Universal Orlando

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Walt Disney World, Orlando theme parks open for business after Hurricane Matthew

Update: Orlando International Airport and Stanford Airport are both open with departing and arriving flights. Call your airline for your flight details.  Every central Florida attraction, with the exception of Kennedy Space Center, is expected to re-open today. The Disney parks, SeaWorld, LEGOLAND, and Universal… Read More »Walt Disney World, Orlando theme parks open for business after Hurricane Matthew

NBCUniversal acquires DreamWorks Animation Studios

NBCUniversal is the closest thing to a rival to The Walt Disney Company in the market today and with the just announced acquisition of DreamWorks animation, that rivalry just got a bit more heated. NBCUniversal, which is owned by Comcast, now effectively owns two animation… Read More »NBCUniversal acquires DreamWorks Animation Studios

Disney, other Orlando theme parks, making more security changes

Just before the busy holiday season got underway in Orlando, Walt Disney World and Universal brought in outside security company to run metal detectors outside the park’s main entrances & SeaWorld started using handheld wands.. Since then, the parks have continued to randomly scan guests… Read More »Disney, other Orlando theme parks, making more security changes

Comcast investing huge in Universal theme parks

Brooks Barnes of the NY Times has another great story with some interesting insight into the recent large investments Comcast has been making in its Universal theme park chain. The theme parks were almost literally an after thought when Comcast bought the NBC/Universal brand four… Read More »Comcast investing huge in Universal theme parks

Universal Orlando’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort Welcomes First Guests

Universal Orlando opened the next chapter in their quest to grow their share of the vacation market. Cabana Bay Beach Resort, the first value hotel at Universal, celebrated its very first guests to check-in today, March 31. The Hicks family of St. Petersburg, Fla. received… Read More »Universal Orlando’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort Welcomes First Guests

Diagon Alley – Harry Potter Photo Update from Universal Orlando

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After Comcast’s CEO made it clear yesterday that Universal plans to challenge Disney for a larger slice of the Orlando travel market, it makes sense to check in on the progress of Universal Orlando’s next salvo in the theme park wars – the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley expansion.

It’s 2014. At some point this year, Universal plans to open Diagon Alley to teems of Harry Potter fans young and old. They’re definitely making progress.

The London facade that faces into the park is absolutely huge. You can’t even see much of the Diagon Alley area beind those walls, but it’s big too. But the real giant of the bunch is the show building for the Gringott’s bank attraction. That will disappear behind theming, I hope, although you can see a little bit of it poking through right now.

Follow below the jump for many more photos:
Read More »Diagon Alley – Harry Potter Photo Update from Universal Orlando

Universal Studios Parent Company Declares Orlando Theme Park War

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While the rest of the world focused on Comcast Chair and CEO Brian Roberts statement regarding a return to growth in subscribers to their legacy cable network business, the Orlando Sentinel picked up on quotes from Roberts that signal the theme parks wars in Orlando are well and truly on.

Okay, no one is actually declaring a theme park war, but when Roberts spoke today in Las Vegas at a Citigroup event and said, “We’re doubling down on theme parks. We think that there is a lot of ‘there’ there in the theme-park business for many years to come and that we have a low market share — and only one way to go,” that’s a sign that in Comcast and Universal’s mind, it’s game on.

When Comcast bought NBC/Universal, they took on the theme parks with an eye to selling them at some point in the future. But after some small investments in the parks paid off with an sizable increase in cash flow, they were convinced to invest in the larger Harry Potter land, which has been an unqualified success for the resort. Since that point, Universal has been going full speed ahead with other expansions including: The Simpsons, Transformers, a huge new resort, and more. Read More »Universal Studios Parent Company Declares Orlando Theme Park War