Welcome to another update from Universal Studios Hollywood. We've got a lot of great stuff to share in this update including some CityWalk updates, the final touches for Secret Life of Pets (which we got an awesome tour of, but sadly we can't spill the beans quite yet) and of course, Super Nintendo World.
We're going to start off in CityWalk since that's what we saw first!!
Written by Gregg Condon
Seriously can't wait for this to open.
It was a beautiful day at the park!
First stop of the day. Let me just say, you're not going to be disappointed. And as Forrest, Forrest Gump would say ... "and that's all I have to say about that" (for now)
The facade is looking fantastic!
As well as Pets Place, which is getting some work done on both sides of the street.
Wonder if they'll have dryers in here for after you watch Waterworld in the splash zone? =)
Store, coming soon!!
Headed in for one last walk-through of The Walking Dead (for now).
From a couple of years ago, 360 degree video of The Walking Dead.
And of course, had to go into Wizarding World.
I got a new iPhone 11 Pro and wanted to see the capabilities of the camera.
Quite impressed with the Night Mode. Will take some time to work out all the kinks, but overall very happy with it.
Can't wait to use it during Haunt season. (although I do wish the video function had a night mode)
Moving down to Super Nintendo World
That wall is going to be annoying. =)
Jurassic World is still closed as they add in the new Dino!!
And lastly, the classic Universal Studios Hollywood sign is getting some work done
Alrighty, that'll wrap it up. We'll have a new update for SLOP when we're allowed to, so stay tuned for that. And we'll keep our ears open for Soft Opening dates.
Have a great weekend!
Yesterday we headed out to Universal Studios Hollywood to cover the Jurassic World 5k (we promise, one of these times we'll actually run the race) and of course stayed after a bit to do a park update.
Lots of activity at the park as they prepare for the Holidays and Grinchmas, as well as Secret Life of Pets and Super Nintendo World.
Let's head in!!
Written by Gregg Condon
Jurassic World 5k
Something truly magical about heading into a theme park before it even opens.
It was in the low 50's and perfect at the start of the race. It got up to the 90's later in the day. Winter in SoCal!!
They used the digital boards to help the runners which was awesome.
And of course, no theme park race would be complete without characters!!
Lots of runners heading down to the lower lot. Be sure to check out our highlight video too.
Some were going for a fast time, others were just enjoying the park and course.
I'm sure people were flying down this hill!!
We moved over to the finish
The kids race medals
Congrats runners!! We didn't hear that the T-Rex caught any of you, so that's good.
Let's head into the park and check out what's going on.
Now that HHN is over, the park has quickly switched to Holiday mode.
Lots of awesome Holiday merch
A collection of shirts, hoodies, characters and more.
It snowed at the park apparently.
Always love the Minion tree
They're getting ready for Grinchmas
Taken before the park opened as we were headed to the finish of the 5k, but totally loved this pic.
Even the Wizarding World is celebrating the holidays
Secret Life of Pets is coming along quite nicely
The amount of detail on the building is impressive
Super Nintendo Land is growing each and every time we visit the park
Impressive, most impressive.
The decorations are also all around CityWalk
Tony Roma's is closed, NBC Sports Grill/Brew is coming.
Cool new (to us at least) mugs at Voodoo Doughnuts
And even some Universal Running doughnuts
King Kong wishes you a GrrrGrrr Grrrrrrmas.
We'll be back in a few weeks for Grinchmas!! Hope you enjoyed the update!!
Last week I was out in Orlando for a training conference. As luck would have it, the most inexpensive conference hotel happened to be Cabana Bay. So I figured I'd take advantage of my surroundings to explore some of the non-park offerings of the resort.
I had hoped to head into the parks one day, but given that I only had a few hours on one of my days it wasn't meant to be. But I had a great time exploring what the resort has to offer away from the parks. Let's check it out!
Written by Gregg Condon
After taking the red-eye from LAX I arrived at Cabana Bay around 7:30am last Monday. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to check in that early but that turned out to not be an issue at all. I was able to check in, get something to eat and head up to the room to take a bit of a nap before my first training session at 1:00pm.
The first day of the trip was obviously catching up on sleep, but I did make my way to/from the Convention Center for some pre-conference sessions. I utilized the I-Drive Trolley on the first day since there was no shuttle on Monday. It took me a couple of trips to figure out where the closest place to catch the Trolley was from the hotel. Something that won't be a problem when Universal opens their two new hotels (more on that later).
The first day I took a bus to CityWalk, then a boat to Portofino (as I thought the easiest place to catch the trolley was at the DoubleTree).
On the way back that afternoon, I took the shuttle back to the DoubleTree but made my way to the Water Taxi by way of the Hard Rock.
I then transferred to the next WaterTaxi to Sapphire Falls. Which meant I was able to get Water Taxi POV for pretty much the entire route. Check it out below, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel.
LOVE the spiral staircase at Sapphire Falls
The trek back from Sapphire to Cabana was a bit longer than I anticipated, but after a day of traveling and training, it was nice to stretch the legs a bit.
Love the Cabana Bay merchandise!
Also made sure to take advantage of the free-refill cup for the duration of my stay. This came in very handy as I ate more meals in the hotel than outside of the hotel.
Morning two, as I headed out to the shuttle to OCCC.
The hotel shuttles didn't quite fit my conference schedule on Tuesday, so it was back on the Trolley. Which allowed me to get a couple of good looks at the two new Universal Hotels (and I figured out that the actual closest trolley stop was here and not the DoubleTree).
I know some are asking why I didn't just Lyft/Uber (trust me, I did), but I always love exploring a city on foot. It just gives you a different feel.
After a bit of a rest in the room, I met up with Sean from California, Florida, European Coaster Kings for dinner at Cow Fish and a visit to both Fun Spots. But that's a different update. =)
Day 3 was about a 12 hour day at the convention center, but I did take the time when I got back to do a bit of a tour of the hotel.
I ate breakfast, dinners and snacks pretty much exclusively at Bayliner Diner, I was very impressed with the food choices and the staff was spectacular.
The pool area's are kind of amazing. If it was a different kind of trip I can imagine spending a lot of time in the lazy river.
What's up Volcano Bay
Cabana Bay Lobby
I didn't realize that the hotel had interior and exterior corridor rooms, I had just asked for "whatever is available" when I checked in.
So if you have a preference, be sure to request it. Personally, I was happy to have a room with an interior corridor, away from the pools as that's not what I was there for.
My last stop before heading up to the room to pack was the store to do some shopping. They had Hagrid's merch out.
I was very tempted to buy this hat, but have a rule that I don't wear merch until I can ride the ride.
Plus, I prefer fitted hats. I wish more parks would have them as an option.
Phone cases in a variety of styles
And of course, lots of Magical Creatures
Thanks Cabana Bay for a fantastic stay.
I was totally blown away by Cabana Bay. I knew I would love it, and it's retro style, but I wasn't sure how much. Sure, I wasn't really there for relaxing and enjoying the hotel, but even as a conference goer it fit the bill.
We're talking about a family trip to Orlando in the near future, definitely think Cabana Bay will be where we stay for our Universal portion.
Stay tuned later this week for additional updates from both Fun Spots and SeaWorld Orlando where we discover there are still good people in the world.