Universal Studios Orlando Unveils More Multi-Platinum Acts Performing at 2012 Summer Concert Series

All-New “Summer Concert Ticket” Offer Provides Access to Headlining Concerts for Discounted Rate

All-New “Summer Concert Ticket” Offer Provides Access to Headlining Concerts for Discounted Rate

Universal Studios Orlando is unveiling even more powerhouse performers that will take the stage at the 2012 Summer Concert Series. Every Saturday night beginning June 9 through July 14, Universal Studio Florida will host one of the hottest concert series around, featuring a star-studded lineup that will appeal to fans of every music genre.

This year, music lovers can expect live performances from classic rock to chart-topping country hits, from mainstream hip hop to soulful R&B. Newly announced performers include Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Famer Al Green, who’s recorded timeless hits like “Let’s Stay Together” and “I’m Still in Love with You;” country star Josh Turner, who has topped the U.S. country charts with singles like “All Over Me” and “Why Don’t We Just Dance;” and Grammy award-winning rapper Lupe Fiasco, who has collaborated with other hit-makers like Kanye West, Snoop Dogg and Jay-Z.

These new additions join previously announced musical acts, including the cast of Nickelodeon’s hit TV series, “Victorious,” on June 9, and rock bands ZZ Top and 3 Doors Down on June 16. The full Summer Concert Series lineup is below, and the final musical act will be announced at a later date.

SUMMER CONCERT SERIES 2012 LINEUP

Date &  Headliner

June 9   Cast of Nickelodeon’s Hit TV Series, “Victorious”

June 16  3 Doors Down & ZZ Top

June 23  Josh Turner

June 30  Al Green

July 7   Lupe Fiasco

July 14  TBD

Access to all Summer Concert Series performances is included with admission to Universal Studios Florida. For guests that specifically want to enjoy the concerts, Universal Orlando is offering an all-new ticket that provides one-time access to Universal Studios after 7 p.m. – exclusively for the Summer Concert Series. Available online, the “Summer Concert Ticket” is priced at $59.99 plus tax and will go on sale beginning May 15.

The Summer Concert Series gives guests the opportunity to top off their day of theme park thrills with a headlining concert. By day, guests can enjoy some of the most popular entertainment experiences in the world– including the all-new Universal’s Superstar Parade, a daily parade that features elaborately themed floats that tower above guests, hundreds of energetic street performers and spectacular music and dance performances. By night, park guests can rock out to a live performance by a multi-platinum artist at the Music Plaza, a venue illuminated by the colorful LED lights of Universal Studios’ most rockin’ coaster, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit.

For more information about the Summer Concert Series, visit www.officialticketcenter.com or click here for discount Universal Studios tickets.

Star WarsTM Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios™

May 20, 25-27, 2012, June 1-3, 8-10, 2012

May 20, 25-27, 2012, June 1-3, 8-10, 2012

Star Wars Weekends is off to a great start at Disney’s Hollywood Studios™ as the Star Wars film saga and the hit animated television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars are celebrated by fans from around the world of all generations. The power of the Force and magic of Disney combine as more than 60 Star Wars characters – including Wookiees, droids, Rodians, Ewoks, bounty hunters and Jedi – roam the streets of Disney’s Hollywood Studios™ for meet-and-greet opportunities with Guests. Star Wars celebrities highlight the event, appearing in themed parades, talk shows, star conversations, behind-the-scenes presentations and autograph sessions.

SCHEDULED CELEBRITY APPEARANCES—May 25-27
Andy Secombe (Watto – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace) Ray Park (Darth Maul – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace) Tom Kane (voice of Yoda – Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
The centerpiece of the celebration is the spectacular 3-D attraction, ―Star Tours – The Adventures Continue. The attraction opened last year and uses eye-popping 3-D, a dramatic musical score and motion simulator-based technology to immerse guests in the Star Wars galaxy like never before on a theme park attraction. Limited-edition and event-exclusive merchandise is offered each year, and the ever-popular ―Hyperspace Hoopla ends each Star Wars Weekends day with a show filled with comedy, dancing and high-energy music. With all of the different activities and offerings that take place at Star Wars Weekends, it really is an event that can attract and entertain Guests of all ages. The Star Wars saga is a classic hit and means so much to so many Guests, they won’t want to miss the opportunity to be a part of it all at Disney’s Hollywood Studios™.

Disney Hollywood Studios “Carbon-Freeze Me” Experience at Star Wars Weekends 2012

Disney Hollywood Studios Star Wars Weekend 2012

Disney Hollywood Studios Star Wars Weekend 2012

Walt Disney World Orlando, Fl. ~ This year to Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you’ll have the opportunity to relive the famous carbon freezing scene from The Empire Strikes Back with the “Carbon-Freeze Me” experience. This new experience was created especially for Disney Parks, and is part of Lucas Arts “D-Tech Me” line that uses technology to take personalization to a whole new level.

Using state-of-the-art imaging technology, this experience casts your likeness as a three-dimensional, eight-inch figurine. At the “Carbon Freezing Chamber” (located adjacent to The American Idol Experience), several cameras will capture multiple angles of your face. The images are then reconstructed in a computer for processing, and, in approximately four weeks, the completed figurine is shipped directly to your house.

Each carbonite figurine is $99.95 (plus shipping). You can order additional figurines using the same image scan for $74.95 each. The replica figurine can be hung on a wall, just like the gangster Jabba the Hutt did in Return of the Jedi. Guests also receive a light-up wristband.

The experience will officially open today, Friday May 18 with the launch of Star Wars Weekends 2012. Reservations are required and can be made starting Monday, May 7 by calling 407-WDW-TECH (407-939-8324).

*Please note – Separate Theme Park admission required for Disney’s Hollywood Studios and can be purchased thru The Official Ticket Center. No discounts apply unless otherwise noted. Guests must be at least three (3) years of age to participate. A valid accepted credit card number is required at time of booking. No-shows or in the event a reservation is cancelled within 48 hours of scheduled experience will result in such credit card being charged a $25 cancellation fee. The experience, due to its personalized nature is non-refundable and not eligible for an exchange. Children must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age or older during the entire experience. Certain restrictions may apply. All prices, components and information are subject to change without notice.

SeaWorld Orlando ~ TurtleTrek is Now Open!

The countdown is finally over, and the all-new TurtleTrek is NOW OPEN!

The countdown is finally over, and the all-new TurtleTrek is NOW OPEN!

SeaWorld Orlando, Florida ~ TurtleTrek is a unique blend of up-close animal encounters and state-of-the-art entertainment. You first visit two massive naturalistic habitats, home to gentle manatees (all rescued) and gliding sea turtles, learning what makes each species so special. You’ll then enter a domed theater and what happens next has never before been seen and is a first at any theme park in the world.

Inside the dome, you are surrounded by a hyper-realistic, 3D 360 degree film that takes you on the amazing life journey of a special sea turtle named Nyah. The experience is all around you and even above you– not just in front of you or on only one screen. It’s this all-new and immersive way of showcasing a sea turtle’s epic adventure that is the heart of TurtleTrek. And for the first time, you are given a turtle’s eye view of the ocean’s wonders.

As if that isn’t amazing enough… there’s even more at TurtleTrek: You’ll love competing on the fun (and educational) “Race for the Beach” video game that plays out on enormous video screens. And, TurtleTrek’s gift shop is unique in the way it continues the attraction’s inspiration. And you’ll see exactly how a portion of each dollar spent benefits in-the-field research to help save animals.

As the park’s newest addition, TurtleTrek makes SeaWorld Orlando a must-see this summer. The wait is over. Live the 3D 360 journey at Sea World Orlando’s TurtleTrek… now open!

To learn more, visit www.officialticketcenter.com

Universal Studios Orlando Superstar Parade and Cinematic Spectacular Now Open

Universal's Superstar Parade Now Open

Universal's Superstar Parade Now Open

Orlando, Fla. (May 8, 2012) – Universal’s Superstar Parade and Cinematic Spectacular – 100 Years of Movie Memories officially opens today at Universal Orlando Resort – bringing two brand-new kinds of entertainment experiences to Universal’s guests.

The new experiences are the latest in Universal Orlando’s “Year to be Here” – during which Universal is creating more new entertainment experiences across its entire destination than any other year in its history.  The year began with a newly enhanced Blue Man Group Show at Universal CityWalk, continued with the high-tech re-launch of The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and will continue with the launch of the new Despicable Me Minion Mayhem attraction at Universal Studios Florida this summer.

Universal’s Superstar Parade brings an entirely new form of entertainment to Universal Studios that combines wildly creative floats with hundreds of performers to create whole new levels of fun and excitement. Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular – 100 Years of Movie Memories is a nighttime show that unfolds across Universal Studios’ central lagoon, taking guests on a journey filled with powerful movie moments – stirring both emotion and imagination.

“We are creating special moments for the entire family,” said Jim Timon, Senior Vice President of Entertainment for Universal Orlando Resort.  “You can laugh and dance with your children and their favorite characters and then be completely moved as you watch the most powerful tribute to film you could imagine – all in the same day.”

Universal’s Superstar Parade
The streets of Universal Studios will transform into a theme-park-wide performance stage as today’s most beloved stories and characters bring new adventure and excitement to guests everywhere.  Universal’s Superstar Parade is one of the largest entertainment experiences the theme park has ever created and will make its way through the streets of Universal Studios every day.  It will feature elaborately themed floats that tower above guests, hundreds of energetic street performers and spectacular music and dance performances.  Unforgettable moments include Gru, his daughters and Vector from the blockbuster animated adventure Despicable Me dancing to “Boogie Fever,” Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob arriving in his pineapple home from under the sea with his friends from Bikini Bottom, E.B. from the hit comedy Hop playing the drums and acrobatic performances by characters from Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego, Go! Throughout the day, guests will be able to sing and dance with their favorite characters from the parade during special performances at select locations.

Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular – 100 Years of Movie Memories
The new show is a tribute to Universal’s 100 years of film-making history, highlighting some of the most fun, dramatic, awe-inspiring moments from Universal Pictures’ most iconic films. These moments are shown in crystal-clear clarity on huge waterfall screens within the Universal Studios Lagoon, surrounded by colorful fountains and pyrotechnics, all against an incredible musical score and a powerful narration by Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman. The show will take guests on a journey of epic cinematic moments filled with heroes, horror, laughter, good versus evil and triumph – all against a backdrop of light, sound and special effects.

Everyone can remember powerful film moments such as Elliott and E.T. riding across the moon in E.T: The Extra Terrestrial, the heroic struggle of the crew from Apollo 13 or the terror of watching the famed shower scene in Psycho. Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular captures these moments – and so many more.  Other iconic films featured in the show include American Pie, The Bourne Ultimatum, Jurassic Park, Scent of a Woman, The Mummy, To Kill a Mockingbird and The Fast and the Furious.

Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular – 100 Years of Movie Memories and Universal’s Superstar Parade will run year-round except during annual and special events. For more information about both experiences visit http://www.officialticketcenter.com/universal-studios-tickets.aspx

NEW! KSC Up-Close Tour takes you inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB)

Space Shuttle Tour at Kennedy Space Center

Space Shuttle Tour at Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex ~ *Limited time to a limited number of Visitor Complex guests per day as part of Kennedy Space Center Up-Close, a new two-hour, guided special interest tour

*Offered 8 times daily for $25 for adults & $19 for children 3-11, plus the cost of admission $43 + tax for adults & $33 + tax for children 3-11

*Go inside & see firsthand where monstrous vehicles were assembled for launch, from the 1st Saturn V rocket in the late 1960’s to the very last space shuttle, STS-135 Atlantis, earlier this year. There’s also a chance that the guest may see a space shuttle orbiter inside the VAB as they are being prepared for display in their new homes in Los Angeles, CA, Washington, D.C. and Florida.

Holiday Decorations

Traditional holiday cookies from International Space Station Countries

Purchase Holiday Cookie of the week

Photos w/ Santa thru Dec 24 (personal camera or option to purchase photo)

NASA Story time with Mrs. Claus through Dec 24

Skating at the Rocket Garden (Sessions start on the hour and half-hour)

Skating Rink (Synthetic plastic polymer rink. Skate rental fees apply)

International Space Station Holiday Tree

40 foot holiday tree decorated with the flags and colors of all the

ISS collaborating countries:

United States, Russia, Canada, Japan, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany,

Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK

Space Carolers

GPS: Astronaut Hall of Fame – 6225 Vectorspace Blvd, Titusville, FL 32780. KSCVC is 6 miles pass this location on the right.

Holiday Season at Universal Orlando Resort Florida

Universal Orlando Tickets

Universal Orlando Tickets

Experience one-of-a-kind holiday excitement the whole family can enjoy at Universal Orlando® Resort! It’s the only place where you can catch the music and festivities of Grinchmas™, as Seuss Landing™ in Universal’s Islands of Adventure® is transformed into a wintry wonderland. You won’t want to miss the heartwarming live version of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”, the Wonky Tree Lot, strolling Whos, and a chance to get your picture taken with the mean green one himself.

Right next door, the 10th Anniversary edition of the Macy’s Holiday Parade™ takes to the streets of Universal Studios® with colorful balloon and floats direct from New York City, marching bands, clowns, and an appearance by Santa Claus. You can explore the Holiday Village bustling with unique gifts, delicious treats, and crafts for the kids. Then sing along with your favorite holiday songs performed live on stage every night.

Plus, at both parks you’ll experience the action and thrills of all your favorite rides and attractions, from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ and The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man® to Shrek 4-D™ and the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit® coaster. It’s can’t-miss holiday fun and entertainment for every member of the family —and it’s only at Universal Orlando Resort!

Petty Holdings Adds Exotic Driving Experience

Richard Petty Experience

Richard Petty Experience

The Exotics Course at Walt Disney World® Speedway will be new home to “supercars”
(November 9, 2011) Combine some of the world’s finest automobiles with a track specifically designed for drivers to safely experience their awe-inspiring acceleration, speed and handling and you have “Exotic Driving Experience”, the latest offering from Petty Holdings.

Best known as owner and operator of Richard Petty Driving Experience, the worldwide leader in the stock car ride and drive business, Petty Holdings has applied its expertise in delivering safe, accessible, exciting automotive entertainment to develop an experience allowing anyone with a driver’s license the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a “supercar” – a rarified class of automobile.

Exotic Driving Experience will feature supercars by Ferrari, Lamborghini, Audi, and Porsche. Future plans include the addition of other exotic models, as well.

It will officially begin on January 16, 2012.

“This exotics business is the most significant new offering from our company since the creation of Richard Petty Driving Experience in 1994″ said Brian Flynn, Petty Holdings Chief Executive Officer. “This was a strategic decision intended to expand our customer base by diversifying our experiential offerings.”

Plans call for Exotic Driving Experience to operate approximately 150 days annually on The Exotics Course at Walt Disney World Speedway, a new track configuration (see below) at the motorsports complex located on the grounds of the world-famous theme park.

Be Petty Disney

Be Petty Disney

Driving Experiences will start at $189 for six laps around the circuit. Thrill Rides with a professional driver at the wheel will be available for $99.

The Exotics Course at Walt Disney World Speedway®
Built in 1994, the one-mile oval at Walt Disney World Speedway® has been home to Indy Racing League (IRL), NASCAR Truck series and United States Auto Club (USAC) sanctioned races. Since 2000, it has been operated year-round exclusively by Richard Petty Driving Experience, which has seen more than 250,000 people drive or ride in one of its NASCAR race cars.

Petty Holdings recently completed an interior road course-style section at the track, specifically for Exotic Driving Experience, which features a series of quick, challenging right and left-hand turns, known as “switch backs.” Complete with barriers and rumble strips, this section replaces the frontstretch of the oval when the supercars are on track and, together with the backstretch, comprises another one-mile layout which has been named The Exotics Course at Walt Disney World Speedway®.

“We needed a circuit that would allow customers to really get a sense of what these incredible cars are capable of” said Rick Fedrizzi, President and Chief Operating Officer, who designed the new interior section. “Drivers can rapidly accelerate to high speeds on the backstretch of the oval and, when they come into the interior section, feel the incredible braking and handling characteristics of whichever exotic they’ve selected.”

“It is an absolute blast to drive this course in any one of these cars,” Fedrizzi said.

About Petty Holdings:

Petty Holdings, LLC owns Richard Petty Driving Experience, the worldwide leader in NASCAR-style stock car drive and ride entertainment, which operated at 25 race tracks in the United States and Canada in 2011. It markets other Petty and Richard Petty branded and licensed ventures including Petty Safe Driving and Richard Petty’s Fantasy Racing Camp. It also provides motorsports support services to the commercial and film industries, mobile marketing event services and designs and executes ride and drive events for automobile manufacturers

Headquartered in Concord, NC, Petty Holdings is a portfolio company of BV Investment Partners, a leading middle-market private equity firm, investing in the information and business services, communications, and media sectors.

Win a Copy of “Turtle: The Incredible Journey” Available on DVD November 15

The award-winning film “Turtle: The Incredible Journey” from SeaWorld Pictures will be available on DVD, Blu-ray and Video-On-Demand on Tuesday, November 15.  In celebration of the movie’s release, we will give SeaWorld Orlando Facebook fans a chance to win a free DVD copy of the movie starting Tuesday, November 15 thru Friday, November 18.  Check the SeaWorld Orlando Facebook fan page each morning at 9:30 a.m. EST for the daily trivia question and email your answer to [email protected] where you will automatically be entered into the daily drawing. Each day at 5 p.m. EST we will announce 3 lucky winners to receive a free DVD copy of “Turtle: The Incredible Journey.”

Turtle: The Incredible Journey – Trailer from Save Our Seas Foundation on Vimeo.


“Turtle: The Incredible Journey” is the critically-praised, award-winning film from director Nick Stringer (“National Geographic Explorer”) that has enchanted and enthralled audiences worldwide.  The spectacular adventure of a loggerhead turtle is one of nature’s greatest journeys. From the moment a young hatchling turtle emerges from her nest buried in the sand, until she returns 25 years later to the same beach as a pregnant adult, this film presents an up-close look at the exciting and harrowing trek that takes many loggerheads completely around the Atlantic Ocean.  It’s a remarkable story about a threatened species and an amazing odyssey you won’t want to miss.

Good Luck!

UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT FAMILY TRAVEL TIPS

Universal Studios Tickets

Tips for your trip to Universal Orlando Resort

Bringing your family to Universal Orlando means fun, excitement and adventure.  The best way to make sure everyone in your family has a great time is to do some pre-planning.  Universal Orlando offers these tips to help make sure your family has an unforgettable vacation:

Keep in mind the many benefits of staying on-site: In addition to allowing for resort-wide charging privileges, the hotel’s room keys double as Universal Express Pass access, which allows your family to skip regular lines at most attractions. You can also enjoy The Wizarding World of Harry Potter before the park opens, with early admission to Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Enjoying lunch and dinner has never been easier, with priority seating at select restaurants throughout both theme parks. In addition, mom and dad can plan a date night at Universal CityWalk, thanks to the on-site hotel’s kids camps.

Buy your admission tickets in advance: Scratch the ticket booth line by buying your tickets online at www.officialticketcenter.com and receiving them before you arrive at the parks. In addition to saving time, you can take advantage of The Official Ticket Center’s online discounts.  You can also explore vacation packages that include accommodations and special benefits at Universal’s three on-site hotels.

Have a game plan: Visit Universal Orlando’s web site with your family before your vacation to explore the resort and develop a basic plan for your visit. Here, you will find information about special events (Mardi Gras beads, anyone?) and attractions suited for the entire family. Talk to your children about what’s most important to them, and make a prioritized check list.  (But remember it’s a vacation and that it’s okay to be flexible).

Pack smart: Make sure to pre-pack all of the essentials:

  • Hats and sunscreen for the entire family
  • A change of clothes and a large plastic bag for those who may enjoy water play areas
  • Water bottles, snacks for the finicky eaters, juice boxes, and sippy cups or bottles
  • Ponchos or umbrellas and a towel
  • A camera (with an extra battery and memory card)
  • Baby and hand wipes
  • Any needed medications

Be theme park savvy:

  • Upon arrival, grab a map to check in-park showtimes and character meet & greet times, to make sure you are up-to-date
  • Mix up the schedule: start one day early and end the night relaxing by the pool at your on-site hotel enjoying a Dive-In movie; or start the day in the afternoon (perhaps after nap time) and end with a family night out to watch the Blue Man Group show. With live music, its unexpected humor and lots of paint, the show has a unique, family-friendly party atmosphere that kids of all ages absolutely love!  If you want to have dinner at CityWalk before the Blue Man Group show, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville and Pastamore are both great family friendly choices.
  • If you arrive early to the park, start in the back, working your way to the front to avoid the predictable morning traffic pattern.

Know our family-friendly amenities:

  • Take advantage of the Child Swap program: one member of your group can wait with the little ones in a comfortable room while other family members experience the attraction, and then swap places. This feature is available at nearly every marquee attraction.
  • Stroller rental, nursing facilities and a companion restroom are available at Family Services in both theme parks.
  • Many of their restaurants and food locations offer healthy and delicious dining options for everyone. At select locations, side options for adults and children include healthy choices such as fruit for kids or salad for adults, or trans-fat free fries.
  • If your teenager is looking for a special treat, take her to the Mandara Spa at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. The spa’s YCARE program was created with teenagers in mind, offering a special selection of services for guests ages 13 – 17, including massage, facial, manicure, pedicure and more!

Additional tips:

  • Take a picture of your parking location with your cell phone to make it easier to remember where you parked.
  • Don’t deviate too much from nap schedule for the little ones. Great stroller nap spots include inside Mythos at Islands of Adventure in the late afternoon (while your child naps, you can enjoy great sit-down meal) and Central Park in New York at Universal Studios Florida.
  • The night before visiting the park, soak a washcloth in water and freeze in a plastic bag. Bring it with you to the parks the next day for a very refreshing cool down during hot days!
  • The splash pad areas are great for little ones – in Islands of Adventure take them to If I Ran the Zoo or Me Ship the Olive. In Universal Studios Florida, they will enjoy Curious George Goes to Town and Fievel’s Playland.
  • Traveling with teenagers? Then consider purchasing the Meal Deal. For one low price, they can enjoy as much food as they like throughout the day at participating locations.
  • Older children sometimes don’t want to hang with their parents, so always have a meeting point with your family. Let them be on their own and meet at a pre-determined location every two to three hours. That way if cell phones don’t work you can always touch base several times during the day.