For months we’ve been sharing rumors about Wizarding World Orlando’s expansion. New constructions permits have appeared which further suggest that Universal intends on building a working Hogwarts Express.
First, let’s catch you up: In December Universal announced they were closing Jaws at Universal Studios. Rumors stated that the classic boat ride was shutting down to make way for a Diagon Alley expansion, which would be connected to Hogsmeade via a working Hogwarts Express. Behind the scenes, Universal has been marking a path for the train to travel. We also saw the planned layout of the expansion.
Now new permits filed by Universal on June 1 call for the construction of three new elements: North Station, South Station, and Connector. Presumably North Station would be Hogwarts Express’ platform in Universal Studios, while South Station would be at the existing Wizarding World in Islands of Adventure. See the permits below, thanks to Park Rumors:
The project is groundbreaking in that this Hogwarts Express will take you between two of Universal’s parks, meaning you’ll have to have a ticket for both.
Universal has only confirmed that they were working on a Wizarding World expansion – they have not elaborated any further. We think they’re keeping it under wraps for as long as possible so as to not affect potential ticket sales before its grand opening. If they were to announce it today, families may want to hold off on their trip until the expansion opens.
Summer Nights at SeaWorld Orlando is a nighttime spectacular that only SeaWorld could create, and the best place to be in Central Florida when the sun sets. Waves of fun wash over the park with incredible shows, an all-new attraction, thrilling coasters under the stars, and a nightly fireworks and fountain finale.
During Summer Nights –- June 23 through August 12 — SeaWorld is open until 10 p.m., providing even more time for guests to play.
Headlining Summer Nights is the all-new TurtleTrek, where guests can live the miraculous 3D 360 journey of a sea turtle; Shamu Rocks, a larger-than-life experience where guests jam to a rock-n-roll beat and watch as whales perform amazing behaviors; Sea Lions Tonite, a hilarious, satirical show featuring Clyde and Seamore that will have everyone in stitches; and Reflections, the sky-filling fireworks and fountains finale that ends the night with a bang.
Also, the Summer Nights VIP tour is available to help you get the most of your Summer Nights experience. This six-hour, guided tour includes an opportunity to feed dolphins, front-of-the-line access to our most popular rides, including Manta, and reserved seating at our exhilarating night shows, Shamu Rocks and Reflections. Included with the tour is the convenient, all-you-care-to-eat All Day Dining Deal, where you and your family can enjoy all of your favorite foods from your favorite participating restaurants!
Summer Nights at SeaWorld, plus the amazing, new TurtleTrek – the only attraction of its kind in the world – makes the park a must-see this summer. The best deals and more information can be found online by visiting www.officialticketcenter.com
The Official Ticket Center 5-30-2012 ~ Every year here in Central Florida, the theme park giants get ready for their busiest season by increasing their gate rates. Even when the parks are called out for reporting record earnings, they still see fit to go ahead with the increase. As most Europeans stay home as most have been her many times, the parks are seeing increased travel from our neighbors from the south Americas. As economies rise and fall around the world, it is certain that here in the good o’le US of A, we are not being looked out for with our deteriorating economy and gas prices. It is officially over $100 for 1 person to go to either Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Orlando or SeaWorld Orlando and add in the parking charge, you will have the $100 hurdle jumped. I sometimes wonder when enough will be enough. Maybe when know one comes anymore, they will come up with some major new money saving project, but that is not the case for anytime to come. Remember that Universal Orlando just dropped how many millions of dollars on their latest creation, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and with their record breaking attendance, it is not likely anytime soon that they will be going down on anything of theirs. With gas at over $3.30 a gallon and the average American family struggling to make ends meat, it is no surprise that the “Stay-cation” has replaced the traditional summer vacation. As a gesture of saving our domestic travelers a little more money, we have created our newest line of Orlando Ticket Packages. With these ticket packages, a family can see all of our world famous theme parks while at the same time saving a considerable amount of money. As for buying the individual Orlando theme park tickets, those are probably the worst way at tackling the parks. Doing this will cost you almost the full gate price, minus a few bucks and the wait in line at the parks. At the end of the day it all boils down to; is it worth going into debt for the next 10 years to come to Florida anymore and is a stay-cation the best during uncertain times.
© 2012 Patrick Pulliam
Universal Studios Orlando is unveiling even more powerhouse performers that will take the stage at the 2012 Summer Concert Series. Every Saturday night beginning June 9 through July 14, Universal Studio Florida will host one of the hottest concert series around, featuring a star-studded lineup that will appeal to fans of every music genre.
This year, music lovers can expect live performances from classic rock to chart-topping country hits, from mainstream hip hop to soulful R&B. Newly announced performers include Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Famer Al Green, who’s recorded timeless hits like “Let’s Stay Together” and “I’m Still in Love with You;” country star Josh Turner, who has topped the U.S. country charts with singles like “All Over Me” and “Why Don’t We Just Dance;” and Grammy award-winning rapper Lupe Fiasco, who has collaborated with other hit-makers like Kanye West, Snoop Dogg and Jay-Z.
These new additions join previously announced musical acts, including the cast of Nickelodeon’s hit TV series, “Victorious,” on June 9, and rock bands ZZ Top and 3 Doors Down on June 16. The full Summer Concert Series lineup is below, and the final musical act will be announced at a later date.
SUMMER CONCERT SERIES 2012 LINEUP
Date & Headliner
June 9 Cast of Nickelodeon’s Hit TV Series, “Victorious”
June 16 3 Doors Down & ZZ Top
June 23 Josh Turner
June 30 Al Green
July 7 Lupe Fiasco
July 14 TBD
Access to all Summer Concert Series performances is included with admission to Universal Studios Florida. For guests that specifically want to enjoy the concerts, Universal Orlando is offering an all-new ticket that provides one-time access to Universal Studios after 7 p.m. – exclusively for the Summer Concert Series. Available online, the “Summer Concert Ticket” is priced at $59.99 plus tax and will go on sale beginning May 15.
The Summer Concert Series gives guests the opportunity to top off their day of theme park thrills with a headlining concert. By day, guests can enjoy some of the most popular entertainment experiences in the world– including the all-new Universal’s Superstar Parade, a daily parade that features elaborately themed floats that tower above guests, hundreds of energetic street performers and spectacular music and dance performances. By night, park guests can rock out to a live performance by a multi-platinum artist at the Music Plaza, a venue illuminated by the colorful LED lights of Universal Studios’ most rockin’ coaster, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit.
Star Wars Weekends is off to a great start at Disney’s Hollywood Studios™ as the Star Wars film saga and the hit animated television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars are celebrated by fans from around the world of all generations. The power of the Force and magic of Disney combine as more than 60 Star Wars characters – including Wookiees, droids, Rodians, Ewoks, bounty hunters and Jedi – roam the streets of Disney’s Hollywood Studios™ for meet-and-greet opportunities with Guests. Star Wars celebrities highlight the event, appearing in themed parades, talk shows, star conversations, behind-the-scenes presentations and autograph sessions.
SCHEDULED CELEBRITY APPEARANCES—May 25-27
Andy Secombe (Watto – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace) Ray Park (Darth Maul – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace) Tom Kane (voice of Yoda – Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
The centerpiece of the celebration is the spectacular 3-D attraction, ―Star Tours – The Adventures Continue. The attraction opened last year and uses eye-popping 3-D, a dramatic musical score and motion simulator-based technology to immerse guests in the Star Wars galaxy like never before on a theme park attraction. Limited-edition and event-exclusive merchandise is offered each year, and the ever-popular ―Hyperspace Hoopla ends each Star Wars Weekends day with a show filled with comedy, dancing and high-energy music. With all of the different activities and offerings that take place at Star Wars Weekends, it really is an event that can attract and entertain Guests of all ages. The Star Wars saga is a classic hit and means so much to so many Guests, they won’t want to miss the opportunity to be a part of it all at Disney’s Hollywood Studios™.
Walt Disney World Orlando, Fl. ~ This year to Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you’ll have the opportunity to relive the famous carbon freezing scene from The Empire Strikes Back with the “Carbon-Freeze Me” experience. This new experience was created especially for Disney Parks, and is part of Lucas Arts “D-Tech Me” line that uses technology to take personalization to a whole new level.
Using state-of-the-art imaging technology, this experience casts your likeness as a three-dimensional, eight-inch figurine. At the “Carbon Freezing Chamber” (located adjacent to The American Idol Experience), several cameras will capture multiple angles of your face. The images are then reconstructed in a computer for processing, and, in approximately four weeks, the completed figurine is shipped directly to your house.
Each carbonite figurine is $99.95 (plus shipping). You can order additional figurines using the same image scan for $74.95 each. The replica figurine can be hung on a wall, just like the gangster Jabba the Hutt did in Return of the Jedi. Guests also receive a light-up wristband.
The experience will officially open today, Friday May 18 with the launch of Star Wars Weekends 2012. Reservations are required and can be made starting Monday, May 7 by calling 407-WDW-TECH (407-939-8324).
*Please note – Separate Theme Park admission required for Disney’s Hollywood Studios and can be purchased thru The Official Ticket Center. No discounts apply unless otherwise noted. Guests must be at least three (3) years of age to participate. A valid accepted credit card number is required at time of booking. No-shows or in the event a reservation is cancelled within 48 hours of scheduled experience will result in such credit card being charged a $25 cancellation fee. The experience, due to its personalized nature is non-refundable and not eligible for an exchange. Children must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age or older during the entire experience. Certain restrictions may apply. All prices, components and information are subject to change without notice.