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Marc N. Kleinhenz

Marc N. Kleinhenz’s first dream in life was to be an astronaut. His second was an Imagineer. While neither completely worked out, he now works exclusively for Orlando Informer as a writer, editor, and podcast co-host. He’s also written for 31 other sites, has had his fiction featured in several publications, and has even taught English in Japan. Imagineering school won’t be too far behind.

Disney releases 2 NEW Pandora details

This has been a pretty big week for Universal, whether the company intended that or not: we’ve learned of its intention to build a massive seventh hotel on-site, discovered its patents for next-generation (Harry Potter?) rides, and, just this morning, saw its bold new take on the theme park menu for Volcano Bay. But Disney […]

REVEALED: Volcano Bay’s crazy food

Over the course of the past two years, Universal has been slowly but surely revealing every last facet of its brand-new “water theme park”: its attractions, backstory, and, most intriguing of all, its TapuTapu wearable. But what’s been missing in this deluge of information (see what I did there?) has been Volcano Bay’s food and […]

Is THIS Universal’s new Harry Potter ride?

We’ve known for some time now that Dragon Challenge, the dueling coasters in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, may very well be on the chopping block and may, in fact, be shutting down for good later this year. What’s remained unknown is what, exactly, would replace it. It just so happens that […]

CONFIRMED: Universal’s seventh on-site hotel

When Comcast took control of NBCUniversal some six years ago, it was unsatisfied with how few hotel rooms were on-property at Universal Orlando – only some 2,400, spread across the first three venues of Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel, and Royal Pacific Resort. With the sheer amount of money and people that are now […]

How Disney is beating Universal in the food war

As is well-known by now, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter redefined the way that theme park operators think about their food offerings and the way that guests view it as part of their get-away-from-reality vacations. No longer is the standard, boring fare of hamburgers and mac-‘n-cheese the order of the day, served up in […]

The surprising way that Jimmy Fallon connects with Avatar Land

A funny thing happened after experiencing Race through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon during its technical rehearsal period twice in one weekend: I went back to my hotel room after the second ride-through and started watching The Tonight Show clips. When I returned back home, I shared them with my wife, who’s way more of […]

Marvel’s apex – and what it means for Universal

It may appear that Marvel Super Hero Island is isolated from all the rest of Marvel Entertainment – and its parent company, Disney – meaning that whatever happens in the constantly-being-revamped comic books and the ever-more-sprawling Marvel Cinematic Universe have absolutely no bearing on Universal’s theme park land. To a very large extent, this is […]

I’ve eaten at every CityWalk table-service restaurant

Yes, the theme parks – and, soon, the “theme water park” of Volcano Bay – are where all the action of Universal Orlando is at; one makes the journey in order to experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, ride The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, and delight in the Universal Horror Makeup Show, after all. […]

Does the new Harry Potter ride NEED Harry Potter?

One of the main, everlasting draws of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, in addition to its stellar queue and its faithfulness to the source material, is its inclusion of a cornucopia of actors from the Harry Potter films; being able to swoop over a Quidditch pitch or through the Chamber of Secrets wouldn’t be […]

The top-secret location Disney uses to create new food and drinks

Delish, a “top-10 food-related” website, was recently invited by Disney to come check out the Flavor Lab, a top-secret complex that opened in October 2015 in order to serve “as a hub of new product, packaging, and equipment innovation for food and beverage programs across Walt Disney Parks and Resorts,” according to the Disney Parks […]

Did Disney just confirm a major Star Wars Land rumor?

With its grand debut just two short(ish) years away, we’re starting to get more and more information about Disney’s Star Wars Land, which is due to arrive simultaneously at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. Even with this steady trickle of confirmations, however – and even with the occasional sneak peek at the ongoing […]

Welcome to Lava Lagoon, the original Volcano Bay

Volcano Bay, Universal Orlando Resort’s third park, is soon to open its watery doors to guests. While everyone continues to wait with baited breath – and to ask an endless series of questions that we still can’t answer as of yet – it might behoove us to take a quick detour to the not-so-distant past, […]

Volcano Bay’s amazing backstory was just revealed

If it seems like Disney and Universal are in something of a marketing war, you’re right on the money: Pandora: The World of Avatar, an expansion at Animal Kingdom, bows on May 27th, while Universal’s third park, Volcano Bay, will hold its grand opening two days earlier, on the 25th. And seeing as how we […]

First look at Avatar: Flight of Passage’s queue

After nearly five-and-a-half years of development and construction, Pandora: The World of Avatar’s May 27, 2017 opening date is nearly upon us – which means the flow of information from Disney on the land’s mysterious contents is widening to a veritable deluge. Earlier this week, we got our first look at the exclusive food and […]

4 biggest takeaways from Race through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon

In case you missed the news, Universal has started soft openings for its brand-new ride, Race through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon, which is set for a grand opening on Thursday, April 6. This, of course, means that it’s time for a media preview event, which occurred earlier this morning at the attraction itself. We […]

Harry Potter: 5 things to know before venturing to the Wizarding World

It’s no surprise that Harry Potter is the most popular sight to behold at Universal Orlando – it’s the sole reason for the resort’s current resurgence, after all, and both of the Boy Wizard’s theme park lands tend to be the single most-crowded locations. It’s also no surprise, then, that we here at Orlando Informer […]

SeaWorld’s next frontier: Virtual reality

SeaWorld hasn’t been doing well recently, with most of its troubles originating from the 2013 documentary Blackfish and all the controversies emanating from it. But the company is fighting back, attempting to transform all of its marquee parks around the country – and, now, around the world, with the recent news of the Abu Dhabi […]

5 rumors we WISH came true at Universal Orlando

One of the most exciting features about Universal Orlando Resort is its current state of unprecedented construction and expansion. Ever since 2012, parent company Comcast has been pumping some $500 million a year into the crown jewel of its global theme park empire, having new rides, restaurants, or hotels open up each year – with […]

Disney unveils a first-ever Ant-Man ride

Hong Kong Disneyland is currently in the midst of its own Universal Orlando Resort-esque expansion and renovation plan – with a price tag of $1.4 billion (what Comcast spends on its four American parks in a three-year period), Disney is going to open a new attraction nearly every single year from 2018 to 2023, whether […]

How Jimmy Fallon is the future of theme park attractions

One could make the argument that Race through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon has a lot going against it: its show building is small and constrained, thanks to its location and the fact that Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit’s track careens through its second story; it features an intellectual property that has only limited appeal outside […]

SeaWorld is looking down – but not out

SeaWorld’s revenue and attendance numbers for 2016 were released this week, and the situation – as one might expect – isn’t particularly good. The company and the Orlando park both are still feeling the consequences of the Blackfish controversy; the 2013 documentary galvanized anti-captivity advocates and produced a tidal wave of bad publicity for SeaWorld, […]

Disney World’s Star Wars Land is already shaping up!

One of the biggest developments to come out of The Walt Disney Company’s purchasing of Lucasfilm back in October 2012 – besides getting two new trilogies of Star Wars films, but of course – was the possibility of finally getting an entire area themed to writer-director George Lucas’s galaxy far, far away. Development on such […]

Universal expanding its global theme park empire?

Universal Studios Hollywood may have started the whole shebang off, Universal Orlando Resort may be the company’s crown jewel, and Universal Studios Japan may be the newly-acquired property, but Universal Parks and Resorts has long been contemplating other theme park locations around the world, stretching all the way back to the period right after USJ […]

4 secrets of Minion Park, the new Despicable Me land coming to Japan

Despicable Me – which is now intertwined with its spinoff franchise, Minions – has been a growing cinematic phenomenon, with its most recent release grossing $1.1 billion at the global box office (that’s as much as Captain America: Civil War!). It turns out, however, that it’s in the realm of theme parks that the property […]

5 top Volcano Bay questions (and our best answers)

Universal Orlando Resort has been on a roll for the past five years, adding new rides, restaurants, and hotels at an unprecedentedly fast clip (that’s what investing some $500 million a year does for you). And while previous summers have seen some rather major additions – 2014’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon […]

4 ways Harry Potter influenced Avatar Land

There’s been so much hype for this summer’s Pandora: The World of Avatar – most of it from Disney’s Imagineers and Avatar’s filmmakers themselves – that it seems almost impossible for it to live up to even half of the built-up expectations. Then again, the very same scenario greeted Universal’s The Wizarding World of Harry […]

11 future attractions coming to Universal in 2017 and beyond

It’s a new year! Which means it’s the time of year when any self-respecting theme park website will compile a list of all the new attractions and other assorted developments arriving within the next 12-month period; how else can themed aficionados geek out, and how else could normal families begin to plan their upcoming vacations? […]

3 Ways Universal can expand, Harry Potter-style

Last week’s big Harry Potter news – that a nightly show involving projection-mapping on Hogwarts Castle could be coming later this year – was not only incredibly popular amongst the Universal faithful, it also underlined the company’s approach to keeping its two Wizarding Worlds of Harry Potter fresh and exciting without having to build new rides. […]

RUMOR: Universal’s New Harry Potter Nighttime Show

This article has been tagged as a rumor. Please read our note from the editor to learn about rumors on Orlando Informer. On Christmas Eve, Screamscape gave everyone a slightly early Christmas present by dropping a sizzling new rumor onto the themed online scene: a new nighttime show at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – […]

6 Universal Patents Predict the Future of Theme Parks

It’s not enough that Universal unleashed three of the most revolutionary rides on theme park audiences anywhere in the world – that would be 1999’s Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, 2010’s Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and 2014’s Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, but of course – and is looking to pull a […]

First Details on Universal Orlando’s Nintendo Land

After originally announcing their partnership a year-and-a-half ago, Universal and Nintendo just today revealed the first details on their highly-anticipated Nintendo Land, which is now officially confirmed to be coming to Universal Studios Japan and Universal Studios Hollywood alongside Universal Orlando Resort. “Revealed” is the appropriate word to use, as we now know more about […]

Fantastic Beasts: Top 3 Theme Park Attractions

After the Harry Potter film series ended in 2011, most in the Muggle world thought that, barring the occasional short story on author J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore website, the franchise was effectively dead. 2016 has proven to be a big negation of that doom-and-gloom sentiment. The stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child gave us […]

Harry Potter: 4 attractions that could replace Dragon Challenge

Almost exactly a year ago, Screamscape reported on a rumor that just started to make the rounds regarding Dragon Challenge, that imposing dual roller coaster that is such a fixture of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade skyline (well, at least in Orlando; its sister sites in both Osaka and Hollywood are dragon-free, […]

4 Pokemon Go-inspired attractions to put into Universal’s parks

Pokemon Go has, over the course of the past week, dominated news stories (thanks to its being used on smart phones more than Tinder and Twitter, to it adding $9 billion of value to publisher Nintendo, and, of course, thanks to all the various real-world mishaps it’s been wreaking across the country, including a teenager […]

Universal’s sixth hotel: Everything we know

We had reported some time ago that our little birds at Universal indicated that the company was likely to announce its next on-site hotel – yes, that would be its sixth – even before its fifth, Sapphire Falls Resort, opened its doors (which, incidentally, happens this month). It seems like our sources were half-accurate: Universal […]

3 ideas for a Marvel Super Hero Island expansion

In 2012, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man got an overhaul, upgrading its projectors to 4K and redoing all of its physical sets and digital animations. Later on this summer, The Incredible Hulk Coaster will be getting its own major refurbishment, replacing its track, upgrading its ride vehicle, and completely redoing its queue and story. As […]

Universal’s Volcano Bay story and attractions REVEALED

Starting at the US Travel Association’s IPW convention, which is currently being held in New Orleans, and continuing on its official blog, Universal has finally gone ahead and started to divulge some first-ever specific details about Volcano Bay, its brand-new, next-generation water park that it’s been billing as its third park at Universal Orlando. According […]

Harry Potter: Ranking ALL the attractions

The two Wizarding Worlds of Harry Potter – that’s both Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida – have some of the most magical (no pun intended) attractions to be found anywhere on the planet, from rides to stage shows to shopping (yes, shopping – Potter broke new theming ground […]

The biggest Halloween Horror Nights reveal yet

Let’s get the big news out of the way first: Halloween Horror Nights, the nation’s premiere Halloween event, is returning to its roots this year by having an icon preside over the entire ordeal. Even better, for the first time this icon is going to be none other than Chance, Jack the Clown’s lady-friend who […]

The Walking Dead coming to HHN26: 3 ways for it to not suck

Universal let the undead cat out of the bag today and announced The Walking Dead as the third house for this year’s Halloween Horror Nights (the first two haunts, for all those not playing along at home, are two blasts from the horror past: Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Exorcist). This marks the fifth consecutive […]

Why Diagon Alley can never be repeated

There is a little recent addition to Universal Orlando called The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley. Maybe you’ve heard of it – it’s one of the most highly themed areas across the entire globe, it’s been responsible for some crazy year-on-year growth for NBCUniversal and its parent company, Comcast, and it’s pretty […]

5 reasons Revenge of the Mummy is the most overlooked ride at Universal Orlando

Did you know that tomorrow is Revenge of the Mummy’s 12th birthday? And did you know that the ride is a not-to-be-missed attraction at Universal Studios Florida? (This second one is easy to overlook, given all the glitz and attention that the park’s newer entries, such as Transformers: The Ride 3D, Springfield, and The Wizarding […]

The NEW Incredible Hulk Coaster revealed

After months of waiting for Universal to unveil what the newly redesigned Incredible Hulk Coaster will entail, the company just this morning went ahead and pulled the curtain back on what has been one of the most anticipated attractions at Universal Orlando Resort this year. Amazingly enough, even though the coaster’s track is exactly the […]

4 HUGE updates from Universal – April 2016

Aprils are typically sleepier months at Universal Orlando Resort (don’t believe us? You can view the crowd calendar right here), and while this year was no exception, it still managed to provide its fair share of new developments and happenings – thanks, in large part, due to this being the last moment of calm before […]

3 ways Universal Orlando can use DreamWorks

After being initially reported earlier this week, the news was made official by Comcast today: NBCUniversal is the new, proud owner of DreamWorks Animation, the studio behind such properties as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, and How to Train Your Dragon (Comcast, for all those not in the know, is the parent company of Universal, making […]

Harry Potter: 4 NEW updates to the parks

Last month, we discussed all the ways that Universal Orlando Resort could expand without having to build new attractions on new parcels of land, and much of that speculation – naturally – focused on the untold potential of the Harry Potter franchise. It turns out that Universal is already taking that idea and running with […]

How Disney is trying to change the theme park industry

It seems as if the theme park industry is undergoing some kind of quiet, not-quite-behind-the-scenes revolution in how the park operators charge the public and, thereby, increase their profit margin – call it the surcharge war, attempting to make consumers pay more for services they either already receive or will get slightly more of. Unsurprisingly, […]

Flashback to 1990: Jaws, Psycho, & Phantom of the Opera

Welcome back to the past: June 7, 1990, the day that Universal Studios Florida formally opened its doors. We hope the time travel process this time wasn’t too disagreeable with your stomach; return trips always cause agida. On our first time-hopping jaunt, we hit up half of the brand-new park’s lands and rode a smattering […]

6 HUGE updates from Universal – March 2016

How many big developments can happen in a single month? If you’re Universal Orlando Resort and it’s March, it turns out the answer is quite a lot. From new sneak peeks at upcoming attractions and restaurants to the latest behind-the-scenes deliberations being leaked, the past four weeks have been a nearly nonstop rip-roaring adventure. Oh, […]

How Universal can expand without land

Everyone knows that Universal Orlando Resort, at “just” 840 acres, is rather limited on real-estate. Yes, there’s the 50-acre Wet ‘n Wild property, which is rumored to be transformed into a site for additional (value) hotels within the next few years. And, all right, yes, there’s also the secondary plot of land that Universal just […]