Posts Tagged ‘Islands of Aventure’

Observations from Universal Orlando Resort: October 16-20, 2013

by on October 23, 2013

Over the past week, I logged over 18 hours and 40,000 steps (thank you, iPhone 5S motion sensor) exploring what’s new at the Universal Orlando Resort. To save you the shoeleather doing the same, here’s a super-sized photo essay of my observations from Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventures and Halloween Horror Nights between Wednesday, October 16, and Sunday, October 20, 2013.

I started the evening of 10/16 with a lap around Islands of Adventures to see what guests purchasing the Scream Early ticket option experience.

Here’s a look at the future Starbucks inside Islands of Adventure’s Port of Entry. This area is the equivalent of the Magic Kingdom’s Main Street, U.S.A., but I haven’t heard any controversy in the online community over this mermaid invasion

Another Starbucks? Where are the torches and pitchforks?

No official word yet whether this will be an indoor location or a walk-up counter only.

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Universal Orlando Merchandise Video Review: Interactive Marauder’s Map from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

by on October 19, 2013

All those who have seen or read the Harry Potter stories have probably wished they had a magical Marauder’s Map to surreptitiously surveil their kids or co-workers. Since opening in 2010 with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando‘s Islands of Adventure, Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods (located at the exit of the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride) has stocked souvenir Marauder’s Maps that, while handsomely detailed, are decidedly inert.

As of a couple weeks ago, Filch’s has begun selling a new electronic interactive version of the Marauder’s Map that is exclusive to Universal Parks and the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London. The new maps, which retail for $59.95, feature light-up footsteps and sound effects that are triggered by a “magic” wand.

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A Virtual Guided Walk Through of Hogwarts

by on April 11, 2013

20130406-082942.jpg One of the things that separates Disney theme parks from others is their attention to detail and story. For example, have you ever noticed on Pirates of the Caribbean that one pirate who has his leg hanging off of the bridge over your heads? There’s hair on that leg! It’s such a minute detail, but Disney’s philosophy is “if it wasn’t there, people would notice.”

Well, Disney has gained competition in the past few years, and its name is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Nonsense, you say? No one could possibly measure up to Disney’s standards? HA is what I say back at you! Warner Bros. and J.K. Rowling made sure the grounds of Hogsmeade were painstakingly accurate with little nuances and hidden gems that the greatest Potter fans would be sure to pick up on. Don’t believe me? Well, let me take you on a virtual tour of Universal’s resident castle: Hogwarts.

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