Theme World: Transforming Orlando

Your home for theme park and tourism news & rumors

Author: Ken Pilcher, Producer, kpilcher@wkmg.com
Published On: May 01 2013 04:31:51 PM EDT   Updated On: May 02 2013 03:47:33 PM EDT

Welcome to Local 6 Theme World

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May 1, 2013

Transforming Orlando

By now you may have seen Universal's ginormous teaser advertisement for Transformers: the Ride-3D. It transformed (pun intended) Downtown Orlando's Fairwinds tower. Take a look.



As you can see from Sky 6, strategically placed decals make it look like an 80-foot tall Megatron crashed through the building.

The pic below from Universal shows the final result:




Crushed cars have now been added to make it more effective. Hopefully it doesn't cause too many crashes on I-4.
As for the ride itself, Universal is promising to reveal the Grand Opening date tomorrow.
I hear the finishing touches are being added inside and out.



 I also  hear training for the ride team begins as soon as tomorrow. If that holds -- look for some soft openings for guests in Late May or early June.  We'll know tomorrow!

June 15th is the deadline for another Orlando transformation: FunSpot America's doubling in size.



As you can see above -- it finally will be Huuuge. Look at all that is new. Below -- you can see the wooden coaster is coming along fast -- as is a new go-cart track.



This shot shows both new coasters -- you're still not seeing all of the wooden coaster.



The family-friendly steel coaster looks like it is almost ready.



And workers are busy getting all of the supports for the hybrid wooden coaster up and running.



A new flat ride is also getting ready for guests.



As is the world's 2nd-largest Skycoaster. It's a long way down!




Funspot was one of the most popular booths at our Local 6 "Things to do in Florida expo" this past Sunday at Seminole Town Center Mall. Thanks to all who showed up.



Legoland was another very popular booth with kids of all ages. They brought along one of the main characters from the upcoming Legend of Chima land -- which, a spokeswoman tells me, is rapidly going up -- and should be ready by Mid-Summer.



The expo drew thousands of families to see all kinds of entertainment options like the Orlando Science Center & Ballet. Arabian Knights also brought along a little friend.







We were pleased to welcome all sorts of attractions and areas -- aimed at saving our viewers money.  The team from Sanibel/Captiva had a long drive.



Many of you also came out to meet our Local 6 News team.


Above -- (from left to right) are 3 of our newest reporters: Evan Lambert, Amaka Ubaka & Justin Warmoth.
But one of the most popular exhibits for families -and our Local 6 team came courtesy of the newly expanded Wild Florida airboat & Nature attraction in St. Cloud.



Meteorologist Julie Broughton looks a little uncertain as she is being handed a young gator from Wild Florida's Sam Haught. But she worked it like a pro.




As did her co-anchor Kala Rama & Sports Anchor Jamie Seh.




But Our Gaard Swanson & reporter Shaun Chaiyabhat seemed to have the closest relationship to the cold-blooded young lady.

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Thanks to everyone who made the expo a success.
We'll have a tour of Wild Florida coming up in the next few weeks in Theme World.
And look for more this week on changes at the Magic Kingdom -- and SeaWorld counting down to Antarctica: Empire of the Penguins.

Keep your emails, questions, and comments coming! I always appreciate hearing from you -- and I promise to write each of you back as soon as I can.

Here's a link to my most recent Theme World Blog entries.

See you in the parks!