With all the Christmas activities and recent CityWalk announcement, we’ve been busy covering Universal Orlando Resort. Today, we are finally able to get back to a regular update with lot’s of great construction shots from all over the resort. We also talk about the Hogwarts Express and look what what is happening at Diagon Alley. It all opens this summer folks, so things are REALLY going to start getting interesting from here on out.
Front Gate and Camera Shop
At the front of the park, the Camera Shop and front gate area and have been receiving some TLC, with the tiles below the gate getting replaced and painted, and the sign above the camera shop, removed and getting refurbished.
Irish Shop Refurbishment Complete
The Irish shop in the New York area has returned from a complete facade rebuilding, and looks fantastic.
The London facade that is hiding Diagon Alley is getting to that exciting stage when you can see where all of the details will be. The scaffolding is beginning to come down in some areas. With beautiful details and a realistic look, it is hard to imagine that a magical wizarding world awaits behind these large facades for future guests.
We have heard word that Universal has begun Team Member testing on the Hogwarts Express Train, and that this attraction will be the first to open. Details on how ticketing will work between both parks remains a mystery, as Universal Orlando recently told us that they are not yet ready to release those details. With Spring coming and families beginning to make their summer vacation plans, we hope Universal will release some more details for people looking to finalize their plans.
Across the lagoon at Springfield USA, Chief Wiggum has now gone missing. We hope that this figure returns soon, as it is a popular photo spot.
At the entrance to Springfield USA, the entire plaza is being repaved.
Macy’s Characters In The Park
For guests wanting to experience Christmas at Universal Orlando, you can meet the Characters from the Macy’s Holiday parade before the parade steps off in the afternoon around the Hollywood and New York areas of the park.
Sneech Beach Refurbishment Complete
The refurbishment of the Sneech Beach area of Seuss Landing has been completed with newly painted walkways, and a cleaned up area. We hope to see more Seuss Landing get this treatment.
Hogwarts Express at Hogsmede
The Hogwarts Express Station in Hogsmede is getting brickwork details and a paint job with more details being added, and the outdoor queue getting some work.
This past Thursday we shared the concept art for what is coming to CityWalk in 2014, let’s take a look at what the status of this redevelopment is currently at.
American Express Booth
The credit card solicitors are back at CityWalk, but they are now in the Routunda, with a big booth, and an augmented reality screen that has become very popular with Guests. The main complaint with the Credit Card solicitors who were at CityWalk before was that they were pretty aggressive. Let’s hope that they have toned it down as guests enter and exit the parks.
CowFish and Prazzo
We learned that Pastamore is going to be transformed into a new Italian Restaurant concept called “Prazzo” which is only a working title. And the 2nd story where Starbucks is currently located will become CowFish, the Burger Sushi fusion restaurant that has become a big hit in North Carolina.
Starbucks and Coldstone
Under the bridge, and next to the recently opened Red Oven Pizza Bakery, Starbucks and Coldstone Creamery are under construction.
BreadBox and Menchies
The favorite hang out of Universal Team Members, Cigarz, will soon make way for BreadBox, a restaurant with simple sandwiches and quality ingredients which should please families. Next door is the future location of Menchies a Frozen Yogurt chain.
The facade for the restaurant concept that is replacing Latin Quarter, is getting ready for its rainbow paint job. Antojitos is going to be a fun tapas restaurant that takes the street food from Mexico and puts it in a lively themed restaurant.
World’s Famous Hotdogs
Directly across from Antojitos is the old Galaxy Bar which was rarely used, it is going to be removed and transformed into the new World’s Famous Hotdogs location with a Jumbo-tron, certified Mustard Bar, and stadium seating.
Now, continue the adventure and enjoy the latest episode of the Unofficial Universal Podcast with your hosts Lee, Tracey, Darren and Hunter as they talk about Christmas at Universal Orlando, ticket prizes rising at Universal Japan, and other changes coming to the Universal Studios parks around the world.
That wraps up this update, we are looking forward to seeing the Universal Orlando Resort transform and expand. If only we could wave a magic wand and have everything done right now! This sure is going to be an exciting 6 months to watch.
We’ll see you again next week, right here in the Orlando Parkhopper.