Universal Orlando Resort

Around the Universe – Discounts & News for January 2023

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A new year brings a new Universal for 2023. Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone is closing, the Universal Orlando Annual Passholder Lounge moving to Islands of Adventure, new events, milkshakes, and more! All that news plus the best discounts, refurbishment calendar, and more inside.

Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone Closing January 16

Fievel’s Playground, Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster, Curious George Goes to Town, DreamWorks Destination, and the Shrek meet and greet will close on January 16, 2023. The Animal Actors show and E.T. Adventure ride will remain. Universal is quiet on the land’s replacement, but we expect updated play areasfeaturing DreamWorks characters openin in summer 2024. Stay tuned to Touring Plans for the latest updates and information.

Universal Orlando Mardi Gras 2023

Len Testa throwing beads

The advent wreath is carefully put away for this year because it is almost time for the king cake! Mardi Gras at Universal Studios Florida returns! Get ready for beads, bands, and beignets every day along with big musical acts on select weekend nights. Watch for an initial concert lineup very soon and food booth menus closer to the start of the event. Universal’s Mardi Gras is included with Universal Studios Florida park admission from February 4 through April 16, 2023. Keep an eye out on Touring Plans for more information on the parade, the food, and the bands!

Rock the Universe 2023

Florida’s largest Christian rock festival returns January 27 through 29, 2023. Twelve musical acts will perform across two nights in addition to popular Universal Studios Florida attractions. The concerts are capped off with a Sunday morning worship service. Separate admission is required for this event, tickets start at $79 per person plus tax and are available now at RockTheUniverse.com.

Shakes Malt Shoppe

Shakes Malt Shoppe.

Cabana Bay keeps getting better with a new quick-service dessert spot – Shake’s Malt Shoppe. Taking over the former public pay phone banks at the back of Bayliner Diner, this new shop (shoppe?) offers fresh shakes, malts, ice cream, drinks, and breakfast grand-and-go items. Derek recently covered Shakes as part of his 25 Drinks of Christmas 2022 series (Blog: 25 Drinks of Christmas – Day 22 – CLASSIC MILKSHAKE at Shakes Malt Shoppe).

Dudley Do-Right Ripsaw Falls Reopened

After an unannounced closure for refurbishment Dudley Do-Rights Ripsaw Falls has reopened. The ride system, show scenes, and special effects were all refurbished. We also suspect the ride will suffer less operational downtime after this refurbishment.

UOAP Lounge Moving

Down Comic Strip Alley will be a new tenant – The Universal Orlando Annual Passholder Lounge! The lounge is departing Hollywood in Universal Studios Florida to take over a portion of the Betty Boop Store in Toon Lagoon in early 2023. The lounge offers air conditioning, seating, cell phone chargers, and exclusive merchandise to passholders.


  • Florida & Georgia Residents – Buy a 2-day, 2-park ticket and get one day free. Add on Volcano Bay for $25.
  • All Guests – Buy a 2-day, 2-park ticket and get two days free. Add on Volcano Bay for $35.
  • All Guests – 25% off 5-day vacation packages at Cabana Bay Beach Resort or Aventura Hotel

For more deals, including discounts on vacation packages, visit the Universal Orlando website or book your Universal vacation with the TouringPlans Travel Agency.


The following attractions are closed for refurbishment:

  • Jurassic Park River Adventure – January 9 through February 3, 2023
  • Kopiko Wai Winding River – January 3 through February 14, 2023

For the most up-to-date listing of refurbishments refer to the Universal Orlando website.

Contact the travel agents at TouringPlans Travel Agency who can book you a Universal Orlando, Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or Disney Cruise Line vacation. All quotes are free, and if you decide to purchase through us, you will get a free year subscription to the TouringPlans Line app for Universal Orlando.

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Joseph Matt

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

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