Universal Studios Orlando Resort has its eyes squarely focused on the future. With so many projects going on it is clear that they intend to hold on to their share of the Orlando tourism market by drawing customers back again and again.  This week we have included updated pictures from the various construction projects in the resort: Transformers The Ride 3D, Springfield, and possible track for the Gringott’s Bank Coaster in the Harry Potter expansion. And to top it all off, we have a bit of new news as well.


We check in at the Transformers site this week to see that the walls on the actual structure will soon be enclosing the building, shrouding further developments in mystery (at least for those of us who haven’t been on the other two versions of the ride).

Transformers has an impressively large show building.

We hope they theme the sides of the Transformers building so it doesn’t obstruct the views down the themed streets around it.


With building permits filed, demolition is well underway for the addition of several new buildings that will fill out a mini Springfield in front of The Simpsons ride.

Construction will move very quickly here. We’ll be following along.

Some heavy equipment is being used to get the job done.

Things are pretty barren at the moment.


Some activity has become visible on top of the show building for the Mummy.  We have learned that this is part of an effort to provide free wi-fi to guests in the park.


“Lumos,” let’s illuminate the construction progress over at the Harry Potter project. We noticed something new, but what is it?

At first glance, everything looks like it did last week.

But if we look closer . . .
There’s something that sure does look a lot like coaster track for the new Gringott’s attraction. We don’t know if it is or isn’t, but it sure does feel good doesn’t it?!


In anticipation of the 30th anniversary of the classic film, E. T. the Extra Terrestrestrial, (yes it’s been that long) new banners have appears in front of the E. T. Adventure. They painted a 25 on the roof of the Hollywood version of the ride 5 years ago . . . and then promptly closed it to build an inferior version of the Mummy coaster. Let’s hope that E.T. in Orlando has a happier fate.


Over at Despicable me they have a new sign inviting single riders to their own special line.


With all of the new construction happening around the resort it is impressive that upkeep is not being neglected.  There is some basic upkeep that is occurring over at the facade of Disaster.


We round things out with a look at the new gates that have appeared at bag check.  Nice stuff.

It is promising that there is so much more new construction happening here.  Things may not look a bit chaotic at the moment, but just wait.  The future at the Universal Orlando Resort is promising to be pretty spectacular and management seems to understand that in order to draw crowds, you have to build for the future.

  • Norman Gidney

    Hey Eric thanks for the update here. So Transformers will be here in the Summer of 2013, do you know when Springfield will be done? It would be awesome to go have a Ribwhich at Krusty Burger.

  • I’m so much more excited about what is going on right now at Universal Orlando than I am about anything going on at Walt Disney World. For a die-hard Disney fan, that’s saying something. But it just seems like Universal is creating, plussing and imagining in creative and fun ways while Disney is budgeting, over-planning, and sucking the life out of things. It’s a strange shift in the theme park world. Universal was once “Close but so far away.” Now they are surpassing Disney with every new attraction they roll out.

    Disney World needs to start thinking BIG like Universal does.

  • mratigan

    Dusty you are right.
    i wonder if they a cooking up there own version of next-gen with the wifi coming in

  • Malin

    Dusty, I agree 100 percent with you here. Maybe the news that DCA is about to surpass Epcot in annual attendance will finally be the wake up call for WDW execs to actually do something about the lack of investment in recent years. Although I do feel WDW is being unfairly criticise when it comes to saving cost on new Attractions. New Fantasyland is full of detail and was not done on the cheap even if the offerings have underwhelmed many fans. From what I have seen the Legend of Jack Sparrow and recent changes to Test Track also look impressive. But these mean very little when Universal is building Harry Potter and Transformer scale expansion projects.

    Norman I have heard the Simpsons area should open around Spring/Summer.

  • Terrytiger

    As for your opinion that the Hollywood version of Mummy is inferior, I beg to differ. I think Hollywood’s version tells a good cohesive story from the moment you enter the queue until the ride is over. I never liked Florida’s Jeckle/Hyde split personality version (it’s real/no, it’s fake/no, it’s real/no, it’s fake). The dark ride portion of Hollywood’s is much better (arms reaching out of the ceiling, for example). Hollywood’s also has a significant backwards section of roller coaster action that Florida’s does not. While Florida’s may be longer and have a few cool effects that the other does not (launch thru Mummy’s mouth/false unload), Hollywood’s is a more enjoyable ride.

  • indianajack

    Also heartily agree with Dusty that the more interesting developments in Orlando by far are taking place at Universal, while Disney stands pat except for the underwhelming new Fantasyland.

  • MickeyFickey

    I agree with Terry regarding the Mummy comment. While the version in Orlando is more detailed, it’s also more “dark-ride” than coaster, in my opinion. The Orlando version has the long introduction and the “fake ending,” with only a good 30 second (or so) rollercoaster portion in the middle. (Yes, I realize there’s more “coaster” portion after the fake ending, but it’s a drop, a curve and you’re in the brake-run…it takes a whopping 15 seconds and you’re done. Disappointing.) The Hollywood version is more roller coaster than dark ride. The story is told fast, and then you’re off to the Underworld running for your life. You come to an aburpt stop, encounter the scarabs, and then WHOOSH–you’re flying backwards for the last 1/3 of the ride.

    I enjoy both Mummy rides immensely, and both have their strengths and weaknesses. But for me, the Hollywood version packs more of a punch. And actually, both versions make sense for their respective parks: the Orlando one is more “ride the movies” dark-ride (with the Hollywood Rockit coaster offering more traditional coaster thrills), while the Hollywood version is more “thrill-ride coaster,” letting the other attractions offer the “ride the movies” experience.

    With the phenomenal job Universal did with their Mummy coasters, I can’t WAIT to see what they have in store for the Gringott’s dark-coaster concept. I have a funny feeling it’s going to be far more dark-ride than coaster, but I can’t even begin to fathom what all they’re cooking up for it!

    Great update, Eric. Keep it up…you’re one of my favorite reads each week!