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.

New Harry Potter Movie

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

The success of Harry Potter continues…  in a theme park near you. After all books have found their way to the big screen it come to a little surprise that Warner Brother is filming another Harry Potter movie. However, it has a little twist. It will be a mini movie especially taped for the theme parks. More specifically the Universal Studios park in Orlando, and the new, under construction, Harry Potter sections in California (2016) and Japan (2014).

One of the stars that will be featured in the new film will be Helena Bonham Carter. She will reprise her role Bellatrix Lestrange. Filming has been done at the Warner Brothers’ studios in Hetfordshire. There is nothing know about the story or the plot as they are keeping their lips tight for now. But that will not stop the rumor mill once everybody starts talking on the web on what to expect of this new movie.

Source Daily Mail UK

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?…

Trip Diaries Day 16: Harry Potter Time

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Today was Harry Potter day. No, I am not a fan and haven’t even seen all of the movies (only two so far), but we are planning a Potter marathon in the near future to catch up. We left to Universal very early in the morning to make sure we would be there before the big crowds. Well, even with another 30 minutes to go before opening there was already a big queue at the gates of islands of adventures. Got ourselves the 2 park tickets and the VIP passes to avoid queue-ing (Have I already mentioned that I don’t like queues?). We knew that Harry Potter  and the Forbidden Journey was going to be a queue, but at least we would be able to walk on to the rest of the attraction. And i can only say I was happy we got them as otherwise me might not have done as much as we did. But I am going to fast, let’s start at the beginning.

Harry Potter queue was a good hour and they used most of the outside queue area already to have to line moving. But it was worth it. This attraction is amazing! The ride system, the scenes, everything! And the experience already starts in the queue area. What a beautiful amazing area. It might have taken us an hour but it sure didn’t feel like it. The attraction itself is awesome. This is the future! The Kuka robot arms on a track, the 3D scenes with the amazing scenes build around it. I have no words!… Disney, wake up because they are taking some of the magic and starting to use it in their parks. I already was a IoA fan, but Potter will get me back there again and again. (I don’t want to even think what the expansion will bring and the new rides at Universal Studios (replacing Jaws) will do for the park. Next time i might have to miss two days of Disney to see it all.

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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…)

Harry Potter is Moving back to London

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

It looks like Harry Potter is moving back to London, England where the movies where taped. According to the news the film studios in Leavesden will be transformed to a real haven for the Harry Potter fan. No need to fly accross the ocean to visit Harry Potter in the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter in the Universal Studios Orlando anymore. Although the attractions will not be the same and the castle in the sunny Orlando weather might just look that “little bit” nicer too.

Warner Brothers will invest 82 million Euro for the new attractions. Work on the attraction could start this year. The rumors has been there before but according to the Daily Mail the project is now been given the green light. It was Rupert Grint, who played the character Ron Weasly in the movies, that spilled the news during a greet and meet event.

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!

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Planning the Next Disney Trip

Friday, June 11th, 2010

You can never start planning a Walt Disney World trip early enough. Not because it’s that difficult, but it’s just so much fun planning and thinking about the next trip.

With a planned trip in August 2011 we still have about 14 months to go, but as a Disney Vacation Club member the 11 month window for booking will be there soon enough.

So the first thing to plan, after dates have been picked, is the location. With our main Disney Vacation Club points being for Disney’s Old Key West it’s no surprise we will be there for the majority of our time. We can squeeze 9 days into it. That leaves me with some points from my Animal Kingdom Villas points. Although we did love the Animal Kingdom Villas, we might be using the points elsewhere.

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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 …

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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

Disney, Marvel and Universal

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Once Disney bought Marvel it was to be expected Universal would be used in the same article more than once. It’s even possible to open it with the three names in the first sentence. They will be linked with each other from now one, something not everybody might like, but unavoidable. Unsurprisingly the three names in one article will refer to the difficulties the new deal of Disney buying Marvel will be for the Universal theme Park. The question of what will happen to Marvel Super Hero Island was one of the first to pop up on many forums. No worries there, as most people already know, Marvel and Universal had signed a contract about 15 years ago where Universal had the sole right to use the characters in a theme Park. This contract has now been inherited by Disney when they bought Marvel and can’t be change. And if it could be change, would they want to? (at this time). The royalties that need to be paid for the use of the licensed characters is a nice bonus for the Walt Disney Company.

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Racing Lighting McQueen

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

The box office in the US is a burning … record after record is falling … while other parts of the economy are hard hit, going out for an evening at the movies seems to be “the” thing to do right now in the US. Past weekend the fourth installment of Universal’s franchise “Fast & Furious” (titled: “Fast & Furious – New Model… Original Parts”) starring Vin Diesel (he is still making movies??), Paul Walker as well as Michelle Rodriguez (which also starred in ABC’s hit series LOST) – all three from the original first movie – did take advantage of the hot box office by leaving several notable box office records in the US behind it in the dust according to reports:

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Unraveling the Theme Park Dreams in the Desert

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Dubai could have become the world capital of theme parks – if all announced and proposed projects would be realised, including amongst others a Universal resort, a Paramount resort, a Marvel comics park, a Dreamworks Studios park and many more. After doubts about the feasibility of this cluster of leisure projects (including the climate challenge, pricing, travel affordibility, employee-availability, …) couldn’t derail the projects, the current economic climate might do just that. As recently posted the SeaWorld parks have been put on indefinite hold and question marks seem to loom (even if only unofficialy) over many of the other projects. According to reports the Formula 1 theme park project “F1-X” in Dubai, which has more than 50% of its construction already completed, got suspended in February as well – due to the “drying up of liquidity from banks and financial institutions”. However, according to the Marketing Director of F1-X “The project is founded on a strong business model that withstands recession whilst allowing for the future growth of Dubai”. The company believes that a financial partner will come forward to capitalise on the opportunity of a half constructed theme park and a project “founded on a strong business model that withstands recession whilst allowing for the future growth of Dubai”. In fact, the company believes that the recent suspension will only delay the opening till 2010…

Considering this series of bad news from Dubai it is worth looking across the border into Abu Dhabi, where just 90 minutes by car frum Dubai, two other projects had been announced: a Ferrari theme park and a Warner Bros. theme park.

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Awesome Aerial Picture of Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

johnnyupsidedown-rockit

While the Mousekingdom Blog is all about the magical world of Disney we can’t help ourself to sometimes talk about some other great stuff in the world of theme parks. For me that’s especially true when it comes to Roller Coasters. It’s never been a secret that I love Island of adventure too (although Harry Potter could change this feeling as I am not a fan of that change in the park), and when visiting Walt Disney World, a visit to the Universal Parks is a given. However, Universal Studios has not been on my list of favorites. Nor me or my family are a fan of the park and the only reason I returned there in 2007 was because of my love for Halloween Horror Night. But… then they came up with Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit and I have been following the project from the beginning. Now, I can’t wait to return to Universal on our next trip to try that monster! All it needed to convince me to visit their park again was too add a great coaster (See how easy I am pleased).

So why this long introduction? Here is one awesome picture from the new ride, taken from a helicopter above the Studios. You can find the big version on the Johnnyupsidedown.com site. Not only will you be able to gaze on the fantastic photo, but you can also follow the work done on the coaster on the site. There are always a great set of construction pictures added on regular basis. Enjoy the ride…

Picture copyrights Jordan Scarano