Interview With Karl Hendrie From Orlando Attraction Tickets

Hey Thrill Seekers,

It may have appeared that last week I forgot to post an interview Tuesday blog… but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I was simply really busy or something..

Anyway todays interview is with top bloke and gaffer here at Orlando Attraction Tickets, Karl Hendrie. Karl has been with OAT from the very start and at the moment is responsible for anything technical for example the website, this blog platform and the app.

Let’s get to know him…

Name: Karl Hendrie
Company: Orlando Attraction Tickets
Position: CTO

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get? Olive Oil, I frickin love it!

If you were an animal, what would you be and why? Silverback gorilla 

If someone made a movie of your life would it be a drama, a comedy, a romantic-comedy, action film, or science fiction? A science fiction based comedy.

Complete the sentence; I was once mistaken for . . .  that fat bloke from the Go Compare adverts.

If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be? Elon Musk, Bill Bailey, Alicia Keys

WORK

What was the highlight of 2016 for your company?:  In 2016 we broke all company trading records. It was an epic year and being part of an epic team that made it happen was really amazing.

What can we expect from your company in 2017?:  Product innovation! At the end of last year we decided to give our customers even more. Throughout this year you will see some fantastic added value offers exclusive to OAT.

Make a 2017 prediction…:  The rise of the half day excursions! This year we have really highlighted how incredible some of the half day excursions are. I would really recommend taking time to visit places like WonderWorks, Gatorland, Fun Spot and Boggy Creek. If you’re lucky enough to catch one of our promos you can get these for free with certain ticket bundles.

Best Theme Park ride/attraction of 2016?:  Mako at SeaWorld Orlando. I know other have said this too….but its just so awesome!

Best Theme Park/attraction food of 2016?:  Duff beer at Springfield USA, Universal Studios – that’s a food right?

Best Theme Park/attraction tip?:  Where possible, get yourself a Fast Pass.

Best kept secret in Florida?:  Information is power – the more you know about the parks the better you can plan in advance. Have a look at our Facebook live series (OAT Live) which broadcasts live from our offices every other Thursday – its packed full of information, news and cracking tips to help you plan your amazing Orlando holiday.

Thanks Karl for taking the time to get involved with our interview series. You can see more of our interview series here;

Smiles included…

Jamie

Interview With Karl Hendrie CTO Of Orlando Attraction Tickets

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Tuesday means interview day and we’ve got one of the top dogs here at Orlando Attraction Tickets, the Chief Technical Officer Karl Hendrie.

Karl is one of the founders of OAT and is in charge of all things technical from the website to our internal systems, his latest baby is our iOS app which Karl designed from scratch.

Let’s get to know him…

Name: Karl Hendrie

Company: Orlando Attraction TicketsKing_Kong

Position: CTO

Getting to know you 

Traditional  Coasters or Motion Simulators? I do love what’s happening with motion simulators right now, the ideas and tech are amazing, they just get better and better.  That said, you cant beat the adrenaline of a kick ass roller coaster.

Fast Pass or queue? Fast Pass all the way – if I can save time doing anything I will.

Facebook or Twitter? Much to the mockery of my friends I don’t use facebook. However I can be found loitering around twitter from time to time.

Fictional Character that most represents you? I am often likened to a silver back or some kind of ape so if you randomly pick any famous ape/monkey from TV/Film you’re probably not that far from the mark.

Book or Film? I find it difficult to concentrate on ‘one’ thing for very long, I get bored and start drifting off to something else so it has to be films.

Night out or night in? Nights in are what you do the day after a great night out.

Favourite song?: Unfinished Sympathy by Massive Attack

Favourite film?: I refuse to answer this question on the grounds that as soon as I decide and then write down my favourite film I will immediately change it to something else – its impossible to nail it down!

3 People (real or fictional) you’d invite for the perfect dinner? Elon Musk, Steve Jobs and Bill Bailey

Work 

What’s been the highlight of the year (2015) for your company?: Over the course of 2015 the company grew massively. I think its always very satisfying when hard work is rewarded and that’s exactly what happened in 2015 – the team here were amazing, really worked their socks off without diluting the quality of service we are renowned for!

What’s been the highlight of the year (2015) for you?: Right from the start one of our main objectives was to develop a meaningful brand. During 2015 we have really pushed on. From the amazing work we are doing socially on platforms like facebook (https://www.facebook.com/orlandoattractiontickets) to being the first UK broker to sell via an App, last year really galvanised all of our efforts in making Orlando Attraction Tickets the fastest growing ticket broker in Europe.

What can we expect from your company in 2016?: More of the same. For our customers we want to continue offering tickets to some of the worlds biggest and best theme parks at amazing prices. We also believe hugely in the customer experience. Gavin and I are always looking at ways to make buying tickets a better and easier process so you can expect some subtle tweaks here and there.

Make a 2016 prediction…: I think people are looking to get even more from their Orlando holiday spend – over the last 12 months we have seen a rise in the amount of people looking to do things outside of theme parks. Things like Kennedy Space Centre, Boggy Creek Airboat Rides, Fun Sport America and the Merlin attractions down on International Drive to name a few – So really what I’m saying is that more and more people are realising that they can enhance their holiday by adding low cost excursions and attractions, which is a trend that will escalate during 2016.

Best Theme Park ride/attraction of 2015?: Since Hulk at IOA is being refurbished my default go to ride is SheiKra  at Busch Gardens.

Best Theme Park/attraction food of 2015?: Duff beer at Moe’s Tavern (Springfield USA, Universal Studios) Beer is a food right?…

Best Theme Park/attraction tip?: Make sure things like keys, phones and wallets are secure before going on a coaster.  You’d be surprised at the amount of stuff that will wiggle its way out of your pocket during a zero-G roll – http://www.attraction-tickets.info/it-just-be-raining-ipods-and-stuff-2/

Best kept secret in Florida?: A Hurricane cocktail at Pat O’Brien’s on Universal’s City Walk – enough said…

I’d like to thank Karl for giving me his precious time, it took a few reschedules but we got there in the end.

You can read our other interviews here;

Until next week.

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Interview With Karl Hendrie CTO – Orlando Attraction Tickets

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Today’s interview is with Karl Hendrie CTO & Co-Founder of Orlandooat-smile-green Attraction Tickets, his interview continues our review series which has included OAT employees Gavin and Kelly, SeaWorld Sales Manager Nichola Parr and LEGOLAND Florida’s resident DJ, Nigel McShine-Jones.

Being the Co-Founder Karl has obviously been around since day one and was instrumental in last years OAT redesign which proved to be a bit of a success leading to many aspects of the site being copied throughout the industry.

As has become some what of a theme during these interviews, Karl was slightly pushed for time when I met up with him, he is in the middle of some interesting design work that hopefully I’ll be able to share with you in the next couple of months.

Name: Karl Hendrie

What was 2013 like?: In a word busy! Prior to 2013 we decided to heavily focus on the customer experience throughout our ticket websites. As a result we totally redesigned the way we sell online. We wanted to ensure ease of booking, slick processes, added ‘usable’ functionality but above all we wanted to make it as easy as possible for customers to find what they were looking for. As a result of these changes we were able to measurably increase our market share and smash previous sales figures.

Your highlight of 2013?: I think everyone at the company will mention the same thing  – Winning a Bronze Award at the British Travel Awards. When you win an award voted for by the public its not just a great accolade its also confirmation that you are doing things right!

Your Best Park 2013?: Its a tough one! and I am sure its always a controversial one to answer what with the abundance of quality parks to choose from in Florida. At a push I’d probably go with Busch Gardens, Tampa. For me it has a brilliant mix of thrill rides, shows and animal interactions. And it looks like the park is going get even better with the addition of Falcons Fury, a 300ft plus drop ride coming this year.

Your Best Attraction 2013?: Last year I was lucky enough to be invited by Universal to experience Halloween Horror Nights. As an annual attraction it simply cannot be beaten. The attention to detail is amazing and its popularity,domestically, really is insane. If you are ever in Orlando when its on you simply have got to go and see it for yourself. Its like Halloween, only bigger and better, its actually Halloween on steroids!

In regards to Theme Parks, what are you most looking forward to in 2014?: I don’t want to be predictable and say The Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion ‘Diagon Alley’….but….it’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion ‘Diagon Alley’ at Universal. From what’s been released by Universal and from what I have read and seen on attraction-tickets.info we are looking at something extremely special. Universal have taken the look, feel and concept of the Harry Potter series and made it into a reality that everyone can experience. I imagine that this will definitely re-create the same sort of buzz that we saw when The Wizarding World of Harry Potter first opened at Universal Islands of Adventure.

Make a 2014 prediction…: I think that in 2014 the must have theme park essential will be the parks ‘jump the queue/fast pass’ systems. Its been a long time since we have seen multiple parks opening so many great new attractions. With these new attractions I can definitely see an increase in footfall and knowing how peeps hate waiting in line I can definitely see an upsurge of people wanting to get ahead of those queues this summer.

I’d like to thank Karl for his time and his excellent answers, sounds to me like he’s a bit of a Harry Potter fan 🙂

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Interview with Karl Hendrie; CTO of orlandoattractiontickets.co.uk

Name: Karl Hendrie 

Who do you work for?: Orlando attraction Tickets

What’s been the highlight of the year for your company?: Seeing our company cement its position within theUK attraction ticket market.

What can we expect from your company in 2013?: 2013 plans to be a very exciting time for OAT – we have lots of web development due to roll out which we hope will enhance our customers online buying experience. We also  have a lot of cool social sharing planned and of course some brilliant ticket deals and packages unique to OAT.

FavoriteTheme Park?: Busch Gardens

FavouriteTheme Park ride and why?: SheiKra atBuschGardens -200 foot up with a 90 degree drop? its sheer madness! I loved it.

FavouriteWaterPark and why?: Its got to be Discovery Cove. I say this all the time but it really is so underrated. This park offers so much more than just a dolphin swim, it really is amazing…and beautiful!

BestTheme Park food?: Sharks Underwater Grill at SeaWorld – The food is just awesome with a great menu to choose from. Be warned though, its really popular so reserve a table early. The whole restaurant is located in a shark aquarium, it’s very unique dining experience.

BestTheme Park tip?: Plan it out! I know it sounds boring but planning out your visit will really give you the best chance of seeing/doing everything you want to on the day. Oh and wear comfy shoes! You’ll thank me for that later…

Best souvenir you’ve ever got from a park?: Although I don’t really do souvenirs a friend of mine got a shark tooth from SeaWorld which was pretty cool.

Longest you’ve queued for a ride?: It may have been Tanganyika Tidal wave at Busch. It was a blazing Florida day so the queues for the water rides were pretty long. I waited about 30 minutes but enjoyed getting soaked while queuing.

If you could make your own ride, what would it be?: I think that a Tron experience would be amazing. You know the bit in the film where they race those awesome motor bikes? – imagine that as a roller coaster, sat on a bike, strapped in, a wicked light show and above all lots and lots of speed! Oh and copyright me on that one!

What’s it like working with orlandoattractiontickets.co.uk?: Its very exciting, our company is very dynamic and forward thinking which allows us to adapt quickly to changing market forces. During peak season it does get pretty hectic – but the trade off is that we get to sell great products for great companies like Disney, Universal, SeaWorld etc

Thanks very much to Karl for taking the time to let us interview him; as technically I put his Tron idea down on paper does that mean I own the copyright 🙂

regards,

Jamie

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