Universal Orlando Update – New Lorax Ride for Islands of Adventure

Written by Eric Davis. Posted in Features, Orlando Parkhopper, Podcasts, Universal Halloween Horror Nights, Universal Orlando, Universal Studios

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Published on September 10, 2013 at 12:39 am with 21 Comments

We have a huge update for you this week from Universal Orlando Resort. Big crowds at Rock the Universe, a new attraction rumor for Islands of Adventure, and updates all around the Universal Resort in today’s update.


The Lorax attraction on its way to Islands of Adventure for 2015

Rumors are swirling that a Lorax attraction is coming to Islands of Adventure in 2015.  While there has been an expansion plot in Seuss Landing since the park opened for an additional attraction in Seuss Landing, over the years various concepts have been pitched for this piece of land, a Mount Crumpet Grinch ride, A Horton Hears a Who ride, and more, but it seems that Universal Creative has finally settled on a concept that is sure to please and delight.  We will have more as this story develops.





Jurassic Park Expansion Moving Forward

Further back in the park, Jurassic Park is moving forward with it’s expansion.  Soon the games from the Lost Continent will close, and those Team Members will be relocated to their new home in Jurassic Park.  Like what we saw with the expansion of Springfield USA, the games is just the first phase in construction coming to the center Island at this park.  While the Triceratops encounter is not going to to return, there are plans to add another attraction to this area, and over the past year there have been numerous concepts pitched for the expansion of Jurassic Park, there is one moving forward and in the advance planning stages.



Hogsmede Station for Hogwarts Express

As we look at expansions currently underway, the Hogsmede Station for the Hogwarts Express continues its rapid construction and soon the entry way area at the Wizarding World will be reworked as the games are closed and moved to Jurassic Park.








New Starbucks at Port of Entry

Over at Port of Entry the Arctic Freeze location has been gutted, and will soon begin it’s transformation into Island’s first Starbucks.  We are excited to compare this new in-park Starbucks against the two Starbucks that just opened over at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot.







Rock the Universe packs Universal Orlando

Since launching Rock the Universe, it has grown every year, and has now grown in the biggest Christian Music Festival in Florida.  What was once the slow and empty post Labor Day weekend, is now a jammed pack peak weekend, with crowds usually reserved for summer.  It seems this niche event, has really hit its stride and has found its market.



















Diagon Alley Update

Over at Universal Studios, Diagon Alley continues to progress as all the facades are being closed up and now windows are being added at different levels.  This land is going to feel huge once you are inside.






















Finnegans Facade Refurbishment

Finnegans restaurant facade is also getting a refurbishment continuing the work happening in the New York area of the park.  We love seeing refurbishments like this happening and it’s really helping to keep the park in tip top shape.






Halloween Horror Nights Update

On September 20th, 2014 Universal Orlando will unveil the 23rd incarnation of Halloween Horror Nights, and as the event progresses, we will have more news to share later this week after our preview of Halloween Horror Nights.



Come join MiceChat next month at Universal Studios Orlando on October 17th to visit Harry Potter and stay for Halloween Horror Nights that evening.  We plan on a full night of fun and scares complete with a dinner beforehand, and more.


If you plan to join us for Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights you will need to purchase a ticket for Thursday, October 17th for $38.99 that includes the Additional HHN Express Pass option for $49.99 for a total cost of $88.98.  Follow the thread below for updated information and to get in on the dining arrangements made for the group if you would like to join us.

This looks like it is going to be an amazingly original year for Universal Orlando HHN.  With houses like Cabin in the Woods, Walking Dead, Legendary Truth, Resident Evil, Evil Dead and shows like Bill and Ted’s EXCELLENT Halloween Adventure and The Rocky Horror Picture Show Tribute, we are really in for a treat!

Join The List: 
Add your name to our Halloween events list and we’ll email you with all the gory details:
 MiceChat Nights of Horror Email List – Click HERE

CityWalk Update

Starbucks Moving Downstairs

Over in CityWalk construction continues at the former Pastamore quick service location as they prepare the site to move Starbucks downstairs.





Latin Quarter Changing

Latin Quarter is changing and rumors have it, that it will focus it’s theme from the broad “Latin” theme to focus in and be a Mexican restaurant.  We will share more news as it comes in.








Cabana Bay Beach Resort Update

The Cabana Bay Beach Resort is moving forward as color is being added to the exterior of the lobby and guest facilities.  The non-suite rooms will not open with the resort when guests start staying there in March, 2014.  The Resort is coming together, and we can’t wait to explore this beautiful new property.









That wraps up this week’s update.  For more Universal news from Orlando, Hollywood, Singapore, and Japan listen to Lee, Tracey and Darren as they share with you everything Universal Studios!

About Eric Davis

By day, Eric is in Marketing and Social Media. But on the weekends, he's a theme park addict. Eric is a frequent contributor to MiceChat's Orlando Parkhopper columns and tends to focus his efforts on what's new and what's news at Universal Studios and SeaWorld.

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  • dsmith3373

    Thanks so much for the update Eric, its great to see things progressing on a weekly basis. Can’t say I’m overly interested in a Lorax attraction, but any new attractions are always good news. I’m much more excited by the idea of a new JP attraction, its such a fantastic area that is really lacking in attractions.

    What is the current obsession the Orlando theme parks have with Starbucks. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Orlando several times between 2001 and 2012 and there has never been such a coffee obsession on show. Forget Harry Potter, forget the Simpsons, forget New Fantasyland and forget Transformers, 2013 is going down as the year of Starbucks!!!

    • Eric Davis

      HA HA HA I like that 2013 the year of Starbucks! lol

  • CaptainAction

    Thanks Eric, very exciting update. Lorax and rides like it are needed to fill in the gap for more stuff for little kids. I hope the rumors are true that there is a new concept coming for Toon Lagoon for kids. Today’s Universal has outgrown that area.
    Everything looks great. Can’t believe how fast they are moving and doing so well.
    If the lazy WDW folks ever wake up and get their giant rumps out of the fat bean bag chair they have been sleeping in for 10 years and do SOMETHINGE, ANYTHING, for the guests other than come up with more ways to pull money from their wallets, the Disney Kool Aid drinkers will only have Universal to thank for it. Can you imagine how BAD WDW would be treating guests if Universal WASN’T around?!? Three years and counting for a simple little kiddie coaster?!?

    • Eric Davis

      I agree that some of these quieter rides are needed to flesh out an entire day. But from what I am hearing, this is going to be one heck of a dark ride.

  • http://micechat.com Dusty Sage

    There’s something exciting and vibrant about Universal and the nearly frantic pace of construction and new rumors. A new attraction for young families in Suess Landing paired with something more exciting in Jurassic Park would be a great combo. I just can’t get enough of all the construction photos, news and rumors from these parks.

    Thank you Eric!!!

    • Eric Davis

      And this is just the tip of the iceberg. So much more is coming!

  • jcruise86

    I heard a rumor that Faith + 1 might appear at Rock the Universe!

    Today my daughter said she wanted to visit the Harry Potter expansion at Universal. (We were reading book five last night.)

    • Eric Davis

      Well she will be delighted when she is able to take the incredible journey on the Hogwarts Express from Kings Cross to Hogsmede

    • CaptainAction

      Gotta try to be there for Rock The Universe next year cause it sounds great every time I hear about it.

  • Tielo

    Great update. Can’t believe the windows are already starting to be put in the Potter area!
    Rock the Universe looks to be a huge event. It’s nice to see that event grow like Mardi grass and Halloween did. Hopefully more people will come to Christmas celebration because the Macy’s parade is wonderful and I love the Grinche show so much I wish it was there all year.
    Also very nice to see some updates to the offerings at CityWalk,
    I would love to see a nice family ride with the Lorax character. I think the movie was great and I love it’s message. Can’t wait to see what they are going to have in store for us for Jurassic park and can’t wait to see how everything that is in development right now turns out to be when it’s finished.
    Thanks again for this great and extensive update and congratulations to Universal Studios Orlando for winning another golden ticket for their amazing Mummy ride (for the 5th year!).

    • Eric Davis

      I LOVE all the seasonal celebrations at Universal Orlando! I simply cannot choose between HHN, Mardi Gras, Grinchmas, Macy’s Holiday parade. They are all pretty incredible.

      I was truly blown away by the crowds for Rock the Universe this year. It has turned into a major draw.

  • Big D

    How cool that there is a new ride coming to Jurrasic Park! That is my favorite themed area of IOA so I’m very excited to see them build up that land into something bigger. I also would like to see them get a better restaurant as well. And is there going to be anything left of the Lost Continent after this?

    • Eric Davis

      There are some pitches being made on what to do with Lost Continent, some of them involve some very cool IPs, but for the time being it is going to get chipped away a bit more with the addition of the Hogwarts Express.

      • CaptainAction

        Hey Eric, do you know if they dropped the Smurf idea? Whew, I hope so. Nobody needs to be in that big of a hurry to make a Smurftake like that. I think the Smurf 2 movie didn’t do well in the USA so I figured that might kill it, but then I read that the film did well in some countries. Heard anything?
        Also, not sure that the Willy Wonka thing is the best idea. Is that still an active idea around Uni?

  • fnord

    I hope Lorax is another dark ride like cat in the hat.

    • Eric Davis

      It will be a dark ride, but it is going to use a different system than Cat in the Hat.

  • poohmeg

    I hadn’t heard about Rock the Universe before (granted, I live in the midwest, where there are some pretty epic Christian music festivals every summer) – but just from looking at who’s playing, it seems like Universal is getting bands that are a little newer and younger-skewing than Disney, which I guess makes sense. I’m more in the demographic for the bands that play Disney these days, but I bet most kids go for the Universal lineup!

  • Gregg Condon

    Great update as usual Eric!!

  • TwilitWings

    Islands of Adventures was absolutely my favorite park in Orlando even before the Harry Potter expansion, so I’m happy to hear about its continued expansion and growth! I really do hope that the Lorax ride will actually be a dark ride or some kind of ride format that will place emphasis on its message–I’ll be sorely disappointed if they lose the lesson of it.

    • Bb5

      Agreed. Islands of Adventure is certainly one of the best parks in the world, and I’m glad to hear all of these expansion rumors planned for the park.

  • TOONager

    I’ve heard NBA City will be closing to make way for a WWE Hall of Fame and Restaurant, any truth to this?