Disney World Fantasyland Expansion

I was at Disney World last year and went on Dumbo a couple of time with my kids to peak over the wall at the construction that had started to expand Fantasyland. There wasn’t enough going on at the time to really imagine what it would look like but it just so happens that Disney released a time lapse video so everyone can see how such an incredible project is coming together. Take a look and take a guess at how many people rode Dumbo while this was happening :-)

Zip-Line Roller Coaster

While I can honestly say I’ve never actually thought about the carbon footprint of a particular roller coaster the idea of an eco-friendly zip-line coaster is intriguing to say the least.

When the Rattlesnake opened last Friday, it turned a theme park staple into a thrill ride like no other in the United States. And it will launch the next generation of zip lining.

The nation’s first zip-line roller coaster is part of a $1.5 million expansion at Florida EcoSafaris in Central Florida. The new attraction puts dangling passengers through sharp curves and jarring dips, thanks to a rigid-rail system that runs overhead and the pull of gravity below.


Continue reading

President Obama Visits Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

President Barack Obama promised Florida’s tourism industry Thursday that he intends to open the door wider to international tourists and was greeted with cheers in a state where increased foreign visitors are seen as one of the best hopes for future jobs.

Even Obama critic U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Winter Park, welcomed the presidential directives, if only with a “what took him so long?” spin.

“I’m here because I want more tourists here tomorrow,” Obama declared in a 13-minute speech in front of Cinderella Castle at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. “I want America to be the top tourist destination in the world.”
Continue reading

China’s Angry Birds Theme Park

Angry Birds addicts around the world may still be committed to the ultimate destruction of the game’s irritating porcine rogues, but at a real-life Angry Birds theme park, Chinese gamers are already knocking over actual green pigs.

The Angry Birds theme park opened to the public on September 1 in Changsha, the capital of Hunan province in southeastern China.

The attraction is part of the larger Window of the World amusement park and was built as part of the park’s monthlong Stress-reducing Festival.

Simulating the action of the viral computer game, players pull a real catapult and shoot Angry Birds plush toys at green piggy balloons placed around a toy brick fortress.
Continue reading

Cheetah Hunt at Busch Gardens Tampa

With 4,429 feet of green track and a 90 second ride time, Cheetah Hunt is the longest roller coaster at Busch Gardens in Tampa. Plus with a twisty, turny route that zips past a habitat with an actual Cheetah, it offers nice views of the entire park and rocks through a roaring-waters canyon, the steel beauty looks very nice.

Continue reading

Dragon Challenge Roller Coaster

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is now open at Universal Orlando Islands of Adventure. One attraction, is the worlds only dueling inverted roller coaster, known as the Dragon Challenge.

Most individuals that have visited the park in the past will realize this isn’t exactly a new coaster, in fact, it was most recently known as the Dueling Dragons roller coaster. It was transformed into Dragon Challenge and is based on the Triwizard Tournament from Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire.

The queue area, however, is new and very cool. It snakes through the claustrophobic castle passages as you await your challenge.

Continue reading

Seven Dwarfs Coaster Coming to Disney

Last week it wasn’t much of a surprise that Walt Disney World announced details on the upcoming expansion to Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom in Orlando. One of the more interesting additions will be a new indoor roller coaster dubbed the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

They created a unique ride system for this moderately intense attraction in which visitors will sit in mine cars that swing back and forth along a twisting track. It will be set to music from the classic animated movie “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and will eventually be the only Snow White related ride as the existing ‘Snow White’s Scary Adventures’ will be replaced during the Fantasyland makeover.

The overall renovation will open in phases beginning in late 2012 through 2013 and as soon as we have some video available from the theme park we will post it here.

World’s Fastest Roller Coaster

It’s here! The new world’s fastest roller coaster – the Formula Rossa – has just opened at the new Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi!

Reaching speeds of around 240kph, it will be the highlight of your trip (if you get the chance to go).

Here’s a front seat POV video of the ride with voiceover commentary:

The current preview videos all fall a bit flat for me. I’m looking forward to seeing (and sharing) “real” videos complete with screams ;)

Disney iPhone App (and Now an Android App)

In a previous post, I mentioned the Walt Disney World iPhone App, which helps you to check wait times for rides, plan your schedule, find a restaurant and more.

Thanks to improvements due to user submissions it is fast becoming the most popular Disney iphone app available:

There is now an Disney Android app available.

<strong>Click here to find out more about the <a onmouseover=”window.status=’http://www.undercovertourist.com’;return true;” onmouseout=”window.status=’ ‘;return true;” href=”http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-3946987-2331763″ target=”_top”>Walt Disney World iPhone App</a><img src=”http://www.lduhtrp.net/image-3946987-2331763″ border=”0″ alt=”" width=”1″ height=”1″ /> from Undercover Tourist</strong>

Click here to find out more about the Walt Disney World iPhone App from Undercover Tourist

Create Roller Coaster Videos Everyone Wants to Watch

roller coaster videosIf you are heading off to a theme park, it has probably crossed your mind to make some videos while you are on the rides, so that others can experience the same thrills you did. Unfortunately, most roller coaster videos end up shaky and blurry. Don’t believe me? Do a search on YouTube and see how many of the theme park ride videos you actually want to watch from start to finish.

We live in an era where technology is so advanced that for $100 you can buy a good quality, HD handheld digital video camera that you can take anywhere (some are even waterproof and others double-up as a video and stills camera). Not long ago you would have had to carry a much larger, poorer quality video camera with you.

How do you use this technology to your advantage and take great roller coaster videos?

First of all, my caveat: I am not encouraging you to break the theme park’s rules. If the theme park specifically bans cameras from rides then you should heed their warnings. The rules are not there to ruin your fun; they are designed for your safety. Taking cameras on theme park rides could result in you or others getting hurt, and even cause damage to the ride itself.

That said, if the theme park does not restrict the use of cameras, here are some tips for taking better videos on roller coasters:

  1. Always make sure your camera is secure. Holding your video camera in your hand is not enough to ensure its safety. Theme park rides are designed to move very fast and surprise you with twists and turns. If your video camera is not securely attached to your wrist or clothing then you run the risk of dropping it or knocking it against something, both of which will probably break the camera and potentially harm you or others. A great roller coaster video is no good if it is never seen because your camera fell to the ground from 100 feet. You can also consider strapping it right to your head using one of the cool new Go Pro Hero HD 2 wearable cameras.
  2. Make sure your camera is held steady. This can be impossible to ensure when you are moving at 80mph through loops, twists and corkscrews, but the steadier you hold your camera the better the quality will be and the easier it will be to watch (nobody likes to view shaky videos). Try to hold your camera in both hands with your elbows held tight into your sides. Holding your arms outstretched will cause more shake and less control over what you are filming.
  3. Decide whether you are taking a point-of-view (POV) video or a video of the people on the ride. Often people swap between the different options and as a result there is a lot of shakiness and blur on the video as the camera changes position and re-focuses. My preference with roller coaster videos is to take it from the point of view of the rider. Videoing the faces of your friends can be fun for you, but if you want others to feel some of the thrill of the ride that you felt, you should show them the ride from your perspective.
  4. To take a great POV video, aim to sit at the front of the ride. This way you will capture the ride itself, and a great view of the tracks and all the upcoming dips, twists and turns, without having to film the backs of people’s heads at the same time. It will also mean you can hold you camera lower and steadier.
  5. Start recording your video before the ride starts and don’t press stop until the ride has finished. This will enable you to edit the start and end of the video (the parts that are usually the shakiest) and still have the full ride captured.
  6. Watch some of the many theme park videos that are uploaded to the Internet everyday and decide what it is you like about your favourites. Then emulate them

A trip to a theme park is a fun experience and you can share it with others through video. Follow the tips shared here and you will be able to produce roller coaster videos that capture some of the thrills and excitement you enjoyed.