Halloween Horror Nights 27 Team Member Preview

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Tomorrow Universal Orlando Resort will be taken over by the creatures of the night… yup it may only be September but that doesn’t stop Halloween Horror Nights from opening its doors to those who love to be scared.

But before that Universal gave their houses a quick test drive using their very own staff. Last night HHN27 was opened up to Team Members (Universal employee’s & Special guests) and here’s what they had to say about it.

Our mate Mike was also pretty happy too;

Great to see so many different opinions, which seems to suggest that HHN27 has got the correct mix of houses. I can’t wait to read your reviews once the event gets going.

Screams included…

Jamie

Is This The New Coaster Replacing Dragon Challenge?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

The news that Dragon Challenges last day would be the 4th September was met with similar feeling as when we announced that Jaws would be closing. The much loved coaster will be making way for a brand new Potter attraction but not much more information has been  released, so we’re working off crumbs.

One potential large crumb came to my attention last night when coaster specialist Dynamic Attractions tweeted this…

Now its not the article that’s the interesting part because like all of us we know nothing Jon Snow. Its the comments section that’s interesting…

Hmm an SFX Coaster, what is this strange device you speak of;

Dynamic Attractions bill the SFX Coaster as The World’s most exhilarating dark ride and state;

Combining a high thrill coaster with new track technologies, high definition storytelling visuals and state-of-the art audio effects. This attraction is filled with ‘firsts’ that will attract theme park enthusiasts from around the globe.

Dynamic Attractions did confirm that “someone” in Orlando had purchased an SFX coaster at IAAPA which does help fuel this rumour.

At first glance it does appear to have similarities to Escape from Gringotts but we’re thinking that this attraction may well have an indoor and outdoor part to it.

Universal are promising a “new generation thrill ride” so we’ll keep you posted when we learn more…

Smiles included…

Jamie

What Else Can TapuTapu Do?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

With Universal’s Volcano Bay set to open next Thursday 25th May, we’re beginning to get bombarded with news, YAY!.

This morning we featured the sneak peak around Volcano Bay now we’ve just got some more info on TapuTapu.

Virtual Queues

As we mentioned before you can virtually wait in line for one ride at a time while playing in other areas of the park. The TapuTapu wearable will alert you when your wait time is over. Now for some new stuff…

Locker Access

After you rent your locker, you’ll be able to access it with just a touch of your TapuTapu wearable. No more locker keys!

TapTu Snap/My Universal Photo Access

You’ll be able to take advantage of special interactive photo opportunities and selfie-spots throughout the park. Your TapuTapu will automatically link your photos to your account  so you can view, purchase, and share your photos at your convenience.TapTu Play

You can trigger special interactive effects and surprises throughout Volcano Bay, like revealing hidden images in the volcano’s cave and shooting water cannons at unsuspecting guests.

TapTu Pay

With TapTu Pay, you can make purchases throughout the entire park with the TapuTapu wearable on your wrist.

Gavin recently got his hand on the first TapuTapu in the UK. Check it our here –

Volcano Bay is included in the Universal 3 park explorer ticket and opens on the 25th May.

Smiles included…

Jamie

Universal Confirm Volcano Bay Opening Date

Hey Thrill Seekers,

To say we’re excited about Volcano Bay is a mahoosive under statement. The new Universal water theme park was rumoured to be opening on June 1st 2017 however in true Universal style they dropped this bomb last night via their social channels.

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Yup that’s right, this years major opening (sorry Disney) is actually going to open on May 25th 2017… *insert screaming fans*.

Here’s a lowdown on what we can expect;

The Volcano
At the heart of the island stands Krakatau™, the mighty Fire and Water Volcano. Towering 200 feet above the tropical landscape, Krakatau streams waterfalls during the day and fiery lava effects at night. Inside the cavernous volcano the Waturi people dare you to brave a variety of heart-pounding water slides.

Krakatau™ Aqua Coaster
Honorary Waturi can experience the power of Krakatau™ on this amazing ride. Four-person canoes slide upward through the mists and into the dark twists and turns within the volcano before emerging with a plunge through a shimmering waterfall.

Ko’okiri Body Plunge
Join in the centuries-old tradition of honoring the volcano god, Vol, by braving the incredible Ko’okiri Body Plunge. Featuring a 70-degree fall through a drop door and 125 feet of screaming, white-knuckle fun, this dizzying descent ends with a watery tribute from Vol himself.

Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides
Join Kala and Tai Nui where sea and sky meet and take a leap of faith from high atop the volcano. Twin trap doors simultaneously drop two guests down clear, intertwining tubes before sending them joyfully splashing into the turquoise waters below.

Punga Racers
A favorite among Waturi children of all ages, Punga Racers send single riders on their manta ray mats sliding down four lanes through underwater sea caves.

Wave Village
This peaceful escape overlooks the sparkling waters of Waturi Beach at the base of the volcano.

Waturi Beach
Locals know — the surf’s always up at Waturi Beach. Swim, splash and relax right along with them in the sparkling waters and warm waves of this sparkling lagoon at the foot of mighty Krakatau™.

River Village
The scenic River Village has fun for people of all ages, including the very youngest Waturi.

Honu ika Moana
Just like the ancient Waturi people who rode the ocean waves on friendly sea turtles and whales, guests can enjoy these two twisting, turning, multi-person slides. Honu sweeps up two massive walls, while ika Moana sprays water on riders from the center of the raft.

Tot Tiki Reef + Runamukka Reef
The little ones can frolic among the splashy slides and fountains of the Tot Tiki Reef toddler play area, while Runamukka Reef delights older children with its bubbling geysers, water guns, slides and dump cups.

Kopiko Wai Winding River
Take a slow ride on the Kopiko Wai Winding River. Sprays of water surprise along the way, and beneath the lava rocks, Stargazer’s Cavern reveals the magical night sky above.

Rainforest Village
Rainforest Village stretches along the shores of an action-packed river and features the perfect mix of relaxation and exhilaration.

Ohyah + Ohno Drop Slides
Test your mettle and get into the Waturi spirit. Ascend cliff side and plummet down the twisting waters of Ohyah before dropping out four feet above the pool below. To achieve even greater bragging rights, brave the rope bridge and plunge down Ohno, a serpentine adventure that ends six feet above the pool below. Be sure to yell your battle cry on the way down.

Maku Puihi Raft Rides
Ready for the high adventure of the Maku Puihi lava tubes? This six-person rafting adventure is a favorite of Waturi families, but it’s not for the faint of heart. Choose one of two paths or try them both—just be ready for a thrilling ride. Puihi careens through a dark, winding tunnel before the stomach-flipping thrill of zero gravity hang time. Maku slides you through a deep volcanic gorge before spinning wildly around bowl-like formations.

TeAwa The Fearless River
Up for an adventure? Take a thrilling whitewater ride along TeAwa The Fearless River. Race along a roaring, watery onslaught of churning rapids and choppy waves hanging tight to your inner tube.

Taniwha Tubes
There’s a place where the puka trees grow abnormally tall. Inspired by their twisting roots, the Waturi built four twisting water slides called the Taniwha Tubes. Riders can try all four twisting tracks, but beware — mischievous tiki statues spray jets of water when you least expect it.

I can’t wait for this….

Smiles included…

Jamie

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More Details About Universal’s A Celebration of Harry Potter Are Out

Hey Thrill Seekers,

A celebration of Harry Potter is becoming a big deal for Universal now in its fourth year the event is going from strength to strength. This years event will take place from the 27th Jan until the 29th.

Below is this year schedule;

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FRIDAY, JANUARY 27, 2017

Harry Potter™ Expo
9am – 5pm | Soundstage 33 and 21
Movie in the Park
10am – 12:30pm | Music Plaza Stage
Movie in the Park
1:30pm – 4pm | Music Plaza Stage
Opening Night Event
7:15pm – 8:15pm | Music Plaza Stage

SATURDAY, JANUARY 28, 2017

Harry Potter™ Expo
9am – 3:30pm | Soundstage 33 and 21
Kids’ Dance Like a Beauxbatons, Battle Like a Durmstrang
10am – 10:30am | Music Plaza Stage
WB Studio Tour London – Discover the secrets behind Creature Effects with Nick
Dudman & Warwick Davis
10am – 10:30am | Toon Lagoon™ Amphitheatre
Harry Potter™ Trivia
11am -11:30am | Music Plaza Stage
Learn Wand Combat Skills with Paul Harris (Kids)
11:30am – 12pm | Music Plaza Stage
MinaLima: Graphic Design for the Harry Potter™ Films with MinaLima
11:30am – 12pm | Music Plaza Stage
Harry Potter™ Trivia
1:30pm – 2pm | Music Plaza Stage
Learn Wand Combat Skills with Paul Harris (All Levels)
2pm – 2:30pm | Music Plaza Stage
Stories From The Exhibition: Taking the Audio-Tour Experience to the World
3pm – 3:30pm | Toon Lagoon™ Amphitheatre
Harry Potter™ Film Talent Q&A
4pm – 4:45pm | Music Plaza Stage
An Interview with Mary GrandPré
4:15pm – 4:45pm | Toon Lagoon™ Amphitheatre
House Rally Meet-Up (Costume Contest)
5:30pm – 6pm | Music Plaza Stage
Evening Tribute
6:45pm – 7:45pm  | Music Plaza Stage

SUNDAY, JANUARY 29, 2017

Harry Potter™ Expo
9am – 5pm | Soundstage 33 and 21
Kids’ Dance Like a Beauxbatons, Battle Like a Durmstrang
10am – 10:30am | Music Plaza Stage
MinaLima: Graphic Design for the Harry Potter™ Films with MinaLima
10am – 10:30am | Toon Lagoon™ Amphitheatre
Harry Potter™ Trivia
11am -11:30am | Music Plaza Stage
Learn Wand Combat Skills with Paul Harris (Kids)
11:30am – 12pm | Music Plaza Stage
Learn Wand Combat Skills with Paul Harris (All Levels)
2pm – 2:30pm | Music Plaza Stage
Stories From The Exhibition: Taking the Audio-Tour Experience to the World
2:30pm – 3pm | Toon Lagoon™ Amphitheatre
Harry Potter™ Trivia
3pm – 3:30pm | Music Plaza Stage
WB Studio Tour London – Discover the secrets behind Creature Effects with Nick Dudman & Warwick Davis
4pm – 4:30pm | Toon Lagoon™ Amphitheatre
Harry Potter™ Film Talent Q&A
5:30pm – 6:15pm | Music Plaza Stage

Soundstage 21
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter™
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Pottermore

Soundstage 33
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter™
MinaLima
Stories from Harry Potter™: The Exhibition
Scholastic
Universal Parks and Resorts™

Where will you head?

Smiles included…

Jamie

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First Look At Super Nintendo World

Hey Thrill Seekers,

‘Tis the season to be jolly and Universal are definitely in the mood to give. Yesterday they dropped some imagery of Super Nintendo World set to open at Universal Studios Japan in 2020 just in time for the Tokyo Olympics.

Super Nintendo World

Here’s what Universal had to say;

Super Nintendo World will be comprised of expansive and multilevel environments filled with unprecedented, state-of-the-art rides, interactive areas, shops and restaurants, all featuring Nintendo’s most popular characters and games.

Universal are definitely committed to providing something amazing and stated;

 Development cost at Universal Studios Japan is currently expected to exceed 50 billion Yen. Super Nintendo World will be developed mainly using the park’s current parking area and part of an area designated for future expansion. Katsuhiro Miyamoto, Professor Emeritus of Kansai University estimates that Universal Studios Japan — after opening Super Nintendo World — will bring economic benefits following its opening of approximately 6.2 trillion Yen for the Kansai region, 11.7 trillion Yen for Japan as a whole, and will create approximately 1.1 million jobs in Japan within a decade after opening. Universal Studios Japan will introduce the wonder of the world-class, Japan-based entertainment brand of Nintendo not only to Japan but to the world.

Although no further details about what we can expect were given the art work does tell a story. The main part being how prominent Mario is, we’re thinking that perhaps other titles such as Zelda and Final Fantasy wont feature at all!?

Just as promised you’ll note colourful, multi-levels that seem to be prime for interactive areas also some character meet and great opportunities (Princess Peach). Obviously it doesn’t mean that Universal Orlando’s Nintendo World will look anything like this and recent patents suggest  rides based on Mario Kart and Donkey Kong games. One appears to be a drifting car racing attraction that can be used as a Mario Kart themed attraction and the other is a  patent for coaster car technology that can potentially simulate runaway mine cars or more.

Whatever happens it definitely looks exciting.

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Universal Confirm Nintendo World For Orlando

Hey Thrill Seekers,

In July 2015 we confirmed that Universal had signed an exclusive agreement with computer giants Nintendo to bring their wealth of IP’s to theme park lovers.

nintendo-characters

Today we received access to a video from Universal featuring Mark Woodbury, Universal Creative discussing the plans for a Nintendo World that will feature at Orlando, Hollywood and Japan. Accompanied by Shigeru Miyamoto from Nintendo we got the chance to hear a little about what they have planned without actually knowing any details.

Here’s the video;

Although there aren’t any real details included, this is what we took away from this small offering.

  • The use of the word World to describe the Nintendo area goes against the norm, usually they state land. The use of world gives it a feeling of being massive!
  • Immersive, Interactive and Involved  Were all words used by Mark to describe the experience they’re looking for. For me this brings back memories of the kind of buzz words they used for Diagon Alley which has interactive elements such as the wands.
  • We noted (as I’m sure you did) that Mario featured heavily in the video. I’ve watched it a few times and I can only see Mario characters.
  • No mention of opening dates or even when ground will be broken. I’m hearing rumours that Japan and Hollywood will get a Nintendo World first but the Orlando offering will be the biggest of the three. Could this be so that Universal can prepare the land they purchased recently.

UPDATED: Universal have also followed up with some written information that mirrors our own feels;

  • These will be expansive, immersive and interactive. They’ll be highly themed and authentic environments filled with multiple attractions, shops and restaurants.
  • You’ll feel as if you’re playing inside your favorite games – in real life.
  • There will be something for everyone—regardless of their age or gaming experience level.
  • Planning and creative work on these areas is well underway; they will open separately over the next several years.

This is the quote that stuck out to me;

The goal of everyone on this project is clear: to bring the characters, action and adventure of Nintendo video games to life within Universal theme parks. And to do so in new and innovative ways that capture what makes them so special.

All of the adventure, fun and whimsy you experience through a screen will now be all around you – in breathtakingly authentic ways.

 

We’ll keep you posted when we learn more?

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Halloween Horror Nights 26

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Universal’s Halloween Horror Night’s 26 has nearly come to an end now. Year after year Universal put on an amazing event at Universal Studio’s and it never fails to disappoint. This year there are 9 houses so let’s take a look at what people are saying about them!

The American Horror Story

This house has been described as the most elaborate house with 3 seasons being included: throughout: Murder House, Freak Show and Hotel. First you will face horrors  in the Harmon residence, then encounter a deformed clown on the roadside freak show before checking into the Hotel Cortez and unlock the domain of The Countess, as she ensures your stay is anything but pleasant. Universal have worked with the series creator on this house to ensure that this is as realistic to the series as possible.

The Exorcist

This house is being described as the most disturbing and I can definitely see why! As the biggest baby going when it comes to horror films, I haven’t seen many of them; now I’m starting remember why! Universal have tried to make you feel like you’re in the bedroom in this house and take you through each of the iconic scenes, including the vomit covered bed!

Krampus

It’s been said that Krampus is the most fun house out all 9. A lot of horrifying moments from the film have been added into each room like the gingerbread man, jack-in-the-box, elves the teddy bear and Krampus himself. Universal have collaborated with the filmmaker to make each encounter as close the to the film as they could.

UO-HHN-2016-Krampus

Halloween: Hell Comes To Haddonfield

This house has also been described as one of the most elaborate houses. Walking through the homes of Haddonfield, you will be chased by Freddie the whole through before getting to the Haddonfield Memorial Hospital.  It’s a cold, stark setting and there’s no surprise that they have collaborated with the producer of the Halloween film instalments.

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The Walking Dead

Now this house is being described as the most heart-quickening house which seems totally legit! All 6 seasons of The Walking Dead have been added into the 1 house to make it even more terrifying. You’ll be trying to escape from Hershel’s barn and racing through Terminus before end up in the sewers of Alexandria. Not forgetting the battle against the wolves which you will be in at the end of the maze.

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The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Without much surprise, this house has been described as the most spooky one. Imagine watching the film and thinking ‘I would not want to be those 5 people being chased by a crazy man with a chainsaw’, then next thing you know, you are those people being chased by a crazy man with a chainsaw!

Lunatics Playground 3D – You Won’t Stand A Chance

Based on Jack’s girlfriend, Chance, you get to witness her thought’s while Jack’s away hence this house being described as the most imaginative house. Taking you through the horrors of her imagination it’s all carnage until she gets thrown into her incarceration! Brutal!

Ghost Town: The Curse Of Lightning Gulch

This house is being described as the most original house which I can only presume is down the fact Universal haven’t based it on a film and it is completely their own for HHN. All of the scenes are based on the lightning strikes that continuously strike at random before leaving you in the pitch black again to find your own way out!

Tomb Of The Ancients

The most creative house must have come from the fact of the ancient evil surfacing. The whole world is going to pay with the immortal beings returning to man kind and causing hell to all man-kind.

There we have it, all 9 houses. Are you still brave enough to enter all of them?

Screams Included…

Louise

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Hulk Coaster Begins Live Testing

Hey Thrill Seekers,

One of Orlando’s most popular coasters has been offline since September last year, regularly consider one of the premier coasters in Florida fans of the lean, green, speed machine have been patiently waiting for its return… and it looks like it might be soon!

the hulk coaster

Yesterday at Universal’s Islands of Adventure eagle eyed theme park goers spotted the Hulk being tested with humans in it. Made up of staff members and human dummies the Hulk coaster made several runs of the track which is obviously good news when it comes to a launch date.

The testing of the ride with actual people in is usual the final step before either a soft launch or a media day. I CANNOT WAIT!!!

You can find out more about what to expect from the new Hulk by reading this.

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Have Universal Orlando Missed A Trick?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

I’m kind of greedy when it come to theme parks in Orlando, I want all the best rides and all the best attractions to be smack bang in the middle of Florida and for the most part we’re pretty spoilt however something will open at Universal Studios Hollywood on Monday which makes me think Universal Orlando have missed a trick…

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The Walking Dead attraction will be open all year round and will feature popular scenes from the TV series including the prison and the iconic “DON’T OPEN DEAD INSIDE” doors.

The attraction itself is a walk through style maze of which regular visitors to Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights will be familiar. However due to the fact that its a permanent feature the creative team have got access to a much larger budget meaning visitor can expect to see something that’s far superior to its HHN counterparts.

Check out this walk through video;

Although the attraction wont offer the sort of scares you can expect at HHN the Walking Dead attraction will offer a more solid story and a lot more attention to details. For me this should of been an option for Universal Orlando instead of perhaps Jimmy Fallon the Walking Dead has a worldwide appeal whereas Jimmy Fallon although known is much more local.

What do you think, would you like a permanent Walking Dead attraction?

Smiles included…

Jamie

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