FIRST LOOK WEEK: Friday’s Magical Creatures

Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade Harry Potter

All week the Universal Orlando Resort has given guests a first-ever look at the magical creatures they’ll encounter inside the most highly themed, immersive coaster experience yet – Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure when it opens on June 13th at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

#ICYMI: Check out the other Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday Reveals!

With that being said let’s take a look at today’s Magical Creatures…Blast-Ended Skrewts

For the first time ever, you’ll be able to come face-to-face (or face-to-rear) with a Blast-Ended Skrewt on Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.

Described as a cross between scorpions and elongated crabs, Skrewts aren’t afraid to attack other Skrewts they encounter and have incredibly strong armor that can’t be penetrated by spells – proving to be a challenge for Hagrid since they hatched.

Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade Harry Potter
Universal Orlando Resort

On your journey through the Forbidden Forest during Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, you’ll encounter Blast-Ended Skrewts up to 8 feet long with tails up to ten-feet high and topped with a massive stinger.

The Blast-Ended Skrewt is the main lesson for the day but, as with all adventures with Hagrid, things don’t always go to plan…

Here are some Fun Fact that the Universal Orlando Blog shared about Blast-Ended Skrewts:
  • Blast-Ended Skrewts were first introduced in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and also mentioned in Harry Potter and Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • As you may have read in the book, Hagrid created these unique creatures by crossbreeding Fire Crabs and Manticores – fierce creatures in their own right
  • Skrewts create actual fire from their ‘blasting-ends,’ igniting at random intervals – so be wary during your encounter
  • Even if you’re far enough to avoid their fire, watch out as you may still catch a whiff of their powerful scent… known to smell like rotting fish
Fluffy Three-Headed Dog Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade Harry Potter and the Sorecerers Stone

The epic new addition to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be an immersive experience unlike any other, combining a new level of storytelling and innovative coaster technology with elaborate environments – including an actual forest with more than 1,200 live trees – to bring an all-new wizarding world adventure to life.

Guests will embark on a journey with Hagrid – one of the most beloved characters in theHarry Potter films – into the Forbidden Forest to discover some of the wizarding world’s rarest magical creatures.

Thanks for joining me this week! I can’t wait for the opening of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventures! Do you have a creature that you’re looking forward to seeing the most?

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FIRST LOOK WEEK: Thursday’s Magical Creatures

Universal Orlando Resort Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Centaurs Thursday

All week the Universal Orlando Resort is giving guests a first-ever look at the magical creatures they’ll encounter inside the most highly themed, immersive coaster experience yet – Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure when it opens on June 13th at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

#ICYMI: Check out the other Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday Reveals!

With that being said let’s take a look at today’s Magical Creatures…Centaurs!

A Centaur is a magical creature with a human head, torso and arms, joined to a horse’s body. They are, however, their own species and should be treated with great respect.

Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade Harry Potter
Universal Orlando Resort

As you make your way into the dark forest on Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, look out for this mysterious archer in the distance ready to strike. He stands at 8 ft. tall, which would probably make him a great athlete in the Muggle world.

Here are some Fun Fact that the Universal Orlando Blog shared about Centaurs.

  • In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Hagrid is friendly with the Centaur herds as he regularly enters the Forbidden Forest to help injured creatures
  • According to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, these forest-dwelling beings usually live in herds of between 10 and 50 and are well-versed in magical healing, divination, archery and astronomy
  • Centaurs made their first appearance in the films during Harry Potter’s detention in the Forbidden Forest in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Fluffy Three-Headed Dog Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade Harry Potter and the Sorecerers Stone
Universal Orlando Resort

The epic new addition to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be an immersive experience unlike any other, combining a new level of storytelling and innovative coaster technology with elaborate environments – including an actual forest with more than 1,200 live trees – to bring an all-new wizarding world adventure to life. Guests will embark on a journey with Hagrid – one of the most beloved characters in theHarry Potter films – into the Forbidden Forest to discover some of the wizarding world’s rarest magical creatures.

next up is the final creature – not seen before in the films. Careful, you may want to approach from the front….

Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade Harry Potter
Universal Orlando Resort
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FIRST LOOK WEEK: Wednesday’s (Sort Of) Magical Creatures Reveal

Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade Harry Potter

All week the Universal Orlando Resort is giving guests a first-ever look at the magical creatures they’ll encounter inside the most highly themed, immersive coaster experience yet – Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure when it opens on June 13th at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

#ICYMI: Check out the other Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Monday & Tuesday Reveals!

With that being said let’s take a look at today’s (sort of) Magical Creatures…Devil’s Snare!

While Devil’s Snare isn’t a creature, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to mention this perilous plant from the wizarding world – often strangling people who touch it with its dexterous vines. Devil’s Snare flourishes in damp, dark environments and it has a strong dislike of light and fire – remember that for your journey!

Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade Harry Potter
Universal Orlando Resort

Speaking of your journey, Devil’s Snare is one of the many challenges you’ll face on Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. You may even find yourself entangled in a thicket of this dangerous plant but remember to remain calm! If you don’t, you may end up entangled in hundreds of its vines…

And fun fact about Devil’s Snare, it made its first film appearance in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when the brave Hermione told her friends how to defeat this dangerous force.

Here are some Fun Fact that the Universal Orlando Blog shared about Devil’s Snare. 

  • A fun fact about Devil’s Snare, it made its first film appearance in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when the brave Hermione told her friends how to defeat this dangerous force.
Fluffy Three-Headed Dog Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade Harry Potter and the Sorecerers Stone

The epic new addition to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be an immersive experience unlike any other, combining a new level of storytelling and innovative coaster technology with elaborate environments – including an actual forest with more than 1,200 live trees – to bring an all-new wizarding world adventure to life. Guests will embark on a journey with Hagrid – one of the most beloved characters in theHarry Potter films – into the Forbidden Forest to discover some of the wizarding world’s rarest magical creatures.

next up is a majestic being not to be confused with a horse or human.

Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade Harry Potter
Universal Orlando Resort
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FIRST LOOK WEEK: Magical Creatures coming to Universal Orlando

Fluffy Three-Headed Dog Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade Harry Potter and the Sorecerers Stone

Universal Orlando Resort Releases First-Ever Look At Magical Creatures That Await In Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure During Week-Long Reveal

The epic new addition to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens June 13

Starting today through April 19th, the Universal Orlando Resort is giving guests a first-ever look at the magical creatures they’ll encounter inside the most highly themed, immersive coaster experience yet – Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure when it opens on June 13th at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

The epic new addition to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be an immersive experience unlike any other, combining a new level of storytelling and innovative coaster technology with elaborate environments – including an actual forest with more than 1,200 live trees – to bring an all-new wizarding world adventure to life. Guests will embark on a journey with Hagrid – one of the most beloved characters in theHarry Potter films – into the Forbidden Forest to discover some of the wizarding world’s rarest magical creatures.

Every day through April 19, guests can visit the Universal Orlando Blog at 11 a.m. EDT to get a first look at the creatures – from familiar fan-favorites in the Harry Potter film series to a creature that’s never been seen in the films – and where they can be found in the new experience. 

Here are some Fun Facts that the Universal Orlando Blog shared about Fluffy.  

Fluffy Three-Headed Dog in Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade Harry Potter and the Sorecerers Stone
Universal Orlando Resort

Fun Facts:

  • Fluffy is a giant three-headed dog that’s known for being the trusted guard dog of the Sorcerer’s Stone. And, as many of you know, Fluffy has a weakness – he falls asleep to the sound of music.
  • In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Fluffy belongs to Hagrid, who adopted him from a “Greek chappie” he met in a pub
  • Experts on Pottermore say Fluffy was inspired by Cerberus – the dog that in Greek mythology guarded the gates of the Underworld – and, just like Fluffy, he fell asleep to the sound of music
  • Fluffy made his first and only appearance in the film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  • In Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, you’ll confront this gigantic, beloved creature deep in the Forbidden Forest. Proceed with caution – he’s a guard dog first and foremost. And in this new adventure, Fluffy weighs 8,000 Ibs., which is roughly as big as two standard Muggle cars.

The Universal Orlando Blog also shared a hint about tomorrow’s creature reveal….

Our next creature of the week is a swarm of mischief-makers who love their tricks.

GUYS! I can’t tell you how much I love this idea, and I can’t wait to share the information with you all!

Fluffy Three-Headed Dog Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade Harry Potter and the Sorecerers Stone

When it opens on June 13, 2019, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventurewill join the lineup of award-winning entertainment experiences in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort and bring an all-new adventure inspired by J.K. Rowling’s beloved stories to life. Guests will join Hagrid’s Care of Magical Creatures class and fly deep into the Forbidden Forest aboard magical motorbikes to brave the mysteries and thrills beyond the grounds of Hogwarts castle. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure will be located in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. 

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Bigfire Restaurant Opening at Universal CityWalk

Universal Orlando CityWalk Bigfire Restaurant Announcement 2019

All-new restaurant to put modern twist on open-fire cooking, adding bold flavors to American classic dishes

ORLANDO, Fla. 

This summer, Universal Orlando Resort will debut its next original concept dining experience – Bigfire – an all-new, full-service restaurant that will bring a specially created menu and a highly-themed environment directly to guests at Universal CityWalk – and take open fire cooking to a whole new level.

Bigfire will feature unique theming designed to make guests feel as though they have stepped into a grand lakeside lodge, creating an atmosphere reminiscent of summers spent by the water.

Bigfire Restaurant Universal CityWalk Summer 2019
Rendering Universal Orlando Resort

The two-story venue will feature warm modern surroundings, from a cozy fireplace to cast iron and wood design elements mixed with nostalgic camp lanterns and oversized plaid blankets.

As guests step onto the outside patio, they will be greeted with twinkling lights, comfortable seating and lawn games for the entire family to enjoy. And guests will be able to enjoy one of the most popular fireside treats– s’mores – which they will be able to prepare themselves right at their table.

At the heart of the venue will be a custom wood fire grill that will allow guests to see their meal being prepared from anywhere in the restaurant. And for the first time at Universal Orlando, each dish will be expertly paired with the perfect type of wood to bring out the smoky goodness in each bite.

Bigfire Restaurant Universal CityWalk Summer 2019
Smoked Salmon Avocado Toast

From Cherrywood to Pecanwood and more, the pairings will add bold flavors to the American classic dishes and unique entrees, including a signature bison burger, coffee, chili and cocoa rubbed top sirloin, delectable freshwater trout, mouth-watering smoked salads and more.

Bigfire Restaurant Universal CityWalk Summer 2019
Bigfire Signature Bison Burger

Bigfire will be another example of what happens when the Universal Creative team that designs world-class theme park attractions partners with Universal’s award-winning culinary team to create incredible dining experiences for guests.

When it opens, Bigfire will become the next highly-themed, original concept restaurant at CityWalk, and join other popular experiences such as The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen, NBC Sports Grill & Brew, The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar, VIVO Italian Kitchen and more.

The restaurant will be located between VIVO Italian Kitchen and Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville on the edge of the lagoon – offering incredible views of Universal CityWalk.  

Bigfire Restaurant Universal CityWalk Summer 2019
Big Fire Baked Alaska

For more information on Bigfire and other CityWalk restaurants, visit www.UniversalOrlando.com.

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Cabana Bay Beach Resort Retro Fitness Center

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort to Feature

Jack LaLanne Branded Fitness Center
Cabana Bay Beach Resort Universal Orlando

Fitness center among the many amenities offered at Universal Orlando’s newest hotel including 
bowling alley, lazy river, zero-entry pools and more

Guests can enjoy the resort’s brand-new family suites for introductory rates as low as $104 per family, per night

 

Universal Orlando Resort announced today that the world’s first Jack LaLanne-branded fitness center will be located at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Universal Orlando’s new moderate-and value-priced property, opening March 31, 2014.

The Jack LaLanne Fitness Center will perfectly complement the retro theming of Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort while paying homage to LaLanne, a pioneer of personal training and a television celebrity on “The Jack LaLanne Show” – a fitness program that was iconic during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.

From LaLanne memorabilia – including photos, trophies, artifacts and even a full-size statue of the fitness guru himself – to televisions playing old episodes of his show, guests will be immersed in the legacy of “the godfather of fitness” while keeping in shape on modern, state-of-the-art exercise equipment.

“When you think of fitness during these iconic decades, Jack LaLanne just resonates in our minds,” said Russ Dagon, Vice President and Executive Project Director, Universal Creative.  “This partnership with the LaLanne family will complement the new property wonderfully, and we’re delighted that his name will live on here at Cabana Bay Beach Resort.”

The Jack LaLanne Fitness Center is just one of the many amenities that will be available to Cabana Bay Beach Resort guests.  Additional offerings include a 10-lane bowling alley, two zero-entry pools, an iconic dive tower water slide and Universal Orlando’s first lazy river with waterfalls and cannons for interactive fun.  The resort will also feature themed eateries, bars and a coffee shop.

“We’re creating a destination within our destination,” said Adnan Bizri, Managing Director, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort.  “From the beautiful pool areas to the bowling alley to the lazy river, we’re making sure that the fun doesn’t stop when the theme parks close.”

Guests can now book Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort for stays beginning March 31, 2014.  The whole family can experience the resort’s new family suites with limited time introductory rates starting at $104 per night for a seven-night stay to $134 per night for a three-night stay.   Conditions apply.

To learn more or to make a reservation, call 1-888-273-1311 or visit www.universalorlando.com.

 Cabana Bay

About Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort

Cabana Bay Beach Resort is Universal Orlando Resort’s fourth on-site hotel with striking color schemes and nostalgic details throughout the décor. The new, 1800-room hotel features moderately priced family suites available this spring at the special preview price and value-priced guest rooms available June 16, 2014, along with a wealth of recreation. When complete, guests can experience a 10-lane bowling alley and enjoy two massive pools with sand beaches, a lazy river, waterslide and more.
The all-new family suites sleep up to six, surrounding guests with bold design, period colors, neon and a cool retro feel. The suites also feature a kitchenette with microwave, mini-refrigerator and sink. Combining affordability with convenience, the hotel’s location is within walking distance of both Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Plus, hotel guests enjoy Early Park Admission to TheWizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before the theme park opens.

 Cabana Bay Universal Orlando Resort Logo Universal Halloween Horror Nights

About Universal Orlando Resort
Vacation like you mean it at Universal Orlando Resort – where every heart pounding, jaw-dropping, goose-bumping second counts.  It is the only place where you can turn spending time with your family into spending time as a family.  Together, you can soar above Hogwarts with Harry Potter, swing above the streets with Spider-Man, become a Minion in the hilarious and heartwarming Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride, and join Optimus Prime in the fight to save mankind on the new mega-attraction, TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D.  And coming this summer:  The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.

 

Universal Orlando Resort is home to two incredible theme parks: Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure; four magnificently themed on-site hotels:  Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort and the newest addition, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, opening March 31; and Universal CityWalk – a nighttime entertainment complex featuring a collection of nightclubs, restaurants and shops.  And located just minutes from Universal Orlando Resort is Wet n’ Wild, Orlando’s premier waterpark.
Universal Orlando Resort is part of NBCUniversal, a Comcast company.  Follow Universal Orlando Resort on FacebookTwitterInstagram andYouTube.

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Fun Photo Spots In Toon Lagoon

Toon Lagoon

A visit to Toon Lagoon at Universal Orlando Resort’s Islands of Adventure is quite different right now, because Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls is currently closed for rehab and the cold temperatures make riding Popeye & Bluto’s Blige-Rat Barges not really an option.

So as I spent some time this weekend in the now quiet Toon Lagoon area of the park, I found that I had been walking by a really fun and unique photo opportunity that was a lot of fun!

As you walk along the row of shops on Comic Book Lane in Toon Lagoon, look up and you will find several cartoon dialogue balloons above the stores and restaurants that make for some terrific photos.

Toon Lagoon

These balloons and thought bubbles can be found on lamp posts, trees, and are even part of the store signs in front of almost every location on this lane that’s full of ‘character’.

When you are taking the pictures, make sure that you take a peek at each side because they say different things!

I had an absolute blast taking these pictures!

I can’t wait to go back with my daughter and friends to see what kind of pictures they take!Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Classic Albums Live meet up at Hard Rock Orlando!

Hard Rock Cafe
Hard Rock Cafe

Friday night we had the opportunity to attend another great meet up at Hard Rock Orlando, hosted by Hard Rock Cafe Orlando. On The Go In MCO readers may remember the last one we attended that featured Classic Albums Live singing Queen’s “A Night At The Opera”. Well tonight’s event was Classic Albums Live singing The Beatles “Abbey Road” album.

Once we had signed in downstairs we were taken up to the balcony just off The Lennon Room, which personally is my favorite place here as the view of City Walk is so wonderful up there, especially at night!

Balcony

 

Up on the balcony they had a buffet featuring an array of foods to try, chicken, spring rolls, burgers, and my husband’s favorite burger that night was the one with fried mac & cheese!

The Buffet

 

There was another table to the side packed full of different cheeses, fruit, and sushi, which I think I definitely had my share of cheese that night!

IMG_2123

 

Once we got our food we then headed inside the Lennon Room to the bar, as they had kindly provided 2 drinks vouchers per person to get beer or wine alongside our meal.

 

Lennon Room

 

The Lennon Room is full of artifacts and memorabilia including the couch that he used to compose some of his songs on!

 

Piano
Piano

 

Close up
Close up

I couldn’t help but notice the huge cupcake display by the tea and coffee facilities inside, and thought it would be rude not to try them really, so I had the chocolate cupcake. It tasted just as good as it looked, and had I not filled up on all the food earlier I might have tried the other one too which looked like some sort of caramel, coffee, popcorn yumminess!

 

IMG_2191

 

We toured the Lennon Room a little after eating, and then it was time to get the elevator down to the Hard Rock Live to watch Classic Albums Live, singing The Beatles Abbey Road album.

 

Classic Albums Live
Classic Albums Live

One of the first songs they did was my favorite from that album “Come Together”, and since we were in the standing section, everyone was dancing and cheering them on!

The band
The band

If you haven’t already seen this band perform you can look up their tour dates and see where they will be coming next by visiting http://classicalbumslive.com/

They perform different albums from bands such as The Beatles, Queen, Pink Floyd, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, and many more.

Once again we had such a wonderful night at Hard Rock Orlando, they host the best meet ups, and if you haven’t had chance already go pay a visit to Hard Rock Cafe, for not only some of the best food in town, but the best service also. Thank you Hard Rock Cafe Orlando, until next time!

Hard Rock Cafe
Hard Rock Cafe

Universal
Universal

 

 

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Universal Orlando Resort – 2014 Mardi Gras

Universal Orlando Resort Unveils 2014 Mardi Gras Celebration Details and Line-Up

Universal Orlando Resort

This Year’s Mardi Gras Celebration Delivers More Excitement Than Ever Before With an Extended Concert Series Featuring Robin Thicke, Nelly, The Wanted and More

First things first, I absolutely adore Mardi Gras at the Universal Orlando Resort!!! It is by far one of my favorite things to attend in Orlando!!!

Universal Orlando Resort
Last year, Beth and I had a blast at Mardi Gras!

On select nights February 8 through May 31, the Universal Orlando Resort comes alive with a Mardi Gras celebration featuring 20 nights of AMAZING concerts from popular stars and New Orleans bands, great food that takes you to the heart of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, a parade full of fun floats and bead throwing, and a party atmosphere that is fun for the whole family! It is also one of my husband and  date night!

The best part??? All of these are included in your admission to Universal Studios Florida!!!

Universal Orlando Resort

There are so many great things to experience at Universal Studios Mardi Gras, but the concerts this year are AMAZING!!!!

This year’s powerhouse musical lineup features a diverse array of talent, from R&B superstar Robin Thicke, whose hit single “Blurred Lines” topped the Billboard chart for a near-record 12 weeks, to UK pop sensation The Wanted, who has sold nearly 10 million albums worldwide, to Latin idol Prince Royce, who reached number one on the U.S. Hot Latin Songs chart with “Corazón Sin Cara.” Also performing is rock band Daughtry, Grammy award-winning Hip Hop artist Nelly, and the classic rock group Foreigner, one of the best-selling bands of all time.

Universal Orlando Resort
2013 Mardi Gras Concert – Lifehouse

2014 Universal Orlando Resort Mardi Gras Talent Line-Up

Mardi Gras Event Dates

Headliners

(performing in the Music Plaza)

New Orleans Bands

(performing in the French Quarter)

February 8 Daughtry Remedy Krewe
February 15 Barenaked Ladies Soul Project
February 16 Thomas Rhett Soul Project
February 22 Robin Thicke Rockin Jake
March 1 Collective Soul Big Al and The Heavyweights
March 8 Prince Royce Daddy Mac Blues Band
March 14 Cody Simpson Mississippi Rail Company
March 15 Foreigner Mississippi Rail Company
March 21 TBD The Big Easy Playboys
March 22 Gavin DeGraw The Big Easy Playboys
March 28 TBD Dirty Bourbon River Show
March 29 TBD Dirty Bourbon River Show
April 5 Skillet John Lisi and Delt Funk
April 12 Lynyrd Skynyrd Beth McKee & The Sliders
April 19 Kool & the Gang Gravy
May 3 Nelly Chris O’Leary
May 10 The Wanted T Bird & The Breaks
May 17 TBD Grady Champion
May 24 TBD Cha Wa
May 31 TBD Naughty Professor

 

Universal Orlando Resort
Mardi Gras 2013 Parade

Guests can also catch colorful beads by the handful during this year’s parade, which will feature 12 vibrant floats, including three new additions celebrating Jules Verne’s novel, “Around the World in Eighty Days.” All of the exquisitely detailed Mardi Gras floats are engineered by Blaine Kern Artists, the same company that has been hand-crafting floats for the iconic New Orleans celebration since 1947.

In addition to all that, at Universal Studios Mardi Gras you can visit a vibrant French Quarter Courtyard for delicious and authentic Cajun cuisine, street performers, and bands pulled straight from Bourbon Street performing.

Universal Orlando Resort
We spent a lot of time in the French Quarter area during Mardi Gras for great food and cocktails!

And when you are ready, you can keep the Mardi Gras party going at Universal CityWalk at their great bars and entertainment venues!!!

Florida residents have some pretty amazing special offer that they can take advantage of during Mardi Gras at the Universal Orlando Resort!

In addition to amazing deals on theme park Annual Passes, there are great deals on the three on-site hotels: Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort, and a fourth on-site hotel, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, opening March 31, 2014.

2014 Universal Orlando Resort Mardi Gras Florida Resident Offers

Up to 3 months FREE on any Annual Pass For a limited time, get up to 3 months free on any Annual Pass:

  • Power Pass – $174.99 (plus tax)
  • Preferred Pass – $244.99 (plus tax)
  • Premier Pass – $369.99 (plus tax)
  • Offer is also available on FlexPay, Universal Orlando’s monthly payment option
  • Must be purchased and activated by April 30, 2014 with a Coca-Cola UPC code or promo code on specially-marked cups at participating Wendy’s.
  • Visit UniversalOrlando.com for full details and to learn about the benefits of each annual pass
Florida Resident Getaway
  • 2-night accommodations at a nearby Universal Partner Hotel
  • Florida Resident 2-day base ticket to both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure
  • Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before the theme park opens
  • Complimentary scheduled transportation between hotel and Universal Orlando Resort
  • And more!
  • Starts at only $105 per adult, per night, tax inclusive
  • Upgrade to one of three deluxe on-site hotels at Universal Orlando Resort and stay in the heart of the party!  Plus, receive complimentary Universal Express Unlimited ride access to skip the regular lines in both theme parks (a FREE benefit worth up to $89 per person, per day)

 

Guests can also take advantage of this current special offer:

SAVE & Play Vacation Package

SAVE up to $500* with an On-Site Vacation Package
  • Deluxe On-site Hotel Accommodations at one of three AAA Four Diamond Award on-site hotels
  • Theme Park Admission
  • Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before the theme park opens
  • Complimentary on-site transportation via water taxi or shuttle bus to both theme parks and Universal CityWalk
  • Receive complimentary Universal Express Unlimited ride access to skip the regular lines in both theme parks (a FREE benefit worth up to $89 per person, per day)
  • Book by March 31 and use promotion code UNIPLAY at time of purchase to save!
  • Valid for travel January 1 – May 22, 2014

* Restrictions may apply. Visit http://www.universalorlando.com for additional vacation package details.

I know that I will be at Mardi Gras several nights, and I hope to see you there!!!

For more information about Mardi Gras at the Universal Orlando Resort, visit www.universalorlando.com/mardigras.

 Universal Orlando Resort Logo Universal Halloween Horror Nights

About Universal Orlando Resort
Vacation like you mean it at Universal Orlando Resort – where every heart-pounding, jaw-dropping, goose-bumping second counts.  With two incredible theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, three magnificently themed on-site hotels and a nighttime entertainment complex, Universal Orlando is the only place where you can turn spending time with your family into spending timeas a family.  Together, you can soar above Hogwarts with Harry Potter, swing above the streets with Spider-Man, become a Minion in the hilarious and heartwarming Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride, and join Optimus Prime in the fight to save mankind on the new mega-attraction, TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D.
Universal Orlando Resort is part of NBCUniversal, a Comcast company.  Follow Universal Orlando Resort on FacebookTwitterInstagramand YouTube.Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Week In Review And News – January 3, 2014

With the start of a new year and with so much going on after the holidays, I thought it would be a great time to restart our Week in Review and play a little catch up on this week’s highlights and news from the Orlando and Central Florida Attractions and Venues!

Week in Review – December 30, 2013 to January 3, 2014

Walt Disney World Resort

The Disney Parks Blog announced a new contest where you can win a 5-day/4-night vacation for four to either the Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort.

We’ve just launched disney.com/resolutions where Disney celebrities are sharing how they plan to resolve to spend more time with family in 2014. A new video will be uploaded everyday in January.

 

On disney.com/resolutions, we are also awarding a vacation-a-day from December 31, 2013 through January 31, 2014! So enter every day for your chance to win because this is the year to spend more quality time with the people you love most. Good luck!

 

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Open only to individuals, who are, as of Entry, legal residents of, and physically located within, the 50 U.S., D.C., Puerto Rico or Canada (excluding Quebec) and who are not Minors. Sweepstakes starts 12:01 AM (EST) on 12/31/13 and ends 11:59:59 PM (EST) on 1/31/14. Click here for Official Rules.

runDisney

With Walt Disney World Marathon weekend right around the corner, runDisney was everywhere when they released details about the Limited Edition runDisney 2014 New Balance shoes!

httpv://youtu.be/C8YXAZu9kCE

You can find out more about these shoes here.

Universal Orlando Resort

Harry Potter Diagon Alley Week in Review

With construction on Diagon Alley ramping up, A Celebration of Harry Potter drawing close, Cabana Bay opening reservations being taken, and CityWalk undergoing a HUGE transformation, the Universal Orlando Resort is buzzing with energy!

Diagon Alley Construction on December 29, 2013. Week in Review
Diagon Alley Construction on December 29, 2013.

Antojitos Update Week in Review

I don’t know about you, but I am so excited for everything that is coming to the Universal Orlando Resort!!!

SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld Orlando

January is Passholder appreciation month at SeaWorld Orlando, and they are offering some great deals!

Bring a friend for FREE! SeaWorld® Orlando Pass Members receive a friend for free ticket*. Online registration is required. Valid for one single-day admission by January 31, 2014. Register Now.

Double Your Discount**

  • Save 20% on dining in all of our cafeteria-style restaurants
  • Save 20% on merchandise in our gift shops

*Pass Member must be present for guest to gain admittance. Free ticket offer valid for active SeaWorld Orlando 1-Year, 2-Year and FL Platinum Pass Members. Not valid for Fun Cards, Teacher’s Study Passes or Friends & Family Passes. Free ticket is non-transferable, not for resale and may be revoked for misuse.

**Offer only valid between Jan. 1-31, 2014. Must present active SeaWorld Orlando 1-Year, 2-Year, or FL Platinum Pass to receive savings. Not valid with any other discounts or offers. Not valid on All-Day Dining offers. Merchandise offer valid for in-park purchases only.

Amway Center

The Circus is coming to town!

Ringling

Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus LEGENDS is coming to the Amway Center January 9-12, but Monday the circus train rolls into Orlando.  Fantastic photo opportunities will be available as the Ringling Bros. pachyderm performers parade to the Amway Center. 

The Ringling Bros. animal performers will unload at 8:00 p.m. and walk beginning at 8:30 p.m. Animals will unload at railroad tracks near 1035 W. Amelia,  then travel east on Amelia, south on North Hughey Ave., then west on West South St. and enter the GEICO Garage behind Amway Center. (Note: route and time are subject to change without notice.)

Tickets are still available and start at $16. Ticketmaster service charges and facility fees not included.  All seats are reserved. Tickets are available atwww.ringling.com or www.ticketmaster.com, at any Ticketmaster outlet, by calling 800-745-3000, or at the Amway Center box office (phone:407-440-7900).  For group ticket sales and information, call 866-248-8740.

LEGOLAND Florida

If your house is anything like mine, you have watched the trailer for ‘The LEGO Movie’ four times daily and I was excited to see that they are going to be having a weekend of activities in February!

httpv://youtu.be/fZ_JOBCLF-I

LEGOclubweekend [3]

February 8 & 9, 2014 Enjoy fun for all with activities to celebrate “The LEGO Movie”, the first-ever, full-length theatrical LEGO adventure featuring an all-star cast and set to open in theaters February 7. Guests will enjoy a special movie-themed building activity, movie-themed scavenger hunt in Miniland USA and meet and greet sessions with costume characters Emmet and Wyldstyle, who play leading roles in this epic movie.

Busch Gardens Tampa

BG Bring a friend for free Week in Review

January is also Passholder appreciation month at Busch Gardens Tampa!

Double the Fun – Bring a Friend for FREE

During January, Pass Members can bring a friend for free! Online registration required. Limit one free ticket per active Pass Member. Offer valid between January 1-31, 2014. Other Restrictions Apply. Log in now to register your friend’s ticket and learn more about this limited time offer.

Triple the Savings – 30% off merchandise, food, and beverages

All month long, Pass Members get 30% off merchandise, food and beverages when you visit the park! Offer valid between January 1-31, 2014. Other Restrictions Apply.

Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex

A Falcon 9 rocket is targeted to lift-off during a dramatic SpaceX launch scheduled for January 3, launch time is subject to change but the launch window of 5:05 p.m. to 7:17 p.m. EST. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex guests may view the launch from the Apollo/Saturn V Center, the closest possible public viewing area, or special areas at the Visitor Complex.

Launch viewing from the Apollo/Saturn V Center, located in Kennedy Space Center, includes live mission control commentary and is available for Visitor Complex guests for $20 plus the cost of admission. Admission to the Visitor Complex is $50 plus tax for adults and $40 plus tax for children 3-11. Bus boarding for the Apollo/Saturn V Center begins at 3:15 p.m.

Launch viewing, featuring live mission control commentary, also is available from Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and is included in regular admission.

Week in Review- Posts from On the Go in MCO

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Staycation

New Year’s Eve at the Walt Disney World Resort

Wordless Wednesday – Happy New Year

Merchandise Spotlight – Walt Disney World Resort

Thanks for joining us for this Week in Review, and if this is indication of how jam packed 2014 is going to be I am really excited!Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Wordless Wednesday – Christmas in Orlando

Wordless Wednesday – December 25, 2013

We want to wish everyone celebrating today a very Merry Christmas!

We hope that you all have a day full of family, fun, and love!

Merry Christmas from Orlando!!!

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Pick Six: Universal Orlando Naughty & Nice Holiday

I always enjoy the holiday events at Universal Orlando. The celebration takes place in both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure with a lot to see and do. This year I was able to take my nephew for his first time to take part in the festivities. Here are six highlights from that day and my previous visits over the past few of years.

 

1. Grinchmas – Islands of Adventure

Universal  Grinch

MeanOne  Finale

Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas has always been one of my favorite Christmas stories so seeing it brought to life on stage is so fun! The music is great and the Grinch is always fantastic. There are even a few surprises thrown in! The show runs several times a day. There aren’t any bad seats, but in my experience I like sitting on the right side of the stage for a good view of one of those surprises I mentioned.

2. Suess Landing – Islands of Adventure

SeussLanding LittleTree WelcomeChristmas

Garland Lorax

To get to Grinchmas, you must pass through Seuss Landing. This is the most decorated parts of the park with trees and garland everywhere! I love all the whimsical touches. There are even signs with lyrics to “Welcome Christmas.”

3. Macy’s Holiday Parade – Universal Studios

ParadeBanner Minions Hippo

CandyCane Santa SantaLights

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a must-watch for me every Thanksgiving morning for as long as I can remember. One year in college I was lucky enough to be able to visit New York and see it in person. I may not be able to visit New York each year, but I can get a little taste when some of the balloons and floats travel down for the parade here. It even features Santa Claus, who will light the Christmas tree set up in front of the Macy’s façade. How can you not smile while giant balloons float by? Some of them might even dance for you! One year I hope to be able to be one of the balloon handlers!

4. Giant Balloons – Universal Studios

Elf Grover Garfield

Cat George

Speaking of balloons, some of the larger ones from the New York parade are set up around the park. It’s fun going around and taking pictures with them. Garfield and The Cat in the Hat are my favorites!

5. Mannheim Steamroller Concerts – Universal Studios

FullStage Mannheim BlueStage

Mannheim Steamroller performs on Saturday and Sunday nights during the holidays. I’ve always enjoyed their Christmas music so it’s a treat to hear them live, especially “Carol of the Bells.” The concert does take a lot from the Grinchmas show, providing almost a recap with actors from the show. So it can get a little repetitive if you had watched that show earlier in the day. The music is still great though!

6. Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Island of Adventure

Snowman BerryWreath Wreath

I’m putting this one last because not much changes here from a normal day that’s not during the holiday season. But I had to include it because the snow covered roofs and snowman seem so much more festive and fitting when there are wreaths on the doors!  I’ve also heard the Frog Choir sing a few Christmas songs.

 

Have you been to Universal Orlando during their holiday celebration? What are you favorite things to see and do? It’s definitely become a tradition to go each year to take part in the festivities!Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Pick Six: Universal Orlando CityWalk Announcements

While I am still putting together a lot of my final ideas for a larger post on icFlorida about yesterday’s Universal Orlando CityWalk Announcements (You can find the Press Release here), I wanted to take a moment to look at my initial reactions to what we were shown.

Universal Orlando CityWalk

1. Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

Universal Orlando CityWalk

I had a lot of A-ha moments during The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley presentation! Originally I looked at how close the construction of Diagon Alley was to Universal Studios Florida, and I always wondered why it had to be so close to the existing park. And yesterday, when they spoke about how Diagon Alley was wedged into London everything clicked for me! And while I am positively giddy about riding on the Hogwarts Express, given the detail that is going into the streets of Diagon Alley and the Leaky Cauldron (especially the ceiling) I want to camp out now! The current Wizarding World of Harry Potter is one of my most favorite places in any theme park, and I am beyond hopeful about Diagon Alley!

2. Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort

Universal Orlando CityWalk

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is going to be everything that you wish a Walt Disney World ‘Value’ Resort would be! The resort will have 900 Rooms and 900 Family Suites at opening with a fun 60’s retro feel. Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort will also boast several large pools for each section of the resort, dining options, high-energy bowling alleys, and more at a manageable walking distance to the parks. I love fun resorts, and with the proximity to the park this ‘Value’ resort really has value.

3. The Cowfish / The Hot Dog Hall of Fame

The Cowfish and The Hot Dog Hall of Fame that will be coming to Universal CityWalk are fun and quirky! The Cowfish is a mix of sushi and burgers in a fun environment (there will be tablets in the Sushi Bar for people to surf as they sit under Pop Art), and the result is ‘Burgushi’ which include sushi rolls created using burger components and sandwiches created using sushi elements. The Hot Dog Hall of Fame boasts signature Hot Dogs from around the country and a Mustard Bar with custom mustards created from a partnership from the National Mustard Museum. If you love Hot Dogs, how can you not be excited about this restaurant coming to Universal Orlando CityWalk? Amid Bars and themed restaurants, I am looking forward to the fun options and atmosphere that these two locations will bring to the mix of CityWalk!

4. Starbucks / Menchies / Cold Stone Creamery

Universal Orlando CityWalk

While I would have loved to see all original offerings at the Universal Orlando CityWalk announcement, I have to say that choosing to expand the Starbucks presence and adding Menchies and Cold Stone Creamery to CityWalk make more sense and go with the ‘best in class’ mind-set that is going into the renovation of Universal Orlando’s CityWalk. Starbucks moving downstairs and into a larger space that will be filled with seating (Yay!) and innovative touches is a win for everyone, because it is more accessible and adds another location to grab a quick breakfast at the parks which has always been an issue with my family. Menchies and Cold Stone Creamery are solid yogurt and ice cream places that are family favorites, which is important when you have a little (or big) kid who needs a treat after a long day in the theme parks!!!

5. Antojitos / The Red Oven / Bread Box / Pranzo

Universal Orlando CityWalk
Work is well under way at Antojitos at Universal Orlando CityWalk!

And now we come to the unique restaurants that are coming to Universal Orlando CityWalk! Antojitos is a going to be more of a culinary journey than passive restaurant experience. The themed facade of Anotjitos is where you start your trip to cantinas, street carts, and markets of Mexico for tapas-style dining with authentic Mexican food.The Red Oven is open now, and amid an modern Italian atmosphere you can find a huge variety of brick oven pizzas and salads. The Bread Box will feature hand made breads and sandwiches with fresh ingredients to capture the feel of the Deli of your childhood or movies! Pranzo will feature modern Italian foods and hand made pastas. The common thread between the variety of restaurants is that there will be a focus on using only fresh ingredients, that are hand-made, and sometimes even created as you watch. While I am a HUGE Mythos fan (aren’t we all though…Universal butter, bread that you can’t stop eating, and delicious dishes), I always find myself wanting more of a fresh feel to my meal. So beyond beautiful decor, I am excited to find these kinds of foods offered in a Theme Park Area.

Universal Orlando CityWalk

6. Shopping!

I will admit that the shop-a-holic in me really wished there was more on this front, I am excited to see what the new Universal Studios Store will offer! The design will also boast more interactivity and fresh design elements. It is a great place to catch those souvenirs that you said you would go back to pick up that you might have forgotten.

With all these locations opening as the first phase of a Universal Orlando CityWalk revitalization by June of 2014, it makes me really excited to see what phase 2 is going to bring besides me spending more time there!Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Universal CityWalk New Year’s Eve Celebration

Universal CityWalk Drops New Year’s Eve Celebration Details and Advanced Ticket Offers!
Universal CityWalk New Year's Eve Celebration

Celebration features access to six Universal CityWalk venues, unlimited gourmet cuisine,

 six unique party zones and Orlando’s biggest dance floor

 

On December 31, 2013, guests can experience non-stop entertainment at Eve, Universal CityWalk’s new, incomparable New Year’s celebration.With unique party zones – each featuring their own entertainment and signature drinks, access to six different clubs with live music and unlimited gourmet cuisine,Eve will be the place to ring in the New Year.

Partygoers can celebrate all night on Orlando’s biggest dance floor – built just for this event – in front of the CityWalk Plaza Stage. Whenmidnight strikes, guests will kiss 2013 goodbye in style with a champagne toast, a pyrotechnics display and incredible special effects.

Tickets are on-sale now for Universal CityWalk New Year’s Eve Celebration advance pricing of $99.99 plus tax until December 21, 2013.

 

Admission to Universal CityWalk New Year’s Eve Celebration festivities include:

  • Unlimited gourmet cuisine, including filet mignon, jumbo shrimp, custom desserts, and more
  • Six unique outdoor party zones with entertainment and signature drinks
  • Orlando’s largest dance floor, featuring live music from DJ M-Squared on a 360˚ DJ platform
  • Admission to six Universal CityWalk venues, including: Bob Marley’s – A Tribute to Freedom, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, Pat O’Brien’s, the groove, Rising Star and Red Coconut Club
  • Midnight champagne toast and pyrotechnics display

Universal CityWalk New Year's Eve Celebration

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.citywalk.com/Eve.

Universal Orlando Holiday Logo

 Make sure you also follow Universal Orlando Resort on Facebook and Twitter for information and special offers!

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