Universal Studios Florida
NBC Universal / Comcast
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(9/30/14) New Restrictions For Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit (MORE...)
(8/12/14) New Attraction Removal Rumor (MORE...) / Possible Ways to Expand Diagon Alley (MORE...)
(8/8/14) Hogwarts Express Celebrations Milestone (MORE...)
(7/17/14) SPOILERS: NightVision POV Vide of Gringotts (MORE...)
Ride Rehabs - The following information is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate.
Fear Factor Live - NOW CLOSED until TBD
General Park News - (9/30/14) A quick word of warning to any readers who may be planning on visiting the park with an external medical device such as an insulin pump, hearing aid, etc. According to one reader who had an insulin pump, when they went to ride the Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket, they were told that they could no longer ride due to the device, and were told about a new list of about 20 such devices that were now banned from riding. I’m told that for those able to detach the device, they can still ride, for others however, that concept is a bit impractical. It is assumed that these items have now been deemed as potential “loose articles” that are at risk of flying away in mid-ride.
I’m told that Universal itself is not behind the changed, they were put into effect by the ride’s manufacture (Maurer-Sohne) as part of a safety update for those style coaster cars and will not affect anyone’s experience on any of the park’s other rides and attractions.
(8/12/14) While I’m usually the one with all the rumors, Orlando Parks News has posted a good one this week regarding the future fate of Twister. According to their post, they were told that Twister may to closing down for good in early 2015. I agree that it’s time Twister was replaced, but by what? I doubt we’ll see the return of the Ghostbusters anytime soon (but it would be cool if we did!!), so for now I have to ponder just what Universal may have in the works for this location if the rumors of Twister’s demise are true.
(8/8/14) Universal Orlando celebrated a major milestone yesterday as the Hogwarts Express just took had its millionth rider. Nearly 200 guests on hand were given free Butterbeer Ice Cream and Hogwarts scarves and souvenir Hogwarts Express tickets to celebrate the event. It’s crazy to think that it has already taken one million riders for a trip between the parks in just over one month from the grand opening.
(7/9/14) The internet blew up today as the public masses surged into Universal Orlando for the grand opening of Diagon Alley. Guests began to arrive under the cover of darkness and it wasn’t long before there was a line stretched across the park, as guests were allowed to enter Diagon Alley in waves throughout the day. From what I saw on the net, the line to get it started near Transformers at one point, went through Springfield, backstage, used the outside Men In Black queue and Fear Factor queue before finally going into Diagon Alley itself. Once inside, the land was fairly crowded all day, but manageable from what I read, though the line for Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts reached upwards of 450 minutes by the middle of the day.
June 2014 - Wizarding World of Harry Potter - DIAGON ALLEY
Diagon Alley Media / VIP Preview Review!
Screamscape Previews Diagon Alley!! We’ve Got All The Details!
Screamscape Review Part II: Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
Screamscape Review Part III: The Hogwarts Express!
???? - KidZone Revamp - Rumor - (6/27/13) I’ve mentioned it before, but the most likely new project coming to Universal Studios Florida once Diagon Alley opens may be a complete renovation and/or re-branding of the kiddie areas of the park. Curious George and Barney the Dinosaur are likely to be retired… and most certainly Fieval’s Playland will get a complete makeover along with rumors of a replacement for the E.T. ride.
What could replace E.T. you may ask? Well in Hollywood they replaced it with their own version of Revenge of the Mummy and in Japan the ride was replaced by the Space Fantasy indoor spinning coaster. So while I would like to think that Universal might try to reuse the massive E.T. building in a similar fashion, the actual rumor going around is that Universal may be in talks with Sony about bringing The Smurfs to Universal Orlando. In fact, one of our own readers was asked to take a survey in the past week which pitched new ride concepts based on The Lorax (for Islands of Adventure) and a “flying” dark ride concept based on The Smurfs that sounded very much like a plan to reuse the E.T. ride system
According to our source, the concept pitch for The Smurfs ride in the survey even mentioned having Papa Smurf say goodbye to the riders by name at the end of the ride… just like E.T. does. Universal has partnered with Sony to build an attraction before (Men In Black) and the Smurf village theme would actually be a good fit as a replacement for Fieval’s Playland as well. All rumors, surveys and concept pitches for now… but as Diagon Alley gets closer to opening we should know more about what the future may hold.
(11/15/12) While Universal Creative has their hands full right now with Transformers and then the Potter expansion, the early rumors for what could be next are already coming down the pipe. According to the latest buzz, the general plan right now is to overhaul the KidZone area in either 2015/2016. Expect Woody Woodpecker to say, but Curious George, Barney and Fieval may be given their walking papers. With the E.T. Adventure right in the middle of it all, it too may be either replaced or given an extensive overhaul.
???? - Diagon Alley Expansion - Rumor - (8/12/14) About.com Theme Parks has posted a very interesting bit of speculation regarding what might come as the next possible expansion to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Our good friend Arthur Levine went on a guided tour of the new London / Diagon Alley area with Alan Gimore (Art Director for many of the films and for Universal’s Wizarding World projects). Alan led him to the big red british phone booths sitting on the curb just outside Diagon Alley and instructed Arthur to dial 6-2-4-4-2 (M-A-G-I-C) on the phone and he was suddenly connected with a phone recording from the Ministry of Magic informing him that the office was not open that day. Alan went on to tease that perhaps taking Muggles on a trip into the Ministry of Magic might be Universal’s next Potter themed attraction.
This would make a good deal of sense, especially since the current Fear Factor: Live show stadium next door was being eyeballed by Universal Creative as the most likely place to expand Diagon Alley in the future. Of course this is only a tease and perhaps a glimmer of something once talked about in a Blue Sky meeting about future concepts. At this point anything can still happen, but it does give the Muggles something to think about for the next few years.