Tag Archives: Universal Studios

Orlando’s Good Eats and Holiday Treats: 2017’s Must-See Events for Fall and Winter

This fall and winter, there is more to see and do in Orlando than any other time of year. With numerous food and wine feasts, unparalleled Halloween thrills and merry holiday theme park events, the excitement in Orlando is warming up even as the weather cools down. For a full schedule of fall happenings, year-round events, insider attraction tips and vacation planning guides, go to VisitOrlando.com.

Orlando’s Food & Wine Feasts
The destination’s growing reputation for superb dining meets a seasonal surge of events for a food-lover’s dream vacation in the fall. From a month-long affordable fine dining program to theme park and resort smorgasbords, there are flavors for all palates through November.

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The Best Amusement Parks for Families in 2017

Family Vacation Critic, TripAdvisor’s family travel site, has just named the Best Amusement Parks for Families in 2017 – naming the best parks in the U.S., and sharing the year’s newest attractions and highlights for every age group.

“Amusement parks are one of the most quintessential summertime activities for families,” explains Lissa Poirot, editor-in-chief of Family Vacation Critic. “But for those traveling with family members of various ages – including kids-at-heart – finding a park that caters to thrill-seekers and the younger set isn’t always so easy. This list includes parks that successfully cater to both, and those that also have exciting new features for the 2017 season.”

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Now Open: Volcano Bay, Universal Orlando Resort’s Third Amazing Theme Park

A revolutionary water theme park has risen at Universal Orlando Resort – Universal’s Volcano Bay is now open.

The park’s first guests gathered inside the new water theme park to enjoy an authentic, South Pacific dedication ceremony commemorating the opening of Volcano Bay. The ceremony featured special performances by an array of authentic Maori entertainment, ranging from water dancers to “Haka” war dancers. The moment culminated with an eruption from the mighty 200 ft. Krakatau volcano – the park’s stunning icon.

Volcano Bay is Universal Orlando’s third theme park and the next chapter in the award-winning vacation destination’s evolution. Universal Orlando is part of the NBCUniversal Comcast family, which has invested significantly in the destination’s unprecedented growth. In just seven years, 25 new experiences – entire themed areas, attractions, restaurants, and hotels – have been added across the destination. Universal Orlando now has 5,600 rooms across its five (soon to be six) on-site hotels.

Volcano Bay was brought to life by Universal Creative – the same team responsible for bringing so many other groundbreaking experiences to life within Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Volcano Bay is a next-level water theme park – combining spectacular storytelling and incredibly immersive guest experiences with innovative technology exclusively designed for Universal to give visitors a fun-filled, hassle-free experience with their friends and family.

“Universal’s Volcano Bay sets a new standard on every level – from the attractions to how our guests experience them,” said Tom Williams, Chairman & CEO – Universal Parks & Resorts. “Our new water theme park is the perfect complement to the rest of our incredible destination. It provides our guests with spectacular entertainment experiences and innovative technology that helps them enjoy more of what matters most – connecting with each other and having an amazing time together.”


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Spanning 25 fully immersive acres and featuring something for everyone – from perfected relaxation to incredible thrills – Volcano Bay is unlike any other water park in world. It offers an immersive environment filled with unbelievable detail and innovative technology to enhance fun and remove hassles. Volcano Bay features:

  • More than 30 experiences including 18 unique attractions such as a multi-directional wave pool with sandy beaches, a peaceful winding river, twisting multi-rider raft rides, speeding body slides that drop from the top of the volcano into the waters below and more.
  • The TapuTapu wearable – included with guest admission and specifically designed for use within Universal’s Volcano Bay. Features of TapuTapu include:
    • Virtual Line Access: TapuTapu allows guests to virtually wait in line for rides while enjoying other areas of the park. Their wearable will simply alert them when it’s time for their ride.
    • TapTu Play: Guests can enjoy many TapTu Play experiences throughout the park – like controlling streams of water spurting from whales in Tot Tiki Reef, shooting water cannons at guests snaking down Kopiko Wai Winding River, illuminating images in the volcano’s hidden caves and more.
    • TapTu Pay: Guests can make purchases throughout the entire park with their TapuTapu wearable, eliminating the need to carry cash, credit cards or a wallet throughout the park.
    • TapTu Snap/My Universal Photo Access: Guests can take advantage of special interactive photo opportunities and selfie-spots throughout the park as well as photo opportunities on Volcano Bay’s attractions. Their wearable will automatically link those photos to their account so that guests can view, share and purchase them at their convenience.
    • Locker Access: After renting their lockers, guests will be able to access them with a touch of their TapuTapu wearable.
  • Beautifully-themed dining locations featuring more than 60 delicious, South Pacific-inspired dishes – ranging from jerk mahi sandwiches to fresh island chicken salad to decadent chocolate pineapple upside down cake.

For more information about Universal’s Volcano Bay, visit www.universalorlando.com.


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“Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon” Is Now Open At Universal Orlando Resort

Guests joined “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon to celebrate the grand opening of Universal Orlando Resort’s newest ride, Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon. The all-new ride takes guests on an action-packed race through the Big Apple against Jimmy Fallon himself, and completely immerses them in the world of America’s favorite talk show – “The Tonight Show.”

Jimmy Fallon kicked off the celebration with a New York-style ticker tape parade in Universal Studios Florida that featured tons of confetti, a custom float and beloved Universal Orlando characters. Joining Jimmy on the float were “Tonight Show” house band The Roots, announcer Steve Higgins, and an array of characters from the show, including Hashtag the Panda, the Ragtime Gals barbershop quartet, and even Stepdad Gary from the popular “Ew!” sketch. The moment culminated with a countdown to the official opening of the attraction and a special ribbon cutting.


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“I’m happy. I’m grateful. I’m excited. This whole experience has been a real emotional rollercoaster simulator,” said Jimmy Fallon.

Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon is the first ride at Universal Studios Florida to feature an all-new Virtual Line experience – allowing guests to enjoy other areas of the park while they “virtually” wait for their time to enter the attraction. For more information about “Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon” and the Virtual Line experience, visit the Universal Orlando blog at blog.universalorlando.com.


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Universal Orlando’s Volcano Bay Releases More Details

In early summer 2017, a first-of-its-kind water theme park will erupt at Universal Orlando Resort – Universal’s Volcano Bay. It will be an innovative experience filled with incredible thrills and perfected relaxation. And on November 15, guests will have the chance to purchase tickets to experience it firsthand. Guests can receive a notification when tickets go on sale and updates about Volcano Bay by signing up for real-time email alerts.

Volcano Bay will span 30 fully immersive acres and feature a variety of experiences that range from daring to serene. Dozens of unique attractions will offer something for everyone, including a multi-directional wave pool with sandy beaches, a peaceful winding river, twisting multi-rider raft rides, speeding body slides that drop from the top of the volcano into the waters below – and more. And the best part – guests won’t have to wait in long lines to enjoy any of it.

Krakatau Aqua Coaster will be the star experience at Universal’s Volcano Bay – combining innovative ride technology with water theme park thrills to take families on an unforgettable adventure through the park’s massive icon – the 200-foot Krakatau volcano.

Guests will board specially-designed canoes and propel downwards – and upwards – through the volcano’s interior peaks and valleys. They’ll twist, turn and plummet along dark passageways, be launched through sparkling waterfalls and so much more.

Universal’s Volcano Bay will debut a new technology, the TapuTapu wearable, designed to make the guest experience throughout the entire park as hassle-free and fun-filled as possible.

Even more details about TapuTapu and its unique guest features will be released soon. More details about Universal’s Volcano Bay will be revealed over time.


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“Skull Island: Reign of Kong” Is Now Open At Universal Orlando Resort

Excited guests gathered in Universal’s Islands of Adventure to help mark the official opening of Universal Orlando Resort’s newest mega attraction, Skull Island: Reign of Kong.

Skull Island: Reign of Kong brings the next generation of the King Kong legend to life on an unprecedented scale. The adventure begins as guests are transported deep into a mysterious world, where their mission is to discover creatures of unknown origin with the 8th Wonder Expedition Company, the research team leading the excursion. After braving ancient temple ruins and encountering hostile natives, they board a massive 40-foot-long, 17-ton expedition vehicle to navigate the increasingly foreboding terrain.

The specially designed expedition vehicle, which operates on a completely trackless ride system, takes guests deeper into the ominous island, where they soon find themselves in the midst of a brutal struggle between beasts of unimaginable size and ferocity.

Then, as those creatures turn on the expedition, there is an even more enormous, earth-pounding presence. It is Kong – in the flesh. Towering nearly three stories tall, he is so close that you can feel his breath and sense his emotion. But is he friend or foe?


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Universal Orlando Reveals Highly-Anticipated Water Theme Park Details

A lush, tropical oasis unfolds before you, instantly transporting you to a little-known Pacific isle. In the distance, a colossal volcano rises above a sparkling beach, boasting majestic waterfalls by day and blazing lava by night.

Welcome to Universal’s Volcano Bay – a radically-innovative water theme park opening next year at Universal Orlando Resort. Spanning 28 fully immersive acres, Universal Orlando’s third theme park will be an entirely new kind of water theme park experience, giving guests even more to enjoy on their vacation.

At Volcano Bay, guests will discover a place like no other, filled with incredible thrills and relaxing indulgences. This one-of-a-kind park will combine exhilarating experiences with hassle-free convenience so families can get the most out of their vacation together. They won’t have to stand in long lines or wrestle with tubes before diving into the unique attractions found throughout the park. They can enjoy a variety of experiences, ranging from winding rivers and private, two-story cabanas to family raft rides and twisting body slides that launch guests above the water.

Guests will have the opportunity to explore four imaginatively-themed areas at Volcano Bay, filled with experiences ranging from daring to serene.

  • Krakatau:
    The 200-foot volcano, Krakatau, will lie at the heart of the park, inviting guests to venture through its hidden caverns and cascading waterfalls.

    • A state-of-the-art marquee attraction found only at Volcano Bay. More details will be announced later.
    • Three distinctive body slides found at the rear of the volcano, which start off with surprise doors that drop out from beneath guests:
      • Ko’okiri Body Plunge: A racing, 70-degree drop that will plummet 125-feet through the center of Krakatau. It will be the world’s first slide to travel through a pool filled with guests.
      • Kala and Ta Nui Serpentine Body Slides: Two intertwining slides where guests will fall freely along 124 twisting feet.
    • Punga Racers: A high-speed race through four different enclosed slides featuring manta-shaped mats.
  • Wave Village:
    Located at the base of Krakatau, Wave Village will be home to:

    • Waturi Beach: A sparkling, multi-directional wave pool where guests can swim, relax on the sand or indulge in private, one- or two-story cabanas.
    • The Reef: An adjacent leisure pool will provide guests with calmer waters and exciting views of riders speeding through the Ko’okiri Body Plunge.
  • River Village:
    Named for the peaceful river that snakes through it, River Village will feature unique attractions for the entire family, including:

    • Kopiko Wai Winding River: A gentle, winding river that will pass through the volcano’s hidden caves, featuring spontaneous water effects and special nighttime lighting.
    • Tot Tiki Reef: A whimsical toddler play area with spraying Maori fountains, slides and a kid-size volcano.
    • Runamukka Reef: A three-story water playground inspired by the coral reef overflowing with twisting slides, sprinklers and more.
    • Honu: An adventurous, multi-passenger raft ride that will soar across two giant, sloped walls
    • Ika Moana: A twisting, multi-passenger raft ride that will glide across bubbling geysers.
  • Rainforest Village:
    Exhilarating thrills await guests in Rainforest Village, including:

    • Maku: North America’s first “saucer ride” – sending multi-passenger rafts speeding around three saucer-shaped curves.
    • Puihi: A breath-taking multi-passenger raft ride that will plunge guests into darkness before bursting into a funnel and launching into a zero-gravity drop.
    • Ohyah and Ohno Drop Slides: Two twisting, adrenaline-pumping slides that launch guests four- and six-feet above the water at the end.
    • TeAwa The Fearless River: An action-packed, racing torrent river where guests hang tight in their inner tubes amidst roaring, whitewater rapids.
    • Taniwha Tubes: Four unique Easter Island-inspired slides with rafts for single or double riders.
    • Puka Uli Lagoon: A tranquil pool where guests can swim and relax.

Volcano Bay will redefine the queue experience so guests can focus entirely on having fun and spending time together. Guests won’t even have to carry their own rafts up the slides.

Each area of the park will offer its own easy-to-access, resort-like amenities, such as concierge locations and lockers, so guests won’t have to stroll out of their way to get what they need. There will also be highly-themed restaurants and bars located throughout the park offering signature food and beverage options and impressive volcano views. Even more unique features of the park will be announced later.

Volcano Bay will be located within Universal Orlando, adjacent to Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort. The water theme park is just a short walk or ride away from Universal Orlando’s two additional theme parks – Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, on-site hotels and Universal CityWalk.

Universal Orlando will soon introduce a brand-new, 3-Park Explorer ticket for guests where they can plan to experience the highly-anticipated Volcano Bay for travel dates beginning June 1, 2017. Tickets will soon be available through international web sites and travel professionals, and additional ticket options will be announced later.

When you stay in the heart of the fun and excitement at an on-site hotel, you’ll be within walking distance to Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Universal CityWalk and Volcano Bay.

Choose from spectacular on-site hotels:

Prime Value – Stylish resorts with family suites and rooms designed for fun and affordability.

Preferred – Relaxing getaways offering the perfect blend of resort conveniences and amenities.

Premier – Beautiful escapes offering distinguished service, spacious accommodations, and one-of-a-kind experiences.

or find your perfect hotel in Orlando!


For more I-4 information, visit www.i4exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to Interstate 4. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Tampa to Daytona!

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Fast and Furious Thrill Ride Races Onto The Scene At 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 today 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.


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King Kong Roars To Life At Universal Orlando Resort in Groundbreaking New Attraction

King Kong will rule at Universal Orlando Resort next year in the groundbreaking attraction, “Skull Island: Reign of Kong.”

The new attraction will open in the summer of 2016 at Universal’s Islands of Adventure – and will be an intense, all-new adventure brought to life in a dramatically themed environment. Skull Island: Reign of Kong will pull guests into a powerfully told story where they become part of the next generation of the Kong legend.

It begins as guests are transported deep into a wild and mysterious world, where their mission is to discover creatures of unknown origin – but where they are soon fighting for their own survival. Their journey will take them through an ancient temple inhabited by hostile natives, a perilous jungle ruled by prehistoric creatures, a foreboding underworld of caves concealing unspeakable terrors – and face-to-face with the colossal Kong himself.

Universal Creative is working closely with Peter Jackson, famed director of 2005’s blockbuster movie, “King Kong,” to immerse guests in this incredible adventure.

“King Kong is a Hollywood movie legend and a huge part of both our history and our future,” said Mike West, Executive Producer, Universal Creative. “He gives us the opportunity to tap into everything that makes our film history so special and everything that makes our theme park attractions so spectacular. We can’t wait to bring him to life in such an epic way.”

Known as “the eighth wonder of the world,” Kong has been called “the experience for which movies were invented.” Since first appearing on screen in 1933, “King Kong” has been re-made twice – each time on a tremendous scale – earning seven Oscar and three Golden Globe nominations.

And now – in even grander and more realistic form – the Kong story continues to grow. “Skull Island: Reign of Kong” will open in the summer of 2016. More details about the mega-attraction will be released over time. Visit www.universalorlando.com/ReignofKong for more information.

Universal Studios Announce “The Purge: Anarchy,” a New “Halloween Horror Nights” ScareZone

As the gates to “Halloween Horror Nights” open, so too does the annual Purge begin at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort with the debut of a terrifying new scarezone, “The Purge: Anarchy,” inspired by Universal Pictures’ new thriller, which scored the highest opening for a horror film this year.

“The Purge: Anarchy” scarezone will greet guests with pure unadulterated fear, bringing to life the turmoil and pandemonium that awaits those vulnerable to masked vigilantes in search of new victims. Reimagining the movie’s premise that on one night every year, any and all crime is made legal, the scarezone will be inhabited by average citizens transformed into sadistic felons during this period of government-sanctioned lawlessness. Like civilians in the movie fighting to survive, guests will be at the mercy of cunning wit, luck and speed as they attempt to outsmart and outlive the anarchy brought about by those who believe in an “eye for an eye.”

The Purge: Anarchy, the sequel to last summer’s surprise hit, moves from the confines of a suburban neighborhood to the streets as the government begins its annual 12-hour Purge to ensure that the crime rate stays below one percent for the rest of the year. With all emergency services suspended, it’s the one night when society regulates itself without thought of punishment or fear of retribution. For average people who do not have the means to barricade themselves indoors with a state-of-the-art security system, anarchy rules and no one is safe. In this new story, an unlikely group of five citizens discover how far they will go to protect themselves and, ultimately, each other, as they fight to survive a dangerous night fraught with impossible decisions.

From director and writer James DeMonaco (The PurgeAssault on Precinct 13), The Purge: Anarchy stars Frank Grillo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Carmen Ejogo (Away We Go), Zach Gilford (Devil’s Due), Kiele Sanchez (A Perfect Getaway) andMichael K. Williams (The Wire).

“‘Halloween Horror Nights’ is about taking guests out of their comfort zones and placing them at the core of unimaginable horror,” saidJohn Murdy, Universal Studios Hollywood’s Creative Director for and Executive Producer of “Halloween Horror Nights.”  “Because the premise of ‘The Purge’ could theoretically happen, our scare-zone elevates that sense of fear and forces you to really watch your back.  Imagining how your neighbor, friend or enemy could take revenge on you without retribution because you wronged them takes horror to a whole new level, and we wanted to bring that gut-wrenching terror to every one of our guests.”

“‘The Purge’” scarezone will invade the streets of ‘Halloween Horror Nights’, taking up most of our New York back lot. The chaos that reigns in the film will be replicated nightly, but now our guests can actually attempt to survive the night themselves,” said Michael Aiello, Director of Entertainment – Creative Development, Universal Orlando Resort. “The familiar emergency broadcast will be heard announcing the commencement of the annual Purge, and all hell will literally break loose.”

Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” events have a more than 20-year history of creating incredibly entertaining, horrifyingHalloween experiences that are consistently rated the nation’s best. The events on each coast feature highly-themed, disturbingly real, haunted mazes based on everything from films to nightmares – and streets filled with hundreds of specially trained “scareactors” in uniquely themed scare-zones. In addition to “The Purge:  Anarchy,” other announced experiences include, “The Walking Dead:  The End of the Line,” “From Dusk Till Dawn” and “Face Off: In the Flesh.”

To complement its numerous mazes, “Halloween Horror Nights” features a variety of terrifying scare-zones designed to provoke heart-pounding fear as guests traverse the park from one traumatizing experience to the next, unsure of what lies just around the corner.

To learn more about this all-new “Halloween Horror Nights” scarezone, click here:  The Purge: Anarchy.

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