Disney Springs to replace Downtown Disney!

Walt Disney World has announced that its popular Downtown Disney shopping and dining districts will be receiving a massive makeover and expansion transforming into a complex called Disney Springs telling a new story born of Florida’s past.

Legend of Chima comes to Legoland!

Legoland has announced a new area called the World of Chima, based on the popular Lego product line with tribes of mystical animal warriors is coming to Legoland this year.

Transformers Invade Universal Studios!

As the opening of Transformers: The Ride 3D draws near Universal have now opened the Transformers gift shop and the Transformers have arrived! The Transformers have invaded Universal Orlando allowing the crowds to have meet and greets with larger than life autobots that look absolutely incredible!

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2013

Excitement is in bloom at Epcot theme park this spring with the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival presented by HGTV which takes place between March 6th to May 19th 2013!

Antarctica by SeaWorld Opens May 24th 2013!

Orlando’s must see 2013 attraction - Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin - will open to guests on 24th May at SeaWorld Orlando. Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin will transport families into a rarely seen, icy world. Visitors will feel the majestic grandeur of the South Pole and see it through the eyes of a penguin on an exhilarating, first-of-its-kind family ride.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Hollywood Drive In Golf: Photo Update

Universal Orlando is moving right along with Hollywood Drive-In Golf, its twin miniature-golf courses under construction at Universal CityWalk. We’re now seeing a lot of signage, big and small, plus a slew of tombstones and little green men. We’re at a point now where folks aren’t saying “What is that?” upon approach. It’s clearly miniature golf.

The courses are scheduled to open to the public sometime in February but here's a sneak peak of what is in store:

As you can see, work is almost complete on this great new attraction due to open in February. Be sure to check back for more news and updates as they happen!

Source: [ Orlando Sentinel ]

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Universal Announcement Roundup: The Year to Be Here

The wait is over and boy was it worth it! In today's press announcement Universal Orlando announced it's upcoming plans and has dubbed 2012 'The Year to Be Here'.

2012 will bring something new for everybody and there will be new additions across not only Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure but also CityWalk and Wet n' Wild.

From a new Blue Man Group show and newly re-created experience inside one of Universal Orlando’s most popular attractions to a stunning parade, spectacular nighttime show and brand-new blockbuster attraction based on an incredibly popular film – Universal Orlando Resort is bringing guests more new entertainment across our entire destination in 2012 than during any other year in their history.

The new experiences will begin debuting in February. Guests will discover the exhilarating entertainment of a new Blue Man Group show; marvel at breathtaking new animation and effects in The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man; dance and celebrate with their favorite animated characters during Universal’s Superstar Parade and relive memorable moments from Universal Pictures most powerful and beloved films during the nighttime show Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular – 100 Years of Movie Memories. And coming this summer – families will laugh together as they are transformed into minions for an incredible adventure inside the new Despicable Me Minion Mayhem attraction.

Universal Orlando will also be marking the Universal Pictures Centennial Anniversary Celebration during 2012 with a series of events to be announced throughout the year.

“We are about to offer our guests a historic range of incredible new entertainment experiences,” said Alice Norsworthy, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Universal Orlando Resort. “This year will be filled with excitement and entertainment for the entire family.”

The new 2012 experiences at Universal Orlando Resort include:

Blue Man Group ~ Opening February 2012 at Universal CityWalk

Universal Orlando’s Blue Man Group show is taking their unique and captivating mash-up of high energy music, comedy, audience participation and collective exhilaration to another level. Featuring a new show environment, new music, new technology and new experiences, the show will allow audiences to join the Blue Men as they discover, engage and explore the world’s obsession with cutting-edge technology. Signature Blue Man Group moments combine with breathtakingly fun new pieces for an explosive evening of entertainment. New show elements include the curious Blue Men interacting with enormous “GiPads,” a funny and insightful look at contemporary communication vehicles, and a pulsating new finale with an original Blue Man Group music score that will have guests jumping to their feet. Look closely – you may even see the Blue Men take a spin on one of Universal Orlando's most popular attractions.

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ~ Experience March 2012 at Islands of Adventure

Universal Orlando is transforming what is already one of the most amazing attraction experiences ever created into what will feel like an all-new adventure. The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man will soon feature all-new, 4K digital high-definition animation, new high tech 3-D glasses and upgrades to the set, audio and lighting systems. The re-animation of the ride film will include an entirely new level of detail for guests to discover, including a cameo by legendary comic book icon and Spider-Man co-creator, Stan Lee.

Universal’s Superstar Parade ~ Opening Spring 2012 at Universal Studios Florida

Some of today’s most beloved characters and stories will bring new adventure to the streets of Universal Studios during Universal’s Superstar Parade – an all-new daily parade that features larger-than-life floats, state-of-the-art technology and hundreds of energetic street performers. Guests will sing and dance along with characters like the minions from Despicable Me, E.B. from the hit comedy, Hop, Nickelodeon’s Dora & Diego and SpongeBob SquarePants during the interactive experience. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy performances and character meet and greets prior to the parade at select locations throughout the day.

Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular: 100 Years of Movie Memories ~ Opening Spring 2012 at Universal Studios Florida

Narrated by award-winning actor and recent Golden Globe - Cecil B. DeMille honoree, Morgan Freeman, Universal Orlando’s brand-new nighttime show, Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular, will celebrate the most powerful and emotional moments from Universal Pictures’ most iconic films – all on cutting-edge waterfall screens within the Universal Studios lagoon and surrounded by colorful fountains and pyrotechnics. The experience will take guests on a journey through epic cinematic moments filled with heroes, horror, laughter, good vs. evil and triumph. The new show opens this spring, runs all summer and then on select nights through the end of the year.

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ~ Opening Summer 2012 at Universal Studios Florida

Universal Orlando’s newest attraction, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, will take guests on an unforgettable 3-D adventure with their favorite characters from the hit film – Gru, Margo, Edith, Agnes and the mischievous minions. The experience begins when guests enter Gru’s home, where they learn that they’re being recruited to become minions and undergo “minion training.” Things don’t go as planned, and guests find themselves on a wildly hysterical journey with Gru and his daughters. Once guests make it through training, they join an interactive, minion-inspired dance party where they can show off their best moves.

Universal’s Creative team is working closely with Chris Meledandri’s Illumination Entertainment to bring this all-new adventure to life in the most authentic way possible. In fact, the beloved characters in the attraction will be voiced by the film’s original cast: Steve Carell (Gru), Miranda Cosgrove (Margo), Dana Gaier (Edith) and Elsie Fisher (Agnes). The ride’s experience is being developed by the same creative team that brought you the award-winning film, Despicable Me. The motion-picture event Despicable Me 2 arrives in theaters on July 3, 2013.

Other New Experiences Opening this Year
Hollywood Drive-In Golf a unique 36-hole miniature golf experience inspired by the classic drive-in movie era, will open in February at Universal CityWalk.

A great, new immersive retail entertainment experience that will become home to SpongeBob SquarePants and other characters from the number one kids animated TV series, Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants. It will open inside Universal Studios this year.

Minutes away from Universal Orlando, the popular Wet ‘n Wild water park will open its first interactive family water play area this summer – allowing everyone in the family to splash and swim together. Amidst lush, tropical landscaping, the new area will feature 15 water slides and more than 100 soakers, jets, waterfalls and water cannons - making it the largest interactive water play experience in Florida.

Here is the full announcement video:

Are you going to 'Be There' this year? We know we are!

Let us know in the comments!

Monday, 23 January 2012

New TurtleTrek Artwork & Details

Back in November, SeaWorld announced a new 360 degree 3-D attraction by the name of TurtleTrek. New details and artwork have emerged as part of a new webisode series revealing a host of information for us to feast our eyes on.

Hosted by creative director Brian Morrow, the video shows off TurtleTrek’s “first on the planet” 3-D 360 degree dome theater and emphasizes the live animal exhibit that will accompany it.

The theater will present a 3D show that follow sea turtles on a journey “over hundreds of thousands of miles.” But like most of SeaWorld’s attractions, TurtleTrek will “blend” close-up animal encounters with the attraction itself, featuring not only sea turtles but also manatees.

Here’s a closer look at the artwork shown off in the video, including a complete cut-out building elevation, as well as a look inside the construction of the TurtleTrek dome screen.

SeaWorld Orlando is promising more details on the creation and testing TurtleTrek in the weeks and months leading to its Spring 2012 opening.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Universal to Make Special Announcement on January 25th

Universal Orlando will be making a Special Announcement on Wednesday regarding some of the new experiences they will introduce during 2012.

Universal Orlando has announced plans to reveal details, artwork, pictures, and video about all of the upcoming new experiences that will debut this year. Similar to the announcement of the Despicable Me attraction in May, a media-only webcast will be held on January 25, 2012 offering a “first look at each experience” promising to not only include a further look at Despicable Me and upgrades to The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, but also “more new and exciting entertainment experiences.”

Via the company's Official Facebook Page, Universal Orlando is promising its fans “ALL the details about ALL the amazing new experiences starting with hints & sneak peeks leading up to the big announcement” next week.

Beyond Despicable Me and Spider-Man, we know Universal will soon be debuting the Hollywood Drive-In Mini Golf being constructed in Universal CityWalk. For their 100th anniversary, the original Universal Studios also revealed that part of the celebration will be announcing a new “entertainment experience” for Universal Orlando – the same wording used to describe next week’s webcast.

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It is likely that the new experience is the rumoured lagoon show for Universal Studios Florida, possibly based on Universal Studios’ vast history of films. It has also been hinted that a new parade is being developed for Universal Orlando, a topic that should be discussed during the webcast.

However, Universal Orlando has confirmed that the replacement for the Jaws ride will not be part of the announcement.

From their Facebook page: “And, some of you may be wondering whether that announcement will include an update on what we have planned for the JAWS! area… We want you to know that won’t be part of our announcement.”

But they are promising to bring “more new entertainment experiences for you in 2012 than during any other year in our history.”

Universal Orlando recently confirmed a major expansion of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but that topic may not be visited during this announcement webcast, as it seems to specifically be focusing on items that will debut in 2012, not beyond.

Check back here on Wednesday for a round-up of all the news from the Universal Orlando Announcement!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Despicable Me to Replace Jimmy Neutron in 2012!

Universal Studios Orlando announced plans to retheme its Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast attraction with a new "Despicable Me" storyline for 2012.

Using high-definition digital technology, the new 3-D "Despicable Me" motion-simulator attraction at the Universal Studios Florida theme park will borrow elements from the animated movie and several film shorts to create a new story line featuring the supervillain Gru, his adoptive daughters and the little yellow minions.

“First you’ll be taken into Gru’s house,” said Thierry Coup, head of Universal's Creative Studio. “And then you’ll get to see his lab.”

Along the way, the audience is turned into minions, trained by the evil Gru, and eventually takes part in a post-show dance-party finale.

Coup said it was too early to confirm if any of the film's voice cast, including Steve Carell as Gru, will take part in the theme-park attraction.

The long-rumored "Despicable Me" attraction is the first theme-park ride based on a Universal animated film. A sequel to the movie is expected in 2013.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Spider-Man Ride to Go HD in 2012!

Universal Studios Orlando has announced plans to digitally refresh the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man motion-simulator ride for 2012.

The motion-simulator ride will keep the same storyline but get a complete digital makeover with 13 re-animated 3-D scenes.

Testing has already begun on the Electro and Hydro scenes, with the ride expected to go down for only a few weeks just before the 2012 relaunch.

Watch this space for the latest updates on everything Florida!