universal orlando resort
Details From Universal Orlando’s Skull Island: Reign of Kong Attraction
Locals have been watching the construction with great anticipation, and now Universal Orlando Resort has treated us to a photo and some more info about the upcoming King Kong attraction at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. While I’m not *personally* a fan of giant things screaming in my face, I know many people are, and are excited about this upcoming attraction. (What can I say, I prefer my giant creatures to be magical dragons.)
I do love a good immersive attraction, however, and the Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye attraction in Disneyland is one of my all-time favorites. I also am a mega-fan of the Wizarding World attractions in both Universal theme parks, so I’m willing to give this a try when the gates open this summer. Until then, here’s the official release from Universal with the details they are willing to share today:
Soon, you will be transported to an island shrouded in mystery and legend. It is a lost world where adventure – and the unimaginable – will challenge you in unforgettable ways.
When it opens this summer at Universal Orlando Resort’s Islands of Adventure, Skull Island: Reign of Kong will bring the next generation of the King Kong legend to life. You will be thrust into an exotic world filled with the menacing, the intense – and the wildly entertaining. A powerful storyline, a stunning 3D experience, innovative technology – and the unexpected – will pull you into one of Universal Orlando’s most massive adventures yet. This is a multi-dimensional experience filled with surprise – all wrapped into what will be one of the longest Universal ride experiences ever created.
More first-ever details will be released soon. But today, Universal Orlando unveils details about the incredible journey guests will experience.
The adventure begins as you set out to explore an island rife with prehistoric creatures of unknown origin –and the legend of a beast still undiscovered. You find yourself at a campsite of the 8th Wonder Expedition Company, the research team leading your adventure.
Once beyond camp, the menacing terrain shows signs of a native presence; beating drums draw you toward an ancient temple. Moving deeper into the ruins reveals a lost shrine – and proof you are not alone. You ignore warnings to turn back.
You board a specially designed expedition vehicle that will take you deeper into the island. Mysterious sounds pierce the air and you hear chanting. And then – you confront an enormous temple wall, complete with carvings and images that seem to pay homage to something you cannot quite comprehend. The temple’s massive wooden doors slowly open, revealing a labyrinth of caves.
Inside the caves, you meet your expedition leader – and suddenly find yourself in the midst of a raging struggle between creatures of incomprehensible size and ferocity. Then, as those creatures turn on you, there is an even more enormous, earth-pounding presence – bigger, closer and more overwhelming than you can possibly imagine. It is Kong. But is he friend or foe?
More details about “Skull Island: Reign of Kong” will be revealed soon. To stay up-to-date on all the latest news, visit universalorlando.com/
How does it sound? Mysterious? Menacing? Will you be willing to brave Skull Island this summer? What are you most looking forward to if so? I’ll update more news here as it’s released. Until then, let’s all work on our Fay Wray screams, okay?
Details of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley Expansion
Universal Orlando Resort held a live webcast this morning, complete with 3 stars of the Harry Potter films, to share details, concept art and a peek into the newest section of Universal Studios Florida: Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley. Being a huge Harry Potter fan, I am beyond excited to experience this new area first hand, and after seeing today’s webcast, I do not think I will be disappointed.
Seeing inside the Hogwarts Express and hearing that it will pass by modern day London, with a view of the Knight Bus before passing through the brick wall to Diagon Alley was a treat. The list of shops and places to eat inside Diagon Alley is perfect and they even brought Knockturn Alley over to stay true to the films. I’m just thrilled about all of these details and cannot wait for summer 2014 to travel to Diagon Alley in person! It was also fun to have my submitted question asked and answered on the webcast. I asked how they decided which iconic elements of Diagon Alley to recreate in the park and they said with so many amazing iconic themes to work with, they listened to fans and what they wanted and made sure to stay true to the films – and it definitely looks like they did. Here is the full webcast, recorded live by my friend and YouTuber The Big Fat Panda: (my question is at around the 20:00 mark, but Mark messed up and said iconographic my mistake 😉 )
“Never before has a theme park created a guest experience like this: you climb aboard the Hogwarts Express in Hogsmeade and moments later arrive at King’s Cross Station – where the wonders of London and Diagon Alley unfold before you. And it is all real.
With this summer’s opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, Universal Orlando Resort and Warner Bros. Entertainment will bring even more of Harry Potter’s adventures to life inside a new, magnificently themed area that includes a revolutionary attraction experience, as well as all-new themed shops and dining.
The two companies today revealed first-ever details about the new area and the one-of-a-kind adventures it will offer the whole family. The spectacularly themed environment will double the size of the sweeping area already dedicated to Harry Potter’s adventures at Universal Orlando, expanding it across both Universal theme parks.
And – just like in the books and films – guests will be able to travel between the two areas aboard the iconic Hogwarts Express.
Universal Orlando launched a global phenomenon when it opened The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at its Islands of Adventure theme park in 2010. That area includes the iconic Hogwarts castle – which houses the groundbreaking Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction – and the village of Hogsmeade. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley will be located within Universal Orlando’s second theme park, Universal Studios, and will create new experiences based on the signature areas of London, Diagon Alley and Knockturn Alley.
Universal’s creative team has been working closely with Stuart Craig and the production team from the Harry Potter films to make the new area as authentic and spectacular as possible – just as it did with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade.
The vision for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley is unprecedented, with Universal Orlando creating the world’s first centrally themed, multi-park experience.
After arriving at King’s Cross Station aboard the Hogwarts Express, guests will pass through London and the iconic brick wall archway from the films into Diagon Alley – a bustling, wizarding hub within a Muggle city. There will be shops, dining experiences, and a new ride called Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts – a multi-sensory, multi-dimensional journey that will take theme park attractions to a new level.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley will give visitors the exciting opportunity to:
- Board the Hogwarts Express and journey between London’s King’s Cross Station (located in Universal Studios Florida) and Hogsmeade Station (located in Universal’s Islands of Adventure). The journey will be filled with views of London and the British countryside – as well as a few surprises. Park-to-park admission is required.
- Experience a groundbreaking new, multi-dimensional thrill ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts,which will place riders in the middle of an incredible adventure as they navigate their way through the perils of the Gringotts vaults
- Witness the magical experience of a wand choosing a wizard at Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC, one of the wizarding world’s premier wand shops
- Discover the darker side of magic in Knockturn Alley, the darkest of dark places that features Borgin and Burkes – a shop specializing in the Dark Arts that will offer a wide variety of Dark objects, such as Death Eater masks, skulls, and other sinister items
- Explore some of Diagon Alley’s famous shops, including:
- Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, a vibrant shop featuring novelty items, magical jokes, and toys inspired by the books and films that will amaze the mischievous child in everyone
- Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, where guests will find a variety of wizardwear from Hogwarts school uniform ties, scarves and jumpers, to authentic wizard’s robes and character costumes
- Magical Menagerie, which features a collection of plush animals, such as owls and Hippogriffs
- Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, where guests can grab wizarding essentials such as telescopes, binoculars, armillary spheres, compasses, magnifying glasses and hourglasses
- Quality Quidditch Supplies, offering a wide assortment of apparel and equipment including Quidditch sweaters, brooms, Golden Snitches, Bludgers, Bludger bats, Quaffles and more
- Scribbulus, featuring authentic writing implements and products such as feather quills, ink and inkwells, bookmarks, journals, parchment paper, seals, stationery sets and postcards
- Enjoy traditional British fare that includes favorite dishes such as fish and chips, bangers and mash and more at the Leaky Cauldron
- Visit Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour for frozen treats in a variety of tantalizing and unique flavors such as strawberry-and-peanut-butter ice-cream and many others
- And more!
More details about the unique experiences that can be found in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley will be released over time. For more information about the area, visit www.universalorlando.com/harrypotter.
Universal Orlando Resort is part of NBCUniversal, a Comcast company. Follow Universal Orlando Resort on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
What do you think? What are you most looking forward to at Diagon Alley? I think it’s wandering the shops for me, dining at the Leaky Cauldron, and of course, escaping from Gringotts! (okay, so everything!)
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley – Coming Soon!
As a fan of all things Harry Potter, and after finally getting to experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter myself a few months back, I am thrilled at this expansion announcement! Read the official press release below for more information – and I solemnly swear that I am up to no good!
Building on the global phenomenon that is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Orlando Resort and Warner Bros. Entertainment today announced an expansion of historic proportion with the entirely new themed environment, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.
Scheduled to open in 2014, the world’s first centrally themed, multi-park experience expands The Wizarding World of Harry Potter across both Universal Orlando theme parks and allows Universal’s creative team to bring an unparalleled vision to this unique project. The new area will bring to life some of the experiences and places found in and around London in the Harry Potter books and films, offering brand-new adventures for fans and theme park guests from around the world.
Diagon Alley and ‘London’ will be located within the Universal Studios Florida theme park, which is adjacent to Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park, where guests now experience Hogwarts and Hogsmeade. The new area within Universal Studios will be just as expansive, immersive and authentic as the existing themed environment.
And – just like in the books and films – guests will be able to travel between ‘London’ and Hogsmeade aboard the Hogwarts Express.
Work on the new area is already underway. When complete, it will feature shops, a restaurant and an innovative, marquee attraction based on Gringotts bank – all directly inspired by the fiction and films.
More details on The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley will be released over time.
To bring Diagon Alley and ‘London’ to life, Universal’s creative team is working closely with Warner Bros. and the production design team from the Harry Potter films – just as it did for Hogwarts and Hogsmeade.
“I’m so pleased that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has proved so popular to date, and I’m sure that the attention to detail in creating the new Diagon Alley area will make this an even better experience,” said J.K. Rowling.
“We are continuing the journey and adding an entirely new level of adventure,” said Tom Williams, Chairman of Universal Parks & Resorts. “And we are bringing the same drive, commitment, enthusiasm and innovation to this project as we did to the first.”
“We are thrilled to offer the legions of fans the opportunity to embark on this new journey and experience Diagon Alley as it was brought to life in the books and films,” said Brad Globe, president, Warner Bros. Consumer Products.
“Our vision is to create two amazing theme park experiences that combine into one, complete, magical journey,” said Alice Norsworthy, executive vice president, marketing and sales for Universal Orlando Resort.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade opened at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in June 2010 as a fully immersive Harry Potter themed environment – bringing to life the bestselling books by J.K. Rowling and the blockbuster feature films from Warner Bros. Since that time, it has become a global phenomenon, entertaining millions of people from around the world.
Visitors to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter are swept into the adventures of Harry Potter. They can tour Hogwarts castle, shop in Hogsmeade and dine at the Three Broomsticks. They can soar above Hogwarts with Harry, be chosen by a wand at Ollivanders, sample Butterbeer and much more.
What are your thoughts? Excited?
Universal Studios Orlando Celebrates Christmas With Music, Parades and The Grinch!
Universal Studios once again brings favorites back for the Christmas season – the Grinch, the Macy’s Holiday Parade and Mannheim Steamroller round out their holiday offerings, all included in a regular ticket for Universal Studios Florida (Macy’s parade and Mannheim Steamroller) or Islands of Adventure (Grinchmas).
The Grinchmas show is always a family favorite, and fits right in to the Suess Landing area of Islands of Adventure. Now through January 1, Guests can watch the heartwarming live show, “Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular,” featuring The Grinch and the Whos from Who-ville accompanied by an original musical score by Mannheim Steamroller. Guests can also meet The Grinch and the Whos and on select dates, purchase and enjoy a special breakfast with the characters.
The Macy’s Holiday Parade over at Universal Studios Florida features classic balloons, straight from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, including several stationed throughout the park for photo opportunities. Santa Claus ends the parade with a colorful tree lighting.
Also in Universal Studios Florida are select performances by Mannheim Steamroller, featuring composer Chip Davis. Mannheim Steamroller performs their holiday classics along with selections from the Grinchmas show, composed by Davis. Performance nights are Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23.
All the holiday offerings are included for guests as part of any holiday pass, two-park or multi-day admission to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.
For more information on the Holidays at Universal Orlando, vacation packages and ticket offers, visit UniversalOrlando.com/holidays.
Disclosure: my family was provided a complimentary viewing of the events mentioned above. All opinions are my own.
New 50’s-Themed Family Suite and Value Hotel Announced at Universal Orlando
Check out the interesting news out of Universal Orlando Resort this morning – an all-new uniquely-themed value resort will be built on-site, opening in 2014. The resort will be half family-suites, half traditional rooms, offering both value and moderate-priced experiences. I do love mid-century design so I’m excited to see how this unfolds before us! Here’s the official news and some artist renderings below:
ORLANDO, Fla. (July 9, 2012) – Universal Parks & Resorts and Loews Hotels & Resorts will build a new hotel development at Universal Orlando that will add high-quality, high-value options for families wanting an affordable on-site experience.
Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort will offer two distinct experiences within the development’s multiple buildings: 900 family suites, capable of sleeping six, that include kitchen areas and 900 standard guest rooms – offering both moderate- and value-priced accommodations. It will be operated by Loews Hotels & Resorts and is scheduled to open in 2014.
The hotel will be themed differently than anything else currently available at Universal Orlando. It will evoke the driving vacations so many Americans grew up enjoying with their families – spending time at sweeping motor courts just off the highway, where families relaxed and played after a long day’s drive. The new hotel’s hip, vintage look will be accented with bold design, dramatic, clean lines, bright, period colors and touches of neon. Inside areas including the lobby, dining areas and large, comfortable rooms will follow suit. The hotel will have two themed pool areas.
“Our new hotel will give guests an affordable, incredibly themed on-site hotel experience unlike anything else at our resort,” said Tom Williams, chairman and chief executive officer, Universal Parks & Resorts. “Our new family suites and family-value pricing will give our guests on-site options they’ve never had before.”
The hotel will be built on a 37-acre site within Universal Orlando Resort and adjacent to Universal’s Islands of Adventure – just off Hollywood Way and Turkey Lake Road. Site work will begin soon. Pricing information, opening timeframes and room on-sale dates will be released over time.
The new hotel will allow families to choose between value pricing or the higher level of benefits and service that come with staying at other on-site Universal Orlando hotels – Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort. It will provide early park admission, proximity to Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios and resort-wide charging privileges – but will not offer complimentary Universal Express Unlimited Access.
“The Cabana Bay Beach Resort furthers our goal of operating special and distinct properties in important markets,” said Paul Whetsell, Loews Hotels & Resorts president and CEO. “This is another important step in our plan to expand the Loews system in major markets across the United States.”
Miranda Cosgrove Celebrates Despicable Me Minion Mayhem At Universal Orlando Resort
Yesterday saw the grand opening and “yellow carpet” premiere of Universal Orlando Resort‘s newest attraction – Despicable Me Minion Mayhem at Universal Studios Florida. Stars from the film were on-hand to celebrate the ride and experience the fun for themselves. I can’t wait to get over there myself and check it out, during this “Year To Be Here” – but in the meantime, here’s all the official news and photos from Universal Orlando Resort:
Based on the blockbuster Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment film Despicable Me, the ride was created by Universal Orlando in partnership with Chris Meledandri, founder and CEO of Illumination, and his filmmaking colleagues. The ride places guests in the midst of an original adventure that combines a new storyline, new animation, the latest 3-D technology – and the heart, outrageous humor and memorable characters of the film.
There is something for every guest and every family: a heartwarming family story, hysterical minions and a disco-inspired dance party.
Guests will meet their favorite characters from the film – all voiced by the original cast: Gru (Steve Carell), the world’s greatest super-villain, and his daughters Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and Agnes (Elsie Fisher). They will enter the ride through the towering façade of Gru’s house, pick up 3-D “minion goggles” in his living room and be scanned for “human germs” in the Minionization Prep Room.
Gru is working on something “really big” and recruits guests for the job, transforms them into minions and
sends them off for minion training. From there, guests go on a wild ride where they evade water sprayers,
giant flyswatters, anti-gravity rooms and more.
“We worked to blend the spirit and heart of the film with a great new adventure for our guests and their families,” said Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative. “Where else can your family laugh, dance, celebrate and become a minion all at the same time?”
“We’re so excited to introduce an entirely new experience that truly captures all the heart, humor and emotion audiences have come to love about Despicable Me,” said Meledandri. “Fans of the film can now have fun and interact with their favorite Despicable Me characters in a way they haven’t been able to before.”
The attraction’s grand opening caps Universal Orlando’s “Year to be Here” – during which Universal debuted more new entertainment experiences across its entire destination than any other year in its history. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem follows the debut of a newly-enhanced Blue Man Group Show at Universal CityWalk, the high-tech re-launch of The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and the spring openings of Universal’s Superstar Parade and Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular – 100 Years of Movie Memories at Universal Studios Florida.
For more information about Universal Orlando Resort, visit www.universalorlando.com.
Check out a fun video from InsideTheMagic, showcasing the ride queue, post-queue and merchandise shop:
VIDEO: Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Spectacular-100 Years of Movie Memories
Tuesday night saw the official premiere of Universal Studios Florida’s newest nighttime lagoon show, the Universal Cinematic Spectacular: 100 Years of Movie Memories. Being relatively new to the Universal Orlando Resort parks, I had not seen past nighttime shows, but when I first heard about Cinematic Spectacular, I was excited to see it.
After two years of planning and executing, the Universal team, led by Show Director and writer Mike Aiello, have brought the movies to life. They found a new technology in Aqua Graphic Curtains, which provide a crystal clear backdrop for the movie projections. The images are viewable the same on both sides of the curtain – not in reverse. There are several of these curtains spread across the lagoon, flanked by fountains, which provide an additional canvas in some scenes, and color accents in others. Top it all off with Morgan Freeman narration, original movie soundtracks, and fireworks, and you’ve got a pretty good movie show. In fact, fans of Disney parks will probably feel like this the ending of the Great Movie Ride, on steroids. It was fun to spot favorite movies in the mix, and the scenes are up to date, with Battleship and Snow White and the Hunstman clips included. This is definitely a show you can see over and over and see something new each time. I love how you can stand at various points across the edge of the lagoon and see virtually the same show; you aren’t missing anything.
Let’s hear a bit more from Mike Aiello and see the Cinematic Spectacular from the Battery Park area of Universal Studios Florida:
So many people rush to compare Disney Parks to Universal, and as someone that’s grown up going to Walt Disney World, I understand. However, after having visited the Universal Orlando Resort several times over the past months, I realize that there really is no comparison. Sure, they are competing for our tourist dollars and guest revenue, but Universal is a completely different experience, and stands on its own, with no “but Disney…” needed. Since all of my visits to the parks have been as invited media, I haven’t even gotten to experience all the attractions the parks have to offer, but I do know that I love looking at the authentic architecture in the New York and Hollywood sections of Universal Studios Florida, and the theming in Islands of Adventure is wonderful too. I look forward to when I can experience the rest of the parks but until then, I love the entertainment options I’ve seen so far. They are completely different than what Disney does daily – and that’s okay.
Be sure to check out the Cinematic Spectacular on your next visit and check out video from the new Superstar Parade before you visit too. Thanks to Universal for providing dinner and exclusive viewing of both shows for my family and me. The opinions expressed here are 100% my own – we loved both shows!
Universal Orlando Resort Creates Family Fun with its Superstar Parade
Last night, Universal Orlando Resort premiered its two newest entertainment offerings. These shows have been in sneak peek mode for a few weeks now, but media (myself included) and special guests were invited to experience their grand opening, and given the red carpet treatment too. While the central Florida rain put a slight delay on festivities, we were still able to see both shows and they were worth the wait.
Universal Orlando continues to impress me with their new offerings and they are living up to their “Year to Be Here” motto for 2012. The Superstar Parade has taken two years to get to fruition and the result is something for everyone. Parade Show Director Lora Wallace explained that this was no accident. If your child loves Dora and Diego, they will be thrilled at the float containing the familiar pair, along with Boots the monkey and baby jaguar. If they have outgrown Dora, there are tumbling monkeys on the float which will impress any age group. The same goes for SpongeBob SquarePants; if you aren’t a fan, they’ve added aerial silk performers on the back of his float to entertain and wow audiences. One of my favorite parts was the HOP float, where E.B. plays a drum set on the float, as a drum corps follows along behind him. Lora is a former snare drum player from her high school marching band, so this was a personal addition she was pleased to add as it tied in with HOP perfectly. As a mom of a school band drummer, I loved it too!
In addition to these fun visual elements, this new parade makes two stops along its route – in the Hollywood and New York areas. These stops showcase dance numbers and tons of guest interaction. No matter where you watch the parade, you’ll get a slightly different experience, or you can choose to stand in a specific spot to see your favorite characters. The Despicable Me characters which lead the parade are a great park addition and will tie in perfectly to the new Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem attraction opening this summer. I can’t wait!
The Superstar Parade runs daily at 5pm. Plans have not yet been finalized for the presentation of this parade during the Macy’s Holiday and Mardi Gras parade seasons, but it will all be worked out according to Senior Vice President for Entertainment at Universal Orlando, Jim Timon. Our viewing was shown at night due to the rain delay, so the video below will reflect that. However, for a parade created to show in the daytime, it’s still quite vibrant and beautiful at night! Check out the video below for a preview with some Superstar Parade highlights:
You can find out more about Universal Orlando Resort at UniversalOrlando.com. Special thanks to the UOR team for providing my family with dinner, desserts and entertainment so I could review these events for you. Opinions and reviews are 100% my own. Also check out the Cinematic Spectacular: 100 Years of Universal Memories, the amazing new nighttime lagoon show.
Review of Universal Orlando Resort’s Mardi Gras in Florida
While I’ve been to New Orleans before, never during Mardi Gras, and it’s certainly not a destination with a family reputation. With that in mind Universal Orlando Resort has been bringing Mardi Gras to central Florida for years now. One of the highlights is the Mardi Gras parade, where guests receive beads from the passing floats – a favorite for kids in the crowd. This year’s parade takes guests on a journey through the earth’s different ecosystems with elaborately themed floats including: bayous and swamps, rainforest, coral reefs, the deep blue sea and Polar Regions. Every year, the parade’s hand-crafted floats are built by Blaine Kern Artists – the same company that designs the floats for the Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans.
Universal also puts together a French Quarter Courtyard, where guests can enjoy authentic New Orleans bands every night before the headliner concert. Since 2006, more than 20 bands have traveled straight from The Big Easy to Universal Orlando to perform Blues, Jazz and Zydeco music for partygoers – adding to the authenticity of Universal’s Mardi Gras celebration. The French Quarter also features delicious Cajun cuisine, including jambalaya, gumbo, beignets and much more. We were able to sample the gumbo, jambalaya and beignets and they were pretty darn good! Spicy and authentic!
In addition, there are headline bands performing each Friday and Saturday, which is included in the price of park admission! We saw Big Time Rush, which was very well-received by the local tween crowds. Speaking of crowds, this is one of two caveats I have for families heading to Universal Studios Florida for these events. We had been here for the Christmastime events, with Mannheim Steamroller performing. Let’s just say there are a few more people in the park to see Big Time Rush vs. Mannheim Steamroller. When we arrived at 4:30, guests had already staked out their spots for the concert at 8:30 after the parade. We had to make our way from the lakefront area where we’d seen the wonderful parade to the stage area for the show and trying to maneuver through the crowds – with strollers, was pretty scary. While I can appreciate the amazing value of a free show like this, when it’s geared toward families, better crowd control and exit pathways could be worked on.
The second issue I had was with the amount of alcohol being served. This isn’t so much a Universal issue as I had the same report during Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival. Seeing employees walking around selling jello shots just gives off a different vibe, however. I get that it IS Mardi Gras after all, an event not exactly known for teetotaling. I don’t pretend to shield my children from the realities of adults on vacation, but that much alcohol in any environment makes me uncomfortable, and it is billed as a “family event”
That said, the little kids show we were treated to when we first arrived was super cute, with costumed characters dancing to zydeco music and throwing beads at the end. The kids in the audience all loved it and it was a great way to get them introduced to the music and excitement of the event. I think overall it’s a super fun event for families and adults alike, maybe just plan to get the stroller-set home after the parade.
Here are the remaining performers and performances for Universal’s Mardi Gras:
Mardi Gras Event Dates
Headliners (performing in the Music Plaza)
New Orleans Bands (performing in the French Quarter)
|Friday, March 16||J. Cole||Lil’ Brian & The Zydeco Travelers|
|Saturday, March 17||Sugar Ray||Lil’ Brian & The Zydeco Travelers|
|Friday, March 23||Hot Chelle Rae||J.J. Caillier & The Zydeco Knockouts|
|Saturday, March 24||B.o.B||J.J. Caillier & The Zydeco Knockouts|
|Friday, March 30||Plain White T’s||Soul Project|
|Saturday, March 31||Prince Royce||Soul Project|
|Saturday, April 7||Cyndi Lauper||Rockin’ Jake|
|Saturday, April 14||KC & The Sunshine Band||Big Al & The Heavyweights|
You can see the rest of my photos from the evening at my Flickr account!
I was provided entrance to Universal Orlando Resort and dinner for my family and myself on the night we attended, but this in no way affected my review or opinions contained herein. Thanks to Universal Orlando for a great night.
More information about Universal Orlando Resort may be found at UniversalOrlando.com.