Summer may just be getting started, but I’m already looking forward to fall and the return of my favorite event at Magic Kingdom Park, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. And this year’s party will be extra fun with the introduction of an all-new show on the Castle Forecourt Stage.
In “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular,” the mischievous Sanderson Sisters from Disney’s “Hocus Pocus” return to the mortal world for one night during the Halloween season. With only a few hours to run amuck, the three sisters decide to use their magic to throw the best, evil Halloween party this side of the graveyard!
Opening summer 2016, Mako will be the tallest, fastest and longest coaster in Orlando.
Mako will be a hypercoaster, designed for speed and relentless "air time."
SeaWorld Orlando will now have a portfolio of 5 thrill rides: 3 distinctly different coasters, plus 2 family coasters.
The 2-acre realm of the park will now be fully themed around sharks: including Mako, Shark Encounter, Sharks Underwater Grill, themed gift shops, shark and shipwreck theming and educational experiences.
Surfacing summer 2016 at SeaWorld Orlando will be Mako, a 200-foot-tall hypercoaster that will reach 73 mph along 4,760 feet of steel track — nearly a mile long — and leave riders feeling both breathless and weightless. Named for one of the ocean's fastest known sharks, Mako will be Orlando's tallest, fastest and longest roller coaster.
"On Mako, you'll experience what it's like to be this apex predator, surging through the water at top speed and chasing prey throughout a massive reef," said Brian Morrow, SeaWorld's attraction creative director. "It will be a wild mix of fear, thrills and fun."
Mako's tight turns and speed are inspired by reality. Mako sharks — also called "blue pointers" — are known for their top speed, making extreme jumps and the ability to quickly change course as they pursue their prey.
The new coaster will become one of the world's few true hypercoasters, a group of roller coasters known for high speeds and steep drops and hills that create a feeling of weightlessness or "air time." As the sleek coaster cars crest each hill, riders float, nearly weightless.
Mako is manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard, a company renowned among coaster enthusiasts. B&M has built many of the world's top roller coasters, including SeaWorld's Manta and Kraken, and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay's SheiKra.
SeaWorld's new hypercoaster will be the centerpiece of the newly themed surrounding realm. The two-acre plaza now will be fully shark themed including Mako, Shark Encounter, Sharks Underwater Grill, shops, shark and shipwreck theming and educational experiences featuring sharks.
The entire realm is created to make guests feel they're underwater, part of the group of sharks and toothy animals that have taken over a shipwrecked reef.
In the plaza, guests will learn about the impact humans are having on sharks and why these animals are critical to the environment. Sharks are hunted for their fins — considered a delicacy in certain countries — and thousands are caught accidentally in nets. Several species of sharks are on the verge of extinction.
"It's this blend of education and thrills, immersing guests in an underwater world, that sets a SeaWorld ride apart from others," said Morrow.
"Our fans will love how Mako complements our other rides. Kraken is big, monstrous and twisty. Manta is massive and glides smoothly, taking you on a flight like a huge ray. Mako is entirely different. It's streamlined and fast, just like a mako shark. There's no wasted motion, it's all speed and dives."
Mako uses a unique sound system to enhance the experience, and not just for those on the ride. The full score of Mako can be heard and follows riders out of the station and up the lift hill. Custom surround effects and musical scores fill the realm, changing as the coaster dives through the area.
At night, specialty lights will accent the coaster trains, realm and track, flickering and shimmering, simulating fish being scattered by a mako on the hunt.
Follow the Mako frenzy using the hashtag #NothingFaster. Visit SeaWorldOrlando.com for more information and updates on the new ride.
Thunder Road is gearuing up for its final ride. The wooden roller coaster will carry its last guest on July 26 after 39 years and nearly 40 million rides, according to a Carowinds news release. The ride is being retired to make room for future park growth which is part of a more than $50 million multi-year investment plan.
“Everything that you see, we're doing for our guests,” spokeswoman Laresa Thompson said. “This is what our guests have asked for. We heard you, we're listening.” The park added Fury 325, along with 900 more parking spaces and officials said to expect more surprises soon.
I’ve always dreamed of getting up close and personal with a dinosaur. Now my dream has finally come true!
Velociraptors have arrived at Jurassic Park in Universal’s Islands of Adventure! That’s right—starting this weekend, you’ll get the chance to see these magnificent creatures face to face in an all-new experience: Raptor Encounter.
The encounter is located between Camp Jurassic and the Jurassic Park Discovery Center.
Your experience begins when you approach a paddock where the raptor will be contained. You’ll learn some cool facts about the dino that you may not have known—like that an adult Velociraptor can reach upwards of 96 kilometers per hour in the open!
It's no surprise that after the gangbuster business Universal raked in last year for its Halloween Horror Nights, the theme park announced it is expanding the scare-fest to a record 30 nights and doubling the number of actors roaming the park to startle visitors.
Universal Orlando on Tuesday fired off an early Halloween Horror Nights 2015 tease, complete with video of Jack the Clown, an insane clown serial killer who has been a popular icon of the event over the years.
"Did you miss me?" he says.
Last week, gaming giant Nintendo and theme park behemoth Universal Parks & Resorts announced a landmark partnership to bring Nintendo's iconic characters to its amusement parks. The announcement paves the way for Mario to sit alongside Harry Potter, The Simpsons, Transformers, and other major media franchises that already have dedicated areas at Universal parks around the world.
But how did the major deal come to be?
Nintendo chief executive Satoru Iwata offered an explanation during a recent earnings briefing with analysts, the English translation of which was published today. He said discussions with Universal executives began in April 2014, when the theme park first proposed the idea to Nintendo.
Six Flags Fiesta Texas is unveiling the ninth and most exciting coaster in the park’s 23-year history — BATMAN™: The Ride, available to guests on May 23, kicking off the park’s anticipated daily summer season. After being lifted straight up a 120-foot hill, this 4D Wing Coaster challenges riders to “face their fears” as they flip head-over-heels from four to eight times along the weightless, tumbling journey. Along the way on this 4th dimension free-fly coaster, thrill seekers experience exhilarating coaster hills and unexpected drops along with an interactive ride experience, making it a different sensation each time guests ride. BATMAN™: The Ride allows adrenaline seekers to soar outside the confines of the track and fly like Batman.
“We are thrilled to deliver a ride experience not to be found anywhere else on earth. Not only does BATMAN™: The Ride utilize the latest innovative technology, it is highly interactive and will deliver something new for every rider. It’s a great complement to our existing ride offerings and should be quite a hit with thrill seekers and season passholders alike. The ultra-smooth, unanticipated tumbling will add a new element as riders travel along the dipping and swirling track,” said park president Neal Thurman.
BATMAN™: The Ride features a massive, imposing, floating and twisting track frame, in which ride vehicles begin their journey by traveling up a 120-foot elevator-type lift before being released for their highly unusual sensory journey—including two beyond-vertical free falls, in addition to four to eight head-over-heels flips. Not only is BATMAN™: The Ride the most exciting thrill ride in Six Flags Fiesta Texas history, it is currently not available anywhere else on the planet. This attraction, based on the popular DC Comics Super Hero, will offer a total immersion into the Batman storyline with numerous special effects including the world-famous Batmobile and Bat-Signal.
The unique construction of BATMAN™: The Ride features:
The world’s first, one-of-a-kind onboard magnetic technology featuring four to eight smooth head-over-heels free-fly flips providing guests the feeling of weightlessness as they soar outside the confines of a traditional track;
A 4D wing coaster that seats up to eight and has riders “face their fears” by allowing them to physically face each other as they tumble head-over-heels;
A 120-foot tall hill that is ascended by an elevator-style lift straight up;
Two beyond 90-degree raven drops giving the sensation of free-falling;
Five vehicles with eight passengers each;
A Bruce Wayne/Batman theme throughout the queue line featuring the Batmobile and Bat-Signal.
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Every epic journey has a start. Busch Gardens’ journey started May 16, 1975 and is 40 years in the making.
A specially-commissioned 40-minute documentary brings together past and current park executives and some of the park’s most enthusiastic fans to talk about their experiences. The piece explores the park’s humble roots as a hospitality tour and its gradual transformation into a modern theme park with old-world charm. Park guests can see the story of Busch Gardens® unfold during a limited, one-day screening in the park's Globe Theatre on Sunday, May 17, 2015.
Limited quantities of the commemorative DVD 40 Years of Fun: The Story of Busch Gardens will be available for purchase at merchandise shops throughout the theme park, including The Emporium, Tempesto™ shop and Das Festhaus®.
Visitors to the park this year can trace its 40-year history during their visit by finding the 40 historical markers placed in the park’s villages. Ever wonder what happened to Glissade? Want to know what beloved attraction called Busch Gardens home before Griffon® began thrilling guests in 2007? Busch Gardens' most nostalgic moments are memorialized with pictures and stories throughout the park so guests can learn about the park's heritage while they enjoy a day of thrilling entertainment.
I’m thrilled to share that Nintendo and Universal Parks & Resorts today announced plans to bring the world of Nintendo to life at Universal theme parks.
Together, these two storytelling giants will create spectacular, dedicated experiences based on Nintendo’s wildly popular games, characters and worlds.
The agreement brings two icons of entertainment together and represents a significant partnership for Nintendo as it expands the reach and popularity of its characters and intellectual property.
Six Flags' Goliath Awarded Longest Drop, Fastest, Steepest Wood Coaster by Guinness
Yesterday, Six Flags Great America opened for its 40th season of operation. To open the new season, Six Flags held a dedication ceremony where last year's new coaster, Goliath was officially recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as being the fastest, steepest, and having the longest first drop of any wood coaster in the world. The event was attended by various media and coaster enthusiast clubs.
Goliath was officially measured by the Guinness Book and was awarded the three records in the wood coaster category. The first drop of the coaster was awarded the new crown for longest drop at 180 feet. It is still not the tallest wood coaster in the world which is held by T Express at Everland in South Korea. The tunnel that the coaster dives into though allows the ride to beat out previous record holder El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure. The second record for steepness was officially measured at 85.13 degrees. The third record for speed was officially measured at 71.89 mph once again beating out the previous record holder, El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure.