SeaWorld Confirm Kraken Unleashed VR Opening Date

Hey Thrill Seekers,

SeaWorld are really spoiling us today!

Another big thing for SeaWorld is the re-naming of their roller coaster ‘Kraken‘ to ‘Kraken Unleashed‘ which will debut on June 16th 2017 we already know that the new addition to the ride will include virtual reality headseats or in this case helmets. For those of you who don’t know much about virtual reality on coasters (really, where have you been?!) then here’s a fun fact for ya! The VR helmets will synchronize a video with the twists, turns and loops of the ride to enhance the experience.

Kraken originally opened on June 1st 2000 and whopping 17 years later (thank you, thank you I know my maths is great) guests will finally get to see the mighty Kraken.

These images show what kind of sea creatures and surroundings riders will find when they are immersed in the lost City of Atlantis during the ride. One of the creatures is called a Liopluredon. SeaWorld say that the unique creature was “an apex predator of the Middle to Late Jurassic seas.”

Born from tales that struck terror in sailors for centuries, SeaWorld Orlando’s mighty Kraken is a monster coaster like no other.

With the element of virtual reality, creatures such as the 21-foot Liopluredon will come to life. The already brilliant Kraken roller coaster includes a 149 foot dive, top speeds of 65 mph and 7 different times that see riders upside down. I think that the use of VR will completely change the whole experience of Kraken for the better and guests will really feel as though they are in the moment.

Kraken is a floorless coaster that see’s riders feet dangle as they are seated in open sided seats on a pedestal above the track. I think a spray of water during the ride would enhance the experience of being underwater even more. 😉

Kraken will feature custom digital overlay with uniquely designed virtual reality headsets, fully integrated both mechanically and electronically into the coaster train delivers a new one-of-a-kind adventure.’

I cannot wait for this to debut on the 16th June!

Smiles Included,

Abby

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Universal Confirm Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Christmas Show

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Just when you think there can’t possibly anymore news to cram in to one day Universal bring out the big guns.

Mike Aiello, Universal legend (not his official title) just dropped this video… hold on to yor hats muggles cos they’re about to get blown off!!!

Starting in November 2017,  celebrate the magic of Christmas  at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Yep that’s right Universal are stepping up to the plate and delivering a Christmas we’ve all wished for! Done in 4 parts Universal will transform both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, here’s what they have planned..

Festive décor

That’s right, both parks will be decorated to match the season. Mike uses the would “textured”…. Could it be snow?

Hogwarts Castle

We’ve been speculating about this one for a while but today its confirmed, Universal will be opening up a night time  experience using state of the art map projection. Hogwarts Castle will come to life with Christmas displays, incredible lightening and images inspired by film. As Mike put it, its a “gift to the fans”.

Diagon Alley

It’s not just Hogsmeade that’s getting the make over Diagon Alley at Universal Studios will also feel the love including Christmas food taken directly from the stories and  live entertainment…

Macy’s Parade

Universal will also be teaming up with those parade specialists Macy’s to create their very own Holiday parade featuring Minions, characters from Madagascar and of course SANTA…

All of these holiday experiences will run daily starting Nov. 18, 2017 through Jan. 6, 2018

More to come in the future… but one last take was more Harry Potter news (not related to the above) will come out this year…. OMG

Smiles included…

Jamie

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NEW SeaWorld Orlando Ride To Open Summer 2018

Hey Thrill Seekers,

BREAKING news!! Who doesn’t love being the first to know things? SeaWorld have literally just released some huge news.

Yesterday, the company’s board of directors met and approved growth plans for the future with one of them being a new ride for 2018!! Woooooo I love a new ride announcement and this one looks like it is going to be right up my street!

Apparently survey markers have appeared in the corner of the park that is home to Mako and Shamu’s Happy Harbour. There is also loads of rumours flying around about the new ride including elements of a roller coaster and will see riders get soaked?!

Look at me pretending to be smart.. It is a river rapids ride with a twist.. Let me introduce to you.. dun dun dun.. Infinity Falls!

This attraction is going to be manufactured by ‎Intamin Amusement Rides, Switzerland and will take passengers on a chilled 4  minute + ride through a lost jungle river, weaving through fountains, waterfalls and the remains of ancient civilization. Don’t be fooled by the relaxing start though, your adrenaline will soon be pumping when the ride sends you flying through chutes on to a 40-foot plunge down the tallest drop of its kind. It wont be over just yet though as you will then land in the churning whitewater rapids below to begin your journey through Harmony Village (how chilled does that sound) to end the experience with a message of inspiration.

‘The adventure will immerse guests in a lush, freshwater rainforest while sharing the importance of water conservation.’

Riders will get to experience the excitement and thrills of category 4 white water rapids and use a ‘unique elevator lift’ which will create the worlds tallest drop on a river raft ride!

Anyone who knows me or who has watched our Facebook live videos knows that I love a story line for attractions and the one for Infinity Falls does not disappoint. (off i go to learn the story for our next video)

 “Not long ago, a drone sent to explore the jungles of South America discovered previously uncharted structures in a remote area along the banks of a freshwater river. A group of explorers and scientists were sent to investigate the discovery.  Upon arrival they set up base camp near an abandoned structure. They studied and explored the river, falling in love with its power and the nature living along its banks. Inspired by the river, they developed a sustainable camp for others to visit and explore so they too, could learn more about the jungle and how their connection to the waters of the world.”

FACTS ALERT! The track is going to be 1520 linear feet and the inclusion of the elevator lift is the first of its kind in North America with a drop height of 40 feet. The rafts are custom designed with a expedition theme and will hold 8 passengers for all the family to enjoy the ride together!

Designers for Infinity Falls were inspired by the rainforests and rivers of South America. It is going to be a fantastic addition to SeaWorlds growing ride portfolio and for me will definitely be a must do attraction once it opens!

Infinity Falls isn’t the only new thing coming to SeaWorld in 2018. With every new ride must come a newly themed surrounding area and this one sounds refreshing to say the least. Infinity Falls will feature as the centerpiece of a rainforest themed area. After your experience on the rapids the family will be able to explore the village and take part in interactive experiences which will combine play and education. You’ll even get to experience up close encounters with animals native to South America with SeaWorlds Animal Ambassadors

Check out this video:


What do you think?! (I personally love it)

Smiles included,

Abby

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Are Universal Closing Dragon Challenge?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Who doesn’t love a bit of gossip?! I love it! When there’s rumours around, Jamie and I basically fight over them. I don’t know if you know, but there’s been rumours flying about for quite some time now about Universal looking to replace Dragon Challenge.

I for one am pretty upset about this because I love a roller coaster more than the dark rides and I think Universal should continue to have both amongst their parks. The majority of attractions at Universal Studios are 3D, including Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem, Shrek 4-D, Terminator 3D, The Simpsons Ride, TRANSFORMERS: The Ride 3D and The Escape from Gringotts. Although I absolutely love these attractions, you just can’t beat a good old roller coaster like Rip Ride Rock It or Revenge of the Mummy.

Over at Universal’s Islands of Adventure (IOA), they have a bit of a mixture with a couple of 3D rides, a couple of coasters as well as my 3 favourite water rides: Dudley Do Rights Ripsaw Falls, Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge Rat Barges and Jurassic Park River Adventure.

Here is what my debate is about. Yes, ok, IOA have the Incredible Hulk coaster (which I absolutely love) but it’s always good to have at least a couple of coasters in a park! For starters, the Incredible Hulk coaster keeps you tucked into the cart whereas Dragon Challenge lets your legs dangle in the air..

 

I just love all coasters in general and all the adrenaline however if I had to choose I guess I prefer the coasters with my legs dangling. I feel like it’s a bit more daring!

In my opinion, technology has taken over and, understandably, the parks are making the most of all of their wonderful tech knowledge to wow their customers time after time but what’s wrong with keeping some of the old school coasters instead of replacing them. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing all of the new ideas that come along but I’m still adamant that the way forward is more about coasters.

Overall, if Universal do decide to close Dragon Challenge, I hope they replace it with another coaster rather than a dark ride. Theme parks definitely need more of these about!

What would you like to see replace Dragon Challenge?

Smiles Included…

Louise

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Episode 5 of OAT Live Includes Universal, SeaWorld, Disney and Fun Spot America

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Check out episode 5 of OAT Live our biweekly live show that we broadcast on Thursdays at 4pm via our Facebook page.

In this episode you can expect Volcano Bay news, Jimmy Fallon news, info on SeaWorld’s new Dolphin show plus a great competition sponsored by Fun Spot America where you could win FREE  tickets.

We also play round 2 of OAT Connect, Gavin’s theme park based quiz and Abby tells us about the top 5 attractions as voted for by OAT customers at each of the major parks.

Watch now, enter the competition and give us your feedback.

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Step by Step Guide to Virtual Line for Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Soooo, Universal have just released a very handy step by step guide on how to use the virtual line for Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon – the first of its kind at Universal Orlando Resort!

Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon opens tomorrow (April 6) at Universal Studios. The park is actually opening early for the event at 8am so if you’re out in Orlando don’t forget to set your alarms!!

Universal have updated their app and are encouraging you to download the app today to make sure you have the most updated version.

Below is the step by step guide that Universal have provided:

Step 1. Download the Ofiicial  Universal Orlando Resort App 

After you download the app, tap on the image of “Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon” from the home screen..

‘Once on the “Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon” attraction page, tap on Virtual Line and Reserve. The app will display up to eight times available for the day. Select how many are in your party, and your preferred return time.’

‘If Virtual Line is not available, you’ll proceed either directly into the attraction or into the Stand-By line, if available. The app is the simplest and easiest way to access Virtual Line, but kiosks are also available at the front of the attraction.’

After you select your return time, you can then go and enjoy other areas of the park.

Step 2. Begin Your Race Through New York Experience!

‘When it’s your return time, enter the attraction through the main entrance and receive a coloured Peacock Card. This is where your Race Through New York experience officially begins – the Peacock Cards are designed to move you through the interactive pre-show areas and on to the ride quickly.’

3. Keep an Eye Out for Your Colour
‘The lighting in the two interactive pre-show areas will change colors (along with the iconic NBC chime) to let you know it’s time to ride.

Once the room lighting matches your Peacock Card, you’ll be able to move towards the ride. If you’d like to spend additional time in any of the interactive pre-show areas, just check in with the nearest NBC Page Team Member whenever you’re ready to ride.’

Step 4. Entertainment You Won’t Want to Miss
‘Your Race Through New York experience begins with our two interactive pre-show areas. In the first area, you’ll experience the Memorabilia Hall. Here you’ll find scripts, props and suits worn by hosts of The Tonight Show since the opening of the show in 1954. The second area is themed like Studio 6B, where The Tonight Show is filmed.’

You’ll get to experience all of the following:

  • Replica special-guest couches from The Tonight Show with charging ports
  • Interactive desks with games and Thank You Notes
  • Live performance from The Ragtime Gals barbershop quartet
  • A special appearance by The Tonight Show mascot, Hashtag the Panda

Step 5. It’s Time to Race!
‘When your colour is called, it’s time to ride. Turn in your Peacock Card and receive your briefing from Jimmy Fallon and The Roots. After your briefing, sit down in the studio audience and buckle up for the race of a lifetime. You’ll fly through the streets of The Big Apple, zoom by iconic landmarks and see familiar characters like Sara from “Ew,” Jimmy in “Tight Pants,” and “Tonight Show” announcer Steve Higgins.’

There will always be a team member on hand to assist you if you have any questions about the Virtual Line or the attraction itself.

I’m very jealous of anyone who is getting to experience the opening of Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon as there has been loads and loads of hype around it and it is set to be a pretty incredible experience!

If you get the chance to go on it before me then I would love to know what you think!!

Smiles Included,

Abby

 

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Interview With Danny Alberto From Dollar Off Drinks

Hey Thrill Seekers,

It’s interview Tuesday and today’s is a good one. Last week we re-introduced the Dollar Off Drinks Card the only card that allows you to extend your happy hour and today we’ve got an interview with their President, Danny Alberto.

Danny isn’t only a good man he’s also the owner of a quite amazing moustache. Lets get to know him;

Name: Danny Alberto
Company: Dollar Off Drinks
Position: President

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get? Beer LOL. Just kidding pizza.
If you were an animal, what would you be and why? Gator. All they do is eat, sleep, chill, sunbathe, and smile for photos.
If someone made a movie of your life would it be a drama, a comedy, a romantic-comedy, action film, or science fiction? Comedy
Complete the sentence; I was once mistaken for . . . the most interesting man in the world.
If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be? Stephen Hawking, Oprah and Bill Gates.

WORK

What was the highlight of 2016 for your company?: Being overwhelmed with all the support we’ve received from so many partners and friends.
What can we expect from your company in 2017?: More locations and more destinations. Clearwater Beach and Cocoa Beach coming soon…
Make a 2017 prediction…: By the end of the year you’ll be able to find Dollar Off Drinks in Vegas and Miami.
Best Theme Park ride/attraction of 2016?: Mako at Sea World
Best Theme Park/attraction food of 2016?: Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival. So many countries with amazing food.
Best Theme Park/attraction tip?: Remember to relax. You’re on vacation.
Best kept secret in Florida?: The Florida Keys. If you’re here for 14 days definitely visit the Keys. It will be well worth it.

Many thanks to Danny for taking the time to get involved. We know he’s a busy man testing all the venues that accept the DOD so we really appreciate it.

You can read more of our interview series here;

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Theme Parks Announce In-Coaster Dining Plans!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

According to recent reports, one theme park in Orlando is planning to offer their visitors ‘In-Coaster’ dining options!

The Park has stated that more and more people that come to Orlando are not getting enough quality time at the parks due to the inconvenience of having to take a break to eat breakfast, lunch or a snack. They have stated that according to research carried out on one of their most popular roller coasters, visitors can save an additional 22 minutes per day by choosing to eat their meals during their ride on a roller coaster.

Some of the dishes already planned for the menu include the following;

  • Soup of the day
  • Rahmen Noodles
  • Curry and Rice
  • Nachos with Cheese
  • Fish and Chips
  • Burgers
  • Ice Cream
  • Custard

The park in question [currently choosing to remain anonymous for commercial reasons] say that although some people may find it difficult to eat a full meal while riding a coaster we hope in time that this will become part and parcel of visiting a theme park.

When asked what they planned to do for riders that exited the ride covered in food the park official stated “We already have a post dinner schedule for clean up, customer can pay an additional $20 to be hosed down after”

Although this does seem a radical idea and many are sceptical of its success, some have even speculated that their is a 1 in 3 chance of people ‘chundering’ during and after the ride, this aside, we are keen to see this food related freak show in operation.

Official opening is planned for 1st April 2018 – so we will be able to provide more information closer to the time. In the meantime if any of our readers have any idea which park this may happen in please leave a comment below.

Happy munching and Smiles included…

Jamie

Orlando Attraction Tickets

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Food, Glorious Food.. New Disney and Universal Menus!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

So, Universal have released – intentionally or not – some big announcements regarding plans for a new hotel on the land that used to be home to Wet ‘n Wild, patents that point towards a new Harry Potter ride and now.. the menu for Volcano Bay!

Now we all know that Disney aren’t one to sit back and let anyone steal their thunder and are opening Pandora: World of Avatar on the 27th May – 2 days after Volcano Bays debut and they have recently released the extremely intriguing menu.

A couple of weeks ago we got an insight into the weird and wonderful foods that are going to be on offer in the Satu’li Canteen which is Pandora’s sole restaurant and even more interestingly the way in which you can customise and order your meals. There’s some pretty cool things in there such as Na’vi Blueberry Cheesecake – sounds lovely and looks even better! There are some cool takes on traditional dishes as well such as one from the childrens menu – ‘hot dog wrapped in dough’ this isn’t too different to a normal dish so it shouldn’t scare the kids away too much. 😉 You will also find a vast list of alcoholic beverages on the menu such as Avatar Sangria and Banshee Pinot Noir – Fancy :-p.

Take a look at the menu here:

In my previous blog I also took a look into the new system of how you can pre-order and pay for your meals via the app which I think will really help with the  queues. Thankfully, Disney have released the full menu with pricing so you can even start budgeting and deciding on what you want before you leave the country!

Guests to Disney have been able to begin making FastPass+ reservations for Na’vi River Journey and Flight of Passage from the 24th March.. These are expected to book up very quickly!

I’ve also been taking a look into Volcano Bays menu – we all know swimming makes you hungry so good food inside a water park is essential!

Looking at Universals blog, creating the menu has been a pretty large project in itself.

As a Research & Development Chef at Universal Orlando Resort, I’ve gotten to create some unique food dishes. But it was a whole other experience to help design an entire menu for our third park, Universal’s Volcano Bay.

Said Corporate Executive Chef Steven Jayson, who was very excited to elevate the food and beverage experience at Volcano Bay. ‘From the minute you arrive in the morning until well into the night, you’ll have more than 60 delicious options to choose from, from snacks to entrees to desserts.’

The dishes are all inspired by the islands of the South Pacific and there will be dishes such as Poke Poke Bowl, Mango BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich, Island Chicken Salad, Glazed Hawaiian Ribs, Coconut Curry Chicken as well as refreshing cocktails and beers.. Yummaaay!

The dishes will be available to grab a taste of at the following dining locations around Volcano Bay:

  • Kohola Reef Restaurant & Social Club
  • Whakawaiwai Eats
  • Bambu
  • The Feasting Frog

If you’re a fussy eater or a little less adventurous with your food (a bit like Kelly here at OAT) then don’t panic!! All of your favourites such as chicken fingers, hamburgers and pizza will also be available.

Both menu’s are weird and wonderful – which would do you prefer?

Smiles included,

Jess

 

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Universal Confirm American Horror Story For HHN27

Hey Thrill Seekers,

We LOVE Universals Halloween Horror Nights not only is the event itself amazing but the build up is just as good.

As per previous year Universal generally drip feed us announcement and houses. Today they’ve confirmed with this video that HHN27 will see the return of American Horror Stories

Here’s what Universal had to say;

This all-new house will feature brand new content from Season 2: Asylum, Season 3: Coven and Season 6: Roanoke. And to really blow it out, we’re using our largest floor plan—aka our uber-maze—to bring to life the three incredibly detailed seasons.

American Horror Story has some of the most intricate and intimidating characters I’ve ever seen. We’ve worked hard to once again bring this unique anthology to life, recreating the series with every turn of this maze.

In Asylum, travel through the decades of the notorious Briarcliff – evade Dr. Arden’s grotesque human “Rasper”experiments and come face to “face” with the serial killer, Bloody Face.

New Orleans aesthetics will surround, as you’re drawn into the wrath of descendants of the Salem witches and their unquenchable thirst for power in Coven.

And finally, relive the horrific story of the Millers in Roanoke – where you’ll be at the mercy of Piggy, the grisly Polk family and the ghosts of the blood moon.

With the help of series creator Ryan Murphy and 20th Century Fox, we’ve perfectly captured the environments, moments and scares American Horror Story entails.

This years Halloween Horror Nights will take place on;

  • Sept. 15-17, 21-24, 29-30
  • Oct. 1, 4-8, 11-15, 18-22, 25-31
  • Nov. 3-4

We’re still awaiting official pricing from Universal but will have it up as soon as possible.

Screams included…

Jamie

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