theme parks

Mickey’s Soundsational Parade is Sensational!

MICKEYS_SOUNDSATIONAL_LOGO

We had the chance to finally catch this delightful parade at Disneyland over the summer, and we couldn’t be more impressed.

Here’s the official description from the Disneyland website:
Rhythmic beats hit the streets of Disneyland Park! The colorful Mickey’s Soundsational Parade arrives with a chorus of live musicians, dancers, catchy cadences, bold percussion, Disney Characters and whimsical floats that bring to life beloved melodies from classic Disney movies. Continue reading

Halloween Horror Nights 23…all the bloody details!

Universal Orlando Resorts UOR

Universal Orlando has released all the final details of this years Halloween Horror Nights event. After teasing us for weeks, we must say we are impressed. This year they’re going all out with zombies, zombies and more zombies. We’ve got Resident Evil, The Walking Dead, Evil Dead, and Cabin In The Woods, which all are either about zombies or feature zombies. In addition, all the scare zones are themed to The Walking Dead. We think this will be a vast improvement over last years roaming hoards of scare actors, with the return of richly detailed set pieces. We can’t wait to visit this years event. Take a look below for all the bloody details! Continue reading

Marvel and Hero Ventures Announce A New Super Hero Themed Entertainment Experience

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4D Motion Ride Is Centerpiece of Interactive National Tour Launching in 2014 by World Class Investor and Production Teams

August 22, 2013, Los Angeles, CA – Hero Ventures, a Los Angeles based entertainment company, announced today that it is teaming up with Marvel Entertainment to create “The Marvel Experience,” an innovative, traveling experience, featuring dozens of Marvel’s iconic Super Heroes. This attraction will appeal to a multi-generational audience and will leverage state-of-the-art interactive and multimedia technology, including a 4D motion ride and original 3D animated features, allowing fans to be a part of the action. The tour comes to life in 2014.
Founded by sports and entertainment industry entrepreneurs Rick Licht and Doug Schaer, Hero Ventures is dedicated to producing unique themed entertainment experiences. Solidifying the management team are Michael Cohl, former Live Nation Chairman and legendary live event impresario, along with his Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark co-producer and PRG founder Jeremiah “Jere” Harris, who will serve as lead producers. The team is rounded out by co-founding partner Jason Rosen.

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Initial “A” round investors include Oscar winning film producer and co-owner of the NFL’s New York Giants, Steve Tisch; Roy P. Disney and Shamrock Holdings; Guess Jeans co-Founders Maurice & Paul Marciano; WWE®; Vista Equity Partners President Brian Sheth; Ross Hilton Kemper and Enlight Media, among others. In addition, Tisch, Shamrock’s Stanley Gold, Maurice Marciano, WWE’s Basil V. DeVito, Jr. and Enlight’s David B. Miller will serve alongside Licht, Schaer, Cohl and Harris on Hero Ventures Board of Directors.
The Marvel Experience is a “first-person” Super Hero adventure in which audiences step into the Marvel Universe to become a part of the story and the action. Innovative tour elements include a one-of-a-kind, traveling dome complex the size of two football fields developed exclusively by Hero Ventures. In addition to the 4D motion ride and 3D animated features, other components will include digitally projected animation, motion-comic origin stories, virtual reality and holographic simulations, original merchandise and integrated social media touch points all carefully woven into the rich narrative story line.

“Hero Ventures is developing a themed entertainment concept that we expect will be a transformative, traveling destination that will deliver to fans and families an exciting, groundbreaking and unique experience,” says Marvel’s VP of Business Development, Sean Haran. The characters and stories of the Marvel Universe are beloved around the world by ages young and old as seen with the recent global box office records for Marvel’s The Avengers and Marvel’s Iron Man 3.

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“The dynamic creative elements we’re developing are going to enable anyone to feel like a Super Hero like Spider-Man or Captain America,” says Hero Ventures’ CEO Rick Licht. “We couldn’t be more excited about our partnership with Marvel. Kids and adults are going to be absolutely inspired, empowered and thrilled from start to finish, with an immersive experience that is not just memorable, but unforgettable!”

Among the creative visionaries behind this $30+ million production is an elite team of creative award winners of Oscars, Emmys, CLIOS, THEOS and other technical and animation awards to their collective credit.
“The Marvel Universe just keeps getting hotter, as seen by the massive world-wide box office and merchandise success of their characters,” says Michael Cohl. “We can’t wait to bring our Marvel vision to life in this first-of-its-kind event.”

ABOUT HERO VENTURES
Hero Ventures, LLC develops and produces live entertainment experiences that delight and surprise consumers through innovative technology. The Company has brought together the best creative and business minds in animation, interactive technology and the live event space to create unparalleled productions to share in new and unprecedented ways with audiences around the world. For more information visit www.hero-ventures.com.
ABOUT MARVEL
Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit www.marvel.com.

HHN 23: First House is Cabin in the Woods

Cabin_In_The_Woods_HHN23The first teaser for Halloween Horror Nights 23 at Universal Orlando has been revealed, along with the first official house announcement:  Cabin in the Woods. Were so pumped about this house, the movie is amazing and terrifying. We can’t wait to see what else is announced over the coming weeks! Continue reading

Wizard filled Transformations ahead at Universal Orlando

Big news today….the owl’s out of the bag!
Universal Orlando has finally announced the worst kept secret since…..well ever. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Phase 2 has been unveiled as the next major addition to the resort.
With Transformers: The Ride, Simpsons Land (or whatever they call it) and now Harry Potter Phase 2 happening…Universal has essentially said “Check-Mate” to Disney for the time being.
That leaves us wondering….what’s next for the resort? Potter has won the hearts of millions of theme park visitors and is going global with additions to Universal Studios Hollywood and Japan in the near future.
What will be the next mega-franchise we see added to a park? Avatarland is still up in the air, and we hear rumblings that Cars Land will be taking it’s place or even being added in addition to it. It’s a very exciting time for theme park fans. Stay tuned.

Hot Attractions for Summer 2013

This week, our focus is on the brand new and exciting attractions opening Summer 2013. Summer is the time of year when parks across the world battle for the attention (and dollars) of tourists and visitors, by debuting their new attractions. These are the coasters, dark rides, water slides and more that will be coming to a park near you. Each year the competiton gets more fierce as coasters go higher and faster, and dark rides get more intense and technologically advanced. Here’s what you can look forward to this summer:

 
Cedar Point: Gatekeeper

Cedar Point Gatekeeper

Riders will enjoy the sensation of flight as they climb the 170-foot lift hill along the beach, then charge toward the main gate at speeds up to 67 mph. Their seats will be suspended from the car, allowing them to soar with nothing above or below them. Throughout the 2-minute, 40-second adventure, they’ll undergo six spine-tingling inversions and roll through the two keyholes, flying directly over the approximately 3 million guests who enter the park each year.
Ripley’s Aquarium of Toronto

Ripleys Aquarium Logo

No official opening date has been set for this brand new aquarium at the base of the CN Tower in Toronto, but construction has been progressing quickly so a late summer opening looks to be possible.
Aqua Twist at La Ronde

aqua-twist-la-rondeThis circular attraction is comprised of nine boats that can seat up to six passengers. Just after boarding and before the ride starts, the floor disappears and is entirely covered with water, allowing each boat to flow and rotate. Boats are equipped with six water pistols so passengers can interact with guests aboard the other boats and with bystanders.

Hong Kong Disneyland: Mystic Manor

Hong Kong Disneyland Mystic Manor Poster

A brand new take on the world-famous Haunted Mansion, this new attraction provides a richly detailed new back story and ditches the traditional Doom Buggies for wi-fi and GPS enabled trackless vehicles. Using the latest technology, this looks to be one of the most technologically advanced attractions Disney has ever created.
Universal Orlando: Transformers: The Ride
Transformers: The Ride
A clone of the mega-awesome attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood an Universal Studios Singapore, except this time it’s two storeys to fit within the confines of New York Street. Expect high-definition 4D projections combined with animatronics, pyrotechnics and pulse pounding soundtrack.
Springfield at Universal Studios Florida

Simpsons Springfield Map

Not yet officially announced, this is another hyper-themed land Universal is adding to the park. You’ll be able to visit the Android’s Dungeon comic shop, Moe’s Tavern and more. A brand new spinning ride will be included in this area of the park themed to Kang & Kodos, the popular aliens from The Simpson television show.
Seaworld Orlando: Antarctica

Antarctica-Empire-of-the-Penguin Poster

Another Hyper Themed Land is opening in Orlando, this time at the gorgeous Seaworld. With a breathtaking new dark ride experience that allows you to get up close and personal with penguins, along with themed merchandise and food locations, it promises to be the “coolest” attraction on earth!
Six Flags Magic Mountain: Full Throttle
Six Flags Full Trottle Coaster
Full Throttle will feature the world’s tallest vertical loop on a roller coaster, in addition to three linear synchronous motor launches both forwards and backwards through tunnels and along the hilly terrain.
World of Chima at Legoland Florida

World of Chima boat ride

The fantastical new World of Chima will immerse guests in the only place in the world that brings the LEGO Legends of Chima to life. Amidst dramatic landscapes and the magical waters flowing from Mount Cavora, families will embark on an interactive water ride, The Quest for CHI. In this epic adventure, families will unleash the power and battle with water cannons in a journey through the diverse world of Chima where they will meet some of the highly advanced animal tribal habitats to help their hero Laval the Lion Prince defeat Cragger the Crocodile King in his quest to steal the mystical energy source, CHI.

Do You Know Disney Stacey?

disney stacey

One of the best parts of heading off to Walt Disney World is plopping down in our hotel room, turning on the television and watching the effervescent Stacey guide us around Walt DIsney World. Who are we talking about… oh so you haven’t met Stacey? She’s the in room host of the Walt Disney World Resort, bopping around showing you the best of what to do! No matter where you stay from Pop Century to Animal Kingdom Lodge, she’ll be the first (and most likely last) person you see on your television.

As quoted from her website:

If you have been anywhere near a television screen at the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando, Florida since 2005 then you have been captivated by a vivacious and adorable woman telling you about the fabulous rides and attractions you’re going to experience during your stay. The hyper-energetic, totally mesmerizing personality, known to her fans as “the human exclamation point” is Stacey J. Aswad. She is the Resort TV host of Walt Disney World’s TOP 7 MUST SEES and MUST DO DISNEY TV shows that loop 24/7 and are watched and memorized by millions of people!

Her full name is Stacey Aswad, and she hails from California. Believe it or not, Stacey has her own cult following. Her Facebook Page has over 1500 fans and she regularly responds to people’s comments. You can even donate $20 to save animals and she will send you an autographed picture.

stacey aswad wdw

She’s been the host of Must Do Disney since 2005. The best part is that each time Disney adds new attractions, they get Stacey to update her original video. If you didn’t notice, the original video was filmed a few years ago!
If you ever feel like you need a taste of home, just watch this video and pretend you’re getting ready to head off to your favourite park:

Don’t forget to visit her official website!

Lost Attractions: Canada's Wonderland Zumba Flume

zumba flume wonderland

Zumba Flume was a classic log flume ride that was located in the Grande World Exposition of 1890. It was removed to make way for Flight Deck (Top Gun).

The ride was one of the original attractions in the Park when it opened in 1981, and entertained over 14 million riders in its 15 years of operation. Zumba Flume was removed to make room for Top Gun (now Flight Deck), which opened in 1995.

top gun canada's wonderland
Flight Deck (Top Gun)

I remember riding this on my very first trip to Canada’s Wonderland in the early 90’s. We got to skip school, and it was wicked awesome! As we were waiting to unload on the turntable, a kid got his leg stuck between the platform and the log. They had to call the Paramedics to pry his leg out and unfortunately it was broken. Maybe this happend a few too many times? Who knows! Either way, the ride was pretty awesome. Look for a shot of it in this classic Wonderland ad:

What’s your favourite lost attraction at Canada’s Wonderland? Comment and let us know!

The Magic of Disney Scents

DisneyScentsIn case you weren’t aware…memories are very easily triggered by scent. This is why you may think of your mother when you walk through a department store and they spray her perfume. Branding works with all five senses, with scent being the most powerful (check out a blog post I wrote for my former employer all about Scent Marketing). Disney knows this, and that’s why they do things such as pump out the smell of baked goods from the Main Street Bakery and popcorn scent at the Popcorn Carts to attract guests. This isn’t exclusive with food items, even certain areas of the parks have a specific smell, and memories of these areas can be triggered by everyday products. We’ve searched far and wide across the web, and found a fantastic list compiled on Disboards all about everyday products that trigger Disney Parks memories.

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One of our favourite smells is when you step off the plane and out into the Florida climate. We just wish we could bottle the mix of heat, humidity and tropical oasis that greets us when we visit our favourite place on earth!

Tall palm trees

Here’s a great list of products that can take you back to some of your favourite Disney locations:
 Old Spice Komodo Body wash = smells just like Norway.
Old Spice Komodo Body Wash – Norway/Laila
Target bathrooms – various WDW bathrooms (clean only) – and Soarin
Citrus Mist air freshner – Soarin
Yankee Candle Home Sweet Home – Be our guest scene from Philarmagic
Loreal Vive Shampoo in the gold bottle – Florida/WDW smell
Glade Christmas Pine – Soarin
L’Oreal Ever Pure with rosemary and juniper shampoo – GF Lobby
Gardenias – Poly
Yankee Candle- Beachwalk candle -ocean scene from Soarin
Yankee Candle – Sun and San – Yacht Club
Glade Apple Spice Air freshner – floating pie from Philharmagic
Bath and Body Worlds Seaside Escape – BC lobby
Burning leaves/woodburning stove – Flame Tree BBQ (be sure to get a permit please)
Elephant cages and or Band Aids – monorail (do what you will with this one)
D & G Light Blue cologne – Soarin beach scene
Yankee Candle Winter Wonderland – Soarin skier scene – piney, wintery and crisp
Bath and Body Works Tropical Spice – Disney resort TBD
Paula Deen Pecan Pie candle – Main St.
Bath and Body Works Sea Breeze cotton – Norway
Clean and Clear morning burst face wash – Soarin orange.
Aloe and Green Clover – Enviroscent – BC lobby
Lush Cosmetics – Soak and Float solid shampoo – burning Rome scene from Space Ship Earth (for those who want to be smokey)
Fabreeze Lavender & Comfort – BC lobby
Rainkissed Leaves and Dancing Waters from B&BW – scenes from Soarin
Oscare Meyer pre-cooked bacon – AKL (yum! – hehehe)
Ocean mens line from B&BW – Soarin
Targets new candle – Sweet Spun Sugar – candy stores in the World.
Soft Soap – Deep Cleaning Sea Mineral Soap – BLT
Sun Inn Hair lightener – AKL
B&BW Sparkling Icicles – Soarin

If you absolutely need to have the real thing, Disney has actually released a line of air fresheners mimicking the smells of Turkey Legs, Mickey Premium Bar, Candy Apple and Mickey Waffles. Now we just need a Dole Whip, Soarin’ and Spaceship Earth burning ember scented air freshener and we’d be set!
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What other everyday items trigger happy memories of Disney, Universal or any other park you enjoy visiting? Leave us a comment and let us know!