Universal Orlando Prepares To Get Wicked

Written by MiceChat Staff. Posted in Orlando Parkhopper, Universal Orlando

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Published on November 13, 2012 at 5:04 am with 14 Comments

Just when you thought we had heard enough from Universal Orlando there is some exciting new info leaking out.  Lots more in fact. Rumors are swirling internally about the Blue Man Group’s ultimate demise and what might take its place.  We then explore the possibilities that could arise from the construction happening in front of The Simpsons Ride.  Plus, we take in some more holiday cheer Universal style and scope out the latest progress at both Transformers and Harry Potter.

FEELING BLUE

We wish we had better news to report about the struggling Blue Man Group show, but it is not to be.  The show was initially well received when it debuted but people began to quickly lose interest.  A recent reworking of the show didn’t help much and it is still rumored to be missing all sales targets.

So what will happen?  While nothing is certain yet, there’s some discussion floating around the resort that a 30 minute stage version of the musical Wicked might be headed to Orlando.

Universal Creative has been interested in presenting a musical in the theater for day guests for a while now. When the theme park version of Wicked finished its run at the Universal Osaka park in 2010, all of the props and sets were carefully packed up and shipped to Universal Orlando for storage. Recently the facade for the Blue Man Group show was changed from a mural to what boils down to a giant sticker that can easily be replaced.  All of this information, along with the addition of a new gate that would give access to the theatre leads us to believe that Blue Man Group’s time is running out and the space could soon be used as another way to plus the Studios park during a phase of unprecedented expansion.

We are keeping an ear open on this rumor. Would you be happy to exchange the extra cost Blue Man show for an included theme park version of Wicked?

THE SIMPSONS

All of the vending booths that lined the area near The Simpsons Ride have been relocated and are now back in business.

So what is happening in front of the ride now?  It appears everything is behind construction walls for a reworking of the rumored Kwik-E-Mart facility and the addition of a Moe’s Tavern and Krusty Burger.  The walls stretch to cover a rather large area and there is even some work going on along the waterfront.

Even during construction, the Simpsons meet and greets are popular.

We see here that walls line the waterfront near The Simpsons Ride.

CHRISTMAS

Here we are just a few weeks from the beginning of the Christmas season at Universal Studios Orlando.  All is becoming festive with more cheer every day.

But, this year, for the first time ever, Universal will be hosting two separate parades each day.  The Superstar Parade will run during the first half of the day, and later, the Macy’s Holiday Parade will take to the streets.  It is impressive to see Universal upping the entertainment ante as well.

NEW SHREK COSTUME

A new Shrek costume has made its debut in the park.  It seems to be a lot more stable and less prone to wardrobe malfunctions that often left the performer headless.

TRANSFORMERS

We can’t help but notice the massive Transformers construction site.  This ride is being built at a record speed with 24/7 construction efforts to ensure completion by Summer 2013.  An unprecedented move on the part of Universal and one that is very likely to pay off for them.

HARRY POTTER

Nothing discernible has appeared from the yet unnamed construction in the area that used to be Amity Island.  We are certain this is Harry Potter expansion though.  It seems that only basic structures are going up at this time.

REVENGE OF THE MUMMY

We round things out with some good news at the Revenge of the Mummy coaster.  All of the projectors have been replaced with digital 4k projectors.  The story may also soon be reworked a bit as well. Starting with the queue and removing Brandon Fraser and reworking the story to compliment the new mummy movie installment coming out in 2015.  Regardless of  whether or not the the story changes happen, the projector changes have already improved the attraction.

There you have it folks.  Blue Man might be on the chopping block, Two parades a day during the holidays and The Simpsons area seems to be expanding.  please be sure to check back for any more breaking news from Universal Orlando by checking the Orlando Parkhopper main page.

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14 Comments

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  1. Anything Wicked makes me green! Blue Man Group was OK; this could be something wonderful!!! Count me in.

  2. Way to go Universal, the Transformer ride is going up quickly, they are updating the Mummy ride projectors, new Harry Potter coming and we get to eat at Krusty Burger and go to Moe’s Tavern! No wonder Universal is quickly becoming my family’s favorite park.

  3. YES! Bring in the theme park version of Wicked. That would be fantastic!!!

  4. Love Wicked, (seen it 5 time in three different cities) but a 30 minute version? This is an established show with several traveling companies and long term venues. This 30 minute version only makes sense as a preview or marketing for a new and unfinished show. People who love the show will be disappointed by the cuts and people who don’t know the show could be confused. Just don’t see the point of this.

  5. I have to agree that a 30-minute version of Wicked would be hard to fathom. That being said, I’d still go see it at UO. As far as the Blue Man Group, I wouldn’t go watch them if they were in my front yard, so I certainly wouldn’t have seen them at the park. It really seems like Universal is stepping up their game. We’ve only been once and the whole family is anxious to go again. I’m looking forward to all the changes.

  6. I watched the Japan version of Wicked at Universal and felt short change by the version presented. Small cast and heavily cut down version. But on the other hand another show based attraction for Universal might be needed. Mix views. But love the rumours of more Simpsons additions. When do we hope these facilities will be opened?

  7. Sorry folks. BMG IS STAYING!!! Always been a fan of them. Its totally an article of speculation.

  8. Yea, totally not cool for the FALSE speculations about Blue Man.
    As far as speculation for bringing in Wicked goes, hey thatz super….but NOT where blue man is. Bring it to the park, elsewhere and leave the Blue Man alone! There is plenty of room for everyone and enough space for everyone to enjoy and play. No need to stir up something that isn’t true.

    Current fan.
    and supporter of the Blue Man Group productions.

    \o/\o/\o/

  9. You really missed the mark with your speculation article detailing Blue Man Groups ‘demise’ at Universal Orlando.

    As a fan of BMG for well over 10 years, you can probablly imagine that I follow all news and information closely regarding Blue Man. I have been to multiple US venues and tour events, including the Orlando venue, and have formed lasting friendships with the staff and Blue Man actors at that venue. I also organized a fan gathering for this past summer at their venue in Chicago, and over 60 fans came from all over the globe to celebrate our love of Blue Man and to rekindle our friendships that have formed as a result of the show. I am highly involved with the fan base and it extremely irritates me when false reports surface including untrue and inaccurate allegations that may affect my friends and fellow fans in the realm of BMG.

    I was extremely disheartened when I heard the news on your site that BMG was being replaced with Wicked. Not only were you wrong with your fact, you published incorrect information on a public news site. This not only creates confusion among the masses, but it makes the employees, staff and crew of the Orlando production of BMG worry about the certainty of their jobs.

    Blue Man Productions, the owners of the BMG entity, have been contacted and Ms. Laura Camien (the PR Director for BMG Orlando) has been contacted as well in regards to your false article. BMG has also confirmed that the show is here to stay and Wicked is NOT coming to replace BMG. I advise you to revise your article to clear any remaining confusion.

    It doesn’t take long to fact check. You bill MiceChat as a premiere website for amusement park news, but the publishing of falsity only makes you untrustworthy in the world of amusement reporting. I suggest the next time before you publish an article without sound and true facts, you take 5 minutes and look at what you are publishing and consider who it may ultimately affect in the long run.

    Thanks,
    Jacob Dicke

  10. [...] Universal Orlando Prepares To Get Wicked Just when you thought we had heard enough from Universal Orlando there is some exciting new info leaking out. Lots more in fact. Rumors are swirling internally about the Blue Man Group's ultimate demise and what might take its place. We then explore … Read more on MiceChat (blog) [...]

  11. [...] restaurant. Maybe we’ll get a Krusty burger? There is also speculation about whether “Wicked” might be making its way to the resort. We shall [...]

  12. From the way the last poster reacted……..it sounds like BMG might indeed be in trouble.

  13. Yeah, that’s a laughable posting that almost reeks of desperation. (“You’re spreading rumors! I’m telling Blue Man, so you’d better be scared and take it down!”)

    It’s a RUMOR and was stated as such…it’s not like it’s slander or anything, and there’s nothing illegal about posting rumors. If there were, Lance Hart over at Screamscape wouldn’t still be running. He’s a news/rumor website who’s pretty highly regarded in the industry, and his rumors end up being wrong about 30% of the time I’d say.

    If the rumor is NOT true, then perhaps someone from BMG should debunk it? It would certainly seem like a possibility with that cheap, crappy new overlay on the theatre…

    As for a theme park version of Wicked, sure, why not? I’m all for added entertainment value to my insanely overpriced ticket, as well as anything that can take on Disney. I’m not sure how much staying power Wicked will have (or how good a super-condensed version of the show would be), but they could always replace it with something else should its popularity wane. I’d personally hate to see BMG go; they always seemed like a worthy competitor to Disney’s Cirque du Soleil. I enjoyed the show the 3 times I’ve seen it, though 2 of those 3 showings only had maybe 50% attendance. If that’s at all normal, then I’d be concerned about those numbers too.

    Great article as always, Eric. You are the bomb dot com!! :)

  14. So many things!

    Well first and foremost, I can’t say I’d prefer Wicked over Blue Man Group.. In fact, I haven’t seen Blue Man Group yet but I’ve heard nothing but fanatic and ecstatic things about it! Wicked seems… like an overrated drama and screenplay – no interest for me anyway! I can’t say I’d ever care to go.

    I’m extremely excited to see Simpsons expanding though! I think this is a wonderful move on their part, really pulling together a theme in that area and for the whole ride itself. (Some thing that I don’t think they really did with Back To The Future.) This is totally a smart move on their part! :)

    As far as The Mummy goes – I’m psyched!! :D I love that ride, those movies, and everything that goes with it! In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s my favorite ride at Universal Studios! To see that it’s getting a little bit of a boost makes me so happy! If the story changes though – well, that all depends on the changes. But regardless, the fact that they got new projection systems is wonderful! (They weren’t even that bad before!!) Great move, Universal!

    Thanks for the article as always! :)