.’

I cannot wait for this to debut on the 16th June!

Smiles Included,

Abby

SeaWorld’s Dolphin Days To Open This Spring

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Today SeaWorld Orlando announced they will launching a new show called Dolphin Days. The new show will replace the popular Blue Horizons show after an impressive 11 year run. Dolphin Days will immerse guests into the world of the ocean’s most playful ambassadors. Dolphin Days, will debut on Saturday 1 April, at the aptly named Dolphin Theatre and we can’t wait to see what they have in store.

In the new presentation, the audience will learn more about the individual personalities of each Atlantic bottlenose dolphin while witnessing the special bond they share with their trainers. A soaring rainbow of macaws and other tropical birds will also delight guests, uniting the mysteries of the deep oceans with the wonder and beauty of the skies above.

The new Dolphin Days will also present an interactive opportunity for young guests. During each show, one lucky young volunteer will be selected from the audience to learn first-hand from the training team in an up-close encounter with one of the dolphins and a green-winged macaw.

As guests are wowed by the agility, grace and aerial bows of the dolphins, they will learn how they can help protect dolphins in the wild. The addition of Dolphin Days is the latest example of how SeaWorld continues to provide families with experiences that matter. Through up-close encounters and unique shows like Dolphin Days, guests will leave the park inspired to care about this amazing species, and take action to help wild animals and the places they live.

Dolphin Days won’t be the only place to learn more about dolphins. The park’s new Dolphin Nursery will open in time for summer, offering an interactive educational experience for guests to see dolphins up close. The addition of virtual reality to Kraken and the new night-time spectacular Electric Ocean round out an exciting line-up of new attractions and shows opening this year.

Smiles included…

Jamie

Top Secrets at SeaWorld Orlando

Hey Thrill Seekers,

We’ve looked at Universal, we’ve looked at Disney and now we’re gonna have a look at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. I’m looking forward to this one because so many people don’t know about all the great things that SeaWorld get up to and how good they really are!

What you may not know, is SeaWorld actually rescue hundreds of animals, treat them and then release them back into the sea when they are ready!

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SeaWorld have a talent for providing attractions for everyone and by that I mean if you’re a thrill seeker you’ve got Kraken, Manta and Mako. If you’re not so much of a thrill seeker you have Journey to Atlantis and Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin which are smaller, fun rides. If you don’t like rides at all, SeaWorld cater for you too with all of the animal exhibits! There really is something for everyone at the SeaWorld parks.

For those of you that aren’t thrill seekers at all and prefer to visit the animal habitats, while your party are on their way to Manta, you can pop into the Manta Aquarium just opposite. Holding more than 3000 marine animals, including a Pacific octopus, you will be amazed by the 360-degree aquarium.

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Similarly, Journey to Atlantis has the Jewel of the Sea Aquarium inside the rides gift shop. The colour and luminescence is waiting to be explored. This aquarium also has an interactive back-light to keep the kids entertained for ages!

If you haven’t had enough of aquariums yet, there is another one. My favourite one. The Shark Encounter is alongside the Sharks Underwater Grill. You don’t have to be eating in here to visit but it is one of the worlds largest underwater viewing tunnels filled with sharks!

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Most people that visit SeaWorld will walk straight past Sea Garden not realising what it actually is. Here you can experience close-up encounters with some beautiful animals and learn about how SeaWorld care for the natural world. Here is where you can learn more about the rescuing of animals that SeaWorld takes part in too.

When the park opens, SeaWorld employees get the pleasure of walking the flamingos through the park from their home behind the scenes to their in-park exhibit. If you’re there early enough you might get to see them on their walkies!

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When someone says there’s a show on at SeaWorld, most people think about One Ocean or Blue Horizons etc but I bet you didn’t know that they also have street shows on throughout the day?! You can catch these around the waterfront area near the gift shops!

What else do you know about SeaWorld?

Smiles Included…

Louise

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SeaWorld announce line up for Seven Seas Food Festival

Hey Thrill Seekers,

SeaWorld have just announced their brand new food festival with over 60 unique dishes and more than 55 local and international craft brews!

seven seas

The festival will take place on 14 consecutive Saturdays from February 11th through to May 13th 2017. Not only is this is a food festival but you will be joined by country, rock and Latin artists.

The live acts will perform on SeaWorld Orlando’s Bayside Stadium as follows:

  • Lynyrd Skynyrd (February 11)            
  • Lee Brice (February 18) 
  • Bill Engvall (Feb 25)       
  • Styx (March 4)     
  • Justin Moore (March 11)
  • ZZ Top (March 18)         
  • Phillip Phillips (March 25)     
  • Coming Soon (April 1)   
  • Village People (April 8)      
  • Commodores (April 15)      
  • Oscar D’León (April 22)    
  • Olga Tanon (April 29)        
  • Grupo Mania (May 6)
  • Coming Soon (May 13)     

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With the cuisines available at Seven Seas, you’ll be spoilt for choice with Asian, Latin, European, Polynesian and North Atlantic dishes! A selection of the menu is as follows:

  • Asian Market- Peking Duck Lo Mein with Fresh Oriental Vegetables
  • Korean Market- Bingsu Salted Vanilla Ice Cream topped with Caramel Popcorn
  • Mexican Market- Braised Chicken Adobo with Mole Sauce
  • Caribbean Market- Cinnamon Slow Roasted Pork Belly with Sweet Plantain Mash
  • Florida Market- Fried Kataifi Orange drizzled with Local Honey
  • Mediterranean Market- Smoked Cured Salmon topped with Sweet Dill Mustard
  • North Atlantic Market- Banana & Caramel Cheesecake topped with Whipped Cream & Caramelized Bananas
  • Brazilian Market- Brazilian Churrasco with Chimichurri & Garbanzo Frito
  • Pacific Coast Market- Braised Pork Cheeks with Savory Apple Polenta
  • Polynesian Island Market- “Loco Moco” Grilled Spam, White Rice, Scrambled Egg & Brown Gravy
  • Gulf Coast Market- Southern Creamy Cheese Grits with a Blackened Shrimp

Just like all the special events that SeaWorld host, it will be included within your park admission ticket which you can purchase from our website!

Smiles Included…

Louise

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Do You Really Mean All The Parks?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

A lot of our customers ask for a ticket that includes ‘all of the parks’ without realising how many parks there actually are. Ticket purchasing can become quite complicated when you aren’t aware of all the parks and attractions, especially if you’re a first timer. We have ‘The Big Three’, Disney, Universal and SeaWorld but there is so much more!

Let’s take a look at the big three first.

Walt Disney World actually consists of 6 parks in total, 4 theme parks, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and 2 water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. All of our Disney tickets include all 6 of these parks, we do not offer single day or single park tickets.

Disney’s Magic Kingdom is the park to explore lands of endless enchantment, where your fantasy becomes a reality. 

Disney’s Epcot allows you to travel around the globe, under the sea, into outer space…and beyond!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom will amaze you, behold the magic of nature with rare animals and world-class entertainment.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios puts you smack bang in the middle of the action, take center stage in the world of movies, television, music and theater.

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon is a storm ravaged tropical bay while Disney’s Blizzard Beach is a melting ski resort.

Disney

Moving onto Universal now with their 2 theme parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. These 2 parks are joint together using The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the Hogwarts Express. You must have a hopper ticket to ride the Hogwarts Express, which is of course, what we offer! 🙂

Tip: Ride the Hogwarts Express both ways to encounter two completely different experiences. 😉

Universal Studios is where you can jump into the action of your favourite movies and TV shows’. At the back of the park you will find yourself in Diagon Alley.

Universal’s Islands of Adventure is where you can live the adventure. Towards the back of this park you will be in Hogsmeade.

Universal’s Volcano Bay is the newest park which is due to open on the 1st June 2017. Water is life. Life is joy. 

universal

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment have a total of 4 parks including SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Discovery Cove.

SeaWorld Orlando has a mixture of thrill rides, family rides and animal interactions. SeaWorld rescue a lot of animals from the wild to treat them and then release them back into the wild.

Aquatica is SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment’s water park which is themed to the Southern Pacific and features Australian and New Zealand mascots that you can spot relating to each attraction.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is about an hour out of Orlando but so worth the journey! The 19th century African themed park is also, like SeaWorld, a mixture of the thrill and family rides as well as the animal encounters. All of the SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is suitable for all the family.

Tip: We offer these parks at an amazing 3 parks for the price of 2 offer which entails free parking!

Discovery Cove is an amusement park where guests can completely relax with an all inclusive day and have the choice to ‘talk, touch, play and swim with bottlenose dolphins’.

There are 2 Discovery Cove packages available, 1 including 14 days into SeaWorld and Aquatica and our Ultimate package including 14 days into SeaWorld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens.

Tip: You can make the most of the free parking with our Ultimate Package as well. 😉

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LEGOLAND Florida & Merlin Attractions is next up. LEGOLAND Florida has their theme park and their water park – great fun for all the family. As well as Legoland, Merlin also have I-Drive 360 which is made up of The Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds and SEALIFE Orlando.

lego

We offer a number of different ticket options for these attractions, so if you don’t necessarily want to visit all of them, you can take your pick!

If you’re looking to visit some of Florida’s more alternative attractions, you won’t be at a loose end as there are so many options!

Kennedy Space Center

Fun Spot

Gatorland

Boggy Creek – 30 minute

Boggy Creek – 1 hour

WonderWorks

Orlando Magic

So if you were stuck for ideas, I hope you’re not anymore! All of these attractions are available on our website and any questions you have, you can contact us to find out more!

Smiles Included…

Louise

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Festive Treats

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Hooray for all you sweet addicts like myself. It’s the most wonderful time of the year and the sweetest too! This is one of my favourite times to visit the parks just so I can have some of their festive season sweet treats.

Cakes

Orlando theme parks have some pretty amazing chefs and bakers who have been working overtime to bring you their best Christmas treats, and the result is mouthwatering!

Here’s just a few mouthwatering treats I know of and where to find them. If you’re lucky enough to be there over the Christmas period make sure you go try them, your taste buds will most certainly be satisfied.

Holiday Cake Pops at Goofy’s Candy Company – Goofy’s Candy Company in Downtown Disney is always a great place to grab something sweet. Guests can indulge in one of our favourite treats in Disney: cake pops. These mini bites of cake are decorated with either a Santa Mickey hat or as a bright blue snowflake. You can’t go wrong with a cake pop so whichever you choose your sweet tooth will be impressed.

Goofyscandyco

Gingerbread Cupcakes at Hollywood Studios – Not every one is a fan of gingerbread but when decorated with traditional red and green sprinkles and a Mickey Mouse hat what is not to like. Trust me, your taste buds will smile as they are taken over by gingerbread and cream cheese icing. Mmm Yummy!

Hollywoodstudioscupcake

Candy Cane Fudge at SeaWorld Orlando – This I must say is one of the prettiest desserts I have ever come across, it’s that pretty you almost don’t want to eat it…..BUT do! This treat has a soft gooey centre like fudge with a hard, crunchy peppermint top.

If it’s all too much for your tummy’s you can always try out the only drink on our festive treat list.

Dutch Chocolate Grasshopper at Epcot – The Dutch Chocolate Grasshopper at Epcot is a rich chocolate ice cream drink with a splash of peppermint schnapps and a sprinkling of crushed candy canes. It’s both refreshing and mouthwatering.

It is safe to say the parks do not and will not disappoint with their Christmas treats.

Sweet Smiles Included

Kelly

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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.

harry

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

i love manta

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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SeaWorld And Aquatica Introduce New Photo Entry System

Hey Thrill Seekers,

You stroll up, you scan your Orlando Attraction Tickets gate ready ticket, you pop your finger in the biometric scanner and in you go…

Well not anymore, in a move to speed up the admission process and eliminate the potential for theft by protecting the ticket from being used by another person SeaWorld and Aquatica are introducing a new photo entry system.

This will involve guests having their picture taken at the entry gates and it, in turn being linked to the unique barcode on their admission ticket. The photo will then appear on all following visits to the parks upon presenting their ticket for entry. This will replace the finger print scan previously used.

seaworld entry

Why the change to a new process?
This new process will allow our Ambassadors to focus  more on our guests’ arrival experience by speeding up  the entry time into the park. A smoother process and
shorter wait equals more time for our guests to enjoy  the park.

How does this new process work?
You will start to see our front gate Ambassadors using new handheld devices to scan tickets and Passes. Upon  the guest’s fist visit, a photo will be taken and stored
for future visits. We request no hats or sunglasses be  worn for accurate identification. This new entry system  will replace the process that required use of the guest’s  index finger.

Which tickets or Passes require the photo?
Photos are required for all Annual Passes, Fun Cards,  and multi-day tickets. Photos are not currently required  for single-day tickets.

Why is a photo required?
The photo is used to verify the guest with their ticket  product, which will eliminate the potential for theft by  protecting your Annual Pass or ticket from being used  by another person.

Does my child need to have their photo taken?
Parent permission is needed for our team to take your  child’s photo. Your child’s photo would be stored locally  and retrieved only upon park entry. If you do not wish to  have your child’s photo taken please inform our team.

What if I decline having my photo taken?
You can choose to bypass having your photo taken.  Instead, you would need to show a photo ID each time  you enter the park. Guests under the age of 14 do not  need to present a photo ID.

Will the photo be printed on my Pass?
No. The photo will be used for internal use only and is  designed to verify the Pass Member or multi-day ticket  holder when they enter the park. It will not require a  new Pass or ticket to be printed.

When will this change take place?
The transition will occur late 2016 through early 2017.

Smiles included…

Jamie

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