Vote of the week: Anticipation builds at Universal Studios Florida
Construction cranes are transforming the Universal Studios Florida skyline, as the park's new attractions are beginning to take shape. The cranes went up within the last few days, and you can see photos and updates via the Orlando Sentinel
and via Parkscope
For those of you who haven't been following this closely, Universal closed its Jaws ride - and the surrounding Amity land - last January to make way for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley, which will feature a Gringotts-themed indoor roller coaster ride, as well as expanded Ollivander's Wand Shop and a Hogwarts Express train connecting the new Harry Potter land with the original over in Universal's Islands of Adventure. (BTW, I love how the Sentinel is calling this "The-Project-That-Must-Not-Be-Named.")
In addition, Universal's torn down the Soundstage 44, the empty building between Mel's and Twister that once housed the Murder, She Wrote and Xena attractions. That's going to be the home of the Orlando version of the Transformers 3D motion-base ride that recently debuted in Hollywood and Singapore.
Universal hasn't announced either of these developments, but we've seen the blueprints of the new Harry Potter land, and the public building permits for the Soundstage 44 replacement are consistent with the size and layout of the Transformers show building, and we've heard from at least two sources in Orlando who tells us that it's Transformers.
So I think we can move beyond speculation at the point and jump straight to anticipation. Let's make that our vote of the week. Which new attraction are you looking forward to most: Harry Potter, or Transformers? (And I'll throw in a couple of other options to cover readers who want another choice.)
Harry Potter. Transformers. Revenge of the Mummy. Despicable Me. The Simpsons Ride. Men in Black. That's a pretty formidable A-list of rides for a theme park, don't ya think? Tell us in the comments what you think about all the work going on at Universal Studios Florida.
in five years universal studios may very well be the best park in orlando imo...huge expansion is coming to universal
Harry Potter expansion. I am looking forward the seeing the Gringotts coaster and Hogwarts Express in particular. Transformers might make a good addition, but I'm not as excited because we already know what the ride entails.
I'm glad no one has voted for the last option yet. That will change soon I'm sure. Looking forward to Potter 2.0 the most, although Transformers comes in at a really close second. I am dying to see how they dress up the building for Transformers since its right smack dab in the middle of the park and will be visible from all sides.
Well, someone voted for it. SMH
Robert, it's really disingenuous of you to post polls like this to continue misleading people. Certainly you know as well as I do that the Murder She Wrote building was torn down for a new Murder, She Wrote attraction that's going to tie in with the new movie starring Channing Tatum.
Universal, under it's new parent company Comcast, is certainly being aggressive concerning the Universal theme park experience. We spent 12 days of our spring vacation on site there this year and enjoyed every moment. There is so much to do at the hotel resorts, the theme parks and citiwalk. Everything is close and the vacation experience is relaxing. And if it's Gringotts & Transformers, WOW. I know that we are in the tourist minority, but we now spend equal time at Universal & Disney. Universal Resort is excellent for adults, especially with hotel express. We're excited about the future expansions and hope Disney will wake up from their big sleep to match Universal's innovations and new attractions. Competition is what makes capitalism work well. Now that Disney fixed their white elephant park, perhaps they will spend some money for new E ticket Orlando attractions.We are looking forward to the Disney Fantasyland expansion. It will look great, but the attractions are certainly not E ticket level.
Looking forward to seeing Transformers more than HP.
you could also argue that Universal studios will have 7 legit e ticket attractions..not many parks in the world can make that claim
OK, steve made me laugh.
Diagon Alley is a whole new land, so of course I voted for it. While Transformers looks great, I hate the Micheal Bay movies.
@robert, so is that a TPI confirmation that its Transformers and not a 365 haunted house walk thru?
Well I'm going to CA next year and will ride Transformers at USH. So give me more Potter.
While when this is done with IOA having 7.5 legit E-tickets and USF having after expansion having 6.5 legit E-tickets (split Hogsmeade Express between each park)
For Universal Resort:
I'm thankful, as an annual pass holder, that the park keeps pouring money back into itself. In a good year, I'll get down to Orlando 3 or 4 times, and now there's always something either opening or being built.
@ Anyone who asked-Transformers is not confirmed. In fact, Screamscape (and I know it's not the most reliable source), reported this week that all signs point to something NOT transformers related.
That all sounds great I really really want to visit but am waiting for the WWOHP phase 2 to be opened as i'd be gutted to miss it and it's a once in a life time trip.
I'm not really a fan of the Harry Potter books or movies, but I'm a huge fan of WWOHP. Looking forward to another land so beautifully themed.
@ everyone thinking Universal Hotel guest get "free" express passes
I have been going to Universal since I was there for the first time in 2007, and I love it, IOA is the best theme park. And I love it so much that I have a annual pass, and I live in DENMARK. :-)
Too bad there's not an all of the above option. But, seeing as how many people are only visiting IOA, clogging up the lines to some of my favorite rides, I went with Potter. Diagon Alley can not come soon enough.
I don't understand why so much secrecy from Universal. Disney broke the news of Avatar Land before they knew what the rides will be like.
I chose to hold out hope for something different. I'd say Universal should not copy an attraction that another universal park already has. They already did that with T2, Revenge of the Mummy, Shrek 4D and the Simpsons. Let USH have something that USF doesn't need to have because USF already has rides that USH doesn't have.....i.e. every ride at IOA(minus Jurassic Park) as well as Twister, Disaster, Men In Black, HRRR, E.T., get the point? So what if USH has Transformers, USF has the exact same ride at IOA, just themed to Spider-Man(Is Spidey not good enough?). As for HP expansion, that will be a nice addition, but I feel the excitement will be short lived as the area's hype will not last too long after its done and opened. Now I'm more excited for the expansion of Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom to be completed because it will be a few attractions themed to "DIFFERENT" characters.....not just one(Yes, I'm referring to Harry Potter). So again, I'm holding out hope that Universal Orlando will come up with something more original than a simple copy of an already existing attraction.
I'll be experiencing Transformers at Universal Hollywood in October, so I'm most looking forward to the Potter expansion.
I love the wizarding world but I'm starting to hate Harry potter with all my heart for replacing jaws. So I'm going with transformers . Perfect universal : DreamWorks land replaces woodpecker , fear factor becomes glee show, mummy becomes kong 360, titanic takes over twister, and e.t is relocated at disaster
Hahahaha wow I love the last option because there are actually quite a few people out there who ONLY love Disney and that's it. I'm thinking those are the same people who are afraid of tower of terror and think that WDW doesn't need anything new. So signs are pointing that Avatarland is only getting one E Ticket attraction. REALLY disney.... I tell ya, I think WDW is just there to make the money for the expansions in the other parks. I can't wait for harry potter, but I know studio 44's replacment will probably open first so I'm pretty excited for that one right now. All of this plus a new hotel at the same time. Damn!!! Universal is going for the throat of WDW right now. I love it
I know the question specified "most", however I'm equally looking forward to both the Transformer and Gringotts & Hogwarts Express. Universal has done an outstanding job with regards to new attractions and has set the standard.
I went with harry potter 2 cause is a new land but transformers comes in a close second
I just hope that the Transformers ride at USO is different. If it were an identical copy, I'd be very disappointed. I'm cool with similar/same rides at parks around the world, but I like a little diversity between them.
If Universal Florida wants to compete with Disney World, they should build the longer version of "Pirates of the Caribbean"
Ya to this this day nothing has been built in a theme park that rivals the original pirates of the Caribbean. This is a 15 minute ride with spectacular detail, story, and detail put in every scene. And it had one of the greatest openings I've ever seen on a ride. The pitch black tunnel with the talking skull before the first drop is pure genius. Its sad cause this ride was made way back in 67 and you'd think they would have equalled it by now. But its cool too because it shows grandeur walt Disney was aspiring for.
I am a avid visitor to Florida and have been returning for the last 20 years and have seen the parks through the eyes of a twenties something to 40's something with 2 children in tow. The recent 5 years have without doubt been the best with new and exiting rides and experiences hitting the parks. I am certainly not one of those people that sits in a "Park" camp and have most often broken the bank and credit card to try and expereince all the Florda parks have to offer. So the universal news is one of great interest, normally we only assign 2 days to universal. I do hope that the current expansion does not mean that universal forget about some of the basics. What I mean by that is compared to Disney Universal does tend too look tired in places especially in IOW which I feel is a bit lost and lacking in direction. Juraasic park looks very run down. Running a theme park is very expensive and in the quest for alway trying to get the next big thing its important to look at a ride or attraction that will stand the test of time. In my opinion I have always felt that the orginal Universal Studios park is far superior to IOW, IOW feels like any generic theme park a bit soul less were as Univeral Studios still has that magic of being in the movies. I am a huge movie fan so riding a movie is the nearest I am ever going to get to being in one. So back to my point if Universal is too attract more visitors and look at grabbing more holiday time it needs to make sure it really pulls us into the movie world. Im not a big harry potter fan never read any of the books or seen a movie but I must admit the depth of detail in the harry potter land is amazing. So heres the point of my comment, I found the ride itself quite forgettable for all the hype it was the pre-ride that was them most memorable if Universal are to get it right it needs to make sure it does not cut corners, having a big headline ride is great but there are many theme parks but if you want to be the best its just about the white knuckle, I certainly think its an interesting and exciting time for park goers as the choice and quality is improving, like i said im not a die hard disney fan as we prefer Aquatica over any of the disney parks. Universal has all the potential of being alot better just hope it doesnt get hung up on trying to compete with disney. Its not disney or six flags, it never will be but it can be something different a amazing place to allow yourself to ride the movies. It needs rides that you will still want to ride 10 years later not just hope that they will repalce one with something bigger and better.
My hope is they come up with new ideas. Besides Harry Potter, they need something else in the fantasy realm. I can think of the Hobbits and Lord of the Rings.
I voted for Transformers just because I'm a huge scaredy cat when it comes to roller coasters, but I know I'll make an exception to ride the Gringott's coaster just as I do for Revenge of the Mummy! But Potter 2.0 is a close 2nd. I'm glad to see Universal is putting the pedal to the medal and building new and creative attractions at it's flag-ship resort. I know it's sad to see old attractions go e.g. Jaws, Kongfrontation, Back to the Future, but without the room to expand, the older attractions get destroyed to make way for new ones. IMO as long as the new ride is close in enjoyment level to the old one, I'm okay with it. It still doesn't make it easy to see a classic go, but new fun experiences can help ease the pain.
I love the idea of more Potter, largely because the biggest issue, while being the source of a ton of its charm, is how small the original land at IOA is. Having more room for more people might mean I'll actually get to shop next time I go.
for 'lack of a better option" i choose the disney fan one. while i still love Universal(although Disney is still better on my list), i dont like any of these new projects. i loved WWOHP, but I think replacing Jaws for potter is becoming overkill, and quite honestly, I HATE the transformer moviesd. If Universal was getting a new Kongfrontation or something different and unique, i'd prob be on the first flight down to Orlando
I ABSOLUTLY can not wait for these to open!! I usually go back and forth between WDW and Unversal season passes, but It looks like Universal will be the place to be for the next few years! And as to the FOTL passes not being free with the Universal Hotels, well of course it is not. Pay $300. and you get 2 days FOTL passes for 2 people worth approx. $300. So you get to stay in a 4 star Lowes Hotel for minimal. It works out.
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