Legoland Florida recycles old sidewalks into new foundations

Legoland Florida is putting its teeth into a recycling effort. The theme park, under construction in Winter Haven, is grinding up sidewalks and foundations from its Cypress Gardens predecessor. An outside company will use a 15-ton machine to chew up the concrete into different size bits to be used as a base layer for new sidewalks in the park, set to open in October 2011.

“By recycling and reusing the concrete already on the property, we’re not only saving 18,000 tons of slab from area landfills, but doing what’s right for our business,” general manager John Ussher said.

Legoland has also transplanted 660 oaks and palm trees from the property during the construction. They will return to the park once work is complete.

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SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Raise Prices

On Friday SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment confirmed that they will be increasing price of admission in to their SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Theme Parks.

The adult price of a basic single-day admission to SeaWorld Orlando inches up $1 to $79.99, before tax. That is about $2 less than base-ticket prices at Disney World and Universal, which each raised prices in August.

more to follow

Walt Disney World Wait Times On Your iPhone

One of the most annoying things in the history of the world (well, to me anyway) is queuing! I just hate standing in line waiting….and waiting….and annoying everyone I’m with by constantly complaining about waiting…and then waiting some more….you get the picture right? Well, I have some good news for fellow ‘queue haters’ There are a few decent iPhone Apps out there that can help. They won’t eliminate the queues but they do the next best thing; they let you know the average ‘wait time’ for all the major rides at Walt Disney World Orlando.

I have reviewed a couple of these iPhone Apps below which I might add are FREE to download. The way these Apps work is pretty genius. People that are already standing in line have this App and submit their wait times. This makes each wait time relevant to that particular point in time….good eh?

FREE WDW Waits App

This was the first app I downloaded. It’s very easy, right off the bat you can download this App and understand how to use it.  FREE WDW Waits uses your ‘current location’ via GPS to let you know where the nearest ride to you is. You can see and submit wait times and add rides and add rides to a ‘favourites’ section.

Displayed wait times are based on app user submitted times and park crowd levels. Now with hundreds of thousands of users.

FEATURES
✓ Ride wait times for all 4 Disney World parks
✓ All times for each park displayed on the same screen
✓ See recent times submitted for each ride
✓ Submit a ride wait time if you are in the park
✓ See rides nearest to your GPS position
✓ Time displayed in minutes, a CL if closed, or dashes if unavailable

Visit VersaEdge.com for more info and demo video.

WDW FREE Wait Time Opening App Screen
Wait time displayed
submit your waiting time

Pros: It’s simple to use, it’s free, and it does exactly what you need it to do. Three awesome reasons to go and download it right now!

Cons: The refresh rate is slow (it’s around every 4 minutes; I hate to wait!) Personally I would add a ‘refresh button’ The ‘Near me’ option needs to encourage people to use it – if you don’t set it up when you first download the app but you later click on it you get the following message ‘Error Acquiring Location’ It should then offer you the chance to allow the App to ‘use your current location’ to enable the function to work but it doesn’t – This App has adverts on it – Graphics are basic.

Verdict: It’s a good App, its simple and it’s FREE! The pros definitely out way the cons with this App. I would recommend you go get this if you’re off to Walt Disney World Orlando.

More info: iTunes

Undercover Tourist – Walt Disney World Wait Time App

There is a lot going on with this iPhone App. Its main function it to provide wait times at WDW which it does in the same way as the App above. The eye pleasing graphics make the user experience just that little bit more fun as it has a ‘game type’ quality to it. But this App is more than just wait times. It gives you lots of extra information like a review of the rides, user ratings, parade times, where to eat, a 10 day crowd forecast a planner and it also has a little game on it to keep you amused when you’re in the queues.

FEATURES

. Detailed Maps and GPS Locator – Enjoy accurate wait times, integrated in real-time, with park maps for Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. All of these locations can be found in just one App!

. Real-Time Data Points – Save time with over 2,000,000 wait time data points, all enhanced by real-time user submissions.

. Rides – Pre-plan with detailed information, including photos, descriptions, ratings and height / age requirements. The App filters the rides by age, family and Fast Pass. It also allows for rides to be added to your touring plan and marked as one of your favorites.

. Disney Dining – Cruise through menus for Disney World and Downtown Disney restaurants with new Disney World Resort restaurants added weekly to the App. Restaurant ratings, cuisine, cost and photos are also at your fingertips and can be added to your Favorites list or inserted into your Activities Scheduler.

. Export and Import Scheduling Information – You can plan your entire day at the Walt Disney World Theme Parks. The Schedule can also be e-mailed to your
family and friends.

. Planner – You can see opening hours, parade times, recommended parks and other special events up to 10 days in advance.

. Traffic Light System – You can choose the best parks and rides with the lowest crowds for each day of your trip.

. GPS Tools – After a long day at the parks, you can locate your vehicle, yourself or members of your group … fast.

. Ticket Purchase – You will have the exclusive ability on mobile to purchase discount attraction tickets through Undercover Tourist, the most trusted name in discount attraction tickets.

. Ticket Copy – You can take pictures of all your theme park tickets to keep track of everyone’s tickets in your group. Note: This feature is not a guarantee for having your tickets reissued. Officially, theme parks do not have to reissue lost tickets; it remains at their sole discretion, so be sure to be careful!

. Play a Game – You can pass time while waiting with a fun tile match memory game for kids of all ages.

Undercover Tourist Walt Disney World Wait Time App Opeing Screen
Current wait times displayed
More information on rides

Pros: It’s FREE. This App is packed with great things to do. Its fun to use and gives you lots of extra ‘added value’ information. Its obvious the developers of this App have spent a lot of time thinking about what users would find useful.

Cons: It’s packed with adverts. You can ditch the adds by upgrading to a paid version of this App. If current location is not set up when you download the App it doesn’t point you in the direction of how to set it up if you then click on the ‘Location’ function later. No instructions on how to use some of the functions.

Verdict: Download this App. Its FREE damnit! Its packed with useful features and its fun to use – just how an App should be.

More info: iTunes

So there you have our pick on a couple of really useful Apps. Let us know if you have used either of these Apps by leaving us a comment or if there are any other similar Apps you’d recommend we’d love to hear about them.

For more information on Walt Disney World click the link.

Buy Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter Merchandise Online

For the first time every Universal Orlando has launched an online shop to allow fans topurchase Wizarding World of Harry Potter merchandise from the comfort of their own homes.

The online shop allows you to visit the same stores available at the Islands of Adventure, Dervish and Banges, Filch’s Emporium, Ollivanders, Owl Post and Zonko’s are all represented.

The online shop can be visited by clicking here – Universal Orlando Online Shop

First Pictures of Disney Downtown Development

The Disney blog has just released some stunning new pictures of Disney’s new “Hyperion Wharf” which will be the new name for Pleasure Island.

The 120 acre complex will have new restaurants, shopping and entertainment experiences added to give the area a more modern feel.

The district will come to life with a nostalgic yet modern take on an early 20th century port city and amusement pier. By day, stylish boutiques and innovative restaurants will draw you in and by night, thousands of lights will transform the area into an electric wonderland.

Building work has already started and is due for completion in 2013.

I think you’ll agree these images are pretty impressive and attraction tickets .info can’t wait for 2013.

Disney also mention further alterations to their Downtown area including:

Remodelling The Lego Imagination Centre  from January to April 2011. When completed, the store will stand at nearly 3,500 square feet.

The AMC Theatres are adding new digital technology, a Concession Stand of the Future and Florida’s first Fork & Screen Theater.

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Disney Launch New Check In Facility With Gowalla

Today Disney have launched a new way to explore and enjoyDisneyland Florida, teaming up with Gowalla a place sharing website, Disney are encouraging visitors to “check in” at their favourite Disney locations to make their visit even more magical.

Disney wrote on their blog

The fun starts with our new digital Passport Stamps. Hundreds of locations within Disney Parks will feature these exclusive Stamps created by Gowalla – it’s the largest number of custom Stamps ever developed for a brand. The Stamps can be collected and kept as a virtual scrapbook by using Gowalla and checking-in around the parks. Take a look at some of my favorites.

You’ll also be able to view what’s happening at the park with custom Disney Passport pages that include maps featuring a check-in stream, a list of popular places and Trips.

You can start your Disney Parks adventure now by going to Gowalla.com/WaltDisneyWorld orGowalla.com/Disneyland. You’ll need to join Gowalla via the web or download the free application onto your smartphone

Disney also want to know which are your favourite check in stamps, so why not tell them on their blog

Butterbeer recipe just for muggles!

Ever wanted to make your very own Butterbeer!? Well now you muggles can mix up your own batch.

 Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup (8 oz) cream soda
  2. ½ cup (4 oz) butterscotch ice cream for the topping
  3. ½ tablespoon butter

Directions:

 1: Measure butterscotch and butter into a measuring jug. Microwave on high for 1 to 1½ minutes, or until syrup is bubbly and butter is completely incorporated.

 2: Stir and cool for 30 seconds, then slowly mix in club soda. Mixture will fizz quite a bit.

 3: Serve in two coffee mugs or small glasses; a perfectly warm Hogwarts treat for two!

 4: Enjoy!

butterbeer recipe

Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Queue Times

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened on the 18th June2010 to a massive media hype and fan anticipation. Harry Potter reviews have been mostly positive, with some negative comments regarding wait times for the rides.

We’ve scoured the internet and spoken to visitors and come up with the following averaged queue time for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey  since June 2010.

June – 120 mins

July – 60 mins

August – 90 mins

September – 40 Mins

October – 30 mins

November- 30 mins

Have you recently visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, how long did you have to queue?

Dollywood Wins Theme Park Applause Award

Dollywood was yesterday awarded the theme park equivalent of the Oscars at the IAAPA Attractions Expo 2010 in Orlando, Florida.

The Applause Award was accepted by Dolly Parton in person who stated in an interview how “honoured and proud” she was to receive such a prestigious award. “I’m excited that this is our 25th anniversary for Dollywood, that we won it this year, and that I had a chance to be here.” She added.

The Applause Award, which has been presented since 1980 honour’s a park whose “management, operations and creative accomplishments have inspired the industry with their foresight, originality and sound business development,” according to a statement from Liseberg park in Gothenburg, Sweden. The Applause winner is decided by a board of governors chaired by Mats Wedin, Liseberg’s CEO. The board includes theme park professionals from around the world.

Dollywood beat off competition from English based Alton Towers and German Theme Park, Phantasialand.

Dollywood welcomes 2.5 million visitors a year.