Welcome to March 2016, a month ending review of what is going on in the Universe of Universal Orlando.
A few pretty “sweet” things happened this month in the Universe.
First off, we learned what will be replacing NBA City restaurant in Universal’s CityWalk. The Toothsome Chocolate Factory will deliver a 19th century-inspired steampunk theme to dinners while dinning around FUNky gadgetry and authentic Steampuck fashion.
The restaurant will feature a specially designed menu that offers guests unique twists on classic dishes. But, really, who cares about those? This is a chocolate factory and what we really want is DESSERTS, right?
Those look delicious!
In concept art above, you can see how the building will expand upon the architecture of the former design.
Of note, as of 3/28/16, the last remaining signage of the NBA City, the clocks, has been removed to make way for the continued development of the factory.
Be sure to follow along here as the restaurant takes shape and for more about the restaurant’s announcement hop over to the Universal Orlando Blog.
The other bit of sweet news is the completion of the Hulk Track. The ride is once again a full circuit. We have saw a lot of progress on the track this month. The track finally made it to the front of the attraction.
As part of the overhaul of the attraction one of the big changes that guests will start to notice is the change of the launch tube from the purple and green color scheme into the black and green color scheme.
It appears that about two-thirds of the tube is complete.
and workers are making incredible progress on the remaining third
In our opinion, this marks a departure from an animated Hulk into more of a life-like Hulk featured in the 2003 and 2009 Universal Pictures films. The green and black color scheme was prevalent in both of those films. This could also reflect the possible future color scheme for the attractions new trains.
With the completion of the steel work, we should start to see some drastic changes coming to the queue house now.
Workers are now also installing, well reinstalling the electrical elements in the lagoon low zones. This is likely for any combination of ride control, lighting, and show elements.
On interesting item we noticed on our last visit was the recent absence of the height marker for the coaster on the height marquees before the entrance. This could reflect a possible new height requirement, a new logo, or absolutely nothing at all. We will just have to see how this one turns out.
Two ape sized announcements were made this month about Skull Island: Reign of Kong.
The creative team at Universal unveiled the ride vehicles for the attraction and details about the story of the attraction. For more about Kong’s vehicles and story click the photo above.
The second release introduced some of the creatures you will meet along your journeys on Skull Island.
Run over to the Universal Orlando Blog for more about each creature.
Skull Island merchandise has made its way into the major retail shops around the parks. I really like some of these first items and really look forward to what else come along.
The temple is receiving its last touch of themeing.
The attraction signage is also starting to take its place.
Next door to the Skull Island, Jurassic Park River Adventure reopened with a fresh coat of pain on the waterfall and a little TLC else where.
Hopping on our magical boat off the Island, we race to New York.
Where facade work has begun.
I would loosely speculate this might be the beginnings of 30 Rock facade.
The demolition for Fast and Furious has all but concluded, all that remains seems to be the extremely thick base of the earthquake section of the former attraction. This also seems to be one reason the attraction is rumored to be several months behind schedule.
The Robo-oasis by Men in Black is also undergoing extensive construction.
With Disney receiving a Coke retail location at the re-imagined Disney Springs and SeaWorld receiving the Coke sponsored Pass Member lounge, I would think Coke themselves might be funneling some input and/or money into a new experience here.
If you happened to make it out on one of the busier days, This remote-controlled piano was playing its way around entertaining guests over the month.
As April roars in, we have the remaining three concerts for this years Mardi Gras. This year has brought us some very packed and very fun acts. It leaves us really looking forward to next years!
2016 MARDI GRAS TALENT LINE-UP
April 2– T-Pain
April 9– Jessie J
April 16– Yandel
See you at the Universe!
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