Universal Orlando

The THRLLD Report

Checking in with our expanded coverage of theme parks and entertainment from around Orlando and beyond. Here are some recent stories you may have missed: Toddler area at LEGOLAND Florida closing temporarily For Chima Expansion SeaWorld Orlando’s Latin music festival starts this weekend. Don’t miss… Read More »The THRLLD Report

An Orlando Journey Into the Future

Unless you are living under a rock (which would be incredibly uncomfortable), you realize the affect that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has had on the Orlando tourism community. Everyone is filled to the brim with new projects that, they hope can match and/or topple Harry Potter in the themed and immersive environment category… or the bring in millions of people and billions of dollars category too! I thought, you can never look too far into the future… so here is a preview to what will, supposedly, make you travel to the Orlando area in the coming years!

Positive Coming Attractions:

  • This December 6th, the east coast’s Carsland equivalent will finally be unveiled in the Magic Kingdom. New Fantasyland containing: Enchanted Tales with Belle, Gaston’s Tavern, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid, Ariel’s Grotto, Pete’s Silly Sideshow, and officially, Storybook Circus, will FINALLY open after years of “looking-over-the-wall” photo updates. In 2013, the Princess Fairytale Hall will open, in the former Snow White’s Scary Adventures building. And the expansion will finally be ending (unless they announce a phase 2 with Pixie Hollow…I wish!) with the opening of the Seven Dwarves Mine Coaster. Can you believe that this was all announced back at the first D23 Expo in 2009?! If feels like so long ago!
  • Test Track will re-open at the end of this year after a rather extensive rehab and rethemeing. The concept of being inside of a computer seems like a great fit for an aging Future World attraction that needed a lift (and a nip…and a tuck…). We will see how Tron-y this new Test Track looks this December.
  • Although not at a theme park, I am super excited for Spiltsville to be coming to Downtown Disney. We have one in Tampa and it is an awesome place. This incarnation will be a two story, 36-lane bowling alley version of the usual 1 story, 12-lane concept. The uniqueness of Splitsville comes from two factors, first being that while you bowl, a waiter comes to your table…as it is a sit-down (or play-up?) restaurant as well as a bowling alley (BTW, best chicken tenders anywhere!). The second factor comes from the design of the place, the lanes aren’t set up in the normal long, side-by-side fashion of the old-fashioned alleys, they are scattered throughout the building giving it a much more personal experience. Get ready to bowl your brains out in late fall of this year.
  • Seaworld has also jumped on the immersive environment bandwagon by announcing Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. This will take the place of the former penguin exhibit at the park. Not a lot of details have been announced about the project as of now, but the concept art is astounding. A publicity photo was recently released and has led to speculation that the ride in the land will be using a trackless ride system similar to the one used on Pooh’s Hunny Hunt at Tokyo Disneyland. I am really excited to check it out in the spring of 2013.

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Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem Preview with Executive Producer Mike West

Universal Studios Orlando is preparing to officially open Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem on July 2nd. We were invited for a tour of the attraction with Executive Producer Mike West. The 3-D experience places guests right in the middle of an unforgettable adventure featuring their favorite… Read More »Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem Preview with Executive Producer Mike West

Battle between Disney and Universal Catches Eye of New York Times

There has always been a cross-town rivalry between Walt Disney’s theme parks and Universal Studios’ attractions. When Walt Disney opened Disneyland in Anaheim, Universal Studios had already been offering studio tours at it’s Hollywood park for decades. When Universal Studios decided to build in Orlando,… Read More »Battle between Disney and Universal Catches Eye of New York Times

Walt Disney World Monorail to get The Avengers Treatment

First there was the Tronorail, now we have the Avengerail? Avengorail? Whatever. Disney officially announced today what had been rumored for a few months, an monorail of the fleet will get a wrap treatment for the new Disney/Marvel movie The Avengers. I’m pretty happy about… Read More »Walt Disney World Monorail to get The Avengers Treatment

Universal Orlando set to Re-Open March 8th with New High Def 3-D Film

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man is set re-open on Thursday, March 8 at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure. The attraction has received some major upgrades including all-new stunning 4K digital high-definition animation, a new musical score and all-new 3-D “Spider-Vision” glasses. This is one of… Read More »Universal Orlando set to Re-Open March 8th with New High Def 3-D Film

Uma Thurman spotted at Universal Studios

Award-winning actress Uma Thurman was hosted by Universal Orlando Resort on Sunday, January 15, 2012 while vacationing in Orlando with friends and family. During her visit, she came face-to-face with a mysterious Egyptian guard moments before experiencing the pulse-pounding attraction, Revenge of the Mummy. Thurman… Read More »Uma Thurman spotted at Universal Studios