Is Super Nintendo World Going to be Bigger than Expected?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

If we weren’t already excited enough about Super Nintendo World, there is some rumors flying around that Nintendo could be expanding over both Universal parks.

Sources have told a Orlando news channel that Universal are planning to eventually add more Nintendo rides and attractions to Islands of Adventure AND to the recently purchased 500 acres of land..

Up until now we have only expected Nintendo to appear at Universal Studios – taking the place of KidZone and building permits released on Tuesday include a 8.8 acre Super Mario Land in that spot with Donkey Kong and Mario attractions anticipated. There is also speculation that this could be part of a bigger picture and that there is an idea for a possible film project with Illumination Entertainment, the studio behind Despicable Me to maybe make a Super Mario Bros CG Movie.

The above image is what we are expecting from Super Nintendo World in Japan which is expected to open in 2020 with the Orlando one opening shortly after.

“You’ll feel as if you’re playing inside your favorite games – in real life.”

We already have lots of information on what Super Nintendo World will have to offer however Universal have not commented on this recent speculation.

There is so much that Nintendo has to offer such as Zelda, Animal Crossing, Pokemon etc that extra land for Super Nintendo World could be filled easily. Would you want to see it expanded over 2.. possibly 3 parks?

Smiles Included

Jess

New Harry Potter Film Star, Panels and Experiences Revealed for A Celebration of Harry Potter

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Universal have announced some more details for A Celebration of Harry Potter…

Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley) has been confirmed as another film star to join the line up for next years highly anticipated event. Universal also announces new content and returning favourites for all you witches, wizards and muggles to join in on at the Harry Potter Expo:

  • NEW: Wizarding Costumes from Harry Potter: The Exhibition”
  • You’ll be able see some of the most stunning costumes from the Harry Potter series and walk the runway to pose for a one-of-a-kind keepsake photo.
  • The Sorting Hat Experience
  • “ If you don’t know your Hogwarts house, you’ll have the chance to find out if you’re a Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Gryffindor or Slytherin at The Sorting Hat Experience.

  • Pottermore
  • Start practicing your Harry Potter trivia because Audible Recall is back with updated questions. And, you can even play against your fellow housemates with house-specific rounds each day of the event. #HogwartsRules
  • Scholastic
  • Scholastic is celebrating 20 years since Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was first published. You can write your favourite Harry Potter memory on the Muggle Wall, step into a life-sized recreation of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and enter to win one-of-a-kind Harry Potter prizes.

  • MinaLima
  • Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima are back this year to share their graphic designs of Weasleys Wizard Wheezes and so much more.
  • Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
  • The Making of Harry Potter is back to give you the opportunity to see first-hand some of the incredible effects that were used in the Harry Potter film series.
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  • As the play gets ready to open on Broadway, you’ll get an exclusive, never-seen-before look at the costumes, designs and imagery from the production.

Also, get ready for three brand-new panels you won’t want to miss:

  • Discover Behind-the-Scenes Secrets with Award Winning Special Effects Supervisor, John Richardson The magic comes alive as John Richardson  Special Effects Supervisor on all eight Harry Potter films shares with you how flying broomsticks, floating candles, wand explosions, fire-breathing dragons, and more were created on the Harry Potter film set.
  • Graphic Design for Film: Creating the Weasleys Wizard Wheezes Eduardo Lima and Miraphora Mina of MinaLima are here to chat about what went into bringing Weasleys Wizard Wheezes to life.
  • The Magic of Costumes in Harry Potter Join Jany Temime, award-winning costume designer behind the last six films, and Eddie Newquist, exhibition curator, to talk about the amazing costumes in the Harry Potter films.

Harry Potter is EVERYWHERE at the moment and I LOVE it 😀

Smiles included

Jess

More Details Released on Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

So just as I was planning tomorrows OAT live and literally writing the sentence ‘new line up & more details coming soon’ in relation to Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s, Universal decided to release the ‘more details.’ Way better than when they usually release cool stuff AFTER we finish ay!!

So what did we already know about The Holiday Parade? Well we knew it would star Minions, Santa, Madagascar and Shrek characters. Lora Sauls from Universal has said that they’ve been working on this parade for three years. “The new Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s is unlike any other parade that has been at Universal Orlando Resorts” 

There is 16 new balloons that will soar above your heads and 13 of these balloons have been exclusively designed for Universal by Macy’s who are the global leader in balloon entertainment. Apparently the ‘Dronkeys’ from Shrek are ‘adorable’ cant wait to see them!!

“One of my favorite reactions is when people first see the floats – their jaws hit the floor! These 15 floats are HUGE. Each float has an astonishing lighting display and unique details to each theme.”

Near the end of your day in Universal Studios you’ll be able to catch the parade which will feature 100 performers and Santa will be making it snow! , it looks as though parade times may vary so be sure to check the app! Check out below what the Parade is going to entail…

Jingle All the Way With the Minions

The Minions are bringing mayhem to the holidays this year. You’ll hear them sing their own rendition of Jingle Bells as they attempt to decorate a Christmas tree. Look up and you’ll see Bob the Minion balloon chase after his favourite teddy bear, Tim. You’ll also see Lucy (for the first time ever), Gru and his daughters spreading holiday cheer.

Santa Claus is Coming to Madagascar

Up next, King Julien and the Madagascar crew are inviting you to a tropical holiday party. The Penguins are searching for Santa Claus, followed by King Julien who has gifted himself a giant pineapple balloon. The last float showcases Alex, Gloria, Marty and Melman celebrating the holidays like only they can.

Celebrate the Most Wonderful Time of Year with Shrek  

Shrek, Fiona and their baby ogres are also celebrating the holidays in their swamp. Gingy leads the festivities from above with his gingerbread house float below. Donkey follows right behind with an assortment of gifts. Lastly, Shrek and Fiona share a massive float with Dragon while two of her Dronkey babies fly above.

Here Comes Santa Claus…With His Elves

Holiday favorites are also returning with a brand new look. Santa’s elves are inviting you into the workshop where you’ll see all your favorite toys come to life. Following close behind is Santa Claus himself. Santa’s float is beautiful when it lights up with all the reindeer!

Universal’s holiday celebrations start this Saturday 18th November and will run all the way through to the 6th January.

Smiles Included,

Abby

Two New Hotels Coming to Universal Orlando

Hey Thrill Seekers,

We have been patiently awaiting news about what Universal are doing with the old Wet n’ Wild site. Well today they have confirmed that 2 new hotels are going to be built here.

The two hotels are going to offer Universals lowest rates whilst still including the added benefits of early admission and complimentary transport. Even though these hotels have the lowest price tags of any Universal hotel, Universal have said that the complex will be a ‘destination unto itself.’

It sounds as though there will be beach vibes around the complex with guests being able to soak up the sun, surf and play in the sand with coastal surroundings. There will be three pools, poolside bars, two food courts and coffee bars along with fitness centres and much more!

The new hotels will be located at the intersection of Universal Blvd. and International Drive which is just minutes away from the Universal parks and City Walk. Universal will begin accepting reservations in early 2018.

Smiles Included

Abby

NEW DETAILS REVEALED FOR FAST & FURIOUS – SUPERCHARGED

Hey Thrill Seekers,

I am SUPER buzzing about Fast & Furious – Supercharged which is coming to Universal Studios Florida next spring and Universal have just revealed some new details. Woohooo!

When I was in Orlando back in September I could see this new attraction starting to take shape.. at least I know where to head first now when it’s open! The ride is going to be very immersive and will throw guests straight in to the story where you will become part of the Fast family. If you’re as much of a fan of the Fast and Furious films like myself or if you’ve seen the films you will know how action packed and adrenaline filled they are which is being bought to life in this spectacular ride. Universal have said that ‘there are four specific details exclusive to Universal Orlando’s Fast & Furious – Supercharged that make it the ultimate Fast & Furious experience:’  These are:

  • Supercharged Cars        (duhhhhhh)
  • New Characters
  • New Story
  • Virtual Line

Check out this Video:

Universal have also revealed a ‘front row look inside the high-energy adventure’

The Family’s All Here

‘You’ll encounter Dom (Vin Diesel), Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), Roman (Tyrese Gibson) and more of your favoirite Fast & Furious characters during your action-packed experience. But it’s not all good guys that you’ll come face-to-face with either. Luke Evans (Owen Shaw) and his criminal cartel are back with a vengeance.

Ludacris (Tej Parker) and Jordana Brewster (Mia Toretto) will join the all-star cast of this attraction.’

Cars from the Fast & Furious Film Franchise

Universal have stated that they worked very closely with Dennis McCarthy who is the man behind the cars in the films to create 15 authentic cars which are one of a kind for the attraction – pretty cool ay!!

Fast & Furious - Supercharged Turbo Truck Queue Rendering

An Original Fast & Furious Story

Before you even step inside the attraction, you’re immersed in the story. You’ll first encounter Dom’s iconic car parked outside.

The Fast & Furious – Supercharged building has become the all-new home base of operations. You’ll get to explore familiar scenes inspired by the films, including Tej’s high-tech War Room and the Family Room—complete with photos of the Fast family.

Dom invites you to attend a race after-party that you won’t want to miss. The best part is Tej hooks you up with customized party busses to get you there.

As you make your way to the party, Dom calls with an urgent message: Criminal mastermind Owen Shaw has tracked you down. Now, a high-speed chase is on as the Fast& Furious crew strives to keep you safe from the clutches of Shaw. But will you make it?

Virtual Line

Fast & Furious – Supercharged is the second attraction (after Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon) to use a Virtual Line system. Again, like Jimmy Fallon there will be tonnes to do while you ‘queue’ such as memorabilia, songs from the soundtracks, photo opportunities and more. Also, when you exit the ride you’ll be able to take as many photos as you like of cars from this years The Fate of the Furious. No attraction is complete without a gift shop and of course there will be plenty of opportunity to grab as much merchandise as you want from the Fast & Furious gift shop.

I am SOOOO excited! Are you?!

Smiles Included

Abby

 

Universal Purchase MORE Land

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Sooo Universal have just bought a further 101 acres of land on Sand Lake Road which makes the new total amount of land they now have a whopping 575 acres!

This would be more than enough room for a fourth theme park AND a new hotel. There is no word yet on what Universal are going to fill this space with.

Universal have already got 3 new hotels on the go – Aventura hotel and at least 2 more planned for the site of Wet ‘n Wild and I do think they will be planning to build another hotel on this land also.. they have enough room, so why not?!

We will be seeing a new park for sure and with more hotels comes more guests so maybe even a second City Walk. I’d love to see a new park or two, the amount of land they have is more than the other 3 Universal parks put together so the possibilities are pretty endless.  Of course the biggest speculation is around a whole Wizarding World of Harry Potter park and i’m totally all for that. I’ve been chatting to the other guys here at OAT towers to see what their ideas for new parks / attractions would be and i’ve created a list:

  • The Walking Dead
  • Nintendo Park
  • New Theatre
  • Jurassic Park / World
  • How to train your Dragon
  • Madagascar
  • Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them
  • Convention Center

  • Although very unlikely I would LOVE to see a whole land dedicated to horror, perhaps a year round horror themed land.. Now that would be unlike any other park! (Maybe I just love Halloween Horror Nights too much)

The locations of the newly purchased land and current resort location has left us wondering how Universal plan to move guests to and from parks to hotels. There’s been a few rumours surrounding monorails or buses with dedicated lanes.

The above is purely rumours and speculation as there has been no word or confirmation from Universal surrounding it. What would you like to see built on the newly purchased land?!

Smiles Included

Abby

Top 5 Orlando Holiday Reveals

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Now i’m definitely not a blubber but holiday reveal videos make me do that thing where  your eyes get wet when you’re happy? Weird I know..

Holidays to Orlando, the theme park capital of the world, are nothing less than a huge deal and seeing your kids faces when you tell them that this year they’re lucky enough to be  going to Orlando must be second to none. Recently, keeping the holiday a secret for as long as possible and then filming the reaction of your littleun’s when you tell them is becoming more and more popular and I love it (although it does make me pretty jealous 🙁 )

The creativity of some families is amazing so i’ve been scouring the internet to put together my top 5 Orlando holiday reveal videos. Personally, my favourite type of reveal videos are treasure hunt ones.

1.

As i’ve previously mentioned, my favourite reveal idea is to do a treasure hunt around the house and this one is Disney themed.. even better 😀

 

2.

This one is soooo cute and I love the idea of the t-shirts, how grateful the kids are is very sweet.

 

3.

‘BUT WE HAVEN’T PACKED!!!’

 

4.

The suitcase races at the beginning of this one made me laugh, also love the Universal props for a brill Universal reveal.

 

5.

The little girls reaction at the end of this one is just brilliant.

I couldn’t think of a better surprise to receive than being told that i’m going on holiday to Orlando (Gavin should have done a video of when I was told I would be going on the Super FAM trip this year 😉 )

If you’ve got any funny, adorable or emotional reveal videos or ideas send them in to us i’d love to see!!

Smiles Included

Abby

Abby’s Orlando Adventure, Part 1. Universal

Hey Thrill Seekers!

I’M BACK!!

I’ve been back a few days now – just about getting over the jet lag but still wishing I was in Orlando.. 🙁 I had the most AMAZING week out in Orlando and had the opportunity to do things i’ve only ever been able to dream of doing until now. I’m going to let you all know what I got up to over a blog or three.  😉 Today’s blog is all about what I got up to at the Universal parks..

So on the 17th September I made my way to Gatwick and met everyone (all 50 of them) at the check in desk ready to do my first ever long haul flight. The flight was fine and seemed like we were there in no time! We then travelled straight from the airport to Universals Cabana Bay Beach Resort which is a really cool 1950’s retro themed hotel. After being shown to our rooms we met over at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort – another one of Universals properties to have a welcome buffet and drinks. At dinner our lovely Universal host Liz gave us the opportunity to go over to Universal Studios to experience Halloween Horror Nights 27. Of course I opted to do this (partly because if i didn’t I would be mocked here at OAT towers) We hopped on a water taxi from Loews over to Universal Studios to experience the best Horror Night event i’ve ever been too! As soon as you walk in to the park it starts, there’s a scare zone after scare zone and so many houses to choose from. I done a mix of Rides and Houses that night, started off on Hollywood Rip Ride Rock It (Kayne West – Stronger, obvious choice 😉 ) – Wicked ride to do in the dark! Also rode TRANSFORMERS-3D, The Simpsons and Men In Black. TRANSFORMERS 3D was my first experience of a simulator ride and it’s safe to say I absolutely LOVED it! Now on to the houses, the first house I went in to was American Horror Story.. one word, terrifying. There is a video / sound clip on our Facebook page that I took whilst walking through the house and you can tell from that how scared I was and also how funny it is to be scared. The attention to detail in the houses is second to none, if you have the chance to go make sure you keep your eyes open the whole time to really take in all of the props and details! The second house I went in was Scarecrow – The Reaping. This house was more jumpy and I did fall over at one point from being scared – not my finest moment ;). The Scare Zones were also amazing and clever, my favourite Scare Zone was the Purge one as you just couldn’t escape! This was closely followed by the Scare Zone Roaming Hordes – Clowns with Chainsaws.. enough said. We made our way back to the hotel at around 1am to get some sleep ready for the next day.

On our first full day we made our way over to Universal Studios where we met our very own VIP tour guides who were going to be taking us around for the morning. We started off by heading in to Diagon Alley – the ‘wow factor’ when you walk in is exactly, if not more, how everyone describes it. We had a quick taste of Butterbeer – I loved this, I love all things sweet and this is definitely sweet, yummy. We then went on to do the Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts, I also had a lot of expectations for this ride and it lived up to every single one of them, it’s just so lifelike and cleverly done. After this we met up outside Kings Cross Station, had a few photos with the knight bus and then made our way inside to board the Hogwarts Express. Oh another thing, when you are standing outside Kings Cross you will reeeeeaaaalllllyyyy feel like you are back in London! (let me know below if you know what I mean by this 😉 ) After walking through platform 9 3/4 we hopped in to a carriage.The journey on the Hogwarts Express was soo immersive and be sure to look both left and right throughout the whole journey. In what felt like seconds we had arrived at Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure, another ‘wow’ moment as you catch a glimpse of Hogwarts Castle for the first time. We headed straight for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, probably my favourite of the 2 Harry Potter rides we did, I love the way the ride really puts you in the middle of the action. We then made our way back on to the Hogwarts Express to head back over to Universal Studios, it’s a completely different experience on the way back so make sure you pay close attention (and look out for a cool graphic to do with a tree out of the window side). As we entered Kings Cross earlier on in the morning one of our group had said ‘the only thing missing is a busker’ and as we walked out back in to Universal Studios after departing the Hogwarts Express there was a lady standing at the entrance playing the violin – Universal don’t miss anything do they!  We then got to do most of the iconic attractions in Universal Studios.. Minion Mayhem, Revenge of the Mummy (fantastic ride!!) and Jimmy Fallon were all great, every sense is tested in Jimmy Fallon and the whole experience beforehand is also brilliant. We also rode the Simpsons Ride, TRANSFORMERS 3D, Rip Ride Rock It (Fergie – Glamorous this time) and Men In Black again (well second time for me because i’d stayed out to do them the night before hehe) Men in Black is so much fun, especially when you beat everyone.. not gloating, promise. My favourite ride in Universal Studios, by a mile is TRANSFORMERS – 3D I just absolutely love it for so many reasons. After Universal Studios we headed back to the hotel to get ready for a hosted event at Cuba Libre by Visit Orlando – great fun. 🙂

On the second full day, after breakfast, we made the short walk over to Universals Volcano Bay. After collecting our Tapu Tapus we walked the short path (which is very cleverly located) and turned the corner to be face to face with the Volcano. It is so awesome when you first see it, I had a look around and everyone had just stopped dead to stare or take photos – great backdrop for any photos!! We then got to explore the park at our own leisure, I went on Krakatau Aqua Coaster, Ika Moana, Honu, Te Awa Fearless River, Puihi raft ride and the one i’m most proud of.. Ko’okiri Body Plunge. There wasn’t one slide that I didn’t enjoy here they all made me laugh out loud – that is all bar Ko’okiri which was the only attraction in Orlando I was scared to do before I went and admittedly, I was 10x more scared when I cane face to face with it. Not going to lie, it was the main thing I noticed when I first caught sight of the Volcano after walking in to the park. Ko’okiri features a 70-degree fall through a drop door and a 125 feet descent, to be honest it was sooo much fun I wanted to do it again but we didn’t have enough time! 🙁 Krakatau was also wicked, i’d worked myself up so much about Ko’okiri that i’d partly forgotten about Krakatau but it was so thrilling and the dips and drops are a lot bigger and much faster than I had anticipated. It’s definitely a must!! After Volcano Bay and a quick change of clothes we headed over to Universals Islands of Adventure and were told to not wear any denim or white tops.. if you don’t know then i’ll tell you, IOA is renowned for its water rides! We had planned to do the water rides last though (because we are smart like that) so headed straight over to the Hulk coaster – amazing and the launch is really something else, loved it! We also experienced The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman and Skull Island: Reign of Kong which is a wicked ride with a really cool surprise at the end (I wont ruin it for you). It was then time for the water rides.. We rode Jurassic Park River Adventure which was pretty cool and I sat at the back so didn’t get very wet.  We then opted for Popeye and Blutos Bilge Rat Barges which was hands down the most i’ve laughed on a ride, ever. You can sit in groups of 12 and you get DRENCHED. Luckily (well, for me) we didn’t have time to get on to Dudley Do-rights Ripsaw Falls but got to catch a glimpse of a few others getting absolutely soaked on it.. hehe! Once we were done at Islands of Adventure we headed back to Cabana Bay to get ready for our ‘surprise evening with Universal.’

#volcanobay @universalorlando amazing morning, conquered Ko’Okiri too!! 🌋💚

A post shared by Karl (@orlandoattractiontickets) on

Our surprise evening with Universal was incredible.. we had the whole of Volcano Bay to ourselves, yep you heard it right, the whole park! The lovely Universal had put on a delicious buffet dinner and drinks for us in one of the restaurants and just as we were finishing up our food, the minions walked in to have their photos taken with us! After our photo shoot with the minions we headed down to one of the bars by the Waturi beach for more cocktails and a live band, had a little dance and then we headed down to the beach to watch a fire performer and Waturi dancers, had some more photos taken in front of the Volcano – which changes colour and looks even more awesome in the dark! It was such a fantastic evening and I felt very lucky to be a part of it. After a few more drinks we walked back to Cabana bay for a game of bowling and a night cap. The evening at Volcano Bay concluded our visits to the Universal parks and what a ending it was!!

Overall, my top 3 rides / attractions from the Universal parks were:

3. Ko’okiri Body Plunge

2. The Incredible Hulk Coaster

1. TRANSFORMERS-3D.

What are your favourite Universal attractions?

Stay tuned for my next blog all about what I got up to at Discovery Cove, SeaWorld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens! You can also take a look at the video below of me and Gavin chatting about what I got up to on the first part of my FAM trip. 🙂

Smiles Included,

Abby

 

Universals Fast & Furious – Supercharged will Debut in Spring 2018!

Hey Thrill Seekers!

Universal have recently released some exciting news – especially exciting for me as Fast & Furious is my favourite film franchise EVER!!

The attraction is going to be called Fast & Furious – Supercharged and will open in spring next year.

You’ve seen the cars. You’ve seen the ction. And soon, you’ll be able to live it.

Back in 2015 Universal announced that a Fast & Furious attraction will be coming to Universal Studios in the future and we now have a exact-ish release time! Fast & Furious is one of the most successful film franchises of all time and this ride is  going to be one of Universals most action packed experiences!

 You’ll feel like part of the “Fast family” as you embark on a thrilling new Fast & Furious adventure that will put you right in the middle of the action.


The ride is set to fuse everything people love about the films with an original storyline and incredible ride technology. Universal have said that you will be able to check out some of the high-speed, supercharged cars you’ve seen in the films and that you’ll be immersed in the underground racing world made famous in the films. You will even get to explore the headquarters of Toretto and his team. “Then, you’ll board specially-designed vehicles for an adrenaline-pumping ride with your favourite stars from the films.”

This action-packed ride will take guests on a high-octane journey that fuses an original storyline, incredible ride technology, popular characters, exhilarating environments, nonstop action and, of course, high-speed cars. You’ll feel like part of the Fast & Furious family as they join Dom Toretto, Hobbs, Letty and Roman on a thrilling new Fast & Furious journey.

Fast & Furious – Supercharged will also feature the Virtual Line experience. If you haven’t heard of this before it allows you to select a time to ride in advance so you can wait in line, virtually, (not standing getting achy legs)  and allows you to enjoy other experiences throughout the park while the app queues for you.

I, for one, am absolutely bursting with excitement for this one! What do you think?

Smiles Included,

Abby

OAT Live Episode 7 From Universal’s HQ In London

Hey Thrill Seekers,

This was the episode Abby & Gavin were looking forward to the most, a sit down chat with Universal’s own Liz Introno but as with all things in live be careful what you wish for.

Liz was an absolute delight not only was she fun and engaging she also went out of her way to answer as many of your questions as she could. The disappointing part for us was the sound quality which to put it bluntly is terrible.

So we apologise for that, if you get past the enjoying echo, echo, echo there are some amazing insights including the first look a TapuTapu.

The gang also discuss Halloween Horror Nights, Jimmy Fallon and what to do if its your birthday!

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Smiles included…

Jamie