Here we are back at the Universal Orlando Resort for a check on their progress as they prepare to open massive new projects in time for summer. In this update, we take you to the Cabana Bay Beach Resort project which is set to open at the end of this month. We then look at CityWalk Construction and the new venues set to open soon. And we finish with park updates and another great episode of the Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast.
Cabana Bay Beach Resort
On March 31st, 2014, the Universal Orlando Resort is going to start opening this hotel in phases. It’s the first new hotel since their big expansion 15 years ago. This resort is themed after the the bygone era of family Road Trips in your station wagon, and driving down the Florida A1A highway.
Cabana Bay has beautiful architectural features, that harken back to an idealized 50’s, but with a modern flair. The signage out front is clever and animated, and really gives you a sense of time and place.
The hotel will open initially with the family suites, where they can accommodate up to 6 guests, with a kitchenette, and a sliding partition for privacy. This hotel is accepting reservations, and the family suites are priced considerably lower than the Disney’s All Star Resort, making this new property a steal when you think of the additional amenities families will enjoy like the Lazy River, Bowling, Food Court, and walking Distance to both Universal Parks. We can’t wait to experience this hotel at the end of March! And look forward to its full opening in June, when most of the key features will be available.
On Monday, Universal opened ColdStone Creamery to the public. Guests can now get their favorite flavored Ice Cream with the mixings of their choice, while being sung to by a happy and energized team!
Next door Starbucks is getting ready to open, and while we were able to take a peek inside, we were not allowed to take any photos. The interior is very Industrial Chic, and the benches have all been built with plugs at the base, so if you need to recharge anytime during the day, or before you head out, Starbucks will be the perfect place to grab a drink, sit down, and literally recharge.
Team Member Parking Garage
We are beginning to enter the final stretch on the new Team Member Parking Garage that has gone up at an incredible pace. Team Members are currently parking on the first floor of the Guest Parking Structure and being shuttled to the back of the parks, for them, the new structure cannot open soon enough.
Diagon Alley construction continues to press forward at a magical pace. Universal is paying for a massive amount of around the clock manpower to ensure a summer opening. Recently, at the Entertainment Designer Forum, a member of Universal Creative said that what will be incredible about this experience is that when you are in Hogsmeade it is all you see, and you are completely immersed, then when you get onto the train and travel to Diagon Alley it will be all you see, so you will be transported from one immersive world to another. We can’t wait to have that experience this summer!
The main entrance to Hogsmeade has opened back up, however, we can expect it to close a few more times as the main entry to the Wizarding World is reworked to include the Hogwarts Express.
Toon Lagoon Sidewalks
Over in Toon Lagoo some much needed sidewalk work is happening. The colorful sidewalks have been ripped up, and are being fixed and replaced. Hopefully this will be a great solutions that can be used throughout Toon Lagoon and Seuss Landing where the sidewalks need help.
That wraps up this weeks update, and we will leave you with new episode from the Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast, with your hosts Lee, Tracey, Darren and Hunter as they talk about Antojitos, News and more!