Universal’s Epic Universe park Confirmed!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

The worst kept secret in the theme park industry is finally out!

Universal's Epic Universe Logo

Ever since Universal snapped up roughly 600 acres of land near Sand Lake Road the internet has been rife about what exactly they’d be doing with all this land.

Today Universal have confirmed that they are opening a 4th Gate.. ‘Universal’s Epic Universe’ and is Universal Orlando Resorts biggest investment to date. Word on the street is that Universal are claiming this to be more than ‘just another park’ and will promise a whole new resort with the layout concept being ‘all different’

Epic Universe will include hotels and shops and will be located on a large plot of land near the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

Here is a sneaky image of the concept art..

First Look at Universal’s Epic Universe – Universal Orlando Resort’s Fourth Theme Park

‘Universal’s Epic Universe will be the biggest and best ever’ – Tom Williams, CEO of Universal Parks and Resorts.

Here’s what Universal had to say..

Epic. It’s a word that gets tossed around a lot in today’s day and age, though not one we use loosely. When we label something as epic, we want that experience to live up to the promise that the word makes. Which is why today we are elated to announce the addition of our fourth theme park, Universal’s Epic Universe, an experience genuinely worthy of its bold moniker.

Universal’s Epic Universe will offer an entirely new level of experiences that will forever redefine theme park entertainment. Guests will venture beyond their wildest imagination, traveling into beloved stories and through vibrant lands on adventures where the journey is as astounding as the destination. The new location will feature a theme park, an entertainment center, hotels, shops, restaurants and more. Ultimately, this expansion will create more space and freedom to let loose and create lasting memories with the people you love.

Here is a proximity map that Universal have also released:

Universal's Epic Universe Map

Stay tuned for more updates as they come in!

Smiles included…

Abby

Is This The Name Of Universal’s New Jurassic Coaster?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Although Universal haven’t confirmed anything the internet has been rife with rumours of a new coaster making its way to Islands of Adventure. These rumours have been boosted with the fact that Universal have boarded off large sections of the Jurassic area and construction companies have started work.

Today though the rumours have hit full blown hysteria as a trademark application has made its way mostly on to twitter showing that Universal have registered the name VELOCICOASTER

Yep not the most original choice for a dino ride but I guess it paints a pretty good picture of what you can expect.

What do you think of the proposed name?

Smiles included…

Jamie

OAT Live Episode 47

Hey Thrill Seekers,

OAT Live Episode 47 hit your screens yesterday on a very hot and sweaty day not that they mention it!!!

Abby and Gavin chat about Halloween Horror Nights, Gwazi, Gatorland and a bit of Disney.

Watch it here

The next OAT Live takes place on the 8th August on our facebook page

Smiles included…

Jamie

Interview With Patrick Braillard About Halloween Horror Nights 29

Hey Thrill Seekers,

On Monday Abby and Gavin were invited to a secret event in London to discuss all things Halloween Horror Nights with Patrick Braillard, Creative Development Show Director and Writer at Universal Orlando.

Here’s what happened;

We’d like to thank Patrick for the opportunity to interview him and the energy he brought even though he was horribly jet lagged.

Smiles included…

Jamie

Universal Confirm Killer Klowns From Outer Space House For HHN29

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Well Gavin guessed one right last week with Universal confirming Ghostbusters for Halloween Horror Nights and this time its Abby who correct guessed that Universal would be taking a popular scare zone from HHN28 and turning it into a house.

That’s right, Universal have confirmed that Killer Klowns from Outer Space will be part of HHN29.

Patrick Braillard, Creative Development Show Director for Universal stated at a secret media event on Monday that Killer Klowns from Outer Space was the most photographed IP at HHN28 and this led to the creative team dedicating a house this year.

The maze will be based around a circus style tent and will feature 3 new Klowns that were not part of last years event and will include KLOWNZILLA a 18 foot Klown that guarantees scares.

Here’s what Universal had to say;

Go beyond the mayhem and madness of last year’s wildly popular scare zone and step right up for an entire haunted house experience based on the cult classic film, Killer Klowns from Outer Space. This new experience will feature a gaggle of new characters including the baby Klowns, Boco, and Klownzilla, as well as new scenery like the Klowns’ circus-tent spaceship, and the cotton candy cocoon storage room where they keep their victims.

Throughout the house your sense of fear will be triggered by your sense of smell as you encounter strong whiffs of familiar fairground fare like sweet cotton candy, stale buttery popcorn and ice cream. Don’t be fooled though, these otherwise pleasant aromas are a sign of the murderous gang of klowns that awaits you as you move from scene to scene.

Try to evade them or you’re likely to end up captured in one of their cotton candy cocoons and doomed to a terrible fate. There will be no escaping the big teeth of the Big Top.

Killer Klowns joins Stranger Things, Ghostbusters, Yeti – Terror of the Yukon, Depths of Fear, Universal Monsters and Nightingales: Blood Pit

Halloween Horror Nights will include 10 houses, 5 scare zones and 2 houses.

Screams included…

Jamie

Universal Confirm Ghostbusters For HHN29

Hey Thrill Seekers,

You know that one bloke in your office who’s proper smug cos he happened to guess 1 Halloween Horror Nights house correct in 10 years… well that guy today is Gavin who on OAT Live 44 correctly stated that Universal would have a Ghostbusters House this year and today its confirmed.

Ghostbusters for those of a certain age is iconic and fits perfectly into this years theme which is the 1980’s.

Here’s what Universal had to say;

Celebrating its 35th anniversary, you’ll jump through the movie screen of the original 1984 film and walk through some of your favorite scenes like the New York Public Library, the Temple of Gozer and more.

In this haunted house, you’ll be transported to the streets of New York as the rift between worlds opens, releasing ghoulish spirits, hideous specters and ectoplasm-dripping phantasms in every shape and size. Come face-to-face with the voracious Slimer, the all-power Gozer the Gozerian, Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man and more.

Peter, Ray, Egon and Winston will have to save the day as these paranormal creatures materialize in unexpected places – but will their proton packs be enough?

Ghostbusters joins Stranger Things, Universal Monsters, Yeti: Terror of the Yukon, Nightingales: Blood Pit and Depths of Fear

Smiles included…

Jamie

Orlando Attraction Tickets Nominated For British Travel Award 2019

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Another year, another nomination at the prestigious British Travel Awards. So say its the equivalent of the Oscars, I say its bigger than that. So you’ll forgive us if we’re a little giddy.

This nomination represents our 7th Nomination in a row and we’re hopeful that the 7th times the charm as we’ve been 2nd twice and 3rd once… can we claim that all important 1st place?

How can we help?

How can you help I hear you cry. Well luckily for us the BTA’s (once you’re in the door) is a bit of a popularity contest and is based on the total amount of votes we can obtain. TO vote for us you simply have to click on this link – https://www.britishtravelawards.com/btaform.php?nomLink=127 and fill in the details.

What’s in it for us?

Well not only are you helping the plucky underdog but you are also entered in to a prize draw where you can win such goodies as a holiday to Kefalonia, a £2k holiday gift card, a sailing holiday and much more. Check the prizes here

Good luck to all the other nominees except them lot… you know who you are. 😉 and of course good luck to everyone who votes for OAT.

Smiles included…

Jamie

Universal Confirm Yeti: Terror of the Yukon For HHN29

Hey Thrill Seekers,

It seems a long time since we last got a little taste of what this years Halloween Horror Nights will bring us, so I was delighted to be informed that today Universal have confirmed that Yeti: Terror of the Yukon is the next house to be revealed.

Here’s what we can expect;

Deep in the remote tundra of the Yukon, loggers and trappers seek refuge from the frigid grip of an arctic blizzard. But out in the darkness, a terror lurks far more dangerous than the deluge of snow and ice. These unfortunate souls have intruded into a territory that is haunted by their worst nightmares. Enter a logging camp that’s been torn apart, floors caked with snow, bones and gore.  Right outside, screams are frozen on the faces of those who fled the towering monsters only to succumb to the elements. But there is no escape from beasts as brutal as the winter.

Just when you thought the only thing to fear was the elements, an icy terror will descend over you. Cringe at the trail of blood leading to caves none have lived to see. As you enter the labyrinth of caves, you’ll hear the screaming echoes of those who couldn’t escape the inevitable. If you survive long enough to see the end, you’re likely to find the remains of those who came before you and meet their same demise. You’re in Yeti territory now. They’re stone cold vicious and will stop at nothing for a taste of blood. If the cold doesn’t get you, they will.

Yeti: Terror of the Yukon joins the following houses in this years already terrifying line up:
Stranger Things
Nightingales: Blood Pit
Universal Monsters
Depths of Fear

Don’t forget Halloween Horror Nights is running from the 6th September to the 2nd November for you to experience 10 haunted houses, 5 scare zones, live entertainment and more!

You can get a 2 night ticket or a Frequent Fear Pass on our website 🙂 you’ll definitely not want to miss HHN29 that’s for sure!

Screams included,

Abby

How Will Universal Manage The Crowds For Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure officially opens next week and we CANNOT wait!!!!! The hype for this new attraction is off the charts with the park expected to reach capacity, so how will Universal deal with the popularity?

942 Hagrids Magical Creatures and Motorbike Adventure 051019 Line Ride Vehicle Interiors Exteriors Scope Shots

Well they’ve actually put quite a bit of thought into this and today have confirmed that they will be using a virtual queue system. Here’s the deets;

Virtual Line: Beginning June 14, there may be times when Universal’s team members ask guests to join the Virtual Line on The Official Universal Orlando Resort App to experience Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. This will allow you to enjoy other attractions in the park until it’s your time to join the queue.

Step 1: Prior to your arrival, download The Official Universal Orlando Resort App

Step 2: Once you’re in Islands of Adventure, open the app and tap the icon for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. From there, select how many people are in your party, and then select a return time to join the queue. Please note that you have to be in the park in order to secure a return time.

Step 3: Enjoy the other amazing experiences across Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios until your return time arrives.

Step 4: Upon your return time, head to the designated attraction entrance, where you will wait for your ride. The remainder of your wait time will be posted at the entrance when you arrive. All you have to do is scan your Virtual Line pass on your mobile device, and then you’re ready to join the queue.

Simple hey! For those of you who have been to Volcano Bay you’ll recognise how this virtual queue works. Its a great idea to manage what will be a very busy day!

Smiles included…

Jamie

2018 Theme Park Attendances

Hey Thrill Seekers!

So the annual theme park attendance figures are in and there has been an increase in most regions and attraction types. Check this out…

Attendance at themed attractions at the major operators has exceeded half a billion visits for the first time in history. This is equivalent to almost 7% of the world population. And not only that, but this number keeps growing. Just five years ago, the market capture of the industry was only 5% of the global population.

In Orlando we saw the opening of Toy Story Land and to be honest it wasn’t really a massive year for new attractions in the ‘Theme Park Capital’ of the world but the increase we can see may be to do with people choosing to let the crowds die down a bit at the likes of Pandora: The World of Avatar and Volcano Bay.
Below it’s easy to see that Walt Disney World is still the largest theme park group in the World welcoming 157,311,000 visitors which is around 7 million more than the previous year! All of the other Theme Park Groups that feature in Orlando (see the green stars) are in the same position as last year but all have an increased attendance. The most impressive of all is definitely SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment with an 8.6% increase!

Top 25 Theme Parks Worldwide

As we can see the standings are pretty similar to the previous years with the exception of Universal Studios moving down one place from 10th in 2017 to 11th for 2018.
With the opening of Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios this year (2019) i’m confident the attendance will soar and it will move up at least one place – especially with Toy Story Land still being new too!
Hopefully we will see Islands of Adventure move up the charts too with the new potter coaster due to open next month – what do you think?

Water Park Attendance

Last year due to the opening of Volcano Bay having an impact i said ‘In my opinion, Volcano Bay has smashed it!! Considering they only opened on the 25th May 2017 they have come in at 6th in the standings – Go Universal!!’ Considering the above standings now include a full year i’m pretty shocked to see them still at 6th! Although they did have the biggest increase at 15%!
On the plus side, Blizzard Beach And Aquatica have both moved up a space!

Top Parks in North America

Both SeaWorld and Busch Gardens have moved up a space in these standings. We can see that Pandora is still having a massive impact on Animal Kingdom with a 10% increase and even better, SeaWorld is showing a 16% increase.

This year also showed strong and steady business volume through most regions and attraction types. In an unusual alignment, theme park attendance grew by roughly 4% in all major markets. Waterparks’ attendance rose at 2.5% globally, with North America at 5.8% and EMEA showing strong growth of 6.7%. We have observed a number of phenomena that have led to this and other strong years’ performance in the business. These include the addition of second gates, the continued leveraging of blockbuster IP’s, and the building of resort hotels adjacent to park properties.

Honorable mentions are in order this year for a number of players including: SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment which turned around from a 5% drop last year to an almost 9% increase this year.

aecom

So with Galaxy’s Edge, new Potter coaster and many more new attractions such as Tigris, Mickey and Minnies runaway railway, Skyliners, Sesame Street, LEGO Movie World and many more opening in 2019 next years report may look a little different! :p

Smiles Included,

Abby