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The World’s First-Ever NBC Sports Grill & Brew Is Now Officially Open at Universal CityWalk

NBC Sports commentators Bob Costas, Cris Collinsworth, Hines Ward and Michele Tafoya were joined by top sports figures to celebrate the grand opening of the first-ever NBC Sports Grill & Brew at Universal CityWalk. After walking the red carpet, the NBC Sunday Night Football travel team led attendees in a commemorative toast to mark the official opening of the all-new restaurant.


Costas, Collinsworth, Ward and Tafoya were joined by these NBC Sports commentators:

  • Paul Burmeister, Co-Host, Pro Football Talk; Reporter, Football Night in America
  • Mike Florio, NFL Insider, Football Night in America; Host, Pro Football Talk
  • Doug Flutie, Game Analyst, Notre Dame
  • Rodney Harrison, Analyst, Football Night in America & Pro Football Talk
  • Keith Jones, Studio Analyst, NHL on NBC
  • Rebecca Lowe, Host, Premier League on NBC
  • Liam McHugh, Host, NHL on NBC, Notre Dame football & PBC
  • Mike Milbury, Studio Analyst, NHL on NBC
  • Jeremy Roenick, Studio Analyst, NHL on NBC
  • Charlie Rymer, Co-host, Golf Channel’s Morning Drive
  • Steve Sands, Reporter, Golf Channel on NBC
  • Kathryn Tappen, Reporter, Notre Dame football & FNIA; Host, NHL on NBC
  • Lauren Thompson, Co-host, Golf Channel’s Morning Drive
  • Gary Williams, Co-host, Golf Channel’s Morning Drive


NBC Sports Grill & Brew creates an entirely new level of sports dining experience by combining the sophistication of a VIP sports suite with the excitement and adrenaline of the game. Designed to reflect the excellence of NBC Sports’ award-winning coverage, the all-new restaurant features:

  • A massive, more-than-120-foot-wide HD stadium screen that towers over the entrance of the restaurant and plays some of the greatest moments in NBC Sports history
  • Nearly 100 HD TV screens, so every fan can enjoy the best in live and in-depth sports coverage no matter where they sit
  • An expansive menu featuring more than 75 items, including everything from the best in game day food like the “Grand Slam” burger and fire grilled chicken wings to filet mignon, grilled shrimp skewers, fresh salads and even a seven-layer “Big Banana Cake”
  • Open-fire grills in the heart of the restaurant, so everyone can watch the chefs in action
  • More than 100 unique beer selections, ranging from craft beers to regional brews to 862 Orlando – an exclusive draft you can only find at NBC Sports Grill & Brew


NBC Sports Grill & Brew continues the epic growth at Universal CityWalk. The two-tiered, 30-acre complex features a collection of themed restaurants, shops and nightclubs, including The Cowfish, VIVO Italian Kitchen, Emeril’s Restaurant Orlando, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food and Rising Star.

Watch The NBC Sports Grill and Brew Live from Universal’s CityWalk

NBC Sports Grill & Brew isn’t your regular restaurant – it takes the sports dining experience to an entirely new level.


Join us LIVE Thursday, October 22 on Periscope as Universal Orlando welcomes special guests to the Red Carpet for the grand opening celebration. Check out the scheduled events below:


Universal Orlando 25th Anniversary Concert Series Returns This Fall With Jason Derulo, Colbie Caillat & More!

Jason Derulo Kicksoff Universal Orlando's Concert Series on Nov. 14

In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Universal Orlando Resort will continue its popular concert series this fall. On select nights November 14 through November 28, guests can enjoy performances by a diverse lineup that includes some of today’s top-name musical acts.


Performers include global chart-topping star Jason Derulo – who has eleven Top 10 singles, including his latest hit “Want To Want Me,” GRAMMY-award winner Colbie Caillat, and multi-platinum, GRAMMY nominated singer and songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen – whose new album E·MO·TION is one of this year’s biggest pop albums.   The full lineup is below. All performances take place at the Music Plaza Stage in Universal Studios Florida.

Celebrate Holiday Joy At Universal Orlando Resorts

With all the holiday festivities in store at Universal Orlando Resort this year, it’s no secret that Universal Orlando Resort is the place to be to get into the holiday spirit. Throughout the parks there are several options to put the joy into the season. But the jubilee doesn’t end there! You can’t miss all the glitz and glamour at our four on-site hotels.


With the hotels fabulously decked and fantastic events lined up, you know there’s never a dull moment when it comes to the most wonderful time of the year around these parts.

So if you’re like me, you’ve already got your calendars out, ready to get to planning. Whether you’re local or from out-of-town, pencil in these must-do’s. Because when it comes to the holidays, it’s never too early to start planning!



Aside from gathering with loved ones and the warm-and-fuzzy feelings, who can forget about all the food! And when you’re celebrating the season at our on-site resorts, the word, “satisfied,” does not even begin to cover the post-meal glow.

At Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort and Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, you’re in for a treat, as each hotel kicks off the season with extravagant Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s buffets, complete with carving stations, specialty dishes, chilled seafood, salads, pastries, cakes and more. For example, our Gather Together Thanksgiving Celebration at Portofino Bay, includes turkey and all the trimmings, live entertainment and activities for the kids. Imagine that, a Thanksgiving meal with no cooking or clean-up!

And it wouldn’t be Universal Orlando without a bit of fun – kids can enjoy activities like arts and crafts, face painting and even a visit at the table from their favorite Universal Orlando character!



Whether it’s your neighbor down the street putting up his lights or the Christmas palm trees that are so common here in Florida, the magic of the holidays just isn’t complete without all the trimmings and decorations. And when it comes to decking the halls, our four hotels have holiday style to fit every taste.

If you’re into the retro look, check out the glistening silver trees that dot Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort. Hard Rock Hotel’s adorned with music-inspired ornaments for everyone’s inner rocker, and for those with a sweet tooth, Loews Royal Pacific’s gingerbread house village is a must-see treat. Traditional real-tree advocates, have no fear – Loews Portofino Bay Hotel even puts up a huge, live spruce tree up every year in the Harbor Piazza.

Events & Activities


With delicious food and dazzling décor, there’s only one thing missing from this equation–the festivities! With activities like cookie and ornament decorating in the lobby, Hanukkah menorah lightings and even special visits from Jolly Old Saint Nick himself, the on-site hotels at Universal Orlando really come alive during this time of year.

You won’t want to miss kicking off the holidays at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel’s Holiday Harbor Nights on November 27, a wine, food, music and tree lighting celebration out on the beautiful Harbor Piazza. If you’re looking for a unique twist to the holidays this year, get your hula on at a special New Year’s Eve Wantilan Luau at Loews Royal Pacific Resort. What could be better than a Polynesian buffet and toasting Mai Tais to the New Year?

So, make sure to include the holidays at Universal’s on-site hotels in your plans this season. And, remember … you can also save by staying at one of the on-site hotel this holiday season, where you can enjoy more of the holiday festivities!

Halloween Horror Nights Begin at Universal Orlando Resort

Not many people can say that they use phrases like “chainsaw attack” and “blood-thirsty fiends” on a regular basis. For Universal Orlando creative team, it’s just another day at the office.


For more than a year, the team has been racking their brains to find the most vicious and unexpected ways to scare the living daylights out of guests at Halloween Horror Nights 25. This event is in their blood, and it’s become part of Universal Orlando’s heritage with a rich, 25-year history.

It’s hard to believe that this started in 1991 as a three-night event with only one haunted house. The event grew year after year, evolving into the award-winning event you visit today. In fact, we’re excited to report that HHN has just been named the “Nation’s Best Halloween Event” by Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards for the eighth consecutive year – quite the prestigious accolade!


This year, the team has given it all they’ve got to provide the best Halloween Horror Nights experience ever. They’ve created more haunted houses than ever in history – increasing the house lineup to nine. They’re based on everything from classic horror films to hit TV shows to disturbing stories that our team has dreamed up.

Since it’s the 25th year of Halloween Horror Nights, Unievrsal brought back some of guest’s favorite original characters and storylines in brand-new ways. For example, guests have seen a few different incarnations of The Body Collectors and the patients at Shadybrook Asylum, but this year, these two epic Halloween Horror Nights forces unite to create utter horror for guests entering Body Collectors: Recollections.


The street experience follows suit, and they’ve got record-breaking numbers of scareactors lurking in the shadows. They’ve got five elaborately-themed scare zones celebrating Horror Nights history – from past event icons to the twisted characters in Scary Tales to the most memorable, movie inspired monsters. And did we mention the phrase, “chainsaw attack,” earlier? Yeah…watch out for that…!

Of course, we wouldn’t be doing justice to the event if we didn’t talk about Jack. Universal’s first-ever original icon is returning to celebrate in a deadly way. He first appeared in the year 2000 and has made numerous returns to the event. Originally, he was meant to just be part of the marketing materials, but during the first weekend of Halloween Horror Nights X, guests were asking where Jack was. Universal knew that they had to bring him to life—and an icon was born.


Ever since his last appearance at Horror Nights in 2010, fans have been demanding his return—and return he has. You’ll see things you never have before from Jack—if you live to tell the tale!

This year is particularly special to Universal’s team. It feels amazing to look back and honor the scares and smiles we’ve delivered to guests through the years. Pick a night and come enjoy the mayhem!

Top 10 Family Travel Tips For Planning An Epic Universal Orlando Vacation

Going on vacation to Universal Orlando Resort can be fun, but there is also a lot to keep track of. To help cut back the stress and amp up the fun, we’ve compiled some of our top family travel tips.

1. Download the FREE Official Universal Orlando Resort mobile app: This app will help you navigate both theme parks, check attraction wait times, parade show times and more. 


2. Know before you go: Check out our online Vacation Planner. You can completely customize your vacation and access experiential videos, travel tips, sample itineraries, vacation packages and more.


3. Get Park-to-Park Tickets: The best way to experience all the excitement is with a multi-day, park-to-park ticket. The more days you add, the more you save.

4. Go Against The Flow: If you arrive early to the parks, start in the back and work your way to the front to avoid the morning traffic jams at attractions closest to the entrance of the parks.

5. Stay On-Site: When you stay at one of our four on-site hotels, you’ll be within walking distance to both theme parks and Universal CityWalk. Plus, you’ll get special exclusive benefits including early-park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before the theme park opens, poolside movies and more.


6. Skip The Regular Lines: If you add Universal Express to your ticket, you can bypass regular lines atparticipating rides and attractions in both theme parks. And if you stay on-site at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort or Hard Rock Hotel, you’ll receive complimentary Universal Express access for the duration of your stay.

7. Start early at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: If you are a Harry Potter fan, come to the park when it opens and head to either The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley (at Universal Studios) or The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade (at Universal’s Islands of Adventure) first.

The lines tend to get longer as the day goes on. Once you have had a chance to experience one of the lands, you can then journey to the other on the Hogwarts Express (with park-to-park admission).


8. Use Child Swap: If your kids are too small or unwilling to go on a particular ride you want to experience, take advantage of our “child swap” program. Each ride and attraction has a Child Swap area where one member of your party can wait with the kids while the rest of your party rides. Once you’re off the ride, swap places and whoever stayed with the kids hops to the front of the line.

9. Simplify Meals with the Universal Dining Plan: You can pre-purchase one of four dining options at a great value and take the stress away from planning out your family meals. Once you’ve purchased a dining plan, all you have to do is select a venue at the theme parks or Universal CityWalk, present your dining plan card for payment and enjoy! Reservations for full service dining locations are recommended.


10. Stay Cool: Beat the heat on exciting water rides and water play areas. From Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls to Jurassic Park River Adventure to water-filled fun in Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone, we make cooling off a fun adventure of its own. Capture

What are some your favorite family travel tips?

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort Announces Room Expansion

Universal Orlando Resort and Loews Hotels & Resorts are excited to announce an expansion of Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort. Four-hundred new rooms will be added to the retro-themed hotel due to its tremendous success and positive guest response since opening in March 2014.

Opening in 2017, the expansion will consist of two additional towers that will be located at the south end of the property, adjacent to the Continental and Americana guest towers.

In addition to the remarkable amenities and on-site benefits, select rooms in the new towers will offer spectacular views of Universal’s Volcano Bay – the resort’s third incredibly immersive park that will forever change the perception of water theme parks when it opens in 2017.

The retro-inspired Cabana Bay is a destination within itself – featuring a stunning design with bold colors and sweeping vistas that transport guests back to a time of relaxation and endless family fun. Cabana Bay guests can experience remarkable amenities, including two zero-entry pools, a waterslide, a lazy river, a 10-lane bowling alley and more. With 900 existing standard guest rooms and 900 existing family suites, guests can choose between two incredible room options. The family suite is a unique room option that sleeps up to six people and includes two queen size beds, a full-size pull-out sofa, a kitchenette area, a sliding partition for privacy, two flat-screen TVs and a compartmentalized bathroom with preparation spaces for three people at once.

Cabana Bay guests also get exclusive benefits only available to on-site hotel guests at Universal Orlando, including Early Park Admission one hour before the theme parks open and complimentary transportation to and from Universal Orlando’s two incredible theme parks and Universal CityWalk.

Families can enjoy epic holiday festivities and experiences at Universal Orlando from Dec. 5 to Jan. 2

2015 Holidays Celebration at UOR

Beginning Dec. 5 and running daily through Jan. 2, families can create unforgettable memories as they experience one-of-a-kind holiday traditions at Universal Orlando Resort. All park guests will have the opportunity to:

  • Marvel at the iconic larger-than-life balloons seen in the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City during the Macy’s Holiday Parade at Universal Studios Florida. This year, enjoy two all-new balloons exclusive to Universal Orlando’s parade, Turkey Balloonicle, a towering balloon with a self-powered vehicle, and Holiday Lights Balloon, as they dazzle guests while floating through the air.
  • Rejoice with holiday cheer as Grinchmas comes to life throughout Seuss Landing at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Experiences include a heartwarming live show, “Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular,” featuring the Whos from Who-ville. Guests will also have the opportunity to dine with the Grinch and Friends during a delicious breakfast within Seuss Landing.
  • Sing along to holiday classics with performances by the masters of modern Christmas music—Mannheim Steamroller—at the Music Plaza Stage in Universal Studios Florida. Performance nights are Dec. 5, 6, 12, 13, 19 and 20.

The celebration continues at Universal Orlando’s four on-site hotels, where guests will relish in the spirit of the season with holiday buffets and dining events, tree-lighting ceremonies, special music performances, Hanukkah candle lightings, visits from Santa Claus, holiday poolside “dive-in” movies and family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Eve at Universal CityWalk

It’s never too early to plan how you’ll ring in the New Year. At Universal’s CityWalk, guests can experience a dynamic New Year’s Eve celebration which includes non-stop entertainment, unique party zones—each with their own entertainment and signature drinks—along with access to six different clubs with live music, unlimited gourmet cuisine, and Orlando’s largest dance floor. Information about Eve event tickets will be released at a later date.

All-New Fast & Furious Mega-Attraction Racing to Universal Orlando Resort in 2017

One of the most successful film franchises of all time will soon become one of Universal Studios Florida’s most action-packed ride experiences. Universal Orlando Resort announced that Fast & Furious: Supercharged will join its incredible lineup of attractions in 2017 – continuing the unprecedented growth of the destination.


Guests will experience a high-octane journey that fuses an original storyline and incredible ride technology with everything that fans love about the films—popular characters, exhilarating environments, nonstop action and, of course, high-speed cars.

Led by film stars Vin Diesel (Dom Toretto), Dwayne Johnson (Hobbs), Michelle Rodriguez (Letty) and Tyrese Gibson (Roman), guests will feel like part of the “Fast family” as they embark on a thrilling new Fast & Furious adventure. They will be immersed in the underground racing world made famous in the films, explore the headquarters of Toretto and his team and even get to check out some of the supercharged cars they’ve seen on the big screen. Then, guests will board specially-designed vehicles and take off on an adrenaline-pumping ride with their favorite stars from the films.

Fast & Furious is Universal Pictures’ highest-grossing film franchise of all time. Since the release of the first film in 2001, the Fast & Furious series has become a cultural phenomenon. Together, all seven installments have grossed nearly $3.9 billion at the worldwide box office. The most recent film, Furious 7, was released in April and became the fifth-highest-grossing film of all time, with more than $1.5 billion in global box office. In addition, Universal Studios Hollywood introduced its own Fast & Furious—Supercharged this summer, which serves as the grand finale to its world famous Studio Tour.

Fast & Furious: Supercharged will replace Beetlejuice Graveyard Revue and Disaster: A Major Motion Picture Starring You! at Universal Studios Florida. Disaster will close on September 8, 2015 and Beetlejuice will close later this year to make way for the new attraction.

More details about Universal Orlando’s Fast & Furious attraction will be released in the future.

The Purge Returns to Halloween Horror Nights 25

Are you ready to face the chaos of The Purge again? You better be, because the Purge is returning to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Florida—and this year, they’re taking it to the next level.


You may remember our wildly-successful Purge scarezone from last year’s event—complete with violent and chainsaw-wielding citizens. This year, prepare yourself for the same turmoil and more as you find yourself living your very own “Purge Night” within the confines of an all-new house experience.

You’ll be hunted by dozens of masked vigilantes who will stop at nothing to purge as they are entitled. And just like in the films, you’ll either fight to survive or succumb to the chaos of the Purge.

Good luck, you’ll need it.

Hard Rock Hotel’s Big Secret: Meetings That Rock!

Superstars’ autographs scrawled across the walls. Memorabilia from some of music’s greatest moments. Coming as a guest and leaving as a superstar. When people think of the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort, they often think of the rock star treatment the hotel provides.

Hard Rock Hotel; HRH Universal Orlando

But what a lot of people don’t realize is that the Hard Rock Hotel is an exceptional venue for creating a meeting or event that leaves a lasting impression with attendees.

Unlike other meeting facilities where groups can get lost in the vastness of the venue, Hard Rock Hotel offers 6,000 sq. ft. of intimate and flexible meeting space. Groups that meet here really get to own our meeting space for their program and events.


Attendees experience incredible food and beverage offerings, top-notch service, and at the same time have a unique and engaging Hard Rock experience. Groups can start their day off with a team building scavenger hunt around our hotel. Hold their meetings in one of our pristine meeting spaces. Or wrap up the night with a private concert in the lobby—all surrounded by memorabilia from the biggest names in music history.

Another layer of awesomeness we offer is the unique partnership between Hard Rock Hotel and Universal Orlando Resort. It allows Hard Rock to offer not only a great venue with incredible service, but it opens up a full destination where attendees can also hold special events at either (or both!) of Universal theme parks as well as Universal CityWalk.


With all these options at hand, the Hard Rock Hotel loves to turn meeting planners’ expectations on their head with new ideas. A large part in creating a unique and fun meeting is having an outstanding team that brings a high level of service to every group that holds their meeting here.

And, in fact, it’s the hotel’s secret weapon. Hard Rock Hotel lets them be themselves, which gives them the most creative people in the industry. In turn, they help meeting planners become rock stars to their attendees.

Kingdom Magic Vacations can help you plan you next vacation or business trip. Contact us today and let us help you plan your next meeting and allow you to become a company rock star!

A Day At Universal Orlando Resort Theme Parks with Travel With Rick

On this week’s Travel With Rick show we take a whirlwind tour through the two incredible theme parks at Universal Orlando Resort. We start in Universal Studios Florida, then on to Islands of Adventure, and finish up at Universal CityWalk. It’s awesome!

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando Now Accepting Reservations

Starting now, you can be among the first to book reservations for the newest on-site hotel at Universal Orlando Resort – Loews Sapphire Falls Resort.


Built around a lush, tropical lagoon and towering waterfall, the new, 1,000-room Caribbean-themed hideaway is the fifth hotel at Universal Orlando and will bring the number of on-site hotel rooms to 5,200.


Guests will be captivated by a vivid retreat that evokes a free-spirited, Caribbean sense of ease with a modern yet timeless feel. The unforgettable island escape will feature Universal Orlando’s largest on-site, zero-entry pool at 16,000 square-feet, with a white sand beach, a water slide, cabanas and a fire pit.

Dining options will include Amatista Cookhouse, a Caribbean-inspired restaurant with open exhibition kitchen and outdoor dining; Strong Water Tavern, a destination lobby lounge overlooking the hotel’s towering waterfalls and offering a tapas-style menu; Drhum Club Kantine, a poolside bar and grill serving freshly-grilled fare and specialty cocktails; New Dutch Trading Co., a quick-service marketplace; and 24-hour room service.



With value season rates from $119 per night for a seven-night stay or $143 per night for a four-night stay, and summer season rates starting at $176 per night for a seven-night stay or $206 per night for a four-night stay, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort will offer incredible guest benefits, including:

· Early theme park admission

· Complimentary water taxi service and shuttle bus transportation to the theme parks and Universal CityWalk

· Complimentary delivery of merchandise purchased throughout the resort to their hotel

· Resort-wide charging privileges with their room key

· And more!

Call Your Kingdom Magic Travel Planner Today

And Be the First to Experience Sapphire Fall for Yourself!

5 Ways To Amp Up The Adventure In Your Universal Vacation

Are you coming to Universal Orlando Resort? We have some ideas on how to add a little more adventure and fun into your vacation.

1. Ride Every Thrill Attraction in One Day


For the adrenaline junkies out there, Universal’s awesome roller coasters are the surest, quickest way to get your heart racing. I can’t get enough of the drops, spirals, loops and inversions, from The Incredible Hulk Coaster to the Dragon Challenge to Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit.

Challenge yourself to the most thrilling day possible, and set out to ride every coaster Universal Orlando has to offer at least once. For extra thrills, get Universal’s Express Pass and ride each one a few times in a row—but I’ll warn you now, your hair will be a mess by the end of the day. A small price to pay for adventure!

2. Be a Rock Star

Whether you sing like a diva or only by yourself in the shower, one way to have an epic experience is at Universal CityWalk’s karaoke club, Rising Star. Here, you get to be in the spotlight as the star of your own concert with a live band, backup singers and audience to cheer you on.

I could sing karaoke all night long, but I still get nervous—it can be scarier than any thrill ride, if you ask me! But there’s nothing like leaving your comfort zone behind to create a lasting memory and get bragging rights for life.

3. Go Rock Climbing


Most people don’t realize there are two 50 ft.-tall rock-climbing walls located inside Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Conquer your fears, strap a harness on and race to the sky. My favorite part about the rock wall is the moment before you jump off at the very top and rappel down. If that doesn’t get your heart pounding, nothing will!

4. Volunteer to be in a show. 

It’s always fun to watch the shows at Universal Orlando’s theme parks. But if you want to take your day to the next level, volunteer to participate! You can be part of the show in Fear Factor Live, just make sure you keep your camera rolling. This is a one-of-a-kind adventure you’ll want to share once you get back home.

A casting process is used to select 6 park guests to be contestants in 3 stunts in front of the live audience, with one winner for each show. An additional 18 volunteers are chosen from the audience to participate in the show. Check your park maps for that day’s showtimes when you arrive.

5. Interact with a Live Velociraptor


Be sure to stop at Jurassic Park’s newest attraction, Raptor Encounter, to get up close and personal with a living predator. The Raptor is always ready for a toothy photo opp. Don’t worry, you’re probably safe from those razor sharp teeth and claws behind a 10,000 volt fence. It hasn’t gotten out… yet.

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.