Archive for the ‘Tourism’ Category

Thrill Ride, Animal Experience, Roller Coaster, and Laundromat (I Think) at Sea World

So now Sea World’s getting a big new coaster too.

It will be part thrill ride and part animal attraction, a theme that visitors will experience from the time they take their place in line until the time they leave the post-ride area, said Joseph Couceiro, vice president of sales and marketing for SeaWorld’s parent company, Busch Entertainment Corp.

“It’s going to have animal components, marine-life components. It will have a very unique, state-of-the-art ride, a roller coaster if you will, that will provide a sensation of gliding,” Couceiro said. “The combination of the animals and the ride is what makes it special.”

As I’ve said, I’m relatively new to Orlando, so I don’t know if these periods of escalation between our theme park overlords are just cyclical. But it certainly seems as though Universal’s acquisition of Harry Potter is putting the other local players on notice…

…although I get the sense we’re still waiting for another shoe to drop over at the Mouse House–they’ve got that Toy Story Mania ride coming to Hollywood Studios but that’s hardly an E-ticket tentpole attraction. Night Kingdom, anyone?

Rat stench a persistent problem at Orlando airport, top customs official says —

I’m having a hard time getting my head around the Orlando International Airport rat thing.

This is going to make me sound like some random crank sitting on his front porch with a shotgun yelling at kids to stay away from his goldarned unmowed lawn, but seriously, dudes and dudettes: How freaking hard is it to keep a major public area used by millions of people on a regular basis free of RATS?!

Isn’t that, like, a basic, fundamental necessity? Table steaks? The place can be kinda dirty, or unorganized, and you may wait in line for two hours to get on a flight, but at least there aren’t RATS rotting in the ductwork. Right?!

I really just don’t get it. It’s like finding out you bought a car and they forgot to put tires on it. How does this happen?!

Universal’s Rockit Brings the Cutting Edge to the Tourist Trap

From an unlikely source comes a tech geek perspective on one of Orlando’s upcoming theme park extravaganzas…

Rockit coaster tapes your ride, produces best YouTube vid ever – Engadget

Reportedly, designers are crafting the so-called Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit to cater to those obsessed with technology (that’s us) by enabling patrons to personalize their ride by choosing their own tunes and creating a music video that can be uploaded for all your envious friends to see as soon as you can whip out that 3G card and mash “upload.”

Is it just me, or does it seem like Universal’s winning the theme park wars? Harry Potter, The Simpsons, Rockit–a couple years from now, a day at Universal is gonna sound a whole lot more fun than a day at Disney.

Aquatica Reviewed

Local Disney expert and writer Kevin Yee has a comprehensive review of Aquatica, Sea World’s new water park.

I don’t really do water parks, cause I only swim in a T-shirt out of fear my pale, flaccid stomach will blind and disgust humanity in general, but if you’re into that sort of thing, it sounds fun.

Sentinel Bloggers to Live Twitter From Universal PR Event

Later today, Universal Orlando is hosting a media junket to introduce the press to it’s new attraction, Disaster!, which is basically an updated version of their previous Earthquake! attraction. Among those covering the event will be the Orlando Sentinel‘s Theme Park Bloggers, who yesterday pledged on their blog that they intend to offer live Twitter updates as things occur.

For those not familiar with Twitter, it’s a website that allows you to post short updates on what’s happening in your life, whether it be links to something you found interesting or just what you had for supper. Posts are limited to 140 characters (letters, spaces, etc), so each Twitter needs to be short and to the point. The site is free to join and free to use. Once you become a member, you can sign up to follow other Twitter users as they post. It also allows posting via online or mobile sources like text messages.

It’s this mobile posting feature that will allow the Theme Park Bloggers to do their live Twitters from the park. I think it could be fun to follow them, and if you do too, simply visit and sign up to follow their feed. The event is supposed to start at 10:30am this morning, but if you miss the start, all posts will be archived for reading on their Twitter feed.

Tourist Claptrap: Magic Connections and Holy Lands

Disney Magic Connection Tests: Info has trickled out about some field tests of a new Nintendo DS-based device for the Disney theme parks. Known as “Disney Magic Connection,” it takes a cue from the “Pal Mickey” robot information thingees that were (are?) offered at the parks, but takes things a few steps beyond just cute one-liners about parades and rides, offering up-to-the-second details on wait times and Fastpass availability, and more:

This “Disney Magic Connection” unit will also reportedly have a feature that will tell guests where their favorite characters are in the park in real time. In addition, this wireless, hand-held device will be able to tell which queue you’re standing in at that precise moment. So that it can then offer you the opportunity to play a game that’s themed to that particular ride, show or attraction. Or just offer you some ride-specific trivia to read while you wait in that line.

I’m a gadget whore so I’d be all over that like webbed feet on Donald Duck.

Improving the Holy Land: The Sentinel had a short write-up (about a week ago) on changes and improvements at the Holy Land Experience, designed to help rehabilitate the struggling Christian theme park.

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