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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

P. 602: Universal Holidays & Velocicoaster photo report posted!

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Looks very good, almost identical to the movies (Some details are missing on the front, but these could be added later). Still think this is one great concept, true to the intentions of the books. Looks good.

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I like how they build a roller coaster in the same time it took them to built new lockers for Harry Potter.   

On Sunday I ventured out to the Universal Orlando Resort for a chance to see the new holiday offerings at the two parks. This year is a little different thanks to COVID-19, but Universal has still man

^Agreed. I think the newer Intamin lapbars are actually the best steel coaster restraint currently being produced. When comparing overhead lapbars on Taron and Blue Fire, I found the Intamin ones to b

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I wonder if they will restrict entry to guests with a park-to-park ticket?

Yes, that's how it will work. Think of it like being the monorail from MK to Epcot. You need a ticket to get in.

 

There is no monorail line that goes from the Magic Kingdom Park to EPCOT. But there are two lines that go from the Magic Kingdom Park to the Ticket & Transportation Center and then another separate monorail line that goes from the Ticket & Transportation to EPCOT and back.

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I wonder if they will restrict entry to guests with a park-to-park ticket?

Yes, that's how it will work. Think of it like being the monorail from MK to Epcot. You need a ticket to get in.

 

There is no monorail line that goes from the Magic Kingdom Park to EPCOT. But there are two lines that go from the Magic Kingdom Park to the Ticket & Transportation Center and then another separate monorail line that goes from the Ticket & Transportation to EPCOT and back.

I think out of all people, Robb knows. It doesn't have to get all technical.

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I wonder if they will restrict entry to guests with a park-to-park ticket?

Yes, that's how it will work. Think of it like being the monorail from MK to Epcot. You need a ticket to get in.

 

There is no monorail line that goes from the Magic Kingdom Park to EPCOT. But there are two lines that go from the Magic Kingdom Park to the Ticket & Transportation Center and then another separate monorail line that goes from the Ticket & Transportation to EPCOT and back.

 

I think his post was meant more hypothetically than literally.

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I wonder if they will restrict entry to guests with a park-to-park ticket?

Yes, that's how it will work. Think of it like being the monorail from MK to Epcot. You need a ticket to get in.

 

There is no monorail line that goes from the Magic Kingdom Park to EPCOT. But there are two lines that go from the Magic Kingdom Park to the Ticket & Transportation Center and then another separate monorail line that goes from the Ticket & Transportation to EPCOT and back.

 

Of all the Floridians, pretty sure Robb is the last one you need to tell what MK does/does not have.

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It's a clever way to 1) carry guests from park to park and 2) force parents to buy their Harry Potter fan-children two-park tickets.

 

Fixed.

 

It's all very devilishly clever.

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I think it's quite an interesting power move, and really unprecedented. (or maybe I'm reading into it too much)

 

Unveiling a new e-ticket (maybe d-ticket?) that is only available to the upper tier ticket buyers? Seems bold. If the only way to experience this new attraction is to pony up for a more expensive ticket, I would expect anger and backlash.

 

Jay

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^You already have to buy a two-day ticket to visit both parks. I imagine that most people spring for those, anyway--especially if they're at the resort for just one day.

 

Yes, some people will be annoyed, but I doubt it will be a major problem for Universal, no more so than it has for Disney in California.

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omg this is so exciting! i can't wait till this opens and the entire dragon alley, i could see the trains when i was in line for evil dead ! this entire project is insane and completely owns the them park industry, no one is doing anything near this, anywhere! hands down UO is my favorite park ever.

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Engine looking great.

 

Lets see how the passenger cars will look like. A hard compromise between being true to the movie - having replicas of old coaches with 6-passenger compartments - or high capacity like at the Disney parks...

 

Also interesting if they will theme the outside of the railway. A ride around back- and parking-lots does not sound very "Harry Potter"-ish. EDIT: Wouldn't it be cool if the windows of the cars are in fact screens showing English landscape plus effects from the movies like dragons or something?

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Engine looking great.

 

Lets see how the passenger cars will look like. A hard compromise between being true to the movie - having replicas of old coaches with 6-passenger compartments - or high capacity like at the Disney parks...

 

Also interesting if they will theme the outside of the railway. A ride around back- and parking-lots does not sound very "Harry Potter"-ish. EDIT: Wouldn't it be cool if the windows of the cars are in fact screens showing English landscape plus effects from the movies like dragons or something?

I heard similar speculation and knowing how important it is, I could see them doing that. Maybe that 3D glass stuff I think they use in the Nintendo 3DS? It sounds like it would look realistic.

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I like how the train looks dirty and has the soot stains put along the top of the engine to make it look like it's done plenty of trips with "students" already, nice attention to detail for some reason I had just assumed that it'd be shiny looking and new as if it had just left the workshop.

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From everything I've read around the internet, it seems like the most realistic option plus the best way to disguise the fact that the trains are moving through a backstage area is having what are basically TV screens instead of real windows. That way, people only see what Universal wants them to see. Either way, it looks like I need to get back down to Florida in the near future to check out all the new HP options.

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the windows in the cars will definitely have screens as windows showing the english countryside as well as various "scenes" happening during each ride . such as dement ors possibly taking over the cabin with dimming lights and cold air

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I think it's quite an interesting power move, and really unprecedented. (or maybe I'm reading into it too much)

 

Unveiling a new e-ticket (maybe d-ticket?) that is only available to the upper tier ticket buyers? Seems bold. If the only way to experience this new attraction is to pony up for a more expensive ticket, I would expect anger and backlash.

 

Jay

 

I don't see it that way. I'm sure the experience will be fantastic but I'm not sure that many people will see it as a "ride". It's a convenient, fun and probably very technologically advanced way of getting between the two parks. I doubt people will get bent out of shape about not being able to ride it if they don't have a two park ticket because they will understand that the ride takes you to a different theme park, hence you need to pony up!

 

Either that or I'm overestimating the public again...

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I finished up my second trip to HHN this year last night. I went last Wednesday the 16th and last night the 24th. I have been wanting to go to HHN for years but lived in Tampa so always 'settled' for Howl-o-Scream. I have heard a lot about HHN for many years which probably hyped me up but I couldn't help but feel disappointed at first. Its only after I assessed my trips I realized the true differences between the two events. HHN has much more detailed houses based on actual movies/shows which are fantastic although they feel very short and really on a few true scares not startle scares. HOS seems to have longer, less detailed houses with more much more startle scares. I will admit I have not attended HOS this year but Thursdays at HOS in years past are extremely quite. Where as HHN Thursdays still rack up 140 minute waits through the night. Wednesdays are a bit quieter but it only opens to 12am which can really cut back on what you can experience. I have also given up on being scared in houses. I am not trying to prove how manly I am or any of that non sense as I truly would enjoy the adrenaline of getting scared but it just doesn't happen which is kind of disappointing for me and I hoped HHN would scare me due to all the hype surrounding it. I guess what I am trying to say is HOS and HHN are both very respectable events in my opinion with their own strengths and weaknesses but neither is 'better' than the other, IMO.

 

For those interested on how much I got done on each day. The Wednesday I managed to do 4 houses and all rides. Thursday I managed 7 houses and 3 rides. Both days without express passes.

 

Favorite houses this year;

1) American Werewolf in London- unanimous favorite among everyone in my groups

2) Evil Dead- Strictly for the sets and following the movie story line. Perfectly executed.

3) Llorona- I read up about the premise of this house on the forums and thoroughly enjoyed it.

4) Cabin in the Woods- Once again this house followed the story quite well with many noticeable scenes

5) Walking Dead- Mainly for the length of the house and the familiar props, however the walkers were not true to the show

6) Havoc 2- Having low expectations for this house definitely helped. Girls in my group got good scares throughout

7) After Life- I've never been a fan of 3D houses they all feel the same and every park has one...

8) Resident Evil- I'm not going to lie I have never played the games nor watched the movies. Felt lost in this one.

 

 

In regards to the Harry Potter expansion I have a friend who works at US and seems adamant that each 'train' has 500k in audio visuals. Take it for what its worth since he is only a ride op lol.

 

Also, does anyone have the drop height for RRR? I can't believe its 167 feet :/

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http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/os-comcast-universal-earnings-20131030,0,6068560.story

 

Optimus Prime is picking up where Harry Potter left off.

 

A new Transformers-themed thrill ride helped lift attendance and guest-spending at Universal Orlando this summer, the resort's parent company said Wednesday.

 

That in turn powered Comcast Corp.'s overall theme-park business to the strongest quarterly performance in its history, as operating cash flow — a measure of profitability — jumped 8.6 percent during the third quarter, from $316 million to $343 million.

 

Comcast said it was the largest quarterly operating cash flow ever produced by the NBCUniversal theme parks, which also include Universal Studios Hollywood in California and several international resorts. As recently as 2009 — the year before the opening of Universal Orlando's paradigm-shifting Wizarding World of Harry Potter — the business churned out about $400 million in operating cash flow for the entire year.

 

Jessica Reif Cohen, an analyst with Merrill Lynch, called the theme-park results "very impressive."

 

Though they were mostly an afterthought when Comcast acquired NBCUniversal from General Electric Co., the them parks have blossomed into a major profit center. Universal Parks & Resorts accounted for more than a quarter of NBCUniversal's total $1.3 billion operating cash flow for the quarter, making it the media company's second-most profitable business behind cable networks.

 

Philadelphia-based Comcast, the country's biggest cable provider, reported a companywide profit of just under $3 billion for the quarter, up 67 percent for the quarter. Total revenue was $16.5 billion, up about 2 percent.

 

Comcast executives were quick to point out that they expect even strong results next year, when they open a new Harry Potter land in Orlando. The second phase, dubbed "Diagon Alley," is being built in Universal Studios Florida and will be connected the original Wizarding World in Islands of Adventure by a train attraction. Comcast says it will open sometime in the spring.

 

Comcast Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian Roberts reminded analysts that next year will include opening the "much-anticipated Harry Potter II in Orlando."

 

Steve Burke, the NBCUniversal chief executive officer, told analysts that he was in Orlando last week to check on Potter's progress. He noted that the project has been timed to debut just after the first-quarter opening Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort, which will be the resort's fourth on-site hotel.

 

"We obviously have grown increasingly bullish about the theme-park business," Burke said.

 

Comcast has vowed to accelerate construction of new attractions in their theme parks, with a goal of opening new rides annually at both its East and West Coast resorts. The strategy was evident in the company's third-quarter financials, as NBCUniversal's total capital spending nearly quadrupled — from $75 million to $284 million — primarily because of theme-park projects.

 

http://www.greenroofs.com/projects/pview.php?id=1604

 

Project Name: Garden Bridge at Universal Studios Orlando

Year: Current

Owner: Universal Studios

Location: Orland, FL, USA

Building Type: Commercial

Type: Intensive

System: Single Source Provider

Size: 3000 sq.ft.

Slope: 1%

Access: Accessible, Open to Public

Submitted by: Green Roof Service LLC

 

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:

Architect: Miles Architecture Group Inc.

Landscape Architect: Libra Design Group

Green Bridge Designer: Green Roof Service LLC

Drawings provided by Miles Architecture Group, Inc.

 

Modern green roof technology with comprehensive design and engineering solutions enables visitors to cross a busy four-lane highway without leaving the lush greening of a park. How cool is that?

 

The Garden Bridge at Universal Studios in Orlando is the first of its kind in Florida. Designed by Miles Architecture Group Inc., Libra Design Group and Green Roof Service LLC, the green bridge creates an innovative connection of Universal City developments. Selected ground covers, shrubs and trees escort pedestrians almost without notice that they are crossing over a busy highway. The distinctive landmark project is engineered with people in mind.

 

The Garden Bridge at Universal Studios Orlando project is approximately 3,000 sf (145' x between 18 and 25' wide). The bridge is designed to pond water in the granular drainage area to increase the water retention (a blue-green roof combination).

 

Unique projects require unique solutions. Keeping the costs for the structure low, the trees are located above the bridge's pillars. The walkway gently winds up to the bridge and over and is easy accessible for the handicapped or service carts.

 

This innovative green roof project is a mater piece of teamwork between architects, structural engineers, landscape architects and green roof professionals with an open mind and encouragement from the client for something different.

 

Construction will begin in early 2014. All drawings provided by Miles Architecture Group, Inc.

 

garden_bridge_universal_orlando8-2.thumb.jpg.928f3193b8f37300195fc201af96c780.jpggarden_bridge_universal_orlando10-2.jpg.906577a96d84599d3d99d2a44740a033.jpg

http://www.prowrestling.net/artman/publish/TNA/article10034001.shtml

 

Coming off the heels of one of TNA’s highest-attended “Bound For Glory” Pay-Per-View events to date, TNA Wrestling announces a 24/7 cross-platform programming initiative, “Where Action Never Ends,” beginning today. Marking an evolution in the way fans experience professional wrestling, through this initiative, cameras will be rolling on the TNA superstars at live events, on the road and in their homes, giving viewers the chance to experience IMPACT Wrestling 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

 

How this will work: Fans will see compelling, “cameras everywhere” content infused into IMPACT Live on Spike TV every Thursday from 9-11 p.m. ET. For the remaining 166 hours of the week until the next show, they will also have the chance to see many of the wrestlers they love and storylines they follow unfold as this exclusive content filmed during the week will be presented online at www.impactwrestling.com, on social channels including YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as well as a variety of new distribution channels in the coming months.

 

A longtime valued partner, Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla, will serve as the hub for TNA’s revolutionized programming strategy with shows primarily taping at their location, along with some IMPACT shows that will be filmed on the road from different markets. The first IMPACT show scheduled from Orlando will air live on November 21.

 

“The way that people view television has dramatically shifted, and it is incumbent upon us to deliver a modern, revolutionized way of watching professional wrestling to our fans,” said President Dixie Carter. “Our reality is that we only have 82 minutes of programming each week and a large roster of talented professionals that deserve more exposure. With our new ‘Where Action Never Ends’ creative direction, we will deliver just that for both them and the fans.”

Carter continued, “Bringing live events to our fans across the globe will remain a vital element of TNA’s business; however, our renewed focus, as it relates to our television programming, will shift from live event touring to 24/7 show content, so that fans can really get to know our talent. And, in making Orlando’s Universal Studios our programming hub, we have the powerful combination of state-of-the art production facilities and incredible soundstages that will make it easier for us to launch this new production-intensive initiative. We will also be working with Universal to develop new and creative ways for park guests and fans from around the world to experience a unique TNA attraction.”

 

“Universal Studios Florida Production Group is pleased to be TNA Wrestling’s partner as it launches its 24/7 cross-platform initiative ‘Where Action Never Ends’,” said Pamela Tuscany, Vice President and General Manager, Universal Studios Florida Production Group. “We look forward to the successful launch of ‘Where Action Never Ends’ giving viewers the chance to experience IMPACT Wrestling 24 hours a day/7 days a week.”

 

Along with a refreshed creative approach, several new characters will be announced in the coming months. In recent weeks, fans have already seen Ethan Carter III (EC3) and Lei’D Tapa, TNA’s newest Knockout. Universal Studios will also serve as the primary training facility for TNA talent moving forward, providing the opportunity to train and develop talent on an ongoing basis.

 

The strength and success of TNA’s programming worldwide is at an all-time high. TNA Wrestling ratings around the world are seeing significant increases particularly in important international television markets such as the UK and Germany where the show is the number one wrestling program on television. Additionally, TNA recently inked new deals with distribution partners in Portugal and New Zealand, renewed a multi-year deal in France, and recently-launched programming in India is performing beyond expectation.

 

“A decade ago, TNA started as a Pay-Per-View only company only and has grown into a global success. I am more excited than ever about our ‘Where Action Never Ends’ creative direction and what will become the next evolution of professional wrestling,” said Carter.

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It seems like each year since Comcast has taken over Universal Orlando has been making profit. I really like the look of the bridge they are going to build as well. I wonder how long the walk will be from the new resort to the parks.

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This is all good news. It seems like they really care about improving and expanding the park in ways that not only introduce fun new rides, but introduce small things that make the guest experience a little more enjoyable such as this new landscaped bridge. I'm excited to try out all the new stuff the next time I get back there. By then Harry Potter Diagon Alley will be open, I have yet to try out Transformers, Simpsons Land happened, and all these small improvements around both parks are happening. Exciting times.

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Universal just keeps proving that "You have to spend money to make money" in this industry. Glad to see Comcast is committed to the parks.

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