Harry Potter Diagon Alley

Universal Studios Opens Harry Potter Diagon Alley

Today is the grand opening of Universal Studios Orlando’s newest attraction, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Diagon Alley. The highly anticipated event is another major milestone for Universal Studios and Orlando tourism.

The new attraction opens four years after the original Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure. After the success of the first Wizarding World, Universal decided to expand the popular attraction with an addition in the Universal Studios half of the park. [Read more…]

Orlando’s International Drive Plans for World’s Tallest Roller Coaster, Orlando Eye, and More

Orlando’s International Drive Plans for World’s Tallest Roller Coaster, Orlando Eye, and More

Orlando Skyscraper SkyplexIf you haven’t heard, Orlando is getting a makeover. Specifically, International Drive (aka, I–Drive) is undergoing major construction to develop new restaurants, rides, and attractions.

Already a popular tourist attraction, the new and improved I–Drive will be a must see destination for both vacationers and locals. While the restaurants will offer something for every palate, the rides are what will really draw the crowds. The city is working to build some of the greatest, and tallest, rides in the world.

Already in the works is the Orlando Eye Ferris Wheel. The 400-foot structure will be the tallest ferris wheel in the world and will provide a 20-minute bird’s-eye view of the city. The Orlando Eye is part of a larger development that will be called “I-Drive 360 at The Orlando Eye.”

The Orlando Eye will act as an observation wheel, similar to the London Eye in England. The attraction is expected to open in Spring of 2015.

Yesterday, the city also announced plans to build the world’s tallest roller coaster. It will be called the “Skyscraper”. The coaster is a 570-foot tower, in which riders will spiral down to ground at 65 miles per hour. The ride will include barrel rolls, turns, and loops, and last about 3 minutes. Due to the high speeds of the coaster, the creators expect that 1,000 people will be able to experience the ride every hour.

Chris Kraftchick, of the American Coaster Enthusiasts fan club, said: “Not only is it high, there’s nothing else like it in the world.”

If this terrifies you, perhaps you would prefer the view from inside the tower. There are plans to build a nightclub with spectacular 360-degree views of the city.

Skyscraper is scheduled to open in 2016 along with an entire entertainment plaza. The plaza, known as the Skyplex, will be an indoor center for shopping, dining, and entertainment. The Skyscraper will also wind through a portion of the complex. All together, the project is projected to cost over $200 Million.

The developers for the Skyplex project are Joshua and David Wallack, the owners of Mango’s Tropical Café Orlando and Mango’s Tropical Café South Beach.

Stay tuned to TheTimeshareAuthority.com to learn more about this developing project.

The Grand Tour Gala – Celebrating the World of Hospitality

The Grand Tour Gala – Celebrating the World of Hospitality

The Grand Tour GalaTo celebrate the world of hospitality, the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE) has announced the 2014 Grand Tour Gala charity fundraiser. The event will be held on November 1st at the Hilton Orlando Resort on International Drive.

At the Grand Tour Gala, the Orlando Chapter of NACE will present its 2014 Dick Pope Legacy Awards. This year’s recipients include Steven Hogan, CEO of Florida Citrus Sports; Richard Kessler, Chairman and CEO, Kessler Hotel Group; Adrian Jones, General Manager of Legoland® Florida and VP Merlin Entertainments USA; and Chef Emeril Lagasse, Celebrity Chef and Host of TV’s Emeril’s Florida.

The Dick Pope Legacy Awards, in honor of Dick Pope Sr., honor the leaders of Florida’s tourism and hospitality industries. Dick Pope was the founder of Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven Florida in 1936. Cypress Gardens was the first park attraction in Florida and a major source of tourism revenue after World War II.

Professor at The University of Central Florida Rosen College of Hospitality Management, CSEP, CPCE, and The Grand Tour Gala executive producer Dr. Mary Jo Ross shared, “We are thrilled to recognize these outstanding honorees, who not only excel in their executive roles for their own companies but also provide exemplary leadership in our hospitality industry, in the areas of sporting events, attractions, hotels and culinary experiences.”

The event is also a great scholarship opportunity for Hospitality students. Since the first Grand Tour Gala in 2011, the charity has provided over $180,000 in student grants and scholarships. Recipients include students from the NACE Educational Foundation, the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association Educational Foundation, and the University of Central Florida (UCF) Rosen College of Hospitality in Orlando.

This year’s Gala will feature a London theme. Guests will enjoy British food and live theater entertainment. To raise funds for the scholarships, donations will be collected through a silent auction. Students from the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management will also attend to offer concierge services to gala guests.

President of the Orlando Chapter of NACE, Patricia Buchanan said, “NACE is excited to have the UCF students play such an important role in this event, as they are the future of our industry.”

For more information, visit GrandTourGala.com. For sponsorship details, contact Patricia Buchanan at [email protected] or by phone at (407) 383-2132.

New High-Action Adventure™ Park to Open at Summer Bay Orlando

New High-Action Adventure™ Park to Open at Summer Bay Orlando

Summer Bay High Action Adventure ParkSummer Bay has announced that they will be opening a new High-Action Adventure park at their Orlando timeshare resort.

The new park will be pirate themed and will feature zip lining, rock climbing, a ropes course, and more. To create the new park, Summer Bay Orlando has partnered with High-Action Adventure creator Extreme Engineering. Specializing in rock climbing and zip lining equipment, Extreme Engineering frequently works with timeshare resorts to provide exciting sports equipment.

Summer Bay Resorts’ Director of Business Development, Santiago Creus shared,

“Summer Bay Resorts has partnered with Extreme Engineering as they can provide a turnkey product — from the initial concept and theming of the Adventure Park to the installation and on-going servicing of each interactive adventure feature, they do it all. We look forward to the opening of this new resort attraction with great anticipation as it will provide another opportunity to bring families together to enjoy a shared experience while vacationing at our Summer Bay Orlando Resort.”

The focus of the High-Action Adventures project is to offer more exciting resort amenities to the millennial generation. This theme is carried throughout Extreme Engineering’s business strategy and is demonstrated through their new motto, “Making Timeshares Grow Young with Fun”.

“The goal is to attract millennial buyers and also provide an additional revenue stream to the facility,” said Philip Wilson, Extreme Engineering’s VP of marketing. “We are pleased to partner with Summer Bay Resorts to offer this enhancement to their popular Orlando location.”

Selling timeshare to millennials is a challenge across the timeshare industry. Summer Bay and Extreme Engineering are working together to bridge the gap between millennials and the original timeshare generation.

Wilson added, “Through our dynamic products we have been able to resolve multiple, current challenges such as selling to millennials. Not only are we providing memorable experiences on-site at the resort, but we’re also enhancing the timeshare sales process by providing the opportunity for developers to upsell their clients through attraction-based amenities.”

The new Summer Bay adventure park is scheduled to in early summer of 2014. Check back for updated in the upcoming months from TheTimeshareAuthority.com.