attractions

Outside the Berm – News from Beyond Disney via THRLLD

Even from the very beginning of The Disney Blog, we’ve always included news from other theme parks and entertainment companies in our coverage; particularly when they’re doing something that encroaches on Disney’s domain. However, there is much more to these topics than just what relates… Read More »Outside the Berm – News from Beyond Disney via THRLLD

An Orlando Journey Into the Future

Unless you are living under a rock (which would be incredibly uncomfortable), you realize the affect that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has had on the Orlando tourism community. Everyone is filled to the brim with new projects that, they hope can match and/or topple Harry Potter in the themed and immersive environment category… or the bring in millions of people and billions of dollars category too! I thought, you can never look too far into the future… so here is a preview to what will, supposedly, make you travel to the Orlando area in the coming years!

Positive Coming Attractions:

  • This December 6th, the east coast’s Carsland equivalent will finally be unveiled in the Magic Kingdom. New Fantasyland containing: Enchanted Tales with Belle, Gaston’s Tavern, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid, Ariel’s Grotto, Pete’s Silly Sideshow, and officially, Storybook Circus, will FINALLY open after years of “looking-over-the-wall” photo updates. In 2013, the Princess Fairytale Hall will open, in the former Snow White’s Scary Adventures building. And the expansion will finally be ending (unless they announce a phase 2 with Pixie Hollow…I wish!) with the opening of the Seven Dwarves Mine Coaster. Can you believe that this was all announced back at the first D23 Expo in 2009?! If feels like so long ago!
  • Test Track will re-open at the end of this year after a rather extensive rehab and rethemeing. The concept of being inside of a computer seems like a great fit for an aging Future World attraction that needed a lift (and a nip…and a tuck…). We will see how Tron-y this new Test Track looks this December.
  • Although not at a theme park, I am super excited for Spiltsville to be coming to Downtown Disney. We have one in Tampa and it is an awesome place. This incarnation will be a two story, 36-lane bowling alley version of the usual 1 story, 12-lane concept. The uniqueness of Splitsville comes from two factors, first being that while you bowl, a waiter comes to your table…as it is a sit-down (or play-up?) restaurant as well as a bowling alley (BTW, best chicken tenders anywhere!). The second factor comes from the design of the place, the lanes aren’t set up in the normal long, side-by-side fashion of the old-fashioned alleys, they are scattered throughout the building giving it a much more personal experience. Get ready to bowl your brains out in late fall of this year.
  • Seaworld has also jumped on the immersive environment bandwagon by announcing Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. This will take the place of the former penguin exhibit at the park. Not a lot of details have been announced about the project as of now, but the concept art is astounding. A publicity photo was recently released and has led to speculation that the ride in the land will be using a trackless ride system similar to the one used on Pooh’s Hunny Hunt at Tokyo Disneyland. I am really excited to check it out in the spring of 2013.

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Cars Land at DCA greets Disney execs ahead of June 15th opening

The signature e-ticket ride of Cars Land at Disney California Adventure is sure to be Radiator Springs Racers. The attraction will put the guest in the world of Pixar’s popular Cars film franchise as they race other guests in a thrilling, twisting, turning, high-speed adventure… Read More »Cars Land at DCA greets Disney execs ahead of June 15th opening

Worst Disney Attraction Ever

Despite creating the genre and 57 years of experience in the theme park industry, The Walt Disney Company has not hit every attraction out of the park. In fact, some were complete strikeouts. Here are a few of my nominees for the worst Disney Attraction… Read More »Worst Disney Attraction Ever

Brazil a replacement for Euro-Tourism?

Anyone else noticing a lot more Brazilian tourists at Walt Disney World these days? We certainly have. There’s a good reason for that, not only has the economy of Brazil stabilized producing more disposable income, but the volume of European tourists is down as their… Read More »Brazil a replacement for Euro-Tourism?

Gatorland To Open Screamin Gator Zipline, over 1,200 feet of thrills

Disclaimer: My wife is an employee of Gatorland, however we attended as part of the media for this story, and her employee status has not changed our editorial review of the attraction.

When visiting Orlando, don’t forget to schedule a day for some of the minor amusement attractions. Gatorland has just zipped out their newest attraction, which could move them to the top of many a traveler’s must do list. The Screamin’ Gator Zip Line is an exciting outdoor adventure that covers 1,200 feet of high flying thrills in an experience that lasts over two-hours. It opens officially June 16th, but is currently taking reservations based on availability starting this week.

“We spent a tremendous amount of time designing this incredible experience that combines the most modern safety features available in a zip line with the raw beauty and excitement of Gatorland’s natural exhibits and majestic animals,” says Mark McHugh, Gatorland’s president & CEO

The journey begins at the “Screamin’ Gator Adventure Depot” where participants receive their gear and meet their adventure guide for a short safety orientation. The “Gator Grunt Run” is an introductory zip line with speeds topping 15-mph. Named after the sound made by baby gators, this 247-ft. line launches from a 45-ft. platform and promises to provide participants with experience and confidence as they prepare for the thrills ahead.

Read about the whole experience below the jump:

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Universal Orlando Faces Forced Sale by Private Equity Firm

Okay. Here’s the problem with private equity firms, they’re only in it for the money. That’s not a secret, but it is problem if your brand depends on consistency of service. That’s exactly the situation Universal Orlando Resort faces now that the Blackstone Group has… Read More »Universal Orlando Faces Forced Sale by Private Equity Firm