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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

p. 623 - New Epic Universe details, including Celestial Park!

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I am still hearing media days will be April 1st and 2nd. I know they are working balls to the wall to finish.

I actually just spoke to Universal Orlando and they told me there is no set date yet and they will contact me when they have the date set in stone.

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Buzz on the Internet today had Universal Orlando serving a version of butterbeer WITH alcohol at its Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction, set to open this spring at Islands of Adventure.


So not true, a Universal spokeswoman just told me. Butterbeer will be alcohol-free at Wizarding World, which is what the resort has been saying for months. (Note: folks of legal drinking age definitely will be able to enjoy an adult beverage on the grounds.)


The story came from an article in the Lakeland Ledger, which reported on a Universal sales coordinator talking up WizWoHaPo to the Central Florida Vacation Property Managers Association. The reference to an alchol-based butterbeer no longer appears in the online version of the article.


But wait, there’s more. The sales coordinator also spilled about two other things that Universal has not officially announced.


1. The much-rumored-to-the-point-we-believed-it-fact talking hogs heads will be on the wall of the Hog’s Head Pub and interact with guests.


2. A Frog Choir will perform five times a day, the Ledger reported. “This is very top secret,” the official told the group. “You’re the first ones to hear about it.”

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Today I visited Universal Orlando to see how work on The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has progressed...


Thanks to Windows 97, Islands of Adventure is closed.


The Hogsmeade sign is still covered up...


The Hogwarts Express is no longer covered.


It looks like this side of Hogsmeade is complete!


This area has definitely seen the most change in the last year.


Hogwarts Castle is essentially done as well.


Just a little bit of work left here...


But beyond, there is still much to be completed.


Supposedly The Flight of the Hippogriff is basically done.


Work on theming the outside of the Potter-box has begun.


Lots of windows... Window enthusiasts take note!


The old bridge above the Dueling Dragons exit still exists...


The snow looks pretty realistic from here.


Lots of curved chimneys...


A new arch has formed over the exit.


The area leading up to Hogwarts is starting to look like the concept art.


Back in Hogsmeade, at least one building still has scaffolding attached.


More curvy chimneys!


Another new structure has popped up in Hogsmeade.


Another look at The Flight of the Hippogriff coaster.


More of Hogwart's Castle...


If anyone was wondering, Hogwarts is completely hollow...


The Greenhouse section of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey's queue has received some new theming.


Notice the new themed arches holding the greenhouse's supports.


Thankfully, the Potter-box will be covered in a brick layer as seen here.


More work has gone on inside of the greenhouse.


One last look at the Potter-box to close this report.

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^ I mean, I'm with you on that. I pretty much loathe the whole HP thing. But ever since we went there 11 years ago, I've loved IOA!! Their themeing IS top notch, and a fun place to visit.


I do hate what they've done with DD, and I don't expect to be as amazed by the ride as I was Spiderman, but I am looking forward to it. Though right now, I don't know if I'll even make it there this year.

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Although I'm not that big of a fan of Harry Potter, I did enjoy the books I read (the first four. That's all that was out when I read them) and the movies are mostly entertaining. I miss the old Lost Continent since it was my favorite of all the islands, but this change is happening, so I might as well embrace it for what it is, a pretty sweet looking remodel of the land. It looks absolutely amazing in terms of quality and I'm excited to see how everything plays out. Hogwarts looks pretty crazy and I can't wait to hear first hand reports of how the land looks once it opens. I'm hoping I can get back to Orlando next Christmas break. Hopefully.

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Apparently nobody is a fan of Harry Potter! Oh well.


It seems Dueling Dragons will be renamed, if not then keep it the way it is. But this seems to be more awesome than I thought after I saw the commercial for it (in Kentucky????? ). I thought it was going to be some indoor walk through tour with facts about filming the movie. If it was that, then I would have never gone to see it. One thing is for sure, if they want to make it extremely special, they should have put in some fast broom flying roller coaster like I saw those kids in the commercial. That would be so cool!


Awesome Updates!

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Hey Adam,

Are those chimneys suppose to be curvy? An if so, why? I'm a big HP fan, and I don't really remember that.

Also, does anyone know what's happening with the talking fountain? Is it going to stay and be HP themed, too?


I believe it is just a design technique to make the whole of Hogsmeade look more mystical... That's my best guess.


As for Rocky the Talking Fountain, he resides outside of the current borders for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, in front of the entrance to the Sinbad stunt show. So, for now he is safe. If the Wizarding World ever expands into the remainder of the Lost Continent, that is when you'll have to worry.

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This place looks amazing. The coaster mentioned above... Any specs out there as of now? Speed, height, etc. Anything at all? It doesn't look too, too thrilling, but I was just curious. This section looks amazing, and it is enough to make me want to visit this park for the first time. I just hope there hasn't been too much hype for the place to live up to.

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Thanks for the pics, Adam. I think I will head over to IOA on Tuesday to get my last rides in on Dueling Dragons. ...Dragon's Challenge is rapidly approaching.



Apparently nobody is a fan of Harry Potter! Oh well.


I'm looking forward to the new Harry Potter island, but not the retheming of Dueling Dragons.

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When are the dragons supposed to be closed for the retheming?

Does anyone have any information on that?

Because I will visit florida for the first time in the second half of May and it would really suck if the coasters were down plus I am a HP fan!


If they're opening WWoHP toward the beginning of May, I can't imagine not having Dueling Dragon Challenge up and running. After all, they probably won't have Forbidden Journey up yet, and I haven't heard any news about Flight of the Hippogriff... They'll probably time the reopening to coincide with the grand opening.


I wish we had some information on the Forbidden Journey, though...

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Der Der Dongt,


As Robb mentioned a couple of pages back, there's no set date yet for media day, so I'm sure there aren't any set dates for the opening either. So with that said, take the following rumored dates with a grain of salt.


Dueling Dragons is rumored to be going down the end of February, the new island to open either the first or second week in April, and everything definitely open no later than May 28th. Again just rumors, but I think you'll be safe the second half of May.

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