Tag: Theme Park Travel

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What You Need to Know for Universal Studios' Halloween Horror Nights 24

Where: 6000 Universal Blvd [map], Orlando, FL, United States, 32819
October 16, 2014 at 12:28 PM | by | Comments (0)

2014 brings the 24th annual Halloween Horror Nights to Universal Studios Orlando. You know the drill—each 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 the park turns itself into a giant live action horror movie suited for teenagers and adults.

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, the 24th incarnation of fright, Universal went heavy on the intellectual property, AMC's Walking Dead is back again, with Dracula, Halloween, Alien Vs Predator and From Dusk Till Dawn comprising 5 of the 8 houses. Furthermore, "scare zones" are back, there are four of them, but overarching themes are still a thing of the past — tag lines rule the day, and this year’s line is “You’ve Been Warned”.

We toured each of the eight haunted houses and the four scare zones, and while all the houses had plenty to offer, here are this year’s rankings:

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Make Time for Halloween Time at Disneyland (But Don't Waste Time in Buying a Ticket)

October 7, 2014 at 4:07 PM | by | Comment (1)

Disneyland got a BIG head start on the Halloween festivities when they kicked off their annual Halloween Time on September 12, but despite the clever Halloween-themed decorations and costume-clad characters that now fill the park, the real spooky action can be found at Mickey's Halloween Party.

Held on select nights, the party includes Halloween Screams fireworks spectacular, more than 70 trick-or-treat stations, dance parties, creepy craft activities and the chance for you and the fan to roam around Disneyland in your matching Jack Skellington costumes. (Disneyland is one of the few theme parks that do you allow you to dress up, although there are some restrictions.)

As you can imagine, this event is HUGELY popular with Disney fans. So much so that there is only one night left with tickets still available--October 29. Tickets cost $70 a person and include admission to the Disneyland Park up to three hours before the event's start time (6pm) along with complimentary parking.

Can't make it to the party? Then you can enjoy the daytime Halloween festivities at Disneyland which include haunted attractions on rides like the Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain; the Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch where kids can play games, do crafts and get made over into pirates, and a special Dia de los Muertos skeleton display tucked inside Frontierland.

Disneyland Park tickets start at $96 for kids 10 and up while Park Hopper tickets, which give you access to Disney's California Adventure, start at $150.

[Photo: Jaunted]

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What Does the 'Rougarou' Name of Cedar Point's Next Coaster Mean?

September 22, 2014 at 1:40 PM | by | Comments (0)

Cedar Point's record-breaking Mantis roller coaster may still have a little more than two weeks yet to live, but already the paint cans are open and hype machine on high for the ride's transformation to "Rougarou."

Losing its primary colors in favor of a fiery orange, Mantis ends its run on October 19 and will lose the stand-up style trains to become a sit-down "floorless" coaster named for a fictional monster. Or maybe it's not so fictional?

According to BigFootEvidence.com (hmm), a "Rougarou" is something not very nice:

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Where to Visit the Post-Apocalyptic Labyrinth of 'The Maze Runner'

September 19, 2014 at 12:44 PM | by | Comments (0)

Do you think you could survive The Maze? Starting today, Maze Runner fans will have the chance to test their skills in The Maze Runner Adventure - Live.

Based on the movie, the new ride at Sydney's Luna Park is set in the post-apocalyptic world where Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) learns he is trapped in a maze with a community of other young men.

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How Universal Orlando is Building Voluntourism into a Vacation Package

September 3, 2014 at 3:45 PM | by | Comments (0)

There are plenty of ways to give back while vacationing in Orlando, and now Universal is offering families an option as part of an easy package.

Universal Orlando Resort is offering guests the chance to volunteer at Give Kids The World Village, a cost-free storybook resort for children with life-threatening illnesses, in exchange for discounts on their own vacation.

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One of the World's Most Extreme Roller Coasters Enters Final Days

September 2, 2014 at 4:35 PM | by | Comments (0)

"Mantis gets squashed October 19."

These ominous words now greet visitors to the official Facebook page of Cedar Point, the Ohio amusement park known for its plethora of record-breaking rollers coasters. These words mean only bad news from Cedar Point, as their Mantis coaster will cease to operate after October 19, but no future plans have been announced.

Mantis was constructed at a cost of $12 million, and debuted for the summer of 1996. For that first year, it held a record with the "World's Tallest Vertical Loop," and the 3900' feet of track attracted coaster enthusiasts from around the world, all champing at the bit over experiencing an extreme stand-up coaster.

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A Peek at Hogsmeade Within The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Four Years Later

August 13, 2014 at 4:02 PM | by | Comments (0)

Magic is seriously in the air this summer, and we've been in Orlando for the first days of the newest addition to Universal Orlando: Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The original Hogsmeade park is still very much open, and very popular. Just how popular? Let's take a look.

According to an NPR report and Universal's numbers, "park profits have more than doubled and attendance has increased more than 30 percent" since the 2010 debut of Hogsmeade.

Now that Diagon Alley has debuted and is actively connecting the two parks via the Hogwarts Express train and asking $136 per adult for the privilege of visiting both halves, we're looking to see how the original has fared over four years.

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Miss the Crowds and Save with Orlando's Magical Deal Month This September

July 25, 2014 at 11:16 AM | by | Comments (0)

When Labor Day weekend caps the busy summer season in Orlando, the city will usher in a full month of deals and promotions as the kids go back to school during the month of September.

Marketed as Orlando's Magical Deal Month, discounts on hotels, restaurants, and about 150 theme parks are aggregated on a special website from Visit Orlando. Savings at Disney World, Universal, and Sea World are available, as well as $33 three-course prix-fixe dinners and hotel/dining combination packages throughout the city.

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Japan Just Opened a Wizarding World of Harry Potter of Their Very Own

Where: Osaka, Japan
July 21, 2014 at 4:06 PM | by | Comments (0)

While the world is still buzzing from last month's debut of the new Diagon Alley park at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Japan is celebrating their own piece of the pie.

On July 15, 2014, Universal Studios Japan opened their own version of the original Harry Potter park, Hogsmeade, which first swung open its doors in 2010 in Orlando.

All told, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter cost Universal Studios Japan ¥45 billion ($442.2 million) to construct, but they're hoping it'll rake in ¥5.6 trillion ($55 billion) over the next 10 years.

Universal Studios Japan debuted in 2001 and quickly became the second most visited amusement park in Japan, after Tokyo Disneyland. This Hogsmeade addition may be missing one or two things (like the Dragon Challenge Roller Coaster) from the Orlando park, but it makes up for the edits with a few new additions (and the park's "Jaws" area is still intact!).

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A Complete Survival Guide to Diagon Alley at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

July 16, 2014 at 4:10 PM | by | Comments (0)

Magic is seriously in the air this month, as we've been in Orlando for an early preview of the newest addition to Universal Orlando: Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Last week was the official Grand Opening, but here you'll find all the juiciest tips for enjoying the most exciting amusement park debut of the year.

Thinking of heading to the new Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter park at Universal Studios Orlando? You better be ready to sweat, wait in long lines, and yet enjoy it all along. But still, it's a good idea to do your homework for something like this, which will see record visitors for the next few months (at least!) and which will try your spending power to the max.

Jaunted's Quick and Dirty Survival Guide for Diagon Alley:

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75 Original Photos of Diagon Alley and the Hogwarts Express, at Universal Orlando

July 9, 2014 at 12:35 PM | by | Comments (0)

Magic is seriously in the air this month, as we've been in Orlando for an early preview of the newest addition to Universal Orlando: Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Yesterday was the official Grand Opening, but here you'll find all the juicy photos of the most exciting amusement park debut of the year.

Seven hours was the average wait time to experience all Universal Orlando's new park had to offer yesterday, during The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley's Grand Opening. That's actually not much of a surprise considering the wait was closer to 8 hours during the 2010 debut of the sister park, Hogsmeade, which now joins Diagon Alley to form a Potter powerhouse of experiences, shopping, rides, and refreshment at Universal Orlando and Islands of Adventure.

Don't let the 7 hours intimidate, however; that's just first day frenzy. Although what Universal has created with Diagon Alley is a stupefyingly tremendous world straight from the JK Rowling novels and resulting films which everyone should see, waits for the Gringotts ride and more should settle to a manageable 2 hours-ish as the summer progresses.

What you won't have to wait for are photos of the new park, as we've got full, original photo galleries of over 75 images from our own visit. Enjoy:

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How Universal Orlando's New Diagon Alley Gets It Very, Very Right

July 1, 2014 at 9:48 AM | by | Comments (0)

Magic is seriously in the air this month, as we've been in Orlando for an early preview of the newest addition to Universal Orlando: Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This weekend saw the soft-opening, but here you'll find all the juicy details of the most exciting amusement park debut of the year.

Diagon Alley has been described as 9 new shops and 1 new ride. While that's true in the most bare-bones sense, a visit to Diagon Alley reveals that it's an immersive world unto itself, where no detail is too small and from which no visitor will leave without some degree of awe.

In fact, we think Diagon Alley improves upon the original 2010 Hogsmeade portion of The Wizarding World, as one would hope after having four years to tweak and test. Here's why:

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