We are back. This week we say RIP to Halloween Horror Nights 23, as spooky decorations are removed and Christmas decorations pop up throughout the Universal Orlando parks. We also take a look at all the other projects around the resort. We’ll share news on the currently scheduled date Diagon Alley should open and much more. So put your Santa hat on and let’s get ready for another funtastic Orlando ParkHopper update.
Jurassic Park Games Now Open
In Jurassic Park at Islands of Adventure, the new dinosaur games have now opened. Whether you love or loath games of skill in the theme parks, these new games have a nice level of detail and seem to add a bit of new energy to the Jurassic Park area.
Hammond’s Hot Shots
A basketball game, that gives a nice nod to the founder of Jurassic Park, John Hammond, with a fun take on the Air Jordan logo.
Next to Hammond’s Hot Shots is the Train Zone, which houses two games, the first being Target Training and then the DNA Sequencer next door. Both are standard games, that have been given Jurassic Park themes.
iNGen Egg Nursery
The iNGen Egg Nursery is probably the most unique game, where the player selects 3 Dinosaur eggs, then chooses 1 egg of the 3 eggs to have scanned. After placing it in the scanner, you find out if your egg contains a small, medium or large dinosaur, which then correlates to the size of prize you win.
Dino Dash Up
The last kiosk is the Dino Dash Up, that uses water guns similar to the spitting dinosaurs in Jurassic Park.
The new games area, similar to the games area in Springfield USA, has been thoughtfully designed and an attention to detail is apparent.
Seuss Trolly Train Ride Down
This past week the High In The Sky Seuss Trolly Train Ride went down for refurbishment. Which is great news for the Seuss Landing area, which we have recently pointed out needs more refurbishments.
Hogsmede Station for the Hogwarts Express
The Hogsmede Station for the Hogwarts Express has begun exterior detailing.
RIP HHN 23
Saturday, November 2nd, represented the last night of Halloween Horror Nights 23. With a great line up and amazing Scare Actors who gave it their all from the first day until the last, HHN 23 was a huge success and brought big bucks for Universal Orlando.
On the most recent conference call Steve Burke, the CEO of NBC|Universal, said that Diagon Alley would open in “Spring.” With the extended Mardi Gras 2014 schedule we can expect big spring break crowds when this immersive new land finally opens. With the applications now in, interviews will be happening all throughout November and December with training beginning after the new year. Steve Burke said that Wizarding World expansion would open after the Cabana Bay hotel opens on March 14th, 2014.
Christmas Decorations and Holiday Celebrations
With HHN now in the bag, Christmas decorations are rapidly going up at both parks Both parks will again have their individual Christmas celebrations, shows and events.
Universal Studios: Once again will host the Macy’s Holiday Parade and will have Mannheim Steamroller playing on select nights throughout December, along with a Barney Holiday show and the Blues Brother Holiday show.
Islands of Adventure: Will host Grinchmas, where guests can meet the Grinch, see the Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular with music by Mannheim Steamroller. Guests can also dine with the Grinch & Friends at Circus McGurkus
The great thing about the holidays at the Universal Orlando Resort is that it is included with your daily park admission or your annual pass.
RED BRICK OVEN
The new restaurant in CityWalk is coming together rapidly. The sign is already on the building.
The Don Quixote facade is beginning to take shape with aSpanish mission theme. the scale is unlike the other facades in CityWalk, giving us a glimpse at what the future of CityWalk may hold.
The Starbucks new location on the first floor of CityWalk is ready for construction to begin, now that the Endangered Species Store is now extinct.
That wraps up this weeks update. We have a special episode of the Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast with Binaural audio from all 8 houses at HHN 23 along with news, rumors and updates with your hosts Lee, Tracey and Darren.