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Jimmy Fallon Ride Coming to Universal Studios

Jimmy Fallon  Ride – Race Through New York – 2017

Jimmy Fallon Ride

Folks visiting Orlando will now be able to get a taste of New York on their trip: Universal Studios has confirmed that Jimmy Fallon will be getting his very own theme park ride, set in New York. Tonight Show lovers and theme park enthusiasts alike, rejoice!

The Jimmy Fallon ride will be located in Universal Studios (not to be confused with Islands of Adventure). It will be replacing the Twister… Ride It Out experience, which closed on November 2, 2015. The SNL alum announced the ride himself on his late night TV show. (Watch the You Tube video below.)

While details are limited, Fallon wants the ride to pay homage to his hometown, New York. The ride, Race Through New York With Jimmy Fallon, is inspired partly by the crazy celebrity races that have been so popular on The Tonight Show since Fallon began hosting.

Supposedly, riders will get to embark on a journey through the infamous studio 6B for a taping guests aren’t likely to forget— where they themselves will be challenged by Jimmy to an epic race throughout the streets of New York that they will not soon forget.

Guests will find themselves shooting through the New York streets, seeing everything from the insides of subway tunnels, to Central Park, to skyscrapers, with some familiar faces and famous landmarks thrown in. ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: Some surprises should be expected— Jimmy likes to make detours! Smoke and water effects will also to be a part of the experience.

Fallon went as far as to compare his ride to the renowned Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, with the main difference being that “it’s New York City” instead of Hogwarts!

Fallon seemed to be biting his tongue during the announcement, so we can only imagine what other surprises are in store! Unfortunately, Universal Studios guests will have to be content with other attractions for now — Race Through New York With Jimmy Fallon isn’t expected to open until 2017.

New Year, New Disney Updates

AquaDuck

As we ring in the New Year, we have some highlights of some upcoming changes at Orlando’s Walt Disney World resort.  The popular Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend returns Jan. 6-9, 2011, with opportunities for runners of all ages and abilities.  This event drew a record-breaking crowd in 2010, with 55,000 registered runners from all 50 states and 50 countries.  This year, everyone who completes the Marathon will receive a new Mickey Mouse race medal, as well as complimentary admission to a Walt Disney World theme park the Monday after the race.  The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is a part of the new runDisney series.  To learn more about endurance events at Disney, or to sign up for any of the runDisney events, go to www.runDisney.com.

In February, the Magic Kingdom will be closing Mickey’s Toontown Fair to allow for the expansion of Fantasyland. The Toontown characters will move to new locations and will continue to have meet-and-greet with guests.  The Fantasyland facelift will be the biggest overhaul in the theme park’s 38-year history.   The plans indicate they will be expanding the Dumbo attraction, as well as adding a lavish Little Mermaid ride. They will also feature new interactive areas featuring some of the most popular princesses.  The new attractions will open in phases.

Launching January 16th at Animal Kingdom will be a new Wild Adventure.  This three hour adventure will immerse guests in the wildlife thrills of far-off Africa. This unique experience lets you navigate a rickety bridge over menacing crocodiles, and get to step to the very edge of a cliff to get close to the hippos and crocs below, while attached to a lifeline. (Additional purchase/reservations required 407-939-8687)

Also launching January 16th, will be the all-new, high-energy parade at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, “Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun”. This fun-filled procession down Hollywood Boulevard will feature stars from “The Incredibles,” “A Bug’s Life,” “Ratatouille,” “Monsters, Inc,” “Up” and “Toy Story.”  The final date for the current “Block Party Bash” parade at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is scheduled for Jan. 1, 2011.

Some new dining options/renovations are in the works as well such as Fulton’s Crab House at Downtown Disney. They have done a complete makeover of the lobby area and the menu, and even a one-of-a-kind crab map so guests can identify where their dish originated.  Kouzzina by Cat Cora at Disney’s BoardWalk also will be getting a facelift, with a new Cat Cora presence in the lobby, and three video monitors showcasing the celebrity chef’s view on family, food, and her culinary journey.  Downtown Disney’s Pollo Campero will be the first out of 300 Pollo Campero restaurants to introduce a new Fresh A-Peel concept with great-tasting, healthy options.  The Disney bars and lounges will be introducing a new cocktail menu with more healthy ingredients, such as organic spirits and fresh fruits, and lower calorie fruit purees.

The Disney Cruise Line will set sail with the new Disney Dream ship on Jan. 26, 2011. Some of the new innovations on this ship will be the debut of the first-ever shipboard water coaster, AquaDuck, which will feature a 765-foot flume and a swing-out loop that goes beyond the side of the ship.    Each inside stateroom will contain a Magical Porthole that displays real-time video from ship-board cameras, as well as some Disney characters.  Throughout the ship, you’ll find Enchanted Art, which looks like traditional art, but is really a LCD screen that senses when a guest is present.  Young guests will enjoy the latest in gaming technology and storytelling activities in the Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab. There is so much to do, fun for all ages!

Ring in the New Year, Disney style!

Year End Review

As 2010 comes to an end, it’s time to look back at this year’s high points for Orlando tourism. It is also a good time to look ahead at what 2011 will bring. Despite a tough economy, people are still finding a way to make the most of their vacation dollar. Tourism in Central Florida is alive and well (but could be better).

The park that wins top spot this year would have to be Universal Studios with the opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Starting June 28, Universal’s attendance rose over 30% over the summer. Area businesses also saw an increase as tourists came from all over the world to experience this series of books and movies come to life in the form of a theme park. Universal will continue to benefit from this addition in 2011 and beyond.

Walt Disney World will forever be the main attraction in the Orlando area. It is hard to beat generations upon generations in love with ‘the mouse.’  It seemed to me that Disney spent most of 2010 following the ‘out with the old’ philosophy. Goodbye Power Rangers, High School Musical, Peter Pan & Captain Hook (in the Electrical Parade), and a few other features. Disney is in the midst of its largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history, but most of these new experiences will not be open until 2013. Look for more goodbyes as they make room next year. Another addition in 2012 includes a family-suites hotel – Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.

Sea World suffered tragedy this year with the loss of a trainer in their killer whale show. The show, having to be altered to not allow trainers in the water with the mammals, has diminished the excitement once generated by this feature. SeaWorld’s annual revenue is estimated to have shrunk from $1.4 billion a year ago to $1.2 billion this year. They are now eliminating jobs and restructuring for long-term growth.  Look for SeaWorld to revamp their killer whale show and be as entertaining as ever in 2011.

Busch Gardens has not suffered as greatly as its sister park and continues to work on Cheetah Run as well as a ‘cheetah-like’ coaster called Cheetah Hunt. This addition is scheduled for spring 2011 and should get the attention of roller coaster enthusiasts.

Legoland is coming to Central Florida! Redeveloping Cypress Gardens, this theme park will be a great addition to the family-oriented theme park corridor. It is scheduled to be open in October of 2011.

With OIA reporting that the number of airline passengers is up from previous years, our hope is that visitors will continue to come to the Orlando area to spend their vacation. Let’s ring in a new year with cash registers ringing! Let 2011 produce an even better year for Central Florida tourism!