Universal Orlando

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With the hype train going strong for Kong: Skull Island, March sure does feel like a long way away. It is bound to be packed all sorts of mythical monsters, dinosaurs and of course, the main attraction himself: King Kong. If you’re like us, you simply cannot wait to get your taste of all the chest-beating, Sam-Jackson-yelling action that awaits you. Fortunately, for those of you looking to get a taste of the action before it hits the big screen, you can get an incredible appetizer on the all-new Skull Island: Reign of Kong ride at Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure.

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Those who have followed the King Kong franchise over the years know that filmmakers have had a rough ride trying to (re)make the giant ape interesting enough to both attract moviegoers and please critics alike. But there’s a solution to this problem and it’s now right in our faces – Turn King Kong into an interactive world. Universal Studios, Orlando has done just that with Skull Island: Reign of Kong. And now, finally, this part of the park is getting ready to open to the public. (more…)

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Admit it,  as a kid (and probably still now well into your adulthood) you’ve always dreamed Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory was a real place, and that you’d be one of the lucky few to find a Golden Ticket inside a wrapped chocolate bar, and be swept up into a world of pure imagination as you tour the mysterious and reclusive chocolate factory.  Of course, if the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory taught us anything, it’s that most people are horrible greedy little sh*ts, and chocolate factories are as wonderful as they are dangerous – from chocolate water falls and lickable wallpaper, to  nightmarish psychedelic boat rides, and megalomaniac chocolatiers.  Still,  who wouldn’t wanna go?

Well now, thanks to Universal Studios, you can! But… it’s perhaps not as exciting as you hoped it would be. (more…)

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To be completely honest, every time I read the title to this new ride, all I hear is Tony Soprano calling his son AJ “googootz”. My brain is weird.

Universal Orlando has finally confirmed details regarding the new signature ride at the soon-to-be-opened Diagon Alley expansion of “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” (a place I will go simply to gorge myself on butter beer). The Harry Potter and the Escape from Googootz — excuse me, Gringotts — ride will feature vehicles that seat twelve folks and carry visitors “through a Harry Potter story featuring villains, dragons and goblins.” Today, Universal revealed a bunch of new details on the theme park attraction, including Harry Potter and the Escape from Googootz photos and concept art.

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I’ll be honest; when I first heard about this, I thought “God, that stupid movie is getting even MORE exposure. Why won’t they give the game that the damned series is based upon the spotlight for once?” Well, it seems I misspoke… er, missthought. Anywho, it turns out that the Resident Evil game series, which will always hold a very special in my heart, is being featured in one of the Halloween Horror Nights attractions at Universal Orlando Resort this October!

Now, the set up that they are creating will be centered on Raccoon City, which, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the early games in the series, is where the whole story began, but it hasn’t been featured in a main series game in almost 14 years. With the horrible reception that Resident Evil 6 received, it’s not surprising that they are going back to such an iconic setting from the series. It is surprising, however, that they are adding Resident Evil at all, considering the already zombie heavy and much-more-popular-at-the-moment Walking Dead will be featured in its own Walking Dead: No Safe Haven haunted house at the event.

The Resident Evil house, titled Resident Evil: Escape from Raccoon City, will feature a bunch of your favorite enemies from the original 3 titles, including zombies, Cerberus, those pain in the ass Lickers (see what I did there?), and series favorite, Nemesis. They are also focusing on representing the more minor details from the game, even having one scene appear as if you’d pulled up the pause menu.

Regarding the project and Capcom collaborating with Universal, Yoshiaki Hirabayashi, Producer of Resident Evil 6, had this to say,

It’s such a great delight to work with Universal on a haunted house based on the Resident Evil games. The games have become synonymous with survival horror and we look forward to delivering a new way for consumers to experience the Resident Evil world we have created in the haunted house at Halloween Horror Nights.

This sounds pretty awesome, but I’m not sure if it’d be worth me flying down to Orlando to check out. Anyone out there making a special trip to Raccoon City this fall to, once again, enter the world of survival horror? Goodluck…

[IGN]

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Are you one of those people that just can’t get enough Harry Potter in your life?  Do you happen to live in Florida or are ready to travel there on a moment’s notice?  Well, we’ve got something for you then.  Universal Orlando Resort, home to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction, will be joining up with Warner Bros. to bring an extra pile of Harry Potter to the park next year with the ‘A Celebration of Harry Potter’ event.

Three days long, ‘A Celebration of Harry Potter’ will bring together fans from near and far for the weekend of January 24th to the 26th, 2014.  Events include appearances and Q&As with both stars of the films and those who worked on them, a class on dueling with wands and a Harry Potter film tribute.

And while most people who attend the park will be able to experience the celebration just like everyone else, if you want to drop the extra cash you can get the VIP treatment.  For an extra $395 to $675 (depending on the level of perks you want), you can get bonuses such as a private reception to the park, reserved seating at events, access to the express lines for rides, early entry into the park and some extra places to eat.  The extra dough even includes a hotel room for the three days.

Interested?  Ready to Harry Potter all over your pants?  Well, you can start picking up your tickets on August 22nd.

 

Thanks to /Film for the heads-up.

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Ever wanted to take a trip through one of your favorite horror films?  While basing an amusement park ride on a movie is nothing new, horror movies are usually not the subject of choice when it comes to these attractions.  Unless you happen to be at Universal Orlando during their Halloween Horror Nights.  And this time around, they’ll be presenting us with a face-to-face experience with Cabin in the Woods.

According to important people who happen to work for Universal Orlando,

We are building the cabin completely. You’re going to walk through a forest to get there. You’re going into the cabin. You’re going to go into the cube cells. We’re literally taking everything we can in the film and giving you a kind of best-of montage of the film with this kind of linking story. You’re going to be in the control room when merman attacks.

Unfortunately, it won’t be a permanent addition to the park, despite all the trouble they’re going through to set it up.  It’s only around for the Halloween Horror Nights, so you’ll have to show between September 20th and November 2nd to have a look.

Sucks for me, considering I live on the exact fucking opposite side of the country!  Still, this much awesome may well be worth the price of a place ticket.

 

Thanks to io9 for the heads-up.

‘Simpsons’ Springfield Moves to Orlando, Florida

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Happen to be a fan of the Simpsons?  Well, it looks like you’ll have the chance to wander in a piece of good old Springfield, and pretty soon.  Universal Studios in Orlando has been working on a new themed area based off of the famous cartoon city.  In the vein of their Wizarding World of Harry Potter, visitors will be able to travel the streets of Springfield and partake of its many wonders.

The new Simpsons world will have everything you need, from food to drinks to rides.  The line-up consists of Moe’s Tavern, Lard Lad’s Donuts, Krusty Burgers, The Frying Dutchman, Luigi’s Pizza, Duff Gardens and even The Android’s Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop.  Along with the shops and eats, there will be another Simpsons ride coming to join the one already there.

Best of all, you don’t have to wait too long, as the folks at Universal have said that it will be ready to go sometime this summer.  Just remember, if you happen to be on a ride, don’t drink the water.

 

Thanks to Topless Robot for the heads-up.

Universal Orlando To Close JAWS Ride

After it’s 20 year run, the famed JAWS: The Ride will finally close its gaping robotic maw of death. Universal Studios Orlando has just announced that this coming January they will close the attraction down permanently. Based on a movie that’s almost 40 years old, the ride has been a mainstay attraction to park goers since it opened in 1990. Reportedly being closed to “make room for an exciting, NEW, experience.

Check out the official word after the jump.

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