Universal Orlando Photo Update, June 6, 2016

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Welcome back to another Universal Orlando Photo Update! We’re in the middle of a very exciting time here at the resort, with two attractions opening up in the coming weeks and a brand new resort hotel not too far behind. We’ll start this week’s update with a look at Toothsome’s Chocolate Emporium before taking a trip around Universal Studios Florida and a look at some smaller updates, including Fast and Furious: Supercharged and the Hello Kitty Store. Over at Islands of Adventure we’ve got a short look at The Incredible Hulk as well as some new information about Skull Island: Reign of Kong. Then we’ll close our update out with some shots of the nearly completed Sapphire Falls as well as next year’s Volcano Bay. All that and much more, so let’s get started!

Toothsome’s Chocolate Emporium

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Toothsome’s Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen is Universal’s latest restaurant concept, opening this fall. It replaces the former NBA City concept and is currently undergoing a complete makeover to turn the form basketball restaurant into a chocolate factory.
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The giant windows are leftover from NBA City and will again afford guests a great view of the CityWalk lagoon.

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The left side of the building appears to be getting a small expansion.

Hello Kitty Store

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A new Hello Kitty retail experience opened in February the former I Love Lucy: A Tribute space. Since we haven’t covered the store in one of our updates, let’s take a look at what the famous feline has brought to Universal Orlando.
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Hello Kitty pressing her paws into the concrete out front of the store.
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Another photo op of Hello Kitty driving herself in vehicle form.
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Inside, the brightly colored store is chock full of every piece of Sanrio merchandise a fan could hope for.
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The store looks like it would fit right at home in Tokyo.
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The walls are adorned with several Hello Kitty themed movie posters.
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There’s even a small baked goods case, featuring Hello Kitty and all her friends.
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New Storage Building

 

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A new storage building was recently erected near the side entrance into Universal Studios.
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Not sure what’s inside, but the building itself looks nice.
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Rockit’s queue was having some work done, resulting in a convoluted entrance to the ride.

Race Through New York

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Exterior construction on the new Jimmy Fallon attraction coming to the resort next year is still moving slowly.
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After Skull Island and The Incredible Hulk coaster open, this is the next major attraction on Universal’s timeline. Expect construction to speed up soon.
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Fast and Furious

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Still not a lot to see at the Fast and Furious: Supercharged construction site. Work is currently being done on the floor of the under-construction show building.
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The attraction should open late next year.
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The Coke stand next to the Simpson’s has been missing for some time now, with no sign of what’s coming or when we’ll see it.
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The snack stand across from Cafe La Bamba is behind walls for a short refurbishment.

The Incredible Hulk Refurbishment

 

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Over at Islands of Adventure, Hulk is getting its finishing touches added.
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Crews continue to work on the station, both inside and out.
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Netting under the coaster has gone back up for the first time since the ride began its refurb back in September.
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This will be our last look at Skull Island with the construction walls still up. They were removed overnight between June 5 and 6.
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The attraction combines physical sets, audio animatronics, and 3D screens on a whole other level than anything Universal has done in the past.
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Starting with the queue, which features two separate audio animatronics, as well as live scareactors popping out at guests.
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The ride vehicles are massive, seating seventy two guests in twelve rows. Expedition Vehicles are “driven” by one of five audio animatronic drivers, each with their own backstory and personality, giving guests a slightly unique experience on subsequent rides.
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The ride experience itself borrows the physical sets and 3D screens found on Universal’s last major attraction, Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts, but replaces that rides thrill element with several animatronics; including an encounter with the great ape that will be sure to leave jaws wide open.
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A new rockwork bench has been revealed next to the attraction’s quick service stand.
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And we’ll end this week’s look at the parks with another quick service stand behind walls.
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Over at Cabana Bay, the new parking garage is nearing completion, while Sapphire Falls construction hits the home stretch.

Sapphire Falls

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The new garage isn’t huge, but it’s sorely needed, especially with even more guest rooms being added at the resort.
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.Lowe’s Sapphire Falls Resort is just over a month away from its opening day.
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There’s still quite of bit of work being done on the exterior of the buildings and common areas.
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Driving by at night, it does seem like the rooms are nearly ready to go.
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A lot of themeing and rockwork left to be done at the pool.
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We should start to see landscaping happen by next week’s photo update.
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This building is a little further behind.
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Really coming down to crunch time with this resort. Cabana Bay didn’t all open at the same time; hopefully Sapphire Falls opens much quicker.
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And a final shot of the parking garage.

Volcano Bay

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Over on the other side of the building, Volcano Bay seems to be flying up.
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Every time I’m over here checking on the construction it seems like they’ve got a ton of new steel and slide pieces up.
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The volcano structure is really getting up there.
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Cannot wait to see the kind of rockwork Universal comes up with for the park’s centerpiece.
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Slidepieces can be see peeking out of the Volcano’s supports.
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More work is happening on the nearby wavepool.
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Construction is also starting on the new rooms being added to Cabana Bay.
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Some sort of structure in the middle of the park.
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The tower in the corner of the park is quickly becoming a tangle of slides. Everyday new pieces are added.
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More building construction.
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Because Universal hasn’t released much about the park, it’s hard to guess what a lot of these buildings will be.
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And that’ll do it for this week’s update! Thanks so much for reading. Questions and comments always appreciated!

Trygve Nelson

Tryg is a new resident Florida after moving from Minnesota at the end of 2013. You'll find him at all of the parks quite often, as he puts his annual passes to all the major Orlando theme parks to good use. Most comfortable with a camera in his hand, he's been a huge theme park fan ever since finding the ValleyfairZone fan forums back in 2006. His love of theme parks grew through many trips to parks all throughout the Midwest, with occasional trips to Orlando. In the past he’s worked as a scareactor and grown an appreciation for the Halloween season.

3 thoughts on “Universal Orlando Photo Update, June 6, 2016

  • June 7, 2016 at 11:32 am
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    Any guess on when King Kong will open? I’ll be there July 4th weekend… it’s looking possible.

  • June 8, 2016 at 10:45 am
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    When will the Incredible Hulk be operational? Our family plans to be there the weekend after July 4th. It’s my husband’s favorite coaster of any amusement park; he’d be heartbroken not to get to ride it.

  • June 9, 2016 at 6:04 pm
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    Are you able to purchase the hello kitty move posters? I love them!

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