HO HO HO and Happy Holidays!  We are back with the last Universal Orlando update for 2013.  Today, we will take a quick look at the major projects in the resort with a big Harry Potter announcement coming and we examine what Christmas at Universal might look like next year. We even have a bit of Wet N’ Wild news. So grab your eggnog and let’s take a spin around the Universal Orlando Resort.

Antojitos

The new Mexican Restaurant concept in CityWalk, Antojitos, is getting a splashy rainbow paint job.  With a great nighttime lighting package, this will be an exciting new addition to CityWalk.

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Starbucks and Coldstone Creamery

The ground is finally ready for cement to be poured at the location for the new Starbucks and the Coldstone Creamery.  The rest of the construction should move quickly, allowing these venues to open by Summer of 2014.

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A Celebration of Harry Potter

From January 24th – 26th, Universal Orlando Resort will be hosting a Celebration of Harry Potter, with stars from the film coming to the Universal Orlando Resort to do Q&As with fans, panel discussions, Wand Master class, plus get get a look at Pottermore and a special Wizarding World of Harry Potter Expo.

To kick this event off on January 23rd, the Universal Orlando Resort will be hosting a webcast, where they will be making big announcements about the second phase of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  We will be covering this event extensively,

Hogsmead Station for the Hogwarts Express

Construction is moving forward on the Hogsmead station for the Hogwarts Express, where main station is now topped off, and themed elements have begun to be applied.

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Diagon Alley

Over at the Studios, the London facade for the Wizarding World phase two continues to get beautiful embellishments, details and coloring as we are beginning to enter the last big phase this massive project. We cannot wait for the construction walls to come down so that we can more closely inspect these beautiful facades.
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Christmas at Universal Orlando

The Christmas event at Universal Orlando has been an incredible value-add to day guests and annual pass holders.  Recently, Universal Orlando sent out a new survey about changes they might be considering for the event next year.  While these surveys are never 100% accurate, they are a good indication of some of the business strategy behind the scenes that impact park guests.

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The survey offers up options with various intellectual properties that guests might be interested in experiencing: Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, ELF – staring Will Farrell, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Elf on a Shelf, Radio City Christmas Spectacular staring the Rockettes, Jack Frost, a Charlie Brown Christmas, White Christmas and …. Holidays in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. Which of these are things you’d like to experience?

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With this survey they also asked questions about creating an after hours separate ticketed event for Christmas, similar to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom, and Christmas Town at Busch Gardens.  While this is just a survey, it is interesting to know what ideas are being debated as Christmas 2013 comes to an end, and we head into 2014.

New Slide Coming to Wet N Wild

Universal Orlando recently filed papers for a new trademark on a waterside that will be coming to Wet N’ Wild in Orlando.  The name that has been chosen is “Aqua Drag Race.”  We have heard rumors of something new coming, and it looks like they have settled on a name. With a name like that, we hope they’ve scheduled Ru Paul to do the ribbon cutting at the grand opening.

Aqua Drag Race

There is so much coming to the Universal Orlando resort in 2014 to be excited about. Not too many months left to wait.

Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast

Now I would like to invite you to listen to the Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast staring Lee, Tracey, Darren and Hunter as they bring you the latest breaking news from all the Universal Studios parks from around the world!