Universal Hollywood Holds Opening Ceremony for New Jurassic World Ride

To celebrate the opening of the new highly technically advanced and thrilling Jurassic World ride at Universal Hollywood they held an opening ceremony with stars from the franchise.

This included: Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard along with the film’s Director/Screenwriter Colin Trevorrow and Producer Frank Marshall. They were joined by Ron Meyer, Vice Chairman, NBCUniversal; Tom Williams, Chairman, Universal Parks & Resort; Karen Irwin, President & COO of Universal Studios Hollywood, and Mark Woodbury Vice Chairman, Universal Parks and Resort & President.

The ride which is now open also includes an all-new elaborately themed “Raptor Encounter,” where Blue, the beloved Velociraptor from the JURASSIC WORLD movies, engages with guests in daring face-to-face encounters, along with the addition of two new realistic dinosaurs – Baby Raptor with her handler and a life-size, life-like Triceratops. A new interactive “Dino Play” area invites children of all ages to explore and excavate giant dinosaur fossils.

Costa Rican-inspired cuisine and flavorful Tiki cocktails served at Jurassic Café and all-new tropical Isla Nu-bar add to the dynamic guest experience while an array of souvenir collectible, limited edition and one-of-a-kind dimensional dinosaur sculptures from the Jurassic Outfitters store invite guests to savor a piece of this exciting thrill ride even after they’ve gone home.

How do you like the new ride? Will you be travelling over to USH to try it? Let us know in the comments!

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Ghostbusters Confirmed for HHN29

For the first time ever, Sony Pictures’ classic film, Ghostbusters, is coming to “Halloween Horror Nights” at Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood – bringing the most memorable scenes, characters and supernatural spirits from one of pop culture’s most iconic films to life in immersive mazes based off the 1984 classic at the nation’s premier Halloween events, starting this September.

Ghostbusters has entertained generations with its comedic yet frightening tale of four paranormal investigators on their quest to eradicate supernatural threats from creating chaos throughout New York City. As the film marks its milestone 35th anniversary, guests will have the unique opportunity to live the action and terrifying scares they have seen in the hit film when it comes to life at Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” in Orlando and Hollywood.

In each maze, guests will follow in the footsteps of the Ghostbusters – Peter, Ray, Egon and Winston – as they venture through artfully recreated scenes from the film, including the firehouse, New York Public Library and the Temple of Gozer, as an army of ghoulish spirits, hideous specters and ectoplasm-dripping phantasms attack from every corner.  As they delve deeper into the maze, guests will come face-to-face with an array of paranormal creatures, from the voracious Slimer to the all-powerful Gozer the Gozerian and in its ultimate destructor form – the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, to brave the demonic spirits and survive the night.

Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” is the ultimate Halloween event. For more than 25 years, guests from around the world have visited “Halloween Horror Nights” to become victims inside their own horror film.  Multiple movie-quality mazes based on iconic horror television shows, films and original stories come to life season after season. And, the streets of each park’s event are transformed into highly-themed scare zones where menacing scare-actors lunge from every darkened corner.

“Halloween Horror Nights” begins Friday, September 6 in Orlando and on Friday, September 13 in Hollywood. Additional details about the events will be revealed soon. For more information about “Halloween Horror Nights” and to purchase select tickets at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort, visit www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com.

Universal Hollywood to Open New Tiki Bar Themed to Jurassic World

Costa Rican-inspired cuisine and flavorful Tiki cocktails served at Jurassic Café and all-new tropical Isla Nu-bar add to the dynamic guest experience as part of Universal Studios Hollywood’s new mega attraction opening this summer, “Jurassic World—The Ride,” based on the JURASSIC WORLD blockbuster films.

            Along with an array of souvenir collectible, limited edition and one-of-a-kind dimensional dinosaur sculptures from the Jurassic Outfitters store, guests can savor a piece of this exciting thrill ride even after they’ve gone home.

Borrowing its name from the fictitious Central American island in the JURASSIC WORLD movies, the stand-alone, open-air Isla Nu-bar, complete with a thatched roof, serves up tropical-themed Tiki cocktails in three collectible cups:  Etched Tiki, Bamboo-styled Tiki and Tiki God.

Whether blended or made-to-order with fresh juices, every aromatic blended drink is adorned with a pineapple leaf and edible orchid flower.  Flavorable beverages include Tropical Margarita, Piña Colada and Painkiller, along with island cocktails such as Tiki Tai, Bird of Paradise, Ti Peach, Rum Runner and Mai Tai.

With Universal Studios Hollywood’s Executive Chef Marie Grimm at the helm, the new Jurassic Café caters to a selection of Costa Rican-themed cuisine, inspired by the location of the JURASSIC WORLD movies.  Mouth-watering menu items include Sweet Corn Cakes with Slow Roasted Mojo Pork or Spicy Mojo Jackfruit, Citrus Glazed Chicken, Fresh Roasted Red Snapper and Isla Burger. Tempting starters include savory Chorizo and Potato Empanadas, Crispy Lettuce Leaf Roll with Shrimp, Tropical Fruit Salad and Pomegranate Guacamole with plantain chips.  All entrees will be accompanied by fresh green papaya salad and Costa Rica’s national dish, Gallo Pinto – traditional rice and beans.

The Jurassic Outfitters store will feature a variety of collectable merchandise to commemorate the ride’s opening, including a selection of exclusive items. From limited edition t-shirts and hats to drinkware, pins, amber stones and jewelry, Jurassic Outfitters will offer keepsake merchandise for every member of the family.

The shop will also carry a variety of custom-made, high-end collectible dinosaur sculptures and maquettes. These incredibly crafted statement pieces replicate the Tyrannosaurus rex, Velociraptor, Dilophosaurus, Styracosaurus, Pachycephalosaurus and Triceratops and range in price up to $1,000.

In addition to experiencing the exhilaration of the new thrill ride, guests will have the opportunity to become immortalized in one of the ride’s momentous scenes as they plunge down its treacherous 84-foot waterfall with the introduction of slo-mo video capture offered exclusively at “Jurassic World—The Ride.”  The iconic moment will be available for purchase and received digitally for riders to share via their social media platforms so they assure their friends that they indeed survived the vicious dinosaurs. Keepsake digital images will also be available for purchase.

“Jurassic World—The Ride” features an original storyline that will take guests on a breathtaking excursion through the theme park as depicted in Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment’s film, JURASSIC WORLD.  It will soar to new heights with the addition of iconic dinosaurs from the movie, including the colossal Indominus rex and the magnificent aquatic Mosasaurus in her natural habitat.  The ride also features the stars of the JURASSIC WORLD films – Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and BD Wong who reprise their roles as Owen Grady, Claire Dearing and Dr. Henry Wu.

The mega attraction captures the essence of the blockbuster movies and comes to life in collaboration with the award-winning and inspired minds at Universal Creative, the Academy Award®-winning special-effects visionaries at Industrial Light & Magic, a division of Lucasfilm, Ltd., Universal Pictures and acclaimed filmmakers Steven Spielberg, Colin Trevorrow and Frank Marshall.

When “Jurassic World—The Ride” opens this summer, guests will be welcomed to a dramatically reimagined space reflective of the hit films.  A fresh entry statement, stonework landscaping, and a contemporary redesign of the iconic JURASSIC WORLD gates, illuminated with billowing flames, will create the framework for the all new aesthetics.

More information is available at www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com

Being a Haunted House Attendant is not for the faint of heart!

Being a Haunted House Attendant is not for the faint of heart! It takes a special kind of person to manage the operational flow and safety of Universal’s haunted houses, bringing to life the chilling stories and frightful visions of the most notorious creators of horror. 

Do you have what it takes to provide an experience that reaches beyond our Guests’ worst nightmares?

If so, Universal is hiring now! So if you missed out on being a scareactor but wanna get in on the HHN fun as an attendant, this could be your chance.

Apply here at their official jobs site.

Could you be an attendant inside the haunted houses? Let us know in the comments!

Scareactors & Actors(!) are Being Recruited for HHN29!

We all know that Universal recruits 1000s of scareactors every year to terrify the 💩 outta of us but what we don’t often see are adverts for actual actors with “speaking parts”. Normally we would always see ads being run for actors in the Bill and Ted Show but that has sadly been removed from future HHNs, so normally we don’t get specific casting calls.

So it was strange when we were forwarded the below info that shows that Universal are actively trying to recruit some VERY specific actors.

They are trying to recruit:

  • A tall and slender woman with a New York accent
  • A tall woman
  • A tall robust man with a strong accent who must be bald
  • A tall man who can do improv and host
  • A very tall and thin man

The first and third categories are VERY specific and are surely guessable with further investigation; especially if the rumored houses and zones come to fruition!

But what it does tell us is that there must surely be either another show taking place (other than the dance show) or a number of mini shows contained within the various zones. And as much as we’d like to see Bill and Ted come back we just can’t see it (unfortunately).

And if you’re an actor you could always apply!

So there you have it, some very interesting castings are going on! Who do you think these could be? Let us know in the comments!

Rumor: Is Universal Trying to Buy the Halloween & Scream Franchises?

The beIN Media Group who owns 50% of Miramax is allegedly looking to sell their stake in a deal that would value the studio founded in 70s by the Weinstein Brothers at $650 million, according to a report first published in the Wall Street Journal.

Variety also reported on the possible sale and said that all attempts for confirmation from the company were ignored.

Miramax with its 700 plus film library is known worldwide for its variety of different movies including Pulp Fiction, Shakespeare in Love and Halloween; most of which were made when they were under the Disney banner. It was 2016 that the Studio was sold by its private equity owners for a reported $1 billion to the beIN Media Group.

Shortly after acquisition, the company began maximising its company value by pushing various movies into production including Halloween, Bad Santa 2, Whitney, and Bridget Jones’s Baby.

Scream folds into this issue by the fact that the rights to the franchise reside with Miramax and Dimension Films/Lantern. Apparently a third series to the Scream TV show has been produced but not released due to a problem with the deal with Netflix.

Rumor has it via Bloody Disgusting that Universal/Comcast may seek to acquire the shares and add the franchises to their existing film franchise library. Tying all the rights together under one studio would make the production of these franchises much easier and could lead to a greater output of horror movies or even a cross-over movie (but that’s just me spitballing!).

So there you have it, a great rumor to brighten up your midweek! Would you love to see these titans of horror at Universal and would a cross-over movie even work? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Rumor: It ain’t Monsters!

News hit us last night that the former Terminator building, which has been having a huge amount of construction work undertaken to it, has finally received walls around the guest facing areas. This installation of hoarding is now making many fans speculate that the new show/experience will open very soon!

We found online permits here that showed the construction works were really ramping up a notch and that completion can’t be far off. This also compounded with speculation that the attraction could have been themed to The Universal Monsters, however we now believe this is very unlikely.

We received the following email from a Team Member who wished to remain anonymous:

I don’t know what’s going in that building but I’ve been told that there will be cars and technology displays

So if he’s right it’s very unlikely to be Monsters. It could however be a number of possible franchises from the Fast and Furious to the original rumor of Jason Bourne.For right now we’re just have to wait for an official announcement! What would you like to see as an attraction in this building? Let us know in the comments!

Remember: Nothing is official until Universal announces it, these are just rumors!

HHN29 Tickets Are Now Available!

Prepare to be totally terrified…

On the heels of last year’s immensely popular event, the ‘80s will return with a vengeance to Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights. All-new horrifying experiences inspired by some of the biggest frights of the era will invade the world’s premier Halloween event – offering no escape from the decade that just won’t die. Guests will face 10 elaborately themed haunted houses based on everything from Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” Universal Pictures’ legendary “Universal Monsters,” plus other cinematic greats and crazed cult favorites, to original abominations created by the twisted minds of Universal’s Entertainment team. They’ll navigate five sinister scare zones throughout the park, each filled with menacing scareactors. And when they need a break from the scares, guests can enjoy Universal Studios’ most exhilarating rides and attractions.

More details about this year’s event will be revealed soon.

With a plethora of different ticket and vacation packages on sale now, guests can experience this year’s Halloween Horror Nights their own way by customizing their visit. Guests can save up to $53 on a Halloween Horror Nights single night ticket when booking online and experience more horror each night with a multi-day ticket. Florida resident vacation packages are also available and include accommodations at Universal’s newest hotel – Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites – one-night admission ticket to Halloween Horror Nights, tickets to Universal Orlando’s theme parks and more. Plus, guests can upgrade their experience with the Halloween Horror Nights Express Pass and more.

Halloween Horror Nights runs on select nights from September 6 to November 2 at Universal Studios Florida. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com

Which Onsite Resort Hotel is Best for HHN?

It’s a question we get asked a lot around this time of year. Many people are booking their Spooky Fall vacations and want to know which resort is best for stays during HHN. So here’s what we think:

Universal Orlando features six official on-site hotels totaling up to 6,200 rooms. All six hotels are located in close proximity to the Universal Orlando theme parks with guests offered free water taxi or shuttle bus service to the theme parks. The hotels are sorted into three categories which are all based on perks, luxury and price, they are: premier hotels, preferred hotels and prime value hotels.

Premier Hotels:

The Portofino is considered the most expensive and luxurious hotel onsite. It offers a spacious and relaxing styled resort that has all the amenities and perks you’d expect with any 5 star hotel. Sitting next to this hotel and slightly closer to the Studios Park is the Hard Rock Hotel. This is a popular resort as it is the closest hotel to the Studios. The resort is well appointed and provides a great number of features including their unique sandy beach pool and rock n’ roll ethos.

Portofino – Style 10, Price 5, Proximity 7, Features 10

Hard Rock – Style 10, Price 7, Proximity 10, Features 9

Preferred Hotels:

The Royal Pacific built during the formation of when the single studios park turned into a resort has a great South Seas theme and is packed with great features including some really great eating establishments. The other hotel in this category is the relatively new comer Sapphire Falls which opened in 2016.

Royal Pacific – Style 9, Price 7, Proximity 5, Features 8

Sapphire Falls – Style 10, Price 8, Proximity 5, Features 9

Prime Value:

The monstrous Cabana Bay might be the furthest from the horror but it is definitely a popular option with HHN fans who appreciate the great theming and all the great features of this 1950s styled resort. The newly opened Aventura also occupies this category and what it lacks in onsite amenities it makes up for in the view and that spectacular bar right at the top of its tower.

Cabana Bay – Style 9, Price 9, Proximity 2, Features 8

Aventura – Style 9, Price 8, Proximity 3, Features 6

Others

Two more hotels are coming online soon with Surfside Inn and Suites, which will open on June 27, 2019, and Dockside Inn and Suites, which will open in 2020. Both will be located on the old Wet n’ Wild grounds making them the furthest away from the parks but they will be the most cost effective in price. If location is no issue but price is, there are also a number of International Drive hotels which are “within walking distance” and that offer shuttles to the parks. Prior to Universal building their own hotels, many of these in this area would be approved by Universal and sold through their main site for HHN guests. However due to demand, they still undertake this process and you can book Universal Partner Hotels for select HHN packages.

Score recap

Hard Rock – 36/40 *Winner*

Portofino – 32/40

Sapphire Falls – 32/40

Royal Pacific – 30/40

Cabana Bay – 28/40

Aventura – 26/40

With its close proximity to HHN, great availability and reasonable price we highly recommend Hard Rock Hotel for any stays during HHN. And if last year is anything to go by, some nights sold out ahead of time! So be quick and plan ahead if you want to stay here on a HHN night.

Packages for Hard Rock, Royal Pacific and Portofino currently include:

  • Stay in the heart of the horror and enjoy complimentary transportation and walking paths to Universal’s theme parks and Universal CityWalk.
  • Be among the first to scream with special access to a dedicated Halloween Horror Nights entry gate each event night until 8:00pm.
  • FREE Universal Express Unlimited ride access to skip the regular lines at participating rides and attractions at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. That’s a value of $1295 per person, per day. Valid theme park admission required. Not valid at Universal’s Volcano Bay or for Halloween Horror Nights.
  • Priority seating at select restaurants throughout the resort.
  • Complimentary delivery of merchandise purchased throughout the resort to your hotel.
  • Resort-wide charging privileges with your room key card

For more information on booking a HHN vacation package speak to your Travel Agent or click here to go to the official HHN site.

So there you have it, we highly recommend Hard Rock but where’s your hotel of choice for HHN? Let us know in the comments!

Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and BD Wong Reprise Their Roles for Universal Hollywood’s New Jurassic World Ride

Stars of the Jurassic World films Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and BD Wong reprise their roles as Owen Grady, Claire Dearing and Dr. Henry Wu, bringing their characters from the silver screen to Universal Studios Hollywood’s much anticipated mega attraction, “Jurassic World—The Ride,” opening this summer.

This marks the first time the cast will appear as their iconic characters outside of the JURASSIC WORLD films for a theme park attraction.  As part of original content created exclusively for the new ride, Owen, Claire and Dr. Wu will shed light on their interactions with the dinosaurs along with facts and information about the imposing prehistoric creatures that first roamed the earth more than 65 million years ago.

This spectacular new ride will feature an original storyline that will take guests on a breathtaking excursion through the theme park as depicted in Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment’s film, JURASSIC WORLD.  It will soar to new heights with the addition of iconic dinosaurs from the movie, including the colossal Indominus rex and the magnificent aquatic Mosasaurus in her natural habitat. 

For the first time, JURASSIC WORLD fans will have the chance to see this impressive creature and become immersed within her massive Aquarium Observatory.  Appearing to span over 60 feet in length and tipping the scales at over 30K pounds through stunning state-of-the-art visual effects, the Mosasaurus is a sight to behold as she moves just inches away from guests throughout her glass enclosure filled with the equivalent of 3.5 million gallons of water.

Universal Creative collaborated with Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) to bring the Mosasaurus to life and to capture the realism of her underwater environment using a combination of spectacular visual effects and cutting-edge technologies, including the use of motion parallax, a technique that shifts the guest’s perspective of the Mosasaurus as she moves throughout the tank.

The team also employed a series of lighting enhancements allowing the aquarium to intuitively shift from day to night, as well as visual changes to the environment during inclement weather, thus creating a variety of visual scenarios guests can experience based on when they experience the ride.

“Jurassic World—The Ride” captures the essence of the blockbuster movie and comes to life in collaboration with the award-winning and inspired minds at Universal Creative, the Academy Award®-winning special-effects visionaries at Industrial Light & Magic, a division of Lucasfilm, Ltd., Universal Pictures and acclaimed filmmakers Steven Spielberg, Colin Trevorrow and Frank Marshall.

When “Jurassic World—The Ride” opens this summer, guests will be welcomed to a dramatically reimagined space reflective of the hit films.  A fresh entry statement, stonework landscaping, and a contemporary redesign of the iconic JURASSIC WORLD gates, illuminated with billowing flames, will create the framework for the all new aesthetics.

Once guests pass through the queue, they will board specially designed rafts that will navigate the lush environs of dense vegetation and traverse new areas besieged with towering dinosaurs meandering at just an arm’s length away.  Encounters with such docile creatures as the Stegosaurus and Parasaurolophus will quickly turn awry as predatory Velociraptors and Dilophosaurus begin to wreak havoc, turning guests from spectators to prey.  When the Tyrannosaurus rex begins to battle one of the attraction’s new ferocious dinosaurs, the rafts will spill down a treacherous 84-foot waterfall as the sole means of escape.

Located adjacent to the ride will be a new elaborately themed “Raptor Encounter” where Blue, the beloved Velociraptor from the JURASSIC WORLD franchise, will engage guests in daring face-to-face encounters.

In addition, a new interactive “Dino Play” area will incorporate educational components within an inspired space where children of all ages can explore and excavate giant dinosaur fossils.