Merlin Entertainment Brings Three New Attractions to Orlando

Merlin Entertainment
The Orlando Eye Terminal Rendering

Project Update from Merlin Entertainments PLC for Three New Orlando Attractions

Coming Spring 2015

The leading U.K.-based family entertainment company, owner of LEGOLAND Florida, is bringing three of its best know global visitor attraction brands to Orlando – The Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds and Sea Life aquarium

With less than a year to grand opening, Merlin Entertainments PLC (Merlin) is gearing up to introduce three of its exciting global brands to the Central Florida region, with the launches of The Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds and SEA LIFE aquarium in Spring 2015 at I-Drive 360 on International Drive.

Merlin, the second largest visitor attraction operator in the world, already operates LEGOLAND Florida, the highly successful theme park uniquely targeted at families with children under 12, which opened in 2011.

Merlin Entertainment
The Orlando Eye Loading Platform Rendering

The Orlando Eye, the cantilevered observation wheel at the heart of the complex, will be a little sister icon to London’s world-famous landmark, providing breathtaking views of Central Florida in all directions within fully enclosed, air-conditioned glass capsules.

Merlin Entertainment
Madame Tussauds A List Party Interior Rendering

Madame Tussauds, the world’s most famous celebrity wax attraction, provides visitors with the ultimate fame experience and its signature red carpet treatment. Madame Tussauds showcases incredibly detailed and lifelike wax figures that lovingly pay tribute to the most influential celebrity and historical figures of our time.

Merlin Entertainment
SEA LIFE ORlando Ocean Tunnel Rendering

SEA LIFE Orlando will offer a new wave of underwater adventures with beautiful displays of colorful fish, sharks, jellyfish, sea horses and more, that turn the traditional aquarium observation on its head. Winding tunnels, floor-to-ceiling tanks and bubble aquariums provide an immersive experience for children and adults alike. Additionally, the aquarium, known for its strong conservation efforts, will have unique educational components for young marine life enthusiasts.

“The success of LEGOLAND Florida has underlined to us the potential for Merlin’s high quality global attractions in Central Florida; and particularly in Orlando, undoubtedly the best and most exciting location for family entertainment anywhere in the world,” said Nick Varney, Chief Executive of Merlin Entertainments PLC. “We believe that this is an exceptional group of attractions which will not only provide three quite different new experiences for visitors; but also together add an exciting new dimension to what is already available in the region.”

“We are very excited to be bringing some of Merlin’s best-loved global attractions to International Drive. SEA LIFE and Madame Tussauds have already proven their popularity with audiences across North America; and in Europe and Asia,” added James Paulding, Head of Openings for North America, Merlin Entertainments. “From 2015, these two, together with the unique views from the Eye will become must-do experiences for every visitor to Orlando.”

Merlin Entertainment
SEA LIFE Orlando Shipwreck Area Rendering

All three attractions are scheduled to open in Spring 2015, in addition to numerous shopping and dining options in the complex, adding a new dimension to Orlando’s world-class entertainment options.

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Famous Disney Bears

In honor of Earth Day on April 22nd, Disneynature is releasing another new documentary, Bears. This new movie will follow a bear family for a year as the young cubs learn life lessons. Seeing the commercials for this movie got me thinking about all of the bears in the Disney family.

Disneynature Bears
Disneynature Bears

Winnie the Pooh
Let’s start with probably the most famous Disney bear of all. Coming from the books by A. A. Milne, Pooh and his friends from the Hundred Acre Wood are a childhood staple. He may be “stuffed with fluff,” but he can be quite courageous when needed. We’ve all joined in on their adventures (often in search of “hunny”) and learned about friendship along the way. Pooh and Piglet’s friendship in particular, never fails to warm my heart.

Pooh
Tigger, Pooh, Piglet, and Eeyore

Baloo 

Carefree and fun-loving Baloo is Mowgli’s best friend in The Jungle Book and he taught us all about the Bare Necessities (which, thanks to writing this blog post, I have had stuck in my head for three days). For the most part, Baloo is playful, but he can be very protective of Mowgli. He is probably the most popular character from the movie and in fact, became the star of his own TV series: TaleSpin.

Baloo and Mowgli float
Baloo and Mowgli float

Koda and Kenai

These two bears from Brother Bear started out with quite the complicated relationship, but eventually became as close as brothers. Koda is the playful and talkative one, while Kenai is moody and serious. I think they both learn a lot from each other.

Koda and Kenai
Koda and Kenai

Harris, Hamish, and Hubert

Oh the triplet brothers from Brave. Definitely can’t forget them. Merida’s young brothers are always up to some sort of mischief, which is what caused them to become bears to begin with. Although they don’t stay that way forever, you can still see the brothers as bears in the Festival of Fantasy parade.

Brave triplets
Brave triplets

Br’er Bear 

Betsy mentioned Br’er Bear in her post about bunnies and rabbits as the antagonist to Br’er Rabbit in The Song of the South. Teamed up with Br’er Fox, the two keep getting outwitted by Br’er Rabbit and you can see a lot of their foiled plans in the Splash Mountain ride at the theme parks.

Br'er Bear and Br'er Fox plotting
Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox plotting

Country Bears

Big Al, Liver Lips, Wendell, Trixie, Terrence, Henry, and the rest of this musical gang have been entertaining guests at the Magic Kingdom since the park opened. There was also a version at Disneyland up until 2001. The popularity inspired a movie in 2002, but that wasn’t very successful. They remain pretty popular in the Magic Kingdom though, especially with fans who grew up with the show.

Country Bear Jamboree
Country Bear Jamboree

Fozzie Bear

This jokester of the Muppets is Kermit’s best friend. He’s very often the target of Statler and Waldorf’s heckling, but he keeps trying with his “wocka wocka” tagline! Fozzie always struck me as very loyal, especially to Kermit and though he may be slow to catch on most of them time, I think he is a friend you can count on.

Fozzie Bear
Fozzie Bear

Humphrey the Bear

Humphrey was created in 1950 and appeared in several Disney Animation cartoons at that time. Humphrey is kind of a big and goofy bear that lives in a national park and tries to steal food from the visitors. He doesn’t speak, but he does make different grunts to express emotions. His shenanigans are usually spoiled by Donald Duck or the park ranger. He got to be so popular that the animation studio created a series just for him, but unfortunately the studio stopped producing the short films soon after that. He later appeared in other shows like Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers and House of Mouse. If you’re looking for him these days, you might want to check out the Wilderness Lodge.

Humphrey
Humphrey

Honorable Mentions: Little John from Robin Hood, Gummi Bears, Duffy, Lotso, Bear in the Big Blue House

When I first started writing this post, I was surprised by how many bears would be on this list. It was fun to rediscover some old favorites like Humphrey! Did I forget any of your favorite bears?

 

 

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Orlando City SC Needs Your Input!

Orlando City SC Stadium Layout

Orlando City SC Seeks Fan Input on Design of New Soccer Stadium

Idea the Result of Recent Supporter Group Suggestions to Architects; Group of Respondents will be selected to Participate in Small-Group Workshops with Stadium Design Team

 

Orlando City SC announced today a unique plan to solicit input and gather suggestions from its fans on the design of its new downtown stadium. The idea was born out of a recent meeting with Orlando City supporter group leaders and stadium architects.

“We recently invited the leaders of our supporter groups to meet with our stadium design team. During this conversation it became very apparent that our supporters had a lot of great ideas – and that we needed to find a mechanism to incorporate additional fan input into our stadium design,” said Orlando City President Phil Rawlins.  “As a result, we’ve launched this new initiative to encourage all of our fans to send us their stadium design ideas.”

Fans are encouraged to send their stadium design ideas to stadiumideas@orlandocitysoccer.com or via Twitter using #NewOCSCStadium.

“If you have even a small idea that you think would be cool regarding Orlando City’s new stadium, this is how you can get our attention for it,” said Rawlins.  “Orlando City’s goal is to create an iconic year-round development on Church Street that will serve as the top soccer stadium in MLS – and we’re excited to hear our fans’ ideas on how we can best accomplish this goal.”

In addition, upon review of fan submissions, the club will select a group of respondents to participate in small-group workshops with the stadium design team. 

Fan input will continue to be solicited throughout the design process, and the club intends to also release a compilation of fan ideas collected in the coming weeks.

For more information, please visit OrlandoCitySC.com.

Orlando City SC

About Orlando City Soccer Club:

Orlando City Soccer Club (OCSC) is Major League Soccer’s newest expansion team. The club will begin play in MLS in 2015, becoming the league’s 21st club. The Lions’ first team has won two USL PRO regular season titles and two postseason championships and will continue play in USL PRO in 2014 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Outside of the first squad, OCSC also has a youth club, Orlando City Youth Soccer (OCYS) and a U-23 team that participates in the PDL. For more information on the pro and youth clubs, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com andwww.OrlandoCityYouth.org.

 

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