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Category Archives: Universal Orlando Resort

One Direction’s Liam Payne Visits Universal Orlando Resort

After wrapping up the first leg of One Direction’s European Tour, Liam Payne enjoyed a family vacation at Universal Orlando Resort.



During his visit on July 4, the singer and songwriter came face-to-face with velociraptors at the all-new Raptor Encounter experience at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Payne is best known for being a member of the award-winning pop boy band One Direction.

A Day At Universal Studios Orlando At Universal Orlando Resort

Travel With Rick takes us all around the incredible Universal Studios Florida at Universal Orlando Resort to visit Minions, the Simpsons, Transformers, and even The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley!

Goo Goo Dolls Rock the Stage This Weekend for the 25th Anniversary Concert Series

Orlando, Fla. (June 15, 2015) – Universal Orlando Resort’s 25th Anniversary Concert Series will conclude this weekend with a live concert by the chart-topping band Goo Goo Dolls on Saturday, June 20 at 9:00 PM.

Goo Goo Dolls at Universal Orlando Resort

With four Grammy nominations, more than 10 million albums sold and 14 Top Ten hits including, “Name,” “Slide” and “Black Balloon,” Goo Goo Dolls has become a globally recognized and influential force in pop-rock music history. Their smash hit, “Iris,” from the “City Of Angels” movie soundtrack spent nearly 12 straight months on the Billboard charts and held the No. 1 position for 17 consecutive weeks.

Universal CityWalk Unveils New Electric Car Charging Stations

The folks at Universal Orlando Resort, are always looking for ways to further their Green is Universal mission to be energy efficient and promote sustainable technologies.


That’s why they are excited to announce they have collaborated with Tesla and the Orlando Utilities Commission to add four charging stations in the valet parking of Universal CityWalk for electric or hybrid electric vehicles.

These stations are available to any guests who valet park their electric vehicles. Two of the stations are Tesla chargers and two are Clipper Creek chargers. They are the standard chargers used by the majority of the electric vehicle automobile manufacturers.


You’ll even find Universal Orlando on the Tesla Charging Station Locator Map.

This installation is just the latest step in Universal’s “green” commitment. They are continuing to work with OUC on providing more locations of charging stations across their destination.

For ideas on how you can have a positive impact on our environment, click here to explore the “Act” section of our Green is Universal website.

Universal Orlando To Open ‘Hello Kitty’ Store

It has been announced that Universal Orlando Resort is opening an all-new Hello Kitty store later this year.


This store will be the first for Sanrio at a theme park in North America. It will offer specialty merchandise devoted to Hello Kitty, and also feature other Sanrio properties like Chococat, My Melody, Badtz-Maru, Purin and Keroppi.

The brand new interactive retail experience will offer stationery, home goods, apparel, accessories and collectibles—and even specialty items that will be exclusive to Universal. You’ll even be able to custom design your own merchandise, including creating a souvenir version of Hello Kitty’s iconic bow. And the best part: you’ll get to meet Hello Kitty herself!

While Universal Orlando Resort will be Sanrio’s first stop, a second store will open in the future at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Universal CityWalk At Universal Orlando Resort

This week, Travel with Rick takes on a tour of Universal CityWalk to show us the newest restaurants, shops, and entertainment available at Universal Orlando Resort that is anything but ordinary!

Hope you enjoy today’s video, be sure to leave a comment and share it with your friends!

Kellie Pickler Takes the Stage For Universal Orlando’s 25th Anniversary Concert Series

This weekend, Universal Orlando Resort’s 25th Anniversary Concert series continues with a musical performance by country singer and songwriter Kellie Pickler on Saturday, June 6.


Best known for her quirky personality and southern twang, Pickler originally gained popularity as a contestant on the fifth season of ‘American Idol.’ Soon after, the singer released her debut album, “Small Town Girl,” which includes the hit singles, “Red High Heels,” “I Wonder” and “Things That Never Cross a Man’s Mind.” Her self-titled second album yielded her first Top Ten hit, “Best Days of Your Life,” and in 2013, Pickler released her most recent album, “The Woman I Am,” which includes the country hits, “Someone Somewhere Tonight” and “Little Bit Gypsy.”

Concert Time Concert Dates (performing in Music Plaza)
9:00 PM June 6 Kellie Pickler
June 13 Huey Lewis and The News
June 20 Goo Goo Dolls

Universal Orlando’s 25th Anniversary Concert Series

On select nights through June 20, Universal Studios Florida will host a diverse lineup of award-winning, chart-topping artists to celebrate its 25th anniversary year.  The excitement of the concert series is included with admission to Universal Studios Florida or with an Annual Pass.

Universal Orlando’s Rock the Universe Tickets on Sale Now

Tickets are now on sale for Florida’s biggest Christian music festival – Universal Orlando’s Rock the Universe.


Some of today’s hottest Christian artists will rock Universal Studios Florida on Sept. 11 and 12, including Grammy award-winning group and Daytona Beach natives Casting Crowns, four-time Grammy-nominated band Newsboys and rock band Switchfoot, which has sold millions of albums worldwide.

See below for ticket options and the full concert lineup.



Rock the Universe guests can also visit the Coca-Cola Fan Zone for more live music, autograph sessions with performing acts, karaoke and more. Guests will also have the opportunity to experience a Saturday night candle lighting ceremony featuring special guest speakers and access to Universal Studios Florida’s thrilling attractions like TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit and more.

NBC Sports Grill & Brew Coming to Universal Orlando’s CityWalk

Last year was an incredible time for Universal CityWalk, with eight new venues joining the impressive dining line-up—and we’re not done yet! Universal Orlando has announced the newest MVP coming to CityWalk: the first-ever NBC Sports Grill & Brew, opening this fall.


This new restaurant represents our vision of delivering the ultimate sports dining experience. It’s like crossing your favorite sports restaurant with stadium VIP suites. Fans of all types will be able to enjoy the very best food alongside award-winning NBC Sports coverage. And with nearly 100 HD TV screens throughout the restaurant, every seat is the best seat in the house.

The food will be a one-of-kind experience that can be found at no other sports grill. You’ll be able to choose from an extensive menu of more than 75 different items. Pick from traditional favorites like burgers and steaks to custom creations like crab scotch eggs. And to top it off, you can watch the chefs in action as they prepare your meal in an open kitchen and on custom open fire grills.


And, of course, no sports game is complete without the perfect beer. You’ll be able to select from over 100 different beer varieties—including an exclusive draft you’ll only find here. There will even be a outdoor beer garden where you can relax after a day in the theme parks, enjoy a good meal and brew, and catch a game.

Check out the video below, where NBC Sports anchors Liam McHugh, Mike Milbury and Keith Jones chatted a bit about the new restaurant.


Then tell us in the comments which game you’d most like to watch at NBC Sports Grill & Brew when it opens.

Global Superstar Pitbull Set To Perform This Weekend As Part Of Universal Orlando Resort’s 25th Anniversary Concert Series

Universal Orlando Resort’s 25th Anniversary Concert Series continues this weekend with an electrifying musical performance by international superstar Pitbull on Saturday, May 30.


The Cuban-American entertainer – also known as ‘Mr. Worldwide” – is one of the hottest names in music today and is known for his rapid-fire rhymes, infectious hooks and million-dollar beats. His collaborations with today’s biggest pop-stars are constantly blazing the charts – including his popular singles “Fireball,” “Wild Wild Love” and “Time of Our Lives,” all of which are songs on his recently released hit album, “Globalization.” Other past hits of Pitbull’s include “Timber” and “Give Me Everything,” both of which peaked at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 list.

On select nights through June 20, Universal Studios Florida will host a diverse lineup of award-winning, chart-topping artists to celebrate its 25th anniversary year.  The excitement of the concert series is included with admission to Universal Studios Florida or with an Annual Pass.

Concert Time Concert Dates Headliners (performing in the Music Plaza)
9:00 PM May 30 Pitbull
June 6 Kellie Pickler
June 13 Huey Lewis and The News
June 20 Goo Goo Dolls

New Raptor Encounter Opens At Universal’s Islands Of Adventure

If you’ve always dreamed of getting up close and personal with a dinosaur. Your dream can finally come true!


Velociraptors have arrived at Jurassic Park in Universal’s Islands of Adventure! That’s right—starting this weekend, you’ll get the chance to see these magnificent creatures face to face in an all-new experience: Raptor Encounter. The encounter is located between Camp Jurassic and the Jurassic Park Discovery Center. Your experience begins when you approach a paddock where the raptor will be contained. You’ll learn some cool facts about the dino that you may not have known—like that an adult Velociraptor can reach upwards of 96 kilometers per hour in the open!


Then, if you’re brave enough, you can approach the nearly 9- foot- tall wild raptor for a photo. But be sure to keep your hands and feet away… you wouldn’t want to end up being its dinner!

Are you daring enough to meet this giant, prehistoric reptile?


Jack The Clown Returns To Host Halloween Horror Nights 25

Irreverent, sarcastic, trash-talking, sadistic, prankster, psychotic… everyone missed him.

Is this your first introduction to Jack? Welcome! He’s your master of ceremonies, your host—and your worst nightmare. The things he has in store for Halloween Horror Nights 25 draw on the past and on terrors yet to be seen.

For fans who know his tale, you’ll notice he has escaped the shadow of Oddfellow completely. He has shed his old coat for something of his own design. His face is more weathered, more lived in.

Jack has come into his own, and he is eager to preside over the spectacle of it all—especially if that spectacle is filled with screams, blood and gore. He, most certainly, wouldn’t have it any other way.

Historically, Jack represents a key change in the story of Halloween Horror Nights. From 1991 to 1999, the event’s visual presentation—from chainsaws through pumpkins to green eyelid-pulling-demons to the Crypt Keeper’s decaying features—were just illustrations that filled the marketing materials. Halloween Horror Nights hadn’t really established a unique character that could speak for it.

That was about to change in a big way…

In early 2000, the creative minds of Entertainment’s Art and Design team developed an insane clown by the name of Jack. His look played into people’s inherent fear of clowns and would hopefully give the event the sledgehammer to the chest needed to take it to the next level.

Well, a monster was unleashed, both literally and figuratively. Unbridled, uncontrollable, freakish and violent, Jack the Clown sprang from his box and completely took over. He grabbed the event by its face and crushed it, laughing manically the entire time.


Jack made appearances all over downtown and the Orlando area, yelling and cackling and scaring everyone within his broken-fingernailed-reach. He even presented tiny, gore-covered jack-in-the-boxes to local TV stations and City Hall. Cops were called. Screams were heard.

Job well done.

Jack made an impression, no doubt. So much so that, to this day, fans stop us and exclaim passionately, “Bring Jack back!! He’s my favorite!! He is Horror Nights!”

That statement really says it all… Jack is Horror Nights.

Among all the characters that have headlined Halloween Horror Nights over the last 25 years, Jack represents the event in the purest way possible—he is the embodiment of all the tricks and the treats. And they couldn’t be more thrilled that they’re bringing him back for this year’s historic event.

Happy Halloween to us all.


Unleash Your Inner Rock Star At The Hard Rock Hotel At Universal Orlando Resort

Ready to bring out your inner rock star?

We’re going to let you in on the best kept secrets of the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort, where you can find musical inspiration around every corner.

Hard Rock Hotel 1 - LR

It’s called The Sound of Your Stay. This is an awesome music program with three parts:

  • Picks, an in-room guitar rental
  • Tracks, custom tracklists to listen to during your stay
  • Mix, where you can DJ with a laptop and Traktor Kontrol Z1 controller.

This hidden gem at the Hard Rock hotel gives you everything you need to be inspired, strum a melody, or produce a hit.

Pick Your Guitar
When you stay at the Hard Rock, you get to choose from 20 legendary Fender guitars or basses. Pick your ax (refundable deposit required) and the staff will deliver it right to your room, along with a headphone amplifier and Nixon headphones. You can practice day and night, without disturbing your family or other guests.


Become a Star
Not only does Hard Rock provide the tools for you to become a rock-star, but you get taught too! Turn your TV to a special channel, and you can learn the basics of your instrument with step-by-step lessons. You’ll sound just like Jimi Hendrix in no time! Maybe.

Hard Rock Hotel Guitar Fountain - LR

This exclusive amenity is ONLY available to guests at Hard Rock hotels. Book your room, grab your guitar and become a star. Did we mention it’s FREE with your stay?

Thank you, Orlando, and goodnight!

King Kong Roars To Life In Groundbreaking New Attraction

Over the past 25 years, Universal Orlando has created some of the world’s most incredible entertainment experiences by combining emotional storytelling, timeless characters and innovative ride technologies. Today, we honor one of the most monumental figures in movie history, King Kong, with the announcement of a groundbreaking attraction opening in the summer of 2016 at Universal’s Islands of Adventure – “Skull Island: Reign of Kong.”


You’ll navigate perilous jungles, explore ancient temple structures and encounter hostile natives – and that’s only the beginning. Throughout the rest of your excursion, you’ll brave foreboding caves crawling with prehistoric creatures, fend off unspeakable terrors – and even come face-to-face with the colossal Kong himself.


When they began conceptualizing the next great attraction for Universal Orlando Resort, one prevailing thought rose to the top of their minds. How do they make the experience MASSIVE? The sets, the characters and even the story itself. All of it will be larger than life.


The challenge is also to tell the next generation of the Kong legend, all while delivering an unparalleled, revolutionary theme park experience guests have come to expect from Universal. We have done exactly that with Reign of Kong – you’ll be pulled into a powerful, intense fight for survival as you discover a side of the iconic beast that has never been revealed…until now.


Fun, New Facts About the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

You can imagine the excitement when a few months after grand opening, Disney shared some new stats about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.

Check out these golden nuggets…or shall I say Galleons!


Number of bricks in the entrance to Diagon Alley: 7,456 bricks – and together, the bricks weigh more than 37,000 pounds!


Number of times the Gringotts dragon has breathed fire: The Ukrainian Ironbelly has breathed fire more than 15,000 times since The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley officially opened.


Temperature of the dragon’s fire: 3,560 degrees Fahrenheit (1,960 degrees Celsius). That’s more than 16 times hotter than boiling water!


Number of crystals in the chandeliers within the lobby of Gringotts bank: The four chandeliers include nearly 62,000 crystals.


Number of mythical creature species inside the Magical Menagerie: 13 different types of creatures, including Kneazles (like the one in the photo), Demiguises and Graphorns.


Number of passengers who travelled aboard the Hogwarts Express: More than 5 million guests have travelled aboard the Hogwarts Express since Diagon Alley officially opened.

What’s your favorite memory to date from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley?