Universal’s Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Serves It’s 5 Millionth Butterbeer

It’s almost bedtime Thrill Seekers but I just heard the news that Universal Orlando has confirmed they have just served their 5 Millionth Butterbeer at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Butterbeer for all you muggles out there, is the popular non alcholic drink favoured by Wizards in J.K. Rowlings Harry Potter series. When Universal Orlando first got cracking on building the Wizarding World of Harry Potter they put together a creative team purely to design and replicate Butterbeer, J.K. Rowling herself had final say on the taste which is reminiscent of shortbread and sweet butterscotch.

The recipe is a closely guarded secret although some of us have had a go at replicating it and has proved so successful that recently Universal Orlando had to open a 4th Butterbeer serving location to meet demand!

To mark this special occasion Universal treated a 1000 guests to the wizards drink while at the same time perhaps setting a new Guinness World record for “Butterbeer moustaches”. 🙂

Rick Florell, senior vice president of revenue sales and the man who oversaw the making of Butterbeer said

We created an authentic taste experience for our guests to complement all of the immersive experiences The Wizarding World of Harry Potter would offer them. We new we had created something that tasted great and would be popular but have been surprised by just how popular.

Mmmm I can almost taste one now…

good night,

Jamie

Here’s My 14 Day Orlando Theme Park Plan

Afternoon Thrill Seekers,

Making the most of your Orlando Attraction Tickets is the key to any good Florida holiday. Today’s post is my personal guide on how to get the most out of your 14 days Florida tickets.

The guide below is based on our top selling ticket, the Orlando PassPort.

Day 1 – SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld is the first park I visited on my holiday and it set me up for the week, it offers a great balance of shows, roller coasters and animals.

Top Tip: You’ve got to give sitting in the “wet zones” at the SeaWorld shows a go, I haven’t laugh some much in ages… remember though they are called “wet zones” for a reason!

You will need at least a day to see the whole of SeaWorld, Orlando.

Day 2 – Universal’s Islands of Adventures

Personally one of my favourite parks, its home to both Marvel and Harry Potter so it will be busy.

Top Tip – Try to do Marvel in the morning and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in the afternoon. People tend to rush straight to WWHP which leaves popular rides like Hulk and Spider-Man with shorter queues.

Islands of Adventure will take more than a day to fully explore it but its well worth returning later on in your holiday.

Day 3 – Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Your poor feet may have taken a bit of a pounding after 2 days of Thrill Rides so perhaps take a relaxing break by sepnding the morning by the pool.

When you feel up to it get yourself down to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, for the brave of heart get yourself on the Twilight Zone of Terror…

Top Tip – Take advantage of the Disney Fast Pass option that comes with the Orlando PassPort.

Day 4 – Busch Gardens, Tampa

There are two ways of getting to Busch Gardens in Tampa, firstly your Orlando PassPort includes free transportation to Busch Gardens via a shuttle bus alternatively you can drive there; usrentacar.co.uk offers cheap Florida Car Hire from as little as £17 per day fully insured which offer more flexibility than the bus.

Busch Gardens, in my opinion is the complete park; it has Thrill Rides like SheiKra and the newly opened Cheetah Hunt on the back drop of an animal fuelled safari, including Lions, Giraffes and Rhinos.

Top Tip: Check the animals out in the morning as the coasters are generally quieter in the afternoon.

Day 5 – Water Park

Trust me your feet will not be happy with you after your great day at Busch Gardens, so perhaps it best to visit one of the great Water Parks available with your Orlando PassPort. You can pick from either Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon or head to Orlando’s newest water park Aquatica!

The hardest part is deciding which to visit, perhaps this might help?

Day 6 – Epcot

Time for a bit of education, no not boring school type education but awesome Disney style education. Epcot is a massive 300 acre theme park dedicated to innovation and international culture.

Epcot is divided into two lands they are Future World and World Showcase, there are many highlights but their spectacular fireworks show is a must.

Top Tip – Try and visit Monday through to Thursday as generally its quieter than the busy weekends.

Day 7 – Universal Studios

Where movies meet the real world, Universal Studios is home to some of the most iconic images in film history including the terminator, men in black and the backwards roller coast The Mummy’s Revenge.

Top Tip – You must, must ride the Rip Ride Rockit…its awesome.

Day 8 – Water Park

Its time to rest your feet again, get yourself down to one of the water parks you haven’t visited yet, perhaps the two Disney water parks in one day!?

Day 9 – Animal Kingdom

Its off to see the animals again today at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, remember Orlando gets hot so get to the park early if you like your animals moving.They generally head for the shade during the day… they ain’t stupid… 🙂

Animal Kingdom is split in to seven lands they are Oasis, Discovery Island, Camp Minnie-Mickey, Africa, Rafiki’s Planet Watch, Asia and Dinoland USA. Walt Disney himself was a massive fan of animals and this park is really dedicated to that experience.

Top Tip – Make sure your camera is fully charged and has plenty of space left cos it will be full by the end of the day!

Day 10 – Get yourself down to your final Water Park

Its time to rest again, get yourself down to your final water park and relax…

The rest of your days I would advise revisiting the parks you either loved the most or didn’t get time to completely investigate….

There you have it… your complete 14 day holiday plan… all you need now is a holiday to get over your Theme Park holiday 🙂

regards,

Jamie

 

Universal’s Grinchmas Starts Tomorrow

Good Evening Thrill Seekers,

Universal Orlando‘s Grinchmas starts tomorrow December 1st, as part of the press launch the media were invited down to have a look behind the scene’s and view a make up demonstration but guess who turned up to try an spoil the proceedings… Yep you guessed it, the Grinch…

You can purchase Universal Tickets from Orlando Attraction Tickets for as little as £94 for 14 days unlimited entry in 2012, we offer the 2 Park Universal Ticket, 3 Park Universal Ticket, Flex Ticket and Flex Ticket Plus.

regards

Jamie

Recipe For Butterbeer Cookies Harry Potter Style

Hi Thrill Seekers,

Are you missing the Wizarding World? Are you suffering from Post-Potter Blues?

Well if the answer is yes, perhaps these Butterbeer cookies can help!

Butterbeer Sugar Cookies 

3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar (packed)
2 sticks butter
1 egg
1 tsp butter flavoring
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, set aside.

Cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg, butter flavoring, and vanilla; mix until well-blended.

Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl, especially the bottom. (The dough will be quite thick…you may need to knead in stray bits of flour from the bottom of the bowl by hand.)

Roll on a floured surface to about 1/4″ and cut into shapes. Place on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 9-12 minutes, depending on the size of your cutter. Let sit a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Butterbeer Glaze
{This will cover 12 cookies…and I STRONGLY recommend doubling the recipe as you might want to put this in a shot glass and drink it straight.}

2/3 cup butterscotch chips (I used Guittard)
1/8 cup evaporated milk
1 TBSP light corn syrup
pinch coarse salt

Place all of the ingredients in a glass or metal bowl and heat over a pot of simmering water (or a double boiler).  Stir occasionally, until melted and smooth.

Put the cooled cookies on a wire rack on a baking sheet.  Pour the glaze over the cookies and spread with an offset spatula.  If using the fondant house crests, place these on the wet glaze to adhere.

How yummy do these look?

If you do make them, please feel free to share the results on the Orlando Attraction Tickets facebook page.

regards,

Jamie

Universal Studio’s Orlando Confirms Transformers Ride For Summer 2013

It’s just coming up to midnight Thrill Seekers and I’ve just finished listening to Universal Studio Orlando’s big announcement….

What was actually one of the worlds worse kept secrets was confirmed; Universal are building the Transformers Ride in Orlando for release in the summer of 2013… And we are guessing July!

Here’s Universals video announcement

So with despicable me!, the extension of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and now the arrival of Transformers the Ride, Universal Orlando are looking pretty healthy…

Regards

Jamie

Universal Orlando’s Big Reveal Will Happen On The 1st November

 

Hi Thrill Seekers,

A lot of building work has been going on at Universal Orlando this year with not a lot of explanation… obviously the internet has been a wash with rumours regarding what’s actually been going on  but Universal have finally sent out media invites for a press conference due to happen on the 1st November at 19:30.

So what do we think will be announced….

Well here at Orlando Attraction Tickets we don’t like to get involved in ideal chitter chatter…… Pah! of course we do!!!

Back in 2011 we reported on the percieved extension of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and from what we’ve seen and heard we think this is pretty much a no brainer… The closure of Jaws pretty much sealed this exciting deal.

The second announcement that we believe Universal Orlando will make is the introduction of Universal Studios Hollywood’s flagship ride; Transformers The Ride 3D.

The Transformer themed thrill ride has been getting rave reviews in California, and with Universal keen to encourage footfall not just at Islands of Adventure but at Universal Studios as well, the Transformers ride could definitely provide that spark.

Here’s a look at the video for Transformers the Ride 3d at Universal Studio’s Hollywood to wet your appetite.

You can gain access to Universal Orlando with the following tickets.

So stay tuned on the 1st November to see which rumours Universal announce.

regards,

Jamie

Things to do at Universal City Walk – FREE with Universal tickets

One of the things that I find most people overlook when they buy their Universal Orlando attraction tickets is that their ticket actually includes access to universal’s City Walk. Universal CityWalk is a 30 acre entertainment complex that offers spectacular night life weather you are looking for a relaxing dinner or to socialise over a few cocktails, or see one of the amazing open air concerts or even catch a movie! You can do all this and more at Universal CityWalk®

The first thing that hits you when you enter CityWalk is the amazing buzz that seems to radiate. Everyone is here for exactly the same reason; to have a good time! The streets are lined with snack joints, restaurants, bars and clubs which all seem to compete to catch your eye with amazing neon signs.

Most people don’t know that the clubs along City Walk will charge a cover fee of between $6-$8 USD to get in. However, with your Universal Bonus Tickets and FlexTickets you will be able to enter the clubs and bars for free. During your stay in Orlando you should, at least once, come down to CityWalk and experience the buzz for yourself!

Here is just a couple of my faverite bars, clubs and eats;

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Places to Eat at CityWalk:

Bubba Gumps Shrimp Co

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is a great family/friends dining experience right at the entrance of CityWalk. You cant fail to miss this place with its red neon sign! The restaurant is as you could probably guess, based on Forest Gump. The engaging staff will entertain you and make you feel at home with their Southern hospitality. While we were there our waiter kept us occupied with a Forest Gump quiz and gave out some small Gump prizes like badgers that say ‘Stupid is as stupid does’ The whole restaurants decked out with Gump related items like a plaster casts of Forrest’s running shoes or grab a memorable photo at the famed bus bench in front of the restaurant. My favorite was the signs pointing to the toilets which say…I gotta Pee!

The food is simple, mostly shrimp and burgers but none the less very tasty. If you order a cocktail you are allowed to keep the glass, they will box it up for you to make sure it doesn’t get damed – nice touch.

Big Kahuna Pizza

If you are looking for a quick bite to eat and you’re into your Pizza then you cant really go wrong with Big Kahuna Pizza.

With the usual suspects  to choose from, walk up counter service with outside tables for you to enjoy the live music while you munch on a slice of Hawaiian or Pepperoni, this places offers an ideal place to grab a quick bite to eat.

Prices are not exactly the cheapest, a cold drink and a slice will probably set you back $5-$6 but remember where you are (CityWalk) the location alone will add extra zest!


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Bars / Clubs


Pat O’Brians

Party it up like it’s Mardi Gras at Pat O’Brien’s! Pat O’Brien’s Bar is an authentic reproduction of the New Orleans’ famous hot spot. Opened in February 1999, this reproduction of New Orleans’ favorite watering hole, Pat O’Brien’s is the original home of dueling pianos, the “flaming fountain” patio, and the world-famous “Hurricane®” specialty drink. I was lucky enough or should I say unlucky enough (still undecided) to sample a Hurricane while at Pat O’Brians…im still having trouble remembering the exact details of that night 🙂 but I’m assuming I had a good one!


 

Rising Star Kareoke

For everyone with dreams of taking the stage and belting out a song as lead singer of a band, get ready for your moment in the spotlight. CityWalk’s Rising Star is not your typical karaoke club. Here when you grab the mic you’re performing with a live band complete with real backup singers on stage. Choose from an impressive number of song titles and rock out like a superstar, or croon your favorite country ballad, as you perform in front of a live audience.

This club is pretty amazing – its a karaoke bar on a monster scale, live stage, backing singers and musicians will give you the feeling that you’re a real pop star – especially if you have had a few drinks 😉 this club is also pretty huge. Based on multi levels with everyone looking down onto the stage its such a fun place to hang out and get involved.


 

Bob Marley – A tribute to Freedom

“DON’T GAIN THE WORLD AND LOSE YOUR SOUL,’CUS WISDOM IS BETTER THAN SILVER AND GOLD” – Bob Marley

Share in a one-of-a-kind celebration of music and culture as Bob Marley–A Tribute to Freedom takes you on a musical journey through the life of the “King of Reggae.” Bob Marley’s songs of faith, hope, rebellion, and determination have brought inspiration and joy to audiences everywhere. Working closely with Rita Marley and the Bob Marley Foundation, they have created a replica of Bob’s home on 56 Hope Road in Kingston, Jamaica. Inside, artifacts, photos, and video clips from his legendary career surround visitors in the open-air veranda and courtyard.

This is probably one of the most popular clubs on CityWalk and by popular I mean packed. Its a great place to dance and sink a few cold ones, its hot and sweaty and the atmosphere is amazing. Its one that you need to put on your list of ‘must do’s’
This is just a snippet of whats on offer on CityWalk, I haven’t even mentioned the live shows! tones of other bars and clubs and numerous places to eat. As a free add on to tickets you have already purchased this really is a hidden gem that is truly something that should be experienced.

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Check out a few pics of CityWalk Orlando below


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Directions on how to get to  Universal Orlando CityWalk

Although Orlando has great public transport facilities; Probably the best way to get around Orlando is via car hire. For the latest rates and availability on Florida car hire visit our friends over at www.usrentacar.co.uk

Address: City Walk is located at 6000 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32819

Please insert this Geo-code into your GPS navigation system for directions to our parking garage.

Latitude: 28.47399
Longitude: -81.46228

Here are Directions to Universal City Walk Orlando

From Orlando International Airport:

1) Take SR-528 West 11 miles to I-4 East
2) Take I-4 East 2 miles to exit 75A
3) Follow the signs to Universal Orlando’s main parking garage or to one of the three (3) resort hotels

From I-4 Eastbound (Disney/Lake Buena Vista/Kissimmee):

1) Take I-4 East to exit 75A
2) Follow the signs to Universal Orlando’s main parking garage or to one of the three (3) resort hotels

From I-4 Westbound (Downtown Orlando):

1) Take I-4 West to exit 74B
2) Follow the signs to Universal Orlando’s main parking garage or to one of the three (3) resort hotels

 

Which tickets include Free Access to Universal CityWalk

Universal 2 Park Bonus Ticket
Universal 3 Park Bonus Ticket
Orlando FlexTicket
Orlando FlextTicket Plus

If anyone has any Favourite bars, clubs and places to eat on Universal CityWalk please feel free to let us know!

Cheers

Karl

Orlando Attraction Tickets

 

Related posts:

Visitors spend, spend, spend at Universal theme parks

This is not really going to surprise anyone but it seems that the popularity of Universals theme parks isn’t going to die down anytime soon. Over the last couple of years all the buzz and hype surrounding Orlando has largely been focused on The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. But its not just potter mania that is getting the crowds through the turn styles. Universal have also seen year on year growth in California thanks largely to the King Kong attraction which opened midway through 2010.

Philadelphia-based Comcast acquired a majority stake in NBCUniversal from General Electric a little more than a year ago said Wednesday that sales at NBUniversal theme parks rose 4 percent during the final three months of 2011, propelled by higher per-guest spending at Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood.

Combined revenue at NBCUniversal’s theme-parks business, which includes licensing fees from overseas parks inJapanandSingapore, totaled $498 million for the quarter, up from $478 million during the same period a year ago. That capped a year in which theme-park revenue surged 24 percent to $2 billion.

“This segment had a terrific year,” Comcast Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer Michael Angelakis said during a conference call with analysts.

NBCUniversal earlier this year announced plans to build a second Harry Potter attraction in California and expand The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Orlando Resort, though details remain vague.

For more information on the latest Universal tickets available in Orlando visit Orlando Attraction Tickets.

Cheers

Frank

 

7th February – Last chance to catch ‘old’ Spider-Man ride

For all you old school’ers out there that still get dizzy on the nostalgia when you think about that awesome time when you rode The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride at Universals Island’s of Adventure, I have some sad news…it’s closing! But dont panic, no need to do anything silly…relax…it will be opening up again in March! and the good news is it will be even more awesome – Hurrah!

According to Universal, Tuesday the 7th of February will be the last day of the current edition of the ride which has been thrilling visitors to Marvels Super Hero Island since 1999.

The new version of the ride will of course maintain its original story line where Spidey battles with a variety of super-villains, however its the technology that is getting a re-boot. The new version will add fresh details right down to the threads of Spidey’s costume to greatly enhance the visual experience. Plus the new version will also feature a cameo from Marvel comics legend and Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee.

Among the incoming additions are a new projection system, 4K digital high-def animated picture, new optical glass 3-D glasses and improved lighting.

Some work to the real-life sets that the ride travels through and the queue also will be updated or enhanced, Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative, said last week.

“Because it’s a very seamless experience between the film and the surrounding sets, a lot of the surrounding sets had to be redone in order to match the new light qualities of the picture,” he said.

So, Spider-Man fans there is no need to freak out…its all going to be OK! in fact its going to be more than OK, its going to be better with even more Spideyness! Oh and before you say anything…I know,  ‘Spideyness’ isn’t really a word 🙂

For more details of other updates at Universal see our recent post: Universal Updates for 2012

For those of you lucky enough to be travelling when the upgrade has been opened please get in touch and let us know what you thought!

Cheers

Frank