Today’s Universal update brings news and details that might push the opening of Diagon Alley back into summer and why Bill Davis, Universal Orlando President, is not going to let that happen. Plus, the new dates for Halloween Horror Nights 24 and a new episode of the Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast. Grab your Universal Poncho, because it is raining news today!
Halloween Horror Nights Dates Announced
Universal has already announced that this years Halloween Horror Nights event will run from September 19th – November 1st, adding an additional day over what was offered last year. Since a whole new Harry Potter land is being added to Universal Studios this summer, and Islands of Adventure continues to pull in huge crowds, it will be interesting to see which park is used for Horror Nights, or even if they will go back to the duel park experience as they did for HHN 16. We should know more soon.
MiceChat is planning a special Halloween Horror Nights 24 event this year and we’ll be announcing the date shortly, along with a Food and Wine Festival event AND . . . wait for it . . . a GUMBALL RALLY ORLANDO!!! Add your name to the MiceChat Events list to be notified of all the events just as soon as they are available:
Over in the Wizarding World Part II there are beautiful exterior touches being added, along with greenery, signage, and stamped concrete walkways. The London facade is coming together beautifully.
Inside however, there are some kinks to be worked out. With the new Escape from Gringotts ride, Universal Orlando is truly pushing the envelope further than any other theme park attraction in the world.
Getting all of these elements to work together, correctly, and every few seconds has been a challenge. While there have been rumors of the Wizarding World being significantly delayed into summer, we have heard that Bill Davis, the President of Universal Orlando, will not let this happen. He is committed to delivering this ride to the world as soon as possible!
Universal Creative has been working around the clock on these elements that will surprise and thrill guests when they get to experience them! We can’t wait to see Diagon Alley, and we are looking forward to all the industry firsts that will be included in the two new rides.
Hogsmeade – Hogwarts Express
Over at Islands of Adventure, the Hogsmead Station for the Hogwarts Express is coming together beautifully, while it was behind schedule for a time, it is now back on schedule.
The Hogwarts Express Ride has been testing at both stations for the past week, allowing guests to hear the train whistle as it leaves the station. Meanwhile, the station itself is rushing toward completion.
While The Mouse has given up on Grand Night, Universal Orlando still gives Seniors in High School a place to party and celebrate graduation. With live music, DJs and a 2 Park experience, Graduating Seniors have all night to party
Let’s take a stroll over to CityWalk to check up on the progress of various projects. Vertical construction on CowFish is now visible.
Universal Studio Store
The Studio Store is slowly moving forward with it’s remodel Hopefully this will be finished soon, so that they can get rid of the pop-up temporary tent store next door.
Underneath CowFish will be the new restaurant, Vivo. Not much has changed since it was first gutted, except that it has been cleared out and is waiting for the construction on the second story of CowFish to progress before work can really get underway downstairs.
Over in Margaritaville, the Porch remodel is moving forward quickly and soon should be completed.
Backstage, the new Team Member parking garage was built in record time! It is now nearly complete, and soon should be servicing Team Members!
At Universal Orlando the future is bright, and just when you think one construction project is done, another one is about to begin… and we can look forward to a lot of new projects in the months to come.
I will leave you with a new episode of the Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast with your hosts Lee, Tracey and Darren.