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. Glen Campbell's wife Kim discusses challenges, guilt caregivers of Alzheimer's patients, others face

    Life Times

    If there's one thing Kim Campbell would change about caregiving for Alzheimer's patients, it's the attitude so many of us have toward transferring a loved one from home to a long-term care facility. According to Campbell, it's often the most kind, loving decision you can make. It's not a sign of failure, but one of …

    Kim Campbell, wife of country music legend Glen Campbell, is acknowledged by those attending the free event where she shared the story of her personal journey with Alzheimer???‚??„?s disease and the struggles she faced caring for her husband on Friday (5/26/17) at the Suncoast Hospice's Empath Health Service Center in Clearwater. Empath Choices for Care, a member of Empath Health, and Arden Courts Memory Care hosted the free event where Kim shared her story to help others understand the early stages, how the disease changes lives, the challenges families face and the role of caregiver.
  2. What happened when I took my dad to a Pitbull concert

    Music & Concerts

    TAMPA — "So, you know how you like Pitbull?" I asked my dad. "We can see him."

    Selfie of Divya Kumar and Anand Kumar at Pitbull/Enrique Iglesias concert.
  3. Tampa City Council votes to accept travel invitation from Cuban ambassador

    Blogs

    The invitation came to Tampa City Council chairwoman Yvonne Yolie Capin in a June 9 letter from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.

    The Tampa City Council voted 6-0, with Frank Reddick out of the room, to respond to a travel invitation from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 25

    Events

    St. Pete Pride Festival: The daytime festival covers Central Avenue's Grand Central District with more than 350 vendors, multiple stages, live music, art and food. 9 a.m., Grand Central District, 2429 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 342-0084.

    Kristen Whalen poses for a photo before the start of the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg last year. It's that time of year again, so check with us for your planning purposes. [LUIS SANTANA  |   Times (2016)]
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 24

    Events

    St. Pete Pride Block Party and Night Parade: St. Pete Pride's popular parade moves to downtown St. Petersburg's scenic waterfront. The block party brings DJs, food and drinks starting at 2 p.m. The parade steps off at Fifth Ave NE and Bayshore at 7 p.m. with fireworks at 9:45 p.m. 2 p.m., North Straub Park, Fifth …

    Thousands line the streets of Central Ave. during the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg.  [Saturday, June 25, 2016] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]