A few changes, exciting announcements, and some news has been announced at the Universal Orlando Resort since our last update. To learn more about what’s going on at the mega resort continue through the page break.
Universal Orlando to Expand the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Universal Orlando has just announced an expansion to the existing Wizarding World of Harry Potter section at Islands of Adventure. No details about new attractions, size of the expansion, or where the expansion will occupy have been released at this time. The company revealed the information during a Tuesday announcement. One Universal official called the expansion “significant”. No timeframe for the expansion has been announced. More details about the expansion will be made over time. Rumors have been swirling since the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened that a future expansion could possibly take over the rest of the Lost Continent section of Islands of Adventure. Be sure to check the DIS for future expansion updates.
A Long Time Classic Attraction is Closing
The Jaws attraction at Universal Studios is closing to make way for what Universal Orlando officials are calling a major new attraction. Also closing is the Amity section of the park. Universal has not made any comments about what might replace the Jaws attraction and Amity area. Jaws was one of the inaugural attractions to open in 1991. Universal officials have said the Jaws attraction will be honored in some way at the theme park once the new attraction is open. Jaws officially closes for good on Monday, January 2nd.
The All New Despicable Me Attraction Moves Forward
Construction continues on the new Despicable Me attraction at Universal Studios. The hit animated film will take over the soundstage once occupied by the Jimmy Neutron attraction. The new attraction will utilize 4K HD projection technology giving guests a clear, crisp view of the thousands of minions on display. The new attraction is expected to open sometime in the summer of 2012.
The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman Update Nears Completion
Although Universal has said the update to the Amazing Adventures of Spiderman will be completed by the Summer of 2012 we’ve heard it is well ahead of schedule. Most of the film has been updated to the new 4K HD projection technology. There will also be some updates to props in the queue and on the attraction itself, but we don’t know when and what specifically will be replaced. We’ll have more specific information in our next Universal Orlando update.
Grinchmas and the Macy’s Parade Return to Universal Orlando for the Holidays
Islands of Adventure kicked off its popular Grinchmas holiday celebration on December 3rd. Grinchmas themed holiday events run throughout Seuss Landing like the ‘Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular’ starring the Grinch. Also returning this year at Universal Studios is the popular Macy’s Holiday parade. The parade runs each evening. It uses some of the same props as the legendary Macy’s parade in New York.
Holiday music abounds at Universal Studios this year as Mannheim Steamroller takes over the Plaza Stage for 4 more performances Dec. 10, 11, 17 and 18. Special shows are also part of the holidays inside the theme parks. ‘The Blues Brothers’ show, ‘A Day in the Park with Barney’, and various a capella singers are all part of the holiday celebration. Be sure to check your theme park guide for specific show times. All of these shows are included with your theme park admission.
Smash Mouth and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy to Perform at Universal City Walk New Year’s Eve.
Universal Orlando is ramping up their New year’s Eve entertainment with performances by the hit groups Smash Mouth and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. This is a hard-ticketed admission for the entire evening inside Universal City Walk. Admission is $119 per person if purchased before Dec. 15th and $139 per person if purchased after Dec. 15. Admission includes both concerts, admission to 7 night clubs, A gourmet buffet, and a midnight champagne toast. The New year’s Eve party starts at 8:00PM and concludes at 2:00AM.
Portofino Bay Hotel Celebrates the Holidays
The Portofino Bay Hotel recently announced two new holiday events. The first is a holiday dining package at 2 of their popular table service restaurants; Trattoria del Porto and Mama Della’s. The package includes dinner at one of the select restaurants, a horse and carriage ride around the resort’s picturesque harbor, and a professional family portrait. This package is only available on select evenings Dec 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, and 24. For pricing and availability of this package call 407-503-1200.
The next event is a New Year’s Eve Party on the Piazza. This event will take place at the resort’s beautiful harbor piazza. This is a ticketed event that features gourmet food, wine & champagne, live jazz music, dancing, and a midnight celebration all in a special reserved seating area. For pricing and to purchase tickets to this event call 407-503-3463.
Construction Continues on 2 Newly Themed Miniature Golf Courses at City Walk
Construction continues at Universal City Walk on 2 new heavily themed miniature golf courses. The ‘Hollywood Drive-In Golf’ mini golf courses will have two courses; ‘The Haunting of Ghostly Greens’ and ‘Invaders from Planet Putt’. The courses will be located next to the AMC theater on the first level. Each course will feature cutting-edge effects and LED edge lighting. Both courses are expected to open in early 2012.
There’s plenty happening at the Universal Orlando Resort. We’ll have more updates on current projects and construction sometime early next year. Make sure to check our news feed on wdwinfo.com for more updates and announcements as they become available.
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