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

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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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Lots going down at Universal Studios Orlando right now! Within the past week, we have been invited to two media events. Once for the kick off of Grinchmas 2013 and one for the City Walk expansion that is happening RIGHT NOW at Universal Orlando.

 

This is one of those cases where the photos speak for themselves, so here goes...

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Welcome to Universal Orlando! 2014 is going to be a year with lots of changes and new expansions at the resort! 8 new restaurants at City Walk, the brand new Cabana Bay Beach Resort, and of course the second phase of Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley!

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First lets take a look at the final event in 2013...

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GRINCHMAS!

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At Universal’s Islands of Adventure, guests will smile from ear-to-ear during the heartwarming live show, “Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular,” featuring The Grinch and the Whos from Who-ville, accompanied by an original musical score by Mannheim Steamroller.

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Guests can meet the mean, green one himself and the Whos daily and, on select dates, enjoy a special breakfast with the characters.

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The show is a new "re-telling" of the classic "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

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But I think most of us will at least recognize the story and the songs!

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Had a great time checking out this year's version of the show!

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At Universal Studios Florida, the Macy’s Holiday Parade will fill the streets with the same larger-than-life balloons seen in the famous New York City parade.

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Guests will be immersed in the spirit of the season with holiday characters, fantasy-filled floats and a tree-lighting ceremony with the big man himself, Santa Claus.

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This year, there is a brand new addition to the line-up of timeless holiday parade icons.

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Happy the Hippo, a recreation of a 1940s Macy's Parade balloon, made her debut in New York City this Thanksgiving before heading to Orlando to appear in the Macy's Holiday Parade at Universal Studios Florida.

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Guess what? HIPPO BUTT!!!

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I was just in NYC a couple of weeks ago to see the Macy's parade...

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...and now it's here at Universal Studios Orlando!

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Following the parade, the acclaimed musical group Mannheim Steamroller will take to the Music Plaza stage in Universal Studios six nights this year to perform memorable holiday hits on Dec. 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22.

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Remember - Grinchmas at Universal's Islands of Adventure...

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And the Macy's Holiday Parade at Universal Studios! Now through Jan 4th!

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Ready for some more big announcements? How about a make-over of City Walk at Universal Studios Orlando! Check out these 8 new eating and dining locations:

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Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food: Take a journey through the cantinas, street carts, and markets of

Mexico for unique tapas-style dining at Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food. This restaurant takes the place of "Latin Quarter."

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Bread Box: With a Bread Box sandwich, you’ll be transported back to your childhood kitchen or your

favorite street corner deli. Bread Box takes the place of Cigarz.

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Cold Stone Creamery: For more than 25 years, Cold Stone Creamery has served up the finest, freshest ice

cream, cakes, smoothies and shakes using only the highest quality ingredients and their signature process of

preparing your custom ice cream creation on a frozen granite stone.

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Hot Dog Hall of Fame: Strike out your hunger at Hot Dog Hall of Fame with some of the most iconic

hot dog creations from our nation’s most famous ballparks. Take a seat in the bleachers and enjoy a loaded

Chicago dog with all the toppings, a perfectly charred Boston brat, a monster LA dog and more.

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Menchie’s: One of the world’s most popular frozen yogurt shops is coming to Universal CityWalk. Menchie's is replacing TCBY.

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NOW OPEN – Red Oven Pizza Bakery: Take a quick trip to Italy for authentic, artisan pizza--made

fresh, while you wait--at Universal CityWalk’s first-ever Neopolitan-style pizza bakery. The combination of

the highest quality ingredients and a traditional 900-degree stone-lined oven ensures every slice is pizza

perfection.

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Starbucks will be moving downstairs into a new location and will be expanded for better service.

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The Cowfish: Innovative sushi joins forces with creative burgers for an untraditional dining experience at

this reincarnation of the popular North Carolina hotspot. The result: "Burgushi". A cutting-edge fusion of

burger and sushi, burgushi items include sushi rolls created using burger components and sandwiches

created using sushi elements. Cowfish will go upstairs where the old Starbucks used to be. Downstairs will be the new Italian Kitchen with the current working name of "Pranzo" that will replace Pastamore.

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A refreshed "Universal Studio Store" will also open at City Walk and expand the offerings from the Universal parks.

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The guys from The Cowfish doing the "Burgushi!" Where burgers and sushi collide!

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Construction photo from today of Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food. You can already see the restaurant taking shape and we are told it will be opening "soon."

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This sign will be changing soon as Cigarz, TCBY, and the Candy store will close to make room for Menchie's and Bread Box.

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The Lombard Street area of City Walk will also look a bit different than it does now!

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We got more teasers about Cabana Bay Resort opening soon...

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The resort will feature 10 lanes of bowling...

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1,800 rooms split between family suites and normal guest rooms. Targeted at more of a "value" priced range.

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Giant pool areas, lots of amenities, and easy access to the parks! Cabana Bay Beach Resort will focus on families and accessibility for your budget.

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We also got another teaser for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter phase 2: Diagon Alley.

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Yup, Hogwarts Express is officially happening. You will board the train from one section of the Wizarding World and travel to the other. No mention on how tickets and passes will work between the two parks, but I'm sure those details will be coming soon!

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Here's an overhead shot of Diagon Alley concept art.

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Announced was the Leaky Cauldron restaurant!

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Universal said it will be just like walking into the location from the books and movies!

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Yup - Summer 2014 for the opening! And that wraps up this update on Universal Orlando! I'm sure there will be LOTS of additional updates in the coming months!

Edited by robbalvey
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Based on the concept art, I assume, Pastamore is leaving in favor of the Italian kitchen? This all looks awesome IMO, the concept art looks great. I can't wait to try these new offerings on my next visit.

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Really bummed that Cigarz is going away. You can always get a good real beer there or the 32 oz Crudweiser for a few bucks. It's also where the locals go to get away from the craziness that happens. I'm sure sandwiches will help the bottom line more than a local booze and smoke shop, thus why it's going. I blame Potterland. Potter and his evil powers!

 

The real question is, where can one get a real beer that's not one of the big three at Uni now? Before answering, do your homework to see how many so called "craft beers" really aren't as they're made by the big three under an umbrella name!

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I saw a massive Starbucks and decided that I approve of the changes

 

Not included in the report is that they will also be serving the new tentdue 32 oz. coffee, and the sessantquattro 64 oz. refillable mug for just $24.99.

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Really bummed that Cigarz is going away. You can always get a good real beer there or the 32 oz Crudweiser for a few bucks. It's also where the locals go to get away from the craziness that happens. I'm sure sandwiches will help the bottom line more than a local booze and smoke shop, thus why it's going. I blame Potterland. Potter and his evil powers!

 

The real question is, where can one get a real beer that's not one of the big three at Uni now? Before answering, do your homework to see how many so called "craft beers" really aren't as they're made by the big three under an umbrella name!

 

I would also like to know the answer to that, but am also looking forward to trying my first Duff beer in Krustyland.

 

I will certainly be interested to read some reviews or TPR foodie reports on these new restaurants at CityWalk...especially the hot dog & pizza places. And the Cowfish burgers sounds very interesting!

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I saw a massive Starbucks and decided that I approve of the changes

 

Not included in the report is that they will also be serving the new tentdue 32 oz. coffee, and the sessantquattro 64 oz. refillable mug for just $24.99.

 

As a tame Brit I read this as trolling, but knowing that you have that crazy 30oz one in the States I'm inclined to believe it a little bit!

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I saw a massive Starbucks and decided that I approve of the changes

 

Not included in the report is that they will also be serving the new tentdue 32 oz. coffee, and the sessantquattro 64 oz. refillable mug for just $24.99.

 

As a tame Brit I read this as trolling, but knowing that you have that crazy 30oz one in the States I'm inclined to believe it a little bit!

 

Ahhhhh the refreshing taste of a trenta black tea lemonade, or two.

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Oh man, some awesome things are coming to Universal Orlando. I had no idea all these new restaurants were coming to the Citywalk. The Cowfish restaurant sounds like a unique place to eat. I hate to say this but thank you Comcast for sending all your money you earned by overcharging people for your non working cable to Universal to build awesome new things.

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