What’s coming to the Orlando parks in 2019?

Hey Thrill Seekers!

Happy New Year! Now that all of the festivities are over and i’m as plump as Homer Simpson it’s time to get back to work… I mean it’s not really work when i’m talking about all the new and exciting new things we can now say are opening this year in our beloved Orlando parks!

Universal

New Harry Potter Coaster – Islands of Adventure
Let’s start with the one we’re most excited about here at OAT.. The new Harry Potter coaster coming to Islands of Adventure!!
Said to “combine a new level of storytelling with an action-packed adventure.”  we really cannot wait for this to open! Universal have been massively tight lipped about this attraction and it sure has done the job of filling everyone with anticipation about what we’re gunna get. All we know so far is:
For the first time ever, fly far beyond the grounds of Hogwarts™ castle on a thrilling roller coaster ride that plunges into the paths of some of the wizarding world’s rarest magical creatures. Universal’s most highly themed coaster takes off in 2019. Only at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Hogsmeade™, at Universal Orlando Resort™.
Construction is well under way at Islands of Adventure and we hope for it to be open soon!

Disney

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Hollywood Studios
Next up is a whole new planet that our world is going crazy for! It’s been a long time coming since it was announced in April 2016 and we can finally say that it’s opening this year – in Fall to be precise (ish). 😍 Who else cannot wait to ride
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance?! 

Mickey and Minnies Runaway Railway – Hollywood Studios
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is going to be an immersive ride opening this year. Construction is expected to be finished by fall 2019. The attraction will feature an original story and theme song as it takes guests into the wacky world of the award winning “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts.

Lightning McQueens Racing Academy – Hollywood Studios
The show will be performed daily in the Sunset Showcase Theatre and there will be a giant wraparound screen that is said to be nearly 2 stories tall and more than 200 feet from end to end!
A lot of the action will be carried out on the giant screens and you will also be able to see a live Lighting McQueen jump into a giant racing simulator like what was used in the training in Cars 3 which is said to be a huge prop with moving parts and its own screen, again, just like the film!

Disney’s Skyliner
This brand new gondola system will connect Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT to four hotels: Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort as well as the proposed 15th Disney Vacation Club property, Disney’s Riviera Resort.

NBA experience – Disney Springs
Developed by Walt Disney Imagineering in collaboration with the NBA, this one-of-a-kind destination will feature hands-on activities that highlight the action and excitement of professional basketball.
Visitors will be able to take part in hands on activities such as;

  • Execute the perfect slam dunk just like NBA superstars, captured by cameras surrounding adjustable baskets.
  • Access a team locker room that showcases up-to-date statistics and visuals of top NBA and WNBA players.
  • Track and improve their jump shots and passing skills in a replicated NBA Combine challenge, complete with a scouting report that highlights their stats at the end of the session.
  • Step onto the court and hear the roar of the crowd as they maneuver through a series of timed shots to aim for a high score.

Busch Gardens

Tigris
This is another COASTER that we’re super excited about, set to open in spring Tigris will catapult riders through an exhilarating array of looping twists with forward and backward motion, breath-taking drops, a 150-foot skyward surge, and an inverted heartline roll, all at more than 60 miles per hour. Tigris will race riders along more than 1,800 feet of steel track designed to mimic the awe-inspiring agility of the world’s largest and most powerful cat –the tiger. – A thrill seekers dream!

Aquatica

KareKare Curl
Holding two passengers per raft, this new slide delivers a high-adrenaline, weightless adventure. It looks as though it’s going to be a really cool addition to Orlando’s best water park!

SeaWorld

Sesame Street Land
Opening in spring we will finally be able to walk down the famous street, mingle with characters, see daily parades as well as have loads of fun on
SIX colourful, themed rides, including Elmo’s Choo Choo Train, Cookie Drop, Abby’s Flower Tower, Super Grover’s Box Car Derby, Big Bird’s Twirl ‘n’ Whirl and Slimey’s Slider!! Excited is an understatement.. especially to meet Abby Cadabby! 😉

LEGOLAND

LEGO Movie World
Last but definitely not least is the exciting LEGO Movie World, also opening in spring we are getting a whole new world at LEGOLAND Florida, complete with not 1, not 2 but 3 new rides! We’ve got LEGO Movie: Masters of flight, UniKittys Disco Drop and Battle of Bricksburg. There will also be opportunities to meet your favourite LEGO Movie characters such as Emmett.

2019 is going to be a BIG year for the Orlando parks and we can’t wait to see what announcements are going to be made this year too! Here’s a recap of what we can expect..

Which one are you most looking forward too?

Smiles Included,

Abby

Universal’s Fantastic Worlds

Hey Thrill Seekers!

This is VERY interesting.. A photo of a particular slide from what appears to be an internal Universal presentation was leaked yesterday and basically reveals the name of Universal’s 4th gate.

Universal submitted a trademark for this name back in June and the internet has been awash with rumours about Universal’s 4th gate ever since. Universal also carried out guest surveys to see what names the people would prefer! The survey included names like Epic Universe, Legendary Worlds, Epic Worlds, Legendary Lands and Dream Park. ‘Epic Universe’ was also trademarked by Universal but i think if i had to choose out of Fantastic Worlds and Epic Universe i would have gone with Fantastic Worlds too.

When Jamie found out about the trademark for Fantastic Worlds back in July he started to take a look at what could be included in the new park ‘a nod to the Potter franchise Fantastic Beasts. Another suggestion was sighted as Universal’s Epic Universe as a nod to the kind of buzz words being used by Universal employee’s.’ The name definitely does nod towards Fantastic Beasts getting it’s own world and the image pretty much solidifies the fact that Nintendo Land will be a world within the new park and not at KidsZone in Studios as previously rumoured by some sources. Lets take a look at what other worlds we could be seeing in the future;

Star Trek – there was a lot of rumours about this one when the trademark for the name was filed and it is thought that it could be a way to combat Disney’s Galaxy’s Edge. What do you think of a Star Trek world?

Lord of the Rings – This was rumoured as a possible expansion for Islands of Adventure theme park a few years ago so now a new park is opening it could be perfect timing!

Jurassic World – now this one kind of speaks for itself.. a whole Jurassic World would be AWESOME and the possibilities of rides and attractions for this is endless.. especially thrill rides. 😉

Fortnite & other video games – even if you don’t play it, you would have heard of it.. Fortnite – it is the most hashtagged thing on instagram, has attracted over 125 million players in less than a year and was only released in 2017! It is without a doubt the most popular game amongst all ages at the moment which has got us thinking that a ‘video game’ world would be cool and stand out from the other parks. With Nintendo Land thought to be the ‘anchor’ of the new park, it could also include games like Angry Birds (which also has a movie so even more content there) and World of Warcraft.

Dreamworks and Illumination – Think Madagascar, Trolls, Kung Fu panda, Shrek, The Lorax, a whole minion world and even two more by DreamWorks / Paramount: Sonic and How to Train Your Dragon… imagine a ride similar to FOP for that :O 😉

Now it seems to be that the park will be anchored by Nintendo as it features on the leaked image and is of course hugely popular with people of all ages. It will also need it’s own world due to the amount of IP included.. Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, Pokemon and many more..

Where is the 4th gate? Now that we still don’t know, there are rumours that it’s around 2 and a half miles from the current resort so maybe it isn’t going to be where we first thought in this blog

What do you think of the name?

Smiles Included,

Abby.

 

What did the creative brains behind Halloween Horror Nights 2018 have to say about this years event?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

As Halloween Horror Nights has come to a close the creative minds behind this years event have shared their thoughts on a HHN that has gone down in Universals record books as the ‘hottest’ and most haunted houses ever created!

Firstly i’ve had a look on twitter and found what Mike Aiello : Senior Director Creative Development of Universal Orlando & HHN Orlando had to say.

I have chosen a few of my favourites:

Although it is sad that HHN has come to a close after another spectacular year we can now get excited and speculate on HHN29!! We’ve already had an idea that Netflix’s new show The Haunting of Hill House would make a great addition and Mike and his team are already considering IP’s and working on original content. Wooop!!

Universal posted some closing thoughts from the creative minds behind this year’s Halloween Horror Nights…

Charles Gray: Show Director.

“On the final night of the event, I like to say my goodbyes to not only cast and crew, but to the sounds of the event. I can see visuals anytime on social media or hanging on the walls of our Art & Design offices. But year after year, the audio tracks of Halloween Horror Nights have become a special memory for me.

  • I want the environmental sounds from Seeds of Extinction and the score from Carnival Graveyard to remain in my head.
  • I will walk through the haunted houses on the final night and absorb my favourite scares.
  • I will smile when I walk through Slaughter Sinema and hear a crazed kid scream, “I’ll eat your guts for dinner!”
  • I will snicker when I hear Loomis yell, “No!  No!  No!” into the night air.
  • Hearing, “They’re heeeere” that final time will induce some melancholy and a sense of pride.

I am so proud of what the entire team has accomplished this year. That pride extends from the tech teams to the scareactors. Everyone should be proud of the heart and soul they poured into this twenty-eighth year of Halloween Horror Nights. 2019 is already shaping up to be a year of surprises. See you next year.”

Blake Braswell: Show Director.

“The end of another Halloween Horror Nights has come. And as it fades away into the fog, I know this terror-filled beast will linger long in my heart. What this talented team of creators, designers, technicians and scareactors brought to life were some of the very first horror stories I experienced as a child.

I couldn’t be more proud to have played a part in this year’s event. I hate to see it go, but the tendrils of next year have already crept into our view, and I am thrilled for the screams yet to come.”

Patrick Braillard: Show Director.

“We are about to close the gates on another incarnation of Halloween Horror Nights. Soon the haunted houses and scare zones that you knew this year will disappear, making way for new experiences next year.

The beast that is Halloween Horror Nights is never satisfied with the status quo. It is always evolving, always changing. Sometimes that change is seen as growth—can you say 10 houses?! Sometimes it means welcoming a group of maniacs inside—Academy of Villains, can you feel me?!

But in all of that growth and change, there are things that remain as steady today as they were during our very first event—the passion. The passion of the teams that develop, operate, and manage the event (truly the best in the world). The passion of the scareactors, who are the lifeblood of the event. And of course, the passion of the incredible fans who devote their time and energy to the promotion of all things Halloween Horror Nights (sometimes that involves tattoos…).”

I already can’t wait for HHN29! What about you?

Screams included,

Abby

New Wands at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

There’s some new wands on the block! That’s right, in honour of the upcoming Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Universal have released new wands available at Universal Orlando inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley and they are only available for a limited time from now until January.

The wands are not interactive and are priced at $46 plus tax.

The above photo was taken by Inside Universal and are in order from top to bottom: In order, from top to bottom; Newt, Theseus, Queenie, Porpentina, Flamel, & Leta Lestrange.

The wands available to purchase are from the following witches and wizards:

  • Newt Scamander
  • Theseus Scamander
  • Queenie Goldstein
  • Porpentina Goldstein
  • Nicolas Flamel
  • Leta Lestrange
  • Albus Dumbledore
  • Gellert Grindelwald

Grindelwald’s wand is the Elder Wand that is eventually used by Dumbledore, then followed by Voldemort. Dumbledore’s original wand has not yet been released.

The above photo also taken by Inside Universal and shows the wands on the shelves ready to be purchased.

Don’t forget there’s tonnes of other wands available to purchase at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter including the interactive ones which are awesome!

Who’ll be picking up one of the new wands on their upcoming visit?!

Smiles Included,

Abby

Everything you need to know about Universal E-tickets!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

So there’s a new type of ticket on the block!

OAT are now offering E-tickets for Universal Orlando Resort, why? To make life easier for you lovely lot 😍 oh and because there’s loads of benefits of having them!

  • They’re perfect if you’re making a last minute booking and don’t have time to have tickets delivered.
  • Forget the stress of ever forgetting to take your tickets with you or loosing them on your holiday as they will always be on your phone.
  • You can book and redeem them while on your holiday.
  • You can save money when selecting this option.*

The option to have E-tickets issued instead of posted tickets will become available if you are ordering just Universal tickets on their own.

Accessing your E-tickets

1. Log in to your customer account online using your email address and password given at the time of booking.

2. Click on the ‘wallet’ tab from within your customer account online.

3. Download or print your voucher!

Redeeming your E-tickets

Your Universal 2 & 3 park Explorer tickets can be collected in resort via the ‘Will Call kiosk’ located at the entrance of Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure.
Collecting your tickets is easy – just head to the park entrance and use the ‘Will Call Kiosk’ – your ‘Gate Ready’ Tickets will be printed there and then, all ready to use.

Important – Please note:

You will need to use the credit/debit card you used at the time of the booking as identification when collecting your tickets at the ‘Will Call Kiosk’- Your card will not be charged at the Kiosk. It’s only for identification/verification purposes. You may also be asked for your ‘telephone number’ that you used at the time of the booking for identification purposes and asked to in-put your confirmation number detailed on your print out-if prompted.

Smiles Included,

Abby

* discounts are subject to change

A Celebration of Harry Potter will not return in 2019

Hey Thrill Seekers,

We do always try our best to bring you good news from within the world of Orlando theme parks however sometimes we cannot avoid bad news…

This time we aren’t basing off rumours.. Universal have confirmed that A Celebration of Harry Potter isn’t going to return to their parks in 2019. Here’s the official press release:

Universal Orlando Resort is working on exciting new experiences for guests to continue to celebrate the Wizarding World next year. These include the all-new thrill ride coming to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade and additional fan experiences that have yet to be announced. While our focus on these fan experiences means we will not be hosting A Celebration of Harry Potter in 2019, we and other Universal theme parks will always be looking for opportunities to host special Wizarding World experiences.

This poses the questions of ‘is it being replaced by something new?’ or ‘are they too busy with the new ride to host it?’ Gavin thinks that they could be replacing it with something Fantastic Beasts themed ‍♀️ Universal have also said that there are going to be ‘additional fan experiences’ like the Back to Hogwarts event hosted on the 1st September.

Now we don’t know if it is just 2019 that Universal have pulled the plug on or future years as well as that isn’t mentioned in the press release. It is quite unusual though, A Celebration of Harry Potter has been going 5 years and each year seems to become more and more popular so surely it cannot be a case of it not bringing in enough witches, wizards and muggles?

Lets take a look back at some of the cool shots we got from last years event.

It’s a sort of bitter-sweet feeling as we don’t like to say goodbye to a fantastic event but we can look forward to what Universal are going to surprise us with in the near future..

Smiles Included,

Abby

There’s More to Halloween Horror Nights than the Houses..

Hey Thrill Seekers,

So I’ve heard a few people mention that they’re ‘too scared’ to go to Halloween Horror Nights because of the houses but would still like to experience HHN28 or are visiting with friends who are a bit more… well, brave. 😉 so I thought i’d do a little post to let you know about all of the other things you can experience during HHN28.

Ride in the dark

The main thing that would attract you to visit Universal Studios during HHN is the fact you can ride loads of attractions in the dark and with minimal queues! The rides open during HHN28 are: Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Trandformers: The Ride 3d, Revenge of the Mummy, Fast & Furious: Supercharged, Men In Black: Alien Attack.

Visit The Wiazarding World of Harry Potter in the dark

Diagon Alley is open during HHN as is Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. What better time to visit the Wizarding World than in the dark with a lot less people around to spoil photo op’s! 😉 It’s also a great chance to ride Escape from Gringotts which is not to be missed!

Scare Zones

Every year Universal create AMAZING Scare Zones which are personally one of my favourite things about Halloween Horror Nights. Scare Zones are areas within Universal Studios full of actors and props themed to specific ‘horror’ ideas.  This year the Scare Zones are: Revenge of Chucky, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, The Harvest, Twisted Tradition and Vamp ’85 New Years Eve.

If you’re still worried about the Scare Zones, don’t panic because you can always just sprint through them – i can’t promise that you won’t be confronted by  a Killer Klown or a high school vampire but there’s a better chance! If you can make it through the Scare Zones though then you can build yourself up to venture into a house.. that’s what I done anyway!

Shows

Now we all know Bill & Teds is no more but don’t worry, Universal have something just as thrilling in store for you! Academy of Villains is back ‘with a wicked mix of dance, acrobatics and theatrics, Academy of Villains is back for an all-new performance of pounding synths and neon lights.’ Universal really know how to put on a show and this show will be full of entertaining surprises.

Now I think that’s enough reasons for you to get pumped for HHN28 which is running from Sept 14th – Nov 3rd.

Screams Included,

Abby

Universal Confirm Poltergeist For HHN28

Hey Thrill Seekers,

2 on the trot, YES!!

We’ve known about this one for a couple of weeks now but we were sworn to secrecy… and its been killing us not being able to just shout it out but finally Universal have confirmed that Poltergeist will be a house at this years Halloween Horror Nights.

It knows what scares you…….

Poltergeist was released in 1982 (characterised as one of the scariest films of all time) and continues the 80’s texture that’s running throughout this years event. The film tells the story of an average California family, the Freeling’s (Steve, Diane, teenaged Dana, eight-year-old Robbie and five-year-old Carol Ann) who’s troubles begin when ghosts commune with them through their television set. To start with the spirits are friendly and playful however they turn unexpectedly menacing and when Carol Ann goes missing Steve and Diane turn to a parapsychologist and eventually an exorcist for help.

The living representation of Poltergeist coming to this years HHN will take guests into some of the most iconic scenes whilst encountering memorable characters throughout. The house will ‘lure’ guests to the house on top of the cemetery where you will find your lives threatened by frightening ghosts.

Scenes we already know are includes include the iconic flickering TV, menacing Beast from beyond and the pool filled with corpses. As you head toward the ‘light’ you will find yourself surrounded by vanishing walls, floating furniture and a creepy clown….

Will you make it back to the world of the living or forever be trapped?

Poltergeist joins a very strong line up this year including;

Which one are you most excited for and what would you like to see announced next??

Screams Included

Abby

 

Are Pac-Man Bumper Cars coming to Super Nintendo World??

Hey Thrill Seekers,

There have been tonnes of rumours that Super Nintendo World may not be coming to Universal Studios but instead maybe to one of the new Universal parks yet to be built.. This would also mean loads more room for rides and attractions!

Now we’ve already spoken about the rumours surrounding Donkey Kong and Mario Kart attractions and maybe even a Yoshi attraction as well as kids areas however some more speculation has been happening regarding the possibility of a Kirby themed attraction or a Pokemon dark ride but best of all it looks as though there might be a Pac-Man attraction making an appearance!

The above image and below video are for Nintendo World set to open in Japan in 2020 with the Orlando one opening shortly after.

In 2014 Universal filed a patent which was granted approval this year which shows a Pac-Man style ride vehicle which looks as though it will be used in a bumper car style attraction. It looks as though the floor would be self-illuminated and riders would be able to ride over images that will cause them to score points which can be tracked through a display module in the car. Once a rider drives over an image it will either disappear or change colour..

It also looks as though the ride vehicles will navigate through specific pathways that can actually change during a ride sequence depending on what images you ride over. This could cause you to freeze or be slowed down for some time. It also seems like riders will be able to affect other riders experience too by blocking other cars to gain more points.

The patent states the following:

 “the game vehicles may bump into one another or block the path of another vehicle to prevent certain game actions. Information about the vehicles movement relative to the floor, as well as the bumping and blocking activities may be provided to a game controller to assign scores for individual vehicles or a team of vehicles. For example, bumping into another vehicle may earn points for the initiator of the bumping. In another embodiment, the bumping may be unscored, but the bumping may prevent the opponent’s vehicle from increasing its own score. Images attached to the patent shows both a Pac-Man-like ride vehicle and a ghost-looking one with notes indicating that the two separate designs could signal opposing teams within the game.”

Now this may be sounding like quite a rough ride but Universal have explained that the ride vehicles may be programmed to not actually contact other cars or slow them down before impact and its sounds like all cars will be equipped with a steering wheel, brake and gas, pedals, a joystick, a display screen, one or more buttons etc.

nintendo-characters

Call me a nerd but the floor sounds like one of the most interesting things about this attraction. Looking at the patent it could be either an LCD or LED display surface which is actually a very techy move by Universal. If you’re a nerd too you might remember that Disney had an idea about using this type of technology for Pandora to have interactive sidewalks that would react to footsteps – there must be a reason this wasn’t bought to life.. it could be that it was because it is set outside whereas it looks as though this Pac-Man style attraction for Universal will be inside.. hmmm..
For us brits, Bumper Cars are a key part of any fair and you can even find them inside most UK themeparks however this would be the first attraction of its kind in any major Orlando Theme park however as we always say.. most patents never actually come to life so we cannot guarantee this is going to be a thing however Nintendo World and Pac-Man fit together very well so it would be an awesome addition! What do you guys think?!

Check out some images from the patent here:

A rendering found within the patent that shows what the ride vehicles may look like. - IMAGE VIA UNITED STATES PATENT APPLICATION US20150360127

  • Image via United States Patent Application US20150360127

An image within the patent application that shows what an interactive floor may look like. Note the Pac-Man like cherry in the top maze. - IMAGE VIA UNITED STATES PATENT APPLICATION US20150360127

  • Image via United States Patent Application US20150360127

Smiles Included

Abby

TWO new Scare Zones announced for HHN28

 Hey Thrill Seekers,

Calling all HHN fans! Get ready for not 1.. but 2 absolutely terrifying themed scare zones. The worlds most deadliest doll AND hungry killer klowns (yep even the spelling is giving me the fear) from outer space will take over Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights.

Here’s what Universal had to say:

Chucky is back! After 30 years of mayhem, he’s creating chaos in the streets during a toy fair that’s turned lethal in the Revenge of Chucky scare zone. At this festival of toys, Chucky has twisted these playthings into new nightmares. Chucky himself rules this zone as he commands his minions to carve up some horror. This scare zone will be a tortuous delight to behold as he dishes out some revenge personally.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space at Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights 2018

The horror and fun keeps coming as we bring to you Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures’ cult classic, sci-fi horror film Killer Klowns from Outer Space. As you enter the domain of these Killer Klowns, the smell of cotton candy hides the fact that this is all trick and no treat. This sweet candy is spun from human victims grotesquely cocooned inside giant pods of cotton candy. Try and escape the Killer Klowns or you’ll face the wrath of their cotton candy rayguns that turn you into a tasty cotton candy snack.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space at Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights 2018

Earlier in the month, Universal announced three original scare zones, each with their very own haunting stories. These original Scare Zones were Vamp 85: New Year’s EveTwisted Traditions and The Harvest and now we have Revenge of Chucky and Killer Klowns from Outer Space to add to the mix. This years Halloween Horror Nights is shaping up to be a great one!

Screams included

Abby