ORLANDO — Summer vacation plans usually include a trip up to Orlando to visit one of the theme parks. And if you are into what's new and trendy there are three new options at Universal Orlando Resort
The most significant attraction opened to the public this morning at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is a new roller coaster taking over the seven acres space where the Dueling Dragon ride was. You travel either on the motorcycle or the sidecar. It is the first time Universal is using a virtual line system. The coaster is Florida's longest roller coaster and is record-breaking in other areas as well.
"We have the United States’ first duel drop; it's a free fall of over sixteen feet. We have seven launches, which is a world record. And the ride length, overall, is three minutes and 23-seconds," says Elaine Hinds - Executive Producer of Universal Creative.
"So for the Harry Potter nuts, tell us the story behind it," I ask.
Hinds responds, "The story here is all new. So the Harry Potter nuts or the uber fans out there."
"And you know who you are," I say.
"You do know who you are," quips Hinds, "This is a new story, and this is going to excite them because it has never been told before. This is the story of you and I becoming a student and being able to experience Hagrid's Magical Creatures class."
At one point all seven cars of the train dropped almost 17-feet, I thought the ride broke, and I was going to die.
Next, for the price conscious consumer, Universal is opening their seventh hotel at the end of this month. Only on five, Universal Orlando Resort provided WPTV a sneak peek at the new guest rooms inside its new beach-themed Endless Summer Resort's Surfside Inn and Suites.
This resort promises rates in non-peak times for as low as $73 per night. It is the resorts first offering of a two-bedroom three queen bed suites starting at $111 per night.
The new economy hotel located on property south of I-4 at the former Wet n' Wild location will have over 3,000 guest rooms when all phases finish construction.
The rooms include early park admission and transportation but do not include Express Pass. The first phase of the beach-vibe guest house is expected to open June 27.
Make sure you try out... Two words... Breakfast Pizza. It's fire.
Third, speaking of food, there is a new restaurant opening this summer at CityWalk.
Located at the old Emerald's location, there is a new resturant opening called Big Fire. The concept infuses flavors from wood into food. It's a place when you're done with the fair food inside the parks; you can shower, and come back out for a nice dinner.
"We created a great restaurant here. Kinda' that feeling of being out in the [woods] up in a lodge in Montana by the lake. [And] we created a menu we're cooking all over wood. And we are really excited about that because there is no gas back there, so it's all about wood," says Chef Steven Jayson.
Guys, the food has so much flavor, and they have an apple-wood smoked old-fashion that is to die for and for dessert? Table side s'mores.