Disney Gives Us A Glimpse Of Star Wars Land

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Disney’s awesome D23 expo begins this weekend and we’re all expecting big news from their yearly conference. So we were all a bit taken back when last night Disney gave us a glimpse at what we can expect from Star Wars Land!

Star Wars-inspired lands will transport guests to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port and one of the last stops before Wild Space, where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life

Here, guests will find themselves in the middle of the action at two signature attractions: one that lets guests take the controls of Millennium Falcon on a customized secret mission, and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.

I don’t think I’ve been as excited for a new land to open as I am with Star Wars Land the attention to detail looks like its going to be next level theming.

Check out this video to give you a proper look;

 

Smiles included…

Jamie

Thanks Harry Potter For Star Wars…

Hey Thrill Seekers,

On June 18th 2010 the world of theme parks was turned upside when Universal Orlando officially opened the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I remember before the launch that sceptics were playing down the area and were sceptical about the area as a whole.

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How wrong they were, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure opened to a rave reviews.  I was lucky enough to speak with one of the guys at Universal who had a very hands on part in bring the Wizarding World to life and he gave me a bit of insight into the pain staking procedures all involved went through to make sure that everything was just perfect.

JK Rowling and her team had final say on everything from the snow on top of the building at Hogsmeade down to the taste of Butterbeer. The process was long and exhausting for both parties but in the end they made something not only beautiful but something that totally changed the landscape of how theme parks build IP led lands.

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Fast forward four years and Universal raise the bar again with the introduction of Diagon Alley at Universal Studios. If Hogsmeade was the learning curve then Diagon Alley is the masterpiece. The same crazily high level of detail is still there and still overseen by JK Rowling herself. One example that springs to mind is on the Hogwarts Express, the seating material found on the train is the exact match for that shown in the films, so much so that Universal representatives travelled to the UK to gain samples.

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The introduction of Interactive Wands and a fire breathing dragon have helped push Universal to the very forefront of immersive worlds and the once perceived risk of investing all that cash in Harry Potter in hindsight seems silly. Universal have set the standard that all other new “lands” have to live up too.

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So what does this mean?

Competition between huge companies is great for the consumer, what this level of detail means is that the King of Orlando, Disney has to step up and raise its game.

This week we got a glimpse at what Disney’s Star Wars Land is going to look like… and in my opinion they’ve taken a page out of the Harry Potter book of theme park attractions and gone heavy on the detail.

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A Star Wars themed marketplace looks to have all the detail you’d want to truly immerse yourself in that World. The promise of Droid interactions and grabbing a quick drink in an establishment you’d except Han Solo to hang out in, seems a great touch.

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Everything seems to be going in the write direction and for me, we have Harry Potter to thank and long may it continue.

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Did Universal Wake A Sleeping Giant?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

There’s never been a better time to be a theme park fan. It seems like a day doesn’t go by without a new rumour or news breaking about what’s being built next. Its a far cry from ten years ago when the Florida market was totally dominated by the mouse.

Don’t get me wrong, Disney are still the powerhouses in Orlando as last years attendance figures show but competitors have made ground mostly in the shape of Universal Orlando Resort.

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Writing this  in the aftermath of the success of recent years it seems funny to write that Universal was once consider a 1 day visit, but a string of successful introductions has helped change peoples perceptions and change Universal into a resort rather than an afterthought.

The major change came with the introduction of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal’s runaway success at one point could have been a Disney IP if reports are true. The word on the street is that JK Rowling decided not to work with Disney due to their reluctance to give her final approval. Disney’s loss has vey much been Universal’s gain.

Although not a one trick pony Universal continued their growth by introducing Diagon Alley at Universal Studios, doubling up on their Potter product. The attention to detail at both Wizarding Worlds has set a new standard in theme park theming and now along with Transformers, Minions and the future launch of Skull Island, Universal is easily a 3 day plus option.

Has this new found success though awoken a sleeping giant? In my opinion, for years Disney had it a little too easy, Universal’s new found success is probably something that Disney needed, a little kick in the bottom. Their recent announcements of the planned introduction of a dedicated Star Wars Land and a Toy Story Land while also building Pandora the Avatar Film inspired land shows Disney mean business.

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A dedicated Star Wars land is clearly the standout product, with the introduction of the new films, the first set to open at cinema’s in December, a Star Wars Land will appeal to Mum’s, Dad’s and children! Its the perfect trifecta.

Competition is good for everybody and in this case the real winners will be the guests, better attractions, better technology and better value for money. You can purchase Disney Passes at Orlando Attraction Tickets from as little as £262.00 for 2015.

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Star Wars Features We Could See Very Soon

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Disney’s huge confirmation that they will be building a dedicated Star Wars Land was dampened slightly by the lack of information regarding an opening date. The only clue regarding any kind of timescale came from Imagineer Scott Trowbridge who stated the project would…

take some time

Unlike some theme parks, Universal for example, Disney like to let their plans be known even if the actual product won’t be available for years. However Disney did let us know that some Star Wars themed attractions will be opening sooner than later.

Star Wars Launch Bay: Is an interactive experience, which will be housed at the  former Animation pavilion space at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Star Wars Launch Bay will include character meet and greets, exhibits themed to the new Star Wars films, and new stores. It will open later this year on both coasts.

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Season of the Force: A new limited-time event that will run at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, beginning in 2016, it will include a Star Wars-themed fireworks show, extended meet and greets, street attractions plus special food and merchandise.

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On top of this, Disney will also be updating its Star Tours attraction with new destinations and characters from the upcoming Star Wars films. Time frame for this would coincide with the new film, so towards the end of this year.

Think it’s a good excuse to get my Star Wars box set out and start some research!

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Disney Confirm Star Wars Land For Orlando

Hey Thrill Seekers,

We’ve been suggesting for months now that Disney will be building a Star Wars Land. Today at the D23 expo in California Disney confirmed that they will indeed be building every kids dream.

Disney CEO Bob Iger addressed the 7000 plus audience and revealed ambitious plans for both Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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The focus behind the plans is to bring Star Wars to life and represents Disney’s largest single-themed land expansions ever, at 14-acres! Visitors will find themselves transported to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port and one of the last stops before wild space where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life.

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Iger stated;

I’m thrilled to announce the next chapter in the long and exciting history between Disney Parks and Star Wars, we are creating a jaw-dropping new world that represents our largest single themed land expansion ever. These new lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will transport guests to a whole new Star Wars planet, including an epic Star Wars adventure that puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.

The Star Wars land at Disneys Hollywood Studios will have two signature attractions, including the ability to take the controls of one of the most recognizable ships in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon, on a customized secret mission, and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle.

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The news will have every Star Wars fans excited, hear at Orlando Attraction Tickets we can’t wait!!!

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Disney’s $3 Billion Splurge On Hollywood Studios

Hey Thrill Seekers,

If you had 3 Billion Dollars to improve your theme park what would you do with it? Well rumour has it that the Disney board recently signed off on this massive amount to totally refresh Hollywood Studios. With news of recent closures at DisneyQuest and The Magic of Disney Animation fans we be delighted and relieved to hear this news.

thisisinfamous report that the overhaul will be large, actually rumoured to be the largest in Disney history, Muppet Vision 3D, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular and the aforementioned Magic of Disney Animation are all getting the chop among others. The park’s most popular rides, Rock N’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror & Toy Story Mania are all safe.

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I’ve lost count of the amount of articles I’ve written wondering what Disney should do with their Star Wars IP, well this redevelopment looks like it will answer the majority of those questions. Star Wars is set to be the focal point of the park with Dagobah (where Yoda is exiled too) as a major centerpiece. On top of Star Tours and Jedi Training Academy, which is said to be moving to an indoor facility, Star Wars Land will also have two further major attractions… Exciting!!!!

If you’re not into Star Wars what about one of the other LucasFilm IP’s? Rumour has it that Disney will take advantage of the still popular character Indiana Jones by perhaps replicating the Indiana Jones Adventure Ride they have in California (Video below).


We’d expect and slightly different offering than that in Disneyland but definitely a thrill ride. 🙂

Wait, they’re not finished, on top of a bit of Star Wars and a bit of Indiana, Disney are also looking to expand their Pixar offering with at least 3 new attractions! Time scales haven’t been mentioned yet but with Disney’s D23 (similar to Comic Con) in August we’re expecting more concrete announcements then.

Smiles included…

Jamie

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I Really Can’t Wait For 2015

Hey Thrill Seekers,

So as you may already know from reading a previous blog of mine, I am going to Orlando next year!! I am so excited I just cannot wait! There is so much I’m looking forward to this time around! The first time I went, I didn’t really know what I was looking for or what to expect. The second time around I sort of knew what was there and a little bit of what to do however now I work at Orlando Attraction Tickets I know so much more about what’s out there than I could possibly need to! I will be chief planner for my family holiday!

I cannot contain my excitement for the Hogwart’s Express. This is an amazing idea! Whoever came up with this one is incredible! I am a bit of a Harry Potter geek, I love it! I’ve wanted to go to Harry Potter World in London for so long but it looks like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal has just taken number 1 spot on my list of things to do. I have done plenty of research into this attraction and the more I read about it, the more I want to do it! The amount of detail that I can only imagine that they have put into this is just incredible.

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The Hogwart’s Express replicates the train journey taken by young Wizards to and from Hogwarts just like the journey taken by Harry Potter in the books and films. There are 2 trains, 1 travels from platform 9 ¾  at ‘Kings Cross Station’ in Diagon Alley (Universal Studios) to ‘Hogsmeade Station’ in Hogsmeade (Universal Islands of Adventure). The second train runs the opposite way, both with a completely different ride experience. This attraction is so big that it can take up to 200 passengers at a time!

If you’re a King Kong lover you will love the fact that Skull Island is rumoured to be coming to Universal’s Islands of Adventure! Again, we’re not too sure on what to expect from this but as the rumours go, we should expect to be running away from King Kong himself! Scary stuff!

What else am I fan of? Frozen! Much to my disappointment the Frozen attraction at Disney’s Epcot hasn’t actually opened yet 🙁 but I guess I’ll have to just take this as something else to look forward to next year! We don’t really know what exactly this attraction is going to be so I’ll just have to wait in suspense for a little while longer! I just hope it’s open by the time I get there!

Of course I am eager to ride Falcons Fury! I mean who isn’t?! If you don’t already know about Falcons Fury, it’s the newest attraction at Busch Gardens, standing at 335 feet high. It holds you at the top at a 90 degree angle before you are dropped to the bottom! WOW! I can’t wait to just get there so I can come back and tell you all about it!!

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There is nothing better than sitting down with your family at SeaWorld to watch One Ocean! This is a phenomenal show; there is nothing else like it! I still can’t get to grips with how you could possibly train a whale to do exactly what you want it to do! Blue Horizons is another show at SeaWorld full with exciting tricks from dolphins, tropical birds and acrobats! Both years that I’ve visited Orlando I have watched both of these shows! It never gets old and I just hope they release that they are showing these again next year!

Rumours that Disney are set to build a new Star Wars attractions at Hollywood Studios in the summer of 2015 won’t go away! No concrete details have been released but Jamie took some time out last year to speculate on what could be available at a Star Wars Land.

An attraction catching a lot of people’s attention is the new Pandora land from Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I have not seen the film all the way through however Disney’s ideas for Pandora are looking immense! It all lights up of a night time turning Pandora into somewhere magical. We still don’t know much about this attraction as Disney like to keep exact details very close to their chest but we believe it will open in 2017! They are definitely keeping us in suspense with this one!

Which attractions are you looking forward to most?

Smiles included…

Louise

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Now That Disney Own Star War’s What Could We See At A Star Wars Land?

Afternoon Thrill Seekers,

As we reported last month, Disney have opened their substantial wallets to purchase LucasFilms for $4.05 Billion not only do Disney now own the rights to Howard the Duck but they also own Star Wars.

Straight off the bat Disney confirmed they have plans to make 3 new Star War’s movies the first due for release in 2015! So obviously this has got us dreaming here of a Star Wars Land at the Magic Kingdom and what it might entail, here’s our wish list.

X-Wing Simulator

3d motion rides are all the rage at the moment think Forbidden Journey, Transformers 3d etc, imagine a 3d motion ride where the rider takes on the part of young Luke Skywalker taking charge of a rebel attack on the death star! It seems almost too perfect!

Speeder Coaster

Similar to air in the UK, this coaster set in the Ewok’s forrest, is all about speed. Sit back grab hold and prepare for Spppppeeeeeeeedddddd…..

Hyperdrive

The most famous ship in all of Star Wars is of course the Millennium Falcon; what always stuck out for me was when Han Solo would set the ship in to Hyperspeed using the Hyperdrive. A coaster similar to Cheetah Hunt at Busch Gardens with multiple launch platforms would give that feeling of hyperspeed but as its in space the action would take please indoors similar to Rock N’ Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s.

BATTLE OF HOTH

The Battle of Hoth is one of most memorable encounters in Star Wars, imagine a Simpson’s style attraction which puts you bang in the heart of all the action!?

Additionals

On top of the possibility of these great rides, we’d expect some amazing Jedi lead show’s with acrobatics and plenty of light sabre sword play. For the little one’s we’d want numerous Jedi schools to teach the Padawan the ways of the Force. Perhaps some kind of droid workshop similar to make your own teddy bear!?

These are of course just our idea’s…. What would you like to see if Disney do indeed build Star War’s Land?

regards,

Jamie,

smiles included… 🙂