Upcoming Roadwork at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort&Spa

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From December 18th until the 20th roadwork at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa will close the southern entrance to the resort on Buena Vista Drive. Until the roadwork is completed all vehicles will enter the resort via the entrance on Vacation Club Way.

The roadwork will also cause the Grandstand stop bus station to be closed on the 19th and 20th for all buses excluding the Internal Shuttle. Guests looking to get a ride to the theme parks will have to use one of the other bus stops. Guests have been asked to be cautious driving around these areas as construction workers will be along these routes.

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Spoiler-Free Review: Star Wars “The Last Jedi” Surprises at Every Turn

Star Wars: The Last Jedi..Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill)..Photo: John Wilson..©2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Be advised before reading – this review is spoiler-free, but it does outline the basic plot of the movie, so if you want to go into the movie knowing nothing, don’t read past this.

The Force Awakens successfully rebooted the Star Wars franchise better than anyone could’ve expected. While it didn’t break new grounds in terms of story, it left us with an ending that could’ve gone in a million directions. Rian Johnson was called in to direct Episode 8 – The Last Jedi, and he threw out an initial story written by Lawrence Kasdan and rewrote it entirely. What came from that is an epic 152-minute film that has been critically applauded, but will probably leave fans with mixed emotions.

The film kicks off right away with the Resistance evacuating D’Qar after their base is discovered by the First Order. The movie then turns into a classic chase for the next two-thirds of the movie with our lead characters developing in their own stories. Rey’s (Daisy Ridley) story picks up where it ended with her encountering Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) for the first time. As you can tell from the trailers, Luke is adamant about not training Rey and letting the Jedi die completely. Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) is the same trigger-happy, arrogant pilot from The Force Awakens, but in The Last Jedi, he’s dealing with the struggles of trying to lead despite his inexperience and one-sided approach to battling the First Order. Both Rey and Poe’s stories feel natural, but the same can’t be said of Finn’s.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi L to R: Finn (John Boyega) battling Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) Photo: Lucasfilm Ltd. © 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

© 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Finn (John Boyega) does recover from his wounds in The Force Awakens, and with the help of newcomer Rose (Kelly Marie Tran), he sets out on a quest to find a master codebreaker who can help sneak them onto a First Order ship so they can shut down their tracking system just long enough to give the Resistance a chance to escape without the First Order being able to track them – even through lightspeed. If it seems sort of convoluted, that’s because it is. In fact, this entire story could’ve been scrapped with a couple changes to the script. However, without this side adventure for Finn, I fear that his character wouldn’t have been relevant at all in The Last Jedi. Without giving him a purpose in this film, he would’ve just served as a background character in the Resistance. The argument could’ve been made that the entire movie should’ve been rewritten to give Finn a proper storyline, but at the end of the day this isn’t about him, it is about Rey.

One benefit to his story is that it gives ample screen time to Rose, who was completely delightful and added another strong female character to the Star Wars universe. Finn’s story also drives home a political and social statement, whether or not it was intended, and I’m sure many out there will have negative feelings towards it. Star Wars is quick to set up sides – a good side and a bad side, but I appreciate the middle-of-the-road that isn’t taken often.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi AT-M6 Walkers, along with Kylo's Shuttle Photo: Lucasfilm Ltd. © 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

© 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Some of those story issues aside, The Last Jedi delivers in the places that count the most. The battle on Crait at the end of the film is just as tense and exciting as the trailers made it out to be. In fact, every battle scene is executed masterfully, but there is one fight in particular that will go down as one of the best action sequences in all of the Star Wars films. It comes after a controversial decision (that I was personally fine with), but it ends up being one of the highlights of the movie. The best acting in the movie comes courtesy of Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, and Adam Driver. Fisher seemed stiff and out of the game in The Force Awakens, but she appeared to be completely back in the saddle in her final film role. Hamill said in interviews that he didn’t agree with the direction Rian Johnson was taking with Luke, but he would still give his all to the performance and I can say confidently that he did. Driver steals the show in my opinion and has the most development in the movie, but if you’ve seen any of his movies outside of Star Wars then it isn’t really a surprise.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) Photo: Lucasfilm Ltd. © 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

© 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Rian Johnson did say that we would be shocked by The Last Jedi and there were definitely some controversial decisions made along the way. I’d say at least four by my count. Again, I did not mind any of the decisions that he made, but in some cases, a bit more context could’ve been added in and throughout the movie, there was a good amount of fat that could’ve been scraped away and maybe brought this a bit closer to 120 minutes. Some are saying that it is the best Star Wars movie since The Empire Strikes Back, while others are saying it is a complete misstep and on the level of the prequels. My opinion falls between those two categories and that’s because of how different The Last Jedi is. If you had to compare it to any of the previous films, I’d say for me it felt closest to Return of the Jedi with the tone of The Empire Strikes Back, but it really is just its own entity.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi..L to R: Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and a Porg..Photo: Industrial Light & Magic/Lucasfilm..©2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

©2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Oh, and my verdict on Porgs is they are actually pretty cute and definitely not the Jar Jar Binks of this trilogy. And hopefully in the future we can talk spoilers since I really had to just skip over most of the new characters and some of the returning characters like Captain Phasma.

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New Information for The Incredicoaster Coming to Disney California Adventure

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As part of the Disney Parks Blog 12 Days of Disney Parks Christmas they’ve just announced more details for the Incredicoaster, which will be part of the reimagined Pixar Pier! On the coaster guests will observe members of the Parr family trying to catch Jack-Jack.

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Guests will see a large show element of Edna Mode doing a less-than-stellar job babysitting Jack-Jack, a 40-foot Mrs. Incredible trying to catch Jack-Jack, and a number of new special effect!

The video below shows how the Walt Disney Imagineering team is attempting to tell a story on a high-speed attraction.

Credit: Disney Parks Blog

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Los Angeles Couple Suing Disneyland For Being Banned from Club 33

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According to The Orange County Register, a Los Angeles couple, Scott and Diana Anderson, were banned from Club 33 for allegedly having committed “multiple violations of Club 33 rules.” The Andersons, who became members in 2012, oppose this notion by Disney, believing the termination of their Club 33 membership was due to them “criticizing sexual harassment” and a number of difficulties with the new management.

Club 33 is an exclusive club in Disneyland’sNew Orleans Square that individual members pay $50,000 to be a part of, in addition to annual dues of $15,000.

The couple has claimed that Club 33’s management changed in 2016, and since then there has been a “tattletale atmosphere,” which is what caused them to have sanctions put against them even before their membership was terminated.

The Andersons’ attorney Sean Macias has stated that, “when Scott Anderson sent an email to management regarding a member verbally attacking a terminally ill fellow Club 33 member, it was the Andersons who received a suspension letter.”

Macias also alleged that his clients were banned in order “to force the older members out so they can bring in new members and charge them more with less benefits. They’re looking for any excuse. If you complain, you’re out.”

Robert E. Reichman, the Andersons’ other attorney said, “his clients were targeted because of complaints they made to management that included sexual harassment by members against club employees.” Reichman emphasized the Andersons were just pointing out the crude behaviors that were going on, like “groping…from out of control club members.”

Disney adamantly denies the Andersons’ claims saying,

“Like other private clubs, Club 33 has rules and regulations that address, among other things, member conduct. All members must abide by these rules and regulations so that all members may enjoy Club 33 benefits without disruption.”

According to Disney, the Andersons violated these regulations.

Interestingly, the couple is unsure if they want their membership to Club 33 reinstated or not.

Credit: The Orange County Register

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Disneyland’s Blue Bayou Restaurant Versus Disney World’s San Angel Inn

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Two Disney restaurants with similar types of theming (but with very different types of food) are Disneyland’sBlue Bayou Restaurant and Disney World’sSan Angel Inn at Epcot. My family has eaten at San Angel Inn in Epcot many times, and we love the food and the theming. So, during a recent trip to Disneyland, we couldn’t resist trying out Blue Bayou and making comparisons between the two.

Overall Theming

The San Angel Inn is located inside the Mexico pavilion at Epcot, and the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Cabalerros boat ride goes right through the restaurant. To find the restaurant, you walk into an Aztec Temple and through a festive marketplace where the lighting makes it appear that you are outside, in the evening. The restaurant is located at the end of marketplace, right next to the entrance to the boat ride. Some tables are located right next to the water, which makes for a nice view of the boats passing by. In the distance, a volcano erupts from time to time.

mexico-epcot

The Blue Bayou is located at New Orleans Square in Disneyland, and the Pirates of the Caribbean boat ride goes right through the restaurant. The entrance is fairly subtle compared to the temple entrance of the San Angel Inn, and the theming really begins once you are seated at your table. Inside the restaurant, the tables appear to be outside, on a nice summer evening in the Louisiana Bayou. Like the San Angel Inn, some tables are located right next to the water, with a nice view of the boats from Pirates of the Caribbean floating by. Overhead, shooting stars can be seen from time to time.

Both restaurants are extremely dark. I think Blue Bayou might be just a bit darker, since I found it especially difficult to read the menu at this restaurant. I have been seated right by the water at both restaurants and enjoyed both.

Although I really like the immersive nature of the San Angel Inn inside the pyramid, since Pirates of the Carribean is my family’s favorite ride, I feel I have to give a slight edge to Blue Bayou in terms of theming.

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The entrance to Blue Bayou is more subtle than the San Angel Inn

The Food

In terms of menus, the food at the two restaurants is very different. The San Angel Inn menu (not surprisingly) features Mexican food. The Blue Bayou Restaurant has a variety of food on the menu, including salads, seafood, chicken and steak, with a “New Orleans” flair. Blue Bayou is the more expensive option, and one reason why we opted for lunch at the Blue Bayou instead of dinner on this trip.

Starters: Importantly, food service at the San Angel Inn starts with chips and salsa delivered to the table, while Blue Bayou starts off with bread and butter. For my family, no food on earth can beat chips and salsa so I give San Angel Inn the edge here.

Main Course: At San Angel Inn, my husband and I typically order Tacos de Carne and it’s always consistent. My kids order the the cheese quesadillas and they like them (if they have any room left after all the chips they eat).

At Blue Bayou I ordered the salmon and my husband ordered the Surf and Turf. I enjoyed my salmon and my husband’s food was deemed acceptable. The kids ordered macaroni and cheese and unfortunately it was not a hit. I will say that my kids like very basic “kids food” and sometimes turn their noses up at “fancy” mac and cheese that doesn’t taste like Kraft. Knowing this, and seeing that the mac and cheese looked very appetizing, I tried it. Unfortunately, I also felt it was terrible. So, I have to give San Angel Inn the edge here for all around family appeal.

The Drinks

With Blue Bayou being in Disneyland and San Angel Inn being in Epcot, there is one very big difference between the drinks on the menu at these two restaurants – alcohol. Disneyland does not serve alcohol, while Epcot most definitely does. In fact, a popular margarita bar, La Cava del Tequila, is also located inside the Mexico Pavilion, and the same drinks are available at the restaurant. You can even get a tequila flight. I always enjoy a good margarita, with my favorites being the jalapeño, cucumber, and avocado.

However, one thing that the Blue Bayou does serve is the famous non-alcoholic mint julep. I’ve heard Ryno Clavin from the DIS Unplugged and DIS POP rave about this drink many times, so I was so excited to finally try it out for myself. Well, after all that anticipation, I’m sorry to say, I just did not like it. I think I may like to try an alcoholic version, but the flavors of this non-alcholoic drink just didn’t taste right to me. I offered it to my 7-year old who proclaimed “l love it” but it was still more than half full by the end of our meal. So, I have to give San Angel Inn the edge here.

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It’s hard to resist a restaurant connected to such an iconic ride!

The Service

Since I’ve been to San Angel Inn over a dozen times and Blue Bayou just once, it might not be fair for me to comment much on the service. But, let’s just say our service at Blue Bayou was not very good. We waited between 5-10 minutes after we were seated just for a server to come to our table. Only after we ordered did we get bread or water and it was 100 degrees outside that day! At San Angel Inn we have always received glasses of water and chips and salsa as soon as we sat down. So, San Angel gets an edge here too.

Overall

Overall, I enjoyed the theming at both restaurants very much. We were seated right by the water during this last Blue Bayou meal, and we’ve been seated by the water several times at San Angel Inn as well.

While I have to say I prefer San Angel Inn in Epcot more than the Blue Bayou in Disneyland, if you are a fan of the ride Pirates of the Caribbean, I highly recommend that you eat at this restaurant at least once. Ask for a table near the water, and if it’s not too busy (or you don’t mind waiting), you can get a close table and see the boats ride by while you eat your dinner. Then, go on the ride and see the reverse perspective. I will give the same recommendation for San Angel Inn and the Gran Fiesta Tour, but I also highly recommend the salsa verde, the tequila flight, and the avocado margarita. Enjoy!

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“TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D” Coming to Universal Orlando in Summer 2013 UK

THE BATTLE CONTINUES…IN ORLANDO


JUST ANNOUNCED:BLOCKBUSTER MEGA-ATTRACTION “TRANSFORMERS: THE RIDE – 3D” COMING TO UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT IN SUMMER 2013

Hugely-Successful Attraction Will Now Be Featured at Three Universal Parks Worldwide

Guests Will Be Fully-Immersed in a TRANSFORMERS Adventure with Their Favorite Characters and Nemeses from the Popular Film Series


(1st November 2012) – Get ready – it’s time to prepare for battle…

Universal Orlando Resort announced that its next blockbuster attraction will be the widely-popular TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D. The groundbreaking ride – created under license from Hasbro, Inc. and based on its iconic TRANSFORMERS brand – will bring the intergalactic battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons to Universal Studios Florida in summer 2013.


Already a “must-see” at Universal Studios Singapore and Universal Studios Hollywood, TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D is a mind-blowing, action-packed ride experience that you have to see to believe. You will come face to face with Megatron. You will dodge explosions and attacks by the Decepticons. You will fight to save mankind alongside Optimus Prime and the Autobots. It will be the greatest battle you’ll ever ride.


Universal worked closely with Michael Bay, the award-wining director of the “TRANSFORMERS” film series and the ride’s creative consultant, to create an authentic experience that brings the non-stop action of the films to life. The attraction combines the larger-than-life TRANSFORMERS characters and an exciting storyline with life-like HD CGI media, state-of-the-art 3-D technology and amazing special effects to place riders right in the middle of an epic battle between good and evil.


“We broke the mold and have taken this ride to a new technological level in terms of blending seamless 3-D,” said Michael Bay, director of the “TRANSFORMERS” films.


“TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D is the perfect addition to Universal Orlando’s thrilling theme park experiences,” said Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative. “The ride has already proven to be a hit at our Hollywood and Singapore parks, and we’re excited that Universal Orlando guests will soon be able to join the Autobots in the fight to save the world.”


TRANSFORMERS films, television shows and merchandise have captivated millions of people all over the world. To date, three blockbuster films have been released – “TRANSFORMERS” (2007), “TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN” (2009) and “TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON” (2011) – grossing more than $2 billion combined worldwide at the box office. The three films were directed by Michael Bay, executive produced by Steven Spielberg and released by Paramount Pictures.


TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D is slated to open in summer 2013 at Universal Orlando. The attraction will have one of the shortest build times in Universal history – making it one of Universal’s most ambitious projects ever. For more information about TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D, visit www.prepareforbattle.com or see

www.youtube.com/universalorlando

.

# # #


About Universal Orlando Resort

There are many ways to enjoy your Orlando vacation, but there is only one place where vacation becomes adventure: Universal Orlando Resort. It is a unique destination featuring two theme parks, three magnificently themed on-site hotels and a nighttime entertainment complex. It’s the only Orlando destination where you are not just entertained – you become part of the most exhilarating entertainment ever created. You can soar above Hogwarts with Harry Potter, swing above the streets with Spider-Man, be transformed into a banana-loving minion in the hilarious and heartwarming Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride and help Shrek save Princess Fiona in Shrek 4-D. www.universalorlando.co.uk

Universal Orlando Resort is an NBCUniversal company.

About Hasbro

Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) is a branded play company providing children and families around the world with a wide-range of immersive entertainment offerings based on the Company’s world class brand portfolio. From toys and games, to television programming, motion pictures, digital gaming and a comprehensive licensing program, Hasbro strives to delight its global customers with well-known and beloved brands such as TRANSFORM’s Hasbro Studios develops and produces television programming for markets around the world. The Hub TV Network is part of a multi-platform joint ventureERS, LITTLEST PET SHOP, NERF, PLAYSKOOL, MY LITTLE PONY, G.I. JOE, MAGIC: THE GATHERING and MONOPOLY. The Company between Hasbro and Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), in the U.S. Through the company’s deep commitment to corporate social responsibility, including philanthropy, Hasbro is helping to build a safe and sustainable world for future generations and to positively impact the lives of millions of children and families every year. It has been recognized for its efforts by being named one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” and is ranked as one of Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s “100 Best Corporate Citizens.” Learn more at www.hasbro.com.

© 2012 Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


MEDIA CONTACT:

Liz Edwards Fiona Duncan

Liz.edwards@nbcuni.com Fiona.duncan@nbcuni.com

0203 618 5103 0203 618 5109

http://media.universalorlando.com

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Universal Orlando Resort Reveals Grand Opening Date for Blockbuster Attraction, TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D

HEED THIS WARNING:

THE DECEPTICONS HAVE ARRIVED IN ORLANDO

THE BATTLE BEGINS 20th JUNE

Universal Orlando Resort Reveals Grand Opening Date for Blockbuster Attraction,

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D

(2nd May 2013) – Megatron and the Decepticons are closing in on Orlando…we must prepare for battle.

The highly anticipated blockbuster attraction TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D will officially open on Thursday 20th June 2013, Universal Orlando announced today.

Universal also launched an all-new “Join the Resistance” Facebook experience to prepare fans for the battle they’ll experience on the mega-attraction. “Recruits” can create their very own NEST IDs, train for battle and access exclusive photos and video. Click here to join the resistance.

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D is a mind-blowing, action-packed ride experience that pushes the limits of technology to place guests in the middle of a larger-than-life battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons. The ride was created under license from Hasbro, Inc. and is based on its iconic TRANSFORMERS brand.

The battle begins when guests enter the NEST facility – the headquarters for the government operation that partners with the Autobots to protect Earth from the Decepticons. While inside, they are recruited to help protect the AllSpark – a powerful energy source that would allow the Decepticons to destroy the planet. Guests board EVAC – an Autobot created exclusively for the attraction – to transport the AllSpark to safety. But beware…the Decepticons are in close pursuit…

For more information about Universal Orlando and TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D, visit www.universalorlando.co.uk.

Experience Transformers: The Ride – 3D this summer!

Seven nights in Orlando from £873pp

Seven nights in Orlando with Virgin Holidays, including scheduled flights with Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick direct to Orlando, accommodation at the 3V Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista on a room only basis with car hire included. Prices are per person based on two adults travelling and sharing a standard room, and include all applicable taxes and fuel surcharges which are subject to change. Prices are based on departures on 24 June 2013.

To book:www.virginholidays.co.uk, 0844 557 3859 or visit one of our 100 stores located in Debenhams, House of Fraser, Tesco and Sainsbury’s stores nationwide.

Universal 2-Park Bonus Ticket

Experience the best of Universal Orlando Resort with unlimited admission to both Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure for up to 14 consecutive days. The Universal 2-Park Bonus also includes all-club access to the live entertainment at Universal CityWalk, Orlando’s hottest nightspot.

  • Tickets start from £114 per adult and £104 per child

About Universal Orlando Resort

There are many ways to enjoy your Orlando holiday, but there is only one place where holiday becomes adventure: Universal Orlando Resort. It is a unique destination featuring two theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, three magnificently themed on-site hotels and a night-time entertainment complex. It’s the only Orlando destination where you are not just entertained – you become part of the most exhilarating entertainment ever created. You can soar above Hogwarts with Harry Potter, swing above the streets with Spider-Man, battle aliens alongside Agent J, and help Shrek save Princess Fiona in Shrek 4-D. Now open: the new, heart-warming and hilarious Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride. And coming soon: TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D.

Universal Orlando Resort is part of NBCUniversal, a Comcast company.

About Hasbro

Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) is a branded play company providing children and families around the world with a wide-range of immersive entertainment offerings based on the Company’s world class brand portfolio. From toys and games, to television programming, motion pictures, digital gaming and a comprehensive licensing program, Hasbro strives to delight its global customers with innovative, well-known and beloved brands such as TRANSFORMERS, LITTLEST PET SHOP, NERF, PLAYSKOOL, MY LITTLE PONY, G.I. JOE, MAGIC: THE GATHERING and MONOPOLY. The Company’s Hasbro Studios develops and produces television programming for markets around the world. The Hub TV Network is part of a multi-platform joint venture between Hasbro and Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), in the U.S. Through the Company’s deep commitment to corporate social responsibility, including philanthropy, Hasbro is helping to build a safe and sustainable world for future generations and to positively impact the lives of millions of children and families every year. It has been recognised for its efforts by being named one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” and is ranked as one of Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s “100 Best Corporate Citizens.”Learn more at www.hasbro.com.

© 2012 Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Universal Orlando Public Relations

Carly Reed Fiona Duncan

carly.reed@nbcuni.comFiona.duncan@nbcuni.com

0203 618 5103 0203 618 5109

http://media.universalorlando.com

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Enter the World of Springfield Like Never Before

ENTER THE WORLD OF SPRINGFIELD LIKE NEVER BEFORE

ONLY AT UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT!


ORLANDO, Fla. (May 23rd 2013) – Woo Hoo! Springfield, hometown to America’s favourite animated family, The Simpsons, comes to life at Universal Orlando Resort this summer.

The expansive, new area within Universal Studios will be anchored by the mega-attraction, The Simpsons Ride, and will allow guests to enter the world of The Simpsons like never before. It will be the only place in the world where guests can walk the streets of Springfield. It will include a brand-new outdoor attraction, places and foods pulled right from the show and two new Simpsons characters who will make their debut with the new area – Krusty the Clown and Sideshow Bob.

And yes – there will be Duff Beer, brewed exclusively for Universal Orlando!

For the first time ever – anywhere – fans will be able to walk down Fast Food Boulevard and visit the places that helped Springfield stake its claim as “Shelbyville by the Sea.” They will be able to grab a Krusty-certified meat sandwich at Krusty Burger, snatch the catch of the day at the Frying Dutchman, get a slice at Luigi’s Pizza, go nuts for donuts at Lard Lad, enjoy a “Taco Fresho” with Bumblebee Man and drink at Moe’s Tavern.

The new attraction – called Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl – will take “foolish humans” on an intergalactic spin designed to send them into orbit.

“This will be a must-see experience for Simpsons fans all over the world,” said Mark Woodbury, President of Universal Creative. “For the first time ever, they’re going to be able to enter a world that they’ve only seen on television – and we’re really excited to bring that world to life.”

“This new expansion will broaden and deepen the already incredible experience at Universal, by bringing to life the iconic landmarks of Springfield that fans have grown to love,” said Jeffrey Godsick, President, Fox Consumer Products. “Fans will literally be able to live and breathe Springfield as they visit the statue of Jebediah, enjoy a Krusty Burger, and have a seat at Moe’s Tavern, which are just a few of the great experiences awaiting at Universal.”

“It has been an honour to bring the world of the Simpsons to life in such a letter-perfect way,” said Denise Sirkot, President, Worldwide Brand, Gracie Films. “Truly this is the Krustyest place on earth.”

For more information, visit www.universalorlando.co.uk

Experience Transformers: The Ride – 3D!

Seven nights in Orlando from £819

Seven nights in Orlando with Virgin Holidays, including scheduled flights with Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick direct to Orlando, accommodation at the 5V Loews Royal Pacific resort at Universal on a room only basis with car hire included starts from £819. Price is per person based on 2 adults travelling and sharing a standard room, price includes all applicable taxes and fuel surcharges which are subject to change. Prices are based on departures on 21st Jan 2014.

Virgin Holidays is a member of ABTA and is ATOL protected

To book:www.virginholidays.co.uk, 0844 557 3859 or visit one of our 100 stores located in Debenhams, House of Fraser, Tesco and Sainsbury’s stores nationwide.

Universal 2-Park Bonus Ticket

Experience the best of Universal Orlando Resort with unlimited admission to both Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure for up to 14 consecutive days. The Universal 2-Park Bonus also includes all-club access to the live entertainment at Universal CityWalk, Orlando’s hottest nightspot.

  • Tickets start from £109 per adult and £99 per child (2013 prices)

About THE SIMPSONS

The longest running scripted show in television history, THE SIMPSONS exploded into a cultural phenomenon in 1990 and has remained one of the most ground-breaking and innovative entertainment franchises, recognisable throughout the world. Matt Groening created the iconic family: Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie. Currently in its record-annihilating 25th season, THE SIMPSONS celebrated their historic 500th episode in February 2012. The series has won 27 Emmy Awards, been the subject of a hit feature film, created “Krustyland” and a revolutionary virtual coaster – The Simpsons Ride – at Universal Studios, received a Star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame, been honoured with five U.S. postal stamps personally designed by Matt Groening, and named the “Best Show of the 20th Century” by Time Magazine.

THE SIMPSONS is a Gracie Films Production in association with 20th Century Fox Television. James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, and Al Jean are the Executive Producers. The Gracie Films Worldwide Brand Division develops and produces the licensed content for the series. Film Roman is the animation house.

About Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products

A recognised industry leader, Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products licenses and markets properties worldwide on behalf of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Twentieth Television and Fox Broadcasting Company, as well as third party lines. The division is aligned with Twentieth Century Fox Television, one of the top suppliers of primetime entertainment programming to the broadcast networks.

THE SIMPSONS is a Gracie Films Production in association with 20th Century Fox Television. James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, and Al Jean are the Executive Producers. The Gracie Films Worldwide Brand Division develops and produces the licensed content for the series. Film Roman is the animation house.

About Universal Orlando Resort

There are many ways to enjoy your Orlando holiday, but there is only one place where holiday becomes adventure: Universal Orlando Resort. It is a unique destination featuring two theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, three magnificently themed on-site hotels and a night-time entertainment complex. It’s the only Orlando destination where you are not just entertained – you become part of the most exhilarating entertainment ever created. You can soar above Hogwarts with Harry Potter, swing above the streets with Spider-Man, battle aliens alongside Agent J, and help Shrek save Princess Fiona in Shrek 4-D. Now open: the new, heart-warming and hilarious Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride. And coming soon: TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D.

Universal Orlando Resort is part of NBCUniversal, a Comcast company.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Universal Orlando Public Relations

Carly Reed Fiona Duncan

carly.reed@nbcuni.comFiona.duncan@nbcuni.com

0203 618 5103 0203 618 5109

http://media.universalorlando.com

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Minions Set to Take Over New Kids Suites at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

Minions Set to Take Over New Kids Suites

at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando


Guests can experience the world of Despicable Me in newly-renovated, film-inspired kids’ suites debuting this autumn at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando. The suites are now available for reservations, for stays beginning October 1st. These one-of-a-kind suites capture the excitement and playfulness of Gru’s house, complete with missile beds and Minions who rappel from the ceiling and surround guests with their unpredictable antics.

“This is the latest way we are integrating the theme park experience into our on-site hotels,” says Vince LaRuffa, Vice President of Resort Sales and Marketing. “The popularity of the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem attraction at Universal Studios, along with this summer’s release of Despicable Me 2, presents an ideal time for the Minions to take over our kids suites.”

These two-room suites feature a kids room outfitted with custom-designed missile beds with Minion-inspired bedding, so that children can sleep like Gru’s adorable girls: Margo, Edith and Agnes. A pale blue interior creates a soothing backdrop, while touches of Gru’s laboratory’s red accents remind guests that they are indeed in an unforgettable Minion adventure. The adults’ room features a king-sized bed in the hotel’s newly-renovated Italian luxury design. An added feature that parents will appreciate is a single entry door into the suite: the kids’ side of the suite does not have a door that opens into the hallway. All of the hotel’s 18 kids’ suites will be transformed with the new theme.

On-site hotel guests receive exclusive benefits, including Early Park Admission and free Universal Express Unlimited ride access which lets them skip the regular lines on most rides and attractions in Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. See https://www.universalorlando.co.uk/Hotels/ for more information.

About Despicable Me 2

Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s worldwide blockbuster, Despicable Me, entertained audiences around the globe in 2010, grossing more than $540 million and becoming the 10th-biggest animated motion picture in U.S. history. In summer 2013, get ready for more Minion madness in Despicable Me 2.

Chris Meledandri and his acclaimed filmmaking team create an all-new comedy adventure, featuring the return of (former?) super-villain Gru (Steve Carell), his adorable girls, the unpredictably hilarious Minions … and a host of new and outrageously funny characters. http://www.despicableme2.co.uk/

Loews Hotels & Resorts

Headquartered in New York City, Loews Hotels & Resorts owns and/or operates 19 hotels and resorts in the U.S. and Canada including the newly acquired Loews Madison Hotel located in the heart of Washington at the epicentre of legendary D.C. landmarks and the Loews Boston Back Bay Hotel, one of Boston’s pre-eminent historic buildings, situated on the corner of Berkeley and Stuart Streets. Located in major city centres and resort destinations in North America from coast to coast, the Loews portfolio features one-of-a-kind properties that go beyond Four Diamond standards to delight guests with a supremely comfortable, uniquely local and vibrant travel experience. For more information about Loews Hotels & Resorts visit: www.loewshotels.com.

Universal Orlando Resort

There are many ways to enjoy your Orlando holiday, but there is only one place where holiday becomes adventure: Universal Orlando Resort. It is a unique destination featuring two theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, three magnificently themed on-site hotels and a night-time entertainment complex. It’s the only Orlando destination where you are not just entertained – you become part of the most exhilarating entertainment ever created. You can soar above Hogwarts with Harry Potter, swing above the streets with Spider-Man, battle aliens alongside Agent J, and help Shrek save Princess Fiona in Shrek 4-D. Now open: the new, heart-warming and hilarious Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride. And coming soon: Transformers: The Ride-3D. Universal Orlando Resort is part of NBC Universal, a Comcast company.


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Universal Orlando Resort Reveals The New Variety Of Food And Beverage Options Specially Created For The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

New Offerings Include Authentic British Fare, Magical Elixirs – and Even Butterbeer-Flavored Ice-Cream

ORLANDO, Fla. (May 30, 2014) – Today, Universal Orlando Resort revealed details about the variety of new food and beverage options which will be available in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, opening this summer at the Universal Studios theme park. From traditional British favorites like Bangers and Mash to ice-cream with unique flavors such as Chocolate Chili and Sticky Toffee Pudding, guests will savor all-new dining experiences created exclusively for the new land.

Universal Orlando’s culinary team has gone to great lengths to ensure the food experience in Diagon Alley is as authentic as possible. After years of studying the books and films; gathering inspiration from British pubs; developing authentic recipes with imported ingredients from England; and holding countless tastings, Universal’s culinary team, in collaboration with Warner Bros., has created an incredible variety of new foods and beverages the whole family can enjoy, in environments inspired by popular locations from the Harry Potter series.

Guests can stop inside the Leaky Cauldron, the popular wizarding pub and inn where they will be greeted by the savory smells of traditional British dishes such as Bangers and Mash (traditional roasted sausages with creamy mashed potatoes), Fisherman’s Pie (salmon, shrimp and cod baked together under a potato crust), Toad in the Hole (traditional sausage baked into a Yorkshire pudding and served with onion gravy), Fish and Chips, and the Ploughman’s – a feast of English cheese, crusty bread, cornichon pickles, apple beet salad, Branston pickle and a Scotch egg). Guests can also sip on new draught beers created exclusively for the land – Wizard’s Brew and Dragon Scale – and enjoy popular drinks, like Pumpkin Juice and Butterbeer, as well as new beverages like Fishy Green Ale and Tongue Tying Lemon Squash.

Further down Diagon Alley is Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour, the same ice-cream shop where Hagrid bought Harry a chocolate and raspberry ice-cream with chopped nuts in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” Stepping inside the whimsical and colorful shop, guests can indulge in more than 20 tantalizing and unique ice-cream flavors including Earl Grey and Lavender, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Chocolate Chili, Clotted Cream, Salted Caramel Blondie, Apple Crumble, Strawberry and Peanut-Butter, Orange Marmalade and even a soft-serve ice-cream flavor of Butterbeer. Also available will be a variety of fresh pastries, scones, tarts and sweet cakes.

In Horizont Alley – a street branching off Diagon Alley – guests can enjoy delicious elixirs from Eternelle’s Elixir of Refreshment. The available elixir selection at this cart includes Draught of Peace, Babbling Beverage, Elixir to Induce Euphoria and Fire Protection Potion. By adding these magical elixirs to Gillywater, guests will see their drink transform before their eyes and experience delightful flavor surprises.

For more information about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the new food and drink offerings found in Diagon Alley, check out the Universal Orlando Blog http://blog.universalorlando.com.

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HARRY POTTER, characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. (s14)

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Universal Orlando Public Relations

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Warner Bros. Consumer Products

Katie Kotchka

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katie.kotchka@warnerbros.com

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