Christmas has come early for MiceChat readers, we have an exclusive preview of the Mardi Gras floats for Universal Orlando’s spring 2014 parade, along with updates from all around the resort. Grab your beads and your Santa Hat as we ride our sleigh to the Universal Orlando Resort.

Mardi Gras 2014

Universal is planning to go big on their Annual Mardi Gras celebration, expanding it from 14 weeks (in 2013) to 17 weeks (in 2014). Universal recently announced that Robin Thicke, the singer of the mega hit “Blurred Lines,” will be performing at the park on February 22nd, which is included with your daily park admission.

A major part of Uni’s Mardi Gras celebration is the amazing street party that is the Mardi Gras Parade.  Each year Universal Creative works with the team in New Orleans who build the actual Mardi Gras floats to build the floats for Universal Orlando.

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Parade concept art with actual production work behind it.

We have gotten some exclusive concept art of the new floats being built this year, along with some photos of the floats currently under construction.

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Christmas at Universal Orlando

Before we get too far ahead into 2014, we still have the 2013 holiday season to get through. Decorations have begun going up all around Universal Orlando, and soon the Macy’s Holiday Parade will be making its way through the New York street facades at Universal Orlando.

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New York Refurbishment Complete and Another Starts

In the New York section, the scrims have come down and the Finnigan’s refurbishment has left the facade looking beautiful and fresh.

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Across the street the Irish store’s facade is now under refurbishment.

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Hogwarts Express Trains

When you find yourself in the parks, keep your eyes out for the Hogwarts Express trains now on the the tracks.

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Diagon Alley Details

Beautiful details continue to emerge as Diagon Alley get’s closer to its Spring 2014 opening.  With new beautifully sculpted embellishments now visible to guests on the exterior, it is just a tease of what is to come.

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Refurbs at Seuss Landing

Seuss Landing continues to get more refurbishments, with the area behind Green Eggs and Ham being closed, and the High in the Sky Seuss Trolly Train Ride getting a full refurbishment.

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New Circus McGurkus Sign

At Circus McGurkus, a temporary sign has been installed while they refurbish the old sign.

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Islands of Adventure Lake Clean Up

Sometimes it is nice to take a moment to contemplate what it takes to maintain these parks.  Making sure that the lakes and lagoons are free of trash is hard job, but we are grateful it is done.

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Hogwarts Express at Hogsmede

The build out of the Hogsmede Station for the Hogswart Express continues as we draw closer to the Spring 2014 opening.

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Toon Lagoon Refurbishments

Over in Toon Lagoon, refurbishments have begun on a facade.  This area of the park needs some work, hopefully these refurbishments will continue.

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CityWalk

Red Oven Pizza Bakery

Red Oven Pizza Bakery is getting ready to open, with Team Members now inside training and preparing this new quick service location for guests.

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Starbucks

Not much visible progress has been made this week on Starbucks.  Hopefully that will change in the next few weeks.

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Don Quixote at CityWalk

The new large facade for Don Quixote is continuing to progress as this restaurant concept moves forward.

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That wraps up this week’s Orlando ParkHopper, continue learning more about Universal Orlando by clicking play below on the latest episode of the Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast with news, rumors and information on the Universal Parks in Orlando, Hollywood, Singapore and Japan with your hosts, Lee, Tracey and Darren.