It seems that there really isn’t a dull week at the Universal Orlando Resort anymore.  More news leaked from Universal Orlando this week and we will fill you in on what happened.  In a related item we will also share the latest construction pictures from the Transformers ride construction site.  But that isn’t the only breaking news.  While we know that we will be seeing more Harry Potter at Universal, we just learned that guests will soon be able to experience even more of Springfield near The Simpsons Ride!  We then trim things up with another round of good news coming from inside Islands of Adventure and the impressive upkeep standards they are adhering to.

Recently Universal ‘accidentally’ let the cat out of the bag, although briefly, when it posted a wait clock on Facebook for a big announcement.

The explanation is a little geeky, but please bear with us.  You see, all of the pages that you visit on the internet are really just a series of files.  Those files are either programming code or images that are requested and then viewed on your computer.  Images can be a variety of file types i.e, .gif .jpg. .png or in this case a .swf file.  SWF files are what is often known as Flash.  Flash can be an animation or even an interactive game.  In this instance, Universal posted a flash file early yesterday that acted as a countdown clock to a big announcement.  On the surface this was no big deal.  But, the problem is that anybody with a cursory knowledge in HTML could see what the Flash file or the .swf file was named if they looked at the code.

Notice the file is called “TransformerCoundown_clock.swf”

The twittersphere and fan sites alike lit up like a Christmas tree with the news that the secret had gotten out.  Once Universal realized the blunder they quickly changed the name of the file.

Oh well.  So a little thunder is stolen from the announcement. Or perhaps a little media storm is what they had in mind all along. Either way, it just goes to show the power of social networking in this crazy digital world we live in today. We’ll be sure to share the announcement with you when the make it, even though we are pretty sure we already know what it is.

And now for construction pictures!

Future home of Transformers: the Ride 3D

It’s a big show building.

Another one of the worst kept secrets at Universal Orlando is the Harry Potter project inside Universal Studios.  We see the framing and construction is moving at a brisk pace here.

Another bit of interesting news comes from the area near the front of The Simpsons ride. Now that the new midway games are constructed in front of The Simpsons, and the vending tents have been relocated, work will soon begin on the addition of more Springfield shops!

It is rumored that we will soon be see a completely rebuilt Kwik-E-Mart and the addition of a Krusty Burger location and a Moe’s Tavern.

Back in Suess Landing more work has progressed.  The colors are more and more mind-bending everyday and we love it.

The little accents and details are so thrilling to see.

More painting and surface stripping here.

Old paint has been stripped away to prepare for more bright paint.

We also caught some interesting new vehicle props at the entrance of the park.

Even the Lost Continent area of Islands of Adventure is seeing additional upkeep and attention  For instance, the griffin at the entrance has been nicely touched up.

Finally we have seen no real progress over at the Blue Man Group but we are hopefull that things will change soon.  Here at Universal they always do.

To sum up, we will have more Springfield near the Simpsons, the Transformers ride has been all but confirmed, everything is being painted, and more Harry Potter is on its way. If you haven’t gotten the bug yet, it’s a wonderful time to be a Universal fan.

  • Malin

    When the countdown clock was first shown on Facebook. All the comments guessed straight away it was for Transformers. This is one of the worst kept secrets. In fact Universal are doing such a poor job of keeping the Transformers ride a secret it makes you question if it is being done on purpose. It’s certainly taking the buzz away from New Fantasyland Cast Members Previews. But for me the announcement seems so obvious that it makes you think is Universal leaking out the wrong information so on Nov the 1st it will surprise us all and announce something totally different instead.

    Great Orlando Park Hopper today. The idea of additional Simpson related Restaurants etc sounds great. Who would say no to drinking at Moes or grabbing a Krusty Burger. It’s a great time to be a Universal Fan. Disney should really take note. Harry Potter has obviously not hurt them attendance wise. But by adding more and more of these additions people will start to take notice.

    • I’ve got to think it’s on purpose as well. Has really kept the attention on Universal. And they deserve it at the moment. The exciting projects just keep rolling in.

      Can’t wait for an expanded village of Springfield. Such a smart move!

      There is something intoxicating about the fresh bright colors in Suess Landing. Wow!

  • Gregg Condon

    I agree, the announcements of both Transformers and HP are really the worst kept secrets in the industry right now. But as a consequence here we are talking about it and writing it about it weekly. Universal is getting free advertisement for rides and area’s that haven’t been announced yet. It’s brilliant really.

    As for the additional Springfield shops, that’s absolutely brilliant. I wish they’d do the same in Hollywood, they certainly have the existing buildings for it right now and converting the Flintstones games to SImpsons would be an easy thing.

    • Gregg Condon

      And yes, I agree about Seuss landing. Looks fantastical!!!

    • KingEric

      Yeah the Simpsons games are AMAZING! I am surprised they haven’t started to install them out there yet!

      I am really hopeful about the Springfield area. I really want a Moes Tavern, along with a Krusty Burger and a better Kwiki-Mart.

      But time will tell.

  • BC_DisneyGeek

    Expanded Simpsons locations could be brilliant. Moe’s Tavern with show elements could be their answer to the popular Trader Sam’s bar in Anaheim. Flaming Moe’s in a souvenir glass anyone?

    • KingEric

      Oh sign me up! Duff Beer, Flaming Moes, and pickled eggs that no one ever buys, with a love-o-matic in the corner with Abe Simpson’s voice please!

  • themur

    Nice to see Seuss Landing get some TLC. You really need to be attentive to the vibrant colors.

    Great that Florida will get Transformers; this with HP in the studios park should help drive attendance to that park. I do find it funny though that if this were a Disney addition, the boards would be on fire with cat calls about putting a clone in!!!!

    • KingEric

      @Themur – In all fairness you are correct. Though I will gladly stand up and say, that I was never against the mermaid clone, here. And while I am not against the Transformers clone, I am far from fan boy drooling over the moon. I am excited to get transformers, I am excited for the attraction, but that excitement it tempered because it is an attraction that already exists, so there will be no big surprise.

      I am thrilled to have lots of new attractions here in Orlando!

      • Gregg Condon

        If it was at Disneyland there’d be a lot more talk of Transformers on the board period. 😉

    • It’s a good point, but Transformers is just a quick fix to keep things rolling until Harry Potter opens at the Studios. And that is a massive expansion and all original. So, it’s really hard to complain.

      • Monorail Man

        Yea, Dusty, I agree. The idea of making a cloned ‘E-ticket’ the ‘holdover’ until HP is crazy.

      • KingEric

        I agree 100%. That is the crazy thing, that this GIANT E-ticket is only to hold us over until Harry Potter is done! lol

    • lionheartkc

      There is a bit of a difference between cloning a Universal ride and a Disney ride. No one takes a vacation to California to go to Universal Studios Hollywood, so most people won’t ride it there. Heck, the last time I was there, they would give you an annual pass just for buying a 1-day ticket, they were so desperate for attendance. It’s good that they add their top experiences to the park more people visit.

      In Disney’s case, people do go to both sets of parks, so cloning serves as a downgrade to the park that initially had the ride.

      The one downside I see to Transformers is that, as I understand it, it is EXACTLY the same as Spiderman (track, vehicle, movement), just with different visual elements. I hope, for their sake, they modify it from the original (liek Disney should have done with Mermaid).

      • KingEric

        I know for me personally I was planning on seeing Transformers on my next California trip, but since it is coming out here, I have decided that it isn’t a must see.

        The only thing at Universal Studios in Hollywood that is a must see for me right now is Kong 360.

  • SpectroMan

    Transformers = yawn for me. I’m so completely over simulators/hybrid simulators that I could sleep through most of them (except Potter 🙂

    Was just at IoA a month ago and felt Seuss was getting a little pale. Now, I wish I could see it today!

    • KingEric

      I can’t wait for you to see it! Vibrant is not descriptive enough, and the pictures do not do it justice! So ALIVE!

  • JCSkipr79

    Being on IOA openign team, it makes me teary eyed to see my “alama mater” Suess Landing, get the love it deserved. Bless all the ex-Disney CMs that brought Dick Nunis’s old standards to Uni.!!

    • KingEric

      I know I am loving it! I really can’t wait until the painting is over, and Seuss Landing is electric again.

  • stamphead

    Looking forward to seeing HP next week. I also look forward to MIB and The Mummy. It’s been too long! When I was in Orlando last year I only had time for IoA.

    • KingEric

      I really love both parks. There are days I am inside IOA and I am like “this is my favorite park” then there are days when I am in the New York area of USF and the background music plays “downtown” and I start dancing and singing in the streets of NY like a fool and I think “this is my favorite park”

  • lionheartkc

    The funny thing about what Universal is doing, to me, is that a few months ago, I said the biggest problem with the Harry Potter land was that it made the rest of IOA look bad, and I got flamed pretty hard. Now it look like Universal agreed with me.