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.

IMG_0989

IMG_0990

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.

IMG_0992

IMG_0993

IMG_0994

 

Training Zone

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.

IMG_0995

IMG_0996

IMG_1000

IMG_1004

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.

IMG_1012

IMG_1014

IMG_1016

IMG_1018

IMG_1019

IMG_1020

IMG_1023

 

Dino Dash Up

The last kiosk is the Dino Dash Up, that  uses water guns similar to the spitting dinosaurs in Jurassic Park.

IMG_1026

IMG_1028

IMG_1029

IMG_1030

IMG_1032

IMG_1035

IMG_1041

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.

IMG_0956

IMG_0959

IMG_0960

IMG_0961

IMG_0962

Hogsmede Station for the Hogwarts Express

The Hogsmede Station for the Hogwarts Express has begun exterior detailing.

IMG_0964

IMG_0965

IMG_0969

IMG_0970

IMG_0974

IMG_0977

IMG_0987

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.

IMG_1050

IMG_1052

IMG_1117

IMG_1118

Diagon Alley

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.

IMG_1053

IMG_1054

IMG_1057

IMG_1059

IMG_1063

IMG_1068

IMG_1071

IMG_1074

IMG_1075

IMG_1078

IMG_1079

IMG_1080

IMG_1082

IMG_1083

IMG_1090

IMG_1093

IMG_1096

IMG_1107

IMG_1110

IMG_1111

IMG_1114

IMG_1115

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.

IMG_1043

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

IMG_0906

The new restaurant in CityWalk is coming together rapidly. The sign is already on the building.

IMG_0907

IMG_0909

IMG_0919

IMG_0921

IMG_0925

IMG_1119

DON QUIXOTE

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.

IMG_0900

IMG_0926

IMG_0927

IMG_0929

IMG_0931

IMG_0934

IMG_0951

IMG_0952

IMG_1046

 

STARBUCKS

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.

IMG_0905

IMG_0913

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.