Top Secrets at SeaWorld Orlando

Hey Thrill Seekers,

We’ve looked at Universal, we’ve looked at Disney and now we’re gonna have a look at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. I’m looking forward to this one because so many people don’t know about all the great things that SeaWorld get up to and how good they really are!

What you may not know, is SeaWorld actually rescue hundreds of animals, treat them and then release them back into the sea when they are ready!

turtle rescue

SeaWorld have a talent for providing attractions for everyone and by that I mean if you’re a thrill seeker you’ve got Kraken, Manta and Mako. If you’re not so much of a thrill seeker you have Journey to Atlantis and Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin which are smaller, fun rides. If you don’t like rides at all, SeaWorld cater for you too with all of the animal exhibits! There really is something for everyone at the SeaWorld parks.

For those of you that aren’t thrill seekers at all and prefer to visit the animal habitats, while your party are on their way to Manta, you can pop into the Manta Aquarium just opposite. Holding more than 3000 marine animals, including a Pacific octopus, you will be amazed by the 360-degree aquarium.

Negative-G Visits Sea World Orlando

Similarly, Journey to Atlantis has the Jewel of the Sea Aquarium inside the rides gift shop. The colour and luminescence is waiting to be explored. This aquarium also has an interactive back-light to keep the kids entertained for ages!

If you haven’t had enough of aquariums yet, there is another one. My favourite one. The Shark Encounter is alongside the Sharks Underwater Grill. You don’t have to be eating in here to visit but it is one of the worlds largest underwater viewing tunnels filled with sharks!

1zyfri8

Most people that visit SeaWorld will walk straight past Sea Garden not realising what it actually is. Here you can experience close-up encounters with some beautiful animals and learn about how SeaWorld care for the natural world. Here is where you can learn more about the rescuing of animals that SeaWorld takes part in too.

When the park opens, SeaWorld employees get the pleasure of walking the flamingos through the park from their home behind the scenes to their in-park exhibit. If you’re there early enough you might get to see them on their walkies!

seaworld-2

When someone says there’s a show on at SeaWorld, most people think about One Ocean or Blue Horizons etc but I bet you didn’t know that they also have street shows on throughout the day?! You can catch these around the waterfront area near the gift shops!

What else do you know about SeaWorld?

Smiles Included…

Louise

banner-oat-new (00000002)

Skyledge Confirmed To Be Added To The Skyplex Complex

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Just when you thought Skyplex couldn’t sound any better the guys behind it have just announced another sky-high attraction that is most definitely not for the faint hearted! Thrill seekers.. meet Skyledge and Skyledge.. meet thrill seekers. Sounds terrifying doesn’t it, well I will let you be the judge.

This attraction will allow visitors the opportunity to walk around the OUTSIDE of the Skyscraper tower a mere 600 feet above the ground ;). My initial thought was literally ‘why?!’ But then after I calmed down a bit I thought, imagine the breath taking views. You’ll not only be able to see the whole of International Drive but you’ll be able to gaze over Orlando for a whole 30 minutes. The Skyledge is the Americas first attraction of its kind with the nearest, similar one being in Canada.

skyplex_idrive_orlando_001

The developer of Skyplex Joshua Wallack said the following in a statement:

“The world’s tallest rollercoaster, the world’s tallest drop ride, and now we’re launching an experience that feels like you are flying.”

The best bit? No stairs! Florida’s highest glass elevator will whisk you straight up to the top where you will find yourself at the observation desk. You will then be tethered to a overhead railing ready to leave the observation desk and begin walking around the whole outside of the tower for 30 minutes, bearing in mind the only thing you have to hold on to is the side of the tower itself!! Don’t worry, it is sure to be extremely safe and you will be safety briefed beforehand.

So not only will SkyPlex house a 500 foot polercoaster, 450 foot Skyfall drop coaster, 600 foot zip line, a Skysurf park, go-kart tracks, a 450 room hotel and many many entertainment and retail centers but it will now boast the opportunity for guests to literally dance in the clouds.

Now, I know if I ever got the opportunity to do this I would grab it with both hands. As petrified as I would be, once I manage to move my trembling legs I reckon it will be one of the best experiences ever!! How many people do you know who can say they’ve stood 600 feet above International Drive?!

Smiles Included…

Jess
banner-oat-new (00000002)

Universal announce a new hotel

Hey Thrill Seekers,

As if Universal didn’t have enough hotels, right?!

The new Aventura Hotel is set to open in Summer 2018, 16 storeys high. With a glass design, the sunshine and clouds in the beautiful Florida sky will reflect off the stunning hotel.

Inspired by the loft/attic lobby style, the inside of this hotel will wow you so much that you won’t want to leave. Using the lobby bar to get yourself a beverage, you can check into your room which will keep you calm and relaxed with all of the natural colours that it’s decorated with.

Universals-Aventura-Hotel-Entrance-Rendering-1170x731

Where is Aventura hotel going to be located I hear you ask. Aventura will be just next door to Universal’s Loews Sapphire Falls resort which is also walking distance to Universal Studios, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay (opening June 2017).

If you’re looking to have your dinner in your resort, you will have plenty of choices with the food hall on the lobby level to have a family meal or you can even take your pick and take it up to your room.

In the evening if you’re looking for a chilled evening, set yourself up in the hotel’s pool or poolside hot tub and enjoy the pool bar while the kids are enjoying themselves in the nearby splash pad. Fun for all the family, of course!

So we’ve covered the outside, the inside and nearby, but we can’t be forgetting the roof top bar! That’s right, who doesn’t get excited about a roof top bar?! You can sip on your tasty cocktails while looking out across Florida and even be able to see the tip of Krakatau (Volcano Bay’s centerpiece).

With the busy days that you will be enduring at the parks, what better way to start your day than with a Starbucks Coffee on your way out of the lobby!

Universals-Aventura-Hotel-Lobby-Rendering-1170x731

Don’t forget that staying in any Universal resort means you will receive early park admission as well as complimentary on-site transportation to the Universal parks.

Rumour has it that Universal will be taking some early bookings in just a few months, so keep your eyes and ears peeled!

Smiles Included…

Louise

banner-oat-new (00000002)

 

Kraken Set To Be The First VR Coaster In Florida

Hey Thrill Seekers,

We’re not one’s for burying the lead, so the headline pretty much says it all! Today SeaWorld Orlando will announce that their awesome coaster Kraken will become the first coaster in Florida to have a permanent virtual reality experience.

kraken VR

Scheduled for the summer of 2017 Kraken will be fitted with headsets that will plunge the rider into the depths of the sea where they will encounter mythical (obviously a Kraken) and prehistoric beasts.

Brian Morrow, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment Vice President of theme park experience design told the Orlando Sentinel;

We’re developing sort of our own technology on how we’re going to pull this off, It’s nothing that you’ve seen from other parks.

Riders will be given the option of using the headset or not, which will cover not only the visitors eyes but also their ears.  Music specially composed for the ride will accompany riders and SeaWorld hope this along with the VR experience will offer a new ride perspective. SeaWorld wouldn’t comment yet on whether the images will be 3-D.

SeaWorld will also be revealing a new night time show called Electric Ocean, which will play at the Bayside Theatre. The show will feature music, fountains, bioluminescent lighting and fireworks. They will also confirm that their Dolphin Nursery will also receive a makeover. All these changes are expected for the summer of 2107.

We’ll keep you updated if SeaWorld release anything further.

Smiles included…

Jamie

banner-oat-new (00000002)

I’m Off On The Visit Orlando Super Fam Tomorrow

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Eeeeekk!!!! I have been the lucky one this year to be selected for the Visit Orlando SUPER FAM! I have been chosen to go over to Orlando and experience the parks next week for the whole week! We will be squeezing in everything you could possibly think of, which most people struggle to squeeze into their 2 week holiday! So here’s a quick overview of my itinerary and what I’m looking forward to the most.

I’ll be taking over the Orlando Attraction Tickets Instagram account so you’ll be able to follow my adventures.

We arrive on Monday evening (19/09/16) and will be taken to our first hotel, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort where we will be staying for the first 3 nights of our trip.

Our first full day in Orlando will begin at Disney’s Magic Kingdom park where we will get to experience all of the sights and attractions that the park has to offer including Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, before enjoying lunch in the heart of the magic, right by Cinderella’s castle. As a self proclaimed Disney fanatic, I cannot wait!!!

Walt Disney World

Once lunch is over with it’s time to head over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the home of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith. These two rides  have got to be 2 of my favourite attractions in Orlando. .

Day 3 and it’s over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom to check out their attractions, landscapes and animals. My favourite attraction here is Expedition Everest so I can’t wait to experience this.

The evening of day 3 will be spent at Disney’s Epcot where we will dine watching the Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. Illuminations is a breathtaking firework show with laser lighting effects across the World Showcase Lagoon!

Epcot

Now that we’ve had our Disney fix, it’s time to head over to our next resort where we will be staying for the next 4 nights the brand new Universal’s Loews Sapphire Falls Resort.

Thursday is going to be a busy day, in the morning we’re heading to Discovery Cove first to experience a once in a life time opportunity, swimming with dolphins. Discovery Cove is all inclusive remember, so make the most of the buffet all day!

Quickly dashing away, we will begin our journey over to Busch Gardens Tampa where we will be able to experience the thrills of Falcons Fury, SheiKra, Cheetah Hunt and the all new Cobra’s Curse. No one in our office has been to Orlando since Cobra’s Curse has opened, so I can’t wait to come back and brag about it to everyone!

cheetah hunt

Friday will be day 5 of our trip and we will be making our way over to the home of Shamu to watch One Ocean as well as jumping on the thrill rides like Manta, Kraken and the new one-of-a-kind, hyper-coaster Mako. Believe it or not, I’ll be the first person in our office to ride Mako too! 😉

20160510_MakoHardHatTour_051

Afterwards we will be popping next door to Aquatica where I can finally experience Ihu’s Breakaway Falls. I wanted to do this last year but the weather wasn’t great on the day we planned to go so I missed out! 🙁 Ihu’s is the newest slide at Aquatica with the world’s longest drop tower of it’s kind. I’m not a very strong swimmer but the slides here at Aquatica are too good to miss.

Later on, our SeaWorld host is taking us back to SeaWorld to enjoy the the park in the evening for a special, SeaWorld hosted event. I can’t wait to find out what this is going to be!

The following morning we’ll be off to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, with the Hogwarts Express, Escape from Gringott’s, Dragon Challenge and the Forbidden Journey. In Universal Studios, the 3D rides are insane including Transformers: The Ride 3D, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and The Simpsons Ride. Although not a 3D ride, my favourite is Revenge of the Mummy!

wizarding_2

Next is spending the evening at I-Drive 360 on International Drive to experience the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye and hop on stage with some of the pop icons at Madame Tussauds.

For our final day in Orlando, we’ll be spending it at Universal’s Islands of Adventure where the newly refurbished Incredible Hulk Coaster is ready and waiting. I’m also pretty excited about getting soaked on Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges as this is one of the attractions that I’ve never had the chance to experience. Not forgetting Skull Island: Reign of Kong as this will be another of the new rides that no one here in our office has experienced yet!

Universal are treating us to the Blue Man Group which is a unique show combining music and outrageous comedy, before making our way to the world’s largest Hard Rock Cafe for tonight’s final dinner of the trip together.

I think it’s safe to say I’m going to need another holiday by the time I get back but I cannot wait!!

Smiles Included…

Lauren

banner-oat-new (00000002)

NBCUniversal Acquires Rights to J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World Franchise

Hey Thrill Seekers,

nbc-uni-logoFor those of you that like to keep up on the latest developments in the theme park world there was a very interesting development yesterday that could have an impact on content within the Universal Orlando Resort theme parks.

NBCUniversal announced an exclusive deal with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution for broadcast and cable network television rights in the United States to all of the films in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World franchise. Beginning July 1, 2018, all eight HARRY POTTER films can be seen on NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment’s USA Network and Syfy in a deal that also gives rights to air the films across all NBCUniversal television networks. The agreement includes exclusive basic cable rights to the new FANTASTIC BEASTS films – the first of which releases early November 2016. In addition, the partnership incorporates exclusive content and events for the Universal theme parks.

I’m sure you’re fascinated by this but what exactly does this have to do with Theme Parks I hear you cry?…

Well, In addition to the digital and broadcast tie up this deal will allow Universal Orlando to explore a range of new opportunities including fan events, movie screenings and promotional activities tied to the “Harry Potter” franchise and the upcoming “Fantastic Beasts” film series.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort, along with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade at Universal Orlando Resort, have become global entertainment phenomena. They offer guests immersive, expansive environments complete with innovative attractions, shops and restaurants. The lands bring the films to life in an entirely new way and immerse guests in the adventures of Harry Potter. Universal worked closely with J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. to create the areas to ensure they are as authentic as possible.

We will keep an eye on this as it develops – we’d love to see some Fantastic Beasts content…hint, hint 🙂

Smiles Included…

Karl

banner-oat-new (00000002)

More Tuesday Tips

Hey Thrill Seekers,

On our Instagram account every Tuesday we’ve been adding tips to help our customers plan and get the most out of their holiday. If you’re not already following us there I’d highly recommend it, here’s some examples of the kind of high level tips we’re chucking out there…

If you’ve got any tips of your own please let us know and you could be included in our next video…

Smiles included…

Jamie

banner-oat-new (00000002)

Universal Orlando Resort Announce Their Holiday Parade Line-up!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

CHRISTMAS!!!….

hols-uni

I know, you hate me for saying it, but as much as we try to put it to the back of our minds we have to come to terms with the fact that its on its way. For us here in the UK its a question of which supermarket will start playing Christmas songs first – and disgustingly enough it’s usually around this time of year too – well, anyway, I’ve brought you down enough, lets get back on track…The reason I mention the ‘C word’  is because Universal Orlando Resort have just announced their Holiday parade line-up.

Beginning Dec. 5 and running daily through Jan 2, you can enjoy:

  • The Macy’s Holiday Parade at Universal Studios Florida. This year, you’ll get to see two all-new balloons exclusive to our parade: Turkey Balloonicle—a towering balloon with a self-powered vehicle—and Holiday Lights Balloon—a spectacular string of balloons that dazzle while floating through the air.
  • Grinchmas coming to life throughout Seuss Landing at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. You won’t want to miss the heartwarming live show, “Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular,” featuring the Whos from Who-ville. You’ll also have the opportunity to dine with The Grinch and Friends during a delicious character breakfast.
  • Mannheim Steamroller, the masters of modern Christmas music. This year, they’ll take the Music Plaza Stage in Universal Studios on Dec. 5, 6, 12, 13, 19 and 20.

If you are lucky enough to be staying in a Universal property – The celebration continues at their four on-site hotels, where you check out holiday buffets and dining events, tree-lighting ceremonies, special music performances, Hanukkah candle lighting’s, visits from Santa Claus, holiday poolside “dive-in” movies and family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebrations.

If you are travelling around the holidays these parades really are worth taking a peek at – I promise, you’ll get a warm Christmassy feeling inside 😛

Still pleanty of time to grab your tickets, just click on the following links for the latest rates; Universal 2-Park Bonus Ticket or Universal 3-Park Bonus Ticket

Smiles Included…

Karl

 

oat-banner (2)

Are Universal Planning A Hulk Coaster Makeover?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

For just over 15 years now the Hulk Coaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure has been widely regarded as one of the top attractions in Florida. Its legendary start (0-40 mph in 2 seconds) and numerous loops make it a thrill seekers favourite however technology changes and we’re hearing that perhaps Universal think its time for an upgrade.

Permits submitted on or around the 26/06/15 and spotted by the very talented guys at Parkscope seem to suggest that a major project is on the cards consisting of an interior demolition, renovation and a brand new project trailer.

Hulk1

Hulk2

Hulk3

 

This project is widely rumoured to involve the Hulk coaster and we’re looking at a total overhaul of the ride including a new queue experience.

What this could mean?

So, as always, nothing has been confirmed with Universal but from what we’re hearing we could be looking at;

11707721_10156023879925643_1516590045140207654_o

New Trains – Looks like Universal will be updating the Hulk’s trains the most sensational tidbit is that the new trains may not have the over head restraints associated with the Hulk but a lap restraint made by B&M which would free up riders arms!… How long do you think you could wave your arms in the air?

Launch – The Hulk Coaster is renown for its fast launch start, the update is said to also involve updating the technology that provides that 0-40 mph boost.

Queue – We’re also hearing that a new queue experience will be on the cards. Perhaps with a totally new story.

When will this happen?

Well the ride as already been opening up to one or two hours later than usual which is said to be part of the update. We’re possibly looking at some major downtime from next month, possibly towards the end of August until November or December. December is notoriously busy so I wouldn’t imagine they’d want one of their most iconic rides out of action then. We also believe work will continue into 2016.

Remember though this is still just speculation as Universal have confirmed nothing. We’ll obviously keep you updated the more we hear…

Smiles included…

Jamie

oat-banner-2

SkyFall Will Be The Worlds Biggest Drop Tower!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Not content with being the home of the World’s tallest roller coaster, the SkyPlex attraction coming to International Driver in 2017 will also boast the World’s tallest drop tower it was revealed today.

skyscraper

Superbly named, SkyFall riders are looking at a drop from 450 feet in the air! It makes Falcon’s Fury look like a drop tower midget!

The current record holder for tallest drop tower is “Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom” at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson Township, N.J., which stands at 415 feet.

SkyPlex will be part of the changing skyline on I-Drive. The 400-foot Orlando Eye observation wheel is set to open this spring, and the world’s tallest swing ride, Star Flyer, is set to open in 2016.

Are you brave enough to drop from 450 feet?

We’ll update you when we know more.

Smiles included…

Jamie

oat-banner-2