Universal Studios Travel Report: LOTS OF NEW STUFF!!!
So my Cheeky Little Monkeys, I was at Universal on Holiday a couple of weeks ago with the mini Psychotik. Had some real good fun. It’s changed so much since the last I was there back at HHN. I was impressed at the progress that was made on the City Walk. Lots of new things springing up all over the place. We got to see the new Beetlejuice Graveyard Mash Up show. It was amazing. The new Diagon Ally area is looking so swell. You can see a lot of things are finished. I didn’t get to visit MegaCon this year. It was so crazy busy we got stuck on I-4 in a traffic jam for an hours and a half! But anyway, let’s get on with the review.
City Walk Construction
I’m very excited to see the big additions rolling into City Walk. I remember back a few years when they did some minor updates and tweaks, but this…this is a complete overhaul and new looks. Seemed like construction was going good. Very fast it seemed. It had only been a month maybe two since I had heard about the transformations taking place. I could be wrong. Pastamore had already been changed into the Red Oven. This new pizza concept looked a little better than Pastamore. I wanted to stop in and see how it tasted, but time didn’t really permit the stop. I did see the new Cold Stone up and busy. A few of the other places looked like they were coming nicely such as Anajito’s, The Universal Studio Store rebuild, The expansion to Margaritaville, and the new Starbucks. I didn’t get a good look at some of the others like Bread Box, Hot Dog Hall of Fame, or Cowfish. I think when this is all done, it’s going to look fantastic. I’m sure by now the Starbucks and a few other minor projects are done. Like I said, construction was moving very fast.
Cabana Bay Resort
Well, while we were there it was still getting some finishing touches, but from what i saw it looked great. The Cabana Bay is actually now up and running. It opened a week or two after we left. Would have loved to stay there as the pictures I’ve seen make it look fantastic. I will be staying there next year especially if the price holds. $100 bucks a night sounds like a lot, but your average cost for a hotel on I-Drive that isn’t on site is going to run you about $80 soooo…Yeah! You may not get the express pass that the other hotels give you, but you still get the convenience of being on site which is what I would like. Plus the whole retro thing has me totally sold!
Beetlejuice Graveyard Mashup
This was one of my highlights to the weekend. We hit it once a day for the whole weekend. Little Psychotik loved it so much. It was very refreshing to see the new show. It is totally more music driven than joke driven and a lot more fast paced. I love it! I have a video I will be posting below of the show. I thought the addition of Cleo and Phantasia would be a bit hoaky. Adding in Monster High style characters with BJ…ehh…But it was actually very entertaining. The two sets that I saw of each character were really entertaining. Thought about vaporating on stage and asking Phantasia’s number…but I think seeing a large top hatted gentleman appear on stage out of nowhere…would have caused a panic. And what kind of example would I be setting for the little one…using your powers in public…that’s just bad parenting! The best musical number I think in the whole show is the one between Drac and Phantasia. The whole Possession is 9/10ths of the law gag comes back and if strangely funnier this time regardless of being shorter. Over all…you all need to run out and catch this show. It’s totally worth it.
Diagon Alley/ London Expansion
I was surprised the amount of things I saw. I mean I guess the angles in Universal prevent them from completely obscuring a lot like they did in IOA with Wizarding World. Construction looks beautiful at this point. I’m super excited for this area. If you go to the Fear Factor live show you get a real nice looks right down Diagon Alley. It was still being heavely worked on through there, but it still looked amazing. From what I’ve seen on the concept art this area is going to quickly be my favorite and I’m going to love having both of these areas together as an experience. My cosmic friend Samhain and I promised ourselves to take a trip and do the whole experience. Shop for wizarding stuff, take a trip on the Hogwarts express, go to Hogwarts….we are nerds! Editors Note: Yes I realize as a Cheshire Cat I can just go to the real Hogwarts…I have been to the real Hogwarts…how ever it’s on thing to go to the real thing and see how that is and a complete other to live the adventure as you cheeky little monkeys interpret it!I think everone is going to have the best of times when this bad boy opens its doors. You all won’t want to miss it!
Mardi Gras 2014
We had a blast this year! The best I think I’ve been too. The little one had so much fun. I even got to catch one of the concerts. The theme this year was “Around the World in 80 days” so it was very much so Steampunk…which was totally awesome. All different modes of transportation where shown…ah you should have been there. I did manage to get pictures…however the sheer awesomeness of the parade drained my battery and I didn’t get the whole thing…poo poo. We ended up catching A Great Big World. They were surprisingly good. I enjoyed them a lot as did Jazz. Check out their music. They do the song “Say Something” with Christina Aguilera. They have a new single too called “Already Home” and another called “Everyone is Gay” Check them out they are worth it. They are easy listening. They are not hard at all, but they are good at what they do, and their music has meaning unlike a lot of bullshit that is out there.
New Dinning Plan
So i found out that the Meal Deal is gone…which is sad. However the new prepaid meal service isn’t to shabby either. It’s a way I could see totally controlling cost and still very much so worth it if you plan it right. Now I didn’t use the fancy expensive one. They do offer one that is a bit on the pricey side but would be perfect if you were on a date with a fancy lady or just had a lot of money. That one includes a snack, an extra drink, a quick service meal and drink, and a sit down fancy restaurant meal. The one that my little companion and I got costed $35 for the day for both of us. We both got a snack, and extra drink, and a quick service meal. The best values are if you get them at Mels Drive in at Uni and The Three Broomsticks at IOA. They also have a Coke Freestyle Souviner cup now. It’s cool, I wish i would have gotten it. Much better deal than the other cup. 13.99 for the day covers as many refills for the day at a Coke Freestyle machine. There is a chip in the bottom of the cup that tells the machine its ok to dispense. TECHNOLOGY!!!
Our overall experience was a great one. It was so great being there all weekend and getting to enjoy everything. All of the new attractions were up and running. It was the first time there with a pass for Jazmin’s Autism. Editors Note: I’m not sure if I have ever mentioned that before. The little Psychotik is Autistic. That is not to say she is not normal. Dad and Mom are far from it. Really she is just on a different wave length from everyone else. Really this is a conversation for another time, and I will revisit it.The staff was very accommodating and sweet as could be to her taking everything into consideration. Living in this town, you forget that there are people out there that understand the condition and work with it on a daily. Universal earned so many cool points with me. I can’t wait to see what else Universal has in store for us this year. It’s going to be great.
Until Next Time, My Cheeky Monkeys,