Posts Tagged ‘Universal Studios Florida’

Video: Farewell Tribute to Twister at Universal Studios Florida

by on November 2, 2015

Twister has been blown out of Universal Orlando, but you can relive Paxton memories with our tribute. (Videos by Seth Kubersky)

Put your hand on your hip and hold on, because this bit of news may just blow you away: as of November 2nd, Universal Studios Florida’s Twister…Ride It Out attraction is gone with the wind.

Just weeks after Universal shuttered Disaster! to make way for Fast & Furious, the long-expected closure of Twister was executed within days of Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon’s unveiling of his “Race Through New York” simulator, which will be the next occupant of the New York soundstage originally built for the Ghostbusters Spooktacular show.

As a closing cast crew-member of Ghostbusters (it was my first gig at USF back in 1996) I never entirely warmed up to the show that replaced it, as the effectiveness of Twister’s effects varied widely throughout the attraction’s 17 year lifespan. But if you’re a fan of “so bad it’s good” entertainment, the aggressive ennui emanating from stars Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt was absolutely priceless, making Twister a strong candidate for Orlando’s best worst attraction.

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Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever October 22, 2015: Back to the Future Day at Universal Studios Florida

by on October 22, 2015

Best Week Ever Back to the Future Day at universal Studios Florida USF

Spend Back to the Future Day with Doc Brown at Universal Studios Florida for this Best Week Ever. (Photos & video by Seth Kubersky)

Great Scott, what a Best Week Ever it’s been! As all cinema lovers know, October 21, 2015, was the day that Doctor Emmett Brown and Marty McFly arrived in the futuristic Hill Valley in Back to the Future Part II. As of yesterday, we all officially live in the future! Even though hoverboards and Mr. Fusion machines aren’t yet commonplace, scores of sci-fi fans showed up — many in elaborate costumes — to celebrate Back to the Future Day at Universal Studios Florida.

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Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever October 8, 2015: Halloween Horror Nights 25

by on October 8, 2015

Halloween Horror Nights 25 best week ever

The fiendish festivities of Halloween Horror Nights 25 await you in this Best Week Ever (photos by Seth Kubersky).

It’s been exactly one week since I stepped off the Disney Magic, and my sea legs had barely worn away before I stumbled — for the sake of Best Week Ever — into Halloween Horror Nights 25 at Universal Orlando. The event’s 25th edition was the first in almost a decade whose opening weekend I missed, so to say I was anxious to experience upon returning to the States is an understatement.

Driving into Universal Orlando’s parking structure, I snapped a photo of the parking rates. Little did I know this would be the last time I’d ever see these prices, as Universal raised their general parking rate up to $20 per day only hours after I took this picture.

 

There was steady pedestrian traffic heading in and out of the park by 5 p.m. Everyone play nice out there and follow the rules!

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How to Enjoy Halloween Horror Nights When You Are Scared of Everything

by on October 7, 2015

Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights is the undisputed champion of Halloween events in North America. Now celebrating its 25th year, longtime fans flock to this event, many claiming it gets better every year. I, on the other hand, swore to never set foot inside the gates of this terrorizing event. Last weekend I broke that oath and faced my fear… and I loved it! I am astonished to admit that I had a great time and am already making plans to attend next year. But this success story didn’t happen without some very important factors. A game plan is needed if you want to enjoy Halloween Horror Nights when you are scared of pretty much everything.

Wait until the first week has passed

Thankfully, Halloween season starts early in Orlando, usually the second week of September. Halloween Horror Nights is an incredibly elaborate production that changes dramatically each year. After opening week there are typically adjustments made to the shows, a few scare zones, and even a house or two. This is not to say that the first week is not enjoyable, but if you’ve never been to HHN before I think it is a good idea to let them iron out any kinks of the first week before attending yourself.

Source: Universal Orlando

Source: Universal Orlando

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Refillable Mugs at Universal Orlando – Worth it or Wasted?

by on August 28, 2015

One of the first things I noticed that was different at Universal Orlando and SeaWorld versus Walt Disney World is the refillable mugs inside the theme parks. What I didn’t realize until after my first few months of becoming a regular Universal Orlando visitor is the substantial variety of refillable mug programs available throughout Universal Orlando. There’s four options just in the theme parks themselves, then there’s two different programs at the Universal hotels, and finally two programs inside CityWalk, oh and none of the programs can be combined. So in hopes of helping you navigate through the busy waters of all the refillable mug options I’d like to share the details of each option. I’ll also give my stance on if I think each mug is worth it or wasted.
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In the theme parks

Character mugs – $15.99 /  $0.99 refills

Wasted: If you or your child is a big fan of a specific character then the character mugs might be a good value for you. Personally, I think their clunkier size make them impractical for repeated, every day use. However, they certainly are unique and add to the fun of being inside the theme parks.

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Regular refillable cup and Black Transformer mug – $8.99 / $0.99 refills

Worth it: If you are an Annual Passholder or will be visiting for an extended amount of days, the basic refillable cup is a good deal. The $0.99 refills are not limited to the day of purchase, so you can easily get your money’s worth considering one fountain soda is $3.19. If you use the refillable cup more than 3 times you’ll have spent your money wisely. There are also a good amount of food and beverage locations throughout the park to snag your free refills. The downside is the refills are your basic fountain drink variety, not the fancy smancy Coke Freestyle flavor selection.

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Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever June 18, 2015: A Tale of Two Studios

by on June 18, 2015

Universal Studios Florida

Take a Best Week Ever tour of Orlando’s two Studios theme parks. (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

Back to life, back to humidity…

Barely a week ago I was basking in the temperate glow of the Happiest Place on Earth, and now I’m once again enveloped in Orlando’s hot, moist embrace. What better way to celebrate my homecoming than with a visit to two of Orlando’s favorite theme parks with “Studios” in the name? (Okay, they’re also the only two.)

We’ll start with some random observations from around Universal Studios Florida, and then take a ride down I-4 to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on the first day of Frozen Summer Fun.

Universal Studios Florida

The day I picked to visit Universal Studios Florida was predicted to be a 7 on our crowd calendar, but actually came in at only a 4 (part of a trend of lower actuals at Universal Orlando last week). Even so, there was a healthy flow of visitors entering the resort as I arrived in late morning.

I missed Universal Studios Florida’s actual 25th anniversary on June 7th because I was busy visiting Universal Studios Hollywood, but I still picked up a couple of these commemorative 2-Park Guide Maps for my collection. You can snag one for yourself at either Universal Orlando park through June 20th.

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Nintendo Attractions Coming to Universal Theme Parks

by on May 7, 2015

Nintendo characters and attractions are coming to Universal parks world-wide.

Universal might not have shocked anyone with yesterday’s long-awaited confirmation that King Kong is coming to Islands of Adventure, but today’s surprise announcement has certainly caught many observers off guard. A joint press release revealed that Universal has teamed with Nintendo to bring the Japanese company’s iconic video game characters to life at theme parks around the world.

The official statement, which we’ve reproduced below, is very vague, with no specifics on which resorts or intellectual properties are involved, nor a timeline of when the promised attractions might open:

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American Ninja Warrior Invades Universal Studios Florida

by on May 6, 2015

American Ninja Warrior USF

American Ninja Warrior films at USF on May 10-12, 2015. (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

American Ninja Warrior, an NBC and Esquire Network (originally G4) competition show based on the long-running Japanese hit Sasuke, has taken over the New York section of Universal Studios Florida for episode tapings that will take place after park hours on May 10th through 12th.

Tickets to attend the tapings, which will be held at 10:30pm, 12:30am, and 2:30am on Sunday night/Monday morning and Monday night/Tuesday morning, are almost completely sold out at this point, but you may still be able to join the wait list.

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Photo Gallery: 2015 Universal Orlando Spring Break Crowds

by on April 7, 2015

The Easter eggs have all been hunted, and the Passover seder plates are put away, but the 2015 spring break crowds have not yet departed from Orlando’s attractions. While wait times over the weekend weren’t quite as bad as initially predicted, it’s still been a very busy holiday week at Universal Orlando, as Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure both experienced their heaviest attendance since New Year’s Day. In case you weren’t brave or foolish enough to experience Easter Week in person, here is a photo gallery of Universal Orlando spring break crowds to give you a virtual taste of last week’s madness.

Universal Studios Florida Spring Break Crowds

You know its going to be a busy day at USF when the temporary turnstiles in between the entry gates are in use.

Universal Orlando spring break crowds 2015

Spring break crowds descended on Universal Orlando last week. (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

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SATURDAY SIX: Six Reasons We Love Universal’s Mardi Gras Celebration

by on March 21, 2015

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Reasons We Love Universal’s Mardi Gras Celebration. No one loves theme park events more than us. Mickey’s Not So Scary? Fantastic. Halloween Horror Nights? Even better. Grinchmas, Mickey’s Very Merry, and Food & Wine? Can’t wait for each of them.  Villain’s Unleashed? The exception that proves the rule.

But one of our favorite events of the year takes place at Universal Studios Florida and is included with regular park admission. We’re talking about Mardi Gras, and today we’re going to look at six reasons why this is the best party outside of New Orleans itself and we’ll start off with….

# 6 – The Walk Around Characters

Get your cameras ready because there are a ton of colorful characters throughout the party, and all of them would love to take their pictures with you. From steampunk inspired cowboys to court jesters and everything in-between (including jazz bands), there is something for everyone.

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The King and Queen of Universal’s Mardi Gras celebration welcome you to one of the best theme park parties of the year. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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