Universal Orlando Resort Photo Update August 18, 2015

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Welcome to my first ever Universal Orlando Photo Update here on TouringPlans!  This week we’ll start things off in CityWalk with a look at the under construction NBC Sports Grille Brew.  Then we’ll move into Universal Studios for a look at the new NBC Media Center, a new themed beverage, and a quick peek at Halloween Horror Nights.  Over at Islands of Adventure, we’ve got an extended look at the next attraction at the resort, Skull Island: Reign of Kong as well as some updates to the Jurassic Park “Island” (what Universal calls the themed lands at Islands of Adventure).  We’ll close this week’s update out with a look at the under construction Sapphire Falls Resort and Volcano Bay Water Theme Park.  Let’s get going!

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Between The Cowfish restaurant and Rising Star Karaoke Bar, the two staircases have recently been re-tiled.

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They added a layer of brick tiles on top of the concrete steps.
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CityWalk’s next restaurant concept is The NBC Sports Grille Brew. Opening next month, the new sports-centered bar is going to be the go to place on property to watch your favorite team on vacation. With over 90 beers to choose from, and a menu created by Universal Head Chef, Steve Jayson, (The man who created Butterbeer!), CityWalk is sure to have another winner on their hands!
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Though there are brewery tanks in one of the windows, these are just for show. No beer will actually be brewed on site.
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Framework for the outdoor patio.
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These supports will hold giant jumbotrons that will broadcast the biggest games.
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The awning over the front door.

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Expect the restaurant to open just in time for Halloween Horror Nights and the kick off of the NFL season next month!
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Lets head into the Studios first.
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The park is currently in the middle of celebrating its 25th Anniversary.

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Just last month, the new NBC Media Center opened at the Garden of Allah Villas. The facility will allow guests to preview upcoming NBC pilots and give their feedback. It’s one of the largest such facilities in the country.

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King’s Cross Station houses the USF-side queue and loading area for the Hogwarts Express.
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It’s a great way to get between the two parks, though there is often a line.
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The Gringott’s Dragon stands guard over Diagon Alley.
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She looks great against the Florida sun.
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Quick Halloween Horror Nights update: The house located inside the Disaster extended queue has been up for months. No word yet on what the theme will be.
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Over in the New York section of the park, a new popcorn stand has been set up selling both regular and caramel corn.
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Just past New York, the small snack stand near the Music Plaza Stage has started selling the Despicable Me branded, Freeze Ray Smoothie. The frozen banana and mango drink is a great option on a hot day.
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And we’ll end this week’s trip through the Studios with new ads for the Heroes Reborn reboot coming to NBC this fall.
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Just this past weekend, longtime CityWalk tenant, NBA City closed it’s doors for the final time. Next year, a new restaurant will take its place, and an NBA restaurant and retail experience will open at Disney Springs.
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The restaurant featured a three point challenge similar to those found in local amusement parks which sometimes drew quite the crowd.
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Let’s head into Islands of Adventure next!
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On September 8th, The Incredible Hulk Roller Coaster will go down for a lengthy refurbishment lasting until next summer. Expect new trains, a new launch system, and an updated queue among other general maintenance.
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The Fantastic Four’s, Fantasticar.
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Fans of Netflix’s Daredevil series should recognize this sign.
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The meteor strike in the of Marvel Super Hero Island has been absent of its character cut-outs for months now. Just recently the paint was removed from the inside of the columns, though there’s still no word on what’s going to happen with them.
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Coming next Spring, Skull Island: Reign of Kong will bring “The Eighth Wonder of the World” back to the Universal Orlando Resort.
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Guests will pass under a Kong-shaped rock formation before boarding safari vehicles that will travel around Skull Island, coming face to face with the ape himself.
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The facade is really impressive and has been going up at a crazy pace.
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The vehicles will enter the facade through the hole behind this plywood.
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Concrete is ready to be poured on this section of ride track.
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Jurassic World has taken over the Island of Jurassic Park.
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Even the menu at the Thunder Falls Terrace has been themed to the film.
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There’s a quite a bit of movie merchandise at the front of the River Adventure gift shop.
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A map of the theme park from the movie.
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In July, Universal opened a brand new Raptor meet and greet.
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Guests get up close and personal with one of three raptors for a very unique photo opportunity.
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Hogwarts looking great as always.
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The former magic shop in the Lost Continent Island underwent a recent change into a gallery featuring pieces from local artists.
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The gallery has works in all different medias.
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And that’ll do it for Islands of Adventure.
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Now it’s time to head over to Cabana Bay to check up on Volcano Bay and Sapphire Falls.
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Lots of digging going on all over the construction site.
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On the other side of the building, things are moving along much faster.
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One of the Sapphire Falls buildings is nearly topped off.
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The second tower is nearly as tall.
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The new parking garage will be used for guests of Sapphire Falls Resort., and the new Volcano Bay water park
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And that’ll do it for this week’s update. Be sure to leave any questions or comments below, or get in touch with me on Twitter @Triggernel. Thanks for reading!

 

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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.

One thought on “Universal Orlando Resort Photo Update August 18, 2015

  • August 21, 2015 at 11:53 am
    Permalink

    “NBC Sports grille” has to be some of the worst branding ever. Just awful.

    I wondered what was going to happen with the NBA restaurant after the Disney announcement. Guess I have my answer.

    Reply

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