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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

P. 623: Universal's Mardi Gras 2023 details announced!

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I'm considering spending 3 days at Universal in January, and get the hopper pass. How easy is it to walk between the 2 parks and then get over to city walk for the Blue Man Show once I've parked my car? I'm not going to be staying on the property.


I've never been and I figure the 3 days should allow me to take my time and enjoy the park.


When in January? Other than New Year's Day and MLK weekend, it should be pretty dead. You could conceivably do everything in both parks in one day! Just hope for nice weather and you'll have a great time with little to no crowds.

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^What he said. Last January, we got a two-day ticket, which was nice because we got to go for two days but honestly wasn't even necessary. The second day, we ended up hitting each park three times because we couldn't decide what we wanted to ride since we managed to do everything on day one!


Two days will certainly give you plenty of time to ride Hulk and Mummy, though.

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Universal Orlando is now selling a ticket that allows Florida residents to visit both of its theme parks repeatedly through the end of January 2013.


The Holiday Pass, sold online, costs $119.99. (A normal one-park, one-day admission is $88.) It comes with a few blackout dates: It is not valid Dec. 26-Jan. 1. The deal requires a code from specially marked packages of Zephyrhills water.


Floridians with the Holiday Pass will be able to take in the parks’ festivities, such as the “Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular” stage show at Islands of Adventure and the Macy’s Holiday Parade and Mannheim Steamroller concerts at Universal Studios on valid dates in December. Then, after the bulk of tourists go home, Holiday Pass holders can spend most of January in the parks and enjoy more elbow room.


The Holiday Pass must be purchased and activated by Jan. 11, 2013. There is a limit of six passes per purchase. Valid Florida photo ID and offer code are required.


More info: www.universalorlando.com.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Last week, Robb and I had the chance to revisit the Universal Orlando Resort for a sneak peek at this year's Macy's Holiday Parade and Grinchmas. Along the way we were able to see just how the balloon handlers work with the huge balloons along Universal Studios Florida's narrow streets, along with getting the chance to ride Trikealoons (see below), to see an actor become a Who and to interact with the Grinch himself!



On our way into the park, we couldn't help but marvel at just how much progress has been made on Transformers; The Ride since our last visit for the ride's official announcement several weeks ago.


But this is why we're really here!


They've modified the Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit lift hill to take on the form of the iconic Macy's Holiday Parade balloon!


Meet the Trikealoon!


Balloon holders have to be trained to move as a unit and work under military precision.


John Piper, Vice President of Macy's Parade Studio was on hand to tell us about the history of the parade at Universal Studios Florida, now in its 11th year of performances.


He was especially excited to show off this year's addition to the parade by driving one of the new Trikealoons!


Santa wishes you a Happy Holiday Rip, Ride, Rockit!


"It was mildly terrifying!"


But we loved it!


There we plenty of photo ops with the many themed characters from the show's team.


Check out these costumes!


But the Macy's Holiday Parade wasn't all that we were here for today...


Moving into one of the soundstages, we were greeted by a rousing performance by The Outer Toons, a troupe of Who's performing the music of Manheim Steamroller as heard in the Universal retelling of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.


But it was already a holiday for us thanks to a cool, refreshing Coca-Cola!


Originally held outside in Suess Landing, the show's popularity called for a move indoors to allow for added seating, additional showings and a more weather-friendly show venue.


Part of the day's Grinchmas presentation was to allow us to see just how a Human becomes a Whoman...


First you apply the nose...


The difference is instantly noticeable.


We love finding out about effects makeup, so this was such a cool inside look for us!


Soylent Who is noses!


Next is the painting...


And after some airbrushing and touch up paint, the Who is ready!


Look who showed up for some mischief!


If you ever get the chance to witness the Grinch, you'll quickly realize how much of a prankster he is.


And he was a riot to watch!


I don't know...




For the elephants.


And so our preview came to a close...


Come check out the Macy's Holiday Parade and Grinchmas at the Universal Orlando Resort!

Edited by Hhappy
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^Where is the indoor theater located for the Grinch? That looks like a nice setup for the Grinch. Also I can't believe its already been 11 years of the parade at Universal.


You go backstage next to One Fish and then its in the big soundstage across from where the Dead End house was and behind Hard Rock.

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I guess Universal missed the memo on the earth's dwindling supply of helium.


I actually had Robb ask this question to them and they say that they budget and secure supplies several years in advance for the balloons.


One might say their supply is...universal.

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Harry Potter fans probably thought they’d seen the last of the boy wizard on the big screen but a ninth film is reportedly being secretly shot.

However, you’ll have to visit a theme park in America or Japan to view it.


The ‘mini movie’ is understood to be have been commissioned for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando. It will also be shown at two new Harry Potter theme parks currently under construction in Japan and California.


Actress Helena Bonham Carter – who played Bellatrix Lestrange - is one of the stars said to be reprising her role.


The actors have been filming at Warner Brothers’ studios in Hertfordshire.


A source told The Sun newspaper: ‘The cast have really enjoyed getting back together - they are so tight-knit.’


Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows - Part 2 was the last film based on the books by author JK Rowling and was released in cinemas last year. It saw Harry finally triumph over his arch-enemy Lord Voldemort.


Warner Brothers opened a Harry Potter studio tour last year near the studios where the new movie is being filmed. The three-hour tour costs £83 for a family of four and allows visitors to view the films' sets including Hogwarts’ Great Hall, Diagon Alley, Dumbledore’s office and the Gryffindor common room. It also features animatronics used in the series including Buckbeak the Hippogriff, Aragog the giant spider and the fearsome Basilisk head.


Universal Studios launched The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida in 2010. The attraction has been so successful that the company plans to open two further Harry Potter theme parks – one in Japan, which will open in 2014 and one in Los Angeles, which will open in 2016. Like the Florida attraction, they are expected to feature a reconstruction of the Hogwarts Castle and Hogsmeade, including the Three Broomsticks pub, Ollivander’s wand shop and Honeyduke’s sweet shop.

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I have the feeling that this is more likely to be part of an attraction (like the in-ride video of Harry, Ron, and Hermione on Forbidden Journey) or preshow than any sort of stand-alone movie. Calling it a ninth film is absurd. By that logic, "Forbidden Journey" was the ninth film. Given that the plot of the books involved Hermione disguising herself as Bellatrix Lestrange when breaking into the Gringotts vault, it isn't inconceivable that Helena Bonham Carter would appear in the Gringotts ride.

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As I watched this video I could not help but to think this would make the perfect ride concept for the suppossed Griggotts bank ride. As the cars look kind of like Mine Cars. (For those that know the story/ seen movie) The Mine Track in Grigotts is quite the twisted one...



Compare that to the actual movie footage of the bank vault train

Edited by vacoaster09
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If they are bringing back Bellatrix for this "film piece", I think it's a very strong piece of evidence suggesting that the Gringotts Coaster is real.


You mean the coaster track that's already installed in the show building wasn't real enough?

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If they are bringing back Bellatrix for this "film piece", I think it's a very strong piece of evidence suggesting that the Gringotts Coaster is real.


You mean the coaster track that's already installed in the show building wasn't real enough?



I was speaking in regard to the theme of the ride. I know Premier track has already been installed in the building.


v I did. But even though I edited it with better wording, the other posts still remain.

Edited by SoCalCoasters
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  • coasterbill changed the title to Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

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