Second Ollivander’s shop added to Wizarding World of Harry Potter Anyone who has had the chance to visit Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of ‘Harry Potter’ knows that long, long lines are all a part of the experience, and no shop is more a testament to that fact than Ollivander’s Wand Shop. The powers-that-be at Universal must have also realized that, as it is being reported that a second Ollivander’s has been added to accommodate the massive crowds that are eager to find out which “wand will choose the wizard.”

According to Inside the Magic, the second wand shop has been converted from a former employee stock room, and will allow more visitors access to the vast array of wands and other Harry Potter themed merchandise within Ollivander’s. Guests to the theme park, which opened its doors this past June, have been known to stand in line for more than an hour for the experience of being able to choose a wand, just as Harry Potter himself did in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

The only drawback is that the second store does not allow for the 5 minute wand-choosing “ceremony” that is the draw for the majority of Ollivander’s customers. However, those who are willing to forego the interactive experience will spend less time in line to purchase a wand, which will allow for more exploration of other areas of the park.

View more Wizarding World of Harry Potter posts

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

Triceratops Discovery Trail at Universal’s Islands of Adventure Re-opens

Universal Orlando has reopened the former Triceratops Encounter attraction at Islands of Adventure, under the new name of Triceratops Discovery Trail.

Triceratops Encounter is a partial recreation of a scene from the Jurassic Park movie in which the lead characters encounter a sick triceratops. Guests are able to watch a “veterinary technician” perform exams on the triceratops, with advanced animatronics being used to create a sense of realism. A baby triceratops is also on display while guests wait to enter the attraction.

What To Do Next At The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

So to say the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been an success is a slight understatement.

Universal Studio’s posted attendance increases of 38% meaning the park will return to over 10 million visitors per year from the 2009 slump.

In the first 3 months of launch The Wizarding World of Harry Potter drew an additional 1 million visitors, but how do you keep this level of excitement and buzz alive?

Extension to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is inevitable and Universal Studio’s are in fact obligated to do this…

The resort’s licensing contract with Warner Bros. requires it to incorporate elements from the final Potter films, the last of which will open in theaters in July.

But what could be added to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter?

Cheetah Hunt Build Update

Straight off the SeaWorld blog a great look at the construction of Busch Gardens, Cheetah Hunt.

Cheetah Hunt Tower
Cheetah Hunt
Cheetah Hunt

As you can see by these images the ride is really beginning to take shape and is on course for the ambitious spring 2011 launch, rumoured to be in May.

Disney Dream Cruise Ships Vital Statistics

• Port: Port Canaveral

• Tonnage: 128,000 tons

• Length/Beam: 1,115 ft./125 ft.

• Total Staterooms: 1,250

• Total Passengers: 4,000

• Amenities: First water coaster at sea, AquaDuck. Atrium lobby features Enchanted Art: still artwork that comes to life when a guest walks in front of it. Virtual portholes in all inside staterooms which offer a real-time view outside the ship from high-definition cameras. Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Disney’s Oceaneer Lab youth areas include living characters: Disney characters appear on a 103-inch plasma screen to talk, joke and play with passengers.Goofy’s Sports Deck, Nemo’s Reef water-play area, Quiet Cove Pool and Cove Bar for adults only, Pixie Hollow kids area, children’s and teen activities, family pools, various restaurants including three adult-only establishments, spa and salon, and much more.

• Staterooms: Concierge family oceanview stateroom with verandah, deluxe family oceanview stateroom with verandah, deluxe oceanview stateroom verandah, deluxe family oceanview stateroom, deluxe oceanview stateroom, deluxe inside stateroom, standard inside stateroom, concierge 1-bedroom suite with verandah

• Inaugural Sail Date: Set for January 26, 2011

• Shipyard: Papenburg, Germany

• Country of Registry: Bahamas

• Officer Nationality: International

• Web site:

If you haven’t already seen the amazing images of the Disney Dream just follow this link;

Pictures of the Disney Dream Cruise Ship

LegoLand Florida Park Details

Park Details

The Beginning hosts park entry, ticket and pass sales, the Garden Restaurant and The Big Shop.
* The Big Shop – One of the largest retail stores in the world where guests can a huge selection of LEGO and LEGOLAND merchandise
* The Market – Authentic imported Danishes and freshly baked pastries, espresso, milk, juice, fruit, a selection of yogurts and soft serve ice cream

When guests enter Fun Town, they truly get a sense they’ve entered a LEGO

LEGOLAND Florida will feature a variety of retail shops and delicious treats, most notably, Granny’s Apple Fries.
* Factory Tour – A firsthand look at how LEGO bricks are made from factory to finish
* Studio Store – Visit this store to pick-up all your favorite LEGO licensed products, like Clutch Powers, Bob the Builder™ , SpongeBob™, Indiana Jones™, Star Wars™ and Batman™
* Granny’s Apple Fries – The home of our signature dessert item! This must-have snack is made with crisp Granny Smith apples, powdered with cinnamon and sugar and served with a deliciously sweet vanilla cream sauce
* Fun Town Theater – Four different 4-D movies will show throughout the day at LEGOLAND’s largest 4-D theater with seats for 700!

Miniland USA, the heart of every LEGOLAND Park, will be home to seven specially themed areas – Washington, D.C., New York City, Las Vegas, Kennedy Space Center, Daytona and of course Florida.
* Florida encompasses the entire state from Mallory Square in Key West to Bok Tower in Central Florida and antebellum mansions in the Panhandle. Miniland Florida also includes an expanded area for Kennedy Space Center and an interactive Daytona racing experience where guests can race LEGO brick cars.
* Las Vegas features the world-famous Strip including the Luxor Las Vegas, New York, New York Hotel and Casino, Excalibur, Mirage, Treasure Island, Tropicana, MGM Grand, Venetian, Stratosphere tower and two iconic structures of Paris Las Vegas: the balloon sign and Eiffel Tower. “The Strip” at LEGOLAND also features a miniature wedding chapel, monorails and real life sounds recorded in Las Vegas. The architectural landmark is built out of more than two million bricks and represents more than sixteen-thousand hours of creative artistry.
* Washington, D.C. sports faithful recreations of the White House, Capitol Building, Smithsonian, Washington and Jefferson monuments and parts of Georgetown. An animated marching band parades in front of the Capitol and tiny cherry trees blossom every spring.
* New York City features the Freedom Tower years before its completion in the Big Apple. Tiny jets of water shoot up from the fountain in Rockefeller Plaza, while an army of animated yellow taxicabs prowls the streets of Times Square. The Statue of Liberty, a cutaway view of Grand Central Station, The Empire State Building, The Guggenheim Museum and the Bronx Zoo are just a few of the recognizable landmarks.
* A Pirate themed section hosts a full-on swashbuckling pirate adventure as two opposing pirate ships and their “mates” battle it out upon the high seas.

Castle Hill takes kids back to medieval times where spells are cast and many knights, damsels and dragons are found.
* The Dragon – An indoor/outdoor steel roller coaster that features a spirited and humorous view of life behind the scenes within the enchanted LEGOLAND Castle
* The Royal Joust – Kids ride LEGO themed horses through a number of medieval scenes where they encounter other riders in a simulated joust

In Land of Adventure, adventurers of all ages explore hidden tombs and hunt for treasure.
* Coastersaurus – This junior coaster reaches curves and dips in and around a prehistoric jungle of animated and life-sized LEGO brick dinosaurs
* Lost Kingdom Adventure – LEGOLAND Florida’s spectacular dark ride invites guests to fire laser blasters at targets and brave the rugged Egyptian landscape in all-terrain roadsters, while attempting to unearth the vast treasures of a forgotten empire
* Pharaoh’s Revenge – This outdoor attraction lets children and parents fire soft foam balls at enemies and explore the complex maze of the Pharaoh’s kingdom
* Beetle Bounce – Launch 15-feet up toward intricate, brightly jeweled LEGO scarab beetles perched atop two monumental obelisks

* LEGO TECHNIC® Test Track -Brave guests feel the power of acceleration, braking and maneuverability as they race a life-size LEGO TECHNIC vehicle along a wild roller coaster track.
* AQUAZONE® Wave Racers -Riders zip in and out of waves as they dodge water blasters on this dual water carousel ride

LEGO City, the perfect place where youngsters can live out their dreams in a scaled down town created just for them.
* Fun Town Fire Academy – Families race to put out a “blaze” by piling into a “fire truck” and power it by pumping levers across a paved straightaway. The first family to put out the fire and make it back wins!
* Driving School – A “real-life” driving experience for children ages 6 through 13, where kids receive their official LEGOLAND driver license
* Junior Driving School – A scaled down version driving school course for children ages 3 through 5
* Flight School – An inverted steel coaster that lets kids feel the thrill of flight
* The Big Test – This interactive show uses acrobatics, music and playful fun to teach fire safety as the zany crew of Fun Town Fire Department attempts to conquer the “Big Test” to become official firefighters

Imagination Zone emphasizes exploring and creation, while showcasing seven of the most visually exciting LEGO models in the world, including a replica of Albert Einstein’s head.

* Game Space – Features thirteen game stations where guests can experience LEGO STAR WARS™ and other family-friendly games like LEGO INDIANA JONES™, LEGO BATMAN™ and Monsters vs. Aliens all year round
* Build & Test – Build a LEGO car and test it against the competition on the digitally timed track
* LEGO MINDSTORMS™ – Build and program cutting edge, computerized LEGO MINDSTORMS™ robots
* LEGO Clubhouse – Kids and parents stock up on bulk LEGO brick and Make & Create kits while enjoying ice cream, popcorn, beverages and snacks
* Kid Power Towers – Kids and parents alike hoist themselves up to the top of a tower to get a great view of the entire Park and the lovely Lake Eloise, and then enjoy a fun “free-fall” to the bottom

Pirate’s Cove has been taken over by swashbuckling pirates along the shores
of Lake Eloise at LEGOLAND Florida’s very own live-action water stunt show.

DUPLO® Village is ideal for toddlers and their growing minds. Youngsters
can fly a plane, drive a car or explore a whole town – all designed with their height in mind.

LegoLand Florida

SeaWorld To Axe 350 Jobs

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment are planning to make up to 350 jobs around the country, including 129 in Orlando, redundant.

The cost cutting exercise comes on the back of reported ticket price rise. The Bulk of SeaWorld layoffs will be from its three largest markets: 129 in Orlando (5 at corporate office, 124 in parks), 125 in Tampa and 80 in San Diego.

Rumours have it that SeaWorld were the worst hit by the Wizarding World of Harry Potter launch.

“This restructuring will allow us to operate more efficiently and better position us for long-term growth and independence,” SeaWorld Parks President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Atchison said in a prepared statement. “Our primary goal is to eliminate some of the duplication of responsibility that affects performance, innovation and our ability to execute quickly.”

“It is an unfortunate, but necessary, consequence of a restructuring of this sort that positions will be lost,” Atchison added.

Orlando Thrill Theme Park Unveils 14 Ride Idea’s

14 rides, 8 Roller Coasters!!! Its sounds like music to my theme park ear’s… Its the Orlando Thrill Park

Chuck Bell, spokesman for the Orlando Thrill Park stated that the park would include rides from several manufactures including Intamin, Vekoma, Chance Morgan, Mack, S&S Power, U.S. ThrillRides and Mondial.

If plans are agreed and financing secured the Orlando Thrill Park will be situated on International Drive.

Orlando Thrill Park would have no themed environments, no costumed characters, no dark rides and few if any shows, Bell said. Instead, it would be all about the biggest, tallest, fastest, longest, steepest and greatest thrills.

No price tag has been pinned to the new park, but by my estimate the ride inventory alone would top $100 million. Bell said he hopes OTP would serve as a proving ground for the latest and greatest from the amusement industry, showcasing one-of-a-kind, prototype, record-breaking, envelope-pushing, adrenaline-based extreme rides.

Bell pointed to two parks as inspiration for Orlando Thrill Park: Cedar Point in Ohio and Six Flags Magic Mountain in California, both parks are considered to be heavyweights in the battle for the title of  “Roller Coaster Capital of the World.”

14 Theme Park Rides for the Orlando Thrill Park