Hurricane Irma Update

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Hurricane Irma has now thankfully passed and we’re happy to confirm that all OAT staff are safe and sound.

The parks take visitor safety very seriously and clean up has begun. Here’s the latest from the parks regarding operational times.

Disney 

Walt Disney World’s Theme Parks and Disney Springs will reopen Tuesday, September 12 with normal, advertised operating hours. Special events, such as Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, will also take place. Water Parks will remain closed tomorrow and will reopen later this week.
HOURS OF OPERATION FOR TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12

Magic Kingdom Park – 9:00am-7:00pm, with an added Extra Magic Hour beginning at 8:00am for Disney Resort Guests who weathered the storm with us
Epcot – 9:00am-9:00pm, with previously scheduled Extra Magic Hours from 9:00-11:00 pm for Resort Guests
Disney’s Animal Kingdom – 9:00am-9:00pm; Kilimanjaro Safaris will open at 1:00pm due to continued clean-up following the storm
Disney’s Hollywood Studios – 9:00am-9:00pm
Disney Springs – 10:00am-12:00am
Blizzard Beach – Closed
Typhoon Lagoon – Closed
*There may be modifications to some attractions and entertainment offerings.

Universal

Tuesday, September 12 at 9:00 AM for Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay.
In addition, we can confirm that our Halloween Horror Nights event will begin as scheduled this Friday, September 15.

SeaWorld Parks

SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica Orlando and Discovery Cove will remain closed today Tuesday, September 12 to allow for additional debris clean-up from Hurricane Irma.

We expect SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica Orlando to reopen on Wednesday, September 13. Discovery Cove will determine a reopening date as the week progresses.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will remain closed today Tuesday, September 12 to allow for debris clean-up from Hurricane Irma. We expect the park to reopen on Wednesday, September 13.

These details are subject to change but we expect things to be back to normal very quickly.

Cancellations of tickets

We are awaiting full confirmation from the parks regarding cancellations for customers who were unable to fly due to Hurricane Irma, we expect to have that information over night and appreciate our customers patients while operations get back to normal.

Kind regards,

Jamie

Yay! Orlando Attraction Tickets Nominated For British Travel Award

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Today we have received the wonderful news that we have yet again been nominated for the “British Travel Awards” in the category of ” best add-ons provider“! Each year we are delighted to announce our nomination and we’d be even more delighted if you would make our day and vote for us by using this quick and easy link here.

In 2013 and 2016 we were lucky enough to win bronze at this award ceremony and it would be amazing if, with your help, we could match or better our record at this awards ceremony so please, PLEASE vote for us 🙂

The British Travel Awards are the equivalent of the Oscars in the travel industry so you can imagine how hard we have worked to earn our nomination in this competitive category. Everybody who votes will automatically be entered in to the British Travel Awards prize draw

Smiles included…

Cameron-Jai

Interview With Abby From Orlando Attraction Tickets

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Interview Tuesday is upon us once again and today we’ve turned the tables on one of our own.

Star of the hit Facebook live show, OAT Live, Abby has been chatting about Disney, Universal, SeaWorld and all things Orlando for a while now. If you haven’t watched her you’ve probably read one of her blog posts.

Lets get to know her…

Name: Abby
Company: Orlando Attraction Tickets
Position: Social Media Team

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get? Cheese, cheese and more cheese!
If you were an animal, what would you be and why? A Dolphin because they’re clever, entertaining and the best animal ever. 😉
If someone made a movie of your life would it be a drama, a comedy, a romantic-comedy, action film, or science fiction? Definitely a romance mixed with a horror.
Complete the sentence; I was once mistaken for . . . Chewbacca. 🙁
If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be? Jennifer Lawrence, Conor McGregor and Margot Robbie.

WORK

What was the highlight of 2016 for your company?: For me – Joining a great, successful team at Orlando Attraction Tickets.
What can we expect from your company in 2017?: Lots of new attractions and deals to be offered. We’re also looking to extend our social reach by taking advantage of live broadcasting.
Make a 2017 prediction…: I think that lots more rides will begin to have VR added to them.
Best Theme Park ride/attraction of 2016?: Mako at SeaWorld Orlando.
Best Theme Park/attraction food of 2016?: Mac and Cheese in Hard Rock Cafe.
Best Theme Park/attraction tip?: Take a bottle to fill up at water fountains around the park (you don’t need to do this at Discovery Cove as all food and drinks are included.)
Best kept secret in Florida?: Throw some coins into a fishes mouth in McElligot’s Pool at Islands of Adventure and then thank me later. 😉

Yey! Thanks Abby for taking the time to get involved with our interview series. You can catch Abby with her on screen husband Gavin, every other Thursday 4pm when OAT goes live. Make sure you visit our facebook page for all the latest news, tips and competitions.

You can read other interviews in the series here;

Here’s episode 3 of OAT Live;

Smiles included…

Jamie

Interview With James Zachary From Florida Dolphin Tours

Hey Thrill Seekers,

It’s interview Tuesday…. definitely a thing now! Today we’re meeting the new face of Florida Dolphin Tours, James Zachary. James hasn’t been with FDT for very long but has already made a huge impact there.

Lets get to know him!

Name: James Zachary
Company: Florida Dolphin Tours
Position: Global Sales Director

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get? Ambrosia of Greek mythology and is sometimes the food or drink of the Greek Gods. It is food that changes in the form of whatever you desire to eat at that moment.

If you were an animal, what would you be and why? A dog, they offer support to anyone who needs it and they are extremely loyal.

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

Complete the sentence; I was once mistaken for . . . . a girl……..

If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be? Robin Williams (if he was still alive), Will Smith (everyone loves Fresh Prince) and Donald Trump because I would have the most views that night out of any other show, most likely make the CNN national news and who wouldn’t like a good laugh?

WORK

What was the highlight of 2016 for your company?: Taking our guest service for our guests and tour operators to a level that Florida Dolphin Tours hasn’t been at before.

What can we expect from your company in 2017?: Hop on Hop off City Sightseeing Tours and Excursions Starting April 1st.

Make a 2017 prediction…: Florida Dolphin Tours will move over 100,000 guests this year!

Best Theme Park ride/attraction of 2016?: Kennedy Space Center

Best Theme Park/attraction food of 2016?: Boggy Bottom BBQ

Best Theme Park/attraction tip?: Book with Florida Dolphin Tours to see the real side of Florida.

Best kept secret in Florida? The springs located all throughout Florida. More specifically, Crystal River where you can swim with the Manatees on our Florida Adventure Tour.

Thanks to James for taking time out of his busy schedule to get involved, we really appreciate it. We’re all surprised he hasn’t been mistaken for Owen Wilson who he’s a dead ringer for…

You can read other interviews in the series here;

Smiles included…

Jamie

 

 

Day 5 – Busch Gardens Tampa

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Louise is continuing her visual diary while on holiday using the Orlando Attraction Tickets App, specifically the Snap feature which allows users to take a picture, filter it add an awesome caption and then share it among friends and families. You can use this new power for good or for evil (make your friends extremely jealous).

Day 5 for Louise saw her head down to Tampa to visit my favourite park, Busch Gardens. Louise was the second member of OAT to visit Busch Gardens since they added Falcon’s Fury the 335ft face first drop tower.

The first member of Orlando Attraction Tickets to visit last year, lost her battle against Falcons Fury and ended up crying like a baby. You can read about that here. I’m delighted to report that Louise is made of sterner stuff and not only conquered Falcon’s Fury she also managed to send us an awesome video as proof. (we’ll be posting this on our facebook page at a later date.)

12039299_1083467844998331_6210571880299768830_n

After a hard day beating Falcon’s Fury Louise headed down to Downtown Disney (Disney Springs) for a meal at Planet Hollywood, she took advantage of one of our Smile Alerts and got preferential seating…

You can download the app by searching Orlando Attraction Tickets in the app store or by clicking here.

Smiles included…

Jamie

Orlando Attraction Tickets

Halloween Horror Nights 25 – The Scare Zones!

Hey Thrill Seekers…

So last week we brought you the full line up of houses for Halloween Horror Nights 25 and I have to admit that I am super jealous of anyone that is lucky enough to be going, as this year, it looks to be Universal’s best yet!

clown

In addition to the great line up of houses there are also an array of chilling ‘Scare Zones’ to negotiate as you make your way from house to house.

Scare Zones

  • Psychoscareapy: Unleashed — The criminally insane inmates of Shadybrooke Asylum have escaped and unleashed their horror onto a Halloween block party in the streets of New York. Come join the party goers as the inmates kill for the best Halloween costumes for their very own special costume contest where you will be the judge. Oh, and this will be one of the bloodiest scare zones ever!
  • ICONS: HHN — And now for the scare zone I’m looking forward to the most! It’s time to take a look back in history and come face-to-face with the icons from our past. Iconic characters from the event’s 25 year history such as The Caretaker, The Storyteller, The Director and more will be found roaming the streets of Hollywood. I’ve even heard The Rat Lady will be making her grand return!
  • Scary Tales: ScreamPunk — This year, we’re bringing to life our most horrifying Scary Tales characters with a new twist. This steampunk-inspired version of Scary Tales is sure to leave you screaming.
  • Evil’s Roots — It’s time to be immersed in Halloween’s most evil traditions in the scare zone located in Central Park. Here you’ll find the event’s traditional jack-o-lanterns in the air as you encounter evil fairies, humanoid bats, scarecrows and more. Think “Grown Evil” from 2011 but on a whole ‘nother level!
  • All Nite Die-In: Double Feature — Last but certainly not least is a double feature of horror at The Carey DrIvE IN movie theatre. Wander down the streets of San Francisco and you’ll come across this theatre that has been named “DIE IN”, due to the gruesome murders that occurred. Enter if you dare…

Plus dont forget the 2 amazing live shows;

  • The Carnage Returns — Jack the Clown is taking Halloween Horror Nights back in a blaze of murderous mayhem with his army of feared followers and his companion in carnage, Chance. Remember, Jack always has the last laugh.
  • Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure — Of course, they’re back in an all-new Halloween adventure. I could never describe the hilarious insanity of that show. It has to be seen to be believed. Party on, dudes!

There is still time to be part of this amazing event…

Orlando Attraction Tickets offers 2 ticket types that cover entry into Halloween Horror Nights;

The is event is strictly ticketed and is not suitable for children.

Screams Included…

Karl

 

Orlando Attraction Tickets

 

 

 

The Top 5 Attractions As Voted By Orlando Attraction Tickets Customers

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Selecting just 5 attractions from the bevy of awesomeness that spills out of Florida is pretty tricky. Everyone has their likes and dislikes, some like swooping coasters, some like motion rides such as Despicable me! and some just love the beauty of a good fireworks show.

Here at Orlando Attraction Tickets we have a pretty good way of checking which rides and attractions our customer like the most, its pretty simple really, we ask them! When a customer who has booked their theme park tickets with us finishes their holiday we send them a quick email asking them what they thought of the parks, we also ask them to select their favourite ride or attraction. Below are the top 5 most voted for attractions by Orlando Attraction Tickets customers.

1) Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (votes 153)

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey - Credit Universal OrlandoLocated: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

Type: 3d motion ride.

Description: Most count it as a two part attraction, the first part being the queuing experience which features Dumbledore’s office, the sorting hat and the defence against the dark arts classroom. The second part is the ride itself which has often been described as the Spiderman ride on steroids. Anyone who struggles with motion sickness may not enjoy this ride… I know I didn’t!

2) Expedition Everest (votes 120)

Expedition Everest

Located: Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Type: Coaster.

Description: Runaway train based around the legend of the Yeti.

3) Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster featuring Aerosmith (votes 86)

rock-n-roller-coaster-starring-aerosmith

 

Located: Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Type: Indoor Coaster.

Description: Guests board their limo car, which lies low on the ground. They stow their small belongings either on the floor or in the small pouch in front of them. Guests pull down their full shoulder restraints, and lift up on them when the Cast Member tells them to complete the safety check. Cars seat two people per row. After the safety check is done and the car ahead of them has finished the launch, the car proceeds around the corner to view a tunnel and a sign above it, designed to look like a highway sign.As they’re moving and waiting, they hear a brief message from the radio DJ, talking about how jammed the freeways are. The highway sign flashes funny messages like: “Traffic bug you? Then STEP on it!” Guests wait for the car ahead of them to finish the ride, and eventually they hear an introduction (varies, can be “We’re only just getting started!” or “Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster”, (said in a deep, growling voice)). After this introduction, Stephen Tyler alternates between each ear the countdown of “5,…4,…3,…2,…1,…!”, as they hear the introduction of the song they’re about to hear. After Stephen reaches between the numbers 1 and 2 from his countdown, guests being to accelerate from 0 to 58 MPH in less than 2.8 seconds. It is in this initial second that the camera takes the photo of the guests. After a long straightway, the car proceeds to do an inversion, and then some less intense maneuvers. The whole ride, there are neon signs on the side of the track, designed to mimic road signs. These signs have messages like “Corkscrew ahead!” The car continues along the not-so-intense track, until it reaches the second inversion (which is a corkscrew). Finally, guests perform a humpback as they enter the VIP parking for the concert. Guests wait in a tunnel at a stop for a moment, then proceed to the VIP backstage area, where they’re greeted by a red carpet and their ride photos.

4) Soarin’ (75 votes)

soarin

 

Located: Disney’s Epcot

Type: Simulator.

Description: Experience the Golden State like never before while “hang-gliding” over landscapes as varied as they are beautiful.

Feel like you’re flying—and even smell what you’re seeing as you skim rolling waves, powdery ski slopes, majestic redwood forests, fragrant orange groves and familiar landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge.

In the grand Disney tradition, Imagineers pulled out all the stops to make fantasy reality, bringing California to life using a 180-degree IMAX projection dome and aerially captured footage that reproduces the flight path of a hang-glider. Thrill as you’re lifted 40 feet in the air, engulfed in the stunning panoramas, swept from one scenic locale to the next!

5) Transformers The Ride 3D (53 votes)

ÒTransformers:  The Ride-3DÓ OPENING

 

Located: Universal Studios

Type: Simulator.

Description: The ride begins with Evac moving out of the loading station and making a turn. The vehicle approaches the first of thirteen 3D high-definition video screens which depicts Ravage grabbing a canister containing the AllSpark. Evac spins 180° to face the second screen on which Bumblebee is fighting Sideways for the AllSpark which ends up in Evac’s possession. Evac reverses into one of two elevator shafts which ascend to the second level of the attraction. During the ascent Optimus Prime battles Megatron and Grindorchases Evac who is furiously heading in reverse until Grindor’s arm is broken off by a train. Megatron grabs Evac and the two struggle until Megatron breaks a water pipe, which sprays riders with water. Evac enters a dead end pathway before reversing and turning to face another 3D screen, which shows Megatron firing a missile at Evac while continuing to find Optimus. Hot air and fog generate the illusion of an explosion. Evac then heads through the hole in a building which was caused by the explosion. Inside lies Devastator, who is trying to suck everything out of the building. Ratchet and Ironhide cover fire while Evac reverses and escapes the suction. Here the Autobot Sideswipe helps in the battle against the Decepticon Bonecrusher. Devastator returns to the scene alongside Starscream. Evac escapes from Devastator a second time by going through him, but Starscream grabs Evac and throws him across several city blocks before landing on a construction site and smashing into some drums which release clouds of fog resulting in Evac asking if the riders are okay. Optimus Prime and Megatron continue their battle in the construction site as Evac reverses away in an attempt to protect the AllSpark. Starscream appears for a second time but is chased away by two NEST helicopters. Evac then returns to a second set of two elevators. During the descent to the ground floor, Evac forces the AllSpark into Megatron’s chest causing both to freefall to the ground when Megatron grabs Evac. Bumblebee saves Evac from destruction before Optimus Prime congratulates Evac and the riders on their mission.

What do you think of our 5 best attractions? Is your favourite amongst them?

Remember this year Universal launched Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts and the Hogwarts Express which I would expect to slowly creep up the charts, Escape from Gringotts already has 40 votes! Also Busch Gardens released Falcons Fury this month which will certainly acquire votes the longer its open.

We’ll take another look at the voting in 6 months time.

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Orlando Attraction Tickets Through The Years

Hi Thrill Seekers,

Sometimes its nice to take a stroll through memory lane and sometimes it can be shocking…

Today I found myself looking through some historical images of Orlando Attraction Tickets website. Some of you may know that we were originally called BargainAttractions.com we offered attraction tickets for the whole World for a few years before deciding to specialise in Orlando and alter our name.

This is an image from our very first website, this screen shot is from 2004 but the actual site went live in late 2003.

OAT 2004I remember at the time that we were criticised slightly for the site being too vibrant. In the same year a certain well known late deals site was lauded for using a very similar colour to us! 🙂

At the time I loved this design, I thought it made us stand out from the crowd…. it definitely did that.

Once we realised that Orlando was the main core of our business we looked at redesigning the site under our new url www.orlandoattractiontickets.co.uk.

We relaunch in 2005 with this little beauty;

OAT 2005We buckled under the negative comments regarding our choice of colour and went for a calmer green against a vibrant yellow. It wasn’t my favourite design and we sacrificed a lot of our usual flair for what we hoped would be great SEO (google rankings). It worked for a bit.

In 2009 we looked to redesign again, a shift in the way google ranked sites made it an easy decision for us.

OAT 2009This reincarnation of the OAT site was not one of our finest moments. Whenever we look to redesign one of our sites we generally sit down and try to come up with something unique, something that would stand out from the crowd. With the 2009 version we went for a very basic shopping cart design…. exactly the same as every other boring attraction tickets site out there.

Although the site worked well and sales increased it never sat well with our design savvy CTO, Karl Hendrie. It got towards the end of 2011 when Karl decided enough was enough and the time was right to redesign the site again.

oat 2012This redesign took a long time to complete, it started with an amendment to our logo to the smiley face we use today, next up was a new tagline “smiles included”. With these two amendments in place we then took a look at all the other attraction ticket sites and decided we didn’t want to look like any of them… so we don’t

We decided we should add things that other don’t, so we did that with the likes of Wish Lists, ShareTheLove and our unique deposit scheme.

We took our time and finally launch in late 2012 and do you know what? Our sales increased massively… we learnt a very important lesson, not never deviate from our core values.

I wonder what our next redesign will look like?

Smiles included…

Gavin

CEO

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Halloween Horror Nights Reveals Havoc 2: Derailed

Morning Thrill Seekers,

Another midnight has passed and another Halloween Horror Nights House has been revealed. For a tiny bit of background, all this week Universal Orlando have been revealing a new house or maze for the 2013 Halloween Horror Nights.

On Monday they revealed La Llorona House based on the Mexican tale, yesterday they revealed a Universal original called Afterlife: Death’s Vengeance. Every good horror has a sequel, so today Universal have revealed Havoc 2: Derailed a sequel to the popular Havoc house.

HHN Havoc 2 DerailedHere’s how Universal describe their latest house;

WARNING: In this all-new original house the train convoy has derailed and the bloodthirsty maniacs are loose.

Escaping them this time will be a hard feat…the “Dogs of War” return to HHN23 in this sequel house, Havoc 2: Derailed.

This years Halloween Horror Nights is shaping up to be one of the best, you can purchase tickets for the event at Orlando Attraction Tickets.

I’ll continue to keep you updated on reveals for this years HHN.

Scream included…

Jamie

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