Universal Orlando Update – Diagon Alley and big CityWalk changes

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

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Published on October 22, 2013 at 5:02 am with 14 Comments

We are back this week with a resort wide update! Big changes are happening in CityWalk, there are some beautiful new Diagon Alley details, along with some fun photos from the MiceChat Halloween Horror Nights meet up!

Universal Studios

We kick off this week with an update on the projects at the Studios!

Diagon Alley Details

Diagon Alley has had some incredible details added to it in the past few weeks, with a beautiful sculpted concrete piece being added to the central facade.  More and more details continue to develop as construction progresses.

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Chief Wiggum’s Car Returns

After a short absence, Chief Wiggum’s car has returned to Springfield, but with a new fully white paint job. Glad to see the element return.

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Spongebob Float Missing Elements

A few months ago, we shared some missing elements from the Spongebob Square Pants parade float in the Super Star Parade.  Those elements were fixed shortly after. However, it appears that they have gone missing again. The Seahorse above the Pineapple and the acrobats who hang on the back of the float are both missing again.  Hopefully they are being fixed and will return soon.

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MiceChat Halloween Horror Nights Meetup

On October 17th, MiceChatters met up at Universal Orlando to experience Halloween Horror Nights 23! Between screams, we decided to treat ourselves to the new Simpson’s Couch Gag photo op.  To learn about future MiceChat events, remember to follow our events page here.

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Islands of Adventure

Now we jump over to IOA as we check-up on how their projects are moving along.

Hogwarts Express

With the the main building receiving tons of details, and the new steel framework, the massive Hogwarts Express station in Hogsmede continues to grow.

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Starbucks at IOA

The new Starbucks at IOA hasn’t seen much visible progress.

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Horton Has a Paint Chip

On the top of the Carouseussel in Seuss Landing, guests can see Horton. However, right below Horton, guests can see a large chip has fallen off the structure.  Hopefully this gets fixed soon.

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Jurassic Park Games

Over in Jurassic Park, the new games are nearing completion and will be welcoming guests in the next few weeks.

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CityWalk

Now we hop over to CityWalk to take a look at the massive changes happening to the shopping and dining district.

CityWalk Starbucks

The new Starbucks at CityWalk is moving along with the former Endangered Species store elements completely removed.

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Red Oven Restaurant

The new Red Oven Restaurant is progressing with a new large exterior structure pushing out the old boundaries of the Pastamore quick service into the walkways of CityWalk.

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Latin Quarter rumored to become Don Quixote

Massive facade work has begun outside what was Latin Quarter, and is being transformed into what is rumored to be a Spanish Mission style facade that will house a Mexican themed venue that is rumored to be named Don Quixote.  The facade appears to be massive, we can’t wait to see how this progresses.

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Now listen to Episode #67 of the Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast, as Lee, Tracey, Darren and their special Guest Norm Gidney aka Fishbulb talk about this year’s Halloween Horror Night at Universal Orlando.

That wraps up this week’s update! What are you excited to see at Universal in the coming weeks?

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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14 Comments

Comments for Universal Orlando Update – Diagon Alley and big CityWalk changes are now closed.

  1. Great update as usual Eric.

  2. Nice update, but those watermarks on every picture ruined it for me. One small watermark is fine, but two in opposite corners just seems to be overkill.

    • The watermarks are different this week because Dusty & Norm are on (a much deserved) vacation, so they have someone filling in as “editor” so updates can continue to be published in their absence. Once they get back, the watermarks will return to normal.

  3. Eric not understanding you making note of the chip above the carrousel. That’s how the entire Suess Landing is looking at the moment. Might be the colours used but Suess Landing looks the worst out of all the areas at IOA.

    It would be interesting to know the reason for the colour change on the Police Car. The new paint scheme doesn’t look right!

    • Chief Wiggum’s car is white on the show. Pretty cool of them to fix that detail.

  4. Seuss Landing was looking a little ropey when we were there in August, ut its the nature of the beast in an area with such vibrant colours and in all honesty we saw workers repairing things when we were there and we noticed things had been painted and cleaned, so they are keeping up maintenance.
    As far as Chief Wiggums car, I would assume they have changed it to white as the black paint was absorbing the Florida heat and the car was getting hot and maybe burning people as they were leaning on it to take pictures.
    Great update as always Eric, Diagon Alley/London is looking amazing, hopefully we’ll be out there next year to see it open. ;-)

  5. Great report as always Eric.

    Does anyone know how the area up to the Hogwarts station will be themed? It looks like a big open space currently with conflicting theming surrounding it. I assume that there is still much to come in this area to continue the storyline to the station?

    I wonder if anyone who visits the park on a regular basis can comment on the chipping paint in Suess Landing? I know they have been refurbishing the paint ongoing over the last year and the pictures I’ve seen on this particular site show it to be quite fresh and bright. Does the ENTIRE area look like this or is it just this one spot that Malin refers to?
    I really like the whimsey of this area at IOA and it’s one of my personal favorites. I can’t imagine that just one piece of chipped paint would garner such a low opinion of the area. I know I didn’t think that of Tomorrowland at WDW when I saw a piece of chipped paint there.

    Thanks again!

    • I was just at Islands of Adventure this past Saturday, and thought the whole area looked pretty nice. However, I only walked through and didn’t take time to truly examine things. It is also one of my favorite lands ever, and I actually don’t mind when the colors fade. In Dr. Seuss books, the colors are more of a pastel anyways. Though, I can see why people would want it to look so bright.

      • Thank you for commenting. Now that you mention it, you’re absolutely right about the Suess books coloration – good call. I suppose they could coat everything in the bright plastic paints that Disney uses in Toontown, but that wouldn’t be true to the source material.

  6. Latin Quarter rumored to become Don Quixote

    If the restaurant will be called Don Quixote maybe that tower will be a Windmill?

    • The symbolism would be lost on mostly il-literate visitors.

      • But that’s what he’s most famous for! It’s not like I’m bringing up the name of Rocinante, his horse, or the encounter with the Galley Slaves.

  7. [...] but certainly not least, Mice Chat posted pics showing some new details visible at the construction site for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, [...]

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