OUR FAVOURITE DESTINATIONS FOR FILM FANATICS
FILM BUFF? VISIT THESE FILMING LOCATIONS
If you’re a movie fanatic, it’s likely that at some point or another you’ve found yourself suddenly inspired to pack your bags and visit a destination filled with your favourite movie locations… but which holiday destinations offer the very best cinematic activities?
We’ve selected three of the best spots that are bound to satisfy even the most fervent film fanatic, with a range of tantalising activities from sets and studios to thrilling movie-themed adventure parks.
Orlando has been nicknamed ‘Hollywood East’ for its role in Hollywood history, and holidays to Orlando are a great choice for movie buffs looking for a generous dose of sun and access to some of the world’s most famous film studios.
Orlando has served as the backdrop to a host of cinema favourites, from the gripping to the loveably kitsch. Firmly in the latter category is Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (2015); Orlando’s signature theme parks and studios were terrorised by menacing air-born sharks in this film. If it’s shark action you’re after, you might want to pay a trip to SeaWorld Orlando and its underwater Shark Encounter Tunnel, both featured in the film Jaws 3-D (1983), for a photo shoot with the toothy beasts.
We also recommend taking a fascinating guided tour of the movie production facilities at Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Universal Orlando Studios, both of which include tons of themed attractions and thrilling rides. Orlando is a must-visit destination for fans of J.K. Rowling’s boy wizard, with all the magic of the Harry Potter films faithfully recreated at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park and its enchanting replicas of Hogwarts and Hogsmeade Village.
Orlando is a hugely popular party destination, making it the obvious choice for Harmony Korine’s cult party favourite Spring Breakers (2012), which shows off the world-famous party culture perfectly. With more than 12 theme parks, dozens of rollercoasters and a bustling nightlife, Orlando offers the perfect getaway for film fanatics and adrenaline junkies alike.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
If it’s gangsters, spies and box office classics that top your list of cinematic favourites, you can’t do better than a trip to America’s original Sin City — Las Vegas! Its suave gambling rooms, luxurious hotel suites and hypnotic neon skyline have set the scene for countless cinematic classics, from Bond’s 1971 outing in Diamonds Are Forever to Johnny Depp’s hilarious misadventures in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998). And who could forget the iconic sequence of Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman descending the casino escalator in matching suits in the 1988 classic Rain Man, as parodied in 2009’s The Hangover? From Ocean’s Eleven (2001) to Martin Scorsese’s epic Casino (1995), Vegas has hosted almost every gambling and heist movie worth its salt, and is a must-see location for any self-respecting movie buff.
Film fanatics planning Las Vegas holidays might want to stay at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, which stands proudly in the heart of the iconic Strip. The largest single hotel in the United States, it features 30 floors and five outdoor pools. This hotel is so revered it has become a national landmark, and it is featured prominently in many film classics including Ocean’s Eleven (2001) and Casino.
Alternatively, those looking for something a little wackier can try the circus-themed Circus Circus Hotel and Casino. It is found right in the middle of the famous Strip, boasts the largest permanent big top in the world and has notably featured in films such as the family classic Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (1992) and the cult spy comedy Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997). Housing its own theme park and rollercoaster, Circus Circus is bound to be a favourite among kids both young and old.
If stunning views are more your thing, why not try the Stratosphere Hotel & Casino, home to the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States? There’s also something for Sharknado fans here too, as the casino’s tower features prominently in opening scenes of Sharknado: The 4th Awakens (2016).
If it's a themed trip you’re after, take a look at the Egyptian Luxor Resort & Casino, an 111m pyramid that fires the strongest light beam in the world into Vegas’ night sky. Featured in Mars Attacks! (1996) and The Hangover, the Luxor is a great choice for party animals, with its famous LAX Nightclub often drawing in Hollywood stars.
Period drama fans may also want to travel across the moat of the medieval-themed Excalibur Hotel and Casinos and into a world where brave knights and spell-binding wizards are still in fashion. All of these fantastic hotels provide a range of excellent gambling opportunities, stunning guest rooms and exciting entertainment for the perfect Vegas experience.
With its awesome desert landscapes and epic urban architecture, the United Arab Emirates has recently become a firm Hollywood favourite for shoot locations — particularly in the action, thriller and sci-fi genres — and has hosted some of this decade’s biggest blockbusters.
Star Wars fans will be intrigued to learn that the fictional desert planet Jakku, Rey’s home planet in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), was in the Rub’ al Khali Desert, whilst Furious 7’s (2015) most hair-raising stunt involved a car (only just!) leaping between Abu Dhabi’s three Etihad Towers, with yet more of the film shot in the neighbouring Liwa Desert.
Among the UAE’s cities, however, nowhere has proved more popular for Hollywood directors and film buffs alike than the stunning city of Dubai. Its gleaming spires, alien deserts and rich mix of cultures make it a tempting shoot location and Dubai holidays are perfect for any film fan looking for a taste of Hollywood.
When searching for the perfect location to act as the backdrop for the futuristic starbase Yorktown, Jeffrey Chernov, the producer of Star Trek Beyond (2016), said they were ‘searching for the future and found it in Dubai’, whilst script co-writer Simon Pegg described the magnificent futuristic land of Dubai as a ‘gateway to new cultures’.
What’s more, not one but two of Tom Cruise’s hair-raising Mission: Impossible films have been filmed in the UAE. Dubai provided one of Mission: Impossible 4’s central shooting locations, and features one of the series’ most impressive and memorable daredevil stunts: Tom Cruise (no stunt double required!) scales the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, on nothing but a single hair-thin wire. Standing at 830m tall, it is a truly amazing site, as we’re sure you'll agree.
It surely dwarfs the following film’s (2015’s Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation) comparatively safe Morocco, Vienna and London locations in terms of sheer size, spectacle and excitement, making Dubai the obvious choice for fans of the much-loved action franchise, and for die-hard action and sci-fi fanatics in general.
With so much movie-related excitement for the eager film buff in all three of these amazing locations, your craving for a cinematic holiday experience is bound to be satisfied wherever you choose. Whether it’s hair-raising theme parks and studio visits in Orlando, the glitz and glamour of Vegas or the stunning desert landscapes and futuristic architecture of Dubai, be sure to catch a slice of the action for less by taking advantage of one of our long haul holiday offers and booking online today.