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Photo Update: Jimmy Fallon’s Introduction as New Virtual Studio Tour Host

Universal City, California — Hollywood’s longest-running hit is about to get a rousing re-make.

The Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood, which has taken over 150 million visitors behind the scenes of the movie and television industry’s biggest hits, will introduce a new video “host” this spring as comedian Jimmy Fallon, star of NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” becomes the ride’s “virtual Studio Tour Guide.” Jimmy will be introducing a series of videos that will be seen on the Hi Definition monitors located in each Tram car to augment the “live” narration provided by Universal Studios Hollywood’s tour guides.

Press Event: Jimmy Fallon's Introduction as New Virtual Studio Tour Host

Press Event: Jimmy Fallon's Introduction as New Virtual Studio Tour Host

Press Event: Jimmy Fallon's Introduction as New Virtual Studio Tour Host

Press Event: Jimmy Fallon's Introduction as New Virtual Studio Tour Host

Press Event: Jimmy Fallon's Introduction as New Virtual Studio Tour Host

Press Event: Jimmy Fallon's Introduction as New Virtual Studio Tour Host

Press Event: Jimmy Fallon's Introduction as New Virtual Studio Tour Host

Press Event: Jimmy Fallon's Introduction as New Virtual Studio Tour Host

Press Event: Jimmy Fallon's Introduction as New Virtual Studio Tour Host

Press Event: Jimmy Fallon's Introduction as New Virtual Studio Tour Host

Huge thanks goes to BehindTheTheme for attending this press event on behalf of Inside Universal. Another special thanks goes out to Shannon for handling all our last minute problems.

Brazilian Steakhouse Coming to Latin Quarter

Universal officially announced through their Passholder Newsletter that the Latin Quarter restaurant is getting a Brazilian Steakhouse, The Churrascaria, which is set to open June 2011. No details have been released as to whether this will be an add-on to the current restuarant, or a complete overhaul.

Here is what the newsletter read, which also includes the restaurant’s logo:

Savor an authentic Brazilian steakhouse where the main course is brought directly from the grill to your table until you tell them to stop.

Enjoy a variety of exquisite meats—including filet mignon, roast beef, and more—alongside a decadent salad bar filled with American favorites and authentic Brazilian side dishes.

The feast doesn’t stop until you say it does!

Keep checking Orlando United for more on the new steakhouse as more details are bound to emerge soon.

Universal Unveils New Costumes for Marvel Characters

After a few weeks of rumors, Universal finally confirmed that the characters in Marvel Super Hero Island will be getting new costumes. In the photos below, taken courtesy of OU member Jubilation Lee, you can see Cyclops, Rogue, Storm, Captain America, Wolverine, Spider-Man, and the Green Goblin all have a new, more updated look.

Small Improvements

JDK was generous enough to take a few snapshots of a couple of improvements making their way to the park. Hit the forum link to read more.

(read more)

Universal Orlando announces “Despicable Me” attraction and Upgrades to Spider-Man

Universal Orlando Resort today announced that its newest attraction will be based on Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s blockbuster 3-D-CGI feature “Despicable Me,” bringing minions, mayhem and a whole new level of 3-D family fun to its guests.  The “Despicable Me” experience will replace the Jimmy Neutron attraction at Universal Studios Florida.

Universal also announced that The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, one of the greatest attractions in theme park history, will be completely reanimated in 4K digital high definition – once again redefining the theme park experience.

Both will open in 2012 and are being developed by the same award-winning Universal Creative team that has brought all of Universal Orlando’s spectacularly themed attractions to life.  Both will utilize brand-new, highly sophisticated Infitec 3-D projection systems designed to make the experience sharper, clearer and more “real” than ever before.

DESPICABLE ME

With a worldwide gross of more than $540 million, 2010’s “Despicable Me,” from directors Chris Renaud & Pierre Coffin, is the sixth most successful film that Universal Pictures has ever distributed.  It is now the 10th-biggest animated film in U.S. history.  The 3-D animated adventure thrilled audiences across the globe with its outrageous humor, endearing characters and compelling storyline – all of which guests will be able to experience exclusively at Universal Orlando in 2012.

“Despicable Me” will become the first-ever Universal animated film to be transformed into a theme park experience.  The Universal Creative team is working closely with producer Chris Meledandri, the founder of Illumination Entertainment, to create all-new animation for an all-new “Despicable Me” adventure that places guests right in the center of the action.

Gru, one of the world’s greatest super-villains, is bringing his high-tech empire – and his three adopted daughters – to Universal Studios, and he is looking for all the help he can get.  First, he will transform guests into an army of mischievous, scene-stealing minions.  Then he will train them.  And that kicks off an unforgettable ride experience that creates a hysterical mix of chaos and family fun.

Guests will:

  • laugh as they embark on an entirely-new, high-tech 3-D digital adventure with their favorite characters from the film – Gru, daughters Margo, Edith and Agnes, and of course, Gru’s not-so-bright pit crew, the minions
  • marvel as they explore Gru’s lair and descend into his secret lab
  • shriek as the entire family is transformed into minions
  • celebrate as they are swept into a first-ever, minion-inspired, interactive dance party where they can show off their best moves

“The ‘Despicable Me’ attraction is the latest example of how we tap into pop culture’s most compelling stories and turn them into extraordinary theme park entertainment,” said Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative.  “This is a perfect fit for Universal Orlando, and we can’t wait to bring this one-of-a-kind experience to life.”

“As we write, design and animate our films at Illumination, it is our singular goal to bring to life endearing and, hopefully, enduring characters,” said Chris Meledandri.  “With the creation of next year’s ‘Despicable Me’ attraction at Universal Orlando, audiences will be able to immerse themselves in Gru’s world for many years to come.”

 

THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF SPIDER-MAN

Already one of the most popular and innovative theme park attractions ever created, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Universal’s Islands of Adventure continues to raise the bar for theme park entertainment – combining advanced motion-based ride vehicles, 3-D digital film and live special effects to create an unparalleled ride experience.  It is widely acknowledged as one of the best theme park experiences in the world – and it’s about to get mind-blowingly better.

The newly reanimated, high-definition experience will unfold within the attraction’s towering visual spaces – taking on even larger than larger-than-life proportions.  The new digital animation – combined with the new Infitec system and new set enhancements – will transform what is already one of the most technologically advanced attractions ever created into what will feel like an all-new experience.

Facts about the enhanced ride experience:

  • All-new digital animation done in 4K high definition – the highest HD resolution available
  • The new HD animation will allow guests to experience details they’ve never been able to before – from the flames spewing from Hobgoblin’s pumpkins to the electricity arching through Electro’s body to the stitching on Spider-Man’s gloves.
  • To take advantage of new HD clarity and detail, Universal Orlando is adding entirely new details to the film – and leaving it up to guests to find them.

“Guests will not believe their eyes when they experience the new Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man,” said Thierry Coup, senior vice president of the Universal Creative Studio.  “We are talking about a larger-than-life environment and the HD animation will make it even more remarkable than it has been.  It will seem brand-new.”

For more information about Universal Orlando Resort, visit www.universalorlando.com.

The Simpsons Ride: Case Study

Great case study on the audio and visual work performed on the Simpsons:

The system is broken into sections of the building, such as Extended Queue, Queue, PreShows, Hallways, Holding Rooms, Garages, Ride Vehicles, Domes, Exit Hallways & Exit Ramps. When entering the attraction a guest will be greeted by background music playing in the extended queue and then will find weatherproof LCD screens hanging in the queue line. These monitors are playing a looping queue video and speakers mounted through the queue provide audio for the video.

(read more…)

Music Group “Big Time Rush” to Perform Today at Universal

Today, guests at Universal Orlando Resort can sing along with Nickelodeon stars Big Time Rush as they perform live on Universal Studios Florida’s Music Plaza stage at 7 p.m.

With millions of fans all over the world, Big Time Rush is one of today’s hottest names in music and entertainment. Nickelodeon’s hit series “Big Time Rush,” produced in partnership with Sony Music, stars Kendall Schmidt, James Maslow, Carlos Pena, Jr. and Logan Henderson as four best friends who move to Los Angeles for a chance at music superstardom. Currently in its second season, “Big Time Rush” had the highest-rated and most-watched live-action series premiere with kids, tweens and total viewers in the history of the network. Their debut album “BTR,” which consists of original songs from the hit series, is certified RIAA® Gold® (over 500,000 units sold) and debuted at #3 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart.

Fans at Universal Orlando will also have the exclusive opportunity to watch a never-before-seen episode of “Big Time Rush.”  In the episode, “Big Time Prom” which airs on May 21, everyone at the Palm Woods is preparing for the big night, especially Kendall, James, Carlos and Logan, who are all determined to win the title of prom king.

Access to Big Time Rush’s live performance and the never-before-seen episode viewing is included in the price of regular admission to Universal Studios Florida.

EPISODE VIEWING:

Time: 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Location:
Universal Studios’ Animal Actors on Location! theater

LIVE PERFORMANCE:

Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Universal Studios’ Music Plaza Stage

Hollywood Drive-In Mini Golf Coming to CityWalk in 2012

Universal Orlando Resort today announced plans to premier an all-new, 36-hole miniature golf experience – Hollywood Drive-In Golf – at CityWalk by early 2012. The experience is being designed by Universal’s creative team to do for miniature golf what a blockbuster theme park attraction does for a movie:  bring it alive in an entirely new way. The two state-of-the art 18-hole courses will be unlike any other mini golf experience.

Inspired by the classic drive-in movie era, guests will be whisked into an elaborately-themed environment based on the vintage horror flicks and “little green men” science fiction films of the 1950s. As they experience two family friendly courses, “The Haunting of Ghostly Greens” and “Invaders From Planet Putt,” guests will putt their way through elaborate movie-style scenes, passing through a cemetery, under a giant spider, through a flying saucer and into the basement lab in a haunted house. Cutting-edge interactive elements and special effects will immerse guests further into the “double feature,” and with LED course edge-lighting they can play day, night and late night.

The new experience is being developed to complement Universal CityWalk’s role as an entertainment hub with something for everyone.

“We created Hollywood Drive-In to be fun and different and something everyone can enjoy,” said Ric Florell, senior vice president and general manager of resort revenue operations. “We used creative theming and state-of-the-art technology to take the experience to the next level. It’s perfect for Universal CityWalk – whether you are playing at 11am or 11pm.”

Situated just below the first level of CityWalk and next to the AMC Cineplex, guests will see the miniature golf courses as they are entering CityWalk from the parking garages. Construction on Hollywood Drive-In Golf is scheduled to begin this summer and the venue will open by early 2012.

With the addition of the this new courses, many are speculating about it’s location and what will happen to the Valet Parking area, which is located exactly where the announcement hints at the Mini Golf Location. Below is an image that will give you an idea what space Universal has to work with. Looks like Valet will be getting the boot.

UPDATE: Universal Orlando has confirmed that the Valet Parking Area will stay as is, and will utilize other unoccupied space.

April 29, 2011 Photo Update

Forum member Miss Betty Juice went to Universal Studios Hollywood last weekend and decided to give us a small photo update of the construction going on at the Transformers job site.

View the thread in our discussion forum for more photos.

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