Make us your home page
Instagram

Attractions news: Universal bets on 'Secret Life of Pets'; plus new exhibit for Kennedy Space Center

Universal’s movie The Secret Life of Pets opens on Friday, but the buzz has the company already eyeing attractions. A store has popped up in Orlando’s Islands of Adventure.

Universal Pictures

Universal’s movie The Secret Life of Pets opens on Friday, but the buzz has the company already eyeing attractions. A store has popped up in Orlando’s Islands of Adventure.

The Secret Life of Pets doesn't open in theaters until Friday, but it's already getting such buzz that Universal Studios theme park in Orlando has introduced new entertainment options and maybe even a ride based on the film.

The film, which centers on what animals do after their owners leave for the day, has the voices of Louis C.K., Modern Family's Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Dana Carvey and Albert Brooks.

The Orlando theme park through Sunday will be showing an exclusive trailer for the animated comedy during the pre-show of the Animal Actors on Location show. There's also a Secret Life photo booth nearby and a special trailer before Universal's Cinematic Spectacular, the big movie clip show that ends the night at the park.

But the most intriguing news came from NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke, who told an investor conference on June 20 that a ride is in the works for a film that hasn't opened yet.

"We have started a Pets attraction even before the film comes out, which if the film doesn't do as well as I think, it will be painful," Burke told analysts. "But I think it will do very well."

Pets is getting good buzz, including from the Times' Steve Persall (read his review soon at tampabay.com/movies), with reviews hailing it as a lovable, madcap comedy that pet lovers will lap up.

But the company hasn't revealed where the ride will go. Universal has theme parks in Orlando, Hollywood, Singapore and Japan. But a new Secret Life of Pets store has sprung up in Toon Lagoon at Islands of Adventure in Orlando, stocked with plush animals, shirts and figurines.

The movie is from the creators of Despicable Me, which has a popular ride in Universal Studios Orlando called Minion Mayhem. And the theater in Toon Lagoon has been vacant for a few years, leading theme park bloggers to speculate that it's a prime spot to park a Pets ride.

Boeing and Kennedy Space Center team up for a new attraction

For the first time, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex had teamed up with Boeing as the title sponsor of Heroes & Legends, an attraction set to open this year .

Slated to open on Nov. 11, Heroes & Legends will be the first stop for most visitors, using interactive elements and engaging exhibits to introduce heroes of space exploration.

This marks the first time in more than 50 years that the visitor complex has entered into an agreement with a corporate sponsor.

The Boeing company's technology contributed to the development of the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle programs. A permanent replica of Boeing's X-15 rocket plane is being designed to appear on top of Heroes & Legends, as if launching skyward from the roof.

Crayola Experience in Orlando adds summer deals

Crayola Experience is celebrating its first anniversary with deals it calls a Summer of Savings.

You can save $39 on a family four-pack of annual passes for $99.99 for the attraction inside Orlando's Florida Mall. Other deals include half-price admission after 5 p.m. and free admission within seven days of your birthday.

The Orlando location is the first attraction to open outside of Crayola's home base in Easton, Pa. It features scores of hands-on activities featuring Crayola materials. Read a review of the attraction at tbtim.es/m41.

Regular admission is $18.99 at crayolaexperience.com and $22.99 at the door. Children 2 and younger are free.

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at swynne@tampabay.com. Follow @SharonKWn.

Attractions news: Universal bets on 'Secret Life of Pets'; plus new exhibit for Kennedy Space Center 07/05/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 5, 2016 6:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Tuesday May 30

    Events

    Finding Neverland: The hit Broadway show follows the story behind playwright J.M. Barrie as he struggles to find inspiration to create Peter Pan, until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. 7:30 p.m., Carol Morsani Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, …

    Mitchell Wray, Jordan Cole, Finn Faulconer and Ben Krieger as the Llewelyn Davies Boys in the National Tour of Finding Neverland. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
  2. Big rents and changing tastes drive dives off St. Pete's 600 block

    Music & Concerts

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kendra Marolf was behind the lobby bar of the State Theatre, pouring vodka sodas for a weeknight crowd packed tight for Bishop Briggs, the latest alternative artist to sell out her club.

    Sam Picciano, 25, left, of Tampa and Molly Cord 24, Palm Harbor shop for record albums for a friend at Daddy Kool Records located on the 600 block of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida on Saturday, May 20, 2017. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times
  3. Restaurant review: Features Gastropub in Riverview is fine as movie theater fare, but unimpressive otherwise

    Food & Dining

    Movies aren't exactly dying. Despite all the sturm und drang of predictions that Netflix and streaming videos would kill the cinema, global box office receipts hit $38.6 billion in 2016, a 1 percent gain over the previous year. But that doesn't mean going to the cinema is precisely what it was a generation …

    Soft pretzels are displayed with a beer at the Features Gastropub in the Riverview 14 GDX  theater in Gibsonton, Fla. on Thursday, May 25, 2017.   The 5,900-square-foot Features Gastropub open in the . This element of the project is the brainchild of Philadelphia chef Brian Duffy, who appears frequently on NBC's The Today Show and the Spike TV show Bar Rescue
  4. From the food editor: I love that food is a huge part of Master of None's transcendent second season

    Cooking

    Deep into a late-night binge of Master of None, Aziz Ansari's Netflix series that returned for its second season May 12, I realized I was laying as far back on my couch as possible, blanket clutched up to my chin, eyebrows permanently raised.

    Dev (Aziz Ansari) and Arnold (Eric Wareheim) eat lunch in Modena, Italy, in the second season of "Master of None."
  5. Three 'MasterChef' contestants from the Tampa Bay area talk cooking inspiration and more

    Cooking

    When Gordon Ramsay's MasterChef begins its eighth season tonight, the Tampa Bay area will have three contestants to root for. A marketing director from Tampa, a dentist and Palm Harbor native, and an employee for a steel supply company are all trying to impress a trio of judges with their home-cooking skills.

    Jeff Philbin, from Tampa, left, Palm Harbor native Paola Annoni Patel, and Danny Flores, of Land 'O Lakes, will be competing on the season premiere of "Masterchef."