Archive for the ‘Magic near Disney’ Category

Universal Ticket Prices UP

Monday, May 20th, 2013

rogueatioa.jpgUniversal Orlando has raised their day tickets up to $92 for a one day, one park ticket. With this they are the first park to ask above the $90 and are now “only” $8 away from a three digit ticket price. It will come sooner as you will want to.

Other ticket combinations also changed. For example a one ticket, two parks will now set you back $128

Normally, when one of the big players in Orlando raises their ticket price, the other players are not far behind. If this trend continues we might see Walt Disney World and SeaWorld do the same in the very near future. A Walt Disney World one day tickets cost you $89 at the moment.

Sometimes I wonder how they calculate their increasing as they are certainly not following your regular inflation. For those that like some history; in 1971, when Walt Disney World opened, a ticket to the Magic Kingdom would set you back $3.50. (although you did need to buy extra tickets for the attractions. These where Adventures Books and started at $4.50 for 7 tickets)

Universal vs. Disney: The Tolkien Round!

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

Universal did it again! At least if these rumors are indeed correct as no official announcements are made yet. Universal gets the rights to build the Lord of the Ring attractions in their park. This is yet another fantastic move that will bring over even more people to the parks. Harry Potter already proofed success and with Lord of the Rings they will do it again. This franchise is so big, popular and timeless that guest numbers for the park will grow for sure.

Queues for the Harry Potter attractions are stupendously long and will get even bigger once the second phase is in place. Once Lords of the Rings and the Hobbit will make it to the park another big fan followers will find their way to the Universal Studios getting those visitor numbers way up. Orlando visitors will need to find a way to see all the stuff and while their holiday might not get extended, a visit to Universal might. As guest might have to find that extra day for Universal, this could cost Disney some visitors.

OK, Disney just got the big Star Wars deal, the new Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, the rumored Carsland for Hollywood Studios and… Avatar for Animal Kingdom. Fantasyland is already proofing to be a success for Disney and depending on their Star Wars plans will have another crowd pleaser. As long as it will be spectacular and the Imagineers get to do something with it. Avatar is still another story in my honest opinion. Avatar might still see two more movies and although this will keep the franchise alive, it is in no way as timeless as Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.

Never the less, it is exciting to see how the theme parks are creating new wonderful stuff. The Lord of the Rings deal will make Disney work their hardest to bring out their best of the best and the real winners are we, the fans and the guests.

Make sure to visit us regularly as we will report on all the new Orlando area park stuff once we know more.

WDW Planning Part 3: There is more…

Monday, July 16th, 2012

…than only Walt Disney World Resort. Really? Is there?

As a Disney addict I never want to admit it! But, yes. There is more. So of course we do plan some things outside of the Walt Disney World Resort too. Some of these things already made it on our to do list. Even if the holiday is still more then a year away. What did already made it on the early holiday plan? Let’s have a look.

Last time it was so cold in Orlando, (did you ever think that could happen) that Universal Studios never even opened their new Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit Coaster. To cold to operate a roller coaster? Well, as we where in the park on that cold January 2012 day we had to miss that ride. A reason to put it back on the list for the next trip. Also back on the list is another visit to Discovery Cove. It was going to be a one of but swimming with the Dolphins is amazing and we need to go back next time. So it will be no surprise that we will also visit Seaworld again as you’ll get your complimentary ticket when you visit Discovery Cove.

Another park that is on the to do list is Legoland. I have seen the original in Denmark so this time it’s time to see what they did in Orlando. But we need to look into transportation for that one as I want to avoid renting a car during my holiday.

That’s only a beginning of our very early Walt Disney World plans. There is a lot more to look at and a lot more we would add. It’s early planning, but like I mentioned before, that’s part of the fun. It is never to early to plan your next Walt Disney World Holiday. So, How far do you plan ahead?…

More Disneyland Paris Sand…

Friday, June 10th, 2011

After adding a first collection of pictures of yesterdays incredible Sand Sculptures Festival opening event I wanted to share another lot of pictures with you today.

So here they are, more Disneyland Paris and Disney Characters made out of sand from the Sand Sculpture Festival in Blankenberge.

Some more Disneyland Paris scenes including a view on Main Street U.S.A., Pixar characters from Monster Inc and Cars, and more

For more info  and more pictures on the event visit our previous blog entry about the event.

Enjoy the pictures…

Will Disney Buy Out Universal?

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

The moment Disney bought Marvel people started to speculate what would happen with the Marvel Park section of Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Now a rumor is floating around that Disney is looking at offering Universal a buy out on the franchise use rights. Disney already bought back the rights of some of the franchise from Paramount and with it the distribution rights of Avengers and Iron Man 3. It’s a rumor at the moment, but it would make sense and I see this happening in the future. Universal could well agree on this as they might want to break anything that binds them to Disney and avoid to pay royalties for the use of the Marvel name in their park. While I would hate to see the Marvel part leave Island of Adventures, I would welcome a complete Marvel park made on Disney domain. I know there are people that would not like this but if you like it or not, Disney is a company and a complete Marvel park would bring in a lot of people (if not done on the cheap with A+ E-ticket rides) and make them money. (more…)

The Horror Revealed

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

If there is one thing that might tickle my senses almost as much as Disney itself it’s Halloween! So combining Disney and Halloween is always a fun thing. To nobodies surprise I am a big fan of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. I love it! But I can’t stop there as there is to much Halloween fun in Florida to go unnoticed.

One of these events is Halloween Horror Nights over at Universal Studios. This year is a special celebration year. 20 years of Halloween Horror Nights! 8 haunted Houses, several scare zones and multiple show have been revealed for this special event and it looks… awesome!


Industry Trade Show Settles in Orlando

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

The yearly IAAPA or The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Trade Show will be held in Orlando for the next 10 years. While the show did go to other locations in the past, including Las Vegas, it did have shows planned in Orlando for the years with even numbers. Now the people behind the trade show and IAAPA decided to settle for Orlando every year, booking the convention center for the years with uneven numbers too. Bad news for Las Vegas, where some of these shows where planned to take place. (Via Orlando Sentinel)

The Trade show is the biggest show related to the amusement park and ride industry.

Sleep at Alice’s Room

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

There is the book, there is the movie, and now there is the room! De Alice Suite straight from the fairy tale. The room is not Disney related, however when visiting Disneyland Resort Paris you could still hop over to the capitol city itself for an extra night in the suite. The suite will set you back a hefty 440 Euro per night and might not be to everybody’s liking. Especially the double toilet does sound a little weird. The rest of the room does look wonderful and fabulous though.

“Suite Alice” design by LES AILES DU DESIGN
This is the world of Alice in Wonderland, subtly recreated, with many a nod to Carroll’s fairy tale. Funny clocks, tiles that turn bright and make films appear like magic, strange objects, large stuffed animal, a bathroom with shower and tub, and a curiously kinky toilet for 2 with a chess game in between the seats! The Suite Alice is also equipped with a top quality king-size bed, a TV screen diffusing four different mood fragrances, air conditioning, a large desk, mini-bar, electronic safe and bathrobes. (Seven Hotel Paris)

While it isn’t a direct link to Disney I thought it was fun to share and show that’s not only the good people at Disney that come up with some wonderful (and strange) ideas that work.

You can find the room in the Seven Hotel in the heart of Paris. Other rooms include a 007 Suite and the Marie Antoinette Suite

More offers for those stuck in Orlando

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

The flights in Europe are resuming but airlines expect it to take several days till regular operations will be fully established and all guests that were impacted by the air service interruption forced by the volcanic ash will finally be moved to their original destinations. In other words: there are still thousands of toruists worldwide stuck away from home. For those stuck in Orlando respectively the Orlando area the Tourism Bureau has collected a list of special offers as we already reported on Tuesday. In the meantime the list maintained by the bureau has grown substantially with new offers. And certainly there is something new for everyone interested in theme parks …

It all started with SeaWorld giving away free tickets for SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. In the usual game of reactions in the Orlando theme park business Disney matched the offer by SeaWorld and started offering free tickets as well (even so the offer was limited to just two dates). The only one missing in the game was the Universal Resort. But no need to be afraid – just as the three major theme park players react to each other’s price increases, Universal did react to the free theme park ticket offer for stuck international guests as well …


Stuck in Orlando?

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

The volcanic ash that has been blown from Iceland across the northern half of Europe since the middle of last week has caused serious interruptions not only to the air traffic in Europe, but also to the holidays of thousands of vacationers across the globe. While many may end up missing their vacations somewhere in Europe due to the cancellation of their outbound flights at the start of the vacation (which most probably will also hurt Disneyland Paris in a year that is shaping up to be far from stellar so far) there are also thousands of Europeans stuck at their vacation destinations long past their original return date.

Being forced to extend their vacation indefinitely (as even once international flights to Europe will resume it will take up to a week according to current estimates till the regular flight schedule can be reestablished and most probably even longer till everyone has been moved back to their original destination) not only brings up the question what to do with the extra time to keep the mind of the problems caused (e.g. missed work etc.) and relieve the stress, but also the question how to finance the extra time away from home. The Orlando Tourism Bureau and its members have reacted to this by offering services and experiences to guests affected by the European air service interruptions for free or at greatly reduced rates. (more…)

Disney’s Super Bowl Commercials

Monday, February 8th, 2010

If you didn’t see the Super Bowl (or couldn’t watch it) last weekend you will also have missed the commercials everybody always talks about. If you missed them or want to see them again you can visit the official NFL homepage where you’ll find all commercials. For the Disney fans you’ll get to see the Prince of Persia and the Alice in Wonderland among the many other fun collection of commercials. No Walt Disney World commercial but you do get an inviting look at Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Picture Copyrights; Disney

Harry Potter vs Walt Disney World

Friday, July 10th, 2009

WDWcastle1In my previous one park vs other park blog entry I talked about Disneyland Hong Kong vs. Disneyland Shanghai. (read about it here). Now I would like to have a look at two parks even closer together, two parks that might be fighting for a lot of kids; Walt Disney World vs. Islands of Adventure, or should we say vs. Harry Potter.

Disney World might have had the (big) edge on many levels, especially for the younger once, with IoA being more the teens and adult park (even with Seuss Landing), but with the coming of Harry Potter we might see a shift that could surprise many. There are already pictures of the new Harry Potter project starting to find their way on the web… and they look impressive (already and the project is far from finished).


Dark Clouds Over Universal Orlando

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

universalorlandologoWhat happens if you might be forced to pay a $1.5 billion debt one year from now but only have $98 million in cash on hand? It’s a question that needs to be answered for Universal Orlando!

The two main problems are trying to refinance during these dark times of recession and the domino effect that will take place if a first dept of $950 million cannot be paid by April 1, 2010 deadline. If Universal cannot pay the $950 million all other dept will come up for immediate payment and the company would need to pay another $500 million straight away. This second number is covered by Universal Studios assets, including all of its property.


Universal on Attack

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

Universal continues to improve its offerings for guests and thereby also encroaching Walt Disney World in what it believed in the past was its very own territory … now they just added a cruise experience! But let’s not get into this story head over heels. So from the start…

Andy already made several posts in the recent months regarding the slow or even non-existing reaction of Walt Disney World to the additions that the Universal Resort as well as the SeaWorld Resort have been premiering in the last year (in particular the outstanding “Simpson – The Ride” at Universal and SeaWorld’s new water park) and are about to premiere this year (in particular the flying coaster “Manta” at SeaWorld as well as the new coaster at Universal Studios), not to mention the upcoming Harry Potter land at Islands of Adventure in 2010 as well as numerous small but guest friendly concepts such as the free option for guests staying at the official Universasl Hotels to use their room key as unlimited “Universal Express” pass to bypass queues at the major attractions or the all “all you can eat” options valid for a full day Universal or SeaWorld. Now the pressure keeps mounting as Universal decided to go head to head with WDW in one more area: cruises! (more…)

The Muppets & more from Jim Henson in Florida

Monday, March 16th, 2009

Are you a fan of the Muppets and the genius behind them, Jim Henson? In that case you sure know that you can enjoy Muppet Vision 3D at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (in Walt Disney World) and at Disney’s California Adventure (in Disneyland Resort Anaheim). But for a limited time – to be exact: till May 3, 2009 – there is more from the Muppets and Jim Henson to discover in Florida as the traveling exhibit Jim Henson’s Fantastic World stops at the Orange County Regional History Center just a short drive from Walt Disney World!

What can you expect from the exhibit? Over 100 works of art, photographs, documents, puppets, movie props, and other 3-D objects, as well as original video productions, illustrating Jim Henson the artist, his work from early high school creations to his worldwide loved tv- and movie characters and the creative process behind these. Included are such rare items as one of the Kermit puppets Jim Hensons puppeteered himself and numerous sketches by Jim Henson for such all-time favorite characters as the Big Bird…