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If you're a Harry Potter fan even in the slightest, you might want to sit down for this news.
Not only has Universal Studios Orlando today revealed the first image of planned additions to come at The WIzarding World of Harry Potter, but they've announced that the new zone will be connected to the original Wizarding World by a recreation of the Hogwarts Express train.
Here's the full details:
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As if Universal Studios wasn't already double-downing on brand new Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme parks coming to their Hollywood and Japan locations, they've even announced a "significant expansion" going on at the Orlando original WWoHP.
That's about all we know for sure, but it's enough to get the rumor mills whirring.
Here's what's being said about the Orlando Wizarding World expansion right now:
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Once again it’s time to break out the bulldozers and construction gear down at Walt Disney World; however, they’re not exactly building a new theme park. What they are doing is revamping and redoing the Downtown Disney area into something a little bit more than just shops and stores. They’re giving it a makeover, so that tourists everywhere will be even more interested in exchanging those hard earned dollars for Disney souvenirs.
They’re calling it Disney Springs, as it looks like they’re going for a kind of retro style with the renovation. The official Disney Parks Blog goes into some detail about how Downtown Disney has been kicking around for 30 years or so, but now it’s time to do something a little better. They even mention that they’ve scrapped existing ideas a couple times; as things the ideas just didn't come together in the right sort of way.
It's that time of year again when all of our friends with kids start planning (and in some cases dreading) their annual trips to Disney. Amusement parks are fun for kids, but it's easy to get burnt out after a few days of non-stop characters, candy, and rides. So why not take a break and do some good at the same time?
Give Kids The World Village in Kissimmee, Florida is a 70-acre resort with over 140 Villa accommodations, entertainment attractions, and fun specifically designed for children with special needs. Give Kids The World has welcomed more than 115,000 families for a once-in-a-lifetime, cost-free vacation.
Halloween Travel / Universal Studios / Halloween Horror / Theme Parks / Thanatourism / Best-Halloween-Theme-Parks / → All Tags
Once again, Universal Studios Orlando is doing its best to scare nightly visitors as the park is in the midst of the 22nd annual Halloween Horror Nights. You know the drilleach fall crowds converge on the park to experience the transformation; by day Universal Studios welcomes guests of all ages to experience the new Despicable Me ride, ET's bike, and pose for photos with Spongebob, while at night (22 nights, ending on Halloween night) the park turns itself into a giant live action horror movie.
A gaggle of writers work year-round to come up with the themes and schemes that inhabit Universal's annual Halloween Horror Nights. For this 22nd incarnation of fright, Universal went heavy on the partnership route, teaming up with AMC's Walking Dead, Penn & Teller, Alice Cooper, and Silent Hill for four of the seven houses. Furthermore, the park ditched the "scare zones," opting to let the legions of horror scareactors freely roam the streets to search for victims in bars, restaurants, lines, and inside every henhouse and outhouse inside park boundaries.
We toured each of the seven haunted houses and searched out all the scareactors roaming the streets and here's what we think, in order from scariest to not-so-scary:
Halloween Horror 22 / Theme Park Travel / Amusement Park Travel / Halloween Travel / Universal Orlando / → All Tags
Yup. Opened a box to find some sort of skull head and it felt very much like a Brad Pitt in Seven moment. This head, however, was not that of Gwyneth Paltrow; this skull belonged to Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights 22. The annual event will take place on select nights between September 21 and October 31st.
This year visitors will try to survive hordes of AMC's The Walking Dead, an Alice Cooper created haunted house, and a Penn & Teller magic trick gone wrong, amongst other experiences.
The skull we received still had hair on it, and the accompanying note said "don't worry, hair continues to grow long after death." Um…yeah.
For the scoop on what Five US Amusement Parks are doing this Halloween, check out our previous story here.
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There few places you can taste French crepes for lunch and, after a little stroll, delight in a Japanese bento box before finishing off with a Mexican churro for dessert. The easiest destination for such multicultural indulgence is Disney's Epcot Center in Orlando. Now, with the International Food and Wine Festival, visitors can taste even more international fare.
The festival is celebrating it's 17th birthday this year and will tickle park-goer taste buds with cuisine from 6 continents. Fill up at 29 food stalls , with tapas-size portions of national cuisine from over 20 different nations. For all you DIYers out there, chefs will even be hosting cooking demos.
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Your summer vacation may have just gotten a little more expensive, as a couple pretty big theme parks have just increased their ticket prices—again. Universal Studios was the first to hike its admission prices a couple of weeks ago as the park raised the one-day ticket price from $85 to $88. That started the battle for the tourist dollars in Orlando, as officials at Disney World have reacted to the competition.
It seems like the parks want to be the most expensive option in town rather than the best deal. We guess the rationale is that if you only have one park from which to choose—and one day to visit—you might as well pay a couple extra bucks to visit the pricey one. After all, everyone know the best stuff costs the most—right?
We didn’t even know that the Spider-Man ride at Universal Orlando was closed for refurbishment, but no need to worry as it’s already back open. Apparently the ride was in need of a little TLC, but engineers and designers did way more than just dusting things off and spaying a little Lysol on the seating surfaces.
According to park officials the new ride is “Mind-blowingly better,” and if we recall it was pretty darn awesome before. It sounds like they ripped out all kinds of the former wires, screens, this, and that and replaced it all with more high tech gadgetry. Park officials are quick to brag about new 4K digital high-definition animation, a new fancy pants 3-D projection system, and even new and improved 3-D glasses to take advantage of all the improvements and upgrades. There’s also a whole new soundtrack and music score to keep your heart pounding as you venture through the world of Spider-Man and his comic book friends.
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For those looking for something a little more intense and riveting than Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, there’s a new option at Walt Disney World to fulfill the need for speed.
The "Exotic Driving Experience" is set to debut at the Walt Disney World Speedway in January 2012, and it looks to connect tourists with the machines of their dreams. Leave the minivan back at home, because it’s all about exotic super cars here. In total there are six different automobiles from which to choose, including options from Audi, Porsche, and a few different beasts from Ferrari and Lamborghini.
SeaWorld Orlando is located right in the middle of a theme park battleground, and they’re not going to just sit back and let Universal Studios and Walt Disney World have all the fun. They’ve already built new coasters and other attractions, but another round of upgrades and improvements might just keep Shamu ahead of Harry Potter and Mickey Mouse.
For one of the park’s largest expansion ever the place is going back to its roots, and they’re doing even more stuff with the animals. SeaWorld is planning to add a new penguin exhibit, but it’s going to be a little bit different than visiting the zoo. Arriving towards the beginning of 2013—Antarctica — Empire of the Penguin—will bring a whole new array of shops and restaurants to the park along with plenty of penguins.
Of course the centerpiece will be a brand new attraction, but one of the many highlights is the plan to introduce some frigid temperatures to park visitors—like Antarctica cold. They’re still finalizing what exactly the new ride will feature, but they’re promising “closer-then-ever animal connections” with “state-of-the-art interactive ride technologies.”
Movie Travel / Universal Studios / The Wizarding World of Harry Potter / Theme Parks / Amusement Parks / Harry Potter / Celeb Travel / → All Tags
As the final Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 makes its way to the DVD today, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando is hosting “A Celebration of the Harry Potter Films” this weekend.
Special vacation packages (which were sold out an hour after going on sale this summer) will give fans a chance to attend Q&A sessions and autograph signing events with Harry Potter cast members, including everyone's favorite ginger Rupert Grint. There will also be red carpet arrivals, galas and screenings of all eight movies at the AMC Universal Cineplex 20 at Universal CityWalk.