Tag: Orlando theme park rumors

RRU Special Edition: Three ways Diagon Alley is lavishly improving on Hogsmeade’s wizarding formula

The Ministry of Magic's phone booth.

It isn’t just with park-connecting rides and compelling merchandising opportunities that Universal plans on expounding upon the Wizarding World of Harry Potter formula that it nearly perfected four years ago – there are a whole slew of other methods, both incredibly big and microscopically small, that will help transport you more fully into Harry’s wondrous world. When taken together, they create one of the most highly detailed and thoroughly immersive environments anywhere on the … [Read more...]

Rumor SPOTLIGHT for April 18, 2014: Interactive wands – the next generation of the Wizarding World

David Radcliffe, left, as Harry Potter and John Hurt as Ollivander in the Warner Bros. Pictures movie "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." photo by Peter Mountain.                                                             UPFRONT layout 2-3/ FOR WELKOS STORY SNEAKS NOV.11, 2001

Pulling its own version of a rumor round-up, Central Florida Top 5 has managed to combine all previously-leaked information with some insider intel of its own to give us our most tantalizing glimpse yet of the new RFID-equipped wands that will be flooding the Wizarding Worlds starting (possibly) this summer. The information is impressive, compelling, and – perhaps ironically – magical, so be sure to be sitting down when reading this, preferably with a cup of butterbeer (frozen, of course) … [Read more...]

Rumor round-up for April 11, 2014: Diagon Alley’s soft openings, King Kong’s secrets, and Universal Orlando’s new ride (literally)

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Harry Potter and the Soft Openings The exact opening date of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley has been all over the place as of late, and for good reason: there’s been delays, construction hang-ups, and other assorted craziness that happens on a project of this scale, making predictions a little on the impossible side. (A quick sidebar while we’re on the subject: we previously reported that one of the major snafus affecting the pace of progress on the Hogwarts Express … [Read more...]

Rumor SPOTLIGHT for April 5, 2014: Unlimited FastPass+ versus Potter’s third phase – the battle for the future is heating up

mickey-v-harry-square

In case there was any doubt that 2014 will be the most important year yet for the theme park industry (here in Central Florida, at least), news keeps trickling in from both official and unofficial sources that only serves to bludgeon us over the head with the irrefutable fact. It’s simultaneously thrilling and painful. What is transpiring is nothing short of an ever-broadening war between Disney and Universal, with maneuvers, counter-moves, and the deploying of nuclear submarines rapidly … [Read more...]

Rumor round-up for March 28, 2014: Sharpening our thoughts on Diagon Alley’s opening, first glimpses of King Kong & Jurassic World, Universal’s water park

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Let’s figure out Diagon Alley’s opening date, shall we? A new source has dropped off an owl to us here at Orlando Informer, and the contents of the letter have us all atwitter. Several different topics were addressed, so let’s get to it in bullet-point-style, shall we? The attractions – the Hogwarts Express is ahead of schedule, but Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is still lagging behind. However, the goblin audio-animatronics have finally arrived at the show building, … [Read more...]

Rumor round-up for March 22, 2014: Disney’s FastPass+ controversy – the good, the bad & the indifferent

Extended FastPass+ queue for Little Mermaid.

Rumor FastPass+ round-up All four of Walt Disney World’s theme parks have been switched over to the new FastPass+ ride reservation system for the past two months, while all Annual Passholders’ MagicBands (the all-in-one bracelets that allow one to make her FastPass+ reservations in advance) will ship out next week. Now that we’ve fully entered the NextGen future that Disney has spent so much time (and money – $1 billion’s worth!) talking about, it seems only appropriate to pause, … [Read more...]

Rumor SPOTLIGHT for March 14, 2014: Hogwarts Express ride details reveal the world’s most authentic theme park attraction

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At the beginning of this week, Universal teased that it was going to be sharing some new details today about the Hogwarts Express train ride that connects Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida to Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure. The company has certainly lived up to that promise, inviting several Harry Potter fansites to New York City last night to chat with Vice President of Corporate Communications Tom Schroder, Senior Show Producer Michael DoQui, and, of course, the ubiquitous Oliver … [Read more...]

Rumor round-up for March 7, 2014: King Kong construction begins, Shrek at Orlando Eye, Cabana Bay’s fitness & Energon’s finale

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The first proof of an Islands of Adventure expansion The goodly folks over at Parkscope have uncovered yet another permit, filed by Universal just yesterday. An engineering permit, it calls for “site work for project 340, to include demolition of existing site area, mass grading, asphalt modification, and utility improvements.” Just what is project 340, you ask? Well, the short answer is we don’t fully know yet, but long-time readers will remember that a new King Kong ride is … [Read more...]

Rumor round-up for February 28, 2014: Universal price increase, Star Wars Weekends, Leaky Cauldron’s food & Transformers-themed rooms

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Save money on Universal Orlando tickets – for this weekend only Did you hear about Universal Orlando Resort’s price increases earlier this week, which were done to keep pace with Disney’s unusually-timed price hikes? And did you read our report that Universal’s website prices are still inexplicably set at 2013 levels? (You can seriously save $50 on what will become the resort’s de facto ticketing option, a two-day Park-to-Park ticket, by shopping online right now.) We didn’t have … [Read more...]

Rumor SPOTLIGHT for February 22, 2014: Will Diagon Alley & Hogsmeade Station be delayed until August?

hogsmeade-station

Note from the editor: it's the 100th installment(!) of our popular series, Rumor Round-Up, and, to celebrate, we've got some very special news regarding the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley to go over with you all. So sit back, relax, and prepare to take in the culmination of nearly two years' worth of rumor reporting and fan speculation. We've enjoyed the ride so far, and we hope you have, too. Here's to the next 100 columns!   Harry Potter and the Escape from … [Read more...]

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