There are exciting new things happening every day at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida! Join us every week to read about what’s new “Around the Universe.” This week’s Universal Orlando Resort News update features: Celebration of Harry Potter 2015, new houses at Halloween Horror Nights 24, Holidays at Universal and much more!
What’s New This Week?
Universal Orlando Theme Parks
New! Celebration of Harry Potter 2015 Scheduled for January: Universal Orlando Resort and Warner Bros. announced that they will host the second annual “A Celebration of Harry Potter” event – a special event for fans celebrating the global phenomenon that is Harry Potter. Beginning January 30, 2015, fans will enjoy three days of incredible experiences – including the “A Celebration of Harry Potter” Expo, Q&A sessions with Harry Potter film talent and more. Special vacation packages, including annual passholder packages, are on sale now and will include exclusive benefits such as access to an exclusive evening event in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade and the all-new The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.
New! Universal Celebrates One Million Riders on the Hogwarts Express: Cheers from guests filled the air at Hogsmeade Station on August 7th as Universal Orlando Resort celebrated its one millionth rider on the Hogwarts Express – the iconic train that transported Harry Potter and his friends between Hogsmeade Station and King’s Cross Station in J.K. Rowling’s beloved series. To celebrate this magical milestone, nearly two hundred guests were given complimentary Butterbeer ice-cream.
New! Three Original Houses, Two New Scare Zones Announced for Halloween Horror Nights 24: Universal Orlando Resort announced that three original concept haunted houses and two all-new scare zones will join the killer line up of experiences at Halloween Horror Nights 24 at Universal Studios Florida.
Original House – Dollhouse of the Damned:
As described on Universal Orlando’s Blog: “When you walk into the house, you find yourself in this old-time morgue. But this little girl has set up shop and now it’s her playhouse. She’s torturing people in there. So you’re taking the sweetness of the dollhouse and childhood and combining it with something completely sinister. That theme remains throughout the maze. Another phrase we use is ‘forced integration.’ You’ll see characters with porcelain doll masks that have been smashed into their faces, and now they’re permanent. They’re victims of this twisted amalgamation. It’s really creepy.”
Original House: Giggles & Gore Inc.
As described on Universal Orlando’s Blog: “So, we asked ourselves, where do evil clowns come from? And we discovered evil clowns are not born, they’re made. It’s an actual process. We all know that there are countless unsolved disappearances across the country. Where do these people end up? In the clown factory, being stretched, smashed and eviscerated. Faces are peeled off and voice boxes are torn out. Victims are dropped into a wood chipper, and the gunk that comes out is shoved into other people to create these massive, nasty stuffed clowns. Toward the end, you encounter the most evil of all evil clowns: The Discarded. These are the surviving clowns that have been cast down for being too dangerous to exist, even with other evil clowns.”
Original House: Roanoke – Cannibal Colony
As described on Universal Orlando’s Blog: “The year was 1587. It was one of the first settlements of the colonial era. The people living here were expecting supplies from Europe, but there was a war going on so they couldn’t make the voyage. Three years later, when the supply ship finally arrived, everyone was gone…except the deranged cannibals who’d managed to survive by eating their fellow settlers. As a guest, you’re fighting you’re way through this chaotic gauntlet of flesh-hungry man-eaters.
New Scare Zone Street Experiences: Even more horrors fill the streets of Universal Studios as guests are hypnotized by deceptive patrons of a seemingly glamorous ball in MASKerade: Unstitched and surrounded by voodoo practitioners that fill the snake and spider-infested Bayou of Blood.
Reminder! Prior Halloween Horror Nights Announcements: Step right into some of the most pulse-pounding moments in horror history at Universal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights, the nation’s premier Halloween event. Select nights Sept. 19 – Nov. 1, you can explore eight terrifying haunted houses, multiple street experiences, two outrageous live shows, and many of your favorite rides and attractions. You’ll be completely immersed in the worlds of the biggest names in horror including: The Purge: Anarchy, Syfy’s Face Off, From Dusk Till Dawn, Alien vs. Predator and AMC’s The Walking Dead.
Additional announcements for even more horrifying experiences are coming soon.
New! Universal Holiday Events Announced: Beginning Dec. 6 and running daily through Jan. 3, the Holidays at Universal Orlando features one-of-a-kind traditions. At Universal’s Islands of Adventure, families will light up with holiday cheer as Grinchmas comes to life throughout Seuss Landing. Guests can enjoy a live retelling of Dr. Seuss’s classic holiday tale, “Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular,” featuring the Whos from Who-ville, accompanied by an original musical score by Mannheim Steamroller. Guests can also meet The Grinch and the Whos and on select dates, enjoy a special breakfast with the characters.
At Universal Studios Florida, the Macy’s Holiday Parade will fill the streets every evening with the same larger-than-life balloons seen in Macy’s famous Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. This year, you won’t want to miss the Chloe The Clown “Balloonicle,” a new addition to the parade that combines a towering balloon with a self-powered vehicle that roams the streets of Universal Studios. Guests will also enjoy colorful holiday characters, fantasy-filled floats and a tree-lighting ceremony by Santa Claus.
This year, the masters of modern Christmas music—Mannheim Steamroller—will return to the stage to spread Christmas cheer. With more than 40 million albums sold worldwide, the acclaimed musical group will take to the Music Plaza stage in Universal Studios on select nights to perform their memorable holiday hits. Performance nights are Dec. 6, 7, 14, 15, 20 and 21.
Reminder! Rock the Universe Tickets on Sale Now: Rock the Universe is Florida’s biggest Christian Music Festival. It’s an entire weekend of great music, real faith, best friends, fist-pumping rock, praise songs, autographs, shouts of joy, lifted hands and lifted hearts—and you can be a part of every second of it, from the very first scream to the final amen. Grab your friends and join thousands of other believers for a weekend of soul-stirring concerts from some of Christian rock’s brightest. In-between the concerts, scream and spin and laugh on action-packed rides in Universal Studios. This year’s event is September 5-6, 2014. Tickets start at $41 per day.
Universal Orlando Resort Hotels
New! Velvet Sessions with Eve 6 Aug 28, 2014: Velvet Bar hosts the city’s only rock ‘n’ roll cocktail party on the last Thursday of the month. Admission is $29 on-line or $35 at the door and includes FREE specialty drinks & finger foods and warm-up tunes from 6:30-8:30pm, plus FREE valet parking. Cash bars and live band from 8:00pm onward. Each “session” combines creative cocktails with live music from some of the hottest rock bands.
Reminder! The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Exclusive Vacation Package Dates Extended: Experience all the magic and excitement with this exclusive vacation package including admission to both Universal Orlando theme parks, hotel accommodations, Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before the theme parks open, breakfast at the Three Broomsticks and the new Leaky Cauldron, receive an Owl Post Welcome Gift and more! Purchase now through December 10, 2014 with select travel through December 18, 2014. Prices starting from $109 per adult, per night, tax inclusive.
New! Blue Man Group Discounts for Florida Residents: Florida residents can save up to $40 on Blue Man Group Tickets on select Sundays through September. Adult tickets are $54 and Children’s tickets are $29.
Reminder! Classic Albums Live Featuring Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon at Hard Rock Live Aug 22: Classic Albums Live is a group of studio musicians and vocalists that perform the albums LIVE using the instrumentation used on the original recording…cut for cut…note for note. August 22, 2014. Doors open at 7:00 pm. Tickets: $25 Advance, $30 Day of Show for Reserved Seating and $15 Advance, $20 Day of Show GA Standing Perimeter. Tickets available at the Hard Rock Live box office and all Ticketmaster locations. For more information call 407-351-LIVE.
Reminder! CityWalk Expansion Plans: Hot Dog Hall Hall of Fame opened most recently to join Red Oven Pizza Bakery, Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food, Cold Stone Creamery, Starbucks, Menchie’s, Breadbox and VIVO Italian Kitchen as the latest establishments to open as part of the expansion to Universal CityWalk. The CowFish will open later this year.
Closures and Refurbishments
Universal’s Islands of Adventure
Are you ready to book your Universal Orlando vacation? Request your free, no obligation quote on the right side of the page! For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.