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Orlando Informer Weekly Dispatch: July 6 – 12, 2014



OI Universal Center updates

Greetings, vacation planners! Prepare to UPGRADE YOUR ADVENTURE to Universal Orlando with our Weekly Dispatch. This is a summary of all the latest Universal news and activity on our site. Please note that these updates are listed from newest to oldest:

7/12 – There are only 24 hours left, and all of us (fans, contributors, and editors) and fightin’ to hang on to 1st place in the 10Best Theme Park Blogger awards. Please help us by voting for “Orlando Informer” – click here

7/12 – We are in the process of overhauling many pages in the OI Universal Center now that Diagon Alley is open and we know more about how Universal is handling crowds and other related factors. In the first round, we’ve now fully updated these important pages:

We’ll continue plugging away at getting all our pages updated, and yes, we know we need to get our free touring plans updated too – stay tuned!

7/9 – We have uploaded all of our media from our stay overnight Monday and Tuesday at Cabana Bay, and our morning and evening visits to Diagon Alley on July 8, its grand opening day. To see our nearly 300 images, check out our Flickr page (there are three albums: July 7 touring and one album each for the morning and evening of July 8). We also have three new videos on our YouTube channel, including a walk-through of Diagon Alley and the dragon fire on grand opening day.

7/9 – Keeping its pledge to open CityWalk’s newest quick-service venues by the end of June, guests visiting Universal can now dine at Bread Box and Hot Dog Hall of Fame – and we now have our reviews posted on our blog. Of the eight venues proposed in the 2014 CityWalk expansion, only one has yet to open: The Cowfish. This full-service restaurant is expected to open by the end of August.

7/8 – Just to have the day marked on our Universal Orlando Daily Updates page, today the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley celebrated its grand opening. There wasn’t much of a ceremony this morning, as the “real” grand opening ceremony happened during the media preview three weeks ago, but there was some confetti and fireworks – and happy guests. Universal’s own video wraps it up best, which you can view here.

7/8 – SWEEPSTAKES ALERT: The folks at are giving away a 3-night, 2-day vacation to Universal Orlando, including car rental, two Potter-themed outfits, a make-up artist, a personal photographer, and more. To enter, click here. (Sorry international visitors, this one is for U.S. residence only.)

7/7 – We have now published dedicated pages in the OI Universal Center for all the experiences inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, including the attractions, shopping areas, and restaurants. What’s more, guests lucky enough to have visited Diagon Alley can now share their reviews of the new land’s attractions and restaurants. To take a look at all our new material, visit our Diagon Alley title page. If you’d like to start sharing reviews, you can start on the title page or visit our main Real guest reviews page.

7/7 – Covering Diagon Alley’s soft opening on Monday, the grand opening on Tuesday, and Early Park Admission starting Wednesday, we tell you everything you need to know and answer all your questions in our new blog post. For the very latest updates, follow us on Twitter, or discuss everything related to Diagon Alley in the OI Forums: the new land or vacation planning.

If you prefer to start back at the beginning, visit our spoiler-free guide to Diagon Alley.


New on the Orlando Informer Blog

Along with our encyclopedia of Universal Orlando vacation-planning information, our weekly blog posts also provide you with an entertaining and informative way to learn more about everything there is to do in Orlando. Here are our new posts:

CityWalk’s next generation, wave three: Bread Box and Hot Dog Hall of Fame

Orlando for beginners: Disney versus Universal in theming – which is best for you?

Pantopia at Busch Gardens Tampa: Tour the park’s newest land and learn its secrets

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament: A grand feast in the age of knights and jousting

Rumor round-up for July 11, 2014: Universal’s Volcano Bay water park, Disney expansions, and Comcast buying SeaWorld

Hot Dog Hall of Fame - Universal CityWalk.
Hungry for Hot Dog Hall of Fame yet? Learn more



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Rumor round-up for July 11, 2014: Universal’s Volcano Bay water park, Disney expansions, and Comcast buying SeaWorld

A very special Universal Studios Florida trip report – July 2014 (Diagon Alley is here!)

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Will Phillips
Will Phillips
July 13, 2014 2:16 pm

Best Universal blog, hands down. Voted. Thanks for the info!

Mike Miller
Mike Miller
July 13, 2014 2:19 pm

I’ve just voted. Your site was invaluable this past two weeks while we were over. Diagon Alley was brill as was Gringotts, thanks for all the info. Sad to be back in sunny Scotland now though!

Patricia Kincaid Ceballos
Patricia Kincaid Ceballos
July 14, 2014 11:14 am

Voted and shared on Twitter and Facebook 🙂

About Taylor Strickland

Taylor Strickland is the owner of 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.

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