This week we take a dragon’s eye view of construction on the upcoming Hogwarts Express and follow up on the major projects across the Universal Orlando Resort. Springfield’s skyline continues to evolve.  The Transformers building is now, pretty much, complete.  The framing for Kings Cross and Diagon Alley is fully visible too!  Read all the way to the bottom for a special Universal Orlando event and our latest Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast!


As part of Universal Orlando’s STARS program, Middle School and High School groups can perform in the parks, or in CityWalk.



Outside the gate the Automated Ticketing Kiosk has been completed, with beautiful landscaping around it!  This is a nice simple addition that will make printing out your will-call or complimentary passes much easier, and quicker.

Within the ticket kiosks, Universal Team Members are now using Microsoft Surface Tablets to explain ticketing options, features, and pricing to guests in a graphical and easy to understand way that can also be presented in a few different languages.  When walked through ticket pricing, and options via the tablet it was a very positive experience, that removed a lot of the confusion that printouts, signage , and team member spiels seemed to create.




For a few weeks here on the Orlando ParkHopper, we have commented about chipped, cracked and worn sidewalk paint in Seusslanding.  We are thrilled to report that Universal 3rd Shift has gone through and attended to the issue, and now things look as they should!  Big kudos to the after hours crew!




You know it is high season when DJs are set up around Islands of Adventures and Universal Studios.  This DJ was set up outside the unused Toon Lagoon Theater, offering a fun little dance party for anyone who was in the mood to dance!



Today we are going to look at the construction of the Hogwarts Express from a new point of view.  From the sky, we see just how large this structure is going to be.  What is most exciting, is that the new building will provide a new “close encounter” for Dragon Challenge coaster riders.   As parts of the walls for the Hogwart Express station are built to appear dangerously close.


A New game has popped up as part of the new Springfield expansion.  This game compliments the already incredibly themed Simpson’s carnival games.

Foundation work is being completed on what will end up being a flat ride spinner similar to One Fish Two Fish at Islands of Adventure.   Work on the facades for Moe’s Tavern and Krusty Burger also are moving forward and looking like it will be ready to open this summer.


We are on the steady march to the Summer 2013 opening for Transformers 3D!  We cannot wait to experience this attraction, and while a bulk of the exterior is finished, they are now just adding the finishing touches.


The steel construction continues to fly up at an incredible pace.  We can begin to make out architecual features that will be Kings Cross, the Leaky cauldron, Olivanders and other Diagon Alley shops.

There still has been no official announcement of this project and still no known official opening date.  Rumored dates place the opening anywhere from 2014 to 2015; however, Universal has stated officially that they would not be opening a Harry Potter Expansion in 2014.

It’s truly a breathtaking expansion, don’t you think?

Please join the discussion of Universal’s massive construction projects over on the forums HERE.


The mostly closed Café Lambamba has been open for lunch during Spring Break, offering a great Tex Mex menu that is very different from the other Quick Service locations in the park.

And that’s a wrap!  We hope you enjoyed this week in Universal news and information.

Please join the Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast in person on August 23rd, 2013 as we celebrate our fandom of two of the greatest theme parks in the world with fun games and activities.  Please RSVP your spot today at

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