Universal Confirms Cinematic Celebration Nighttime Lagoon Show Will Beginning This Summer

Hey Thrill Seekers,

When our mate Mike Aiello speaks we listen, even if we did break this news last week…

Today Mike wrote a piece on the Universal blog confirming that the Cinematic Celebration” Nighttime Lagoon Show beginning this Summer.

What can we expect?

Located in the heart of the lagoon, “Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration” will bring thrilling and fun moments to life inspired by characters from popular Universal Orlando experiences and blockbuster films.

Mike stated;

You’ll witness moments from the Harry Potter series conjured to life by way of spells, ear-shattering roars from dinosaurs in Jurassic World, the adrenaline rush of speed from The Fast & the Furious, mischief by the Minions from Illumination’s Despicable Me and so much more…

And, it’s all seamlessly projected on full panoramic water screens, accented by pyrotechnics and – for the first time ever – more than 120 dancing fountains with projection mapping. The entire waterfront of the Universal Studios lagoon and surrounding buildings will transform into a vivid celebration of epic movie moments and beloved characters.

Mike also confirmed that Universal are also building a permanent, dedicated viewing area for the show in the Central Park area of Universal Studios where you’ll be able to watch the lagoon come to life.

I can’t wait to see this…

Smiles included…

Jamie

Universal’s Cinematic Celebration™ – Epic Cinema Under the Stars

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Accident or not? It looks like Universal may have given us a look at their new night time show without the usual fanfare that such an announcement deserves.

Eagle eyed fans have noticed that Universal’s Cinematic Celebration™ – Epic Cinema Under the Stars has appeared on their website with the following description;

Starting this summer, nights at Universal Studios Florida™ will be brighter and bolder than ever as music from the world’s biggest films fills the air and scores of dancing fountains erupt. Massive walls of water blaze with epic movie moments and powerful projections bring the entire waterfront into the movies. You’ll see and hear roaring dinosaurs from Jurassic World, feel the adrenaline rush of high-speed cars from Fast & Furious, watch the mischievous antics of the Minions from Despicable Me, and so much more. Don’t miss the amazing new show that’s lighting up select nights all year long. Universal’s Cinematic Celebration™ – Epic Cinema Under the Stars

This show sounds amazing and I can’t wait to see it… Summer can’t come quick enough.

Smiles included…

Jamie

Could Universal Be Boldly Going Where No One Has Gone Before

Hey Thrill Seekers

Regular readers of this blog and viewers of our bi-weekly show OAT Live will know we love a good rumour and this one can truly be filed under good rumour.

Now we all know that Universal has plans for a 4th gate, they already have Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and water theme park Volcano Bay but with the recent purchase of a whole lot of land its probably the industries worst kept secret that they’re looking to build a new theme park.

Most of the rumours around the new 4th park are rightfully concentrating on the Universal Nintendo tie up that will definitely see the introduction of Nintendo IP like Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong etc however recently the internet has been rife with a new 4th park rumour…. STAR TREK!

So here’s what I’m hearing (imagine Spock ears);

Universal are considering two possible ways of introducing Star Trek. Firstly; they might be interested in replacing the vacant Terminator 3D ride with a Star Trek show, this one seems a little flimsy as Universal have already announced that this attraction will make way for an all-new live action experience based on a high-energy Universal franchise. Although Star Trek can be high-energy at times it’s definitely not a Universal Franchise… so at the time of writing this I’m still sticking with my original thought that we’ll see a Jason Bourne attraction.

The second and perhaps more likely scenario is that Star Trek will appear as a land of its own, perhaps to battle directly with Disney’s soon to be opened (Autumn 2019) Star Wars Land. Fan’s have been discussing the idea of a sci-fi area for a long time so this option could tick two boxes.

Alain Littaye, writer for the blog Disney and more states in his latest post that his Universal source believes that;

a Star Trek Sci-Fi area is being highly considered to hit back WDW DHS Star Wars land

What would a Star Trek land involve?

Well some are pointing at a Las Vegas project that unfortunately never made it to production that involved a full scale USS Enterprise that visitors would enter and would house a few attractions! We’re also hearing strong calls for a Starfleet Academy live show or interactive experience.

Whatever happens we believe Universal will start breaking ground for the 4th park soon in an attempt to launch in 2022. Remember though this is all rumours and until Universal confirm anything it should be treated as such.

Is a Star Trek land something you’d be interested in?

Smiles included…

Jamie

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

 

 

What do we already know about Dead Exposure?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

So yesterday Dead Exposure: Patient Zero was announced as the first Original House for this years scarefest at HHN28. The word ‘original’ had got me thinking before the name was even announced and I had 2 ideas: could it be an original house from one of the first HHN’s or could it be a completely new ‘original’ IP? I’m going to take this one as a win as I was kind of right, right?

I’ve been doing a bit of digging to find out just how original Dead Exposure is and it turns out that it was last seen at Halloween Horror Nights in 2008 and this years house is a sequel/prequel (i’ll get to that later). So seeing as I was only 12 back in 2008 funnily enough I have never experienced first hand what Dead Exposure is really like, all I knew was that if you had been through the house and someone mentioned its name, even 5 years down the line, your toes would still curl at the memories…

What do we know?

Dead Exposure was 1 of 8 houses featured in Universals Halloween Horror Nights: Reflections of Fear back in 2008 which was the ‘year of Bloody Mary’. It took guests on a journey ‘through’ Charlie McPhersons photographs as he navigated his way through a city of flesh eating zombies where the only source of light was his camera flash. The creators of HHN used backlight strobes perfectly timed with the noise of camera clicks to pull off the feeling that you’re walking through photographs. They also used special paint on the costumes and set to highlight certain parts. The whole house (apart from the first and last rooms) was in complete darkness with only those camera flashes to light the way.

Found on Halloween Horror Nights Wiki was a description of the walk through itself:

Reaching the front of the house, guests were greeted with loud music which had famously been featured in zombie movies. Standing in front of the entrance was a large bulletin board with ghostly pictures and notes covering it noting where in town each of the photographs were taken. Walking into a hole in the board, guests entered into photographer, Charlie McPherson’s, apartment. The electricity was out and somethings were pounding on all of the windows with guests only able to see their shadows. Charlie himself was lurking in the apartment, warning guests as they walked by of what he saw and urging them to hurry out of there and to look into his portfolio.

Leaving the room, guests entered the pictures that he had taken that night. With three clicks and flashes at a time the room was illuminated to reveal a hardware store. A number of zombies surrounded both sides of the path, ready to attack. Continuing on Charlie’s path, guests entered the sewer. Drips and other sounds were heard from the darkened path, and a camera flash illuminated a zombie lurking in the sewer pipe on the wall. The path continued toward the surface again through a narrow hallway with zombies inside of the walls.

Reaching the surface, guests were inside a public bathroom. Stalls surrounded the path with some open and zombies inside of them. A zombie blocked the path out of the room and would only move between camera clicks. Once through Charlie’s pictures brought guests outside into a park. Abandoned seemingly quickly by the humans, zombies lurked in the park equipment and near the toys left by children. Leaving the park, guests entered a room full of zombies . Seemingly surrounded by dozens of zombies, there was no clear path through the middle of the area. While guests tried to navigate, zombies would attack between camera flashes.

Once the room was successfully navigated, guests entered a hallway. Camera flashes revealed zombies hanging above the path. Following the hallway around a corner, flashes revealed a lone zombie underneath the clear flooring trying to get out at guests. Done with Charlie’s pictures, guests walked back into his apartment. A number of zombies were surrounding a table to the right of the path. On the table was Charlie, screaming as he was torn apart to be eaten by his attackers. A final zombie, who looked suspiciously like Charlie, popped out of a closet at the other end of the room to scare guests out of the house.

I don’t think anyone was really prepared for how scary this house was going to be, i’ve been reading a few reviews and every single one of them mentions the impact of the pitch black and the fact you can’t even see your own hands in front of your face. Scottyrif from Halloween Horror Nights Unofficial said “The camera flashes were the only source of light throughout the entire house experience, and scareactors would scare the hell out of you in those brief moments of bright flash. Of course, once the light was out again, it was even harder to see because our eyes couldn’t adjust to the extreme change from light to dark.”

Here’s a review of Dead Exposure from HHN18 by attractions magazine:
Scare Factor: 9/10
Entertainment Factor: 7/10
You do not want to miss Dead Exposure. Period. The premise is that you’re in the world of a photographer who has stumbled upon an outbreak of zombies… and you’re stepping into his black and white photographs. It’s the most unique of all the houses as it is pitch black inside, with occasional strobes of blacklight illuminating your way, providing you only with a quick “picture” of what’s around you. A constant droning sound gets your heart racing and you never know where the next scare is coming from.

So earlier on I said that this years house Dead Exposure: Patient Zero is a sequel / prequel to the house featured in 2008. Let me explain, so basically the concept of each house is the same but there is a different storyline. This years house will actually take you back to 1982 and is set in Paris where the zombie epidemic is just beginning and the only people on your side are the military who are issuing vaccinations but with a BIG side effect… Blindness. Check out my blog from yesterday for more information on Dead Exposure: Patient Zero

Dead Exposure was also voted house of the year back in 2008 and looked absolutely terrifying – one of the scariest i’ve seen or read about and with how far technology has come in 10 years I would bet my left leg that this year it is going to be even more so…

I can’t wait!

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

Wizarding World of Harry Potter secrets

Hey Thrill Seekers,

So Gavin and I let you in on some secrets we know about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter the other week on OAT Live and I’m going to tell you all my favourites including some new ones we didn’t have time for…

  • Universal hired a large amount of its staff from Britain to ensure the experience is as authentic as possible. Each staff member also has to sit an exam to test their knowledge of the books and films to make sure interactions with guests are as seamless as possible.
  • Harry and Hermione’s voices in Escape From Gringotts aren’t actually their real voices
  • We all know that the Leaky Cauldron serves as a gateway between the magical and muggle world and Universal have added a hint of this to the sign of the Leaky Cauldron. Lets just say be careful of drips if you’re standing underneath the sign..
  • The perfume advertisement that can be found in Kings Cross Station at Universal Studios is not exactly the same as the one in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The advert in the film says ‘Tonight make a little magic with your man’ however the one used in Kings Cross says ‘make a little magic’ so it is a little less suggestive.
  • In Zonkos Joke Shop you can hear whispering coming from the Extendable Ears which can be found hanging over the registers. If you wish to purchase one, you can however there is a sign warning you of eavesdropping.
  • Also in Zonkos you can buy your very own Pygmy Puff – if you do decide to buy one the attendant will ring the bell and announce your Pygmy Puffs name to the whole shop!
  • Look out for the Pots and Pans cleaning themselves in the window to the left of the Three Broomsticks.
  • If you need to make a pit stop at the single restroom in Hogsmede you won’t be alone… Moaning Myrtle can be heard complaining in the men and the women’s loo’s!
  • It’s not just the Dragon that comes to life every 15 minutes.. every 15 mins a owl will pop out the top of the Owlery just like a cuckoo clock.
  • When in line for The Forbidden Journey if you stop by the potions classroom door and listen very carefully you will be able to hear Neville Longbottom being told off for not performing a spell correctly.
  • Keep an eye out for Kreacher in the window of 12 Grimmauld place if you decide to knock…

So there you have it.. some secrets to impress your mates with the next time you visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Some are tried and tested and some aren’t so let us know if you know of any more!!

Smiles Included,

Abby

Fast & Furious Supercharged is now open!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

‘Life’s simple, you make choices and you don’t look back’ – Han Lue. I know something you will look back on though –  memories and Fast & Furious – Supercharged will give you and your family thrills and memories that will last forever.

Fast & Furious – Supercharged is now open at Universal Studios so what are you waiting for? Get yourselves over to Universal and step right into your very own Fast & Furious film. (I know for most of you that it will take a 9hr flight but still.. get yourselves over there.. on your next holiday 😉 )

On Monday lucky old Mr Blog Squad himself, Gavin is heading out to Orlando to attend the special evening event being held for the opening of Fast & Furious – Supercharged which is being held on the 2nd May and will feature some of the stars of the films.

Here’s what we know so far about the attraction..

You’ll get to ride alongside members of the Fast Family such as Dom, Letty, Hobbs, Roman, Tej and Mia who are all played by the stars themselves. You’ll find yourself immersed in a recreation of the crews warehouse headquarters where there will be actual props from the films, iconic scenes and of course, supercharged vehicles, 15 to be exact that you will be able to see throughout the queue, the ride and in the retail shop. Many of those 15 have been driven by the Fast Family themselves.

Whilst waiting to enter the action you can gear yourself up by using the special mobile experience to play games, receive messages from Mia and the rest of the family, do quizzes, check out character bios and even try and unlock some surprises – this can be found on the Universal app.

Last but not least Fast & Furious – Supercharged is the next attraction at Universal Studios to feature the new Virtual Line system.. Just like Jimmy Fallon, all you will have to do is select the time you wish to ride on the app or at a kiosk located near the attraction entrance. You can then do whatever you like while you wait for your ride time.

Stay tuned for lots of pics, videos and information from Gavin on our Facebook and Instagram pages next week!

Smiles included,

Abby

Universal Buy’s More Land And Clears The Way For A New Theme Park

Hey Thrill Seekers,

It’s a good time to be associated with Universal Orlando Resort, as an employee told me yesterday

It’s great to work for a company doing things

And its hard to disagree! Universal are currently at the forefront of everything theme park related so much so that rivals have been accused of straight up copying.

So the news coming from Florida that Universal yesterday not only purchased 100’s of acres of additional land but also the deed of restrictions that would have blocked Universal’s master plan probably wasn’t welcomed.

According to the Orlando Sentinel,  deeds filed with Orange County on Thursday showed the transfer of land from Georgia businessman Stan Thomas to Universal’s subsidiary, SLRC Holdings LLC. How much Universal paid for the additional land and the exact acreage haven’t been confirmed but by the looks of the map below it’s a lot.

Pic credit: (Adelaide Chen/Orlando Sentinel)

An email sent by Universal SpokesmanTom Schroder stated;

We are excited about our plans for this area, and we are looking forward to sharing more at the right time. We also look forward to working with our neighbors in the area and our partners in the community as we move forward.

Universal now have access to 500+ acres of land and are free (local government permitting) to do whatever they like with it. For me I think its pretty clear that Universal are build a resort the introduction of 1 or even 2 new parks would make them much more of a match for Disney.

I believe its pretty certain that one will have a large Nintendo presence or could just be a dedicated park. If this is the case the next big battle could be for more IP.

What would you want to see at a new Universal park?

Smiles included…

Jamie

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.