Welcome back to Around the Universe, your weekly Universal Orlando photo update. This week we’ll take our usual look at the progress on Cowfish, spend some time in Marvel Super Hero Island, and look around the Jurassic Discovery Center for a bit. Then it’s time to check up on the KongStruction site, before hopping on the Hogwarts Express over to the Studios, where we’ve got new Diagon merchandise, a Disney Legend sighting, Halloween facades, Rock the Universe updates, and a ton of new Purge scarezone details all throughout New York.
Lets do this!
Cowfish exterior paint is nearing completion.
Exterior work outside the old Starbucks location is beginning, now that the paint work is done.
The new awning that started to go up last week is now completed.
Tarps are down from the windows between Cowfish and Rising Stars. Not much to see yet.
The elevator tower is the last major piece of construction in all of CityWalk.
We’re getting closer.
Lets take our typical left towards Islands of Adventure.
The park maps are sporting a new design.
Summer crowds are heading back to school, and the waits are reflecting it.
Gotta get a shot of Hulk!
This week we’re gonna take a look at a couple of the lesser well traveled queues in Marvel Super Hero Island, starting with Fear Fall.
The queue has guests entering the Latveria Embassy, hideout of Doctor Doom.
The line is full of Doombots.
There are details everywhere you look.
We loaded up on side 4 of our tower.
The back of the load doors feature the likeness of Doctor Doom.
Next door, we’re gonna check out the awesome Express queue for Spider-Man.
The first room in the queue is a Daily Bugle office.
The next scene is a photography darkroom, complete with scenes from the ride.
Spider-Man fighting Rhino, Paul Giamatti’s character from Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Look up next time you’re on the loading platform, and you’ll notice that each row is named after a different New York borough.
Moving over into Jurassic Park, the blue skies were out.
The barges that were set up for the Snap-On event a couple weeks ago are now gone.
Lets take a quick peek inside the Discovery Center.
If you’ve never done the DNA Sequencing exhibit, you’re missing out.
It allows you to create a hybrid human dinosaur, using your own face. Nightmares!
There was a raptor hatching going on while we were inside.
What a cutie!
On the other side of the building, the Discovering the Dinosaurs exhibit is still behind construction walls. The entire exhibit is empty. No word yet on a replacement.
From our perch in Camp Jurassic, we can see there’s quite a bit of earth moving going on for Kong.
There are a bunch of holes scattered across the space.
Hogwarts Express crowds are holding steady as attendance dips. Actual wait ended up being about 25 minutes.
Over at Kings Cross, about half of the queue below the station was being used.
Line looked to be at least that long.
We’ve got a couple new pieces of merchandise inside Diagon Alley this week, starting with a recordable Howler.
Guests can record up to 15 seconds of audio.
A Scribbulus shopkeeper models the pop-up style Howler
Gone are the Severus Snape robes from Borgin and Bourkes. They’ve been replaced by these Voldemort robes, priced at $295.
Lucious Malfoy robes are also brand new. There’s four pieces: the pants ($75), shirt ($65), jacket ($180), and a sold out vest ($75).
Detailing along the collar of the shirt.
The jacket is trimmed with faux snake skin, and the same serpent cuffs.
Story Time: Earlier this week, I actually had a chance encounter right outside Gringotts with Disney Legend and former Imagineer, Tony Baxter, one of the men behind Big Thunder Mountain, the original Journey Into Imagination, and Splash Mountain. He had nothing but praise for what Universal had done with the Harry Potter franchise. He even went so far as to declare Gringotts, “The Greatest Thing Ever”. It was such an honor to meet him, and I really hope we see him continue his work in the industry, maybe one day with Universal Creative!
All the way around the other side of the lagoon, “Halloween” house construction is visible from the exit ramp of the Simpsons.
The facades on the backside of the tent.
The Meyer’s House, the facade of the maze.
Scareactor Orientation was taking place in the Animal Actors theatre.
Lighting rigs are up near Garden of Allah.
One of the boxes that are located near each of the rigs.
A stage has been set up across from Mel’s for the Rock the Universe christian music festival. As soon as the event ends, we should see the VooDoo shack go up for the Bayou of Blood Scare Zone.
Sound booth going up across the street from the stage.
Show-lighting rigs have gone up along the tops of the buildings in Hollywood.
You know it’s the offseason, when Despicable Me can’t even break an hour wait.
Celestina Warbeck and WADA showtimes are now being listed.
A giant chandelier has been strung up for MASKerade-Unstitched between Despicable Me and Shrek 3D.
As we were walking by, Rockit managed to get stuck at the top of its lift.
A huge crowd had gathered to take pictures, and when the ride got moving about 10 minutes later, they all burst into applause.
But now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for… The reason you trudged through the rest of this update… Lets get Purging!
All the lights in New York have been swapped out for teal bulbs.
Even those hung in the foyer of the Mummy gift shop have been swapped out.
And that’s it for this week! Remember to leave a comment below, and follow
@Orlando_United and myself @triggernel on Twitter! See you guys next Monday!