Disney release teaser video for Goofy’s Sky School

Check out the Disney teaser video of Goofy’s Sky School rollercoaster, which is due to debut at California Adventure in mid-2011.

Goofy’s Sky School will be a rethemed version of the Mulholland Madness coaster, which closed on October 12, 2010. The wild mouse coaster will receive a new theme based on the 1940 cartoon Goofy’s Glider, which tells the story of Goofy attempting to teach pilots how to fly.

Ripsaw Falls ride closed after catching fire

A water ride that caught on fire at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure will remain closed for several weeks to repair the damage and undergo seasonal maintenance, officials said Sunday.

Universal spokesman Tom Schroder said fire officials are working to identify and correct the cause of the fire that started in the roof of Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls on Saturday and forced its evacuation.

The maintenance for the ride was originally scheduled for later this month. Schroder did not say when the park plans on reopening the attraction.

The smoky, two-alarm fire erupted on the roof of an area through which cars that look like logs carry passengers, said Orlando Deputy Fire Chief Greg Hoggatt. It grew quickly.

“That type of material puts out a lot of black smoke,” he said.

Forty firefighters, including some from Orange County Fire Rescue, were called to the scene. The fire was tamed in about half an hour and extinguished in an hour, Hoggatt said. A few guests were checked at the park first-aid room, but none required hospitalization. No damage estimates were available, Schroder said.

A park guest, Anthony Rosa, said he was in the Harry Potter area when he saw smoke from across the lake in the center of the park. A moment later, he smelled burning plastic.

A large crowd began walking across a bridge and away from Ripsaw Falls, Rosa said. The number of those evacuated was not immediately available, but Schroder said dozens of people were in the area.

Rosa said he wouldn’t go back to the ride immediately even if it reopened.

“It’s a bit concerning,” he said. “I’d definitely be second-guessing it the whole time.”

Investigators are considering an electrical problem from components such as air conditioners or ride controllers, or an accident, Hoggatt said.

Susan Gartner, a chaperone with the marching band from Wamego High School in Kansas, said she was eating when she saw black smoke rise out of Toon Lagoon. She began trying to contact other chaperones and students, who said they saw flames shooting out of the ride.

“Thank goodness” they were OK, Gartner said of the students.

Schroder would not say what compensation might be available to park patrons who were forced to get off the ride.

“In a situation like this, we would always work with our guests and do what is right,” he said. “We’re happy to work with our guests and make them feel that they’re accommodated.”

Toon Lagoon, where the water ride is located, reopened about 90 minutes after fire and dark, billowing smoke closed it shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday, officials said. Toon Lagoon also is home to Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges.

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How Disney Plan To Reduce Theme Park Queuing Times

Disney handles over 30 million visitors per year! Top of everyone’s pet hate list is queuing… so what are Disney doing about this?

According to the New York Times Disney have been busy in 2010 equipping an underground nerve centre to tackle our favourite pet peeve.

In one corner, employees watch flat-screen televisions that depict various attractions in green, yellow and red outlines, with the colors representing wait-time gradations.

An example of how this would work is given as…

If Pirates of the Caribbean, the ride that sends people on a spirited voyage through the Spanish Main, suddenly blinks from green to yellow, the center might respond by alerting managers to launch more boats.

Another idea which is not exactly scientific is…

Another option involves dispatching Captain Jack Sparrow or Goofy or one of their pals to the queue to entertain people as they wait. “It’s about being nimble and quickly noticing that, ‘Hey, let’s make sure there is some relief out there for those people,’ ” said Phil Holmes, vice president of the Magic Kingdom, the flagship Disney World park.

What if…

What if Fantasyland is swamped with people but adjacent Tomorrowland has plenty of elbow room? The operations center can route a miniparade called “Move it! Shake it! Celebrate It!” into the less-populated pocket to siphon guests in that direction. Other technicians in the command center monitor restaurants, perhaps spotting that additional registers need to be opened or dispatching greeters to hand out menus to people waiting to order.

Help Name Baby Killer Whale At SeaWorld Orlando

As we reported on our Baby Killer Whale Born At SeaWorld and Its A Boy – SeaWorld Reveals Sex of Killer Whale posts, SeaWorld have a new Killer Whale to name and what better way then to allow us, the public, to help name it.

We consider each of you to be part of our family. And that’s why we want to share a special moment with you – choosing the name for our new baby killer whale.

The little guy – born on October 9 – is getting bigger by the day. Fully grown, he’ll tip the scales at 10,000 lbs.

The names you can pick from are

  1. Nico – Greek for “victory of the people”
  2. Makaio – Hawaiian for “gift of God”
  3. Haruki – Japanese for “shining brightly”

The only way to vote is to visit the SeaWorld fan page on facebook. Personally I’m voting for Nico, reminds me of that Steven Seagal film.

Second Ollivander’s shop added to Wizarding World of Harry Potter

HollywoodNews.com: 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.