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Mardi Gras Starts at Universal Orlando!

This past Saturday, Universal Studios kicked off their annual Mardi Gras event; with 4 all-new floats, lots of entertainers and beads!  Other floats have been improved, and confetti was everywhere!  After the parade, the B-52s took to the stage and performed some of their hits, such as “Love Shack”.

On Saturdays and select nights starting through April 14, Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras celebration combines unparalleled theme park entertainment with an elaborate Mardi Gras parade, dozens of colorfully costumed performers, authentic New Orleans bands, delicious Cajun cuisine and live concerts by some of today’s most popular artists. For more information on this year’s performers, click here.

REVIEW: Blue Man Group: Wet, Bald, & Blue

On Tuesday night Blue Man Group held previews for Friends and Family of team members who work at Universal Studios. Featuring a new show environment, new music, new technology and new experiences, the show will allow audiences to join the Blue Men as they discover, engage and explore the world’s obsession with cutting-edge technology.

The exterior of the theater has remained the same:

Once you get inside you begin to notice subtle changes

Gone are the zoetropes on the sides of the stage

Everyone’s favorite segments remain, drumming with paint, eating Captain Crunch really loud, and banging on pipes.

The stand out hightlight of the night is the much grander, louder, and bigger finale!

The term audience members used when leaving was “rave-esq”  and I must admit that it turned into an awesome wild party.

At the end the live Band did a Meet and Greet with the audience!

I applaud Universal Orlando for updating this relatively new show.  The new additions and technology upgrades have breathed a new life into this already fun, and interactive show. The show is expected to premiere to the general public on February 16th.

Review: Johnny Rockets at Universal Citywalk

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Hello everyone,

Today we are going to give you a review of a Citywalk experience.  Please feel free to comment on your personal experience and tell us what you think of our opinion.  We would like to know if you are looking for a special request on any venue inside Universal Studios Hollywood or Citywalk Hollywood.

Today, we visitied one of the new venues within Citywalk: Johnny Rockets Resturant and Sports Lounge.

Studio Vaults: Original King Kong Attraction Back in 2008

Hello everyone, this is Skillz5 on the IU community forums posting for the first time here on KUSH.

Please feel free to comment on any problems with my posts since I am very new to this and I am looking to grow in my ability to post for all of the Universal Studios fans out there. Please connect to our Facebook page and get lots of updates about your favorite theme parks and attractions. We look forward to serving you and your Universal needs throughout the year with photo, video and blog updates. Please tell your friends about us and have them connect to the community through Facebook, Forums, and KUSH!

For my first attempt with a post here, I would like to send you a link to my highest viewed Universal attraction video on YouTube. This is my final video of the original King Kong attraction on the Studio Tour. As we all know, this attraction burned down in an historical fire on the Universal Backlot in June 2008. This video was recorded on my Hi Def camera only a couple of months before we lost the attraction forever. I hope you enjoy, like so many others have, a moment where physical props were more popular and CGI was still a thing of the future.

Skillz5

Video: Transformers: The Ride – Super Bowl Ad

Universal’s official advertisement for Transformers: The Ride has just premiered during the Super Bowl. If you haven’t caught it already, here’s a YouTube video of the ad below.

Video: Transformers: The Ride – Super Bowl Ad Teaser

Universal City, California –Universal Studios HollywoodSM prepares for battle with the debut of an innovative, national 30-second commercial for its exciting, new motion-based thrill ride, “Transformers™: The Ride-3D,” debuting May 2012. The spot, which airs on February 5 during NBC’s Super Bowl Pre-Game coverage, will also introduce PrepareForBattle.com, an interactive website designed to engage fans with exclusive intel as the campaign’s momentum escalates.

The evocative spot marks Universal Studios Hollywood’s inaugural consumer awareness effort for its marketing campaign launching “Transformers: The Ride-3D.” When NBC’s Super Bowl game coverage once again transcends sports to captivate the nation, Universal Studios Hollywood’s spot will capture consumer imagination as the movie-based theme park sets the stage for its epic new ride, envisioned to completely and uniquely revolutionize the next generation of immersive themed rides.

The spot will culminate with a call to action, challenging viewers to enlist at PrepareForBattle.com as N.E.S.T. volunteers within an elite AUTOBOT –human combat force. The PrepareForBattle.com website includes an interactive, online game in which fans and theme park enthusiasts will compete to rise up the military ranks by successfully completing missions involving exclusive videos, downloads and trivia. Players achieving the highest accumulated point totals will win prizes including original TRANSFORMERS collectibles and a grand prize trip to experience “Transformers: The Ride–3D” at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Universal Orlando Hiring Hundreds to Bring to Life Universal’s Superstar Parade

Universal Orlando Resort is now hiring hundreds of new full-time and part-time performers to help bring to life “Universal’s Superstar Parade” – an all-new daily parade featuring larger-than-life floats, state-of-the-art technology and high-energy performances – coming to Universal Studios Florida this spring. Opportunities are now available for a multitude of full-time, benefits-eligible roles, including talented performers such as skilled dancers, drummers, stilt walkers and animated character performers of all heights. 

Universal Orlando is seeking well-rounded candidates for the following open roles:

  • Dancers – male and female dancers with strong technique in multiple dance styles
  • Animated Character Performers – high-energy dancers of all heights to perform choreographed routines in full character costumes
  • Candidates with a “little character” in them – positions are open for animated character performers with a maximum height of 4’11”
  • Drummers – skilled marching band style drummers
  • Roller Skaters – male and female, skilled roller skaters able to perform choreographed routines
  • Stilt Walkers – experienced male and female stilt walkers with ability to perform choreographed routines
     

AUDITION INFO: Interested candidates can learn more about available positions and schedule an audition by visiting www.UniversalAuditions.com/Orlando. All candidates should have full availability, must be at least 18 years of age and provide proof of eligibility to work within theUnited States.

 Universal Orlando provides a fun work environment and great perks, including competitive pay rates, comprehensive benefits, free admission to the theme parks, discounts on food and merchandise and much more.

Auditions for these positions will be held Saturday, Feb. 4, through Tuesday, Feb.7, 2012

For more information about Universal’s Superstar Parad, check out Wednesday’s announcement here. 

Universal Releases First-Ever Looks at All-New Experiences Coming in 2012

This year, Universal Orlando Resort will debut more adventure, excitement, laughter and awe-inspiring moments than ever before – making 2012 an extraordinary year to be here.   

There will be something for everyone and every family.  From a new Blue Man Group show and newly re-created experience inside one of Universal Orlando’s most popular attractions to a stunning parade, spectacular nighttime show and brand-new blockbuster attraction based on an incredibly popular film – Universal Orlando Resort is bringing guests more new entertainment across our entire destination in 2012 than during any other year in our history. 

The new experiences will begin debuting in February.  Guests will discover the exhilarating entertainment of a new Blue Man Group show; marvel at breathtaking new animation and effects in The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man; dance and celebrate with their favorite animated characters during Universal’s Superstar Parade and relive memorable moments from Universal Pictures most powerful and beloved films during the nighttime show Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular – 100 Years of Movie Memories.  And coming this summer – families will laugh together as they are transformed into minions for an incredible adventure inside the new Despicable Me Minion Mayhem attraction. 

Universal Orlando will also be marking the Universal Pictures Centennial Anniversary Celebration during 2012 with a series of events to be announced throughout the year. 

“We are about to offer our guests a historic range of incredible new entertainment experiences,” said Alice Norsworthy, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Universal Orlando Resort.  “This year will be filled with excitement and entertainment for the entire family.” 

The new 2012 experiences at Universal Orlando Resort include:

Blue Man Group ~ Opening February 2012 at Universal CityWalk

Universal Orlando’s Blue Man Group show is taking their unique and captivating mash-up of high energy music, comedy, audience participation and collective exhilaration to another level. Featuring a new show environment, new music, new technology and new experiences, the show will allow audiences to join the Blue Men as they discover, engage and explore the world’s obsession with cutting-edge technology.  Signature Blue Man Group moments combine with breathtakingly fun new pieces for an explosive evening of entertainment.  New show elements include the curious Blue Men interacting with enormous “GiPads,” a funny and insightful look at contemporary communication vehicles, and a pulsating new finale with an original Blue Man Group music score that will have guests jumping to their feet. Look closely – you may even see the Blue Men take a spin on one of Universal Orlando’s most popular attractions.

 The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ~ Experience March 2012 at Islands of Adventure

Universal Orlando is transforming what is already one of the most amazing attraction experiences ever created into what will feel like an all-new adventure.  The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man will soon feature all-new, 4K digital high-definition animation, new high tech 3-D glasses and upgrades to the set, audio and lighting systems.  The re-animation of the ride film will include an entirely new level of detail for guests to discover, including a cameo by legendary comic book icon and Spider-Man co-creator, Stan Lee.

 Universal’s Superstar Parade ~ Opening Spring 2012 at Universal Studios Florida

Some of today’s most beloved characters and stories will bring new adventure to the streets of Universal Studios during Universal’s Superstar Parade – an all-new daily parade that features larger-than-life floats, state-of-the-art technology and hundreds of energetic street performers.  Guests will sing and dance along with characters like the minions from Despicable Me, E.B. from the hit comedy, Hop, Nickelodeon’s Dora & Diego and SpongeBob SquarePants during the interactive experience. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy performances and character meet and greets prior to the parade at select locations throughout the day.

 

Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular: 100 Years of Movie Memories ~ Opening Spring 2012 at Universal Studios Florida

Narrated by award-winning actor and recent Golden Globe – Cecil B. DeMille honoree, Morgan Freeman, Universal Orlando’s brand-new nighttime show, Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular, will celebrate the most powerful and emotional moments from Universal Pictures’ most iconic films – all on cutting-edge waterfall screens within the Universal Studios lagoon and surrounded by colorful fountains and pyrotechnics. The experience will take guests on a journey through epic cinematic moments filled with heroes, horror, laughter, good vs. evil and triumph. The new show opens this spring, runs all summer and then on select nights through the end of the year.

 Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ~ Opening Summer 2012 at Universal Studios Florida  

Universal Orlando’s newest attraction, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, will take guests on an unforgettable 3-D adventure with their favorite characters from the hit film – Gru, Margo, Edith, Agnes and the mischievous minions. The experience begins when guests enter Gru’s home, where they learn that they’re being recruited to become minions and undergo “minion training.”  Things don’t go as planned, and guests find themselves on a wildly hysterical journey with Gru and his daughters.  Once guests make it through training, they join an interactive, minion-inspired dance party where they can show off their best moves. 

Universal’s Creative team is working closely with Chris Meledandri’s Illumination Entertainment to bring this all-new adventure to life in the most authentic way possible.  In fact, the beloved characters in the attraction will be voiced by the film’s original cast: Steve Carell (Gru), Miranda Cosgrove (Margo), Dana Gaier (Edith) and Elsie Fisher (Agnes).  The ride’s experience is being developed by the same creative team that brought you the award-winning film, Despicable Me. The motion-picture event Despicable Me 2 arrives in theaters on July 3, 2013. 

Other New Experiences Opening this Year

  • Hollywood Drive-In Golf, a unique 36-hole miniature golf experience inspired by the classic drive-in movie era, will open in February at Universal CityWalk.
  • A great, new immersive retail entertainment experience that will become home to SpongeBob SquarePants and other characters from the number one kids animated TV series, Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants.  It will open inside Universal Studios this year.
  • Minutes away from Universal Orlando, the popular Wet ‘n Wild water park will open its first interactive family water play area this summer – allowing everyone in the family to splash and swim together.  Amidst lush, tropical landscaping, the new area will feature 15 water slides and more than 100 soakers, jets, waterfalls and water cannons – making it the largest interactive water play experience in Florida

Make sure you share your thoughts on our forums about Universal’s big year!

Editorial: Just Imagine

A group individuals – none of whom understand how the internet works – drafting and creating bill governing and overseeing our nation’s access and participation within the World-Wide Web.

The current legislation that Congress and the House are proposing (Stop Online Piracy Act/SOPA and the PROTECT IP Act/PIPA, respectively) undermines the fundamentals of how the internet works, and places unwarranted accountability in the hands of website owners. As some may know, there are measures already in place to help content creators take down stolen material from websites infringing upon their copyright. With the passage of SOPA/PIPA, the government would have effectively ceded control of our nation’s network to that of content creators – the likes of whom include Time Warner, Comcast, Viacom and Universal Music Group – allowing them to create a blacklist of websites they feel violate their copyright and leaving the bulk of enforcement to that of intermediaries – such as internet service providers, credit card corporations and online search engines – creating a possible conflict of interest.

In short, should the bill pass, I – along with many other individuals who own and operate a website – could be personally held responsible for copyrighted content posted by individuals who use our sites, resulting in possible censorship or delisting from mainstream search engines. Content moderation seems to be the only solution, and quite frankly, policing and keeping track of each individual person who uses one’s website is a seemingly impossible task.

[PIPA and SOPA are] the equivalent of being angry and trying to take action against Ford just because a Mustang was used in a bank robbery

Alexis Ohanian
Reddit co-founder

Of course, I’m not an expert on the issue, so I suggest you read this excellent article published by the Electronic Frontier Foundation detailing the possible effects of SOPA and PIPA on the internet and its users. It’s an excellent read. Of course, given their stance (and mine as well), you might want to read about the bill’s fundamentals from more neutral sources at your disposal.

I normally never get involved in politics – especially when it comes to Inside Universal –  but this is a serious issue and I urge everyone to get involved.

An Amity and Jaws Update

What was once the great area of Amity is now a shell of it’s former self. Walls now surround Jaws and the entire Amity section of Universal Studios, with movie posters adorning them. Universal has yet to confirm it’s replacement, but rumors suggest Mr. Harry Potter will soon arrive to Universal Studios expanding his presence into 2 parks.

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