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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

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

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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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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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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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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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There's even some real fireworks to mark the end of the show!

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The Yule Ball section lights up the castle in a beautiful way!

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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!

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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

Found the ACEr.

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

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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.

 

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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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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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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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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  • 1 month later...

https://blog.universalorlando.com/visiting-us/more-in-store-for-2018/

 

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With an amazing 2017 behind us—did someone say Universal’s Volcano Bay AND Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon AND an entirely new Holidays?—there’s no slowing down in 2018. From grand openings to upcoming announcements, here’s a quick look ahead at what you can expect from Universal Orlando Resort.

 

Fast & Furious – Supercharged

Opening: Spring

 

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The latest installment of the Fast & Furious franchise isn’t in your local cinemas or streaming on your favorite device. It’s a big, bold ride—and it’s right here at Universal Studios Florida. Jump in alongside your favorite Fast characters in a crazy chase scene that feels like it’s right out of the movies. The attraction is also filled with cars and props from the movies, perfect for that selfie on your IG.

 

Universal’s Aventura Hotel

Opening: August

 

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Universal’s Aventura Hotel to Bring Affordable-Chic to Life at Universal Orlando Resort in Summer 2018.

 

If you’re looking for modern, sleek and perfectly-priced accommodations while you’re here, look no further. Our sixth hotel welcomes you this August. You can already book a room and start dreaming about the views out your floor-to-ceiling windows, the sparkling pool and our first rooftop bar.

 

Perched 17 stories up in the air, you’ll enjoy striking, panoramic views of all three theme parks. You’ll be able to look out over the iconic Hogwarts Castle, the twists and turns of Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster, and the tropical oasis of Universal’s Volcano Bay.

 

Special Events

 

Beyond the rides and shows, your favorite events will be back this year! A Celebration of Harry Potter and Mardi Gras are just around the corner. And here are a few more of my favorites to look forward to.

 

Halloween Horror Nights 2018

Opening: September, with select nights through October

 

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The world’s premier Halloween event will return for it’s 28th straight year at Universal Orlando. When this event ends, I always ask myself, “How will we top ourselves next year? There’s no way.” But then those demented geniuses go off and do it. Can’t wait to see the terrifying houses, scarezones and shows they scare up for us.

 

Holidays

Opening: Mid-November

 

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The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle - Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort

 

This year brought all-new décor, live shows and an incredible music and lighting spectacle on Hogwarts castle with Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It also included an all-new Universal Holidays Parade Featuring Macy’s with entirely new balloons and floats. And all that’s on top of the fun of Grinchmas, Mannheim Steamroller performances and holiday cheer all around.

 

Well, it’s all coming back again this year for more holiday merriment and mischief. Consider your holiday travel plans booked.

 

Crystal Ball Gazing

 

While I can’t share details on things yet to be announced, you can expect to hear an announcement or two from us this year on things like:

 

  • The previously-announced ride replacing Dragon Challenge in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade
  • An additional projection mapping experience at Hogwarts castle
  • Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular being replaced
  • Something new going in where Terminator 2: 3D was
  • A new venue coming to Universal CityWalk where Element was
  • Our expanding hotel collection
  • The continued global expansion of our partnership with Nintendo. Our sister park in Japan has already broken ground on Super Nintendo World; I’m sure you can’t wait to hear what’s next.

 

Whew! There’s a lot to look forward to in 2018, that’s for sure.

 

Stay tuned in to the blog, follow us on social, and sign-up for emails to stay connected to all things Universal Orlando Resort. I’ll see you in the streets.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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I'm pretty interested to see what happens with the old T2 location, seems like that location could go a lot of ways depending on if they demo the whole site or re-purpose the theater in it's current form. I always liked the T2 show even though it was incredibly dated, so if they were to develop some kind of new live action stunt show I could see it working well.

 

Whatever it is there's a good possibility it will involve 3D glasses......

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Universal Orlando just announced the addition of "The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle" projection mapping show presented in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade.

 

Calling all Gryffindors, Ravenclaws, Hufflepuffs and Slytherins...

 

For the first time ever at Universal Orlando Resort, guests will be able to celebrate their Hogwarts house pride during an all-new, breathtaking experience – The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle – debuting on Wed., Jan. 31 and running select nights throughout 2018.

 

As night falls in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, state-of-the-art projection mapping, coupled with special effects and lighting, will wrap Hogwarts castle in a dazzling display celebrating the four houses of Hogwarts – Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin. Guests will watch in awe as the spirit and iconic elements of each house are brought to life on the majestic castle – all set to incredible music based on the original scores from the Harry Potter films.

 

This will be the second projection mapping experience Universal Orlando has featured in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade. Over the holiday season, Universal debuted “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle,” which brought incredible Christmas moments inspired by the Harry Potter series to life. Both experiences were also featured at Universal Studios Hollywood.

 

“The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle” will make its official debut at Universal Orlando Resort on Wed., Jan. 31 and run select nights throughout the year – but park guests can preview the new experience on Jan. 27 and Jan. 28 during “A Celebration of Harry Potter 2018.” The experience will run continuously each evening starting at dusk.

 

And guests who’ve purchased A Celebration of Harry Potter vacation package can be among the first to see this experience at Universal Orlando during an exclusive preview event on Friday, Jan. 26. Event packages can be purchased here.

 

“The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle” is scheduled to run Jan. 31 – Feb. 5, and Feb. 7 – Feb. 12. Additional dates will be announced at a later time on http://www.universalorlando.com.

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Universal Orlando has officially confirmed that Voodoo Doughnut will be coming to Universal CityWalk in 2018!

 

Voodoo Doughnut to Bring its Sinfully Delicious Flavors to Universal Orlando Resort this Spring

 

The doughnut shop with a cult following is arriving east of the Mississippi at Universal CityWalk.

 

Who: Kenneth “Cat Daddy” Pogson and Tres Shannon created Voodoo Doughnut in Portland, Oregon in 2003. The pair had enjoyed experimenting with unique flavors to create eccentric pastries and they turned their passion into the phenomenon that is Voodoo Doughnut. As they say, the rest is history.

 

What: Voodoo Doughnut will open at Universal CityWalk, Universal Orlando Resort’s entertainment and dining complex. Loved for its sinfully delicious, delightfully weird lineup of fried creations, Voodoo Doughnut will feature signature originals and one-of-a-kind delectables such as the Dirt Doughnut, the Bacon Maple Bar, Grape Ape and, of course, Voodoo Doll doughnuts.

 

When: The new Voodoo Doughnut location is set to open at Universal CityWalk in Orlando this spring. Stay tuned at UniversalOrlando.com, the Universal Orlando blog and social channels for more information.

 

Where: Since their Portland, Oregon origins, Shannon and Pogson have continued to spread their unique flavors with several new locations including a few more in Oregon and shops in Denver, Colorado; Austin, Texas and CityWalk at Universal Studios Hollywood. The new location at Universal Orlando will be the first location east of the Mississippi. The shop will feature the same eclectic pink theming and irreverent names that can be found in current Voodoo Doughnut locations. It will be located next to NBC Sports Grill & Brew, just steps away from the iconic Universal Globe and Universal Studios Florida entrance.

 

Why: Delicious doughnuts… Need we say more! Your mouth should be watering at this point.

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Edited by jedimaster1227
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This looks awesome and I'm sure people will love it but.......................

 

Get out of here with those fancy donuts with cereal and bacon and garbage, the only donuts that matter are

1. traditional glazed

2. cream filled long john (not Boston Creme or custard you monsters)

3. Apple Fritter

 

 

(yes, get off my lawn )

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  • 2 weeks later...

This weekend Theme Park Review had the opportunity to experience "A Celebration of Harry Potter" once again at the Universal Orlando Resort. This three day event features celebrity talent from the Harry Potter film series along with a variety of companies involved with the Wizarding World franchise presenting panels, demonstrations and exhibits throughout the parks including two different sound stages hosting the Harry Potter Expo.

 

Much like in previous years, the event allows Potter fans to cosplay and to indulge in their fandom in the two Wizarding World of Harry Potter realms. This year the event featured several new stars, new exhibits and the public debut of a new projection show, The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle! Standouts of the event included this year's presentation from the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter attraction, the Fantastic Beasts Virtual Reality Experience and the debut of the before-mentioned projection show. The Universal Orlando Resort already has so much to offer Harry Potter fans year round, but this annual event ups the ante for the fans, casual and less-so. The most invested of fans will undoubtedly be most sold on the event, but the exhibits and panels offer a little extra for everyone, whether they be fans of the books, films, audiobooks, artwork or simply the theme park lands that have brought so many guests to the Universal Orlando resort over since Hogsmeade in 2010! Vacation packages are definitely the most heavily recommended way to experience the event with dedicated viewing space for panels and demonstrations, expedited access to the two Harry Potter Expo sound stages and exclusive time in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter lands including food and beverages (unlimited Butterbeer) during this time.

 

We look forward to seeing what next year's event brings, with a new Harry Potter attraction on the horizon at the Universal Orlando Resort set to open in the future and new Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them films on the way--the event can only grow with these new injections into the already insanely-popular fandom surrounding this intellectual property!

 

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This weekend TPR was at Universal Orlando this year's "A Celebration of Harry Potter" event!

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We started the event with a media Q&A session with the stars of the Harry Potter film series.

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This year Minalima returned to share a look at their work on the new Fantastic Beasts film!

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A live Harry Potter in Concert performance by the Orlando Philarhomonic was accompanied by fireworks at the opening ceremony on Friday night.

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Friday also brought the first Florida performance of "The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle."

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This new projection show features segments dedicated to each of the four Hogwarts houses.

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Hogwarts Castle really glows during the Slytherin segment of the show.

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Fire engulfs the castle in the Gyffindor section of the show.

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And of course, there are fireworks!

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And we're back for the second day of "A Celebration of Harry Potter" 2018!

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Time to head into the Harry Potter Expo!

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"The Making of Harry Potter" exhibit from the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London has returned to the Harry Potter Expo with this year’s exhibit focused on the practical effects of the Harry Potter Film series!

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This year guests could order custom phone cases with Harry Potter-inspired designs.

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This year’s Minalima exhibit at the Harry Potter Expo featured a wide variety of pieces designed by the team for the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films!

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We had a chance to speak with Mina of Minalima this morning! Her favorite piece they worked on for the Harry Potter film series is the Marauder’s Map!

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More fantastic work from Minalima!

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The Minalima booth also has the official event posters for sale including designs from the previous years! This year’s design features Weaselys’ Wizard Wheezes in Diagon Alley!

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This year’s event merchandise is available for purchase in both of the sound stages hosting the Harry Potter Expo.

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The Scholastic exhibit at the Harry Potter Expo features the many Harry Potter books include the new illustrated series!

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The screen-used Goblet of Fire from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is and it actually spits out a burnt paper with Harry Potter’s name on it!

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Dolores Umbridge’s outfit from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix actually smokes from inside! This was a practical effect designed for one scene in the film!

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The practical effect from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone where the Dursley’s House is inundated with Hogwarts acceptance letters could be seen up close at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London exhibit at the Harry Potter Expo!

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Look out!

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The fans are anxiously awaiting the opening of the Harry Potter Expo!

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The first guest sorted in a Hogwarts House for the day!

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We checked out the updates to the Fantastic Beasts Virtual Reality Experience featuring two new beasts... And with this you don’t have to go far to find them!

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One of two new Fantastic Beasts interactions...

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The Fantastic Beasts Virtual Reality Experience now includes a close encounter with the Niffler! Keep your shiny belongings close!

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We had the chance to try out the new Hogwarts Mystery game from Portkey Games and Jam City. The new RPG for mobile devices will be released this Spring!

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Lots of props from the Harry Potter films can be found throughout the Harry Potter Expo.

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Over the course of the weekend chalk artists are creating this art live in person at Universal Studios Florida!

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The Pottermore exhibit at the Harry Potter Expo is featuring a gallery of art that is available to order.

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We ran into Dolores Umbridge at the Harry Potter Expo....

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She reminded us that we shouldn't tell lies!

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There was an exclusive wand available only for "A Celebration of Harry Potter" this past weekend.

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During the event chococolate frog boxes are marked to indicate a guaranteed Bertie Bott collectible wizard card included in the box!

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Throughout the day Music Plaza Stage is hosting a series of panels and demonstrations for A Celebration of Harry Potter!

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Hashtag the Panda is watching guests by Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon!

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More Harry Potter chalk art in the park.

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Cosplayers can be found throughout Universal Orlando thank's to the weekend's events!

Edited by jedimaster1227
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(Continued)

 

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We found the Sorting Hat!

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More cosplayers!

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Even more cosplayers!

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Don’t miss this nod to Jaws outside of the entrance to Diagon Alley!

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No shortage of cosplayers to be found in Diagon Alley!

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Enjoying the beautiful weekend weather in Diagon Alley!

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A guest cosplaying as Hagrid gave guests a unique photo opportunity near Gringotts!

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Listen closely when wandering through Knockturn Alley... You may hear “Show Me the Way to Go Home,” a song sung during the classic film Jaws. Jaws inspired an attraction at Universal that was later replaced by Diagon Alley.

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You may run into some dark wizards and witches while roaming Knockturn Alley...

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Cosplayers were meeting up throughout the day at Carkitt Market within Diagon Alley!

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You might even experience a duel or two throughout the weekend!

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The Toon Lagoon Amphitheater in Islands of Adventure is host to a series of panels and demonstrations during the weekend!

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Guests have the chance to meet students of the Beauxbaton Academy of Magic and the Durmstrang Institute while in Hogsmeade.

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There were a lot of guests in Hogsmeade today!

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Pumpkin Fizz!

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There’s magic at work where Dragon Challenge used to be in Hogsmeade...

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The viewing area for the first showing of The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle has filled and guests are being held in Hogsmeade for the next showing.

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“The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle” features fireworks during its finale.

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Back for the last day of the event!

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Looks like a regular chair...

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But it magically transforms into Adam!

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Yesterday's chalk art of Luna Lovegood has been completed and is on display in the Harry Potter Expo!

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Guests competed in the Audible Recall challenge at the Pottermore exhibit in the Harry Potter Expo!

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Guests could experience an exhibit about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Harry Potter Expo.

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The other of two sound stages hosting the Harry Potter Expo was significantly larger!

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One of last year's Fantastic Beasts returned for more guest visits at the Fantastic Beasts Virtual Reality Experience.

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Another guest getting sorted into a Hogwarts house by the Sorting Hat.

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Guests can visit the Scholastic exhibit at the Harry Potter Expo to share what Harry Potter means to them on the Muggle Wall.

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This year’s event merchandise included a commemorative coin featuring the event’s key art.

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Guests can even purchase Hermione’s Yule Ball dress from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire!

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Time to visit Diagon Alley!

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Down into the vaults of Gringotts Bank we go!

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Catching a ride on Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts!

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Over in Carkitt Market guests can witness a live performance of The Tales of Beedle the Bard - The Fountain of Fair Fortune!

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A full Quidditch player cosplay found in Carkitt Market in Diagon Alley!

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Which treat from Sugarplum’s Sweet Shop in Diagon Alley are you craving?

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The last day of the event brought more cosplayers into the parks!

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Care for a Butterbeer Ice Cream?

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Even more cosplayers inside of Diagon Alley!

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More custom cosplays in Diagon Alley!

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FIRE!!!

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Guests can meet the Knight Bus conductor in front of the entrance to Diagon Alley!

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Time to catch our train!

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Heading back to the original Wizarding World of Harry Potter area from London... We're Hogsmeade-bound!

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Dark wizards and witches may choose to take the train too!

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We had a close encounter with a dementor on our way to Hogsmeade.

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The last time I took this photo, there was a certain dragon flying in the background...

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That wraps up our coverage of "A Celebration of Harry Potter" 2018 at the Universal Orlando Resort! We had an excellent time and loved the opportunity to experience the new exhibits, panels and stars of this year's event!

Edited by jedimaster1227
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This event looks like a blast! Made some friends waiting for Diagon to soft open, and even if your not too familiar with the movies the fans & enthusiasm make it even more fun. They were having wand battles waiting for the soft openning and it was pretty funny to watch. My parents and brother consider FJ their favorite ride and they don't know much about Potter. Those costumes are great! It would be hard for me to tell who's an employee and who's not. I can't believe Delores's outfit was actually smoking. I'm sure once the new Potter ride opens I'll finally try to make a trip the event.

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We went to the park this past Monday (2/5) and it was more crowded than I expected but not enough to really ruin the day. One thing that quickly stood out to me though is the wait time estimators at the ride entrances were much less accurate than they've been for me in the past. We had numerous instances of a 20 min wait ending up being a walk on and on others, that 20 min wait being over twice that amount. Just thought it was a little strange, every other time I've been to the park they've been pretty spot on for time.

 

The Jurassic Park river ride was closed off which was a minor disappointment, I absolutely love the T-Rex animatronic. Also it felt like they've eased up a bit on how strict they were as to bringing stuff on the rides, that may just be luck though but we didn't use the lockers nearly as much as previously and that had no impact on riding.

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We went to the park this past Monday (2/5) and it was more crowded than I expected but not enough to really ruin the day. One thing that quickly stood out to me though is the wait time estimators at the ride entrances were much less accurate than they've been for me in the past. We had numerous instances of a 20 min wait ending up being a walk on and on others, that 20 min wait being over twice that amount.

Two things that immediately came to mind reading this comment:

 

1. Remember that they are time "estimators" and while I agree it is annoying when a wait time is longer than posted, but please remember that sometimes things happen that are outside of operations control. Ride breakdowns, even partial that are transparent to those waiting in line, or other issues like higher than normal volume of disabled guests needing extra time, etc. Not excusing that, but just trying to play devil's advocate here.

 

2. Am I reading this correctly that it sounds like you are complaining that a wait time was less than posted??? I'm sorry, but I don't feel that is something deserving to be called out on. It could very well be that moments after you walked into the queue it changed from 20 to 5 minutes. Or also remember a lot of times the posted wait also includes potential breakdowns which also could be longer than the estimate.

 

Again, just quoting your own post, these are "time estimators" so if you ended up waiting longer for one ride, but shorter for another, why are you complaining if it is all balancing out???

 

--Robb

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I'm sorry if it came off as a complaint, it was just meant as an observation, especially since it seemed so different compared to my previous visits. We certainly weren't complaining about walking on to the Hulk on a busy park day! Actually this was one of the better times I've had at any park that's busy, normally big crowds will put me right off. A large part of that was it was the first visit for most of my family, we took my mom there for a 70th birthday gift and she was so happy! Still rides coasters too, the on-board video on Rip Ride Rockit had us nearly in tears laughing.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I think if it does I would LMAO at how some of the universal "fans" (as with any park super "fans" to be honest) are so adamant about what is going on and how they have uber inside knowledge on what is going on. I, personally, have felt like it belonged in a new park or IOA with its fantasy theme. I like the fact that universal is still kinda based on cities. I have seen a Tokyo idea floating around the web. That sounds cool.

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^Until construction starts, nothing is final when it comes to theme parks... And even then, plans can change very quickly. Inside knowledge or not, until the attraction opens, nothing is 100% guaranteed.

 

Some examples (both historical and more recent) include:

 

  • Meet the World at Epcot - The ride building was fully constructed along with the entire show developed offsite but never installed. The entire attraction ended up being shipped to Japan to open at Tokyo Disneyland in 1983.
  • The Rhine River Cruise at Epcot - The show building was fully constructed but was never used for its intended purpose. A portion of the Biergarten restaurant uses what would have been the entrance to the queue for the ride had it been built.
  • DisneyQuest Philadelphia - Nicknamed "the Disney Hole" because the building had completed foundational construction by the time the project was cancelled mid-build.
  • The ET Adventure at Universal Studios Singapore - The ride path was fully constructed as designed but the decision to alter the originally intended theme for the ride was made late in the game, changing it to the Sesame Street-inspired Spaghetti Space Chase.

 

All of the above projects were publicly announced in one form or another and yet they didn't come to fruition. Theme parks pivot all the time in the creative process... No inside knowledge is guaranteed, especially when changes like these can happen so late in the game.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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Trust me, I fully understand and which I was patiently waiting until something official happened. IF it's not in the studios I would be kinda happy though.

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^Until construction starts, nothing is final when it comes to theme parks... And even then, plans can change very quickly. Inside knowledge or not, until the attraction opens, nothing is 100% guaranteed.

 

Some examples (both historical and more recent) include:

 

  • Meet the World at Epcot - The ride building was fully constructed along with the entire show developed offsite but never installed. The entire attraction ended up being shipped to Japan to open at Tokyo Disneyland in 1983.
  • The Rhine River Cruise at Epcot - The show building was fully constructed but was never used for its intended purpose. A portion of the Biergarten restaurant uses what would have been the entrance to the queue for the ride had it been built.
  • DisneyQuest Philadelphia - Nicknamed "the Disney Hole" because the building had completed foundational construction by the time the project was cancelled mid-build.
  • The ET Adventure at Universal Studios Singapore - The ride path was fully constructed as designed but the decision to alter the originally intended theme for the ride was made late in the game, changing it to the Sesame Street-inspired Spaghetti Space Chase.

 

All of the above projects were publicly announced in one form or another and yet they didn't come to fruition. Theme parks pivot all the time in the creative process... No inside knowledge is guaranteed, especially when changes like these can happen so late in the game.

Only about half of the actual ride building. Hard to believe but there was going to be more. This has been confirmed by numerous insiders and this site shows what could've been. http://www.imagineeringdisney.com/blog/2012/2/17/rhine-river-cruise-mysteries.html

You can add the Main Street Theater to that list as well. Construction equipment was setup and then quietly removed.

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