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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

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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What the Fallon ride does is provide a simple opportunity to re-theme the ride for any style of comedy show. Fallon, Colbert, Stewart, etc. There can also be seasonal overlays with this.

 

It's something that people will ride once, and then not again unless there's significant change.

 

Of course, this could end up being an amazing ride that we never paid much attention to, but there's a small, small chance of that.

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#BREAKINGNEWS: Introducing our newest on-site hotel, Universal’s #AventuraHotel. Opening Summer 2018.

 

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http://blog.universalorlando.com/whats-new/universals-aventura-hotel-2018/

 

In the summer of 2018, you’ll be able to step inside Universal’s Aventura Hotel – the next incredible addition to the Universal Orlando hotel collection. It will offer yet another value priced option when choosing from the wide range of hotels at our destination and will bring affordable-chic to life on-site.

 

You’ll arrive to a 16-story tower that soars through the Florida sky, with sunshine and clouds reflecting in its all-glass design.

 

If you’re wowed by the outside, just wait until you walk into the open, loft-inspired lobby, where the sunshine will stream in through 18-foot windows. Those same windows will also provide a view outside to the pool level. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves…

 

After checking in and grabbing a drink from the lobby bar, it’s time to check out your modern and serene guest room, designed with refreshing, natural colors – think sea blue and rose – to ease you into vacation mode. Gaze out your room’s floor-to-ceiling windows as all of Universal Orlando Resort spreads out before you. The first choice you’ll have to make after arriving at Universal’s Aventura Hotel is, “Where to first?”

 

Neighboring Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Universal’s Aventura Hotel will be just steps away from Universal Orlando’s theme parks – Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Universal’s Volcano Bay (opening early summer 2017). And all of it will be accessible by walking paths or complimentary shuttle service right from the hotel.

 

But the fun doesn’t end when you leave the theme parks. Unwind at the hotel with a soak in the crystal clear pool or poolside hot tub – with a cocktail from the pool bar, perhaps? Meanwhile, the kids expend the rest of their energy on the nearby splash pad.

 

When it’s time to eat, there will be plenty of choices within the hotel. On the lobby level, a casual food hall with five different cuisine options will appeal to all different taste buds. Have a seat and eat in, or grab and go back to your room.

 

The area of the hotel I know I’m most looking forward to is the rooftop bar, a first at Universal Orlando. Here you’ll be able to enjoy craft cocktails and small plates while soaking in the incredible panoramic views – you’ll almost be level with the tip of nearby Krakatau, the 200-foot-tall centerpiece of Universal’s Volcano Bay.

 

Need a quick pick-me-up before heading to Universal CityWalk for the night? Starbucks will be ready with your venti in the lobby on your way out the door.

 

And, of course, guests staying at Universal’s Aventura Hotel will receive Early Park Admission to Universal’s theme parks as well as complimentary on-site transportation.

 

We’re thrilled to introduce Universal’s Aventura Hotel to you today. You can start making reservations in just a few short months. In the meantime, start dreaming about being one of the first to stay at this stunning, new hotel.

 

Sign up for emails and stay tuned to the blog for details. We look forward to welcoming you in Summer 2018.

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Edited by jedimaster1227
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Universal Orlando has sent us a press release about a new VIP Experience offered for guests at Blue Man Group!

 

Blue Man Group at Universal Orlando Resort is giving guests an unforgettable opportunity to go behind-the-scenes at the Orlando production of Blue Man Group with a newly-enhanced VIP Experience.

 

On the tour, VIP guests will explore backstage areas and inner-workings generally off-limits to non-show personnel. Highlights include a history of the Blue Man Group creative collective accompanied by rarely seen photographs and company artifacts, a brief history of the Orlando theatre, a hands-on opportunity to play a Blue Man instrument and explore the band tribal make up, and a glimpse into the work it takes to produce the show night after night.

 

“We are thrilled to offer this unique and exclusive experience to our guests,” said Ola Wawryn, Resident General Manager of Blue Man Group at Universal Orlando Resort. “The new VIP Experience provides a true ‘glimpse behind the curtain’ for our guests and gives them the opportunity to experience our show from another perspective while receiving the ultimate VIP service.”

 

The Blue Man Group at Universal Orlando Resort VIP Experience includes:

 

  • An exclusive behind-the-scenes pre-show tour, including:
  • A glimpse of Blue Man Group history and artifacts
  • The opportunity to play a Blue Man Group instrument
  • The chance to try on the band’s fluorescent makeup
  • Some of the best seats in the theater for the Blue Man Group performance
  • Complimentary souvenir program, VIP lanyard, popcorn and soda
  • Private meet-and-greet with a Blue Man after the show
  • A free download of “Creature Feature” off of Blue Man Group’s latest album THREE

The Blue Man Group VIP Experience is available for all performances. Participating guests must check-in one-hour prior to show time and will be greeted by a VIP tour guide. Tickets are $199 (plus tax) for adults, $149 for children ages 3-9 and can be purchased now by visiting universalorlando.com/blueman, calling 407.BLUE.MAN, or by visiting the Blue Man Group Box Office or any Universal Orlando Resort theme park ticket window.

 

For more information, please visit universalorlando.com/blueman or call 407.BLUE.MAN. Fans may keep up with Blue Man Group through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or the hashtag #DareToLive.

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Photo Credit: Kelly Day Photography

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It is hard to keep up with all that Universal is doing at once!

-Newly Opened Toothsome Chocolate Emporium

-New Coke Store by MIB

-Volcano Bay

-Jimmy Fallon

-Aventura Hotel

-Cabana Bay Hotel Expansion

-Fast & Furious

-Wet n Wild Closing

-Purchasing of new land off of I-drive

 

Even though I'm getting a bit irritated of all of the screen based rides, I am excited to see all of these new additions! I wonder what the Universal Orlando Resort will be like 10 years from now!

Edited by chargersmichael
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It seems Universal Orlando is going through a "renaissance" period. Beginning with Hogsmeade in 2011, this new hotel is just another step on the long journey the resort has gone through to try competing with Disney. Not only have the parks been expanding and improving exponentially, but the new hotels, Volcano Bay, and a renovated CityWalk all make for a cohesive experience. I think in 10 years the resort from a distance won't look much different (kind of running out of space), but smaller additions will be made, and attractions that are lacking will be replaced (I'm looking at you Shrek 4-D).

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I like that Comcast is re-investing all that Potter money back into the property. All of these improvements and additions are really making The Universal resort a great stand alone option in Orlando. With another Potter franchise on the horizon, a Nintendo license, and other cool IP's Universal is poised to really start to challenge Disney.

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A lot of people like to hate on Comcast, but man have they invested in Universal Orlando! I mean, I'm used to there being a new (small) addition to each Six Flags park every year, but the way they have been going, Universal has had at least one new attraction open every year for the past few years and seems poised to continue doing that into the future. And these aren't small, minor attractions, these are big, high budget additions! And on top of that, they have doubled (I'm pretty sure) the number of hotels they had just a few years ago, have added a new waterpark (which looks to be poised to be one of the top water parks on earth) and seem to be just a couple years (maybe less) away from announcing a third "dry" park. All in all, it's Universal's way of trying to boost their own numbers but it certainly is working out to the benefit of the amusement park enthusiast!

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^True. I love the new attractions they have added, but I absolutely hate the way they have managed their parks in recent years. If you wonder why, look a few pages back and observe the discussion on metal detectors in queues.

 

In a strange way, the current management of Universal sort of reminds me of Premier/Six Flags in the early 2000's. They are really building some great stuff, but are operating their parks poorly from a guest perspective. However, the difference is that Universal has been financially successful, while Premier/Six Flags expanded their parks in such a way that bankrupted the company, closed the largest amusement park in the world (Geauga Lake), and turn some parks into shadows of their former self (Elitch Gardens).

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  • 3 weeks later...

Nintendo attractions are now confirmed for all three Universal resorts

 

 

http://blog.universalorlando.com/whats-new/nintendo-universal-parks/

 

Last year, I let you know about a new partnership between Universal Parks & Resorts and Nintendo. Today, I am going to update you on this historic collaboration – and share a glimpse at the creative vision behind it.

 

Imagine the fun of stepping into a larger-than-life Nintendo adventure. Gigantic Piranha Plants spring to life. Question blocks, power-ups and more surround you. And Mario and all his friends are there to pull you into a brand-new world.

 

You’ll enter an entire realm filled with iconic Nintendo excitement, gameplay, heroes and villains. And it’s coming to three Universal theme parks around the globe.

 

  • Nintendo-themed areas are coming to Universal Studios Japan, Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood.
  • These will be expansive, immersive and interactive. They’ll be highly themed and authentic environments filled with multiple attractions, shops and restaurants.
    You’ll feel as if you’re playing inside your favorite games – in real life.
  • There will be something for everyone—regardless of their age or gaming experience level.
  • Planning and creative work on these areas is well underway; they will open separately over the next several years.

Shigeru Miyamoto, of Nintendo, and Mark Woodbury, President of Universal Creative, recently sat down to talk about the two teams working together. Along with reviewing potential designs for the land, they also discussed what fans can look forward to experiencing as these exciting plans come to life.

 

The goal of everyone on this project is clear: to bring the characters, action and adventure of Nintendo video games to life within Universal theme parks. And to do so in new and innovative ways that capture what makes them so special.

 

All of the adventure, fun and whimsy you experience through a screen will now be all around you – in breathtakingly authentic ways.

 

Each Universal theme park will announce details of its specific Nintendo areas. The first such announcement will come soon.

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Edited by jedimaster1227
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Hmm interesting. Not sure where this will go, but seems like a natural fit to replace Toon Lagoon at IOA. The theme of that area features comic strips and cartoons that most kids have never even heard of, though I'm not sure how easy it would be to completely retheme the two existing water rides. Seems like that area is ripe for an upgrade though and this would be a natural fit.

 

Of course it could also go back in the kids area at US, which would mean closing one of the last old school US holdovers, ET.

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Hmm interesting. Not sure where this will go, but seems like a natural fit to replace Toon Lagoon at IOA. The theme of that area features comic strips and cartoons that most kids have never even heard of, though I'm not sure how easy it would be to completely retheme the two existing water rides. Seems like that area is ripe for an upgrade though and this would be a natural fit.

 

Of course it could also go back in the kids area at US, which would mean closing one of the last old school US holdovers, ET.

 

I wouldn't mind seeing it go back in US and replace Curious George, barney, etc... I'm hoping they don't get rid of E.T. It needs some updating, but it will always be one of my favorite rides in the park.

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I'm wondering if this will be a whole depress theme park. From the sound of the press release it seems like it could be. I don't know where thy could put the land and make it big enough for everything they want. All I'm hoping for is at least 2 roller coasters!

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Seriously, HOLY CRAP. Being the complete Zelda/Mario fanboy that I am, this is the most awesome thing in the world. And I live less than two hours away from the park, so now I'm in heaven apparently.

Universal's approach to their new developments has been really interesting. They seem to be building a rapport of people who want to visit the parks for one specific land or experience, and are willing to pay full price to do so.

 

I hear tourists all the time talk about going to "Harry Potter World" instead of Universal, and I expect that a lot of people will want to go to "Nintendo Land" or whatever it ends up being called exclusively. I feel that, to those people, every other land and attraction becomes a "bonus" after that. There's nothing inherently bad about going that way, and as always I'm happy to be proven wrong. But the game then becomes - how do we make the land awesome enough for people to want to come to the park exclusively for it, but not so time-consuming that they ignore the other areas?

 

I have always thought that Universal has always had the two- to three-day crowd locked down. If Universal with its "only" two parks (soon to be three with Volcano Bay) becomes so densely packed with awesome stuff that people end up staying four or even five days to truly experience it all, which parks in the area will step up to cater to the weekend crowd? Legoland? SeaWorld?

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They are just snatching up popular brands, since that is the name of the game now.

 

Prior to buying Dreamworks, Universal had pretty much exhausted their own collection of "famous" brands, so it made perfect sense to go out and snatch up big names that no one else owns the rights to.

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I want here twice before. Once when i was 9 in the summer of 1999 and the second time was a few years back. Hearing about the changes now it does seem like USO/IOA is a lot different then i remembered it being. I guess interests change... I though Earthquake was so cool. Same with Twister even though it wasn't an actual ride. So was the other classics they got rid of. It would be very sad if they got rid of their signature water rides but hopefully they wont do that. Not bashing 4D rides they are fun in their own ways but traditional rides will always be the best in my opinion. A lot of people bag on the VR googles on coasters,as long as they dont over do it,i think thats pretty awesome as it combines the best of both worlds. Now imagine if they had rides like that.

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The rumor has been Nintendo will replace the kids area in the studios. The only place I think this could appear in IoA is toon lagoon, if this is where it goes I would be surprised if ripsaw falls survives.

 

The only large unused plot of land in either park right now is the corner of the studios between MIB and kids area. This is where the two sprung tents which are used for HHN are located. This would provide a lot of room and gives easy expansion options. For example change the theme on MIB or expand towards the current kids area.

 

Also another possibility is the fabled third gate. They recently repurchased a huge chunk of land and this could easily form the cornerstone of a new park.

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I've always thought Nintendo's aesthetic would fit perfectly in a theme park. Bright, vibrant and family oriented. I think it also could be a smart move considering the Switch is coming out early next year. It'll do well to bolster the Nintendo brand and experience.

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I've always thought Nintendo's aesthetic would fit perfectly in a theme park. Bright, vibrant and family oriented. I think it also could be a smart move considering the Switch is coming out early next year. It'll do well to bolster the Nintendo brand and experience.

I mean, Nintendo has likely had the Switch in the pipeline since before we even heard of the theme park licensing deal, and it will have likely been on the market for at least a year before any of these theme park lands are completed. If anything, the upcoming Super Mario Run mobile game will help to bolster the brand more than these theme park lands.

 

I don't think people don't go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to learn about Harry Potter - in my opinion, they go there because the stories, films and other media have already had such a positive impact on their lives. I would honestly base the Wizarding World's, and the Harry Potter film franchise's success, on the ABCFamily / Freeform television network, and their constant replays of all of the films - at least partially.

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