Around the Universe: Universal Orlando News, Nov 22

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 News update features: announcements about A Celebration of Harry Potter, new Passholder discounts, live concerts, holiday menus, and more!

What’s New This Week?


Universal Orlando Theme Parks

New! A Celebration of Harry Potter Details Announced: Harry Potter film talent Robbie Coltrane, Michael Gambon, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps and Evanna Lynch are slated to appear at the second annual A Celebration of Harry Potter – a special event hosted by Universal Orlando Resort and Warner Bros. Entertainment. The event allows fans to celebrate all of Harry’s adventures, from the beloved books to the feature films. Creative talent also set to appear includes Paul Harris, the world’s only Wand Combat choreographer, Kazu Kibuishi, illustrator of Scholastic’s re-imagined Harry Potter book covers, and Eduardo Lima and Miraphora Mina of MinaLima, who established the visual graphic style of the Harry Potter films.

Reminder! A Celebration of Harry Potter Coming in January: “A Celebration of Harry Potter” will take place from January 30 – February 1, 2015 at Universal Orlando. Fans will enjoy three days of incredible experiences, including Q&A and autograph sessions with Harry Potter film talent, special discussions and demonstrations with creative talent, and access to the “A Celebration of Harry Potter” Expo – where fans can enjoy the Sorting Hat experience, pose for a photo in a recreation of the iconic Great Hall set and celebrate their Hogwarts house pride in an interactive Pottermore exhibit. Guests can also experience Harry Potter’s world for themselves by visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and the all-new The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida. Vacation Package guests and those with a park-to-park ticket will also be able to board the iconic Hogwarts Express and enjoy a unique journey as they travel between King’s Cross Station and Hogsmeade Station.

New! Annual Passholders Early Admission Returns: Annual Passholders now receive weekday Early Park Admission now through December 18. Block out dates apply (11/17/14 and 11/24–11/28/14).

New! Annual Passholder Discounts on Dining Plans: It’s the perfect way to lock in savings on snacks and meals while you’re here. You’ll enjoy one lower price for food at your favorite places. Just look for the Universal Dining Icon on the menu. For a limited time Passholders can purchase one plan and get 50% off a second plan. Offer valid for front gate and in-park purchase(s) only when combining a Universal Dining Plan–Quick Service and Coca-Cola freestyle Souvenir Cup (the “Dining Plan Combo”), with presentation of a valid Annual Pass. Limit two (2) offer redemptions per day [two full price Dining Plan Combo(s) and two ½ price Dining Plan Combo(s)]. If purchasing two (2) Dining Plan Combo(s), both Dining Plan Combo(s) must be purchased and used on the same day during normal theme park operating hours.

New! One Direction Performed Live for Today Show from UOR: Al Roker and Matt Lauer from the “Today” show hosted the One Direction Concert Event at Universal Orlando Resort on Monday, November 17, 2014. The band The celebrated their new album, FOUR, being released on a special 1D version of The Today Show live from Universal Studios Orlando!



New! Veterans Day Parade at Universal Studios: In honor of those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, Universal Orlando Resort’s Veterans Network – comprised of more than 450 team members – marched in a special parade at Universal Studios Florida on Monday, Nov. 10. Veterans Day was also commemorated with a flag-raising ceremony and a private lunch for Veterans and their families. Members of several local organizations joined Universal Orlando’s veterans to mark the occasion.

Veteran's Day Parade at USF

New! Universal Announces Nickelodeon’s “Every Witch Way” Weekend in December: Universal Orlando Resort will host a fun filled weekend featuring the Nickelodeon hit live action series “Every Witch Way” on December 12 and 13.Fans of the hit series will be able to enjoy two days of spellbinding activities featuring some of their favorite cast members, including Paola Andino (Emma Alonso), Nick Merico(Daniel Miller), Paris Smith (Maddie Van Pelt) and Rahart Adams (Jax Novoa). Nickelodeon’s “Every Witch Way” Weekend will also give guests the several special experiences.


Reminder! Buy Two, Get third Day Free Offer: Universal Orlando Resort announced the return of the resort’s popular 3rd Day Free Offer for U.S. and Canada residents – giving them a third day FREE with the purchase of a 2-day park ticket. This offer gives visitors even more time to enjoy the trip of a lifetime to Universal Orlando’s two theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Offer valid for purchase through June 7, 2015 and is valid for 14 days from the first use – must be used in full by June 20, 2015. Current price of a 2-day, park-to-park ticket is $175.99 per adult, plus tax. Blockout dates apply Dec. 26, 2014 – Jan. 3, 2015.

Universal Orlando Resort Hotels

New! Harbor Nights Wine Tasting & Music at Porofino Bay Friday, November 28, 2014: Kick off the season at Holiday Harbor Nights, a wine and music event designed to capture the ambiance of the Mediterranean. Featuring select wines and sparkling wines, gourmet food, live music and the grand illumination of our majestic Christmas tree! General admission: $45* in advance or $55* at the door. VIP/reserved seating: $75* (reserved seating includes private wine station, passed hors d’oeuvres, plus all the benefits of a regular Harbor Nights ticket!)

New! Spend Thanksgiving at Emeril’s Tchoup Chop: Visit Noon – 9 p.m. on November 27, 2014 at Emeril’s Tchoup Chop as Chef Ryan Vargas and team cook-up the following Thanksgiving specials (in addition to our regular menu):

  • Appetizer – Pumpkin Patch Squash Bisque – $9 – Coconut Meringue Kisses, Butternut Squash Wonton
  • Salad – Tchouped Iceberg Salad – $11- Pepitas, Roaring 40’s Bleu, Grapes, Tomatoes, Pancetta, Pickled Onions, Furikake Ranch Dressing
  • Entrée – Traditional Feast – $30 – Roast Turkey Breast, Kalua Leg & Thigh, Hawaiian Sweet Bread Apple Chestnut Stuffing, Buttermilk Smashed Potatoes, Fried Brussel Sprout & Bacon, Old School Gravy, Cranberry Orange Relish
  • Dessert – Pumpkin Budino – $8 – Salted Macadamia Nut Pralines, Chocolate Cremoso


Universal CityWalk

New! Spend Thanksgiving at Emeril’s Orlando: Visit Noon – 9 p.m. on November 27, 2014 at Emeril’s Orlando as we cook-up the following Thanksgiving Specials and Chef’s Tasting Menu (in addition to their regular menu):

  • SEARED DIVER SEA SCALLOPS – 15 – corn maque choux – crystal gastrique
  • CRISPY FRIED CHICKEN THIGH – 12 – pumpkin waffle – slaw – orange blossom honey
  • ROASTED LOCAL SNAPPER – 35 – blue crabmeat – beluga lentils – mirliton – oyster sauce
  • BRAISED COLORADO LAMB SHANK – 30 – goat cheese polenta – fig marmalade – rainbow swiss chard
  • TRADITIONAL ROAST TURKEY – 30 – cornbread dressing – pancetta braised green beans – cranberry sauce – giblet gravy

New! DJ Tony Arzadon Appearing at the groove: On Saturday, November 22, 2014, Catch DJ Tony Arzadon bringing his electrifying beats to the party at the groove. His commanding sounds receive regular airplay on SiriusXM satellite radio and other radio stations, while his energetic DJ performances cement residencies throughout the country and appearances across the globe. Admission: $7 plus tax per person. VIP Table Service available, Call 407-224-2166 for details.


New! Slayer and Suicidal Tendencies to Play Hard Rock Live Nov 21: The Chicago Tribune’s Greg Kot wrote that the five-time-nominated, two-time Grammy winning Slayer is “one of the great American rock bands of the last 30 years, forget about genre.” Slayer and Suicidal Tendencies will perform at 7:30 pm Friday, Nov 21. Tickets are $75.50 Balcony Tables, $65.50 Lower Balcony, $55.50 Upper Balcony and $37.50 GA Standing Floor. Doors open at 6:30 pm. More info: 407-351-LIVE (5483).

New! So You Think You Can Dance Show at Hard Rock Live Nov. 22: From the Emmy winning TV Show So You Think You Can Dance, a live performance show will be held 8:00 pm, Saturday, Nov 22. Tickets are $100.50 First 2 Rows and Balcony Tables, $65.60 Lower Balcony, $55.50 Reserved Main Floor, $40.50 Upper Balcony.Doors open at 7:00pm. More info: 407-351-LIVE (5483).


New! Melissa Etheridge to Play Hard Rock Live Nov 25: American rock singer-songwriter, guitarist, and activist Melissa Etheridge will perform at 8:00 pm Tuesday, Nov 25. $77.75 Tickets are$77.75 First 2 Rows and Balcony Tables, $61.75 Reserved Main Floor & Lower Balcony, $52.75 Upper Balcony, $41.75 General Admission Standing Rear More info: 407-351-LIVE (5483).

Reminder! CowFish Sushi and Burger Bar Open: Cowfish has opened its doors at CityWalk! The Cowfish™ is a one-of-a-kind dining experience, thriving on its ability to fuse two niche products seamlessly on the same menu. Fresh, innovative and delicious, the sushi segment of the menu is far beyond what you’re accustomed to. All natural, creative and hearty, the burgers entice with fresh, never frozen, ingredients and bold flavors. Spiked hand-spun milkshakes, premium sakes, craft beers, wine and 10oz exotic martinis round out a huge bar menu that is sure to please. The Cowfish™ aims to offer something for the entire family. Scrumptious appetizers for sharing, entree-sized salads, homemade desserts and a fun kid’s menu. If you can’t make up your mind, try a bento box to sample a mini-burger along with your choice of sushi roll and three tasty side items!


Closures and Refurbishments

Universal’s Islands of Adventure

  • None

Universal Studios

  • Fear Factor Live: Closed for seasonal maintenance

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About Siera Duiser

Hello, my name is Siera and I am a travel agent with Destinations to Explore. I have always loved to travel and have had the opportunity to travel to thirteen different countries so far. I have also been to many different parts of the United States. I love sharing about the places I have been and the places I would love to see as well as some tips and tricks I have learned along the way.