Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby coasterbill » Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:23 am

The Mardi Gras concert lineup is here!

February 4: Trace Adkins
February 11: Ne-Yo
February 18: Collective Soul
February 19: X Ambassadors
February 25: Fifth Harmony
March 4: Kool & the Gang
March 5: Olivia Newton-John
March 11: UB40
March 12: Toby Keith
March 18: Jason Derulo
March 19: Earth, Wind & Fire
March 25: The All-American Rejects


I've had this idea in the back of my head to do a President's Day weekend road trip. it probably won't happen, but Collective Soul makes it a little more tempting. I would imagine they wouldn't generate nearly the crowd that some of these other names would (Toby Keith for example) but I've always enjoyed their music.

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby wkirsch » Sat Jan 21, 2017 6:20 pm

Below is the review of my experience so far at Universal Orlando Resort. Even though I am still here, I feel like I have visited long enough to share my thoughts and provide a thorough assessment. This is the very first time I have visited the two parks.

Context: I am young medical professional who went to Universal Studios Resort in Florida for a 5-day vacation with my husband and two stepchildren, a boy (aged 15) and a girl (aged 9). I have no financial relationships with Universal or Walt Disney to disclose and do not have any friends/family who are affiliated with the companies or parks. I booked everything through the official ‘Universal Vacations’ website. I am currently on Day 3 of our 5 day trip. I have had a love for theme parks AND Harry Potter ever since I was a child. I have been very eager to visit Universal before the Harry Potter themed section was even announced. I am a season pass holder to the Cedar Fair parks (Cedar Point, Carowinds, King's Island, etc) and have driven cross-country just to ride a specific roller coaster. As far as major theme parks, I have been to Disneyland, Disney World, and Universal Studios Hollywood. Most recently, I went on a 6-day trip to Disney World with my family around this time last year. The trip to Disney was around $500 cheaper than my trip to Universal, even though it was a day longer. Hotels that we stayed at were comparable.

Review: My trip to Universal Studios Resort in Florida has been the most miserable theme park experience I have ever had. While I'm trying my best to not compare my experience to Disney, I believe the fact that they are direct competitors and have similar costs gives me the right to a fair comparison. This will hopefully assist families who are undecided between Disney and Universal.

The good: The Harry Potter themed areas were built with astonishing detail. I was amazed at how well it represented the movies. The areas where you could interact using the wands were neat (at a cost of $50 per interactive wand). The food was delicious and prices were reasonable for a theme park.

The express passes were helpful as they got us through most of the lines pretty quickly, although you can't use them for any of the Harry Potter attractions. However, The Mummy and The Hulk were both great roller coasters and were up to par, if not better than the Harry Potter rides.

In addition, the water taxi at no cost was a nice convenience to get between the hotel and park.

The Bad: The bad experiences started after I booked and before I even left the plane from Ohio. We ordered 5-day park-to-park passes, a 5-night stay at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel [includes the express passes (i.e. fast passes)], a 3-day photo pass, a 5-day Full Service Dining Plan, and a shuttle from the airport. We bought everything in late November. Unlike Disney where you can make dinner reservations several months in advance through their website, all of Universal's restaurants go through different platforms such as Zomato, OpenTable, etc. and the soonest that I could reserve was a month in advance. This plan includes VERY FEW table service restaurant options and does not include any of the restaurants at their on-site hotels. As soon as I found out the latest I could make dinner reservations was 5 pm at their table-service restaurants within the actual theme parks, I called and switched to the quick service plan. The second thing I noticed prior to leaving was they changed the park closing hours to an hour earlier and added ride closings since I booked. While they do have a disclaimer on their website, the fact that Islands of Adventure closes at 6 pm and Universal Studios Florida at 7 pm when Magic Kingdom at Disney closes from 8-11 pm during this time of the year is absolutely ridiculous. Also Disney informed us of the ride closings while we were booking 5 months prior and didn't change their hours at all prior to our arrival, let alone at the last minute. I brushed these two details off prior to leaving for the trip and gave Universal the benefit of the doubt.

After spending three full days between the two parks, all I can say is that the Harry Potter themed sections are the only things that Universal has going for them. Upon arrival to Universal Studios we received 17+ cards, some plastic and some paper, to keep track of between the 4 of us: paper cards for park admission, plastic cards for dining plan, plastic cards for the hotel room, paper cards for express passes, and a paper card for photos. The paper cards for park admission had no identification on them so we had to write our names on the back because they have to correlate with your fingerprint. At Disney, we had 4 waterproof MagicBands that allowed us to do everything without the use of tickets, plastic cards, or even credit cards.

We arrived to Universal Studios Florida section at the park and immediately line up for our first ride of our trip, the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride. Luckily our fast passes actually came in handy because we only ended up waiting in line for about 10 minutes. However, it broke down about 2 minutes into the ride and we were stuck in the car for about 25 minutes while employees had to walk around and individually unlock each restraint. Not off to a good start. Another similar event occurred on the Spider-Man ride where the screens and sound shut off and we were riding the rest of ride just bouncing along with no effects. This was not an isolated event had many of the indoor rides were broken throughout the day.

Go over to Rip Ride Rockit, they immediately point you to a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo to store your cell phones, wallets, and anything else in your pockets. Luckily they are free for the first hour as you have to go through a metal detector to just get on the ride; therefore, it's a requirement to put your belongings in a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo. I understand that there are safety reasons behind their actions, but I think it's slightly overkill to have to stow away your wallet (don't forget to grab your express passes and photo card before you put it in the fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo). I've visited dozens and dozens of amusement parks with bigger and more intense roller coasters and have never dealt with something similar except for metal detectors upon entry INTO the park.

The logistics behind the photo pass is extremely inconvenient. For the majority of the rides, you have to flip through several pictures until you come across yours. Then instead of adding it straight to your account, you have to go up to the clerk with your picture number shown on the screen and they give you a receipt that has a unique code on it that’ll allow you to add the photo to your album after you log in online. On the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, I waited in line for 20 minutes as the employee had to stand there and flip through each picture until the person or group saw themselves. A group of four girls in front of me got frustrated and left the line after they couldn't find theirs. A lot more complicated than the magic band that registers what vehicle you are in and then automatically uploads your picture.

The actual pictures themselves leave something to be desired as well. The pictures where there should be a cartoon character in our daughter’s hand, there isn’t one; we are all pointing at nothing. We also managed to get pictures of other random people in our photo album with some of our actual pictures missing.

After riding two day’s worth of dark (indoor) rides, I came to the conclusion that all the newer ‘thrill’ rides have a similar layout. This is what you should expect from almost all the rides themed after a movie: you get in a car that seats 12 people, you put on 3D glasses, you whip around a corner, watch a 30 second CGI clip, whip around another corner, watch another clip, get sprayed with water, whip around another corner, watch another clip, get hot air blown on you, whip around another corner, watch a clip that makes you feel like you are free-falling, get sprayed with fog, then you arrive back at the station with the Universal employees clapping at you so you feel obligated to clap like the ride was the best thing in the world. That’s all I have to say about the dark rides.

As expected based on everything else, the dining plan stipulations are ludicrous as well. The dining plan information page online specifically states that you are able to use your beverage credits to purchase drinks from food carts and quick service restaurants. Apparently that doesn’t hold true to everything: I went to purchase a bottle of pumpkin juice and lemonade from a food cart in Hogsmeade but was told that I couldn’t use a beverage credit to purchase the ‘bottled’ drinks due to franchising rights, even though we were allowed to get 'Gillywater' which contained the same trademarked information. Instead, we were directed to get the same exact drink within the Hog’s Head (after a 15 minute wait in line) as a beverage credit can be used if served in a Harry Potter cup. This makes zero sense. Furthermore, as I was exiting the park with my cup of pumpkin juice, I was hastily told by the employee that I wasn’t allowed to leave with the drink so I had to chug what I could and throw away the rest.

Since the park unfortunately closed so early, we thought we would be able to spend more time at the hotel pool in the evenings. I noticed that there wasn’t anybody using the pool that we had a view of from our room. I called the hotel operator and asked if the pools were open at our hotel. I was told ‘Yes’ and then hung up on when as I was responding with a follow-up question. When we walked down to the 'beach pool' which is the largest and most kid-friendly pool at our hotel (includes water slides), the sign on the gate said it was closed due to 'inclement weather'. I asked the front desk why it was closed and she said they were doing annual maintenance from January 8 to February 15. I inquired why we were never informed about this and she stated that we should have received a letter in our welcome package but since we booked through Universal Vacations instead of the actual Loews website, we didn’t get the letter.

Conclusion: Overall, we have experienced everything Universal has to offer, the good and the bad, within a matter of 3 days. As you can see, the bad has far outweighed anything good during our trip so far. I will leave this park $5,000 short with a handful of positive memories. Not even my absolute love for Harry Potter will ever give me a desire to return to these two parks. I will be going to Walt Disney World from now on and recommend my family and friends to do the same.

I'd love to get feedback from others about similar or differing experiences!

Thank you for taking the time to read!

--- William

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby robbalvey » Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:10 pm

Wow. Thanks for taking the time to write that. Some very interesting points, many of which I agree with, notably...

wkirsch wrote:Go over to Rip Ride Rockit, they immediately point you to a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo to store your cell phones, wallets, and anything else in your pockets. Luckily they are free for the first hour as you have to go through a metal detector to just get on the ride; therefore, it's a requirement to put your belongings in a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo. I understand that there are safety reasons behind their actions, but I think it's slightly overkill to have to stow away your wallet (don't forget to grab your express passes and photo card before you put it in the fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo). I've visited dozens and dozens of amusement parks with bigger and more intense roller coasters and have never dealt with something similar except for metal detectors upon entry INTO the park.


I simply refuse to ride any coaster where I have to put ALL of my stuff into a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo and walk through a metal detector. I don't care what the excuse is, I won't do it.

wkirsch wrote:After riding two day’s worth of dark (indoor) rides, I came to the conclusion that all the newer ‘thrill’ rides have a similar layout. This is what you should expect from almost all the rides themed after a movie: you get in a car that seats 12 people, you put on 3D glasses, you whip around a corner, watch a 30 second CGI clip, whip around another corner, watch another clip, get sprayed with water, whip around another corner, watch another clip, get hot air blown on you, whip around another corner, watch a clip that makes you feel like you are free-falling, get sprayed with fog, then you arrive back at the station with the Universal employees clapping at you so you feel obligated to clap like the ride was the best thing in the world.

I agree with EVERYTHING in this paragraph. I am *not* a fan of media based rides at all, and I feel like this is pretty much all Universal has offered lately. I feel that, maybe other than Spider-Man, these other attractions are a "one and done" for me. I had such high hopes for Gringott's but after the initial drop, you just fall into another Transformers-like ride, and I feel as though that ride system has so much more capability to it.

And I think the last sentence in your paragraph is funny as hell! :P

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby cfc » Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:14 am

^I agree. Spider-Man, Mummy, and MIB are still the best rides at the Universal Resort (although I was surprised that I liked Transformers). The newer Universal attractions involve sitting, bouncing around, and watching movies.
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby cparkes92 » Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:37 pm

I know the fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo situation over in Hogsmeade was dire when I went last March, even though the park itself wasn't very busy. I'd imagine that it would be a complete poo-poo show during high season (Christmas week especially). I had problems getting my fingerprint to work so I could get stuff out of my fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo, especially at Rockit (the line for the ride was short enough that I was able to ride twice in the hour alloted). The process would go a little easier if more people had fanny packs (next time I go to a theme park, I should think about getting a fanny pack so I only have one thing to put in a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo instead of multiple things, especially phones, wallets, and loose change). Universal needs to invest in more of those fluffy bunnies over in Hogsmeade. At least they have enough of those near Rockit!

cfc wrote:^I agree. Spider-Man, Mummy, and MIB are still the best rides at the Universal Resort (although I was surprised that I liked Transformers). The newer Universal attractions involve sitting, bouncing around, and watching movies.

I'm not a big fan of Universal's newer rides, especially the two Harry Potter rides. Those both made me feel a little nauseous, so I've skipped them the last couple of times I've been there in order to ride rides like Mummy, Men in Black, Rockit, Dragon Challenge, Dr. Doom's, and Hulk. However, the theming in the Harry Potter areas is among the best I've seen in any park.
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby cookiex » Sun Jan 29, 2017 2:44 am

I remember having trouble with the finger scanners near The Mummy when I last visited Orlando in 2009. Had to call up a staff member and describe the contents in the fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo so he would open it with a key.
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby storms555 » Sun Jan 29, 2017 2:06 pm

Last time I went was in September of 2014. Although I do remember fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo I dont remember the whole finger print thing nor the metal detectors to get on coasters. All that sounds crazy though! I understand they care about safety but thats why you have the metal detectors in the front of the park! I can see that really slowing the lines up too. They probably do it to make sure you dont have stuff with you so you have to use their fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo. Sounds greedy if you ask me! Six Flags and Cedar Fair parks just use the cubbies that are on the coaster/ride platforms. I dont know about you but to me that just makes Universal look the greediest of them all. I dont know seems like a hassle to me. As for the finger prints for the fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo you would think it would be quicker then just punching in a code or using a key but it seems from this thread people are having frustrations with that too. Thats the thing about finger print scanners,card scanners etc. They may be quicker but they dont often work that well. Scanning like 10 times in a row only to get "excess denied" over and over will make you wish you can go back to the old less tech way.... :?r
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby jedimaster1227 » Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:38 pm

This weekend Theme Park Review was invited to attend the returning event at the Universal Orlando Resort, A Celebration of Harry Potter. This event spans both Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure, both inside of the two Wizarding World locales as well as in additional venues outside of the normal Harry Potter-related spaces within the park. Celebrity appearances, guest panels, cosplaying guests and an expanded Harry Potter Expo made this year's event the strongest yet. Returning exhibitors included Scholastic, the Warner Bros Studio Tour London and Harry Potter: The Exhibition. The new exhibitors at the Harry Potter Expo (the additional space located in a separate studio from the original venue, which hosted the previously mentioned guests) were Lego Dimensions, Audible and the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Google Daydream Experience. Throughout the course of the weekend, guests of the event had the opportunity to experience panels with hosts from these exhibits as well as to attend Q&A sessions with four stars from the Harry Potter film series: Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) and Warwick Davis (Griphook and various roles).

This year's event was host to an experience that could be considered a star of the show and a hidden gem of the weekend. The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Google Daydream Experience was something that both Madeline and I had the chance to experience, coming from two different levels of Harry Potter fandom as well as differing exposure to virtual reality and interactive VR experiences. Transported inside of Newt Scamander's now-well-recognized suitcase, players/participants/visitors donning the Google Daydream headset hold a small remote with two buttons and a smooth trackpad that synchronize on-screen (or in this case, ahead) with a virtual wand that you command. Testing this experience in a swivel chair with 360 degree rotation, it was easy to look around, but the real area where the immersive experience excels is the vertical views that deepen the reality in which you are surrounded. With Newt Scamander whispering in your ear, passionately describing his fantastic beasts with a nervous tremble, you feel as if you're being watched by the magical creature champion, but without the whole "game" being given away by his narrative. The story is simple but extremely effective: you have been tasked by Mr. Scamander to assist with interacting with his fantastic beasts as they live in their faux-native environments, conveniently located in a soundstage-like setup within his magical suitcase's expanse of habitats. The app currently features three creatures (all of which can be seen in the title film), but summoning them requires the completion a spell and task each to be able to visit. These puzzles aren't overly challenging, but provide just the right amount of activity for users of all ages and technical proficiencies to be able to complete and enjoy the reward of getting up close with these creatures. Each creature has at least two interactions that can be triggered by tracing out a pattern into the air with your wand and the result left both myself and Madeline giddy... One magnificent flying creature in particular shows off his beauty in a moment ripped straight from the recent film that when experienced through my own eyes triggered chills. Madeline's jaw clearly hit the floor at this point, followed shortly after by the biggest grin and at least a tear or two.

To quote our resident Harry Potter enthusiast, it could only be described as "amazing." Despite the simplicity of the approach, the unreal encounter of three mythical beasts is presented in such a rich, fulfilling, immersive experience that you as the user want to believe that the mythical can be real--and it certainly feels like it is. The only thing the experience is lacking is the added immersion of the other senses. I was so drawn into what I saw and heard in the experience, I was half waiting for the ground beneath my seat to shudder as the Erumpant rolled over; expecting a breeze to cross me as a certain winged beast flew in. Sadly this experience is limited to Google Daydream compatible devices at this time, but I would highly recommend giving this app a go if you have access to such a device, or know someone/somewhere that does. Even better, there are hints throughout the current app that lend credence to the notion of additional fantastic beasts taking up residence in Newt Scamander's briefcase in the future, though no timeline could be hinted at when I attempted to pry...

Beyond this highlight of the event (the most unique offering I experienced), Audible presented an interactive audio trivia contest, Lego Dimensions demo'd the latest Harry Potter gameplay including a sneak peek at the new playable Hermione to be released later to the public. Outside of the Harry Potter Expo and the scheduled panels and presentations, guests had the two Wizarding World locations to enjoy (and a train between them to ride) throughout the weekend. Read our entire weekend's coverage of the event below and let us know your thoughts! Special thanks to the Universal Orlando Resort for hosting us at this great event--we look forward to all of the surprises next year's event will bring!

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TPR will be at Universal Orlando throughout the weekend for the Harry Potter Celebration 2017!

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Jason Isaacs, Tom Felton, Matthew Lewis and Warwick Davis are Universal Orlando this weekend for the event!

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We're now at the Music Plaza Stage for the Harry Potter Celebration 2017 Opening Night Ceremony!

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Across the crowd of Harry Potter Celebration The Tonight Shop is lit up. Race Through New York Starring @jimmyfallon opens this April!

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Warwick Davis conducted The Frog Choir in a special concert just for the Harry Potter Celebration 2017!




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A flood of magic filled the Music Plaza to kick off this year's Harry Potter Celebration! We'll be back tomorrow for more wizarding fun!

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We're back this morning for Day 2 of the Harry Potter Celebration 2017 at Universal Orlando! We'll start our day with a visit to the Harry Potter Expo!

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First up, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London exhibit at the Harry Potter Celebration Expo!

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Here are some of the facial prosthetics Warwick Davis wore when filming for the Harry Potter series as seen at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London exhibit.

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Guests can see the work that goes into creating the spiders for the Forbidden Forest expansion opening at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London attraction this March!

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Some familiar characters that guests may find in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Universal Orlando as seen in the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London exhibit.

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Hagrid's wardrobe as seen in the exhibit at the Harry Potter Celebration Expo.

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Wardrobes for the four main characters of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them are on display at the Universal Orlando Harry Potter Celebration Expo!

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Come face to fangs with Aragog this weekend at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London exhibit!

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The House of minalima has returned for this year's Harry Potter Celebration Universal Orlando

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Some of the art minalima provided for the production of the Harry Potter film series, on display at the Harry Potter Celebration Expo.

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The Audible booth at the Universal Orlando Harry Potter Celebration is hosting a live audio trivia contest for guests to enjoy!

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The Scholastic Muggle Wall has returned for muggles that wish to share what Harry Potter means to them.

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The Sorting Hat Experience has also returned outside of the Harry Potter Celebration Expo!

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Harry Potter: The Exhibition has brought some Quidditch themed games for guests to enjoy!

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The prop of Hermione after she was petrified by the Basilisk in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

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Some additional work that minalima did on the Harry Potter film series, on display at the Harry Potter Celebration Expo!

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New this year, LEGO Dimensions has a booth at the Harry Potter Celebration Expo, allowing guests to demo the game as Hermione before her public debut.

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Guests can assist with assembling the Harry Potter Celebration Fan Mosaic while in the Harry Potter Expo.

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The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Google Daydream Experience is available to demo at the Harry Potter Celebration Expo! It was awesome!

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Outside of the Harry Potter Celebration Expo, chalk artists are creating art of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them characters.

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Lots of guests enjoying the sights, sounds and thrills of Diagon Alley!

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More escaped fiends from Azkaban... Be on the lookout for these wanted wizards!

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Today's lunch at The Leaky Cauldron, the classic Ploughman's Platter!

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How many of you are craving a Butterbeer right now?

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A quiet afternoon on the streets of Carkitt Market in Diagon Alley.

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Quite the sight to see in Diagon Alley!

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We had the chance today to meet Mina and Lima of minalima at the Harry Potter Celebration Expo!

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Dark wizards congregate in the depths of Knockturn Alley... Enter with caution!

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At the entrance of the Kings Cross Station you can find some talented street performers throughout the day.

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We've got a train to catch... Any guesses as to where we might be headed?

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If you guessed Hogsmeade, you were right!

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Now departing for our next stop, Hogsmeade Station!

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Dementors on the train!

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Chocolate frogs from the trolley... Catch them while you can!

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We've arrived to the familiar sight of Dragon Challenge flying by...

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A busy day on the streets of Hogsmeade...

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Guests enjoyed a panel with Jason Isaacs, Tom Felton, Matthew Lewis and Warwick Davis Universal Orlando for this year's Harry Potter Celebration!

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In hearing them speak, you can tell that these actors are still incredibly passionate about the Harry Potter films.

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Here is the Harry Potter Celebration schedule of events at the Toon Lagoon Amphitheater for the rest of the weekend.

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That wraps up our coverage of the Universal Orlando Harry Potter Celebration Day 2! We'll be back tomorrow for more fun on the final day of the event!

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We're back at the Universal Orlando Harry Potter Celebration Expo for another demo of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Google Daydream Experience!

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The chalk artists have moved inside to the Harry Potter Celebration Expo for the last day of the event.

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The famous Ford Anglia 105E Deluxe from the Harry Potter film series is on display at the Harry Potter Celebration Expo.

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Guests at this year's Harry Potter Celebration have created unique costumes inspired by their favorite elements of Wizarding World.

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Next up is the Harry Potter Celebration minalima panel at the Toon Lagoon Amphitheater!

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Guests have been chosen to go up to the stage to ask minalima some questions!

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More unique cosplay found in Hogsmeade on the final day of the Harry Potter Celebration at the Universal Orlando Resort!

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As the weekend begins to wind down, the Harry Potter Celebration Fan Mosaic is nearly complete inside of the Harry Potter Expo.

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The Book of Monsters prop found in the Harry Potter Celebration Expo Warner Bros. Studio Tour London exhibit.

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Some recognizable pieces that minalima worked on for the production of the Harry Potter film series.

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A quiet afternoon in Hogsmeade on the final day of the Harry Potter Celebration 2017…

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Time to make our way back to Diagon Alley!

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The queue for the Hogwarts Station of the Hogwarts Express provides close encounters with Dragon Challenge!

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Our train has arrived!

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Weasleys' Wizards Wheezes advertised on the Hogwarts Express!



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One of the best cosplays of the entire weekend!

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Guests can visit the Knight Bus outside of London before they visit Diagon Alley!

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What Leaky Cauldron specialty are you craving the most right now?

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Would you like to try some of these enchanted candies?

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Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes is home to all kinds of magical trickery and fun.

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A sight that stops everyone in their tracks...

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It is time once again to take the Hogwarts Expresss to Hogsmeade!

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We've arrived once more at Hogsmeade Station!

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The Flight of the Hippogriff can be seen on the approach to Hogwarts Castle while in Hogsmeade.

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The Harry Potter Celebration 2017 merchandise can be found in select locations in both Islands of Adventure & Universal Studios Florida.

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A look at this year's Harry Potter Celebration merchandise design, highlighting both Wizarding World locations.

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The mandrake prop from the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London exhibit at the Harry Potter Celebration Expo…

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How about another Butterbeer for the day?

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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter can be found at Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Osaka and the Universal Orlando Resort each with unique elements.

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Another look at some of the wardrobes from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as seen at the Harry Potter Celebration Expo.

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Diagon Alley is filled with a magical glow when the sun goes down...

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It is also filled with this kind of glow too!
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We end our coverage of the Harry Potter Celebration 2017 with a ride on the Hogwarts Express! Thanks to Universal Orlando for hosting us this weekend!
Last edited by jedimaster1227 on Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:09 am.
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby Satans Hockey » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:59 pm

Great report, that expo looks so much better than last years.

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby chargersmichael » Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:42 pm

I was at the parks today for Super Bowl Sunday (aka no Americans at the parks).

Managed to get 16 rides in less than 2.5 hours.
-Dragon Challenge Fire x2
-Dragon Challenge Ice x1
-HP and the Forbidden Journey x1
-Hulk x2
-Dr. Doom x1
-Spiderman x1
-Rockit x1
-Mummy x2
-Transformers x1
-Men in Black x2
-Escape from Gringotts x2

Btw on the Hulk...the paint is all gone on the wheel placement of the rails on the track. It is starting to really show some wear and tear. Also, the footers in the lagoon are really showing some rust too.
Roller Coaster Count: 125
| Millennium Force | | Skyrush | | Top Thrill Dragster | | Kingda Ka | | Maverick | | El Toro | | Mako | | Apollo's Chariot | | Storm Runner | | Nitro | | Incredible Hulk |

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