What’s Happening at Universal – January 2017

One of the best things about Universal Orlando Resort is that Comcast keeps the parks in a constant state of growth and change. This month there is a ton of updates to bring you regarding Return Time Tickets and construction updates so let’s jump into it!

First, we will start at the front of Universal Studios Florida with Despicable Me Minion Mayhem! Pteranodon Flyers and Shrek 4-D have already dabbled with return time tickets, but testing has now made its way to Despicable Me. This was inevitable considering the Virtual Line experience will be used solely for Race Through New York with Jimmy Fallon and Volcano Bay, so a test needed to happen on an immensely popular ride before rolling out the system entirely. We’ll share our thoughts on the return time tickets soon, but expect to see it at Despicable Me Minion Mayhem for awhile.

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Moving further into Universal Studios Florida, you can see the Universal Music Plaza Stage is starting to get prepped for A Celebration of Harry Potter 2017, which will run from January 27 – 29.

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Right next to the Universal Music Plaza Stage is Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon, and it is very exciting to see how quickly the finishing touches are being put on the building before it opens April 6, 2017. The Tonight Shop windows have finally been blocked with blackout curtains (too many people were peeking inside), but it appears that some of the last finishing touches of the facade are going up.

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Moving further into New York, there are currently construction walls up around the gift shop to the left of the Blues Brothers Show stage.

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Heading into San Francisco, you can see that Fast & Furious: Supercharged is still going up at a rapid pace despite the opening date being pushed back from 2017 to 2018. The show building is absolutely massive, but the size of the building isn’t important – just what goes inside.

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As you make your way into World Expo, you’ll notice things are quite at The Simpsons Ride, because it is currently down for seasonal maintenance. Our favorite yellow family won’t be back in action until at least February 2.

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Making your way into Hollywood, you’ll see blue construction walls near Mel’s that are slightly annoying and an eyesore.

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Let’s not forget about Islands of Adventure! Right now Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges is down for its seasonal maintenance through January 21 before Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls goes dry starting January 22 through January 31.

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Finally, and maybe most interesting, Cat in the Hat is currently testing a new system of Express for on-site hotel guests that involves photo recognition beyond just scanning the Express passes. I’m not quite sure how long this test has been going on and the Team Member out front of Cat didn’t quite know much about the system or how to explain it, so I’m assuming that it is a recent development and one that will hopefully cut down on Express abuse.

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That’s your look around Universal Orlando Resort for January 2017! Of course there is even more construction on property with Volcano Bay rising quickly and hopefully we will be able to share more of that in February!

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