Universal Orlando The Year To Be Here?

As we mentioned on the 19th, today Universal Orlando hosted a webcast detailing why 2012 was “the year to be here”, here being Universal.

Universal didn’t reveal anything we didn’t already know, how they did provide more information on specifics. Here’s the break down

February 2012 – Will see the Blue Man Group launch its new show at Universal, we will also see the mini golf areas open up to the public.

March 2012 – Will see the Amazing Spider-Man ride release its enhanced look and feel, see this video for a glimpse.

Spring 2012 – Will see two new parades at universal called Universal Studios Superstars this parade will feature Spongebob, Dora, Despicable Me and Hop themes plus Lagoon Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular – 100 Years of Movie Memories.

 

Summer 2012 – Will see the launch of the 3D stimulator, Despicable Me! Minion Mayhem…

 and Wet & wild’s new play area rumoured to have 15 slides & 100 “soakers”.

Universal Orlando Gear Up For New Spider-Man 3D Upgrade

As we reported yesterday Universal Orlando are set to reveal some 2012 announcements at a press conference next week.

Most of the industry believe it will involve more information regarding the upgrade of The Amazing Spider-Man 3D experience at Islands of Adventure and these rumours look to be true going by the pic Universal just posted on their twitter account of a modified Hobgoblin (shown above).

I hope you’ll agree the make over looks really impressive.

Big Announcements Coming From Universal Orlando Next Week But It Wont Be About Jaws

Universal Orlando are set to make some big announcements next week regarding 2012 but it wont include Jaws.

Straight from their facebook page Universal Orlando posted the following

Universal’s facebook followers listed off their hopes and dreams plus any speculation they had heard including a new lagoon show, a parade, a Transformers attraction, a Titanic attraction, and even a JAw’s remake!

We’ll keep you updated as soon as we know more.

Jaws ride closing forever at Universal Orlando

Posted on their facebook page, Universal Orlando confirmed on the 2nd December that their icon attraction “Jaws” would be shutting down after 20 years of loyal service.

Hey fans, we want you to be the first to know… JAWS! and the Amity area will officially close on January 2 to make room for an exciting, NEW, experience we’re planning for you.
We know you love JAWS! and we do too. It has been an amazing attraction and after terrorizing the waters of Amity here at Universal Orlando for 20 years, it’s a VERY important part of our history. So, we’ve got a couple things planned to ensure we always remember and honor it. We know it’s hard to say goodbye, but we can’t express how EXCITED we are about the new, innovative & amazing experience we’re going to be bringing you.
To say this announcement was met with some anger is an understatement, as Universal’s own facebook page shows.
Universal received 977 comments regarding the closure with the majority being unhappy with the decision.
Looks like Universal will have to come up with something pretty special to replace this well loved classic.
You can still catch Jaws at Universal Studios until January 2nd, orlando attraction tickets offers the universal 2 park bonus ticket and the Orlando Flex Ticket which offers unlimited 14 day entry.

Florida Theme Parks At Christmas

Christmas at the Theme Parks is a big deal and the likes of Disney, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld go all out to provide a visual spectacular.

Here is a brief summary of what’s happening at the Theme Park’s over Christmas.

Walt Disney World: Disney offer an amazing array of theme’s and show from Christmas Around the World and the Candlelight Processional at Epcot to the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom, Disney World is generally the king of Christmas shows.

Universal/Islands of Adventure: Islands of Adventure, home to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has it’s own unique Christmas tale, told in the form of a live presentation of the classic Dr. Seuss tale “The Grinch“.

Next door at Universal Studios, there’s the Macy’s Holiday Parade, complete with authentic balloons, and live performances by Mannheim Steamroller on select nights. The festivities start on December 3.

SeaWorld: If you like your Christmas displays on water then SeaWorld’s Sea of Trees is for you, other popular Christmas shows include Shamu’s Christmas Miracles and the brand-new O Wondrous Night are all provided to get you and your family into the Christmas spirit. You can even ride the Polar Express Experience, which puts you in the classic Tom Hanks movie.

Each night of the Christmas celebration is capped off with a stunning fireworks show. The event runs weekends through December 11, then shifts to every night starting December 17.

Busch Gardens: Outside of Florida,  Busch Gardens in Tampa celebrates the holiday season with a special musical and Christmas ice show. You can even book breakfast with Santa, which includes a family photo as a momento.

Leogland Florida: As we have already reported Legoland Florida which opened in October, will be celebrating the holiday season with its first ever Christmas Bricktacular. One of the highlights is, of course, a giant Lego tree made from green and red bricks. The event starts on December 8.

How to book

Disney attraction tickets are available from Orlando Attraction Tickets from only £223 per adult.*

Universal attraction tickets including the Harry Potter Theme Park are available from OrlandoAttractionTickets.co.uk from only £87 per adult.*

SeaWorld attraction tickets are available from www.orlandoattractiontickets.co.uk from only £73 per adult.*

Busch Garden attraction tickets are available from Orlando Attraction Tickets from only £73 per adult.*

LEGOLAND Florida tickets are available from Orlando Attractions from only £38 per adult.*

*prices are subject to change without notice.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter To Go Worldwide?

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been nothing short of a phenomenal success for Universal Orlando, not only has it helped close the gap on Disney but has helped revitalised the Theme Park industry with reports of Disney speaking to James Cameron regardin a possible Avatar tie up.

So it comes as no surprise that Universal are considering taking Potter global, and copying the Harry Potter Theme Park in their other parks.

Ron Meyer, Head of NBC’s Universal movie and theme park unit admitted other parks would indeed get the Harry Potter treatment but would not be drawn in to specifics.

For me the obvious choices are Universal Hollywood and Universal Japan.

You can purchase tickets for the Wizarding World of Harry Potterin Orlando by visiting www.orlandoattractiontickets.co.uk, tickets offering entry include Universal 2-Park Bonus Tickets, Universal 3-Park Bonus Ticket, Flex Ticket and Flex Ticket Plus.

Discovery Cove, Orlando, Florida

Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive tropical getaway based in Orlando, Florida and the only place to experience the most exciting animal encounters the world has to offer. Swim with Dolphins and feel the mysterious, inspiring connection that draws you in and holds you captivated. Don a mask and snorkel in the Tropical Reef, a breathtaking underwater world teeming with thousands of exotic tropical fish and graceful rays. Take time to enjoy the songs and vibrant colors of birds from all over the world in the Explorer’s Aviary.

Also in June 2011 you can experience a new attraction called “Grand Reef”. ill combine a white-sand beach, palm-lined island and underwater grottos filled with moray eels, reef sharks and scores of other tropical fish. Activities will range from snorkeling with eagle rays to crossing a rope bridge over a shark-filled lagoon.

The Location:

6000 Discovery Cove Way
Orlando, FL 32821

Opening times:

Discovery Cove is a full day adventure with operating hours of 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. daily. Check-in begins at 8:00 a.m.

Some tips for you:

  • If you are planning on visiting Discovery Cove during the summer or near a holiday, you should book your reservation at least one month prior to your intended visit to ensure availability as these timeframes tend to book early.
  • Discovery Cove provides all guests with swim vests and/or wetsuits, a mask and snorkel, towels and beach chairs. Discovery Cove will also provide guests with a sample of specially formulated sunscreen that is safe for use in the animal habitats.
  • Guests should bring their own swimsuits, and, if they choose, water socks or rubber pool shoes, hat, sunglasses and cover-up or dry clothes.
  • Discovery Cove guests may not wear jewelry, for the safety of the animals.
  • Discovery Cove provides complimentary transportation to and from SeaWorld Orlando on the day of the Discovery Cove visit. We also provide complimentary transportation to Busch Gardens Tampa for guests whose Discovery Cove package includes admission to Busch Gardens.

Where to stay:

There are quite a few locations that you can stay at which are near discovery cove there are moderate to luxury hotels –

Moderate 3*

Hotel provides more complete facilities than a budget hotel, including upgraded amenities and level of comfort, and dependable service. Will also typically have an onsite restaurant, children’s activities, business facilities, valet parking, and concierge service.

11000 Westwood Blvd
Orlando, FL 32821

6850 Westwood Drive
Orlando, FL 32821

Deluxe 4*

Hotel provides upscale, first-class accommodations, along with a high degree of hospitality, service and attention to detail. On-site full services, including top-rated dining facilities, beauty salons, valet service, 24-hour room service and possible spa amenities also are available.

6677 Sea Harbor Drive
Orlando, FL 32821

8701 World Center Drive
Orlando, FL 32821

4040 Central Florida Parkway
Orlando, FL 32837

Luxury 6*

Hotel provides upscale, first-class accommodations, with a very high level of service and close attention to every last detail. On-site full services, including top-rated dining facilities, beauty salons, valet service, 24-hour room service, and full luxurious spa and in-room amenities.

4012 Central Florida Parkway
Orlando, FL 32837

Ages and Heights for Rides.

Theme parks and attractions in the US are not only for adults there are plenty of things babies and small children can do to. We have put together a list of parks and rides so you can see what your children can enjoy. One’s in Bold- babies from birth plus can enjoy.

Magic Kingdom……….

Ariels Grott0,Astro Orbiter, The Barnstormer at Goofy’s Wiseacre Farm (ok from around 2, height 35in), Big Thunder Mountain, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Carousel of Progress, Cinderella’s Golden Carousel, Country Bear Jamboree, Donald’s Boat, Dream Along with Mickey, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Enchanted Tiki RoomHall of Presidents, The Haunted Mansion (although it says babies can ride, I’m not sure I would take a baby on here), It’s a Small World, Jungle Cruise, Liberty Square Riverboat,
Mad Tea Party, Main Street Family Fun Day Parade, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Mickey’s Country House, Mickey’s Philharmagic, Minnie’s Country House, Peter Pan’s Flight (this is a little dark and quite high), Pirates of the Caribbean, Pooh’s Playful Spot, Snow Whites Scary Adventures, Splash Mountain, Stitch’s Great Escape, Swiss Family Treehouse, Laugh Floor, Tom Sawyer Island, Tomorrowland Speedway, Tomorrowland Transit Authority, Woody’s Cowboy Camp.

Animal Kingdom……..

Boneyard (supervision needed), Chester & Hester’s Dino-Rama, Dinosaur, Expedition Everest, Festival of the Lion King , Finding Nemo – The Musical, Flights of Wonder, It’s Tough to be a Bug, Kali River Rapids, Kilimanjaro Safari, Maharajah Jungle Trek, Pangani Exploration Trail, Pocahontas and Her Forest Friends, Rafiki’s Planet Watch, Triceratops Spin.

Hollywood Studios aka MGM……

Playhouse Disney-Live on Stage!, Backlot Tour, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Beauty and the Beast, Sounds Dangerous, Fantasmic, Star Tours, The Great Movie Ride, Tower of Terror, Honey I Shrunk the Kids Playground, High School, Musical Pep Rally, Indiana Jones Stunt,Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Lights – Motors – Action! Stunt Show, Magic of Disney Animation, Muppet Vision 3D, MGM Parades and Fireworks, One Man’s Dream.

Epcot………….

Soarin, Spaceship, Honey I Shrunk the Audience, Test track, Innoventions, Ellen’s Energy Adventure, Imagination!, Circle of LifeLiving with the Land, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, “Turtle Talk with Crush, Mission: Space.

Islands of Adventure……

Marvel Superhero Island –

The Incredible Hulk Coaster (You must be 54 inches tall to ride),
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man (You must be 40 inches tall to ride) ,
Storm Force Accelatron (this is like the teacups),
Dr. Doom’s Fearfall (You must be 52 inches tall to ride).

Toon Lagoon

Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges (You must be 42 inches to ride),
Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls (You must be 44 inches to ride), Me Ship, The Olive Playground Area.

Jurassic Park –

Jurassic Park River Adventure (You must be 42 inches to ride),
Pteranodon Flyers (You must be taller than 36 inches or shorter than 56 inches to ride. Adults can only ride when accompanied by a child.) ,
Camp Jurassic Playground Area with Dinosaur Noises,
Discovery Center.

The Lost Continent –

Dueling Dragons (You must be 54 inches to ride), Poseidon’s Fury (no height restriction but loud noises and darkness may make it unsuitable for nervous toddlers), The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad.

Seuss Landing –

The Cat in the Hat Ride Inside (No hand-held infants are allowed on the ride), One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Caro-Seuss-el, The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride (34 inches),  GrinchMas (seasonal).

Universal Studios……….

Revenge of the Mummy – Must be at least 48″

Jimmy Neutron’s Nicktoon Blast -Must be at least 40″ (persons under 40″ can experience this attraction from an adjacent stationary location.), Shrek 4-D No height, but can be scary, Fear Factor Live – No height restriction but consider subject matter carefully, Terminator 2: 3D – Battle Across Time – No height but consider subject matter carefully,  Men in Black Alien Attack – Must be at least 42″,  E.T. Adventure (possible height requirement of 40in, not for small babies) Probably ok for toddlers, but it is dark and mildly scary, Jaws – No height but consider subject matter carefully. I have read reviews where kids screamed and cried all the way through.  Twister: Ride it Out. Animal Planet Live!, Earthquake: The Big One.

Nickelodeon Studios…………

Curious George Goes to Town play park, A Day in the Park with Barney great show for little ones, Fievel’s Playland play park with water, Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster -Must be at least 36″ Good for toddlers, Universal Horror Make-Up, Beetlejuice Graveyard Review No height restriction, but consider subject matter carefully, The Blues Brothers, Simpsons Ride – 40 inches.

SeaWorld………….

Shows:

Believe
Blue Horizons
Clyde and Seamore
Mistify
Odyssea
Pet’s Ahoy

Animal Attractions

Dolphin Cove
Manatee Rescue
Pacific Point Preserve
Penguin Encounter
Shark Encounter
Wild Arctic
– there is a ride Height Restriction: 42 inches or a walk through option.

Rides at Seaworld –

Journey to Atlantis – Height Restriction: 42 inches.
Kraken -Height Restriction: 54 inches
Shamu Express – Height Restriction: 38 inches with an adult or 41 inches without an adult
Shamu’s Happy Harbor playground

Rip Ride Rockit Play List

As we reported yesterday the Rip Ride Rockit is now back open at Universal Orlando, so we thought we’d take the opportunity to recap this great ride.

Riders of the Rip Ride Rockit have access to a touchpad mounted on the lap bar, which allows you to select your own music. Riders can choose their favorite genre – Classic Rock/Metal, Rap/Hip-Hop, Club/Electronica, Pop/Disco or Country – and then pick a song. Each seat is outfitted with individual stereo speakers so guests can rock out to 90 decibels of music – and yet never hear the songs playing for other riders. Your song pick will be the soundtrack to your ride and to a music video you can purchase that uses on- and off-board cameras to mix music, moves and special effects.

Music List

Classic Rock/Metal

  • “Born to Be Wild” – Hinder
  • “Bring Me to Life” – Evanescence
  • “Gimme All Your Lovin’” – ZZ Top
  • “Kickstart My Heart” – Motley Crue
  • “Paralyzer” – Finger Eleven
  • “Rollin’” – Limp Bizkit

Rap/Hip-Hop

  • “Don’t Phunk With My Heart” – Black Eyed Peas
  • “Insane in the Brain” – Cypress Hill
  • “Pump It” – Black Eyed Peas
  • “Rock Star” – N.E.R.D.
  • “Sabotage” – Beastie Boys
  • “Stronger” – Kanye West

Club/Electronica

  • “Busy Child” – The Crystal Method
  • “Harder Better Faster Stronger” – Daft Punk
  • “Intergalactic” – Beastie Boys
  • “Keep Hope Alive” – The Crystal Method
  • “Le Disko” – Shiny Toy Guns
  • “Pump Up the Volume” – MARRS

Pop/Disco

  • “Bad Girls” – Donna Summer
  • “Glamorous” – Fergie
  • “Hella Good” – No Doubt
  • “I Will Survive” – Gloria Gaynor
  • “That’s the Way (I Like It)” – KC and the Sunshine Band
  • “U Can’t Touch This” – MC Hammer

Country

  • “All Night Long” – Montgomery Gentry
  • “Guitars, Cadillacs” – Dwight Yoakam
  • “I Can Sleep When I’m Dead” – Jason Michael Carroll
  • “Living in Fast Forward” – Kenny Chesney
  • “Midnight Rider” – The Allman Brothers
  • “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” – The Charlie Daniels Band

E.T the adventure at Universal Studios

E.T Adventure is a dark ride featured at Universal Studios Florida.

Board your flying bicycle and sneak him through the woods – past the police and scientists searching for him. Then take off and fly over the city, past the moon and soar across the stars together. At the end of your journey awaits his magical planet, filled with unforgettable creatures who greet you in song… with E.T. himself there to thank you personally.

Height to ride – 3″4

Ride Duration –  Approx 4:46

Attraction ticket review – This ride is best for kid’s not so exciting for the parents but its great to see your kid’s face light up when they think your actually flying  🙂