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Taylor Strickland

Taylor Strickland is the weekend editor at Orlando Informer, the internationally awarded independent resource for guests visiting Orlando. In this position, he leads the website's overall direction and day-to-day operations, working with a team of writers, editors, developers, and producers.

Now Hiring for Full-time Position

Content Strategist – Orlando Informer Full-time Content Strategist position now available at Orlando Informer. Applicants must be able to work up to 45 hours a week, including occasional nights and weekends. A competitive salary will be offered. For almost six years, Orlando Informer has been the leading independent resource for guests visiting Universal and other […]

Universal testing Facial Recognition for Universal Express

Universal Orlando has begun testing “photo validation technology” at select attractions for guests with unlimited Universal Express from an on-site hotel, Orlando Informer has learned. The test began today at Cat in the Hat. Instead of guests having to present their express pass ticket to a team member, facial recognition software tells the team member […]

Orlando Informer’s Top 9 Stories in 2016

2016 brought a lot to Universal Orlando. A chocolate emporium, mysterious island rumored to be inhabited by a giant ape, and completely refurbished coaster all opened to eager guests. The number of major announcements was even more exciting, giving us glimpses into future additions like Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon and Volcano Bay. […]

Secret Life of Pets debuts in Universal’s Superstar Parade

The Secret Life of Pets made its first appearance in Universal Orlando’s Superstar Parade yesterday. Similar to other units of the parade, The Secret Life of Pets unit comes out multiple times during the day prior to the parade near the Horror Makeup Show. The new addition features gymnast dancers, with splashes of parkour stunts. The addition […]

Super Nintendo World revealed for Universal Studios Japan

Super Nintendo World has been announced for Universal Studios Japan. It is scheduled to open in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The area will have “expansive and multi level environments filled with unprecedented, state-of-the-art rides, interactive areas, shops, and restaurants, all featuring Nintendo’s most popular characters and games.” The expansion to Universal Studios Japan is […]

Episode 72

This week on the Orlando Informer Podcast: We recap what Universal did right and wrong in 2016. California Informer has the scoop on 3D being removed from the Forbidden Journey in Universal Studios Hollywood. We have new details on Christmas events in USJ’s Wizarding World. Back in Orlando, we go over all the things to […]

Episode 71

This week on the Orlando Informer Podcast: Universal drops a new video about Nintendo Land which doesn’t give a lot of information but leaves us a lot to talk about. Taylor recaps his time at SeaWorld’s Christmas press event. Return time tickets appear at Shrek 4-D. Marc submits Pat O’Brien’s as a hidden gem at […]

Universal Orlando begins testing return time tickets for select attractions

Universal Orlando has activated a new feature in their official app that allows you to reserve return time tickets for select attractions, Orlando Informer has learned. Right now, the new feature only appears in the app for select users. In addition, it only appears as an option for Shrek 4-D. As this is being written […]

Episode 70

This week on the Orlando Informer Podcast: Marc shares ideas for how the Fantastic Beasts films can be brought to Universal’s theme parks. Taylor recaps this year’s IAAPA. The Secret Life of Pets joins Universal’s Superstar Parade. Disney is testing in-park cabanas for a crazy amount of money. How to do Thanksgiving right at Universal […]

Secret Life of Pets set to join Universal’s Superstar Parade

Today Universal Orlando Show Director Lora Wallace shared the details on Universal’s two new floats that will joined their daily Superstar Parade next month. The smaller float is themed after Central Park in New York and features Max and Duke. The larger, main float is based around apartments you’d see in New York city. This float […]

Episode 69

This week on the Orlando Informer Podcast: We break down ticket pricing and how to get into Volcano Bay. Universal Orlando implementing seasonal pricing on all 1-day tickets. Forbidden Journey will be going down for 18 days, find out when and why. The Wizarding World in Universal Studios Japan will be getting some Christmas events […]

Universal Orlando fully implements seasonal pricing on one day tickets

Universal Orlando has fully implemented seasonal pricing on one day tickets. Guests who purchase 1 day park to park or single park tickets to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure will now pay varying prices based on when they plan to visit. Dates will be broken down into three categories: value, regular, and peak. Tickets […]

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey set for refurbishment

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey will close for 18 days, Orlando Informer has learned. The attraction will be closed from December 1 through December 18, 2016. It will be the first major refurbishment for the attraction. It’s very uncommon for major attractions, outside of the water rides, to go down for extended refurbishments. Most […]

Episode 68

This week on the Orlando Informer Podcast: Universal unveils their latest on-site hotel, Aventura Hotel. We talk about its location, theming, pricing and more. Marc shares his article on potential replacements for Dragon Challenge if rumors become reality. We have some clarifications on the team member death at Men in Black. Some new casting announcements […]

Ride technician dies at Men in Black: Alien Attack

A ride technician was found unresponsive in the rafters of Men in Black: Alien Attack early Tuesday morning. Emergency services were called to the attraction at 2:30 AM when the Team Member was found without a pulse. A spokesperson for Universal Orlando said the incident has nothing to do with the safety of the ride or […]

Universal Orlando announces sixth on-site hotel: Aventura Hotel

Russ Dagon, Vice President and Executive Project Director at Universal Creative, revealed the details of Universal’s sixth on-site hotel Monday. The sixth on-site hotel, titled Universal’s Aventura Hotel, will be a prime value property that towers above its neighboring on-site hotels Loews Sapphire Falls Resort and Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort. Dagon’s team is responsible for the […]

Episode 67

This week on the Orlando Informer Podcast: We have breaking news on Volcano Bay. Find out about the headliner ride through the volcano, queue-less wait system, and more. Race Through New York with Jimmy Fallon has been detailed and we have them all right here including the first look at the facade. Universal Studios Beijing […]

Inside look at Universal’s Volcano Bay

Universal Orlando shared more details about Universal’s Volcano Bay on Thursday. Volcano Bay is their all-new water theme park opening in early summer 2017. Volcano Bay packages go on sale on November 15, 2016. Orlando Informer’s Volcano Bay section in our OI vacation planning Center will debut later today. Queueless ride technology Being called TapuTapu, […]

Jimmy Fallon ride details revealed for Universal Orlando

Universal Orlando has lifted the veil on Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon, the brand new ride coming to Universal Studios Florida in Spring 2017. Before even boarding the ride, guests will be able to spend time in Studio 6B. This area will act as an interactive pre-show. Guests will be able to meet and […]

Episode 66

This week on the Orlando Informer Podcast: A new competitor could be entering the Orlando theme park game as land acquisitions near the Artegon Marketplace lead to many questions. A ride in Star Wars land could have riders exit and reboard their ride vehicle. How could this concept work? HHN 26 officially adds extra days, […]

Celebrate National Chocolate Day with a NEW Toothsome shake

National Chocolate Day is right around the corner on Friday, October 28! Before you ask, of course Universal Orlando is celebrating. Festivities kick off at 11 am at The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen in CityWalk. A new, special milkshake will join the ranks of the 13 extraordinary Toothsome milkshakes. Jacques’ Chocolate Day Special, […]

Halloween Horror Nights 2016 extension confirmed

As first reported by Orlando Informer almost two weeks ago, Halloween Horror Nights 26 has officially been extended two additional nights. The event will now run on November 4 and 5. Park officials were forced to cancel Halloween Horror Nights on October 6 and 7 due to Hurricane Matthew. Guests who had date specific tickets […]

Episode 65

This week on the Orlando Informer Podcast: Halloween Horror Nights 26 is most likely being extended to an additional weekend. Fantastic Beasts’ impact on Universal Orlando. We answer your listener questions including Halloween Horror Nights and Coke Freestyle. REVIEW ON ITUNES LISTEN to our podcast:

Episode 64

This week on the Orlando Informer Podcast: Hurricane Matthew hits Orlando, we talk about how the theme parks reacted. Taylor reviews HHN 26, hear his best and worst houses. The Death Eater Attack debuts in The Wizarding World Japan, how will the new entertainment influence stateside events? We answer your questions on getting around Orlando […]

RUMOR: Halloween Horror Nights 2016 extended two extra nights

Universal Orlando will likely extended Halloween Horror Nights 2016 an additional two nights, Orlando Informer has learned. Sources familiar with the matter have indicated that Halloween Horror Nights will likely operate on November 4-5. Universal Studios Florida’s daytime operating hours were briefly adjusted to reflect this possibility, with the park opening an hour earlier than normal and […]

Step inside the original houses at Halloween Horror Nights 2016

Last week, we took you inside American Horror Story at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 2016. This week, we’re excited to take you inside a different (but just as sinister) side to HHN 26. Halloween Horror Nights 26 offers three houses that each tell a completely original story. In Ghost Town: The Curse of Lightning […]

Hurricanes and your Orlando vacation: 4 things to know

Last Updated: October 4, 2016 7:10 AM As of writing this, Hurricane Matthew is approaching Florida. While it’s still too early to tell how much of an impact it will have on the state and Orlando, we thought it may be a good time to go over some important information you should know if you’re visiting […]

Step Inside American Horror Story at Halloween Horror Nights 2016

In case you missed our coverage over the past months, including when we sent my mother through the house, American Horror Story is at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 26. It’s one of the best houses at this year’s event, landing in the top 3 of our rankings and receiving high praise from fans. Recently, […]

Halloween Horror Nights 2016 at Universal Orlando: Full Review

Universal Orlando’s biggest event of the year has begun its 26th run. Halloween Horror Nights 26 runs a select 31 nights now through October 31. In the past two weeks, I had the opportunity to experience everything HHN 2016 has to offer over multiple nights. If you’re not familiar with the event, I’d recommend perusing our […]

Magical Dining Month at Orlando Theme Parks

We’re right in the middle of Orlando’s Magical Dining Month and if you’re visiting the Orlando area before October 3, you should consider indulging. What is Magical Dining Month? It’s a program that runs through October 2 in which select restaurants offer three course dinners for $33 per person. One dollar from each meal benefits […]

Halloween Horror Nights 26 Merch Sneak Peek

In a surprise move, Universal Orlando made all of the Chance themed Halloween Horror Nights 26 merchandise visible in their online store overnight. It’s unclear if this was intentional. Halloween Horror Nights 26 merchandise is scheduled to go on sale in a dedicated store near Universal Studios Florida’s Revenge of the Mummy on Wednesday, September […]

Episode 62

This week on the Orlando Informer Podcast: The first commercial for HHN 26 has been released. Orlando Informer has the scoop on all the HHN 26 merchandise. The victims of the Pulse shootings receive a memorial window in Universal Studios Florida. Toothsome Chocolate Emporium has an official opening date, but has service improved? We answer […]

Episode 61

This week on the Orlando Informer Podcast: Universal surprises us with increased pricing on APs and added benefits. The Orlando theme parks work together again to provide free insect repellent as a precaution against the Zika virus. A new patent application from Universal hints at future attractions becoming more like video games with rider input. […]

Universal honors Pulse victims with window tribute

Universal Orlando recently added a window tribute in the Hollywood area of Universal Studios Florida in memory of the Pulse victims that were a part of the NBCUniversal family. The window is near Universal’s Horror Makeup Show. Jonathan Camuy worked on La Voz Kids, a Spanish TV show similar to “The Voice”. It is filmed […]

Universal Orlando raises Annual Pass prices by up to 49% in one year, adds perks

Universal Orlando Resort debuted an Annual Pass price increase, new ticket option, and added perks for Passholders on Wednesday. The price increase marks the second this year, with Universal raising their Annual Pass prices only four months ago. In total, pricing for some Universal Orlando passes has risen by up to almost 50% this year […]

Complimentary Mosquito Repellent Available at Universal, Disney, and SeaWorld

Universal Orlando, Disney World, and SeaWorld Entertainment will begin providing complimentary mosquito repellent beginning Sunday, August 28, 2016. This is a direct response to the Zika virus that has been locally transmitted via mosquitos in Miami Beach and Pinellas County. Miami is roughly 204 miles away from Orlando; Pinellas County is roughly 73 miles away. […]

Toothsome Chocolate Emporium preview plagued with “shakes”

Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen has begun its preview period this week, opening nightly for guests. (Lunch service will soon be added.) Over the first three days of its preview, we’ve spent 9 hours at the new restaurant. We’ve sampled 4 courses. We’ve captured almost 250 pictures. While our full review will come following […]

Episode 60

This week on the Orlando Informer Podcast: Toothsome Chocolate Emporium has started previews at Universal’s CityWalk. Taylor recaps his brave mission to acquire shakes, sweets, and savory delights. Details have been revealed for 2017’s A Celebration of Harry Potter event. Find out the dates and what, if anything, is new this year. We answer your […]

Episode 59

This week on the Orlando Informer Podcast: The American Horror Story house has finally been revealed for this year’s HHN. A new virtual reality experience is coming to HHN called the ‘Repository’. Toothsome Chocolate Emporium had begun team members previews, what we know about the food and theming inside. The latest on a rumor about […]

American Horror Story coming to Halloween Horror Nights

American Horror Story is coming to Halloween Horror Nights 26, Universal Orlando officials announced today. The critically-acclaimed, Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning television series is found on FX and has run for five seasons. The sixth season debuts September 14. The Halloween Horror Nights house will focus on Murder House from Installment 1, Freak Show […]

REVIEW: Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando Resort

Over 1,000 photos, 10 OI Center pages, and countless visits to Sapphire Falls later… All that’s left? Our official review of the new on-site hotel. Read on to learn why Loews Sapphire Falls Resort is now my favorite hotel at Universal Orlando Resort! Sapphire Falls opened on July 14, 2016, and is the sister hotel […]

Episode 58

This week on the Orlando Informer Podcast: Special Halloween events are announced for Universal Studios in Japan. We talk about what this could potentially mean for stateside Harry Potter lands. We have the latest on the new original houses and scare zones announced for HHN 26. We answer your questions about Sapphire Falls, HHN and […]

Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights 26 REVEALED

Universal Orlando officials have blown the lid off Halloween Horror Nights 26, sharing the details of this year’s original content that includes three original houses, five original scare zones, and two shows! Before we dive into the details of the horror, a forewarning: Now that the majority of the details of HHN 26 are revealed […]

Halloween comes to the Wizarding World Japan, more events on the horizon

In an announcement that surprised many, Universal Studios Japan revealed today that for the first time ever there will be a Halloween event in their Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This comes on the day after NBCUniversal announced a multi-business partnership which grants them the rights for “Harry Potter” and “Fantastic Beasts” fan events, movie […]

Universal reveals Horror Nights house and number of zones

Universal Orlando Annual Passholders began receiving the fall mailer on Saturday. Within the seasonal packet that is mailed to most passholders is the name of an unannounced house and the first indication of the number of zones at this year’s Halloween Horror Nights. Tomb of the Ancients at Halloween Horror Nights 26 The packet lists […]

Krampus coming to Halloween Horror Nights 26

Krampus is coming to Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 26, show director Charles Gray revealed on Universal’s blog today. Few details were shared about the haunted house, outside of the fact that we’ll be visiting the Engel home. Guests will run into dark elves, gingerbread men, Jack-in-the-Box, and the Teddy Bear. This appears to be […]

Episode 57

This week on the Orlando Informer Podcast: The Incredible Hulk finally reopens to guests at Islands of Adventure. Krampus is the latest house announced for Halloween Horror Nights 26, Taylor recaps his Universal Orlando media day, Typhoon Lagoon responds to Volcano Bay with a new attraction. We answer your questions on transportation from MCO, rum […]

New Incredible Hulk Coaster begins soft opening at Universal’s Islands of Adventure

The completely redone Incredible Hulk Coast began soft opening on Monday, August 1, at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. The green one himself towered over the entrance as guests poured into one of the summer’s most highly anticipated attractions. What is a soft opening/technical rehearsal? A soft opening, commonly referred to as a technical rehearsal, is […]