Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

P. 1399: Holidays at Universal Media Event Photo Report!
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby Canobie Coaster » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:54 pm

Does anyone know the latest time Universal lets you back inside the park?

I ask because I'm interested in getting night rides on both Rockit and Hulk. To do that, I'd have to re-enter one of the parks ~ 45-60 minutes before closing.
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby chaos » Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:49 am

Last night I'm pretty sure people were still coming in 45-60 minutes before closing to see the Harry Potter Christmas show.

And speaking of the show, if you go to IOA at night . . . get ready. You should be fine riding Hulk, but you are going to make a loop around the park, you can only go counter-clockwise (through Suess, Harry Potter, then Jurassic, etc.)

You will get stopped somewhere in Hogsmeade or Lost Continent if the crowds get too bad. Then they will let people through in 20 minute intervals.

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby coasterbill » Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:14 am

This show looks amazing. I've never seen an intellectual property print money like this one does. :lol:

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby jedimaster1227 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:27 pm

This weekend Theme Park Review was invited to experience the holidays at the Universal Orlando Resort, featuring new offerings like Christmas at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and returning favorites like Grinchmas! Along the way there was plenty of food, fun and holiday merriment to be had!

Universal has had a strongly established line up of holiday offerings for over a decade, but this year the resort upped the ante with the introduction of a new holiday parade, Christmas decor and entertainment in both parks' respective Wizarding World of Harry Potter lands, the return of Grinchmas & Mannheim Steamroller and the introduction of the new nighttime projection show, "The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle." There was so much to take in throughout the weekend and so much to love, to the point that we revisited all of the new shows at several times throughout our visit!

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We started out the media event with an evening at Universal Studios Florida, where the holidays greet you before you event enter the turnstiles!
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In case you were wondering what we were doing here!
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Even the Universal Orlando Resort logo has gotten in on the holiday cheer!
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These pumpkin and marscapone ravioli were incredible! Little bites of heaven for sure!
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The second best kind of martini you can have...
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There was no shortage of sweets either.
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Lots of holiday treats to enjoy...
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Michael Aiello and Lora Sauls took the stage to share insight into the development of this year's new offerings. For Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter three new Frog Choir songs and four new Celestina Warbeck tunes were created.
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An unexpected visitor dropped in to remind us that Grinchmas is back this year too!
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A huge Christmas tree in the New York section of the park sets the mood for our evening!
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The lead float of the parade spins and digitally displays the "Universal's Holiday Parade featuring Macy's" logo along with logos representing the other franchises found in the parade.
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The parade is a great mix of the old Macy's parade and a new Universal franchises.
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Not surprisingly, Despicable Me and the Minions have a significant role in the parade.
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This is the first time that Lucy from Despicable Me 2 has been seen in the parks!
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KING BOB!!!!
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One more Minions float for good measure...
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Next up is the Madagascar section of the parade, starting with The Penguins of Madagascar. Interestingly enough these characters used to meet guests in Universal but were retired following the end of an agreement previously established with Dreamworks, leading to the characters moving to Busch Gardens Tampa for a show in the Stanleyville Theater. Now that Dreamworks is owned by Universal and the deal with the SeaWorld Parks has concluded, these characters have returned to the Universal parks.
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It wouldn't be Madagascar without King Julien! Sadly, "I Like to Move It" is not included in the parade's audio loop.
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The final Madagascar float features all of the main characters from the films.
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The talking donkey and the flying donkey behind it should be an indication of what's next.
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That's right folks, Shrek is represented in Universal's Holiday Parade featuring Macy's.
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Following the Universal characters, some of Macy's most recognizable characters make their way down the parade route.
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These new floats are fantastic!
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So many recognizable images from Macy's past.
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Pretty awesome!
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Santa Claus has come to town!
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The London Waterfront in Universal Studios Florida has been dressed up for the holidays...
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As has the inside of Diagon Alley!
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Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees have four new songs to share with The Wizarding World, made especially for the holidays!

Photo courtesy of the Universal Orlando Resort
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It is that magical time of year again when Hot Butterbeer is served fresh in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!
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Hogsmeade station has a little bit of extra decor too!
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Looking in to Hogsmeade from the outside, you'll notice there's significantly more aglow here...
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Except here.
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The Frog Choir has three new holiday tunes to share in the shadow of Hogwarts Castle.
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"The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle" is a new projection show running exclusively in Hogsmeade for the holiday season.
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The Weasely Brothers leave their mark on Hogwarts Castle during the show...
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Fireworks on the castle!
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The new projection show and the lighting that comes with it is stunning!

Photo courtesy of the Universal Orlando Resort
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The Yule Ball section lights up the castle in a beautiful way!
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There's even some real fireworks to mark the end of the show!
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Another fantastic evening in Hogsmeade, made especially great thanks to the new evening entertainment!
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Suess Landing is dressed up for this year's edition of Grinchmas.
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Q is for Quan. Quan is for Quandary.
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Over at the Sapphire Falls Resort, we were able to see how the holidays are celebrated at the Universal Orlando Resort hotels.
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Chimichurri steak? Sign me up!
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Jerk pork? Sold!
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Back at Universal's Islands of Adventure guests can enjoy a live retelling of the classic story, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."
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Cindy Lou carries the show...
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But the entire cast is spot on!
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The duet between the narrator and the Grinch for "You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch" is definitely my favorite moment of the show.
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And of course, there's a happy ending to be had!
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Grinchmas is definitely worth going out of your way for, especially if you're a fan of the source material.
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A look at Hogsmeade with the holiday decor during the day.
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The moose out front should've told ya.
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Back in Diagon Alley, the Leaky Cauldron has been dressed up for the holidays...
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As has much of Diagon Alley overall.
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Proper representation found!
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Even Gringotts Bank got in the spirit!
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We ran into some jolly snowmen while roaming Universal Studios Florida!
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Since we had a little time on our hands we stopped into Race Through New York starring Jimmy Fallon to see the Ragtime Gals.
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Mannheim Steamroller is another holiday classic for Universal Studios.
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You've undoubtedly heard their holiday arrangements before and the live concert is a great way to cap off an evening checking out the holiday offerings in the parks.
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Even the parks' merchandise has been updated to fit the holiday theme.
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Holiday Minion merchandise!
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And Grinchmas merchandise!
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We ended our weekend with a visit to the always-fabulous Cowfish for some burgushi (see above is the Big Squeal Burger between two Kani Buns with a side of seaweed salad!
Change the scheme, Alter the mood! Electrify the boys and girls if you would be so kind!

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby cfc » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:50 am

Whether you like Harry Potter or not, Hogsmeade does provide a perfect backdrop for Christmas festivities. The resort looks great.
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby Canobie Coaster » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:00 am

I wasn't able to stand and watch the Christmas show because of how insanely crowded Hogsmeade was, but I saw parts of it as I walked to Forbidden Journey. It looked great!

I really want to like the Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley areas morw. The level of theming is spectacular. But it's always so uncomfortably crowded. Maybe someday I can poke around the shops, but until then I will just be popping in and out for the rides.

chaos wrote:Last night I'm pretty sure people were still
coming in 45-60 minutes before closing to see the Harry Potter Christmas show.

And speaking of the show, if you go to IOA at night . . . get ready. You should be fine riding Hulk, but you are going to make a loop around the park, you can only go counter-clockwise (through Suess, Harry Potter, then Jurassic, etc.)

You will get stopped somewhere in Hogsmeade or Lost Continent if the crowds get too bad. Then they will let people through in 20 minute intervals.


I was able to park hop a half hour before closing. Unfortunately I didn't get my night Rockit ride since it closed early for the concert. I did get my night Hulk ride though. I was shocked they closed the single rider line off so I ended up waiting about 50 minutes for my last ride, but it was worth it. I love how forceful that coaster is and the unique layout.
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby jray21 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:22 am

cfc wrote:Whether you like Harry Potter or not, Hogsmeade does provide a perfect backdrop for Christmas festivities. The resort looks great.


I agree. And the food looks great too!
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby Jew » Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:54 pm

cfc wrote:Whether you like Harry Potter or not, Hogsmeade does provide a perfect backdrop for Christmas festivities. The resort looks great.


I agree. I saw the show in Hollywood...I like it a lot more than the previous Night Time Lights show USH had. The castle makes a great projection map setting.
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby Philrad71 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:52 pm

jray21 wrote:
cfc wrote:Whether you like Harry Potter or not, Hogsmeade does provide a perfect backdrop for Christmas festivities. The resort looks great.


I agree. And the food looks great too!


I agree...and I'm almost embarrassed to say that I have never had steak chimichurri before! :(
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