We have a big update from Universal Orlando Resort for you today. Universal’s brand new package deal gives new meaning to their slogan “Vacation like you Mean it.” Signage goes up at Transformers, Rip Ride Rockit gets Express, Mardi Gras gets packed away until next year, Diagon Alley continues to grow, Universal taunts us with Springfield, Grad Bash Delights, Minions fly over Universal Orlando, the Universal Screen Play App goes 3D. Plus loads of photos and commentary . . .

Transformer: The Ride sign goes up

The Transformers ride sign went up this week as finishing touches are being added. The ride is prepped for a summer opening.  With the signage, we have learned that the attraction will open with a Single Riders Line, and an Express Pass queue, just like the Hollywood versions.

Transformer Meet and Greet construction

Construction on the new Transformers Meet and Greet location moves forward as they prep to pour new concrete and construct a character garage for the huge Transformers characters.

Rip Ride Rockit gets Express Pass

After almost 5 years; Rip Ride Rockit’s Universal Express Queue was finally activated, which is great news for those who paid the premium to purchase Express Pass and for hotel guests who get the perks.

Despicable Me Blimp Flies over Universal

As part of the promotional campaign for Despicable ME: 2, Universal Studios flew a giant Minion Blimp over Universal Orlando Resort.

 Mardi Gras’ Final Week!

This past weekend marked the final week for Mardi Gras in 2013.  With incredible headlining bands, a stunning parade, and great entertainment offerings Universal Orlando is packing up this party!  So until next year, farewell Mardi Gras!

San Francisco’s Bathrooms down for refurbishment

As part of Universal’s commitment to have the best bathrooms in Orlando, the restroom remodels continue, San Francisco street potties are getting the update now.

Universal Screen Play

We have some photographic evidence of the interesting Universal Screen Play, an Augmented Reality App.  Universal has patented this technology, which has us wondering just how this patent may be applied to future theme park expansions… time will tell!

Diagon Alley

Structures continue to rise, and connect, and roofs are taking shape at the most anticipated theme park expansion in America right now!  We are eagerly awaiting some additional details, and in order to truly appreciate the scope of these structures, we might be taking to the skies once again!

Springfield USA

A new kiosk appeared this week next to the Springfield Games.  The kiosk is vibrant and detailed, giving us a hint at what we can expect with the current, still unannounced, expansion. Exterior work is almost complete on the expansion for Springfield USA. Universal put some pictures in the windows… are they teasing us?

Duff Gardens and the attraction being built on the water front are taking shape, and soon should have exterior walls.

Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast

Join us for the latest news from Universal Orlando and Universal Hollywood as well as a discussion of our first memories of the parks and how we feel our feelings have changed as the parks have changed.

Sit back, put your feet up and listen in on our adventure.

Direct Link | iTunes Link

And there you have it.  Get the new Screen Play app, keep your eyes peeled for Transformers to open soon and we’ll see you next week With more construction updates! Leave us a comment below and don’t forget to use those social links. It’s a big help and very much appreciated!

  • Trumpet

    Great Update Eric

    The construction in the parks is looking great, ready for a bumper season and a beyomd. However, the Universal Screen Play is just AWSOME! It would be fantastic if they use it in the Harry Potter Lands like using magic, or they could put it in aareas where you can see what the original attraction was like, like King Kong near the Mummy, Back to the Future near the Simpsons, and Jaws where Harry Potter will be. Personally, I would like Kong, Jaws or the Delorean to come out of the whole and do a different action everytime you point your camera at it. That would be awsome and would be showing the way theme parks should go. Maybe Disney will relise that My Magic+ is not the way to go with Orlando, and they need to change their strategy if they want to keep ahead of USO.

    I am glad USO are keepimg their toilets clean and refreshed. Regular upkeep is important, and USO are doinga great job. Maybe the Harry Potter section will not be a new area, but a large set of toilerts to rival WDW’s Tangled Toilets! (LOL)

    Thanks Again Eric


    • Eric Davis

      Thank you Trumpet! I am very curious how this technology will be used. I would love for you to be able to see old attractions with this app!

    • WesternMouse

      Heck yeah! I love that Screen Play technology! They need to get the Jaws 19 promo in there, stat!

  • I can just begin to imagine how the train station and London will look. SO much steel. This is really getting exciting.

    • Eric Davis

      I cannot wait for themed elements to be added!

  • JiminyCricketFan

    The way it looks the new area is going to be quite a “weenie” to attract people. It looks massive. I think it’s really going to be exciting once it’s finished

  • fnord

    This is quickly becoming my one must read column each week, as the closing of the Market House for Starbucks renovation is another nail in the coffin for Disneyland magic so my interest wanes there, while the future of USO looks very bright.
    I absolutely love the Wizarding world at IOA and hope the new area lives up to the magic already in place. I particularly look forward to the Hogwarts Express, and hope it is intended for all ages, and exploring diagon and maybe knockturn alleys. The gringotts roller coaster
    seems like a bad idea as there is already a small indoor coaster down the way, and there are already rides in the wizarding world that non thrill riders will avoid. Maybe this one will have a 32 inch height limit so more kids can ride!

  • jcruise86

    THANKS for the update!

    And thank you, Universal, for successfully daring to be awesome! (And I rarely use “awesome.”)

  • CreepyMonkey

    Great update Eric. Thanks!