Press Conference: Universal Parks & Resorts
Day three beagn with a press conference by Universal Parks & Resorts where an official announcement was made that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter would be coming to Universal Studios Hollywood!
Inside the WWoHP west coast edition would be the Flight of the Hippogriff and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey…presented in 3D! The only other park to have the 3D version is Universal Studios Japan!
Press Conference: Visit California
After the Universal Studios Hollywood Press Conference wrapped we attended the Visit California Press Conference where we learned about the #CaliforniaDreamStory initiative and took an epic journalist selfie with Visit California President and CEO Caroline Beteta.
The Visit California initiative I was most intrigued by was of course the culinary travel initiative. Take a look at the Dream Eater video series for 2015.
U.S. Travel Association Press Conference
After we wrapped up with Visit California we launched right into the U.S. Travel Association Press Conference. The U.S. Travel Association presented travel as an export and highlighted the benefits the USA receives from international visitors. They spoke to us about their plans to grow international visitors to the USA from 12.6 million in 2015 to 16.4 million in 2021.
The top seven international markets in 2014 were as follows:
- Canada – 1.1 million visitors
- UK – 1.1 million visitors
- Brazil – 936,000 visitors
- China – 809,000 visitors
- France – 704,000 visitors
- Austrailia – 685,000 visitors
- Germany – 650,000 visitors
NYC & Company Press Conference
Before we broke for lunch we had the opportunity to hear from representatives of the big apple and also one of the world’s biggest pop culture phenomenons…Taylor Swift.
Oh…and fyi…Swift gave this song to NYCgo.com for free!
The New Yourk City Press Conference carried over in some capacity as we headed downstairs for lunch. I don’t know how they did it but they managed to get the entire Broadway cast of Aladdin and The Lion King to the Orange County Convention Center for performances as we dined!
But the entertainmnet didn’t stop there! Oh no! On the Town’s 28 piece orchestra was flown in to perform and then we saw the cast of The Book of Mormon dazzle us as well.
After that we witnessed Danny Burstein kill his performance of “If I Were a Rich Man” from the revived Fiddler on the Roof. All of these Broadway festivities were hosted by “Frasier” actor and comedian David Hyde Pierce! Here’s a shot of Pierce taking with Tim Minchin on stage right before a performance from Matilda.
Trade Show Floor
After we had our musical minds blown, journalists were permitted to walk the main trade show floor and visit with hundereds of domestic travel partners. It was nice to learn about possible destinations I would like to visit as well as meet face-to-face with representativs from resorts I had stayed at and written about here.
Club Anaheim/OC Party at The Pub
We headed out of the Orange County Convention Center and made the short drive over to Pointe Orlando to attend a party being thrown by the Anaheim Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau. The party was held at The Pub Orlando and Anaheim brought along a few of their very own local craft brews for us to sample.
This was the first time I had been back to The Pub since the media preview. It such a fun atmosphere. You can read more about The Pub Orlando here.
IPW Party at the Orlando Eye
After the party at The Pub wrapped we headed on over to the IPW Party at the I-Drive 360 Entertainment Complex. There was a live DJ, full open bar and lots and lots of food.
I had missed my opportunity to take a ride on the Orlando Eye during the Press Brunch here on the first day so I definitely wanted to get in a ride at night…even if it was in the rain.
Luckily we got to experince the Champagne Flight which included one flute of champs and one ride around on The Eye.
After the ride on The Orlando Eye we headed into the Sea Life Aquarium…
…and then brezzed through Madame Tussauds one more time…
Our adventure wrapped up around 11:30 pm and I headed home for a few hours of sleep before beginning the last day of the IPW Orlando Travel Conference.
Stay tuned for the recap of Day 4…