attractions

New Florida Law to protect theme parks from Lawsuits

A new law has been passed that prevents Florida attractions from being sued by customers. The legislation (SB 2440) is designed to overturn a December 2008 state Supreme Court ruling that invalidated parental waivers, which have long been used by businesses around the state that… Read More »New Florida Law to protect theme parks from Lawsuits

Queue-less Disney Parks

What’s the number one complaint from theme park guests? Having to spend long waits in queue just for an attraction that’s over in 2 minutes, sometimes less. Disney Imagineers and park operations cast members have been working on solutions to this problem for years. They’ve… Read More »Queue-less Disney Parks

Harry Potter to officially open on June 18th at Universal Orlando

Harry Potter fans get ready for the most immersive Wizarding World experience you can have outside your imagination. The Grand Opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort has been set for June 18 and parts of the land will be opening even sooner. Universal Orlando released details of the expansion to Islands of Adventure and the highly anticipated new attraction “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” this morning.

One of three themed attractions within The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, including Flight of the Hippogriff and Dragon Challenge, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is the heart of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This all new adventure combines a powerful storyline with spectacular new technology so effectively that guests will be completely immersed in the experience.

And as they live their adventure, guests will feel things no one has ever felt inside a theme park attraction, move in ways no one has ever moved, experience film like no one else ever has, explore vast sets punctuated by amazing special effects – and have an adventure only possible in Harry Potter’s world.

The new attraction lies deep within Hogwarts castle, a majestic structure that towers over The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – the only place in the world where the wonder, excitement and adventure of the Harry Potter books and films comes to life.

The Adventure

Imagine…

…meeting Harry, Ron and Hermione as if they were in person

…soaring over Hogwarts castle with Harry

…being swept into a Quidditch match

…feeling the chilling effect of a Dementor

…exploring your favorite places inside Hogwarts castle

…living adventures you’ve only been able to imagine – until now.

The Story

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey draws you into the excitement and chaos of Harry’s life. As you venture through Hogwarts castle, you meet Harry, Ron and Hermione who convince you to skip a planned lecture and follow them. Upon taking their advice, you travel by Floo powder, and begin the adventure as you soar over Hogwarts, narrowly escape a dragon attack, have a close encounter with the Whomping Willow, get pulled into a Quidditch match and more.

“Guests will experience firsthand a completely new adventure featuring the iconic characters, amazing creatures and recognizable locations they’ve only read in the books or seen in the films,” said Thierry Coup, creative director for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Lots more below the jump, including new facts about the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey:

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Get paid to play in Orlando in “67 Days of Smiles” promotion

Inspired, no doubt, by the Australian promo where one lucky soul is paid to spend a year living on an island paradise and using social media to tell the world about his experience, the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau has come up with a very similar idea. One lucky couple will be paid to enjoy 67 days of fun and excitment exploring everything the Orlando area has to offer.

The Orlando CVB says the selected pair will do everything from roller coaster riding to hang gliding, swimming with dolphins, golfing, shopping, gator wrestling, museum exploring, theatre-going and more.

As the winning pair, you’ll be expected to report on your experiences using cell phones, a digital video camera and still camera supplied to you and share your 67 Days of Smiles with the world through social media tools like blogs, Twitter and Facebook.

The “67 Days of Smiles” will begin this year in late August and end in early November. Both people in the pair must be over 21 and pairs can be any combination of friends, family, or co-workers. All pairs are required to complete a personal profile; submit 500 words in English regarding why their smiles should be chosen; and upload a 60 second or less video in English of both applicants along with photos of both applicants at VisitOrlando.com/67DaysofSmiles by June 30, 2009.

The full press release is below the cut:

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Walt Disney World Update

I spent the last few days celebrating the holidays with family who traveled far and wide to visit us in Orlando. So, of course, a trip to Walt Disney World was required. Every park had extended hours. The walk-ways were busy, very busy, but I… Read More »Walt Disney World Update

An Initial Look at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2008

The IAAPA Attractions Expo opened on Monday. But the show doesn’t really get going until the “What’s New” presentation which was yesterday morning. This year the kickoff session featured performances from Universal and The Blues Brothers, dancers from Busch Gardens, and a new song from beautifully performed by a singer from Walt Disney World Resort. All in all a great showcase for central Florida.

Three new IAAPA members were inducted into the Hall of Fame. Arto Monaco (Land of Make Believe) and Edgard “Eddy” Meeus (Walibi Parks)ย  both played key roles in the early days of theme park development and were awarded posthumously. Larry B. Cochran helped open Six Flags over Texas and rose to the top of the company during his 41 years of service and team building. He gave a wonderful speech with a tribute to his family and team members.

The bi-annual Applause Award went to Xetulul a theme park in Retalhuleu, Guatemala. I’ve never heard of this park, but it looked like a lot of fun. San Diego SeaWorld cam in a close second.

After the morning performance everyone heads down to the show floor to make some deals and see what’s hot from vendors old and new. I only managed to cover about 20% of the show floor yesterday but click through the cut to read a few things that caught my eye.

Read More »An Initial Look at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2008

IAAPA Attractions Expo hits Orlando

The International Associations of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) swings into Orlando this week for its annual Attractions Expo. Industry leaders, companies and hangers on swarm over the Orange County Convention Center for a week trying out all the new things the industry has to… Read More »IAAPA Attractions Expo hits Orlando