We have some big Halloween Horror Night News as Walkers will be taking over the Universal Orlando resort. But it’s not all Halloween today. We also have updates from the Simpson’s Springfield USA, Diagon Alley, Cabana Bay and a new episode of the Unofficial Universal Podcast. So sit back and get ready to see the whirlwind of progress at the Universal Orlando Resort.
Halloween Horror Nights – The Walking Dead
This past week, Universal announced that the Walking Dead would be coming to Orlando for Halloween Horror Nights 23. This year there will be a house dedicated to the story arc in Season 3, where guests will be thrown into the prison. Beyond that, The Walking Dead will be taking over ALL of the Scare Zones in the park, with 3 Scare Zones themed to the streets of Atlanta, Hershel’s Barn and the secretly rotten town of Woodbury. While some might be surprised that the Scare Zones will feature one theme, one cohesive theme might also give HHN 23 a unique vibe all it’s own. We’ll have to wait and see how it pans out.
Walking Dead Merchandise Appears
If you can’t wait for Halloween Horror Nights to roll around, in the Terminator 2: 3-D gift shop, you can now find a wall of Walking Dead merchandise that includes some morbidly adorable vinyl figures that are a must have for any fan of the show.
Jebidiah Embiggens Springfield USA
Over at Springfield USA, we are at the finish line for this new mini land to finally be complete! The last little touches are being applied right now. One feature that will delight any Simpson’s fan is a statue of Jebidiah Springfield, the founder of Springfield USA. From what we can see, the statue looks like a perfect recreation of the statue from the series.
The sign for Kang and Kodos Twirl N’ Hurl has now been installed, and it fits perfectly with the Krustyland Carnival theme that the Simpson’s Ride and games have addopted. The interactive elements for the ride have not been installed yet, and we will hopefully see those installed shortly. Expect this area to open up very soon.
Diagon Alley Update
Over at Phase II of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, sheet rocking of the outward facades is moving forward at a frenetic pace. Shortly, we will not be able to view into this area any more as everything gets closed up, but that won’t stop us from reporting. We have our spies on high alert for news to share!
The entire facade of the Priscilla Hotel is now under wraps, the marquee now removed. We will keep you posted as this refurbishment progresses.
Hogsmede Station Update
Over at the Hogsmede Station in Islands of Adventures, progress is moving forward on the internal structure of the building, along with the exterior facilities. The games across from this area will soon close as they are prepared to make the move from Lost Continent to Jurassic Park.
Coke Screen Working Again
After a long round of repair and adjusting, the Coke Screen is finally working again in CityWalk. Music videos and ads are once again playing for guests entering and leaving the Universal Orlando Resort. While not a make or break element, this display adds a lot of energy to CityWalk during the day and night, and we are glad to see it up and working again.
Cabana Bay Beach Resort
The number of structures being built to support the new Cabana Bay Beach Resort is impressive. While the 3 rooms towers that will open with the Resort are structurally complete, Universal has been building the support facilities, common guest areas, and the new parking structure. It is impressive watching all of this come together in such a quick period of time. The resort will open to guests in just 7 months.
DESPICABLE ME MERCH
With the the Despicable Me sequel a HUGE success, now passing the $600 million mark globally, there has been some new merchandise added to the park. But if you are looking for a Purple Minion Plush, you can only get one if you win it from a few of the games of chance right now. We have been told that the purple minions will invade the shelves of the resort sometime in September.
Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast Fan Meet Up – AUG 23, 2013
If you are in Orlando on August 23rd, we’d love to see you. MiceChat and Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast fans are invited to join myself (Eric Davis), Lee, Tracey and Darren for our first official meet up. The event will start at 4 PM. We’ll chat for a bit and then ride Men In Black together. Then we’ll take on the Kitchen Challenge at the Hard Rock Hotel for Charity as we raise money for Give Kids the World! If you’d like to join us, please RSVP on Facebook here. We’d really like to meet you, so RSVP today!
That wraps up this week’s update, but there is still more for you to explore! Lee, Tracey and Darren are back with a new episode of the Unofficial Universal Podcast, where they talk about all the latest news, rumors and updates from Universal Studios Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood. In this episode, they speak with one of the creative minds behind the beautiful Madagascar Great Crate Adventure ride at Universal Studios Singapore. So click play below and remember to RSVP for our meet up in August!
We’ll see you again next week, as we put the amazing transformation of the Universal Orlando Resort under the MiceChat magnifying glass.