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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

P. 624: DreamWorks Land passholder preview report!

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I was enjoying people on my FB sharing the stories with notes of "Why is this news?" "I am not sure why people even report on this stuff" "You've got to be kidding me". All of those contained links to news stories and videos. Guess what that does people? That makes people click it, increase viewership on said stories and makes those news outlets think those are big stories so they will post it again and again.


If we see these stories going forward, don't share the links to the story. That way it won't spread like wildfire on the internet.


*End rant



hey, gotta share it HERE. . . that's part of what makes TPR great: the snark.


and if one can't be snarky about THIS story?

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Catch the end of that report:


"according to the Fire Department, No one was injured or had to be treated"






I've never understood how/why fatal traffic accidents can happen every single day and it never gets mentioned, but a ride stoppage that ended with an evacuation without any injuries at all whatsoever gets multiple headlines and a helicopter overhead.


Way to go after what's really dangerous news media.

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I'm planning a trip the second weekend of May and I was wondering if anyone knew what the lines for some of the classic rides like Hulk, Dragons, Spiderman, Simpsons, Mummy and others are usually like. Do some of them get up over an hour? I understand some of the newer rides, especially Harry Potter, will have lines. I'm just trying to decide if it's worth staying at one of the Deluxe resorts to get the express pass or if I can get everything done in two days just staying at Cabana Bay.


Thanks for any help

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I'm going to Universal Resort on January 30th, 31st. Which park should I go on which day?


I would do IOA Friday, Universal Saturday. IOA has a lower park capacity so when weekend crowds come to the resort, they affect Islands more heavily. Basically, a busy Saturday at IOA is much worse than a busy Saturday at USF.

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Heading to both parks in 2 weeks, so I have a quick question, I've read and heard about all the "loose article Nazi's", but which rides/ attractions are they at? Just Hulk and HRRR?


As far as I know just those two but I believe they just recently loosened their stance on this policy and allow stuff in sealed pockets.

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Universal Orlando has just announced their Mardi Gras 2015 line up:




The lineup, subject to change, includes


Feb. 7 -- Olivia Newton-John

Feb. 14 -- Jessie J

Feb. 15 -- Barenaked Ladies

Feb. 21 -- Kelly Clarkson

Feb. 28 -- Heart

March 7 -- Trace Adkins

March 13 -- To be announced

March 14 -- Styx

March 15 -- American Authors

March 20 -- Becky G

March 21 -- Yandel

March 22 -- B-52s

March 28 -- To be announced

April 4 -- All-American Rejects

April 11 -- The Band Perry

April 18 -- Trey Songz

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Heading to both parks in 2 weeks, so I have a quick question, I've read and heard about all the "loose article Nazi's", but which rides/ attractions are they at? Just Hulk and HRRR?


As far as I know just those two but I believe they just recently loosened their stance on this policy and allow stuff in sealed pockets.


thank you, hopefully it stays that way

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Also, Did Universal sign Barenaked Ladies to some 5 year deal? Seems like they are always there every year.


They must have some sort of agreement. Barenaked Ladies have 2 songs that play in the San Francisco music loop, a song in the Christmas music loop, and, like you said, several appearances at Mardi Gras. That's more consistency with park projects than any other artist. Maybe they're just very agreeable, but yeah it definitely seems like Universal and the Ladies have some sort of deal.

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^BNL was at Mardi Gras during the same President's Day weekend last year and I bet they will be around the same time next year.


I must say the caliber of the bands has much improved over the years. Before, it used to be bands that made you say "Huh, they are still alive?" The Pointer Sisters gave me that sort of reaction.

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I must say the caliber of the bands has much improved over the years. Before, it used to be bands that made you say "Huh, they are still alive?"


That was my reaction when Grand Funk Railroad used to play at BGW every year.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This weekend Theme Park Review was invited to cover the third annual Harry Potter Celebration at the Universal Orlando Resort. Spanning both parks, the event offered special panels featuring stars from the films, notable artists from the franchise and exhibits that were exclusive to the event weekend. A special Expo space was set up with mini offerings from other locations and companies that work with the Harry Potter franchise as well. Costumes were welcomed at the event and were definitely seen over the course of the three days.




Here they come!


Michael Gambon drove on stage in one of the actual Ford Anglia's used in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.


I started out my weekend of the Harry Potter Celebration with the opening ceremony featuring the first appearances of the Phelps Twins (Fred and George Weasely), Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore) and Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood) at the event.


The opening ceremony was followed by a brief Q&A session in which fans could ask their favorite stars questions about the films and beyond...


They had lots of great insight to share about their experiences and all agree that they wish more films would be made for Harry's storyline so that they could reprise their roles further.


There were LOTS of people here to see the stars...


There would be many more times getting to see these actors throughout the rest of the weekend...


It wouldn't be a kickoff event without confetti!


They next served us Warm Butterbeer, which one team member described as "angel tears from heaven."


We had a private Q&A with the stars in which more questions were asked... Michael Gambon admitted that he had no intention of riding Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts during this visit, claiming that four years ago when he visited, he rode Dragon Challenge and nearly died.


How often do you get to see Diagon Alley empty?


John looks totally in awe of the Leaky Cauldron!


Trying out the Dragon Scale Brew at the Leaky Cauldron...


I've got a whole Ploughman's Platter for Two... For myself!


Time to explore Diagon Alley a bit, starting with my favorite corner of Knockturn Alley!


The way this moving poster effect is done is incredible!


Over by Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit near Twister, the Expo was set up for guests to enjoy indoors.


Costumes from the four House Founders of Hogwarts used in the creation of the portrait room in Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey were on display, courtesy of Universal Orlando.


Guests could get copies of the eight books with signatures from Kazu Kibuishi, the illustrator behind the new Harry Potter book art.


There were lots of props from the films on display throughout the Expo space.


The Making of Harry Potter - Warner Brothers Studio Tour London had this nice photo op available for guests to enjoy...


One of the costumes used in the films...


The photo experience allowed guests to take photos in iconic Harry Potter scenes of their choice.


A full, 360 degree look at the Expo space. Zoom in for closer detail.


All of the Horcruxes that kept Voldemort alive were kept in this display case.


The Ford Anglia's was moved into the Expo space after Michael Gambon's entrance the day before.


Some neat costumes from the latter films were on display as well.


There were a decent number of cosplayers throughout the event as well.


The commemorative print for this year's event...


And last year's print...


Minaoima had a display showing off their design work in the film, most notably their design of the look of The Daily Prophet wizard newspaper.


Some of their work can be seen here...


The Harry Potter Muggle Wall in the Expo served as a canvas for Harry Potter fans to share what the franchise means to them.


Here is a copy of Dumbledore's Desk as seen in the queue for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.


Some more props from throughout the two Wizarding World of Harry Potter lands at Universal Orlando.


Imagine what Bill Paxton could do with a Twister in a jar!


The Sorting Hat Experience allowed me to be sorted into a Hogwarts house... I ended up with Gryffindor!


Next up was a private presentation with Kazu Kabuishi, the artist behind the new designs on the recently re-published Harry Potter books.


We were able to watch him design a backdrop for a piece of art he would be making live on stage later that day for guests. This was all done using Adobe Photoshop.


The artist with his work!


While in Diagon Alley, it was nice to be able to take advantage of the single rider line for Harry Potter and the Excape from Gringotts.


Guests of the Harry Potter Celebration this weekend were fortunate to be graced with some beautiful Florida weather!


Touring all of Diagon Alley, it is easy to forget about the hidden gems like the Gringotts Bank teller in the Gringotts Exchange that interacts with you during your time in the shop.


Similar to Disney Dollars you can actually buy Gringotts Bank Notes from the Gringotts Exchange. They can be used as currency throughout Universal Orlando or kept as souvenirs to take home.


Consider me a fan of Fishy Green Ale... Particularly the blueberry boba tea-style balls at the bottom of the drink.


Tried the Cornish Pasties for breakfast and they were delicious! I highly recommend them as a snack to share!


I never turn down an opportunity to see the Tale of the Three Brothers acted out on stage in Carkitt Market!


The props in this show are incredible!


Throughout the weekend I was able to ride the Hogwarts Express several times between the parks... And it continues to impress!


Such a neat experience!


The lines for regular guests to enjoy the Expo topped 120 minutes. Guests who booked vacation packages for the event were given priority access to bypass those lines.


The stars frequently stopped by the Expo lines to meet guests and sign autographs as a surprise.


The entrance to the Expo space...


It was nice to see the Frog Choir over at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade. I don't get to spend much time over here normally, so it was a nice experience to revisit for the first time in a while.


I will never be able to get over who amazing this looks from this view.


The place that started it all.


The Three Broomsticks will always be the Enchanted Oak Tavern to me.


Interesting to Hogsmeade Station next to Hogsmeade Station...


The new Hogsmeade Station was build between Dragon Challenge and Sinbad and provides a different vantage point for the ride that could not previously be enjoyed.


I stopped back into the Music Plaza to catch The Making of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter discussion featuring Alan Gilmore, Michael Aiello and Patrick Braillard.


Sadly Michael Aiello confirmed that it is not expected at this time that an album of the music of "Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees" is not expected to be released anytime soon.


Short waits make taking an extra ride on Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts even more tempting.


Such a neat ride, technologically!


The vault elevators are like the old Hydrolators on crack!


Such a great place to enjoy at night!


I'll never get tired of seeing this!


What a view!


I never turn down an opportunity to stroll through Knockturn Alley.


Borgin & Burkes is the shop for dark wizards...


The Fountain of Fair Fortune is one of many locations where you can order a Butterbeer.


Wrapping up the event with a little more Tim in Diagon Alley...


A view to close to... Thanks again to Universal Orlando for hosting us for the third annual Harry Potter Celebration at the Universal Orlando Resort! We can't wait until next year!

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