Home to two incredible theme parks, Universal’s Island of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida, Universal Orlando Resort is a thrill seekers paradise! See your favourite films, TV shows and books come to life across these spectacular parks, in what is one of the hottest spots in Orlando. The fun doesn’t end in the parks either, Universal’s CityWalk offers some of the most exciting nightlife in Orlando, with a huge array of restaurants, bars, clubs, shops and cinemas.
What was new in 2013?
2013 was a great year at Universal, with Universal Studios gaining a couple of amazing new attractions.
Everyone’s favourite cartoon family, The Simpsons came to life in the all new Springfield area of the park, allowing guests to enjoy a Duff beer in Moe’s Tavern, have lunch in Krusty Burger and meet their favourite characters. Located opposite the existing Simpsons 3-D ride, you really will feel like you’ve arrived in Springfield! There is a new ride as well, Kang and Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl, that sees you try to take over the town, as you shoot at targets, gaining a vocal response from the various characters.
Summer 2013 also saw the launch of Transformers: The Ride-3D. After proving to be a smash hit at Universal Studios Hollywood, the Transformers arrived in Orlando, giving you an ultra-immersive sensory experience that sees you on the front line of an intergalactic war between the Autobots and Decepticons. Despite being relatively new, this ride is already a huge favourite amongst park guests and is a ride not to be missed!
What’s happening in 2014?
Undoubtedly the biggest story in 2014 at Universal is the expansion of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, with the opening of the Diagon Alley area in Universal Studios. This is going to be connected to the Hogsmeade area in Universal’s Islands of Adventure by the Hogwarts Express, giving guests an even more immersive Harry Potter experience. The Diagon Alley area is going to play host to a new ride inside Gringotts Bank and also a new Leaky Cauldron restaurant, making this an absolute must for theme park fans and Harry Potter fans alike! Whilst we don’t have an opening date yet, we have been told it will be in ‘Summer 2014’ so keep your eyes peeled for an official announcement!
Whilst not strictly theme park news, Universal are also set to open a brand new value hotel, the Cabana Bay Beach Resort, offering a range of family friendly rooms, with 1950’s theming. We reckon this is going to become a firm family favourite! Also in the hotels, the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel unveiled the amazing new Despicable Me inspired family rooms back in November, providing some of the best themed rooms we have ever seen!
Over in Universal CityWalk, there are to be eight brand new restaurants opening up in June 2014, giving guests even more choice, in what is set to be the biggest ever expansion at Universal CityWalk. With restaurants covering Mexican, Italian, hot dogs, burgers, frozen yogurt, ice cream, sandwiches and of course, Starbucks, there will be something for every taste!