As the Labor Day weekend comes to a close, summer officially ends for the Orlando parks. Crowds quickly disappear and Universal begins gearing up for its seasonal fall events and major expansion plans for 2014 and beyond.

Halloween Horror Nights Decorations Going Up

Halloween Horror Nights will theme ALL of the scares zones to the “Walking Dead” television series this year.  With Walking Dead decorations and props being placed throughout the park, we hope it’s more of an immersive experience that guests will not be able to escape. Each scare zone will reflect a different part of the “Walking Dead” television series, with downtown Atlanta, Hershel’s Barn, Woodbury and more.  If you are not a fan of the “Walking Dead” fear not, because all you need to know is that the streets will be filled with zombies and you won’t be able to escape the hoards of the undead.


















Rock the Universe

Before we can get to Halloween Horror Nights, Universal is putting up stages and decorations for it’s yearly Christian music festival “Rock The Universe” taking place over 2 nights with 17 bands.  Guests attending this festival will find bands such as Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, Switchfoot, Jesus Culture, Lecrea and more.





Starbucks Coming to Islands of Adventure

The Arctic Freeze at Port of Entry closed to little fanfare a few weeks ago, and is rumored to become an in-park Starbucks location.



Hogswarts Express Station

The Hogsmede Station at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is advancing with sheetrock going in on the first floor.




Diagon Alley

At the other end of the Hogwarts Express, Diagon Alley continues to get windows installed, the facades now mostly closed off.











 Springfield USA Additions

While Springfield USA has already officially opened, there are still little details being added. A new photo booth experience is opening where guests will be able to insert themeselves into the world of The Simpsons.



Cabana Bay Beach Resort Update

Over at Cabana Bay Beach Resort, color is being added, and the common area buildings are almost entirely enclosed, and the non-suite room towers are mid-build since going vertical a few weeks ago.






Over in Toon Lagoon, guests can catch a glimpse of the Cabana Bay Beach Resort.


That wraps up this week’s Universal Orlando ParkHopper.  To continue the adventure, join Lee, Tracey and Darren, as they interview John Murdy from Universal Studios Hollywood and talk about Halloween Horror Nights, and explore the House of Horrors with Norm Gidney (Fishbulb).

  • Malin

    First year at Horror Nights. And while I’m a bit dissapointed over the line up compared to Hollywood and Singapore versions. I still admire all the details and props from the Walking Dead Series. Great update Eric.

    • Eric Davis

      Well it will be fun! I am excited about all the Scare Zones having 1 theme. I really think that this will feel like you truly can’t escape the horror.

  • MiceChat will be at Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights on Oct 17. If you’d like to join us, please send an email to [email protected] for details.

    • Eric Davis

      Yes everyone needs to join MiceChat as we take on HHN 23

  • Haven

    I am most curious about how the Hogwarts Express ride will work logistically as it pertains to park ticketing. Either you will need a park hopper ticket to disembark at the other end or be forced to come back? Will all tickets become hoppers to accommodate this park to park connection? Hmmm, just talking out loud.

    • CaptainAction

      Yeah, but Disney has been working on the Dwarf Coaster for over 3 years. There has to be something major and magical that we aren’t seeing, right? I mean, it probably flies up in the air and off the track at some point and floats over New Fantasyland, right? It can’t just be a kiddie coaster that goes inside for one scene can it? I think they are about to be working on year 4 soon.
      I know WDW can’t spend 3-4 years on one kiddie coaster because Universal is working on 2 E Ticket rides, New Harry Potter LAND, new shows inside the new LAND, just completed Transformers ride and new Simpson’s LAND, and Despicable Me in the last 6 months, plus the new resort under construction. This just can’t be true can it?
      Seriously, do you think the rumors are true that WDW is stalling the Dwarf Coaster to open when New Potterland opens? Wow, would that be a colossal blunder! To have folks comparing a kiddie coaster 4 years in the making, with the new PotterLAND and 2 new E Ticket attractions and new shows 18 MONTHS in the MAKING. OUCH, would that be sad or what?

  • jcruise86

    OUTSTANDING update, Eric Davis. Thank you!

    A dwarf coaster is not enough to entice me to WDW, but Universal Orlando is making it hard to stay away from Central Florida.

  • BC_DisneyGeek

    The Krusty sign re: photos is priceless. Disney could borrow that slogan for Photopass.

    • Eric Davis

      I 100% agree with you!

  • dsmith3373

    Great update again Eric, thank you.

    As a fairly typical Brit, Halloween means nothing to me, don’t get me wrong, I’m a big Horror fan and I’d love to see some of the work that they put into these houses but I really don’t like to see all those props in the park all day (same goes for Disneys pumpkin decorations being everywhere from early September) the cars, bus, camper etc are cool props but not the covered areas. Diagon Alley is really taking shape, cant wait for that.

    Arctic Express is being replaced by another Starbucks!!! My partner is going to be distraught when I tell her! Better break out whats left of the Ghirardelli to soften the blow!

  • Lee Mallaby

    Having seen all these elements in person, when we were at the parks last week, they look awesome. I am so jealous that we are not going to get to experience HHN this year as it contains some of my favourite movies.
    Great update Eric.

  • jedijim

    My wife and I just visited USO last weekend and had a blast, Transformers was unbelievable. We are planning to return next October in hopes that we might be able to sneak into the new HP expansion with the early pass by staying on site.

    I also wanted to say thanks for all the updates they really make my day when I find them! And also thanks for the podcast it helps with the ride to work.