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Mako The Ride Is Open!

Mako the Ride is officially open for business at SeaWorld Orlando!

SeaWorld has delivered on its marketing promise with the fastest, tallest, longest coaster in the Orlando market. The ride, manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard, is designed as a “hypercoaster,” which experts define as having a height of 200 feet, high speed, no inversions and a bundle of air time — the lift out of seats that enthusiasts covet.

The lack of upside-down stretches allows the trains to run without over-the-shoulder harnesses. The triangular lap bar covers, well, your lap. They have built-in handles perfect for nervous grippers such as myself.

Some riders will hold on dearly as Mako, inspired by sharks of the same name, goes through its paces. It’s not really a spoiler to share that the coaster goes up and down, up and down, relentlessly. There are nine moments of air time, some of which are created by startling shifts from side to side, SeaWorld designers have said.

That air time made some of my fellow riders wonder if their wallets, keys and other pocket matters were safe. (Lockers are available near Mako’s entrance.)

It’s a long ride. Just when you think it’s pulling back into the station, Mako flings passenger back over walkways, pedestrians and the park’s central lagoon for bonus air time.

Mako’s rail measures 4,760 feet long. The coaster is said to top out at 73 mph, and its first hill is 200 feet high, according to SeaWorld.

Alongside sister coasters Kraken and Manta, SeaWorld Orlando has pulled off a thrill-ride hat trick. The trio could bolster the park’s goal of being less dependent on live animals as entertainment.

 

Video Courtesy of Coaster Crew Via YouTube

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Skull Island Reign of Kong

Attractions Update – Universal Orlando Resort has  revealed big news about its King Kong attraction: The ride vehicles for Skull Island Reign of Kong, opening this summer at Islands of Adventure theme park, are … huge. And they won’t be riding on a rail.

Skull Island: Reign of Kong

Released details for the Skull Island trucks indicate that they will hold up to 72 passengers in 12 rows. They will be 40 feet long, 13 feet tall and weigh in at 17 tons.

According to the attraction storyline, the vehicles will be used to transport theme-park visitors to the homeland of Kong, also the home base to an array of other creatures. The adventures will come about in a new way for the park.

“This is Universal Orlando’s first trackless ride vehicle,” Mike West of Universal Creative says in a “Making of Skull Island” video. “When you depart on your adventure to Skull Island: Reign of Kong, there won’t be a rail or track in sight.”

West also says that “behind the wheel” will be one of five different drivers, each with a different story, which will make for varied experiences on the attraction. Drivers include Becky (a cowgirl), Will Denham (adventurous cousin of a movie director), Jinks Costanza (ex-con from New York City), Kalana (descendant of the island’s natives) and Doc (paleontology student).

Universal has not revealed an opening date for Skull Island Reign of Kong, which has been erected between the Jurassic Park and Toon Lagoon sections of IOA.

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Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Studios is touting a reimagined experience for water-park fans when Volcano Bay opens in 2017.

“Called Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando Resort, it will join Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure and become the resort’s third incredibly immersive park,” reads a Universal Orlando press release.

A rendering released Thursday shows a few new details. It depicts a smoking volcano with a platform near the top. A clear tunnel near that platform appears to contain a water slide, with people pictured exiting the tunnel below, outside a wave pool.

The volcano is the focal point of Universal’s rendering. At the base of the volcano is a walkway that goes toward the center under a waterfall and what appears to be a viewing platform for guests to stand on.

Two other slides, one green and one yellow, are also depicted.

In February, Universal Orlando submitted plans for the water park, which is being built on 53 acres to the south of its Cabana Bay Beach Resort. The park will also include a lazy river and rapids ride, according to plans.

Volcano Bay will be the sixth water park in Central Florida and the second owned by NBCUniversal, the theme park’s parent company. Two are at Disney, one is at SeaWorld, and another is at Legoland Florida in Winter Haven.

A document from International Drive Resort Area Chamber of Commerce had previously shown that Universal’s new water park open in fall 2016.

The 2017 opening follows years of expansion and renovation at the theme park. The park’s wildly popular The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley opened in 2014.

A King Kong attraction called Skull Island: Reign of Kong and the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort are slated to open in 2016.

The themed water park will be a completely immersive experience aimed at families, Universal said.

“It will be a whole new generation of experience that reimagines what it means to be a water park,” Universal said in its release.

Read the original content and at Orlando Sentinal

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Planet Hollywood Observatory To Debut In 2016

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Planet Hollywood, America’s preeminent restaurant destination dedicated to celebrating the entertainment industry, will look toward a new set of stars by transforming its Orlando flagship location into a four-story stargazing observatory set to debut in spring 2016. Regularly at the forefront of industry trends, the reimagined Planet Hollywood Observatory is centrally located and will overlook the heart of Downtown Disney with a newly-expanded outdoor terrace and bar. Within the sophisticated entertainment emporium, patrons of all ages are invited to “Dine Amongst the Stars” through a refreshed yet timeless menu, distinctive outdoor bar and lounge options, an imaginative new merchandise line, and a host of all-star celebrity partnerships.

Intensive renovations and artistic treatments, spearheaded by design firm Elkus Manfredi Architects, will take place early next year and will align Planet Hollywood Observatory with the transformation of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs. Disney Springs will be a one-of-a-kind Disney experience, treating guests by day and night to exceptional dining, shopping and entertainment amid beautiful open-air promenades, flowing springs and waterfront charm.

The Observatory’s exterior will share the Disney Springs turn-of-the-century design aesthetic, while the interior’s refurbished upholstery, spherical planet-shaped lighting fixtures and stylish finishing will create a welcoming atmosphere for fans to celebrate a new generation of superstar entertainers. New dining and lounge options will include a new outdoor terrace and outdoor bar space called Stargazers, which will feature live entertainment while music in the main dining room will be energized by DJ performances.  Walls and glass displays throughout the massive space will be adorned with imagery and memorabilia from various movies paying homage to a long tradition of filmmaking and recognizing beloved newcomers.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of Disney Springs and transform our brand as Disney evolves its exciting new venue,” said Planet Hollywood International Founder and ChairmanRobert Earl. “With Planet Hollywood Observatory, we are refreshing our dining experience as we renew our commitment to the new, rising stars of the entertainment industry — a part of our core mission since inception.”

Refreshed dining options will highlight Planet Hollywood’s timeless classics and introduce a host of updated additions. A curated beverage program will feature a variety of milkshakes, smoothies, wines, bottled and draft beers, as well as cocktails served in specialty glassware to cater to the needs of all guests, from groups with small children to young adults and seniors. Spacious dining rooms ensure comfort for family meals while various bar spaces set the mood for a perfect date.

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Fast and the Furious

Universal Studios have announced that a ride based on Universal Pictures’ huge Fast and the Furious franchise will be coming to Universal Orlando Resort.

Hit the jump for details on the Orlando Fast & Furious ride. As you might know, Fast & Furious: Supercharged opened as part of the famous Tram Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood this Summer. The attraction will be coming to Universal Studios Florida in 2017 as a stand-alone ride which should offer more than the Hollywood version. Universal also released a concept image of what looks to be the queue area for the ride, which will let park guests explore some of the fast cars from the Fast and the Furious film franchise. Orlando Fast and Furious ride Here is the official information – Fast & Furious it will be!

Another great Franchise coming to Universal Studios Orlando!

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