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Universal Orlando
Orlando, FL
NBC Universal / Comcast

 

----    THE LATEST BUZZ    ----
    (1/15/22) Possible Work Permit Filed For CityWalk Escape Room Attraction (MORE...)
    (1/14/22) Universal Orlando Posts Mardi Gras Concert Schedule (MORE...)
    (12/23/21) Universal Orlando To Require Face Masks Again Starting This Friday (MORE...)
    (12/16/21) The Groove Now Under Construction (MORE...)
    (12/9/21) Universal Orlando Picks Up Extra Land From Lockheed Martin (MORE...)


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icon_STOPGeneral Resort News - (1/14/22) Universal Orlando has announced their full concert slate for this year’s Mardi Gras event taking place from Feb. 5 through to April 24. While I’m not a huge music fan, and most years I have to admit I really have no clue who most of the performers are, it looks like Universal has a seriously stacked line-up this year performing at the Music Plaza Stage inside the Universal Studios Florida theme park.
Feb. 5 - Sugar Ray
Feb. 12 - Diana Ross
Feb. 19 - Barenaked Ladies
Feb. 20 - Styx
Feb. 26 - Jon Pardi
Mar. 5 - LL COOL J
Mar. 6 - Marshmello
Mar. 12 - Lee Brice
Mar. 13 - Becky G
Mar. 18 - Khalid
Mar. 19 - Seal
Mar. 20 - Gavin DeGraw
Mar. 25 - The Revivalists
Mar. 26 - Jimmie Allen
Mar. 27 - Jason Derulo
    Universal has also confirmed that the Mardi Gras Tribute Store will be returning this year, themed as a “Float Factory Warehouse”, detailing the process of bringing a Mardi Gras float to life, from the first sketch to the full build of the float itself.
 
    (12/23/21) Sorry guys, here we go again.
    According to a new Tweet from Universal Orlando, starting on Friday (Dec. 24th, 2021) all guests and team members will be required to wear a face covering at all “public indoor locations” within the Universal Orlando Resort. So this applies to the entire RESORT, not just the two theme parks, so masks on when indoors at CityWalk and any of the on-site resort hotels. This new rule will be in effect for everyone, regardless of vaccination status.
    It also will apply at “all attractions from the moment guests enter the queue to when they exit the experience.”

 
    (12/10/21) Universal has apparently purchased a couple of small land parcels from Lockheed Martin that are along the new Kirkman road extension. From the sound of things, the property in question may have already been intended for the project, but with a delayed purchase timeline before becoming official.
    I know Lockheed Martin has been a part of the Orlando landscape for a long time now. However, given how Orlando has expanded and grown over the years into the world’s biggest theme park tourism market, it has always struck me as a little odd that there is this large military weapons contractor sitting in the middle of it all. It makes me wonder if they might consider building a new campus elsewhere someday, and of course, selling off the remains of their property to someone like Universal Orlando.
 
    (12/4/21) It has been announced that after 15 years as President of Universal Orlando, Bill Davis will be retiring at the start of 2022. Replacing him will be Karen Irwin, current President of Universal Studios Hollywood. (In case you are wondering, Scott Strobl will be taking over as President of USH, being promoted from his current spot as Senior VP of Operations at USH).
    As previously mentioned, Universal Creative President Mark Woodbury is being promoted to serve as CEO of Universal Parks & Resort. Replacing him in the top seat at Universal Creative will be Senior VP, Michael Hightower.
 
    (12/1/21) Wrestling fans, AEW will be taping a few new episodes of AEW Dark at in Soundstage 19 at Universal Orlando this friday, Dec. 3rd. There will be two different tapings, Session 1 from 2pm to 5pm and Session 2 from 7pm to 10pm. Follow the links in the tweet to see how you can attend.

 
    (11/19/21) Good news for Universal Orlando team members this week, as it has been reported that team members that are vaccinated have now been given permission once again no longer wear face masks while “onstage, backstage, indoors or outdoors” if they wish to. Team Members who have not yet been vaccinated however must continue to wear face masks at all times while on property, onstage and backstage, with the only exception being while they are eating / drinking.
 
    (11/14/21) Our friends at Orlando Experience have posted a new video showing off new features now open at Universal Orlando.This includes a look at the new “Mistletoe Pines Village” area in CityWalk, a walk through the new 2021 Holiday Tribute Store inside Universal Studios Florida, and a look at the Holiday Parade as Santa lights the Christmas Tree for the first time this year.

 
 

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    (11/2/21) Universal Orlando is ready to launch this year’s holiday park festivities, and this includes the return of the “Universal Holiday Tour”, a special guided tour of Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure available on select dates starting Nov. 21st. I have to admit, this is actually new to me. As well versed as I am in all things Universal, I had not heard of the Universal Holiday Tour before now.
    The tour includes a meet & greet with The Grinch while being served a Hot Cocoa Bar, an after-hours showing of The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle, reversed viewing of Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s, reserved seating to watch the Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular, a Meet & Greet with Santa and you’ll get a Universal’s Holiday Tree Hunt brochure that will send you on a quest to find 15 holiday trees hidden throughout various merchandise locations within both theme parks and Universal CityWalk.
    Even if the tour isn’t for you, your mouth will water as an assortment of special holiday treats are unleashed throughout the resort. This includes Hot Butterbeer of course, a Nutella Cheesecake Reindeer Pop (in IOA at the Croissant Moon Bakery), a Hot Chocolate Bomb (full of marshmallows) at the TODAY Cafe (in USF), a special Grinch themed hot chocolate bomb at the Hop on Pop Ice Cream Shop (in IOA). In CityWalk stop by Voodoo Doughnuts throughout the holiday season for a variety of holiday specials,including a gingerbread cake doughnut, green-glazed holiday doughnuts and a marble cake wreath themed doughnut. Toothsome will offer a special ‘Red Hot’ Peppermint Holiday Shake with a Christmas tree snack cake.
    Mannheim Steamroller will return to perform at Universal Studios Florida this year with live concerts at the Music Plaza State on December 4, 5, 11, and 12.
 
    (10/29/21) Universal Orlando guests, be forewarned, if you arrive via the bus stop it is currently in the process of being torn up, presumably to be rebuilt in some new fashion. No word on just what changes will be made, but Universal is having at it full steam ahead right now with virtually the whole bus load/unload lot now a big pile of dirt according to photos posted to WDWNT.
 
    (10/6/21) Universal Orlando has sent out the first wave of information about the next Mardi Gras celebration that will be taking place Feb. 5 through Apr. 24, 2022. This will feature the return of the park’s famous nighttime Mardi Gras Parade, a Live Concert series and the popular Mardi Gras Cajun Cuisine that it is famous for. They aren’t ready to release the concert list just yet, but you can sign up on the official site to get the info when they are ready.
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Volcano Bay News - (2/13/21) Universal Orlando has confirmed that Volcano Bay will reopen from winter refurbishment to guests on February 27, 2021. As before, attendance capacity will be limited each day as as Universal does not require the use a reservation system to get in, admission will be on a first-come basis, so arrive early.

 
 

 

icon_STOP2022/2023 - New CityWalk Developments - (1/15/22) Is Universal Orlando taking the next step to opening their own Escape Room attraction inside the former Groove nightclub location? Apparently work permits for a “Project 235” in CityWalk have been filed to begin work on “Phase 2 Interior and Exterior Renovations” following a previous work permit that was for “Interior Demolition”.
    For years now we’ve been following the breadcrumbs that indicated Universal was working towards opening their own highly themed Escape Room attractions, which opens the gates to a lot of fun possible ideas in terms of themes. While anyone can make their own custom themed Escape Rooms, only Universal could bring you Escape Room concepts themed to classic Universal IP’s like Back to the Future, Jurassic World, Jaws and many more.
    Even more interesting might be the chance to bring back concepts from retired Universal Orlando attractions. For example, think back to Back to the Future: The Ride and how Doc was trapped in his lab while Biff took the Time Machine for a joy ride. Care to relive this experience, but from inside Doc’s Lab? Who’s ready to escape from the Jurassic Park Operations Center during the original “incident” where the dinosaurs got loose? Or in a fun cross-over, escape from the underwater tunnels (at SeaWorld??) under siege from a giant shark as seen in the climax of Jaws 3. Well… maybe not the SeaWorld part, but the idea could be a lot of fun regardless.
 
    (12/16/21) Remember those rumors about how The Groove was gone for good and soon to be replaced by a new Escape Room style experience? Last we heard was that work to transform The Groove would be the first of the new projects to get moving, and this now seems to be the case. A construction wall is now up around the entrance to the building and The Groove sign has now been removed from the building.
 
    (10/23/21) In an article that goes over some of Screamscape’s latest rumors for upcoming CityWalk projects, Orlando Weekly adds a great point that I missed. The rumored “Beer Garden” we heard that was on-deck to replace the current Legacy Store could very well be a new “Wubei Craft Food and Beer” location. Universal developed this new upscale beer garden concept to open first in CityWalk at the brand new Universal Studios Beijing complex and if it proves to be a hit, it would be easy to see Universal bringing a clone or a similar concept to Florida.
    Orlando Weekly also recalled how Universal had been dreaming about ways to bring a beer garden to CityWalk for some time now. Guest surveys in 2017 that also included ideas for the rumored Escape Room concept, also described a concept for a German themed beer hall that could have taken over the Emeril’s location. Instead we saw Emeri’s become the awesome BIGFIRE restaurant with a bar that focuses on specialty Whisky, Bourbon and Vodka cocktails, so dropping a fancy Beer Gardens next door sure wont take anything away from that.
 
    (10/10/21) Universal fans, take the time to enjoy the “Legacy Store” in CityWalk while you can, as I’m told that it is only temporary and will eventually make way for another new concept. If the rumors are true, Screamscape has heard that the Legacy Store will eventually make way for some kind of new “Beer Garden” themed eatery. More on this as we find out.
 
    (10/3/21) Remember that rumor about the next projects coming to CityWalk at Universal Orlando? Screamscape sources tell us that they are indeed moving forward with plans to add the rumored Escape Room and Comedy Club attractions there. We don't have a timeline however, and it seems very possible that one may open before the other at the moment, with the Escape Rooms taking the lead here. We did get a fun note about the Comedy Club concept however, as our source confirmed that Saturday Night Live themeing would indeed be involved in that project, which may be partly the reason it could take a bit longer to bring to life.
 
    (8/31/21) Is another wave of new projects being planned for Universal Orlando’s Citywalk?  According to a Screamscape source, this may very well be the case, which means plans may be underway to shutter a few old Citywalk locations to make room. But what if I told you that the locations may have already been closed, shut down during the early days of the pandemic, and have yet to reopen?
    Currently the Red Coconut Club and The Groove are both closed until further notice. The official Universal Orlando App only lists them as being temporarily closed, but you really have to know where to look to find any mention of them at all on the Universal Orlando website right now.
    While plans are always subject to change, our source tells us that the plan right now would be to transform the Red Coconut Club into a new Comedy Club of some kind, while The Groove will be transformed into some kind of high-end Escape Room attraction concept. For long time readers, these plans may sound a little familiar. We’ve heard on and off for years now that Universal Orlando had been looking into ways to get into the Escape Room business where they could use their various IPs as official themed for the games. Back in 2018 Universal went so far as to file trademark paperwork for the name, “Universal’s Great Movie Escape” with the description of use being used for “Entertainment services in the nature of escape room attractions.” A quick fact check… Universal still owns the active Trademark to this name even now.
    As for the Comedy Club… ever since NBC joined with Universal Studios there has long been a desire for the theme park resort to somehow add some kind of attraction that could make sure of  the Saturday Night Live comedy brand. As such, more than a few comedy clubs and comedy themed attraction concepts have been drawn up and shelved over the years in an effort to scratch this comedic itch. While I’m not saying for sure that they may use the SNL branding for the final product, Universal has done a lot of research into the concept of adding a comedy club to Citywalk over the years for possible use in other locations, including as an alternate concept for Citywalk’s Rising Star location. And another quick note… for those wondering, while The Groove and Red Coconut are currently listed as closed, Rising Star is open for business, so it isn’t going anywhere.
    So the next time you’re walking through Citywalk, it may be worth keeping an eye on these two locations, because it seems change is coming.
 
    (6/15/21) Universal Orlando has confirmed that Bend The Bao, an all new Asian quick service food location has now opened at CityWalk.

 
    (4/2/21) As I predicted, Universal Orlando has opened the brand new Universal Studios Store in CityWalk. You can catch a video tour of the new stop along with a look at the Legacy store in the video below from our friends at Orlando Experience.

 
    (3/27/21) It’s official… the existing Universal Orlando gift-shop in CityWalk has now been renamed as the “Universal Legacy Store”. Our friends at Attractions Magazine have posted a large new photo update showing off the new decor inside the store. I would imagine the new Universal gift shop site on the other side of CityWalk will probably be ready to open in the very near future as well.

 
    (2/28/21) Universal CityWalk is soon going to have TWO Universal Studios themed stores. There is the original store just to your left as you pass through CityWalk and make the split towards Islands of Adventure, and then there is the new store listed on the promo artwork as “Universal’s Premier Retail Experience”, as you move down the right pathway towards the Universal Studios Florida park. This new location once served as home to several smaller stores, but has now been merged together into one giant sized retail location, and is set to open very soon.
    So what will happen to the older store? It isn’t closing… in fact we’ve been told that the decor inside the old store is now in the process of changing and evolving more into a “throw-back” themed store that could focus on the logo, look and themes of Universal Studios Florida from when it first opened back in 1990. If you venture inside now you’ll see new themeing has been added all around to attractions of the past like Ghostbusters, Jaws, Kong, Hitchcock Presents and more mixed in with some modern old favorites like Jurassic Park and Revenge of the Mummy.
    It kind of makes sense, as you may recall Universal’s retail division has been heavily practicing the same concept of highly themed Universal throw-back stores for the past year with the ever evolving “Tribute” store inside USF. These Tribute stores have been themed to Halloween Horror Nights, the winter Holiday season and now even Mardi Gras, so it only makes sense that everything they’ve tried and learned from the Tribute stores could be put to use for a permanent Universal Orlando “Tribute” store in CityWalk.
   Stay tuned!
 
    (1/30/20) According to a report at Inside Universal, some new changes are afoot at within Citywalk. According to the report, the Fresh Produce and Island Clothing Co. stores have both closed within the past month. There are also rumors that P!Q (located between the two) along with Fossil are both also expected to close sometime this year. According to the report, rumor has it that all four of these side-by-side locations, once closed, could be turned into one giant mega retail site.

 

Future Expansion Site / 3rd Theme Park - (8/3/19) Universal’s EPIC UNIVERSE was announced as the name of their next theme park coming to Orlando. All information and history about the rumors and development of this project have now been moved to an official EPIC UNIVERSE page for future reporting. Head on over and check out our complete breakdown about what was announced and what we think we know about this new park based on all concept artwork compared to the various rumors. (CLICK  HERE FOR ALL THE NEWS ON EPIC UNIVERSE)

 

 

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Track Record

Universal Orlando
Orlando, Florida

Abbreviation: UO
Opened: 1990
www.universalorlando.com

Tickets: as of 4/18/19
Prices range depending on if you visit in Value season, Regular or a Peak Day
1-Day/1-Park: $115-$135
Discounts available for Multi-Day and Online Advanced Purchases.
Parking: $25.00


Open: Year Round

Note: The Universal Orlando resort consists of two theme parks, one waterpark, four hotels and the Citywalk retail and entertainment zone.

Fun Fact: It was named Universal Studios Escape for one year.



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