It seems like just yesterday that we here at MiceChat were covering the closure of JAWS at the Universal Orlando Resort. And just a few years later, we are getting ready to experience part 2 of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley.
This week we will be brining you lots of coverage from the parks, along with some great photos, video, interviews and more as we experience everything that the brilliant minds at Universal creative have been working on for the past few years. Before we kick off this week, let’s take a quick stroll around the resort to check-in on all of the projects.
Media Set Up
Right now at Universal Studios, stages are being set up, and prep work is being done to get ready for all the media events, red carpet events, and for Jimmy Fallon to broadcast live from Orlando! This is an exciting time for NBC|Universal as they now have the synergy machine working at full capacity.
Walls finally came down at the London Facade giving us our first peek into this amazingly detailed new land. We can’t wait to walk through the walls and explore this land. Some great details to take note of are some of the craftsmanship, on the buildings, and if you catch it at just the right time, you can see Kretcher peeking out from the window.
At night Diagon Alley, has amazing character, with brilliant lighting, and textures that make this area of the park really come alive. While Amity was cute, this is stunning.
Islands of Adventure
Next door to the Studios, where the Hogwarts Express will drop you off you have have the Hogsmeade Station area that has really come a live as the walls have come down. It is hard to imagine that just a few months ago, this was a games of chance area for the Lost Continent. At the front of the queue you can see the new turnstiles that guests will have to pass through and scan their park-to-park ticket in order to ride this experience.
Jurassic Park Changes and Future Plans
Over in Jurassic Park, while clearing is underway for the next big attraction for this park, the T-Rex photo op, as been moved next to the Discovery Center, where the foliage now better hides her undercarriage.
The progress of the projects at CityWalk is nothing short of incredible.
Universal Studio Store
The flagship Universal Studio Store is now open, and serving guests, with a completely refreshed look and feel that is modern, clean and stylish with lots of HD Screens everywhere making the store feel action packed.
On the day I was at CityWalk Vivo was doing test runs as it was putting it’s new staff through the paces. As of the publication of this article Vivo is now open and serving guests for dinner. While we have not been able to review this venue yet, if it is anything like Antojitos or Red Over Pizza Bakery, it is sure to be amazing.
Up above Vivo will be CowFish. This venue is probably the most anticipated venue of the CityWalk update, and will be the last to open. With some cool architectural elements to come, CowFish add energy to the CityWalk plaza area with it’s balconies, and it’s large two-story entrance. We can’t wait to get our hands on some burg-ushi
Hot Dog Hall of Fame
Next to the Studio Store and across from Antojitos is the Hot Dog Hall of Fame where bleachers, Jumbo-tron, awning, gazebo have all been installed and is getting ready to open to the public. Here you will be able to sample any number of offerings from your favorite ball parks across the country.
Upstairs, next to Menchies is Breadbox, the sandwich shop that will offer guests, simple, healthy options. The outside has gotten a new paint job, and a lot of work is going on inside as they rush to get this complete as quickly as possible.
We will be back tomorrow with more updates as we get ready to experience Diagon Alley, and explore the amazing Wizarding World that the creative geniuses at Universal Creative have prepared for us!
What are you looking forward to experiencing the most at Diagon Alley?