More Harry Potter,  more Transformers, more Simpsons, just more!  The Universal Orlando Resort has continued to meet the wild pace of construction with a nearly complete Transformers attraction in the center of their already busy park.  The gift shop is open and the ride is cycling, so tech rehearsals (Uni’s phrase for soft openings) are the next step.  But we also get to see substantial progress in the framing of Diagon Alley in the studios park that indicates things are really speeding up there too.  That’s not to mention the facades of Springfield showing signs of paint, giving away even more details of the upcoming addition.  But that isn’t all.  There is visible progress on the Hogwart’s express in Islands of Adventure and a new automated ticket kiosk about to open too.  Here we go!



Work continues on the Hogwarts Express, as this station gets built with the elevated track that will connect both Harry Potter experiences together at both theme parks.


Construction is now finished on the new ticket kiosk building, and kiosks have been installed.  The walls should be coming down very soon and will make buying tickets at the front of Islands of Adventure a lot faster.

Kiosks are installed and should be ready to go soon!


The newly remodeled Hard Rock gift shop reopened with beautiful new finishing touches and Rock Star Glam!


The finishing touches on the exterior are now being completed. Ride vehicles are cycling inside, the interior shows scenes are receiving their final touches, and internal snags are being worked out.  From what we know, the ride is continuing to progress steadily to the Summer 2013 opening (if only we had a firm date to share so you could book your vacation to Universal Orlando).

This past weekend, the monitors in the exterior queue were spotted on and running the Preshow loop for this new attraction!

We will keep you informed on when an official opening date is announced, and when we expect technical rehearsals to take place.

Harry Potter 2.0

Steel keeps appearing at such a pace that it would make you believe in magic!  We will have lots to look at as we watch this project progress, as this ambitious expansion keeps looking more impressive by the day.


Color has been added to Moe’s making this “rumored” expansion even more obvious to even non-Simpson’s fans.

Moe’s Tavern.
Krusty Burger.

Guests will be delighted as it appears that a nice family Flat Ride will be coming to this expansion helping to round out a theme park that is heavy on “E-Tickets” but light on smaller attractions.


This past week they aired a Celebrity Apprentice episode that was Filmed at the Universal Orlando Resort.   Their task was to create a 3-D photo op for the Resort for marketing.  Universal set up the photo op next to the old Amity Restrooms for people to look at.


Over by Horror and Makeup, the ParaNorman Photo op has now been replaced with the Despicable Me 2 Photo op.   Unlike when the first movie came out, Minions can now be found all over Universal Orlando, on buildings, rides, parades, dance parties, dining experiences, firework shows and more!  The Minions have become an endearing and adorable addition to the Universal Studios park.

We have even more new and rumors for you from the Universal Orlando Resort. Our latest podcast has just been published. If you haven’t been listening, you are really missing out. Give it a listen and let us know your thoughts below.
You can also find us on iTunes HERE | And here’s the direct feed.
And that wraps up our column for this week. Thank you so much for reading. We hope you enjoyed it.
  • That Hard Rock gift shop sure was a surprise. It looks like great. The ceiling art is really fantastic work.

    It’s neat to see Springfield really coming together. Looks like it’s about done. Can’t believe they haven’t announced it yet. At this rate, the announcement will be at the press event to open it.

    Thank you for the great coverage Eric!

  • Trumpet

    Great Update Eric

    Potter is looking fantastic, and the rate of work is extremely fast. Very soon, we will get a sense of how big the land will be and how the streets will looks. At the moment, it looks like it will be a smash hit for Florida, and Universal will have the theme park crown. The Hogwarts Express is looking great, and I cannot wait to ride it. I am looking forward to the details of the station. i take it that they will remove the Hogwarts Express locomotive in the Potter land, s it would be odd to have two locomotives. maybe they will use it as part of the station.

    The Springfield area is looking awsome. I am so excited to eat and drink where the Simpsons go. Can’t wait to eat some road kill meat in my Krusty Burger and wash it down with a Duff Beer or a Flaming Moe. Will there be the Androids Dungeon, if so that will be amazing. It will be nice to see what flat ride they have, but what ever they decide, it should fit into the theme of Duff Gardens. Do you know what ride they will have?

    Finally, Transformers is an amazing ride. Proberly the best at USH. Last year, I went to the West Coast to check out the new offering at DCA and USH. Despite Cars Land was super emersive, with the theme of the buildings and the unique food and drink, Transformers is fantastic. You feel like you are in a war zone from the minute you enter the queue. Personally, it was the best attravtion of 2012 (now had Radiator Springs racers had the same speed as Test Track, it would be the other way around)

    Thanks Again Eric, these updates are the jewel in the Micechat Crown


    • Truecoat

      The androids dungeon will be there as a facade only. The spinner ride will be themed to Kang and Kodos.

  • Lee Mallaby

    Another great update Eric,.
    Personally I can’t wait to ride Transformers, Does it fit thematically? No, but who cares, it will turn out to be an amazing attraction at the park.
    The Potter expansion is really coming on and not having experienced Hogsmeade yet, seeing this expansion makes me very excited to set foot in it in August.
    I still find it hilarious that te Simpsons expansion appears to be very close to completion, but has yet to be announced. It is looking great thougha dn will be an amazing addition to the Studios.

    Everywhere you look, new things are going up in Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida, I just hope they don’t negelect the existing stuff.

  • almandot

    I walked through the Hard Rock gift shop the other day on my way in and out of the restaurant. I didn’t even know it’d been redesigned =P Managers were out and about and one stopped us and asked how we enjoyed the place and I responded with a typical “uhhhhhh…” 😉

  • villagecreator

    Great update! Why can’t we access this through the Miceage main page? It seems it has been frozen in time since Monday….

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