Over at Universal Studios Florida, Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon is officially set to open April 6, but word on the street is that it might actually start soft opens this month. In fact, it might start any day now, if you can believe it. They have just finished construction on the ride exit stairs inside The Tonight Shop gift shop. And it looks like the ride entrance and marquee are very close to being complete as well! We'll keep you posted on soft openings when they happen.
Fast & Furious Supercharged construction continues as new steel is up behind the queue building that went up during our last update. This new structure is separate from the queue warehouse building next to it. Also going on in the park, work walls are still up at the candy store in New York, the free phone chargers that were installed last month are already gone this month (that was fast,) and The Simpsons Ride is back open after a brief refurbishment. Check out the video and photo update below, and stay tuned for more updates coming soon!
Construction is moving right along at Universal Studios Florida. Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon may be set to open April 6, but the gift shop, aptly named "The Tonight Shop," is looking more and more ready by the day. It's been my assumption that it will open much sooner than the ride, especially considering work walls are down around the store and we can already see merchandise showing up inside. I bet you can't wait to get your very own Hashtag the panda plush! Fast & Furious Supercharged construction continues as they have started building a large queue structure in front of the giant ride building.
Universal has been testing their new Virtual Line system at Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem, (more details about that can be found here.) Also going on in the park, there's minor construction happening at the Candy store in New York, free phone chargers have been installed throughout the park sponsored by Coca-Cola, and The Simpsons Ride is temporarily closed for regular maintenance until January 22nd. Check out the video for full coverage as well as the complete photo update below! And stay tuned for more theme park news and construction updates.
It's the final week before Christmas and while the parks are getting busier and busier, workers are not letting up, working harder and harder to get Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon done in time for its spring 2017 opening at Universal Studios Florida! The new attraction's main entrance sign has been installed, as well as the NBC store's signs. And work continues to theme the bland soundstage building. Over at Fast & Furious Supercharged, all but one small section of the huge show building has now been enclosed. The giant structure can now be seen towering over the buildings in San Fransisco. And finally I took a look at this year's Macy's Holiday Parade, the 15th annual! Check out the video and photo report below and stay tuned for more theme park updates.
Christmas is in the air at Universal Studios Florida, as decorations are showing up all over the park. Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon will be opening in Spring of 2017 and it's starting to look more ready every day. The front facade is quickly beginning to match the concept art released nearly a month ago. Fast & Furious Supercharged construction is finally in full swing as a gigantic show building has been erected. The Roboasis near the Men in Black ride has closed to make way for a new enclosed Coca-Cola Refreshment Station! Not only can you purchase and fill up your souvenir Freestyle cups here, but this is the first location at the Universal parks where you can purchase a single use fountain cup for the Coke Freestyle machines! The RFID sticker on the cup's bottom only allows for one fill-up, which is great for folks that aren't willing to carry around a plastic cup all day but want a Freestyle flavor (like me!) Check out the video and snapshots below and stay tuned for more updates!
It's been a little while since we checked in on Universal Studios so I headed over there earlier today to catch up on the big construction projects currently under way. Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon is looking more and more complete every time I see it. It won't be long before we start seeing the exterior wall theming and paint show up, completely transforming the area into a mini Rockefeller Center by next year. Vertical construction has finally begun on the now delayed Fast and Furious Supercharged ride, slated to open sometime in 2018. The steel for a giant show building has risen up from the dirt in just the last few weeks. While I was there I also caught some glimpses of some of the Halloween Horror Nights scare zone decor that's been showing up around the park, along with the big temporary stage near Battery Park. Check out my video for more details as well as all the images below, and stay tuned for more theme park updates coming soon!
It's time to take a look around Universal Studios Florida and see how some of the big construction projects are doing and what's new in the park! As soon as I got there I noticed a lot of new merchandise added to the main studio store for the upcoming film The Secret Life of Pets. There have been rumors of this property getting its own ride in the parks if the film is a success, (and I have a feeling the film will do just fine). One of the mugs caught my attention as it's actually branded with 'Universal Studios' on it! Over at Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon lots of work continues at a breakneck pace as facades get built, roofing gets laid, walls go up, and lots of interior work gets done. It looks like another rounded (screen-like) wall on the inside is being constructed too. See images below for more details. Not much is happening at Fast & Furious Supercharged. They took down the potted plants in front of the work walls. That's about it. And finally in City Walk, Toothsome Chocolate Emporium (formerly 'Chocolate Factory') is coming together nicely with new brickwork on the front. See the video along with lots of images with more information about these projects below and stay tuned for more theme park updates!
Twister and Disaster have long closed to make way for the new attractions Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon and Fast & Furious Supercharged at Universal Studios Florida. More New York facades are being added around the gutted soundstage building for the Jimmy Fallon ride. It'll be nice to have that big bland building blocked by more themed New York building facades. Also, there is what looks to be a big rounded section of steel inside the building. It could be for a big screen, especially if this does turn out to be a Soarin' type attraction as rumored. Lots of digging continues at the site of Fast and Furious, but not much else is happening there. And new picture spot props have been added to the Hello Kitty store. Check out the update video and lots of construction images below!
The building that used to be the home of Twister: Ride it Out has been completely gutted. The inside has been stripped down to just the exterior walls and supports. In fact, an entire wall by where the pre-show and show building entrance used to be is completely removed, as in, no wall at all. To me, there is more than an enough room inside for a Soarin' type ride system. If the entire queue is moved outside and they only use one pre-show instead of two, this building is big enough to hold a couple Soarin' sized theaters if you ask me.
And over in San Francisco the entire Beetlejuice stage has been leveled to the ground. Almost immediately after their last show the stage started to come down. Now we have a clear view of the King's Cross station for the Hogwart's Express train backstage. This means we've got a big hole in the park between New York and London, that is, until Fast & Furious Supercharged opens in 2017. Parts of the old Earthquake/Disaster building have also been demolished behind the Beetlejuice stage. The main entrance and preshow areas still stand, as well as all facades facing guest areas, but all of the backstage facing building seems to be coming down. See the construction photos below and stay tuned for more Universal news coming soon!
It has been a little while since I've had a chance to visit the parks, so I took a day to catch up on all the goings on at Universal Studios Florida, and grab some video as well! Since my last visit with a camera, Twister and Disaster have closed and themed construction walls have gone up around their locations where Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon and Fast & Furious Supercharged will be built, respectively. Themed construction walls have gone up around the future site of the Hello Kitty store/experience. This is the first actual confirmation that the new Sanrio themed store will definitely be taking over the former site of Lucy: A Tribute.
Some other minor work has been going on as well, including some sort of small building being constructed near Despicable Me, behind the main Studio Store. It looks like it might be storage or a permanent refreshment stand, either way, nothing too intriguing. Two new shops have opened in the park recently: the new Williams of Hollywood Prop Shop featuring props from various attractions and stores, and a new year-round Christmas store. And since it's December, the holidays are in full swing at the parks, with garland strung everywhere and large Macy's balloons littering the park. Check out the video for full coverage or the screenshots below for more details! And stay tuned for Kong coverage next week!
The rumors can finally be put to rest, Fast & Furious: Supercharged has been officially announced for Universal Studios Florida. To make way for the new thrilling ride, Disaster: A Major Motion Picture Starring You! will close permanently on September 8, 2015, with Beetlejuice Graveyard Revue closing later this year. All indications are that the area will remain themed as San Francisco, which not only will save Universal a lot of money, but will retain the area's existing restaurants and sights, (which is good, considering this is where they chose to move the picture spot of Bruce the shark from Jaws.) This new attraction is slated to open sometime in 2017, the same year Universal's new water park Volcano Bay is scheduled to open.
The announcement comes just a few months after Fast & Furious: Supercharged opened as part of the tram tour at Universal Studios Hollywood (watch a ride video here). It uses a similar style of technology as Kong 360 where the tram travels through a large corridor of 3D screens while wind and motion base effects help create the illusion of high speed. Currently it is not known how the Florida version will differ, but considering the attraction's name has not changed, and the fact that they're building it on the site of the Disaster ride, it's quite possible that the ride video will remain relatively, (if not entirely) the same. The biggest difference will be the ride vehicle. Perhaps, to save time and money, a modified version of the Disaster (formerly Earthquake) subway tram will be used, as it is a similar shape as the Hollywood tram tour vehicles. Personally I'd like to see something new for the Orlando park, but it's definitely time for Disaster to go away, although I will miss Christopher Walken as Frank Kincaid, you're welcome. Read below for full details about the new attraction and stay tuned for more Universal news! ...continue reading →