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Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:26 am
by Owen
Deconstruction on Kidzone is expected to start in September to make way for Super Nintendo World!

This supports the rumour that the Orlando edition of this land will be open by 2020!

Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:17 pm
by Owen
Dragon Challenge has been announced to be closing on September 4th!

We also have a 'new generation thrill ride' confirmed for Hogsmeade confirming that the Forbidden Forest will not be it's own area. The new rollercoaster will open in 2019!

Universal Orlando wrote:
  • This all-new thrill ride will take you deeper into J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, where you will encounter some of your favorite characters and creatures. It’ll be unlike anything we’ve ever done before and it will be fun for the entire family.
  • The new attraction will be one of the most highly-themed coaster experiences we’ve created. It will combine a new level of storytelling with an action-packed adventure…and a few surprises along the way.
  • Our award-winning Universal Creative team is once again collaborating with Warner Bros. and the production design team from the Harry Potter films to bring this new coaster experience to life.
  • This ride is going to redefine the category and transport you to thrilling places, drawing you into even more exciting adventures within the wizarding world. It’s going to be the perfect addition to Hogsmeade.

The fact you will meet 'creatures' tells us that this attraction is very likely to take place within the Forbidden Forest. The fact they are calling this a thrilling rollercoaster experience supports the rumours of the Hagrid's bike coaster or an SFX coaster!

To put it into perspective, Inside Universal Admin Brian G. has posted this. The green is the current Hogsmeade area and the red is the space which the new expansion will cover...

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Whilst the area is huge, it is expected this area will not only feature the new coaster but also a Hogsmeade expansion featuring more areas to explore. The top rumour is an indoor section themed to the Shrieking Shack - similar to Knockturn Alley in Diagon Alley. I wouldn't be surprised if we see an area left for further expansion as well...

Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:32 pm
by Ladyofthelake
I have to say that I am pretty gutted that we are losing Dragon Challenge, especially as it's going to be replaced by yet another Harry Potter expansion. To me they will always be Dueling Dragons, and to this day remain one of my favourite ride experiences - in fact they are part of the reason I gained my interest in coasters and theme parks in the first place.

Whilst I know that the Harry Potter IP is a juggernaut and a huge money spinner for Universal, however I am starting to get a little annoyed at just how much it is taking over things. Yes, have some areas themed around it, but it's starting to feel like it is totally taking over at the expense of other things. Personally I don't think that a new Harry Potter attraction justifies the loss of Dragon Challenge.

Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:18 pm
by Dom
Aren't they just replacing one HP themed thing with a new HP themed thing?

Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:19 pm
by Owen
Technically yes Dom, the HP theme took over the original ride in 2010. :)

Dragon Challenge has been expected to go for many years now (even before HP I believe) due to the ride becoming rougher and rougher every year. I doubt that Universal took the decision lightly but hopefully what replaces the ride is far better - which it will most likely be! :)

It's also not been confirmed they're being 'forgotten', there had been chatter that a new version of the attraction will appear in Park 4...

Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:32 pm
by Bert2theSpark
Owen wrote:
It's also not been confirmed they're being 'forgotten', there had been chatter that a new version of the attraction will appear in Park 4...

So basically Hulk treatment but in a different park? It would be nice to this done to the rides as it would be a shame to lose 2 B&M Inverts. 
Also What is 'Park 4'?  :-s

Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:45 pm
by Owen
Universal are expected to build their forth Orlando theme park as soon as 2021, and rumour suggest they may bring Dragons back in this park with a slightly modified layout to allow them to duel. That being said others also say this park wont feature a large outdoor coaster at all.

Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:34 pm
by Chris
Roughness has never been an issue. The rides have dwindled in popularity due to the fact that they don't duel any more because of a lengthy lawsuit following a loose item incident. Regardless, the queue has never been that long in recent years as they are based at the back of the park and are extremely high capacity.

I appreciate HP is a huge money-maker for Universal, but developing it should not be at the expense of an absolutely incredible, unique attraction which is still loved by many.

I am wondering though if the reason is due to maintenance. As you may know, Hulk had to be rebuilt and the same may apply to the Dragons. Would it be worthwhile spending that amount of cash on a ride that may not make a return like an HP attraction would? Food for thought..

Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:07 pm
by Owen
After having a look around various sites I have found the most interesting rumours for this attraction...

  • It will feature forwards and backwards segments
  • It will likely come from Intamin
  • It will take place within the Order of the Phoenix timeline
  • Umbridge could make her debut in the Wizarding World
  • The ride may feature animatronics from Creature Tech (the guys who did Kong)
  • The trio are unlikely to play a central role
  • Quote from an insider - "This will be the TRON killer."

Certainly interesting, and very exciting! We will have to wait and see if any of this comes to be true!

Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Posted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:44 am
by Alex
Chris wrote:
Roughness has never been an issue. The rides have dwindled in popularity due to the fact that they don't duel any more following a lengthy lawsuit following a loose item incident. Regardless, the queue has never been that long in recent years as they are based at the back of the park and are extremely high capacity.

I appreciate HP is a huge money-maker for Universal, but developing it should not be at the expense of an absolutely incredible, unique attraction which is still loved by many.

I am wondering though if the reason is due to maintenance. As you may know, Hulk had to be rebuilt and the same may apply to the Dragons. Would it be worthwhile spending that amount of cash on a ride that may not make a return like an HP attraction would? Food for thought..

The consensus seems to be that due to the Florida weather and almost constant usage over 18 years that the maintenance costs are getting to a stage where something needed to be done. Add that to the fact that JK was rumoured to be not happy with the ride initially as it didn't really fit the land ethos but at the time Universal didn't really have the capital and cashflow they have now so she accepted that it would stay as part of the land.

Personally whilst it is sad to see them go they aren't the same since they haven't dueled, the rides really lost their magic and often don't even have a queue anymore so I dont blame universal for deciding now is the time to replace them. The land they occupy is almost 8 acres of prime Potter real estate so it's really a no brainer to create a new experience to take advantage of the IP. 

Owen has mentioned that it's likely to come from Intamin however the press release from Dynamic Attractions said they have a contract for the Orlando area which realistically means either Universal or Disney and that it will be replicated across numerous sites. Disney are building a GotG ride in Epcot and the rumour was it might be for that however that rumour doesn't really fit with the multiple sites comment as GotG has already taken over Tower of Terror which leads me to think that we might be seeing an SFX coaster at Universal.
http://www.dynamicattractions.com/empire-industries-reports-order-for-us-120-million/ 

Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Posted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:09 pm
by Owen
According to insiders, the projected opening date for Super Nintendo Land Orlando is Memorial Day weekend 2020, which means we should see it open between May 22nd and May 25th 2020!

They also claim deconstruction of Kidzone should begin as soon as Labour Day weekend had finished (September 5th). This will start with attractions in the Curious George section and finally deconstruction will ramp up in January!

Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Posted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:11 am
by lf2001
Visited the Volcano Bay water park the other day, the rides are great but the TapuTapu bands need some big improvements. You're only allowed to reserve one ride at a time, meaning that we were waiting up to over two hours to ride some slides, which ended with us only riding three slides all day! And in between you cod only really sunbathe in a crowded 'beach' area melting in the Florida heat. Once they get their act together it will be a great experience, but if anyone's planning on going fairly soon I'd give it a miss.

Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Posted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 5:02 pm
by Owen
I don't think it's the TapuTapu that's the issue, it's just the park is incredibly popular. Even without the Tapu Tapu you'd still have to wait 3 hours but in a queue line as opposed to in the lazy rivers etc.

I don't quite think Universal were expecting that Volcano Bay would be such a huge hit, it hits capacity daily and I wonder if they will start limiting capacity soon. Hopefully the claims that the expansion will begin construction very soon are true, just so there's another aqua coaster and more space within the park! :P

Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:08 pm
by Alex
From what I've read some people think that the capacity has already been limited a bit but others think it's just down to the park being popular. Plus the blackout dates have just ended so you'd have had an AP influx of guests which won't have helped the queues!

It wouldn't surprise me if Uni were planning to built another waterpark on the new land as they've seen the demand is there for another park.

Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:16 pm
by Owen
If this tweet by Dynamic Attractions is anything to go by, it seems that the SFX coaster rumour is more or less true!

Image


Insiders have been rumouring the attraction may see us in a replica of the Ford Anglia from the Harry Potter films, which in my opinion sounds awesome!

Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:16 pm
by Owen
Here's an updated look at the HHN27 prediction map (houses/shows in green have been CONFIRMED)...

Image

The top rumour for Blumhouse still appears to be Ouija: Origin of Evil!

Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:54 am
by Lee
To clarify TapuTapu operational requirements, it is to allow you to queue virtually and is not a fastrack system. I appreciate it is easy to mistake it for a system that allows you to queue quicker, however it simply just not. The system is deisgned to keep you away from queues; so your choice to sit in the Florida sun is just that. The other option is no TapuTapu and therefore standing in a 2 hour queue with no access to water, food, seats or restbite.

The park is currently a victim of its own success really - even being a hit with local Orlando residents, which is always a key to any leisure park as a good percentage of your revenue comes from those return guests all year around, especially during the quitter months.

Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:55 pm
by Owen
Another house reveal!

This time it's Saw: The Games of Jigsaw...

Image

Here's the announcement video.

Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Posted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:17 pm
by Owen
It has today been announced that Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure will have its final show this year with the "Farewell Tour". This also leads me to thing Fear Factor Live is closing to make way for a little extra magic...

Re: Universal Orlando Resort

Posted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:38 am
by ponder
Owen wrote:
I don't think it's the TapuTapu that's the issue, it's just the park is incredibly popular. Even without the Tapu Tapu you'd still have to wait 3 hours but in a queue line as opposed to in the lazy rivers etc.

I don't quite think Universal were expecting that Volcano Bay would be such a huge hit, it hits capacity daily and I wonder if they will start limiting capacity soon. Hopefully the claims that the expansion will begin construction very soon are true, just so there's another aqua coaster and more space within the park! :P

Yeah, Tapu Tapu *kind of* works, but allowing virtual queue for only one attraction at a time definitely slows your day down. However, I found both lazy rivers (particularly the quicker one) to be worth going around a few times. Better signage would be useful too - we spent a fair bit of time aimlessly walking around looking for ride entrances. Krakatau is great fun though, and all the tube slides we did were really good too. I'd certainly rate it as the best water park out there, they just need to tweak a few things.
I should mention that I visited a week after it opened though, so it may be running a bit smoother now.