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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

P. 611: Full Halloween Horror Nights 2021 lineup revealed!

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Vacation Like You Mean It With Free* Dining!


Enjoy 2 FREE Days* of the Universal Dining Plan** valid in both Universal Orlando theme parks as well as select locations in Universal CityWalk®, when you and your family stay a minimum of 4-Nights at a nearby Universal Partner Hotel with this exclusive Vacation Package!


Hurry, offer valid for purchase 6/10-8/29/13.

Valid for travel 8/15-11/24/13 and 12/2-12/19/13.


Vacation package includes:

  • 4-Night accommodations at a Universal Partner Hotel
  • 3-Day Base Ticket ^ – one theme park, per day
  • 2 FREE* Days of the Universal Dining Plan, per person
  • Early Park Admission◊ to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ an hour before the park opens
  • Plus, travel between 8/15-9/2/13 and receive Early Park Admission◊ to TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D

Vacation packages start from $895† per family of 4, tax inclusive

That's less than $56 per person, per day!.


For full details on what is included in the new Universal Dining Plan, visit the link below.






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Our Kids Suites let mom and dad have a little privacy, and the kids have some fun! With a standard king bedroom for the adults plus a separate room for the kids, there's plenty of space for the whole family at 650 - 675 square feet. The two separate rooms are connected via a door that can be open or closed, and feature a single entrance to the adult room. In other words, the children's room opens only into the adult's room, and not into the hallway. The kids rooms are decorated in fun themes and include two twin beds or bunk bed, a small table and chair set, separate closet, and a television.


Despicable Me Kids Suites

Experience the fun starting October 1st!



Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando invites you to experience the world of Despicable Me in its newly-renovated kid’s suites. These rooms capture the excitement and playfulness of Gru’s Laboratory. As you enter through the vault door, your training as a future Minion begins with your favorite minion characters repelling from the ceiling and surrounding you on the walls in their non-stop antics. Sleep like Margo, Edith and Agnes in custom-designed missile beds with Minion-inspired bedding, complete with Gru’s scarf. Balancing the playfulness of the room, a pale blue interior creates a soothing backdrop with touches of the laboratory’s red accents to remind you that you are indeed in an unforgettable Minion adventure for your stay at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel.



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Kudos to Universal. As I said elsewhere, Disney will always be king in Orlando. But with additions like the dining plan, and themed rooms like the one above (to go along with Transformers and Harry Potter 2.0), they are definitely doing all they can to get guests to venture away from Disney for a few days!

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they are definitely doing all they can to get guests to venture away from Disney for a few days!


And that is definitely what they should realistically shoot for. I know there are people that will go to Florida and not visit Disney, but they are few and far between. But I agree, Universal is definitely going all out right now.

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Over the course of yesterday and today, the Universal Orlando Resort hosted the media to check out the latest happenings around the resort, culminating in today's grand opening of Transformers: The Ride 3D. The media offerings included a look at the upcoming Cabana Bay Beach Resort, the new Springfield area of Universal Studios Florida and of course, a good deal of focus on Transformers itself.


In regards to Transformers: The Ride 3D, I have to admit, I love it. While it doesn't top Spiderman for me, it is a very, very close second. The ride's animation is beautiful, the story is easily accessible and the ride does not let off the throttle until you return to the station! The elevator lift's are an incredible marvel for the attraction and especially remembering that this attraction was built in such a short span of time (construction began last September), the fact that we were able to ride this one so soon speaks to how "in the game" Universal is these days!


As for Springfield, the area is a beautiful, faithful recreation of the notable locales from The Simpsons. I'll have a followup article detailing that land soon after this, as this report's focus is more about Transformers than anything. So let's dive in!



We were greeted at the start of the event by a surfer dude and a beach bunny!


The newly expanded Universal Orlando Resort map shows the location of Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort, opening in the first quarter of 2014.


The new resort will feature a mix of family suites and standard rooms at a "moderate price," featuring all of the added amenities of staying on property at Universal, minus the inclusion of unlimited Express Pass. Also announced to us was the inclusion of two pools, a lazy river (that was hinted as not being so lazy after all) and a ten lane bowling alley.


Cabana Bay Beach Resort gets two thumbs up for my anticipation!


When complete, Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort will add an additional 1800 rooms to the Universal Orlando Resort. They won't actually be this size though.


They gave us themed mocktails to start off our morning with a sugar rush!


We had a chance to hear from some of the main people related to this exciting project...


Moving over to Springfield in Universal Studios Florida, we were given the chance to sample some of the new dining options available along Fast Food Boulevard.


Cletus' Chicken & Waffle Sandwich from Cletus' Chicken Shack features a maple mayo and is served with a side of addicting tater tots!


Mike West from Universal Creative (he oversaw the development of The Simpsons Ride, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and most recently, all of Springfield) welcomed us to Moe's [Tavern].


It was explained to us that at the earliest planning phase of the Springfield project, it was determined that if the food and beverages proposed for the new area weren't found in the show (or in the show's almanac seen here), it wouldn't be found in the new venue. Talk about authenticity!


We were all given Flaming Moes, a non-alcoholic orange-and-vanilla drink that smokes and bubbles with the help of some dry ice.


The reason the Flaming Moe isn't purple like it is in the show, is purely to emphasize the point that your drink is "on fire." There's the answer.


Lard Lad Donuts make me go nuts!


We even had a chance to sample Duff Beer, an actual, exclusive craft brew available only in Springfield. Duff Lite and Duff Dry are also available here!


As an extra surprise, we were able to meet Krusty the Clown and Sideshow Bob, both new walk around characters for the park!


Krusty Burger looks extremely authentic on the outside!


Tapped Out yet?


Cletus' Chicken Shack is home to some really, really tasty poultry products!


Across from Fast Food Boulevard will be the Duff Brewery, Bumblebeeman's Taco Truck, several photo op's and...


Kang and Kodos' Twirl 'n' Hurl, an Astro Orbiter-style flat ride with interactive triggers activated by raising and lowering your vehicle as it spins around its course.


New hotness!


"Your jacket is now dry!"


We were next treated to an amazing spread of themed foods, many of which came with some very inventive flavor cubes!


If you like cheeses as much as I do, you'll understand why this photo is so important.


Blood Orange Ceviche surrounds these neat ice sculptures!


And for you sushi lovers!


We were even given a swag bag filled with Transformers gifts like a milk chocolate Allspark cube!


After dinner we were allowed to go enjoy Transformers: The Ride 3D without any wait!


The reason we're here: the Allspark.


Scorponok's tail from the first movie is contained at this NEST training facility.


And of course, there was more food outside!


The Optimus Prime truck rolled out for photo ops!


Do you read Cybertronian?


Wheelie from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a part of the pre-show, and is voiced by the same actor who voices Spongebob Squarepants.


And here's Evac. You'll be driving in him during the ride. You are his navigator. That is the story, nuff said.


Talk about an experience I won't likely ever get again... I was able to save the planet twice on my own, with no other riders to accompany me!


Universal's Cinematic Spectacular served as a great finale to a fantastic day of activities!


I had to stop and get a photo with the "Big Guy" before I left...


For a top secret training facility, it sure does blend in with the Universal skyline...


This morning, we were back on the red carpet for the grand opening of Transformers: The Ride 3D!


Mark Woodbury, President of Universal Creative was the first to walk the red carpet alongside Optimus Prime!


He was a pleasure to speak with!


Peter Cullen, the voice of Optimus Prime took a few minutes to chat with us about his experiences and his thoughts on Transformers: The Ride 3D!


Frank Welker, the voice of Megatron gave us a demo of his character's voice, going as far as to get in character before us.


The grand opening festivities began with a military convoy, from which General Glenn Morshower emerged.


General Morshower has been in all three Transformers movies and was also present for the opening of Hollywood's version of the ride.


Optimus and Bumblebee rolled out in their car forms.


There was actually a flyover above the attraction as a part of the opening ceremonies!


They actually attacked the Decepticons that were atop the building, attempting to steal the Allspark!




And some fireworks to signify the opening of Transformers: The Ride 3D!


General Morshower announced that the ride was officially open, and we were then allowed to go in!


Seriously, this ride is an amazing addition to Universal Studios Florida, to the Universal Orlando Resort and to Orlando as a whole! Come by and check it out!


I even had the chance to meet Glenn Morshower on the way out!


Thank you again to the Universal Orlando Resort for hosting me for the last two days! This was another incredible experience and there is plenty more exciting additions on the way for the Universal Orlando Resort!

Edited by jedimaster1227
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Awesome stuff Adam! I can't wait to get back to Universal Orlando. So much has change since I last visited pre-Potterland at IOA. Universal is really uping the anti on attractions and fighting with Disney on hotels on property to keep people there. Pretty amazing.


Jimmy "I want a pink doughnut" Bo

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Is there anyone that has ridden both rides? I'd like to know how they compare to each other since I know USO had much more freedom in the building of the ride (space limitations, new building, etc.)

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Is there anyone that has ridden both rides? I'd like to know how they compare to each other since I know USO had much more freedom in the building of the ride (space limitations, new building, etc.)


The ride is exactly the same. Only a slightly different queue layout.

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^^Yea, I've been on both and didn't notice any differences with the ride itself. Also, while the queues aren't exactly the same, there's really not enough to say one is better than the other. ...Though I do give the edge to Orlando's version on outside theming.

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I've gone ahead and added my video from the Grand Opening of Transformers: The Ride - 3D, including Mark Woodbury (President of Universal Creative), Peter Cullen (Voice of Optimus Prime), Frank Welker (Voice of Megatron), Tom Williams (Chairman and CEO of Universal Parks and Resorts) and Bill Davis (President and CEO of Universal Orlando Resort). This video also includes appearances by Steven Spielberg, Optimus Prime, Bumblebee.


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

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