Universal Orlando Preview — Week of January 13, 2018

Share This!

Autobots, roll out.

We are in the middle of winter in North America, but Universal is turning up the heat by announcing an amazing Mardi Gras concert line up. This week we also cover what activities guests can find at resort hotels, The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle coming to Islands of Adventure, and a new character breakfast at Sapphire Falls.

Weekly Crowd Levels

Detailed crowd level information can be found here.


Weather Report

Cold weather comes to Florida as temperatures reach the low 60s and high 50s. Make sure to pack for the weather. Volcano Bay could close due to cold weather; check the Universal Orlando and TouringPlans Twitter accounts for the latest operating information.

Winter weather around the United States will affect travel plans. Keep an eye out for delayed and canceled flights.


Park Hours and Admission

CityWalk is open until 2 a.m. with free self parking starting after 6:00 p.m.

Single-day park tickets are at Anytime pricing. One-day base tickets to Universal Studios Florida or Islands of Adventure will run you $124 per adult and $119 per child (plus tax). 2-Park 1-Day tickets are $179 per adult and $174 per child (plus tax).

Volcano Bay tickets are at Anytime pricing at $67 per adult and $62 per child (plus tax).


Mail Bag

The next few weeks of questions come from the TouringPlans Universal Orlando Lines App chat. To have your questions answered leave a message in the comments below or check out the Lines App.

This week’s question comes from Marycap from the UO Lines App:

What extra things can you enjoy if staying onsite? Like WDW has movies, etc.

Disney’s resort activities for guests are one of the great reasons to stay at a Disney hotel. Universal and Loews host similar activities and more under the “Loews Love Kids” program.

Universal hotels offer movie nights of popular Universal and non-Universal movies by the pool area (yes, expect lots of Minions). Check the hotel lobby for movie titles and times. Games and sports equipment are available to borrow from the front desk areas and all the hotels have an arcade with modern video games. I would be remiss to not mention Cabana Bay’s Galaxy Bowl bowling alley.

The resort pools feature pool games directed by Team Members, Cabana Bay and Hard Rock Hotel feature DJs, and Cabana Bay has a lazy river. If you wish to visit Cabana Bay’s pool or another resort’s pool note that unlike at Walt Disney World, Universal encourages pool hopping.


Notable News

Universal announced The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle, a new nighttime projection show in Islands of Adventure. The show is brought over from Universal Studios Hollywood where it debuted last summer. The show will have intermittent dates during A Celebration of Harry Potter, January 31, February 5, and February 7-12. More dates will be announced soon.

Mardi Gras 2018 is around the corner and Universal has unveiled the musical acts playing select weekend nights. It’s a star-studded lineup spanning generations and musical styles:

  • Feb. 3: Sean Paul
  • Feb. 10: The Beach Boys
  • Feb. 17: Kelsea Ballerini
  • Feb. 18: Andy Grammer
  • Feb. 24: Macklemore
  • March 3: 311
  • March 4: Phillip Phillips
  • March 10: To Be Announced
  • March 11: Fitz and the Tantrums
  • March 17: Foreigner
  • March 18: Fifth Harmony
  • March 24: To Be Announced
  • March 25: BUSH

Mardi Gras concerts are included with standard admission to the parks. As such, guests line up early for the bigger acts. If you visit the park during a concert night and do not care to see the musical act, then avoid the area between Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem, Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon, and Monster’s Cafe.

Sapphire Falls is testing a character breakfast this Saturday, January 13 (9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.) at the outdoor Cayman Court. Universal Orlando characters will mingle with guests as they partake in an American-style breakfast buffet. Breakfast costs $35.26 per adult and $22.35 per child and tickets are required from the Loews ticketing site. A free digital download of a photo is offered per group.


Upcoming Events & Highlights

A Celebration of Harry Potter returns to Universal Studios Florida January 26-28.  The event features an Expo center, panels on the films, trivia challenges, house sorting, and film screenings at the Music Plaza Stage if you need to cool off your broom. The celebration is free for all guests of Universal Studios Florida.

Universal’s Mardi Gras returns nightly from February 3 through April 7. This year the event runs nightly with the Mardi Gras parade with new Greek mythology-themed floats and a New Orleans carnival set up with food carts and a brass band. On select weekend nights the Music Plaza Stage will be host to major musical acts like The Beach Boys, Sean Paul, Macklemore, Fitz and the Tantrums, 311, Fifth Harmony, and more. Admission to Mardi Gras is included with standard admission to the parks.

That is all for this week. See you next week and make sure to leave a question below for the Mail Bag!

Joseph Matt

Avid amusement park and video game fan. Enjoys picking up rare beers at breweries, exploring cities, cooking, and sports.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *