Posts Tagged ‘photos’

CityWalk Update: Temporary Universal Studios Store Open, New Restaurant Name Revealed

by on January 15, 2014

Universal CityWalk update construction 1-8-2014

The Cigarz sign is already gone as Universal Orlando’s CityWalk construction charges into 2014

Universal Orlando is moving swiftly to reimagine its CityWalk complex before Diagon Alley opens this summer. Here’s our latest CityWalk update as of Wednesday, January 8, 2014.

Universal Studios Store

A temporary Universal Studios Store has opened inside a tent-like structure which sits in front of the CityWalk stage.

Welcome to your home for Universal tchotchkes without a park ticket for the next half-year.

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PotterWatch: New Year’s Diagon Alley Construction Photos And Leaked Plans

by on January 8, 2014

Welcome to 2014, the year when the Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Diagon Alley will finally open at Universal Studios Florida! Without further ado, let’s launch right into our first set of Diagon Alley construction photos for the new year, followed by a Gringotts rumor and an amazing new online source of theme park dirt.

Diagon Alley Construction Photos

Here’s our usual photographic tour of the London Waterfront construction site, documenting the progress on the Diagon Alley facade as of January 4, 2014.

Diagon Alley photos

Panoramic view of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Diagon Alley (photos by Seth Kubersky 1/4/14)

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Universal CityWalk Update: Cigarz & Candy Co. Closed; Antojitos Almost Open

by on January 7, 2014

Universal CityWalk update construction closing

This construction on Starbucks is only the tip of the iceberg of Universal CityWalk updates on the way.

Last month, Universal Orlando announced eight new venues coming to CityWalk over the next year, and it wasted little time after the New Year’s Eve ball dropped to make way for the new arrivals. In this edition of Universal CityWalk Update, we’ll say final goodbyes to old friends like Cigarz and Katie’s Candy Co., and get a first glimpse inside the new Antojitos.

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New Universal Studios Florida Interactive Exhibit may be coming to Garden of Allah

by on January 7, 2014

Universal Orlando Garden of Allah photo

Could Universal Studios Florida’s Garden of Allah become a new interactive attraction? (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

In recent days, Universal Orlando fan forums have been buzzing with rumors of an unexpected new attraction that may be coming to Universal Studios Florida within the next year. If the Internet chatter is correct, a new interactive walk-through exhibit may be installed in USF’s long-dormant Garden of Allah buildings.

We all know about Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley expansion coming this summer, and new dining venues were recently announced for CityWalk, but this latest potential addition comes as a surprise. The Garden of Allah are a cluster of Moorish revival-styled buildings separating Universal’s Hollywood Boulevard from the KidZone area. They originally housed the short-lived How To Make a Mega Movie Deal walk-through exhibit, followed by an AT&T At The Movies display. The venue has been dormant for over a decade, used mostly by the merchandise department for storage and training.

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PotterWatch: Christmas Week Diagon Alley Update and Gringotts Queue Rumors

by on December 31, 2013

Did Santa bring you everything you wanted from Universal Orlando this year? If your Wizarding World of Harry Potter wish list included a Christmas week Diagon Alley update — complete with PotterWatch’s first look at parts of the London Waterfront’s color scheme — then we are here to deliver your post-Xmas presents.

Diagon Alley Construction Update

While progress slowed somewhat over the holiday week, here is a complete overview at the Diagon Alley project, taken on December 26, 2013. For variety’s sake, this time we’ll start from the World Expo end of the construction:

Universal Orlando Diagon Alley update

Day after Christmas Diagon Alley update (photos by Seth Kubersky)

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Islands of Insanity: Christmas Week Crowd Photos from Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure

by on December 30, 2013

I’ve never participated in the running of the bulls in Spain, nor rung in the New Year in New York’s Times Square, because I don’t need to: I’ve been engulfed by the Christmas week crowd in Orlando’s theme parks. In the spirit of “taking one for the team,” I took on the challenge of visiting Universal Orlando Resort’s Islands of Adventure on two of the busiest days of the year — Christmas Eve (December 24, 2013) and the Friday after Christmas (December 27, 2013) — to give you idea of what guests face during 8 to 10 days on our crowd index.

We maintain our Crowd Calendar to help you avoid days like these, and Tourimg Plans to help you navigate should you be meshuggenah enough to ignore the following photos. These Islands of Adventure Christmas week crowd photos should also serve as great advertisement for the unlimited Universal Express access included with an on-site hotel room. And remember, these mob scenes are just a hint of hordes certain to swarm when The Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Diagon Alley opens at Universal Studios Florida next summer.

Christmas Eve (12/24/2013)

We’ll start with my mid-afternoon stroll around Islands of Adventure on Christmas Eve:

Wait times are substantial with Forbidden Journey posted at 100 minutes.

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Five Disney California Adventure Holiday Favorites

by on December 24, 2013

Disney California Adventure holiday favorites

Disney California Adventure is decked out for the holidays. (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

It may not have the six decades of cherished Christmas traditions of its older sibling across the Disneyland Resort esplanade, but don’t dismiss the Disney California Adventure holiday celebrations. The park has made great strides since its Cars Land-fueled rebirth last summer, and this year’s enhanced seasonal offerings are no exception. Once you’ve finished checking out my five favorite Disneyland holiday additions, tackle these top picks among DCA’s Christmas presents.

Buena Vista Street Decor and Shows

As soon as you step through Disney California Adventure’s Art Deco gates into the 1920′s era Buena Vista Street, you’ll notice the seasonal spirit in the shop windows. DCA has been criticized for redecorating the original Imagineer-designed window dispays with non-period merchandise, but the retail corridor’s holiday treatments for 2013 represent a return to form.

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PotterWatch: Diagon Alley Construction Photos and the Gringotts Vault Key

by on December 20, 2013

Universal Orlando Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley construction Gringotts vault key photos

The key to Gringotts Vault 722 has arrived… (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

Welcome, wizards and muggles alike, to the latest installment of TouringPlan’s PotterWatch (we’ve dropped the “2.0″ for simplicity’s sake), your regular expansion update on The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort. This time we’ll take a look at Diagon Alley’s London Waterfront facade, and hear the tale of the Gringotts Vault Key.

Diagon Alley Construction Photos

First, here are the latest photos of construction on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida, taken at “magic hour” for our first look at the facade with some of the scaffolding removed:

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Universal Orlando Holidays: Your Complete Guide to Grinchmas and the Macy’s Holiday Parade

by on December 12, 2013

While Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights, and other seasonal entertainment at Walt Disney World seem to get the lion’s share of publicity this time of year, visitors to Orlando shouldn’t overlook Universal Orlando‘s holiday offerings. Universal Orlando holidays might not have quite the nostalgic lure of Mickey’s merrymaking, but Universal’s options are every bit as expertly produced, and have the benefit of all being included with regular park admission (unlike the extra-cost “hard ticket” nighttime parties at the Magic Kingdom).

Universal Orlando’s holiday lineup, which kicks off the first weekend each December (unlike Disney, which starts Christmas almost before Halloween is over) and continues through the Saturday after New Year’s Eve, consists of two main components, described in detail below.

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PotterWatch 2.0: Diagon Alley Construction Update and Rumors (12/8/13)

by on December 11, 2013

Universal orlando Wizarding world Harry potter Diagon alley construction

Dark of night can’t dissuade us from bringing you the latest Diagon Alley construction updates (photos by Seth Kubersky)

Construction on Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida‘s new Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion never sleeps, and so neither does PotterWatch, our ongoing series of updates on the Boy Who Lived’s anticipated arrival in Universal Orlando’s original park.

There’s been no noticeable progress on the Hogwarts Express since it completed its first test run, as reported in our last installment. Instead, let’s take a nighttime look at the London Waterfront, the facade that conceals Diagon Alley.

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