Welcome to this weeks edition of Around the Universe, your weekly Universal Orlando Resort photo report! Rain and gray skies were the theme of the day. We’ve got a lot of new stuff to check out, so lets get going! We’ll start off this weeks trip in CityWalk, checking out some general refurbishments and the ongoing Cowfish construction. Then it’s off to Islands for a quick loop, hitting Toon Lagoon, Kong, and Hogsmeade. Over at the Studios, the former Delancey Street Preview Center has got a new sign, and some more new merchandise, and over in Hollywood, a new meet and greet has moved in. All that and much more to see, this week, Around the Universe!
Right off the CityWalk moving walkways, the scrim is still up behind Hollywood Drive In Golf
No real sign of life.
AMC has got some upcoming showings of Rocky Horror Picture Show Live, just in time for Halloween Horror Nights
Across the walkway, the CowFish building is coming along, albeit very slowly now.
The entrance side of the former Starbucks has been painted blue to match the rest of the building.
The other wall is yet to be touched.
On the backside of the building, the awnings appear to have been finished.
Between the two buildings, the one window not behind walls is still covered in plastic sheeting.
This cherry picker was brought in, in the last week.
The cylinder feature above Vivo has finally gotten its shape.
Things are moving slowly, but we’re hoping it’ll be open sometime in the next couple months.
Over at Islands, huge lines were found at all the turnstyles.
At the end of Port of Entry, the wait time sign was not running.
Heading into Marvel Super Hero Island, Captain America keeps watch in one of the gift shops…
While the man himself was meeting with guests outside.
The rain kept the crowds at bay, and kept the lines manageable at the water rides.
Over in Toon Lagoon, this haystack dryer sat empty, while the one behind it had 5 or 6 groups waiting in line…
It’s been a while since I’d been back in this area.
The upper decks of the ship provide some great views of Bilge Rat Barges.
And Hulk makes a great background!
Inside the ship, there’s plenty of details and small play areas for the little kids.
The highest level of the ship was closed off, and a net was covering this rope climb.
Out behind the ship, they were setting up for a park wide buyout.
This special light rig was up, along with the barges behind it in the lagoon.
This area is another of many great areas in the park with spectacular views of Hulk!
Mythos and Rockit loom across the lagoon.
Up in our trusty Camp Jurassic perch, Kongstruction hasn’t advanced much since last week.
I spent a little while shooting some of the details around Hogsmeade. Nothing new in the area, but I’m always discovering “new to me” things.
While Flight of the Hippogriff was down for weather, it was posting a “huge” wait.
Heading out of the land, I noticed they were working on the wait time sign on the front of Hogsmeade station. Not very “Magical”
Made a quick stop in Circus McGurkus to bring you guys this Pro Tip! All the Coke Freestyle machines on property give out free water. Bring your own bottle and skip the lines at the carts and quick service restaurants by filling them yourself.
Back in Port of Entry, I continued my new goal to try everything in Croissant Moon Bakery. These muffins were a strong contender.
I almost went for one of these Sabayon, but instead had to get an….
…Almond Cronut! Filled with almond paste, and topped with almond slivers and powdered sugar, it was as delicious as last weeks Peanut Butter Diamond
By the time I’d made it all the way around the park, the wait time sign at the end of Port of Entry was back open. Check out that closing time…
Inside the main gift shop, I found of few new to me items. This Screamin Yo-Yo shirt was blindingly bright.
I thought this Hogwarts scarf was neat, but I still like the house specific scarfs better.
These new bookends are fantastic! They look just like the sculptures outside Forbidden Journey.
This small Hogwarts architect figure looks great as well.
And that’ll do it for Islands this week.
This was set up just outside the turnstyles for the Snap-On buyout event.
Over in the Studios, it was no surprise to see Despicable Me at over an hour wait.
While it’s neighbor Shrek barely filled up its theatre.
I’m pretty sure at this point, the Universal Music Plaza is controlled by the Brazilian government.
Here’s that new sign for the Universal movie merchandise store. The name “The Film Vault” really fits the theme of classic movies.
This window graphic was also added in the past week.
Inside, Jaws wallets were now on the shelves.
But the Back to the Future section had the coolest new merch, starting with these BTTF Part 2 Marty McFly Jr hats. A little pricey at $29, but a must have for the BTTF fan.
Nearby were some new BTTF action figures.
Again a little pricey at $17 for a 3 1/2″ figure, but cool nonetheless.
Heading over towards Diagon, the wait at Kings Cross had died down for the day. It’s interesting to note that by this time, Islands of Adventure was closed and guests had to ride the Hogwarts Express roundtrip. They were still requiring Park to Park access to ride the train, even though guests were getting on and off in the same park.
The London phone booth was back in action this week!
The dialer had been replaced, although the phone itself was not yet working.
When they replaced the dial, they also added the phone number for the Ministry of Magic. Kinda spoils the themeing, but it’s a good sign that they’re working on fixing the phone.
Knight Bus conductor Nigel was out greeting guests.
The gate in front of the Eros Fountain was open, and guests are now able to enter the London waterfront from three different locations.
Waits at the Studios jumped quite a bit after Islands closed.
Fear Factor Live is now closed for the season as the park begins work on Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure for Halloween Horror Nights.
A scrim has gone up around the main attraction sign.
The show times sign had been completely removed.
Over in Kidzone, I took a ride on the E.T. Adventure, which ended up being a walk on.
Couldn’t help but laugh at the shirt in the gift shop.
Over in Hollywood, The Boxtrolls have invaded in advance of their films September release.
It was great to see the park using three costumed characters at the meet and greet.
I was a little disappointed that there was no Photo Connect photographer around, just a character handler.
Might be the worst picture ever taken…
After that it was time for one last attraction. T2 3D is one of my favorites in all of Central Florida, and a Top 2 3D movie for me.
Superman flew into the Terminator gift shop to bid us adieu!
On the way out through CityWalk, Breadbox and Menchies have been added to the directional signage on both sides.
And that’s gonna do it for this week. What better way to end it, than with a signature Florida sunset from the top level of the parking garage. Questions or comments? Leave them below, or get in touch with me on Twitter
@triggernel & we’ll see you next time!