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Universal Expansion...because nobody wanted it to die

Universal Orlando: Have to be at least 100 more comments on Middle Earth alone or does it just become a debate on which is better LOTR or SW

From robert morris
Posted January 4, 2013 at 1:37 PM
It's back....

[Forgive me for approving this - Robert]


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Bryce McGibeny
Posted January 4, 2013 at 3:59 PM
Dear god.

From Dominick D
Posted January 4, 2013 at 2:38 PM
So you got to it first, huh? I sent part 3 in earlier ;)

From Robert Niles
Posted January 4, 2013 at 3:31 PM
I propose hijacking this thread to make it a contest to dream up the most preposterous theory that we could get other, gullible, websites to pick as as actual news. (Kind of like how random, say, Russian newspapers will pick up an Onion story and think it's legit.)

Now this shouldn't be anything hostile or nasty. Let's not try to damage anyone or any park with this yarn. But it should be funny enough that it'll make people with half a brain (or more) laugh when they see it.

Just trying to harness the creativity here. (And troll some lazy writers elsewhere.) ;^)

From James Rao
Posted January 4, 2013 at 3:35 PM
Oooh! Oooh! Oooh! I've got one, I've got one!

How about this: "We have recently learned that after a very long and protracted negotiation, Universal has acquired the rights to develop and produce attractions based on the successful Lord of the Rings franchise."

Think people will buy it?

From TH Creative
Posted January 4, 2013 at 3:43 PM
I was gonna go with "Universal Expansion (A Retrospective)".

From TH Creative
Posted January 4, 2013 at 3:46 PM
Breaking: Walt Disney Imagineering has hired Universal Creative to design and manage construction of Pandora at Walt Disney World's Disney Animal Kingdom theme park ... of America.

From Bryce McGibeny
Posted January 4, 2013 at 3:59 PM
It appears TDO views their parks like cattle herding in the middle of a car race. They don't add anything to the excitement but new meeting places of the princesses.

From robert morris
Posted January 4, 2013 at 8:13 PM
Universal considering a John Carter land...only attraction is an walk through of an animated mouse burning money

From TH Creative
Posted January 5, 2013 at 10:08 AM
A (belated) new year's gift to RN and the TPI crowd (as this one IS in fact true) ... Cocktail chatter at a Windermere holiday party indicates that WDI is pursuing (at least) two members of the Universal Creative team. Think this is a FAKE story? Google the name Scott Trowbridge.

From robert morris
Posted January 5, 2013 at 1:56 PM
The sticking point right now on Universal getting the rights is the moving walkways from the parking decks to Citywalk. As the Tolkein family feels that Universal Orlando should have a greater emphasis on walking.

From Daniel Etcheberry
Posted January 5, 2013 at 2:44 PM
Universal could merge Potter and Tolkien; Harry Potter and an Unexpected Journey. They could open a ride similar to Star Wars, so sometimes you'll get Gandalf and sometimes Dumbledore; sometimes Gollum and sometimes Dobby; sometimes you will travel to Middle Earth and sometimes to Hogwarts.

Is it me or Gandalf looks like Ron Paul?

From James Rao
Posted January 5, 2013 at 3:55 PM
As long as he doesn't look like RuPaul we should be okay.

Also, this just in: scientists have just proved that Hobbit Foot Hair is the only known cure for Hogwarts. It may be an odd find, but at least we can be thankful there is finally a cure!

From Mike Gallagher
Posted January 5, 2013 at 4:13 PM
I thought the cure for Hogwarts was to rub Butterbeer on them. Oh well, shows what *I* know.

From N B
Posted January 5, 2013 at 7:17 PM
Rumors are flying that LOTR was mistakenly posted instead of LOTD... that mean means Universal is more than likely getting a complete land based on Lord of the Dance. Michael Flatley has been spotted with a construction helmet at UOR and is planning on giving Robert the exclusive details.

From James Rao
Posted January 5, 2013 at 9:44 PM
^Too funny, N B! At least it wasn't mistaken for Lord of the Flies or the Veggie Tales spoof, Lord of the Beans. Wait-a-minute...I just read on the INTERNETS that Universal has indeed purchased the rights to Veggie Tales and will be adding a Lord of the Beans play area to USO as a replacement for Fievel's Playland (who the heck is Fievel, anyway?)!!!

(Todd Donnerparty will not react well to this news. He'll have no more tin cans to crawl through, no swaying bridges to cross, and that giant cowboy boot is a gonner for sure! I guess he'll just have to ride ET all day instead...)

And Mike, Butterbeer has the opposite effect on Hogwarts - it exacerbates the problem!

Speaking of exacerbating... uh... well... nevermind....

From James Rao
Posted January 6, 2013 at 6:29 AM
Rumor has it Pixie Dust is also a cure for Hogwarts, and round ears are much preferred over pointy ones... unless you are Legolas, who will soon be seen walking through Islands of Adventure, wearing a bath robe and carrying a pillow with a singing frog (singing frogs actually cause Hogwarts, btw). Universal Uncreative is really upping the ante on adult entertainment these days!!!

In other news: Cedar Fair just purchased the rights to the blockbuster film, Return of the Fallen King. With this popular franchise they will be adding a new up-charge attraction to the park's ever growing collection of customer gouging additional fee "entertainments" in the Challenge Park area of Cedar Point. This expansion, based upon Roller Coaster Tycoon 3's somewhat dated, but definitely unparallelled 3D graphics engine, will put park fans in the driver's seat of Coaster Boy Thrillsville! For a mere $49.99 visitors can build and virtually ride whatever amazing coasters they can imagine! Think of it - someone might even build a good, virtual, wooden coaster to replace the bone crunching painfulness of the Dinn Corp's ancient and broken down Mean Streak. Further, every coaster a visitor creates will count towards the park's coaster total so Cedar Point will no longer play second fiddle to Six Flags Magic Mountain, the world's current Coaster King. Lastly, the park has finally updated their America's Roller Coast slogan to be, May the Farce Be With You, no doubt in homage to Millennium Farce, the venerable bestest coaster in the world as proclaimed by the middle finger waving Coaster Boys who relentlessly frequent this much-ballyhooed iron ride park.

It is definitely an exciting time at The Point, ladies, gentlemen, and Todb!

From TH Creative
Posted January 6, 2013 at 10:30 AM
Sniff ... Sniff ... Smells like vainglory. Typical.

From James Rao
Posted January 6, 2013 at 11:36 AM
Smells like I win.

Talk about taking things too seriously... Jeez. Thread killed. Mr. Todd's wild ride is officially over.

From Daniel Etcheberry
Posted January 6, 2013 at 4:39 PM
The Hogwarts Express will travel from the new section of Potter at the studios to Dr. Phillips High School (across the street)

From Tim Hillman
Posted January 6, 2013 at 5:22 PM
Inside sources within the effort to build the Los Angeles Football Stadium have revealed that the principal partner in the venture has abandoned his efforts to build a football stadium and attract an NFL franchise back to the Los Angeles market. After being denied an expansion team by the NFL and being shut out by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders, and San Diego Chargers, Edward P. Roski, the principal partner in the project has decided to partner with Universal Studios in their effort to acquire the theme park rights to the Lord of the Rings franchise from the Tolkien literary estate. According to sources close to Mr. Roski, the decision was made to refocus the development of the 600-acre entertainment site from a football and entertainment district into a theme park and entertainment district after the venture was repeatedly thwarted by the NFL in their efforts to obtain a team, and seeing the phenomenal economic success of the recently upgraded Disneyland Resort.

Although characters and locations from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit will be the centerpiece of the new park, other intellectual properties being considered for inclusion are Hello Kitty, Star Trek, Nintendo, and DC Comics among others. Several intellectual properties already within the domain of Universal Studios are also being considered although it has been confirmed that no attractions related to the Harry Potter franchise will be included in the attractions. Within the park boundaries, all design will largely be under the control of Universal Creative while outside the park development will be handled by the original development team.

Initial reports indicate that the sources of funding from the football stadium development are in agreement with the shift of focus to the theme park, and a $5 billion line of credit has been established in addition to the considerable cash resources already at the disposal of the development venture. Upon receipt of the licenses for the intellectual properties, construction is expected to start within 18 months with a projected opening of spring 2018. The completed complex is expected to bring $3 billion in yearly revenue to the complex and local businesses, and is forecast to provide 24,000 full time jobs.

From James Rao
Posted January 6, 2013 at 6:02 PM
Well done, Tim! You actually did what Mr. Niles suggested and offered a believable rumor. Wow!

From Tim Hillman
Posted January 6, 2013 at 8:04 PM
Rumor? What rumor? ;>)

From James Rao
Posted January 6, 2013 at 11:00 PM
Right back atcha, TD. Take care of that brain cell, ya hear? Nite nite. ;)

From Mike Gallagher
Posted January 7, 2013 at 4:50 AM
Re: the title of this thread...did anyone take a poll?

From James Rao
Posted January 7, 2013 at 7:56 AM
Obviously not, Mike. =(

From robert morris
Posted January 7, 2013 at 8:07 AM
What's scary is the Hello Kitty section of the park would be pretty busy and profitable

From N B
Posted January 9, 2013 at 3:31 PM
Someone working on the Gringotts bank interior posted pictures of the desks that flank either side of the main lobby. They are unpainted and sitting on pallets right now.

You can easily tell what they are for when you compare the two pictures.

From Rob Pastor
Posted January 9, 2013 at 2:19 PM
NB: Yes, I saw them on another site also. Gringott's will probably trump FJ once it's done. Said it before and I'll say it again. Universal is adding so much excitement, just can't wait till HP2 is ready.

From N B
Posted January 9, 2013 at 3:39 PM
Rob, it appears the company who is producing these props is not very happy about the leak. You would think the person who took them would convert them to another format instead of leaving all of the EXIF data embedded in the picture they took with thier cell phone.

From Rob Pastor
Posted January 9, 2013 at 5:22 PM
Agreed. Even Universal has been pretty tough on the bloggers taking pictures. They had plainclothes employees stopping photos for a while, but I think they've backed off the practice recently. So many leaks on both sides, probably by mgt. employees . The Next Gen stuff was released before it was supposed to on the weekend and reportedly Disney had to hastily throw together a news conference with typos in the first press release, which should never happen. Then last week a prominent blogger released the exact Disney management changes that were announced today and details on the Iger/Meg private meeting. And now he says Meg will also be gone in a year or so after everything cools down. Then you have the staffer Hate to Fly on Orlando United that is always right on about anything Universal before it happens. This many major leaks makes you wonder. Are there that many "talkative" mgt. people or are these leaks done on purpose by upper mgt. Some corporations have a lot of internal infighting and jockying for position. Whatever it may be, it makes things a lot more interesting when the rumors flying have a high percentage of validity.

From Rob Pastor
Posted January 9, 2013 at 9:18 PM
Good thought Todd.

From Rob Pastor
Posted January 9, 2013 at 9:49 PM
NB: The image you have posted here has been removed from most of the internet sites by request of the owner. This may be one of the few left. As you alluded to, Blogger Hate to Fly confirmed and said that an internal investigation has already begun with questioning interviews tomorrow. You were right on concerning the clumsiness of the release.

From N B
Posted January 14, 2013 at 3:09 PM
Rob,

(Alomst) All traces have vanished.... :) I wish I would have gotten a copy of the Gringotts windows as well. I read about the Investigation on Mice Chat. Someone will start the new year unemployed and possibly in court.

From Rob Pastor
Posted January 14, 2013 at 4:02 PM
NB: A couple of good articles on Orlando United today on why the Disney management move was made and the non likelyhood of LOTR at this stage in time. The management change article basically echoes what you & I have been saying for quite a while.

From Rob Pastor
Posted January 16, 2013 at 12:31 PM
Orlando United is reporting on the strong likelihood of a major Jurassic Park expansion to be ready for summer 2014 when the Jurassic Park Part 4 movie debuts. Expansion concepts are a themed family coaster through an amber mine (sounds like 7 Dwarfs, only built way quicker), a dark ride through the lower environs of the Discovery Center, an expansion of Camp Jurassic, major upgrade of the River Adventure with new added AA's, and more themed resturants & games similar to the Simpsons expansion. Universal just doesn't cease to amaze. New attractions and lands everywhere, and all on a fast building schedule. Sure have to give kudos to Comcast.

From N B
Posted January 17, 2013 at 1:47 AM
Sounds cool, I hope it comes to fruition. I think two other attractions are coming down in 2014 as well.

From Matt Babiak
Posted January 17, 2013 at 5:20 AM
Jurassic Park in 2014? Oh no. That is going to be terrible. Hopefully the park additions will be better than the movie. On a side note, is Harry Potter definitely going to the studios, or that still a rumor?

From Rob Pastor
Posted January 17, 2013 at 7:45 AM
Harry Potter 2 at the Studios is 99% certain, Gringotts attraction building is up and partially enclosed already, just no official announcement yet.

From TH Creative
Posted January 17, 2013 at 10:47 AM
(Rolling My Eyes)

From N B
Posted January 17, 2013 at 6:42 PM
TH, why are you "Rolling your eyes"? Not enough Disney in this thread?

From N B
Posted January 17, 2013 at 6:44 PM
I am betting UOR waits until the Super Bowl to announce the new HP land. I thought they would last year, but it was way too soon and the land was just being graded / filled while the last remnants of Jaws were being carted off.

From Dominick D
Posted January 17, 2013 at 6:59 PM
WWOHP doesn't grand open until 2015 so don't count on an announcement for a while.

From TH Creative
Posted January 17, 2013 at 7:21 PM
NB, I'd reply to your inquiry but "He Who Shall Not Be Named" has indicated that he is uncomfortable defending his (ahem) unique expertise and insight.

So I'll just wish you and yours my very best.

Cheers!

From Andrew Dougherty
Posted January 17, 2013 at 7:24 PM
The Jurassic Patk movie will most likely be a drag. How many times can you get a kick out if watching Dino's eat people?

From TH Creative
Posted January 17, 2013 at 7:46 PM
Here's a thought: There's this whole idea (implied by various TPI regs) that Disney and Universal "compete."

But has anyone considered that Universal's strategy is NOT to take guests away from Disney but rather to target attendance numbers that accommodate its model and financial requirements? Meaning it does not build attractions to undermine the Disney model but rather to achieve its own goals by attracting MORE guests to Central Florida -- even if those additional folks also go down the road to WDW?

Certainly the UO parks will continue to expand and add new attractions. And (speaking subjectively) more often than not, Universal Creative's efforts will be in-step with (or even better than) those of its WDI brethren.

But other than qualitative bragging rights, the UC ambitions must be that they hit THEIR numbers and not necessarily surpass (or draw from) WDW's attendance.

I mean, does anyone honestly believe that Disney is disheartened when a Universal attraction draws a million more visitors to Orlando? And why would Universal ... or Sea World ... or Legoland ... want any Disney expansion to fail in its attempt to draw attention to Central Florida?

The original question posed by the first edition of this topic was whether or not Universal's expansions gives it a leg up on Disney? I suggest that such expansions were never intended to undermne WDW. Rather I believe it intended to keep UO's fire burning. An objective that has surely been achieved.

From N B
Posted January 17, 2013 at 8:24 PM
I was waiting for the trump card labeled "Disney attendance figures" to appear in a thread dedicated to Universal expansion.

From TH Creative
Posted January 18, 2013 at 10:08 AM
Actually it was a thread based on whether or not the Universal expansion would give it an advantage over Disney. Meaning the topic was not exclusive toi Universal.

So how about that Lance Armstrong guy ... ain't he a hoot?

From TH Creative
Posted January 20, 2013 at 6:22 PM
Nice flex!

Disney's 'Once Upon a Time,' on Disney's ABC network, has a character with a cell phone featuring a ringtone featuring the theme of Disney's 'Star Wars.'

Barbara: "We own it."

Evan: "Now they're just showing off!"

Waiting for the Frankenstien character to unviel the monster as Iron Man.

Related #1: I think Disney should pursue Mad magazine, Peanuts and Doosnebury.

Related #2: This assumes Disney hasn't already reached out to Mad magazine, Peanuts and Doonesbury.

Related #3: G.B. Trudeau must weigh his convictions against the estate supporting his great great grandchildren. Jane is a bit concerned.

From Shannon Nelson
Posted January 21, 2013 at 1:00 AM
Is there any news on an official opening date for Transformers yet. It says summer 2013, but does that mean memorial day, or around July 4th, because despicible me opend in early July. I would think UOR would want to open it as early as they could, like say the end of May, because this ride is filling the enthusiasum gap till HP2, and might make people come this year instead of just waiting for Potter.

From Dominick D
Posted January 21, 2013 at 5:43 AM
The ride will bein testing today so I'm expecting a late March/early April soft opening.

From Tony Duda
Posted January 21, 2013 at 11:46 AM
Universal's Power Pass has all of July 2013 blocked out for Universal Studios. No block out for Islands of Adventure. This should tell you something.

From Andrew Dougherty
Posted January 22, 2013 at 1:09 PM
GI Joe wasn't nearly as successful as Transformers.

From Dominick D
Posted February 4, 2013 at 9:10 AM
Bump.

From Mike Gallagher
Posted February 4, 2013 at 10:50 AM
Well, bump you too, Dom. :)

From Manny Rodriguez
Posted February 5, 2013 at 9:36 AM
Cough Cough LoTR Cough Cough

From Andrew Dougherty
Posted February 5, 2013 at 5:28 PM
I read that there was a lawsuit filed against some people involving LoTR properties that put a LoTR land in Jepordy.

From James Trexen
Posted February 6, 2013 at 3:08 PM
Not necessarily an expansion, but I just learned that Forbidden Journey's Floo Powder scenes have been replaced from brick-like halls and now features green storm like images.

From Dominick D
Posted February 6, 2013 at 3:34 PM
Correct James. This is what it looks like (along with the best video of the ride):

From Dominick D
Posted February 6, 2013 at 3:34 PM
Double post.

From Andrew Dougherty
Posted February 6, 2013 at 3:54 PM
I think I like the brick walls a bit more but the green powder is a nice touch.

From Andrew Dougherty
Posted February 6, 2013 at 7:33 PM
Is the ending of the ride still brick walls or also the green stuff?

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