We’re back with a photo update around the Universal Orlando Resort! This month, we take a look as the Holidays continue throughout the Resort, including the addition of Earl the Squirrel merchandise; and construction continues on the Jurassic World VelociCoaster. Let’s take a look!

Park Update Index

» CityWalk
» The Holidays at Universal
» Jurassic World VelociCoaster
» Harry Potter Locker Expansion
» Portofino Bay Hotel
» A Little Bit of this, A Little Bit of that


Progress continues on the unannounced store at CityWalk. The exterior framework is starting to form the general look of the facade. Still no official word from Universal as to what will open, or when it will open.

Refurbishment on the pavement in front of the unannounced store seems to be underway; brightening the purple and yellow swirl design.

The Holidays at Universal

From November 14 through January 3, 2021, guests can celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with a slew of new entertainment and celebrations that have been adjusted for guest safety – where even Earl the Squirrel is promoting mask use.

Guests can get up-close with larger-than-life parade balloons and floats during Universal’s Holiday Experience featuring Macy’s Balloons, where guests can meet the big man himself.

Guests who purchase the Holiday Tree Hunt will embark on a search for 16 holiday-themed trees scattered throughout various merchandise locations in the theme parks and CityWalk. Those who successfully complete the entire hunt will receive an exclusive Holiday Tree Hunt-branded ornament. Here are some of our favorites.

Over at the Tribute Store, more merchandise has been added – including merch for our new beloved holiday icon, Earl the Squirrel. The Earl t-shirt is $30, the hat is $28, and the mug is $15.

Due to social distancing guidelines, this year’s Grinch photo op has made some adjustments, where guests can meet the Grinch and have the Mean One take their photo. Reservations are required.

Jurassic World VelociCoaster

Today, Universal Orlando has shared its first look at the ride vehicle. Landscaping runs rampant around the Jurassic World VelociCoaster. On the lagoon side, workers were doing some fine-tuning on and around the track. Testing has been occurring in the evening, mostly during the park’s closure. The last of the construction is focused on the entrance area of the coaster.

Inside Jurassic Park, the construction walls were removed last week, exposing the look of the paddock fencing while also widening up the pathways.

With the removal of the walls, a new merchandise kiosk has opened up; selling both Jurassic Park and World merch.

Harry Potter Locker Expansion

The Jurassic Park-side of the Harry Potter locker expansion seems to be complete, with work now left on the actual Potter-side queue area. The trees, especially the bamboo, should grow nicely over the next year and better block views of the Hogwarts Castle from inside Jurassic Park. Still no timeframe on its opening.

Portofino Bay Hotel

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel resumed operations on December 1, 2020, and welcomed back guests with newly-renovated rooms and suites throughout the hotel.

A Little Bit of this, A Little Bit of that

Poseidon’s Pals (name trademark pending) were, once again, greeting guests in front of Poseidon’s Fury.

Green Eggs and Ham has added Fried Chicken Funnel Cake to its menu. The item was originally featured in the food trucks during the Halloween season at Universal – the Franken Fried Chicken and Funnel Brains. (It’s good, btw)

Fast & Furious: Supercharged has remained in daily operation since reopening on November 21 and is expected to remain open during the Holiday season. There is no word as to whether or not the attraction will close once the Holidays end. Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl remains to only open on weekends.

That’ll do it for this month’s photo update! Be sure to follow Inside Universal on our social media channels for continuing coverage of Universal Parks and Resorts! Happy Holidays!