Universal Orlando Unveils A Summer Sizzler

Universal Orlando Resort Tickets , Orlando , New Attractions , Expert View Column
Concept art of a nighttime show using fountains, projections and fireworks
By AttractionTickets.com’s Florida Experts, Susan and Simon Veness
New attractions set for a June opening, along with exciting new entertainment

Get ready for a really super summer of excitement at Universal Orlando Resort, as the big theme park resort has just announced a whole raft of new openings that add up to some serious fun this June and July. The FOUR new elements include the long-awaited date for the opening of the DreamWorks Land area that replaces the old Woody Woodpecker KidZone section, as well as a dramatic day-time parade that takes over from the Superstar Parade that closed last year.

It all amounts to a major programme of character-filled entertainment and live shows, just in time for the big summer season. To be fair, the DreamWorks development was expected, but the other three come as something of a surprise, and a very pleasant one, too. Here’s what’s in store:


1) DreamWorks Land

This has been “in the Works” (ho, ho!) for the Universal Studios park since most of the KidZone suddenly shut down in January last year, leaving just the ET ride and Spongebob Squarepants shop as the main kid-friendly elements. We were promised that the whole new section would arrive later in 2024, but no timetable had been set, until this week. We also now have the full details of all the family-focused fun that will be in store.

The big opening date is June 14, and the key elements will include four interactive play areas – King Harold’s Swamp Symphony and Shrek’s Swamp for Little Ogres, both based on the Shrek characters; Mama Luna Feline Fiesta, from the Puss In Boots films; and Po’s Kung Fu Training Camp, featuring Kung Fu Panda – as well as a multi-sensory indoor stage show and a junior-sized coaster.


Concept art of a family rollercoaster shaped like a caterpillar moving past large mushrooms and grass


The DreamWorks Imagination Celebration will bring all the classic DreamWorks stories to life on stage, while The Trollercoaster will add the extra ride excitement for younger visitors (a direct replacement for the old Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster). The whole area should be a really lively character fiesta, and Universal also promises “unique treats and photo-worthy moments that are fun for the whole family.”


2) Hogwarts Always

Universal has created some vivid and compelling projection shows for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade in the Islands of Adventure park in the past, and now comes a completely different experience, starting on June 14th.

The Hogwarts Always show will take guests on a journey through iconic moments of a typical school year at the wizarding school, all set against the majestic backdrop of Hogwarts castle. From supply shopping in Diagon Alley and the exhilarating ride aboard the Hogwarts Express to participating in the Sorting Ceremony and celebrating the House Cup winner, this film-and-special-effects extravaganza promises to captivate witches, wizards and Muggles of all ages.

The show will also feature four different endings that celebrate each Hogwarts house and will culminate with a colourful pyrotechnic display. Fans should also listen for dialogue from beloved characters like Professor Dumbledore, Hagrid, the Sorting Hat and more throughout the show.


Hogwarts Castle lit up by projection mapping with fireworks in the background


3) CineSational: A Symphonic Spectacular

We have been waiting for more than a year for the replacement for the former Universal’s Cinematic Celebration on the central lagoon, and here it comes, also starting on June 14th.

The waters of the lagoon will come to life with an exhilarating new show celebrating the emotional power of music in the iconic scores and scenes from blockbuster films that have inspired so many of Universal Orlando’s attractions, including Warner Bros. Pictures Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films, Jurassic World, Jaws, Shrek, Ghostbusters, Trolls, Back to the Future, Universal Monsters, Transformers, How to Train Your Dragon, E.T., Fast and Furious, The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Minions, The Mummy and King Kong.


A dark blue banner reading 'Cinesational: A Symphonic Spectacular


Just as awe-inspiring will be an impressive collection of technologies and special effects that bring the show to life. The next-level presentation will feature 228 fountains that reach heights up to 131 feet, ultra-sharp 4K projection mapping, an original composition featuring newly arranged scores crafted to each scene, and – the tour de force – more than 600 drones, all coming together to envelop guests in a breathtaking display of unforgettable cinematic moments.


4) Universal Mega Movie Parade

Here’s the element that most excites us. It was a real surprise when Universal suddenly shut down its Superstar Parade on June 4th last year, ending a 10-year run, but now we have another really big-production cavalcade to look forward to, and it should be a genuine spectacular, crowned by a 16ft Stay Puft Marshmallow Man atop the Ghostbusters float.

Beginning July 3rd, the new parade showcases some of the most beloved stories from Universal films as the likes of iconic movies E.T., Back to the Future, Jaws, Ghostbusters, Jurassic World, Illumination’s Minions and Sing and DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls and Kung Fu Panda will all leap off the screen and land on the streets of Universal Studios Florida.

The Universal Mega Movie Parade will be Universal’s biggest daytime parade to date and combine 13 all-new floats, nearly 100 performers – including dancers, skaters, stilt walkers, poi performers and more – and special effects to create “a jaw-dropping experience where guests can relive classic film moments in a whole new way.”


A purple and blue banner reading Universal Mega Movie Parade


In addition to the Marshmallow Man – which sounds like a must-have selfie just waiting to happen! – other highlights will include the colourful Caterbus and giant rainbows on the vibrant Trolls float; a live marching drum line performing the iconic movie score of Jaws alongside a float themed to the film; and, in what promises to be an epic finale, a Gyrosphere, Raptors and the fierce Tyrannosaurus rex aboard the Jurassic World float. Movie fans are also invited to look out for additional details that nod to iconic elements from the films.

As if all that is not enough, Universal’s Summer Tribute Store will complement the new parade experience and feature themed rooms, merchandise and photo ops inspired by some of the films in the parade. It all adds up to a real summer sizzler for anyone heading to Orlando this summer, and you know we will be front and centre on the streets of Universal Orlando when the parade makes its debut!


What will you be most excited to see in Universal’s Summer of Fun? Tell us about it on the friendly Attraction Tickets Community Facebook page, on Twitter or Instagram.

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Universal Orlando Resort Tickets , Orlando , New Attractions , Expert View Column