Posts

Showing posts from May, 2011

Advertise on Orlando Theme Park News!

Image
Interested in advertising on Orlando Theme Park News? Well, that's great to hear!
We are currently looking for sponsors that would be able to pay on a monthly basis, willing to sign short-term contracts (generally 3 to 6 months long). The amount for such sponsorship shall be decided in common accord of both parties.

Here you are a GENERAL idea of the size of ads we are currently offering (as said before, the price will be discussed together):
SMALL AD (100x100 px)MEDIUM AD (125x125 px)LARGE AD (150x150)CUSTOM SIZE (wide range of sizes) To contact us and have additional information about advertising on our site, please, click here to go to our "Contact Us" page, or simply write to otpndirect@live.com. We will answer your e-mail as quickly as possible, usually within 24-48 business hours.
Thank you for your interest in Orlando Theme Park News!

American Idol Winner Scotty McCreery Visits WDW

Image
This season of the American Idol, a show that focuses on finding good singers among the U.S. population, has just ended, and the winner was announced: Scotty McCreery. If you are like me, and don't follow the American Idol, you may not even knew that he was the winner. Don't worry, neither did I. Anyway, take a look at this new press release and some pictures of Scotty's visit to Disney's Hollywood Studios:
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (MAY 30, 2011) – To celebrate his May 25 win on the popular “American Idol” television show, country music singer Scotty McCreery today was honored in a celebratory parade at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park.      Excited fans lined the streets, cheering on the 17-year-old singer from Garner N.C., as he joined Mickey Mouse in a convertible sports car and greeted fans before taking the microphone to sing his new hit single, “I Love You This Big” in front of “The American Idol Experience” attraction in the Disney theme park.      On Wednesday,…

Comcast Buys Blackstone's Share of Universal Orlando

Image
A breaking news comes from "The Wrap"website (thanks to a report of Theme Park Insider): Comcast has finally decided to buy Blackstone's share of the enormously successful Universal Orlando Resort.
Comcast will have to finalize the deal by June 12, 2011, paying between $1 billion and $1.5 billion, otherwise, Comcast will be able to start putting their share of the resort on the market, so that any company would be able to buy it, but Blackstone doesn't want that to happen, as they are aware of how much more money they could make by taking hold of the whole resort.
What do you think? Is Comcast doing the right move? Or should they just leave Blackstone put their share on the market, without having to spend anything?

Work on the New Power Trip Coaster Continues

Image
The new Power Trip Coaster, which will open at Fun Spot U.S.A. as soon as June 11, 2011, is continuing to "grow" each and every day (it must be the energy drinks). Even though we haven't had a chance to visit Fun Spot this week (we did visit in the past few days... check out our latest update HERE), Fun Spot U.S.A.'s Facebook page is keeping us up-to-date with the progress of the work. Check out how the coaster looks:

They're really working hard on this new roller coaster! I can't wait to see it all up and running. Just a few more days, and it'll be open for business. It will not only be a nice addition to Fun Spot, it will also be a great homage to the now-gone Cypress Gardens (which has become LEGOLAND Florida). It's nice to see that Fun Spot wants to save and keep Florida attractions!

Magic Kingdom Update - A Busy Day in May

Image
A few days ago, we published two new Fantasyland updates: one about the Little Mermaid, the Beauty and the Beast's area, the Skyway and more (CLICK HERE TO SEE THAT UPDATE); the other Fantasyland photo-update, instead, focused on Dumbo's Storybook Circus (CLICK HERE TO SEE THE PHOTOS).
Today, we'll focus on the rest of the park, to see how various refurbishments and renovations are proceeding.
Let's start as always from the entrance of the park, Main Street U.S.A.:


Sounds Like Summer Concert Series Reminder

Image
Even though this was already posted back in March of this year, we want to remind you of the artists that will perform this year at Epcot, during the "Sounds Like Summer" Concert Series:
The “Sounds Like Summer” concert series returns to Epcot featuring tribute bands that will bring back the sounds of decades of summers gone by. Opening with Hotel California – a Salute to the Eagles, June’s lineup of bands will also “play” tribute to the timeless tunes of the Bee Gees and Bon Jovi. Sounds like Summer concerts are under the skies of the open-air America Gardens Theatre in World Showcase at Epcot. Show times are 5:45, 7 and 8:15 p.m. Here’s the summer lineup (subject to change without notice):
oJune 12 – June 18: Hotel California — A Salute to the Eagles oJune 19 – June 25: Stayin' Alive — A Tribute to the Bee Gees oJune 26 – July 2: Slippery When Wet — The Ultimate Bon Jovi Tribute oJuly 3 – July 9: Little Queen — The Music of Heart oJuly 10 – July 16: Frontiers — A Tribute to …

New Winnie The Pooh & Phineas & Ferb M&G's open

Image
Disney's Hollywood Studios has recently opened two new meet-and-greets. Let's check them out!
The first meet-and-greet is themed around a "movie set", where Phineas and Ferb are making a new movie, and they actually have some time to spend with you to take all the pictures you want! They have a lot of props  all around them. The meet-and-greet replaces an empty spot that was rarely used for something (the only thing that was there was a temporary Italian "restaurant" that lasted only a month), so this new M&G is very welcome. Take a look at it:

The Disney Look... to the past! (May 28 - June 3)

Image
Here you are our weekly column that shows you all the things (good and bad) that have been done by Disney, at their "World", "Lands" and Company!: _________________________________________________________________________
This Week in Disney History: May 28 - June 3

May 28, 1966 - "it's a small world" opens at Disneyland Park Walt Disney's vision of brotherhood and world friendship was brought to life by the warm and childlike illustrations of Disney Legend Mary Blair for the 1964 New York World's Fair. Mary envisioned the attraction as a "pop-up book" that looked like the children within the story designed their worlds themselves. When the attraction was moved to Disneyland Park in 1966, Mary also designed the fanciful external fa├žade. The perfect soundtrack for "it's a small world" is the title song, penned by Richard and Robert Sherman. Walt had clear instructions - that the song represent children as the light of…

More than 51 Million People Visited Orlando in 2010!

Image
A fantstic news comes from the Visit Orlando website and the Orlando Sentinel: Orlando, one of the most beautiful cities in the entire world has just welcomed more than 51 MILLION people in 2010! Take a look at this exciting news, from Visit Orlando: _________________________________________________________________________

Orlando Welcomes Record-Breaking 51.455 Million Visitors in 2010
It's official! Orlando welcomed a record-breaking 51.455 million visitors in 2010, making us the first destination to top 50 million visitors and keeping our ranking as the No. 1 most visited spot in the U.S.

Fantasyland Update - Storybook Circusland

Image
Yesterday we published some very interesting photos about the new Fantasyland Expansion area, as well as some pictures of miscellaneous work being done on the "old" Fantasyland (check out the update right here). Today, we'll get a glimpse of Dumbo's Storybook Circus:

Cheetah Hunt's Interesting Facts and ON-RIDE Video

Image
Cheetah Hunt, Busch Gardens' new coaster, has opened to the public just two days go, and it's already a hit! Today, we're going to learn some specific information about the technical side of the coaster:
Cheetah Hunt Facts
Come join the hunt for excitement and experience a new breed of speed at Busch Gardens.  This new mega-attraction begins at Cheetah Run. Here at this crossroads of cultures, you’ll learn firsthand why the Cheetah has been celebrated for centuries. This ancient realm puts you just inches away from the world’s fastest land animals. Look into their eyes. See them run. It’s a new point-of-view guaranteed to get your heart racing.  Next take a seat on Cheetah Hunt and join nature's fastest and most agile predator as it races across the Serengeti.  This one-of-a-kind coaster will climb high above the African landscape, then race down along the ground and through a rocky gorge. With another burst of acceleration, you’ll leap over awestruck bystanders and head fo…

Fantasyland Update - Skyway Work Begins and More

Image
After a couple of very busy weeks, we're back with some new, incredible update! Why incredible? Well, because a lot of work has been done while we were busy, making it even more interesting to see what's new and what has changed in such a short period of time! Today it's Fantasyland time! Let's check it out together:
NEW! - The Fantasyland Skyway has finally been walled-off, and will be destroyed for good very soon:


LEGOLAND Florida Overview

Image
LEGOLAND Florida's grand opening is drawing near! It was recently announced that the park will open on October 15, 2011 (to know exactly the number of days that are left until that date, please, check out our new countdown clock on the side bar!), therefore we're receiving a lot of new information regarding the park's areas and rides. First of all, we invite you to check out our refurbished LEGOLAND Florida page, which can be found on the menu bar of this site. We've added all the rides and things to see at this new park. In addition to that, here you are a complete description of the new park, that gives you a more general view of what you'll be able to see in this fantastic, new family park: _________________________________________________________________________
WORLD’S LARGEST LEGOLAND® PARK CUSTOM-BUILT FOR LEGO FANS, YOUNG FAMILIES
They’ve been used to create everything from sea serpents and soaring cathedrals to likenesses of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.…

Advisory: Magic Kingdom Hours Extended for May 30

Here's an important advisory for Monday, May 30, 2011:

Advisory~Magic Kingdom Hours Extended to 12am 5/30/2011

To best meet our Guests' needs, the Magic Kingdom will extend operations by one hour, Monday, May 30, to close at 12 a.m. This information will be updated on Resort In-room Ch. 19, but the new hours will not be reflected in the Times Guides. 

Cheetah Hunt Now Open!

Image
Cheetah Hunt, Busch Gardens Tampa's new roller coaster has opened just yesterday to the public! Here you are just a few pictures of this magnificent new ride:

LEGOLAND Florida's New Job Ads

Image
LEGOLAND Florida is slated to open on October 15, 2011, as it was announced just this past Monday, therefore the campaigns to find cast members to work for their park is continuously becoming more obvious.
For example, we just found these new ads in the back pages of a section of the Orlando Sentinel: 

Universal's Despicable Me Ride - Minions Flash Mob

Image
Did you get to see the recent podcast for the announcement of the new "Despicable Me" attraction? Well, if you did, good for you! But, have you actually seen the minions dancing in front of Universal Studios Florida? Now you can! Take a look at this video, which shows a lot of Universal Team Members having fun with the minions:

Now, one question that comes to my mind is... were all the rides left unattended to do this?? I sure hope not! Anyway, the new Despicable Me attraction will open in 2012, and it was not specified (unless we missed that part, but we highly doubt) if they will reuse the same ride vehicles that Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast used.

Dave and Buster's update (May 26, 2011)

Image
Hello, everybody! Even though these past two weeks have been a bit on and off due to important things that we have done, we can assure you that all our photo-updates from the parks that you love will soon resume! Today, we'll be sharing with you a new update on the new Dave & Buster's update:

Parking Lot Restrictions (May 27 - June 12, 2011)

A minor advisory for this week:
Advisory~Guest Parking Lot Restrictions for Yacht/Beach/BoardWalk

Due to the high attendance expected for Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the following guest parking lots will be restricted on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, May 27-June 12:
Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts Disney’s BoardWalk ResortThese parking lots will be restricted to only those staying at the resort, attending a convention event at the resort or with dining, recreation or spa reservations.

A Glimpse of Star Tours' Past

Image
The official Disney Parks Blog provides us some really interesting updates and videos. This week, they posted a very interesting video, that looks back to the days where the Star Tour attraction was just unveiled to the public. Take a look by yourself:


Flashback to the 80s: Walt Disney Imagineer Tom Fitzgerald Recalls How Star Tours Began
In the final episode of her series of inside-look videos featuring “Star Tours – The Adventures Continue,” Star Wars: The Clone Wars star Ashley Eckstein sits down for an interview with Walt Disney Imagineer Tom Fitzgerald. As he has outlined throughout the year with his posts on the Disney Parks Blog, Tom worked closely with Star Wars creator George Lucas on the original Star Tours attraction. And he’s been working since that time with George and the talented teams at Imagineering and Lucasfilm Ltd. to create the new 3-D, multi-sensory attraction for Guests visiting Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
Join us as …

Cheetah Hunt specifications

Image
Screamscape made a nice report about Cheetah Hunt today. Some readers sent in the first impressions that they had about the coaster, and they're very positive! Take a look: _________________________________________________________________________
I’m not going to spoil anything just yet, but so far about all of the reviews and feedback I’ve been hearing about Cheetah Hunt has been very positive. However… all the push and hype about the sensation of ‘speed’ however may have been overdone, as while the ride is plenty fast… Pure Speed is not really one of the key sensations I’m hearing.      Instead people are loving the smoothness of the ride, the unqiue [sic] terrain-hugging layout, the abundant sections of air-time, and the fun blast through the river run section of the ride and trenches. The early word on the restraints is also good for all you larger readers, as I’ve heard from a few people who normally have to use the “big boy” seats on Montu and Sheikra who have reported…

Spiderman's Upgrade: Old Vs. New

Image
As you surely know, "The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman", one of Islands of Adventure signature rides, will be receiving a pretty major overhaul, at least when considering the technological side of the ride. In fact, all the ride's 3D screen will be completely changed and transformed into High-Definition videos (read more details about what you can expect after the refurbishment of this ride is done).
The ride's screen will not only become much clearer and much more impressive, but they will also show new details that were previously not visible. In some cases, the scenes of the ride will be completely re-designed, always maintaining the same story-line. Take a look at this great picture, which compares one of the current views on the ride, with the 2012 version, courtesy of Screamscape:

You can clearly tell the difference. The image on the bottom is much better. The colors will be more vivid, and the details will stick out even more. If you notice, also Spiderman loo…

OOTL: SeaWorld San Antonio to Build Aquatica

Image
SeaWorld San Antonio (Texas) recently announced that their existing water park ("Lost Lagoon") would be completely renovated, and it would finally become "Aquatica Texas". Yes, it would be a carbon copy of the very famous water park that was recently built in Orlando. Even though this news doesn't affect the parks in Orlando, we thought it was interesting, because even though the park will share the same name and rides of the Orlando version of the water park, the one in Texas will also have a nice pool where people can swim with rays, just like they do at Discovery Cove! Read more about this new water park: _________________________________________________________________________
Aquatica features thrilling water slides, rivers, lagoons, and more than 80,000 square feet of beach area. Designed in a way that could only be done by SeaWorld, these unique attractions will zoom, float and splash guests through amazing animal habitats and undersea adventures.

Ray Conn…

Disney Fantasy Shows Off its Incredible Atrium

Image
The Disney Parks Blog has posted a new update on the Disney Fantasy, the newest ship of the Disney Cruise Line, that will debut later next year. This week, we'll take an exclusive look at the very expansive atrium of the ship, which has a really luxurious look. Here it is:

Disney Fantasy Atrium Lobby Will Dazzle Guests with Art Nouveau Style and Sophistication
Last week, we announced some of the incredible new details you’ll find aboard the Disney Fantasy when she sets sail in late March 2012. One element we haven’t told you about yet is the atrium lobby. If you’ve sailed with us before, you’re familiar with that fantastic feeling of excitement you get when you board the ship and enter into the lobby. Differing from the Art Deco style of the Disney Dream, the Disney Fantasy lobby is inspired by Art Nouveau patterns – showcasing hues of vibrant blue, green, pink and gold that lend to the overall sophistication of this splendid space. A cascading chandelier made of stained glass and cry…

Old Town Sold its Signature Wave Swinger

Image
Some of you may remember the post that we published some time ago, regarding the path Old Town is taking (you can read this particular post here), so you may know that it looks like there's a big crisis going on in that park. Could it be that the much newer and much better Fun Spot U.S.A. Park that opened only recently just next to Old Town has ruined Old Town?
Well, however the situation may be, we just wanted to let you know that Old Town just sold one of its signature rides, that is their huge Wave Swinger, which was like part of the nice entrance. Take a look by yourself. The first picture shows the Wave Swinger as it looked just a couple of weeks ago:

The Grand Reef: Video-Update from Discovery Cove

Image
Today we've got a nice video-update of Discovery Cove's newest attraction, that will open later this summer. We are talking about the new Grand Reef, which will be an enormous place where guests will be able to swim with tropical fish and other fantastic animals. Take a look at this update, from the official SeaWorld Parks Blog: _________________________________________________________________________
The Grand Reef Update: Sand and Water Make a Splash
We're getting very close to opening The Grand Reef at Discovery Cove in Orlando.  Take a look at this video showing the construction progress.  Vice President Stewart Clark walks through some cool facts about the sand and water being used to create this beautiful new area at Discovery Cove.


_________________________________________________________________________
It really looks like a paradise, doesn't it? And, once it will be finished, it will look even better, so stay tuned for further news about this magnificent new area!

The Disney Look... to the past! (May 21 - 27)

Image
It's once again Monday. Time to go to work or to school, and to start thinking about what to do next weekend. It is also time to take a glimpse to the past of the Walt Disney Company, to see what they've achieved on this very week... but years ago. Take a look: __________________________________________________________________________
This Week in Disney History: May 21-27

May 23, 1922 - Walt Disney incorporates Laugh-O-Gram Films After working as a Red Cross truck driver in Europe at the end of World War I, Walt Disney returned home to Kansas City, Mo., where he took a job with an ad company and began to learn the tools and tricks of animation. As a 20 year-old, he struck out with fellow cartoonists including Fred Harman, Hugh Harman and Ub Iwerks - all animation pioneers in their own rights - to leave the ad company and start Laugh-O-Gram Films. Several "Laugh-O-Gram" original shorts were produced and screened in Kansas City, which led to a local distributor co…

Fun Spot Update - 'Power Trip Coaster' Goes Vertical

Image
Hello, OTPN readers! After the huge LEGOLAND Florida announcement, the day seems already satisfying, doesn't it? But, that's not all! Indeed, today we've got a very big Fun Spot U.S.A. update, where we'll take a look at the park's new arcade, miscellaneous work around the property, as well as advancemements on the work for their new wild mouse coaster, the "POWER TRIP COASTER", which was known as the "Galaxy Spin Coaster" in the former Cypress Gardens Adventure Park, which is now LEGOLAND Florida.
Let's start with the new arcade, which is still missing all the video games as work is continuing inside the structure:

LEGOLAND Florida to Open October 15, 2011!

Image
This is what all true LEGOLAND fans were waiting for. LEGOLAND Florida's opening date has finally been announced just a few minutes ago! As many of us already guessed, the opening date has been set for Saturday, October 15, 2011. Of course, you may want to know something more about this, then read this official statement of LEGOLAND Florida: _________________________________________________________________________

LEGOLAND® FLORIDA ANNOUNCES OPENING DATE -- World’s largest LEGOLAND park will debut Saturday, October 15, 2011 –
POLK COUNTY, Fla. (May 23, 2011) – To the delight of youngsters everywhere, LEGOLAND® Florida today revealed its official opening date: Saturday, October 15, 2011.      Inspired by America’s love affair with all things LEGO®, the new 150-acre theme park will cater to kids ages 2 to 12 with more than 50 “pink-knuckle” rides – from roller coasters to race cars – as well as family focused shows and attractions.      Park officials disclosed the date, a closel…

LEGOLAND Florida to Announce Opening Date Soon!

Image
LEGOLAND Florida is going to make a very important announcement next Monday. They will finally announce the official opening date of the park! In the meantime, though, they didn't want to let us wait without any clue at all. Indeed, let's see what they've posted on their official Facebook page: _________________________________________

Our construction manager, Craig Reibel, shows off some of our new landscaping and walkways earlier today, with Coastersaurus in the background. 2 cool!

The Making of "One Ocean" - Whales & Trainers

Image
The official SeaWorld Parks Blog has posted one of the last videos of the behind-the-scenes of their newest show, "One Ocean". Enjoy the video: _________________________________________________________________________
Beneath the Surface: The Making of "One Ocean" - Whales & Trainers
The sixth video in our series “Beneath the Surface” focuses on the whales and their trainers. The presentation of these extraordinary animals connects guests to the sea with a new level of energy and excitement, all while educating and inspiring guests to make a difference in this world.

Positive reinforcement is at the core of the relationship between these majestic animals and their trainers. This reinforcement comes in many forms including rubs, toys, ice cubes, games and food. "One Ocean" features spectacular whale behaviors, including thrilling high-energy leaps and multiple whales performing simultaneously. The whales interact in new ways with trainers, the audience and …

Harley Davidson Hosts Special Event at DTD

The Harley Davidson store location at Downtown Disney will prepare a special event tomorrow:
Harley Davidson "Ride Like A Hog Star Event" May 22, 2011 
Orlando Harley Davidson is promoting a campaign with Second Harvest called “Ride Like A Hog Star.” 
Ride Like a HOGstar Sunday, May 22nd
THE RIDE Ride begins at Downtown Disney® West Side 9:30am-10:45am - Registration in Parking Lot N (adjacent to Cirque du Soleil La Nouba) 11am-12pm - “ Ride Like a HOGstar"  to the I-4 Historic Factory
Ride registration is a $20 donation per bike to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. Cash or check only. First 300 bikes with get 2 FREE Harley raffle tickets. All levels of riders welcome.
THE AFTER-PARTY 12pm-4pm - Orlando Harley-Davidson I-4 Historic Factory Dealership Free and open to everyone! Live music from Orange Avenue. Free cold beverages, barbeque chicken and fixins', while supplies Last.

A first look at Star Tours 2 - Description and Videos

Image
The time has finally come!! Star Tours 2: The Adventure Continues has been officially opened just yesterday, May 20, 2011 at Disney's Hollywood Studios! While we were not able to attend the grand opening celebration, we have some very nice videos of the outside and inside of the revamped attraction, thanks to the Walt Disney World resort, which provided us the videos and more info about this new experience. Take a look by yourself!: _________________________________________________________________________

‘Star Tours – The Adventures Continue’ Brings Star Wars™ Thrills in 3-D to Disney's Hollywood Studios Theme Park
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The power of the Force and the magic of Disney have combined to create “Star Tours – The Adventures Continue,” a new 3-D attraction opened at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park today, May 20, 2011. The attraction also will open at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, Calif., on June 3, 2011.
Based on the Star Wars films, Star Tours will take Walt…

Out-of-the-Loop: Reflections of Miami

Image
Sometimes it is nice to have some out-of-the-loop updates, right? This is one of them. Today, we'll take a look at some of the particular buildings, sights, and characteristics of one of the most famous cities in the world: Miami, Florida. We hope you'll enjoy seeing the pictures!

More Information on the New Disney Fantasy

Image
The Disney Parks Blog has released new info on the newest Disney ship, which will depart next year. Take a look at some exclusive behind-the-scenes photos and info:

Fantastic Experiences Await Guests on the Disney Fantasy: New Details Revealed Today
Blog readers…I wrote my first Disney Parks Blog post sharing exciting details about the Disney Dream. Today, I get to share details on her sister ship – the Disney Fantasy! With the Disney Fantasy, guests will have a full seven days to explore every nook and cranny of the ship. The Fantasy will bring to life many of the same innovative features and guest favorites from the Disney Dream, including the AquaDuck water coaster, Magical Portholes inside the staterooms and Enchanted Art throughout the ship. In addition, I want to share some new design elements and experiences that will give the Fantasy an identity all its own.
One of my favorite new highlights is “Animation Magic” at Animator’s Palate. This is a dinner show that celebrates the magi…

The Many Adventures of Spiderman to be Enhanced

Image
Other than the new "Despicable Me" attraction, on May 19 Universal also announced a refurbishment of a ride located inside Islands of Adventures. We're talking about one of the best attractions of the park: The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman. Take a look at what you can look forward to: _________________________________________________________________________
Incredible High-Tech Enhancements Underway for One of the World’s Most Popular Attractions: The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man
Orlando, Fla. (May 19, 2011) – Universal Orlando Resort.... announced that The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, one of the greatest attractions in theme park history, will be completely reanimated in 4K digital high definition – once again redefining the theme park experience.
THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF SPIDER-MAN
Already one of the most popular and innovative theme park attractions ever created, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Universal’s Islands of Adventure continues to raise the ba…

New 'Despicable Me' Ride Coming to Universal Studios

Image
Just yesterday, Universal Orlando made 2 important announcements. One of them included the news about the new ride that will soon replace "Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast", and, as many of us already knew since months, that new ride will be themed around the world of "Despicable Me", one of the most successful movies that Universal has ever made. Take a look at this exciting news: _________________________________________________________________________
Blockbuster 3-D-CGI Feature “Despicable Me” to Become Attraction Experience at Universal Orlando
Orlando, Fla. (May 19, 2011) – Universal Orlando Resort today announced that its newest attraction will be based on Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s blockbuster 3-D-CGI feature “Despicable Me,” bringing minions, mayhem and a whole new level of 3-D family fun to its guests.  The “Despicable Me” experience will replace the Jimmy Neutron attraction at Universal Studios Florida.
[The new ride] will open …

Busch Gardens' President Tests Cheetah Hunt

Image
BUSCH GARDENS PARK PRESIDENT EXPERIENCES A NEW BREED OF SPEED

TAMPA, Fla. (May 16, 2011) – It was nearly a year ago that Busch Gardens Park President Jim Dean donned a hard hat and stood on a pile of dirt to record a YouTube video teasing the park’s new attraction.

Today, Dean had the opportunity to ride Cheetah Hunt for the first time with Busch Gardens’ VP of Marketing, Gerard Hoeppner. Following their front-row ride, Dean commented “We have another winner here.” Cheetah Hunt opens to the public on Friday, May 27.

Epcot General Update - Last Flowers...

Image
Let's see... We recently covered the FUNtastic Pixar Weekend event, but what about Epcot, the park that hosted that event? No, we didn't forget to take a look around the park! These photos still include some pictures of some of the great floral compositions, as the Flower & Garden Festival was still ongoing (the very last day of this year's event was Sunday, May 15, 2011. Sad, I k now!), so, enjoy the pictures!:

Big Time Rush Visits Universal Orlando

Image
The 'Big Time Rush' band, from Nickelodeon's channel, just recently visited the Universal Orlando Resort. They performed a concert on May 14, 2011. Here you are a picture of the band, standing on the dock in front of the Simpsons Ride:

Adventure Island Adds Fun with Extended Park Hours

Image
THE SUMMER GETS HOTTER AT ADVENTURE ISLANDWITH ISLAND NIGHTS AND EXTENDED PARK HOURS Enjoy Island Music, Entertainment and Food Three Nights a Week and Play Late Every Night this Summer at Busch Gardens’ Water Park

TAMPA, Fla. (May 16, 2011) – This summer at Adventure Island, when the sun goes down, the fun heats up during Island Nights. From June 9 to Aug. 13, it’s a vacation from the everyday as Busch Gardens’ water park transforms into a celebration of island life with live music, authentic entertainment and inspiring cuisine.


     Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night from 5 to 9 p.m. exotic birds and larger-than-life stilt walkers greet guests, and a steel drum band strolls throughout the park. Family-friendly DJs lead the party with games and music on the beach.

New Figment's Merchandise Coming Soon

Image
The Disney Parks Blog has mad another very interesting announcement this week. Even though it's not as major as the announcement of the refurbishment for the Enchanted Tiki Room, it is something that all true Epcot fans, like us, will really appreciate. New merchandise, inspired by the little purple dragon of Epcot, is coming soon. Take a look at what you can expect to see: New Figment Merchandise Coming to Disney Parks


Do you have a favorite character from Disney Parks? I have several including Rover (or is it Queenie?) from Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress and any of the tikis or birds from Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room and Journey Into Imagination with Figment. You may recall my story on the Disney Parks Blog of visiting Epcot in the early 1980s. I still have the Figment plush that my parents bought me on that first trip. I know I’m not alone in my love for that little purple dragon. So here is a look at some of the new Figment merchandise coming to Disney Parks.

A Look at "Car Masters Weekend" at Downtown Disney

Image
Just last week, a special event took place at Downtown Disney. Between May 13 and May 15, the 'Car Masters Weekend' was held, showcasing cars from the upcoming Disney-Pixar movie "Cars 2", and more. Take a quick glimpse of the event, with some pictures and a video: _________________________________________________________________________
Car Masters Weekend brings 'Cars 2' rides to life

Downtown Disney West Side plays host to Car Masters Weekend May 13-15. Each day from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., car lovers will find the promenade lined with nearly 60 classic cars and a display of modern GM cars from the Test Track showroom floor, as well as the largest life-sized, radio-controlled replica cars ever built.  Pixar Animation Studios' "Cars" franchise guardian and car expert, Jay Ward, has been tapped to judge the Classic Car show which will be held Saturday and Sunday.

Fun Spot Thinks About New Water Rides

Image
Fun Spot Action Park, the park located on International Drive, has bought a lot of space to build new attractions, including a smaller version of the SkyCoaster and possibly either a roller coaster or a water ride. Take a look at this very interesting post, directly from the official Blog of Fun Spot's Attractions: _________________________________________________________________________
What do you want?
Fun Spot has 10 acres to fill at their location in Orlando and we want to know...What do you want? Our owner, John Arie and his son John Arie Jr. are traveling the country with several of our maintenance crew and managers to scout out new attractions for the 10 acres. Below are several rides that they have looked at. What do you think? Would one of these make a great addition to our park?

The Disney Look... to the past! (May 14-20)

Image
Let's take a look at the history of Disney's World, Land and Company! What happened this week: _________________________________________________________________________
This Week in Disney History: May 14-20


May 15, 1987 - Disneyland Park introduces Disney Dollars currency
Disney Dollars are the currency of style at Disney parks and resorts, Disney Cruise Line and The Disney Store. Uniquely designed sets of Disney Dollars have been released to guests every year between 1987 and 2009, and special-edition Disney Dollars have become prized collector items for events such as the opening of Mickey's Toontown at Disneyland Park, the 25th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort, Walt Disney's 100th anniversary and Mickey Mouse's 80th anniversary. During the 50th anniversary of the Disneyland Resort, a special-edition $50 Disney Dollar bill was available to guests throughout the celebration. Also for the 50th anniversary celebration, Disney artist and Disney Legend C…

General Magic Kingdom Update

Image
Last week, we took a glimpse on the work in the new Fantasyland area. This time, we'll take a quick look around the rest of the park. Let's see if there is any new work or addition:

OFFICIAL: The Enchanted Tiki Room to Change

Image
After having waited months and months, following the fire that destroyed parts of the show, back in January 2011, all the rumors about the "Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management" were absolutely true. The classic attraction is coming back later this year, around mid-August, and it will be different. Read what has been posted on the official Disney Parks Blog:

Enchanted Tiki Room: Classic Attraction Transforms This Summer
Walt Disney Imagineering announced earlier today at D23’s Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th event that The Enchanted Tiki Room (Under New Management) at Magic Kingdom Park is already undergoing changes behind closed doors that will reshape the attraction into a version reminiscent of the original show.
     The Walt Disney World attraction, originally called Tropical Serenade, has been entertaining guests since the theme park’s opening day on Oct. 1, 1971. Its winged hosts, Jose, Fritz, Pierre and Michael, led 200 other birds, tikis and flowers in an e…

SeaWorld's Rescues Pilot Whales in Key West

Image
SeaWorld's Rescue Team was able to find and save a beautiful pilot whale along the shores of Key West. Take a look at this video: _________________________________________________________________________
SeaWorld rescue team returns two stranded pilot whales  to waters off Key West, Fla.
Saturday, May 7, SeaWorld's animal rescue team and experts from NOAA and the Florida Marine Mammal Stranding Network returned two stranded pilot whales to the waters off Key West, Fla. The whales were two of 20 whales that had beached themselves on May 5. Five whales remain alive and in guarded condition.
_________________________________________________________________________
SeaWorld really puts a lot of effort in trying to save endangered animals and natural environments, and we really commend them for trying to do so! Great job, SeaWorld.