In a world of RunDisney races (even one held last weekend in Orlando) sometimes you just want to do something a bit different, and less crowded.
So with that in mind Renée took on the Universal Orlando Fun Run last weekend which from the looks of it gave the runners a pretty empty course through the two Universal Orlando parks. Check out all the fun times.
Written by Renée Girard
Why are we at Universal before the sun is up?
I love Disney races but this weekend we're skipping those for something different instead, the UO Fun Run!
The UO Fun Run took us through both theme parks, starting with Universal Studios.
On to Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando where we took a lap around the entire park.
And the finish line was at CityWalk near Hard Rock Cafe.
More from the finish line at the UO Fun Run at Universal Orlando . Great race!
We were greeted by some minions after crossing the finish line.
Really enjoyed starting my day with the UO Fun Run. Thanks Universal Orlando for a great morning!
Last month Matt and his lovely wife Rose headed out to Orlando to celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary which meant spending a few days at Universal Orlando Resort and Halloween Horror Nights.
So since there's not really much "construction" wise going along, and because Matt takes amazing pictures, we figured we'd just post some photo tours of the park. So here is the first one from Universal Studios Florida and some from CityWalk. We'll post IOA on Friday.
All pictures by Matthew Nelson
Welcome to Universal Studios Florida
And there's our look at Universal Studios Florida. We hoped you enjoyed seeing some great detailed pictures of this amazing park instead of just the normal "what's being built" type updates.
Stay tuned the rest of this week as we kind of found ourselves with a plethora of Universal updates. Tomorrow we'll have an update from the UOR Fun Run, Thursday a trip report from HHN Hollywood, but this ones a bit different as we had to do it with a wheelchair (so that was different) and then Friday we'll have our photo update of Islands of Adventure.
Universal Orlando released some new details about Diagon Alley today including more on the Escape from Gringotts attraction.
Explore more of the wizarding world than ever before at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Diagon Alley™, opening Summer 2014 at Universal Studios Florida®. Enter Diagon Alley™ from the streets of London just like Harry did.
Dine at the Leaky Cauldron™, see a wand choose a wizard at Ollivanders™ wand shop, and experience the excitement of a multi-dimensional new thrill ride inside Gringotts™ bank.
In addition, you can enter to win a trip to Universal Orlando starting today (May 13). Click here for all of the information.
HARRY POTTER AND THE ESCAPE FROM GRINGOTTS™
About This Attraction:
At the far end of Diagon Alley™ stands Gringotts™, the goblin-run bank. Inside, you’ll experience a pulse-pounding adventure on the groundbreaking, multi-dimensional thrill ride that puts you right in the middle of the action as you navigate your way through the perils of the Gringotts vaults – encountering Harry, Ron, and Hermione along the way!
Enter Gringotts™ bank beneath the massive fire-breathing dragon at the far end of Diagon Alley™. Inside Gringotts™ you’ll walk through the bank’s grand marble lobby and see goblins hard at work. Then, get ready to take a journey through cavernous passageways that lead deep underground as you climb aboard Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™.
This new, multi-dimensional 3D thrill ride puts you right in the middle of the action as you face the bank’s stringent security measures while navigating the perilous underground vaults. You’ll encounter Harry, Ron, and Hermione along the way, but you’ll have to evade the wrath of malicious villains Voldemort™ and Bellatrix as well as trolls and other creatures who stand between you and a safe return to Diagon Alley™.
FAMOUS DIAGON ALLEY™ SHOPS
See a wand choose a wizard at Ollivanders™ wand shop. Pick up magical jokes and novelty items at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. Find all your wizardwear needs at Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions. Bring home a furry, feathered, or scaly creature from the Magical Menagerie™. Search for supplies at Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment. And gather all your gaming gear at Quality Quidditch™ Supplies.
Practitioners of the Dark Arts will find everything they need down the gloomy Knockturn Alley, featuring the infamous shop, Borgin and Burkes.
Pass through the brick archway and you’ll find yourself in Diagon Alley™, the cobbled street where witches and wizards have gathered to do their shopping for hundreds of years. Here you can explore some of the most famous shops and establishments in the wizarding world. Also, practitioners of the Dark Arts will find everything they need down the gloomy Knockturn Alley.
Ollivanders™: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC
Purchase your own Ollivanders™ wand, or choose from a selection including Harry Potter™ film character wand replicas, collectible wand sets and more.
Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC, Ollivanders™ is one of the wizarding world’s premier wand shops. Here visitors will be able to witness the magical experience of a wand choosing a wizard. Guests will also be able to purchase their own unique Ollivanders™ wand, or select one of the many Harry Potter™ character wand replicas, as well as wand sets.
Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes
In the Harry Potter™ stories, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes is the novelty joke shop run by identically ingenious prankster twins Fred and George Weasley. It offers patrons all manner of mischief, from Extendable Ears to love potions and much more.
Borgin and Burkes
You don’t have to be a Death Eater to gain entry to this infamous shop. As you wedge your way through the fascinating, eclectic collection of Dark Arts objects, you may find Death Eater masks, skulls, and costume replicas. The shop also sells apparel, accessories, jewelry, collectibles, and gifts.
Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions
Here, guests will find Hogwarts™ school uniforms, ties, scarves, sweaters and cardigans, as well as other apparel and jewelry fashion items inspired by the four school houses of Gryffindor™, Ravenclaw™, Hufflepuff™ and Slytherin™. Don’t forget to top it all off with a new wizard hat from the finest and most fashionable assortment in Diagon Alley™.
Here a guest can purchase a variety of plush toys including Crookshanks™, Fang, Buckbeak™, Fluffy and Scabbers™. Also available are cats of every colour, ravens, sleek black rats, and fat white rabbits that transform to and from a silk top hat.
Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment
At Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, visitors will find a variety of wizarding wares and supplies including crystal balls, telescopes, binoculars, armillary spheres, compasses, magnifying glasses and hourglasses. Don’t miss the unique selection of apparel and accessory products from your favorite Hogwarts™ house!
Quality Quidditch™ Supplies
Quality Quidditch™ Supplies is the destination to find everything you will need to play the most popular sport in the wizarding world! The shop will carry a wide assortment of Quidditch™ apparel and equipment including Quidditch™ sweaters, brooms, Golden Snitches, Bludgers, Bludger bats, Quaffles and more!
Whether you are a fan of the Holyhead Harpies, the Chudley Cannons, Ireland, or Bulgaria, you can show your team spirit with apparel, hats, pennants, and accessories themed around your favorite teams.
Wands by Gregorovitch
In this legendary wandmaker’s shop you can choose from a wide assortment of Harry Potter™ film character wand replicas, and more.
Find all the writing supplies a witch or wizard could need, including feather quills, parchment paper, journals and postcards.
THE LEAKY CAULDRON™ AND OTHER EATING ESTABLISHMENTS
When you’re feeling a bit hungry you can dine on delicious pub fare at the Leaky Cauldron™. Sit down and relax as you enjoy a traditional British meal, or indulge in a frozen treat at Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour.
When you visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Diagon Alley™, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious British fare, as well as authentic food and drink found in the Harry Potter™ books and films. Try something different each time you’re here!
Pull up a chair and enjoy hearty British fare in this famous inn, as well as delicious, frothy Butterbeer™. The children's menu offers items that kids will love, such as chicken fingers and macaroni and cheese.
Cuisine: Cottage pie, fish and chips, bangers and mash, Scotch eggs, stew, and much more.
Children's Menu: Fish and chips, chicken fingers, macaroni and cheese, and more
Service Type: Buffeteria
Dining Hours: Lunch and Dinner daily
Florean Fortescue's Ice-Cream Parlour
Stop in during the morning hours for breakfast items and pastries. Later, enjoy scoop and soft-serve ice-cream in a variety of interesting and unique flavours.
Magical displays of ice-cream cones welcome guests into this colourful, quaint ice-cream parlour where they can enjoy scoop and soft-serve ice-creams. Continental breakfast items and pastries are available in the morning hours along with bottled Pumpkin Juice™, teas and water.
Cuisine: Scoop and soft-serve ice-creams, breakfast items, and drinks
Service Type: Counter
Hours: From park open to one hour before park closing
Multiple kiosks, carts and quick service options are also available throughout Diagon Alley™. You can satisfy your appetite with sweet treats, quench your thirst with a refreshing Butterbeer™ or Pumpkin Juice™.
If you have a Park-to-Park Ticket or Annual Pass, you can pass through Platform 9 ¾™ and board the Hogwarts™ Express* from King’s Cross Station in London, located inside Universal Studios Florida® theme park, and travel to Hogsmeade™ Station, located inside Universal’s Islands of Adventure® theme park (right next door to Universal Studios®). Or you can ride the train in the other direction—it’s a different experience each way!
From Hogsmeade™ to London
Hogsmeade Station is located inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Hogsmeade™ In Universal’s Islands of Adventure®
From the train windows, guests will see some of the magnificent scenery of London and the British countryside, encounter characters featured in the films and enjoy a unique experience during each leg of the journey as they travel to and from London and Hogsmeade™. This will truly be an enchanting encounter with the magical world for the whole family to enjoy!
From London to Hogsmeade™
King’s Cross Station is located inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Diagon Alley™ In Universal Studios Florida®
This will be the first time that Muggles™ are allowed to board the famous train that’s such an important part of the Harry Potter™ stories. Guests will travel on the iconic steam engine through the urban outskirts of London to the charming village of Hogsmeade™, replicating one of the memorable elements of Harry Potter’s school life. The Hogwarts™ Express connects the two locations in the two theme parks, creating a unique and seamless journey for guests of both parks as they travel between them.