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Category Archives: Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando Resort Announces Dates for Halloween Horror Nights

Mark your calendars… Halloween Horror Nights will return to Universal Orlando Resort for its twenty-fourth year on September 19, with more nights than ever before and terrifying experiences based on some of the biggest names in horror and pop culture.

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September 19 through November 1, guests will explore eight blood curdling haunted houses, navigate multiple spine-chilling street experiences with terrifying “scareactors,” enjoy two outrageous live shows and experience many of Universal Studios Florida’s most exciting rides and attractions.

Event nights are as follows:

  • September 19, 20, 25, 26, 27 and 28
  • October 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30 and 31
  • November 1

Universal Orlando Reveals Details About The New Hogwarts Express

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Universal Creating First-Ever Experience That
Will Allow Guests to Actually Ride the Iconic Train

One of the most memorable and exciting experiences from the Harry Potter series will come to life at Universal Orlando Resort this summer. Imagine:

  • Being transported from the Muggle world to the wizarding world as you pass through the brick wall at King’s Cross Station to arrive at Platform 9 ¾
  • Watching in amazement as the Hogwarts Express pulls into the station – its billowing steam and authentic whistle beckoning you to hop aboard
  • Sitting in one of the train’s cabins with your family and friends and actually riding the Hogwarts Express – just as your favorite characters did in the Harry Potter films
  • Looking outside your cabin window and enjoying a scenic, breathtaking journey through the British countryside as you encounter magical creatures, some of your favorite Harry Potter characters…and even Dementors…

Since the very first Harry Potter film, every fan has dreamed of taking the same classic journey Harry Potter did aboard the Hogwarts Express. And this summer – they will get to live it.

Universal Orlando revealed never-before-released details about the Hogwarts Express experience that will debut as part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley – the all-new, magnificently themed land opening this summer. The train will connect the new land in Universal Studios Florida with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure – allowing guests with park-to-park admission to enjoy a real journey aboard the iconic locomotive.


Never before has this been done – creating an actual train ride experience to connect two spectacularly themed environments. The Hogwarts Express experience combines powerful storytelling, live special effects, lifelike animation and state-of-the-art technology to take riders on the journey of a lifetime. Guests will enjoy two completely different experiences depending on whether they’re traveling to Hogsmeade or London.

Once seated in the cabin, guests will be able to look out their windows as an incredibly authentic and magical adventure unfolds before them. They’ll see Hagrid come alongside the train on his flying motorbike, Buckbeak the Hippogriff swoop gracefully over the black lake, the Weasley twins on brooms and up to their usual antics, the Knight Bus swerving through London traffic – and other special moments and surprises.

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Universal’s Creative team has been working closely with Warner Bros., Stuart Craig and the production team from the Harry Potter films to create a sensational Hogwarts Express experience that the entire family can enjoy. The Creative team has gone to great lengths to ensure the experience is true to the books and films. Everything about the train is authentic – from the paint and the materials used to build it….all the way down to the whistle.

Park-to-park admission is required to experience the Hogwarts Express journey from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley (located in Universal Studios Florida) to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade (located in Universal’s Islands of Adventure).


Universal Orlando Unveils More Details About The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

Opening this summer at Universal Studios Florida, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley will bring even more of Harry Potter’s adventures to life.

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Guests will pass through London and the iconic brick wall archway from the films into Diagon Alley – a bustling, wizarding hub within a Muggle city.

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Just like in the books and films – guests will be able to board the Hogwarts Express and travel between The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, which opened in June 2010 at Islands of Adventure, and London when The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley opens.

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Diagon Alley will feature a new ride called Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts – a multi-sensory, multi-dimensional journey that will take theme park attractions to a new level. The thrill ride will place riders in the middle of an incredible adventure as they navigate their way through the perils of the Gringotts vaults.

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Guests at Universal Orlando Resort can grab wizarding essentials at Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, one of the shops located in Diagon Alley. Here, guests can pick up items such as telescopes, binoculars, armillary spheres, compasses, magnifying glasses and hourglasses.

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There will be shops, dining experiences – including Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour.

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One of Diagon Alley’s shops is Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes – a vibrant shop featuring novelty items, magical jokes, and toys inspired by the books and films that will amaze the mischievous child in everyone.

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Don’t miss a moment of the magic when Diagon Alley opens later this year at Universal Orlando Resort.

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Did you miss the major webcast this week? Check it out here:

Universal Orlando Gets Set For Mardi Gras Celebration

It is the biggest, best, party in the country — and Universal Orlando Resort brings it straight from New Orleans to you this February 12 through April 23.

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Nationally renowned musical acts combine with an authentic Mardi Gras parade, dozens of colorfully costumed performers, authentic Cajun cooking, and hand-picked New Orleans bands to capture the look, feel and fun of New Orleans — all inside Universal Studios Florida.

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Universal Orlando has been creating its special Mardi Gras celebration for more than 15 years — bringing the perfect combination of the Big Easy and spectacular theme park entertainment to its guests all for the price of regular admission.

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“If you can’t be in New Orleans or if you can’t get enough of Mardi Gras, then Universal Orlando is the place to be, said Jim Timon, senior vice president of entertainment for Universal Orlando Resort. “We bring all of what makes Mardi Gras great together with national-level musical artists to create a family-friendly celebration that fills the entire theme park.

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This year’s special Mardi Gras concert line-up features some of the biggest names in Rock, Country, Pop and R&B. Together, the headliners have had more than 100 songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart and more than 20 Grammy nominations. Performers include Pitbull, also known as “Mr. 305, who will perform songs from his hit album, “Rebelution, Neon Trees, who will perform their hit “Animal, One Republic and country-super-star Blake Shelton. Also performing will be Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Beach Boys and Ne-Yo. For a complete list of this year’s performers and dates, see the attached.

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Along with top-name talent comes the world-famous parade – straight from the streets of New Orleans. One-dozen elaborate, hand-crafted floats designed and built by Blaine Kern Artists — the same company that creates floats for New Orleans Mardi Gras — will make their way through the streets of Universal Studios along with dozens of colorfully costumed performers and hundreds of float riders — all of whom throw beads to eager guests. The parade, with its Fire, Air, Water, Earth theme, also features music and a nightly King and Queen of Mardi Gras.

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Nearby, in the Universal Studios “French Quarter Courtyard, the celebration continues. This area will feature New Orleans-inspired food creations by Universal’s chefs — including jambalaya, Po Boy sandwiches and more. And nearly one-dozen hand-picked, authentic New Orleans bands will perform the best of The Big Easy’s Blues, Jazz and Zydeco.


Book Your Universal Orlando Vacation Today

New Year, New Party at Universal Orlando Resort

Revel in a world of endless entertainment, decadent food, and a brand new New Year’s experience like you’ve never seen before at Universal Orlando!

New Year, New Party at Universal Orlando Resort

It’s the night you’ve been waiting all year for, and there’s never been a party for you like this one. Revel in a world of endless entertainment, decadent food, and a brand new New Year’s experience like you’ve never seen before.

  • Unlimited gourmet cuisine featuring filet mignon, jumbo shrimp, custom desserts, and more
  • Six unique party zones with entertainment and signature drinks
  • Orlando’s biggest outdoor dance floor
  • Admission to six Universal CityWalk® venues
  • Midnight champagne toast and pyrotechnics display

PICK YOUR POISON

Eve at CityWalk includes admission to six venues, each with their own entertainment, customized party zones, and signature drinks. And to send it all into the stratosphere, you can celebrate all night on Orlando’s biggest dance floor, built just for Eve in front of the CityWalk Plaza Stage. You’ll kiss 2013 goodbye in style with a 360˚ DJ platform, dancers, and incredible special effects.

COSMO LOUNGE at RED COCONUT CLUB-Indulge your senses in a world of style and sophistication.

TRIBAL FUSION at BOB MARYLEY–A TRIBUTE TO FREEDOM – Unleash the primal spirit that pounds inside you.

BON TEMPS! at PAT O’BRIEN’S – Dive into the good times of a New Orleans street party.

ELECTRICITY at THE GROOVE – Plug into the energy of the night and watch the sparks fly.

NUEVO DIA at ANTOJITOS – Raise your spirits at a party that will wake the dead.

PARADISE at JIMMY BUFFET’S MARGARITAVILLE – Dive into the good times of a New Orleans street party.

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Universal Orlando’s CityWalk Expansion Revealed

Universal Orlando‘s CityWalk will undergo a historic expansion during 2014 – all part of an epic year for Universal that will include the opening of the destination’s largest hotel, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.

Universal City Walk

Universal Orlando announced Thursday that it will open eight new venues across CityWalk throughout 2014 as part of a bold growth strategy designed to complement the entertainment complex’s already popular collection of national brands.

The CityWalk expansion comes after a nationwide search for culinary concepts that include a mix of established national brands, up-and-coming concepts and Universal’s own creations.  The new venues will share an overall theme that includes inviting common areas, al fresco dining, open kitchens and more.

“We want Universal CityWalk to grow along with the rest of our destination,” said Ric Florell, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Resort Revenue Operations at Universal Orlando.  “We are bringing our guests an amazing new collection of experiences that will be world-class and offer something for everyone.”

Hot Dog Hall of Fame

The new venues include Hot Dog Hall of Fame, featuring iconic hot dog creations from some of our nation’s most famous ball parks.  Universal partnered with Steven Schussler, the global culinary concept creator behind popular restaurants like Rain Forest Cafe, Backfire Barbecue and more, to bring his Hot Dog Hall of Fame concept to CityWalk.

CowFish

Cold Stone Creamery

Menchie’s

They also include CowFish, an innovative and trend-setting concept out of Charlotte, North Carolina with a signature dish called “Burgushi;” and popular frozen treat spots Cold Stone Creamery and Menchie’s.

Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food

Bread Box, a home-style sandwich shop

Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food, a unique tapas-style restaurant, Bread Box, a home-style sandwich shop;  A new modern Italian kitchen concept, where guests can watch as the culinary team handcrafts their pasta from scratch; and Red Oven Pizza Bakery – Universal’s first-ever Neopolitan-style pizza bakery, which is now open.

A full list of new venues and descriptions can be found below.  Exact opening dates will be released soon.

What new restaurant are you looking forward to?

Hear From The Creators of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley

Are you as excited about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley?

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter's Diagon Alley

Universal Orlando Resort shared a great video where we get to hear from Stuart Craig, Production Designer of the Harry Potter film series, and members of Universal Creative as they discuss the new area in further detail, including the Hogwarts Express, the new ‘London area,’ and an all-new restaurant – the name of which you may be able to guess!


Diagon Alley opens in Summer of 2014

What do you think about the new Diagon Alley opening at Universal Orlando Resort?

Go Behind-The-Scenes With The Grinch at Universal Orlando

Enjoy this behind the scenes look at Universal Orlando‘s holidays commercial… Starring the green, mean one himself, The Grinch!

 

Fill your holidays with cheer this year as Grinchmas comes to life throughout Seuss Landing at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure. You can enjoy the heartwarming live show “Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular” and meet The Grinch and the Whos daily.

Grinchmas at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure

Book Your Universal Orlando Holiday Vacation

Dino-mite New Games Make Their Debut in Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park at Universal Orlando Resort , now features five fantastic new games for our guests to enjoy! Located between Pizza Predattoria and Jurassic Park River Adventure, these games offer highly-themed appeal and include:

Dino-mite New Games Make Their Debut in Jurassic Park

  • DNA Sequencing – this “Balloon Bust” offers kids and adults the opportunity to pop balloons, where the more balloons they pop… the bigger the prize.
  • JPAC Target Training – this “Bazooka Blast” tests a player’s ability to aim at a target with the ultimate goal of all cans being knocked off the base.
  • InGen Egg Nursery - this fishing game lets a player pick three eggs for analyzing to discover which dinosaur is inside the egg.
  • Dinosaur Dash Up – a head-to-head water race with a minimum of two players.
  • Hammond’s HotShots – this “Short Shot” tests a player’s ability to make a basket into a hoop. The more baskets they make, the more prizes they win.

Dino-mite New Games Make Their Debut in Jurassic Park

Yes, these games are definitely a very minor addition, especially since many more important projects are taking place at the Universal Orlando Resort now. That said, remember that – according to a few reliable rumors – they may be part of phase one of a much more important Jurassic Park expansion, which could include up to two new attractions. We will continue to keep you up-to-date in case new information are released in the near future.

Book Your Universal Orlando Vacation Today!

Celebrate The Season At Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando Resort‘s Holidays celebration is where families create holiday memories to last a lifetime. With one-of-a-kind holiday traditions that all ages can enjoy, it’s the only place where guests can come face-to-face with The Grinch at Grinchmas!

Celebrate The Season At Universal Orlando Resort

This year, experience the only holiday celebrations where your whole family can be themselves—naughty, nice and everything in-between. December 7, 2013 – January 4, 2014, you can see breathtaking balloons and floats, sing along with everyone’s favorite green meanie, and top it all off with live music by one of the world’s most beloved holiday artists.

Celebrate The Season At Universal Orlando Resort
At Universal Studios Florida, the Macy’s Holiday Parade takes to the streets with colorful balloons and floats coming to us straight from the world famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. There are also marching bands, clowns, and an appearance by the one and only Santa Claus!

Celebrate The Season At Universal Orlando Resort

No holiday party is complete without music! With over 27 million albums sold, Mannheim Steamroller, is the biggest selling Christmas artist of all time, and Universal Studios is proud to welcome them back. Catch them performing live on the Music Plaza stage December 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22, 2013.

Celebrate The Season At Universal Orlando Resort

Right next door  you can catch the music and festivities of Grinchmas, as Seuss Landing in Universal’s Islands of Adventure is transformed into a wintry wonderland. You won’t want to miss the heartwarming live show starring The Grinch, strolling Whos, and a chance to get your picture taken with the mean green one himself.

Celebrate The Season At Universal Orlando Resort

Don’t miss a moment of the holiday fun at Universal Orlando Resort!

Contact Kingdom Magic Vacations to Book Your Holidays at Universal!

Go Behind-The-Scenes of the New Minion Rooms at Universal Orlando Resort

Get a behind-the-scenes look at what those despicable Minions have been up to transforming the kid’s rooms at Loew’s Portofino Bay Resort into one-of-a-kind Despicable Me Kids’ Suites.

Here are some photos from the new Minion rooms at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort.

Go Behind-The-Scenes of the New Minion Rooms at Universal Orlando Resort

Minion Wallpaper

Go Behind-The-Scenes of the New Minion Rooms at Universal Orlando Resort

The New Minion Themed Kids Rooms

Go Behind-The-Scenes of the New Minion Rooms at Universal Orlando Resort

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

Book Your Universal Vacation Today
And Satisfy Your Minions!

Robin Thicke and The Wanted Announced for Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras

R&B superstar Robin Thicke and UK pop sensation The Wanted are two of the musical  acts that will take the stage at Universal Orlando next year for the 2014 Mardi Gras Celebration.

Robin Thicke and The Wanted Announced for Universal Orlando's Mardi Gras

Robin Thicke, the R&B singer behind the hit “Blurred Lines” will perform at this year’s Mardi Gras festivities at Universal Studios.

Thicke will be on stage at the theme park on Feb. 22, one of 20 select dates of the event, which kicks off Feb. 8 and ends May 31.

Robin Thicke and The Wanted Announced for Universal Orlando's Mardi Gras

Also on the schedule is The Wanted, a five-man band from the U.K. armed hits such as “Glad You Came” and “Chasing the Sun.” The Wanted performs at Universal on May 10.  The remainder of the 2014 Mardi Gras concert schedule will be announced later, Universal says.

Robin Thicke and The Wanted Announced for Universal Orlando's Mardi Gras

Universal’s Mardi Gras, included in regular park admission, features musical guests, Cajun cuisine and a New Orleans-style parade.

Book Your Universal Orlando
Mardi Gras Vacation Today!

A Postcard from Springfield at Universal Orlando

Walking onto the streets of Springfield at Universal Studios in Orlando Florida is just like walking into the TV show!  There is so much to see, hear, and taste, just like the “World Famous” Lard Lad Donuts that you can actually enjoy for yourself!

A Postcard from Springfield at Universal Orlando

Contact Kingdom Magic Vacations Today
To Plan Your Universal Orlando Vacation!

How I Survived My Very First Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando

I have never been much of a haunted house fan, but when I got a chance to experience Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights, I was both excited and a little bit nervous.  To be honest, I was a LOT nervous.

How I Survived My Very First Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando

In the interest of full disclosure, I was personally invited to a VIP Event by Universal Orlando and I was treated to an incredible evening of food, drink, and more than my fair share of chills and thrills.

Once we arrived at Universal Orlando we were escorted to a VIP staging area where we joined our other intrepid adventurers until it was time for us to venture out into the park and survive not only the houses themselves, but also the street walkers.

This year, the entire park was transformed into a not-so-living nightmare from AMC’s The Walking Dead.  Dozens of zombies walked all over spooking and scaring passers by who were often not paying enough attention to see them coming.

How I Survived My Very First Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando

And then we arrived at our first house, based on the movie The Evil Dead movie re-make, where we were encouraged to “relive ‘The Most Terrifying Film You Will Ever Experience’ as gruesome Deadites tried to possess our souls.”  It was terrifying and amazing all in the same breath.

Next was  The Cabin in the Woods house where several of our nightmares came to life.  I was a fan of this movie and actually looked forward to this house…with much trepidation.  And it was incredible.  The last half of the house was based on the Control Room – the last 5 minutes of this house are not to be missed…if you can keep your eyes open that is.

My next favorite house was based on the the classic horror film “American Werewolf in London”.  Universal actually brought in some of the original creature creators from the movie and you can tell.  The werewolves are unbelievable.  They are scary, but at the same time, beautiful.  They were very life-like and much more malevolent that you would expect.

How I Survived My Very First Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando

Next came the house based on the movie Resident Evil and like the title states, evil resided in this house.  It was a mix of creepy monsters and killer sci-fi.  My favorite section was about 1/2 way through the house.  The Resident Evil movie franchise is based off the video games of the same name.  One of the sub-rooms in the house simulated the game player pressing pause.  It was terrific!  There was so much going on in all these houses that you could not see it all, and in this house there was a ton going on!

And this was just the half way point.  Time for a much needed break.

After a relaxing respite from the ghosts and ghoulies,  it was time to head over to the back side of the park to experience AMC’s The Walking Dead, Urban Legends: La Llorona, AfterLife, and Havoc 2: Derailed.  These houses were smaller but still packed quite a scary punch.

My favorite house of these four was Afterlife.  They incorporated a 3-D element into this house and was less scary than it was really funky-cool.  There were several elements that were just incredible to look at…but there were also some truly scary moments as well.

How I Survived My Very First Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando

After these houses we enjoyed another break while we waited for Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure where we were invited to “party on” as those two most excellent dudes return to skewer the biggest names in entertainment and pop culture.

While this type of event might not be for everyone, it is an experience that you should at least attempt.  The houses are not a horrific as you might think, so if you are worried that you can’t handle it, you might be selling yourself a little short.  But remember that all of the rides and attractions are still running throughout the park, so you can still enjoy your night at Universal Orlando even if you don’t enjoy the haunted houses.

Contact Kingdom Magic Vacations to Conquer Your Halloween Horror Night Fears

Spend The Day In Springfield With The Simpsons at Universal Orlando

Universal Orlando has opened up a whole new area for guests to visit…Springfield, home of the lovable Simpsons!

You can now visit the Simpsons in Springfield, have a beer at Moe’s Taven, buy a Lardland donut, and even shop at Kwik-E-Mart all inside Universal Orlando!  Just be careful of having too many Flaming Moes!

Welcome To Springfield!

Spend The Day In Springfield With The Simpsons at Universal Orlando

Enjoy a taco or burrito from Bumble Man’s Tacos,

Spend The Day In Springfield With The Simpsons at Universal Orlando

Be careful, those Lardland Donuts are BIG!

Spend The Day In Springfield With The Simpsons at Universal Orlando

Step into Moe’s and have Duff Beer or Flaming Moe.

Spend The Day In Springfield With The Simpsons at Universal Orlando

After Moe’s you can pop into Krusty’s for a Krusty Burger..

Spend The Day In Springfield With The Simpsons at Universal Orlando

You can even enjoy something from Cletus’ Chicken Shack.

Spend The Day In Springfield With The Simpsons at Universal Orlando

The Duff Men Topiaries can only mean one thing…

Spend The Day In Springfield With The Simpsons at Universal Orlando

You are at the home of Duff Beer!

Spend The Day In Springfield With The Simpsons at Universal Orlando

Before you leave, stop into Kwik-E-Mart…but remember, if you’re just browsing…just leave!

Spend The Day In Springfield With The Simpsons at Universal Orlando

Thanks for visiting Springfield!

Spend The Day In Springfield With The Simpsons at Universal Orlando

Contact Kingdom Magic Vacations
And You Can Visit the Simpsons
And Springfield for Yourself!

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