What did the creative brains behind Halloween Horror Nights 2018 have to say about this years event?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

As Halloween Horror Nights has come to a close the creative minds behind this years event have shared their thoughts on a HHN that has gone down in Universals record books as the ‘hottest’ and most haunted houses ever created!

Firstly i’ve had a look on twitter and found what Mike Aiello : Senior Director Creative Development of Universal Orlando & HHN Orlando had to say.

I have chosen a few of my favourites:

Although it is sad that HHN has come to a close after another spectacular year we can now get excited and speculate on HHN29!! We’ve already had an idea that Netflix’s new show The Haunting of Hill House would make a great addition and Mike and his team are already considering IP’s and working on original content. Wooop!!

Universal posted some closing thoughts from the creative minds behind this year’s Halloween Horror Nights…

Charles Gray: Show Director.

“On the final night of the event, I like to say my goodbyes to not only cast and crew, but to the sounds of the event. I can see visuals anytime on social media or hanging on the walls of our Art & Design offices. But year after year, the audio tracks of Halloween Horror Nights have become a special memory for me.

  • I want the environmental sounds from Seeds of Extinction and the score from Carnival Graveyard to remain in my head.
  • I will walk through the haunted houses on the final night and absorb my favourite scares.
  • I will smile when I walk through Slaughter Sinema and hear a crazed kid scream, “I’ll eat your guts for dinner!”
  • I will snicker when I hear Loomis yell, “No!  No!  No!” into the night air.
  • Hearing, “They’re heeeere” that final time will induce some melancholy and a sense of pride.

I am so proud of what the entire team has accomplished this year. That pride extends from the tech teams to the scareactors. Everyone should be proud of the heart and soul they poured into this twenty-eighth year of Halloween Horror Nights. 2019 is already shaping up to be a year of surprises. See you next year.”

Blake Braswell: Show Director.

“The end of another Halloween Horror Nights has come. And as it fades away into the fog, I know this terror-filled beast will linger long in my heart. What this talented team of creators, designers, technicians and scareactors brought to life were some of the very first horror stories I experienced as a child.

I couldn’t be more proud to have played a part in this year’s event. I hate to see it go, but the tendrils of next year have already crept into our view, and I am thrilled for the screams yet to come.”

Patrick Braillard: Show Director.

“We are about to close the gates on another incarnation of Halloween Horror Nights. Soon the haunted houses and scare zones that you knew this year will disappear, making way for new experiences next year.

The beast that is Halloween Horror Nights is never satisfied with the status quo. It is always evolving, always changing. Sometimes that change is seen as growth—can you say 10 houses?! Sometimes it means welcoming a group of maniacs inside—Academy of Villains, can you feel me?!

But in all of that growth and change, there are things that remain as steady today as they were during our very first event—the passion. The passion of the teams that develop, operate, and manage the event (truly the best in the world). The passion of the scareactors, who are the lifeblood of the event. And of course, the passion of the incredible fans who devote their time and energy to the promotion of all things Halloween Horror Nights (sometimes that involves tattoos…).”

I already can’t wait for HHN29! What about you?

Screams included,

Abby

Stranger Things Day at Universal Studios!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Universal have just announced one of the coolest things EVER.

Tuesday November the 6th was the day that Will Byers disappeared and on the same day this year you are invited to join the search party for Will by taking on the HHN Stranger Things house during the day! From 11am – 7pm anyone in Universal Studios will have the chance to walk through the house for one last time!

There will also be speciality food and beverage options at Benny’s Burger Tent, San Fran Pastry and Boulangerie.

Step into the shoes of Mike, Dustin, and Lucas as you venture into The Upside Down with the help of Eleven to rescue Will from the clutches of the Demogorgon.

This is such a cool idea!! Who’s going?!

Smiles Included,

Abby

Universals first Expansion Plans

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Universal Orlando have files some site development plans with Orange County which give us a look at an expansion of UOR. Now it still hasn’t been confirmed what Universal are planning on doing with all the land they have recently purchased  but the main rumours are a 4th gate or hotels but this surely goes to show that a project is HAPPENING right?!

Now this isn’t a building plan and doesn’t give us much info on what or where anything is going to be ‘built’ it is a sort of, overall site plan which details grading, paving, drainage and utility plans and you’d need a degree to figure the whole thing out!

I’ve tried to simplify the main overall site plan with references to what could be in each space using the site data that is also posted below:

The expansion site is described as being just over 541 acres. Below you can see that there is a planned 4820 regular parking spaces, 201 handicapped spaces, 68 bus spaces meaning a total of 5089 parking spaces! No-one is too sure if it is a parking lot or structure that is planned but i’m sure someone with a brain larger than mine can work it out 😉

Another interesting part is that the sites maximum height allowed for a building is 400 feet! We can also see that 135 acres of land are required for open space, some of which will be stormwater ponds as this is required in Florida due to the amount of rainfall. Universal can make these both offsite and onsite by making them decorative to fit in with hotels and in parks etc.

The main thing we can see is how cars will move around the site, as there is no details of a park or hotels we can only assume this is what Universal are planning on doing with their land but what else could it be?! I mean we’ve already speculated on Super Nintendo World going to a brand new park or evern a Fantastic Beasts world making an appearance in a new gate but who knows.. We can only wait for Universal to tell us!

What do you think is going here???

Smiles Included,

Abby

 

New Wands at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

There’s some new wands on the block! That’s right, in honour of the upcoming Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Universal have released new wands available at Universal Orlando inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley and they are only available for a limited time from now until January.

The wands are not interactive and are priced at $46 plus tax.

The above photo was taken by Inside Universal and are in order from top to bottom: In order, from top to bottom; Newt, Theseus, Queenie, Porpentina, Flamel, & Leta Lestrange.

The wands available to purchase are from the following witches and wizards:

  • Newt Scamander
  • Theseus Scamander
  • Queenie Goldstein
  • Porpentina Goldstein
  • Nicolas Flamel
  • Leta Lestrange
  • Albus Dumbledore
  • Gellert Grindelwald

Grindelwald’s wand is the Elder Wand that is eventually used by Dumbledore, then followed by Voldemort. Dumbledore’s original wand has not yet been released.

The above photo also taken by Inside Universal and shows the wands on the shelves ready to be purchased.

Don’t forget there’s tonnes of other wands available to purchase at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter including the interactive ones which are awesome!

Who’ll be picking up one of the new wands on their upcoming visit?!

Smiles Included,

Abby

What to expect from Super Nintendo World

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Due to the recent news that Super Nintendo Worlds at Universal Japan and Hollywood are now under construction, an image recently posted by Ladbible has intrigued us here at OAT. Even though the below image looks like a Disney map with stuff added on and the fact it doesn’t have the right logo or name that Universal have released for the Japan version we’ve taken some inspiration from it..

We’re pretty certain that there will be a Mario Kart and Donkey Kong attraction and a little bit confident that there will be a Pac-Man attraction. We have also thought about what other IP would be available such as Animal Crossing, Pokemon and Zelda but the image has nodded toward a Mii Plaza and a lot more attractions based on Super Mario such as a Mushroom Kingdom, Luigi Mansion and a Toad ride – all of which are cool ideas but not yet confirmed.

Universals own words about the 3 worlds coming to Japan, Hollywood and Orlando show that this is a huge project.

  • These will be expansive, immersive and interactive. They’ll be highly themed and authentic environments filled with multiple attractions, shops and restaurants.
  • You’ll feel as if you’re playing inside your favourite games – in real life.
  • There will be something for everyone—regardless of their age or gaming experience level.
  • Planning and creative work on these areas is well underway; they will open separately over the next several years.

The goal of everyone on this project is clear: to bring the characters, action and adventure of Nintendo video games to life within Universal theme parks. And to do so in new and innovative ways that capture what makes them so special. All of the adventure, fun and whimsy you experience through a screen will now be all around you – in breathtakingly authentic ways.

Dan Kilne, when speaking with The Motley Fool raised the same point that has been going around for a few months now about where the Orlando Nintendo world will go.

Right now, at the Universal Studios location in Japan, they’re actually already under construction on what’s called Nintendo Land. It’s a handful of rides. They’ve been very secretive. We know there’ll be a Mario Kart ride. Think of it like the Star Wars expansion at Disney, a very immersive land, a big deal. In Orlando, they’ve said, “We are going to build out Nintendo properties.” But they’ve been very cagey about where. The rumors had always been at the original Universal Studios. There’s a kids’ area that’s a little bit lifeless, it would make sense. But then, about a month ago, it became public that Universal Studios is building a fourth gate, another theme park, and they’ve amassed a big chunk of land to do that. So, it’s very logical to think that Nintendo is going to be the cornerstone, the Harry Potter, of this new theme park. And maybe there’ll be something tying it to one of the other theme parks, like the train ties the two Harry Potter Worlds together to help sell multi-day tickets. This is a risk for Universal and a huge win for Nintendo, because they’re getting the licensing fee whether it’s an instant success or not.

I like the idea of another Hogwarts Express type ride to connect the new park too!

As always, we will keep you updated if Universal release any concrete info 🙂

Smiles Included,

Abby

Everything you need to know about Universal E-tickets!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

So there’s a new type of ticket on the block!

OAT are now offering E-tickets for Universal Orlando Resort, why? To make life easier for you lovely lot 😍 oh and because there’s loads of benefits of having them!

  • They’re perfect if you’re making a last minute booking and don’t have time to have tickets delivered.
  • Forget the stress of ever forgetting to take your tickets with you or loosing them on your holiday as they will always be on your phone.
  • You can book and redeem them while on your holiday.
  • You can save money when selecting this option.*

The option to have E-tickets issued instead of posted tickets will become available if you are ordering just Universal tickets on their own.

Accessing your E-tickets

1. Log in to your customer account online using your email address and password given at the time of booking.

2. Click on the ‘wallet’ tab from within your customer account online.

3. Download or print your voucher!

Redeeming your E-tickets

Your Universal 2 & 3 park Explorer tickets can be collected in resort via the ‘Will Call kiosk’ located at the entrance of Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure.
Collecting your tickets is easy – just head to the park entrance and use the ‘Will Call Kiosk’ – your ‘Gate Ready’ Tickets will be printed there and then, all ready to use.

Important – Please note:

You will need to use the credit/debit card you used at the time of the booking as identification when collecting your tickets at the ‘Will Call Kiosk’- Your card will not be charged at the Kiosk. It’s only for identification/verification purposes. You may also be asked for your ‘telephone number’ that you used at the time of the booking for identification purposes and asked to in-put your confirmation number detailed on your print out-if prompted.

Smiles Included,

Abby

* discounts are subject to change

What’s coming to the Universal parks in the future?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Now it’s Universals turn.. What can we expect from them in the next few years?

What? Harry Potter Coaster Where? Islands of Adventure When? 2019

We are sooooo super excited for this one here at OAT! We don’t have too much information on this coaster however we’re just happy that its not another attraction that will make Gavin puke..

What? Terminator 2 3d replacement Where? Universal Studios When? 2019

This is what Universal had to say back in 2017: Terminator 2: 3-D at Universal Studios Florida will run its last shows on Sunday, October 8 to make way for an all-new live action experience based on a high-energy Universal franchise. It will open in 2019. This is one of many exciting new experiences coming to Universal Orlando Resort as we continue our epic growth. Stay tuned – more details will be released soon.

What? Super Nintendo World Where? TBD When? TBD

Now we are 100% sure that Nintendo World is coming to Orlando because that has been confirmed however we do not know where or when! We have our inklings that it its going to be in a new Universal park or KidZone but that’s not yet confirmed!

What? Zelda Where? Lost Continent at IOA When? TBD (rumour)

Check out this blog to see all the rumours surrounding a Zelda land!

What? 4th park Where? Orlando When? TBD

Pic credit: (Adelaide Chen/Orlando Sentinel)

Universal has acquired lots new property for expansion, we know there’s hotels on some of it but the rest is HOPEFULLY going to be a brand spanking new park and at the top of the bets is ‘fantastic beasts’

What do you think of Universals expansions?

Smiles Included,

Abby

How similar is Universal Beijing going to be to Orlando?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

I think it’s time to talk about Universal Beijing, said to open in 2021, the Beijing park will be the next Universal park to open and  it’ll be the only other location besides Florida to (eventually) be a proper resort they have confirmed that it will cost $6.5 billion!! Some new information has come to light which seem to confirm some details of this project which give us some nods towards what Universal may have planned for their already existing and new parks in Orlando.

After reading a post on Orlando Weekly I think we should keep a close eye on Universal Beijing as they are not only creating a lot of the same rides, attractions and lands as Orlando but they are adding new rides and ideas which i think gives us clues into what we can expect stateside.

In images found on the web the resort looks a VERY similar layout to the Orlando resort with 3 parks, a hotel that resembles Cabana Bay, a City Walk and a waterway that links everything. Thinking about this, it doesn’t really make sense.. why would Universal basically recreate their Orlando resort in China? Wouldn’t it draw visitors from that part of the world away from Orlando?

Just like Orlando there is what looks like a Universal Studios on the right, what could be Islands of Adventure on the left and a Volcano Bay themed water park too.. One difference we can see straight away is the entrance to Studios which is covered by a hotel which would actually look over the park itself.

Due to some leaked documents we can see what lands will be included. In what looks like a leaked plan, posted on Reddit shows more detail:

What’s the same as Universal Orlando? 

It looks as though there will be a central lagoon, an outdoor performance venue, a coaster the same as the Hulk but themed to Transformers here (YES!) as it looks like there will be a transformers based land so would also include the same Transformers 4d ride that is in Orlando.

Near a rumoured WaterWorld is a Jurassic World where it looks as though there will be 3 attractions.. A water ride, steel coaster and an attraction based on the Gyro-spheres featured in the films. Do we think they’ll move Jurassic to the new Universal park to fit the same attractions or expand on it in IOA?

There is a Hogsmeade with a Forbidden Journey ride and a Flight of the Hippogriff with a piece of land next to it which fits with the shape and size of Diagon Alley. The area is divided into three sections, the middle and biggest section is where Hogsmeade Village, Flight of the Hippogriff and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey will be located. The two smaller sections on either side are designated for future expansions. Based on the size of the bottom section and its location it could be the same coaster as the one currently being built in IOA. The smaller expansion at the top could be a future train station for Hogwarts express.

Whats new / different to Universal Orlando?

It looks like there will be a enclosed land themed to Kung Fu Panda including carnival type rides as well as a dark ride.. This is different to Orlando now but has been rumoured to feature in Orlando’s new Universal park alongside Trolls, and Shrek.

Minion Land – this will most likely have the same simulator rides as the other Universal parks as well as another attraction and even an indoor play area. As the popularity of Minions is still growing there are also rumours that Universal Orlando will create a mini-land.

photo from themeparx.com

How similar to Orlando do you think this is going to be and what new attractions would you like to see?

Smiles Included,

Abby

 

Feast your eyes on this years HHN Food

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Universal have just released all of the new food and drinks we can expect from this years Halloween Horror Nights!

There are five waffle dishes to choose from!! It’s always easier to discuss food when you’re looking at it and not trying to describe it.. With that being said, check these out! (can you guess which house they’re mainly based on 😉 )

Strawberry Shortcake

Location: San Francisco Bakery – two waffles, fresh strawberries, strawberry sauce and whipped cream.

Bananas Foster

Location: San Francisco Bakery – Two waffles with banana cream cheese and hazelnut spread, topped with raisins, walnuts, whipped cream and a bananas foster sauce. This one is a HUGE YES from me!!!

Triple Decker Extravaganza

Location: San Francisco Bakery – If you’re a fan of “Stranger Things,” you’ll recognize this inspired creation. Three waffles filled with layers of whipped cream, chocolate, peanut butter morsels and jelly beans.

Fudge Dipped Waffle on a Stick

Location: Benny’s Burgers, New York Area 

Waffle Ice Cream Pocket Sundae

Location: Louie’s Gelato Window – 2 chocolate chip waffles stuffed with strawberry ice cream. Top it off with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, sprinkles, chopped peanuts, and of course, a cherry!

Christmas Tree Light Cupcakes.

Can you guess which iconic scene from “Stranger Things” these were inspired by?

11 Mini Donuts

(can you guess why 11?) covered in drizzles of red frosting. Choose from powdered sugar or cinnamon donuts.

“If you’re craving something savory, fuel up for the fear by stopping at Benny’s Burgers, named after the diner in season one of “Stranger Things,” in the New York area of the park. Here you’ll find cheeseburgers, hamburgers and chicken sandwiches, all served with a side of tasty fries.”

You can also find the return of the Fiery Onion Ring Burger at Mel’s Drive-In, the Chili Garlic Chicken Sandwich at Richter’s in San Francisco, and yes, Pizza Fries at KidZone Pizza Company.

Halloween Horror Nights 2017 Pizza Fries
Fiery Onion Ring Burger - Halloween Horror Nights 2018
Chili Garlic Chicken Sandwich - Halloween Horror Nights 2018

 Drinks

  • Totally L.I.T. (Long Island Iced Tea) – Vodka, tequila, gin, rum with triple sec, lime, sour and Coca-Cola
  • Wicked Rad Punch – Blueberry vodka, raspberry vodka, triple sec, lemonade and grenadine
  • Gnarly Twist – A perfect sweet and sour combo of both the Wicked Rad Punch and Totally L.I.T.
Totally L.I.T. Drink - Halloween Horror Nights 2018
Wicked Rad Punch Drink - Halloween Horror Nights 2018
Gnarly Twist Drink - Halloween Horror Nights 2018

Syrup & Waffles – obviously inspired by “Stranger Things.” It is a blend of flavors that even has tiny waffles on top.

Syrup & Waffles - Halloween Horror Nights 2018

Candy Corn. – The bottom layer is toasted marshmallow; the middle is your traditional candy corn flavor; and the top is whipped cream with sprinkles.

Candy Corn - Halloween Horror Nights 2018

Lets not forget about the Halloween Horror Nights Tombstone doughnut too!!

Halloween Horror Nights Tombstone Voodoo Dougnnut

 

Well, now i’m hungry! Which one looks tastiest to you?

Smiles Included

Abby

Halloween Ho

A Celebration of Harry Potter will not return in 2019

Hey Thrill Seekers,

We do always try our best to bring you good news from within the world of Orlando theme parks however sometimes we cannot avoid bad news…

This time we aren’t basing off rumours.. Universal have confirmed that A Celebration of Harry Potter isn’t going to return to their parks in 2019. Here’s the official press release:

Universal Orlando Resort is working on exciting new experiences for guests to continue to celebrate the Wizarding World next year. These include the all-new thrill ride coming to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade and additional fan experiences that have yet to be announced. While our focus on these fan experiences means we will not be hosting A Celebration of Harry Potter in 2019, we and other Universal theme parks will always be looking for opportunities to host special Wizarding World experiences.

This poses the questions of ‘is it being replaced by something new?’ or ‘are they too busy with the new ride to host it?’ Gavin thinks that they could be replacing it with something Fantastic Beasts themed ‍♀️ Universal have also said that there are going to be ‘additional fan experiences’ like the Back to Hogwarts event hosted on the 1st September.

Now we don’t know if it is just 2019 that Universal have pulled the plug on or future years as well as that isn’t mentioned in the press release. It is quite unusual though, A Celebration of Harry Potter has been going 5 years and each year seems to become more and more popular so surely it cannot be a case of it not bringing in enough witches, wizards and muggles?

Lets take a look back at some of the cool shots we got from last years event.

It’s a sort of bitter-sweet feeling as we don’t like to say goodbye to a fantastic event but we can look forward to what Universal are going to surprise us with in the near future..

Smiles Included,

Abby