We are back this week with a jam packed look at Universal Orlando Resort. Scaffolding has finally come down from around the new Harry Potter London facades. This year’s Mardi Gras Concert lineup has been revealed. Harry Potter Celebration Weekend is next week and a big Wizarding World Announcement is coming. Grab your wands, and let’s get ready to explore the Universal Orlando Resort.
Scaffolding around Diagon Alley has finally come down, and the new area looks amazing! With beautiful detail, and massive scale, these facades are amazing replicas of their movie and real world counterparts.
With the big Harry Potter reveal on January 23rd, we will be brining you more details on Phase 2 later this week.
A Celebration of Harry Potter
This January 24th – 26th Muggles and Wizards will take over Universal Orlando to celebrate the boy who lived. Guests will be treated to a Q&A with cast from the film, a wand masterclass, panel discussions, behind the scenes of Pottermore, and a special one of a kind Harry Potter Expo. For fans of the books and film, Orlando will be the place next weekend.
January and February is refurbishment time at the parks with lots of things getting some TLC before Spring Break and Summer Crowds.
Disaster is currently down for some maintenance.
In the New York area, the Lew Wasserman statue has been removed and the entire flower bed surrounding it is also under wraps as they replace this area.
Temporary entertainment has been added in front of the Beetlejuice Grave Yard Review, while this show is down and getting reworked.
Islands of Adventure
Construction walls for the Starbucks at IOA have come down, a wooden Starbucks logo adorns the door. With signs saying “opening soon,” we can anticipate this location to open at any time, making Starbucks invasion into Orlando theme parks nearly complete.
Hogsmeade Station for the Hogwarts Express
The Hogsmeade station for the Hogwarts Express, doesn’t look as far along as its counterpart in the Studios park. The station is being enclosed now, with more detail on the way soon.
Rip Saw Falls Refurbishment
The Rip Saw falls refurbishment continues with the entire area getting new paint job and getting cleaned up.
Now, let’s take a look at CityWalk, where the redesign of the this shopping and dining area has been moving forward at an impressive rate.
Antojitos’ exterior is almost complete with a few finishing touches remaining to be added, namely the weather vein, VW Bus, street carts and outside dining area.
World’s Greatest Hot Dogs
The World’s Greatest Hot Dogs stand is progressing slowly right now, but once Antojitos opens, we should see work accelerate here.
The entire Pastamore facade and entrance has been ripped out as prep work has begun to turn this first floor location into Vivo, the new Italian restaurant.
Universal Studio Store
The entire Studio store has been ripped out, and the massive sign that once dominated the building, has now been removed, and we will see the new chic sign soon.
Starbucks and Coldstone Progress
The Coldstone Creamery and Starbucks for CityWalk are getting walls now, and should be completely enclosed shortly.
Employee Parking Garage
Backstage, the employee parking lot has been torn up to build a 4 story parking structure for Team Members. With the Universal Orlando Resort expanding aggressively, they must invest in their employee infrastructure to make sure they do not run into a parking issue in the future.
That wraps up this week. Now enjoy the latest episode of the Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast with your hosts Lee, Tracey, Darren and Hunter.