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SeaWorld Orlando releases virtual POV of Ice Breaker, the new roller coaster opening in 2021

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SeaWorld Orlando has released a virtual POV of their upcoming roller coaster, Ice Breaker. You can check out the full ride-through down below:

Named after the icy Arctic summits, Ice Breaker will be SeaWorld Orlando’s first launch coaster, featuring four launches, both backwards and forwards, culminating in a reverse launch into the steepest beyond vertical drop in Florida — a 93-foot tall spike with 100-degree angle. The roller coaster will send guests along 2,750 feet of bright orange track.

The coaster was originally supposed to open in 2020, but due to the pandemic, will now open in Spring 2021.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter—Sweets & Treats walk-up location opening at CityWalk Hollywood

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Universal Studios Hollywood has opened The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Sweets & Treats, a new seasonal walk-up location in CityWalk, offering Butterbeer favorites and other Wizarding World treats.

The location will serve traditional cold, frozen and hot Butterbeer along with Butterbeer-flavoured hard pack ice-cream and Chocolate Frog confections that are found inside “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.”

The Butterbeer beverages will be available for purchase in a cup or souvenir stein.  Gilly Water and classic cinnamon Churros will also be on the menu.

“The Wizarding World of Harry Potter—Sweets & Treats” will be open on weekends from Friday through Sunday during CityWalk’s operating hours, noon to 8:00 p.m.  Free self-parking is available to all guests during this initial re-opening phase. The location replaces LudoBird, which closed earlier this year.

Stay tuned to Inside Universal for all the latest on Universal Parks & Resorts.

Guests can save 40% on Vacation Packages with Universal Orlando’s 2020 Black Friday Offer

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Universal Orlando is offering some savings for Black Friday on November 27. Guests can save up to 40% on a Universal Orlando 4-Day, 4-Night vacation package combining theme park tickets and hotel accommodations. Guests are encouraged to purchase early as this exclusive deal is expected to sell out. The offer is only extended to U.S. Residents.

Available for travel beginning November 29, 2020 through April 30, 2021, the package includes:

  • Four epic days of park-to-park access to Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Guests who plan to visit after February 28, 2021, can add access to Universal’s Volcano Bay water theme park to their package.
  • 4-night hotel accommodations at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort. Universal hotel guests also get exclusive theme park benefits like Early Park Admission to access the parks before the general public and complimentary transportation throughout the destination. Guests at Cabana Bay Beach Resort can enjoy a private, convenient walking entrance to Universal’s Volcano Bay just steps from the hotel.

To find out more details on this offer, including info on purchasing, visit Universal’s website.

Across Universal Orlando Resort, the health and safety of guests and team members remains the top priority as the destination continues to implement carefully-managed procedures: screening guests and team members, enforcing social distancing, requiring face coverings, limiting capacity at the theme parks, attractions, and hotels and increasing the already-aggressive cleaning and disinfection procedures.

Stay tuned to Inside Universal for the latest on Universal Parks & Resorts.

 

Photo Update: November 16, 2020 – CityWalk at Universal Studios Hollywood

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We’re back with November’s photo update around CityWalk Hollywood! This month, we once again take a look at the progress of the projects across CityWalk, with an additional focus on the arrival of the holiday season at various locations.

ted!

Park Update Index

» Karl Strauss Brewing Company
» NBC Sports Grill & Brew
» Toothsome Chocolate Emporium
» CityFood
» GUESS
» Halloween 2020 at CityWalk
» A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That


Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Following the likely closure of the Karl Strauss Brewing Company, visible through its removal from the CityWalk directory, the upstairs patio area just outside the former location of the restaurant is now being used as additional dining space for the massively popular Antojitos Mexican Restaurant.

The inside of the building remains bare, making it clear that the restaurant will not be returning.


NBC Sports Grill & Brew

Since construction appears to have recently wrapped up, no visible changes have occurred to the interior or exterior of the new restaurant. Given the current restrictions on dining capacity in Los Angeles County as of this update, NBC Sports Grill & Brew will likely not be opening to the public anytime soon. In the meanwhile, its patio is being used as overflow seating for Antojitos Mexican Restaurant, with various bins of utensils stored just inside the building.


Toothsome Chocolate Emporium

Construction remains paused on the transformation of Hard Rock Café into Toothsome Chocolate Emporium.


CityFood

No visible changes have occurred at The Habit Burger Grill, indicating that it has likely completed its construction and will perhaps open soon.

Construction appears to have slowed or paused on the transformation of Subway into Firehouse Subs, as the building still remains bare without signage.


GUESS

All signage has been removed at the former location of GUESS following its closure. No announcement has been made regarding its future replacement as of this update.


LudoBird

A black fence and two medium plants have gone up around the former location of LudoBird, hinting that the location will likely remain empty for some time. Similar to GUESS, no official announcement of a future replacement has been made as of this update.


Christmas 2020 at CityWalk

Unlike this past Halloween, CityWalk appears to be in the midst of putting up decorations for the upcoming holiday season. A massive Christmas tree has gone up in its usual location in front of the Universal Cinema, drawing attention many guests’ attention. Clotheslines have also been strung up across buildings in the area around Vivo Italian Kitchen in likely preparation for putting up other holiday décor.

Cinnabon has also fully decorated for the holiday season, including an array of stockings and snowflakes all across the windows of the building.

The massive voodoo doll doughnut just outside of Voodoo Doughnut now has green lips, likely in the midst of a transformation into a holiday version of itself.


2020 Holiday Merchandise

An assortment of holiday merchandise items has made its way to Production Central and the Universal Studio Store. Rather than describe each item, we have provided a handful of photos below.

Firstly, here is a look at some of the holiday merchandise available for purchase at Production Central.

Below is a look at most of the additional holiday merchandise that can be found at the Universal Studio Store, including Grinchmas apparel, Wizarding World ornaments and stockings, and more.

Guests can purchase a chocolate frog to receive a unique 2020 collectible card, as shown below.

A 2020 collector’s edition wand is also available for purchase in the Wizarding World section of the Universal Studio Store.

With a minimum purchase of $175, guests will additionally receive a free Wizarding World of Harry Potter wand.


A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

As crowds increase and the parking situation grows tighter at Universal with the ongoing temporary closure of the Curious George, E.T., and Frankenstein parking lots, Jurassic Parking is no longer placing traffic cones in every other parking spot to distance vehicles.

Following the Los Angeles Dodgers’ recent World Series win, the Dodgers Clubhouse has been booming with business. Be sure to arrive early to best avoid long waits to enter the store amidst its limited capacity.

After reclosing only weeks after reopening with CityWalk back in June, Starbucks is once again open for business.

The Universal Monsters pressed penny machine has moved to the back of the store with the rest of the classic Universal Monsters merchandise following the end of Halloween season, replaced by a machine printing a handful of mixed Universal designs.

A new chocolate frog mask design based on the popular Wizarding World treat is now available for purchase at the Universal Studio Store.


That’ll do it for this month’s photo update. As always, we hope you are doing well and thank you for following our continuing coverage of Universal Parks and Resorts.

Universal Orlando offering new VIP Holiday Tour for 2020 Holiday Season

Universal Orlando is offering a brand-new holiday event tour this year. Starting November 22, “Universal’s Holiday Tour” is a specially guided tour filled with exclusive access to holiday experiences across the theme parks.

Available on select dates, the guided experience will give guests the opportunity to:

  • Enjoy priority access to Universal’s Holiday Experience Featuring Macy’s Balloons, where they can get up-close with larger-than-life parade balloons and stunning floats inspired by everything from iconic holiday staples to characters from popular animated films – and enjoy a special appearance by Santa Claus
  • Embark on a tour of the first-ever Holiday Tribute Store, featuring four incredibly-themed rooms – including one inspired by The Grinch – stocked with a variety of new merchandise
  • Meet and greet The Grinch at Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous in Seuss Landing, where they can encounter the mean, green one himself and enjoy a delicious Hot Cocoa Bar
  • Cap off the evening in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure with an exclusive showing of “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle” – a stunning projection of holiday spirit and Christmas moments inspired by the beloved “Harry Potter” stories
  • And, guests will also receive a special, themed gift during the tour to commemorate their experience

Universal’s Holiday Tour is available on select dates beginning November 22  through January 3, 2021, and can be booked by calling 1-866-346-9350 between 9 a.m.-7 p.m. EST daily, visiting universalorlando.com/HolidayTour, or by emailing VIPExperience@UniversalOrlando.com. Pricing starts at $59.99 (plus tax) and separate theme park admission with a 2-Park 1-Day Park-to-Park ticket is required.

Universal Orlando passholders receive a special discount on the tour with pricing starting at $49.99 (plus tax) per ticket, per passholder. Passholders can book and take advantage of their discount through the VIP Call Center and in-park at the UOAP Lounge.

Universal Orlando continues to implement its enhanced health and safety procedures and guidelines focused on “screening, spacing, and sanitization” across its entire destination, and those practices will be applied to all experiences taking place during Universal’s Holiday Tour. Key measures include requiring face coverings, enforcing social distancing, limiting capacity in each tour group and at each experience throughout the tour, including at “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle,” and more.

Universal’s Holiday Tour has limited availability and advanced reservations are required. For more information about this offering and all of Universal Orlando’s Holidays experiences – visit UniversalOrlando.com.

Food & Beverage offerings featured at Universal Orlando’s 2020 Holidays Celebration

Universal Orlando is gearing up for the 2020 Holiday season and has shared some of the food & drink you can enjoy at this year’s event.

There’s a whole lot of options this year, but here are a few treats you can look forward to:

  • Reindeer Brownie: Guests looking for a vegan sweet treat can enjoy this delicious chocolate vegan and candy cane holiday-themed brownie at Croissant Moon Bakery, located at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and at the new Holiday Tribute Store at Universal Studios Florida.

  • Hot Chocolate Bomb: The tastiest trend has come to Universal Orlando. Guests can enjoy next-level hot cocoa with this epic hot chocolate bomb ornament that is made with Italian hot chocolate and comes with a white chocolate ornament that melts away and fills your cup with a generous amount of mini marshmallows. This delicious treat is available at the all-new Holiday Tribute Store.

  • Thanksgiving Dinner Crepe: For guests craving a more traditional flavor with a twist, there’s the Thanksgiving Dinner Crepe! A perfect crepe filled with juicy turkey meat, gravy, cranberries, stuffing, and cornbread croutons served in a convenient cone. Guests can grab it at the all-new Central Park Crepes stand located in Central Park at Universal Studios Florida.

  • Chocolate Peppermint Mousse Ornament: Available at the Today Cafe and the Holiday Tribute Store at Universal Studios Florida, this tasty chocolate peppermint mousse ornament treat will give guests the traditional sweet flavors that this season brings.

  • Gingerbread Shake: Loaded with the classic gingerbread flavor and a twist of chocolate, this delicious and Instagram-worthy milkshake is available at The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen.

Voodoo Doughnut is also offering seasonal doughnuts for guests to enjoy during the Holiday season.

Other treats include:

Gingerbread Whoopie Pie
Cookie Dough Cones
Christmas Tree Stacks
Christmas Lights Gummies

For guests who are spending Thanksgiving Day at Universal Orlando, there will be an exclusive three-course holiday meal available at several restaurants throughout the parks, including Lombard’s Seafood Grille located at Universal’s Studios Florida, Confisco Grille and Thunder Falls Terrace located at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Bigfire at Universal CityWalk. Depending on the location, this meal will feature a delicious butternut squash soup, an herb-roasted turkey breast, wild mushroom stuffing, sweet potato fritters, traditional cranberry sauce, and for the grand finale, a pumpkin and dulce de leche cheesecake.

Guests can also experience complete Thanksgiving feasts throughout Universal’s hotels, including Bayliner Diner at Universal’s Cabana Beach Resort, Beach Break Cafe at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites, Islands Dining Room at Loews Royal Pacific Resort, and the acclaimed restaurant, The Kitchen at Hard Rock Hotel.

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. We’ll be on hand this weekend to try all the treats & goodies at the parks for the Holidays.

Stay tuned to Inside Universal for all the latest on Universal Parks & Resorts.

New Holiday Doughnuts released at Voodoo Doughnut at CityWalk Orlando

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Voodoo Doughnut has released new seasonal doughnuts to celebrate the 2020 Holiday season at Universal Orlando.

The Snowman Doughnut is made up of two doughnuts; both are dipped in vanilla icing. The head is filled with white chocolate mocha, and the body is filled with chocolate peppermint.

The Holiday Ornament Doughnut comes in 2 designs, but both are dipped in vanilla icing, filled with gingerbread cheesecake.

The doughnuts will be available until January 3, 2021.

The Holidays at Universal officially begin November 14. Stay tuned to Inside Universal for all the latest on Universal Parks & Resorts.

Universal Orlando offering Florida Residents exclusive offers & benefits for the 2020 Holiday Season

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Universal Orlando has introduced an all-new ticket exclusively for Florida residents; where Floridians can enjoy a three-day visit to the Resort during this Holiday season for as low as $55 per day, plus tax, with a 2-Park, 3-Day Base Ticket.

The ticket offer is available for purchase now through December 17, 2020, and valid for use now through March 26, 2021. Blockout dates and restrictions apply and this ticket offer is not available for purchase at the front gate. You can find more information about the offer on UniversalOrlando.com

Florida residents also have the option of saving up to $100 on select Annual and Seasonal Passes to enjoy Universal Orlando and other passholder benefits for a full year. This offer on Passes is available for purchase now through December 17, 2020. Blockout dates apply on select passes.

With these offers, Florida Residents can enjoy the holidays at Universal Orlando from November 14 through January 3, 2021. Guests can celebrate the most wonderful time of the year as Universal’s most beloved holiday traditions and characters come to life in reimagined ways that align with the destination’s enhanced health and safety procedures. You can read more about this year’s Holiday line-up here.

Stay tuned to Inside Universal for all the latest on Universal Parks & Resorts.

Universal Orlando announces lineup of entertainment for the 2020 Holiday Season

Universal Orlando is ready to kick off the Holiday season.

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.

Returning this year is Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. The streets of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley are adorned with themed decorations, garlands, and lights. Guests can hear both magical and Muggle Christmas carols from the Frog Choir, and Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees returns to sing her Holiday hits. There will also be seasonal treats, holiday eats, and beverages – including the return of the fan-favorite, Hot Butterbeer. Unfortunately, the popular nighttime projection show – Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts – will not be featured this year due to adjustments of safety due to the pandemic.

The popular Grinchmas show will also be taking the year off; and while the show will not be held, the mean one will still be featured this year. The Grinch will make appearances throughout Seuss Landing at Islands of Adventure, as he continues to try and find ways to steal holiday cheer. In addition, the merry Whos from Whoville will be making appearances to spread Who-liday cheer.

Another adjustment due to the pandemic is the loss of parades, so Universal has adjusted with a new offering. Now, guests will have the opportunity to get up-close with larger-than-life parade balloons and floats like never before during Universal’s Holiday Experience featuring Macy’s Balloons. Guests will stroll along a picturesque pathway where they’ll encounter elaborate floats and stunning balloons inspired by everything from iconic holiday staples like reindeers and the Nutcracker, to characters from popular animated films, including the mischievous Minions from Illumination’s “Despicable Me” and “Minions” films, Gingy, The Gingerbread Man, from DreamWorks Animation’s “Shrek” movies and the penguins from DreamWorks Animation’s “Madagascar” franchise. It all culminates with a special appearance by Santa Claus and the opportunity to take a socially-distanced portrait.

During Universal’s Holiday Character Celebration, guests can celebrate the holiday season with the Minions and other beloved characters from Illumination’s “Despicable Me” and “Minions” films, and with DreamWorks Animation’s treasured family of Shrek characters and King Julien and the crew from the “Madagascar” franchise. Guests will sing and dance along with some of their favorite characters as they arrive aboard incredibly-festive parade floats, then perform special holiday show moments that the entire family will enjoy. Afterward, guests will have the chance to take socially-distanced photos of themselves with the characters and floats.

A brand-new Tribute Store dedicated to the Holidays that will debut at Universal Studios Florida for the holiday season. Located in the New York area of the park, the store will be featuring four immersive rooms – including one inspired by Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch – stocked with a variety of new merchandise and delicious seasonal food items. Guests can also browse Universal’s assortment of Holidays merchandise and make purchases online by visiting www.shop.UniversalOrlando.com

Other Holiday festivities include:

Holiday Tree Hunt – 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. Guests will receive a brochure that outlines the participating locations, where they’ll have to collect stamps to mark their visit to each stop. Those who successfully complete the entire hunt will receive an exclusive Holiday Tree Hunt-branded ornament.

Holiday Treat Trail – Guests can participate by grabbing a complimentary Holiday Treat Trail brochure that outlines a list of specialty food and beverage menu items across select dining venues. Those who purchase all qualifying items will receive a special sweet treat.

Universal Orlando continues to implement its enhanced health and safety procedures and guidelines focused on “screening, spacing and sanitization,” and those practices will be applied to all experiences taking place during the destination’s Holidays celebration.

Stay tuned to Inside Universal for all the latest on Universal Parks & Resorts.

Christmas Tribute Store coming to Universal Studios Florida for the 2020 Holiday Season

Universal Orlando is planning to open a Tribute Store for this year’s Holiday season.

A new facade has been erected in New York, featuring a giant nutcracker. No other details have been shared, including an opening date.

The Tribute Store has become a staple of Universal’s event, especially during Halloween Horror Nights. This year, a Tribute Store for Mardi Gras opened for the first time.

The Tribute Store is a highly-themed store experience that offers merchandise and food centered around the ongoing event.

Universal has been pretty mum on Holiday details, especially due to the ongoing pandemic, but decorations have been going up around the Resort. The Holidays at Universal Orlando will run beginning November 14, 2020 thru January 3, 2021.

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