Universal Orlando Resort made official its worst kept secret today. The Hogwarts School of Wizarding Magic & Hogsmeade themed Wizarding World of Harry Potter land in Islands of Adventure will joined by a Diagon Alley companion land in Universal Studios Florida. Connecting the two lands… Read More »Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter Expands The Magic with Diagon Alley
Sometimes you look at someone getting a theme park escort and wonder, are they a celebrity? With Shaquille O’Neal there isn’t any question when the big man is in town. Shaq was touring Universal Orlando Resort on July 9, 2012 and encountered some tiny, yellow… Read More »Celebrity Sighting: Shaq Meets The Minions at Universal Studios’ Despicable Me
Apparently Universal Orlando Resort has figured out a large untapped audience – Families of Hipsters. They just announced a partnership with Loews Hotels & Resorts to build a new hotel development with a ‘hip’ theme that will add high-quality, high-value options for families wanting an affordable on-site experience. I joke, but I am willing to bet it will be a success for Universal.
Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort will offer two distinct experiences within the development’s multiple buildings: 900 family suites, capable of sleeping six, that include kitchen areas and 900 standard guest rooms – offering both moderate – and value-priced accommodations. It will be operated by Loews Hotels & Resorts and is scheduled to open in 2014.
Think of Cabana Bay Beach Resort like a moderate resort, compared to the more deluxe Portofino Bay Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort. Amenities will be slightly different, and the room rate won’t include the Universal Express Unlimited Pass. That’s fine in my book, since a potential of 5000 more people running around with Express Passes could overwhelm the delicate balance that exists now in the parks.
That said, there is an obvious need for family suites. More extended families are vacationing together. A moderate level price is also something that has been missing from Universal’s deck of cards.
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
Long one of the favorite attractions in Orlando, the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, languished at the woefully under attended Islands of Adventure (IOA) theme park. However, thanks to some deft wand work from Harry Potter, IOA is seeing huge crowds and money for attraction upgrades seems to be flowing.
Spider-Man has just returned from a short down period where they installed a number of upgrades. But the biggest, and most spectacular, is the new High Definition 3D Projection and accompanying new animation. The attraction relies giant screens and a mix of real world sets to make the each guest feel like they’re in the movie with the web-slinger as he saves you from an assortment of baddies.
The attraction still suffers from its abrupt start and sometimes out of sync special effects, but all in all it remains one of Orlando’s best and, with these revisions, might again vie for best attraction overall (it’s close cousin Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is tough competition).
Of course, there remains the oddity that Disney now owns the Marvel brand, and yet Universal Orlando has the rights to 12 or so of the main Marvel characters in Orlando. It seems obvious Univeral has no intention of letting Disney get back these rights anytime soon. But I have to wonder if Disney’s lawyers aren’t working ferociously somewhere to route around that.
A very short ceremony was held to mark the attractions return to operations.
As they reanimated the attraction film, the creative team added hundreds of new details and effects. Guests will see moss swaying in the wind, rats scurrying through the streets and hear electricity arching so close it will raise the hair on the back of their necks. And for the first time ever, Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee will make a cameo appearance inside the attraction. Lee was meticulously animated in 3-D and placed in more than one scene inside the new animation.
As you read this I’m probably at Islands of Adventure in Universal Orlando Resort getting to experience the rejuvenated hi-def version of The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man. But one man, a man very close to Spider-Man, has already seen the work done on the attraction… Read More »Stan Lee talks The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man
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
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