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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

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

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Universal just tweeted "Who says lightning doesn’t strike twice?"

 

 

You think they're just tooting their horn or are they about to announce something?

 

I may be wrong but wasnt that their slogan for the Diagon Alley ads? It could be referencing that. If its for an announcement, I could imagine it foreshadowing Kong. It was a big hit once, and theyre doing it again aiming for similar success...lightning striking twice.

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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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The way I look at it, both rides use a "fast drop" to get the riders into the dark ride experience, much like Pirates of the Caribbean does with it's drop.

 

But you're right. I don't think Gringotts and Wonder Mountain should really be compared in the same sentence!

 

I had cracked a similar joke when the ride first opened to your facebook review

 

WMG is really the diet coke of Gringots. Small coaster section, coaster cars that have motion base, track drop section, 3D video with glasses, a dragon, caverns.

Like · July 8 at 11:48am

 

...

 

Theme Park Review I think Wonder Mountain may actually have a bigger coaster section.

Like · July 8 at 11:53am

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I'd just like to add this . . . I just came back from a FANTASTIC trip to Orlando and although we got one-day unlimited fastpass park-to-park passes, we just didn't have time to ride either of the Harry Potter rides, but we did have some butterbeer . . . did you know there are only two places you can buy butterbeer in North America? . . . Orlando at Universal and in Toronto, Ontario, Canada . . . my home town! I had some this past weekend! Guardian should never be compared with anything Universal has or will ever have . . . Guardian has many issues that Universal would have resolved a long time ago . . . including broken laser guns, dirty 3d glasses and blurry screens . . . Transformers is an INCREDIBLE ride! Crystal clear screens, full motion ride vehicles, what Guardian could have been . . . do you people think Transformers or the new Potter ride is better . . . I'm not a Potter fan, but I think Transformers is just INCREDIBLE! . . .

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^Glad to hear you had such a great time!! Personally, despite not being a Potter fan, I like the new Harry Potter ride (Gringotts) more than Transformers, because its a little more unique. However, I would put Transformers above the older Harry Potter ride (Forbidden Journey) because TF's execution is so much better. I would put every ride at Universal above the Hogwarts Express

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I'm still shocked that Diagon Alley will not be open for Horror Nights. A Dementor themed house would be pretty awesome.

 

When I worked there in 2011-2012 I remember discussion of this, but if J.K. Rowling won't even allow soda to be sold in the parks, I don't think she will ever permit Halloween Horror Nights to have access to it either.

 

It's all about making her universe. Hell, you have to take a test that was approved by J.K. Rowling just to work in the areas.

 

I counter your worst attraction at Universal with SHREK the torture device.

 

With Jimmy Neutron being removed, and replaced with Despicable Me, I'm sure they'll hit up right across the street and either renovate Shrek to a more modern version, or completely gut it and overhaul.

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I'm still shocked that Diagon Alley will not be open for Horror Nights. A Dementor themed house would be pretty awesome.

 

That's only during the night when it's flipped over to HHN right? I'm planning a quick weekend trip in late September and I want to get some Diagon Alley stuff done in the morning.

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I counter your worst attraction at Universal with SHREK the torture device.

 

With Jimmy Neutron being removed, and replaced with Despicable Me, I'm sure they'll hit up right across the street and either renovate Shrek to a more modern version, or completely gut it and overhaul.

 

Shrek aint goin anywhere anytime soon. It still pulls a solid crowd, sells a decent amount of merchandise, and is still highly marketable. Shrek is on several bilboards promoting Universal, AND takes up a considerable chunk of space on merch bags. Its unpopular for those who have seen it several times, but its still a draw for less-than-frequent visitors. Hell, it cam draw up to 20-30 minute waits when using both of its 350-seat theaters, which is pretty remarkable for a basic 3-D movie.

 

In terms of stuff getting gutted, Twister, KidZone, and possibly even Disaster are out before Shrek.

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I'm still shocked that Diagon Alley will not be open for Horror Nights. A Dementor themed house would be pretty awesome.

 

That's only during the night when it's flipped over to HHN right? I'm planning a quick weekend trip in late September and I want to get some Diagon Alley stuff done in the morning.

 

Yep, it will be open during daylight hours!

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..possibly even Disaster are out before Shrek.

 

NOOOOO!!!! Disaster is one of the most entertaining experiences at Universal Orlando! Sure, the ride itself is dated, but the renovation of the preshow is incredible! Also, The Rock.

 

Actually, speaking of The Rock, if they were to retrofit the attraction into the new Fast & Furious attraction going to Hollywood I wouldn't be too sad.

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If I had to pick anything that's the closest to renovation, it would be Kidzone, as there are actual rumors about it, and the rumor of the third gate being a more family oriented park. Shrek is still well-known, Disaster is only 6 years old and it's hilarious, Twister can never go because we need Bill Paxton's dramatic acting in our lives.

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If I had to pick anything that's the closest to renovation, it would be Kidzone, as there are actual rumors about it, and the rumor of the third gate being a more family oriented park. Shrek is still well-known, Disaster is only 6 years old and it's hilarious, Twister can never go because we need Bill Paxton's dramatic acting in our lives.

 

The latest rumor is that Twister is out in favor of some sort of Jimmy Fallon-based show (there are already talks underway with getting NBC's involvement and an account for the attraction has been set up as far as I know).

 

As for Disaster, I agree its a good show and is not too old yet, but its removal would be based on reliability more than anything. It has had quite a bit of downtime this summer and I believe Universal has been looking for a viable reliable alternative.

 

I wish both of these rides would stay, as they have the old-school feel Universal keeps getting rid of. They also use physical sets and effects which is nice in a park becoming increasingly overrun by 3-D. But thats not the way Universal sees it I guess :/

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I have not been in Disaster or Twister in YEARS mainly due to the pre-shows. If you could just go right into the attraction, I'd do it, but the pre-shows just take soooooo long! It's not like Tower of Terror where you're in and out in 90 seconds, I feel like these pre-shows add so much time to the attraction, and after you've seen them once, you don't ever need to see them again.

 

It's a shame, because I actually do like the core attraction of each ride, but not enough to stand around for 10-15 minutes watching something I have no interest in.

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https://www.universalorlando.com/Landing/harry-potter-celebration.aspx

 

image.jpg.352bb4c415313123433ecb0aede8ae64.jpg

http://blog.universalorlando.com/visiting-us/celebration-harry-potter/

 

We have some exciting Harry Potter news to share with you today! Universal Orlando Resort and Warner Bros. will be hosting the second annual “A Celebration of Harry Potter” event from January 30 to February 1, 2015.

 

Park guests were so thrilled by “A Celebration of Harry Potter” last year that we’ve decided to host another fun-filled opportunity for fans. This special event celebrates the global phenomenon that is Harry Potter as fans from around the world join together at Universal Orlando Resort for three days of everything Potter.

 

All general admission park guests will have the chance to experience the “A Celebration of Harry Potter” Expo, attend Q&A sessions with Harry Potter film talent, visit the all-new The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley and much more!

 

For all the super fans out there, a limited number of exclusive event vacation packages—including annual passholder packages—will go on sale at noon (EST) on August 21. These packages offer hotel accommodations, theme park tickets, and exclusive benefits including:

 

  • An exclusive Q&A session with select Harry Potter film talent
  • An evening event in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade
  • Breakfast at the Three Broomsticks in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade (one per person)
  • Reserved seating for select Celebration events
  • A specially themed Welcome Parcel
  • Complimentary commemorative merchandise item

 

Whew, that’s a lot of Potter packed into one weekend!

 

Last year, these packages sold out within days, so if you want to be in the center of this celebration, make sure to set your alarms for noon (EST) on August 21, or buy your general admission theme park tickets for those dates now!

 

Check out the “A Celebration of Harry Potter” page for more details.

 

Look forward to seeing you in January for this unforgettable event experience!

Edited by jedimaster1227
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Universal was "teasing" at an announcement over the last couple of days, but it looks like it's just this...

 

UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT AND WARNER BROS. TO HOST SECOND ANNUAL “A CELEBRATION OF HARRY POTTER” EVENT IN JANUARY 2015

 

Official Site: https://www.universalorlando.com/celebration

 

“A Celebration of Harry Potter” will Feature Incredible Experiences at Both Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida Jan. 30 – Feb. 1

Vacation Packages with Exclusive Benefits, Including Exclusive Q&A Sessions with Harry Potter Film Talent, Go on Sale Thursday, August 21 at Noon EST

 

Orlando, Fla. (August 14, 2014) – Universal Orlando Resort and Warner Bros. announced today that they will host the second annual “A Celebration of Harry Potter” event – a special event for fans celebrating the global phenomenon that is Harry Potter.

 

Beginning January 30, 2015, fans will enjoy three days of incredible experiences – including the “A Celebration of Harry Potter” Expo, Q&A sessions with Harry Potter film talent and more. Special vacation packages, including annual passholder packages, will go on sale August 21 and will include exclusive benefits such as access to an exclusive evening event in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade and the all-new The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley. Full vacation package details are below.

 

All general admission park guests will have the opportunity to:

 

· ~ Attend Q&A sessions with Harry Potter film talent and other special guests (talent attendees will be announced at a later date)

 

· ~ Experience and participate in the interactive and unique exhibits of the “A Celebration of Harry Potter” Expo

 

· ~ Enjoy special discussions regarding various aspects of the Harry Potter franchise

 

· ~ Visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida. Plus, ride the Hogwarts Express between the two lands with a park-to-park ticket.

 

· ~ And much more!

 

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley officially opened in Universal Studios Florida on July 8, 2014 bringing even more of Harry Potter’s adventures to life at Universal Orlando Resort. The new land features incredible shops with windows full of magical surprises, authentic dining experiences, a fire-breathing dragon and the new multi-dimensional thrill ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. Guests with a park-to-park ticket will also be able to board the iconic Hogwarts Express and enjoy a unique journey as they travel between London and Hogsmeade. The new immersive area expands upon The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, launched in 2010 in Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and doubles the size of the sweeping area already dedicated to Harry Potter’s adventures to create a spectacularly themed environment across both Universal theme parks.

 

While most of the activities for “A Celebration of Harry Potter” will be open to all Universal Orlando park guests and annual passholders, only guests who purchase the exclusive event vacation package or annual passholder package will enjoy certain special benefits and reserved seating for select events. Packages are limited and will go on sale at noon EST on Thursday, August 21, 2014. See below for full package details.

1638053624_CoHPReleaseArtwork.thumb.jpg.6c253c056681164eb6495910975c69d2.jpg

Edited by robbalvey
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http://prevuemeetings.com/resources/news/renovations/universal-orlando-will-soon-attract-larger-meetings/

 

Universal Orlando Resort will soon offer corporate event planners more meeting space. The 1,000-room Loews Royal Pacific Resort is undergoing the largest meeting space expansion in Universal Orlando history. Already the largest meeting hotel at Universal Orlando—with 85,000 sf of space—Loews will offer 141,330 sf of meeting space by fall 2015.

 

The addition will connect to the existing meeting space, playing on the hotel’s design theme inspired by the South Pacific. The hotel, for instance, features an open-air orchid garden and hand carvings flown in from Bali. The new space will include an almost 36,000-sf ballroom (divisible by 12), as well as breakout rooms and prefunction space.

 

“Our expansion responds to the tremendous demand we have received from larger groups,” says Larry Beiderman, managing director of Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando. “Meeting planners have a lot to look forward to as we expand, and they will continue to benefit from our culinary team, along with the exciting outdoor event space we offer.”

 

One of those outdoor spaces is the 3,375-sf outdoor Wantilan Luau Pavilion, complete with a central fountain that features elephants, colorful flowers and palm trees. Meeting planners can even plan for the group to participate in a traditional luau. The hotel hosts one weekly, complete with Polynesian food, live Hawaiian music and traditional hula and fire dancing.

 

The Loews addition is the latest in a series of new group offerings at the Universal Orlando Resort to open in the past year. Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort opened earlier this year, as well as the expansion of Universal CityWalk and the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley attraction. In fact, for those meeting attendees interested, the hotel offers guests theme park benefits such as early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida. For attendees in a hurry, they can also get complimentary Universal Express Unlimited ride access, which allows them to skip the regular lines all day in both Universal Orlando theme parks.

 

“This is such an exciting time to plan an event at Universal Orlando, as we grow the universe of options throughout our resort,” says Kathy Cattoor, vice president of resort sales for Universal Orlando.

image.jpg.38901ad1434b36cadbad14a5ef576216.jpg

Edited by jedimaster1227
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Based on recent permits it is believed that a new resort will be built adjacent to the Loew's Royal Pacific Resort with the new property sharing linked convention space with Royal Pacific. The only thing confirmed at this point is the expanded convention space.

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Yes, Orlandoguy, my family had a FANTASTIC trip to Orlando, Disney and Universal . . . the Unlimited Park-to-park Fast Pass is absolutely necessary to see both parks in one day. We really had to keep moving and only had time for Rip Ride and Hulk for repeat rides but those rides alone make the unlimited fast pass worth it. I'm sure Florida residents don't buy a fast pass every time as we don't buy a fast pass for Canada's Wonderland, however, when you renew for a 2015 Canada's Wonderland season pass, they are including one Fast Pass to try this year . . . my family were spoiled using fast pass at Disney and Universal and now we are excited to be treated with a free fast pass at our own park! Does Universal offer a free Fast Pass to Florida resident Season Pass holders?

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I have not been in Disaster or Twister in YEARS mainly due to the pre-shows. If you could just go right into the attraction, I'd do it, but the pre-shows just take soooooo long! It's not like Tower of Terror where you're in and out in 90 seconds, I feel like these pre-shows add so much time to the attraction, and after you've seen them once, you don't ever need to see them again.

 

It's a shame, because I actually do like the core attraction of each ride, but not enough to stand around for 10-15 minutes watching something I have no interest in.

 

Agreed. The Disaster pre-show should be titled "Watch Christopher Walken Pull a Paycheck." As for Twister, who doesn't like the "flying cow"?

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I have not been in Disaster or Twister in YEARS mainly due to the pre-shows. If you could just go right into the attraction, I'd do it, but the pre-shows just take soooooo long! It's not like Tower of Terror where you're in and out in 90 seconds, I feel like these pre-shows add so much time to the attraction, and after you've seen them once, you don't ever need to see them again.

 

It's a shame, because I actually do like the core attraction of each ride, but not enough to stand around for 10-15 minutes watching something I have no interest in.

 

Agreed. The Disaster pre-show should be titled "Watch Christopher Walken Pull a Paycheck." As for Twister, who doesn't like the "flying cow"?

 

I feel the same exact way! When I went to ride Disaster on my last visit to Universal, I forgot how long the whole entire pre-show is and a lot of it is drawn out. As for Twister...you wait outside to go inside. You go inside to Pre-show #1. Then onto Pre-Show #2. Then onto the actual fun of the ride about 15 minutes later. A lot of it can be cut back. Put all into one Pre-show and then continue it.

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^ I understand your complaints, but you need to look at it from the perspective of the park, not as a repeat guest. Universal designed those rides to pump people through in large groups. For the main show being as large and long as it is, it would be very inconvenient for people to be stuck outdoors in the hot Florida summer longer thn they need to. Therefore they do the multiple preshows to get people indoors. And yes, I'm aware that they could enclose the queue areas, but would you rather stand in a line in the air conditioning or be somewhat entertained while in line with a preshow?

 

Remember, Universal Orlando, just like all of the Orlando parks, thrive mostly from tourists. Their market isn't toward the people that will visit multiple times in one year, it's to the people who will visit once every few years or longer. If you haven't been to Universal in five years you wouldn't think the preshows are as annoying than when you visit constantly.

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