Universal Orlando Resort Getting Harry-er

Written by Eric Davis. Posted in Orlando Parkhopper, Universal Orlando

Tagged: , ,


Published on January 22, 2013 at 4:02 am with 17 Comments

Things are getting more Harry at the Universal Orlando Resort.  As discernible progress has been made at the Harry Potter construction sites in each park, we are able to make out more and more of what is behind the scenes. Currently, the property is a maze of construction walls. That won’t begin to change until after Transformers opens this summer.  Let’s tour the park and take in the progress.  There is a lot to see.


The Kings Cross Station and platform, which will act as a transport from Universal Studios over to the Harry Potter area in Islands of Adventure, is slowly taking form.  We were able to spot the structure going up across from the Gringott’s Bank show building.


Speaking of the Gringott’s coaster, nice progress has been made.  We can now see major walls have been erected, dividing a few of the show scenes.  If you look closely you can make out what appears to be the foundation for scenic rock work inside the ride.


Moving on to this years major attraction. Transformers 3D is now fully enclosed and little is visible from the outside.

Here is the entrance to the attraction. It is said that they will have a completely original entrance, unique to this park.

The far corner, along the lagoon, there appears to be fixtures for signage.

Little is revealed when peeking through the cracks in the construction walls.

On the back side of the structure we find a platform from which construction refuse is discarded.

Essentially a fancy garbage chute


Along the Lagoon, there has been a little bit of work done along the banks of Battery Park.


Construction also continues on the expansion of the Springfield facades.  Work is being done next to the existing ride and Kwik-E-Mart and along the banks of the lagoon.

Looking towards the lagoon.

Looking towards the construction from the other side of the lagoon.


Even with all of the major construction happening, Universal is also plussing the smaller experiences as well. Such as the Shrek Meet and Greet.


A small portion of the entrance to Islands of Adventure is having some work done, though we aren’t sure what.


At the back side of Islands of Adventure, the construction for the Hogwart’s Express station in this park is moving full steam ahead.  Heavy earthwork is being finalized and rebar is on site to begin foundation work.


We finally caught the new Hogsmeade stage in action, as the Frog Quartet performed to the delight of the crowd.


Our Universal Orlando Podcast turns its attention to what we can expect from the parks this year and in the years to come. We all know that Universal announced last year that Transformers: The Ride 3D will be opening in the Studios park this summer, but there are a lot of other things in the works too.

On this episode of the Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast, we delve in to what else is happening in 2013 and what we will likely see in the coming years. It’s a great time to be a fan of the Universal Orlando Resort so sit back, hit play and join us in discovering what the future holds.

Don’t miss an update. Add the RSS feed to your favorite player: http://uuopodcast.libsyn.com/rss , or find us on iTunes HERE

Well folks, that’s our update for today. What are your thoughts on the massive construction going on at Universal Orlando?

About Eric Davis

By day, Eric is in Marketing and Social Media. But on the weekends, he's a theme park addict. Eric is a frequent contributor to MiceChat's Orlando Parkhopper columns and tends to focus his efforts on what's new and what's news at Universal Studios and SeaWorld.

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  • Trumpet

    Great Update Eric

    Love the progress being made in the park and I can’t wait for it to be finished.

    Thanks Again Eric


    • Eric Davis

      Thank you Trumpet! I am getting so incredibly excited about Transformers and Springfield… I can hardly wait!

  • Lee Mallaby

    Great update Eric.
    It’s really great to see all the construction work going on at the moment, especially the little touches.
    Can’t wait to get back there this year.

    • Eric Davis

      It is nice to see Kings Cross finally go vertical. London and Diagon Alley are going to look amazing!

  • jcruise86

    Thanks, Eric! Excellent work!

    All of the construction at Universal is literally nothing when contrasted the thrilling developments on Thomas Staggs’ MyMagic+ at Walt Disney World.

    Prediction: at least 5 million British people cross the Atlantic to see all of the new and “old” Harry Potter world.

    • Eric Davis

      I just laughed so hard at this comment! lol I do not doubt that MyMagic+ will add value… In fact I know it will add value… to Disney’s bottom line!

      People do not book vacations because of wrist bands. If MyMagic+ was met with an equal amount of capital investment into one of the WDW parks you would see tremendous ROI… however I think Disney will be shuffling the deck once this finally rolls out.

  • http://micechat.com Dusty Sage

    It is so exciting to see all this massive construction at Universal Orlando. I can’t wait to see Potter 2.0.

    Having learned from their success in the original Wizarding World, and without any retrofits like Dueling Dragons, I have no doubt this is going to blow our minds.

  • RodeToad

    Great stuff, thanks.

    This question has likely been answered elsewhere, but I missed it. If anyone knows the answer I would appreciate it:

    For the new Train Station at the Hogsmeade end of things: Can anyone tell what, if anything, did they have to tear down to make room? Did they tear down the “Sinbad Stunt Show”? Some of the smaller buildings in “The Lost Continent” area? Thanks in advance for any info you can share.

    • Eric Davis

      Hey Rode Toad,

      More than happy to answer your question! They did not have to tear down any backstage buildings. They tore down some of the Bazzar area by Sinbad (Dessert Ice Cream for instance)

      The Hogwarts Express will be sharing the right-of-way with a backstage road that is currently there.

      So it won’t be completely disruptive to the back of the house for USF.

      • RodeToad

        It’s an impressive project, can’t wait to see the results!

  • JiminyCricketFan

    All I can say it is that is very exciting to hear about. I cannot wait to see the new section. I know that this is going to be a big draw for Universal.

  • michael darling

    This makes me want to go to Universal soon….and I normally would NEVER give up a day at Disney to venture over there. They are SERIOUS when it comes to improvements and upgrades. And they do it so fast. They’re excelling at ‘immersement’ which is what people want. WDW needs to quit betting the house on NextGen queues, ‘hand stamps’ and get moving. New Fantasyland is a (big) step in the right direction, but still a step. They need to be sprinting. I know if I can be tempted away, countless others can who aren’t even Disney geeks.

    THANKS FOR THIS! p.s. “sorry for the betrayal, WDW. I still love you.”

    • Eric Davis

      Well come on down to Orlando! I am in the parks most saturdays! Hit me up!

  • danielz6

    Wow universal continues to impress with their ATTRACTION driven expansion…take note Disney world.

    • Eric Davis

      I agree 100%

  • danielz6

    I can’t wait to see their plans for Jurassic park. I predict its going to blow away Dino land USA in AK.

  • CupcakeTerror

    Great update! Love seeing the pictures of all the construction… nice to see the process from start to finish. Thanks!