For fans of the Universal Orlando Resort, it has been a crazy few years.  The world changed in June 2010, when the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened at Islands of Adventure.  In the following years we saw new rides like Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem, Transformers: The Ride, Kang and Kodos Twirl N Hurl, reanimated Adventures of Spiderman, a new nightly fireworks show, a new daily parade, Springfield USA and numerous refurbishments inside the parks.

The gateway to the parks, known as CityWalk, hasn’t been idle either with the Hollywood Mini Golf added last year.  But even more construction is ramping up, with rumors left and right about new venues coming to CityWalk.  Here at MiceChat, we have been sharing the little bits and pieces of we have heard, we are now thrilled to official share with you the future of CityWalk at the Universal Orlando Resort.

Universal Unveils CityWalk Expansion with 8 New Venues in 2014

In 2014, the Universal Orlando Resort is experiencing another incredible expansion.  In Spring 2014 guests will get to experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley with incredible new shops, restaurants, facades and two rides that are going to yet again set the bar for theme parks around the world.

Now Universal Orlando is unveiling it’s plans to drastically reshape CityWalk as part of this new bold strategy.  Let us take you through the CityWalk expansion:

Now Open – Red Oven Pizza Bakery

Fresh Artisan Pizza made fresh at Universal CityWalk’s fist ever Neopolitan-style pizza bakery.  With incredible fresh ingredients, and a stone-lined oven, you will find yourself loving every bite.


For regular readers of the Orlando ParkHopper, the Red Oven Pizza Bakery is something that we have extensively covered through the construction to completion with a full review of this delightful new menu.  Since the review we have been back half a dozen times to sample the entire menu, the quality, value and style that has been executed with the Red Oven Pizza Bakery is an example of Universal selecting venues which best serve its guests.

Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food


Replacing what was Latin Quarter is a brand new concept that takes the guests on a journey through the cantinas, street carts and markets of Mexico for unique Tapas style Mexican Food.  The facade, while classic baroque Mexican architecture, will feature a colorful rainbow tie dye paint job. This is a fresh new look for CityWalk, and a Tapas restaurant should be a great fit for CityWalk.

Hot Dog Hall Of Fame


Occupying what was once the Galaxy Bar across from Latin Quarter, the area will be turned into a vibrant new plaza with a large awning, jumbo-tron screen, bleacher seating and gazebo all while you eat some of the most iconic hotdog creations from our nation’s most famous ball parks.  So get ready to enjoy a Chicago Dog, a perfectly charred Boston Brat, a monster LA dog and more.

The CowFish


Sushi Buger Fusion.  That is right, this restaurant from North Caronlina is taking Burgers and Sushi, and creating a fusion that is unlike anything you have ever tasted.  Taking normal burger ingredients and putting them in Sushi rolls, then taking normal Sushi ingredients and putting them into Burgers, this venue will occupy the space above where Pastamore is, and will have a large balcony built so that guests can enjoy the night air, and listen to the bands play music at CityWalk during the summer.  Who else is curious enough to try burger-sushi?

A New Modern Italian Kitchen Concept

Pastamore will soon be “no-more” as it will be replaced by a new Italian Kitchen Concept that is yet to be named, but will have a show kitchen, where you will be able to watch the Kitchen team make your pasta from scratch.

Bread Box


Where Cigarz currently stands, will soon be a new Deli Sandwich concept called Bread Box, where you will be transported back to your childhood kitchen, where fresh vegetables, quality meats, fresh bread and simple preparation transform a sandwich into something more.  This is a very welcome addition to CityWalk that has needed a Grab and Go sandwich place.



Where TCBY currently is, Menchies (a build your own Frozen Yogurt chain) will be moving in with an updated look and concept for guests to enjoy.



Relocating from the 2nd floor at CityWalk, Starbucks is moving downstairs directly under the bridge to a more convenient location for guests entering and exiting the parks.  With a beautiful industrial style design, this location looks to out do the previous location on the 2nd floor.

Coldstone Creamery


Between Starbucks and the Red Oven Pizza Bakery will be a Coldstone Creamery, which mixes in candies and treats to create unique ice-cream flavors while you wait. It will be a hard choice between Coldstone or Menchies when it comes time for desert.

Universal Studio Store Facade

The Universal Studios Store facade will get a complete facelift as the store is revamped and redesigned to be more modern and fit the new style for CityWalk.  The new facade better fits the area, and will look beautiful at night.


With all this concept art and with everything we have shared, there is a tremendous amount to look forward to at the Universal Orlando Resort in 2014.

While the press event focused mainly on CityWalk, there was a video shown that focused on the Harry Potter expansions coming to the resort in 2014. Sadly, not too much was divulged.



For more Universal Orlando and Universal Park news, check out the Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast with your hosts Lee, Tracey, Darren and Hunter as they discuss all of the news, rumors, and information about the Universal Studio Parks from around the world!

  • TVsRobLowe


    • DuckyDelite

      Lol. Look, the mall is getting a paint job.

      I’m glad CityWalk is getting some updates, but I was hoping for more from the “Uni Thursday major announcement”.

      • Eric Davis

        I believe that this a Major Announcement because it continues to point to the shifts that Universal Orlando is making to become the Premier Vacation destination here in Orlando. They already have the best rides and attractions, and now they are aiming to have the best food!

  • Big D

    The Sushi/Burger place sounds absurd. That sounds like a trendy thing that will be gone in a year. I hope the “Authentic” Mexican food is really good. I don’t think I’ve ever had good Mexican food in Florida. I’m suprised that they didn’t go for a Cuban restaurant…

    • Eric Davis

      It has proven to be very successful in North Carolina where they have 2 restaurants. I believe that this kind of Fusion will really work in Orlando.

      • thebear

        The best rides and attractions? I didn’t realize the issue had been settled.

    • If it’s fun and tastes good, it should do well. If it’s just bizarre and doesn’t measure up, I agree it would likely fail.

    • Erik Olson

      Cowfish is a hugely popular restaurant in Charlotte. The bento boxes are INSANE. This is a premium, yet moderately-priced and casual-attire destination and I bet they’ll do great on CityWalk.

    • Buffett Fan

      Not only is the Cowfish successful, but it’s also located in the traditional Upscale Mall (SouthPark) Area in Charlotte. (as opposed to a touristy area). It definitely has staying power and is very popular in that setting. Should be interesting to see how it competes with the more “Touristy” restaurants of CityWalk.

      • Eric Davis

        I can’t wait to experience Cowfish

  • Lee Mallaby

    I think this is awesome. I love CityWalk, we spent an entire evening there with Eric in August, almost 6 hours and these additions will only help make CityWalk a much better entertainment district. Universal keep on moving forward. 🙂

  • StevenW

    Sounds like a lot of expensive eating places in CityWalk. It doesn’t do anything for me. Slightly disappointed that they didn’t have an overall vision to report.

    • I’m surprised they didn’t say more about Potter. Now is when folks are planning their summer vacations. They should be doing a full court press!

      • DuckyDelite

        I would think December might not be a great time for major announcements since everyone is busy looking for this year’s must-have-gift. But I am surprised they didn’t hint about anything else for next year. I would assume 2014 is going to be a major advertising battle. I wonder if both WDW and Uni are holding their press releases, waiting for the other guy to go first.

  • phruby

    All this going on and WDW continues to build a c-ticket kiddie coaster in the middle of their “new” fantasyland. Well at least they added a Starbucks.

    • mainejeff

      LOL……is the rock work finished yet? Disney LOVES its rock work!

      • CaptainAction

        Rockwork must be really cheap, lazy, and easy because this is WDW’s wheelhouse.

  • Country Bear

    Thanks for the update Eric.

    I suspect they’re starting by releasing info about the “least” interesting components of the Universal upgrades first and plan to build on that each month with the more exciting components. Naturally we are all most excited to learn about the new rides and attractions. I think the variety of restaurants will be appealing more to the locals than tourists. As a visitor, I prefer to maximize my time in the parks and would prefer to see more development of “in-park” restaurants. However, that said, a few of these have really caught my attention and we may have to put some time aside to peruse CityWalk.

    Looking forward to it all!

  • Malin

    Wow some of you guys are being way too judgemental with your thoughts. With not being a fan of the abysmal offerings inside the Universal Parks. And knowing it will likely continue with the introduction of the meal plan. I am happy to see City Walk stepping up the standard with these new offerings. I would certainly be more willing to try Cowfish then have another meal at the overrated Mythos. Thank you Universal for having the intelligence to figure out that it’s takes more then cutting edge thrill rides to become a multi day destination Resort.

    Now we have some idea what new venues are coming to City Walk. Perhaps it’s time for WDW to give us some more info on Disney Springs.

    • thebear

      Have to agree that Mythos is overrated. Not bad but just not that special and not a place myself or my wife and kids will visit again.

  • Erik Olson

    The concept work looks like an extension of the disjointed outlet mall theme I saw when I visited about five years ago. It’s basically a new slate of outlets. Downtown Disney was more than this when it opened oh so many years ago.

    • CaptainAction

      Yes, I like the scary, haunted, abandoned atmospere WDW has created with the old Downtown Disney area.
      Old empty restaurants and clubs in different states of being demolished after being shuttered and aging for many, many years.
      They should film a Haunted Pier Tv show with nightvision there.
      Yes Eric, nothing to complain about here.

      • Tielo

        That’s really funny CaptainAction. Yes, pleasure Island is and will be an eye sour for years but I love to wander in the old part of Downtown Disney. Eating wise I’m more likely to try any of Citywalks offerings then the horrible offerings at Disney.
        I’m very excited about the new offerings and look forward to investigate the Leaky Cauldron when London opens.

      • CaptainAction

        Hey Tielo,
        I agree about all the new London stuff. I’m just not sure when we should try and go when it won’t be shoulder to shoulder with folks. Trying to figure that out as the opening FAST approaches.

    • armyofrobots

      and DTD is….not an outdoor mall?

  • almandot

    Umm.. Ouch for Menchie’s. Did they know a Coldstone was being installed in a prime location along the main entrance/exit walkway when they signed the contract to replace TCBY in an isolated 2nd level location?

    Otherwise, new stuff at city walk! Better dining locations and grab’n’go choices! Yes!

    How’s Downtown Disney Pleasure Island coming along since 2007? Anyone?

    • mainejeff


  • JCSkipr79

    The same haters here will be humping Disney’s crippled leg in a year over Disney Springs more generic/tourist catering tenants.

  • solarnole

    Universal is so stupid that they didn’t talk about adding a bright Hyperion Wharf for years while doing nothing and they already have parking garages where you easily can find a space.

    Disney was going to add the super bright magical lights of Hyperion Wharf to blind tourists from the blight that is Downtown Disney. Imagineering is really on their A game. Hyperion Wharf was the best plan by Disney since bringing back Caption EO after the lead performer died from a drug overdose. Families love seeing stuff like that.

    I think they should cancel Disney Springs and just expand the World of Disney store even more and stay open 24 hours. It would be a magical Mickey Mouse Walmart

    • Country Bear

      Ouch! ….funny.

  • Badgermann

    I think the only people who will miss the passing of Cigarz will be all the Universal team members who go there after their shift to drink discounted beer and smoke.

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