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!

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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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Universal Orlando Resort’s Holidays Celebration

Universal Orlando

 

‘TIS THE SEASON TO CREATE LASTING FAMILY MEMORIES AT

UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT’S HOLIDAYS CELEBRATION

 

Heartwarming Holiday Traditions Return Dec. 7 with Grinchmas, Macy’s Holiday ParadeTM

and Electrifying Holiday Concerts by Mannheim Steamroller

 

ORLANDO, Fla. (Nov. 15, 2013) – It’s the most wonderful time of the year at Universal Orlando Resort. From Dec. 7 through Jan. 4, families can create lifelong memories during Universal Orlando’s Holidays celebration. Kids from one to 92 can come face-to-face with The Grinch at Grinchmas, watch larger-than-life balloons float through the streets during the Macy’s Holiday ParadeTM and hear Christmas music sensation, Mannheim Steamroller, perform beloved holiday classics with a modern twist.

 

At Universal’s Islands of Adventure, guests will smile from ear-to-ear during the heartwarming live show, “Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular,” featuring The Grinch and the Whos from Who-ville, accompanied by an original musical score by Mannheim Steamroller. Guests can meet the mean, green one himself and the Whos daily and, on select dates, enjoy a special breakfast with the characters.
At Universal Studios Florida, the Macy’s Holiday Parade will fill the streets with the same larger-than-life balloons seen in the famous New York City parade. Guests will be immersed in the spirit of the season with holiday characters, fantasy-filled floats and a tree-lighting ceremony with the big man himself, Santa Claus. This year, there is a brand new addition to the line-up of timeless holiday parade icons. Happy the Hippo, a recreation of a 1940s Macy’s Parade balloon, will make her debut in New York City this Thanksgiving before heading to Orlando to appear in the Macy’s Holiday Parade at Universal Studios Florida.

 

Macy's Holiday Parade at UOR

 

Following the parade, the acclaimed musical group Mannheim Steamroller will take to the Music Plaza stage in Universal Studios six nights this year to perform memorable holiday hits on Dec. 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22.

 

All theme park holiday entertainment – including Mannheim Steamroller concerts – is included as part of park-to-park or multi-day admission to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. For a memorable getaway, guests can take advantage of the following vacation packages:

 

Make Your Season Bright with Incredible Offers from Universal Orlando

OFFER

DETAILS

Florida Resident 2-Park Preferred Annual Pass

 

**Available on FlexPay

 

 

  • 2-Park Preferred Annual Pass for less than $12* per month
  • Admission to both Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure
  • Free self-parking after first visit
  • No blockout dates

*Down payment and restrictions apply.

Florida Resident 2-Park Getaway  

 

**Starting at $149+ per adult, per night, tax inclusive

  • 2 night stay at one of three AAA Four Diamond Award deluxe on-site hotels at Universal Orlando Resort
  • Florida Resident 2-day base ticket to both theme parks
  • 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
  • PLUS early park admission to experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter before the rest of the general public

**Must be booked by Dec. 15, 2013 with travel occurring by Dec. 19, 2013.


New Year’s Eve at Universal CityWalk

On December 31, guests can experience the epic sophistication of EVE 2013, Orlando’s boldest New Year’s party at Universal CityWalk. This year’sall-new event features six unique entertainment zones, access to seven of CityWalk’s high-energy nightclubs, unlimited gourmet cuisine and amidnight champagne toast.

 

This is a separately ticketed event. More information on EVE 2013 will be available soon at www.UniversalOrlando.com/Hholidays.


Holiday Festivities at the Three Deluxe On-Site Hotels at Universal Orlando

The celebration continues at the three deluxe on-site hotels at Universal Orlando – Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort – all of which will glisten with holiday decorations. Hotel guests will be immersed in the spirit of the season with holiday buffets and dining events, tree-lighting ceremonies, visits from Santa, and holiday poolside “dive-in” movie presentations.

 

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel features the Gather Together Thanksgiving feast with Pilgrims and Indians on Thanksgiving Day, then kicks off the holiday season on Friday, November 29 with ‘Holiday Harbor Nights,’ a wine, food, music and tree lighting celebration on the Harbor Piazza.  On select nights in December at Portofino, guests can enjoy Holiday in the Harbor featuring carolers, storytelling and visits with Santa. Hard Rock Hotel features special Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve buffets and Santa stops by The Kitchen restaurant every Friday in December.  Loews Royal Pacific Resort offers holiday buffets for Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, plus a special New Year’s Eve luau to ring in 2014.

 

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 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.
Universal Orlando Resort is part of NBCUniversal, a Comcast company.  Follow Universal Orlando Resort on FacebookTwitterInstagram andYouTube.

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Universal Orlando Resort Vacation Package Offers!

UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT GUESTS GET A THIRD NIGHT AND THIRD DAY FREE WITH EXCLUSIVE OFFERS

Logo Universal Halloween Horror Nights 

Universal Orlando Resort is introducing two new offers that give families more time together to enjoy the incredible thrills of Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Starting today, guests who buy a 2-day park ticket will get a third day FREE. And guests who purchase a two-night vacation package at a Universal Partner Hotel get the third night FREE, plus a third day FREE to enjoy the theme parks.

At Universal Orlando, families create one-of-a-kind memories – all while experiencing the unique entertainment at both theme parks. And with the additions of Springfield – hometown to America’s favorite animated family, The Simpsons – and the all-new TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D, where guests can join the epic battle between the Autobots and Decepticons, there has never been a more exciting time to visit Universal Orlando Resort.

Additional details about these exclusive offers can be found below.

Exclusive Ticket and Vacation Package Offers

OFFER

DETAILS

3rd Day FREE Ticket Offer

 

**Starts at $125.99 per adult

  • 2-day Base ticket to experience Universal Orlando’s theme parks – with the third day FREE

 

*Tickets are available for purchase Oct. 10, 2013 through May 9, 2014 and are valid for three days during a 14-day period which includes the first day of use. All ticket usage must be completed on or before May 22, 2014 when the ticket will expire in full.

3rd Night FREE Vacation Package

 

**Starts at $229 per adult

 

 

  • Two nights of accommodations at a nearby Universal Partner Hotel – with the third night FREE
  • 2-day Base ticket to experience Universal Orlando’s theme parks – with the third day FREE
  • Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before the theme park opens
  • Access to live entertainment at Universal CityWalk
  • FREE scheduled transportation between Universal Orlando and hotel
  • And more!

**Vacation package is available for purchase from Oct. 10, 2013 through Dec. 15, 2013for travel beginning Nov. 1 through Dec. 22, 2013.

 

Additional vacation package options are also available online, enabling guests to stay in the heart of the excitement at one of Universal Orlando’s three on-site AAA Four Diamond hotels. On-site hotel guests can enjoy exclusive benefits such as free Universal Express access to skip the regular lines at participating rides and attractions and complimentary on-site transportation via water taxi or shuttle bus. And when guests book a three-night or more on-site vacation package for travel before Dec. 25, 2013, kids eat free at any one of Universal Orlando Resort’s three deluxe on-site hotels, and play free at Hollywood Drive-In Golf at Universal CityWalk.

For more information about Universal Orlando’s vacation packages and the theme parks, visit www.UniversalOrlando.com.

Follow Universal Orlando Resort on FacebookTwitter,Instagram and YouTube.

 

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Colorvision Amazing Pictures At The Universal Orlando Resort Expands

Amazing Pictures

Colorvision Amazing Pictures At Universal Orlando Resort Adds Two Great Photo Experiences

Universal Orlando Guests Now Have Innovative Ways to Capture Timeless Park Memories

 

Recently I had the opportunity to visit the Colorvision International Inc. – Amazing Pictures (Colorvision) headquarters to learn about the expanding photo experience they are offering at the Universal Orlando Resort!

Amazing Pictures

Colorvision has been proud to partner with Universal Orlando Resort since 2009,” said Colorvision President Mark Simmons. “We are thrilled to unveil this one of a kind system, designed specifically with the guests of Universal Orlando Resort in mind. Colorvision has been providing high end digital products that memorialize the guest’s experience forever while generating superior results for our partners for the last 35 years, and the best is yet to come.”

When you visit the Universal Orlando Resort, you find tons of photo options to make your visit to Universal Orlando Resort memorable! You will find Colorvision providing roaming photographers, fun pictures that put you in scenes with some of your favorite characters, on-ride photos, their newest offering which lets you take a seat in the Simpsons living room, and more.

In addition to these photo experiences at Universal Orlando Resort, the Universal Photo Connect and Star Card have debuted that are perfect for Annual Passholders and for guests spending an extended amount of time at the resort.

Amazing Pictures

The Universal Photo Connect is a way to keep the photos that you to take photos during your visit to the Universal Orlando Resort organized and in one place online so you can view and share them easily.

To participate in the Universal Photo Connect, you will need to get your picture taken by a Photo Connect photographer to receive a card and then you will need to visit Photo Connect locations in both the Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure parks to see your pictures and choose your options before you leave for the day. Both of the main stores are located just inside of the turnstiles are are clearly marked.

There are tons of products that can be ordered online and customized with your photos, and my favorite that we saw was their photo books which are reasonably priced and are created with the help of Colorvision International Inc. – Amazing Pictures (Colorvision) graphic designers.

Amazing Pictures

 

For me the most exciting launch between Colorvision and Universal Orlando Resort is the Star Card!

Amazing Pictures

 

Guests who purchase the Star Card get great photos accessible online and large format print of their favorite image, a lanyard, a personalized Photo Connect Card displaying their favorite image and a digital copy of all pictures taken in the parks.

After your visit to the Universal Orlando Resort, Star Card guests easily log into their accounts universalphotoconnect.com from home where they can share their pictures on social media, order prints, and photo CDs (with stock professional stock photos included) & products.

Amazing Pictures

 

Here is a quick breakdown of the Star Card Program:

* The Star Card Package is $59.95 plus tax and can be bought at locations in both Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

Amazing Pictures

* The Star Card Package includes the following items:

  • Digital copies of all you in-park and ride photos for five days.
  • (1) 8×10 or 5×7 photo print per package.
  • Photo Connect lanyard.
  • Customized Photo Connect Card (with your favorite photos).
  • Photo CD of all your pictures (fulfilled online, shipping and handling fees apply).
  • Discounts up to 20 percent on prints, videos, and accessories sold at the Photo Connect Stores

* Prints can be added to your Star Card Package for $24.95 plus tax, and you can also get a prints only version of the Star Card which you can get more details at the locations in the parks. The prints are 4×6 and are only limited to the times you do the attraction, ride, in-park experience, or character photos.

* You can pre-purchase your Star Card Package and save $10! Here is the link to pre-order your package!

* The Star Card is ideal for Annual Passholders, because you can get a whole year of photos for $59.95 plus tax!

*Guests can also share photos via the Amazing Pictures Mobile App for Apple and Andriod!

Amazing Pictures
Amazing Pictures App Screen Shot

 

The team at Colorvision are continuing to create new and easier ways for guests to use, share, and experience the Universal Orlando Resort, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!

As part of this review I was provided a Star Card to use, and we have had a lot of fun taking photos and sharing our memories with family & friends.

Make sure to follow us Colorvision International Inc. – Amazing Pictures (Colorvision) on Twitter @CVCREATIVE and Facebook for great offers and up-to-date news!

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Wordless Wednesday – Outside Hogwarts

Wordless Wednesday – October 2, 2013

Wordless Wednesday Universal Islands of Adventure

This week’s Wordless Wednesday takes us to just outside of Hogwarts in Universal’s Island of Adventure at the Universal Orlando Resort. I could seriously spend all day in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter wandering the streets of Hogsmeade!!!

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Family Day At Universal Studios Florida

Every so often our Universal Orlando Daredevil wants to take a break from taking on Universal Orlando Resort at a break-neck pace, so we decided to head to Universal Studios Florida to have a fun day in the park together!

Universal Studios Florida

Since we are always running through the parks, we decided to let Zoe make the decisions and that led us to a really fun and laid back day!

Zoe’s first stop was E.T. Adventure, which is one of our favorite attractions in the park, to take a walk through the woods before we took an adventurous bike ride. I seriously don’t know what it is about this ride that makes us so incredibly happy…but it does! I hope I never stop giggling at E.T. saying ‘Shelley’!

Universal Studios Florida E.T.

A good tip is that if you have riders who aren’t comfortable on the ‘bike seats’, you can talk to a Team Member to see if there is a ride vehicle with a bench available to ride.

After we saved The Green Planet, E.T.’s home world, we headed over to Fievel’s Playland to let Zoe run around for a bit!

While she was playing and riding the water slide, Dave and I used the time to take it easy for a minute and talk in the shade!

Universal Studios Florida

After 3 rides on the slide, Zoe decided it was time to keep our adventure going!

But we didn’t get the chance to make it too far, because she saw that SpongeBob was out at SpongeBob StorePants which made for some great pictures and fun as we found some cool details in the store! Zoe especially lost her mind when she found Gary!!!

Universal Studios Florida

Zoe then decided it was time to eat, so we headed over to Springfield to visit her absolute favorite part of Universal Studios Florida!

Universal Studios Florida Springfield

Zoe loves eating at Fast Food Boulevard, so while she and Dave enjoyed Krusty Burgers I decided to give the Bumblebee Man Taco Truck a try!

Simpsons Universal Orlando
Bumblebee Man’s Taco Truck

I had the Carne Asada Tacos, and they were really good! You have your choice of tortilla (flour or corn) for the tacos and it comes with tortilla chips. The steak was perfectly cooked, the guacamole was surprisingly delicious, and the toppings were fresh! The only thing that I wish was different is that they don’t have any Annual Pass discounts. However, the tacos paired with a Flaming Moe made a perfect and light meal for a warm day! I apologize for the lack of picture, but I was starving and they were really tasty!

We decided to give Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl a spin, and while it wasn’t the best of decisions after lunch it was still a lot of fun! The signs along the queue are a lot of fun and getting your saucer into orbit just right to trigger the character voices around the attraction is a great plus!

Universal Studios Florida

It may sound weird, but Zoe loves answering the phone outside of the Kwik-E-Mart! She would stay here forever if we let her!

Universal Studios Florida

We finally were able to lure her away with promises of letting her play the carnival games outside of The Simpsons Ride. While the games look like your typical sketchy carnival games, the Team Members in this area are always there to make them super fun! The games aren’t too expensive or hard that you don’t have a good chance at winning a prize.

Universal Studios Florida

Another big plus of these games is that you can win actual Simpsons prizes, and Zoe wound up winning a little Lisa who is now by her side at all times!

Lisa and Zoe wanted to kick it up a little bit, so we took a spin on MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack. While it is a really fun attraction, the air conditioning was blasting which was a huge bonus on this super sunny day!

We knew our day was starting to wind down, so we walked along the construction and took a moment to play with the Universal ScreenPlay app! It was another nice break from rushing towards the exit.

Universal Studios Florida

For Zoe’s last treat of the day, she asked to climb the walls! She absolutely loves the climbing area located near The Mummy, and for $5 it is more than fairly priced for similar experiences outside of the park! Adults have to sign a waiver, kids wear a harness and helmet, and helpful Team Members are there for extra encouragement.

Universal Studios Florida

As Optimus ‘Primed’ us to the fact storms were starting to roll in, we decided to head home after a fun and relaxing day at Universal Studios Florida.

Universal Studios Florida

I hope that you enjoyed joining us on our Family day at Universal Studios Florida, what do your kids like to choose when they get to call the shots and choose the attractions?

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Halloween Horror Nights 23 at Universal

Halloween Horror Nights
Halloween Horror Nights

GAME OVER…

HORROR VIDEO GAME SERIES RESIDENT EVIL COMPLETES INTENSELY TERRIFYING LINEUP FOR

UNIVERSAL ORLANDO’S HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS 23

Nation’s Best Halloween Event to Feature Eight All-New Haunted Houses,
Outrageous Shows and Horrifying, New Street Experience

 

This fall, Universal Orlando Resort will transform reality into a surreal fight for survival as the critically-acclaimed survival horror video game series Resident Evil becomes a haunted house at Halloween Horror Nights 23.

 

This completes this year’s lineup for Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 23, which will feature some of the most outrageously terrifying, highly-recognizable names in entertainment and pop culture. In addition to Resident Evil, the event will also include haunted houses based on AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” Mexican urban legend La Llorona and critically acclaimed horror films “Evil Dead,” “An American Werewolf in London” and “The Cabin in the Woods.” Universal Orlando is also dedicating its entire Halloween Horror Nights street experience to “The Walking Dead” – making this the first time ever that all of the scare zones throughout the park will be themed after a hit television series.

 

For Resident Evil, Universal’s Entertainment team collaborated with the video game creators at Capcom to create a horrifyingly authentic haunted house based on some of the popular video games from the Resident Evil series. Guests will become desperate survivors inside the viral catastrophe, Raccoon City. As they journey through the city, they’ll encounter vicious characters from the games such as Lickers, bloodthirsty zombies, packs of Cerberuses and even Nemesis himself. Fans will be completely transported inside the video game realm – to the extent that one room in the haunted house will appear as if an action-packed fight scene is paused, as if the gamer has taken a quick break before returning to the horror of Raccoon City.

 

The Resident Evil franchise is now firmly established as a mainstay of contemporary culture with blockbuster live action movies, CG anime, manga, novels and numerous merchandising lines being produced alongside the videogame series. To date, the Resident Evil series of videogames has achieved global sales of more than 57 million units.

 

“It’s such a great delight to work with Universal on a haunted house based on the Resident Evil games,” said Yoshiaki Hirabayashi, Producer of Resident Evil 6. “The games have become synonymous with survival horror and we look forward to delivering a new way for consumers to experience the Resident Evil world we have created in the haunted house at Halloween Horror Nights.”

 

“Resident Evil is a perfect final addition to Halloween Horror Nights 23,” said Michael Aiello, Creative Director for Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights. “We were able to create incredibly elaborate sets that plant you right in the midst of Raccoon City’s apocalyptic nightmare, along with terrifying adversaries that will send them running.”

 

For a detailed listing of each experience featured at this year’s event, see below.

 

Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 23 will take place select nights from Sept. 20 to Nov. 2. Tickets and vacation packages are on sale now and can be purchased at Halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando. For details on special Florida resident offers, please see below. Due to the event’s popularity, tickets for weekend nights are expected to sell out and should be purchased well in advance.

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Wordless Wednesday: Intergalactic Lunch

Wordless Wednesday: August 28, 2013

Wordless Wednesday
This week’s Wordless Wednesday takes us to Springfield at Universal Studios Florida for a different kind of lunchtime treat.
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Springfield Revisited

Simpsons Universal Orlando

DanaWalk: Springfield Revisited

I revisited Springfield to see the almost completed other side of the street, and I say almost completed because we were still waiting for Kang and Kodos’ Twirl ‘N’ Hurl ride to open when I was there.

Across from Kwik-E-Mart, Moe’s Tavern, and Krusty Burger you can now find Bumblebee Man’s Taco Truck, Lard Lad Donuts, Duff Gardens, and plenty of Springfield’s finest to take a photo with.

Simpsons Universal Orlando
Bumblebee Man’s Taco Truck

Bumblebee Man’s Taco Truck is probably my favorite because of the food truck craze that is going on right now.  The tacos sound amazing and the next time I go to Springfield, I will either try the Chicken taco or the Carne Asada taco.  Anything with guacamole is a must for me!

Simpsons Universal Orlando
A closer look at the Bumblebee Man’s Taco Truck Menu

Lard Lad Donuts is next door.  I love the Lard Lad statue, but I wish they would have made it more than just a walk-up window/cart.  I was a tad underwhelmed by it.Simpsons Universal Orlando

Simpsons Universal Orlando

Simpsons Universal Orlando
Lard Lad Donut Menu

Chief Wiggum is hanging out by Lard Lad Donuts, as usual, with his police car that he’s run into a fire hydrant.  The fire hydrant is also a small water feature for kids to play in on a hot day.  It was not working when I was there, but it was up and running the next day.

Simpsons Universal Orlando

Next to the Chief, and before you get to Duff Gardens, is the statue of Jebediah Springfield.  If you visit him, make sure to notice the real grass that surrounds him.  I loved that they used real grass instead of the fake grass that resides over by Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit.  Some of you might not know, but I am a Kentucky girl and I miss my bluegrass and this was pretty close to it!

Simpsons Universal Orlando
Real grass!!!

For all of you Simpson fans, the plaque on the back of the Jebediah statue reads, “A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.

Simpsons Universal Orlando

Duff Gardens is an open-air bar that serves up three different Duff beers, the Flaming Moe, Squishees, as well as fountain beverages and bottled water.  They have a few small food items such as a fruit cup or nuts that you can purchase here as well.

Simpsons Universal Orlando

Simpsons Universal Orlando

Out in front of Duff’s are the Seven Duffs, which forgive me, I had to look up because I am not too familiar with the whole Simpsons series.  I found out that their names are Tipsy, Queasy, Surly, Sleazy, Edgy, Dizzy, and Remorseful.  They are a parody on Disney’s the Seven Dwarfs in that they are complete opposites.

Simpsons Universal Orlando

On the side of Duff’s where the “brewery” is, is a Duff gift shop with Duffman hanging out right beside it for you to snap some photos with.

Simpsons Universal Orlando

The whole place is colorful and fantastic, but I personally feel like the focus is on too much of the food aspect of the Simpsons.  I realized this last trip to Springfield, that I want something more than just food, like a walk-through Simpson house.  Would that not be cool?

Simpsons Universal Orlando

Simpsons Universal Orlando

Simpsons Universal Orlando

One last thing I noticed…Barney is back!  His beer stein is back to looking like he only has a drop of beer left in it and it’s great. Glad to have him back where he belongs in Moe’s.

Simpsons Universal Orlando

Simpsons Universal Orlando

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Rock The Universe At Universal Orlando Resort Details

Universal Orlando Resort’s Rock The Universe Returns This September

With Two Days Of Powerful Christian Rock Performances 

Rock the Universe

 Tickets are On Sale Now for the Biggest Christian Music Festival in Florida, Featuring Concerts by Switchfoot, Casting Crowns, Lecrae and More

 

On September 6 and 7, guests at Universal Orlando’s Rock the Universe 2013 will enjoy a faith-filled weekend featuring performances by 18 of Christian Rock’s most popular bands – such as Lecrae, Switchfoot, and Casting Crowns, inspiring guest speakers, access to unparalleled theme park entertainment and more.

 Rock the Universe

There are a variety of ticket options available for Rock the Universe 2013. The best way to experience the event is with the “Rock Your Weekend” ticket, which includes admission to both nights of Rock the Universe and three days admission to both Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. This ticket is available for purchase online through Aug. 30, 2013 and will not be available at the park entrance. See below for all ticket options.

 

ROCK  THE UNIVERSE 2013 OFFERS

 (prices do not include tax)

BEST OFFER“Rock Your Weekend” Ticket Must Be Purchased On or BeforeAug. 30

  • Groups of 10 or more:$103.99 per person
  • Individuals:  $108.99 per person
  • Three days park-to-park admission to Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure
    Sept. 6 -8
  • Admission to both nights of Rock the Universe 2013
  • Access to Sunday Morning Worship services
Rock the Universe 2013 Two-Night Ticket Advance Pricing

  • Groups of 10 or more: $74.99 per person
  • Individuals:  $79.99 per person

Day-of$88.99 per person

  • Admission to Rock the Universe 2013 onboth Friday, Sept. 6 and Saturday, Sept. 7
Rock the Universe 2013 One-Night Ticket Advance Pricing

  • Groups of 10 or more: $49.99 per person
  • Individuals: $54.99 per person

Day-of:  $62.99 per person

  • Admission to Rock the Universe 2013 oneither Friday, Sept. 6 or Saturday, Sept. 7

 

Rock the Universe 2013’s lineup features some of the biggest names in Christian music, including Lecrae – who won Best Gospel Album at the 2012 Grammy Awards; three-time Grammy award-winning group Casting Crowns; Grammy nominated artist and winner of 20 Dove AwardsChris Tomlin; and rock band Switchfoot, who has sold millions of albums worldwide. The full line-up is below.

ROCK THE UNIVERSE 2013 LINE-UP

Friday, September 6

Saturday, September 7

Switchfoot Casting Crowns
Chris Tomlin Jesus Culture
Crowder Lecrae
Tenth Avenue North Relient K
Family Force 5 Red
Colton Dixon Everfound
Kyle Sherman Crave
Dara McClean Dara McClean
OBB OBB
Love & The Outcome Love & The Outcome
Alma Vertical Alma Vertical

** Names in bold indicate headlining acts.

 

Rock the Universe 2013 guests will also enjoy the wildly popular Coca-Cola fan zone – where they can experience live music by additional artists, autograph sessions with the bands, karaoke and more – and access to Universal Orlando’s thrilling theme park rides, including the new blockbuster mega-attraction, TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D.

 

For more details about Rock the Universe 2013, visit www.RocktheUniverse.com.

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Matisyahu At Hard Rock Live Orlando

Matisyahu

This year Matisyahu returns to Orlando, and will be performing on September 17 at the Hard Rock Live Orlando.

Matisyahu puts on an amazing show that is perfect for teenagers, young adults, and all Matisyahu fans. The performance features a full band and highlights songs from Matisyahu’s new record Spark Seeker as well as some fan favorite songs like “One Day”, “King Without a Crown”, “Sunshine”, and “Jerusalem”.

The Hard Rock Live Orlando is located at Universal CityWalk, and is a really great place to see a concert and I love Matisyahu!!!

Tickets are still available, so what are you waiting for???

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AMC’s The Walking Dead Returns to Halloween Horror Nights

AMC’s The Walking Dead to be resurrected at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort’s

Award-Winning Halloween Horror Nights events for second consecutive year!

Universal Halloween Horror Nights
Beginning September 20, AMC’s The Walking Dead will come to life at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights events with all-new terrifying mazes inspired by Season 3 of the critically-acclaimed, award-winning television series.

Season 3 of the Golden Globe-Nominated, Emmy-Award Winning series, ‘The Walking Dead,’

Sets the Stage for All-Original Horrifying Experiences on Both Coasts

 

Fans with a voracious appetite for AMC’s “The Walking Dead” will have a chance to walk in the footsteps of human survivors when Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort debut all new terrifying mazes inspired by Season 3 of the critically-acclaimed, award-winning television series at this year’s Halloween Horror Nights events beginning September 20.

The eerily authentic and disturbingly real maze experiences will place Halloween Horror Nights guests at the heart of the show’s once impenetrable prison, the West Georgia Correctional Facility, now overrun by hordes of flesh-eating walkers.  The mazes at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando will send guests cowering through the walker-infested wilderness that surrounds the prison and into the seemingly utopian town of Woodbury where gruesome secrets are concealed.

Universal Orlando is also dedicating its entire Halloween Horror Nights street experience to “The Walking Dead” – making this the first time ever that all of the scare zones throughout the park will be themed after a hit television series.  Guests brave enough to walk the streets of Universal Studios Florida will encounter iconic scenes from all three seasons of the hit show – including the perilous city of Atlanta and Hershel’s dismal barn – and fleets of blood-thirsty walkers who are hungry for their next victim…

The Golden Globe®-nominated, Emmy® Award-winning series “The Walking Dead” is based on the graphic novel written by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics. The series tells the story of the months and years after a zombie apocalypse.  It follows a group of survivors, led by sheriff Rick Grimes, who travel in search of a safe and secure home. “The Walking Dead” is the first original cable series ever to end the broadcast TV season as the number-one show for adults 18-49.  AMC’s “The Walking Dead” returns for season 4 on Sunday, October 13 at 9pm ET/PT.

“What’s great about working with a property like ‘The Walking Dead’ is that each season presents new environments and characters for us to draw inspiration,” said John Murdy, Creative Director for Universal Studios Hollywood.  “With the prison as the main setting of Season 3, we seized this opportunity to recreate that very environment, down to the last detail, to be as genuine and authentic to the show as possible. Using movie-quality production value, our goal is to make guests feel as if they are mired in the world of blood-thirsty zombies, which is something you can only do at Halloween Horror Nights”.

“The goal is always to surround guests with authentic and terrifying experiences,” said Michael Aiello, Creative Development Director for Universal Orlando’s Entertainment team. “The combination of ‘The Walking Dead’ themed street experiences and the haunted maze will make it difficult for our guests to escape the hordes of ravenous walkers they’ve seen on their television.  The moment you pass through our gate, you become a survivor fighting for your life.”

Universal Halloween Horror Nights

Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights events have a more than 20-year history of creating incredibly entertaining, horrifying Halloween experiences that are consistently rated the nation’s best.  The events on each coast feature highly-themed, disturbingly real, haunted mazes based on everything from films to nightmares — and streets filled with hundreds of specially trained “scareactors.”

For more information about Halloween Horror Nights at either Universal Orlando Resort or Universal Studios Hollywood, visit www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com.

 Logo Universal Halloween Horror Nights

About Universal Orlando Resort
There are many ways to enjoy your Orlando vacation, but there is only one place where vacation becomes adventure: Universal Orlando Resort. It is a unique destination featuring two theme parks, three magnificently themed on-site hotels and a nighttime entertainment complex. It’s the only Orlando destination where you are not just entertained – you become part of the most exhilarating entertainment ever created. You can soar above Hogwarts with Harry Potter, swing above the streets with Spider-Man, be transformed into a banana-loving minion in the hilarious and heartwarming Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride and help Shrek save Princess Fiona in Shrek 4-D. Now open:  TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D.

Universal Orlando Resort is an NBCUniversal company.

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Wordless Wednesday – The Lost Continent

Wordless Wednesday – July 24, 2013

This week’s Wordless Wednesday takes us to one of my favorite places in Universal Islands of Adventure, The Lost Continent. I love this area because you really can’t go wrong with Poseidon’s Fury & Mythos!

Wordless Wednesday

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TRANSFORMERS: The Ride–3D Technical Rehearsals

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride–3D is set to have it’s grand opening on June 20, 2013, but the attraction is currently in technical rehearsals right now meaning that it will not be scheduled to open and can be closed at any time.

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D

The N.E.S.T. building is impressive, especially now that Optimus Prime adorns the entrance rooftop above the attraction entrance.

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D

The wait when I got to the attraction was 90 minutes, and the single rider line was being used sparingly. On our ride we were directed to use the Express Pass queue line.

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D

Right before it’s your time to protect the AllSpark, N.E.S.T. agents are debriefing guests about their ride vehicle, EVAC.

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D

Once you’re inside of EVAC, the ride vehicle, you know that this is going to be a really great attraction.

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D

The attraction is very similar in feel to The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, because it uses the same ride vehicle and 3D glasses technology.

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D

The graphics are well done and feel very real, like you are actually a part of the battle.

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D

The story line and ride sequence of TRANSFORMERS: The Ride–3D are fun and intense!

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D

Here is a closer look at EVAC, the newest transformer, is protecting the AllSpark from Megatron, so you are always being chased by him and the Decepticons.  Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and other autobots help out you and EVAC along the way to help defeat the Decepticons.

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride–3D was really entertaining, and I cannot wait to ride it again! But since it is a new attraction, you will want to be prepared for a long wait especially if you are visiting before it officially opens.

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