Out and About: Universal Orlando Celebrates Holidays with Macy’s Parade and Grinchmas

Universal Orlando Celebrates Holidays with Macy's Parade  - photo by Carol Garreans

The holidays at Universal Orlando are full of wonder and magic. Macy’s brings a few balloons from their legendary Thanksgiving Parade to Universal Studios Florida for a mini-parade that makes me want to go to NYC to see the whole thing! It’s amazing to watch as these gigantic balloons are maneuvered down the street in the park. I think I was just as excited as the kids were.

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Macy’s Holiday Parade and Grinchmas Return to Universal Orlando Starting Dec 3

Macy's Holiday Parade and Grinchmas Return to Universal Orlando

Joyous holiday traditions return to Universal Orlando December 3 to January 1 with Grinchmas, the 15th Anniversary of Macy’s Holiday Parade, and holiday concerts by Mannheim Steamroller.

At Universal Studios Florida, the larger-than-life balloons seen in the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City will fill the streets during the 15th anniversary Macy’s Holiday Parade.

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Universal Orlando Begins Seasonal Pricing on Tickets

Universal Orlando park globe

Effective this week, Universal Orlando is charging higher prices at the gate for one-day tickets under their new Seasonal Pricing policy.

Normally one-day/one-park tickets are $105 for adults and $100 for children, but since the parks have entered their busysummer season, a one-day/one-park ticket at the gate will now set you back $119 for adults and $114 for children.

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Hello Kitty Shop Opens at Universal Orlando

Universal Parks & Resorts and Sanrio have partnered together to open a Hello Kitty Shop featuring Hello Kitty and Friends at Universal Orlando.

Hello Kitty Shop Opens at Universal Orlando

The store marks both Sanrio’s and Hello Kitty’s first appearance at a theme park in North America

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Universal Orlando Announces Details for 3rd Annual Celebration of Harry Potter #HPCelebration

Universal Orlando announced details this week for their popular Celebration of Harry Potter event, which returns to the theme park January 29-31, 2016.

Celebration of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando

Now in its third year, this special event hosted by Universal Orlando Resort and Warner Bros. Consumer Products allows fans to celebrate all of Harry’s adventures, from the beloved books to the feature films and more.

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Universal Orlando to Host Nickelodeon Halo Awards Taping with WALK THE MOON and Nick Cannon Nov 7

On November 7, Universal Orlando guests can be part of a special taping for the 2015 Nickelodeon HALO Awards, hosted by Nick Cannon, and featuring a performance by alternative-pop band WALK THE MOON.

Universal Orlando to Host Nickelodeon Halo Awards Taping with WALK THE MOON and Nick Cannon Nov 7

The band are riding high on their #1 single “Shut Up and Dance,” and recently sold out the House of Blues Orlando. Their six-song set will include that song, along with their new track, “Different Colors.”

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Twister: Ride It Out to Close at Universal Orlando on November 2, 2015

Monday night, it was revealed that “Twister: Ride It Out” will be closing at Universal Orlando on November 2 to make room for a new attraction, “Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

Twister: Ride It Out at Universal Orlando

“Twister: Ride It Out” opened May 4, 1998, and was themed after the popular 1986 disaster movie, Twister.

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Jimmy Fallon Attraction to Open at Universal Orlando in 2017

In a synergetic move, NBC late night talk show host Jimmy Fallon will soon be getting his own attraction at Universal Orlando.

Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon at Universal Orlando

Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon” is the name of the attraction that will give guests a full “Tonight Show” experience in the famous Studio 6B…until Fallon challenges the audience to the ultimate race through New York City.

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Disaster! Attraction to Close at Universal Orlando September 8

The long-running Disaster! attraction at Universal Studios Florida will take it’s last catastrophic run on September 8, 2015.

Disaster! attraction at Universal Studios Florida

The announcement was made today as a footnote of the announcement of the new Fast & Furious: Supercharged attraction that will open at the theme park in 2017.

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Universal Orlando to Open Fast & Furious Attraction in 2017

Earlier this year, Universal Studios Hollywood opened a Fast & Furious attraction themed after the popular films, and Universal Orlando fans went, “What? Why not us?” Well, wait no more!

Universal Orlando announces Fast & Furious: Supercharged

Today, Universal Orlando announced Fast & Furious: Supercharged will join its incredible lineup of attractions, and is scheduled to open in 2017.

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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley Celebrates Its First Anniversary at Universal Orlando

Happy first anniversary to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando, which opened one year ago on July 8, 2014.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley

An extension on the popular The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley not only offered all new Potter experiences, but introduced Hogwarts Express, which connects the two Potter worlds.

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Universal Orlando Raises Their Ticket Prices Again Effective February 26, 2014

Universal Orlando raises their ticket prices again three days after Walt Disney World raises theirs.

Universal Orlando LogoEffective today, February 26, a one-day, one-park adult ticket is $96 plus tax, up from $92. A one-day, two-park adult ticket went from $128 to $136.

The price for a children’s a one-day, one-park ticket jumped from $86 to $90. A one-day, two-park children’s ticket went from $122 to $130

Planning on staying longer? Multi-day tickets have also increased. For a two-day, one-park adult ticket, it’s now $155.99, up from $146.99. A two-day, two-park ticket jumped from $166.99 to $195.99 – an almost $30 increase.

This summer, Universal Orlando will open The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at the Universal Studios Florida park, which will be connected to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure by the Hogwarts Express train.

Visitors must have a two-park pass to be able to ride the train from one park’s Potter land to another, and since guests will probably need more than one day to see both Potter lands, that extra $30 is going to add up to big revenue for Universal.

So this news leaves only SeaWorld Orlando as the last of the big Orlando theme parks to raise their prices. Any bets on when that will happen?

What do you think of Universal’s ticket increase?

Universal Orlando Announces First Two Acts for 2014 Mardi Gras Celebration

One of the most popular annual events at Universal Orlando is their Mardi Gras celebration that takes place every spring, for several weeks.

Universal Orlando, Mardi GrasEach Saturday night, the event consists of a Mardi Gras parade, and a musical headliner who performs after the parade. It takes place in the Universal Studios side of Universal Orlando.

In 2014, the event will run from February 8 through May 31, and the park has announced its first two booked acts.

Robin Thicke had one of the biggest hits of the summer of 2013 with “Blurred Lines,” and he will perform on February 22.

Also announced is UK’s hit pop group, The Wanted, who will perform May 10, in support of their new cd, Word of Mouth, due out in November.

The Walking Dead Returns to Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights 23 With More Scares @UORHHN @WalkingDead_AMC

The Walking Dead, Halloween Horror Nights 23One of the most popular haunted houses of last year’s Halloween Horror Nights was based on the hit TV series, The Walking Dead.

This week, Universal Orlando announced they were bringing back The Walking Dead to Halloween Horror Nights 23, and zombie fans will get more than they bargained for this year.

The maze/house will be themed after season 3’s prison, the West Georgia Correctional Facility, which is now overrun by hordes of flesh-eating walkers, as well as the town of Woodbury, and the wilderness in between.

But that’s not all.

The theme park will also dedicate it’s entire HHN23 street experience to the show, making this the first time ever that all of the scare zones throughout the park will be themed after a hit television series.

That’s right, just walking the streets of Universal Studios Florida (where UO hosts HHN), guests will encounter iconic scenes from all three seasons of the hit show – including the perilous city of Atlanta and Hershel’s barn – and fleets of blood-thirsty walkers who are hungry for their next victim

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Universal Orlando Reveals New Attractions and More Planned for 2012

Not content to rest on the laurels of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Orlando held a press conference this last week to unveil what they have planned for park guests for 2012.

Artist Rendering of Despicable Me Attraction Entrance Room

The January 25 conference included information on new attractions, upgrades to existing attractions and shows, and more that are coming to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and CityWalk.

Here’s a quick rundown:

The popular Blue Man Group show will be debuting an entirely new show to audiences in February 2012. Their CityWalk theater is being revamped with cutting edge technology and the show will feature more interaction with the audience. New elements to the show include BMG interacting with enormous “GiPads” (not sure what exactly those are but it sounds fun). The finale will also feature new music.

Hollywood Drive-In Golf is set to open in February, as well. Designed to resemble a classic drive-in theater, one side will be 18 holes of classic horror film themes and the other side will be 18 holes of sci-fi film themes.

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